How To Share Negative Divorce and a Toddler’s Behavior Skip

Even under the best of circumstances, a toddler will have a tough time adjusting to her parents’ divorce, and getting used to a new way of life without Mommy and Daddy together. Add lots of fighting and that “tug-of-war” feeling to the mix, and a tot’s reactions will be even more pronounced. And when it’s your toddler caught up in all this, your maternal heartstrings are pulled every-which-way, as you ponder how to help her. As Isolina Ricci, Ph.D. and family therapist notes, “When children are free to love both of their parents without conflict of loyalty, to have access to them both without fear of losing either, they can get on with the totally absorbing business of growing up.” Here are some common behaviors parents might see in children reacting to the stressors that come with a negative divorce, and what Moms and Dads can do to ease them.

Crying and Tantrums

The shuffle back and forth between two houses can make even the most mild-mannered tots more teary and tantrum-y than usual. You can offer her lots of reassurance before the transition from one place to the other, as well as time to say goodbye and warm up to Dad. You can also consider sending fave toys or a familiar blankie along, and allow their toddler to have a photo of the other parent or call them on the phone — this will remind her that the other parent is still there, and still loves her to pieces.

Appetite and Sleep Disturbances

Toddlers are small creatures of routine and habit. Two houses and prolonged periods of tension or fighting can disrupt their ordered little world, leading them to refuse meals or wake frequently at night. Despite the stress they’re experiencing, parents should strive to keep things as normal and consistent as they possibly can. Mealtimes, naptimes, bathtime and bedtime should be kept the same each day, helping toddlers to feel secure. As much as possible, parents should keep old family rituals alive — for example, going to the park on Saturday afternoon, just like always. And creating new rituals within each new family unit will help too, especially if a new adult comes into the picture.

A toddler whose parents are divorcing might feel angry and sad. He wants his parents to be together, just like always — and doesn’t understand why this gigantic change has happened. These hurricane-force emotions may come out in the form of aggressive behaviors like kicking, hitting, biting or trouble following directions. During this rough patch, parents can provide things to play with that will help tots express their feelings: clay, art supplies, puppets, dolls and dollhouse furniture, stuffed animals and dress-up clothes. By making “angry shapes” or pretending that a doll is sad, a child is able to work through and process her big, scary feelings in a safer realm.

Physical Symptoms

“Me tummy hurt,” a toddler might say when her parents are divorcing. The next minute, it might be her head. Stress may be the cause of these physical symptoms — or it might be a way for her to gain her parents’ attention, too. Either way, fear and anxiety are usually behind these tummy aches, headaches and boo boos she says she has, but which you can’t see — a sign that she’s experiencing her pain emotionally and attributing it to physical pain in her body —  in the only way she knows how. A good way to soothe a worried child is to read her short, simple books that deal with the fears she’s facing right now. “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson is comforting for kiddos having problems with separation anxiety, and “I Love You All the Time” by Jessica Hirschman, Jennifer Cole and Bonnie Bright is a reminder for little ones that their parents love them like crazy cakes, even when they’re apart.

How Many Problems With Letter of the Week in Preschool

As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...
Read More

How Teaching Preschool Age Children Requires Training

Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...
Read More

How to Find Pros and Cons of Child to Kindergarten

The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...
Read More

How Prayer is a Common Activity in Christian Toddler Home

Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...
Read More

How to Find the Care taking Adaptive Sibling Issues

In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...
Read More

How Preschoolers Suffer From These Oral Health Problems

Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...
Read More

How to Upload Photos From Folders to the Apple iPod

You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...
Read More

How to Make Programs for Toddlers to Improve Maths Skills

Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...
Read More

How To Arrange Programs to Help Toddlers Learn Better

While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...
Read More

How USB wireless keyboards from as far as 40 feet away

In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...
Read More

How to Share Pros and Cons of Toddler Discipline

Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...
Read More

How to Prepare Protein Dip Recipe for Toddlers

As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...
Read More

How Potty Training is Part of Toddler Physical Development

Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...
Read More

How to Make Psychological Effects of Parental Death

The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...
Read More

How to Create Psychological Connections Between Toddler

According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...
Read More

How to Share Preschool Children’s Intellectual Abilities

There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...
Read More

How to Explore the Punishments for a Toddler

Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...
Read More

How to Search Public Parks for Children’s Parties

You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...
Read More

How to Make Puppy Cupcakes for a Toddler Birthday

If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...
Read More

How to Share Sensory Engagement Activities Toddler

Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...
Read More