Children Age-by-Age Guide on Divorce’s Transition
Whatever age your child is, you should understand how to discuss divorce with them so that they may come to a conclusion about how it will influence their future.
In a child’s eyes, a divorce is a loss of family and a major upheaval in his or her life. Many youngsters have mixed emotions upon hearing the news, including sadness, anger, and anxiety, and a nagging question about how their lives will be affected. The age at which a child’s parents divorce has an impact on how he or she responds to and understands the new family structure. Here’s a quick rundown of what kids understand at different ages and how you can assist them to adapt.
Early life: 0-18 months
Consistency and regularity are essential for children this age, and familiarity provides a sense of security. Maintaining a typical daily schedule, especially in terms of sleep and food during and after a divorce is beneficial. You can do this by providing your child with his favorite toys or security items, as well as spending additional time with him and providing physical comfort. Take use of the support of your family and friends, and get plenty of sleep so you’ll be attentive when your baby wakes up.
Between the ages of 18 months and three years
Parents and children should, wherever feasible, work together to establish regular, predictable routines. Aside from providing extra attention, it’s critical to spend quality time with your child and solicit the assistance of close family and friends. Your child will be better served by talking to you about it (if she’s old enough), reading books with you, and being reassured that she had nothing to do with the breakup.
3 – 6 Years of Age
It is especially important for parents to maintain the lines of communication open with their young children during the divorce process since they will pick up on their moods and attitudes. An adult who can listen and help children express their emotions is essential for preschoolers. They may benefit from reading books that are appropriate for their age group. Children at this age also require a sense of safety and security, as well as the assurance that they will continue to see their noncustodial parent. Create and maintain a regular visitation schedule for your loved one.
Ages 6 to 11
When parents divorce, elementary-school children might suffer a great deal of rejection and loss, but parents can help their children restore their self-confidence and sense of security. Starting with a few minutes of one-on-one time with each parent, encourage the youngster to talk about her thoughts.
Tell her that neither parent is going to forsake her and that the divorce is not her fault. Even when the breakup was mutually agreed upon, parents should avoid blaming one other.) Predictability is vital for children, and this is especially true during times of upheaval.
Encourage your child to participate in activities and events she enjoys, especially since school, friendships, and extracurricular activities are becoming increasingly important to children of this age. Encourage her to reach out to others rather than shutting herself off from the rest of the world by rekindling her sense of self-worth.