This is one of the most challenging life events for a child, but with help, children can adjust and thrive.
WHEN SEPARATION IN A DIVORCE OCCURS, IS THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT ADJUSTMENT TIME?
As a parent or guardian, ask yourself what are the effects on children?
Parents amid separation and divorce worry tremendously about the impact on their children. That is one of the most frequently mentioned topics during a marriage and couples therapy when things get grime. Parents worry about the future happiness and functioning of their children.
Consequences of separation and divorce may include moving to a different home or school, not seeing their parents as often and financial hardship.
Children-and-Divorce.com reports that “to adjust to their new situation takes them 2 years or more.”
The age of a child is a significant factor in how they react to separation and divorce.
Research has shown that age of children affects the impact of divorce. (Cantrell, 1986; Freeman & Couchman, 1985; Kieffer, 1982; Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980)
“How do children of divorce react to counseling by age group?
- Early Latency (ages 5-8). Children that are in this age group at the time of their parents’ divorce tend to react with great sadness. Some may feel fearful, insecure, helpless and abandoned by the missing parent. The younger children in this group often express guilt and blame themselves for their parents’ divorce.
- Late Latency (ages 9-12). Children in late latency at the time of their parents’ divorce are distinguished from younger children by their feelings of intense anger. They may still feel loneliness, loss, shock, surprise, and fear, but anger and possibly the rejection of one parent are the predominant reactions of this age group.
- Adolescence (ages 13-18). Adolescents whose parents are divorcing also experience loss, sadness, anger, and pain. A typical adolescent reaction to parental divorce, however, often involves acting-out behaviors. Sexual promiscuity, delinquency, the use of alcohol and drugs, and aggressive behavior have all been identified as adolescent reactions to parental divorce.” Chilren-and-Divorce.com
Look for some of the emotions a child or adolescent may experience: feeling betrayed, loss of self-confidence, self-blame for the incident, feeling abandoned, worry, fear, stress, hurt, hopeless, grief and/or feeling alone.
THERE IS GOOD NEWS:
“Many researchers would agree that most children have the necessary resilience to deal with their new circumstances and challenges and ultimately become well-adjusted adults. Internal protective factors such as temperament and coping skills as well as good parenting and a supportive environment help these children successfully cope with their new situation.” Risk and Resilience in Children Coping with Parental Divorce, Dartmouth Undergrad Journal of Science.
HOW CAN COUNSELING BE OF HELP?
The most common advantages of counseling are the development of the coping skills of children. Other advantages relate to emotional stability. Since all children are different, each child responds differently to counseling. To address these differences there are a variety of counseling strategies.
Individual counseling for children, parenting skills & family therapy has significantly helped many children and their families through separation and divorce. Together, these three interventions prove to be most effective and decrease the time of treatment. Counseling and parenting skills address unforeseen barriers during the phases of adjustment. Family therapy acknowledges the change in family roles and rules. Family therapy assists in the process of reorganizing relationships and attending to each family members’ needs and responsibilities.
Group counseling can also be very effective. The benefits of group counseling for children involved in a divorced family are feeling a sense of belonging, their problems are being heard by their peers and developing positive coping skills.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
While research has consistently shown that children who experience parental divorce are at an increased risk for a wide range of mental health, substance use, and social adjustment problems, it has also demonstrated that these problems are not inevitable. (Amato, 2000; Krishnakumar & Buehler, 2000; Macie & Stolberg, 2003; Kline Pruett et al., 2003)
RESEARCH REINFORCES THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING:
- The quantity of time children spend with each parent following divorce.
- Co-parenting: Sharing the parenting role following divorce.
- The quality of parenting by mothers and fathers following divorce.
WHAT VICTOR COUNSELING PRACTICE IN VICTOR, NY HAS TO OFFER:
- Parents have reported on several occasions how grateful they are that they sought out counseling during the separation and divorce.
- We have experienced therapists who treat separation and divorce. All our therapists are licensed in NYS and have at least 20 years’ experience with children and adolescents.
- We have convenient hours, starting at 7 AM Monday through Thursday for those who need appointments before work or school, and as late as 8 PM on Monday Tuesdays and Wednesdays for those who need appointments after school, work or extra-curricular activities.
- We accept most insurances. We will work with people who have a financial hardship.
- Many children at the last session report enthusiastically that they want to return.
Victor Counseling Practice: Counseling in Victor, NY. Also Servicing Surrounding Areas Such as: Canandaigua, Farmington, Clifton Springs, Geneva, Shortsville, Macedon, Palmyra, Pittsford, Fairport and Bloomfield.