Divorce is a difficult time for you, your spouse, and your children. Not only are you and your spouse developing new ways to communicate with one another during the process of divorce, but are developing new ways to parent your children. Children can be resilient, and with the right support, they will likely perceive the divorce as an adjustment rather than a crisis. However, you must work with your children’s varying ages and temperaments; understand that some children will need more attention than others.
As difficult as this is to accept, your children are likely to face a downward spiral after your divorce. Heartbreak and tears are inevitable, but once you pick up on your children’s behavioral patterns and actions, you’ll be able to help them move forward.
Here are some of the negative habits your children may develop after your divorce, as well as tips to help you adjust your parenting.
Poor Performance at School
Expect your children’s grades to plummet after your divorce. Your children will be trying to understand the new family dynamic, which will distract them from their studies. The more distracted your children are, the less they are to focus on homework. Don’t penalize your kids for grieving and be lenient with them during the first few months after the divorce.
Communicate with your kids’ teachers and let them know about the problematic situation at home. Ask the instructors if your kids can have an extension on their homework, and help your kids complete their homework as needed. Parents think their children must be sick to let them take a day off from school, but mental health is just as important as physical health. Keeping your children home from school once a month or once every two months won’t harm their performance, and they can easily make up their work.
Anger and Irritability
If you’re experiencing a difficult time adjusting to the divorce, imagine how your children must feel. Children are bound to experience agitation, confusion, anxiety, and overall sadness during this transition. Be careful with the tone with which you speak to your children as they may be feeling hypersensitive. For example, if you notice your child hasn’t cleaned their room, avoid lecturing them, instead, help your child with their chores. Validate your children’s emotions and provide them with an outlet to release frustration. If one of your kids is a bookworm, buy them a stack of books. Is your child interested in karate? Now is the time to sign your child up for a karate class. Being understanding and prioritizing your children’s needs will help them emotionally recover.
Lack of Social Engagement
Your kids may begin to isolate themselves from their friends and classmates. There’s nothing wrong with spending time with yourself to process your feelings, but when it comes to children, social isolation may become habitual. Offer to drop your child off at their friend’s house on the weekends or after school. Encourage your children to host slumber parties and to invite their friends over. You can even ask your children’s teachers if your kids have been socializing during recess.
If you are considering filing for divorce, you and your entire family will need to adjust to a new life. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can facilitate this complex process. Contact The Ault Firm today to work with a divorce attorney who will have your best interests in mind.