Kids are incredibly strong-willed, but divorce can hit them hard. Especially in younger kids, divorce is a very confusing thing and it can be hard to understand. And with all of the stresses that come from divorce, sometimes parents will miss some key signs that their kids are struggling. If you notice any of the following behaviors in your kids, you should take steps to make sure your kids are okay:
- If you notice that your child’s grades are slipping, this is a sure sign that the divorce is distracting him or her from learning. To remedy this, you can schedule a conference with both your child and his or her teacher. Helping the teacher understand the reason for your child’s struggles can lead to accommodations that can help keep your child focused and productive, and having the child along shows the child that you care about his or her education and are willing to work closely with all involved parties to ensure that they do well in school.
- Keep watch over your child’s relationship with his or her siblings, especially older ones. Because kids can react so differently to divorce, ignoring the interactions between your children can cause a lot of problems. Children might take sides; this behavior should be discouraged. Additionally, be wary about giving older children too much jurisdiction over the younger ones. Remember, you are the parent ”“ it is fine to give the kids extra housework to pick up the slack, but you should not have your older children take on a parenting role.
- Keep watch over what the kids do in their free time. Younger children may need extra support during play time; school children might engage in destructive behavior like violence toward classmates on the playground, or stealing. Adolescents may exhibit delinquent behavior (truancy, for example) or become antisocial.
- In older children especially, be wary of dramatic changes in the child’s outlook. Depression and low self-esteem can seriously lower your child’s quality of life. This depression can lead to destructive behaviors, such as smoking or drug and alcohol use.
Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys