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Why kids may act out following a divorce

After you and your spouse get a divorce, your kids may start to act out. They may not even know why, but it can certainly impact your life and your relationship with them. Knowing the reason can help you counteract it and make life as good as you can for your kids -- and for yourself.

Though there are many reasons that kids will act out -- millions, some experts say -- one of the most common is that they just didn't want life to change and they're struggling to adapt. Even if the divorce is good for you and them, dealing with any change can be hard.

Part of the issue here is that the kids feel like they don't have any control over what is happening. This helplessness can be frustrating, especially for older children who are becoming more independent anyway.

Children who understand family dynamics may also have unrealistic views of the divorce. They may hope you and your spouse will mend fences and get back together. When it doesn't happen, they get mad and act accordingly.

They may also unrealistically think that they caused the divorce. It is very important to tell your kids that it is not their fault, that they did not do anything wrong, and that this is a decision you and your spouse made.

Adjusting to a child custody arrangement is hard for both parents and children. Be sure you at least have all of the legal framework in place and that your rights have been respected so that you don't run into additional issues as you work to deal with emotional children.

Source: Empowering Parents, "Parenting After Divorce: 9 Ways to Parent on Your Own Terms," Debbie Pincus, accessed Oct. 06, 2016

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