How can I help my preschooler understand my divorce?

Getting a divorce when you have children is never easy regardless of the age of the children. Kids at every development stage in life will react differently to a divorce. One of the challenges for New Jersey parents who get divorced is to maintain a relationship with children and help them manage emotions and work through the changes that take place.

In order to put the best interests of the child first, it is important to understand what kids at different ages need from you. While preschoolers have more ability to communicate than toddlers, their emotional and practical understanding of things like child custody arrangements and visitation rights is virtually non-existent. They will be aware of changes but will only think about them in terms of their own experiences. Today’s Parent notes that you should be on the lookout for any unusual clinginess, whininess, sleep disturbances or other signs of anger and fear in your preschooler.

One of the best ways to help children in this age range is to be prepared to answer questions—repeatedly. Do your best to stay patient and remember it is like being asked to read the same story ten times over. Kids at these ages need this. Also of importance is routine. Even when having to adjust to a new home, you can still maintain this to a large extent. Keep bedtime, naptime and mealtime the same. Make sure that favorite toy or stuffed animal is on hand. Read the same books, recite the same prayers and follow the same steps throughout the course of the day that you did before. All of this breeds security for your preschooler.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about how to help preschoolers through a divorce in New Jersey.