Like all good parents in Kentucky and elsewhere, your children's best interests are your highest priority. You work hard to provide for their needs and create a stable, peaceful, safe and joyful living environment. Going through divorce can definitely derail a family's peace train. Especially if you and your ex disagree about child-related issues, it can cause high levels of stress for your kids.
Between your job (or looking for one if you've been at home and are now seeking post-divorce employment), the kids' activities, household issues and divorce proceedings, you likely have been so busy you've barely had time to think. It's critical, however, to pay close attention to your children's dispositions and behavior in case they show signs that they may not be adapting to post-divorce life as well as you'd hoped.
Mental health problems present physical symptoms
Your children might be suffering adverse health symptoms that stem from an underlying mental health condition. When the mind suffers, it often presents symptoms in the body. The following list includes things you might notice in your child if he or she is having difficulty adapting to a new lifestyle:
- Has the child complained of a tummy ache more than once? This is often the means by which children express anxiety.
- If you witness your child exhibiting strange or repetitive behavior, it's a sign that he or she might feel mentally stressed. Behavior such as scratching, tapping, pulling his or her own hair out strand by strand, or committing other acts of self-harm are alert signals that may require your immediate attention.
- Is your child avoiding you or your ex? If children are having trouble coping with a particular situation, they often try to avoid any person or people they associate with the problem.
- Has your child experienced a meltdown? This happens to adults sometimes as well when they feel ill-equipped to handle something going on in their lives.
- Regression is another common sign of stress in kids. If your 13-year-old starts wetting the bed or sucking his or her thumb, holding a blanket or stuffed animal, etc., it might be a sign of regression that is being prompted by his or her inability to cope with your divorce.
Children often have trouble sleeping, eating or sitting still when they feel mentally stressed. It's important to know where to seek support as needed. You might join a family support group for those who have gone through divorce. Perhaps you have a faith leader in your Kentucky community with whom you feel comfortable to discuss your situation.
If the underlying issues are legal matters
Children are typically highly adaptable, even when their parents divorce. If you and your ex are locking horns over custody, support or visitation issues, it might be having a negative effect on your kids. Resolving the legal issues may help resolve the problems your children are experiencing as well.