How to Make Divorce Easier on Your Children

It can be hard to know how to make divorce easier on your children. But divorce is incredibly hard on them as well as you. So it’s important to try and be aware of their needs and feelings. It’s important to reassure them frequently that the divorce is not related to them. In addition, always be a good listener when they want to talk about their feelings. Be a team with your ex, at least when it comes to the kids. Put aside your differences to make the transition easier for your children. And finally, get your children to help if they need it or ask for it. Divorce is hard on everybody, but your children will need your support.

How to Make Divorce Easier on Your Children: Help Your Kids Through It

Reassure Them

The most important thing to make divorce easier on your children is to constantly be reassuring. No matter what you or your partner tell them, children are very apt to blame themselves for their parents’ divorce. Tell them repeatedly that they are not to blame. You also need to reassure them that their lives will settle back down soon. The divorce process can be hard, but knowing that their schedule will be more predictable in the future is helpful for kids. And finally, reassure them of how much you love them. Even older children are going through an especially fragile time and will need to hear it often.

Listen to Them

Another way to make divorce easier on your children is to listen to them. Some kids are very hesitant to talk about their parents’ divorce. Others have lots of questions and want to discuss their feelings. Don’t try to force your children to talk to you if they don’t want to. But when they do choose to talk, be a good listener. They may say things that upset you, but try to put their feelings first and listen to everything they say.

Be a Team

Being a team player with your ex can be hard. But it can make divorce easier on your children in the end. You may have your differences, and you may feel that your ex is in the wrong. However, your children still see them as loving parents. It’s important not to bad-mouth them in front of your kids. This can upset your children greatly. Try to at least work with your ex when it comes to coordinating schedules for your children so that their schedule stays somewhat dependable.

Get them Help

Finally, make divorce easier on your children by getting them help if they need it. Some children just may not be able to express their emotions in a healthy way. Or be able to talk to you about their feelings. If this is the case, consider talking to a child therapist. They might be able to really help your kids work through their emotions. A therapist or psychologist can be a neutral party for them to who they may feel more comfortable opening up.

Divorce can be incredibly stressful on kids, so it’s important to try and make divorce easier on your children. Try to always reassure them they are not to blame and that you love them. In addition, be a good listener if they want to talk to you about their feelings. Put aside hurt feelings in order to work together with your ex to keep your children’s schedules reliable. And finally, get them professional help if they need it or if they ask for it. Remember that as an adult, you’re better equipped to handle your emotions. Your children will need your help getting through what can be a very stressful time in their lives.

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce

Telling your children about your divorce might be one of the most difficult discussions you’ll ever have in your life. However, if you plan in advance, you can better prepare for handling this tough conversation. You and your partner really need to work together on this, so try to put aside your differences for the sake of the children. You’ll need to be a team to prepare how you’ll talk to the kids, and answer their questions. You should also try to tell them together. Reassure them that they will adjust. Finally, give them space to absorb the new information. It will be painful, but preparing in advance can make this conversation more bearable.

Telling Your Children About Your Divorce: Plan In Advance

Prepare Beforehand

Telling your children about your divorce needs to be a team effort between you and your spouse. You might disagree on a lot, but you’ll need to put aside differences in order to have a healthy conversation with your kids. You’ll need to decide the narrative that you’re going to tell the children about why you are divorcing. You don’t need to get into all the details, but a general idea of how to tackle that question without blaming can be helpful. Also, try to prepare for their questions. They may want to know which parent they’ll be living with, where they’ll be staying if they’ll be changing schools or moving. All of these are valid concerns and you should try to have an answer ready to go for them.

Tell Them Together

Telling your children about your divorce is best done together. That way, you’ll be able to share with them the reasons without playing the blame game. They can ask all the questions they want, and you and your spouse can answer them together. They need to see that you are both in agreement that this is the best course of action for your family. It also shows that you can work together and that you’ll both be committed to making things as smooth as possible. If your children are of similar ages, try to tell them at the same time so that they don’t hear about it from a sibling.

Reassure Them

The absolute most important thing when telling your children about your divorce is to reassure them. Reassure them that you love them and that you are going to make the divorce as smooth as you can for them. You’ll of course reassure them that they played no part in the reason for the divorce. That there is nothing they did to cause it. And that there was nothing they could do to prevent it. Also reassure them that even though it will be hard, they will adjust to this new life. You’ll need to reassure them many times throughout the process.

Give Them Space

Finally, after telling your children about your divorce, give them space. Everybody needs time to adjust to hearing life-changing news. They’ll need to think out all of what this means for their lives. They’ll probably have many questions and concerns. Even though it’s painful, try to always be open and willing to talk to them about your divorce. Some children may shut down for a little while they process. Reassure them that you would like to talk to them whenever they feel like it. Let them react how they need to react because they have a right to their feelings.

It will be hard. It will be painful. But telling your children about your divorce will ultimately go better if you prepare in advance. Make a plan with your partner about how to tell them and how to answer their questions. Find a non-blaming narrative that is age-appropriate. Sit down as a family sometime when you can really take your time with the conversation. Reassure them that they will adjust and that the divorce is not their fault. And finally, give them space to absorb this new vision of their lives. While it’s difficult to have these conversations, in the end, you are trying to do what is best for them. They’ll be happier with two parents who co-parent in a healthy way than they would be with two parents living in a toxic marriage.

Co-Parenting in the Time of Covid

The Covid-19 virus has made life incredibly stressful for everybody. However, co-parenting in the time of Covid can add an entirely new layer of stress to parents. Having children going back and forth between two different households can be confusing. Especially since everybody should socially distance right now. Parents hopefully have a crisis plan in place for children. There are several considerations to think about when deciding how to split time. Open communication and modern technology can help you manage this crisis. Hopefully, the pandemic will lessen soon and everybody, including co-parents, can get back to life as normal.

Co-Parenting in the Time of Covid: Put the Kids First

Navigating a Crisis

Co-parenting in the time of Covid is like co-parenting in a crisis. Most co-parents have a plan in place if there were ever to be some sort of crisis. While you and your ex might disagree about a lot of things, hopefully, you can work together to navigate these tough times. Perhaps the stress of dealing with Covid can help you put aside more petty disagreements. If you don’t already have a plan like this in place, now is the time to make one. If ever we face another time like this, you’ll be more prepared. You can choose to continue the current parenting plan you have in place, or temporarily change things.

Things to Consider

There are many things to consider when co-parenting in the time of Covid. Since families are meant to be distancing, you might decide that your children should stay with one parent. Rather than being exposed to germs from separate households, you’ll keep your germs contained. When trying to decide which home the children should live at more, try to put aside your desire to “win”, and instead, focus on what is best for the kids. For example, maybe one parent is more set up for virtual schooling. Or perhaps one parent is an essential worker and comes into contact with more potential exposures. You might keep the children more at one parent’s house if the other has high-risk family members. And finally, consider the outdoor space at each parent’s home. Children need outdoor activities and room to run around now more than ever.

How to Manage

Co-parenting in the time of Covid relies on open communication between parents. Try to take your feelings out of consideration and think of what’s best for your children. And let your ex know if anything changes with your schedule or job. Dealing with a national pandemic requires flexibility from everybody to best adapt to a changing environment. Don’t forget that you can set up Zoom meetings or Facetime with your children when you aren’t with them. If both parents feel that they need to see the children equally, consider yourselves as a “bubble.” Each of you should take the same precautions at home and should be incredibly open and honest about any potential exposure.

Covid is hard for everybody, but co-parenting in the age of Covid can be a huge source of stress. You both want what’s best for your children, so sit down and have an honest conversation about how to handle the pandemic safely. Try to remember that you can use Zoom or outside drive-way hangouts to get some face-to-face time with your kids. There may be one parent who is better equipped to handle the ever-changing school plan or other social matters. In the future, it’s always best to have a plan in place for any sort of crisis. Hopefully, we won’t ever face another pandemic like this, but you’ll be prepared just in case. By communicating with your partner, you can help one another navigate this extremely stressful situation in a way that is best for your children.

How-to Avoid Co-Parenting Mistakes

Switching from being married to being co-parents after a divorce isn’t always easy. Many former couples struggle with making the transition. While mistakes will happen, there are some co-parenting mistakes you’ll want to do your best to avoid. Doing so will help make your experience a lot smoother…

How-to Avoid Co-Parenting Mistakes: Common Issues

Picking fights

One of the most common co-parenting mistakes is when co-parents start to pick fights. It’s understandable that tensions may be a bit high following your divorce. As such, when you have to meet your co-parent, it can be tough to be totally relaxed. This is especially true if your co-parent is seemingly going out of their way to push your buttons.

A good way to avoid these fights is by waiting until you both cool off to meet in person. Instead, you can keep in touch via texts or phone calls. It’s also important for both of you to recognize when you’re in the wrong. Apologize after saying rude, even if your other co-parent doesn’t, to set a good example for your kids.

Forgetting the point

Another of the common co-parenting mistakes is when co-parents lose sight of their goals. Instead of trying to be good co-parents to their kids, they instead try and gain an “upper hand” over their ex. This ends up causing a power struggle to develop. Now, each co-parent will try and make requests or demands for their own benefit, rather than for the kids.

Remember that co-parenting isn’t a competition. Your kids will need both of you to be positive influences in their lives. If they see you fighting and acting like that, you’ll be leaving a bad impression. Therefore, you and your co-parent need to be willing to work together for the benefit of your kids.

Bad communication

Many co-parenting mistakes are caused by bad communication. It could be that you and your co-parent barely talk to one another. This can end up causing a lot of miscommunication, leaving you or them out of the loop. As a result, this tends to cause a lot of tension and subsequent arguments.

Good communication is crucial to any co-parenting arrangement. As such, you and your co-parent should remain in regular contact. Even just simple texts or calls will go a long way in clearing things up and making sure everyone is on the same page.

The Pros and Cons Of Sole Custody: Weighing Options

Custody battles are one of the most stressful things a couple can go through. There are pros and cons of sole custody versus joint custody. A lot depends on the situation and parents involved. You need to weigh the options and decide if seeing sole custody is the right decision for you, your children, and your ex-partner.

The Pros and Cons of Sole Custody: Is This The Right Move?

Positives of Sole Custody

When debating the pros and cons of sole custody, it is important to know the reason why you are seeking it. If there was abuse or neglect towards you or the children, then it might be best for them to be entirely in your care. Similarly, if there are substance abuses or severe mental illness that could impair somebody’s judgment, it might be safer to keep the children with one parent only. The positives in this instance would be that you could feel confident that your children are safe. Another positive is that if it’s only you making decisions for your children, you don’t have to discuss options with your ex. There can be less stress over important decisions.

Negatives of Sole Custody

Another thing to consider when debating the pros and cons of sole custody is that although you won’t have to run every decision by your partner, you also don’t have them to bounce ideas off of. If stressful situations arise with your kids, you won’t have the benefit of your partner’s advice. Another thing to consider is how overwhelming taking care of children full time alone can be. And of course, seeking sole custody can be a huge source of pain for the parent that loses custody. It can lead to feelings of resentment between you and your ex, as well as your children.

What to Do After You’ve Made Your Decision

After you’ve weighed the pros and cons of sole custody, you might have decided to seek sole or joint custody. If you are seeking joint custody, you and your ex will need to work out a schedule. This also might include finding new places to live or coordinating with child care and school pickups. If you have decided to seek sole custody, you’ll probably want to arrange some childcare help. You’ll need to have backup options for things like school pick-ups and taking children to activities. In case you get sick or work keeps you busy, you’ll need to know who to call for emergency childcare. You also might want to look into help since you are now the sole caregiver, which can be overwhelming.

There are many pros and cons of sole custody. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons to yourself, your children, and your ex-spouse. Seeking sole custody can cause a lot of emotions, so be sure of your decision before you seek it. Once you’ve decided which route to go, try to prepare things in advance as much as possible. This will hopefully make the transition easier for the kids. The most important thing is that you work out a situation where your children are happy and supported.

How-to Co-Parent Over the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year, filled with family, food and cheer. However, in plenty of cases, this is not the situation. Many find the holidays to be stressful, chaotic, and often painful. Some have lost loved ones, and families may be split apart. The holidays can be a real time of conflict. So how do we deal with our ex-partner and all of these pressures as you are trying to coordinate the holidays? It takes a lot of coordination to make sure each parent gets their time with the children, while still making everyone happy and ensuring everyone gets to see them. While it may seem challenging, it is possible to co-parent over the holidays.

How-to Co-Parent Over the Holidays: Working Out the Arrangements

Be Realistic

When you have to co-parent over the holidays, have realistic expectations. Unless you want to spend the holidays with your ex, you can not expect that you will always get to have your kids with you on the exact holidays. Remember that December 24 and 25 are just dates, and that you can still have a wonderful time even if you have to celebrate a little before or after. Also, you will have to keep in mind that you may not be able to have your kids visit with every single relative for the holidays. It is much more important for your children to be able to share the holidays with their other parent than see a far distant relative. If you go ahead and have reasonable expectations set, you will enjoy the season much more.

Traditions

It is no secret that traditions help make the season special. Children often have fond memories of family traditions they enjoyed. Keep in mind that a divorce does not mean that all of the fun traditions have to be over. Some family traditions may be too painful to continue. Be mindful of this, and only do what is appropriate for your situation and your family. Additionally, you should also create new traditions that are fun for everyone to enjoy. It is okay for you to hold onto some old traditions and create new ones when you have to co-parent over the holidays.

Communication

Whatever you do, communicate with the other parent before making or changing plans. Do you best to come up with a schedule to spend time with the kids, whether together or separate. Things can get more complicated if there are misunderstandings or miscommunications. Try to come up with a reasonable schedule for the holidays. Then, present it to your ex as soon as possible. Work through this to make sure this setup works best for both of you.

How-to Manage Having Split Custody of Your Kids

In some divorce arrangements, parents may end up with split custody of their children. Split custody is different than joint custody. This is a child custody arrangement in which one parent has sole custody of one or more children. Then, the other parent has sole custody of the remaining siblings. This arrangement can be difficult for both the parents and the children. If this applies to you, learn how to manage having split custody of your kids.

How-to Manage Having Split Custody of Your Kids: Divorce Arrangements

Difficulties

Having split custody of your kids can be difficult. One of the hardest parts about it is that your kids may never actually get to see one another. If one child spends all week at moms, while the other spends all week at dads, and they switch on the weekend, they will never be together. Going to living with only one parent at a time can be a big change for children. Compound that with also no longer living with their siblings too, and that makes it even more of an adjustment.

Benefits

On the other hand, there can be some benefits of having split custody of your kids. For example, this could be beneficial if one child is combative or physically or emotionally abusive to the other. In this case, it may be best to have both of the siblings separated. Another example is if one child has special needs. Depending on how severe the disabilities are, one parent may need to solely focus on taking care of the child with special needs. A parent who works away from home full-time likely would not be able to take care of a special needs child in the same way a stay-at-home parent can.

In some cases, if there are large age gaps between siblings, each may prefer to live with a different parent. Another situation is if one parents lives close to a special school that would be beneficial for one child, that child may choose to live with that parent. For example, if there is a really good school of the arts, and a child really wants to be in that program, they may decide to live at the house closest to that school. This could also apply to certain schools for kids with physical or learning disabilities.

There are definitely pros and cons to having split custody of your kids. However, if you make decisions with your children’s best interest in mind, you can manage this unusual situation.

How-to Work Through Arguments: Conflict Resolution

Arguments can be either beneficial or toxic for relationships. This wide difference all depends on how you manage them. A healthy argument can air out issues and leave both parties in a better place than they started. An unhealthy argument can lead to resentment, further anger, and a divide. Whether you are irritated with a friend or going through a divorce, there are ways to do so peacefully. It is really important to be able to work through arguments in a healthy way.

How-to Work Through Arguments: Have a Healthy Disagreement

Communicate

A big helper in managing arguments is to just make sure to communicate with the other person. If you let things build up and up, one day you will likely explode and have a huge argument. If something is bothering you, just talk to the other person about it so that it does not keep brewing inside of you. However, make sure that you address issues with your them in a kind manner. Do not attack them with the issue you want to bring up. Instead, do so in a non- accusatory manner. Have tact and think through your approach. This will help you work through arguments together, and keep them small before they blow up.

Listen

The next step in how you can work through arguments is to make sure and listen to the other person. If you do not hear out their side, they will get even more upset at you. Plus, if you listen to them, you may actually discover that they have legitimate reasons to be upset and end the argument. If the disagreement is in person, make sure to put down your phone, look at them, and show that you are paying attention.

If they are telling you that they do not think you are listening or paying attention, ask for clarification. Perhaps they are misunderstanding your communication style and you could adjust that so that they feel heard and listened to.

Apologize

Another part of being able to work through arguments is to learn how to apologize. Learn how to say that you are sorry. Figure out the best way to do so for the person you are in a disagreement with, as everyone has different communication styles and love languages. It does not have to be anything over the top, but personalizing an apology will go a long way!

Also, be sure that it is a sincere apology. People can tell when you do not truly want to apologize. Make sure it is not a back-handed apology that has a hidden jab in it. This will help you to be better at managing any arguments you have.

Co-Parenting Positivity

Going through a divorce is pretty tough, especially if you have to transition into being a co-parent. This can make it hard to feel optimistic about the future. However, it’s key that you try and focus on some co-parenting positivity. Having a positive outlook will help make your experience a lot easier…

 Co-Parenting Positivity: Keep Optimistic

Consider what you’re thankful for

A great way to create some co-parenting positivity is by considering all the things you’re thankful for. It’s easy to focus on all the negatives after a divorce. While you didn’t plan for this situation, there’s still plenty of things you can appreciate.

For instance, you can be thankful that your kids are healthy and that you can still be a parent to them. You can also be grateful for the new opportunities you have following your divorce. When you feel down, take some time to reflect on what’s going good for you. This is a great way to avoid having negativity get into your co-parenting.

Take care of yourself

Keeping healthy is also another good way to maintain some co-parenting positivity. When we feel bad physically, we also tend to feel bad mentally. This can then make it harder for you to co-parent as well as you may like. Getting into some healthy habits can be handy for avoiding this.

Simple things like eating healthier and drinking more water can go a long way in improving your mood. Exercising and getting plenty of sleep will also do the same. You may wonder how this will help you co-parent. However, being well-rested and energized really helps you keep a positive attitude and clear mind.

Talk about what’s important

Communication is always important for any co-parenting plan. Still, what you talk about can be important for your co-parenting positivity. Talking about things unrelated to your kids, especially about your personal life, can quickly put you into a sour mood.

To avoid this, it helps to focus your talks solely on your kids. Keep your conversations brief, with the main topic being about how the kids are doing. After all, you both view your kids as important. Keeping your talks centered around them can help you feel positive and avoid arguments.

Nesting Co-Parenting: Possible Benefits

Most parents think that co-parenting involves moving the kids from one parent’s house to another. However, nesting co-parenting offers a different perspective. This alternative way of co-parenting might just be the sort of thing you and your co-parent are looking for…

Nesting Co-Parenting: How Its Different

What is “nesting?”

Nesting co-parenting differs from other co-parenting plans mainly in terms of where the kids stay. Usually, after a divorce, either one parent will keep the home and the other will move, or both will move to new homes. Then, the kids will go in-between each household depending on the co-parenting schedule they come up with.

With a nesting arrangement, the kids will actually stay at the family home. Instead, it’ll be you and your co-parent who will come and go. So, for example, one week you’ll stay at the home with the kids, and then switch with your co-parent. That way, the kids don’t have to constantly go back-and-forth between two new homes.

Benefits to the kids

A nesting co-parenting arrangement can be really beneficial to your kids. Divorce is a major time of change both for you and them. Having to constantly go back and forth between you and your co-parent’s new homes can be very difficult for them. Ultimately, it can be hard for them to really feel “at ease”, even if they’re with one of their parents.

However, by nesting, your kids won’t have to worry about that. Rather, they get to stay in the home that they’re already familiar with. This helps them feel much more at ease with the situation, and not have to worry about constantly moving and bringing things between homes.

Benefits for the parents

Of course, a nesting co-parenting plan doesn’t just help the kids. It can also help you and your co-parent also. For instance, many couples find it’s cheaper to use a nesting plan. The cost of two separate apartments can be cheaper than if you were to both look for new homes. Plus, some co-parents will even “split” an apartment, with one of them staying there while the other is with the kids.

You also won’t have to worry about difficult transitions in-between homes. Rather, you’ll know exactly where your kids will be. You can even have smoother transitions than usual, such as if you drop the kids off at school in the morning and their other parent picks them up. Just make sure you communicate this to both your co-parent and the kids!