Home » How to Protect Your Child’s Mental Health in Divorce

Divorce is a difficult process for all involved, but it can be especially hard on children. Divorce can have a negative impact on a child’s mental health if not managed properly. Fortunately, there are several steps parents can take to protect their child’s mental health during a divorce. This article provides tips on how to ensure that your child’s mental well-being is respected and protected throughout the divorce process.



Do Not Place the Blame

Children frequently feel that they are being punished for, either directly or indirectly, their parent’s divorce. They may also feel resentful toward one parent after the other considers that they are responsible for the dissolution of the marriage. Children of divorce often feel insecure, even if the divorce was not their fault. They may feel that they are not good enough or that they should have been able to prevent the breakup of their family. This can lead to a sense of worthlessness and self-doubt. 

Avoid Negative Talk

When a couple enters into a contentious divorce in Illinois, it can be a challenge to not bring this matter up in front of your children. Try your best not to make any negative comments about your spouse in front of your children. Keep in mind that your kids benefit from a good relationship with both of their parents. Set a parental rule not to make negative comments in front of your children. As much as possible, after divorce, attempt to retain the ongoing relationship with your ex-spouse who will always, for better and for worse, be your children’s other parent. For the sake of your children, try to foster a productive, cooperative, and respectful co-parenting relationship.

Pay Attention to Your Children’s Needs

Your child will experience divorce differently depending on their age. In order to help your child through the situation, it is essential to empathize with them and reiterate their feelings. It is best to let the child talk about their feelings without making expectations, as your particular understanding of what they should feel might not be accurate. Validate the feelings your child is feeling and consider their feelings may differ from yours.

Foster Communication

For stability in your children’s lives, communication between your former partner and yourself is vital. Talking with your former partner can create a united front and give your children a stable basis. When you and your partner can effectively communicate, your children can have a good environment in which to grow.

Establish a New Normal

Children are very adaptable, and they thrive best in sturdy circumstances. Create habits that help prevent their attention from wandering and establish new family routines that will help everyone feel peaceful and orderly. Establish days for visitation, as well as established times for daily routines, for your loved ones to learn a new sense of what’s normal. If children know they have consistent routines, they will adapt more easily to family changes. It’s vital to come to an understanding with your partner about custody, visitation, and parental responsibilities.

Pay Attention to Your Children’s Needs

Every child has unique reactions when it comes to divorce. The main thing to helping your child through the issue is to be attuned to their needs and provide positive input. It is important that you help your child discuss how they feel without demanding a particular viewpoint. Validate what your child feels and remember that their feelings may not always match what you think they should.


There is no easy answer when it comes to protecting your child’s mental health in divorce. However, taking the time to understand their feelings, listening to them and being supportive can go a long way in helping them cope during this difficult time. Talking openly about the situation can help ensure that you understand and address any issues they may be facing while also providing them with an outlet for their emotions.

Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C.

14 South Second Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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Waterloo, IL 62298


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