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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5482
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My 7 yr old son is having a vry hard time since his dad left

Customer Question

My 7 yr old son is having a vry hard time since his dad left us in March. We have moved to our own house amongst all his friends and nearer to school and since September we were both fine. He sees his Dad each fortnight but spent more time over Christmas and New Year and his behaviour has become erratic and he panics about going to sleep - calling his Dad and my parents as late as 11 pm crying his heart out. We were very settled but his Dad wants more involvement and more regular access which can;t possibly make life easier at our end. I am on Medication to take the edge of my grief, yet now have a very upset boy to deal with each night. DO I take him to see someone ? He is going to Reiki tomorrow night but has so much pent up stress and anger...???
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like your son may be in mourning over the loss of his father. Children can go through the grief process over losses of any type. Even with his father being so accessible, your son probably misses having his parents together and the family as a unit. It is hard for a child at his development age to understand why parents cannot be together and why he cannot have his dad with him at home.

 

Grief symptoms in a young child include exaggerated fears, lack of concentration, and sometimes mood swings. Withdrawal, tearfulness and sleep problems can also occur.

 

Consider having your son see a therapist. Although the Reiki therapy may help, your son needs to see someone who can identify his grief symptoms and help him express his feelings about his loss. A child therapist usually uses toys to help children, whose vocabularies are not as large, to express themselves. You can ask if your son's father can participate to help your son.

 

There are some books that may help you and your son. One is called The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive by Robert E. Emery. Books to help your son are Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child's Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce by Tamara Schmitz and Two Homes by Claire Masurel and Kady MacDonald Denton.

 

You sound like you are doing a great job helping your son. With a little time and some therapy, he should adjust and do very well.

 

I hope this helped you,

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5482
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

To find a therapist, you can start with your son's doctor and see if they can refer you. You can also find local community mental health center and see if they can help you. Sometimes local universities will have graduate students in psychology who will see people for free or low cost. Also, if you attend church, your pastor may be able to help either with counseling or a referral.

 

Kate

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