Splitting up can be a nightmare, and when kids are involved, it’s a whole different level of chaos. While you’re busy dividing assets and arguing over who gets the dog, it’s easy to forget the little humans caught in the crossfire. Spoiler alert: The way you handle your split can have a huge impact on your children’s emotional well-being. So, before you accidentally set them on a path to therapy, check out these seven common mistakes divorcing parents make – and how to avoid them.

1. Making kids the go-between

Newsflash: Your kids aren’t your personal postal service. Using them to relay messages between you and your ex is a fast track to Stressville for everyone involved.

Better Idea: Communicate directly with your ex. Spare your kids the drama and let them know they’re not responsible for your conversations (or lack thereof).

2. Badmouthing the ex

It might feel satisfying to trash-talk your ex, but doing it in front of your kids is a big no-no. It’s like pouring salt into their emotional wounds.

Better Idea: Bite your tongue. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all—at least when your kids are within earshot. They need to form their own opinions without your bias.

3. Leaning on your kids for support

Sure, you’re going through a tough time, but your kids aren’t your therapists. Using them as emotional crutches can pile on more pressure than they can handle.

Better Idea: Call a friend, see a therapist, or adopt a dog—anything but leaning on your kids. They need you to be the parent, not the other way around.

4. Inconsistent parenting

Different rules at mom’s house and dad’s house can turn kids into confused messes who don’t know which way is up.

Better Idea: Have a pow-wow with your ex and agree on some basic ground rules. Consistency is key to giving your kids a sense of stability in an unstable time.

5. Neglecting self-care

Running yourself ragged while trying to be Super Parent will only lead to burnout—and that’s bad news for everyone.

Better Idea: Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat well, and get some sleep. A healthy you is better for your kids than a martyr parent.

6. Avoiding professional help

Think you can handle everything solo? Think again. Skipping professional help is like trying to fix a car without a mechanic—you might make things worse.

Better Idea: Get some expert advice. Mediators, counselors, and therapists exist for a reason. Use them to navigate the emotional and logistical minefields of divorce.

7. Ignoring kids’ emotional needs

Kids can be good at hiding their feelings, but ignoring their emotional health can lead to long-term issues.

Better Idea: Pay attention. Talk to your kids, listen to what they’re saying (and what they’re not), and consider getting them a counselor if they need it. Their mental health is just as important as yours.

By avoiding these seven sins, you can help your kids weather the storm of divorce with less stress and more resilience. Remember, it’s all about keeping things stable, supportive, and—above all—sane.