Life becomes disruptive when going through a divorce. Divorce with young children creates additional challenges. Kids require a lot of attention, and their needs have a way of taking over. Their schedules are demanding, and their moods can become more volatile than ever.
This does not mean that you can’t make it through. You can find ways to work together as parents and help your children cope. Below are some challenges you face and ways that you can retain control of your life through a divorce with young children.
Shaking Up Schedules
Infants and toddlers usually feed and sleep on set schedules. No matter what you are doing, they need to eat. This helps their development both physically and emotionally. Going off schedule can mean everyone is miserable.
If you are going through a divorce, this gets harder. Both parents may not be there to pitch in. When you are managing everything else at home, it can be tricky to drop everything at meal time.
Both during and after the divorce, you need to build feeding, naptime and other parts of the day into your routine. This might mean relying on family or babysitters. Whether you have outside help or not, though, coordinate with your spouse to make sure you both cover this. The less disruption your children face, the more smoothly everything else in the process can run.
Anxiety and Tantrums
Of course, meals and naps do not solve everything. Small children tune in very well to your moods. If you are struggling with anxiety, they pick up on this. The more distracted or distant you seem, the harder this will be on the kids.
There are ways to cope during a divorce with young children. If you see your children reacting to your mood, take time out to hug them. Talk to your kids and let them know how much you love them. You won’t be happy all the time, but you can still give love even when you are hurting.
This also proves a critical period for co-parenting. Young kids need their parents; communicate with your spouse and work to make sure you both spend time with them. This is no time for stubbornness. You are both their parents and have to accept that working together during the divorce can help reduce children’s anxiety.
Staving Off Regression
One of the biggest worries parents have during a divorce with young children is that they will regress. This can involve struggles with potty training, speaking and social skills. The infant and toddler years are critical to development, so this kind of disruption in their lives can be hard.
As with every aspect of childhood, there is no magic formula here. Most important: do not panic. Kids develop at different rates and sometimes will slip along the way. If they regress while you are going through a divorce, it does not mean you or your spouse are ruining their lives.
Still, you should not ignore concerns either. Talk to your spouse about signs you see and find ways to work together. The more you can both work with your kids, the more likely any regression becomes a minor blip in their development. Make sure you both spend time with your kids, even if you are doing so separately.
Getting a divorce with young children is scary. While it will be hard, it is not impossible. Using the collaborative divorce process can help you manage it all far better. Collaboration, unlike litigation, can generate peace and harmony between parents and set the state for years of successful co-parenting post-Decree. To learn more about collaborative divorce, contact the professionals at Best Legal Choices today.