There is no doubt about it. No matter how civil your mediated divorce or “conscious uncoupling” may be, your kids can wind up emotionally adrift — or worse, internalize the ongoing drama and blame themselves for the rift.
That’s why many divorce mediators recommend that their clients involve a family therapist and/or child psychologist to help the children sort out their complex feelings over their parents’ divorce. Read on to learn why counseling might be a good option for your family.
It can help them better understand the situation
Younger children especially may need a sounding board to help them express their feelings and understand just what their parents’ divorce will mean for them going forward. Older kids generally have a clearer understanding of what a divorce entails. But adolescents are already struggling with the typical issues all tweens and teens face, and this can be a safe space for them to vent.
Counseling may help with problems at school or home
Kids whose parents are divorcing often regress and act out inappropriately at school or at home. They know things are changing, and they feel helpless and caught up in the current. A counselor can sometimes help run interference with teachers or principals, making them aware of these new challenges facing their students that might be the root of sudden discipline or social issues.
It eases transitions
If your divorce will cause major changes in your children’s lives, e.g., a relocation to a different neighborhood or school district, the counselor can introduce different coping strategies to the kids to help them face their new normal.
If you think your children could benefit from some sessions with a licensed therapist, their pediatrician or your legal adviser are two sources for recommendations in your area.