Kristen Wynns Ph.D. - Psychological Solutions for Children, Adolescents & Families
child psychiatry cary resources

PSYCHOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS FOR CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS & FAMILIES

Call 919-467-7777
Info@WynnsFamilyPsychology.com
130 Preston Executive Dr, Ste 202 Cary, NC 27513
9207 Baileywick Rd, Ste 203, Raleigh, NC 27615

Powered by web hosting

Click here for a chance to make money online

 
PRESCHOOLERS & DIVORCE

WHAT DO THEY UNDERSTAND
?
  • Preschoolers still don't understand what separation or divorce means, but they know their parents are angry and upset, and they live apart.

HOW DO THEY REACT?
  • Preschoolers feel a sense of loss and sorrow.
  • They are likely to have fantasies, both pleasant - "Daddy will come back" - and frightening - "Monsters chased me."
  • Preschoolers wonder what will happen to them and fear being abandoned by their noncustodial parent.
  • They often blame themselves for the separation or divorce. They think if they had behaved better, their parents would have stayed together.
  • Preschoolers may feel responsible. When being punished, perhaps the child wished one parent would go away and now that parent is gone. The child may believe that the wish is what made the parent leave.
  • Preschoolers often become very angry, which they show by attacking the parent they blame or by turning their anger inward and becoming depressed or withdrawn.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
  • Parents can encourage their child to share questions and concerns about the separation or divorce.
  • They can encourage their child to express feelings, including anger, through talking, physical activity, or art work.
  • Parents can set aside time daily to reassure their child that both parents understand and love him or her.
  • They can tell their child, repeatedly if needed, that he or she isn't responsible for the divorce.

National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service Children Youth and Family Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce these materials in whole or in part for educational purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledgment and this notice is included:

Reprinted with permission from National Network for Child Care -NNCC. Oesterreich, L. (1996). Divorce matters series, A child's view. [Pm 1641]. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Extension.

Forms_Pics.png
Login