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How to tell when kids need help dealing with divorce (2)

In our previous Nevada family law blog post, we started a discussion of common indicators that children may not be dealing with a divorce as well as their parents believe. We will continue that conversation below with a look at two potential 'red flags' for which parents should watch.

Are the kids spending more time at home? If so, they may be sensing instability and wanting to remain at home to keep their parents from fighting. In this situation, parents should encourage their children to go to birthday parties or sporting events, and work on finding new ways to resolve their differences that will make the house seem less chaotic.

Are the kids over- or under-performing at school? This can look very different. Some kids over-perform in order to take as much stress off their parents as possible, or with the misguided belief that if they are perfect that their parents will no longer want to split up. Others under-perform in order to get attention or to bring the focus back to them. Another common goal is to distract their parents with the (also misguided) belief that doing so will make them forget their desire to divorce. In both situations, it is important for parents to show their children that they can manage their split and their emotions effectively, providing a good example and a stable home.

In summary, there is a common thread in the way parents should handle all of these 'red flag' situations. Studies have reportedly shown that the way parents manage the emotional and practical aspects of a divorce has a direct correlation with how children fare during and after the split. Parents simply need to manage their disputes calmly and maturely, continually reminding their children that the kids come first.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Are the Kids Alright?" Marie Hartwell Walker, June 7, 2012

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