As hard as a divorce can be on the couple who is separating, it can actually be harder on the children of the marriage. While many divorcing couples try therapy to save the marriage before they actually separate, few actually think about the importance of therapy for their children. When you separate with your spouse, it's important to remember that your children may need to have therapy (even briefly) to help them cope with the changes. Here's a look at some of the things you should watch for that indicate your child could benefit from the services of a therapist.
How Severe Are The Symptoms?
If you're seeing trouble signs that are minimal and don't disrupt day-to-day life, it may just be that your child is trying to process the changes and their own emotions about them. If, on the other hand, your child's symptoms have started to interfere with normal daily functioning and their interactions within the family, that's an indication that he or she could benefit from scheduling a few visits with a therapist at a place like Park Center Inc.
How Long Has Your Child Been Struggling?
For kids who are just trying to process the changes from a separation and are working to find their own place in the new family dynamic, any signs of depression or emotional turmoil should fade within a few weeks. If your child has been struggling for more than a few weeks and the symptoms don't seem to improve, that's a key indication that he or she may need to schedule a few visits with a therapist.
Are You Seeing Behavior Changes?
As a parent, you know what types of behavior are typical for your child. If you're noticing sudden changes in diet, such as refusing to eat or eating more than normal, that's a sign of trouble. Eating habits can change when depression and other emotional problems kick in.
Sleeping issues are equally concerning. If your child was previously a good sleeper and is now keeping late hours or hardly sleeping at all, that could be a warning sign. At the same time, a child who is sleeping much more than normal could also be struggling with depression. When it comes to sleeping, another problem many parents overlook is the development of nightmares. If your child is having recurring nightmares that don't go away, it's time to seek therapy to help him or her address their feelings about the situation.
Changes in aggression levels can also be problematic. If your child is suddenly getting into fights, yelling about everything, quick to anger, or damaging things in the house, this is concerning. You should seek a therapist's support for this right away before the anger becomes directed at anyone in the house. This is important for your child's safety as well as yours and the rest of your family.
Is Your Child Suddenly Afraid of Separation?
Although many young children experience separation anxiety at some point, a child who has been well-adjusted who suddenly experiences trouble with separation is usually one who is struggling emotionally. If your child is anxious, physically ill, stressed, or upset about separation when it comes to visitation between the houses, that's a common sign that there's something he or she should discuss with a therapist.
Are You Seeing Problems With Your Child's School?
Sometimes kids will seem fine at home and then be disruptive and neglectful in school. Your child may feel like school is the one area they can exert control over, so this is where their acting out is focused. You may even start getting calls about him or her skipping classes or not showing up at all. If this is not typical behavior for your child, you'll want to reach out to a therapist to try to resolve the emotional upheaval.