Put Your Kids First: Co-parenting With Someone Who Hurt You

Put your kids first

Shared custody agreements between parents in the United States grew to 25% recently. This is becoming a way of life for many people due to the high divorce rate, modern life changes, and non-traditional households. Effective co-parenting can nurture and guide a child toward becoming a well-adjusted adult. 

With the right strategies, everyone involved will come out of the situation better. But how can you co-parent with someone who hurt you?

You’ll have a larger hill to climb, but the results are rewarding. Here are some steps you can take when co-parenting with someone who hurt you. 

Seek Closure on the Relationship

Before you can enter into a co-parenting relationship, get closure on whatever hurts you experienced from the romantic relationship. Past hurts can become burdensome to the point that you’re not able to cooperate, communicate, and get on the same page.

Getting past your grievances helps you separate these feelings and do what’s right for the child. Hire professional mediation services so that you don’t leave anything unspoken with your co-parent. Clear the air early so that you can keep your focus in the right place. 

Some couples also make the mistake of never closing the door on their romantic relationship. This ends up with messy back and forth that confuses everyone involved. 

Get Professional Counseling 

In addition to relationship closure, seek professional counseling that can help you also reconcile with issues in your personal life.

Going to a counselor once a week will bring calmness to your life as you work through your custody arrangement and every aspect of co-parenting. Professional therapy can cost you $10-$30 with an insurance co-pay, and upward of $200 per session if you don’t have insurance. 

Prioritize the Child’s Needs

Keeping the child first is tops on the list of co-parenting tips that people need to follow. Every conversation that the two of you have should involve the well-being and care of your child, without muddying the waters. 

Cutting out distractions will help you make decisions when it comes to your child’s:

  • Education and homework 
  • Physical health and nutrition
  • Spiritual upbringing
  • Sports and extracurricular activities
  • Emotional and mental well-being

Set aside your individual needs and put your children first so that every decision counts. 

Improve the Way You Communicate

Strong communication strategies will help you co-parent without stepping on the landmines of past hurts. Learn to get your point across without being abrasive or offensive. Listen without reading into statements or making assumptions.

Put things in writing whenever you can, and treat the communication like a business, keeping your emotions to the side. If you’re going to send messages, consider using voice notes at times so that they can hear the tone of your voice. Some matters get lost in translation with text and can create tension. 

Take a Parenting Class

Some of the most effective co-parenting strategies you’ll learn are taught in parenting classes. Parenting classes can teach you core concepts related to parenting, and you’ll be better prepared to share time with your children. 

In addition to some traditional parenting aspects, these classes can teach things like:

  • First aid and CPR
  • Teaching your kids self-esteem
  • Learning to serve as a positive role model

When you approach parenting with this information, you will strengthen your family and your relationship with the co-parent. 

Have Regular Family Outings

Even though you live in different households, it’s important that you still take family outings. This teaches you to show up for the child’s interests while putting differences to the side and getting over past hurts. 

Your child will appreciate seeing the two of you getting along, and it’ll become easier for you to prevent emotions from hindering the process. Here are some family outings that will let you spend more meaningful time together while creating memories:

  • Going out to dinner
  • Catching a new release movie
  • Spending time at the park
  • Visiting a museum or amusement park
  • Grabbing some ice cream

Something as simple as going out as a family reinforces the fact that you still are one. Your child will look forward to these outings, and it’ll help build cohesion. 

Schedule Meetings With the Other Parent

Since you’re treating co-parenting like a business, formalize things by scheduling meetings with the other parent. These updates will do away with blind spots and will help keep you in the loop with each other. 

Keeping things in writing will also help you in the event that you have an issue that you need to take to family court. The more frequently you communicate with the other parent, the easier it’ll become over the years. 

Put Equality Out of Your Mind

Many people in co-parenting relationships doom themselves from the start because they’re under the illusion that things can or should be completely equal. 

Even if you have 50/50 shared custody, don’t expect things to be completely equal. You should be treated fairly, but there’s give and take in every relationship. More often than not, things won’t be split cleanly down the middle.

Internalizing this reality lets you set realistic expectations with each other and the situation as a whole.  

Co-Parenting With Someone Who Hurt You

Hurt is part of relationships, and you’ll walk away with plenty of it after ending a marriage. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t still co-parent effectively. Let the tips above guide you when you’re co-parenting with someone who hurt you. 

Apply the points in this article and check out our other posts about co-parenting and other issues. 

50/50 Shared Custody: A Guide to Birdnesting Divorce

50/50 Shared Custody: A Guide to Birdnesting Divorce

Getting divorced is one of the most difficult parts of your life, especially if you have kids. If you’re worried about child custody then understand that 40% of states aim to give equal custody to both parents

It can be difficult to understand 50/50 custody, especially if you and your former spouse are in a birdnesting divorce. Here’s more information about 50/50 shared custody, the effects it may have on your children, and how to parent with your divorced spouse while living under the same roof.

What Is 50/50 Shared Custody?

As the name suggests, 50/50 custody is an arrangement where both parents care for the child for equal amounts of time. This arrangement is also called 50/50 physical custody since both parents spend quality time with the child. The child may also live under the same roof as both parents.

While this is the ideal arrangement, the judge won’t approve it unless it’s in the child’s best interest. Parents will also have to work out the best custody schedule, which we will cover later.

What to Ask Yourself Before Agreeing to 50/50 Custody

50/50 shared custody is an ideal situation but isn’t right for all parents. Here are things to keep in mind before agreeing to this custody arrangement.


This custody arrangement can only work if both parents are willing to set aside their differences and communicate. Any conflict between both parents needs to come to a halt for the best interest of your child.

What if communicating with your former spouse is difficult? Try a 50/50 co-parenting schedule with fewer exchanges. If you’re still running into major issues, you may have to re-think your 50/50 shared custody arrangement.


If both parents live in the same area, 50/50 custody can work. That’s because this custody arrangement requires frequent exchanges between the parents.

While living in the same neighborhood or within blocks of each other is ideal, most judges will still grant 50/50 shared custody if both parents live in the same city or even a neighboring city. As long as there isn’t a significant distance between both parents, 50/50 custody can work. The matter of how to share custody and when depends on your personal schedule and what works best for the child.

Work Schedules

You’ll have to come up with a custody arrangement that fits your child’s schedule and also the parents’ time. This means taking work schedules into consideration.

If both parents work a 9-to-5 job, 50/50 share custody can still work. If the child is still young, the child will have to attend daycare or have a babysitter/nanny during the time when the parent is at work. Unfortunately, that means the other parents will spend less time with the child. If the child is older, they will likely have their own schedule. We will cover this in the next section.

If this is the issue you’re facing, talk to your employer about adopting flexible work hours. You can also try another schedule arrangement. We will cover this later in the article.

Child’s Schedule

In addition to the parent’s work schedule, it’s important to take the child’s schedule into consideration. Kids and teenagers often have extracurricular activities and hobbies that take up a large portion of their time. This can include sports, music, and more. Keep your child’s hobbies and passions in mind when creating a 50/50 shared custody arrangement.

What Is Birdnesting?

Birdnesting is a living arrangement where your kids live in the same home. Each parent takes turns living in that house. Both parents usually also live elsewhere, allowing them to go back and forth between the family home and their personal home.

There are many benefits of birdnesting. Your child won’t feel the pressure of the divorce since they’re in the family home. They also don’t need to move between two different homes. Both parents will still get quality time with the child.

There are different reasons why parents choose birdnesting. They may choose this arrangement during the divorce; if the couple is separated and purchased separate homes, they may try birdnesting to see if it works. Some also choose to do birdnesting after the divorce.

50/50 Shared Custody Schedule Templates

One of the biggest benefits of the 50/50 custody arrangement is there are numerous schedules you can follow. Here are a few common examples. Pick the one that best suits your schedule as well as your child’s.


The mid-week schedule is becoming a popular child custody arrangement. The initial exchange happens at the beginning of the week with a second exchange occurring in the middle of the week. This is best if one parent works during the week while the other works during the weekend.

There are some downsides to this arrangement. You’ll only have your child for three or four days at a time. This schedule also means there will be less time away from your child. Since there are more frequent exchanges, this is the best schedule for parents who live near each other. It also works well if you raise your kids in a birdnesting arrangement.

Alternating Weeks

This has been one of the most common 50/50 shared custody exchanges for years. One parent has the child one week and the other parent has the child the next week. Both parents alternate the weeks they have their child.

There are benefits to this arrangement. Exchanges occur at a minimum, so this is best if one parent lives in another city. Both parents have a strong relationship with their children and they also get a week to themselves.

At the same time, this exchange has its disadvantages. It’s often the most difficult arrangement for younger children. If you’re birdnesting, this means you’re spending a whole week away from your second home.

We Make 50/50 Shared Custody Easy

While 50/50 shared custody is the best-case custody arrangement, it does come with some difficulties — especially when you’re birdnesting. For example, managing expenses and schedules can become tedious. Don’t worry, we have a solution to improve your family and financial lives. Take a look at our services and tools.

Summer Break Parenting Plan: Applying 20/80 Shared Custody

Summer Break Parenting Plan

Divorce is far trickier than you could imagine. There were 7.6 new divorces per 1,000 American women in 2019. 

It’s one thing to separate from your spouse, and it’s another to negotiate child custody. A 20/80 shared custody gives both parents opportunities to be with their child. It may seem straightforward, yet the summer break can throw some obstacles in your way. 

What parenting schedule should you adopt? Can you accommodate midweek visits or summer vacations? What should you do about overnights and special events at summer camp? 

Answer these questions and you can create the perfect shared custody schedule for this summer. Here is your quick guide. 

Pre-assigned Weekends

You and your co-parent can decide on any shared custody plan you want. Take a look at a few custody and visitation schedules so you know how parenting after a divorce can work.

In general, 20/80 shared custody plans involve pre-assigned weekends. The parent with 20% custody will take over during the weekends so the child’s schedule is not disrupted. 

The alternating weekend schedule keeps the child at home with the parent with 80% custody during the week. Every other weekend, the child goes to the other parent. 

If this schedule is a little too confusing, you can assign particular weekends every month. Many parents like the 1st, 3rd, and 5th weekends schedule. This gives an opportunity for the parent with 20% custody to have custody for back-to-back weekends, letting them engage in projects with their child. 

Exchange times can take place whenever you want. Some parents choose to exchange custody on Friday evenings and Monday mornings during the summer. This gives the child an opportunity to spend the entire weekend with their parent. 

A 20/80 parenting plan can involve a lot of travel. To minimize the inconvenience, you can opt for a birdnesting housing arrangement.

Your child stays in one home, and you and your co-parent cycle out of it. You and your co-parent can share a home, or each of you can find your own housing. 

Midweek Visits

You can incorporate midweek visits while keeping to an alternating weekend schedule. You can do this in a few different ways. 

The parent with less custody can take control on an afternoon during the week. The other parent can attend meetings or appointments without worrying about their child. The time they spend during the week can get taken out of their weekend custody, or you can allow for a few extra hours. 

You and your co-parent can spend time together on a weekday. If you’re not comfortable being with your co-parent, you can ask a family member to watch over your child. Use this as an opportunity for your child to spend time with a grandparent or another loved one. 

Summer Camp

Most parents can accommodate summer camp into their parenting plan easily. However, there are a few circumstances that can affect your shared parenting plan.

Your child may have an overnight stay during the time when the parent with 20% custody has custody. The parent with 20% custody can take over at a different time or get extended time on a weekend. 

The camp may need chaperones for an event. The parent who has custody during the event can serve as a chaperone. If both of you are busy, a grandparent or another relative can serve as one. 

If your child is participating in an event like a concert, both of you can attend. You can sit in different sections of the venue and meet with your child afterward.

You can handle the expenses of summer camp in whatever way makes sense to you. The parent with 80% custody can pay most of the expenses, though the parent with 20% should chip in. You can split the costs of overnight stays and day trips, or the parent with custody during those trips can pay for them.


One of you can take your child on a vacation during their summer break. Both of you should have a conversation about the vacation just so you know where your child is. If it doesn’t interfere with your custody schedule, the conversation can be a simple one about what the vacation plans are.

If it does interfere with the schedule, you should figure out a compromise. The other parent can take the child on their own vacation, or they get extra time with their child during the week. 

The parent who is arranging the vacation should be responsible for the expenses. It is unfair for someone to pay for a vacation that they are not involved in. If you are both going on vacation together, you both can pay for it.

If money is a problem for you, you should scale your vacation down. You can bring your child to another state or do a daycation. You remain at home and do something fun that you haven’t done before, like going to an art museum.


You should be in constant contact with your co-parent. You can use phone calls, social media, and co-parenting apps to remain in communication with each other. 

Both of you deserve to know if your child is going through something like a medical emergency. Get in contact with your co-parent right away and figure out how both of you can offer support. If your child is in the hospital, both of you should be there to affirm your child. 

Don’t worry about your custody schedule until the emergency has passed. If your child needs additional support, both of you can see or speak to your child every day. Talk to the staffers at your child’s summer camp so they know what is going on.

Creating the Perfect 20/80 Shared Custody Summer Schedule

You have to put some work into your 20/80 shared custody schedule. You can select an alternating weekend arrangement, and you can accommodate midweek visits. 

You must talk to your co-parent about how to handle summer camp. Be flexible so you can serve as a chaperone and attend your child’s performances.

Communicate with your co-parent so you can talk about vacations and emergencies. Both of you can take your child wherever you want if it doesn’t interfere with custody.

Co-parenting is a lot easier with the latest technology. 2houses provides premium tools for co-parents. Get started today.

Guardianship vs. Custody: What’s the Difference

Guardianship vs. Custody

A lot of people wrongly assume that custody and guardianship are the same thing, or at least that they are the same in all but name. While both relate to the care of others, they are not the same. There are some key differences between custodians and guardians.

Understanding the difference is crucial, especially if you are heading into any legal proceedings. A good guardianship attorney can make all the difference and help you to win any case brought forward.

What is Custody?

Custody of a child can relate to both physical and legal custody.

Physical custody means physical control of the child for a period of time, having them stay in your house at that time, for instance. So, someone who isn’t the custodian may have rights to see someone for a certain time, and in that time they have physical custody.

Legal custody means the authority for decision-making regarding children, and things like their schooling or any medicine they are taking.

What is Guardianship

Guardianship, on the other hand, generally refers to a legal relationship in which one party (‘the guardian’) is empowered to act for the benefit of another (‘the ward’).

Guardianship is slightly different, it refers to a legal arrangement. The guardian is allowed in the eyes of the law to act for the benefit of the “ward” or young person in question. The relationship can be a good way to help to look after both children but also adults with mental disabilities. The responsibilities of guardians aren’t the same as of parents or custodians, but they do need to keep the child safe and protected, guardianship can also be temporary in some scenarios such as the parents being alive but unable to provide care.

What Decision-Making Power Do Custodians and Guardians Have

Custodians are usually more involved in the decision-making of a child or vulnerable adult, and creating a course for their life and future. Having custody of a child means having the majority of the rights that parents ordinarily have, depending on any court arrangements which may limit custody.

If you are a guardian of a child then there is every chance that you will just be making the day-to-day decisions. You might be helping a child with their homework, deciding what they eat for their lunch, and more, but you won’t be making the big decisions such as how an illness is treated.

What’s the Difference Between Physical and Legal Child Custody

Physical custody over a child is having them in your physical presence and being able to look after them for that time. For instance, separated parents may share custody, and one sees the child at the weekends while the other sees them during the week. Legal custody is more related to decision-making and being able to have a steer over the child’s life. This means choosing things like how they will be cared for, where they go to school, and more.

Who Appoints a Custodian or a Guardian

A custodian or guardian is appointed by the court, with a judge having the final say on who is appointed after looking at the evidence and often the wishes of parents if they have passed away.

If the change in custody is a shock and nobody has planned for it then the courts will be able to rule over the custody or guardianship of a child or a vulnerable adult.

Who May Receive Custody or Guardianship

A court can appoint a guardian or custodian, and only a judge has the power to make the final decision. However, that doesn’t mean people don’t have any input on their own children. Estate planning is crucial, and in your will you can outline who you would like to take custody of your children in the event of you passing away. This is why it is so crucial that you have quality legal representation.

In order to be a custodian or a guardian in the US, you must be a US citizen, of sound mind, without being convicted of any felonies. It is also crucial that you are 18 years of age or older. For instance, a 17 year old could not take custody of a relative.

Duration of Custodianship vs. Guardianship

In short, guardianship can be temporary. For instance, if the parents are still alive but not able to take care of their children at the current time. This could even be kept under review.

If a court grants permanent guardianship or custody then this will usually last until a minor is 18 years old, or there are some situations where it can end early. For instance, if they join the military or get married. Plus, if a court deems that a guardian can no longer carry out their duties and look after the individual in question, guardianship can be terminated.

Guardianship and custody is quite complex, and applies to minors as well as adults who are suffering from a mental illness or handicap in some scenarios. The court proceedings can be complicated and there are plenty of lawyers who specialize in the area and getting what is right for a child. Decisions are made by a judge, even if a parent has outlined who they would like to take care of their children.

How to Make Transitions Between Households Easier for Children

parenting changeovers

Transitions between households after their parents separate requires an adjustment for children. With shared parenting schedules, children no longer see both parents every day. Also, they need to adapt to the new surroundings if either parent moves.

Parenting changeovers, when the children transition from one home to the other, need special care. This is a time when children often feel emotional as they switch between co-parenting homes. But co-parents can smooth these transitions with a few guidelines for parenting changeovers.

Make Transitions Between Households Easier by Letting the Children Know What’s Next

Transitions between households are easier for children when they know what to expect. Parenting changeovers are generally scheduled in advance, so there is no reason to spring the surprise on the kids.

Being aware of a parenting changeover helps a child as they adjust to their new life in two houses. Knowing what to expect lessens anxiety and provides a sense of stability.

Keep children informed of their schedules by reminding them as early in the day as possible. The way you choose to inform them generally depends on how old they are. Most people (parents included) find a large wall calendar works well. For younger children, add stickers to mark parenting changeovers. Older kids and teenagers are likely able to access an electronic copy of the family schedule on their phones. Using the 2houses shared family app helps you keep track and allows older children to check the upcoming schedule directly. The shared family calendar app eliminates the risk of making a mistake by copying the calendar somewhere else.

Be sure to let kids know before any changes, temporary or permanent. But don’t discuss plans with the kids until everything is finalized. Plans being in flux can cause anxiety and feelings of insecurity in children of all ages.

No Luggage

Packing a bag to take between houses can make children feel like they don’t really belong anywhere. Don’t have them drag luggage along as part of parenting changeovers. Do everything you can to help them feel settled in both homes. Packing a suitcase makes things feel temporary. When they have only one set of belonging that they tote back and forth, there is always a danger of forgetting something. Talk about stress! This is even more true for short overnight stays mid-week or frequent transitions between households.

The first thing your child does when they come into your home should not be to unpack as if they are staying at a hotel. Get rid of the luggage, so they don’t feel like a visitor (at either home.) Co-parents can work to create an expectation that the kids have two homes instead of not having even one. So, make sure your children have clothing, toiletries, and other daily items in both houses.

Conflict-Free Parenting Changeovers  

Nothing makes a parenting changeover more stressful for your children than conflict between their parents. It’s unlikely you and your co-parent will always agree. Still, when the children are making transitions between households, it is not time to work things out. Keep those conversations strictly private. Children are hyper-aware of parent emotions, tone, and body language, especially during parenting changeovers. Assume that if they are anywhere around, they can hear you.

Don’t Be Late

Nothing creates conflict during a parenting changeover than one parent being late. And, of course, it becomes impossible to hide your annoyance if they do it frequently. Transitions between two households are now a permanent part of your life for many years.

So, if you are running late, notify your co-parent as soon as you know. Don’t wait until you are already late and end up leaving them to wait for you for another half an hour.

In Summary

Parenting time changeovers take some time to get used to. Work hard to make your children’s transition between households as smooth as possible. Keep the kids informed of the schedule, make both households feel like home, and protect them from co-parenting conflicts. Then you can help your children confidently settle into their new schedules.

Parenting Plans for Teens

Parenting plan for teens

Once your children reach their teen years, many things change, including parenting plans. Whether they are new to having 2houses or their parents have lived apart for many years, kids need a new co-parenting plan when they reach their teen years. At this point in their lives, they can usually take a more active role using a shared family calendar app themselves.

Development Stages that Impact a Co-Parenting Plan for Teens

You remember being a teenager, and you see some of the same changes in your kids. As teens develop a greater sense of their personal identity, they also see their roles in different situations more clearly. This is a natural time to examine the rules and regulations of interacting in society, school, and family and friends.

There is a gradual separation from the family as they develop a stronger sense of self. As teens grow older, they can handle more of their own scheduling for social activities, work, school, extra-curriculars, and other responsibilities. Parents need to provide guidance and support designed to help teens become increasingly more independent. The co-parenting plan needs adjustment to reflect these developmental changes.

Parenting Plans and Schedules Using a Shared Family Calendar App

Creating parenting plans and schedules can seem overwhelming, especially as kids get older and if you have more than one child. Keeping everything together in one place where both parents, and your teens, have access makes scheduling more straightforward and streamlines communication.

Teens are notorious for forgetting deadlines when they are involved in other activities. This normal developmental milestone often sets the stage for conflict with and between co-parents. A shared family calendar app reduces communication breakdowns. It includes everyone in the scheduling process and sets reminders to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Making Co-Parenting Plans More Effective for Teens  

Co-parenting teenagers is a challenge every day. The process of becoming an adult tends to challenge authority, shift priorities, and create new freedoms. Consider these concepts about teenagers.

  • Teenagers use their family as a foundation for support and guidance
  • Teens still need parental oversight and nurturing, even if they sometimes say otherwise
  • Co-parenting plans best allow both parents to be involved in your teen’s life as much as possible.
  • This is a time of exploration. Teens enjoy new and different activities while developing relationships outside the family.
  • Co-parenting plans for teens must remain flexible because activities often conflict with a parent’s time.
  • Teens want greater independence and more control over their schedule. The co-parenting plan should consider your teenager’s preferences. A shared family calendar app gives them a quick way to make their preferences known.
  • Co-parents should do everything they can to create consistent rules for curfews, dating, driving, etc.  

Often teens decide they want to live primarily in one home. Do not take this personally! The reasoning is usually because of their friends and other activities. Schedule time during the week to see both parents and make a point of attending activities to see them more.

In Summary

A teenager’s life gets busy with school, extracurriculars, work, and a blossoming social life. Parents may feel left out as the child goes through the normal developmental stages of becoming more independent. Co-parents may find it hard to spend as much time as they would like with their teens.

So, a shared family calendar app from 2houses helps organize and prioritize your teen’s activities. Streamline communications with your co-parent and include your teen in the process.

Custody Exchange and Parenting Schedules – What’s Best for Your Family?

Custody exchange

Custody exchange routines and parenting schedules can be critical to conflict-free co-parenting. And this goes beyond planning which days the kids spend the night with which parent. A family calendar includes every aspect of the children’s lives, like doctor’s and dentist appointments, school events, and holidays. A shared family calendar app can lay a foundation for communication between parents.

Every family is different, but several common parenting schedules support different family lifestyles. You can build any of these into the 2houses shared family calendar app. Let’s look at some options that may work best for your family.

  • Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules
  • 2-2-3 Co-Parenting Routines
  • 2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines
  • Non-50/50 Custody Exchange Rotations

Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules

Biweekly Co-parenting Schedules allow your kids to spend an entire week with each parent before moving back to the other parent’s house. This is good for families where the parents live close enough that the kids can easily get to school and best for older kids. It’s ideal in situations where the kids are mobile enough to make the custody exchange themselves (by riding their bikes home to the other parent’s house, for example.) Consider a mid-week visit for dinner or virtual chat with the other parent.

2-2-3 Co-parenting Routines

2-2-3 Co-parenting Routines splits the time with your kids 50/50, with each parent having the kids for a couple of days, then the kids go to be with the other parent for a couple of days. Next, the kids go to the first parent for the 3-day weekend to round out the 7-day week. Then, the routine begins again, flipping the days of the week. This allows parents and kids to spend time together on all the days of the week. So nobody misses Monday soccer practices or ballet classes every week. But it can be challenging to keep track of all the custody exchange days for both kids and parents. A shared family calendar app makes a big difference with an arrangement like this, supporting conflict-free co-parenting.

2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines

2-2-5-5 and 3-3-4-4 Family Routines are also 50/50 schedules with more frequent custody exchange days. But unlike a 2-2-3 routine, parents and children spend the same days together every week. So, a 2-2-5-5 routine has the child with one parent Monday and Tuesday, the other parent Wednesday and Thursday. The child either goes back with the first parent for 5 days from Friday to Tuesday or stays with the other parent from Wednesday to Sunday to round out the week.

3-3-4-4 family routines create consistency for children because they are with the same parent on the same days of the week. So, children stay in the same house Monday through Thursday while the weekends are the only variables.

Non-50/50 Custody Exchange Rotations

Parenting time is not always divided evenly. The children live with one parent most of the time, while the other parent visits during the day with some overnights. Every other weekend, with a mid-week visit, is a very common custody exchange schedule. This is often on top of a schedule for alternating holidays.

What are the Best Co-parenting Schedules for Conflict-Free Co-parenting?

Every family is different, so the needs of the children and the lifestyles of each parent combine to create a unique situation. Also, the best co-parenting schedules for preschoolers are likely different from school-aged children and teens. Parents have jobs and other life events that have to be considered, too. 

In Summary

Chances are what co-parenting schedules work best for your family will shift over time. What’s most important is that you and your ex communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings (and conflict.) The 2houses shared family calendar app is specifically designed for you to work together to benefit the children.

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.

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.

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.