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How to approach divorce when you have young children

A parent's divorce is not easy for any child, no matter how old they are. However, younger children, such as toddlers, have a more difficult time understanding what is happening during and after the divorce. In their formative years, children's primary connections and bonds are with their parents. So, they often become confused when their parents are not together and no longer live in the same house.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways that parents can be proactive to help their young kids throughout the process of divorce.

With young children, attitude is everything

Children between the ages of 3 and 6 often have a hard time comprehending a divorce. However, they often pick up on their parents' emotions and attitudes during the process.

Although it can be difficult, many sources agree that parents should try to:

  • Avoid arguing in front of young children
  • Stick to normal routines as much as possible
  • Try to stay positive, at least in front of the kids

Staying positive during a divorce is no easy task. But it can have a significant impact on young children.

Watch out for regressive behaviors

Since younger children might not know how to handle their parents' divorce, they might return to old behaviors for comfort. For example, Parents magazine reports that many toddlers might return to sucking their thumb like they did when they were younger.

These actions are ways that children look for solace in a time of uncertainty. So, parents can help by finding ways to help their children feel secure and safe throughout their divorce. 

Take advantage of resources that help parents help their children

Many children's books and shows can help children understand the new situation of a divorce. For example, the long-running, popular children's show Sesame Street provides many resources for parents to choose from. 

These resources help parents and children in several ways. They offer guides or even storybooks to help explore many issues, including:

  • How to deal with tough questions about the divorce and the future
  • How children can comfortably adapt to living in two homes
  • How to talk about the children's thoughts and feelings effectively

Going through a divorce can be hard on everyone in the family. But the attorneys at Bowen Ten Cardani, PC, can guide Virginia families through the complex legal matters of their divorce, so they can focus on their family and their future.

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