Therapy for Kids

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Therapy for Kids

Unread postby skiutah » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:05 pm

My ex asked me to consent to therapy for our two oldest, 11g and 8g. I think she wants me to consent, so I will pay half, which I am fine with in terms of cost, but I don't really think the kids need therapy. In fact, I think they are doing better now that they don't see us fighting all the time. The 8 year old does have some anger issues, or how she deals with them, but that was certainly present before the divorce, and I think it is pretty typical for a kid.

I guess I just don't want them to go to therapy and make it all about the divorce when they aren't actually having any problems related to the divorce?

Any thoughts here?

My ex and I did three different 6 month stints in marriage therapy and I don't think it made one iota of difference.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Started Over » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:09 pm

What would therapy consist of? Would you be able to participate and communicate with the provider? Would you be able to help select the therapist? Is the ex framing therapy as "There's something wrong with the kids" or is she framing therapy as "I just want them to have someone to talk to"? Are your kids able to talk to you when something bothers them? To your ex?

Regardless what you decide, never let your ex control therapy - always show up, always keep informed, always be involved, and make sure you let the proposed counselor know of any concerns you have about therapy before it begins.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Chaos » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:20 pm

For younger children, therapy is about teaching the parents how to teach the child and reinforce good coping skills. You both need to be heavily involved. CBT works very well for children, talk therapy not so much. What kind of therapy is she requesting?

Do your research before you commit.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby skiutah » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:00 pm

Thanks. My ex thinks our 8yr has trouble coping with anger, but that has been the case for a bit and isn't a horrible thing. She throws temper tantrums, mainly when she is tired. I don't think that's very abnormal. I just feel like it is more of a parent thing to teach a kid those skills.

As for how it relates to divorce, I am unclear if my ex needs my consent. She seems to be asking for it pretty strongly, but I can't tell if that is because she wants me to pay 50% or she doesn't think she can do it without my permission. I looked at our divorce decree and it doesn't say anything this specific, but I assume it could be considered medical procedures?
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby lionel2013 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:03 pm

I just don't want them to go to therapy and make it all about the divorce when they aren't actually having any problems related to the divorce?


By the above you've just answered your own question.

If I were you I would say no to your STBX, and give her this exact same explanation if she asks why. If she still wants to take them and pay for all of it herself you do not have any recourse short of taking her to court, where you probably could not prevail anyway so I wouldn't bother trying to stop her. But I also, certainly, would not pay for it.

If divorce-related talk therapy doesn't work for adults (by most accounts, including my own experience) it sure as hell won't work for kids that age - not to mention that, according to you, your kids don't actually have divorce-related problems.

As for your question about responsibilities: unless your decree says you are responsible for 50% of the mutually agreed upon medical expenses, you are not responsible.
Whenever you think divorce is bad, remember there are worse things than divorce.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Chaos » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:08 pm

You said yourself that its an ongoing issue with the 8 year old. You've had time to teach her skills and she's still having some issues. Therapy should be about education. It doesn't hurt to research some possibilities.

Just to be clear though, your kid shouldn't be laying on a couch talking about her problems. You and she are active participants in learning new ways to change undesirable behaviors.

Honestly I feel pretty strongly that kid therapy should be focused on teaching the parents new skills, and there's nothing wrong with that.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby skiutah » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:21 pm

I wouldn't really say these are huge ongoing issues. If you 5 yr old wets the bed once every few months, you don't take them to the doctor, that's pretty standard. Same thing, in my mind. It doesn't happen that often and is usually around things she doesn't like to do, practice violin, or really late at night when she is tired.

This whole situation is probably just as much about me. I really have a hard time fighting with my ex and usually just give in to most things, but I really don't see the need for this.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Trevor » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:34 pm

Let me raise the issue that's sometimes pointed out here in these circumstances: what's a kid going to think later about him/herself when, as young as age 8, they were so < edited > up that they needed therapy.

Is your kid really that < edited > up? Have you explored solutions that don't require your kid to be placed in this fishbowl, but might require you and your x to collaborate under the auspices of a family therapist to create a better atmosphere for the kid, while leaving the kid out of that part?
"Personal density is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Chaos » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:40 pm

Yeah, no. I mean, what's a kid going to think about themselves when they realize they were so stupid they required primary school education? Or how are they going to feel about themselves when they realize their immune system was so weak they required vaccinations?

Therapy is an educational tool to improve a person's skills in managing their mental health. Maybe it's necessary in this situation, maybe it's not, but it's not a reflection on the child. That's exactly the stigma that should be removed from the conversation.
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Re: Therapy for Kids

Unread postby Trevor » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:45 pm

Total nonsense. The fact is, the stigma exists. It's the parents' problem to fix.
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