In all that you do, be mindful of what you are teaching your children. It may sound cliché, but your actions really do speak louder than words. Remember that your kids will pay attention to what you do, regardless of what you say. And if you tell them to be a certain way or do a certain thing, but you don’t adhere to those same rules, they will notice.

Children are very impressionable and pick up on all that is going on around them like little sponges. In fact, they are often far more aware of what is happening between you and your ex than you may realize. They learn how to interact with others and what normal behavior is by observing us in our everyday lives.

Pay attention to what you’re saying and doing on a regular basis, and how it may affect your children. As you are more conscious of your actions and your words, you can begin to change them if you choose to.

As you go through challenging situations, you can decide what you want to teach your children and what you want them to learn from you for the times when they are faced with challenges in their own lives.

This may seem like a very dark, tough time for you right now, but I invite you to think about the opportunities that you have to teach some amazing qualities and characteristics to your children. You can be an amazing role model for them.

Refrain from making negative comments about your former partner, even if they say negative things about you. Show compassion, understanding, and patience. All of these traits will be passed on to your children.

Communicate in a positive, effective manner to demonstrate your desire to work together and do what’s best for everyone involved. Your children will see that and they will learn to do the same in their own interactions as they go through life.

Take a stand for what you believe in and what matters most to you. You’ll be modeling that behavior for your kids. I know it’s hard, and I know it may seem right now that it doesn’t make much of a difference, but trust me, it does, and it will.

And when your children are adults, they will remember how you behaved and what you did or didn’t do that helped your family get through a trying time. They will appreciate and respect you and want to emulate you, as they will see what a difference it has made in their lives. And you can be proud of what you’ve done and have no regrets. It’s totally worth it.

So think about what you’re teaching and modeling before you think or act. Decide what you want your children to learn from you and how you want to be remembered. Be a role model to everyone around you. It’s time for divorce to be a more harmonious process and you can lead the way.