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Divorce is painful to everyone involved, but most especially, divorce is painful to your kids. It’s important to not get so caught up in the conflict between you and your partner that you overlook how it’s impacting your children.

Let me be clear: I am not saying that divorce is bad. Actually, divorce is very necessary in many cases, because it means removing your kids from a toxic situation that could impact them deeply later on. However, it’s important to take care not to forget that you do have children because divorce can get so ugly that it becomes more traumatic than a toxic marriage.

Here are the 9 things your child wishes they could say about your divorce.

Please, do not bring me into the middle of your fighting.

I did not ask for this, you did. I love you both and need to see both of you acting like adults. Arguing, yelling, and screaming in front of me is not very adult-like.

Please do not talk badly about my other parent.

I love them, even if you want to separate from them. When you talk badly about them, it makes me angry at you.

I just want to be a kid, please don’t talk to me about adult problems.

I don’t understand money or any of your adult problems. When you offload adult things onto me, it makes me feel anxious because I do not understand how to help make you feel better.

I need quality time with both of you.

I still want to spend time with both of you. I know you can’t be together, but please don’t pull back from me when I need you the most.

I am not an asset to use as a bargaining chip.

I hear the conversations about who will get me in the divorce. I do not want to be a bargaining chip. Find a way for me to be around you both.

Don’t stop me from seeing my other parent, I love them and need them.

Just because you are angry with them, does not mean that I am. I need them in my life, and you are hurting me more than you are hurting them.

Don’t make me choose between you.

I do not want to pick sides. I just want my family. If that means you are apart, that’s okay. But I need both of you in my life.

Please show up for my triumphs, even if they are going to be there.

I need you to be at my ballgames, ballet practices, and science fair. Even if my other parent is there, and you don’t want to see them, I need you there.

Deal with your problems in therapy.

I am not your therapist. When you talk to me about your dating troubles, financial difficulty, and your problems at work, I feel overwhelmed. I am not ready to be an adult, please talk to someone else about that adult stuff.