Most California parents would agree that life is full of changes, and some are far more difficult navigate than others. One change many families face nowadays involves divorce. The new lifestyle that typically follows divorce is often challenging for children in particular. In fact, many psychologists, ministers, teachers, doctors and other child-related professionals say divorce tends to impact children’s lives far more than parents realize.
Just as no two marriages or divorces are the same, how one child handles divorce may be extremely different from the way another child copes. There are, however, certain types of issues many parents often report when discussing various challenges they face in helping their children move forward in life following divorce.
Your children may exhibit one or more of these behaviors in divorce
You likely spent much time thinking about what the future will hold for you and your children before you made your decision to divorce. After all, most parents simply want what’s best for their kids, even when achieving that creates certain types of challenges. Following is a list of behaviors other parents often notice when going through divorce proceedings with their children:
- Decline in school performance: One of the first places parents often notice negative divorce impact in their children is at school. Whether children get in trouble for bad behavior or bring home report cards with lower-than-usual grades, teachers are often the first to notice divorce-related stress in kids.
- Regression: If your child suddenly begins carrying a favorite blanket around or asking to sleep with you, etc. when he or she already outgrew such behaviors, it may be a clear sign that anxiety issues related to divorce exist.
- Accelerated independence: Opposite to the above description, some children dealing with divorce try to speed up their independence, becoming increasingly rebellious or challenging parental authority.
- Emotional breakdown: From crying episodes to the silent treatment, children typically express emotion in different ways during divorce. If child temper tantrums and other highly emotionally charged scenes become frequent events in your daily life, your child might be suffering anxiety or depression.
Some parents find encouraging their children to keep written journals, start online blogs or express their feelings through drawing helps smooth their transitions during the divorce process. If your children are struggling, know that you are not alone. Many parents face numerous stressful divorce issues with their children for which appropriate help is available.
California parents and others often turn to local faith leaders, licensed counselors, and trusted family friends and confidants for support during divorce. An experienced family law attorney can also be a tremendous asset, not only in negotiations and courtroom litigation, but also as an access point to other outside resources and intervention assistance.