Divorce is stressful for you and your spouse. Your promise to love each other “til death do us part” is coming to an early end.

It is critical to remember that your children may feel caught in the middle. If they are young, in particular, they do not understand what his happening. They need special attention.

How divorce impacts your children

Children can feel that they are somehow responsible for the breakup of your marriage. They sense your stress and take it on as their own.

As a result, they may try to mediate disputes between you and your spouse. They can feel pressured to take sides, which can poison your relationship with them.

The stress can cause them to block their own emotions, leading to anxiety and depression. They may lose interest in school and other activities, and they may rebel by refusing to follow your instructions and rules. If you have older kids, they can even become substance abusers to avoid coping with the trauma.

How you can help your children

You need to protect your children as much as possible. Do not discuss the details of your divorce with them, and do not say bad things about your spouse – remember, your children still love your partner.

Control your anger. Do not argue with your spouse in front of your children, and do not take out your bad feelings toward your spouse on your children.

Watch your children for signs of depression, anxiety or changes in behavior. Talk to them about their feelings; they may need professional counseling.

How your love can make a difference

You may feel angry and betrayed. But you are an adult who has more experience coping with emotional trauma.

Your children need your support now more than ever. Tell your kids that you love them and that they are not responsible for the divorce. If you are having trouble yourself, seek help. You will be better off, and so will your children.