Most people don’t realize that Marriage Counseling is not just about helping couples with marital disputes, but it’s also about helping children cope with their parent’s divorce. It’s important for parents to understand what kids are feeling during a divorce, and how to help children cope and work through their feelings productively.
Children often feel one or more of the following:
- That they’re the cause of the divorce.
- Feeling responsible for getting the parents back together.
- They become physically and/ or mentally ill.
- Their behavior may become either aggressive (specially towards other kids in school, which more often than not leads to bullying other kids), or, become withdrawn.
- They feel a sense of loss.
- Possible self-esteem issues.
Counseling can help children identify what they are feeling and they (and parents) can learn tools on dealing with those feelings.
Why is the counseling element in divorce so important?
Young children and teens are still developing their own identities and until they develop their own, they rely heavily on their parents for that sense of identity. So essentially, when parents fight, argue and divorce all in front of their kids, the kids feel this literal emotional tugging and ripping within themselves. When parents calmly disagree and work through a problem to a solution in front of their children, they respond more positively and actually start to look at disagreements as normal, okay and productive parts of life.
I read this quote the day: “We become what we want to be, by consistently being what we want to become”. When children are young, a parents role is to do this for them by example.
Divorce sucks. Counseling can help make it suck less.