One of the best things a parent can do to help a child through the grief process and changes that come with a marital separation or divorce is allow them to talk to a child therapist.
How Divorce or Marital Separation affects children:
Children blame themselves for their parents divorce. This is one way for them to try and explain it or make sense out of it. They have a tendency to believe that their shortcomings are the cause of their parents’ separation.
Children feel tempted to take a side. Children of divorce want to love their mother and they want to love their father. It is too easy for a parent to speak negatively about the other parent to their child/children. The best thing you can do for your child is to resist the urge to speak against the other parent and rather truly assure them that it is ok to love the other parent.
Children feel angry or upset towards the parent that initiated the separation or divorce.
Children feel instability in their living situation. It is a big adjustment for a child to go from living with both parents to living in 2 different homes with only one parent.
Children’s self esteem can and often is affected by the divorce/separation.
All of the above effects of being a child of a divorce/marital separation can be mitigated if a child has a safe place to talk and express his/her feelings about this huge loss and change in their lives. Inner Light Counseling has many therapists that specialize in working with children and adolescents on many issues including divorce and separation.