Transitions may affect children and young people’s behaviour and development in different ways. They may become quiet and withdrawn, feel anxious, demonstrate uncharacteristic behaviour and or become attention seeking.
Short and long term affects of a break up on children:
Most commonly, children of separated couples will experience greater poverty. Their social and emotional development is very likely to be affected, as well as a child’s psychological and physical health. Children of separated couples may also perform worse at school and have poorer future employment prospects. Some children are less likely to have successful relationships themselves as adults. However, it is not inevitable that all children will suffer long term harm from the break up of a parent’s relationship.
Reference: One plus One strengthening relationships
Very young children will find this the most difficult to cope with, vying for parental attention for the first time. Some children may ‘play up’ in response to the stress of the life change. They may regress and develop less mature behaviour such as being unable to dress themselves or use the toilet.
School age children tend to adjust to a new baby easier than younger children do. However, they may worry about where they will fit in when the new baby arrives. They may feel jealous of the attention the new baby is getting. To help the transition go as smoothly as possible you can include the child in preparing for the new baby, helping to make decisions i.e. choosing colours, bedding or paint for the new nursery. It may help for the child to talk about their feelings on having a new brother or sister.
www.uknetguide.co.uk/preparing a child for the arrival of a new sibling