This research study focused on the factors that influence the disciplining of pre-school children during the divorce process. Divorce is an escalating phenomenon and more pre-school children are being exposed to divorce. A pre-school child’s development limits his abstract thinking processes which keep him to fully comprehending concepts like divorce. The verbal capacity of pre-school children is still limited and therefore they are not always able to communicate what they experience and observe. They are also not always able to express their emotions. The pre-school child communicates through behaviour and play. Divorce is not only the legal termination of the marriage for adults, but in fact entails more responsibilities, challenges, losses and adaptations. More pressure is placed on the parents and they tend to be emotional overwhelmed, physical exhausted and emotionally drained. This causes that the parents to not see their way open to care for and especially discipline their pre-school child. Discipline in general is left aside and is not followed through consistently. The purpose of this study is of ‘n explorative nature. It aims to explore the factors that have an impact on the disciplining of the pre-school child, prior to, during and after the divorce process. A quantitative research approach has been followed with this study and a questionnaire has been used for gathering information. A non-probability sampling method was used and the respondents were selected through a purposive sample. The respondents were selected from the Pretoria East region. The organisations that assisted the researcher in selecting the respondents were the Counselling centre of the Dutch Reformed Church of Moreletapark and the Child Trauma Clinic. For this study 19 respondents were selected. The questionnaires was given out by hand and collected by hand. The children of the respondents who participated in the study were all pre-school children when going through the divorce. It has been concluded from this study that the factors impacting the discipline of pre-school children during the divorce process, is of an emotional nature. A factor that played an important role in the disciplining of pre-school children is the guilt feelings that the respondents experienced for exposing their children to a divorce. Physical tiredness, emotional exhaustion, conflict between parents during and after the divorce and the number of times that one of the parents leaved the house, are factors that according to the respondents, influenced the disciplining of their pre-school children.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2007.