Relationships Quick Answers
What can I do to understand how my infant or toddler is feeling about the divorce?
Young children often express their feelings through play or artwork, instead of talking about them. You can provide your child with play materials that may help him or her express feelings. Suggested materials for toddlers are: playdoh or clay, art supplies, puppets, dolls, dollhouse and furniture, stuffed animals, and dress-up clothes. Watch your children playing and notice themes that seem related to family changes, for example, pretending to pack a suitcase and move away. Try to avoid correcting your child's play or drawings or asking direct questions. Children are more likely to open up when adults watch them, wait until the child is ready to talk, and make indirect comments, like "I wonder why your doll is sad."
Source: Kim Leon, Ph.D., Former Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Wednesday, August 20, 2008