Divorce is never an easy process, but it can be most difficult for your children to process. They may not always fully understand the situation or know how to appropriately express their concerns. This can cause them to react in several different ways, including:
According to Healthline, many children may struggle to understand the reasons behind your divorce. They may sometimes think their behavior is responsible — leading to feelings of depression. Children may also feel anger and assume one of their parents is abandoning them. Ultimately, they may blame themselves or their parents.
Even when you reassure your children they are not responsible for the divorce, they may still believe there’s blame to place for this situation. If your divorce is contentious, the children may feel the need to take someone’s side and be loyal to one parent while blaming the other.
A divorce can also affect your children’s behavior, including sleep, loss of appetite and regression. Regarding sleep, your children may have difficulty falling asleep due to anxiety or staying asleep due to nightmares.
If your children are younger than six, they may sometimes experience regression. Young children may wet the bed, suck their thumbs or become clingy.
Divorce can also affect how your children interact with other people. Your outgoing child may become uninterested in seeing friends. Other children may seem afraid when they enter social situations. Also, children may not perform as well in school.
Your children’s emotions may change several times throughout the divorce process. Additionally, your children may react differently. If you and your spouse focus on helping the children cope, you may be able to help them navigate the process better.