While everyone likes to think that love lasts forever, sometimes marriages don’t work out. Divorce rates are at an all-time high, with the highest rates of divorce being within the first three to four years of a marriage and half of divorces occurring within twelve years of marriage. And it’s not just the couple who is affected by a divorce — children of divorced parents often go through a very difficult time after the divorce. This is why mental health services for children, like child and family therapy, are so beneficial. So, let’s take a look at how different age groups of children can benefit from counseling after a divorce.
Children Under the Age of Five
Young children rely on a routine, and they can become confused and upset if their routine suddenly changes, which often happens after a divorce. Children at this age may struggle significantly with not seeing one of the people they’re most connected to as often as before. Because of these changes, children may actually regress in their development. There may be bedwetting, difficulty sleeping, and separation anxiety. Sessions of counseling after a divorce can help the family develop new routines and coping skills that make the child feel comfortable again.
Children Between the Ages of Five and Twelve
At this age group, children can benefit from more one-on-one sessions with their therapist. Because these children should understand the concept of divorce, they need to know that both parents will still be a part of their life. This is often the stage when kids may blame themselves for the divorce or worry about their parents. Having a new routine that stays the same at both new households can be extremely beneficial. Counseling after a divorce can help children in this age group cope with these changes and adjust to their new routines.
When a teenager’s parents go through a divorce, the teen may begin to act out due to their feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. This is especially true if they know all the details of the divorce, like if an affair was involved. Teens may feel responsible for the divorce and may try to take a leading role in the household now that there is only one parent. They also may blame one parent for the divorce or want to spend more time with one parent over the other. During this age, the therapy process can help teens cope with their sadness and anger in healthy ways, rather than acting out and having poor behaviors.
Counseling after a divorce occurs can be beneficial for children of any age. So, if you and your spouse are going through a divorce or marital issues, contact Keri Powell Therapy to make sure your children get the help they need during this difficult time.