Divorce is never easy when children are involved. Kids often find it difficult to understand the situation and to cope with their parents splitting up. They often blame themselves or think their actions can prevent the divorce. It can take a year or longer for your kids to find their own level of peace again and a new normalcy.
As a parent, it’s vital to their emotional development that you continually show your children that you care about them. But no matter how well you look after your kids, it’s always possible that divorce may be overwhelming for their young minds.
That’s why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of when your kids may be hurting from divorce. Some of the warning signs include the following:
- Angry outbursts and overreactions
- Not seeing their friends and avoiding social situations
- Unusually poor academic performance lasting three months or longer
- Problems at school, like skipping classes, lying, cheating, stealing or fighting
- Issues at home, like disobeying rules and challenging your authority
- Lengthy and extreme mood swings, ranging from happiness to hostility
- Overly seeking your attention as a parent
- Chronic sicknesses like headaches or stomach pains
- Problems sleeping, eating disorders, alcohol use or drug abuse
- Lamenting a missing parent
- Longing for the way things were before the divorce
- Showing bitterness and resentment
If your children display one or more of those signs, consider consulting professional help such as a child psychologist or pediatrician. That said, not every single tantrum or misbehavior is directly related to the divorce. Acting out from time to time is a normal part of childhood and adolescence. What isn’t normal is consistent patterns of destructive or otherwise concerning behavior.
Even if your children aren’t misbehaving, they could very well still be hurting from the divorce. Your kids might be acting completely normal or even as perfect as they can be, but it’s all just a show to hide their true pain. Ignoring or burying their true feelings doesn’t fix the issues, and big problems can occur later because of it.
Divorce can be challenging for anybody, kids and parents alike. There can be a lot of hard feelings and a lot of confusing legal issues. It’s important you understand your rights as a parent and get help from a Denver attorney with experience in the delicate matters of family law.