When you’re going through a divorce, your children must deal with it, too. Protecting them from getting hurt during the process is one of the primary concerns of most parents. There are several ways that you can do this during the divorce — and even after.

First, limit the amount of information the children have about the matters between you and your ex. They can know the basics about the divorce, but they don’t need all the intimate details. You should avoid fighting with your ex in front of them because they might pick up a lot of information that way.

Second, pay attention to what your children are telling you and to how they are behaving. Some children won’t speak about the issues they’re having with the transition. Instead, they act out in uncharacteristic manners. If you notice this, it might behoove you to try to find out what’s on the child’s mind and see if there is some way to help them.

Third, don’t expect your child to be a miniature adult. Even if the child is a teen, remember that the divorce involves the two people they count on the most. Because of this, you shouldn’t ever use them as a sounding board for anything about the divorce.

Finally, communicate directly with your ex. No child should have to relay messages back and forth between parents. By talking to your ex, you can ensure that exact messages are transmitted and the response given.

The way child custody matters are handled should be covered in the parenting plan. When you and your ex can agree on those terms, you may find that everything is a bit less stressful.