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Helping Children Cope with Separation Anxiety During Divorce

DuPage County divorce lawyersDivorce can negatively impact all involved parties, but children are often the most vulnerable to serious and long-term effects. One of those possible effects is the emergence (or resurgence) of separation anxiety. Learn how to help your child deal with separation anxiety after divorce, and discover what an experienced attorney can do to assist.

Divorce and Separation Anxiety in Children

Although separation anxiety is most commonly associated with the toddler years, children of any age can experience it – especially if they are dealing with a difficult or traumatizing event. Death of a loved one, changes in their environment, and divorce are just a few examples. Most cases are minor and will resolve with time. However, more extreme cases may require the specialized assistance of a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.

Recognizing the Signs of Separation Anxiety

Children who are experiencing separation anxiety may display a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Withdrawing from family and friends,
  • Excessive fear of being alone or away from a parent,
  • Nightmares or anxiety about nightmares,
  • Sleeping difficulty or sleep anxiety,
  • Complaints of physical pain before or at the time of separation from a parent,
  • Strange or frequent illnesses/ailments, and
  • Fear that something “bad” will happen while a parent is away.

Helping Your Child Cope with Separation Anxiety

While some children may require immediate or intense therapy to cope with their separation anxiety, that is not always the case. Instead, parents may be able to make various adjustments that can improve the situation for their child. For example, children may experience less anxiety over being away from a parent if they know and can see when the next pick-up day and time will be. You can do this with a chart or calendar, or you can create your own methods. Other possible strategies could include:

  • Allowing your child to take a special item to each home;
  • Staying calm yourself, reassuring your child you love them and will see them soon, and then quickly removing yourself from the situation if your child becomes anxious about leaving you;
  • Keeping the schedule as consistent and predictable as possible;
  • Maintaining a consistent routine at each home to reduce the overall stress the child is feeling;
  • Practice various calming techniques with your child that they can use (i.e. breathing or counting);
  • Listen to your child and ask open-ended questions to get to the root of their fears;
  • Validate your child’s feelings and then reassure them where you can; and
  • If your child is refusing to separate and does not want to spend time with the other parent, it is critical that you set firm but compassionate boundaries.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

At Davi Law Group, LLC, we have assisted families through a variety of divorce and child-related challenges. Committed to protecting your child’s best interests, our DuPage County divorce lawyers can help you strategize a divorce plan that can reduce your child’s risk of emotional trauma issues, such as separation anxiety. Start by scheduling a personalized and confidential consultation. Call 630-580-6373 today.

Source:

http://www.heraldextra.com/sanpete-county/commentary/separation-anxiety-may-occur-what-to-do/article_45acc67f-158a-5fb2-b769-6fd53d313a60.html

 

Abraham Lincoln A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock and trade. -Abraham Lincoln
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway
Suite 103
Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road
Building A, Suite 105
Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
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Address321 N. Clark Street
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street
7th Floor
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
Davi Law Group, LLC handles family law, estate planning and real estate matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Kendall County and Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville, Illinois.
Warrenville Office
Address28371 Davis Parkway, Suite 103, Warrenville, IL 60555
Phone(630) 657-5052
Fax(888) 350-9195
Wheaton Office
Address1776 S. Naperville Road, Building A, Suite 105, Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone(630) 580-6373
Fax(888) 350-9195
Chicago Office
Address321 N. Clark Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone(312) 985-5676
Fax(888) 350-9195
Joliet Office
Address58 N. Chicago Street, 7th Floor,
Joliet, IL 60432
Phone(815) 582-4901
Fax(888) 350-9195
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