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PostHeaderIcon Family Therapy May Ease The Pressure of Divorce on Children

Parents facing a divorce wish to protect their kids from the same pressure and discomfort they feel. But eluding this issue only boosts the pressure. Parents must help their children realize that the family will discover how to adjust to new routines, new situations, and new methods for interacting. Only then can parents begin to ease some of the associated stress for children. 

When parents divorce, it affects their children, whether parents want to admit it or not. Individual adult reactions to divorce differ. Children’s reactions differ also, depending on:

  1. The amount of involvement with each parent.
  2. The situation before the separation.
  3. The quality of parenting skills of both parents, including agreement on child rearing, and discipline.
  4. Support and love from both mom and dad and openness to discussing divorce with parents.
  5. The degree of conflict between parents.
  6. Any financial difficulties.
  7. Other added concerns for example, moving, changing schools, remarriage, etc. 

Recommendations a list of warning signs for potential social/emotional concerns for infants, toddlers and preschoolers that will require child therapy.  Some of these concerns include: 

Infants

Toddlers and Preschoolers

Resist being held 

Appear excessively irritable or fearful

Are difficult to comfort or console 

Do not show any apprehension about strangers

Have sleeping or eating difficulties (sleeps or eats excessively or too little) 

Show little preference for or excessive reliance on the parentor other primary caregiver

Rarely seek or make eye-to-eye contact, or typically avoids eye contact with parents 

Have excessive fears that don’t react to reassurance

Have limited ability to regulate emotions

Have inappropriate sexual behavior

Rarely coos, babbles or vocalizes

Have inappropriate, impulsive or aggressive behavior

Appear unresponsive to efforts to have interaction or engage

Often appear sad and withdrawn


Experience frequent night terrors

Have extreme and frequent tantrums

Experience significant language delays

Exhibit unusual dependence on order or cleanliness

It’s important for mothers and fathers to look for a specialist for their child if they notice any of these signs for a prolonged time period. Most kids reap the benefits of a neutral alternative party, like a child therapist, to work through the adjustments that must be made to adapting to a different life.

How long will it take for a kid to adjust to divorce plus a new lifestyle? In this world of immediate gratification, we often get aggravated when we must wait for things to happen. But going through a change like divorce will take time. Studies show that divorce is truly a source of strain for the children, and it can cause a decline of security and happiness. However, some children will move through with almost no adverse affects, and some will, in reality, show improvement following divorce.

Most family therapists state that children who cope best with divorce are the type who, after divorce, keep having a safe and secure, caring relationship with both parents. There can be varied and conflicting results comparing children’s adjustment to divorce by age, but repeated, steady visits from both dad and mom are the key to security and well-being.  

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