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How do you know when kids are struggling after a divorce?

Divorce can be an emotional process for all involved. While each spouse may be struggling with lifestyle changes, it’s important not to forget about the kids. A divorce may be somewhat traumatizing to them, so it’s important to watch out for signs that they are not doing well.

A recent article highlights some of the warning signs that the kids may not be doing so well after a divorce. Here are a few of them.

• The child has seen a drop in performance at school. There are two different scenarios here. One is that a child seems down and doesn’t do as well in school as he or she used to. They might lose interest in school, and even hanging out with their friends. The other extreme is that a child might try to be extra “good” to please their parents, so they become an “overachiever.” They may do this because they feel somehow at fault for their parents’ break-up.

• The child clings to siblings. If parents notice that a child is asking a sibling to help on homework when he used to ask his parents, that could be a red flag. Sometimes if children feel ignored or that they aren’t being nurtured enough, they will rely on a sibling as a sort of “third parent.” This can be a problem for many reasons, including the added pressure on that sibling.

• The child keeps siding with one parent over the other in divorce matters. It can be important to remind children to try not to get caught up in adult matters and that it’s still okay to act like a kid.

These are just a few of the warning signs that kids are struggling. Often, there are others, and it’s important to keep an eye out for them.

Source: Huffington Post, “Are the kids alright?” Marie Hartwell, June 7, 2012

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