Divorce can be particularly tough on innocent minds of children. But how do you identify that a child is stressed with divorce? Check out for these behaviors and work on these strategies if you observe them
Everyone is aware of the research statistics that suggests there is increasing number of marriages that is ending up in divorce/separation. What we time and again forget, though, is that a majority of these separations have deep impact on children especially under the age of 18. Many parents tussle with guilt or fear of how the separation will have an effect on the lives of their children.
Since kids rely on parents for feeling protected, it’s typical for a child to feel frightened or confused when they witness their mom or dad hurting each other emotionally or physically and are thus gradually distracted by new challenges. When parents are unable to talk about the reason for their altering emotions and home background, often a child will misunderstand what’s happening in reality. They may simply start assuming that they instigated the divorce, or they could take responsibility to attempt and bring together their parents.
How do you identify that your kid is stressed with divorce? Younger children might revert to activities they had formerly outgrown, such as wetting the bed, requiring a pacifier, or throwing unnecessary tantrums to seek attention. You also would notice that they seem more worried or upset when parted from you. Older children may experience a series of intense emotions such as anger outbreak, guilt-ridden, or even relief that their parents are finally separating. In most of the cases, they become more violent when angry, undergo symptoms of anxiety or depression, and start to withdraw or detach from others around them.
Here are some other known behaviors or symptoms that can happen:
- Academic or personality/ behavioral problems
- Mood Swings
- Less socializing with family and friends
- Not much cooperation with day-to-day tasks
- Decreased self-esteem
- Increased illogical fears
- Absence of interest in communication
Since feelings might run high between parents for the duration of a divorce, adults would try to parent independently rather than together to decrease fighting. Nevertheless, as connection may perhaps become more convenient over time, parents often find that it is simpler to work supportively when it comes to child development and making big future decisions for him/her.
Here are some helpful strategies that majority of parents have found to be effective when helping their kids cope with divorce dilemma.
Communicate together – If it’s feasible, don’t convey the decision of divorce alone to the child. Both parents must be present to assist kids in preparing for forthcoming changes, talk about what’s going on as early as possible, rather than pushing towards the last minute.
Don’t use them – It is strongly advisable to not depend on a child for emotional support in the course of divorce. You can attain strength from their innocent love, but support and care is expected from friends, family, and professional guidance such as marriage counselling if needed. Try not to criticize about your ex-partner in front of your children, and certainly don’t use children as a mediator to transmit messages.
Accept the “sad” – You may feel interested to tint the divorce as a happy decision or improved situation for everyone. While things may mend gradually over the long-term, it’s significant to extract the time to admit to your child that divorce is practically sad, frustrating, and disturbing at times. Don’t hide those emotions under the rug.
Avoid the spread of “stress” – While it’s vital to accept that divorce is problematic, ensure that your kids aren’t overhearing you grumble or stress about economic distresses or other matters relating to the divorce. They can easily instill in themselves the anxiety and fear and might feel like they ought to share the responsibility of handling things that are actually adult concerns.
Provide structure – Moving hither and thither between two parents and two distinct households can be not as much of stressful if a kid has similar rules and anticipations with both parents. You can take right guidance from family counselling and manage your broken home more effectively without affecting your children.
Encourage relationships – A kid should never feel the confusion of selecting between two parents. Let him or her understand that you want them to feel a positive and warm relationship with the other parent, so they wouldn’t feel torn. They must not feel that they have to conceal funny stories or joyful thoughts with you about your ex-partner.