Contributor(s)The Pennsylvania State University CiteSeerX Archives
KeywordsRegression to infant behaviors
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AbstractParents who are going through divorce often believe it is in the best interest of the children to shield them from the stress of the situation. But regardless of their parents ’ good intentions, children often find themselves caught in an emotional whirlpool during these times. Instead of protection, they need support and reassurance. This guide will help you understand the stress that children often feel when their parents divorce. Individual adult reactions to divorce and separation vary. Children’s reactions vary also depending on: ■ The amount of involvement with the non-residential parent, ■ The situation prior to the divorce/separation, ■ The custodial parent’s ease in adjusting to the divorce, ■ Parenting skills of both parents, agreement on child rearing, discipline, ■ Approval and love from both parents, ■ Openness to discussing the divorce with parents, ■ Degree of conflict between parents, ■ Economic hardship, ■ Other added stressors (moving, changing schools, parental remarriage). A common understanding Parents dealing with a divorce want to protect their children from the same stress and anguish they feel. But avoiding the issue only adds to the stress. Parents need to help their children understand that the family will learn to adapt to new schedules, new environments, and new ways of communicating. Only then will progress be made to relieve some of the accompanying stress.