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What to Watch For in Your Children After a Divorce

Divorce doesn’t just affect the couple going through the process—it also can have some significant emotional affects on the children of the divorcing couple.

As a parent who is going through or has recently gone through a divorce, it is crucial you keep an eye out for signs of potential distress in your children. Here are a few things to watch for.

  • Signs of depression: Signs of clinical depression can include lengthy periods of sadness or anger, a loss of enjoyment of activities or general malaise.
  • Nightmares: It is common for children, especially young children, to have frequent nightmares or night terrors during or after their parents’ divorce.
  • Regression: Children might experience regressive behavior as a response to divorce. It is common, for example, for children who have been potty trained for a couple years already to start wetting the bed again.
  • Self-harm: Any type of self-harm or expressions of a desire to commit self-harm should be taken seriously, and are likely a response to the divorce.
  • School: Has there been a significant change in your child’s performance at school? Perhaps they’ve lost interest in school-related activities, or no longer wish to perform in school or social events. These can be signs of depression related to the divorce.
  • Parent relationships: If the child’s relationship with one or both parents deteriorates, or the child refuses to spend time with one of the parents, this can be a sign that the child feels as though they need to choose one parent over the other, an inherently stressful position for any child to be in.
  • Eating habits: If you notice your child suddenly has a loss or increase in appetite, this could be a response to depression or anxiety related to the divorce.

For more information about some of the signs to watch for in children during or after a divorce, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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