Helping male children deal with divorce

Depending on their gender, children often show many behavioral differences. While boys are not always only rough-housing, cops-and-robbers-playing children, and girls are not always just interested in dolls and dress-up, these stereotypes are often adhered to as parents deal with their children emotionally.

However, clinical psychologist Dr. Joseph Nowinski warns in a recent Huffington Post article that the assumption that boys are more thick-skinned than girls could hinder young males as they adjust to divorce.

According to Nowinski, many young children can have trouble expressing their insecurities regarding their parents’ separation or divorce. Some may become increasingly attached to a toy or stuffed animal, have nightmares, wet the bed or imagine monsters. Parents should be sure to give both male and female children the time to work through these anxieties.

“Unfortunately, because they buy into the myth of the tough boy, parents sometimes try to get boys to ‘tough it out,'” Nowinski explained, sometimes forcing them to sleep in their rooms after a nightmare instead of crawling into bed with mom or dad, or another tough love approach.

Provider-Parent Partnerships explains that researchers have found that boys are more affected by divorce than girls, perhaps because society has taught daughters that it is more acceptable for girls to show their feelings.