Like all good parents in North Carolina and beyond, your children’s best interest is your highest priority. You’ve no doubt experienced times in your parenting journey where you’ve had to make decisions that you knew were not going to make your kids happy, but you were doing it because you knew it was best for them. Children sometimes get upset about the decisions their parents make, although most come to understand why such decisions occurred as they grow in maturity and life experience.
Your divorce might have been a decision you knew was not going to make your children happy. You and your spouse were hopefully able to sit down as a family and discuss the issue before proceedings began. Perhaps, it’s been a few weeks or months since the court issued a child custody order, and you are concerned that certain issues might be causing your children stress.
Kids don’t always verbalize their feelings
You may have noticed that each of your children reacted to your divorce in his or her own unique way. Regardless of age, it’s common for children to have trouble articulating their emotions, especially during a major life-changing event. In fact, you might notice physical symptoms of stress in your child before he or she verbally expresses a problem.
Types of physical symptoms that might be stress-related
Children are, by nature, resilient and adaptable; however, your divorce undoubtedly raised many questions and concerns in their minds. It is common for stress to present itself physically in kids, including issues like headaches, frequent tummy aches, nightmares or other sleep disturbances, and more. Lack of appetite or overeating may also signal high levels of stress in children.
Behavioral symptoms and stress
Does your child throw a tantrum every time you get ready to meet your ex for a custody exchange? Have any of your kids showed signs of regression or rebellion since your divorce? Especially if you and your ex are facing problems concerning child custody, your child’s behavior might be showing signs of stress.
Helping your children cope
Children need to hear their parents say, “I love you,” especially in situations like divorce. Otherwise, they might blame themselves or worry that, because you and your ex no longer wanted to be together, one of you might decide to leave them, as well. Verbal reassurance and support go a long way in helping kids cope with divorce.
If your ex is disregarding a child custody court order or you’re struggling to resolve some other legal issue, your children’s stress levels might greatly increase. This is why it’s important to build a strong support network so you can reach out for additional assistance as needed. The sooner you resolve a legal issue, the better able to move on in life your kids might be.