5 Practical Strategies for Working with Kids from Broken Families

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Overcoming a divorce is a long-lasting and excruciating process for all the included parties. However, partners who are getting divorced are adults. They can usually handle their emotions and reactions more successfully than kids. (We hope.)

Unfortunately, that leaves children to suffer the most damage in a divorce. The void that comes as a result of their parents’ separation can leave serious emotional consequences on their developing personalities. This is where child care professionals can play an important role to make their lives less stressful.



1)     Don’t take sides

A childcare professional has to remain unbiased and neutral throughout the process of separation and in the aftermath. If you take a side, the children you’re looking after will be even more confused. Also, it will be more difficult for you to do your job in a neutral manner.

Naturally, if any of the partners behave in an aggressive or extremely unfriendly way before or during the divorce, nannies should do everything they can to protect the child(ren). Furthermore, in the case of violence, you have to report the incident to the police. This is also something that will help the children, no matter what their parents say.

Still, try not to meddle with the relationship of the parents because you’re not here to judge, but to take care of the kids.

2)     Listen to kids

When kids realize that their parents have difficulties in their relationship, they might feel guilty or abandoned. This matter is extremely delicate because you can never tell what’s really going on in their head.

Since many contemporary families live on their own, without grandparents by their side, most children spend time either with their parents or with their nannies. That’s why you should as much time as possible talking to your little protégés. Also, lend a sympathetic ear and let them pour out everything that lies on their soul.

It’s clear that it won’t always be pleasant to hear what they have to say, but that’s the nature of this job. When you see that you’ve helped a kid feel better, that’s the best award in the world.


3)     Insist on routines

Children from broken families often lose their routines, given that they had them in the first place. No matter if you go through the divorce with them or you’re hired afterward, a rule of thumb is that you insist on regular routines. The kids you’re taking care of should do all their activities at the same time every day. When they know what comes next, they’ll show less anxiety and tension.

Also, looking after kids from broken families increases the possibility of being exposed to extreme behaviors. Such kids need even more structure. Since structured playtime brings certain benefits for children, it’s crucial to keep stick to the established routines and make an effort to organize their games.


4)     Set a model role

We’ve already pointed out that children from broken families could start behaving in a strange way. When kids are craving attention and love, they can do some negative things just to provoke a reaction. This is where you should do your best to set a role model for them in different everyday situations.

For instance, elite Norland nannies are trained to display a wide range of qualities, from showing love and affection to practical household skills and martial arts. Possessing such abilities can come in handy when you’re dealing with hurt children in special emotional conditions. By teaching them how to do different practical things, you’ll help them increase their self-confidence and realize that they can draw attention with some constructive, positive actions.



5)     Draw the red lines

A nanny in the middle of a divorce is a tricky position. It goes without saying that your ultimate goal in every single situation is the benefits of the children. More often than not, you’ll be between two irrational and emotionally engaged parents. Sometimes you’ll have to confront the parents to protect their kids from them.

For all these reasons, it’s clever to make a few rules, as well as draw several red lines of accepted behavior of all the interested parties. If you work for an agency, make sure that they’re informed about every uncomfortable situation. As a legal person, they’ll be able to witness in case you or the kids need legal protection.

It’s also wise to give the partners who hire that set of rules before you start providing care for their kids. You should accept the position only if they agree with these terms. That’s the only way to do your job properly and give those kids the best care.



Being a kid from a broken family is absolutely terrible even when the parents get along after the divorce. That’s why babysitters and nannies who decide to look after such children should be aware that they’ll often be like the other parent to such kids. Logically, you’ll need to activate some different techniques from the ones used in regular families. Nevertheless, you’ll mean the world to these kids so make sure that you engage as many strategies as possible to keep them on the right track. The tips from this guide will assist you in making those kids feel loved and look after in the best possible way.

AuthorBio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.