4 Signs Your Children Are Struggling with Your Divorce

Divorce is obviously an emotional time for all involved, but it can particularly be challenging for your children. In this article, we’re going to list the four signs your children are struggling with your divorce. 

We all want the best for our children, but sometimes that can be hard to do 24/7, especially when things aren’t working out in your relationship. Signs can be easy to miss, especially when you are focusing on your divorce. Having a Dorset solicitor can help take the pressure off you, so you can spend more time with your children and spot any signs that they are struggling, so you can support them through this hard period. 

There are common signs in children where you can understand their emotions surrounding a matter. So that you recognise these, we have listed the four signs your children are struggling with your divorce. 

Read on to learn more so you know what to keep an eye out for.

  • Withdrawing 

If your child has always previously been very open with you about how they feel or in general talking about their day to day life, if they withdraw, it could be a huge indicator that something is not quite right and might be a sign that they need help. 

It’s easy to forget that children can be affected just as bad as the adults involved can be, or sometimes even worse. Especially when their life as they have always known it has been changed. They might not understand what is going on or why it’s happening because to them, mum and dad should love each other and always be together. It can be a foreign feeling to not have that anymore. 

If one parent has openly spoken about the divorce, expressed unhappy thoughts regarding the situation or the other parent, then their child might react negatively towards the other parent and think that the divorce was caused because of them, potentially resulting in them not wanting to see that parent and picking sides.

Alternatively, they might withdraw from both parents. This particularly happens with older children and find a way to cope elsewhere behind the parents back, such as substance abuse. Research has shown teenagers whose parents have been divorced are more prone to becoming depressed in the future. 

  • Change in Behaviour 

One prominent sign that your child is struggling with your divorce is if you notice a change in their behaviour. For example, if you have never had a problem with how they have behaved in the past, but suddenly they start to act out, it might be a cry for help, they could be using the bad behaviour as a way to get your attention as they don’t know how to otherwise. 

Sometimes children struggle with talking about their emotions, and acting differently is the only way that they know how to show what they’re feeling. 

  • Change of School Grades 

When there are problems at home, this usually starts to reflect in children’s schoolwork. It might be that they have started to not revise as much as they had done before because they aren’t happy with their home environment (especially if parents are arguing), or they have too much on their mind to focus on it properly. 

Or you might find that the change in behaviour we have spoken about above is something that happens whilst they are in school, where they neglect to pay proper attention to teachers, or they start to mess around in class, meaning they miss important information. Eventually, this is going to impact their grades. 

Research was done on 4,000 adults and 500 young people, and it found that 65% of the young people found divorce had harmed their GCSE results, and 44% found it had affected their A-level results. 

  • Increased Clinginess 

There are those children who become distant from their parents through a divorce, and then there are those who are the opposite. Typically, young children tend to be clingy as it is, but some can become even more so. It might be that they stick to a parent like glue, even whilst at home, or they easily get upset if their parent isn’t in the same room or if they go out without them. 

It could be that they can’t spend the night elsewhere, such as at a friends or grandparents’ house, something which most children can do without problem. 

How Can You Support Your Children When They Are Struggling?

Children need support during their parent’s divorce. Alongside your own struggles, they, too, are probably finding it hard to cope with no matter their age. There are certain things you can do to show them that you are there for them and understand their upset over the matter. These can include: 

  • Don’t pin the blame on their other partner 
  • Ask them how they are feeling and how you can support them 
  • Make sure they know that they can come to you
  • Answer their questions 
  • Remind them that they’re loved by both parents 
  • Provide stability 
  • Reassure them 
  • Maintain their routines, e.g. school, clubs, etc. 

If you need any further support regarding your children’s wellbeing surrounding your divorce, the Young Minds website provides further advice and assistance for parents. 

Put Your Children First

What we can establish from this article is that some children significantly struggle with their parent’s divorce, and they show it in common ways, such as behaviour, withdrawal, grades, clinginess, etc. 

If you aim to support them from the start, there is more chance that they might be able to cope better with it, and sometimes it’s more important to put your children’s needs before your own. 

How have you been supporting your children through your divorce? Leave a comment below, you never know you might help a fellow parent. 

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment for your child during your divorce. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

Leave a Comment