If you're familiar with Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you already understand the basic psychological principal that every person has basic needs. As we grow and develop and meet those basic needs, our needs become more complex. However, we have to feel completely secure at each level in order to progress to the next one. At any moment though, the challenges of life can knock us off our perch, sending us down the pyramid, scrambling to regain our footing.
Divorce and separation challenge our higher psychological needs (like feelings of accomplishment, belonging and love), and force us back to addressing needs of safety and security.
If you are parent operating from this place on the pyramid, and struggling to deal with your own emotional needs, it is exponentially difficult to meet the needs of your children, who are also experiencing loss, grief, confusion and anger.