It’s no secret that a divorce can be difficult for children. They may want the parents to stay together, they may not like all the changes in their lives, and especially with younger children, they may not really understand why this is all happening. As a parent, you want to take steps to help them through this process and help them adjust.

One of the biggest things you can do is to sit down with your spouse and your kids and honestly explain as much as you feel comfortable with for their ages. Don’t try to hide it or keep it to yourself. Reassure the children by telling them that you both love them, they did nothing to cause the divorce and they’re still going to see both of you. Then let them ask questions so that they feel like they have a voice.

Another key point of focus is on reducing the number of changes to the children’s routines. This is when they really feel like the divorce is changing their lives. If you can keep their routines intact, though they may see each of you a bit less, it doesn’t feel so drastic. They take comfort in that familiarity.

Now, you and your spouse may have your fair share of conflicts, arguments, disagreements and legal discussions. Do what you can to have these on your own time, when the children aren’t around. Don’t expose them to stressful events. When you are with them, stop thinking about the divorce and just concentrate on being loving parents.

Of course, as you work through this process, you also want to know what parental rights you have and what steps to take.