Preschool children may appear to take the news well at first. This may be because they don't understand what is actually happening, but as time goes by, they begin to realize the other parent isn't coming home. One of the first responses is fear. They wonder if one or both parents will care for them. They may be clingy and may regress to behaviors such as thumb sucking, tantrums, and toileting accidents.
Linda Jacobs says, "Parents need to reassure the children they are safe and talk to them often, explaining what is happening and what will be happening. Children don't need sordid details of the adults' problems; they need reassurance that the parent will be there to meet their needs.
"When leaving children in preschool or daycare, make every effort to pick them up at the same time every day. Young children can sense when it's time for the parent to come. If a parent is late, the children will wonder if the parent is going to return. Trust levels can be hard to maintain if parents are not consistent with schedules and promises."
Do not be fearful about the impact the divorce is having on your children. God does not want you to be anxious. Know that God can take horrible, impossible situations (such as divorce) and turn them around for the good of those involved. Take wise, practical steps today to help your preschool-age children through this difficult situation.
"'So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.' And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them" (Genesis 50:21).