How can you help your child cope with parental separation?

Separation is almost always an emotionally painful experience for people who end a relationship, although there are always exceptions and it can be seen as a release after a stage of mutual discomfort and discomfort that , in some cases, is experienced even by both parties.

However, cases where the separation does not negatively affect the emotional state of young children, if any, are even less common. It almost always happens that children and adolescents who see their parents separate will suffer psychologically for weeks or even months. And if this experience is not handled well by adults, it can even lead to trauma for children.

Here are some tips to help you know how to help your child cope with parental separation.

    What can be done to help a child cope with separation or divorce?

    While everyone is stupid, there are a few guidelines that adults who are separating should consider as general recommendations to help their young children cope with this situation. Let’s look at a summary.

    1. Agree with your ex on everything you can do about parenting

    Whenever possible, and as long as the separation has not taken place in a context of abuse, agree as quickly as possible on how the visits to each parent will be carried out, the logistics of this process, and the tasks breeding that will achieve each.

    The well-being of the child cannot be less of a priority than the rest of the issues related to break-up or divorce., and for this reason, it is important to give it stability as soon as possible and not to subject it to its vagaries, its unilateral decisions (we insist: in case there is no abusive party) or them. sudden changes of opinion.

      2. Avoid being exposed to intense discussions

      There are those who believe that it is good for children to see the arguments that can arise between parents because it is a reflection of real life and supposedly helps children to learn as early as possible. the good and bad aspects of personal relationships.

      However, this belief, highly debatable (among other things because of the large margin that it leaves to be careful of depending on the intensity and the nature of these discussions), is especially erroneous in the case of a situation of divorce or separation. .

      Remember that it is this kind of one-off experiences with a strong emotional and symbolic charge that the child will associate with the experience of parental separation., then these images and feelings will come to your mind every time you remember this breakup.

        3. Make it clear that you are not responsible for anything

        If the child internalizes the idea that all the emotionally painful experiences of the separation are his fault, it will significantly damage his mental health and increase his risk of developing trauma that is difficult to overcome. So offer him an explanation of what happened adapted to his ability to understand by his age and in which, above all, it is clear that the separation is not his fault.

        And of course, it is important not to include in the explanation any information that makes you think that stress or physical and / or psychological wear and tear has deteriorated the quality of the relationship between the parents, because in such cases, the most common is that this should be interpreted in the most pessimistic way possible by children and adolescents; at these young ages, they do not yet have the capacity of an adult to appreciate the nuances and complexities of cause and effect mechanisms.moreover, they often confuse the concept of guilt with that of responsibility and the objective causes of an unpleasant experience.

          4. Explain as soon as possible that time with his parents will be planned.

          Following the line of the first tip, to avoid going through too long a period of uncertainty, do your best to explain clearly, as quickly as possible, how you can spend time together starting from this stage of the parental breakdown. (as long as no dynamics of abuse have occurred and you should therefore stay away from anyone who could harm your physical or mental health).

            5. If the situation overwhelms you, seek professional psychological help.

            If the challenge of raising your child’s parent is overwhelming in the face of a difficult separation or divorce, seek psychological assistance, either in the form of parenting counseling or through a therapy process.

            And if you notice any worrying symptoms in your child and it seems like the situation is affecting their mental health, it is important that you turn to child and youth therapy services as soon as possible. In the early years of life, we are particularly vulnerable to potentially problematic experiences, and if we do not have professional help these can leave an emotional mark on children that can last a long time and cause problems for years. years or decades seen if not treated in therapy.

            However, do not forget that psychologists offer support and training plans and “emotional training” in everything relating to parenthood (if they have a child-young specialty), to the management of children and young people. dysfunctional feelings and thoughts, and behavioral patterns that constitute useful or harmful routines or habits. If the support you are looking for relates to the legal system, speak to a lawyer.

              Are you looking for the services of a team of psychologists?

              If you are interested in professional psychological support, please contact us.

              A Cribecca Psychology We care for people of all ages, offering psychotherapy services for individual patients, family therapy and couples therapy, as well as neuropsychology services. You will find our psychology center in Seville, or instead of opting for face-to-face sessions, we can also perform online sessions by video call.

              Bibliographical references

              • Copeland, WE, Keeler, G., Angold, A .; Costello, EJ (2007). Traumatic events and post-traumatic stress in childhood. General Psychiatry Archives, 64 (5): pp. 577 – 584.
              • Ford, JD; Grasso, D .; Greene, C .; Levine, J .; Spinazzola, J .; van der Kolk, B. (2013). Clinical importance of a diagnostic proposal for traumatic developmental disorders: results of an international survey of physicians. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 74 (8): pages 841 to 849.
              • Terr, LC (1991). Childhood trauma: an overview and overview. An American Journal of Psychiatry, 148 p. 10 – 20.

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