Photo of Drew Wood

How your child’s behavior may change during divorce

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Divorce |

When you inform your child you are getting a divorce, their behavior may change. The idea that their parents are separating can be challenging. Hence, they may act differently.

Here are four behavioral issues you may notice:

Getting into trouble at school

Your child may get into trouble at school during your divorce. They may be involved in fights with peers or may disobey teachers. Further, they may have difficulties concentrating and, in turn, their performance may plummet. 

Stress and anxiety are the major factors that can contribute to these behavioral problems.

Acting out

Common emotions that your child could experience after learning of your divorce include fear, guilt, anger, confusion and sadness. These emotions may cause them to act out physically and verbally. You might find yourself dealing with frequent anger outbursts during this time.

Using drugs

If your child is older, perhaps a late adolescent, they are likely to engage in alcohol and drug use. And even if they don’t do it now, research shows their chances of doing so as adults are high. Thus, you need to be extra careful.

Increase in conflict with siblings

If you have more than one child, you may notice an increase in conflict. With all of them experiencing stress and anxiety, they might act out, which can lead to fights.

What can you do?

If your child misbehaves during your divorce, you should correct it as soon as it happens. Do not always view them as “victims” of divorce and let mistakes slide. Consider providing them with the needed help and disciplining them accordingly to protect them.

It’s not uncommon for a child to misbehave during their parents’ divorce. Being aware of the behavioral problems to expect and knowing how to handle them is crucial.