Parents want to give their children the skills they will need to succeed in life. When you are in the midst of a difficult divorce, you have to think about how your actions will impact your children. Even when you think that they aren’t picking up on certain things, there is a good chance that they are paying close attention and taking things to heart.

Because of the nature of a divorce, things are likely going to get heated at some point or another. How you react when this happens will teach your children a lot. As tempting as it is to act short with your ex, make snide comments or give your ex the silent treatment, doing these will teach your children that childish and rude behaviors are acceptable when you are angry.

You should do your best to remain respectful and work with your ex, even when this is difficult. Keeping yourself calm might help your case, too. There is a chance that your ex is being ridiculous just to try to get a rise out of you. Showing your ex and others around you compassion during this time can help your children learn that compassion is always a good idea, even when you aren’t feeling calm and happy.

Another thing that children will notice is how you are handling the divorce. Actions like binge eating or doing unhealthy things can teach your children that these are suitable ways to handle stressful situations. Instead, make sure that you are taking care of yourself so that your children will learn that.

Try to make sure that you aren’t telling your children the intimate details of the divorce. They need to have some level of stability and they need to know that their parents love them. Keep the focus of the divorce on you and your ex so that you aren’t falsely blaming your children or making them feel that the divorce is their fault.

Source: Our Family Wizard, “What Will Your Divorce Teach Your Child?,” accessed Oct. 18, 2017