Divorce isn’t easy for any Chicago area family, and especially not when children are involved. Oftentimes, it can take the kids of divorced or separated parents a year or longer to find a sense of normalcy again after the family split. After all, children rely on their parents for just about everything, including a feeling of security.
When their parents’ relationship with each other ends, anxiousness may be common for the children. It’s not unusual for some children to be scared, confused and even guilty, blaming themselves for what happened between their parents. Many children appear withdrawn and numb to the world. Conversely, they can experience those dramatic mood swings, ranging from anger to elation to depression. Some kids act out to garner attention, and others are on their best behavior in hopes that their obedience will somehow bring their parents together again.
A period of mourning is natural for children to come to terms with the divorce. But if problems draw on for a long time or are particularly troublesome, you may want to consult a medical professional about your child’s issues. Some warning signs that your child hasn’t coped well with divorce may include one or more of the following:
- They mourn the missing parent and how things were before the separation
- Their grades have uncharacteristically fallen for three months or longer
- They skip class or fight, lie, cheat or steal at school
- They overreact and show intense anger about little triggers
- They have lost friends and avoid social situations
- Their mood swings from one extreme to another for periods of weeks
- They have headaches, stomach pains, problems sleeping or other physical ailments
- They won’t communicate without you
- They develop eating disorders or alcohol and drug abuse
Getting help for your child and you
If your family is grappling with the complexities of divorce and child custody, it’s a good idea to have a full understanding of your rights as a parent and what rights you may share with your ex. There may be some crucial medical and psychiatric decisions you need to make in your child’s life to help them to have a brighter future. Speaking to a knowledgeable and sympathetic Chicago attorney who has experience in family law can help you know your legal options.