Heymann & Fletcher

How the family pediatrician can be of assistance during a divorce

When parents end their marriage, their top priority is usually making things as smooth as possible for their shared children. That can be a challenge, as emotions tend to run high during a divorce, and kids are highly sensitive to the emotional state of both of their parents. Many New Jersey residents fail to consider the role that the family pediatrician can play during a divorce.

A child's pediatrician has a wealth of knowledge about the health history of each patient. In many cases, the child has seen the same doctor since birth, and will have developed fond memories of wellness checks and other visits to the pediatrician's office. When parents decide to move forward with a divorce, they should schedule an annual visit to take place after they have discussed the divorce with their kids.

Let the pediatrician know of the changes in the family's structure. That will give him or her the chance to speak with the child about those shifts, and to assess how the child is handling the news. In many cases, children feel more comfortable discussing family problems with a trusted adult who is not a parent, as the parents are too closely tied to the issue at hand.

Best of all, the pediatrician can refer New Jersey parents to other health and wellness providers, if the need should arise. Many children go through a brief period of counseling when their parents divorce, which can help them to come to terms with the changing family structure and their place within the newly divided family. In certain cases, kids can also benefit from additional services, including psychiatric care, stress management or other means of improving their daily lives.

Source: advertisernewssouth.com, "Pediatricians can help children through separation and divorce", Jan. 4, 2017

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