Helping Infants and Toddlers Adjust to Divorce (MU Extension)
From MU Extension at the University of Missouri-Columbia, “Helping Infants and Toddlers Adjust to Divorce” specifically addresses how divorce impacts infants and toddlers. Too many people believe that divorce does not impact these kids because they are young. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The article explains:
During their first three years of life, children grow quickly, become mobile, learn language, begin to understand how the world works and form social relationships. Environmental changes such as parental divorce can affect a child’s development, but parents have the power to help their children adjust to family changes.
Beginning with younger infants (birth to 8 months), this article explains that, “Infants do not understand divorce However, infants pick up on changes in their parents’ feelings and behaviors.”
The article also explains the reactions of older infants (8 to 18 months) and toddlers (18 months to 3 years) and includes special sections to address:
- Parent-child attachment relationships and divorce
- Encouraging infants and toddlers to express emotions
- Reducing the stress of divorce for infants and toddlers
The article includes links to additional resources on helping infants and toddlers and concludes with the observation:
Divorce is confusing for infants and toddlers, who pick up on changes in emotions and contact with each parent.
Ideally, both parents remain in the child’s life and contact with each parent is frequent without long separations. The most important thing you can do is to continue to nurture your child and provide them with structure.
LINK TO RESOURCE:
LINK TO PDF FILE:
http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/hesguide/humanrel/gh6607.pdfFor more resources and information on divorce, family disruption and modern families please visit our Hope 4 Hurting Kids Divorce and Modern Family Help Center.