1 April 2014 0 Comments

Chameleon Kids and Divorce

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iStock 000014920058 Small 300x199 Chameleon Kids and DivorceDivorced parents with built-up anger and sharp-tongues need to love their children more than they hate each other in order to prevent the ‘Chameleon Effect.”

Chameleon children often tell each parent a different story with the intent of keeping both parents happy. Some tell their mom or dad that they want nothing more than to live with them all the time, while others just complain or criticize one parent to the other.

Others change the way they dress or their interests as they travel back and forth between their parents’ homes. They become two kids in one.

Both the parents and the children need to learn how to adapt to different situations. It is essential to know how to act at all times. But what about those children who exhibit complete changes of behavior and interests from one parent’s home to the other’s home? Those children are in trouble; they need help.

Divorced parents need to pay special attention to the hopes and expectations they convey to their children. Warning signs that your child is becoming a chameleon child include:

  • Talking negatively about one parent to the other
  • Agreeing with a parent who is criticizing the other parent
  • Your child is mimicking your bad behavior

In order to avoid this behavior, you, as a parent, need to stop fighting with your ex-spouse. Even though it may be difficult, interact courteously with your ex – it gives your children the message that it is acceptable for people to be different and that people can disagree without rejecting one another.

Encourage your children to express themselves openly and honestly, and try your best to keep negative comments about your ex to yourself; this will benefit your children greatly in the long run. Give your children all the love you can and stop hating your ex in order to prevent the chameleon effect.

If you have questions or concerns regarding Chameleon Kids, contact the family law offices of Holstrom, Sissung & Block with offices located in Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties.

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