Dealing with Divorce

Behavioral Changes

Every child will react differently to a separation or divorce. Here are some general guidelines from the AAP on behavioral changes to expect:

Children under 5 years of age may:

  • Be afraid of others
  • Not want to be separated from one parent
  • Have problems eating or sleeping
  • Have trouble with toilet training
  • Have outbursts or tantrums
  • Blame themselves for the divorce -- especially children between 3 and 5 years of age

School-age children may:

  • Be moody or angry
  • Have problems eating or sleeping
  • Seem distracted and faraway
  • Not do as well in school
  • Have tantrums
  • Be more aggressive or angry
  • Express their sadness and wishes for parents to get back together
  • Worry about divided loyalty to their parents

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