Divorce is never easy for children of any age, but for toddlers, the end of a marriage can be an especially confusing time. One of the reasons this is so troublesome for younger kids is that they are still at a point in their development where they require bonding and attachment. When couples decide to separate this can unfortunately bring about some regressive behaviors. For example, a toddler may react to the disruption of one parent moving away by internalizing feelings of abandonment. This can be particularly disturbing at the end of visitations when toddlers become rather clingy and somewhat aggressive as the parent begins to leave.
The good news is that you and your ex-spouse can work together to help your toddler adjust to life beyond living with both parents under the same roof. Before your divorce is complete, it’s a good idea to prepare your toddler for the eventuality that one parent will soon be living somewhere else. It is also vital for both parents to reassure the toddler that the decision to divorce is completely detached from them. Toddlers must also understand that both parents love them and that you and your ex-spouse’s decision to separate will not diminish that love and support.
Another thing that you should also keep in mind is that your toddler doesn’t need to hear about all of the negative issues when dealing with your ex-spouse. Keep your conversations with your toddler limited to only age-appropriate discussions. There’s nothing to be gained by bad-mouthing your toddler’s other parent. In fact, this may actually work against you.
Frequent readers of our website will probably remember that in a previous article we discussed how a court determines what is in a child’s best interest. In particular, we covered the topic of parents poisoning the relationships between their children and their ex-spouse and how courts sometimes use that information when making child custody determinations.
Based in Miami, our law firm provides experienced family law representation for clients throughout the greater Miami-Dade region and other parts of South Florida. Prospective clients should know that our attorneys are available for free consultations about their cases. Our law firm supports Spanish-speaking clients who feel more comfortable speaking with us in Spanish.