Behavioral changes in children are common following divorce. Research shows that some children can succumb to depression and sometimes become aggressive or regressive.
Divorce is not only hard on kids, it is also a difficult experience for adults. Parents who are able to take the time to process their own emotions first can help their children navigate the changes more readily. How you react and manage your feelings about the divorce provides a road map for children to follow. Even though you may be struggling with your own emotions or other hardships that result from a divorce, you can model behaviors of resilience and optimism so that children know the family will be o.k..
Family therapists recommend that parents do not give into guilt when trying to help their children cope with divorce. Instead of relaxing rules or trying to ply children with distracting activities or rewards, it is better to establish ground rules that will lend structure to their new routine and ensure that discipline prevails. If both parents can agree to a plan, all the better.
Communication with your kids becomes even more important following divorce. However, sometimes it is an uphill battle to get kids to open up when they are dealing with new emotions. Many experts recommend starting conversations during casual or fun activities and asking your kids specific questions that evoke responses beyond a simple yes or no. Reserve judgement and do not become defensive when kids share negative feelings about the divorce. Children need to know that they can discuss their feelings openly, and consequently, they may start feeling better as a result.
The Law Offices of Schlesinger & Strauss LLC represents clients in Libertyville and throughout Northern Illinois. If you have a family law matter including divorce, child custody and support, alimony, or marital property division, contact our offices today for help.