When it comes to raising children, Dr. Phil says there are two important rules for all parents to follow:

  1. Do not burden them with situations they cannot control.
  2. Do not ask them to deal with adult issues.
“That makes them feel helpless,” Dr. Phil explains of the potential consequences of both issues.

For parents who are fighting – whether or not it’s in front of their kids – Dr. Phil suggests these arguments can impact a child’s behavior.

“One of the things I hear people say, I hear them say it all the time on this stage. They say, ‘You know what, the kids don’t really know what’s going on,’” he explains. “Really? You really think kids don’t know what’s going between you and your spouse? Trust me, they do. They know what’s going on. They hear what’s said. They hear what isn’t said.”

Watch the video above as Dr. Phil discusses his two rules for children, and also shares a viral video from a 6-year-old girl who had a powerful message for her divorcing parents.