Signs that your child needs professional help coping with divorce

Question:

What are some signs that my child needs professional help in coping with our divorce?

Answer:
All children are affected by divorce, but each deals with the stress differently. Your task as a parent is to identify and differentiate between your child’s “normal” behavior and sudden behavioral changes. In addition, identify if these sudden behavioral changes correlate to your divorce.

The identifiable changes in your child’s behavior might include these symptoms:

  • Depressed mood
  • Tearfulness
  • Lack of interest or motivation
  • Increased or decreased need for sleep
  • Significant increases or decreases in your child’s weight or appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor attitude
  • Increased irritability
  • Excessive guilt
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Poor school compliance
  • Not completing homework
  • Poor school grades
  • Fighting with peers or authority
  • Recurrent thoughts or discussion of death

If you see three or more of these signs or symptoms, or if you have any questions regarding the welfare of your child, it is imperative that you seek counseling or professional help to guide your child through this transition.

Early intervention and help will make the transitional period easier and shorter.

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