Signs Your Child May Need a Therapist
As much as a parent tries to insulate their child during a divorce, they cannot keep them from experiencing some of the negative emotions which occur when a family goes through this drastic change. When there is a conflict between a child’s parents, they often experience stress and confusion about where to go for comfort and support. Going from seeing a parent every day to a new custody & visitation situation can be tough. Even during a collaborative divorce, a child seeing their parents split apart can feel devastating. With this support, the child can obtain assistance in managing their emotions and developing positive coping mechanisms. In this circumstance, a child therapist may be helpful in assisting your child in processing their emotions and adjusting to their new situation. Here are some signs that your child may need a therapist:
Children, especially those who are young, sometimes experience insecurity when being away from a parent. When parents are divorcing their anxiety and need for stability may increase in response to the changes in their home environment and family dynamic. If a child is having an unusually hard time separating from their parent and this does not improve over a significant period of time, they may need the support of a therapist.
Another indication that your child may be struggling is when they have a noticeable change in their personality traits which does not shift after a significant period of time. For instance, if your child is ordinarily excited about an extracurricular activity and spending time with friends but suddenly refuses to attend events or socialize, they may be having a difficult time. If the change in behavior does not improve over a prolonged period connecting them with a counselor may offer them the tools they need to manage their emotions.
Younger children who are unable to verbalize their emotions entirely may have tantrums or outbursts when they become frustrated. However, when the child cannot be soothed after an unusually long fit, there may be something wrong. If this behavior continues, the child may be showing signs that he or she is in crisis and in need of therapeutic intervention. Another sign that a small child needs support is when they emotionally regress to an earlier stage of development. For example, a child who has been using the restroom independently and without accidents may begin wetting their bed, or an older child may start up an old thumb sucking habit. These behaviors may only be a temporary response to the situation but, if they continue, your child may benefit from talking with someone.
Unfortunately, there are times when children become self-abusive as a means of coping with their negative emotions. The child may engage in harmful acts such as cutting themselves or otherwise hurting their bodies. They may also begin making comments about their own feelings of low self-worth or even not wanting to live. Children can also become physically aggressive and violent toward others in response to their feelings. If your child is exhibiting any of these signs, it is critical that you procure mental health assistance for them as soon as possible.
When children are struggling with their emotions, it is vital that they have the support they require. We understand the toll divorce can take on families and are here to help. Call us today to set up a consultation so we can talk about your family’s needs. Let us take a “first look,” and set you on the right path.