What Will My Kids Understand About Our Divorce? Ages Birth to Three

July 7th, 2016

For most, a major concern about divorcing in Portland OR is how to communicate with the children to help them understand divorce and process any emotions that they have in a healthy way.

You may be wondering what exactly your child understands about divorce. In this two part series, we’ll provide you with an age-by-age synopsis of your child’s level of understanding and how you can help.

Birth to 18 Months

At this age, infants and young toddlers can feel tension in their environment, but don’t understand the reasoning behind it. They might be irritable or cry more than usual. Do your best to stick to normal daily routines, especially sleeping and eating. Keeping them well fed and rested will help them be less inclined to outbursts, and will lower the overall tension in your home.

Mother holding her crying baby

18 months to 3 years

At this age, your child’s main bond is with you and your spouse.  Divorce will cause a disruption to their routine. This is difficult for them to understand and accept. Toddlers find comfort in routine, so create predictable routines, give extra snuggles, and read books about emotions to help teach them words for their feelings.

More in the series:

What Will My Kids Understand About Our Divorce? Ages Three to Eleven

If you are in the Portland OR area and are contemplating a divorce, contact Ronald Johnston. He has over 35 years of experience with divorces involving children.

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