The question that I will be discussing today is: What if my children do not want to participate in counseling but I know that they need help?
First and foremost, this question sounds to me as if you are questioning whether you should force counseling on your children. Generally speaking, forcing our children to do things can lead to power struggles which can cause more struggles within the family which your children are already struggling as being children of divorce.
So, should you offer counseling? Absolutely! Should you encourage counseling? Again, absolutely. What you don't want to do is get into a power a struggle. Therefore, I would encourage them, as previously discussed, to write out some of the things that are bothering them. Encourage them to consider seeing a counselor and even attempt to offer to introduce them to somebody that they can then decide whether or not they wish to continue with after they agree to meet with this person. It is certainly okay to offer them incentives such as "Just try this the one time. See what you feel about it and let me know how you feel" rather than simply telling them that they have to do it. If they are not ready to see a therapist, you could also encourage them to speak to their school counselor, a trusted teacher or another adult that they feel ready to talk to. Then, if that adult also feels that they are having greater concerns, you may be able to enlist their aid in encouraging your child to attend counseling.
So, should your children attend counseling during divorce and after divorce? Very likely it will be a benefit to them but they are not ready or willing to try it, it could actually make things more difficult for them if they feel forced into it. There is nothing wrong with strong encouragement and support from you as a parent as well as other community members.
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