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Children often get less credit than they deserve for how resilient they are, even after traumatic life events like divorce. Although most children struggle during the divorce and may deal with some behavioral issues after the divorce is over, they can generally bounce back to their normal selves within a couple of years. Unfortunately, some children face coping challenges that are less easily overcome. If you have gotten divorced in Illinois and are wondering whether your child’s behavior may require professional help, read on.
Certain behavioral changes are normal during and after divorce, especially for a short time; depression, anxiety, and higher levels of stress can all manifest in many ways as children cope with the changes divorce brings. Symptoms may appear in the form of nightmares, eating disorders, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and unusually strong negative reactions to typical transitions.
However, when these changes do not resolve or the behaviors are interfering with normal functioning, it may be time to seek professional help, especially if the child is a teenager. Young children seek less independence and are less likely to become self-destructive in ways that can cause long-term harm. If your child is a teenager, however, they may act out in ways that can have real consequences, including:
Drug or alcohol use
Inappropriate sexual behavior
Some behaviors like academic failure may be a consequence of anxiety or an inability to sleep. Others are ways of seeking attention, while still others are dangerous and ineffective ways of blunting painful feelings.
Younger children may exhibit behaviors that are less dangerous but still cause for concern. For example, you may need to seek professional help if a child has any of the following behaviors:
Compulsive or obsessive actions
Appears unable to remember things
Loses interest in food
Cannot stay awake
If these behaviors persist or worsen for longer than a few weeks, the child could be suffering from unhealthy levels of divorce anxiety.
At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, we know how difficult divorce can be for families with young children. Our hardworking team of Hinsdale, IL divorce attorneys is committed to helping you get through divorce as seamlessly as possible. If you need recommendations for child psychological specialists, financial experts, or any other professional that could help with your divorce, we are happy to make connections and help you build a team to support you during this period of change. Call us today at 630-920-8855 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.