Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Children Ages 5-8 React

Children ages five through eight can have a great deal of anxiety about their parents' divorce. They don't have the thinking skills or the experiences to understand they will be taken care of and that life will go on. The fear of the unknown is scary for them. They wonder if the other parent will leave too. Children this age need to be reassured they are safe.

When children are on emotional overload, their schoolwork can be affected. They may have trouble focusing and processing information. Often this results in academic and behavioral problems at school.

Classroom problems can include
* being easily distracted
* becoming discouraged or frustrated quickly
* being overly tired or sleeping in class
* showing aggressive behaviors on the playground
* acting out with peers
* saying hurtful or angry words to peers or teachers
* being oversensitive to comments from peers and teachers
* having difficulty concentrating
* having low or failing grades

As a parent, it is important that you talk with your child's schoolteacher and become aware of what is going on in the classroom. If what you hear disheartens you, do not be reactive, but be proactive. Work with the teacher, your child, the school, and after-school providers to best meet the needs of your child during this difficult time.

"The LORD . . . sustains the fatherless" (Psalm 146:9).

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