Parents in Pennsylvania who are getting a divorce may be aware that the divorce will be hard on their children. If the children must move as a result of the divorce, this could cause additional stress. Moving can even lead to depression in some children, particularly when combined with the stress of divorce, but this is not inevitable, and parents can help children during this difficult time.
What to do
Children should be allowed to keep attending the same school if it is at all possible. Failing this, parents should help them keep in touch with their friends. A move can be particularly difficult on children who are introverted. If the child has had mental health issues in the past, parents should be particularly attentive. However, even if children have not had these issues, parents should listen to their feelings about the move. They should also avoid discussing any anxiety they have about the move with their children. It may help to keep the child’s routine as regular as possible.
Signs of trouble
There are signs parents should watch for that may indicate the child is having particular problems with the move or the divorce in general. This might include withdrawal, crying or doing poorly in school. Some children may have unexplained physical problems. Counseling may help some children.
Reaching an agreement on child custody can be one of the most difficult elements of a divorce. Parents may be worried about the effect on children and about no longer being able to spend as much time with their children. However, if they are negotiating an agreement, they should try to reach a solution that is in the best interest of the child. Mediation may help parents work through conflict, but if this is unsuccessful, litigation is also an option.