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Divorce and behavioral disorders in children

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | Divorce |

Children navigating the turmoil of their parents’ divorce in Florida may react in vastly different ways. Factors that may influence their response include age, maturity and living arrangements.  

Because children lack experience and may not have learned effective emotional responses, they may act out. Without timely intervention children can develop behavioral disorders that cause lifelong challenges and risks.  

Reasons for acting out

Divorce fills family life with lots of uncertainty. Children need consistency and stability and may struggle with the frequent unknowns that sometimes become an everyday occurrence. Many children worry about how their parents’ divorce will impact their schooling and their social life.  

Children may also think that such dynamic changes in their family mean their parents no longer love them. According to, some children see a failing marriage as something they caused and this misunderstanding leads to bad behavior. Depending on a child’s age, poor behavior may include the following: 

  • Aggression 
  • Lying 
  • Defiance 
  • Disrespect 
  • Delinquency 
  • Tantrums 

Intervention and support

Parents can encourage healing and foster resilience in their children when they practice empathy. They should listen intently to their children’s concerns and help them process difficult emotions with patience. According to Healthline, experts encourage parents to avoid conflict with each other and never coerce children to take sides.  

In some cases, parents may need to rely on professional support for help in caring for their children’s needs. Behavioral therapy can provide children with positive reinforcement. Families can learn about the tools to help their children respond to emotional or stressful situations with rationality and control. Depending on the circumstances, children may need ongoing support as they continue to cope with their parent’s divorce.