A Compassionate Advocate
For Arizona Families

Recognize the signs of children struggling with parental divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2024 | Divorce

Going through a divorce is tough for everyone, especially kids. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Arizona has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Parents should look for signs that suggest a child is having a hard time dealing with their divorce.

Identifying these signs helps parents to provide the needed support during this emotionally difficult period.

Spotting the signs

Keep an eye out for shifts in a child’s friendships, schoolwork and overall attitude. Communication is key; if a child hesitates or avoids talking about their feelings regarding the divorce, it could mean they’re dealing with emotional stress.

Children may act out during their parents’ divorce as a way to cope with emotional distress. Exhibiting behaviors like tantrums, aggression or withdrawal is common. These actions often stem from confusion, fear and the challenges of adjusting to the changes brought about by the separation of their parents.

Mental struggles

Children facing their parents’ divorce might show mental signs of stress. Increased worries, trouble focusing and a drop in school performance are common signs. Feeling sad often or withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed may indicate emotional struggles that need attention.

Emotional challenges

The emotional effects of divorce can show up in different ways for children. They might feel angry, frustrated or guilty. Changes in mood, like sudden bursts of emotion or long periods of feeling down, could be signs of internal struggles. Observing how a child interacts with others, including friends and family, can offer clues about their emotional state.

Physical indicators

Divorce can affect a child’s physical health, too. Trouble sleeping, changes in appetite and unexplained physical complaints such as headaches or stomachaches might crop up. These physical symptoms often show the outside world what the child is feeling on the inside: emotionally stressed and anxious due to their parents’ separation.

Routines and stability

Establishing and sticking to routines can bring stability during this tough time. Keeping things consistent in daily activities like meals, bedtime and extracurriculars gives children a reassuring structure. This stability helps them adjust and lessens the impact of the divorce on their overall well-being.

Provide support

Help your children by creating a supportive atmosphere. Encourage open conversations, letting them express their feelings without judgment. Reassure them that what they are feeling is normal. Getting help from a counselor or therapist can be useful in assisting children through the emotional challenges linked to divorce.