How Divorce Impacts Infants and Toddlers

 

Divorce pic

Divorce
Image: psychologytoday.com

Mental health professional Dr. Miriam Galindo serves as an approved child custody evaluator, licensed social worker, and psychologist in Irvine, California. Dr. Miriam Galindo largely focuses her work on families involved in divorce cases.

Although infants and toddlers are unable to understand divorce, they are still affected by it due to their ability to perceive changes within their environments. In most cases, toddlers can see that one parent is no longer present, but the children do not understand why that parent has left.

Toddlers can also pick up on the stress, tension, and behavioral changes exhibited by their parents. As a result, toddlers may become aggressive, anxious, or develop separation anxiety and act out more often.

Meanwhile, infants pick up on the emotional and behavioral changes of their parents, but infants are unable to understand why the conflict exists. Infants frequently start mirroring the behavior of their parents and may become fussier than normal or less interested in people and things. Many infants develop stranger anxiety around the parent they see less often, and some may feel a sense of abandonment, especially when they are separated from their primary caregiver.

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