Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Infants and Toddlers React

Children react differently to the news of the divorce and to the divorce process depending on their age. "Young children can sense problems through their parents," says Linda Jacobs. "Infants can tell when a parent is physically but not emotionally present. It can affect their eating and sleeping patterns. Even if one or both parents are emotionally involved and bonded to the children, the children's routines are interrupted as a result of the separation or divorce. Different households, different sounds and smells, and changing bedtimes can affect both infants and toddlers. Toddlers can be affected by the disappearance of furniture and other household items as well as by the constantly vanishing parent." It is important to establish daily routines to help your children feel secure.

Linda continues: "Many infants and toddlers will experience more ear infections and other illnesses such as upset stomachs, constipation, diarrhea, and colds. For a divorcing parent, a sick and fussy child only adds to an already stressful life. The children, in turn, will feel the stress of the parents, and this will contribute to the ever-increasing insecurities they are already feeling."

Relate to your children with love and tenderness each day. Learn how to have a heart that is gentle and kind toward everyone. If you harden yourself toward your former spouse or toward anyone else involved in the situation, your children will pick up on it and learn from it, despite your intentions to keep it from them.

"A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life" (Proverbs 28:14 Msg).

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