What are some resources to help my children cope with the divorce?
No matter what the circumstances are, divorce is a traumatic experience for children of all ages. Children of families going through a divorce may feel like their sense of stability is removed from underneath them, and they may struggle with the adult situations that emerge as their parents try and navigate what will become “the new normal.”
When trying to help children experiencing a tough divorce, know that the best care is a combination of open family discussions and reliance on professional help. Families should not hesitate to have their child talk to a licensed pediatric therapist. Parents can also consider programs like child grief support groups and other wellness programs. Many of these programs involve helping children work through their feelings both directly and indirectly, helping them work through their grief in a healthy way while emerging with a better understanding of the world around them.
A New Mexico divorce attorney can refer you to service providers in your area to meet a specific need based on their experience of helping other families go through the same process. Know that, while it will be difficult for you and your children to get through this divorce, you don’t have to go it alone. The knowledge and care offered by professionals can go a long way towards helping your children — and your entire family — thrive.
Child Mental Health Therapists in Albuquerque
The most important thing for a child to have access to during a divorce is someone they can talk to openly about their feelings. That person should also have the knowledge and training needed to safely address any mental health challenges the child is going through.
Children — and their parents — may be reluctant to see a therapist because there’s the stigma that it means something is “wrong” with them. In truth, most of us encounter mental health struggles every day, which means that feeling sad or anxious or depressed in response to big changes is totally normal. Having to deal with these responses on our own is also not fair. It can be explained to children that you wouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor if you were having difficulty breathing or walking, so it makes perfect sense to see one when you are having difficulty getting through the day.
Some of the most highly rated child therapy centers in Albuquerque available include the following practices:
Thrive Counseling Services
Thrive operates a counseling center in downtown Albuquerque as well as one in Rio Rancho. They provide services for adolescents and family groups. The practice has an excellent reputation with its clients. They accept new patients regularly, but you may need to apply to be on a waitlist during times when the current client volume is high.
Small Steps Child Counseling
Small Steps Child Counseling provides a wide range of services for children of all ages. This includes therapeutic sessions for baby’s as well as toddlers. Since talk therapy may not be the best avenue for young children, Small Steps provides therapeutic play and other forms of self-expression that can be used as an avenue to get to the heart of challenging feelings a child may be experiencing during a divorce.
Counseling & Psychotherapy Institute
This organization offers mental health services for children, teens, and adults on a sliding scale. It is often recommended by courts during challenging family law cases or situations involving a child struggling to adapt in the wake of a divorce.
School Mental Health Counselors and Social Workers
Schools in New Mexico will have a counselor available and, frequently, a social worker as well. Parents should not hesitate to coordinate with these individuals to see how divorce is affecting a child in the school environment or during extracurriculars. Parents can also collaborate with these professionals to receive tailored recommendations on services to help their child get through difficult times, including various forms of therapy, counseling, or mental health diagnosis.
Support Groups for Divorced Children in New Mexico
Sometimes, the best way to help a child through a traumatic period is for them to know they are not alone. Working in support groups allows children to find solidarity in others going through the same experience. The centers listed below also provide structured activities designed to help a child surface their inner feelings, address them in a healthy way, and strategize to get through each day using mental health techniques and recommended therapies.
Rainbows provides programs for children dealing with loss, which can include the loss of the family unit as they know it. Their services also provide programs specifically for children who have been alienated or separated from their parents. Importantly, many services are designed to be offered for free or at low cost in order to accommodate families going through a tough time and who lack the resources to pay for individual therapy.
Divorce Care for Kids
DC4K operates support groups for young children and adolescents throughout the United States. These programs provide “a safe, fun place where your children can learn skills that will help them heal.” The groups meet weekly and engage in activities such as discussion, storytelling, games, music, or watching informative videos.
Resources for Children or Families in Crisis
Some families going through a divorce will experience extreme challenges that test their ability to persevere. Domestic abuse, homelessness, and at-risk environments can push a child past their limits and ask them to deal with situations that few adults, let alone children, are prepared to handle.
If you have a child or a family in crisis, do not hesitate to look to the following resources:
- Cuidando Los Niños for families and children experiencing homelessness
- Los Alamos Family Council youth activity centers offer a safe place for children who are at-risk, homeless or facing challenges related to unsafe environments
- New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides resources, shelter, and referrals for families in crisis
Work With an Experienced Law Firm to Seek the Best Outcome for Your Kids and Your Family
Divorce is challenging in any situation, and kids often bear the brunt of the emotional fallout that can come from particularly difficult divorces. A child’s sense of stability often comes from their parents, and when families separate it can feel like the child is set adrift in an ocean of uncertainty. Yet, divorce is still the best option for millions of families who struggle to function and which cannot thrive under the current circumstances. What’s important is for everyone involved, especially parents, to take the steps needed to have the biggest chance of a positive future outcome.
New Mexico Financial & Family Law can provide you and your family with legal representation during divorce, and we also regularly refer families to local service providers capable of helping them. For tailored advice, legal assistance, and representation during your divorce from an experienced attorney, call (505) 503-1637 or contact us online. We can then schedule you for a no-obligation case review to discuss your legal options and what the best path forward might be for everyone.