When parents divorce
- Jennifer Baxt LMHC LMFT
In many cases when a married couple decides to get divorced, the children can often be forgotten. It is not that the parents have purposely forgotten about their children, they have just become so caught up in the tension between each other that how their fighting and divorce is affecting their child can go unnoticed. A divorce does not simply mean an life altering change in the parents lives, it also means a life altering change in the childs life, especially for children who are very young and do not understand why their parents are moving away from each other. Divorce is a stressful event that has a major impact on the entire immediate family and it must be stressed that if the parents are going through a divorce, they might want to consider getting some counseling for the children so that they dont suffer as a result of their family being torn apart.
When a family is whole, the child has a stable existence created by the attention they receive from their parents. This world is shattered if two parents can not get along, fight constantly and eventually divorce. To a child, this may seem like something that is their fault and that they are in some way responsible for the family falling apart. This is a common reaction from a child who does not have a clear understanding about adult relationships and how mom and dad would probably be better living apart. Taking the child to a family counselor can help the child because the counselor will hopefully be able to help the child understand that the break up was not his or her fault, and that the world is not coming to an end. There is family counseling available at clinics or even on the internet. A parent can communicate with the online counselor and get suggestions on how to help his or her child cope with what is happening.
The important thing for parents to remember when going to their divorce is that this is going to impact their children who may not entirely understand what is going on. It is not only the parents who are going to be flooded with negative emotions as a result of what is going on. Often, the younger the child is, the less they will probably understand and the more negative emotions and upset they are likely to experience. It is a stressful process for the parents as well, which can often make it difficult for them to push away their own feelings and help their child through their own emotions. This is where a family therapist can help. A family therapist, either online or in person, will work with the parents and the children together to help them work through the stress of what is going on. Therapy or counseling can help everyone make it through with more confidence, less blame and less guilt, which are three of the most devastating emotions family members can feel after the parents have gone through a divorce.