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Is Divorce Causing Excessive Stress for Your Child?

While divorce is stressful for everyone involved, it is children who are at the greatest risk for serious mental and emotional complications. Knowing this, parents are encouraged to do everything they can to monitor and protect their children. Learn how to recognize stress in your child, understand your options for dealing with it, and know where to seek support. 

Signs That Suggest Your Child is Stressed

Indications of stress in children can vary greatly, depending on the age of the child. For example, younger children may display regressive behavior, such as bedwetting, baby talk, and temper tantrums. School-aged children may exhibit hyperactive behavior, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating on school work or homework, and they may overreact to minor problems. Older children may begin to withdraw from family and friends, may also overreact to minor issues, and could be at risk for depression, sleeping disorders, or eating disorders.

Helping Your Child Cope with Divorce

If you notice excessive stress in your child or suspect that it may be present, it is crucial that you take a step back and try to see the situation objectively. Consider what the real root of the stress may be. Perhaps, rather than being the divorce itself, your child is stressed over changes within the home. Arguments between you and your spouse could also be the source of stress, as could the negative talk about one another during visits.

Once you have identified a possible reason for the stress, you can start to remedy the issue. For example, a child experiencing stress over changes within the home may improve if both parents strive to maintain the same schedule during visits. Alternatively, parents may attempt to slow down the separation process with temporary birdnesting (the child always stays in the home and parents alternate living there with the child).

When to Seek Professional Assistance

As with divorce, it is important that parents know when to seek professional assistance with their child. The key is to stay in communication with your child and monitor their emotions. If you notice a lot of anger, severe depression, self-destructive behavior, physical aggression, or helplessness, you may want to consider working with a therapist. You may also want to consider this option if you do not see any improvement in your child's situation or condition.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

Therapists are not the only specialists that can help with your child. The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. can also assist. We strive to protect the best interests of your child, and we can help you develop a parenting plan that can hopefully satisfy all involved parties. Schedule a personalized consultation with our DuPage County divorce attorneys to learn more. Call 630-462-9500.

Source:

http://www.scholastic.com/parents/resources/article/social-emotional-skills/8-warning-signs-your-child-under-too-much-stress

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