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What to know about how toddlers respond to divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2020 | Divorce |

While no parent feels like they have the “luxury” of talking to their children about their divorce, those who have teenaged children might not realize how much “good” they have it. While older children might be able to get a far better grasp on what going on, you have toddlers in the house to whom divorce is a foreign idea.

Communicating with children in general about divorce and child custody and all of the trappings that come with it can be a difficult endeavor, and unfortunately, there is not a quick fix for helping them over the hump of rocky emotion that they will feel. But by keeping in mind how they communicate and focusing on communicating with them in the proper way, there is a better chance of getting through what is no doubt a trying time.

How toddlers act out

The site Zero To Three points out that in these situations toddlers will generally respond in the same ways that infants would as well. They’ll also become more upset throughout the day. Sometimes it will be over tentpole events like saying goodbye to one parent in order to go visit another, but sometimes it can also be in the simplest tasks. Their behavior might culminate in crying or even biting.

How to communicate with toddlers about divorce: simply

While toddlers won’t always be able to tell exactly what’s going on, they respond to the general energy around them. When they ask you questions that don’t have a simple answer it’s important for them to know that the love you have for them hasn’t changed, and neither has your partner love’s for them.

However, giving details on what’s happening is helpful, but in smaller measures. For instance, you might describe the living situations of you and your ex, and which residence your child will be at on any given day.

How to communicate with toddlers about divorce: collaboratively

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely worried about how your toddler will respond. This means that there’s someone else who should be reading it too, or at least looking into the subject: your former partner. Getting them on the same page can let you both approach parenting post-divorce in a more educated way.

Dealing with divorce is often an emotionally fraught time in one’s life. Communicating with children can stretch your emotional bandwidth but it is an important pursuit to make. Especially for children who have a hard time processing and communicating with the world around them. If you’re trying to figure out matters of child custody, from the logistics to finding effective ways to communicate with all members of the family seeking out from others who have gone through divorce, psychologists, doctors, and legal counsel may help to provide a better picture of what is needed.