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Monitoring children's emotions for better divorce outcome

Legal decisions regarding the living arrangements for a child involved in divorce are intended to reflect the best interests of the child. As a result, parents often work closely with attorneys and mediators to develop the most appropriate and fair child custody agreement possible. However, there are instances where adjustments need to be made to custody and visitation arrangements if there is evidence that the child in question is not thriving under the set conditions.

It is natural for children to exhibit subtle changes in their personalities and/or routines during and after divorce. However, some notable and/or negative shifts in a child’s demeanor can be signs that he or she is experiencing difficulties that need to be addressed. For instance, there may be cause for concern if a child suddenly becomes less social or loses interest in his or her friends. Another sign that kids may be struggling to cope with their parents’ divorce is that they become reclusive and guarded about their activities.

A good sign that a child or teenager is accepting his or her family’s new way of life in a healthy manner is that the young person is willing and able to express his or her feelings about the matter. It’s important for parents to remember that even negative feedback from a child during such stages is normal and healthy. Concerns should be raised, however, if communication with the young person begins to deteriorate.

Some children having a difficult time transitioning through divorce lose interest in old hobbies and favorite activities. The reluctance to participate in sports and other pastimes can coincide with a loss of interest in school. Therefore, parents should keep track of their kids’ grades and be prepared to act if they see a decline in academic performance.

Source: Huffington Post, “10 Signs Your Kid Is Adjusting Well To the Divorce,” Wendi Schuller, July 20, 2014

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