As a parent, one of your primary concerns as you are in the process of ending your marriage is protecting the interests of your children. Kids often experience difficulty during this period of transition and change, and it is critical to do everything possible to protect their mental and emotional health during this time. Even while navigating your own difficulties, you will find it best for your kids if you prioritize their needs.
The ways that a divorce will affect a specific child depend on many factors. The age of the child, his or her maturity level, relationship with the parents and more will all affect a child as he or she deals with the changes to everyday life brought about by divorce. As a parent, you will likely know better than anyone what your child needs and how to best provide them with stability and security.
What your kids may go through
It is important to remember that your kids will struggle after a divorce, especially during the first year. Young children may not fully comprehend why they must move between homes, while elementary-age kids may think that in some way, the divorce is their fault. Teenagers express their feelings in different ways, and they may even place blame for the divorce on one parent. Common signs that may indicate the emotional struggles of kids during and after divorce include:
- Behavioral changes – Kids may start to act out or behave in ways that are out of character for them. They may also experience more conflict with their peers and at home.
- Mental health concerns – Divorce can trigger mental health issues that may resolve themselves within a few months, but it is possible that your child may need long-term support.
- Struggles at school – Children may struggle with schoolwork, or they may not care about their academic performance. This is something that may improve over time.
If your kids are showing signs of mental or emotional struggles during and after your divorce, you may act on their behalf. There are times when a child may need professional support as they navigate the changes brought by their parent’s divorce. Another way you can help your kids through this difficult time is to seek custody and visitation terms that will give them as much stability and continuity of lifestyle as possible.