Divorce can have devastating effects on a child at any age , perhaps the most difficult time in a child’s life to experience such a separation is between the ages of 2 and 4, when their parents are the center of their world. Any change in the stability of this environment at this stage can create effects that can be felt for life.
If you are thinking about getting divorced and you have children, it is necessary that you read this information to know what the most difficult age is and above all, what you should expect once the final divorce occurs.
0 TO 18 MONTHS
Even a baby knows when something is wrong at home, even if he cannot put it into words. A child of divorcing parents may be more nervous, especially around strangers. The baby can easily become irritable and have more frequent outbursts. Also, you may eat or breastfeed less often, if you do not lose your appetite completely.
BETWEEN 18 MONTHS AND 3 YEARS
Between 18 months and 3 years, the main bond of a child is with his parents. Any change in this stability can lead to an emotional crisis. A small child knows that Dad or Mom, is absent, and he definitely misses the absent parent.
Also, a 2-3 year old is likely to feel responsible for the breakup, thinking that if he had behaved better, the absent parent would never have left. Nightmares are also possible at this age. However, as the child reaches 4 or 5 years of age, he follows the cues on how to deal with separation from how he observes his parents dealing with it.
FROM 3 TO 12 YEARS
Peer groups gradually begin to supplant parents as the center of a child’s life at this stage of development. However, life at home is still important to your 3- to 12-year-old. During these years, your child may feel a sense of abandonment and may even blame a parent for the separation. It is important that both parents emphasize that they love the child and that neither parent is necessarily responsible for the divorce.
At this age, the child is actively seeking his own identity, away from home. Right now, friends have replaced you as the constant in their life. But even at this stage, your child is likely to feel deeply hurt and angry, especially with the parent he holds responsible for the divorce.
There are times when your child will rebel against you and even act out bad behavior at school. You can try to use the separation to your own advantage, pitting one parent against the other to get your way.
WHAT CAN YOU DO
The actions you can take vary depending on the age of the child . If your child is a baby, it helps to give your love to them frequently, as the child may still feel abandoned and alone, even like a baby. In this sense, he will need you to hold him in your arms for a long time, give him hugs, tell him what you love him, talk to him with a sweet voice …
Talking to your child and encouraging him to talk about his feelings and openly address his issues, in an age- appropriate way , seems to work for children ages 6 to 12 years old. For the teen, let him know that you understand his feelings, but create a united front when it comes to rules and limits. For extreme emotional problems, it is best to make an appointment with a psychologist.