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Question
Posted by: Tania | 2006/10/26

Toddler in Divorce

Hi
I've jus read the article "Divorce: How it affects your child". Its very scary. And extremely worrying. I've recenlty divorced my ex-husband. It wasn't an ugly divorce, though not what one would call amicable either.
We have a 21month old son. We don't fight in front of him, I try to be very pleasant and smile alot when his dad is around (even if its fake). Though the dad says he can't pretend to be happy.
Anyway, my question is this: How do we as parents of this 21month old boy try and raise him in a way that his chances of becoming a druggie, or getting depressed, or having intimacy issues in adulthood is minimal or in fact avoided.
I find that often the advice given in this regard is for older children who are able to communicate the way they feel, whereas my son can't. Do you have any tips for us. Please.

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Our expert says:
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I don't think bad effects from divorce are anywhere near inevitable --- I haven't read the article you mention, so I don't know what it claims. It does not make it likely that a child will become a druggie, or become depressed. Other aspects of how parents behave towards children may influence those outcomes, but divorce in itself, not necessarily so. Your young child will sense your mood and emotions, but remember that at this age he has nothing to compare this with.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cindy | 2006/10/26

My two sons were only 3 years and 2 months old when I divorced from my first husband. 9 years later, today both of them is well balanced and do extremely well at school and in sports and they love their little sister (2 years) from my new marriage and get well along with their stepfather and stepmother.

The only thing that works is to give your child unconditional love, don't ever talk bad about the other parent in front of him, don't try to punish the dad by not letting him see the little boy.

Divorce is terrible for children of all ages. Your son don't have to turn out a drug addict or have serious psychological problems.

Why don't you go see a child psychologist and ask him/her advice regarding this difficult situation. Both my children were taken for psychological evaluation and councelling.
This really helped. Remember divorce is not the only bad thing that can happen to children, living in a house with a mom and dad constantly fighting can be just as bad.

Try to make the best of this bad situation, you'll both get through it.

Reply to Cindy
Posted by: kat | 2006/10/26

please dont do the guilty parent thing thats how the trouble starts. as long as you do your best no one can say anything. and also your best isnt the same as others best so dont feel shitty about it. you sound like a very good person and you put the needs of your child first but also dont forget you have needs to and dont put them aside for his sake that too will agrivate things. the love of a parent is worht more than having married parents also remember he is so small he wont know what its like to have married parents so he will adjust quickly. just dont be too hard on yourself.

Reply to kat
Posted by: Tania | 2006/10/26

Thanks Kat. I have alot of guilt over how this is going to affect our son. I just hope my best is good enough..

Reply to Tania
Posted by: kat | 2006/10/26

bring him up knowing that he is loved by both of you and that it was in no way his fault you guys got divorced. kids always assume things are there fault when they dont understand. and also remember kids from loving homes become druggies to so dont think that by you getting divorced it going to condem him. rather have happy divorced parents than unhappy married ones. all of you will be ok dont worry about it just love him. let him know that he can talk to you about anything. as he gets older make sure he knows that.

Reply to kat

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