Impact of Divorce on Children Under Age 18- Nightmares, Insomnia- Poor Sleep Alters the Behavior

Nightmares are not uncommon in teenagers who parents have separated. In very young children, this sign might be more obvious, since they may run to a parent, guardian or older sibling for comfort. They may also be noisy and express their anger or fear by calling out, shouting or making other sounds as they sleep.

Effects of Divorce on Children's Mental Health

Teenagers may have better control over their nightmares. As a result, you may not pick up that quickly that something is upsetting them enough to cause a disturbance in their dreams. They will be much less likely to run to anyone for help, even thought they need it as much as someone who is younger or older than they are.

SPLIT: The Real Story from Kids of Divorce

Teenagers have more of a level of independence and are likely to deny their feelings. They are also likely to turn away direct offers of help. This is not to say that they will definitely do so, but they are likely to be more resistant to say, counseling, than a young child.

Both children and adults may suffer from insomnia during or after a divorce. The thing is that they may be unlikely to link their inability to sleep to the legal procedure that the family is going through. They may blame their lack of sleep on something else, such as changes at school, or even something they ate or drank, such as an energy drink.

Sleep Disorders in Children: What to Expect from a Sleep Study

If you have teenaged children who are to sleeping properly, you may notice that they are irritable. Irritability is a common sign of insomnia. Some people also become depressed when they are not getting enough sleep. In fact, this is a cycle that feeds itself. Depressed people sometimes cannot get enough sleep and that in turn makes them feel even more down in the dumps.

It is important to avoid heaping too many of your negative feelings about your spouse on your children. As far as possible, try to keep your home situation stable after your divorce is complete. Let your children freely cultivate their relationship with their other parent. Don’t deny them access in an attempt to punish your spouse.

If you are worried about the safety of your children, speak with a trained counselor about options that can work for you. Let your children know that they are not to blame for your divorce. Sometimes children develop mistaken ideas about the reasons why their parents separate and this affects the way they look at themselves.

More by this Author


Comments 2 comments

SallyTX profile image

SallyTX 2 years ago from Only In Texas!

Family stability is so important for children of all ages! Excellent points! Voted up and interesting!


jtrader profile image

jtrader 2 years ago Author

Thanks Sally ;-0

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working