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How Toddlers Cope with Divorce


 For toddler’s, the home, toys, yard, parents, room are their world and try something new at a different place in the absence of parents can stir up feelings of insecurity and anxiety for them. This is an important stage for a child to explore new things around him. The main development task of a toddler to learn walking, speaking, potty training, climbing and identifying himself as a unique and a separate person. They need attention, affection, love and security from parents. Divorce represents a traumatic shift in a child’s world.

They may have a hard time to grasping how their lives will change. It’s difficult for a toddler to accept parent’s separation. At this age, children have self-centered behavior and may think they’ve caused this divorce. Toddlers don’t have mental ability nor the vocabulary to talk and understand that they are not the cause of this argument or separation. they are very aware of fighting and feel stress. Toddlers are trying very hard to gain parents attention. Here are some signs of stress your toddler may feel:

Trying to make the arguing parents stop, in their own way.
Thumb Sucking
Fear of being abandoned
Trouble going to sleep and refuse to sleep alone
Frequent emotional outbursts
Want more attention than usual.
Their normal patterns of eating and sleeping may change.
Toddlers resist toilet training

How to help toddler to cope with Divorce?

Toddlers are dependent on adults for their needs and can feel stress if parents are not available to fulfill those needs. At this time, it is very important to spend some quality time with your child and develop a normal routine which your child can easily follow without realizing any major disruption. Give an extra attention than usual and introduce changes in location and routine slowly.

Take your child to the new home for few hours and then lengthen the stay at new home. Introduce new people or relatives to your child and allow your child to spend time with relatives. It builds the self-confidence of a toddler. Provide physical comfort like the hug, holding hands will do the magic to calm down the little person and he will maintain trust in you.

Toddlers love their toys and always want to carry along with them at any place. So, make it a practice to carry his toys to a new home and try to provide comfort to your toddler in a new home as your old one. If possible, match as closely as possible the bed they sleep in and objects in the room that touch them intimately. If you have the pet, allow a pet to go back and forth to the two houses with the child, it reduces the stress. Beware, when your child reaches you for affection, you should respond back with kisses and hugs.

It is also very significant to arrange parenting time so that your child can spend some time with each parent. Keep pictures of another parent available when you are away from home and let them talk, whenever your child wants to talk, especially in the beginning of the separation. Make sure, the rules and regulations should be same in both houses, for example, if toddler loves to watch TV at 8 a.m. in the morning, it is important that this routine should be same in both houses. Never stop your child to talk to another parent, he may feel depression and suddenly you may become an enemy. Allow your child to meet and talk to another parent, whenever he wants to do.

Don’t Kid yourself, separation always harms children. So, make this transition smooth and slow. Read to your child, discuss things with your child as he grows up, so that, he can easily accept this transition. Create an environment, where he is independent enough to spend time with both parents. Your child needs both of you, so it is a responsibility of both parents to understand child needs and be available at a time when he needs you. It helps in maintaining the self-esteem and your child can lead his life confidently and without fear.


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