Watching over your child’s behavior for any signs of an important change is challenging with so much happening around you. The importance of this is paramount, however, especially since your child is also under added stress.
One of the many signs a child might not be coping well with divorce is the obvious behavior issue. Children handle depression by showing anger, lashing out. It’s easy to think a child is tired or being disrespectful, but he or she may be exhibiting signs of depression. Listen to your child instead of trying to problem-solve or discipline. What they say may let you know if therapy is needed to help them with stress or emotional trauma.
Another sign to watch for is change in physical appearance. I've heard folks joke about the "divorce diet." You know, people lose a significant amount of weight during the divorce diet because of stress and a loss of appetite. I think it mirrors the loss associated with divorce -- love, possessions, dreams, time, money. Similarly, kids of divorce experience loss and they can begin to find comfort in food. Children feel a myriad of emotions during the changes inherent in a divorce and without the proper attention and direction, they can seek comfort in harmful sources. Oftentimes, children become more sedentary as well and this only makes the risk of weight gain higher.
The best advice we can give is to monitor not only your child's behavior, but their diet as well. Pay attention to how much comfort-seeking might be taking place in areas that could develop into bad habits for long-term health and wellness. Stop to evaluate these and other signs. Listen to your own intuition, even if they seem fine. Find an activity, get them involved in volunteering, and absolutely get those kids in therapy if needed! We know that as a parent, you want the best life possible for your children. So do we.
It’s going to get better, and we are here to help.