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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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Client testimonials
  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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