Children handle their parents’ divorce differently at different ages. Although toddlers generally have a good awareness that something “different” is going on in the house, they may not have the language or cognitive processing skills to explain how they feel. Your infant may be trying to handle feelings that sometimes seem to be too big for their bodies.
To help your toddler understand divorce, try to see events through their eyes. Toddlers may be confused, feel very vulnerable, and have limited ability to talk about their thoughts and feelings.
For example, the ages between eighteen months and three years are self-focused, as the child learns to operate his or her own body and words to get what he or she wants. During a divorce, your toddler may worry about who will give them dinner, read their bedtime story, or be there to greet them when they wake up. They may fear that their parents will leave or that no one will love them, but they may find it hard to say these things.
Frequent “mood swings” are common for any toddler, but during a divorce, these may become more pronounced. Toddlers who’ve gone through sudden uncertainty or frustration may become more prone to crying or hitting. Remember to acknowledge the child’s feelings as valid, even when you guide their behavior: “It’s okay to feel angry that Mommy’s not here right now, but you may not hit people.”
At the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, P.C. our experienced Long Island divorce lawyers strive to help each client navigate divorce smoothly, so you can focus on providing the love, attention, and stability your child needs in a potentially troubling time. Contact us today to learn more. We can be reached at (516) 227-5353.