Subtle Signs Your Child Is Having Trouble Coping with Your Divorce


When parents go through a divorce in Pasadena, they often find themselves looking for ways to assess the impact of the split on their children. No parent wants to watch a child suffer.

Obvious signs of emotional distress include a slip in academic performance, aggressive behavior, excessive crying or general moodiness, and a loss of interest in activities your child once enjoyed. However, sometimes a child can be having trouble dealing with divorce and not show any of these signs. Being aware of the more subtle signs your child needs help is important in making sure your family is able to effectively move on after your divorce.

One subtle sign that your child may be having trouble coping with your divorce is if he or she suddenly seems reluctant to leave the house. Sometimes, kids will want to stay close to their parents to keep them from fighting or to try to lend emotional support. Even if you enjoy having your child close to you, this reluctance to do things independently is not healthy for his or her emotional development.

If you have more than one child, notice how your children are interacting with each other. It is a warning sign if the children seem to be leaning on each other more for emotional support or to meet their daily needs. At first, you may think it's cute that your older son helps your younger daughter with her homework or volunteers to take her to the park to play. But, there is a fine line between good sibling behavior and a relationship that turns into more of a parental dynamic. If the children feel that you and your ex have lost the ability to be parents, this is a problem that must be dealt with.

Most of the time, children are very reluctant to take sides in a divorce. They do not want to feel torn between their parents. But sometimes kids will go in the other direction and identify strongly with one parent over the other. This creates an unhealthy dynamic that can have lifelong consequences.

If you think your child is having trouble dealing with your Pasadena divorce, ask your pediatrician for a referral to a support group or counselor specializing in children's mental health issues.