Divorce and Children – Signs That Indicate Your Child is Stressed and Struggling to Cope
Children can be especially prone to emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues during a divorce. Worse yet, there are studies that show divorce can have a lifelong impact on the overall well-being of a child – but that does not necessarily mean you should stay together. In fact, experts now believe that the ill effects that children suffer in divorce are more closely linked to the contention and stress that often accompany divorce, rather than the divorce itself.
What all this means is that parents can mitigate the damage that divorce can do to a child – especially if they know how to recognize the signs of extreme stress. Learn more, and discover what an experienced divorce lawyer can do to improve the outcome of divorce for your family.
Severe or Prolonged Behavior Changes
In the initial stages of divorce, behavioral changes are considered both normal and typically benign, but prolonged or severe changes can be an indication of something bigger. Depression, anxiety, and maladjustment problems are some of the most commonly seen issues in children going through a divorce, but other mental health problems could occur as well. Examples of such behaviors can include everything from extreme aggression and social isolation to bedwetting and separation anxiety, which can occur at almost any age. If you notice such signs in your child, talk to an experienced mental health professional about your family’s situation.
Physiological Changes That Indicate Extreme Stress
Physiological changes to a child can include everything from weight loss to extreme changes in the child’s appearance. For young children, the changes may be spurred by a loss of appetite or trouble sleeping (which can include lack of sleep because of nightmares). In older children, the changes may be more intentional, and will sometimes be the way the child asks for help. Depending on the situation, such changes may warrant both a visit to the pediatrician and a discussion with a mental health professional.
Significant Changes in School or Social Behavior
Children spend a great deal of their time at school and interacting with their friends. If you start to notice changes in these areas (i.e. your straight A student suddenly failing their classes, your athletic child no longer wants to participate in sports, or they start to withdraw from their friends), talk to your child first. They may simply need someone to talk to about their feelings and concerns. However, if your child shows any signs of depression or anxiety, it may be worth a call to your pediatrician or family therapist.
Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers
Having an attorney by your side through the process of divorce can, in some instances, improve the circumstances for children. Often, this is because an attorney can take actions that minimize contact and the possibility of contention while also ensuring your rights and your child’s best interests are protected. Schedule your personalized consultation with Davi Law Group, LLC to learn more. Contact our DuPage County divorce lawyers at 630-580-6373 today.