Co-Parenting Boundaries: What To Establish

It’s always important to set up good, healthy boundaries after your divorce. However, if you’re going to be co-parenting, then you’ll need some specific co-parenting boundaries as well. These boundaries can really help you have a more pleasant co-parenting experience…

Co-Parenting Boundaries: Key Areas

Conversations

It’s important to have good co-parenting boundaries for your conversations. Healthy communication is crucial for any co-parenting plan. If you can’t talk to one another, then it’ll quickly cause issues for you both when it comes to trying to co-parent.

Having some boundaries regarding your conversations can help prevent these issues. Mainly, you want to keep your conversations focused on the kids, and avoid trying to pry into their personal life. You might even find it’s better to keep your conversations through text or phone calls as an extra step to avoid tensions.

Pick-ups & drop-offs

You’ll also want to have good co-parenting boundaries when doing pick-ups and drop-offs. While these might seem pretty simple, the truth is they can be more difficult than you think. Seeing your ex again can bring up strong emotions, which could end up causing you to argue in front of the kids.

That kind of fighting can be traumatic to your kids, who might think that they’re somehow responsible for your fighting. Therefore, you should make sure these times are focused solely on having the kids move from one household to another. If you really do need to talk to your co-parent about something, do it later and in private away from the kids.

New partners

New partners tend to always make co-parenting a little bit trickier than it was before. If your partner starts seeing someone new, then you probably won’t be too fond of this new person at first. Your ex could act the same should you move on and begin dating first as well.

This is why the best thing to do is set up co-parenting boundaries which limit the involvement of these new partners. After all, your agreement was between you and your ex. Keep these new partners out of it for the most part, and wait until things begin to calm down before either of you try and introduce them properly to the other.

Father’s Day Post-Divorce

Many holidays tend to be a bit hard to celebrate after a divorce. A Father’s Day post-divorce is one of those holidays which will require you to navigate a bit differently. However, there are some things you can do to make the day enjoyable for everyone…

Father’s Day Post-Divorce: Make It A Success

Talk to the kids

It’s good to talk to your kids about how a Father’s Day post-divorce will be different than it usually is. Many kids struggle to enjoy these special days because of the divorce. Things tend to feel a little sad for them as they remember that they can’t really celebrate them as they used to before the divorce.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to talk to them about that. Let them know it’s okay if they feel a bit sad, and that you feel sad too. However, be sure to remind them how important they are to you and that you’ll be there for them. This can really help them get back into a better mood.

Try some fun activities

A Father’s Day post-divorce should also involve some fun activities for you and the kids. Just doing nothing may be relaxing for you, but your kids will feel a bit left out. This isn’t something you want to happen, especially coming off of a divorce.

Rather, come up with some things that they can do with you to celebrate the day. They don’t need to be anything complex, but just things you can all enjoy doing together. You can even let the kids try and plan things out! Doing these types of activities are a great way for you and your kids to improve your bond, which the divorce may have strained.

Don’t sweat gifts

Gifts are something which can be a bit tricky for a Father’s Day post-divorce. Younger kids tend to usually make something themselves and give it as a gift. For older kids, though, they usually have the other parent take care of things. This could no longer be possible now after your divorce.

That’s why you won’t want to sweat any gifts, and make sure your kids know that. They could feel guilty if they show up empty-handed, so let them know the thing which really matters to you is spending time with them. Still, if they’re adamant that they want a gift, try to have a grandparent, aunt, or uncle help them pick something out.

Toxic Marriage: Signs To Watch For

Ending up in a marriage where you’ve fallen out of love can be tough to grapple with. It can also be hard to tell when exactly this shift has occurred. However, there are some common signs of a toxic marriage you can look out for. That way, you can know when your marriage may no longer be working out…

Toxic Marriage: Common Indicators

No longer friends

One sign of a toxic marriage is when you feel like you aren’t friends with your partner anymore. It’s important for a couple to be friends as well as lover. You should be able to hang out and have fun, just like you would be if you were only friends.

If you find that you can’t do that anymore, though, then it could indicate things have turned toxic. This is especially true if you find yourself feeling awkward of frustrated when hanging out with them. Once you can no longer be friendly, your marriage itself will begin to weaken.

You can’t compromise

Something else which is important for a good marriage is compromising. Being able to compromise with your spouse is important for keeping the peace. As you strike a balance with a compromise, it shows that you and your partner can still work together to find solutions, even if you disagree at first.

Not being able to compromise can be an indication of a toxic marriage. Instead of being able to meet in the middle, you’ll both fight over who is right and who is wrong. This shows that you and your partner don’t respect each other’s feelings or opinions anymore.

You imagine a marriage-free life

A pretty apparent sign that you’re in a toxic marriage is when you’re already envisioning a life outside of it. When you thought about your future before, you probably envisioned being with your spouse. The goals you had planned out were something that you felt you could achieve alongside your spouse, while helping them do the same.

Now, it could be the case that you don’t even think about them being in your plans anymore. Rather, you imagine yourself doing things on your own. At this point, it can be pretty clear that there’s a lack of connection between you and your partner.

Household Transitions: Post-Divorce Adjustments

Having to adapt to two different households can be tough for your kids after your divorce. As a result, it’s important to try and make those household transitions easier for your children. After all, this is completely new to every one of you. Taking time and consideration will help them a lot with going in-between you and your ex’s homes…

Household Transitions: Make Them Easier

Go over your schedule

You won’t want your kids to be caught off guard by a household transition. Not knowing when they’ll need to go from one home to the other can be a source of great anxiety for them. Rather, it’s best you talk to them ahead of time about the schedule you and your co-parent are working on.

Doing this will help your kids better prepare for making these transitions. Plus, it’s very easy to help them keep track, especially when you’re first starting out. A simple calendar can be all they need to easily keep track of when they’re going to make the switch to the other household.

 Avoid making them keep a bag

It’s pretty natural for us to pack a bag when we’re making a trip. In this context, however, it’s probably best that you make it so your kids won’t need to do so. Having them pack a bag of their stuff each time they go between homes can make these household transitions a lot harder on them.

Basically, this causes their homes to not really feel like a home. Rather, they’ll constantly feel like they have one foot out the door. It can also be stressful if they forget something at another house. Instead, you should both make it so there’s very little your kids will need when they go from one house to the other.

Avoid changeover conflict

For parents, the tricky part of household transitions can be having to be together again. Depending on your co-parenting relationship, these meetups can be potential points of contention for the both of you. This is especially true if there was something related to the kids that you recently disagreed on.

Still, you want to avoid any conflict during these transitions. Not only will it be bad for your co-parenting goals, but it’ll also be bad for the kids as well. Save those types of conversations for another time so your kids won’t be caught up in the blow back.

Co-Parenting Vocabulary

It’s crucial that you and your co-parent practice good communication. A large part of being able to do so is your co-parenting vocabulary. Using some essential phrases will help the both of you talk to each other and take care of your co-parenting duties…

Co-Parenting Vocabulary: What To Use

Please and Thank You

Out of all the phrases, please and thank you are some of the most important for your co-parenting vocabulary. In fact, pretty much everyone is taught from a young age how important they are. That importance doesn’t change when you become co-parents either.

Saying please and thank you is an easy way for you to show some respect to each other. Plus, it makes it a lot easier for you to have them do you a favor, or show your appreciate for when they help you. It seems simple, but a lot of co-parents forget the value of simple courtesies!

Our children

Another helpful phrase to use as part of your co-parenting vocabulary is “our children.” Due to your divorce, it’s easy to feel disconnected from one another. Eventually, this can seep into your co-parenting, where you begin to act more selfishly than selflessly.

However, using “our children” can help reaffirm who exactly your co-parenting is for. That way, you both realize when you’re acting in your own interests at the expense of your kids. This’ll help you to come together and work on solutions together, rather than try and do things your own way.

Let me think on that

If you had a particularly rough divorce, then it’ll take you some time to adjust to working with your ex as a co-parent. In particular, your reactions to their requests might be more negative than they should be. To avoid this, you want to give yourself a chance to really think things through with a clear head.

A good way to do this is just by saying something like “let me think on that” when you need to. Doing this helps to give you some time to consider whatever it is your co-parent is asking. At the same time, it also shows them that you aren’t just blowing off their question or idea and are willing to give it some thought.

Sick Child: Co-parenting in Difficult Times

Every parent expects for their kid to get sick now and then. However, having a sick child while co-parenting can impact your normal plan. Therefore, it’s good to know how you can co-parent effectively while also caring for your kid at the same time…

 Sick Child: Co-Parenting Methods

Prepare in advance

It’s always a good idea to plan in advance for a sick child. If it’s something you know will happen eventually, you should go ahead and get yourself ready. For instance, you both will want to stock up on some good basic medicine. You’ll also want to have any other important info, like their doctor’s contact details, insurance details, and lists of any medication or allergies.

As an extra precaution, be sure to know where to go in case of an emergency. The last thing you want when your kid gets really sick is not knowing where you can go for help. Take time to figure out where the closest hospitals are for both of your homes.

Be willing to make changes

When dealing with a sick child, you’ll want to be flexible when it comes to your original co-parenting plan. It could be the case that your kid is too sick to go to school, or even move houses. It’ll be a lot better for their recovery and overall well-being if they instead stay in one place as they try and get over their sickness.

Just be sure that you and co-parent talk about this beforehand. You don’t want to just say out of nowhere that you won’t be sticking to the original agreement. As long as you’re both on the same page, it becomes easier to accept these short-term changes.

Be united

The best thing you can do for your sick child is to come together and help them. Now is a time where they’ll especially benefit from care from the both of you. Even if you have your differences, this is when it’s much better to work as a team rather than be at odds with one another.

For example, maybe your co-parent can call and text your child more to make up for the other missed time. You may even invite them over to let them spend time together. This is great for your kid’s well-being, and shows them you both care for them and are helping to make them feel better.

Quarantine Co-Parenting: Surpassing Obstacles

The stay-at-home orders are beginning to relax and people are starting to hit the streets once again. After all, you’ve been stuck inside for quite some time now. It’s only natural to rush back out, especially if you’ve been stuck quarantining with an ex. Maybe you began your divorce process in January and then quarantine left you in limbo. Therefore, you’ve been stuck inside with your ex for quite some time… Then when you add kids to the mix? Quarantine Co-parenting is no joke. Especially when you’re dealing with turmoil of your own.

Quarantine Co-Parenting: How To Adapt

Communicate Effectively

Communication is crucial for any good co-parenting plan. For quarantine co-parenting, it’s especially important. Doing face-to-face meetings may prove to be hard to pull off at this time. In that case, you’ll need to keep in touch about what your plans are.

As a result, you may want to up your communication efforts. Being in constant contact during these times can reduce you and your ex’s concerns about the kids. Aside from simple texts, it can be handy to make daily catch-up calls and use calendar apps to make sure you can stay on the same page.

Be Flexible

Another important part of quarantine co-parenting is flexibility. These are unprecedented times, and as such what worked before may not work right now. For instance, it could be the case you or your ex can’t work, and your kids have to take online classes. Your could even find you need to rework your whole previous schedule.

Therefore, try to be as flexible as you can. Don’t worry about if your visiting time becomes a bit shorter then it usually is. It’s a difficult time for everyone, and you’ll have to make some changes in order to help keep them all safe.

Prepare for the long-term

While these tough times will pass, it’s still good to plan ahead for the long-term. How your quarantine co-parenting goes now can influence how easy it’ll be to return to your “normal” plan. That’s why you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks or let the stress get to you.

Remember to take a step back every now and again to re-focus on your shared goals. You both want what’s best for your kids, especially during these times. If you’re able to work together now, then collaborating after the quarantine will be a whole lot easier as well.

Anxious Teen: Co-Parenting Woes

Going through a divorce as a parent can be tough. After all, you don’t want to make things harder for your kids, especially if you have an anxious teen. With how tough being a teenager can be, it’s good for you and your ex to keep these key things in mind when co-parenting…

Anxious Teen: How To Help

Have clear boundaries

During this time, an anxious teen is going to need your support more than ever. Even if they appear to be distant, they still want to have your love and spend time with you. Still, you need to make sure that you have good boundaries because of this.

Mainly, you want to avoid talking about things related to their other parent with them. Don’t use them as a source for venting your frustrations. This will just make them more anxious, especially when they’re with their other parent. Instead, focus on what you can do together to improve your bond.

Set a good example

It’s important that you set a good example for your anxious teen. Studies have shown that teens are very much influenced by how their parents act. For instance, children of parents who tend to fight and argue a lot tends to have higher rates of anxiety and depression.

On the other hand, children of positive and supportive parents are much happier and recover from a divorce faster. This is a time where your teen is going to be trying to figure out who exactly they are. By being a good role model, you’ll help them find some positive answers to those questions.

Encourage co-parent connection

If you feel pretty poorly towards your ex, then you may be wary about letting your anxious teen spend time with them. However, this can result in your teen feeling “alienated” towards their other parent. Not only will this harm their relationship with their parent, but it’ll also cause conflict between you and your ex.

Your child needs to get support from both you and their other parent. At this point in their lives, they need to know that their parents still love them. Therefore, encourage your teen to spend time with their other parent, even on days where they may say they “aren’t in the mood.” They’ll quickly realize how important this time is.