Counseling for Children During Divorce
January 3, 2014 | Divorce
Children bear the real brunt of divorce. Whether they seem to be struggling or not, the conflict between parents and the inevitable upheaval and disruption caused by a separation does have a real affect on kids. Too often, parents become so wrapped up in their own struggle with separation and divorce that they lose sight of how tough it is on their children. Think, for a moment, of how all the changes must look through the eyes of a six or ten-year old. Either they have to move out of their house, or have to watch one of their parents move out. There are changes in how much money is available for their needs, their relationship with each parent and the time they can spend together, their schedule, and sometimes they even have to change schools. All of this creates incredible stress. While not all kids fall into the stereotypical psychological role of blaming themselves for the situation, all kids experience some level of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty about their futures. This is why counseling becomes important for children right from the beginning of the process. When worrying about separation and all the complicated issues that arise, take the time to look for a counselor for the children. You want to look for someone who has experience with counseling children going through divorce or with parents in conflict. Try to get your spouse to participate as well–not necessarily going to the counselor with you–but at least meeting with the counselor and discussing his or her concerns for the children. And, last, follow the counselor’s reccomendations. If the therapist wants the kids to come once a month, or once a week, do what you can to meet that goal. If, after a few sessions, the counselor says that there’s no need for counseling now then stop but be mindful of the kids behavior. If they start acting out at home or school, or there are changes in their eating and sleeping patterns or behavior, give the counselor a call and see if it is something to be concerned about. Remember, the process of divorce isn’t just tough on you, it’s tough on your children as well.