A child’s response to divorce is different, based on their age. Through research and personal experience here are some factors to consider as a child endures this difficult time.
According to Anita C. Savage, emotional issues arise with individuals of any age because of divorse. When parents split up, their interactions with each other, and the child, effect the child’s ability to cope with emotional stress now and in the future.
Divorce causes infants, toddlers, and preschool age children to develop anxiety. Anxiety in young children often make them angry, making it hard to regulate their emotions. Divorce causes this anxiety due to the lengthy separations from each parent.
A developing child needs frequent contact with both parents. Divorce causes insufficient amounts of contact with the child and frequent separation, which forms their anxiety. Remember, while going through a divorce, it is important to spend time with the child frequently.
Divorce majorly effects school age children 6-12 years old. It causes the child to experience astronomical amounts of stress, which leads to withdrawal in school, and revert at home. Often times, a child believes the divorce is temporary and that their parents with reconcile.
The child may also believe that the divorce was their fault because they lack the power to save their parents marriage. It is important to assure your child that the divorce had nothing to do with them. Remember, letting a child talk about his or her emotions and feelings plays a major part in their own emotional healing.
Self esteem and academic achievement is effected by divorce in emerging adults and adults. The older children become worried about the success in their own future. Since these children are closer to adulthood, divorcing parents, often involve their children and this causes emotional harm. It is important to remember, no matter how old the child, you must always protect your children from issues between you and your spouse.
Despite the divorce, both parents still have the child in common, and love the child unconditionally. It is important for both parents to support the child’s relationship with the ex-husband or wife, and parent the child cohesively.