Is my child coping with our separation/divorce?

Making the decision to separate as a couple is always an extremely stressful and difficult decision. It appears to me that a leading reason parents are worried about separating is due to the impact that this may have on their children. Parents are always very concerned about the negative consequences that this may have on the emotional development of their children.

Short-Term Consequences

Anger and sadness are normal and expected feelings that your children will most likely experience after parental separation. It is important not to become upset at your child for feeling this way and to provide them with validation and support. However, if you notice that these feelings are ongoing and appear to be impacting on their everyday functioning, it would be worthwhile to seek psychological counselling for your child.

Long-Term Consequences

There can be many long-term effects of separation on children, however, we know that the most important factor in protecting our children from these effects is to reduce ongoing parental conflict. If you and your ex-partner continue to argue and disagree in front of the children, we know that this will lead to poorer outcomes for the children. It is important for children not to be continuously exposed to arguing between the separated parents.

Is My Child Coping?

Overall, you can expect some temporary changes in your child’s behaviour. That would be expected and normal. If your child continues to do well at school, continues to spend time with their friends, and is managing their emotions well, then these would be indicators that your child is coping well with the separation. However, if your child is beginning to struggle at school, is isolating from friends, and appears to be continuously upset or angry, these could be indicators that your child is not coping and psychological help should be considered.

Seeking help

As a parent, you know your child best.

If you have concerns, or feel that your child is demonstrating some of the above mentioned behaviours, it would be worthwhile to seek psychological advice to give your child the best coping strategies possible to deal with this situation and other distress provoking situations which may arise in their life.

If you would like to gain some further information or schedule an appointment with France Slattery, please contact us at Attuned Psychology on 8361 7008.

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