Worried your children aren’t dealing with your divorce too well? Here’s why kids divorce counselling could help…
Whether you’ve just gone for your free consultation for divorce, are mid-way through the process, or have just signed the papers, every step can be a blow for your children. The truth is, even if you’re very close to them, a child is unlikely to express their feelings of rejection, resentment, anger, and abandonment with you.
This is where a counsellor can come in handy. This impartial view on the situation might be just what you all need to see things from a new perspective and rebuild your familial relationships. Here’s why…
The Benefits of Divorce Counselling for Children
During a divorce, children can feel caught up in the middle of everything, and may feel as though they can’t unburden themselves with you like they used to. What’s more, they may start to have feelings they’re not used to, like anger, anxiety, and sadness.
Making sense of these emotions in a safe and impartial environment can be really important to help them come to terms with these feelings. Here are a number of ways this can be the case:
A Safe Space
A divorce can make the family home feel like a tense place; not the safe space the child may be used to. So, having a designated time and place to come to where it is safe to discuss current affairs is very important. For now, this can act as the temporary safe place whilst the home isn’t quite fitting the bill.
Someone Who Will Listen to Them
Unlike before, when the kids were the center of the parent’s universe, a divorce can change this dynamic. This can make the child feel as though they are no longer important, and that their feelings don’t matter.
Of course they do, but you as a parent might not be able to provide this outlet right now. A counsellor can provide someone who will listen to them, giving them the attention they’re looking for during this troubled time.
Provides an Adult to Connect to
During a divorce, a child might start to feel as though they’ve lost the old connections they once had with their parents. After all, the parents will likely have other things on their mind right now, and the family dynamic changing can be a real blow.
That said, a counsellor can provide this adult connection that a child will need during this time. This can then prepare them for rebuilding their relationship with their parents when the time comes.
Is a Place to Talk it Out
During a divorce, it can become easy for emotions and feelings to get bottled up, making it all far more confusing than it needs to be. Seeing a counsellor creates an outlet for the child to voice their feelings in a way they can’t do on their own. This can then help them to define and come to terms with their emotions, so they can better vocalize them to their parents.Image credit
Can Help Mend Relationships
Many divorcee children can feel as though their feelings are ignored, which can put a strain on familial ties.
A professional counsellor is specifically trained to provide each person they speak to with a place to be heard. In a group counselling situation, relationships between siblings and parents can even be mended.
Helps to Deal with Grief
Divorce can cause a sense of grief at the loss of the life that once was. By talking to a counsellor about this, it can help the child through these emotions so they can get out the other side.
Can Help the Child Concentrate Better at School
Somewhat surprisingly, there is evidence to show that divorce counselling for kids can help them to thrive in an educational setting. According to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, counselling can help reduce exclusion rates by 31 percent. It has also been proven to help with improving studying and learning.
The Counsellor Can be the Child’s Voice
A divorce is usually very centered around the parents, and although the children will be considered in the discussion, their personal take on things might not be heard. The great thing about counselling is that the child now has an outlet to express their feelings. These emotions can then be relayed to the parents by the counsellor.
Monitoring the Child’s Wellbeing
As we’ve seen, a divorce can be a stressful time for the parents, and it’s only natural that the child’s voice can get lost along the way. However, a counsellor can act as an extra pair of eyes on the child, helping to monitor their mental health throughout this stressful time. So, if there are any glaring changes in the child’s wellbeing, this can be nipped in the bud.
Types of Divorce Counselling for Kids
Now that we have an insight into why divorce counselling could be of real use to your kids, what are the types to choose from? Well, the two types of counselling include:
Children and Young Peoples’ Counselling
This type of counselling is for any and every young person having problems. This could be mental health problems, depression, or any other concerns related to their family.
For kids going through a divorce, this one-on-one session with a counsellor can be really beneficial to get to the bottom of any emotions involved. The expert will provide a non-judgemental and supportive environment, and could be a teacher, a social worker, or an actual counsellor.
Either way, having this outlet to express their feelings can help them to come to terms with them. As we’ve seen, the benefits can be endless.
Alternatively – or something to add alongside personal counselling – is family counselling. This is where the whole group gets together in a room to discuss their feelings, and can be a great outlet for those who feel overlooked to have a voice.
The counsellor will provide support for each person to have their voice heard, discussing their issues and what they’d like changing. This can open communication lines that may not have been there before, helping the family to work together on forming stronger bonds.
For a family going through a divorce, this can help the children to voice their struggles to their parents. This way, thoughts can be given to how the family can work through these concerns together.
Think Divorce Counselling is the Answer?
The benefits of divorce counselling for your children really are endless. Although it might feel extreme to involve another party in the mix, it could be exactly what’s need to help overcome the situation as a family.
If you feel as though you or your child requires a helping hand through these difficult times, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. We hope you find it helps you through the other side.