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Signs a child is struggling behaviorally after divorce

It often goes without saying that divorce can bring a new chaos to life in many ways. For Michigan parents with children, this stress can involve explaining new schedules, new living arrangements and -- most importantly -- new emotions. 

In the midst of separation, many families put mental health to the back-burner; however, behavioral issues can become a serious part of this life chapter. What can parents do for children who cope with divorce in different, but potentially harmful ways? While every situation is unique, there are a number of behavioral signs one can watch out for. 

Red Flags

Informational resource Focus on the Family points out that children often mimic the stress of parents during such difficult times. Although they might not entirely understand a situation, children can cope with divorce in a number of negative ways:

  • Academic struggle
  • Involvement in juvenile crimes
  • Abuse of drugs and alcohol

For older children, these warning signs could become all the more crucial. Focus on the Family shares that many of these behavioral issues can stem from ongoing psychological distress, and it is important that parents maintain an awareness of a child's behavior, addressing any problems immediately. 

Preventative Methods

Parents magazine focuses on some of the proactive steps families can take after divorce. Because new living arrangments can flip life upside down, Parents first encourages readers to remain consistent with rules. Conflicting parenting styles can make the situation all the more frustrating. By the same token, it is also essential that parents avoid becoming lax about limits; doing so can skew power balances in the household. Above all else, parents can make divorce a smoother process altogether by communicating with children about the many complex emotions that can stem from such a jarring life event.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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