Hi there and welcome back. We’re discussing what to do when your kid needs therapy after your divorce, but they hate it and aren’t willing to participate. It’s actually a common problem that many divorced parents struggle with, so before we jump back in, we just want to remind you that you’re not alone in this! After all, kids rarely know what’s best for them, and tend to go with whatever feels best right now (think mountains of candy and crazy late bedtimes!)
However, as a parent you want what’s best for your kids, but that doesn’t often mean what’s most fun and exciting right now. Sometimes we have to do something hard or uncomfortable now, because we know the end result will be worth it. And therapy is a perfect example of that. In the previous article we talked about what you should do when your child is resisting therapy, so here’s a look ak at what you shouldn’t do:
What you shouldn’t do:
Blame their symptoms:
“Shaming and blaming” is the fastest way to alienate your child. By making them believe that something is wrong with them, or that their “issues” and “problems” are the reason they need therapy, you guarantee that they won’t want to talk to anyone about their emotional and behavioral struggles.
When someone feels that something is their fault, the guilt and shame they experience tends to make them bury the issue deeper in the hopes of getting away from it. And from the resulting negative feelings. So don’t make the mistake of even implying to your child that their behaviors after the divorce, or their inability to process their feelings in a mature way is the reason for the mandatory therapy. It will only make the entire process harder for all of you!
Not give them enough time to prepare:
Many children struggle with change, especially when it’s something major in their lives that they had no control over. Children do not choose divorce, and they don’t have any control over their parent’s decisions and actions. They are, in essence, helpless. This means that changes that happen out of the blue, with no forewarning, can be very scary!
By not telling your child that they’re going to see a therapist, you strip them of the chance to prepare mentally and emotionally for what lies ahead. Your child will need time to get used to the idea, to ask questions and ask for reassurances before the appointment. Especially if it’s the first appointment. So make sure you give them as much notice as possible, and provide them with enough time to process in advance.
Refuse to engage with the therapist:
Many parents make the mistake of dropping their kids off at therapy and showing up to pick them up afterwards, but don’t bother to talk to the therapist. Yes, we understand it’s not your therapist, but it’s your child, and there’s a lot of unique insight you could provide a therapist about your child if you took the time to talk to them.
Ask your child’s therapist what method of communication is best. They may prefer phone calls, emails, or brief in-person visits. Either way, you need to let them know when your child is having a particularly difficult time, when they make notable progress, or when new symptoms appear. It will help the therapist to adjust their aim as needed, and provide your child with the best help possible.
The aftermath of divorce is hard, so make sure the process is smooth!
Life after a divorce is full of changes, and one of the best ways to make a tough transition easier, is to have a good divorce lawyer with years of experience. Nothing makes a scary process scarier than feeling alone and helpless. If you’re considering a divorce, and don’t know where to turn for quality legal representation and top-of-the-line counsel during every aspect of your divorce, contact us today at 866 766 5245. We can help you every step of the way, and are always available for crisis intervention and emergencies.