One of the hardest things that can happen to a family is the experience of separation or divorce. Often one or both parents will be going through major emotional upheavals in the process, and children always react to the emotions of their parents, and even just the “vibe” in the household. Children, being less mature, will instinctively feel that the parental split is because of something they did. They may try to “fix” the parental problem, or they may just bury their feelings inside. This experience can result in a lot of guilt for a child, or feelings of low self-esteem. Another common result of parental divorce is feelings of abandonment, anxiety, and fear about the future in children. A parental divorce or separation turns a child’s world upside down, and it often leaves them with the feeling that something bad can happen suddenly out of the blue. Children’s less developed, less complex mental capacities mean they may often feel one parent is “all good,” while the other parent becomes “all bad” as a result of the divorce. There are many other unique, possible outcomes for children going through this kind of experience.
Often it’s true that it’s much better that parents do split up, for many possible reasons. Cheating, alcoholism, untreated mental illness, and other major, unsolvable problems may mean that the best thing for parents to do is go their separate ways. Sometimes it’s not even so dramatic, but just a natural outcome of a relationship running it’s course. In any case, even when the separation and/or divorce is final, the child’s life has entered a new and challenging phase. Coordinating with the other parent on school, sports, dinners and weekend visits, all make the child’s life a more complex and ongoing challenge. The stresses of single and/or shared parenting make it hard on the parents in this situation as well. Counseling for these issues, for both the child and/or parents, can be very helpful. Talking about all these things, venting feelings and exploring positive solutions to problems, can benefit a child and family immensely when they are dealing with divorce and it’s outcome.
I would be happy to walk with you on your journey, and provide the support and guidance you need. Please contact me, and we’ll talk about how best to go forward.