Getting a psychologist to complete a assessment of your child

In fraught divorce proceedings, parents may be alarmed at the effect of the divorce and new custody arrangements on their child. If you are worried that your child is not dealing well with the divorce and/or may be experiencing poor parenting from your ex-spouse, it can be very helpful to get your child professionally assessed by a child psychologist

Identifying the child's needs

All children are at different developmental stages and will require different things from their parents, even children within the same family. The psychologist can help to assess the child's current development and the child's perspective on their family situation. The psychologist can then give the parents feedback on their child's needs so that this can be added to into the parenting plan. This could include simple tweaks such as allowing the child to call their other parent each night to hear the bedtime story that they are used to hearing or more complex fixes such as having both parents come together for a weekly family dinner or attending school events together.  

Identifying the positive and negative aspects of each parent's parenting style

Even parents who are struggling with parenting will have some positive aspects of their parenting. Psychologists will try to identify these aspects so that parents can continue to develop the best parts of their parenting and have increased confidence in their parenting. 

Equally, when a parent is struggling in some aspects of their parenting, for example being prone to extreme anger outbursts, the psychologist can help to identify the exact issue and help the parents to consider ways to work on this issue such as getting some personal counselling. 

Identifying potential abuse

Many of the behavioural signs that can indicate child abuse, including bed-wetting, tears and behavioural tics, can also be a symptom of stress around divorce and changes to living circumstances. Psychologists can provide a professional assessment of the child's behaviour and explore the details of the situation with your child in a neutral environment. The neutral environment means children can find it easier to answer any questions honestly and discuss anything which is worrying them with the psychologist, including potential abuse. The psychologist can give an assessment of whether they think there has been abuse, and if so what type of abuse has occurred and what kinds of follow-up the child needs. 

Getting your child assessed by a psychologist can be a good way to see how the divorce is affecting them as well as getting an understanding of the true cause of any distress that your child is feeling.