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Signs Your Child May Be Having Trouble Coping with Your Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Oakland County divorce attorney parental relocation

No matter how smoothly you and your spouse feel your divorce may be panning out, it is only natural to experience some bumps in the road somewhere along the separation journey. Even the most civil, peaceful partings can stir up feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, and resentment. This is especially true for the children in the family, who may understandably feel confused or threatened by the sudden changes in the household. 

Studies show that children of all ages tend to struggle with changes in routine, and they typically do best emotionally and mentally when they know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. Young adults in particular struggle with the transition, but even younger children can experience significant anxiety when their parents’ marriage ends. 

Recognizing When Your Child Needs Help 

Despite a parent’s best efforts, the children in the family will inevitably feel the stress of the divorce. Some children may cope better than others, depending on a number of factors, including the state of their support system, the nature of their current relationships with both parents, and any other circumstances that may make a difference, like relocation or changing schools. So, the question is not whether your child will struggle with the changes surrounding the divorce—they will, on some level—but whether it is time to step in and help them with the adjustment. 

Here are some classic signs that your child may be having a difficult time coping with the split:

  • Performance or behavior problems at school - Expert pediatricians tell us that when you notice your child is having trouble in school, this is often a sign they are having a hard time coping. Red flags such as grades slipping, aggressive behavior with other students, or isolation from friends can all indicate that a child is struggling with the changes of divorce. One way to combat this is to speak with the teachers and the on-site guidance counselor to arrange frequent performance reports and periodic parent-teacher meetings, which can help monitor your child’s behavioral changes.

  • Change in sleeping or eating habits - Along with changes at school, any change in habits at home can also point to coping trouble. If your child is unable to sleep and is restless or sleeps too much, the stress is likely taking a toll on their mind and body. This also applies to eating habits; if your child is not eating regularly, not eating enough, or possibly eating too much, it may be time to consult a doctor and a psychologist to address the source of the trouble.

  • Extreme anxiety when left alone - Psychology Today reveals that there is a significant difference between a child simply exhibiting anxiety due to the unknown and a child experiencing severe separation anxiety when one parent is not present. If your child is unable to function and believes something truly horrible will happen to him or her when one parent moves or even leaves the home for an extended period of time, this often signals trouble dealing with parental separation. This type of anxiety is one of the many child psychiatric disorders that can be triggered by a divorce, so it is important to take notice of the signs as soon as they develop so they can be addressed through therapy or counseling.

Speak With an Oakland County Divorce Attorney

There is only so much you can do as a parent to cushion the blow of divorce for your children. Maintaining your own mental and physical health as well as caring for your child’s health is a challenging balancing act, but you can lessen the overall burden of divorce by working with a skilled Novi, MI divorce lawyer, who can provide you with the legal representation and resources you need to protect everyone’s best interests along the way. Call Elkouri Heath, PLC today at 248-344-9700 to schedule a free, personal consultation. 

 

Sources:
http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/separation_and_divorce/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201304/divorce-and-separation-anxiety

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