Sunday, May 9, 2010


Children can go through periods of deep depression as they grieve the losses that accompany divorce. The following symptoms of depression are common in children:

* withdraws from others
* prefers isolation
* does not want to talk
* appears sad
* has no energy and just sits around
* has no interest in hobbies or other activities that used to be of interest
* cries often
* is sensitive and easily offended

Dr. Archibald Hart says, "Research has shown that children as long as ten years after the divorce are still depressed. What is at the root of the depression is the loss they have experienced. Not only the loss of a parent, but the loss of dreams, the loss of ideals, the loss of the intact home. God has designed us to respond to loss with depression, which can be damaging to children if they do not learn how to recognize and cope with it. Of all the emotional consequences of divorce, that is the one emotion that parents pay least attention to."

Pay attention to your children and their emotions. Even if it seems impossible with work and other responsibilities, take the time to notice changes in their behavior and talk with them about it. If they are sad because they miss the other parent, let the children know your feelings will not be hurt if they want to talk about it. Teach them how to acknowledge and grieve their losses, and teach them about the comfort of God.

"God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us" (2 Corinthians 7:6 AMP).

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