One of the hardest situations that I work with is helping a child deal with the divorce of their parents. From birth, parents are the center of a child’s world and life because children are so dependent. Even as adults the connection between parent and child can be strong and is very unique. Therefore, when parents divorce it can be devastating for their children.
As much as parents can shield their children from the details of their divorce, they still know that something is wrong. Too often, the children are subjects of custody battles when the parents put their own priorities and well-being ahead of their children’s. Children can be asked to take sides, something that should never happen.
When fighting centers around the children (and even when it doesn’t) a child might blame themselves for the divorce. “If I had behaved better then this wouldn’t be happening” can be a common thought.
I work with children like these to help mitigate the impact of divorce on their mental health. Anxiety and depression are common in children when their parents separate and my focus is always on helping the child thrive.