If you and your spouse are going through a divorce, you will be concerned about many issues. If you have children, their well-being should be a top priority for you. The effect of your divorce on your children can be greatly minimized by how you and your spouse behave and how you deal with the inevitable stress on your children. Even young children are affected by divorce. Read on for more information on the signs of stress in your young child.
Make Believe: Your child's fantasy world might be expressed with stories about you and your spouse. Typically this might include a scenario where the other parent is moving back in or about taking vacations with both parents. This is actually a manifestation of denial in your child.
Fear of Abandonment: Your child may feel extremely insecure as a result of your split and may feel in danger of being "divorced" from you just as you and your spouse are divorced. Sometimes, as a result, you will hear your child make statements that are meant to trigger a protective response from you, such as "I'm scared you won't pick me up after kindergarten."
Regression: Your child might act out their fear of losing their parent's love by regressing to an earlier developmental stage. You may notice bed-wetting for a toilet-trained toddler, for instance, or a younger child who no longer will sleep through the night. Baby talk in older toddlers may make a resurgence.
Guilt: The complexities of your marriage break-up are too advanced for most young children to understand, and the explanations given them are often vague and cause confusion. Your negative interactions with your spouse when you both are present with your child, such as at a drop-off or pick-up, can cause your child to feel they are responsible for your divorce. Many times this is expressed with children making promises to "be good" if Mommy and Daddy get back together.
Taking Sides: Most parents are aware of the negative impact of blaming the other parent, but children can often pick up on even the most subtle signs of your unhappiness with your ex-spouse. Many times the child will take a side, often that is of the parent that they spend the most time with. You may notice the child refusing to go with the other parent or refusing to speak on the phone with them.
Family counseling can help alleviate many of these issues, but as a parent you and your attitude about the divorce plays a major role in how your child survives this event. Your divorce attorney could potentially be a great resource of information on getting through your divorce with as little adversary as possible and recommend mediation to resolve conflicts that could affect your children.Share
15 June 2015
My name is Laura, and I am an attorney specializing in helping clients leave violent marriages. The law can help victims be safe, but many potential clients cannot afford legal services and may be afraid to pursue divorce. They may not be aware of services that have been created to keep them hidden from violent ex-partners and to help them be awarded assets in a divorce so they can provide for themselves and their families. I hope to raise awareness of these issues as well as help direct people in danger to facilities where they can receive guidance and financial assistance.