You may think that young children will not remember their parents going through a divorce. However, Erin Mantz recently shared a different insight in a HuffPost Divorce article we thought we’d discuss here.
Mantz states that divorce mostly affects those under five years of age. Due to the change to family structure, kids are more likely to develop behavioral problems, whereas kids who are quickly integrated into a new blended family will have fewer behavioral problems. Children in blended families actually receive more protective benefits that seem to help them avoid some negative behaviors shown by children who remain in single parent households.
Children develop a sense of dependency during their early stages of growth. When divorce is brought into the child’s life, it also intensifies the child’s dependence. However, divorce will accelerate an adolescent’s independence. Depending on your child’s age, divorce can impact how they respond to certain situations. Children under 5 years old will develop a regressive response and adolescents will develop an aggressive response. Of course, each child is different and will respond differently depending on his/her personality. But keep in mind that divorce shakes the trust and dependency on parents. The gender of the child is also a factor in how they behave/react. Preschool boys, for example, may believe that their wish to have the father leave (Oedipus complex) is what caused the divorce. It is important to understand that your children will be affected by your divorce in some way, and know what you can do to minimize those negative affects. It is crucial to remind them that the divorce is not their fault and to nurture them accordingly.