Parents are pulled in a million directions. For divorcing parents, those competing priorities are often in even higher relief. So it may help to know that you can narrow down what you’re worrying about—at least when it comes to how your kids are coping.
According to Alison Clarke-Stewart, author of Divorce: Causes and Consequences, there are five areas of your child’s life that need watching after a divorce.
Children from divorced families may be at a greater risk of doing poorly in school, especially adolescents. Elaine Shimburg, author of The Complete Single Father, suggests to both parents that if “school work is suffering, go meet with the teacher together, so the teacher and the kids know that you are a team when it comes to your kids.”
2. Relationship with siblings.
During a divorce, parents have a tendency to give older children a parental role over their younger siblings. Extra help around the house may be justified, but children should not be given the care giving tasks of an adult.
Grandparents can provide valuable support during a divorce. Children who have close relationships with their grandparents will have fewer adjustment problems. 4. Free time.
Infants and toddlers need more support during imaginative play. School-age children may begin to steal or become violent. Adolescents may engage in delinquent acts or become antisocial. 5. Outlook on life:
Adolescents from divorced families may start to smoke or use other drugs. Some develop low self-esteem and become depressed. Younger children may feel depressed while preschoolers may feel responsible for the divorce. The National Association of Social Workers cautions “not to panic” if feelings of loss occur following separation but “if feelings and behaviors do not begin to diminish after a few months seek counseling.”
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