The Secret to Keep Your Child Feeling Secure During a Divorce

Published on February 27, 2023

Matthew has been worried about his wife for over two years. She has fallen into a depressive state and has begun to neglect their toddler. His wife has been to therapy but refuses to see a psychiatrist. Matthew is also starting to feel neglected. He loves his wife but is unsure how long he can stay in the marriage. His first concern is what he would tell his toddler if they divorced. How can he make it more child friendly? Will his son be ok? Will his wife be ok? He feels responsible for her well-being as she cannot care for herself. However, he also acknowledges that she refuses to get the help that she needs.

Parents often worry more about their children than they do themselves. Parents need to remember to look after their mental health. Taking care of your moods and stress levels will also help your children with their stress levels. Here are three ways to keep your child securely attached and safe during a divorce.

1. Pay attention to your child’s non-verbal cues. Children sometimes need language to express their feelings fully. For example, during a divorce, a child might blame themselves or try to protect one of the parents. Notice if your child is acting at a younger age, crying more, arguing more, or just not acting like themselves. You can teach your child how to express and regulate their emotions through your own words and actions.

2. Create predictability. Children often don’t have a lot of control over their lives. More than likely, they feel like they have no control over the divorce. Creating predictability with routines and schedules can help them to feel safer. For example, you can place a calendar where they can see what will happen that day, week, and month. If your child is too young to read, you can make a calendar with pictures.

3. Create a secure attachment. Your child will have different attachment needs depending on their developmental age. Nurturing is one of the ways that people of all ages become more securely attached. Nurturing happens on a physical and an emotional level. Your children should feel safe speaking to you. Do your best to protect your children from conflict and responsibility for your emotions. Let your children know that you love them unconditionally. This means that they know they are still loved even when they make mistakes and show big feelings.

4. Understand where your child is developmentally. Is your child still playing with toys? If they are, you can use toys to explain in a child-friendly way. You can also read them stories about divorce. If your child is older, you can tell them in a more straight-up way. Avoid using blaming language. Children and teenagers do not need to know about adult situations such as affairs.

5. Avoid feelings of Abandonment. If you or your partner are leaving, let your children know it is not their fault. Make sure that they understand this. If you have found someone new, ensure your children know they are still a priority to you. Your children might think that you are leaving them to have another family. They might think this is because you are abandoning them. Make sure they understand that you are still a family. It will just look different now.

If you want further information or to join my webinar, keeping your kids safe, on March 17th at 10 am Hong Kong time.  register online.  To book an appointment, call the Mindnlife clinic at +852 2521 4668 or email


Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Attachment Issues, Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development, Divorce / Divorce Adjustment, Parenting, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) / Trauma / Complex PTSD, Stress Management

Written by:

Dr Monica Borschel

Welcome! My passion is to help you find inner peace and emotional comfort within yourself and your relationships.

As social creatures, our relationships significantly shape our happiness, well-being, and sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced relationship-related traumas, which can leave us with emotional scars that require recovery.

Attachment traumas, such as divorce, break-ups, infidelity, neglect, and abuse, can be challenging. As an expert in attachment, loss, and trauma, I have spent many years studying how attachment styles can shift with loss and trauma.

I have seen how healthy relationships can lead to secure attachment and how insecure attachment can create turmoil in our lives. I aim to guide you toward cultivating healthy relationships with yourself, your children, your co-parent, and your romantic partner.

I can help you develop new attachment strategies that will allow you to form deeper connections and bonds with those around you. And, if you have children, I can also assist you in establishing secure attachments with both parents, which can be especially helpful in cases of separation or divorce.

I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology at The University of Utah. From there, I moved to New York City, earning my Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. I then pursued my Doctorate in Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong. I lived and worked in Hong Kong as a practicing Clinical Psychologist from 2010-2020. I reside in California and am pursuing my Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) at California Southern University. My training and qualifications include certifications in Brainspotting and High Conflict Coaching.

These tools, combined with my extensive knowledge and experience in the field, enable me to offer you the guidance and support you need to recover from past traumas and build healthy relationships.

My approach to therapy is empathetic, supportive, and tailored to your unique needs. Every person can grow, and thrive. I am committed to helping you achieve your goals. So, whether you are struggling with relationship issues, divorce, abuse, attachment traumas, or other challenges, I am here to help you find the peace and comfort you deserve.

Email me at or call the MindnLife Clinic at 852 2521 4668