Supporting Children as they Cope with Divorce: Kelly Clarkson’s Strategy
As she accepted that her marriage was ending, country-music singer Kelly Clarkson had to face a fact that so many parents dealing with divorce must acknowledge: children are intimately impacted by divorce. Just as Clarkson was concerned about the mental and emotional well-being of her children, parents across Florida fear that the upheaval in their children’s lives could be a serious issue. Clarkson’s response was to engage therapists to work with her kids. For Clarkson, making sure she took every step possible to mitigate problems for her kids was job one. Florida parents feel equally protective when it comes to their kids: they want help little ones get through the tough times with as little harm as possible.
Divorce is apt to leave everyone involved with a few dents and dings. Sadly, the ones who suffer the most often have no control over the situation, and are left besieged with stress and guilt as they attempt to understand the incomprehensible mayhem that life has become as a result of divorce. Yes, children of divorce commonly carry a weighty burden. Recognizing this makes it imperative that parents intervene with appropriate measures to protect children susceptible to the negative and worrying effects of divorce.
When to Consider Therapy for Kids
Surely, everyone involved in divorce will likely experience the blues, frustration, and even anger. Regrettably, some children experience extraordinary or protracted difficulties with the life changes with which they are confronted. While emotional episodes are certainly expected intermittently, when the moodiness becomes tenacious and drawn out, it may be an indication that therapy is worth considering. The following symptoms of deeper issues might be a red flag to concerned parents:
- New and unusual levels of separation anxiety related to one or both parents;
- Sleep issues, including insomnia, a need for excessive sleep, or nightmares;
- Stomach aches, loss of appetite, or overeating;
- Angry outbursts that are out of character or alarming in their intensity;
- Difficulty concentrating and/or unusual changes in school performance;
- Changes in daily behavior that worry you;
- Frequent crying, boredom, or withdrawal that is unusual for your child.
Your Actions Impact the Kids
While kids cannot be completely sheltered from divorce, studies indicate that their exposure to conflict is detrimental to their mental and emotional well-being. Thus, parents are advised to shield children from as much of the skirmishing as possible. That means:
- Ensuring children are out of earshot during disagreements;
- Avoiding negative comments about your ex when your kids are around;
- Ensuring kids have opportunities to enjoy their other parent;
- Reassuring kids that the divorce was not their fault.
How to Find a Therapist
There are plenty of professionals who are trained to work with children, making the choice of who best to work with your child overwhelming. Do your homework, and your pediatrician for advice. Likewise, your divorce attorney will be acquainted with this issue and may be able to point you in the right direction.
Getting it Right
At WiseLieberman, PLLC, our knowledgeable Boca Raton family attorneys are well acquainted with the effects of divorce on children. We work to ensure the best possible outcomes in your divorce by addressing the issues that are most pressing to you. Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.