How Divorce Affects Children of Different Ages: Infants

undefinedIt goes without saying that divorce is a challenging hurdle for children to overcome. The division of two parents can create tension in a household, and brings forth a lifestyle change for the entire family. Many parents would agree that, amidst their divorce, their children’s emotional well-being is a concern at the forefront of their mind. In this blog series, we’ll be discussing the impact that divorce can have on varying age groups of children, and how to help combat any negative experiences that might lead to trauma or behavioral regression.


Birth-18 months

Infancy is a time in a child’s life when trust needs to be established between a parent and a child in order for the child to thrive. Because of an infant’s dependency, time spent together is important in creating this trust, and helps both child and parent create a bond together.

In addition to this, infants are highly sensitive to tense environments, such as yelling or negative tones. They can certainly feel tension in a household, but are unable to understand the reasoning behind it. Without the ability to talk, it can easily seem that arguments in front of infants won’t be remembered or have any significant effect on them, but being in tense environments can actually have a direct effect on their behavior, such as making them more irritable, distrusting towards strangers, and prone to emotional outbursts. In addition to this, an infant in a tense environment could even show signs of a loss of appetite or an uneasy stomach. Stress truly has the ability to affect an infant in similar ways that it would affect an adult.

Knowing that time and bonding is important for infants, as well as the fact that arguments and tension in a household can directly effect their behavior and attitude, you and your ex can work on certain strategies to ensure that your divorce is as trouble-free as possible for your young children.

undefinedChildren of this age thrive in an environment that is consistent and reliable. While this can easily feel like a challenge as a divorcing parent, make sure you’re prioritizing your child’s schedule above all else. To the best of your ability, try and maintain a regular daily routine. Create a schedule for their meals and their sleep so that they can maintain a sense of familiarity and normalcy.

In addition to this, as challenging as it may be to see your ex during a divorce, remember that your child’s best interest should come first, and in most cases, having a relationship with both parents is beneficial. Since time and the ability to bond is crucial for children of this age, allow your ex time to see and spend time with your infant. Being held and hearing familiar voices is a valuable way of bonding with an infant, and can only be done through in-person contact. If organizing this time and seeing your ex is too challenging or often results in arguments, allow friends and family to help facilitate this time.

Divorce is never easy, but divorcing with children can make the process substantially harder. If you’re worried about how your separation will affect your children, remember that there are always ways to make the process less difficult on them. Focusing on a consistent schedule and allowing bonding time to continue between both parents are two valuable places to start if you have an infant. The attorneys at Pacific Cascade Legal are well versed in divorce with children, and understand the importance of taking care of your children’s well beings amidst a dissolution. We are here not only to serve our client’s legal needs, but to help them work through the entire transition as a whole. We are here to advocate not only for your better tomorrow, but the future of your entire family as well.