I recently received correspondence from a young woman who is going through a divorce. She has young children aged three and five. The five-year old in particular is having issues with the divorce but burying her feelings deep inside. This article is adapted from my reply to her on how to help preschool aged children adapt to and deal with the divorce of their parents. Over the course of the next three articles, we will look at common reactions of children of divorce, emotions, ways of discerning what a child of this age is feeling and specific advice for parents. Come back next Wednesday for a pdf file containing the complete article.
Divorce is a traumatic event, and in so many of the cases, the parents get so caught up in their own struggles and circumstances that they don’t pay attention to (or even realize) what their kids are going through. Just noticing that your child is having trouble or keeping emotions buried deep inside is a significant step. The preschool years (defined roughly as aged 3 to 5) are a time of rapid development in kids. The principal focus of this article is the higher end of that range, though hopefully the advice will help with all children in this age group.