18 Months to 3 Years, how your divorce is impacting your child; from a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer
Children in this age group continue to need consistency in parenting, environments caregivers, and routines. They gradually become more independent and begin to test their limits. They need to learn about self-control without losing self-esteem, and they need to learn to deal with doubt and shame.
As they learn these developmental tasks, they need continual reassurance of their parents’ love. Their parents need to nurture them and set reasonable limits on them in a respectful manner. All children of this age develop fears of being abandoned, and these fears are exacerbated by separation from parents. In a parent’s absence, a child may even fear that the parent has disappeared.
At this age, children are also concerned about security and who will care for them. When there are changes in routines and consistency, parents need to assure the child, in words that the toddler can understand, that he or she will be cared for. Contact a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer to talk about how to best communicate with your co-parent.
What Parents Need to Know About Children 18 Months to 3 Years
The important things for divorcing parents to know are the following:
- Parents need to communicated frequently about the child’s needs and any changes in the child’s behavior.
- Parents need to allow the child to express feelings and fears in words and behavior. Parents, however, must not fight or use angry expressions in front of the child, who at this age is very aware of the parents’ body language and how they treat each other. Parental conflict can cause the child to become distraught.
- Children at this age are particularly sensitive to being shamed. Consequently, parents must avoid doing anything that may cause the child to feel shamed.
- Children in this age group may cling to their parents and be attached to special objects such as toys or blankets. This is part of their normal development, not an indication that a child does not want to leave one parent and go with the other. Parents should begin to understand and respect this need, take time for nurturing during the exchange process, and not lose patience.
- If the toddler is being exchanged from home to home, the parents need to ensure that the child always has photos and special mementoes as reminders of the absent parent.
- The passing of time for a child at this age is very slow, so the child needs a schedule with more frequent exchanges between homes. Parents need to keep consistent schedules of exchanges and must help the child to understand when he or she will see the other parent.
- At this age, children may react to divorce by regression in toilet training and sleeping habits. They may become more fearful or more aggressive. They may test the limits of their feelings and their security, especially in their parents’ presence. It is important for parents to understand that these reactions are normal, and not indications of poor parenting.
If you or a loved one is considering a Greensboro Divorce Lawyer, contact Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson.