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Divorce can trigger grief process in children

No two children are exactly alike, and each child will process the end of his or her parents' marriage differently. For some in Florida, the transition from one household into two will be relatively easy, and everyone involved will adapt to the new family structure with little stress or turmoil. Other kids can have a difficult time dealing with the divorce and may go through the same stages of grief that accompany the loss of a loved one. Parents should be aware of the progression of those stages, so that they are able to support their kids throughout the process.

Initially, many kids will go through a period of denial and shock at the news of their parents' divorce. They may refuse to believe that the family structure is going to change and will convince themselves that the separation is temporary. Once that stage has passed, it is common for kids to go through a period of intense anger. They may be more argumentative with siblings or parents during this time, and some will even turn their anger toward themselves.

Once the anger has subsided, many kids will become sad about the divorce and will long for happier times. They may encounter difficulty at home or school and could have changes in their eating or sleeping habits. Parents must closely monitor their kids during this time to ensure that sadness does not cross the line into depression, which should be addressed with professional counseling.

Finally, most kids will begin to enter the phase of acceptance, and will come to terms with the reality that their parents are not going to remain married. This can be a very positive time for a Florida family as it offers an opportunity to create new post- divorce family routines and traditions. Kids can find many positives connected to co-parenting, including having more time to enjoy the attention of both parents while moving between households.

Source: The Huffington Post, "How A Divorce Is Like a Loss for Children: The 5 Stages", Ashley Tate Cooper, June 6, 2016

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