Although you might feel the weight of your divorce the heaviest, it can also be difficult on your kids too. So, the last thing you should do is make a child a messenger between you and your ex-spouse or talk about your ex in a negative light in front of your children.

Among other reasons, you probably separated from your ex, knowing that if you stayed together, you’d run the risk of arguing too much in front of your children. When children witness one too many arguments, they can develop anxiety or behavior problems. Rather than involving your children, you can work on tweaking how you communicate and coordinate parenting duties with your co-parent and tuning in with your own mental health.

Consider parallel parenting

If you have chosen a more, traditional co-parenting approach that requires a lot of interactions with your ex, maybe scaling back can keep you from arguing. Maybe try a parallel parenting arrangement instead. You can do this by establishing a more business-like relationship, following a more rigid child pick-up schedule and engaging in less direct contact.

Take a more digital approach

Maybe it’s not that in-person interactions that are the problem, but it’s just a lack of communication or miscommunication. For example, maybe your ex always takes your child to soccer practices because you have work obligations, but you never hear about how your child is progressing at practice. Using specific apps to message each other about child-related matters could help solve this problem.

Do a mental health check

Divorce is a huge life change, and as parents it’s already difficult to take time to yourself. Instead of keeping emotions pent-up or being irritable with your children or your ex because of bottled up frustrations, you should address your feelings and mental state. You can do this by confiding in other divorced parents or getting professional therapy.

Strong, healthy parents not only excel at helping their children meet all their needs, but create an example for how their children can persevere through the ups and downs of life.