Children are often an innocent casualty of a contentious or stormy divorce. While it is clear that divorce will impact children in some way, it is important to identify if the results of that impact negative warrants professional counseling.
The largest indicator can often be found in a departure from what is “normal” for them. Some anger, anxiety and mild depression can be considered standard reactions to divorce. However, significant changes in their behavior and habits can be valuable indicators of stress and emotional issues related to the divorce.
Post divorce counseling for children
Red flags of more serious problems include:
- Significant signs of depression
- Frequent angry or violent outbursts
- Breaking rules
- Impulsive, risk taking behaviors
- Sleep problems
- Self-injury, cutting or eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Poor concentration
- Trouble at school
- Unusual health problems
- Withdrawal from loved ones
- Refusal of loved activities
- Getting too critical of their friends and siblings
These warning signs may be indications that therapy is warranted. Be sure to investigate which type of therapy is most appropriate for your child. Younger children (Pre-K or Kindergarten) may respond best to music, art or play therapy while older children could benefit from cognitive therapy.
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Benefits of therapy include:
- teaching your child to be proactive when seeking solutions to problems
- teaching your child to take preventive steps when dealing with stressful situations
- giving your child access to a different perspective of what is going on in their life
Our parenting instinct may tell us that we, as parents, are the best equipped to provide support to our own children. However, what is really needed is a professional with an unbiased opinion who is able to assess our child’s situation without any emotional attachments. Since they are going through their own emotional turmoil, it is not uncommon for divorcing parents to have clouded perception. An experienced therapist may be an important resource for a child of an acrimonious divorce.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.
Divorce Support, Washington Post