I am a divorced parent with two
children under the age of two. They live with me and spend
time with their other parent every other week. How can I
make their separation from me easier?
Separation anxiety (crying, getting upset, throwing
tantrums when separated from a parent) is common in infants
and toddlers. There are several things divorced parents can
do to make separations easier for their children:
- Give your child enough time to say good-bye and to get
comfortable with the other parent.
- Reassure your child that you will return to pick her up.
- Acknowledge your child's feelings, but also be positive
about the time your child will spend with the other parent.
For example, "I know it is sad to say good-bye, but you will
have fun playing with daddy."
- Prepare your child for the separation, for example, "In a
little while you are going to see mommy."
- Allow your child to take along comforting objects, such
as a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, or a picture of you.
- If possible, come to an agreement with the other parent
that your child can always telephone either parent.
- Keeping routines as similar as possible at both homes helps children adjust to transitions between homes.
Source: ParentLink, 4-H/Youth Development, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, May 13, 2009