Divorce is never easy, and there is always stress involved. However, for parents in Iowa, there are even more complications thanks to the kids’ involvement. In order for this difficult period of time to go as easily as possible, there are certain tips parents should follow.

According to Parents.com, telling the children is difficult, and there are better ways to handle it than others. The discussion should not be an off-the-cuff thing. Both parents should discuss ahead of time the key messages they want to convey, and then tell everyone together. Showing a united front increases the kids’ confidence and helps support them emotionally. If the children are similar in age, telling them together is better, but if there is a big difference in age, emotions and understanding, it may be better to tell them separately.

Parents should expect a variety of reactions and emotions as well as questions. Respond to all questions honestly and openly.

According to KidsHealth.org, mom and dad should keep all conflict, arguments and legal discussion during the divorce proceedings behind closed doors to prevent any additional emotional damage to the kids. It is also important to keep routines the same, as this provides consistency, familiarity and comfort. Each child should spend quality time with each parent to keep familial relationships consistent.

Children will react and cope to divorce in different ways. Each parent should encourage the children to share their emotions and be honest with how they feel. Legitimize them and offer the support they need. Both mom and dad should also do what they can to manage stress to keep them emotionally and physically strong throughout the process.