Divorce is hard on adults, and some experts suggest that it’s equally hard on children. Whether your kids blame themselves or they’re just not coping as well as you’d like, you might be considering therapy to help them through this difficult time. Your Newmarket divorce lawyer may be able to recommend a local professional if you feel that your kids will benefit from therapy… but how do you know if they need it?
Signs that Your Children Need Therapy
Kids act out during divorce. It’s normal. Toddlers may become clingy or lose skills they’ve recently acquired, while teens may slam the door and withdraw to their bedrooms. Your kids might be stressed because they’re not happy with your child custody arrangement, or maybe they’re just trying to sort out where they stand in their own relationships now that you and your ex have split. Sometimes it’s more than that, though; sometimes they’re really crying out for help and they just don’t have the right words.
The bottom line: trust your instincts.
If your children are exhibiting behavioural problems that you feel merit meeting with a therapist, then take them. As the saying goes, you’re better safe than sorry. Helping them cope during this tough time can help them come out of the divorce emotionally stronger and more resilient than they were before, and that’s always a good thing.
What to watch for:
- Attention problems
- Developmental delays or regression (forgetting previously acquired skills)
- Sleep problems
- Social withdrawal
- Bullying other kids or becoming the victim of bullying
- Decreased interest in activities that he or she used to enjoy
- Increased physical complaints, such as headaches, stomach aches and other issues when your physician says that everything appears fine
You know your child best, so anything that’s out of the ordinary might be cause for concern.
You can also ask your children if they’d like to talk to a therapist. They may surprise you and say that they would; if they don’t want to, that’s okay, too. (Make sure they know that their answer may not change your decision to take them, though.)
Psychologists suggest that being available to your children when they’re ready to talk is one of the best things you can do as a mom or dad. Provide plenty of reassurance about how much you love them and let them know you’ll put aside everything to talk about the way they feel.