Divorce is an emotionally challenging experience for spouses and it is
even more difficult for children to cope with. Children are often unable
to understand why their parents are separating and might even be plagued
with feelings of guilt, believing they could be to blame for the end of
their parents’ marriage. Of course, not all children process divorce
identically. Some might not react at all while others will develop behavioral
problems and act out. Regardless of how your children feel about this
news, therapy can help them develop healthier coping mechanisms, so they
can continue to grow and thrive, despite the changes your family is enduring.
How Do You Know if Your Child Needs Therapy?
If you are not entirely sure if your child would actually benefit from
therapy, there are some signs you should look for that will help you assess
their need for it.
Here are some of the clues that indicate your child can greatly benefit
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Constant feelings of anger, depression, or anxiety
- Problems concentrating on homework
- Behavioral issues
- Family members and close friends expressed concern for your children
Moreover, if the aforementioned symptoms interfere with your children’s
daily activities or continue for several weeks, it is cause for concern
and a sign that therapy would be helpful.
What Are the Benefits of Therapy?
Children tend to have a difficult time processing the effects of a divorce,
manifesting their anxiety and frustration in a variety of ways. Some children
become withdrawn and lethargic while others are more vocal about their
anger and disappointment. Therapy will provide a way for your children
to cope with the effects of divorce in a healthier manner. In therapy,
your child can feel at liberty to voice concerns and thoughts that he
or she might not feel comfortable discussing with you or your spouse.
As such, it is important for both parents to respect the privacy of their
child’s therapy sessions. If your child chooses to come to you to
discuss these sessions, you can engage them in conversation. Otherwise,
it is best not to bombard your child with questions.
In most cases, divorce therapy for children involves Cognitive Behavioral
Therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of treatment that seeks to modify a patient’s
reactions by influencing his or her emotions with positivity, allowing
a child to feel better about the things that cannot be changed.
What You Can Do
As a parent, there are some things you can also do to help your children
cope with divorce. Reassure them that although you and your spouse will
no longer be a couple, you are both still their parents and will always
love them. Try to maintain consistency and create new rituals in place
of those that can no longer be maintained to help them feel safe and secure.
Divorce is a difficult experience for anyone to endure, but you will be
able to overcome it together.
Schedule a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney Today!
At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our
divorce attorneys are committed to helping clients navigate the divorce process
and ensuring their interests are protected. You should not have to go
through this on your own.
Contact our law office at (713) 936-2300 to request a case review with a member
of our team.