Children of all ages experience divorce every day, but toddlers have the hardest time understanding the situation. Divorce can have lasting effects on your children, and it's important to do what you can to help your child get through the process and adjust to their new way of life. Read on for tips on how to help your toddler understand divorce.
Explain The New Living Situation Without Sugar-Coating It
Explain what is going on with your child in a language they will understand, but without sugar-coating the process with them. Don't tell your child that nothing is going to change, because that is exactly the opposite of what is going to happen. Tell your child that there will be changes, that the living situation is going to be different for both you and the other parent. Giving them any other information other than the truth will only give your child false-hope that you and your ex may get back together.
Allow Your Child To Take Favorite Items To Your Ex's House
Your toddler needs stability in all of the chaos surrounding him. If he wants to take his favorite pillow, blanket or toy with to his other parent's house, allow him to do so. It will make him feel more comfortable and at home at both homes, so allow him to take what he needs to feel comfortable.
Assure Your Child You Will Always Be There
Young children don't understand what divorce means and may think you will want to divorce or leave them someday. Assure your child that you will never divorce your child and will always be there for your child.
Remind Your Child Where They Are Going According To The Set Schedule
The schedule set in place for your divorce may be easy for you to remember, but your toddler isn't going to understand. Tell your child each day where he is going and how long he'll be there, or if someone else is picking him up from school, such as a different family member or your ex-spouse. Your children should always be aware of their schedule and where they will be staying to prevent confusion or anxiety.
Young children can have a rough time with divorce and their new way of life. Assure your child that both you and your ex will always be there for them no matter what, and don't give your child false hope that someday things may change back to the way they were. Talk to your divorce lawyer about other tips while going through your divorce and afterward to help your little one.