Sadly, some children and teens have an especially difficult time both during and after their parents separate. They may experience deep emotions of abandonment or worry for the future. Even if both parents love and care for their child, the transition itself could be overwhelming.
Childhood mental health has become a major concern in the past decade. Too many young lives have been wounded or lost to mental illnesses. While not every child who experiences parental divorce will develop these serious issues, parents should pay close attention to this possibility.
Psychology Today notes that divorce is often a time of hardship for children, but it e for the rest of their life. Concerned parents can make adjustments and provide special aid to help their child through this change.
The idea that children under 12 cannot develop depression is a dangerous misconception. If they are struggling to deal with a traumatic event, they may begin to "act out" at school. Fights, dropping grades, or significant social withdrawal could be signs that they need support, such as child therapy.
Teens are more likely to act recklessly or rebel from their parents - even if family life is steady. They may run into trouble with police, binge drink or practice unusually promiscuous behavior. So how can parents tell when a teen is just being a teen or if depression is under the surface? It may be worthwhile to take your teen to a professional evaluation.
When in doubt about a child's health, it's best to catch problems early. Parents should be open to the idea that they may have to adjust their custody decisions and parenting time to give children the stability and attention they need. A beloved child's wellbeing is a highly valid reason to seek a modification for an existing plan.