Ways to Handle Divorce with Young Children
It’s never easy for parents to tell their children that they’re getting divorced, but there are things parents can do to ease the transition. I found an article that covers how parent’s who are divorcing can tell children of different age groups what’s happening and how to make it easier on them. The article describes the following tips for handling divorce with young children.
Babies and Very Young Children
According to the article, one might think babies are too young to understand what’s happening, but even children as young as six weeks old know when something has changed in their routine. One idea is to keep the baby at home and have the non-custodial parent visit frequently. It hard to maintain a consistent routine if the baby is constantly being switched between homes.
Also, babies whose parents are going through a divorce tend to cry more and sleep less soundly than those whose parent’s are still together. This is a natural reaction to stress and should lessen within a few months.
Toddlers don’t understand the concept of marriage and divorce, so the article suggests telling them the toddler that the parents will be living in different households, but the love and affectionf or the child will remain the same. It’s also important to reassure your child that no matter where their mommy and daddy live, your former spouse will still be their mom or dad and will still love them no matter what.
Again, it’s important for a toddler to have frequent visits with the noncustodial parent, to keep the connection to both parents.
Preschool age children are big thinkers. At this age you may need to reassure them that mommy and daddy are not getting divorced because of something they’ve done, but because mommy and daddy don’t get along anymore.
Preschoolers may also become overly fearful when you go to work or even run a quick errand, assuming that you’re gone for good. Before leaving, be as specific about when you’ll be back.
Kids this age may also react to a divorce by regressing because their coping skills aren’t fully developed. They may use baby talk, demand a pacifier, or need their security blanket to comfort themselves during stressful times. If this occurs, help your child put words to the situation, and be sure to shower him with lots love and attention.
Older children have many of the same concerns that children of younger age groups do, but you can use more statements not as simple as would be used with preschool age children for example. Because older children understand the concept of time, it’s easier to explain to them how the divorce will affect their routine.
Instead of expressing their anxiety at home, some children will act out at school by fighting or causing a disruption in the class room. It’s also typical for them to internalize their distress and develop chronic headaches or stomachaches. Let your child’s teachers, and coaches know what’s going on, and keep in close contact with them to monitor how your child is dealing with the situation.
If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.