Helping Your Toddler Through Your Divorce
Going through a divorce is no easy feat. Thousands of toddlers experience the stress of parental divorce and separation, and it’s extremely important for parents to help their kids get through this trying time.
It’s easy to get involved in other business pertaining to divorce, but it’s vital for parents to keep their kids a number one priority during this time. Toddlers are very impressionable, and the dark side of divorce can have lasting effects for a long time – here’s how parents can help their toddler through divorce.
Breaking the News
There’s no easy way to do this, but it can be done in a manner which can lay down facts without making it a troublesome thing. Parents should consider the age of their toddler and their maturity level, temperament and personality before breaking the news.
It’s also important to remind your toddler that even though mommy and daddy will live separately, it won’t affect the love and care they have for their kids.
Avoid Heated Arguments In Front of the Toddler
During divorce, emotions are always running high and there may be one too many spats between you and your partner. However, it’s important you keep these away from your toddler.
Children can develop anxiety and other problems when they look at their parents fighting, especially fights that lead to divorce. It’s important to shelter your toddler from these for these can result in feelings of guilt and depression in young children.
Get Ready for The Tough Questions
“Will I change schools?”
“Where will mom/dad live?”
“Who will I stay with?”
“Are we moving?”
“Can I still go to summer camp this summer?”
Kids are naturally curious, and parents should be prepared to answer the tough questions when a divorce or separation is underway. Remember to be as honest as possible and as neutral as you can. It’s also important to discuss technicalities with your ex-partner so you both can be clear about certain questions your toddler will ask.
Don’t Badmouth Your Ex-Partner
Badmouthing your toddler’s other parent is one of the most detrimental things to avoid. Not only will it ruin your toddler’s relationship with their other parent, but it’ll also pave the way for various other emotional problems to develop.
Even if you’re speaking or venting about our ex-partner to a friend who is over or on the phone, make sure your toddler isn’t within earshot. Maintaining neutrality like this is extremely important.
Get Professional Help
Many toddlers have trouble understanding or coping with their parents’ separation or divorce. Visiting a therapist is a great way to provide your toddler with a safe space to cope, adapt and grow.
It’s also a good idea for parents who themselves are going through tough emotions to see a therapist. Taking care of yourself is the first step to being a strong parent to your toddler during this trying time.
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