Divorce Stress vs. Plain Old Bein’ a Kid

My kids have been down lately. Nothing that appears to be overly serious, no problems at school, or fights with other kids, not even any behavioural issues, but just kind of blah. They’re kind of not interested in things, even halloween candy wasn’t a big draw this year. I’ve of course attributed this to the fact that there’s something going on at Mom’s house, or something I’m doing, or not doing. Having to travel back and forth, or the thought of the holidays without the family together.

I realized that while it could be any of those things, it could also be just kid blahs. School has hit it’s stride, but vacation is still a long way off, we can’t do as much outdoor stuff because the weather is depressing, and it’s getting dark so early. What would I be looking at if we were a single household family? I know we’ve been through blah’s before, and we’ve managed to get through them without ever really knowing the source. Maybe you’re not supposed to know the source, and sometimes there might not even be a source.

So how do you balance what kid actions is related to their living situations, or missing the other parent, or missing the pair of parents, even though they see both parents on a regular basis? How do you figure out when you have to do something different, and when you just stand by them and be the stable rock they can lean on?

My daughter is failry open in talking about things, at least it feels like she is. She talks about things that upset her at mom’s house, and things we could do differently here. She discusses school, although not in as much detail, and she lets me know when her little brother is driving her nuts.

I want to assume that it’s just a thing, and that I can do my best to just be there for them, and let them get through whatever this stage of their lives might be dumping on them. But I frequently panic, usually in the wee hours of the morning, and lay awake wondering if they’re angey, or sad, or bringing their rebellion to a boil, or if they’re just kids, being kids.

They’re together a lot, so they tend to absorb each others emotions, of course being together a lot could be more a cuase of the problem. They have time away from each parent, time away from their friends, and always have each other around.

I don’t much like doing the troubleshooting on my own. One of the things we were good at as a team, their mother and I, was balancing each others fears and ideas on whatever could be bothering, or not bothering the children.


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