Divorce comes with its own set of problems for the two people splitting up; however, more issues arise when children are involved. If you are thinking about choosing divorce or are in the process of getting divorced, it might be a good idea to prepare yourself for what to expect from your children. While all children are different, we’ve outlined a few things you can expect from a child with divorced parents.
A divorce can confuse everyone involved, whether that be the parents or the kids. Many kids who watch parents go through a divorce get distracted in school by this confusion or focus on other things about the divorce instead of paying attention in class. It’s not unusual to see a child’s grades start to slip. More often than not, a divorce changes a child’s day-to-day routine. Homework and assignments can get lost in the mix; the child might forget to complete projects due to distractions relating to the divorce. It’s important to continue asking your children about school and helping them keep up to date with assignments.
Anger/ Irritability/ Acting Out:
Anger, irritability, and acting out are common in younger children who have parents going through a divorce. Younger kids cannot fully understand what’s going on with all the changes in living arrangements, changing relationships, and other things that go along with divorce. Kid’s often feel overwhelmed and don’t know how to process the change and new emotions they are experiencing and become angry and misbehave. Their anger can be shown towards their friends, teachers, parents, or even themselves. Helping your child talk through their emotions or taking them to a therapist to help process everything can significantly improve their behavior.
Along with feelings of anger, it’s common for children to feel guilty about a divorce. They may feel like it is somehow their fault or did something to make either parent not love the other. If your child has witnessed you and your partner arguing over anything about their well-being or life, it might lead them to believe that they are the problem. It’s important to assure your children that a divorce isn’t their fault and have open discussions with them to make sure they don’t carry an unneeded burden.