Effect Of Divorce

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Effects of Divorce on Children: A Counselor's Perspective Each year 1,000,000 children experience divorce and the stark emotional scars that shape the attitudes, behavior, and relationships they will carry into adulthood. We would like this handout to be a resource for you as a counselor to have and utilize when working with children of divorce. These children need your love and support.

I. The child's reaction to divorce will depend upon the amount of hostility accompanying the divorce, the amount of actual change in the child's life, and the nature of the parent-child relationship are important factors influencing how children are affected by the divorce (Stern, 1994).

II. The effects of divorce on children in different developmental stages.

A. Infants -loss of appetite -upset stomach -more fretful and anxious B. 3 ½-5 year olds -more crying and clinging -problems sleeping -regression to infant behavior (i.e. bed wetting, thumb sucking"¦) -angry feelings -withdrawn -irritability and biting C.

5 and 6 year olds -self blame -repress anger -feel the need for punishment unnecessarily -accident prone for attention -aggression towards parents -increased nightmares -feelings of grief D. 6-10 year olds -feels deceived and great sense of loss -feels rejected by parents who left -ignores school -trouble maintaining friendships -fears of abandonment -complains of physical ailments -trouble sleeping -tries to recreate "what was"� E. Preteens and Adolescents -perfectionists and want their parents to be perfect -struggle over idealized and realistic parental figures -engage in high-risk behavior or become extremely moralistic -worry about specific money issues -stress in regards to parent's sexuality -they do not trust their idea of marriage II. Children's reactions to stress may vary from extreme sadness to anger. The anxiety level of the child determines how they will react to the stress of divorce. The feelings will manifest either in...