When you go through a divorce, the entire family will feel the effects of it. You and your ex likely have ways to cope with what is going on, but your children might need your help. Finding ways to do this can be a challenge, and it will likely require you to work with your ex.

The way you handle things from the start of the divorce can impact how they handle it. When you first tell them that you and their other parent are splitting up, try to sit down with your ex to share the news. This gives them the chance to see that both of their parents will still be there for them. Try to avoid bringing up a bunch of angry thoughts, and focus on how you can keep things moving forward in a productive way for them.

Choose your words carefully when you’re speaking to them about your ex. No child should have to hear their parent being badmouthed, so never speak negatively about them. Instead, focus on encouraging them to build a meaningful relationship with you and your ex.

Remember that children won’t always tell you how they feel. You may have to watch for signs that something is amiss. If they suddenly start doing poorly in school or behave in an unusual manner, such as getting into trouble more, you may need to sit them down to discuss what’s going on. You may find that they have some strong feelings but don’t know what to do about them.

It may also help if you get the parenting plan set. This outlines the course of action for the kids and can provide them with the stability they need while their world is changing.