It may seem like the best option for a couple when they are not getting along and cannot remedy their differences. Yet divorce, for the children involved, comes with many lasting effects. Here are just three:
1. Increased Anxiety. Kids who go through a divorce often feel pulled between two inseparable forces. Parents who hold different views cause children to choose between those views – a choice that is not without ramifications. As no child wants to disappoint his/her parents, there is never any “right” choice and kids cope with the chronic fear of upsetting one, or both, of their parents. Making matters worse, divorced parents often ask the child about his/her experiences at the other parent’s home, watching for signs that he/she is happier there.
2. Deterioration in School Performance. It’s not hard to imagine that increased anxiety will impact school performance. Numerous studies have demonstrated that anxiety inhibits learning, memory, and concentration, as well as resulting in disruptions in school behavior. However, kids whose parents have divorced also have to cope with the constant disruption of their lives caused by moving from one house to another. This factor alone can often lead to poor sleep, concentration, and irritability.
3. Somatic Complaints. Anxiety is known to manifest physically, and this is especially relevant when feelings of anxiety are not expressed. As the children of a divorce often hold in their feelings for fear of upsetting either parent, they are prone to a variety of somatic complaints – everything from nausea, constipation, headaches, and upset stomachs.
Helping kids whose parents are divorcing requires understanding the unique ways in which divorce affects kids, as well as effective strategies to help them cope. Moreover, a clinician treating divorcing couples will need a toolbox of skills to work with parents who may be in disagreement about many things – one of which is their children.
Learn More & Earn Continuing Education (CE) Credits:
The Challenge of Co-Parenting: Helping Split Couples to Raise Healthy Kids is a 2-hour online continuing education (CE) course that provides guidance for clinicians working with the parents, and children, affected by divorce. Parents who have chosen not to remain together as a couple are still responsible for the healthy upbringing of their mutual children. They must face not only the typical challenges of parenting, but also those unique tasks that come from living in separate homes. While therapists and other professionals have long worked with intact couples on parenting skills, they must now also be versed in teaching parents who live in separate homes how to establish healthy “co-parenting” abilities as well. This course will provide a basic understanding of the significant issues unique to children of split couples, and how to help co-parents address these issues while at the same time overcoming the common blocks that prevent them from working together in a healthy way. Closeout Course #20-16 | 2006 | 22 pages | 14 posttest questions
Anxiety in Children is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that focuses on behavioral interventions for children with anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (2017), it is estimated that 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, but is often not diagnosed. Untreated anxiety can lead to substance abuse, difficulties in school, and depression. Professionals who work with children, including speech language pathologists, mental health professionals, and occupational therapists, frequently encounter anxiety disorders among their young clients. This course is intended to help clinicians recognize and understand the anxiety disorders that frequently occur in children and learn a wide variety of communication and behavioral strategies for helping their clients manage their anxiety. Included are sections on types and causes of anxiety disorders, strategies for prevention, evidence-based treatments, techniques for helping children manage worry, relaxation techniques for use with children, and detailed discussions on school anxiety and social anxiety. Course #40-43 | 2017 | 69 pages | 25 posttest questions
Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).
Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapist (MFTs), Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), School Psychologists, and Teachers