Advice for Conflict-Free Co-Parenting

Conflict-Free Co-Parenting

Parenting was not all that conflict-free before your divorce. But now, with your emotions on the ragged edge, it can be even harder to keep it together, even for the kids. If you know someone who had one of those easy “we both signed the paper and now we’re divorced” divorces, you may have unrealistic expectations for how easy it is to co-parent with your ex. It’s hard. Sometimes it is outrageously hard.

Likely, the issues are much the same as when you were married. Well, you do divorce the same person you were married to, so of course, it’s the same. But it’s different. There’s no more sacrificing and working on your relationship. Now it is ALL about the kids. ALL. Absolutely ALL about the kids.

There’s volumes written about conflict-free co-parenting, and you should probably read them all (in all that free time you have now! Lol) But there are really just a few basics that matter the most.

  1. Communications
  2. Recordkeeping
  3. Involvement

1.     Communications

Who are we kidding? If your communications with your ex were stellar, you’d still be married. So, this is a huge hurdle for most divorced couples. It’s critical to find a way to keep the lines of communication open about all the kids’ events to keep both of you involved. This is especially true with several children. Homework. Extracurricular activities. Playdates. Birthday parties. It is so easy to forget something and end up not communicating the details to both parents.

Check out our blog on 4 Tips for Keeping Good Communication HERE

That’s where 2houses helps. The shared family calendar app keeps track of all communications and events in one easy-to-access place. So, confirm long weekend plans, ask for signed dental insurance forms, or send soccer practice info – all through the 2houses shared family calendar app.

2.     Recordkeeping

One area that frequently crops up as a potential for conflict is recordkeeping. Many organizations have gone digital, so you may only need a few paper originals. The issue is making sure both parents always have access to all the documents. You’ll probably encounter the need for:

  • School and teacher contact information
  • School lunch programs
  • Clothing and shoe sizes
  • Medical bills
  • Reimbursement requests with expense records
  • Permissions slips
  • Insurance information
  • Vaccination records
  • Gift wish lists
  • Phone and address book for your child’s friends  
  • And other info specific to your child and your family

The 2houses co-parenting family calendar app uses an information bank, so you can upload anything for both parents to access anytime. Organize documents by child or category as a personalized, instant online filing system. No more scrambling or negative conversations with your ex. Just check the app for all of the details you both need.

3.     Involvement

It is critical that both parents stay involved in the children’s lives. Once you live in separate households, things change. The latest tech makes it easy to say goodnight by video chat, and a shared family calendar app lets you schedule both parents into activities.

Learn more about Keeping in Touch With Your Child When They are Not Home HERE.

Creating a parenting schedule that both of you can access makes it easier for both parents to attend functions without potential conflict in a discussion. Children can also access the 2houses family calendar, controlled by the parent account. So they can contact both parents without having access to private communications between their parents.

Plus, the photo album lets the children or the other parent upload pictures, so they can still attend virtually if the other parent has to miss the event. This is perfect for birthdays, school functions, vacations and selfies the kids take!

In Conclusion

Conflict-free co-parenting takes work. And the kids are worth the effort! But keep in mind the three most critical factors, communications, recordkeeping, and involvement. Use every tool at your disposal to maintain these, and your co-parenting becomes less stressful for everyone.

Start your FREE 14-Day trial with the 2houses shared family calendar app now, and then see how it can help keep your co-parenting conflict-free.

Effective Money-Saving Tips while Co-Parenting

Money-Saving Tips while coparenting

Parental cohabitation is becoming more common. It’s a great way to reduce child support, save on childcare costs, and maintain a good relationship with your partner.

Raising a child takes a lot of money. When you have two parents contributing, that adds up to thousands of dollars spent each month on diapers, baby food, clothes, and toys. And there’s no guarantee that both parents will take the same approach when it comes to how they raise their kids.

In this article, we will share some money-saving tips and tricks you can use to make the most out of co-parenting. Hopefully, it will help you save some of that cash and have some fun too! When you have two parents who aren’t on the same page, things can get messy. That’s why it’s important to find ways to save money while co-parenting.

Why is it important to have a creative budget when co-parenting?

The most important reason to create a budget is that money management in the long term will result in better financial security for you and your children. You will be able to have a large financial reserve they can use later on.

If you are already in debt, creating a budget is an easy way out of that situation and allows your family to pay for the essential items without blowing all their money on bills.

It will give you a good procedure to follow and focus on your debts, allowing you to know how much money is coming in and where it’s going out.

The growth rate in co-parenting has caused a big burden on many families. The increase of sole custody cases shared parenting plans that are not working out. The lack of good quality daycare options in most communities greatly increases costs for parents who want to raise their children. With all this being said, you can easily see how important your financial resources can become when raising your kids.

15 Effective Money-Saving Tips while Co-Parenting

Here are some money-saving tips to help you maintain a good relationship with your partner while you co-parent.

1. Establish a budget plan with your partner.

Without a proper plan, you are flailing around in the dark when it comes to finances. A budget plan allows both of you to be on the same page about money so that financial and relationship issues won’t arise later on down the road. Working together has benefits for everyone involved. Both of you will be able to work out financial issues in a way that works for everyone.

2. Consider sharing the cost of childcare to save money.

Childcare costs can be a major expense when you have a child. It can be the biggest expense of your entire family budget. If you both work, childcare costs can eat up a large chunk of your monthly budget. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re thinking about how to save money while co-parenting.

If you both work, you can cut the cost of childcare by finding a way to share its cost and have access to quality childcare. You can also save on childcare costs by sharing the cost of hiring a nanny.

3. Take turns when buying groceries.

It’s great to have a partner who shares the responsibility of buying groceries. But when you’re splitting the groceries, it’s easy to end up with two different food budgets. That can lead to arguments and feelings of resentment.

One way to avoid this is to take turns. The first person to buy groceries should do so for a week. Then, the other person should do the same in the next week.

This works great if you have a budget for groceries and you’re both on the same page about how much you can spend.

4. Cook at home with your partner rather than eating out for every meal.

Many parents take their children out to eat every night for dinner. This can be expensive, especially if you don’t cook for yourself. But cooking at home for every meal can save you a lot of money and time. Not only will you save money, but you can also make sure that you and your child have a healthier diet.

5. Don’t make impulse purchases. Stick to a budget.

It’s easy to spend money when you’re shopping with your child. You might want to buy some new clothes or toys, but make sure that you have a budget in place and check store weekly ads for discounts before you go shopping. If you don’t, you might end up spending a lot of money on things you don’t need.

You don’t want to spend money on something that you don’t need. But, if you do buy something, make sure you don’t spend more than you planned to, especially if you have a joint budget with your partner. It’s harder to track what you have spent if you’re not on the same page.

So, avoid impulse buying. Make a budget and stick to it.

6. Avoid babysitters.

Instead of paying for a sitter, try to arrange your schedules so that you can take turns or together watch the kids. That way, you can make sure that they are getting the attention they need. You can make sure that your child is safe when you’re out of the house besides saving money.

7. Consider selling your old baby gear.

It’s easy to get into the habit of buying baby gear, but you can save money by selling the old ones. You can sell it on eBay, Facebook, or at the local consignment stores.

8. Become a member of your local food co-op.

When you have a baby, you’re probably going to need to buy a lot of baby food. Buying baby food can be expensive. You can save money by becoming a member of your local food co-op and buying a variety of foods that are usually cheaper than the same foods from the grocery store. You’ll also be able to get the food delivered right to your home.

9. Buy food in bulk.

One of the biggest expenses for couples who co-parent is food. This is especially true for couples who travel a lot and try to cut back on costs.

One way to save money on food is to buy it in bulk. If you have a large family, you can buy a large box of cereal, a large jar of peanut butter, and a large bag of carrots. That’s a lot of food for one family, but it will last you for a long time. You can even freeze the food and eat it later.

10. Seek advice from other co-parents.

You don’t have to be alone in the struggle to have a successful family. You can learn a lot from other co-parents.

One way to do this is to find other parents in your area who have children the same age as your child and have the same goals.

You can ask them about how they parent and what they do to make sure their child gets the best start in life.

11. Cut back on your hobbies.

If your child is going to be a movie enthusiast, it might make sense for you to pay for half of their weekly movie tickets. However, if you don’t enjoy watching movies, there’s no point wasting money by purchasing a ticket.

In addition, if one of your hobbies is hiking or reading books on tape, you may find that these activities are not as fun and rewarding. When necessary, you need to compromise to meet other needs like work and child care.

12. Have a garage sale.

One of the best ways to save money is to have a garage sale. You can sell your old baby gear, old clothes, and any other items you don’t need. You can also sell baby items like cribs, strollers, and other paraphernalia. If you don’t have any buyers, you can advertise via Facebook Marketplace or hand-deliver flyers to your local laundromat, daycare centers, and apartment complex hallways.

13. Buy second-hand clothes and toys.

When you have a baby, it’s important to have a lot of baby clothes and toys. Buying new baby clothes and toys can be expensive. You can save money by buying second-hand baby clothes and toys.

If you don’t have the time to go to a second-hand store, you can shop online. You can find tons of websites that sell second-hand clothes and toys. You can also find sites that sell second-hand baby gear.

14. Set up a personal emergency fund.

As a parent, it’s important to have an emergency fund. This will help ease the financial burden if something were to happen, such as losing your job or having car problems.

Depending on your lifestyle, a personal emergency account needs at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses. If your finances are already in poor shape such as debt and wasted money, you might want to start saving immediately. Try saving 5% of every dollar you make until you have a hefty sum saved up before putting too much into accounts with fees, like credit cards that may cause unnecessary expenses if necessary emergencies arise.

15. Have regular financial check-ins with your ex.

Make sure to have regular financial check-ins with your ex. This involves asking your ex to get a current assessment of his or her financial situation. Here, you can discuss the following:

1) Do they have enough saved up money?

As you know well, college tuition is expensive. Your child’s education is a very important investment for their future, and parents should be prudent about the financial resources spent on their children’s education. You both want them to have a great life and be able to get the best education possible.

Therefore, it’s important to set up regular financial check-ins with your ex, so they know not just what they’re spending now but also how much is needed for your child’s education such as college tuition costs.

2) Do they still owe any debts?

If your ex owed some debt before getting back together or if you had to pay some debts during your relationship, the two of you must determine whether any disability was involved. Don’t let emotions get in the way when talking about money with your ex. Do keep in mind there are many

5 Easy Ways for Solo Parents to Save Money after Divorce

Save money after divorce

Being a single parent is stressful even when you don’t have to worry about money and budgeting at all times. In order for your child to thrive, you need to make sure they have all their essential needs covered, which all costs money. From new sneakers to school supplies, every month is its own challenge. Therefore, to get the most out of the little you have, you need to be smart about your spending. Here are some tips for single parents that will help them save money in the long run!

Create a budget for the month

A budget may seem like a waste of time if you’re already struggling to make ends meet. Regardless of your income, though, setting up a budget is critical. When it comes to creating a budget, all you really need is a plan for spending. This way, having a budget allows you to take control of your money rather than just react to events as they occur. Create a budget for the following month after tracking your previous expenses. Include all of your fixed costs, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, and insurance premiums, and set spending restrictions for those areas. You may be left with some leeway. In an ideal world, you’ll be able to save some money immediately, even if it’s only a modest amount.

Be thrifty

Since no one can receive everything for free, staying on top of coupons and top deals is the most one can hope for. If your child hasn’t been brainwashed by big brand marketing yet, look for bargains at your local car boot and charity stores. For deals, you should also visit Facebook’s marketplace and other online second-hand sites. Another way to save money by being thrifty is by using a car share service. You don’t have to spend money on your own gas and you may also meet some new people along the way! Who knows, maybe they’re also single parents who can give you some great advice!

Automate fixed expenses

Single parenthood can be a challenge, particularly when costs keep piling up. Having the essential utilities automatically paid is one method to help you budget. No matter if you have a lot of debt or it’s all paid off, you’re sure to benefit from automated payments. Because you’ll never see the excess money that should go to utilities in your account, you’ll never be able to spend it. This is also a great way to avoid late penalties and not spend time worrying about them. When you’re a single parent, it might be hard to keep up with everything, so even little things can be a great way to alleviate the stress.

Bulk buy for groceries

Saving money as a single parent can be done if you do a huge monthly grocery haul. Bulk buying your food can be a great way to get more for less. Whenever feasible, go with the value store since it’s much cheaper and basically the same thing. Store-brand items can cost you half the price of a brand name. Who wouldn’t be excited about that?! If you’ve been living week to week, bulk purchasing might be a challenge at first, but it becomes simpler as you save more money.

Parenting is a hard ordeal in its own right, but when you have to be thrifty at all times, it can be even tougher. The key thing is to think about your monthly expenses and plan accordingly, taking into account the essential utilities you need to pay. Also, make sure to get free things and bulk buy groceries every chance you get. Buy second-hand as often as you can. If your kid is young, they may not even notice the difference!

Co-parents: Let’s Talk Self-Esteem – Tips To Empower Your Teen

Co-parents: Let’s Talk Self-Esteem

When your child is coming of age it can be challenging for all parties involved. From bodily changes, relationships, newfound independence, and everything in between, it can be confusing and overwhelming. On top of that, it can especially seem awkward to navigate it all with your co-parent. If you are not careful some of your teenager’s needs can be lost in the shuffle and the last thing you want to overlook is self-esteem. It can be easy to brush it aside at first, and you can tell yourself it’s just a teenage thing that everyone goes through. However, it is critical that both you and your co-parent are able to be a champion of your teen’s confidence and don’t neglect any signs of low self-esteem. Make no mistake, now is the time to work together to understand the importance of self-esteem. Continue reading to discover key areas to focus your attention on to best empower your young adult.

Take Note of Your Teen’s Behavior

Whatever you do, don’t brush things off. It can be hard to make time to pay attention to the details when you have your own career, responsibilities, and concerns, on top of co-parenting. However, it’s important for co-parents to be aware of their teen’s feelings, and behaviors across both households. Co-parents must be especially vigilant because you are not with your teen every day and on the surface, it may seem that your teen is giving off mixed messages. However, it is important to pay special attention to any changes in moods, and habits. Take notes surrounding your teen’s health and wellness. Be aware of what makes your teen happy, feel inspired, and empowered. Remember to congratulate your teen when they feel good about a recent win in their life. Help celebrate their accomplishments by sharing them through your co-parenting journal, whether it be a photo from being inducted into the honor society or a video of scoring that winning goal. This way neither of you will miss a moment and you can both offer your praise and encouragement. On the flip side, acknowledge and pay attention to when your teen is feeling down. Do you notice your teen seems to be set off by certain triggers, or a lack of confidence due to pressure from a certain situation? Encourage your co-parent to do the same. Feel free to compare notes, and go over your observations through secure messaging.

It’s important that co-parents are able to recognize their teen’s unique needs so you both can lift up and boost your teen’s self-confidence. One issue co-parents could run into is overlooking behaviors between households. Therefore, strive to recognize these things upfront so that they don’t go unnoticed. For example, if you notice that your teen feels pressure from school or is overwhelmed by too many extracurricular activities, try to help minimize these pressures across households. If you know that a certain activity makes your teen feel confident then try to promote, encourage, and foster your teen’s interest. Encourage your teen to be open with managing and sharing emotions, whether it be through journaling, or just talking. When both teens and co-parents have strategies in place it can truly be game-changing. Just remember, it all starts with paying attention, intervening, and creating that consistency early on, and not putting anything off.

Be There to Support With Health Changes

The bodily changes your teen goes through can have a direct impact on self-esteem. Teens may feel uncomfortable all of a sudden noticing things are different than before hitting puberty. Your teen may not like a growth spurt and being taller than their friends, sweating more, or dreaded acne breakouts. All of these things can be too much to bear at once and can leave your teen feeling unhappy. Encourage your teen to confide in health care professionals and talk to them about what they are feeling and experiencing. However, health checkups can become confusing across households. Therefore before your teen attends an appointment it is important that both you and your co-parent are aware of and up to date on all your teen’s latest health needs. Ensure that both you and your co-parent have access to the same vital health information so you can best support your teen with healthcare concerns. Rely on your co-parenting apps information bank to easily have access to common health stats and documents. This way there will be no confusion and you can help your teen to stay on top of their health and wellness and guide them with appointments.

A telehealth consult may be a great way for you, your co-parent, and your teen to be able to be on the same page. For example, if your teen may be feeling uncomfortable about acne, then speaking with a dermatologist to find a prescription teen acne treatment can help them gain independence and take charge of their health concerns. Having the ability to talk online with a healthcare professional will ensure your teen has access to the same health resources across both homes. Not only will co-parents be empowered, but your teen as well, by knowing how to communicate with trusted professionals and start to be their own best health advocate. Build upon this, and strive to help your teen by creating a home that inspires healthy habits on a daily basis. Helping your teen stick to a healthy routine by taking care of their personal hygiene, going to bed at a good time, or even something like keeping their room picked up can help them feel better by reducing clutter and chaos. Even small changes in your teen’s environment can greatly improve your teen’s mental health.

Foster Healthy Online and Offline Relationships

At some point or another social media is sure to have an impact on your teen’s self-esteem. Today’s teens are digital natives, and a good majority of their free time and social life is spent online. However, the hours spent scrolling through TikTok, and Instagram may cause a direct blow to your teen’s self-esteem. From filters, Photoshop, to glorifying images, your teen may start to compare their own lives and self-worth to those online, whether friends or influencers. All these unrealistic images can cause your teen to question how they look and fit in. Teens can also be vulnerable to cyberbullying online on social media. Therefore, it is critical that co-parents are aware of online activity and are also striving to reinforce healthy relationships and social activities. This can be hard to do between households and takes an effort from both parents to be there for support. This is not to say that you should prevent your teen from using social media, but it may be a good idea to use a social media monitoring app to check in on your teen’s online health.

All in all, it is best that co-parents strive to limit your teen’s temptation of spending time scrolling, by rather getting out of the house and participating in fun events, getting active, and spending time with friends in person. This helps teens to build authentic healthy relationships rather than be consumed by social media. You can ensure a healthy mix of activities is built into your teen’s day by using your co-parenting calendar to plan some fun activities. Encourage your teen to check out events going on in the area that they can also invite their friends to, volunteer, or even join a teen-friendly gym. Activities like volunteering can help your teen improve their communication and leadership skills. Encourage your teen with every chance and opportunity you have that will allow them to gain more confidence and independence and learn vital life skills.

In order to empower your young adult and boost self-esteem when co-parenting, you must be proactive. Stay on top of all the little details along the way. Although it may seem challenging and uncomfortable at first, there are plenty of ways to find common ground with your co-parent to help your teen thrive. Be open and communicate regularly, and be there for your teen to lean on. Remember that you are not alone, there are plenty of great co-parenting tools, resources, and even networks that you can rely on if you are looking for advice or better strategies for co-parenting your teen. Co-parenting is a constantly evolving process, and every day you will find new best practices for fostering your teen’s self-esteem between two homes. Just remember, by being open and supportive you will be able to strike the right balance. Reinforcing healthy practices, being open, and communicative is the best way to provide your teen with a strong confident base to work from.

How to Rebuild Your Style after Divorce

How to Rebuild Your Style after Divorce

Going through a divorce can cause a lot of stress and make you rethink your entire life. Now that you’re starting your life over, you’ll want to reinvent yourself entirely, ad what better way to start than from your style. Looking back to your wardrobe and all the outfits you either regretted wearing or never had the chance to show off are now in the past. From now on, you’ll become a whole new person aiming to look like a true fashionista, and this is where you need to start.

Wardrobe intervention

Clothes are precious to many of us, but they need to go through a thorough filtering process once you decide to rebuild your persona style. Open your wardrobe, take everything out and start the estimate. Remember that iconic scene from Sex and the City movie, when they’re deciding on all the outfits Carrie should take or leave? That’s what you need too. Put a vote on every piece of clothing and be ruthless. Bring reinforcement and allow your friends to be non-biased. Only keep the pieces that will allow you to create new, improved looks for yourself.

Online research

Once you’ve left with a few items of quality clothes and footwear, it’s time to start looking for inspiration. Do you even know what you’re looking for in your new edition? Start by browsing through fashion magazines and Pinterest. Create a vision board of all the looks that you like. On top of that, don’t forget to search for outfits that compliment your figure. Otherwise, your shopping trip will be too frustrating.

Shop ‘till you drop

Speaking of shopping, get your credit card ready for swiping. Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to put on your comfortable shoes and start raiding the stores. Invest in new and trendy day dresses that will show everyone how strong and confident you are. With a day dress, you’ll radiate sass and class at the same time while feeling fierce too. With a pair of well-tailored jeans and a fitted blazer, you’ll be on you’re a-game every day, no matter the occasion. Accessorize smart and don’t miss out on the opportunity to look your best at work, at home, when shopping or when you’re out enjoying a relaxing weekend afternoon.

Don’t be a slave to trends

Yes, online magazines and Pinterest are endless sources of fashion trends, but no, you shouldn’t succumb to trends by any means. Just because something is trending, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for everyone (or anyone for that matter). Use the latest fashion trends as an inspiration for what you’ll fashion for yourself. Let the trends guide you and offer a building ground on which you can further upgrade your style.

Wear clothes that fit like a glove

One of the reasons you shouldn’t follow fashion trends at any cost is because some clothes won’t fit you like they fit the models. So, when you start reinventing your style, only invest in clothing items that look like they’ve been made for you. Always try the clothes before you buy them That way, you’ll be sure you’ve got the right size, cut, and colour. No matter how much you like nude tops, if you have fair skin, many nude shades can make you look washed up. Furthermore, not all clothes will fit every body type, so shop according to your figure to always look like a supermodel.

Look for quality instead of quantity

If you have a fixed budget, shop for quality staple pieces. Regardless of what your wardrobe looks like after the intervention, invest in trademark pieces that you can easily mix and match. Quality shirts, leather jackets, pencil skirts and blazers that will last for more than one season are always the best choice. A little black dress and a few more day dresses to make you look like you’re ready for a date will be the best investment that will pay off in the long run. Don’t shop for items on sale just because they’re more affordable now. Think if you’ll ever wear them, and only invest in them if they’re worth it.

Rebuilding your style may seem like a challenge, but it’s actually easier than it appears. All you need to do is declutter the old items and invest in new clothes that will make you look better than ever before. Learn what pieces are worth buying and start your new life with your head up high in those lovely heels.

How to Let Go of Bitterness After Divorce

How to Let Go of Bitterness After Divorce

When going through a divorce, you’re facing a challenging, confusing, time in your life. While you’re working to take care of your family, you must also remember to take care of yourself. With so much uncertainty, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to let the emotions obscure your perspective on the situation. But, it’s time to start taking back your control and putting yourself first. Give yourself permission to take the time to heal and grow past this challenging event in your life. If you don’t allow yourself the space to do just that, you’ll only hold yourself down to feelings of bitterness and frustration. Here are some tips to help you on your path forward to find optimism and acceptance from a difficult place. 

Grieve the Old

Divorce is a loss and there is a lot of emotion that comes with navigating that loss. This involves grieving and the many ways in which that is felt differs from person to person. It may feel like you have to hold everything together and keep on track, yet, that’s just not feasible. You have to open yourself up to process the emotions that you’re experiencing. Whatever you may be feeling is valid. Try not to fight it or repress it, even if that may feel like a short-term solution; in the long run, it’s only going to cause more harm. 

With that said, feeling your emotions is just the first step because you don’t want them to overrun you. The next step is to talk it out. Talking through your thoughts, along with your mental and emotional state in general, is a way to grow and move forward. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or licensed professional, having someone to help you make sense of what you’re going through and acknowledge it without harboring it will help you to form healthy coping mechanisms.

Accept the Present

The process of grieving is intense and is not linear in any way. It’s not a simple process to come to acceptance, but having that as an underlying goal can guide each day in a positive manner. It’s easy to look back on the situation with a mentality of what you should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve done differently. However, this is not productive or fair to you. At the end of the day, you can only focus on the present and move forward into the future. 

Finding ways to come to terms with your current situation can include recognizing any judgments you have towards yourself and others, identifying the things that you are grateful for presently, and taking note of actions you can take for the future. Getting into the habit of journaling is a great way to work through these ideas, especially ones that draw you back to the past. Anytime you feel a judgment or resentment from the past, write it down to get it out of your head and leave it behind so you are not occupied with these thoughts and you can turn your focus to the future. 

Turn Your Focus Inward

The one constant thing you can take control of in life is yourself and your reactions. In a time when it feels like you’ve lost all control and sense of order, you can look to yourself for a grounding presence. You can explore more about who you are, your feelings, opinions, likes, and dislikes. You can get to know yourself all over again, being able to learn with fewer outside influences. Ultimately, this is a time to define who you are outside of marriage.

This exercise should feel grounding and healing, rather than hyper-critical and defeating. Self-reflection is meant to bolster positive growth and a strong understanding of who you are. Self-awareness and introspection can actually be a very tricky thing if you’re not careful. When you’re taking part in these activities, be cognizant of the ways in which you are talking to yourself, and make sure that you are offering compassion, patience, support, and understanding, the same way you would if it was a loved one.

Look forward to What’s New and Changing

Newness can be scary. Going through a divorce brings about a lot of change, but this doesn’t have to be as concerning as you might think. By reframing your take on this time in your life, you can turn this into something more positive and exciting, with the idea that you can make anything you want out of your new situation. Change is inevitable and constant, but don’t forget you are adaptable and resilient.

Start with making a list of the things you’ve always wanted to do. Then, start checking things off that list! Find ways to spark your joy, creativity, and passion. Look at this as a time to reorganize and redesign whatever you want. One thing you can do is find ways to embrace healthy choices throughout your daily routine, not just for you, but your family too. Something to try would be a new workout class, not only does this benefit your health, but it’s a great way to meet new people. Maybe play around with a new style to find ways to build your confidence and security in this more ambiguous phase in your life. Try to remember the possibilities for you are endless in the best way.

Channel Your Positive Energy

This is not a situation that is going to consistently feel exciting. There are going to be lots of ups and downs, but the best way to move forward is by harnessing the ups and focusing your energy on growth and healing. Luckily, there are so many different ways to channel your energy. Now’s the time to take on a project you’ve been meaning to do or learn something entirely new. Whether it’s a new hobby or just an opportunity to revamp something in your life, find an outlet that brings the passion inside of you to the forefront.

Leaning into your social circle or finding a new community entirely can open you up to new experiences. Whether it’s through close friends or meeting new people through shared interests you are doing new things. Take a step back and think about the things that interest you and have always wanted to try, this is a great starting point to find a community that is similar to you. If you’re an avid reader, you might love to join a book club. Whether it’s local to your area, or you take advantage of online resources, there are numerous ways you can get involved and put yourself out there. Use this time of newfound independence to share the passions that were once kept to yourself with others to find more joy in every day.

Create Peace Within Your Space

The space which surrounds you daily can have a huge impact on your mood and emotions. Your home, especially what was once a shared home, can pack in a lot of memories of loved ones and the past. Sitting in the past as it once was is only going to hold you back. Rather than tiptoe around the shell of the old, it’s time to start bringing in new life. There is so much that can be done to refresh your space that will also allow you to refresh your mindset.

Investing in your space is investing in yourself. Now’s the time to take on the home projects you’ve been waiting to get to and build out the design that truly speaks to you. These projects can be of any size large or small. Whether it’s as simple as repainting a room or a little more involved by breaking out the power tools, this is a moment of empowerment for you to experiment with different styles and decor that inspire you. If you’re still trying to find your personal design style after so much time living in a shared space, lean into transitional pieces while you figure it out. One great project to start with is installing a shiplap accent wall. Shiplap is a popular design element because of how subtle yet versatile it is- it fits into every style of decor without overwhelming your space. As you transition, adapt, and thrive, with the many changes in your life your home will be a reflection of your growth. If you think your style is trending toward farmhouse but in a year or so, you find it’s actually more modern, the shiplap accent will still fit perfectly as you swap out decor. Pair this accent with furniture pieces and other design elements you’ve always wanted and transform your home into a space that reflects not only your personality but brings you peace in this challenging time; a space that should continue to grow with you for the years ahead.

Find What You Want and Go After It

You can’t change the past, but you can look to the future. Maybe this is an unexpected time in your life, but that’s what makes it all the more unique. Now is your time to do whatever feels right for you. Yes, you’re still grieving a relationship that once was, and that will continue to be a part of your journey, but it is certainly not where the story ends. Rather than hold on to any resentment or negativity, continue to move through it as you heal, grow, and learn more about yourself than ever before. Ground yourself in your strength and resilience, and work towards creating a brand new life to fall in love with.

How to Create a Home That Inspires Healthy Habits

Healthy home

In the last two years, we have all been spending more time indoors than usual. Many people are not used to this kind of lifestyle and find themselves lazy, apathetic, and resorting to unhealthy behavior. However, there is no need to live unhealthily just because you’re stuck inside. You can still get the necessary physical activity, plenty of fresh air and sunlight, and healthy meals. There are various ways you can create a home that inspires healthy habits, so if you’re trying to embrace a healthier lifestyle after divorce, here are some tips to get you on your way.

Get rid of clutter

For starters, it’s not a secret that most of us have too much stuff. Walking into a room that is full of knick knacks that don’t have a designated place, dirty clothes that need to be washed or clean ones that need to be put away, various documents scattered around the place, a pile of dishes that have nowhere to go, and so on can be very stressful and have a huge impact on your mental health. Consider the idea of thoroughly decluttering your space. Go through each of the rooms and see whether you really need everything in there. Set some rules for yourself. For instance, everything that you haven’t used in the last year needs to go. Moreover, if, during this purge, you encounter items that you would not have bought again if you got the chance, toss or donate them. This approach goes for everything from appliances and kitchen tools to clothes and books. Moreover, if you went through a divorce recently and are learning how to live on your own again, it’s vital that you get rid of all the things that belong to your ex. Either return them or give them away. There is no need to have reminders of a negative time in your life lying around the home.

Introduce plenty of natural light

Once your home is free of the clutter that might have been making you anxious to a certain degree, it’s time to shower your home in natural light. This is important as it can improve your circadian rhythm and sleep pattern as well as help you focus and make you happier. With that in mind, if you’re considering a bigger renovation, look into getting bigger windows for most rooms so that the light has no problem coming in. However, a big remodeling is not always a possibility, whether due to financial constraints or as it simply wouldn’t make sense because of where you live. In that case, you want to ensure the windows are not blocked by furniture. Furthermore, get rid of heavy drapes and opt for some light, sheer curtains, or none at all. That way, the light will not be obstructed when coming into your home. That being said, you can still opt for blackout blinds that will ensure no lights from the outside are interrupting your sleep during the night.

Make sure to let the fresh air in

Something that you should keep in mind when it comes to natural light, however, is the fact that you cannot get vitamin D through the rays that penetrate the windows. That means that you should open your windows on a regular basis and bask in some direct sunlight to experience all the benefits of this vitamin, such as lower depression levels. By opening the windows, you are also letting in fresh air into your home, which is another pillar of good health. Regardless of whether you use an air purifier and have proper ventilation, this is something you should do, simply to get rid of various odors, moisture, and contaminants in your home.

Use natural materials

No matter if you’re going for a bigger change or not, using natural materials is of the essence as they allow us to create a bond with nature that we might be missing during these difficult times. These can be implemented in all rooms in one form or another. For instance, you can change the flooring in your home. If you currently have wall-to-wall carpeting in your bedroom, you can consider replacing it with hardwood floors or some similar eco-friendly alternative like bamboo and cork. Then, when it comes to smaller updates, you can introduce some wooden chairs, a wooden bath tray, bamboo toothbrushes, and organic cotton towels.

Opt for the right color palette

Another important aspect of our homes that can easily get overlooked even though it can have a huge effect on our psyche is the color palette that we use. Seeing as how being in nature can help us feel good and boost our mood, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with a nature-inspired color scheme. While the shades you can use abound, you can opt for pastel blues, greens, and yellows. Blues, for instance, are great if you’re looking for some peace and serenity. Green is typically used to enhance focus while yellow can improve your creativity. If you’ve already had some of these colors and are looking to revamp your home after divorce, you can simply opt for white as it can make your space look airy, bright, and larger than it actually is. In addition to painting the walls, which is a cheap and quick transformation, you can also add some accents in the form of art, throw pillows, and rugs.

Bring in plenty of greenery

Besides a nature-inspired color scheme, you can also introduce some actual nature into your home. No matter the conditions you can provide them with, there are certainly a few houseplants that you can add to your living quarters. For example, the jade plant, aloe vera, yucca, money tree, and fiddle-leaf fig all thrive in direct sunlight. On the other hand, if you’re not showered in natural light for the majority of the day, you can turn to spider plants, Swiss cheese plants, Boston ferns, areca palms, cast iron plants, and philodendrons. In case you think houseplants require too much care and you don’t have a green thumb, you can also opt for a bunch of flowers that will keep your home fresh at all times. Look into regularly getting delivered flower bouquets, as that will brighten your living space in no time. Something else you can consider is growing herbs indoors. Everything from mint and basil to oregano and cilantro can succeed in your home.

Layer the lights

When spending plenty of time indoors, it’s also important that you tackle your lighting situation. It’s not uncommon to see rooms with just one source of light. However, this approach can lead to eye strain and headaches, especially if you’re working from home or like to read. With that in mind, you should layer your lights. In addition to the overhead fixture that you probably have in every room, you want to add some other sources. For instance, in the bedroom, a table lamp or a sconce on each side of the bed will make it much more pleasant. On the other hand, the bathroom needs some task lights around the mirror aside from the pendant, chandelier, or recessed light you might already have. The kitchen is another area where you should add a task light as it can prevent accidents while preparing food. Moreover, don’t overlook your living room as floor lamps and table lamps as well as some accent lights can create a cozy atmosphere that’s just right for watching movies and relaxing. Lastly, if you work from home, you need your office area well-illuminated in order to be able to focus on your assignments.

Organize your kitchen to promote healthy eating

A big part of a healthy lifestyle is eating healthily. To encourage this habit, you want to organize your kitchen in the right way. For starters, you want to organize your fridge in such a manner that healthy snacks are highly visible and within reach. You always want to go for fruits and veggies first instead of unhealthy alternatives full of sugar and fat. Use clear containers to have a good overview. Then, you can also have healthy snacks on display on the dining room table or kitchen island. Put out a bowl filled with fruits, granola bars, and nuts and seeds, as then they will be within sight and reach. Staying hydrated is also essential so you want to keep a jug of water and a few glasses on the kitchen island to remind everyone who passes them to have a glass. What is more, if your kids are now living in two homes, it’s essential to introduce them to how your home is organized so that they can also adopt these healthy habits.

When spending plenty of time at home, you want to ensure this space is created so that it supports healthy habits. That means that you should be mindful when choosing the materials and color scheme for your living quarters. Moreover, you want to make sure there is plenty of air and light as well as bring in some nature.

7 Tips to Help a Child with ADHD Cope with Their Parents Divorce

Help a Child with ADHD Cope with Their Parents Divorce

Divorce is a complex emotional process that is difficult for all parties involved. Сhildren whose parents are divorcing experience depression, irritation, and anger. Some of the children may even blame themselves for the parent’s separation. However, things can get worse when it comes to kids with ADHD.

Facts About ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) is one of the most common behavioral disorders. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and may persist into adulthood.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, 6.1 million children of all ages (9.4%) in the United States had ADHD. Symptoms should be present for more than six months for a diagnosis.

Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and have problems controlling impulsive behavior and concentrating. Some children and adults with ADHD may also have difficulty regulating their emotions.

ADHD in children can deteriorate school performance and relationships with peers and adults. ADHD is a disease that requires treatment, including medication.

What to Expect

Divorce of parents is a challenging test for any child. However, for children with ADHD, the situation turns into a tragedy. It is challenging for them to fully understand the nature of their emotions and cope with impulses.

Support for children with ADHD going through a divorce involves parents’ understanding and accepting the problem. A parent is a reliable support system for a child.

Psychologists identify three main issues that adults and children face:

  • Trouble managing emotions. The news of a parents’ divorce can be a real emotional shock for a child. Children with ADHD may find it challenging to deal with anger, sadness, and anxiety during and after divorce. Often this leads to tantrums and possible physical beatings.
  • Hyper focusing. Although one of the symptoms of ADHD is impaired concentration, it manifests as the opposite symptom in some cases. Children with ADHD may dwell on negative aspects, such as divorce, and do not let the situation go for a long time. It can lead to depression, low self-esteem, and blame for the parents’ breakup.
  • Trouble with flexible thinking. It is hard for children with ADHD to quickly adapt to new changes and adjust their perception of the situation. As a result, it leads to a long-term denial of the parental separation and the rejection of the new rules or new parents’ partners.

You can not protect the child from all the negative consequences. However, understanding the nature and reasons of their reactions to certain factors can help your kids get through difficulties faster and more smoothly.

Strategies to Help a Child Deal with Divorce

The tips below will help parents organize their child care and focus on specific factors that require attention.

1. Work Together with the Co-Parent

Dealing with divorce and children can be difficult for parents because so many things need their attention. However, when raising a child with ADHD, it is vital to adhere to a single system to avoid confusing them.

Children with ADHD quickly lose concentration. Because of this, it is difficult for them to immediately understand complex things, such as the causes and consequences of divorce. As a result, their reaction to unclear explanations or criticism of the other parent can turn into hysteria and ruthlessness. After all, they simply do not know how to respond to family changes.

Parents need to agree on what they will say to their child regarding divorce and further action. At this point, spouses should show the children that they are not the reason for their parent’s separation.

Co-parents’ teamwork can help the child feel less out of control.

2. Keep an Open Dialogue

Many parents mistakenly believe that to help their children cope with their separation, they need to pretend that everything is fine and nothing happened. However, children quickly notice the slightest change in their parents’ attitudes and react to it. For example, frequent whims, poor school performance, protests against meals or walks, and so on.

In this way, children with ADHD try to attract their parents’ attention and become the force that unites them again. It’s like the saying goes: “Nothing brings you together like a common enemy.” The principle is the same.

Parents should talk openly about divorce with their children. However, depending on the child’s age, they need to choose the appropriate tone. The child may not be ready to discuss everything at once. Give them time to think. And then return to the conversation later.

3. Tell Your Child What to Expect

This paragraph is similar to the previous one. However, here we focus on preparing a child with ADHD for the coming changes in home life.

Parents should talk to their children and explain how their lives will change with a divorce. Try to calm the child and assure them that there will be no global changes. Parents, as before, will both be present in the child’s life. To do this, give specific examples like: “Now dad will take you to his place every weekend,” or “Now you will have two houses.”

Parents should not overload the child with information at once, do it gradually. You can also use supportive tools. For example, by reading children’s books about divorce, you can clearly explain why parents can no longer be together.

Popular books now are:

  • Dinosaurs Divorce by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

The dinosaur family explores why parents can get divorced and what happens after a divorce. In the book, you will find answers to common questions that a child may have. It is designed for children from 3 to 7 years old.

  • It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear by Vicki Lansky

After the divorce of Koko’s bear parents, the protagonist experiences a range of emotions such as guilt, anger, and sadness. On every page, you can find tips on how to help your child identify and express feelings. It is designed for children from 3 to 7 years old.

  • Two Homes by Claire Masurel

The book tells about Alex, who lives with his mother and father in different houses. He has two beds, two armchairs, and two favorite groups of friends. With this book, you can help your child understand that they are loved by both parents, no matter where or with whom they live. It is designed for children from 3 to 7 years old.

  • Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids by Isolina Ricci

A qualified family therapist wrote this book to help teens deal with conflicting home rules and schedules. The story will help children stay neutral when their parents disagree and deal with guilt, stress, and other emotions. In addition, the book includes easy-to-use and straightforward worksheets. It is designed for children 10 years and older.

  • My Family’s Changing by Pat Thomas

This picture book talks about the concept of divorce. It also contains questions parents can ask their children to help them sort out their feelings. It is designed for children 4 years and older.

  • Divorce Is Not the End of the World by Zoe and Evan Stern

This book is remarkable because it was written by teenagers (with the support of their mother) who coped with their parents’ divorce. The book considers managing emotions, adapting to stepparents, adjusting to rules and schedules in different houses, etc. It is designed for children 8 years and older.

4. Keep Rules

Helping kids go through a divorce, parents can ease up on their day-to-day rules. However, during this period, children with ADHD need parental control. Parents should stick to the usual system so that children do not feel lost and out of control. Even something as small as changing kids’ bedtime can affect your child’s behavior.

5. Protect Rituals and Schedules

Divorce will make adjustments to family life. However, parents that have kids with ADHD should maintain their child’s daily routines. In this case, we are not talking about rules, but about actions such as doing sports, taking medicine, playing a musical instrument, etc.

Some divorced parents may disagree on ADHD medication and refuse to support their child’s treatment. Therefore, in joint custody, parents should agree on the need for treatment, the schedule, and the dose of ADHD medication. After all, their child’s health and further standing in society depend on this.

6. Don’t Ignore Unacceptable Behavior

Everything should have a limit. Parents should understand the emotions and feelings of the child. However, this does not mean kids should be allowed to do what they want without punishment. For example, a child with ADHD may be angry or sad because of their parents’ separation, but don’t let violence or tantrums become the norm.

Parents should talk to their children about healthy ways to express their emotions. They can also get a family psychologist consultation or attend specialized courses to help children of divorce. In addition, parents can turn to medication treatment.

7. Be Mindful About Dating

When parents have a new partner, this can turn into two scenarios. First, children with ADHD may have a negative attitude towards a new beloved and consider this as a parent’s betrayal. It can lead to alienation between the child and the parent.

The second option is entirely the opposite. Children with ADHD can become very attached to a parent’s new partner very quickly, trying to fill the gap of a broken family. And in the end, if you break up with a new partner, it can be a tragedy for the child and drive them into depression.

Parents should refrain from introducing their children to new lovers if they are unsure about the relationship. 

Final Words

Parents should not be afraid of ADHD in children. Your kids may overreact to the changes, but with the right approach, you can help your daughter or son get through a divorce. The key is understanding and communication.


Anna Khmara is a certified life transformation and relationship coach with an in-depth study of transactional analysis and positive psychology. She helps clients understand the essence of the problem, establish healthy relationships, build self-esteem, manifest their dreams into reality, and find harmony.

Anna has published up-to-date guides to changing life scenarios, offering valuable advice on coping with trauma, surviving divorce, setting life goals, and implementing an effective plan to achieve them.