Divorce can be a very messy affair made even more so if you have children involved. In the case of divorce and the trauma it brings to children, child counseling is an extremely beneficial component to the mental and physical well-being of your children, regardless of their age. It’s a big change in their lives and often kids may feel angry or confused or they may even blame themselves as the root cause of your separation. It is your duty as their parent to make this process a lot less confusing and show them that even though you and your partner may not feel the same about each other, you still feel the same about them.
You never quite know how to support your child in a situation like divorce. Your child may go through a grieving process, or you may end up giving into your child’s demands as a means to retain their affection. You may now feel the need to ply your child with gifts or privileges in order to be the favorite parent or a good cop. A simple example would be technology usage; before where you may have restricted this usage, due to guilt or perhaps an innate need to be the favorite, during divorce you allow them more time in front of a TV or computer. It’s better to stick to a routine and continue to manage family technology usage.
Having your child attend counseling will help you understand how they’re feeling and it will help you continue to support them in the best way possible. You will also learn the most effective way to communicate with your child during this process. There are different ways to ‘treat’ children during this time. For example, depending on the situation as well as their age, the counselor may engage in play therapy as a means to understand them as well as help them understand and process their feelings.
Sometimes a divorce can be an amicable parting and other times it can be an acrimonious affair. Remember, that regardless of what may have happened between you and your partner, you created a child together. This child will learn a lot from you about how you treat your former partner and even speak about them. By having an amicable relationship with one another, you can help negate the stress and pressure your child is feeling. By telling your kid a truth behind the divorce, such as “Mommy and Daddy don’t get along”, they’ll find things easier to understand. Anticipate questions about routine changes in their lives and ensure that they are prepared that some things will change, but try and keep the vast majority of things the same.
There are things that you can discuss with a counselor before or after therapy sessions. These topics may include how much information about the divorce, he/she thinks you should give your kid or the best way to explain alterations to their routines or even living arrangements. Remember that you need to keep things age appropriate, but a certified counselor will understand how much your child will process about the situation. By ensuring that the mental well-being of your child remains mostly unaffected by your divorce, you will ensure that when they’re older their perceptions of marriage or relationships will not be affected by what happened between you and your partner.