Children don't show their pain and suffering all at once. They may seem to have got over it and then suddenly it reappears. Children, especially young ones, often don't have the words to express themselves clearly, so they can show their grief in different ways. Some may:
- become aggressive or 'naughty'
- become 'clingy'
- act younger than their age, eg children who have been toilet-trained may start to wet or soil again
- have nightmares, or find it hard to go to sleep
- change their eating patterns
- try to be really good at school and at home, and because they appear to be coping, it's easy to think they are not suffering
- try to stand up for the parent who is being put down. Some try to protect the parent who seems the weaker
- show anger and hostility in play, with their toys, with brothers and sisters, with their friends or with you
- show problems in their behaviour and get punished, which makes them feel worse
- do well at school. Others can't concentrate and slip backwards.
Being aware of the sort of feelings your child is going through may help you to understand your child's behaviour. Most children are confused and fearful about what will happen. Some are ashamed. They might not say to you what is worrying them because they don't want to see you upset or angry.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for legal or other professional advice. If you are likely to be involved in court proceedings or legal action, you should get advice from a lawyer.
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