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Florida Women's Law Group

Divorcing With Toddlers - Tips To Help Them Through A Difficult Time

Author: FWLG
Date: Dec 18 2020

woman outdoors playing with her sons

Parents want the best for their children and while a divorce may benefit the family as a whole, a young child might not understand this significant change in their lives. In many cases, a child will blame themselves for their parents’ separation. However, with the right approach and understanding, parents can help their children through this challenging time.

What to Expect

A child is keenly aware of their parents’ emotions even if they are not old enough to communicate well. According to Zero to Three, and organization that works toward ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, “Babies as young as 3 months old are affected by parents’ emotions.” In a time when parents are upset, angry or frustrated, a young child may react to those emotions and need comfort and reassurance.

Talk to Them

Talking to your toddler is one of the best things you can do once you and your spouse have made the decision to divorce. The language a parent uses should match the child’s age, temperament and maturity. Children under 18 months will need physical comfort through hugs, cuddles and kisses.

Avoid the Details

Telling a young child upsetting or intricate details of the divorce can do more harm than good. It is crucial that a parent be aware of their actions and words, especially those related to their ex, when they are around their children.

Keep Daily Routines

A child’s routine can help them feel safe, especially during times of change. Knowing what to expect can help reduce the stress and fear that accompanies uncertainty. If an ex-spouse doesn’t have structure in their home, the other parent should maintain a routine as best as they can. This can help the child know what to expect in at least one home. Having a visual calendar to show where the child will be each day can also reduce anxiety and fears for the child.

Even for adults these changes can be terrifying. Just as a child has their parents to help them, our attorneys are here to help you. If you have any questions about your divorce, call our office to speak to one of our team members today.

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