The stress of divorce easily affects everyone in your family, including your little ones. Healthline explains that toddlers are only just beginning to understand abstract concepts. They are learning their place within the world. Toddlers rely on you and your spouse for stability. If they sense stress in you, they may perceive the world as a stressful place.
All kids react differently to their parents splitting up, but when helping your kids cope, you have to keep their ages in mind.
How does your toddler feel?
Your child may feel scared. If he or she witnesses you and your spouse arguing, it shakes up the stability of the household. Your divorce is a situation where your preschooler has no control over the outcome. This can cause toddlers to feel out of control, vulnerable and ready to take the blame for the split. Your toddler may feel as though you chose to break up due to his or her behavior. Children have a lot of confusing, scary feelings to sort through.
What does your toddler need from you?
Foremost, your child needs you to understand how he or she feels. Be reassuring about the divorce and your child’s importance in your lives. Try to keep a routine in place. Routine helps children feel stable and secure. Be careful not to fight in front of children or insult your ex. When you fight, it adds to the stressful situation. Likewise, it may force your kid to try to pick sides.
Be aware of your child’s moods and any changes in behavior. They may begin to improve as stability returns to the household.