Children of divorced or separating parents are at higher risk for mood or behavioral challenges. Divorce doesn’t always affect children negatively; in fact many children are more resilient later in life because of the experience.
However, divorce can have detrimental effects on your child if:
- You and the other parent argued in front of the child
- Your child now lives in two different home
- Your child had to switch schools as the result of the divorce
- As a result of the custody arrangements your child now sees one parent less often
- You as a parent had a particularly difficult time adjusting to the divorce
If you have noticed your child is:
- Feeling sad and crying more than usual
- Seems worried and fearful
- Angry and defiant
- Withdrawing from activities s/he used to enjoy
- Experiencing a decline in school performance
These are signs that your child can benefit from therapy.
So how can therapy help?
At this time your child needs to feel safety, stability, and consistency. Having a child therapist present in his or her life can help your child understand what divorce is, what it means, and what is coming next. Ultimately your child wants to know and feel that everything WILL be OK.
Therapy can help your child adjust to:
- Parents dating again, and blending two families together
- Living in two homes, two routines, two different parenting styles
- Any new feelings that came up from the divorce
Your child will benefit from receiving acknowledgement, support, and reassurance while learning to adapt and adjust to this change. You will receive feedback, strategies, and recommendations based on knowledge of your child’s specific emotional needs and developmental capacities.
In addition to your child’s needs being met, you may benefit from your own space to talk. You know how in an airplane they tell you to put an oxygen mask on yourself first before you help another? You want to make sure you’re getting help too! I work with adults who specifically have challenges with anxiety, depression, and relationship difficulties.