ZocdocAnswersShould my child attend our divorce counseling sessions?

Question

Should my child attend our divorce counseling sessions?

My husband and I are getting a divorce. Our child is 8. Should we take him to counseling?

Answer

Divorce is obviously a very difficult issue for more people than just the couple involved, especially when there are children. In these situations, it is common for the children to feel that nothing is stable or permanent, which can then lead to regression in behaviors, as well as other acting out that can only complicate an already difficult situation. They often feel responsible for the divorce as well. F or this reason, it is beneficial in many cases for the child to discuss his or her concerns with a therapist or close confidant as well. Obviously, the parents will have the primary role of addressing the needs and concerns of the child, but in many cases it is best to have an extra voice, or--even more importantly--an extra ear for the child to speak to. As for taking your child to the sessions that you and your soon-to-be ex-husband have together, this will depend on the dynamics of your personal situation and the advice of your counselor. If the parting is amicable and the counselor is agreeable, it might work. A cautious approach would definitely be advised, however, as it is important that the child not feel that he or she is losing one parent in favor of the other.

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