Tennessee is just like every other state in the country, and couples make the choice to split up every single day. What complicates the situation is the feelings of children and how to handle them as their world is shifted upside down. If you are going through a divorce and want to keep your kids as protected as possible, KidsHealth has a few tips to help.

Be prepared when you tell the kids about the divorce. Tell them in age-appropriate ways. Some questions you can be prepared to answer include the following:

  • Will I have to move?
  • Will I have to change schools?
  • Who will I live with?
  • Where will my parents live?
  • Can I still see my friends?

Always fall back on honesty with your kids no matter how difficult reality may be. Give them the information they need to feel safe and secure but also to prepare for the future.

Once the divorce is in motion and life has changed, it is important to give kids as much consistency as possible. Rely on routine in things such as schedules, separations and transitions. Keep up on one-on-one tie with each parent and work with your ex to set up visitation schedules that benefit your kids.

One of the most important things you can do for your kids to help them deal with divorce is to get help for yourself. Find appropriate ways to deal with your own anger and emotions so they do not come out at the kids. Be patient with them and with yourself as you adjust to your new normal. Watch closely for signs of stress in your kids and yourself with regular meetings with therapists, doctors and teachers.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.