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How to Protect Children from Divorce

The moment a child is born, parents begin to protect. When parents get divorced, their focus often shifts to the stress in their relationship and the intense emotions they're experiencing. It's easy for even the most well-intentioned parents to overlook the need to protect their children from the fallout of the divorce. By actively focusing attention on four activities, parents can shield their children from some of the most damaging side effects of divorce. 

Cut the Conflict 
When parents fight, especially in front of their children, they make it harder for children to cope with the demands of daily life. Separating spouses should:

  • Discuss disagreements calmly
  • Keep conversations between themselves 
  • Let children see conflict resolved, not escalated

Reach Resolution, not Revolution 
Cutting the drama out of conflict between separating spouses minimizes stress on the children. When children see parents reach resolution to disagreements, they learn how to successfully navigate conflict in their own lives and reach resolution in their relationships. 

Find Financial Stability
Separating partners should make time to process the emotions and changes they experience during divorce, but not at the expense of financial stability. Maintaining a steady income provides the foundational factors like food, clothing and shelter that children need to feel safe during a divorce. 

Focus on the Children, Not Each Other
Having a good relationship with at least one parent helps a child weather divorce and adapt to the significant life changes that come with it in a healthy manner. Separating spouses should focus their attention on building healthy, positive, stable relationships with their children, not on manipulating children for information about each other. Parents need to keep conversations focused on their children and maintain a factual, rather than accusatory tone, when discussing the other parent with their children. 

For more information about how to protect a child in your life from the dangerous side effects of divorce, contact the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 or email us. Trained counselors will listen to your situation, answer your questions and offer helpful advice.