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Is Family Counseling Helpful for Children During Divorce?

 Posted on July 12, 2022 in Divorce

Novi family law attorneyOf all the difficult parts of a Michigan divorce, parental conflict has the greatest potential to hurt children. Unfortunately, due to the very nature of divorce, at least some parental conflict is all but inevitable. Even when parents feel as though they are working hard to shield their children from conflict, kids are adept at noticing when a parent is stressed and tend to take that stress upon themselves. In divorces involving underage children, a family therapist can be helpful for everyone involved. Here are three ways family counseling may benefit your family during divorce. 

Identifying Children’s Feelings

Children (and even adults) are often not very good at identifying and explaining their feelings. What is truly anger or sadness may manifest as depression or rebelliousness. Working through feelings can help children specify what they are feeling, as well as the causes behind their feelings, allowing them to communicate this to their parents and enabling everyone to find solutions. 

Helping Children Voice Their Feelings

Once children know what is bothering them, it can be helpful for a therapist to encourage the children to advocate for their needs and concerns. During a divorce, children are asked to make enormous changes, often with very little notice, and the people they depend on to support them are usually preoccupied and angry themselves. When parents can hear a child’s needs and concerns, finding effective solutions is much more likely. For example, a child may have a fear that they will move out of their neighborhood and never see their friends again. Parents who know this can reassure the child that they will do everything in their power to help a child stay connected to her friends, including planning visits far in advance. 

Modeling Conflict Resolution Strategies

No matter how much a parent tries to hide it, kids know that conflict is at the heart of divorce. When this conflict goes unaddressed, children can be left wondering whether conflict in their own lives has the potential to ruin good things at any time. In addition to advising parents on how to shield children from inappropriate conflict or unnecessary details, a therapist can help parents understand how to model conflict resolution strategies. Talking about feelings, listening to others, and working towards a compromise that takes everyone’s needs into consideration are all behaviors that are possible during divorce, even just between a parent and his or her children. 

Contact a Farmington Hills, MI Divorce Attorney 

It is not always easy to determine what is in your child’s best interests during an emotionally heated divorce. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, our job is to focus on the legal elements of your divorce so you can have the time and energy to spend on finding out what you and your children need to get through the divorce in one piece. Call us today at 248-344-9700 to schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable, compassionate Oakland County divorce attorneys




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