Divorce is difficult for all involved parties, but children are often the most sensitive to the changes. Not only must they adjust to their family no longer being together, they often struggle with concepts that are well beyond their ability to understand. Thankfully, though, parents can help minimize the impact by understanding it. The following information explains further.
Every Child Reacts Differently to Divorce
While children of divorce may have a lot of things in common, it is important for parents to understand that each child will react differently. Some become clingy. Others become anxious. Others start to misbehave at school or at home because it gives them a sense of control in the middle of a situation they have zero control over. Some may withdraw or become extremely sensitive.
Age can also play a key role in how your child responds to the divorce. For example, younger children are more likely to experience fussiness and regressive behavior. Older children may be more likely to act out or withdraw. Teens can be at an especially high risk for life-impacting behavior and severe depression. Watch carefully for any behavior that may be above and beyond the expected and seek professional help if you suspect your child may be at risk for severe depression.
Helping Your Child Cope with the Divorce
As a parent, you know your child best. You know when things just are not right, and when they need your help. For younger children, this could mean keeping schedules as consistent as possible and making sure you have extra time for snuggling. For older children, it might mean being sensitive to the shifts in behavior or personality. Try to get your child talking. Ask them about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment and without taking anything they say personally. Remember that these feelings are not necessarily rational, but that does not make them any less valid.
Above all else, be willing to seek professional help if you feel your child may need it. With understanding, therapy, and love, many children of divorce eventually adjust to the new normal. More than that, a large percentage of them grow up to be happy, healthy adults.
Get the Legal Counsel You Need and Deserve
One of the ways that parents can ensure they have the time and energy to help their child cope with the divorce is to ensure they have advocates on their side. This can include a personal therapist, support group, and family and friends. Parents should also seek the assistance of a skilled divorce attorney to ensure the legal details of their case are handled effectively and in a timely manner.
At Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C., we protect the best interests of you and your child. Dedicated and experienced, we aggressively pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your consultation with our Naperville family law attorneys to learn more about how we can help with your case. Call 630-665-7676 today.