Divorce counseling and the effects of divorce on children

Conflict between husband and wife is a stressful experience that can shake the foundation of an individual’s life. More devastating perhaps, is the potential effect marital conflict and divorce can have on children. In a society where no-fault divorce has paved the way for “throw-away” marriages, more and more children are forced to deal with the consequences of divorce every day. For them, there is no choice in the matter. It remains up to the parents as to whether or not they decide to divorce, and if they do, how maturely they act in the name of their children.

There is a great deal of debate and conjecture surrounding divorce’s impact on the child, but what follows are some facts about the situation that every parent needs to consider before taking things to their extreme solution and ending the marriage.
Couples would be well-advised to consider this information and then make a determination as to whether or not marriage counseling might be appropriate.

Facts about divorce and children

• Unless there is physical violence in the home, a child is always better off with two parents living together than a single parent situation. Research has confirmed this point time and again.

• The children of parents who have hidden their problems from them until the moment of divorce occurs are more adversely affected by the separation. Simply put, it is more likely to cause childhood trauma because it is so unexpected.

• Children who are pre-school age have a particularly difficult time dealing with divorce. That is because they are at an age where they understand what is going on (to some degree) but the lack the basic coping skills required to deal with the situation in a healthy way.

• Many young children will show signs of anger with their peers during the initial phase of divorce. Without coping skills, acting out becomes the only “tool” available to young children as they deal with sadness and frustration.

• Studies have shown that boys have a more difficult time with the divorce of their parents than girls.

• Boys are at greater risk for behavior problems after a divorce, especially when their primary place of residence is with their mother.

• Fathers tend to become marginalized during after the divorce, which has a negative effect on children, especially boys who need a strong male figure in their lives on which to model their behavior.

• Working with a divorce counselor has been found to reduce the stress on children during this difficult period. Counselors specializing divorce are able to provide proper advice to parents as to how to best broach the subject of divorce with their children.

At Moonview Sanctuary, families in crisis can get the help they need with a divorce counseling program that addresses the needs of both the couple and their children. Using the methods that encompass the “best of the best” treatment types from the counseling spectrum, Moonview gives individuals a safe place to heal, and the guidance they need to move forward into the next phase of their lives. Contact Moonview Sanctuary today for more information about their outpatient Overcoming Personal Crisis programs.

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