How Children Understand Divorce
In Laura Broadwell’s Parents blog, entitled “Age-by-Age Guide to What Children Understand About Divorce,” she breaks down the normative behavioral patterns in children in various age groups. For children from birth to 18 months, 18 months to 3 years, 3 to 6 years, and 6 to 11 years old, Broadwell discusses the common, negative reactions children will have at these ages, and what parents can do to counteract them. As an imperfect science, Boradwell focuses on general issues related to divorce.
The children in these younger categories, according to Broadwell, cannot fully understand what divorce is, but will pick up on the tension within a home. Keeping to the regular schedule and demonstrating stability are key in these stages. As children get older, their reactions will become more complicated but are rooted in insecurity and self-blame. This might require extra effort to rebuild or strengthen self-esteem.