Divorce can be an emotionally draining, difficult process, and not only for the divorcing couple: Their kids can be doubly affected, experiencing emotional grief from both parents who are splitting up.

Georgia divorce experts note that divorce can be notoriously difficult for children, making it all the more important that divorcing couples be mindful of their children and make an effort to keep the process from being disruptive and painful, to the fullest extent possible. It’s worth considering how your children would prefer you to handle the situation. What would the rules be if your kids made them?

It turns out kids do have preferences when it comes to their parents’ behavior. One small survey of children ages 10 to 12 compiled a list of the most common requests kids would make of their parents — if they listened.

The most common “rule” established by children was that parents would not say mean things about each other. . Many children of divorcing parents seem very interested in finding out what they can do to stop bad-mouthing, but the unfortunate truth for these children is that only the parents can control what is said.

Many children also express unhappiness when they are dragged into adult problems such as child support, child custody or cooperation generally in the divorce proceedings. Using children as pawns in the divorce — especially when the children are aware of it — can be emotionally damaging and very confusing to them.

Other common responses from children were requests that parents avoid using blame or guilt to manipulate their children, that they avoid fighting in front of the children, and that they cooperate enough to coexist at big events, such as graduations and weddings.

Source: Huffington Post, “If your kids could make the rules of divorce” Kara Bishop, Dec. 29, 2011