Categorized | Parenting, Parenting Tips

Children and Divorce – How To Help Toddlers Deal With It

Children and divorce is a very sticky issue separated parents have to deal with. There may be no easy way to help toddlers survive this ordeal but there are many things parents can do to help their children deal with separation in the best way possible.

Talk To Your Toddler

Your child is entitled to know the truth. Talk to your toddler openly and truthfully. This part will never be easy and sugar coating will just make the situation worse. Say something simple like, “Mommy and daddy love you very much. But we cannot get along anymore.”.  Leave your feeling of anger or guilt out of it.

Encourage Your Toddler To Talk

Toddlers have many questions about divorce, hence, encouraging your toddler to talk will help him voice out his feelings. Make sure you listen to what he has to say and answer them as gently but as honestly as possible. If he feels uncomfortable talking about the issue, ask him to write you a letter instead.

Provide Reassurance

Most children feel they are to blame for their parents’ divorce. So it is very important that you reassure your toddler that what happened is between mommy and daddy and is not his fault. Remind your little one that while sometimes, parents do not get along, that does not mean mom and dad will stop loving the child. In addition, always make your toddler feel loved. Hug, kiss, cuddle and say “I love you.” to your toddler as often as possible.

Address Changes

It is also important to prepare your toddler for the forthcoming changes in his life.  Help him understand that mommy or daddy will have to leave the house, he can stay in his dad’s house over the weekend or daddy will pick him up from school every afternoon.

Create Stability

While prepping your toddler for the changes is necessary, it is also equally important to let your toddler know that not everything will change. Keep the same rules. Continue doing your toddler’s daily routines. Having a regular schedule for feeding, bathing, playing, cuddling, sleeping, etc. is essential for creating a sense of security and for making your toddler feel loved regardless of which parent will look after the child.

Be Civil With Your Ex

Never fight with your ex in front of your toddler. No matter what problems you and your ex may have, it is crucial that you maintain a decent relationship with your ex. Avoid blaming your spouse and never say bad things about your ex.

Create An Arrangement

Come up with an arrangement with your ex. Discuss issues such as – visitation rights, holidays, birthdays, vacation and the likes. Whatever deal you decide on, see to it your toddler’s needs come first.

Give Space

Divorce will always be a sensitive issue especially to children. Be patient with your toddler. Give him space and time to express his disappointment, to mourn and to recover. Just let your little one know mommy and daddy will always be by his side no matter what happens.

Watching parents go through separation is a life-altering situation for children. Thus, it is essential for parents to find their inner strength so they can properly cope with this issue and help their children get through this difficult time.

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