The 3 Steps to Becoming a Super Stepmom

Becoming a super stepmom

Did you know that only about one-third of stepfamily marriages last? The statistic begs the question: What is the deciding factor between the families that make it and those that do not? I propose that if you have a Super Stepmom, your family will stay together.

A strong, focused stepmom can save the family. She is the secret weapon. Why do some stepmoms stick it out while others surrender? A Super Stepmom has three key attributes:

Resilience: The Foundation of Strength

Resilience is the bedrock of endurance. It embodies the steadfast resolve that declares, “I will uphold this marriage! I will foster a connection with these children! I will overlook disparaging remarks!” There are four facets of resilience: social, emotional, mental, and physical.

  1. Social resilience is fortified by having an ally – someone who offers unwavering support. Spending time with a dear friend who brings joy and allows you to be yourself bestows superpowers upon you. The Super Stepmom forges ahead with strength, achieving her objectives through daily communication with her closest confidants.
  2. Emotional resilience bolsters your fortitude. Can a stepmom ever possess enough resilience? The Super Stepmom maintains a buoyant spirit and a positive outlook on life. Encountering a challenging day? Cultivate a positive mindset!
  3. Mental resilience involves honing your cognitive faculties.  It’s about dealing with problems, no matter how big or small. This could be something as simple as staying calm when you see a messy room, or something huge like finishing a marathon. Whatever the size of the challenge, you need to stay focused and keep trying hard. The Super Stepmom says, “My family and marriage come first. I’ll put in the time and effort needed.” She knows that if she keeps her focus, she’ll see good things happen.
  4. To become a super step mom you should prioritize your physical well-being. You don’t have to stress over looking flawless, but it’s great to do some quick exercises to keep your heart, lungs, and mind in top shape. Next time you’re at a family gathering and need a breather, try stepping outside for a few jumping jacks. It’s a simple way to boost your energy and stay refreshed. Trust me, taking care of your physical well-being can make a big difference!.

Unconditional Kindness: The Superpower of Love

Unconditional kindness is the hallmark of a Super Stepmom. It involves consistently showing compassion and empathy towards your stepchildren, even in challenging circumstances. As you know our society still views stepmothers negatively

Consider a scenario where your stepchild is struggling academically and feels discouraged. Instead of criticizing or blaming them, you offer your support by helping with homework, providing encouragement, and celebrating their progress, no matter how small.

Furthermore, imagine your stepchild expresses resentment towards you, feeling torn between loyalty to their biological parent and acceptance of you. Instead of reacting defensively, you respond with patience and understanding. You reassure them of your love and commitment to their well-being, demonstrating that kindness knows no bounds.

Even amidst disagreements or misunderstandings, you maintain an unwavering commitment to kindness. For instance, if tensions arise during family discussions, you strive to de-escalate the situation by actively listening, validating others’ perspectives, and seeking common ground.

By consistently embodying kindness, you not only nurture a positive relationship with your stepchildren but also foster an atmosphere of trust, respect, and harmony within your blended family. This fosters emotional security and strengthens familial bonds, laying the foundation for long-term stability and happiness.

The Invisibility Cloak: Your Secret Weapon

Another important thing for stepmoms is what we call the invisibility cloak. It’s like having a special power that helps you in tricky situations.

Let me give you an example. Imagine you’re at a family party, and everyone is introducing themselves. When it’s your turn and you say, “I’m the stepmom,” suddenly it’s like you disappear. People start talking to others instead of you, and you feel completely ignored. Instead of feeling unhappy, you can be proud of your invisibility cloak.

Even though you might not get a lot of attention, you’re still super important! Just like a superhero who does amazing things without anyone noticing, you can make a big difference in your family. By being strong, kind, and using your invisibility cloak, you’re like a real-life superhero who helps keep your family happy forever!

Telling Your Children about the Divorce

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Starting the conversation about your divorce with your kids can feel like stepping into a maze of emotions. Even though you’re certain it’s the right choice for your family, broaching the subject isn’t any easier. But how you handle this difficult talk can significantly impact your children’s well-being. This guide will help you tell your kids about the divorce step by step. We’ll also share a secret most parents don’t know! Let’s talk!

At first Make a Plan to break the news

Creating a plan for telling your kids about your divorce is super important for their feelings during this tough time. It’s best if both parents can talk together calmly. Planning what you’ll say ahead of time helps avoid fights and shows your kids you’re still a team in raising them, even with things changing. It’s crucial to show them you’re both saying, “We can handle this,” even though it’s complicated. But if talking together isn’t possible, it’s a good idea for the parent who spends the most time with the kids to do the talking. This keeps things clear and steady during this big change in the family.

Decide what to say  

The way you talk about the divorce depends on how old your child is and their maturity level. Don’t tell them too much at once, and listen to their questions instead of giving them a bunch of information they might not understand yet.

How to talk to 0 to 5 year old kids about divorce

It can be hard to talk to young kids about divorce. Babies and toddlers need their mommy and daddy a lot, and they don’t understand grown-up things like divorce. Preschoolers are starting to do more things on their own, but they still need help from grown-ups most of the time. They might be confused and scared when things change.

If your child is 3-5 and acting differently, like wanting to be held more or having trouble sleeping, it might be because of the divorce. As a mommy or daddy, your job is to take care of your child and make them feel safe. Even after a divorce, it’s important to keep your child’s life as normal as possible. This means doing the same things each day, like eating meals, playing, taking baths, and going to bed. It also means being there for your child whenever they need you.

To help your child understand, use short and simple words. Tell them who is moving out, where they will live, and when they will see the other parent. If your child asks any question, answer their questions with short answers. It might take a few talks for them to understand everything. Since this age is super important for brain development, the most important thing for both parents is to keep things normal and show them lots of love!

How to talk to 6 to 11 year old kids about divorce:

Kids around 6 to 8 years old are still figuring out their feelings and might not understand grownup things like divorce. They might not understand everything, but they can feel confused.

you can start the conversation gently. we need to talk to you about something important. Your dad and I have been having some problems, and we’ve decided that it’s best for us to live separately. Then you can say We understand this might be hard for you. We’re here to answer any questions you have and help you through this.

This age is emotional, your kid’s eyes may fill with tears and may ask a common question “Does this mean I won’t see one of you anymore?”. You should hug your child tightly and respond, “No, sweetheart. You will still see both of us. We’ll work out a schedule so you can spend time with both Mommy and Daddy. And we’ll still do all the things we love to do together. Like movie nights and playing in the park.” Throughout the conversation, you should listen to your kid’s feelings and answer her questions honestly.

For 9- to 11-year-olds:

For kids aged 9 to 11, understanding their feelings about divorce becomes easier as they grow older, and having more friends outside the family can provide support, although they might still simplify things as right or wrong. However, they may feel scared, mad, or sad about the divorce, and some might even hope their parents will reconcile, questioning if they’re to blame. As a parent your duty is to reassure them it’s not their fault and they can’t fix it.

You could explain it this way if your youngster has seen a lot of parental disagreement and anger:

“You might have heard we fight more lately. We’re both feeling mad sometimes. But remember, we’re not mad at you! This grown-up stuff is complicated, but we’ll figure it out ourselves. It’s not your job to stop us from being mad. Other grown-ups like lawyers and therapists can help us with that. You don’t need to worry, divorce won’t change how much we love you. We’ll both always be here for you. You’re not alone.”

How to talk to 12 to 14 year old kids about divorce

Teenagers are the easiest and the hardest to inform of your divorce.They might have questions and want to talk about it.  Reactions can vary from: “it’s about time” to “you can’t divorce,” and everything in between. If the marriage has been highly conflictual between you and your partner, it may be a relief for your teen.

Talking to 12 to 14-year-olds about divorce means understanding they can grasp what’s happening. Let them know together as a family. Avoid sugarcoating it, but focus on the fact that you both love them and that’s not changing. They might be worried about living arrangements, friends, or seeing both parents. You can reassure them and answer their questions openly.  Make sure you should talk in a straightforward and honest way about what things will look like moving forward, like living arrangements and spending time with each parent. It’ll be best if you give them some age appropriate books about divorce. That can be a great way to open up communication with your kids.

Tips for Conducting the Conversation with your kids

When you’re getting ready to talk to your kids about what’s going on, remember that timing matters. Don’t spill the beans too early, because that can make them worry a lot. Instead, try to tell them a little while before big changes happen. Surprises aren’t good in this situation, so make sure they know what’s coming. And don’t go pointing fingers or blaming anyone. Let your kids know it’s not their fault; it’s just something that’s happening. Always be honest with them. If you start telling fibs, they might think it’s okay to do the same. It’s important to talk to your co-parent and do this together. It’s a team effort. When you sit down with your kids, keep it simple. Tell them why you’re getting a divorce in words they can understand. Let them know you both love them a whole lot and that’s never going to change. Reassure them that you’re both going to keep taking care of them. And remind them they don’t have to pick sides – they can love both of you just the same, and you both love them, too. Keep in mind while you talk to your child don’t say bad things about the other parent, or blame the other parents for this divorce. This will result in parental alienation.

Still, If you’re unsure and don’t know how to tell your kids about the divorce, you can get advice from parenting professionals and download the 2houses parenting app on your phone. There are lots of resources there to help you be the best parent you can be for your kids.

Teaching Valuable Life Lessons to Your Children

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Parenting is a challenging job. But when you throw divorce into the mix, it becomes even more complicated. As parents, we aim to teach our children valuable life lessons, but during a divorce, these teachings can often take a backseat.

This article will provide you with an in-depth guide to teaching valuable life lessons while you’re going through a divorce.

1. Embracing Change

Life’s a wild ride. One of the craziest rollercoasters you may find yourselves on is divorce within the family. It’s like suddenly the whole world shifts, and nothing feels quite the same anymore. This is your chance to show your children something very important.

You need to sit down with your children and discuss what’s happening. Let them know that change is just a part of our life. It’s scary, but it’s also exciting because it means new opportunities are around the corner.

Your little ones might be feeling all sorts of things right now – confused, scared, angry. And that’s okay. You should have to be there to listen, to reassure them that it’s normal to feel this way. You can show them that even when life throws us a curveball, there’s always something to learn from it.

As a parent you can even teach them to see the silver lining, to find the lessons hidden in the chaos. Because when they learn to do that, they’re building up their resilience. They’re learning that they can handle whatever life throws their way.

2. Fostering Positivity

During a divorce, it’s easy to get caught up in negative emotions. But it’s essential to model positivity for your children. Teach them the value of positive thinking and how it can transform their outlook. Explain to your children that optimism is a tool for resilience; it allows us to negotiate life’s challenges by admitting difficulties while also looking for silver linings. Encourage them to be grateful and to realize the lessons and progress that can come from difficult circumstances. By doing so, you’re not only helping them to cope with the current family changes but also imparting a lifelong approach to overcoming problems with a positive outlook.

3. Promoting Self-reflection

Divorce can provide an opportunity for self-reflection. Teach your children how to introspect and learn from their experiences. Encourage them to question their actions and motivations and understand their part in different situations. This can help them grow and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

4. Being Respectful

Respect is a foundational value in any relationship. Even after a divorce, it’s important to maintain respect for your ex-spouse, especially in front of your children. Teach your children the value of respect and how it contributes to healthy relationships.

5. Forgiving Others

Forgiveness can be a hard lesson to teach, especially during a divorce. However, it’s an important one. Teach your children the power of forgiveness and how it can free them from the burden of resentment and anger.

6. Maintaining Open Communication

Open and honest communication is important during a divorce. You should teach your kid about the importance of open and friendly communication. In Fact during the divorce you can keep your children informed about the process in an age-appropriate manner. This can help them understand the situation better and alleviate any fears or uncertainties they may have.

7. Prioritizing Well-being

Teach your children the value of maintaining their physical, mental, and emotional health. Start by fostering healthy habits early on, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and sufficient sleep. Encourage them to engage in activities they enjoy and to express their feelings openly. 

8. Leading an Earth-friendly Life

Divorce can be an opportunity to teach your children about the importance of leading an earth-friendly life. Engage them in eco-friendly activities like planting a garden, recycling, or reducing energy use. This can provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose during a challenging time.

9. Understanding Impermanence

Teach your children that nothing lasts forever, including the pain of divorce. This lesson can provide them with a sense of hope and resilience during difficult times. Remind them that with time, things will get better and the pain they feel will lessen.

10. Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be a powerful tool during a divorce. Teach your children how to be present and aware of their surroundings. As well as tell them to notice the world around them and to stay focused on the present moment rather than worrying about the future.

11. Discussing Life Goals

Engage your children in discussions about their life goals. This can provide them with a sense of direction and purpose during a challenging time. Encourage them to envision their future and to plan steps towards achieving their goals.

12. Helping Others

Volunteering and helping others can provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose. It can also provide a distraction from the challenges of divorce. So, motivate your children to do acts of compassion and service, whether it’s helping a neighbor or volunteering at a local shelter.

Divorce is a challenging time for any family, but it can also provide an opportunity to impart valuable life lessons to your children. By modeling resilience, optimism, respect, and open communication, you can help your children navigate this difficult time and emerge stronger and wiser.

Helping Children Resist the Pressure to Choose One Parent Over the Other

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Kids going through their parents’ divorce can feel stuck in the middle. They have to adjust to living in two places, following different rules, and maybe even seeing different friends and family. All they really want is to stay out of their parents’ fights and get along with both mom and dad (unless one of them isn’t nice to them, of course).

But some moms and dads make things harder. They see how tough it is for their kids to deal with everything and try to get them to pick a side. They might badmouth the other parent or make it hard for the child to see them. This is called parental alienation.

Impact of Parental Alienation on Children

The impact of parental alienation on children is profound and can manifest in various ways. Children who are subjected to parental alienation may feel guilty, unhappy, or angry. They may experience low self-esteem and trust concerns. In some cases, children may accept the alienating parent’s unfavorable perceptions of the targeted parent, which could result in a total rejection of that parent.

Furthermore, parental alienation can have long-term effects on a child’s ability to form healthy relationships and navigate their own future partnerships. They may struggle with intimacy, have difficulty trusting others, and experience challenges in establishing their own identities. That’s why it’s super important to deal with parental alienation right away and help these kids overcome these problems.

Signs of Parental Alienation

It’s important to catch parental alienation early to stop it from hurting your child any more. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Your child acts mean or ignores the other parent for no reason.
  • They start saying the same bad things about the other parent that the main caregiver says.
  • They don’t want to see the other parent or do things with them anymore.
  • Their whole attitude towards the other parent changes all of a sudden.
  • They make up stories or exaggerate problems about the other parent.

It is important to note that – Just because your child does some of these things doesn’t for sure mean it’s parental alienation. There could be other reasons. However, if multiple signs are present, it’s best to talk to a professional to figure things out and get help for your child. 

Factors that Contribute to Parental Alienation

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows during a break-up, and sometimes parents can get so mad at each other they forget about their kids. Here’s why this might happen:

  • Lots of Fighting: When parents get divorced in a big fight, it can make parental alienation more likely.
  • Parent doesn’t care about child’s feelings: Some parents get so caught up in being mad that they don’t realize they’re hurting their child by making them not like the other parent.
  • Family and Friends Joining In: If people around a parent are also saying bad things about the other parent, it can make the kid believe them more.
  • Past Problems: If a parent has a history of treating their child or the other parent badly, it might be easier for them to try and push the child away from the other parent.

Strategies to Help Children Resist Parental Alienation

Supporting children who are experiencing parental alienation requires a multi-faceted approach that prioritizes their well-being and emotional recovery. Parents concerned about parental alienation also need to help their children develop 4 capacities that will help them resist the pressure to choose sides. Here are these strategies that can help children resist parental alienation:

Critical Thinking Skills

When children think critically, they can understand where their thoughts come from and decide if they’re true or not. This helps them question ideas like thinking one parent is all good and the other is all bad. If a child is using critical thinking skills it is not likely that he or she can be programmed or brainwashed into rejecting one parent to please the other.

Considering Options

When placed in a pressured situation in which a child feels compelled to do as one parent asks (i.e., not spend time with the other parent, spy on that parent, and so forth), it is important for the child to slow down, not act right away, and consider his or her options. Doing so can prevent the child from automatically doing what the alienating parent is asking.

Listening to One’s Heart

When children learn to be themselves and stick to what they think is right, it’s harder for someone to trick them or get them to do things that hurt them in the long run. This could be like choosing sides between mom and dad, or doing something that makes one of them sad. Help your child figure out what’s important to them, and how to know when they’re going against those things.

Using Coping Skills and Getting Support

Children sometimes feel that they are the only ones who are dealing with a problem and that no one can understand what they are going through. Encouraging children to talk to other people such as friends, teachers, and other caring adults can help them feel less alone and can help them benefit from the wisdom and kindness of others. Children also have more internal resources (self talk, relaxation strategies) that they can develop and rely on in times of need.

By implementing these above strategies, parents and professionals can help children resist the pressure to choose one parent over the other and mitigate the damaging effects of parental alienation.

If you suspect that your child is experiencing parental alienation, it is important to seek professional help immediately. Remember, your child’s well-being is of utmost importance, and by taking action, you can help them resist the pressure to choose one parent over the other and promote their emotional recovery.

Why Does Society Hate Stepmoms?

Society hates stepmom - 2houses

In a world where fairy tales reign supreme, stepmothers often find themselves cast as the villains, perpetuating the age-old question: Why Does Society Hate Stepmoms? From wicked witches to domineering figures, modern retellings seem determined to pit biological bonds against all else.  In this article, we’ll figure out why society feels this way about stepmoms.

Reason #1 : The historical context of stepmoms and societal perceptions

Throughout history, stepmoms have been subjected to unfair treatment and negative perceptions. In folklore and fairy tales such as “Cinderella” and “Snow White” have cemented the image of the wicked stepmother in popular imagination. These stories often depict stepmothers as antagonistic figures, perpetuating the belief that stepmothers are inherently unkind or malevolent.

These ideas stuck around and made people believe that stepmoms are always mean and can’t love their stepkids. Even society’s rules made it tough for stepmoms. People used to look down on women who remarried after being widowed or divorced. They thought these women might mess up the traditional family or try to take property. So, stepmoms often got left out or judged unfairly.

These days, families are different, and love is more important. But stepmoms still have challenges fitting in. Reality is, not all stepmoms are like the ones in stories. Many real ones love and care for their stepkids, proving everyone wrong. So, even though stories make them look bad, stepmoms can be loving and kind in real life.

Reason #2 : Common misunderstandings and stereotypes about stepmoms

Big mistake people make about step-moms is thinking they want to be the real mom instead. This can cause problems in new families. Kids might feel they gotta pick sides, and the step-mom might seem like a mean replacement. But that’s not true! Step-moms aren’t there to take anyone’s place. They’re there to help out and make the family even stronger.

Another wrong idea is that step-moms are just cold and don’t care. People think they’re outsiders ’cause they’re not the real mom. But that’s not always the case! Lots of step-moms get super close to their step-kids and work hard to be friends.

Reason #3 : The impact of media on the portrayal of stepmoms

Media plays a significant role in shaping societal perceptions and attitudes towards stepmoms. Unfortunately, media often reinforces negative stereotypes, portraying stepmoms as antagonistic or neglectful.  Lots of movies and TV shows paint stepmoms as bad person, making it seem like all stepmoms are just mean. These portrayals don’t just give people the wrong idea about stepmoms, they also set up expectations that are impossible to meet.

But things are getting better! Nowadays, some TV shows and movies are showing stepmoms in a nicer way. They’re portrayed as kind and caring people who are just trying their best in blended families. When the media shows positive stepmom characters, it helps people see them in a new light and understand them better.

Reason #4 : The Challenging role of stepmoms in blended families

In blended families, stepmoms can face some tough challenges. Sometimes, stepkids see them as rivals because they want their biological parent’s attention. This can lead to hurt feelings and jealousy. Problems can also pop up when stepmoms have their own kids and it seems like they’re getting special treatment. Other issues might include disagreements about rules, trouble talking openly, and worries from stepkids about where they fit in. Stereotypes and not being sure about their role can make things even trickier.

But it’s important to know that these challenges aren’t because stepmoms are bad—it’s more about how the family works and everyone’s personalities.

How to change societal views alongside tackling this challenge?

To overcome challenges and improve relationships with stepchildren, stepmoms need to talk openly and understand each other’s feelings. They should do fun things together and respect each other’s space. It’s important for stepmoms to get support from their partners, other stepmoms, or support groups. They should also talk openly with their partners about how they want to parent together.

Society is starting to understand stepmoms better, but there are still stereotypes. We need to challenge these stereotypes and appreciate the different kinds of moms out there, including stepmoms.

Luckily, there are lots of places stepmoms can go for parenting help, like, online groups and local support groups. It’s important for stepmoms to reach out and connect with others who understand what they’re going through. Keep in mind becoming a super step mom is not a tough job. You just only need to follow some steps. Nothing else. 

In conclusion, society’s perception of stepmoms is often clouded by misunderstandings and stereotypes. By unraveling these misconceptions, exploring the historical context, and examining the impact of media, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding stepmom relationships. It is important for society to recognize the love, dedication, and sacrifices that stepmoms bring to their families. By embracing the diversity of mother figures and fostering a more inclusive and understanding society, we can create a supportive environment for all mothers, including stepmothers.

Dealing With Divorce: 7 Tips to Protect Your Kids

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When a family finds itself in the middle of a separation or divorce, one of the first worries is “what about the children?” Research has shown that while divorce can be hard on children, its often the fighting of the parents that most directly affects the children. And the impact depends on how well the parents are able to isolate the children from these disruptions.

Many psychologists and other therapists have tips and suggestions on how best to help your children at times like these. One organization that provides a very good pamphlet and other information is the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.

Parenting is a lifelong job, and remember, you do not divorce your children. The following ideas are 7 tips to keep in mind to help buffer your children from the real and imagined problems they face during parental separation and or divorce:

1. Try to Maintain Consistency

One of the best things you can do is to maintain a regular routine and rules every day. It doesn’t matter how often your kids stay with you, having clear expectations for how they should behave is super important. This means:

  • Make a plan for waking up, getting ready, school, chores, homework, TV time, and bedtime. Stick to this plan every day.
  • Have clear rules about what happens if they behave well or not (like rewards for good choices and consequences for bad ones).
  • Be strict but kind, and show them you love them.

During a divorce, kids might act out to see what they can get away with. It’s your job to be the steady grownup and show them life goes on even when things are not going smoothly.

Spending time with your kids regularly helps them feel safe and loved. Try to have some special one-on-one time with each child, even if it’s not for long. This will make a big difference for them.

2. Show Extra Affection

Another important point is that tough times are the best times to be more affectionate. You can show extra affection to your kids by talking openly with your kids so they feel safe sharing their feelings. Don’t hesitate to spend quality time with your child by engaging in activities they enjoy. When you start giving lots of hugs and cuddles, and saying kind things to make your child feel good about themselves. Also make an effort to listen to your kids without interruptions. Teach your youngster healthy coping mechanisms for their emotions. Be a source of strength by guiding them through challenges, celebrating their achievements. And always being there for them with patience and reassurance. As a parent you should always remember, a little more affection can make a big difference to children who are feeling scared or lonely. But, be careful, not to overdo this. 

3. Avoid Reversing Roles

Don’t switch roles with your kids during a divorce. It’s normal for them to want to cheer you up, but it’s best to keep the parent-child roles clear. You don’t want them to feel like they have to take care of you or your ex. That’s too much for them. Instead, get help from experts so you can concentrate on being there for your kids the way they need. By making sure they don’t shoulder adult responsibilities, you’re giving them the space to just be kids and helping them through this rough patch with strength and resilience.

4. Foster Connections

Help your children to stay connected. You should support your kids when they wanna hang out with friends or do stuff. It’s not a good move to switch schools or daycares if you can help it. Sometimes schools can bend the rules if you’re moving apart. You can talk to your therapist or school counselor about it. Even if you must move to a distant neighborhood and school district, make an effort to have sleepovers and playdates with their old friends, and encourage new friendships too.

5. Reassure Basic Needs

Reassure your children about the basic necessities. Your children need to hear that both parents still love them and that the problems aren’t their fault. So, Tell your kids that they’ll still get what they need, like food and a place to live. Let them know that you both parents still care about them, and that any troubles aren’t because of them.

Sometimes when parents argue about where to sleep, your kids might get scared and think they’ll have to sleep in the car. But no matter what, parents have to make sure their kids have everything they need – a comfy place to live, food, clothes, school stuff, and more. Tell your kid it’s all good, and that both parents are taking care of everything. And let them know they don’t need to worry about this stuff.

6. Minimize Exposure to Conflict

Shield your children from witnessing or being involved in parental disputes. Both parents should keep disagreements private. Always keep in mind, kids have a knack for overhearing things. Avoid putting them in the middle or making them deliver messages during arguments – that’s not their job. And as for asking them about your ex, it’s best to resist the temptation. If you really need to know something, just give your ex a call directly.

7. Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of yourself is really important, especially during challenging times. This is true for everyone, whether you have kids or not. To feel your best, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Don’t shut yourself off from others – spend time with friends and family who make you feel good. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or angry, it’s okay to ask for help from a therapist near you or take a consultation from 2houses. Family therapy can also be a great resource for you.

Remember, the more you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of the people around you!

8 Tips For a Parent without Primary Custody to Spend Extra Time With the Kids

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Only seeing your children every other weekend can be devastating. You miss them when they are not with you, and those few short days does not give you hardly enough time to settle into a routine before they are whisked back to the primary custodial parent.

If you only have standard visitation, this usually means that is the minimal allotted time you can spend with your children by law. By being respectful to your ex, using a little imagination and some ingenuity there are ways to see your children more. Be sure to read your parenting plan and decree carefully before taking any of the following steps, and if neither say you can’t do any of the following list, go and spend some more time with your kids! So what are you waiting for? As Nike says…Just do it!

1) Take lunch to your child at school

Nothing makes a kid feel more special than when a parent shows up with a bag of Mickey D’s under their arm at lunch time. Generally, the decree will not stipulate that you are not allowed to visit your child at school, and most schools will allow you to bring lunch to your child. Email the teacher and let them know ahead of time that you are coming and enjoy lunch and maybe even recess with your child! You will not only be your child’s hero, but this way of co-parenting technique will make you the coolest parent among their friends.

2) Coach a team sport your child plays on

Does your child like sports? Many kids have practice twice and a game each week. This is a great way to have more fun time with your child. Team sports are great for kids because it teach them socialization, the art of winning and losing and how to be a team player. All lessons that will add value to their lives. Just make sure to talk with your ex first. Keep his/him informed of practices and games and let them know that you will take care of everything. Your kid will appreciate that you’re both working together as parents. They will be super happy too, and you’ll be their hero once again.

3) Offer to make pickups and drop offs for extra-curricular activities

Your ex will most likely welcome the break, and if they don’t usually do the picking up, then let them know you have made arrangements with who does pick them up and you will be doing it. Be sure to explain to your ex that you have the time to do it and would love to help lighten her load. After you pick up your child, take them out for ice cream and help them with their homework. Not only does that give you some extra time, but also gets a very important step done that the primary caregiver generally stresses over.

4) Volunteer to be a chaperon on field trips for your child’s class

You get the whole day to spend with your child. I realize, many of you are saying…but, we have to work! Take the day off. What is more important? This is a special day and memory that you can create with your child and it is above and beyond your usual shared custody arrangement. Once again, check with your ex and see if they are planning on chaperoning for the field trip. If they are not, email the teacher and explain how important it is for you to be there and how much you are looking forward to it. Even if that teacher has enough parents for that event, I guarantee they will always take one more.

5) Attend all school plays and functions your child is in

No, this isn’t one on one time, but you see him or her and more importantly, they see a parent who is there to support them and cheer them on. Often times, parents without primary custody do not attend functions. Sometimes it is because they are not aware of them. But, you are entitled by law to be aware of them. Make sure you’re on the school’s email list so you don’t miss anything. Surprise your child by showing up at their events. These are big moments in your child’s life, and they’ll remember if you were there to support them. Make these moments even more special by being there.

6) During mid-week breaks, offer to take the kids in lieu of a babysitter

If you make your ex think you are doing them a favor, they will be grateful and be more agreeable. It is better than paying a babysitter, trust me. Arrange to pick your child up at the same time they would be going to school and to drop them off at the time when school is normally out. Don’t rock the boat by asking for extra time during these days. If your ex is agreeable this time to you taking your kids, then think about how easy it will be next time, and eventually, it could lead to more time with your children. Keep the big picture in mind.

7) Participate in all birthday parties for your child

Most decrees or parenting plans allow a parent who is not the primary custodian to spend a few hours with their children on their birthdays. You can tell your ex-spouse that you would like to be there for the party, even if it is just to watch them blow out the candles. If they are disagreeable, offer to pay for half of the party to attend. Most will agree when it comes down to the all mighty dollar and they have to spend less.

8) Babysit your kids instead of having a third party babysit

If your former partner has a job, then child care is needed. You can offer to pick them up after your work hours, or even leave work a little early once a week to get them from the babysitter. This way, your ex can save some money on childcare. Plus, it’s always best for kids to be with a parent when possible. Tell your ex that you will bring them home when they get back from work. They will appreciate that they can save some money and the fact that you are not taking advantage, but truly offering to help. If your ex is resistant to it, gently remind them that you are happy to add the first right of refusal into the decree if it is not already in place.

by Lee Block, Post-Divorce Consultant and Author.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Social Media after Divorce

facebook and children - 2houses

Social media can be tricky for parents, especially after a divorce. There are apps like Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, plus messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and even games on PlayStation that let you talk to others. These apps can be good and bad. Some people think they can help parents raise their kids together after a divorce by making it easier to talk. But they can also cause problems. Social media can make it harder for parents to get over the divorce and can make raising their kids together more difficult. To keep your kids safe during this tough time, it’s important to know the good and bad things about social media. This article will explain them and give parents some important tips to help their kids use social media safely during and after a divorce.

Social Media Post-divorce: Positive & Negative side

Social media isn’t all bad for your kids. There’s good stuff too that we can’t ignore. Let’s check out both sides.

The Positives

Social media apps keep updating, letting users see new posts instantly. For parents just starting out after a divorce, this can be heartwarming and help both parents and children feel connected. Here are some ways social media can positively impact co-parenting and relationships with your children:

Better Communication:
Social media allows both parents and extended family to stay updated on the children’s lives. Co-parents can share and view photos from the child’s school day or birthday parties without having to ask for them.

Parents and children can play fun and educational games together on social media or smartphone apps. This helps kids feel connected to the non-custodial parent during the week and can foster a shared interest.

Photo Sharing:
One of the best features of social media is photo sharing. Seeing daily pictures can be especially comforting for both parents and children after a divorce.

The Negatives

Social media can have many negative effects after a divorce. Here are some things to watch out for:

Oversharing: Don’t post too much personal stuff online, especially about your ex or your kids. This can be embarrassing for them and cause problems with your co-parenting. Think twice before you hit “post,” and never say bad things about your ex. It can hurt your kids (called “parental alienation”).

Moving On Too Fast: After a tough divorce, you might want to show off your new love life on social media. But hold on! Your kids might not be ready to see pictures of your new partner all the time. It can make them feel sad and alone.

Harming Your Kid’s Mental Health:
For parents in a really tough divorce or who don’t know much about co-parenting well, their kids might end up alone a lot after the divorce. During that time, social media can become a big part of their life, which can be bad. Studies show that teens who spend more than three hours a day on social media are twice as likely to feel depressed and anxious. Your kids could face cyberbullying, online abuse, and have trouble sleeping, which could hurt their mental health.

Importance of Keeping Your Kids Safe on Social Media:

Today, most kids use social media, which can be both fun and risky. After a divorce, it’s extra important to make sure your kids are safe online.

The internet and social media are a normal part of your kids’ lives. They use it to chat with friends, learn about things they like, and show who they are. But social media also has dangers, like cyberbullying, strangers who might try to hurt them, and seeing things they shouldn’t. These dangers can be even worse during a divorce when emotions are high. As parents, it’s your job to teach your kids how to be safe online, even when things are tough at home.

What to Watch Out For Online

There are some things online that can be really bad for your kids. Here are some of the biggest dangers:

  • Meanies Online (Cyberbullying): Kids can be teased or even threatened online. This can make them feel really sad and scared.
  • Seeing Bad Stuff (Inappropriate Content): Sometimes kids see things online that aren’t right for them, like violence or grown-up stuff.
  • Strangers Who Want to Hurt You (Online Predators): Some bad people might try to trick or hurt kids online.
  • Sharing Too Much (Privacy and Security Concerns): If your kids share personal things or don’t have good privacy settings, someone might steal their information or hurt them.
  • Feeling Down Because of Social Media: Spending too much time on social media can make kids feel more anxious, sad, or not good about themselves, especially during a divorce.

So, How to Keep Your Kids Safe on Social Media after Divorce?

Setting Parental Controls and Privacy Settings on Social Media Platforms

  • Limits for Kids: Decide which social media apps are okay for your child’s age and keep an eye on their activity.
  • Privacy Check: Make sure your child’s profile is private so only approved friends can see their stuff.
  • Location Off: Turn off location sharing so no one can see where your child is.
  • See What They See: Regularly check your child’s posts, messages, and who they’re talking to.
  • Use Special Apps: There are apps that can help you see what your child is doing online. Using those apps you can do following things-
    •  Location privacy: Using these apps, you can disable the device location for where your kids are accessing the internet.
    • Private profile: Encourage your child to use a private profile if the app has that option.
    • Personal information: Don’t let their profile show their real name, age, birthday, phone number, or home address.
    • Content filters: Block out inappropriate content they might see online.

Educate Your Kids about Online Safety:

  1. Talk About Behavior: Teach your kids to be kind and respectful online and to think about what they post before they share it.
  2. Protect Personal Info: Make sure your kids know not to share sensitive info online and to be cautious about who they talk to.
  3. Think Critically: Help your kids learn to question what they see online and to be aware of fake news and scams.
  4. Use Social Media Wisely: Encourage your kids to balance their time online with other activities and to use social media responsibly.

You Should Monitoring Your Child’s Social Media Activity

  1. Check In Regularly: Keep tabs on what your kids are doing online by checking their profiles and talking to them about their activity.
  2. Build Trust: Be open with your kids about why you’re monitoring their activity and make sure they feel comfortable coming to you with any concerns.
  3. Use Monitoring Tools: Consider using apps or tools to help you keep track of what your kids are doing online.

Be Open and Communicate Openly With Your Kids:

  1. Create a Safe Space: Make sure your kids feel comfortable talking to you about their online experiences and any problems they encounter.
  2. Address Their Worries: Acknowledge that divorce can be tough on kids and talk to them about how it might affect their online behavior.
  3. Empower Them: Help your kids develop the skills they need to stay safe online and encourage them to ask for help if they need it.
  4. Set Boundaries Together: Involve your kids in setting rules for their online activity and praise them for following them.

Get Help if You Need It:

For practical guidance and emotional assistance, you have the option to reach out to nearby groups or organizations. Alternatively, you can directly get in touch with us or arrange a meeting. is committed to simplifying co-parenting and improving your life as a post-divorce parent.

Divorce – 4 Signs Your Kids Are Not Alright

signs your kids are not alright about divorce - 2houses

After many years of bickering, infidelities, and general unhappiness and upset with each other, Jack and Miranda decided to divorce. To their credit, they are seeing me to make sure their kids are alright.They have no interest in reconciling. They have even less interest in talking about anything except the kids. But despite their inability to make their marriage work, they are both concerned and loving parents of Jason, age 11, and Brittany, age 8.

“I think the kids are mostly relieved,” says Miranda. “Jason has been asking me for years why we don’t just get a divorce.”

“I don’t know,” says Jack. “Jason may tell you that. But Brittany tells me she wishes you would stop bugging me.

“That’s because you spoil her rotten.”

Here we go. Despite their best intentions, these two can’t get to sentence three without finding a reason to fight. It’s my job to keep the emotional temperatures down, to keep blame and shame out of the room, and to instead focus on determining what the kids need and how to support them.Are the kids really alright? Maybe. Here are 4 things I ask divorcing parents to look for and an idea or two for how to deal with each one. Of course, it sometimes takes family counseling. As well as learn some post-divorce parenting tips to settle things down.

4 indicators that the kids may not be as alright as you think:

Number 1. Are the kids siding with one or the other parent?

In the case of Jack and Miranda, their son is protecting his mother. The daughter is dad’s miniature lawyer.
Both parents need to reassure their kids that the divorce is adult business, that they don’t need the kids to intercede, and that the kids can focus on being kids. The children need both parents to encourage them to not take sides and to have a loving relationship with the other parent.

Number 2: Are the kids clinging to each other more?

Sometimes kids lose faith in their parents’ ability to care for them emotionally or even physically. It’s wonderful when siblings can be friends. But, It’s concerning when they turn exclusively to each other for support and help.

Brittany has been going to Jason for comfort, for companionship, and for practical help. She asks him to help her make her lunch for school. She asks him to help her with her homework. It’s crossed the line from good big-brother behavior to Jason becoming more like a third parent. Jason needs to be let off the hook. Brittany really wants her parents to pay more attention to her needs. Mom and Dad can suggest Brittany makes her lunch with one of them. They can tell Jason he has enough of his own homework and they’re happy to help Brittany.

Number 3: Are the kids hanging around the house more and refusing to go places like a friend’s house or a birthday party?

Sometimes children have the idea that if they’re around, their parents won’t fight. They stay close to home to keep things stable.

For example, Brittany goes to playdates, but Jason hasn’t wanted to do much lately. He’s the kind of kid who worries a lot about keeping things peaceful at home. It would help if Jason’s parents told him they appreciate him caring, but they’re working on ways to stop fighting on their own. They could say they hired a counselor to help them, so Jason doesn’t have to worry anymore. Once his parents find new ways to deal with their problems, Jason might believe things will be okay again.

Finally, number 4: Is there a change in how the kids are performing in school or in other activities?

Both over and under achieving sometimes indicate a problem. Some kids try really hard to do everything perfectly to ease their parents’ stress. Some feel like they caused the breakup and try to make up for it by being extra good. Others think being perfect will make things better for mom or dad.

On the other hand, some kids lose interest in school or activities. They might stop hanging out with friends or going to scouts or soccer practice. Sometimes this is because they’re feeling depressed. Other times, it’s a way to shift the focus from their parents’ arguments to their own problems. A counselor can help figure out if the kids’ behavior is related to the divorce and how to help them get back to feeling normal.

Telling the kids to try harder or to take it easy on themselves might not work. They need to see their parents handling things better and being less angry with each other before they can change.

Kids, especially those under 12 or 13, often reflect their parents’ behavior. When parents handle the divorce well, kids are more likely to be okay and feel more protected by their parents. Studies show that how well parents handle the divorce directly affects how well their kids cope. 

For the kids to be alright, the adults need to remember that whatever their differences, their struggles, or their feelings about each other, their kids need them whenever possible to act as a team in being responsive and responsible parents.

by Marie Hartwell-Walker

Marriage, Divorce And The Economy: No Excuse For Irresponsible Parenting

parents are too financially dependant on the other one - 2houses

In our dynamic society, the intricate relationship between marriage, divorce, and economic stability profoundly shapes individual lives and communities. While marriage traditionally provides emotional and financial security, divorce can disrupt this stability, leading to economic turmoil for all involved. These dynamics not only impact personal well-being but also have far-reaching societal implications, influencing economic structures and the welfare of future generations. In this article, we’re gonna talk about how getting married, breaking up, and raising kids are all tied up with money stuff.

Impact of Marriage on Economic Stability

Marriage is not just about love; it’s also a strategic alliance for economic stability. When two people join in matrimony, they bring together not only their hearts but also their financial resources. This pooling of incomes and sharing of expenses create a solid foundation for weathering financial storms and building a prosperous future.

Beyond the romantic notions, there are practical benefits to tying the knot. Married couples often enjoy legal and financial advantages, like tax breaks and access to healthcare benefits, which can significantly impact their economic well-being. In times of need, having a spouse can serve as a safety net, providing support and stability.

Research consistently highlights the advantages of stable, two-parent households for children’s economic futures. Growing up with both parents can mean access to more resources, better role modeling of financial responsibility, and a broader network of opportunities. These advantages can set children on a path toward greater economic success in adulthood.

Economic Consequences of Divorce

Conversely, divorce can have significant economic consequences for individuals and families. When a marriage ends, money matters get complicated. Splitting assets can mean less money for both partners, and there are often extra costs like legal fees, alimony, and child support.

For those going through it, suddenly managing on one income can be difficult, especially for parents who now handle all the bills alone.

And it’s not just adults feeling the pinch; kids from divorced families can struggle too. With money stretched thin across two households, they might face things like money problems, unstable housing, and fewer opportunities.

In short we can say, divorce hits hard in more ways than one. It’s not just about hearts breaking; it’s about wallets too. Recognizing these financial challenges is crucial for helping families rebuild after a split.

What’s the Link Between Parenting and Economic Stability?

Taking care of kids and having enough money are both important. They go together to help kids grow up healthy and strong. Here’s why:

Safe and steady homes help kids thrive.

  • Kids do best when their home feels safe and steady, like nothing too scary will happen.
  • This helps them learn better in school, get along with others, and feel happy.
  • When parents and kids get along well, it teaches kids important things like sharing, handling their feelings, and figuring things out.

Money worries can make raising kids harder.

  • When parents don’t have enough money, it can be stressful.
  • They might have to choose between buying things they need and things that help their kids learn and grow, like school or childcare.
  • It can also be harder to afford childcare or other things that can help kids.

Impacts of Irresponsible Parenting on Society

The impacts of irresponsible parenting on society hit home hard for me as a parent coach. I’ve seen firsthand how it strains public resources and social services, driving up healthcare costs and diverting funds to child welfare interventions and the criminal justice system. But it’s not just about dollars and cents; it’s about the toll it takes on our children.

When kids grow up in unstable, neglectful, or abusive environments, the consequences ripple through every aspect of their lives. They’re more likely to struggle with their physical and mental health, fall behind in school, and act out behaviorally. These challenges don’t just disappear with time; they often persist into adulthood, affecting their ability to succeed in education and employment.

What’s even more troubling is how irresponsible parenting perpetuates cycles of poverty and disadvantage, locking families into patterns that are hard to break. It’s like a chain reaction, passing down hardships from one generation to the next.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. By coming together and prioritizing the well-being of our children, we can start to turn the tide. That means supporting families, providing early intervention, and tackling the root causes of these issues, like poverty and social isolation.

Educational Initiatives for Responsible Parenting

Learning to be an ideal parent is not easy all the time. That’s why there are lots of free resources available online to help parents. You can also keep the 2houses parenting app to your phone. You’ll learn:

  • How kids grow and learn at different ages.
  • Ways to handle tough situations without yelling.
  • How to talk to your kids so they listen to you.

By learning these things, you can build a strong, happy relationship with your child. This helps them grow up healthy and smart in all ways: mind, feelings, and social skills.

Remember, every family is different. If you ever need help, don’t wait to ask an expert. is a great place to start, with tons of parenting tips all in one spot. Our goal? To help every child be happy and healthy!