The stress and intense emotions associated with divorce are tough on children as well as adults. While you likely feel eager about moving on to a new, healthier routine, adjusting takes time.
Learn why your kids may act out or have behavioral issues following a divorce and how you can help them.
Why children may misbehave after a divorce
Divorce understandably affects kids in a serious way. Feelings they experience during this time commonly range from fear to confusion to anger. In many cases, children grieve the changes in their family much like the loss of a loved one, moving through different stages of processing.
Sometimes, kids act out as a way of expressing the anger or other negative emotions they may feel. In other cases, they may simply be testing the limits of the new family dynamic emerging following the divorce. In addition to behavioral issues, trouble focusing and withdrawing socially are also common behaviors you may notice.
How you can help your kids
Remember that behavioral issues and related emotional struggles are normal for kids following a divorce. Make yourself available for your kids and help them process the emotions they experience. While you should uphold your household rules and structure as well as possible, allowing children to process negative emotions healthily is important.
Some kids can process a divorce over time with help from friends and family. Others may need extra support such as therapy. As a parent, you can help your kids get through this difficult time. You can find happier and healthier family relationships following a divorce even if it takes time.