Signs your child might need therapy during a divorce
When parents separate or divorce, the resulting changes can have a big impact on a child’s emotional well-being. Of course, some kids cope better than others. But if your child is exhibiting any of the behaviors listed below, you might consider finding a therapist who can help your child work through some of the emotional issues related to the separation or divorce:
- Changes in behavior, such as aggression (fighting with peers or siblings) or becoming easily angered;
- Displays of oppositional behavior, such as breaking rules and not following directions;
- Falling grades;
- Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits;
- Changes in social habits, such as avoiding friends and family;
- Difficulty transitioning between homes at visitation time, which could manifest as anxiety prior to visits;
- Preoccupation with distressing or negative thoughts, including thoughts about death and suicide;
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness;
- Risky behavior that puts your child or others in danger; and/or
- Drinking, taking drugs, or engaging in other harmful and addictive behaviors.
If your child has mentioned thoughts of harming her- or himself in any way, get help for your child immediately. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911, or take the child to your nearest emergency room.
For additional information on mental health and locating a mental health professional visit MentalHealth.gov.
Photo credit Shutterstock.com
Ashley Volz-Reiss spent several years as a Solo Mom. She has gone on to earn her master’s degree in social work and is now a therapist helping children and families. She’s remarried and keeps busy raising her spirited six-year-old son.
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