Balancing Blended Families: How to Avoid Badmouthing

How to Avoid Badmouthing

With the holidays comes a certain amount of tension. As a matter of fact, 88% of Americans find the holiday season to be one of the most stressful times of the year! It gets even harder when you’re trying to manage a blended family and can lead to bad behavior like badmouthing. 

Often, with all of the added stressors of the holidays, parents aren’t on their best behavior. They’re worn down from holiday shopping, decorations, parties, work, work engagements, and the cold and dreary weather.

Under enough stress, they snap. They may resort to “less than ideal” behavior. Badmouthing (among other types of stress-related behavior) is bad for the children (and the family dynamic as a whole). 

Read on to learn how to avoid it. 

Prepare Yourself Ahead of Time

It’s no secret that the holidays are going to bring with them some serious stressors. You already know this, so start preparing weeks (if not more) ahead of time. 

This is a great time to start journaling, practicing self-care (more on that later), and potentially talking to someone about your concerns. Talk to your counselor about how you’re feeling and some worries you have about how the holidays will go. 

Don’t leave room for surprises. 

If you’re going to be sending your child(ren) from one home to another, know exactly how the pick-up and drop-off will go. Plan a time and location so you can prepare both yourself and your family. 

You should also plan the unrelated details of your holiday ahead of time. The better-prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be. That will make it easier for you to stay on good behavior. 

Plan How to React

While you’re preparing, try to consider any potential events that could trigger an emotional response. Not reacting poorly in the moment is a challenge for anyone, and it’s understandable that stress would make it even more difficult.

Consider potential scenarios that could come up. Whether it’s a fight between you (or a family member) and your co-parent, someone being late for pick-up or drop-off, or snide comments, it’s good to know how you plan to respond in a healthy way. 

Find Ways to Relieve Stress

Try to find self-care and stress-relief methods on the days and weeks leading up to the holidays. 

You’re likely going to be busy with holiday preparations, but do what you can to take breaks every now and again. Give yourself an at-home spa day, let a babysitter or family member watch the kids, go see a movie with friends, or find one of the countless other opportunities to remove yourself from your stressors for just a few hours.

Consider talking to a therapist if you don’t already. It’s not uncommon for people to only see therapists during times of stress. With a therapist, you can also “badmouth” your former partner as much as you’d like to in a safe and harmless environment.

Your therapist may also be able to help you re-route those negative thoughts into something more positive. 

Collaborate With Your Co-Parent

If it’s possible to do so, work together with your co-parent to make the situation as relaxing as possible.

If you plan on spending time together, that’s amazing! Not everyone can do that, so that’s a great thing you’re doing for your child. You also know it can be even more frustrating than just doing a pick-up and drop-off, however.

Plan ahead. Talk about things on the “not to do” list that you can both avoid to prevent any unnecessary tension. Talk about topics that you won’t bring up.

Consider coming up with a “cue” that you can use to tell the other parent that you need to go take a break. You can both use this non-verbal cue if you’re feeling your tempers rise. 

If you’re spending most of the time apart, you should still collaborate. Talk to your former partner about what you will and will not say around the children. Remember, this is not your child’s problem. 

Think Before You Speak

This seems simple, but it’s tougher than you think during a stressful time.

Always take a second to breathe before you react to something upsetting. Often, our mouths move faster than our brains! Give yourself a moment to think before you say something you regret.

It’s always better to be silent than to badmouth. 

Avoid Passive Aggression

This is a tough one!

Many parents are fantastic at avoiding overt badmouthing, but they may dip into passive aggression when they’re feeling upset. It’s totally understandable during stressful holidays, but it’s not as subtle as you think it is.

Children can pick up on passive aggression, so you’re not hiding your badmouthing by making it more subtle. Your co-parent will also pick up on it and it could make the situation worse.

If you have a problem, excuse yourself and your co-parent and speak directly. 

Focus on the Holiday

At the end of the day, all you can do is focus on the joy of the holiday. You want to create the best holiday experience for your child (and yourself), so make the most of it.

Yes, it’s stressful. Yes, your co-parent may irritate you or do something you don’t expect. You may do the same to them without realizing it!

Try to get into the holiday spirit anyway. Focus on what’s good.

Avoid Badmouthing During the Holidays

While the holidays can bring out the worst in us, badmouthing is never the answer. Practice self-care, see a counselor, prepare ahead of time, and consider the other recommendations on our list.

Are you looking for a tool that can make co-parenting easier and less stressful for parents and children alike? 2houses gives you access to a family journal, a family calendar, financial organization features, and more. Give it a try today.

Talking Parents: 6 Reasons Parents Should Talk After a Divorce Meta description

Talking parents

In 2020, there were 630,505 divorces and annulments in the United States alone. Separation and divorce are still quite common in the United States and around the world. However, talking parents can make the situation easier for your family. 

Divorce is a difficult time full of many strong emotions and obstacles, both for the parents and for your children. Regardless of the reason, divorce became the best option for the two of you. But you might want to think twice before burning bridges with your former spouse.

Here’s why you and your children will benefit from parent communication. 

1. You Avoid Misunderstandings

You and your spouse don’t have to be friends after a divorce. Some people are lucky and split amicably. Others feel hurt, betrayed, and angry. 

Whatever your situation, it’s crucial to remain cordial and professional. You don’t have to be friendly, but remaining level-headed will help you make better decisions. You can focus on what’s important during this time.

Remaining cordial makes it easy to communicate with your spouse. Communicating helps the two of you avoid misunderstandings and come to an agreement more quickly. As such, you can finalize the divorce sooner. 

Another way to avoid misunderstandings is to research common myths. Understand the legal terminology and discuss these issues with your spouse. That way, the two of you can come to an agreement with fewer hurt feelings. 

2. You Save Money

The average cost of a divorce is $12,900. However, you can spend much more if you have any contested issues. Commonly contested issues include: 

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Alimony
  • Property

You and your spouse may not be on the same page regarding these issues. Yet, remaining divided will cost the two of you much more. So, what can you do? 

Find a way to communicate outside of the courtroom to save money. Go out to lunch or discuss issues over the phone. Of course, be careful what you say and agree to unless it aligns with your interests. 

The two of you may be able to come to an agreement faster this way. 

3. It’s Easier on Your Kids

There is a 16% increased risk of behavioral problems in kids between 7-14 following a divorce. It’s crucial to remember that your kids are having a tough time too. As such, you want to be careful about what you say concerning your spouse in front of them. 

Your children love you both. Divorce can feel like they suddenly have to “choose” between parents. They might ask, “What will happen to our family?” 

The stress of a divorce can take a mental and physical toll on kids. They may become depressed or anxious and feel as if their lives are changing in a big way. 

Take time to spend with your kids. Ask them how they’re feeling and let them know they can always come to you. Of course, you might want to consider counseling or therapy for your kids. 

A child therapist helps kids work through difficult mental and emotional problems. They can also diagnose issues such as anxiety, stress, or depression. Seeing a professional can also help your child feel like they have someone to talk to. 

4. Co-Parenting Becomes an Option

Conflict between parents has a negative effect on kids. It may make them feel vulnerable or anxious. That’s why co-parenting is becoming so common. 

By definition, co-parenting involves sharing the responsibilities of raising a child or children. It’s used mostly in situations where parents are separated or divorced. 

That said, co-parenting will look different in each divorce situation. It involves scheduling visitations, taking their kids to appointments, attending important moments in a child’s life, etc. 

Divorced parents often find that co-parenting makes divorce much easier on the children. They can still see both parents, and the family isn’t as disjointed as it may have felt previously. 

However, co-parenting is only possible with proper family communication and flexibility. You need to talk to your spouse about what times work best and how long visitations should be. Also, consider whether there are any obstacles, such as appointments or travel. 

The 2houses interactive calendar makes this much easier by setting parental schedules. 

5. It’s Therapeutic

Divorce is stressful for both parents as well as the kids. Plus, it can get awkward among your friends, at work, and when talking to your support network. Your whole life can change after a divorce, including where you live and who you talk to. 

As such, you may deal with feelings of anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and so on. In short, you have a lot of feelings to work through! Communicating with your spouse and others can be therapeutic for you. 

Part of the reason why divorce can be so stressful is not understanding the situation. You may not understand your spouse’s feelings or actions, especially if they hurt you. 

Communication can provide closure. It may not be easy, but it can help you to understand the situation more. 

You have a right to express any feelings of anger or grief as well. However, yelling at your spouse or blaming them won’t make matters any better. It’s best to talk to a therapist or start a divorce journal to work through your feelings. 

6. Communication Is Easier Than You Think

These days, technology has made communicating and syncing schedules much easier. You no longer have to make appointments on the fridge calendar, via email, or over text. 

Interactive calendars allow both parents to add family events, adjust their schedules, and more. Set a time for dance lessons or parent-teacher conferences. If there’s a sudden change in schedules, either spouse can update the calendar. 

That way, both spouses have an accurate schedule that makes co-parenting much easier. 

Talking Parents: A Better Solution

Open communication and talking parents can make divorce easier for your kids. It also has many benefits for you, such as being therapeutic. 

To make the process easier, take a look at the features and pricing of the 2houses services. From an interactive calendar to a financial management tool, subscribing makes communicating easy and painless. 

20 Journal Prompts for Your Divorce Journal

Divorce journal

Have you recently gone through a divorce?

Getting divorced brings up many negative emotions within us. It is essential to let these negative emotions out through a healthy outlet. One way to reflect on these emotions is through daily writing in a journal.

Did you know that journaling is a form of meditative practice? Journaling the right way can help improve your perspective and mental health.

However, you can only reap the benefits if you do it right. Not sure what to write in your divorce journal? Then keep reading for twenty relationship journal prompts.

1. When Did You Realize it Was a Toxic Relationship?

Writing this down can give you strength when you are doubting yourself. Leaving someone is hard when you’re used to being with them. You may even start gaslighting yourself into thinking that the relationship was not that bad.

2. Is There a Pattern of Toxic Relationships in Your Life?

Think about other relationships you’ve had.

If you find yourself drawn to toxic partners, reflect on why. Did your parents have an unhealthy relationship? Do you have problems contributing to this?

Knowing what causes you to stay in toxic relationships is important. This helps you avoid toxic relationships in the future. You may also talk to a therapist who can help you resolve some issues you have contributing to this.

3. When Was the Last Time You Felt Good About Your Relationship?

It is good to get both good and bad aspects of your relationship. Hating your partner would only plant negative emotions in your heart.

Try looking back on the good moments of your relationship. This helps you have a more balanced view of your ex-partner. Knowing your partner’s good traits is crucial when you’re divorced but need to co-parent.

4. If Your Loved One Was in the Same Situation, What Advice Would You Tell Them?

One of the best pieces of advice is to treat yourself like how you would treat a loved one. We are often self-critical and fail to see things in a balanced or empathetic way. Treating yourself like you would a loved one will help you treat yourself with more kindness.

5. What Was the Last Straw That Made You Leave?

The last straw is often not one situation; reflecting on it may show you other accumulated problems. Unresolved issues or trauma in your last relationship might carry on in your next one.

It is essential to reflect on the last straw and think of ways you could have prevented it. How did you react? Do you think you handled it the right way?

6. What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned?

All relationships give us lessons. A toxic relationship might have taught us red flags to look out for or what we want in a partner. Carry these lessons to heart so you do not repeat them.

7. What Boundaries Do You Plan to Set With Your Next Partner?

Setting the right boundaries with a partner is a key component of a healthy relationship. What boundaries were not honored in your past relationship? How can you enforce and communicate your boundaries better?

8. Are You Letting Yourself Feel How You Want To?

There is no right or wrong way to feel during a divorce. Stop bottling up your emotions and allow yourself to process what you’re feeling.

9. If You Were to Write a Letter to Your Ex-partner, What Would it Say?

Some things are better left unsaid. There may be some hurtful things that come to mind about your partner. Vent it out without hurting others by writing it in your journal.

10. Write Every Negative Emotion You Feel and Why.

As mentioned, it’s important to vent out what you’re feeling. But it also helps to reflect on why.

If you’re angry, what parts of the relationship made you feel so? Are you sad because it’s over or sad because it happened?

11. How Would an Ideal Partner Treat You?

Jotting down these traits would be helpful when you are in your next relationship. We often overlook red flags during the honeymoon phase. Writing down what our ideal partner should be like helps us get a clearer picture of what we should look for.

12. What Did Your Partner Criticize the Most?

During arguments, our partners might say hurtful things about us. Was it true? If it is how can we make ourselves better.

If it’s not, determine what you can do to heal or move past it. Many people say things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment. It isn’t fair to trap yourself in something your ex-partner said.

13. What are You Doing for Self-care Right Now?

It’s easy to succumb to stress during a divorce and let yourself go. That’s why you should always practice self-care. Write down self-care goals or what you are doing to pamper yourself during this time.

14. Name 3 Things You’re Grateful For

Studies show that writing things we are grateful for can help our mental health. During a divorce, it may become easy to have tunnel vision of negative thoughts.

Looking at other things in your life besides the divorce helps you fight this spiral.

Take a moment and look at the things you are grateful for. You could be grateful for your strength in leaving a toxic relationship. You can write about how grateful you are for your beautiful children.

You can name more than three things to be grateful for, or even begin with one if you are having a hard time. But practicing gratefulness will help you feel happier.

15. What Are Your Love Languages? How Do You Express Them?

Knowing your love language is important to building a healthy relationship. This allows you to better understand yourself and helps your new partner know the best way to love you.

16. What Regrets Do You Have?

Nobody is perfect. Reflecting back on things we regret isn’t only about regretting them. It’s also about holding ourselves accountable.

17. What Would a Healthy Relationship Look Like?

What does a healthy relationship look like to you? Is it about romantic dates, compromises, and surprises? Or is it being there in times you need it the most?

Defining a healthy relationship helps us have a blueprint of what to do in our next relationship.

18. What Were the Biggest Issues You Faced With Your Ex-partner?

Identify the biggest problems you had with your ex-partner. Were your fights avoidable? Could you have handled it better?

19. Do You Think True Love Exists?

Do you believe in soul mates? Does true love exist? Is love a choice or a commitment?

These are some of the things you need to think about when answering this question. Everyone has a different definition or belief of true love.

20. What’s Holding You Back?

If you know the kind of partner you want to have, what is holding you back? Determine how you can work on yourself so you can get the relationship you want.

Healing From a Past Relationship With a Divorce Journal

After a divorce, it’s normal to feel confused, angry, depressed, or even numb. All your emotions are valid, and it’s crucial to be able to understand them on your own. Try answering these prompts in your divorce journal and see if you can get a better understanding of yourself.

Are you co-parenting with your ex-partner? We have a way to make it easier on both parties. Contact us today.

How to Organize Joint Custody in a Blended Family

custody schedule

Each year, more than 630,000 couples in America get divorced. This can be a very difficult time both emotionally and practically. After all, getting divorced requires a lot of logistical planning, especially if you have kids.

More than 1 million American children see their parents divorce each year. So your child isn’t alone in this experience. However, it is still incredibly important to handle this transition carefully. 

Organizing a custody schedule as soon as possible will create stability in your children’s life. Are you wondering how to organize a joint custody schedule in your blended family? Then you’re in the right place. 

Read on to find out our top tips for creating a co-parenting schedule that works for everyone.

Accept That Co-Parenting Can Be Difficult

The majority of parents don’t set out planning to separate. So this can be a very emotional and uncertain time. It is natural to feel concerned for your children and yourself. 

However, getting emotional while putting together a child custody schedule can work against you. Because of this, make sure you have a lot of support around you.

Trusted friends and family members can offer advice and give you room to vent about the process. No one is expecting you to find this easy, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Put Your Child’s Needs First in Your Custody Schedule 

No matter what has happened during your separation, you should always put your child’s needs first. This can be easier said than done. After all, it usually means that you get to spend less time with your children overall.

That said, your custody schedule is there to support your child’s relationship with both of their parents. So it should serve this. It should also support their individual needs and create stability in their life. 

During the process, it is important not to put your child on the spot. You shouldn’t ask them directly what they want. This can be emotionally stressful and might make them feel guilty for picking one parent over the other. 

However, you can ask them if they have any worries or concerns following the separation. This lets them share their wants and needs. It will also make them feel like they are being listened to and prioritized.

Look at Different Schedule Options 

50-50 custody schedule is not your only option when it comes to childcare. In fact, trying to split child custody down the middle can be very difficult.

This gets harder when you factor in your child’s other commitments, such as school and playdates. So you may want to consider different schedule options. 

Some parents alternate weeks with their children. Others use a 2-2-3 or 2-2-5 plan. These involve children spending: 

  • Two days with each parent followed by 
  • Three days with one parent or five days with one parent 

At the end of the week, the schedule flips. So each parent ends up getting seven days with their children every two weeks. However, in this arrangement, you never have to go longer than five days without seeing your child!

Other parents may not have the flexibility to manage this schedule. For example, your work schedule may make it difficult. In that case, you might alternate weekends with your children and have a family dinner once a week.

This really is about finding what works for you and your children. So make sure you prioritize that.

Set Aside Time to Communicate 

After a divorce or separation, you might want some time and space from your ex. However, this can mean that the only time you see them is when dropping off or collecting your kids.

This is not a good time to discuss child custody arrangements or anything else. In fact, these discussions should never happen in front of the children. 

Instead, set aside a time that works for you both and decide the best way to communicate. That way you can both come to the conversation with your thoughts prepared.

Pick Your Battles 

Co-parenting can be very difficult. While parenting, you and your spouse can present a united front to your children. However, after a separation, the dynamic can change a lot. 

The emotional fallout of your divorce might mean it is harder to call your ex out on certain behavior. So think carefully before picking up on an issue. 

Obviously, you and your ex need to be on the same page about certain issues, such as discipline. However, when it comes to the occasional late night or mistimed dessert, pick your battles. This will save you a lot of energy and can help things run more smoothly with your ex.

If you are concerned about a larger issue, set aside time to talk about this. It can also help to get support from a mediator for these conversations.

Stay Flexible and Review Your Arrangements 

Stability is incredibly important for children and can help them feel emotionally secure. So try to create a consistent schedule that you can stick to.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be totally rigid. A little flexibility from time to time won’t disturb your kids too much. And it can help your relationship with your ex. 

It is also important to check in on how well your schedule is working for everyone. Try to give it a month or so and then review your arrangements.

If they work, then that’s great! If not, it might be time to go back to the drawing board and adjust them.

Get Help Organizing Your Custody Exchange Schedule 

When it comes to putting together a custody schedule, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Instead, the most important thing is to put your children’s needs first. This may be challenging at times and can be very emotional. So make sure you have plenty of support around while you navigate life with your blended family. 

2houses is also here to provide practical support. Our calendars make it easy to access your schedule and communicate with your ex. Find out more and start your 14-day trial now!

Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

Two homes

Sometimes, marriages don’t work out, but we would still do anything for our family. 72% of divorces occur within the first 14 years of marriage, which is when most couples still have minor children.

If you’re working through a divorce with young children, there are a lot of challenges to navigate, especially with your children. However, the good news is that you are not alone. 

Let’s talk about how to build resiliency in your children through separation or divorce.

Why Resiliency Is So Important

Resiliency is an important skill for any child to learn. It can help them find greater success in life and cope with circumstances beyond their control. Learning to bounce back from setbacks and challenges is critical for proper development.

More importantly, separation and divorce require resiliency for everyone involved. Children happen to be the most at-risk in these situations, which is why it’s so important to help them build resilience.

Remember that resiliency is a skill, not an innate personality trait. It’s not something people are born with, which is important to recognize before helping your child along.

Building Children’s Resilience Through Separation

The most important factors in building resiliency for your child are understanding their needs and reducing their stress levels. Children will learn a lot on their own, but only in the right environments. Let’s talk about how to facilitate that.

Reduce Co-Parenting Conflict

Conflicts between co-parents are bound to happen at some point. However, reducing their frequency and ferocity is essential. Your child may have shown resiliency so far in the process, but everybody has their limits.

Separation and divorce are already traumatic experiences that require resiliency. Children will need to learn how to adapt to a different living situation. Adding most stress is the last thing they need.

Never Use Children as Messengers

We live in a world with no excuses. If you have something to say to your ex, you can contact them whenever you want. You should never put your child in a position where they feel trapped in the middle.

While this is especially true for any negative messages, it holds true for all. Your child should never feel responsible for conveying information. We all know how the game of “telephone” works.

Consequently, if the child forgets or misinterprets the message, this could lead to hostility. Your child will then feel they are to blame for escalating conflicts. It’s always best to avoid putting children in this position.

Encourage Consistency

Consistency between the two households is vital for a child’s development. For example, if one parent allows video games before homework and the other doesn’t, this could lead to resentment toward the parent perceived as “more strict”.

Try to sit down with your co-parent and discuss basic rules and expectations that you need to maintain at both houses. As time passes, more of these differences are likely to arise. Discuss them as they come and try to work toward an agreement, rather than blaming the other parent without communicating.

Maintain a Routine

A predictable daily schedule is the best way to build routines for children. However, this is a challenge with two homes.

Children should be able to predict where they’ll be housed and what their days will be like in the near future. Would you like to wake up every day without any clue of where you’re going or what you’re doing? Consider your child’s point of view here.

Moreover, a set schedule is essential for children. If the child knows they spend every Wednesday and every other weekend with one parent, try your best to keep these consistent. You want them to easily predict their routines.

Also, if your child is used to waking up, having breakfast, getting dressed, watching a short episode on television, and then going to school, keep it consistent. We all like having some semblance of a routine, which is especially important when living in two separate homes. Waking up in a different location regularly is disorienting enough, so establishing a clear routine is quite helpful.

Encourage an Open Dialogue

There’s a good chance your child is worried to tell you how they are feeling, especially if you’re visibly occupied with your divorce. Let your child know that they’re more than welcome to tell you how they’re feeling, even if that means telling you hard truths you may not want to hear.

How else can you help foster resiliency? If the child does not know how to regulate their emotions, and you don’t know what emotions they are feeling, where is there room for progress?

Your child is likely experiencing big emotions due to the stress of a new life. They should not be punished for expressing themselves but encouraged to do so. Suffering in silence won’t help anyone.

Strategize With Your Co-Parent

Sit down with your co-parent away from your child and discuss a plan for building resilience in your child and how to manage their stress levels. Try to keep things as consistent as possible in each home, discuss issues away from them, and work to make your child as comfortable as possible in both homes.

Divorce is challenging for everybody, but your child has the least amount of power during the process. For this reason, it’s important to develop an inclusive plan for them with your co-parent and stick to it.

If you feel overwhelmed, that’s okay. Talk to a professional co-parenting facilitator to help build an easy transition and better resilience for your child. This way, you and your co-parent can stay on the same page.

Don’t Give Up

We know that separation and divorce are challenging. However, your children are innocent in these situations, and it’s the responsibility of their parents to give them the security, stability, and tools they need for success.

Keep reading our blog for our latest co-parenting tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!

How to Co-Parent with a Restraining Order

Parenting with a Restraining Order

Let’s face it: being a parent is hard. Although it is probably the best job you will ever have, it isn’t always easy or clear how to parent effectively. Even with all the parenting books available, there are still those gray areas that don’t take into account the different personalities of each child, or the parenting style of each parent. To make things even harder, you and your child’s other parent are now exes, and you have a Restraining Order against you, and you are ordered to co-parent. That’s a whole jumbled-up mess in and of itself. What should you do now that you find yourself in separate households? Who gets to see the child on their birthday or holidays? How do you adjust to downsizing from a two-income household to a one-income household? There are so many questions that desperately need answers. While there are no hard-and-fast rules for co-parenting with a Restraining Order, there are some general do’s and don’t’s that will guide you through the multitude of issues of co-parenting with a Restraining Order.

Restraining Orders in General

Restraining Orders are orders that are signed by a judge that directs people what they should and should not do. They are automatic in divorces, and some of the restrictions automatically apply to divorcing couples. For example, the parties are not allowed to move their child out of the state or sell property while the divorce case is still pending. All the restrictions are in place to protect both parties from physical or mental harm, protect the child’s best interest, and to preserve assets. Both parties are informed of the Restraining Order when they get the divorce papers. Each person may contest any part of the Restraining Order and request that it be removed within 30 days of receiving a copy. Most of the Restraining Orders end when the divorce is finalized.

Obeying the Restraining Order

When the Restraining Order was signed, it had conditions of do’s and don’t’s for co-parenting. Possibly the most important rule to successfully co-parenting with a Restraining Order is to follow the order’s conditions. Not only will doing so most likely make things go smoother with you and your ex, but it will also look favorable the next time you are in Court. If the judge sees that you are obeying the Order and doing your part to co-parent in a way that is best for your child, he or she will be more likely to grant you custody, or decide if you will be allowed to see your child at all.          

Custodial Decisions

Judges must make custodial decisions that he or she believes are best for the child. The judge will take into account a plethora of things, such as the individual needs of the child, whether the parents communicate well, and any domestic violence. Courts have agreed that domestic violence is never what is best for the child. In a divorce case involving alleged abuse, the judge could order supervised visits, pause any visitation, or terminate it completely until the domestic violence offender finishes a parenting or counseling class. Therefore, it is in you and your child’s best interest to obey the rules of your Order. You will be more likely to stay in your child’s life, and your child will see how to handle disappointing or challenging circumstances.

Communication with Your Co-Parent

Communicating with your co-parent while there is an active Restraining Order can cause additional trouble. Most of the time, Restraining Orders contain a clause forbidding all contact between the two parties. However, successful co-parenting requires some level of communication. Since contacting your co-parent is an issue in a Restraining Order, it’s best to end all communication with your co-parent. If there are situations that you need to discuss with your co-parent regarding your child, there are several options for routing around this obstacle to successful co-parenting with a restraining order.

First, consider hiring an attorney of your choice to communicate on your behalf. This avenue allows you to relay your wishes without going against the Court’s rules, or possibly affecting your chance of parenting in the future. He or she can perform the leg work of each of the following tips.

  1. Ask the Court for an exemption to the Restraining Order that allows for discussing co-parenting matters.
  2. Apply for permission to communicate through phone calls, texting, emailing, and any social media outlet.
  3. Request that both parties can utilize a third party to communicate with each other.
  4. Consider asking for permission to use an actual notebook or diary to discuss any parenting information. Either the child or another party would hand the notebook to the other parent, then back to the original parent.
  5.  Think about requesting to use a reliable co-parenting app. These apps allow both parents to send messages, share pictures, stay on schedule, track expenses, including shared ones, and many other functions. There are some apps that are free and some that charge a monthly fee.

If the Restraining Order states that you both may not go near each other, it will most likely designate someone that can get your child to you and your ex. This could be a friend, family member, or a visitation officer. Ask your family law attorney for suggestions of a Children’s Contact Services company, if the judge ordered that one be used.

Most of the time, Restraining Orders determine a certain amount of physical space that must be kept between the parents. This can make attending family and school functions hard. To keep from disobeying the judge’s Order, it might be helpful to plan different times that each person will get there, adjust seating locations, or to take turns with who goes to which events. Just remember that it is the restrained person’s duty to adhere to the Order and to ensure no clause of the order is violated, even if the other parent initiates contact.

Need More Help Co-Parenting with a Restraining Order?

If you are still experiencing issues that are keeping you from successfully co-parenting with a Restraining Order, consider hiring a family law attorney, if you haven’t already. They have the knowledge and expertise to know the legal ins-and-outs of co-parenting with a Restraining Order. They can file paperwork, petition the Court for certain requests, and execute many other legal-related dealings. This will save you time and energy you need to effectively co-parent.

The Take-Away

Divorce brings hard feelings, confusion, hurt, sadness, bitterness, anger, and many more feelings. These feelings don’t go away quickly. And, divorce becomes even more difficult when a child is involved. But successful co-parenting is necessary, especially when a Restraining Order is involved. But it absolutely is possible. Do everything in your power to follow the Order and make things go smoothly for you, your ex, and most importantly, your child. Make sure that you are able to be there for your child by following the terms and conditions of your Order. Show your child that he or she is worth putting aside your own desires, such as the desire to be right or to be heard. If you need help navigating the jungle that is co-parenting, research and hire a family law attorney in your area. You and your child’s relationship will thank you.

Better Back-to-School Experience After a Recent Separation

Our family after a recent separation

Divorce requires major adjustments, and not just from the couple who’s splitting. Kids have to get used to a new normal, too — but they won’t be down forever.

Research suggests that most children bounce back within two years of their parents’ divorce. That’s better than the alternative, according to the American Psychological Association. They say that children with parents who stick together although they don’t get along face more problems down the line.

One major adjustment that children of divorce have to make is the return back to school after a separation. You may be wondering, “What can I do to make sure this is easy on our family?” Here are five tips for making the return back to school after a divorce as smooth as possible.

1. Create a Routine

Regardless of whether or not you’ve had a separation, routine is so important to your children. When they’re toddlers, routines help them to learn good behavior and habits. The same goes as they get older, and it becomes even more important to children whose parents have divorced.

Why? Because having a routine that they follow will give your children a sense of stability, too, which they will crave after their lives change in a major way. 

Work with your former spouse to decide who will do drop-offs and pick-ups every day, and who will take the kids to and from their activities. When they know who will be there to get them, they will feel a sense of calm, which is exactly what you want after a stretch of uncertainty.

2. Talk to Their Teachers

Your child might not want to talk to their teachers, coaches, counselors, or principals about what has happened. However, it will be beneficial to them and to your child to have school officials know.

Keep in mind that your child’s teachers want them to succeed as much as you do. Having a conversation before they return to school can help the teacher — or coach or principal — to be on the lookout for any changes in behavior. For example, if your child seems detached or sad, the teacher can guide them to the help they need from the school counselor.

At the very least, having a teacher know what’s going on will ensure your child has someone who’s understanding and sympathetic when they’re at school. For a child dealing with a big life change, that can make all of the difference.

3. Coordinate With Your Former Spouse

On that note, communication is key to making this transition as painless as possible. You don’t just need to talk to your child’s teachers, though. You need to make communication with your former partner as productive as you possibly can.

You will need to have conversations about all of the above and more. Who will handle what school-related responsibilities? Who will pay for fees and supplies? 

You and your former partner will also want to coordinate on attending school activities, performances, concerts, etc. It will be important to your child to have you both at big events, so you will have to be sure you both know what’s happening, and when.

A great way to figure all of this out is with a joint calendar specifically designed for those who are co-parenting. You can use these apps to schedule your everyday responsibilities and big events. You can also mark dates and times when you’ll be busy and have to readjust your schedule, too.

4. Give Your Child Space 

Not all children love school, but going to school does provide a lot of the stability and routine we discussed earlier. So, it’s important to let your child go to school without issue, enjoy their friends, and perhaps forget about their divorce-related concerns while they’re there.

How can you do this? For starters, we suggest discreetly discussing the divorce with other grown-ups, but not making it a widely known change to your child’s friends. They should be able to disclose such a big change when they feel comfortable.

Unfortunately, too, not all divorces are amicable. Even if there is discord or drama, though, you should try and keep that from your children and especially from their friends. Don’t let any disagreements play out at school or even when your child has a school friend over at your house.

5. Let Your Child Speak, Too

As you iron out the details of your divorce, don’t forget that your childish going through a huge change, too. Make sure they know that they can talk to you about anything, any time. Building that trust is vital to your relationship with your child, and it will also make them feel more confident and secure in a difficult time.

Keep in mind that this will be their first time returning to school after a major life change. Listen to and acknowledge their concerns and feelings. Even if your child is young, it’s so important that they feel listened to and valid in what they’re feeling.

If your child isn’t opening up, simply ask them how their day went when they get home. Try asking open-ended questions so that they talk more. Eventually, they should feel comfortable enough to express anything divorce-related that has been weighing on them, and you’ll both feel better for having the conversation.

Go Back to School Strong After Separation

After a separation or divorce, you might think, “Our family won’t recover.” But the truth is, you can make the transition easier on your children by providing them stability and comfort. That applies to your back-to-school journey and everything in between.

We’re here to make your divorce easier on everyone, too. Click here to learn more about 2houses, an app designed to make scheduling simple for parents who have split up.

When One Parent Talks Badly About the Other – Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

When there is a history of emotional abuse between parents during the marriage, one parent often talks badly about the other after the divorce. This is a continuation of the marriage relationship. The hope is that the parent-child relationships don’t need to suffer. The hope is building kids’ resilience in two homes works more successfully than before.

At the same time, it is critical your children are raised in the awareness that emotional abuse exists. And they need to learn to be resilient in case they end up as recipients of emotional abuse by a parent or anyone in their lives. It is possible to navigate this dilemma without bad-mouthing your co-parent.

One Parent Talks Badly About the Other

It can be really challenging to not retaliate when one parent talks badly about the other. Although you may need to defend yourself against specific attacks when the other parent says things to your children, it is critical you do not retaliate by saying similar things about them.

Emotional harm between parents has negative impacts on you and your children. Of course, make an effort to protect your kids from any exposure to emotional harm. Act as a buffer against the negative consequences, and support them emotionally, so they can become resilient in the face of emotional abuse in whatever form. 

Building Kids’ Resilience in Two Homes

Children react differently to negative situations, so be mindful of how your children respond. Some show clear signs of distress and want to talk to you about it. Others are obviously upset but don’t want to talk to you. Remember, they are stuck in the middle and feel confused about what to do. Getting them some outside help can help them make the transition and build a foundation of greater resilience.

If you face a situation where one parent talks badly about the other, make sure your children get the help they need to understand what is happening and learn to protect themselves from long-term harm. Children need an opportunity to get support from group programs, therapy, or a counselor, so they can talk about their feelings outside of the family. When they discover that others have similar issues, they can talk more freely about their worries. Then they can find ways to become more resilient and make things better. Building your children’s resiliency empowers them to feel in control in difficult situations and helps them find their voice and feel heard.

Decrease Conflict with Better Communication with a Shared Family Calendar App

There may be nothing you can do directly if your ex is saying bad things about you. But you can take some indirect actions. A shared family calendar app provides a buffer for your communication and logistics. You can even have the children use the app to communicate with their other parent. This provides them with some additional protection, too. Consider recommending the 2houses shared family calendar app to your ex for logistical arrangements. This could be the first step to supporting your children as they develop more resilience in two homes.

A Broken Family: Helping Your Children Emotionally Cope with Separation and Divorce

Sad young girl staring out of a window

Divorcing or divorced parents, as well as a child of separated parents, will know that divorce and separation is an incredibly challenging and emotionally turbulent time.

While an adult has life experience, perspective, and emotional insight, a child may feel as if their entire world is crumbling when their parents are undergoing separation.

The breakup of a family is an overwhelming roller-coaster ride of emotions. For a child, these emotions can be confusing, terrifying, and just plain exhausting. They likely feel shocked, sad, anxious, and, in some cases, guilty.

Navigating separation as a parent is never an easy process.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to make your child feel heard, appreciated, loved, and safe.

Remember that a little effort goes a long way when supporting the emotional journey of your child during a separation or divorce. 

We’re here to offer advice on how you can reduce the emotional toll and help your children move forward too.

Be Intentional About Your Communication

As applies to most uncomfortable or emotionally charged situations, you should remain mindful with regards to the ways you choose to express yourself. You also need to be very aware of what information you choose to relay and where and when you will do this.

This intentionality should be implemented from the very beginning. When you tell your child(ren) that you are separating, it’s ideal if both parents are present. Depending on the age of your child, you should strike a balance between honesty and restraint when explaining the reasons for your separation.

Furthermore, this applies to your communication throughout, and even after, the process of separation. Speak about difficult information and negotiate practicalities in a safe and private space and at an appropriate time. Maintain a gentle and supportive tone and, if they are willing, encourage them to engage equally in the dialogue.

Remind Them That You Still Love Them

While you know in your heart of hearts that you love your child unconditionally and eternally, they might lose sight of this fact in the midst of your separation or divorce. Make sure that you express your love through both words and actions.

Furthermore, this expression of emotional tenderness shows them that it is okay to be emotionally vulnerable, compassionate, and honest.

Investing energy into the expression of your love for your children will do wonders for their sense of security and self-confidence.

Reassure Them They Are Not to Blame

A child, particularly a younger child, may feel that a parent’s separation is their fault. They tend to think that divorce is a symptom of a lack of love for them. While you know this is not at all the case, they might need some reassurance.

Communicate, in a gentle manner, that your separation is an adult issue. There is absolutely nothing they could have done to negatively influence or prevent the outcome.

Although it is hard, this also cements the notion that your divorce is final. They can then begin to grieve and commence the slow yet necessary journey towards acceptance.

Encourage Your Child to Speak About Their Emotions

As adults with life experience, we have come to learn that speaking about our feelings is one of the most cathartic and therapeutic means of processing and moving beyond emotional issues and events.

If you have a younger child, they likely do not have the vocabulary nor the emotional faculties to grapple with the complex combination of sadness, anger, anxiety, and dread.

You are, however, able to support them as they learn how to speak about what they are experiencing.

Remember to lead by example, hence the first point about intentional communication, and let them know that emotional vulnerability is safe, courageous, and healthy.

Be As Honest As Reasonably Possible

Even if your child is relatively young, they are likely more perceptive than they might let on.

If tensions are brewing beneath the surface, they will almost certainly pick up on the fact that something is off.

Maintaining an honest channel of communication prevents the unfortunate possibility that they may internalize tensions and, without fair cause or reason, feel that they are to blame for this unhappiness.

Naturally, it’s not always appropriate to be completely transparent about everything that has contributed to your separation, nor the specifics of what your divorce will entail. Use your own judgement to differentiate what is helpful from what is hurtful when communicating with your child.

Do Not Bad-Mouth the Other Parent

This is immensely important.

As tempting as it may be in a moment of passionate anger, do not burden your children with the weight of your own frustration and hurt. It will inevitably pressure them into feeling that they must pick a side and remain exclusively loyal to that one parent.

A child, no matter how young or old, should never have to feel that their love and appreciation for a parent comes at the cost of a poor relationship with the other.

Respect the fact that, at the end of the day, your child has two parents. They have the autonomy to determine what form their relationship with both will take without excessive external influence.

Do Not Communicate with the Other Parent Through Your Child

This is one of the most common mistakes made by parents who are going through a divorce. If your separation has been a bitter and unempathetic one, speaking directly to your ex-partner might be the last thing you wish to do. It is, however, of paramount importance that you remain aware of the fact that you are the parent in the situation, and you need to take responsibility.

Speak directly to your child’s other parent instead of putting them in the highly uncomfortable position of the messenger. They are probably anxious enough as it is. Enforcing unfair responsibilities on them will only encroach upon their ability to emotionally process the events.

Encourage Gentle Transitions

Moving between parents in the initial stages of a separation can be one of the most anxiety-inducing experiences for a child. As much as we acknowledge that saying goodbye is challenging for you too, try to support moments of peaceful transition between homes.

Help them gather what they want to take ahead of time, so as to alleviate stress. Reassure them that you will be seeing them soon, and you are just a phone call away if they need to speak to you.

That said, give them the necessary space with their other parent while they are away. When they return home, resist the urge to bombard them with questions about your ex or their time there. They likely need a moment to settle in and rest.

Seek Professional Assistance

For some reason, many families seem to feel that seeking professional help is a sign of failure or weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Family counsellors and therapists are the most effective means of working through the emotional turmoil —both individually and collectively.

If you’re finding that communication between yourself and your child is strained or non-existent, a therapist can be an excellent mediator of constructive conversation. In this safe and neutral space, you can gain valuable insight into your child’s emotional state and needs.

If you have the available resources, encourage your child to speak to a professional counsellor— preferably one that specializes in family troubles and divorce.

This process will consolidate, validate, and work through their emotions whilst equipping them with the necessary vocabulary to unpack and work through whatever they may be feeling.

Routines Could be Comforting

Naturally, there are several rather dramatic changes occurring in the life of both you and your children.

During this chaos that is an inevitable by-product of the process of separation or divorce, a bit of structure is comforting and oftentimes, absolutely necessary.

Try to establish some routines at home. However big or small, this stability is immensely comforting to a child who feels their world has been turned upside down.

Furthermore, if your child is moving between your house and the house of their other parent, try to structure this in a way that suits everyone as best as possible.

Knowing when they will be staying where helps them to mentally prepare. It also allows them to feel that their feelings and priorities are considered. 

Patience is Key

We feel complete empathy for the fact that when children are involved, separation or divorce is an emotionally grueling and utterly exhausting process.

There may be days where you feel nothing will ever be easy or joyful again. Trust us when we say that happier days are on the horizon. In time, you will move on, and even start dating again. Your children will acclimatize, and a new sense of normalcy will establish itself. It’s just how you handle the transition and equip them to handle the way forward that counts.

In the end, you will be so grateful that you were intentional about the ways that you chose to support your children’s emotional journey throughout the separation process—albeit a demanding endeavor.

This practice of patience should apply to your children as well as yourself. You deserve the space to validate your own frustration, sadness, and fear. Have faith that it only gets easier with time.

Divorcing Parents Turn to ‘Brainwashing’ Children in Custody Battles

children in custody battles

During the pandemic, many couples got divorced because of financial stress and other pressures that pushed them to the brink of their relationships. This has also revealed a lot of potential issues for other married couples.

Not only are people getting divorced but marriage rates are going down as people look towards the future. However, the process of divorce is not simple.

Children in custody battles are affected the most. They have to learn to adapt to new family setups and dynamics after being used to their home environment.

Partners start to wonder how to win a custody battle and they hire custody battle lawyers. Women worry about how a mother can lose a custody battle. Whereas fathers stress over custody battles often favoring the mother.

Ultimately, things can go wrong in a child custody battle and partners may try to turn the child against the other parent. 

It is important to know about what signs to look out for, how to protect your child, and how to create a new normal for your family. 

This article will prepare you for facing this challenge and how to navigate the difficult process of custody battles.

Divorce and Why It Happens

When you meet someone and fall in love you start imagining your life together. Where you’ll live, what house you will have, and all the special memories you’ll create in the future.

It all seems like a dream, until, you wake up one day and realize you do not want to be with your partner anymore. 

No one ever thinks it will happen to them and they wonder, why did this happen?

Divorce happens for many reasons depending on the situation, but there are some common reasons why people choose to separate. 

1. Differences

Even if you believe you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, there might be some differences between the both of you that can cause trouble later on. 

At first, you may ignore them but after time they could start causing a lot of arguments and resentment in your relationship. These differences could include, children, goals, and religion. 

2. Finances

Being with someone is about more than just sharing a house, it means sharing finances and budgeting for your living expenses. Ultimately, people view money differently and this might create tension in your marriage. 

For instance, you could disagree about saving, spending, and sharing money with others. 

3. Communication 

In any relationship, especially marriage, talking is key to creating trust and intimacy. Even though communication brings you closer together, it can also push you further apart if you do not express your thoughts effectively. 

If you have communication problems, you will end up avoiding each other and not discussing important issues. 

4. Abuse 

Some people divorce their partners because they are victims of abuse. This involves physical as well as verbal abuse and can lead to someone wanting to leave their spouse. 

In this case, divorce is the only way to remove yourself from a dangerous situation and create a better life for yourself. 

These are a few of the most common reasons why people divorce, however, there are many more other issues that mean couples need to separate. 

Even though divorce is primarily between two partners, if you have children together it becomes even more complicated. Divorce leaves a lifelong mark on a child and they can suffer from emotional problems.

How Children in Custody Battles Are Affected

The way a child is affected by divorce varies from family to family. It all comes down to age, environment, and personality. Some children find the transition after separation harder than others. 

In those situations, the child can experience difficulties in school and emotional distress.

So, how are children in custody battles affected? 

Poor Grades

One of the first signs that your child is having a hard time adapting to your family’s separation is their school grades. This is because the change can make them feel confused and distracted from their studies. 

Children get used to routine and familiarity so when there is a big shift in their daily lives, it becomes more difficult for them to focus on tasks. 

Social Withdrawal

As well as school, children can remove themselves from friendship groups and withdraw from socializing. They can find it hard to relate to people and communicate their feelings when their parents are divorcing. 

When you are young, you feel alone with your problems as you are not aware that other people can have similar experiences. Meaning, children feel as if their family is the only one falling apart.

Therefore, they begin to withdraw into their own world and avoid others. 

Emotional

Some children are more sensitive than others, and they may react strongly to divorce because they are trying to process the change. The consequence of this is they start showing other emotional signs of stress. 

For example, they could become:

  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Irritable
  • Depressed

It is important to watch out for these behaviors as they might be signs that your child is having trouble adapting to your divorce.

Self-Destructive Behavior

If your child is older, they might begin getting involved in more dangerous and risky behaviors such as substance abuse and sexual activity. Studies show that children from divorced parents are more likely to break the law.

For instance, research shows that they drink alcohol earlier, and begin smoking tobacco and using drugs too. 

Children can be damaged by divorce in many ways, but sometimes, the effects are not only by consequence but they can be inflicted by the parent.

What does this mean?

Well, on some occasions, the parents may try to turn the child against the other parent to have better chances of winning a custody battle. 

Parent alienation syndrome coined by Dr. Richard A. Gardner in the 1980s is the term used when a parent tries to turn the child against their other parent. 

If the relationship does not end friendly there might be some festering resentment between the two parents. Then, the angry parent tries to convince the child that the other parent is the cause of their divorce.

Signs of Parent Alienation

When your partner is trying to brainwash your child into believing you are the reason for the family falling apart, there are a few signs you can look out for. This way, you can intervene before they influence your child even more. 

1. Negative Memories

Your child might only remember negative memories from their childhood or past family events. This means they do not have positive associations with their alienated parent and further distance themselves from that parent. 

Even if you remind them of certain memories, they will deny it and convince you it was different. 

2. Avoidance

Does your child keep avoiding visits? Do they tell your excuses to get out of a planned event together?

Well, this could be another sign that your spouse is trying to alienate you. This is evidence that they are trying to ignore you and might be getting told by the other parent to stay away from you. 

3. Mimic Behavior

You might begin noticing some similarities in your child’s behavior and your ex-partner’s. This could be as simple as repeating phrases or coping opinions that your ex-partner shared. 

When a child becomes brainwashed they start to mimic the parent’s behavior and start to get confused with their own thoughts. This means they form a robotic response when communicating with you. 

As well as this, they take on the stress of your divorce and get caught up in the middle of your tension with your partner. 

4. Ignore Your Advice

As a parent, there are times when you have to give advice and guidance to your child to help them overcome a problem.

However, when your child is ignoring you and only listening to your spouse this is another sign of alienation. Especially after a custody battle when you need to assert yourself individually as a parent. 

This is extremely difficult as your child does not respect your rules or decisions and constantly resists authority. 

5. Dislike Your Interests

Of course, when children grow up it is normal to break away from your parents and discover your own hobbies and interests. But, sometimes, your child ends up liking the same things as you. 

This means you form a bond over common interests and become friends as well as parents.

This is what everyone dreams of, right?

That being said, in some instances your child may start hating everything you like and loses interest in all your passions. As well as this, they could also begin avoiding your family and friends. 

They could begin disliking grandparents, family friends, or neighbors simply because they have a connection to you. 

Although all of these signs can be challenging when you a filing for divorce, there is hope for finding a solution and ensuring that your child does not suffer. 

How to Have a Happy Divorce

Statistics show that 40%-50% of marriages end in divorce, so there are many times when parents need to navigate divorce. If this is you, then you need to know the best ways to help your child adapt to their new normal.

First, you have to consider how you talk about the divorce…

Talk About Your Feelings

It is important to encourage your child to talk about their feelings and emotions about the divorce. They need to feel safe and secure when discussing it so they can open up about any problems they are feeling.

No matter what time they need to talk, you should be ready to listen! 

Embrace Changes

You can read all the information available about children and divorce but nothing prepares you for the moment you have to face it in real life. 

That is why embracing changes in your child is essential in helping them process the news. They might act out of character or withdraw so you need to be ready to adjust accordingly. 

Organize

When it comes to the logistics of divorce and shared custody, there are practical ways you can provide stability to your child. 

Gill Ruidant was once faced with the challenge of organizing custody of a child after divorce. He founded the company 2houses after realizing that there were very few tools to help parents manage the separation…

2houses is a platform aimed at supporting parents through the process of divorce by providing information and access to features such as a calendar, journal, finances, and messages. 

All of which are there to support you so you can continue to look after your child in the best possible way

Be Gentle to Yourself

Being a parent is not just about looking after your child, you need to make sure you are being kind and gentle with yourself. Plus, if you show emotions to your child they will feel more comfortable showing theirs. 

This openness can really help your child understand why you got divorced and comprehend the future without both parents together. 

Ideally, you and your partner can work on this together and give your child a stable setup even if you are no longer in a relationship. Just because you break up does not mean that there needs to be tension. 

If you explain to your child why it happened and reassure them that it is not their fault, then when they grow up they will be able to sympathize with your decision and forgive you for any issues it caused. 

Things Can Be Better Apart

Although we all wish that life would have a happy ending, life can throw things at us that we do not expect. When it comes to children in custody battles, you need to be aware of some complications that can happen.

Now that you have all the information you need to identify signs of parent alienation, you will be able to avoid this happening to your child. 

Then, you can focus on making the transition smooth and comfortable for your kid. Take a look at these excellent tips and useful tools for making sure your future is happy and peaceful.