Telltale Signs That Your Divorce is Affecting Your Child
When your marriage fails, the last person you want to see suffer is your child, but it’salmost inevitable. They’ve just sustained a huge loss. You can do all the right things to help them adjust, but you can still miss some of the warning signs that they are struggling emotionally to cope.
The Common Red Flags
One of the most common indicators of emotional stress manifests itself as disorganization or distraction. Is your child always misplacing or losing things? Do they seem to be going from one activity to the next to the next, without any rhyme or reason? Are they falling behind in school, or are they losing interest in extra-curricular activities?
Though all children go through phases, you should be concerned if disorganization or distraction seems to be ongoing, or if the disorganization or distraction is a discernible personality change for your child.
Often, children who don’t have the skills or the experience with openly discussing their feelings will “act out,” expressing their emotions through anger or destruction. Conversely, some children go in the opposite direction, becoming extremely withdrawn, unwilling to participate in regular activities or express their opinion about anything.
Another sign that your child may be struggling to adjust is an extreme neediness, or an overzealous effort to do things for you. In the aftermath of a divorce, your child may worry that he or she is still loved, and may attempt to earn your love by being constantly vigilant, often offering to help before you even ask. While you may want to instill caring and compassion as positive traits in your child, you want them to be expressing those emotions for the right reasons.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Many school systems in New Jersey have what’s known as Rainbows. You can get more information at their website: http://rainbows.org/
Rainbows’ programs help children who are grieving the loss of a parent or guardian due to death, divorce, deployment, or trauma. Rainbows’ trained facilitators, using age-appropriate curriculum, establish peer support groups in schools, faith-based organizations, or community centers. The programs are free.
If your child has lived in a home with domestic violence, especially if they have witnessed it, you may want to reach out to Project Child if you are in Bergen County.
12 Overlook Ave., Ste. C
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662
Telephone: (201) 300-6666
Fax: (201) 300-6667
You can find a lot of good age appropriate tips at the following website: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/family/paretime.pdf?_ga=1.267854670.1524824049.1430156799
You will attend a mandatory parenting education class if you file for divorce in New Jersey (a one night event that you attend separately from your soon-to-be-ex) and there you will receive more information about ways to help your child.
Love your child – listen to your child – don’t put them in the middle. And give us a call!
Contact Our Office
To schedule a free, 30 minute telephone consultation to discuss your concerns, send us an e-mail or call our office at 201-343-0078. All calls and e-mails are returned within 24 hours. We’ll be at your side every step of the way.
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