Effects of Children in DivorceThere really is no one answer to this question because every child is different in how he or she will handle things both mentally and emotionally. Maturity will play a significant role in the child’s reaction as well as how the parents present the situation to the children. But, you need to be able to recognize certain situation and provide the support your child needs based on how he or she acts upon hearing the news that mom and dad are getting a divorce.

Don’t Sell Your Children Short

Kids are resilient individuals. As bad as the situation may seem, eventually, some children are able to go about their lives in a very normal way. However, studies have shown that almost two-thirds of the children coming out of divorced homes experience problems at some point. Learning how to recognize and deal with these issues can help ensure your children do not fall into troubling times.

It is up to the parents to help assimilate the children to this lifestyle change while still adhering to parenting rules. Breaking the parenting “form” that you have been following prior to the divorce would be a big mistake. This just allows the children to act as they like and actually manipulate the situation.

While some children are able to go about life normally, others will struggle immediately or in the near future. We have put together some warning signs for children in different age brackets to help you identify developing problems.

Signs of Problems in Infants

  • Slow development
  • Overreacting to parental emotions
  • Very demanding and/or fussy
  • Regression or slow development in learning skills

Signs of Problems in Pre Schoolers

  • Overly attached to one or both parents
  • Separation anxiety
  • Regression or slow development in learning skills
  • Demanding and/or controlling of situations (in the belief it will get mom and dad back together)
  • Pretends parents are not divorced

Signs of Problems in School-Aged Children

  • Being overly “good” to bring mom and dad back together
  • Faking illness or injury to bring parents together
  • Excessive fears
  • Nightmares
  • Scheming ways to get mom and dad in the same room or event together

Signs of Problems in Teenagers

  • Advanced sexual activity
  • Drug, tobacco, and/or alcohol use
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Shuts down emotionally from everyone, not just parents
  • Overly critical of parents
  • Defiance
  • Anger

We realize you may not be able to deal with all of these problems on your own. If you find yourself in an overwhelming situation, seek the help of a counselor or therapist immediately. The longer you allow these emotional and behavioral issues to go on without addressing them only means these problems will more than likely escalate in a negative way.

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