Divorce and its Impact on Children (Part Three)


by minadadvar

Loss/separation from parent(s) can provoke intense feelings in children.  The preschool kindergarten children (three to five year olds) are primarily frightened, bewildered and very sad. They seem particularly vulnerable to feelings of insecurity and anxiety when the parents leave for work.  They respond to their parents' absence with angry tears, crankiness, panic and anguish.  They become clingy and fearful of even familiar people/places.  Regression is common and the very young turn to their security blanket.  This group of kids due to their immature grasp of reality make extensive use of fantasy to make sense of and deal with the disruption of their lives. Fantasies of replaceability, denial and being left hungry by their parents are common.  The latter is associated with fear of abandonment.  Many show greater irritability and rising tempers which they express at home in relation to their younger siblings/parent, at school and sometimes in both settings. Feelings of guilt and self-blame is intense, tenacious and resistant to change among this group of children.  Despite all the explantion by parents/teachers these children cling to their self-accusations with great tenacity.

The young school-age children (six to eight year olds) differ considerably from those of younger children with regards to their ability to understand the meaning of divorce as well as its implications.  Interestingly their shaky gains in independence from the family and reliance on the community is enhanced by the family rupture and the father's departure.  However, this group of children suffer from deep and pervasive feelings of grief, sadness and loss.  Like younger children, they are frightened by fantasies of being left without a family, being deprived of food, and being responsible for their parents' separation/divorce.  Yearning for the departed parent, especially among boys, a tendency towards expression of anger towards their custodial parent (mostly mothers) and an inhibition of aggression at father are common.  The other common experience among many is what is called "conflict in loyalty", in which the children feel obligated and or pressured to take sides. 

Next I will discuss the reaction of nine to eighteen year olds.

Thanks to Jen for her comment on my previous blog about divorce.    


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Needing Insight on a different subject

by Mozi (not verified) on

Through exercise and reading, I am finally face to face with my inner self, with what I don't like about myself. That part of me that I always wanted to change, the core of what I don't like about me. I am not sure how to bring about the changes. In another word I see what I don't like about me, but I can't change it, because it feels that that is me and that is my inner-self, untouchable. Do you have any articles or can you give any insights?
Thank you.



by FarhadZ. (not verified) on

Dear Ms. Dadvar:

Enjoyed reading your article very much. I have read your previous writing as well and found it equally informative and interesting. I am looking forward to part 3.