What about the children? This question is often on the minds of divorcing parents. In many cases, parents who are unhappily married stay together long after they should have divorced simply for the sake of shared children. In reality, however, bearing witness to daily fighting and passive-aggressive behaviors is often extremely damaging to a child’s sense of security and emotional growth.
When parents finally decide it’s best to go their separate ways and file for divorce, it is important to keep an eye on shared children and ensure they are adjusting to the many changes that accompany a divorce. The following are positive indications that a child who is dealing with divorce is doing well and thriving.
While a child may not be thrilled that his or her parents are getting divorced, it’s a good sign if he or she asks questions about the process and how life will change. It’s also a good sign when a child’s mood and behavior remains mostly unchanged. For example a happy and outgoing child who remains the same post-divorce is likely taking the divorce in stride.
Children whose parents are going through a divorce must often adjust to changes imposed by child custody agreements. In cases where a child looks forward to spending time with each parent and continues to communicate their feelings and thoughts, parents would be wise to answer questions and reassure a child. Open and age-appropriate communication is key to helping a child make sense of and adjust to divorce.
It’s also a positive sign that a child is doing well, despite a divorce, when he or she remains active in school and other activities. Children who, in the wake of a divorce, suddenly become withdrawn or exhibit uncharacteristic behaviors may be having a difficult time making sense of a divorce and therefore internalize negative feelings and emotions.
Divorce is a major change for all members of a family. In some cases, children may have a particularly difficult time making sense of and adjusting to life post-divorce. Parents who believe a child may be struggling would be wise to seek assistance from a professional counselor or therapist who can help a child acknowledge and express their concerns and fears in a healthy way.
Source: The Huffington Post, ” 10 Signs Your Kid Is Handling Divorce in a Positive Way,” Rosalind Sedacca, June 19, 2014