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Dealing With the ‘Chameleon Kid’ Effect After a Divorce

After a divorce happens and child custody arrangements have been determined, it’s not particularly uncommon for parents to notice what’s occasionally referred to as the “chameleon effect” in their kids. This means that the children might behave or talk differently when in the custody of one parent than when they’re with the other. 

In these situations, children might change the way they talk, the way they dress, their interests and basically any other aspect of their life depending on where they find themselves living at a given time. The reasons for this are varied. They may be trying to find the approval of each parent based on their personalities. They might simply be undergoing an identity crisis in the wake of their parents’ divorce. 

This isn’t necessarily always a troublesome scenario, but it’s important that parents pay attention to these changes and understand how to react to them. If children become over-adaptive and overly focused on seeking approval, this could spill into other areas of their lives. They could become more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or start smoking, or start hanging out with the wrong crowd of kids at school. 

This makes it important for parents to continue to communicate with each other, even after the divorce. You need to understand how the children are acting and speaking with each parent so that you can maintain some consistency, even after the turbulence that comes with a divorce. While this is easier said than done, it’s extremely important for the health and happiness of your child. 

For more tips on how to handle this so-called “chameleon effect,” consult the dedicated Twin Cities divorce lawyers with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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