Ever since my husband and I divorced, our son seems to be on such an emotional roller coaster — angry one minute and sad the next. How can I help him?
Divorce can be tough on kids — and parents. Kids may respond to the loss of a traditional two-parent family with feelings of sadness, anxiety, or anger. These feelings may result in social withdrawal, difficulty in school, aggressiveness, social problems, or other behaviors.
Parents can help kids deal with divorce by talking about these feelings. Be sure to reassure your son that he's loved and that the divorce wasn't his fault. Make sure he doesn't witness anger and hostility between you and your ex-husband.
With time and good support, most kids can make a healthy adjustment to divorce. However, if your child's behavior continues to concern you, consult a mental health professional.
Reviewed by: D'Arcy Lyness, PhD
Date reviewed: October 2012
|American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) AACAP offers up-to-date information on child and adolescent development and issues.|
|American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists This organization provides listings of marriage and family therapists nationwide.|
|Association of Family and Conciliation Courts This organization publishes a brochure on joint custody as well as a journal with the most current thinking on joint custody. Contact this group at: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts|
6525 Grand Teton Plaza
Madison, WI 53703 (608) 664-3750
|Parents Without Partners Parents Without Partners is an international nonprofit organization devoted to single parents and their children.|
|Divorce Online Divorce Online is for people involved in, or facing the prospect of, divorce.|
|Academy of Family Mediators This organization helps families locate family mediators. For assistance in locating a family mediator in your area, contact: Academy of Family Mediators 5 Militia Dr.|
Lexington, MA 02421
|What Is a Divorce? Divorce is tough for everyone involved, including kids. Find out more in this article.|
|Dealing With Divorce If you're dealing with your parents' divorce, it may seem hard, but it is possible to cope and have a good family life in spite of the changes divorce can bring.|
|Helping Your Child Through a Divorce By minimizing the stress a divorce creates, being patient as everyone adjusts to the new situation, and responding openly and honestly to your kids' concerns, you can help them through this difficult time.|
|How Can I Help My Child Deal With My Dating After Divorce? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Preparing Your Child for a Move Disruptive as moving can be for parents, the experience can be even more traumatic for kids. Here's how to make moving less stressful for the whole family.|
|Why Am I So Sad? Feeling down? Got the blues? Everyone feels sad sometimes. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Going to a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Therapist What's it like to go to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist? Find out in this article for kids.|
|When Your Parents Fight It's normal for parents to disagree and argue sometimes. But when parents fight, it can make kids feel upset. The good news is that usually families can work together to solve problems.|
|What Should I Do if My Family Fights? It's normal for family members to disagree once in a while. Learn how keep your cool during an argument.|
|Can I Talk to My Therapist About Private Family Stuff? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Living With a Single Parent Millions of kids live with just one parent. Are you one of them? Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Becoming a Stepparent Stepparenting can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. Learn how to cultivate a healthy relationship with your stepkids.|
|Living With Stepparents Do you have a stepmom or stepdad? Lots of kids do. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|The Moving Blues It isn't easy to start over. Read this article to learn some ways to cope with the stress of moving.|
|Tips for Divorcing Parents No guide can guarantee a way to steer kids unscathed through a divorce. Every situation - and every family - is different. But these commonsense guidelines might make the adjustment a bit easier.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.