Co-Parenting and the Holidays: Tips for Success with 2houses

Co-Parenting and the Holidays

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes stress and arguments! Here comes those moments when extended family are demanding time with you, with the kids, and you are suddenly faced with the logistical nightmare that can be the holidays.

However, it might not be Santa Claus. After all, there are a lot of people who don’t celebrate Christmas but it seems that all holidays can bring out a ton of stress, arguments and logistical nightmares when you try to be successful at co-parenting through them.

Of course, there are a ton of tips out there on how to be successful at co-parenting. We have a few tips ourselves. But tips are one thing and actually figuring out how to utilize them is another.

While you can do it the old fashioned way, with pen and paper and a whole lot of holiday cheer (or holiday spiced eggnog), there are ways that co-parenting holidays can be so successful, people will be amazed on how well you both pull it off.

What is this way of being so successful? You ask, and I’m ready to dish out the first gift of the season…use a mediation app. And not just any mediation app, use 2houses, which will exceed all of your needs when it comes to making the holidays run smoothly.

2houses Makes Creating those Lists Easy

Okay, first things first. Holidays are usually a big deal because you are dealing with presents for the kids. And boy, do kids have lists for days. Unfortunately, it can be difficult planning for the holiday gifts when the kids are floating between two houses.

Thankfully, 2houses can make those lists a little easier because you, your co-parent or the kids themselves, can go onto the journal feature and type in a list of gifts that they want. Since 2houses is so easy for kids to navigate, it is just as easy for them to look at the lists and modify them as it is for them to create their own.

A bonus with the journalling feature is that everyone who has access to the co-parenting app can look at the list and see what the kids want so if you have extended family on there too, they can look.

2houses Make Shopping Easy

So you have the list, now you can shop as co-parents. First, discuss where the kids can’t access it, usually via text, on what you are looking for at the gifts. One feature that 2houses has is that you can share the cost of every item on the list and create a budget in the budget feature.

You can choose gifts that come directly from each parent, which they cover the expense on their own, or you can split the cost of all the gifts together. When you use the budget tool, you can see what each parent has to pay out. You can even organize who is going out and purchasing what.

2houses Creates A Holiday Schedule That Works

One of the best features on 2houses is the calendar. Hands down, if you want to be organized, just get the app for the calendar alone. First, you will have the custody agreement already scheduled in. This will include agreements that you have for the holidays. You, your co-parent and your kids will all know where they are spending the holidays.

In addition, you can also set up your holiday events from school activities (such as plays) to extended family events that the kids need to go to. Another nice feature with this is that you can colour code extended family, school, sports and anything else so that it is easier to read on the calendar.

Finally, with the 2houses calendar, you can set times and even locations right on the calendar so that it is not confusing where and when you need to be.

And like many of the features on 2houses, kids can have access to the calendar as well, which will help relieve their worries on how their holidays will go.

2houses Keeps You Notified on the Next Event

Along with the calendar, you can set notifications so that you know what is going on every single day during the holidays. Set the alerts for the day before or even set multiple alerts. That way you’ll never be late, and you can set a notification to remind you on what you need to get beforehand or need to bring.

If plans change, you can make a request on the app itself and your co-parent will be notified, where they can approve or deny the request. This makes things a lot easier to organize when things are hectic around the holidays. And with ease comes less stress, which we all could use during the holidays.

2houses Lets you Save those Memories

Finally, since 2houses has both a journal and photo album, you can save the memories that you and your kids create over the holidays. And you can share them with your co-parent so they aren’t missing out on much when the kids are away.

The albums can be filled with holiday photos. And the journal can be filled with messages from the kids to the parent they aren’t with, or updates on how the kids liked certain gifts that were shared but were agreed to be opened at one parent over the others.

With these features, you can save memories, share them and simply keep it private between you and your little co-parented family.

2houses really is an app that helps take the stress out of organizing the holidays. While it can’t help you navigate those extended family relations, or wrap presents, it can make life and organization that much easier over the holidays. And really, is there any other gift co-parents want than the gift of stress free organization.

Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Separation or Divorce

Helping children cope

Separation and divorce are full of different emotions and stressors. It can be filled with anger, frustration, sadness and grief. It can come with relief, especially if there was a lot of conflict near the end of the marriage before you separated. But along with that relief can come guilt and this can be something that kids deal with as their parents get divorced.

The simple fact is that separation and divorce is hard on everyone, and it can be extremely difficult for kids, which can affect their mental health, their schooling and their behaviour. However, while it will never be easy, there are ways for parents to help their children cope with separation or divorce.

Strategy Number One: Reassure Your Children

The very first strategy that you and your ex-partner should implement is reassurance. Kids need to be reassured. Separation and divorce is filled with a lot of change and, often, even parents don’t have things completely figured out when they first get separated. If you don’t know all the details, be honest with them as is age appropriate. Let them know that you are still making decisions but once you have made the decision, you will let them know right away.

However, for most kids, the reassurance isn’t about where they will be putting their stuffed animals, the reassurance they need is all about the relationships. So spend the time reassuring them that they are loved and that nothing will change how you or your ex-partner feel about them.

Reassure them that you both will still be as involved with them as you were together and that you want them to be happy. During this time, you may have to show that reassurance at inopportune times but try to follow through and be there whenever your kids need you in those moments so that they know that they can rely on you when they aren’t feeling as confident about life.

Strategy Number Two: Adopt that there are No Silly Questions

This should start at the beginning as well but let your kids know that there are no silly questions. During a divorce, it can be scary for kids, regardless of their age. For some kids, wanting to know what house their stuffed dinosaur will stay at is as important as knowing where they will be staying—and often it is the same question, just worded differently.

Kids need feel that it is safe to ask any question they have. Those questions help them process the separation and divorce and it helps them reduce the fear and stress they may be feeling.

Strategy Number Three: Encourage Open Communication

While communication between you and your ex-partner may be strained, and even non-existent, as you maneuver through divorce, it is important to let the kids communicate with their other parent. So in this matter, make sure that you encourage open communication. Tell the kids that they can call the other parent whenever they need to…or let them call you whenever they need to.

When kids have open communication, it helps put their stress at ease and can make the transition to two homes much easier. For instance, if your ex-partner always came in to say goodnight when you were together, them being allowed to phone their mom or dad at bedtime can help adjust to that parent not being there.

Having open communication for the kids help them stay connected with both of their parents and can encourage continued bonding with their parents. Both of these have been proven to help kids cope with separation and divorce better.

Strategy Number Four: Let Your Kids Be Kids

This is such an important strategy that often gets overlooked when dealing with the heartache and egos involved in divorce. Parents can be angry. Parents can be hurt. And it is these emotions that can end up with parents talking to their kids about their ex-partner as either a confidant or as a sounding board for their frustration.

And this is not something a kid should be. Parents need to keep their frustration to themselves and also find other adults to confide in about their emotions. Kids need their parents to be healthy and someone there for them, not the other way around.

Another way that you need to help your kids be kids is to never expect them to play the messenger in the divorce. If you need to let your ex-partner know something, call them, text, or send an email. Use a mediation app like 2houses.

When your kids are just kids, they can focus on that. It helps reduce their stress, guilt and allows them to cope and transition through the separation and divorce much easier than if they were suddenly thrust into adultlike roles.

Strategy Number Five: Keep Routines Normal

This is not always an easy strategy to implement because life changes a lot when you go from one house to two but it is important to try. Discuss routines with your ex-partner and decide on which routines are possible for you both to do at each home. Once you decide on them, stick to those arrangements. No matter what is happening, keep that routine consistent between houses.

When kids have familiar routines, they are happier and feel more secure. This is particularly important when they are going through the upheaval that divorce causes. The closer to normal life is for the kids, the better they can cope with divorce.

In the end, with the proper strategies, your child can cope with separation or divorce. And, when they are coping with it, they will be happier, do better in school and build confidence in knowing that while their family may have changed, they still have a support system that loves them. And when you have that, moving from one house to two houses is an easier transition.