Coping with Loneliness and Isolation After Separation or Divorce

Coping with Loneliness

Life changes significantly after separation or divorce and with that change comes a lot of emotions. In fact, for many people, the process of grieving—from anger to sadness to acceptance—can be a normal process of divorce. And with so much news on separation and divorce, many people are expecting that grieving process.

What they aren’t expecting, however, is the feeling of loneliness and isolation that can happen after separation or divorce. When that happens, they often feel like they have nowhere to turn to and they are experiencing something that no one else experiences.

But you aren’t alone.

In fact, the majority of couples going through separation or divorce feel a combination of loneliness and isolation after it. Let’s face it, you’ve gone from having a unit to not having that unit intact. The person that you spent most of your free time with is now doing their own thing without you.

That thought alone can be isolating in itself, but there are things that you can do to help cope with the loneliness and isolation you feel after separation or divorce.

Accept the Loneliness as Part of the Process

It can seem counterintuitive to just accept that loneliness but if you don’t accept it, it can be a lot harder to cope with or work through. When you understand that there will be times when you will feel lonely, you can start to identify when those moments are or what triggers those feelings.

And with knowing what those triggers are, you can start to cope with it and prepare things that help alleviate. Everyone alleviates loneliness in different ways so you need to find what works for you. It might be going out for drinks or dinner, calling a friend or family member, heading out for a walk in nature, or simply cuddling up with a book and your cat.

The thing is that it will pass once you learn how to cope with it and how to alleviate it. The best thing to understand is that loneliness will pass…it’s only temporary.

Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Be Alone

And this falls into the temporary. It’s okay to be alone. In today’s society, it may seem odd to be alone. We are always connected with people through social media, our phones, friends, family and so on. It is very unusual for people to be alone, but it is not unusual to feel lonely.

By telling yourself that it is okay to be alone, you can set up moments where you are alone, with your own thoughts. And you can focus on doing things that you love, alone. When you do, this can help prevent feelings of loneliness because you can begin to enjoy those moments alone. This is extremely helpful when your kids are out visiting their other parent and you are missing them.

Being alone can be wonderful and nurturing, but it’s important to go back to alleviating the loneliness if you start feeling it.

Take care of yourself

Another important tip to help combat loneliness is to really take care of yourself. Self care can help you in so many ways.

First, it can help empty your stress bucket. This means that you’ll be able to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation when they come up as opposed to if you never empty your stress bucket. Doing self care from doing a hobby you like to going out with friends to washing your hair will help empty that stress bucket for you.

Second, it can help you discover yourself and your likes and dislikes. This can really go a long way in coping with loneliness as you’ll feel a direction when you feel that loneliness. It can also help you get out.

Third, it will help you maintain your health. When you are healthy, you feel better and it can help you cope with negative emotions, such as loneliness and isolation a lot better.

Remind Yourself that This Won’t Last Forever

Divorce and separation are a season…they aren’t your lifetime. Life will change, you’ll meet new people, find a new life that is different from the one you had with your ex-partner. You will grow and enjoy your life.

Remind yourself that the hardest part, the divorce, is over. Now is the time for you to focus on yourself, your wants and pursue your dreams. Yes, you still have responsibilities with your kids, but you also don’t have the limits that might have been there with your ex-partner.

And all that hurt, loneliness and isolation that you are feeling right now will pass, I promise, and you’ll have so much to look forward to in the future.

This Process Will Take Time

Finally, be aware that coping with loneliness means accepting that it will take time to overcome. You have become used to there being two of you and now that there is just one, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. However, if you take the transition to divorced slowly and start exploring who you are, you will get there.

Eventually, the loneliness and hurt will be a lot less and you’ll be able to enjoy your time alone as much as you enjoy the time with your kids.

And that is something that you should really focus on, your kids. They need you, completely and they want you to be happy. Even when they aren’t there, you can look at pictures and videos of them and reaffirm that you aren’t alone…you have them and they have you and together, you’ll have a unique family with its own happiness.

No matter what, remember that even in those moments when you feel completely alone…you aren’t. Others are there for you. Others understand the loneliness and isolation from separation or divorce, and we are all rooting for your success.

The Benefits of Using Online Tools and Apps for Co-Parenting in the UK

Apps for Co-Parenting

With the world becoming more and more attached to the internet and their phones, is there any doubt that parenting would change? The answer is no. Kids are on phones or online. Parents are on phones or online. And that means that co-parents are online and on phones.

But surprisingly, when it comes to co-parenting apps, a lot of ex-partners don’t think of that option when it comes to co-parenting in the UK. In fact, many still struggle with all the problems of traditional co-parenting when they could be enjoying the benefits of using online tools and apps for co-parenting.

So what are those benefits? Well, the fact that you can put all your organization into your pocket is the biggest, but there are a number of other ones, which we will go through right now.

Benefit Number One: Getting Those Calendars Organized

The biggest benefit of using online tools and apps for co-parenting, such as the app 2houses, is being able to organize your schedule. This can start simple by putting in your custody arrangement and marking which days the kids are with which co-parent. However, more advanced apps and online tools allow you to colour code the calendar, mark times of handoffs and where those handoffs are going to take place.

In addition, you can put in events for the kids, which co-parent will be attending those events (including if both are), when expenses need to be paid, and a wide range of other events that occur throughout the month.

By having your calendar organized and downloaded onto an app on your phone, you can be sure to have everything organized when it comes to your schedules.

Benefit Number Two: Organize those Documents

Speaking of organization, by using an online tool or app for co-parenting, you can actually keep life and documents organized. With 2houses, you can upload all of the documents regarding custody and settlements to your app where it will be safe and secure. In addition, you can add medical records, contacts to do with your kids and a range of other documents that will keep life easy.

And they can be shared with your co-parent so that you both have access to the same documents, which makes life much easier, especially during an emergency when you need to access those important documents quickly and securely.

Benefit Number Three: Reduces the Amount of Conflict

This is all in how you use the app but co-parenting tools and apps are often recommended when you are co-parenting with a high conflict partner. By using the app, you can minimize the amount of conflict that you have with the high conflict partner and can have all correspondence done through the app instead of in person.

Even without a high conflict co-parent, there will be times when there is more conflict. And some topics bring up conflict as they are known as high tension or high conflict topics. Often, these topics are around changes to visitation or about money.

With a co-parenting app, or using the online tools, you can circumvent these tense conversations. If the app has a messaging system connected to the calendar, you can simply put in requests regarding changes in visitation or pick up times and the notification will be sent to the other co-parent.

When it comes to expenses, some apps, like 2houses, has a budget that you can track expenses, send messages on costs of things and provide feedback on how much to spend for items such as shoes right through the app, make it much easier to get things the kids need without all the tension.

Benefit Number Four: Program those Reminders

This really comes into play with organization but you can set the online tools and apps to send you reminders of appointments, handoff times and any event happening in your kids’ lives. It can also send notification on when you need to send over money to cover expenses.

By having the reminders, you can really stay on top of things, which can be a huge accomplishment as raising kids between two houses can be extremely challenging and confusing at times. With the app, it doesn’t have to be.

Benefit Number Five: You Get to Enjoy Your Kids

The final benefit of using online tools and apps is that you really just get to enjoy your kids. The app can do all the heavy lifting and you can simply enjoy the time with your kids when they are with them. In addition, apps like 2houses have journals and photo albums so kids can be in contact, write notes, share photos and just still be in touch with you whenever they aren’t actually with you.

And your co-parent can do the same with those journals and albums so that you are always aware of what is going on, and being able to enjoy every moment of your kids’ lives, even when they aren’t with you.

When you aren’t worrying about conflicts with your co-parent, juggling budgets or stressing about making events, you’ll find that your days with your kids are focused on bonding, which is healthy for them, you and their relationships with both co-parents.

As you can see, there are many different benefits to using a co-parenting app or online tool. You will feel less stress, be more organized and will simply enjoy the new relationship you have formed as co-parents. Will it solve everything? The answer is obviously no, but it will remove a lot of the complications that can occur when you are trying to organize life between two houses. So what are you waiting for? Find an online tool or app that works for you and your family and start organizing your life and experiencing all the benefits of having one.

The importance of self-care for divorced/separated parents in the USA

self-care for separated parents

Navigating the tumultuous waters of a divorce or separation can be the equivalent of weathering a personal storm, the magnitude of which can seem daunting. Add to this the pressures of adjusting to life as a single parent, and it feels as though you’re carrying an Atlas-like burden. In the USA, these new roles demand a delicate balancing act between addressing personal needs and co-parenting responsibilities, alongside grappling with financial reshuffles and the daunting journey of personal rebuilding.

Now, here’s a gentle reminder: It’s okay, essential even, to prioritize yourself. In the world of aircraft safety, they tell you to secure your oxygen mask before helping others. This principle applies perfectly to life post-divorce. You cannot effectively care for others if you have not taken care of yourself first. This isn’t an act of selfishness, but an acknowledgment that your physical, emotional, and mental health forms the bedrock of your overall wellbeing. It also defines your ability to be the best possible parent for your children.

So, how can we make self-care more than just a buzzword? Let’s explore some practical strategies:

1. Pay Attention to Your Health

It’s understandable that it can be quite tasking to pay attention to your very own health if you have to raise kids all alone. However, understand that taking care of yourself is a necessity, not just a luxury. Ensuring your health can actually better prepare you to face the difficulties associated with co-parenting and parenting..

2. Caring for Your Body

A healthy lifestyle is essential for physical self-care. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising frequently are all vital to not only enhance your physical health but also your mood and stress levels. Exercises like dancing, yoga, or even jogging can help you connect with your body and let out tension that has built up..

3. Attending to Your Emotions

Divorce and separation experiences can set off a flurry of emotions, from sorrow and fury to relief and hope. It’s important to acknowledge and process these feelings. Talk to your friends, relatives, or a therapist who can provide you with a private place to vent your emotions. Engage in pursuits that bring you joy, whether they be engaging in hobbies, keeping a journal, or engaging in mindfulness and meditation.

4. Fostering Mental Health

It’s crucial to look after your mental health during this transitional period. Set aside time to read, do puzzles, or learn something new, or do something else mentally challenging. Encourage self-talk that is constructive and work on your self-compassion. If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems, don’t be afraid to seek professional assistance..

5. Establishing a Supportive Circle

Your wellbeing depends on having a support system. Make connections with other parents who have experienced separation or divorce and can understand your difficulties. Join support groups both offline and online so you may talk about your challenges and gain insight from people who have travelled a similar path. A robust support system can give comfort, direction, and a sense of belonging.

6. Making Time for Yourself

There may not be much time for personal time when juggling parental and co-parenting responsibilities. Finding time for yourself to rest and unwind is nevertheless crucial. It may be as simple as going for a stroll in the park, reading a book, or taking a relaxing bath. Keep in mind that investing in your overall health through self-care is not an indulgence..

7. Setting Limits

Setting boundaries is key to maintaining your self-care routine. Make your needs and limitations clear to your co-parent and family. Boundaries help preserve your time and energy, letting you focus on your well-being. Remember, declining certain requests is not being selfish; it’s a way of prioritizing your self-care.

8. Incorporating Joy and Fun

Rediscovering joy and fun is a vital part of self-care. Participate in activities that bring you joy and help you reconnect with the child within you. Spend quality time with your children, establish new traditions, and cherish moments of laughter and joy. Cultivating happiness not only enhances your well-being but also fosters a positive environment for your children.

**Making Self-Care a Habit**

Now that we understand the significance of self-care for divorced and separated parents, let’s look at practical ways to make self-care a part of your daily routine.

9. Developing a Self-Care Regimen

Create a tailored self-care regimen that caters to your needs and preferences. Identify activities that rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. Note them down and slot them into your calendar, treating them as non-negotiable commitments to yourself.

10. Being Mindful

Being mindful is a technique that helps you focus on the reality of the present.  With mindfulness, you stand a chance to alleviate stress, and experience unparalleled tranquility. To get that done, simply find a way to incorporate mindfulness into your routine through meditation, exercises, or even as you continually stay on top of your task. 

11. Seeking Professional Assistance

Should you be finding it hard to deal with the emotional and mental challenges of your divorce or separation, it is always a great idea to seek professional help. There are quite a lot of qualified and licensed therapists, counselors, and support groups that specialises on divorce and parenting matters and they are well qualified to offer you the best guidance and support as you embark on this new phase of your life.

12. Pursuing Creative Endeavors

Expressing yourself creatively can be therapeutic and refreshing. Engage in activities such as painting, writing, playing an instrument, or dancing to unleash your creative energy. Allow yourself the freedom to explore and express your emotions through creative expression.

13. Taking Digital Detoxes

In a world where technology and initialization has taken over, it is still however, very important to find a way to occasionally disconnect. Take a break from technology, you’ll be thankful that you did because being constantly connected can increase stress, thereby causing you not to fully engage fully in self-care activities. 

14. Practicing Gratitude

Being grateful is a medicine for happiness. It helps to shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life. So, each day that passes, take a break to reflect on everything that has happened and find a reason to be thankful. This simple act, irrespective of how small, can uploft your mood and give you a very deep sense of satisfaction.  

15. Enjoying Nature

The mind and body can be calmed and revitalised by time spent in nature. The trails, parks, and green areas around you is enough to establish a connection with nature. Immersing yourself in nature can bring comfort and clarity, whether you go on a trek, have a picnic, or just relax under a tree.

16. Being Kind to Yourself

Treat yourself with kindness and gentleness during this journey. Acknowledge that you’re doing the best you can and that it’s okay to make mistakes. Extend the same compassion and understanding to yourself that you would to a close friend undergoing similar challenges.

17. Celebrating Your Progress

Every progress count, and you should celebrate every single win. Each step you take toward self care matters a lot and should be taken as a sign of victory. Be thankful to yourself for trying and recognize the impact that every “win” brings you closer to the end goal.  


In summary, self-care for separated and divorced parents is not a luxury but a necessity. Setting your health as a top priority will enable you to face co-parenting’s difficulties head-on and rebuild your life with resiliency. You can take care of yourself and foster a pleasant atmosphere for both you and your children by including self-care practises into your daily routine and asking for help when necessary. Keep in mind that caring for oneself is a loving gesture that benefits everyone.

Coping with Mental Health After Divorce and Adjusting to Co-Parenting Arrangements

Coping with Mental Health After Divorce and Adjusting to Co-Parenting Arrangements

Experiencing mental health struggles while adjusting to co-parenting arrangements is a normal and shared experience among parents in Canada. The process of adapting to new dynamics, schedules, and responsibilities can trigger a range of emotions, from stress and anxiety to moments of self-doubt. As a parent navigating co-parenting, it’s crucial to recognize that these challenges are part of a natural adjustment process and don’t define your ability to provide loving care for your child. Many parents find solace in knowing that seeking support and practicing self-care during this transitional phase is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength and dedication to their child’s well-being. Understanding that these feelings are commonly experienced by others can help alleviate the isolation often associated with mental health struggles. By acknowledging and addressing these challenges, parents can create a healthier co-parenting environment that fosters personal growth, effective communication, and a shared commitment to their child’s happiness and stability.

Canadian Co-Parents and Mental Health Research

Research on the mental health of newly separated or divorced parents in Canada suggests several key findings:

  1. Increased Stress and Anxiety: Canadian research has shown that newly separated or divorced parents often experience higher levels of stress and anxiety compared to parents in intact families. The process of separation or divorce, along with the challenges of co-parenting, can contribute to heightened emotional distress.
  2. Depression and Adjustment Difficulties: Studies have indicated that some co-parents in Canada may experience symptoms of depression and struggle with adapting to their new roles as single parents or co-parents. The adjustment period can be particularly challenging, leading to emotional difficulties.
  3. Parenting Challenges: Research suggests that co-parents may face difficulties in maintaining consistent parenting practices and effective communication. Disagreements over child-rearing decisions and custody arrangements can contribute to heightened tension and stress.
  4. Financial Strain: Economic changes resulting from separation or divorce can have a significant impact on the mental health of co-parents. Financial stressors, including changes in income and the cost of maintaining separate households, can add to the emotional burden.
  5. Support Networks: The presence of social support networks, such as friends, family, and professional counseling services, plays a crucial role in mitigating the negative impact of separation or divorce on mental health. Research has shown that accessing such support can contribute to better emotional well-being.
  6. Effects on Children: The mental health of co-parents can also affect the well-being of their children. Research highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship to provide stability and positive role modeling for children’s emotional development.

It’s important to note that individual experiences can vary widely, and not all co-parents will experience the same level of mental health challenges.

How To Prioritize Your Mental Health While Adjusting to Co-Parenting

Co-parents can take several steps to prioritize their mental health while navigating the challenges of co-parenting. Here are examples that you can incorporate into your daily life and co-parenting arrangements that can protect and improve your mental health:

  1. Open Communication: Maintain clear and open communication with your co-parent. Establishing healthy communication channels can help reduce misunderstandings and alleviate stress.
  2. Set Boundaries: Clearly define boundaries for your co-parenting relationship. This includes discussing responsibilities, visitation schedules, and decision-making processes to reduce conflicts and uncertainty.
  3. Self-Care Routine: Dedicate time for self-care activities that promote mental well-being. Engage in hobbies, exercise, meditation, or any other activities that help you relax and recharge.
  4. Seek Professional Support: Consider seeking the assistance of therapists or counselors who specialize in co-parenting and mental health. Therapy can provide you with coping strategies and tools to manage stress and emotions.
  5. Social Support: Lean on friends, family members, or support groups for emotional support. Connecting with others who understand your situation can help you feel less isolated.
  6. Maintain Consistency: Strive for consistency in routines and rules between households. Predictability can provide a sense of stability for both you and your children.
  7. Focus on Co-Parenting Skills: Enhance your co-parenting skills through workshops or online resources. Learning effective communication and conflict resolution techniques can improve your overall experience.
  8. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and mindfulness meditation, can help you manage stress and stay present in the moment.
  9. Time Management: Organize your schedule efficiently to balance work, personal time, and parenting responsibilities. Effective time management can reduce feelings of overwhelm.
  10. Healthy Lifestyle: Prioritize a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep. Physical well-being can have a positive impact on your mental health.
  11. Avoid Negative Interactions: Minimize negative interactions with your co-parent that may trigger stress or conflict. Focus on maintaining a respectful and cooperative relationship.
  12. Stay Child-Centered: Keep your children’s best interests at the forefront. A child-centered approach to co-parenting can help alleviate some of the emotional strain.

Remember that every co-parenting situation is unique, so it’s important to find strategies that work best for your specific circumstances. If you’re struggling with your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance and support.

Taking care of one’s own mental health as a parent is of paramount importance to safeguard the well-being of their child. A parent’s emotional state directly influences the atmosphere of the home, shaping the child’s sense of security and stability. When a parent prioritizes their mental health, they model healthy coping mechanisms and emotional resilience for their child. This, in turn, fosters an environment where open communication, empathy, and understanding thrive. By managing their own stress, anxiety, and emotional challenges, parents create a positive space that allows their child to flourish. Moreover, maintaining mental well-being empowers parents to respond to their child’s needs effectively, enabling them to provide consistent care, attention, and a strong foundation for their child’s emotional growth. Ultimately, when parents take care of their own mental health, they proactively contribute to the overall emotional development and happiness of their child.

The Challenges of Blended Families and How to Overcome Them

The Challenges of Blended Families

Parenting has its challenges…from daycare to tensions between parents to problems with extended family…the list goes on with how many challenges you can face. When you co-parent, you get all of those challenges plus the tensions that come with co-parenting with an ex. However, those challenges will seem simple when you add in a new partner and their kids.

That isn’t to say that blended families aren’t amazing, they are, but there are a few challenges that you will need to overcome and we will take you through everything you need to know to overcome the challenges that you may face as a blended family.

The Challenge: Sibling Rivalry

This is a term that many parents only think of with biological siblings, however, when you have a blended family, sibling rivalry is quite common with non-biological siblings. It can even be more heated with more arguments and problems occurring because of it.

Add in a new baby between the parents and that rivalry can intensify with feelings of jealousy for both the half sibling and the step sibling. And, often, sibling fights can be long lasting with grudges occurring for weeks, if not longer.

The Fix:

The fix is to make tweaks before it is broken. First, plan to spend equal time with all of the kids, both for one on one time and for shared time. Second, make sure that you talk to the kids about problems and how people living together for the first time can have arguments. Third, talk about proactive and positive ways to overcome arguments.

It is important that you don’t shame the kids for fighting. It is normal, but show them how to make amends when it happens. Listen to their concerns and find ways to deal with them. If it isn’t something that can be avoided, come up with solutions to make it easier on the kids.

Finally, don’t foster rivalry in the kids. Don’t say things like your stepsister does x, or I wish you were more like your stepbrother. Instead, encourage each kid for their unique traits and make them all feel equally valued.

The Challenge: Legal Disputes

Hopefully, by the time you become a blended family, you will have a nurturing and positive co-parenting relationship with your ex-partner, but that isn’t always the case. Often, ex-partners become worried about their role in the family as there is a new partner who is fulfilling their role when your children are with you. This can lead to some conversations over custody and visitation as well as other points about expenses now that there is a blended family to cover costs.

The Fix:

The best fix is to talk with your ex-partner. Discuss any changes that you may have and suggest using a mediator or a mediation app to help navigate the co-parenting through a blended family situation. Try to put concerns at ease and make sure that the kids aren’t encouraged to “replace” their other parent. Instead, approach it as simply having another support for your kids.

If it comes to a legal dispute, be sure to budget and decide what it is you want in the end. Also, try to keep the kids out of the dispute and ask your co-parent to do the same.

The Challenge: Identity Confusion

This is more commonly seen in households where young children become part of the blended family in the primary household. As the stepparent is spending more time with the child in their primary household, it can be extremely easy for them to build a stronger bond with the stepparent than with their biological parent. This can be confusing and can lead to a number of conflicts with older kids, and the biological parent.

In addition, if a parent takes a different last name than the kids, it can be confusing for the kids and make them feel estranged from the parent with a different last name. Again, this can lead to identity confusion for all the kids involved.

The Fix:

Start at the beginning. Before you even become a blended family, be sure to talk to the kids about how things are going to change. Be sure to invite your co-parent to this talk to so that he or she can assure the kids that his or her role is not going to change in their lives.

Every time there will be a change, such as you are getting married or changing your last name, talk to the kids about the change before it happens. Discuss their feelings and what they are worried about.

After the change, go in and touch base with your kids. Talk to them about how they are feeling, what their worries are and what they need to adjust to the change. Also talk to them about how it is okay for them to form a bond but reassure them that their biological parent is as important in your new, blended family as they were in your co-parenting family.

The Challenge: Anger Toward New Stepparents

The final challenge we are going to go over, but definitely not the only challenge, is when kids dislike or have anger toward the new stepparent. This can come out as behaviour or it can be more hidden with the child being polite but reserved. Often, they can be angry with the new stepparent because of worries that things are going to change, or they’ll be forgotten, or that they don’t like the new changes. All of these are normal and with the proper work, you can overcome them.

The Fix:

Be patient. Remember, these behaviours and feelings are normal. Instead, talk to the kids about their feelings and assure them that there will be changes but certain things won’t change. Discuss their worries and when you can, try to stick to your normal routines but invite your new partner to those routines as the kids allow.

Make sure that you let your kids know that it is okay to love the new stepparent and that they can love both their biological parent and stepparent. Really, the best fix is communication, patience and providing opportunities for the bond to grow between stepparent and child.

Being in a blended family can be amazing but it isn’t amazing overnight. There needs to be work, everyone has to learn how to coexist together and they need to nurture bonds. If you are putting in the work, however, you can overcome and even avoid these challenges and have a fully blended family with stepparents, step kids and co-parents as well.

The Importance of Setting Boundaries When Co-Parenting After Separation or Divorce

Setting Boundaries When Co-Parenting

Setting boundaries is important in life. In fact, one thing that I often recommend to everyone no matter the relationship—from friendships to partner to work—is to set healthy boundaries. However, when people are navigating a separation and divorce while simultaneously navigating the world of co-parenting, setting boundaries can be difficult and, at times, feel completely unobtainable.

And that’s okay. Struggling to set boundaries is normal but it is very important that you set those boundaries as soon as you can. The earlier in a co-parenting relationship you can set those boundaries, the better it will be for you, your ex-partner and your kids.

The Reason to Set a Boundary

First, while it may seem like a no brainer if you are dealing with a high conflict ex-partner, it may not be so clear as to why you need a boundary with an ex-partner you are getting along with. The main reason to set a boundary is so that you can define your new relationship.

Remember, you are not in a relationship where you and your partner are together. You now have different goals; different dreams and you may even have different ideas on what co-parenting will look like.

When you have boundaries in place, you are setting rules to what the co-parenting relationship will look like. It will definitely be different from the relationship that you had when you were together, and it may constantly evolve as your kids get older or you add new people into your, and their, lives.

Boundaries equal rules and parameters that will only aid you as co-parents.

So how do we set them? Well, here are some pretty simple steps to set those boundaries with your ex-partner.

Boundary Number One: Don’t be a Confidant

A particularly good boundary to have that will help set the relationship is to not be the confidant to your ex-partner. While you may still have a friendship, and hopefully so, if you are confidants to each other, it can confuse the roles you play in each other’s lives. It is okay to be in contact with each other from time to time, but you should still talk about things regarding the kids, especially if you are becoming a blended family with stepparents involved.

The main reason that I always stress this boundary is that by being a confidant, it blurs the relationship to what you had in the past. This can be confusing for everyone involved but especially for the kids. In addition, it can be easy to fall into old habits and to have expectations of getting back together, which can lead to a lot of conflict if that doesn’t happen.

You can be friends, but don’t be best friends sharing all the intimate details of your life or the stresses you have.

Boundary Number Two: Approach Everything From a Calm Place

Another boundary to set is for yourself, but it is one that you should be clear about with your ex-partner. Let them know that you will disengage if an argument happens…and follow through. Don’t come to meetings or mediations angry, frustrated or with any type of negative emotion. Instead, center and find your calm place before you meet.

Remember that energy matches energy, so if you come to all interactions with your co-parent with a calm energy, they are more likely to match it. When you first set this boundary, set it for yourself. Don’t expect your partner to do it, but let them know that you won’t interact if it becomes a conflict.

As your relationship grows, see if they would be open to having the same boundary as you.

Boundary Number Three: Keep the Kids Out of Arguments

This is a very important boundary and both of you should follow it. Do not bring your kids into the argument. This means that you shouldn’t argue in front of them. If you can’t have a civil conversation, choose third person handoffs where you don’t have to interact, or agree that you will only discuss high tension topics through email without the kids present. Arguing in front of the kids could lead to a lot of stress and upset for the kids…and it could cause them to feel like they need to pick sides.

Another important thing about keeping kids out of the arguments is that you should never badmouth your ex-partner to them or get them to relay messages for you. Instead, just talk about the good parts of your ex as it pertains to them. Kids grow up quickly and they thrive when they have a good relationship with both their parents.

Boundary Number Four: Set the Times You Are Available

If your kids are with your co-parent, you may want to keep the phone on or the app notifications up so that you can be contacted in the event of an emergency; however, when the kids are with you, it is good to have set times when you are available to the other parent and vice versa.

Kid related, have a number or guidelines for contacting during an emergency. If it isn’t kid related or has to do with custody, expenses or the other matters of co-parenting (or your divorce), let the other parent know the times you are available to talk. If you don’t have set times, it can be extremely easy for your ex-partner to infringe on time you have dedicated to yourself.

In addition to that boundary, also make boundaries on how they can contact you. Use the calendar and mediation app for all things non-emergency regarding the kids. Use email for divorce settlement stuff and use texts for reminders or quick questions about the kids that you need answered.

As you can see, setting boundaries is important for you, your children, your ex-partner and how you set up your relationship. Without boundaries, you can fall into old habits that can lead to a wide range of conflict between you. Without boundaries, it can create confusing dynamics for all involved, and the best thing for you and your kids is to avoid those confusing situations so all of you are thriving and happy.

The impact of divorce/separation on children and how to help them cope

how to help children cope

Not just one person, but both adults may face turbulence during divorce or separation. Caught in the crossfire, children’s innocent hearts can be impacted resulting in a tumultuous period. One should not overlook the emotional and psychological influence on children during this period. By having a proper grasp of things along with guidance and tactics to offer their kids during difficult times parents can assist them in emerging stronger.

1. Understanding the Emotional Turmoil:

Divorce or separation shakes the very bedrock of a child’s reality. Feeling bewildered, hurt and uncertain about their future is common for children when they experience an unleashing of a whirlwind of emotions. To acknowledge and validate their feelings is critical since children react differently from one another. Children may experience these common emotions:

  • The divorce effect: The loss of the whole family unit could trigger grief in children, leading to sadness and sorrow. The separation of their parents could result in them feeling deeply sad.
  • Misplaced anger:  Resentment can be caused by divorce towards one or both parents. Understanding the reasons behind their parents’ separation can be challenging for children, potentially leading them to direct anger towards either themselves or other individuals involved.
  • Anxiety: uncertainty and changes arising from divorce can cause anxiety and fear in children. Their worries may revolve around their future prospects, stability, and the risk of severed relationships.
  • Self-blame: Children frequently blame themselves for their parents’ separation and feel guilty. To prevent any misunderstanding, assure them that the divorce isn’t because of anything they did.

2. Building a Strong Support System:

A reliable support system is necessary for children during these trying times. Providing emotional support and stability as a parent is a vital role you play. Ponder over these strategies:

  • Open and Honest Communication: Establish open and honest communication with your child by encouraging them to share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment. Affirm the validity of their emotions, while also communicating your willingness to listen actively and offer assistance.
  • Encourage Expression through Art and Play: In order to support younger children struggling with verbal articulation of their emotions, utilizing creative channels such as art and play can be beneficial. Encourage self-expression through artistic activities such as painting, drawing and journaling. The availability of safe spaces offered by these outlets facilitates the processing of emotions.
  • Seek Professional Help if Needed: Your child’s behavioral or emotional changes require that professional help is sought, so consider this option. Therapists and counselors trained to work specifically with children of separated or divorced parents can offer important guidance and support.
  • Foster Healthy Relationships: If possible, motivate your child to foster a healthy rapport with both of their parents. Respectful and cooperative co-parenting can foster a nurturing environment for your child’s emotional well-being.

3. Establishing Stability and Routine:

Significant alterations are common for a child’s life when their parents get divorced or separated. By establishing stability and routine, one can feel secure amidst uncertain times. Please consider what will be presented next:

  • Work things out with your ex-spouse

By working together with your ex-spouse to establish consistent rules, expectations, and routines for your child you can achieve consistency in parenting. The child may experience stability and reduced confusion due to consistency across households.

  • Create a structure that works

Creating structure and predictability in your child’s daily routine can help them. Regular mealtimes, bedtime routines, and activities can help establish a feeling of stability and control over their surroundings.

  • Maintain Familiarity: 

if possible, allow your child to keep certain familiar objects or maintain connections with their previous home or neighborhood. Familiarity can help them feel anchored during this period of transition.

4. Encouraging Emotional Resilience:

Your child’s long-term well-being relies greatly on developing emotional resilience. In the face of adversity and challenges, their resilience enables them to recover quickly and continue thriving. The following methods can help promote resilience:

  • Encourage Self-Care:

Instruct your child about the value of self-care and healthy ways to manage stress. Inspire them to engage in activities like physical exercise routines, regular journaling sessions for emotional release and reflection purposes and outdoor recreation/hobbying sessions for leisurely enjoyment.

  • Foster a Positive Mindset:

Assist your child in fostering a positive mindset by directing them to reframe negative thoughts and center on the positive aspects of their life. Encourage them to foster appreciation and uncover joy in commonplace experiences.

  • Promote Problem-Solving Skills:

Active participation in finding solutions to the challenges they encounter should be encouraged, while teaching them problem-solving strategies can promote your child’s problem-solving skills. This gives them the ability to take charge of their lives and cultivate confidence.

  • Create a Supportive Network: 

Help your child establish healthy relationships with friends, extended family members or support groups. A sturdy support system can provide additional sources of comfort and guidance.

Age Demographics and the Optimal Ways to Give Guidance and Reassurance

Different ages and developmental stages result in varied reactions from children experiencing divorce or separation. Meeting their specific age-related requirements through tailored communication and support is crucial. Analyzing various age demographics and the optimal ways to give guidance and reassurance:

1. Preschool-Aged Children (3-5 years):

Preschoolers are still grasping the concept of emotions and they might face difficulties while communicating about how they feel. In order to show your backing, try doing the following:

– Using simple terms they can understand, explain the situation to them while emphasizing that it’s not their fault.

– Reassure them by reiterating that both parents love and will continue to care for them.

Foster self-expression through playtime: Join in on role-playing activities, or give them dolls and stuffed animals to help portray their emotions. Comprehend the modifications.

2. Elementary School-Aged Children (6-12 years):

Kids in this age range can comprehend and articulate emotions better. Please consider the following list of strategies:

– Make room for candid conversations by providing a comfortable setting where people feel safe expressing their emotions, apprehensions, and inquiries. Use age-appropriate language when honestly answering their inquiries.

– Reassure them that feeling a range of emotions during this time is perfectly normal. Ensure that they understand feeling sad, angry, or confused is perfectly acceptable.

– Create a structured routine by setting predictable boundaries and consistent schedules to help them feel secure despite the changes.

3. Teenagers (13-18 years):

Divorce or separation can be particularly difficult for teenagers who often experience strong emotional upheaval and struggle with defining themselves. Follow these guidelines to provide your assistance:

– Respecting the privacy needs of adolescents is crucial since they often value it highly. Offer them solitude and time when necessary, while still stressing your accessibility and assistance.

– Initiate conversations about their feelings and actively listen without judgment to encourage open communication. Educate them that their standpoints and troubles count.

– Help to enable resource access: Assist them in locating appropriate books, articles or support groups based on their age so they may connect with others experiencing similar circumstances.

Remember, every child is unique, and their responses may vary even within the same age group. Stay attuned to their individual needs, remain patient, and adapt your approach accordingly.

By tailoring your communication and support to the developmental stage of your child, you can provide the guidance they require to navigate the impact of divorce or separation and develop healthy coping mechanisms.


Divorce or separation can be a deeply impactful experience for children, but it doesn’t have to define their future. By understanding their emotions, providing a strong support system, establishing stability, and nurturing resilience, parents can help their children navigate the challenges and thrive in the aftermath. Remember, your love, understanding, and presence are powerful tools to guide them through the storm and towards a brighter future.

The Benefits of Mediation for Canadian Divorced/Separated Parents

The Benefits of Mediation

Divorce is never easy and when you throw in the Canadian courts, it can become even more confusing and complicated. Which is why it is often recommended that Canadian parents, who are separating or divorcing, should look at getting a mediator. Not only does it help make it less complicated, but a good mediation process can also save Canadian parents time, money and can ensure that the children’s needs are well taken care of.

So, in a nutshell, those are the benefits but let’s look deeper at the many benefits that mediation has for Canadian parents going through the process of separation and divorce.

Did you Know Some Mediation Sessions Might be Free?

Before we look at mediation benefits, we should mention that in some provinces, such as Quebec, parents can get a few free sessions of mediation. Before you move into mediation, check to see what options you have for free mediation. Even if it is the first initial mediation, it could get through a lot of the groundwork needed for successful mediation at no cost to you.

So now that we know that it might be free, depending on your province, what exactly are the benefits?

Benefit of Mediation Number One: The Process is Confidential

One benefit of a mediation process in Canada is that the process is completely confidential. That means that the details of your mediation will only be discussed between you, your ex-partner and your mediator. It will not be filed publicly and you won’t have to worry about it being used against you in the future.

This confidentiality is often something that many parents prefer as it really shields the kids from more pain in the future if things were to be made public that they wouldn’t want public.

Benefit of Mediation Number Two: Creates a Tailor-made Plan

One of the best things with mediating for Canadian parents is that it creates a tailor-made plan for you and your family. What this means is that you are not just fit into a cookie cutter solution that the courts may put in place and that can have so many benefits for the overall well-being of your children through the divorce.

Another wonderful thing with the tailor-made plan is that you and your ex-partner can really focus on maintaining routines and family traditions that are important to both of you and your kids. You can plan together what co-parenting will look like and you can make sure that the mediator is meeting the needs of everyone involved.

While Canadian law always puts the needs of the children first, a mediator has a little room to make sure that all parents involved are happy with the arrangement and plan as well as meeting those needs of the children.

Benefit of Mediation Number Three: Helps with that High Conflict Communication

Communication between separating or divorcing parents can be filled with a lot of conflict and tension. And this tension can increase when you are going through the courts because it becomes litigious. With a mediator, however, you can avoid a lot of conflict. In addition, a good mediator knows how to navigate those moments when there is a lot of conflict, such as over money matters or visitation rights.

In the end, the focus is on making a plan and you can learn how to effectively communicate with your ex-partner simply by watching what your mediator is doing.

Benefit of Mediation Number Four: Protects the Image of the Parents

One thing that divorce and separation can do is really mess up the image of the parents. There is often a lot of mud slinging when a separation and divorce go through the court system and this can cause lasting damage to your co-parenting relationship. It can even damage your relationship with your kids, especially if it boils over in front of them.

With a mediator, they keep you on task and avoid going through the blame process or pulling out the dirt. The mediator is there for your entire family: the kids, you and your ex-partner. They want to see the family succeed in their new dynamic and that means staying focused on what’s important. Which, incidentally, helps protect the image of both parents.

Benefit of Mediation Number Five: Allows You to Make Informed Decisions

Finally, using a mediator can allow you to make the most informed decisions on the process of divorce and separation. This can be life saving for many parents and really ensures that every decision comes from the most informed and well educated position that it can. Not only will you be able to ensure the rights of your children, but you’ll be also able to ensure your own rights so that you can see your kids and have a choice in the decisions made from them just like if you were both in the same home.

Once mediation is done, you can put the plan you’ve created with the mediator into place and you can use a mediation app, such as 2houses, to continue the ease that mediation set up in the first place.

As you can see, there are many benefits when it comes to using mediation to work through all the legalities of separation and divorce. Not only does it benefit your wallet, but it also benefits your state of mind, your overall health and the well-being of your children. Together, you and your ex-partner can move through mediation and into co-parenting together.