Is it Time to Call in the Pros?

Signs Your Child is Struggling to Cope During Divorce

During a divorce, it’s normal for your kids to feel a range of difficult emotions. But time, love, and reassurance should help them to heal. If your kids don’t bounce back, though, you may need to seek professional help.

So, given that this is a distressing time, what are normal reactions and how can you spot the acute issues. Although strong feelings can be tough on kids, the following reactions can be considered normal for children.

Reactions to Expect

  • Anger. Your kids may express their anger, rage, and resentment with you and your spouse for destroying their sense of normalcy.
  • Anxiety. It’s natural for children to feel anxious when faced with big changes in their lives.
  • Mild depression. Sadness about the family’s new situation is normal, and sadness coupled with a sense of hopelessness and helplessness is likely to become a mild form of depression.

It will take some time for your kids to work through their issues about the separation or divorce, but you should see gradual improvement over time.

Alerts for Serious Problems

If things get worse rather than better after several months, it may be a sign that your child is stuck in depression, anxiety or anger and could use some additional support. Watch for these warning signs of divorce-related depression or anxiety:

  • Sleep problems
  • poor concentration
  • trouble at school
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • self-injury, cutting, or eating disorders
  • frequent angry or violent outbursts
  • withdrawal from loved ones
  • refusal of loved activities
  • Discuss these or other divorce-related warning-signs with your child’s doctor, teachers, or consult a child therapist for guidance on coping with specific problems.

    For more information on understanding children’s reaction to divorce, read Why Consider Counseling for Children of Divorce.

    ©2018 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation

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