Divorce Coach Reveals The #1 Way To Help Your Kids Survive Your Split

How to minimize the damage divorce does.

Mother embracing child, during and after divorce Barbara Olsen | Canva

Together with death and moving, divorce is likely the most stressful non-violent thing most of us will ever go through. Some research says it’s more stressful for women than men. But hurt feelings and financial issues aside, it is toughest on kids. Given that just less than half of American marriages end in divorce, you can probably name a dozen friends whose parents’ split crushed them. The list of ancillary injuries for children is long and painful — from eating and weight issues to problems at school to serious personality disorders. Mom and Dad calling it quits, especially in a hostile way, can stain someone’s psyche.


RELATED: 9 Tiny Signs You're Screwing Up Your Kids During Divorce

And the collateral damage can continue into future relationships and parenting choices. That’s a heavy burden, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. As has been said many, many times before: a good divorce is much better for everyone involved (even the lawyers) than a terrible marriage. How do you get there? Liza Caldwell and Kimberly Mishkin from SAS For Women, a boutique agency providing support and guidance for women going through a divorce, have wise words on how NOT to make your kids rue the day their parents met and, ultimately, decided life was better apart.

@brighterdaylaw Concerned about traumatizing your kids during divorce? Learn ways to inform them of the situation while ensuring their safety throughout the process. 🚸💔 #brighterdaylaw #divorce #lawyer #marriage #separation #couples #divorced #relationships ♬ original sound - BrighterDayLaw

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Your kids are smart, and they can tell when there is negative energy between their parents. Instead of trying to hold off telling your kids about the divorce, and leaving them wondering why there's such negative energy in the house, tell them as soon as possible. You don't need to give them any details, but make sure they know that you both still love them and that your choice to get divorced has nothing to do with them. Things are going to change, and they'll be scary for the children, so there must be open communication between you and them. It's also important to make sure that you do not bad-mouth your ex to your kids, no matter why the marriage ended. It will just leave your children feeling guilty and confused.

@martinaiklotz It definifely feels like you’re the worst parent in the world when you have to have this talk but don’t worry, i can help you prepare for it!#divorcetip #divorcetips #gettingdivorcedsoon #divorcehelp #divorcesucks #divorcesuckswhenkidsareinvolved#coparentingstruggles #coparentingsuccess #coparenting101 ♬ original sound - Martina Klotz

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Mishkin’s top piece of advice is to remember that you only have control over the choices you make. Your spouse and friends and legal representation may act in ways that you find disagreeable but your children will remember the good and bad choices you made. Sinking to the level of a disrespectful former partner will not go unnoticed; to quote Gandhi, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the world blind.” But what can you do? Caldwell suggests thinking before you act or speak. You definitely shouldn't disparage their other parent or use your children as pawns. But you should also stick up for yourself and not be a doormat.

RELATED: 4 Tiny Things Kids Desperately Need From Their Parents During Divorce

Liza Caldwell runs SAS for Women, a boutique firm that specializes in helping women free themselves from dysfunctional and unhappy relationships. Tom Miller is a writer and performer based in Los Angeles. He's been a mechanical engineer, a banker, as well as the general manager and coordinating video producer at YourTango.