There are many different behavioral issues that your child may deal with following your divorce. Among them is a risk that your child may run away if they’re unhappy with the custody arrangements or situation that they’re living in.
It should not come as a surprise that a child would act out during or after a divorce, especially when they’re young. Your family life may be the only thing they know, and losing control of that does have consequences. However, as a parent, you need to be aware that some of their anxiety or stress could come out in inappropriate ways.
How do you handle a child’s behavioral changes after divorce?
How you handle behavioral changes will depend on what those changes are. For example, if your child runs away because they want to see the other parent, then you may want to revisit your custody schedule. If you have your child three days a week before sending them to the other parent for three or four, the time apart may be too long. Consider adjusting the schedule to allow your child to see the other parent more often.
If behavior changes are dangerous, like running away or intentionally hurting themselves or others, it might be a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician and to find a child therapist. Although you may be able to improve the situation by listening and having good communication, it’s also okay to admit that you need extra support in helping your child adjust.
This is a difficult situation for children to go through, but with the right support, patience and time, things can improve.