What your 3-5yr old is thinking during your divorce; from a Greensboro Family Lawyer

In Family by GWAO

3 Years to 5 Years, the effect of divorce on your children; from a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer

The developmental tasks for children in this age group call for learning self-motivation and how to overcome guilt and development their own identities. They accomplish these tasks through play and exploration. Their parents need to set safe limits for them in a kind, understanding way.

At this age, children fear being abandoned and rejected. They also develop imagination and fantasies. In the midst of divorce, their fears and fantasies translate into insecurity about their own lovability. They may believe that a parent left the home because they (the child) did something wrong or bad or because they (the child) were not “good enough.” These children may create fantasies and tell stories about their parents’ reconciliation. Contact a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer to talk about the end of the relationship. This is from their desire to have their parents back together. A parent who does not understand this may blame the other parent for “putting things in the child’s head” because the other wants to reconcile.

These children may also have gruesome fantasies about some horrible demise of a parent as a way of explaining why hey believe that parent has disappeared. Children at this stage may react to the divorce by regressing in their sleeping, eating, and toilet habits and even their talking. They may be very clingy and have difficulty going from one parent to the other. They may also become more aggressive in their activity and play, or more withdrawn.

What Parents Need to Know About Children Three to Five Years

The important things for divorcing parents to know are as follows:

  • They need to be punctual when exchanging the child.
  • They need to avoid jumping to conclusions about the stories the child is telling.
  • They need to recognize the child’s need to be with the primary caregiving parent at least every three or four days.
  • They need to understand that their child is creative and will tell stories to alleviate anxieties about abandonment.
  • They need to develop a consistent parenting schedule in order for the child to feel secure and to adjust.
  • The child will naturally be on his or her best behavior when staying with the parent who moved out. This is because the child fears doing something that may make that parent disappear altogether. Then, when the child returns to the parent in the family home, he or she may feel more secure and may act out because the home is a safe place in which to do so. Sometimes parents misinterpret this behavior and suggest that the child just gets along better with one parent than the other. Parents need to understand that this is not always the case.

If you or a loved one is considering a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer, contact Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson.