Heritage Foundation data shows that an estimated one million children experience the consequences of their parents’ divorce annually. The dissolution of their parents’ marriages can affect them in many ways.
If you’re a parent going through a divorce, you need to understand how it can impact your children so that you can adequately guide them through this milestone in their lives. Here are some of the things you may witness in your children during and after the divorce:
One sign that you’ll want to be on the lookout for as you and your spouse look to go your separate ways are sudden changes in your child’s behavior. Get immediate help for your son or daughter if they become increasingly defiant or appear to be under a lot of stress, withdrawn, always on the verge of tears or constantly angry. Psychological counseling really is effective.
Another behavior that you’ll want to take seriously is emotional outbursts. Confusion, resentment, discouragement and an inability to sort out their feelings can leave your child’s emotions out of control. Letting these emotions linger in hopes that your child will eventually grow out of them isn’t ideal. It can lead to your child suffering from depression down the road — even years later. Again, early intervention can do wonders.
Children struggling to cope with their parents’ divorce may experience behavioral, social and performance issues in school. They may act out in class, be inattentive or have difficulty making friends. You may also notice your child’s grades slipping. It often helps to make your child’s teacher aware of the home situation and ask for help with their adjustment.
Stress can begin affecting your child’s physical health. Headaches and gastrointestinal issues often emerge when a child finds it challenging to manage their stress. Treating the physical symptoms they experience is important, but you also need to do a lot of emotional work with your child to help them move past their current state.
Remember: Children often look to their parents as role models. You can set a good example for your child by keeping your emotions visibly in check during this time. You should also reassure your children that they’re not responsible for the end of your marriage, tell them that you love them and let them know that you’re there if they ever need to talk.
A family law attorney in Danville can help you decide whether you should pursue a custody or support order modification. It may be ideal if there’s a valid reason why changes to them could improve your California child’s plight.