How divorce affects toddlers

When two people who are in love come together and decide to live together as a husband and wife, life seems to be too good to the extent that no word such as divorce exists in their world. As time passes by, children get to be born, and they start building on their investments, challenges are also not left behind.

In most cases, you will find that one partner is being offended by mistake they realized from the first day they started living together, but as they continue living together, the offense becomes unbearable to the extent of divorce.

During the divorce, most of the parents have children, some of them are toddlers, others are teenagers, and they all have different levels on how they get affected by the separation.

From a critical way of thinking, toddlers are mostly ignored, and therapists have continued to advise parents to take care of the toddlers to prevent long term effects if the initial results are controlled.

Mostly, you will find parents taking their teenagers for guidance and counseling after divorce, but in the event, they are asked about the impact that separation has on toddlers, the response is that they are doing quite well.

The notion ought to be stopped since the toddlers are young adults with a sound mind and once they realize that the parents are no longer together and, in most cases, the father takes off from their lives, they get affected mentally and even emotionally.

The young ones express various effects after divorce, and some of them are;

  1. Stress.

When parents part ways, then this means that one of the parents will not have daily contact with them, and in most cases, fathers hardly live with them. In this case, the love of the dad starts fading away, and the bond that existed when the family was a complete unit break.

They are also stressed because the custodial parent does not have an affection for them as she did before. This is attributed to the fact that she is also going through hurt as she tries to recover from the ordeal of being a single parent and accepting to move on.

Changing schools at attender age also increases stress and strain, and this makes them lack the interest in making new friends. They end up being alone and depressed.

To mitigate this effect on the children, it is essential to try and straightforwardly explain to the toddlers and let them know that you will be living with them, and they will also be having time to visit their father. This is a bid to help them adjust in divorce.

It will also make them feel that they are still loved and open a new chapter in their lives.

  1. Effects on Mental Health problems.

When children are exposed to the divorce environment without proper guidance, they may feel left alone by the Ex parent. If for one reason or another, the custodial parent does not come back home every day, possibly due to work shifts, they now feel fully exposed, and no one loves them. This creates anxiety amongst themselves and may lead to depression.

However, this condition ought to be controlled in good time because if it extends, even the most experienced therapist will not be able to reverse the situation.

Create time for them and let them know that they are loved despite living with one parent. Make time schedules where you can walk in the park, enjoy game drives, and let them have a relaxed weekend.

When you make fun with them, you will open room for communication and build self-esteem within themselves.

  1. Emotional Effects.

According to PsychologyToday, toddlers experience a horrifying situation and often get confused about the reason that makes them live with one parent alone. It becomes hard for them to understand the reason as to why they share two homes of which one home is spent possibly during the weekends while the custodial home takes the more significant chunk.

They develop a sense of worry and deep thought as to whether they are still loved. Despite all these, a sense of relief may still be experienced in their lives. This is mostly if the parents had an abusive relationship that they could fight even in the presence of their children.

They may then feel that living separately with one parent has brought peace and rest in their minds if there were extremes of battles in the family.

  1. The childrenโ€™s physical developments stalls

When the kids start thinking of what led them to start living without one parent, they may lose appetite such that their health starts deteriorating. Some lose weight, and the growth trend retards. However, as a parent who cares, you need to watch such behaviors and close the gaps early enough. Speak to them often and cook the best food that they enjoy such that even when they feel stressed and with loss of appetite, they will eat for fun and in the process, their health regains.

  1. Prolonged effects into adulthood.

According to CompleteCase, When children grow knowing that their parents divorced, they develop a feeling of rejection and may end up taking risks of even dropping from school, disengaging in religious activities which in most cases, they had a passion for.

In spite of all these, as you watch your kids grow from toddlers to young adults, remember that you have a core duty to maintain discipline. After all, you are the only person who can lead as they follow.

Do not allow them to go astray in the name of sympathy, but be gentle a good listener, and supportive when it comes to their emotional needs.

  1. Risk of being exposed to bad behavior is high.

Researchers have proved that in most cases, children are left under the care of caregivers as the single parents go out to work. The fact that the caregiver will take charge of them in the absence of the custodial parent, there are rules that she cannot instill. Some also have compromised characters which if the toddlers get exposed to them, the risk the chances of continuing with the habits while old.

Among them are being sexually active at a very tender age, being exposed to drugs, and all this leads them to addiction at a very early stage.

If only the parents did not separate, they could be having time enough to spend with both of them and discipline at this time will be managed accordingly.

  1. The detachment of Parental Relationship.

When one is a toddler, his life solely depends on the parents, but in the event of a divorce, one parent becomes an absentee parent and the original foundation is messed up, and they grow with anxiety not knowing what the future holds for them.

  1. Irritable behavior

This is one of the most pronounced effects on toddlers. When you part ways, they start feeling the gap because they find only one parent in most cases. This grows their irritability rate, and they begin throwing tantrums any other time.

They also cry a lot, develop sleep problems, which may lead to amnesia. Others will even retard back a few months younger; for instance, they will forget to use the potty out of aggression and will become babies once again.

  1. Hard to adjust in case of a second marriage.

Toddlers know of their original parents, and in case of a speedy remarriage, this will affect them because they have not outgrown the thinking capacity of a child. They may not understand the reason for calling a stepfather their dad and rebellion may set in. As a woman, you should take time before considering remarrying to allow the children to mature to a level that they can understand the change of events.

If you fail to control rebellion at a young age, then it will be hard to control it when they are old for another opportunity.


All in all, parents cannot stay in an abusive marriage because of the children.

When you separate, learn to understand them, and keep them as happy as possible, manage their irritable behaviors by watching an exciting kidโ€™s movie such that they can divert their attention somewhere else and forget of the pain of living with one parent. When it comes to the other parents visit, allow the toddler to enjoy as much time as possible in the other house. Do not burn any bridges in an attempt to win them fully and possibly lose the interest of the other parent.

In most cases, toddlers will react differently and will leave you more stressed than before.

Being in a new house is enough reason for toddlers to ask questions that are hard to answer, going slow is a solution and taking them to step by step to reduce effects of feeling alone and missing the earlier life. For instance, you can talk to them about the new shift of the house is because of work transfers but assure them they will still b visiting the other parent.

While you allow them the freedom to a person who is their father, they will grow to respect you and besides will leave to adhere to the rules that you have set for them.



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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