Are the children struggling with a divorce?

Every child handles divorce differently, but extended depression, changed routines and increased anger could intimate that a child is struggling.

When Tennessee parents start a divorce, they have to consider how the legal process will affect their children. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 23,879 divorces over the course of a single year. With so many marital separations taking place across the state, it is easy to assume that a large number of children are affected in one way or another by divorce. Parents need to pay extra attention to how boys and girls of all ages cope with the change in family dynamics.

Extended depression

A divorce will forever change the life of a child because his or her family will never revert back to how it once was. For some kids, this change can lead to feelings of great sadness. While depression or anxiety can be common in the early days of a parental split up, it is important for the mother and father to realize that their little ones should not continue to show signs of depression for an extended period of time. While every child may cope differently, there are a few common red flags parents can be on the watch for, including the following:

  • Increased difficulty at school
  • Regular violent outbursts
  • Dramatic change in sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawal from favorite activities

Some children may turn to self-harm to express their inner turmoil. If a son or daughter remains downtrodden several months after the parents' divorce, it could be a sign that he or she needs extra support.

Changed routine

No matter what steps parents take to normalize a divorce, the fact is that the kids' routine is going to be changed. Soon, the child's routine will have to account for a change of house as he or she switches between staying with mom and dad. Even knowing that the day-to-day activities may vary slightly, parents should do what they can to keep similar schedules at both houses. This could mean that kids are expected to do their homework before being allowed to watch TV or they need to take a bath before bed. Avoiding major changes in what a young person is used to can make it easier for him or her to cope with the upheaval often associated with a permanent separation.

Increased anger

When big changes take place, it can be hard for young people to express themselves. For this reason, a change in the family unit could lead to an increase in anger. Parents should not be surprised to have some resentment directed at them. After all, the kids likely view the mother and father as the reason their life has taken such a dramatic turn.

When parents get a divorce in Tennessee, it can greatly affect the children if not done tactfully. Some parents may find it beneficial to work with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure the divorce is handled in the best way possible.