Teaching Children to Appreciate the Holiday Season Despite Your Divorce

Holiday season despite your divorce

The holiday season, with its twinkling lights, cozy gatherings, and the enchanting scent of freshly baked cookies in the air, is a time of magic and wonder. It’s a season that fills our hearts with warmth and reminds us to be grateful for the love and connections in our lives. But what happens when the fairy tale of the holidays collides with the reality of divorce? For many parents, this time of year can bring a unique set of challenges and mixed emotions.

If you find yourself navigating the holiday season post-divorce, you may be pondering how to maintain its special and cherished essence for your children. The great news is that achieving this is entirely feasible, and it all commences with a valuable lesson – embracing the art of gratitude.

In this article, we’ll explore the transformative power of gratitude, especially when it comes to teaching children to appreciate the holiday season amidst the complexities of divorce. Together, we’ll discover practical strategies and heartfelt approaches to make this season a time of connection, growth, and enduring memories. Despite the trials of divorce, the magic of the holidays can endure, and your children can learn one of life’s most valuable lessons along the way.

Emphasize the True Meaning of the Holidays

Navigating the holiday season after a divorce requires emphasizing the authentic spirit of this time of year to your children. Encourage them to understand that the holidays are not merely about material gifts or extravagant celebrations but are, at their core, a celebration of love, kindness, and togetherness. Help your children understand the profound importance of these values by sharing stories and traditions that revolve around them. Storytelling can be a powerful tool in instilling these principles, as you can recount tales of compassion, generosity, and the warmth of human connection. Furthermore, involving your children in activities that foster empathy and goodwill, such as volunteering or engaging in acts of kindness, can further solidify these lessons. By focusing on the true meaning of the holidays, you can guide your children in cherishing the essence of love and togetherness, thus creating lasting memories that extend far beyond material gifts and lavish celebrations.

Create New Traditions

In the wake of life changes, some long standing traditions may no longer be attainable or may not hold the same significance. Nevertheless, this juncture offers a unique window of opportunity to craft fresh and profound traditions alongside your children.  It need not be elaborate or extravagant; simplicity can often resonate more deeply. Take, for instance, the act of coming together to bake holiday cookies. In the shared process of kneading dough and adorning cookies, bonds are strengthened. Alternatively, family volunteering can be a powerful way to instill values of generosity and togetherness, emphasizing the importance of giving back to the community. Through the introduction of these novel traditions, you not only create enduring memories but also impart core values that transcend the holiday season, fostering a sense of togetherness, resilience, and a shared purpose within your family circle.

Encourage Open Communication

When it comes to navigating the holiday season in the aftermath of a divorce, there’s no overstating the significance of cultivating an environment where open and candid conversations with your children are encouraged. Create a safe and supportive environment where your children feel free to express their thoughts and emotions about both the divorce and the upcoming holidays. Create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable sharing a spectrum of feelings, whether it’s excitement, sadness, confusion, or a mix of various emotions. Be a compassionate and attentive listener, showing empathy and understanding as they share their innermost thoughts. This act of listening and validating their emotions can be an essential component in their healing process and overall adjustment to the new dynamics of the holiday season post-divorce.

Teach the Art of Giving

Amid the holiday season, especially in the aftermath of a divorce, there is a profound opportunity to instill a valuable lesson in your children—the art of giving.  Encourage your children to embrace the spirit of generosity, which can be a life-changing experience. By fostering the notion of giving back to others, you not only promote empathy and kindness but also help them grasp the genuine essence of the holidays. The avenues for doing this are numerous. You can involve your children in charitable endeavors or volunteer work that aligns with their interests and abilities. Whether it’s collecting donations for a local food bank, assisting at a shelter, or participating in a toy drive, these activities allow your children to actively contribute to brightening the holidays for others, fostering a sense of fulfillment and empathy.Furthermore, engaging in creative sessions to craft handmade gifts for family members and friends adds a personal dimension to the season, underscoring the thought and effort behind the act of giving. These experiences can enable your children to recognize the joy that comes from positively impacting the lives of others and, in turn, nurture a profound sense of gratitude. Teaching the art of giving not only reinforces the authentic meaning of the holidays but also equips your children with a lifelong understanding of the power of kindness and the significance of sharing one’s blessings with those less fortunate.

Practice Gratitude Daily

In the midst of the challenges posed by navigating the holiday season post-divorce, it becomes even more vital to establish a daily practice of gratitude within your family. Creating a habit of recognizing and vocalizing the things you’re thankful for can be remarkably transformative. Encourage your family to come together and share what they are grateful for, whether it’s during dinner, before bedtime, or in any other convenient moment that suits your family’s routine. This straightforward yet impactful practice not only deepens the familial bonds but also fosters a profound appreciation for the positive aspects of life. It serves as a reminder that even in times of change and transition, there are still countless reasons to be thankful. Moreover, this routine can serve as a powerful tool in helping your children shift their focus away from potential difficulties and towards the abundance of love, support, and cherished experiences that surround them. By making gratitude a part of your daily family life, you can infuse the holiday season with a profound sense of thankfulness, allowing your children to carry this essential lesson with them throughout the year, far beyond the confines of the holiday period.

Despite the difficulties, the holiday season can be a time of growth, love, and lasting memories for your family. So, let’s embrace the power of gratitude and make this holiday season a special one for your children.

How to Navigate the Holiday Season While Co-Parenting After Divorce ?

Co-Parenting After Divorce

The holiday season is a time when the world sparkles with lights, and the air is filled with the scent of togetherness. Yet, for those navigating the path of co-parenting after divorce, the holiday season can feel like a challenging tightrope walk. It’s a time when emotions run high, and the need for cooperation and understanding is paramount. In this article, we will unveil a roadmap to not only survive but truly savor the holiday season while co-parenting after divorce. By following these practical strategies, you can transform potential pitfalls into opportunities for growth and create a joyful, memorable, and harmonious holiday season for your family.

Effective Communication 

One of the most critical aspects of successful co-parenting during the holidays is effective communication. It is essential to maintain open lines of communication with your former spouse to synchronize schedules and organize holiday activities. Discuss the expectations, gift-giving plans, and any special traditions. Clear and respectful communication plays a pivotal role in reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts.

Create a Detailed Schedule

For a seamless holiday season, it’s imperative to craft a comprehensive schedule well ahead of time. Decide on custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and which holidays will be spent with each parent. A well-defined and structured plan alleviates stress and provides children with a clear understanding of what lies ahead.

Put the Children First

It’s crucial to consistently place your children’s welfare as the top priority. Consider their emotions and feelings during the holiday season. Foster open conversations to understand their desires and anticipations.  Make an effort to create a positive and festive atmosphere for them, regardless of the family structure.

Flexibility and Compromise

The holiday season often brings unforeseen twists. Be prepared to be flexible and make compromises when necessary. Occasionally, embracing changes in the schedule or permitting the children to partake in special occasions with the other parent can contribute to more joyful holidays for all involved.

New Traditions

Initiate novel holiday traditions. While some old traditions may no longer apply, you can create new ones to make the season memorable. Engage your children in the process of brainstorming and putting these new customs into practice, instilling a sense of enthusiasm and connection.

Respect Boundaries

Show regard for personal boundaries and personal space. Understand that the holidays may be an emotional time for both you and your ex-spouse. Uphold a sense of respect by refraining from engaging in contentious discussions during celebratory events.

Seek Support

When managing co-parenting responsibilities during the holiday season feels burdensome, contemplate seeking assistance from a therapist or a support network. These professionals can offer guidance and coping strategies to help you navigate the challenges effectively.

Collaborative Gift-Giving

Join forces with your former spouse when it comes to gift-giving to prevent redundancy and ensure your children receive thoughtful presents. Share wish lists and coordinate to provide a balanced and joyful gift-giving experience. 

Maintain Consistency

While creating new traditions is essential, try to maintain some level of consistency with past holiday traditions and routines, such as special meals, decorations, or even movie nights. This can offer your children a sense of steadiness amidst the holiday season’s transformations.

Plan Ahead for Travel

If holiday plans involve travel, make arrangements well in advance. Organize transportation, accommodations, and ensure that both parents possess all the essential documents and details required for the trip. This proactive approach minimizes stress and averts last-minute issues. 

Embrace Online Festivities

When physical presence with one parent is unfeasible due to geographical separation, adopt the use of virtual celebrations. Establish video calls, engage in online games, or arrange virtual dinners to involve both parents in the merriment and uphold a feeling of unity.

Explore how 2houses can support you in this journey

Prepare for Emotional Moments

Be ready for the possibility that both you and your children might encounter emotional moments throughout the holiday season.  It’s perfectly normal. Have a plan in place for handling these situations, whether it involves private one-on-one discussions or seeking assistance from a trained professional.

Document Everything

For legal and logistical purposes, it’s advisable to keep meticulous records of your holiday arrangements, visitation schedules, and any interactions with your former spouse. This can be useful in case of disputes or misunderstandings.

Seek Legal Guidance

If the need arises, consider reaching out to a family lawyer or mediator. They can help clarify legal obligations, rights, and responsibilities, ensuring that both parents adhere to the terms of their custody or visitation agreement.

Encourage Gratitude and Empathy

Instill in your children the virtues of thankfulness and compassion throughout the holiday season. Encourage them to appreciate the time spent with each parent and to consider the feelings and experiences of others.


Remember to put self-care at the top of your list. The holiday season can be emotionally taxing, so make time for yourself to recharge and reduce stress. A well-rested and emotionally balanced parent is in a better position to provide support to their children.

Co-parenting after divorce is a journey of growth and transformation, not just for your children but for you as parents as well. With these practical strategies and a commitment to putting your children first, you can navigate the holiday season with grace and ensure that the holidays continue to be a time of love, joy, and togetherness for your family, no matter the circumstances.

Strategies for Helping Your Child Cope with Separation or Divorce

Helping children cope

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

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

Strategy Number One: Reassure Your Children

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

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

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

Strategy Number Two: Adopt that there are No Silly Questions

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

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

Strategy Number Three: Encourage Open Communication

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

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

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

Strategy Number Four: Let Your Kids Be Kids

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

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

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

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

Strategy Number Five: Keep Routines Normal

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

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

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

Coping with Loneliness and Isolation After Separation or Divorce

Coping with Loneliness

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

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

But you aren’t alone.

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

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

Accept the Loneliness as Part of the Process

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

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

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

Tell Yourself It’s Okay to Be Alone

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

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

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

Take care of yourself

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

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

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

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

Remind Yourself that This Won’t Last Forever

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

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

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

This Process Will Take Time

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

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

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

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

How to Talk to Your Children About Separation and Divorce

About separation

When I was asked what the hardest thing about parenting was, I always answer, without hesitation, talking to my kids about the fact that their dad and I were getting divorced. At the time, my eldest child was fifteen and the youngest was eight with two others in between. They were old enough to understand the tension in the house between me and their dad, but they couldn’t understand why we couldn’t just solve it…after all…people who love each other fight but always forgive each other.

Setting that New Narrative

And there it was. How could we tell our kids that we no longer loved each other enough to forgive the hurt? And would that mean that the kids would wonder if we could stop loving them as well? After all, if we fell out of love once, why couldn’t we fall out of love a second time with them?

It was a harrowing experience but it really taught us exactly how to talk to our children both through the divorce and about the divorce. And these tips are excellent for any parent is faced with the question on how to talk to your children about separation and divorce.

First: Plan Ahead

The very first thing that you should do is plan ahead before you discuss your separation and divorce with your kids. The better prepared you are, the easier the process will be for your kids. Some things to plan are:

  • What will be said to the kids about the divorce. It is important that you keep it age appropriate and also don’t just flood them with information.
  • Where it will be done. I recommend that you choose a place where your kids are comfortable and where you won’t be interrupted. At home is often the best place.
  • When you will discuss it. It is important to set up a suitable time where it is calm and where you don’t have to rush off to an event or something so that the kids can have time to process what has been said.
  • Supports for your kids. Finally, have some supports ready for your kids. Things or people who comfort them and are in your inner circle, such as grandparents. Don’t invite anyone who would cause further tension but sometimes kids need someone other than their parents to go to after hearing the news. Don’t be offended if they are do, simply support them.

Planning for this all in advance will help things go smoother than simply springing it on them immediately after the decision to separate has been made.

Second: Decide Who is Going to Talk

This is really important and it really depends on how well you can both be together. For your children’s sake, if you cannot be in the same room without fighting, don’t try to tell them together. Simply agree on what will be said and then one partner can give the news. You can also do a second talk with them so that both parents can confirm the same thing. It is particularly important to not go off script during this conversation so that you are both saying the same thing and not putting your relationship stressors on your children.

If you are able to discuss things together, sit down and decide who will do the majority of the talking and who will be answering the majority of the questions. This helps keep the conversation calm and to give the kids as little stress as possible.

Third: Reaffirm Your Dedication to Your Kids

Reaffirm, reaffirm and reaffirm that you are dedicated to your kids and so is your ex-partner. This is important because kids can often worry about whether their parents will be there for them or if they are the reason for the divorce and so on. When you reaffirm your kids of your dedication, love and feelings, you are supporting them emotionally, which is so important when talking to your kids about your divorce.

At the end of telling them, the most important thing that they feel and understand is that your and your ex-partner’s feelings for them will never change.

Fourth: Answer their Questions

When you tell your kids, they are going to have a lot of questions and that is perfectly normal. Some will be expected, such as, “Was it something I did?” and some will be completely surprising. I remember my youngest asked me if we’d be able to take the garden stones he’d painted that summer. Something that I didn’t even think was important was a cherished moment where our whole family painted stones and he didn’t want them lost.

Don’t scoff at any question your child asks because there really is no stupid question. Kids think on different levels than we do and things that we don’t think are important could be incredibly important to them. Just answer them as best you can and if you don’t know the answer, tell them and say you’ll figure it out together.

Fifth: Be Clear About What This Means

Finally, be clear about what this news mean. If they ask if you will get back together, don’t lead them on with false promises or non-committal answers. Simply answer truthfully that no, you aren’t going to get back together and this is the new way things are going to be.

Also make sure that you are clear about what will be happening with them. Who they will be living with and how you will be looking at visitations. You don’t have to have it all ironed out and you can invite the kids to share their feedback once they have time to process the news.

Always make sure that you finish the discussion on how much you and your ex-partner love them and how that will never change. That reassurance is really key to helping kids process as they can really get caught up in that fear that they’ll be unloved now that you and your partner are separated.

By outlining things and being clear, you can help set expectations and prevent further confusion, which is very important in ensuring their well-being.

Telling your kids is going to be one of the hardest things that you do but if you do it lovingly, being aware of their feelings and centering it on the needs of the kids, you can get through the news and start building a new life as co-parents to your children. It may take time to find your new normal but coming from a positive first step, your kids may find that new normal even better than the tension filled one they left behind.

Dealing with difficult ex-spouses as a divorced/separated parent in the USA

Dealing with difficult ex-spouses

Divorce or separation is a life-altering event that can significantly impact not only the couple involved but also their children. One of the most common challenges divorced or separated parents face is dealing with a difficult ex-spouse.

The dynamics of co-parenting can become complicated, emotional, and at times, even hostile. However, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of the children and find ways to navigate the situation amicably.

In this article, we will explore strategies and practical tips to help divorced or separated parents in the USA handle difficult ex-spouses and foster a healthy co-parenting environment.

How to Deal with Difficult Ex-Spouse in the USA as Separated Parent

1.    Understanding Strategies of Effective Co-Parenting

Establishing a Child-Centered Mindset.

Putting the children’s best interests at the forefront is paramount when dealing with a difficult ex-spouse. Remember that your children’s emotional well-being and stability are directly influenced by the relationship between their parents.

By prioritizing their needs, you can set a positive foundation for effective co-parenting.

2.    Effective Communication and Boundaries

Establishing Clear and Respectful Communication Channels.

Open and respectful communication is vital when dealing with a difficult ex-spouse. Establishing clear communication channels, such as email or text messaging, can help reduce conflicts and provide a written record of discussions.

Maintain a business-like approach, focusing on co-parenting matters and avoiding personal or inflammatory topics.

Also Read: How the 2houses Communication Journal will Help Improve your Co-parenting.

3.    Creating Boundaries and Setting Realistic Expectations

Setting boundaries is crucial to maintain healthy boundaries and minimize potential conflicts. Clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations regarding parenting decisions, schedules, and important events.

Be realistic about what can be achieved and be willing to compromise when necessary for the sake of the children’s well-being.

4.    Utilizing Mediation or Professional Help

When dealing with an especially difficult ex-spouse, it may be beneficial to seek professional assistance. Mediation services can help facilitate constructive conversations and guide parents toward mutually agreeable solutions.

Family therapists or counselors specializing in co-parenting can also provide valuable guidance and support.

5.    Focusing on Self-Care

Dealing with a difficult ex-spouse can be emotionally draining. It is essential to prioritize self-care to maintain your own well-being and be better equipped to handle challenging situations.

Engage in activities that bring you joy, seek support from friends and family, and consider therapy or counseling if needed.

6.    Documenting Interactions

Keeping a record of interactions with your difficult ex-spouse can be helpful in case of disputes or disagreements. Maintain a detailed log of conversations, agreements, and incidents related to co-parenting.

This documentation can serve as evidence and provide clarity when addressing any concerns legally, if necessary.

7.    Seeking Legal Advice

In some situations, seeking legal advice may be necessary to protect your rights and the best interests of your children. Consult with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your options.

They can provide valuable insights based on their expertise and ensure your rights are safeguarded.

Also Read: How to Manage Conflict with your Ex-Partner When Co-Parenting.

The Importance of Cooperation with Your Ex-Spouse as a Divorced Parent in the USA

Cooperation is a fundamental aspect of successful co-parenting after a divorce. While it may seem challenging, maintaining a cooperative relationship with your ex-spouse is essential for the well-being of your children.

Here is why it is crucial to cooperate with your ex-spouse as a divorced parent and the benefits it brings.

1.    Promoting Stability and Emotional Well-being

Cooperating with your ex-spouse helps create a stable and consistent environment for your children. By presenting a united front and working together, you establish clear expectations and boundaries, providing a sense of security for your children.

This stability contributes to their emotional well-being, helping them adjust to the changes brought about by the divorce.

2.    Putting Children’s Needs First

Cooperation allows divorced parents to prioritize the best interests of their children. When both parents set aside personal differences and focus on what is best for their children, they can make important decisions together.

This collaborative approach ensures that children’s needs regarding education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities are met. By putting their children’s needs first, parents can provide a nurturing and supportive environment that fosters healthy growth and development.

3.    Creating Consistency and Routine

Consistency is vital for children’s overall well-being. When divorced parents cooperate, they can establish consistent rules, routines, and schedules between households.

This consistency brings a sense of stability and predictability to children’s lives, reducing anxiety and promoting a smoother transition between homes.

Consistent expectations and routines provide children with a sense of security and help them adjust more effectively to the challenges of divorce.

4.    Facilitating Effective Communication

Cooperation with your ex-spouse opens channels for effective communication. It allows you to discuss important matters related to your children, share updates, and address any concerns promptly.

Open and respectful communication ensures that both parents stay informed and involved in their children’s lives, fostering a sense of shared responsibility.

Also Read: Suppporting a Child’s Ability to Cope with the Emotional Impact of Separation and Divorce.

How to Deal with a Toxic Co Parenting Ex

Dealing with a toxic co-parenting ex can be incredibly challenging and emotionally draining. However, it’s important to prioritize the well-being of your children and find ways to navigate the situation effectively.

Here are some strategies to help you deal with a toxic co-parenting ex:

1.    Set Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries with your ex-spouse to protect yourself and your children from toxic behavior.

Clearly define what is acceptable and what is not in your interactions. Communicate these boundaries calmly and assertively, focusing on the impact it has on your children.

2.    Focus on the Children

Keep the best interests of your children at the forefront of your decisions and actions.

Avoid engaging in toxic behavior yourself and shield your children from any negative interactions. Be a positive role model, promoting a healthy and nurturing environment for them.

3.    Communicate Through Written Means

If face-to-face or verbal communication with your ex-spouse is challenging, consider utilizing written communication methods.

Email or text messages provide a record of conversations and allow you to respond thoughtfully and calmly. Stick to discussing matters related to the children and avoid getting dragged into personal attacks or arguments.

4.    Seek Professional support

If the toxic behavior of your ex-spouse is impacting your well-being or the well-being of your children, don’t hesitate to seek professional support.

A therapist or counselor experienced in co-parenting dynamics can provide guidance, strategies, and coping mechanisms to navigate the challenges.

5.    Document Incidents

Keep a record of any toxic behavior or incidents involving your ex-spouse.

This documentation can be useful if legal intervention becomes necessary or for demonstrating a pattern of behavior. Ensure you note the dates, times, and specific details of each incident.

6.    Maintain Self-Care

Dealing with a toxic co-parenting ex can be emotionally exhausting, so consider your mental health.

Take time for yourself, engage in social activities whete you can get more happiness, and surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family. Take care of your physical and mental well-being to better cope with the challenges.


Dealing with a difficult ex-spouse as a divorced or separated parent can be challenging, but it is essential to prioritize your children’s well-being and foster a healthy co-parenting environment.

By establishing a child-centered mindset, practicing effective communication, setting boundaries, seeking professional help when needed, and focusing on self-care.

Remember, the goal is to minimize the impact of toxic behavior on yourself and your children. By implementing these strategies and seeking support when needed, you can embark on the co-parenting journey with resilience and provide a healthier environment for your children to thrive in.

The Importance of Maintaining Communication with Your Co-Parent in the UK

Importance of Maintaining Communication with Your Co-Parent

When it comes to co-parenting, one of the most important parts of it is in the communication. After all, how can you effectively parent if you are not effectively communicating with your co-parent? The answer is that you can’t. To be successful in parenting you need to maintain the communication in your co-parenting relationship. In this article, we will explore why it is so important to have excellent communication.

The Benefits to the Kids

When we look at the importance of maintaining communication with your co-parent in the UK, we have to start from how it affects the kids. In the UK, family law always sides with what is in the best interest of the individual child and we know that excellent communication between parents will always be in the best interest of the kids.

Even without the law in mind, co-parents who effectively communicate can offer their kids a wide range of benefits that will have significant impact on their long term success and mental and emotional well-being.

  1. Models good behaviour to your children. First and foremost, managing effective communication with your other co-parent models to you kids how to communicate themselves. It also shows that even adults who are at odds at times can still communicate. This enables kids to learn how to be effective communicators themselves—skills that will help them throughout their lives.
  2. Helps establish predictability. Co-parents who communicate will often parent in similar ways. This means that kids have the same rules, routines, and schedules regardless of which home they are in when both of their parents are communicating and discussing setting these things. This stability between homes will reduce a lot of stress and anxiety that kids can have during separation and divorce.
  3. Can increase emotional well-being. Kids whose parents are communicating and not arguing have better feelings of well-being and self-worth. This is because there is less stress, they don’t feel like they are in the middle and they have parents who are consistent with them. This can help kids adjust much easier to divorce and will have long term benefits throughout their life.

As you can see, there are many different benefits for kids and it really does emphasize how important maintaining communication is.

The Benefits to You

The benefits for you, and your other co-parent, are equally important when it comes to maintaining effective communication. While you may not realize it, once you have that communication being established and maintained, you will suddenly find the benefits are affecting your life in positive ways. Some of the ways that maintaining communication with your other co-parent is beneficial for you are:

  1. Reduces stress. Like kids, when communication is always negative and combative, you will find yourself living with higher levels of stress. And this stress will have long term health effects on you if you allow it to continue. Maintaining healthy communication will help reduce stress because you won’t be arguing as much, if at all.
  2. Let’s you focus on the kids. When you communicate effectively, you can really focus on the kids when you are with them. You won’t have to worry about handoffs and possibly arguing with your co-parent. You also will have all the information you need to make sure the kids have everything they need during the visit. These are invaluable in just allowing you to enjoy those moments with your kids, especially when there are no arguments at pick up because of poor communication.
  3. Allows issues to be handled quickly and effectively. When you have excellent communication with your co-parent, you can deal with issues and emergencies quickly and effectively. You can meet to discuss issues or you can easily contact the other co-parent to ensure that emergencies are handled in the best ways for the kids. Essentially, communication creates a new partnership between co-parents when it comes to the kids and allows everyone to thrive in a crisis.

And those are a few of the benefits that you will experience…along with a new relationship dynamic where you and your ex-partner may even be able to parent as friends.

Quick Tips to Maintain that Communication

Finally, let’s look at a few quick tips you can do to maintain that communication with your co-parent. These are quick and easy to do and really is just about setting healthy boundaries for both of you.

  1. Focus on the practicalities: Things the kids need, what they have coming up and the expenses that they have. During periods when you are having a hard time communicating, focusing on those practical bits of information will help maintain your relationship.
  2. Add in positives: On the same line of practicalities, it is good to add some positive things to your conversations. Kids did well on an exam, share it. Saved money on an expense, let the other parent know. Positives help with a connection as co-parents and also makes the interactions about more than just things to worry about.
  3. Keep conversations separate from other topics: Divorce proceedings, things happening that are not related to the kids but can lead to a conflict cycle, frustrations about the other parent—those topics should be left to other ways of communicating. Instead, focus on kid oriented topics.
  4. Use a mediation app: A mediation app that allows you to communicate over it is a great way to keep communication open and to manage that communication when you are having a hard time communicating in person.
  5. Have regular meetings: This should be done every month or more but have regular meetings about holidays, what’s happening with the kids, special events and to review how the custody schedule is working. Reviewing all of these opens up natural conversations that will help your co-parenting relationship grow.

As you can see, there are many benefits for both you and your kids when you maintain healthy communication with your co-parent. And, it doesn’t have to be that difficult to maintain it. Simply follow the tips in this article and then enjoy the benefits of this very important part of co-parenting.

Tips for Maintaining a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Other Parent After Separation or Divorce

Separation and divorce brings a lot of emotions that can be damaging to the relationship you have with your other child’s parent; however, it is important to maintain a positive relationship for your child. Learn strategies to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with your ex-partner as you move into co-parenting.

We all want the best for our kids but that isn’t always possible during a separation or divorce because we are all human. We have emotions. Separation and divorce can come with a wide range of emotions, including grief and hurt and sometimes those emotions can get in the way of having a positive relationship with your child’s other parent. However, putting aside your own feelings will help you maintain a positive relationship with your ex-partner, which will allow you to put your children first and ease your own stress and heartache.

What is Co-Parenting?

Before we look at tips on how to maintain a positive relationship with your child’s other parent after separation or divorce, it is good to understand what co-parenting is. In a nutshell, co-parenting is when both parents play an active role in the daily lives of their children. Shared schedules, custody arrangements, shared responsibility on decisions and more are all part of co-parenting that allows parents to ensure that all of their kids’ needs are met. It also ensures that both parents can maintain a close relationship with their kids.

Co-parenting, when done in healthy ways, ensures that kids adapt better to divorce and that their emotional and mental well-being is good.

In essence, co-parenting is creating a new partnership that focuses on the kids lives.

It should be noted that when we look at co-parenting, we are talking about divorces that do not involve domestic abuse and violence. There are certain circumstances where a positive relationship is not possible for safety.

Tips for Maintaining a Health Relationship

Now that we know what co-parenting is, let’s look at ways that you can maintain a healthy relationship with your child’s other parent.

Number One: Set Aside your own Hurt

We’ve already hinted at this but no matter who initiated the divorce, there will still be feelings of hurt and anger. Remember that this is a grieving process, and you will need to grieve. However, to maintain a healthy positive relationship, you need to set aside your own hurt when you are dealing with your ex-partner.

This means that you may have to find ways to communicate with your ex-partner when you are feeling extra hurt, such as through a communication journal. Another point is to use someone other than your child to vent about your feelings. Venting to your children raises their stress and makes them feel that they have to take sides. If you have a friend or therapist, use them to vent.

When you see your ex-partner, or interact, remember that you both have one thing in common—wanting the best for your kids—so make that a common ground to help motivate your actions to establish that positive relationship with your ex-partner.

Number Two: Focus on the Kids

This is pretty simple to explain…again, we are going to that common ground. If both you and your ex-partner agree to keep your interactions on the kids, you are less likely to focus on negative aspects of your past relationship.

Whenever you find your conversations getting off course, steer back to the kids by bringing up something positive that the kids did or said, or an accomplishment that they had. This will help ease the tension between you and you can spend a few minutes just enjoying that positive moment together before getting back to the task at hand, such as setting up the custody schedule.

Number Three: Make Communication Peaceful and Purposeful

You don’t have to have long conversations with your ex-partner, and chances are, you won’t want to have those conversation.  Instead, plan out every conversation and only communicate when you need to.

Before you do, look at your mindset. If you are angry or feeling anything negative, even if it isn’t about your ex-partner, reschedule a meeting with them. You want to take the time before your meeting to refocus on your kids. Ask yourself some questions like:

  1. Why are we meeting?
  2. What outcome am I hoping for?
  3. What am I willing to compromise on?

The main takeaway with conversations is to keep your child the main focal point of all your communication. By doing this, you are avoiding conflict and that can help build a positive relationship where your kids are concerned.

Number Four: Co-parent as a Team

Another important tip for keeping a positive relationship with your ex-partner is to remember that you are a team, even if you are not in the same house. This means that you should listen to them and what they’d like for the kids in regard to schedules and routines. If you want some changes to those schedules and routines, talk to the other parent and find a middle ground for both of you. By having a relationship that is built on teamwork, you will be able to keep consistency in your children’s lives and you will naturally build a positive relationship.

Remember, consistency along with following up and checking in with each other is essential to building a successful team and this will only help your relationship as co-parents.

Number Five: Approach Things with Respect

Finally, make sure that you approach dealings with your ex-partner with respect. That means that you listen to what your ex-partner says and also that you aren’t actively ignoring their wishes. This doesn’t mean that you give into everything but when you do have disagreements, you approach it in a respectful manner and avoid any negative behaviours that might have occurred in the past.

With respect, it means being polite and peaceful. Discussing your points in a calm manner, listening to their points and then working together for a compromise that both of you can agree on.

When you work toward a positive relationship, you will find that the further along you get in your co-parenting relationship, the easier it is to have a positive relationship. And you will also find that your kids will flourish when they have two parents who, while not together, still maintain a positive relationship.

How 2houses Helps to Reduce Conflict between Co-Parents

Reduce Conflict between Co-Parents

Two houses can mean a lot of conflict.

You have individual schedules; individual needs and you are trying to meet the needs of kids who are going between both houses. It can be stressful for kids and parents. So it is little wonder that conflicts can arise between co-parents for a multitude of reasons from expenses to custody schedules. Thankfully, conflicts can be reduced with some careful thought.

So how do you reduce conflict between co-parents?

In this article, we are going to go over reducing that conflict and how you can have a tool at your very fingertips to

On Your Mark, Get Set, Download!

The very first thing that you should do is download the 2houses app if you haven’t already. There are a lot of co-parenting apps out there but none as good as 2houses. It was designed by a divorced father who was trying to navigate the co-parenting relationship with his ex. This means that it is developed with a lot of the trials and tribulations in mind that co-parents go through…by someone who’s been through them too.

With the app, you can avoid conflict right from the download as you get 14 days free and the expense can be shared between both parents. Easy and affordable all at once.

Now that you have it downloaded, let’s look at how it can help reduce conflict between you and your co-parent.

Number One: It Keeps an Expense Budget

Some conversations are considered conflict topics and money is one of those. Having a way to discuss expenses in neutral spaces is one of the ways that 2houses help reduce conflict. With the expense budget, you can keep track of expenses month to month and even download monthly statements of the expenses that were paid out.

In addition, you can use the app to let the other co-parent know when there is an unexpected expense with kids, like a new retainer when they broke their old one…and so on.

By having all of this done over the app, co-parents can work through any frustration they may have and you can avoid a lot of the conflict that comes up because of money.

Number Two: Keeps Schedules Organized

Another way that 2houses helps you with reducing conflict is around schedules. With the app, you can program in the custody schedule right into the calendar in a fast and easy manner. Then you can simply send requests right through the schedule to keep from having conflict over any changes to the schedule.

This is a wonderful way to allow the 2houses app to be a mediator…it is, after all, exactly what the app is for. In addition, one parent doesn’t have to feel responsible for sending any reminders or keeping the other co-parent organized. Again, the app does that and it can help reduce the conflict when one parent doesn’t have to organize the other one.

Number Three: Aids in Creating Safe Handoffs

While a lot of co-parents do the handoffs at the homes the kids are at, there are many who need to meet in neutral areas for the handoffs. This helps with keeping conflict down and is important for those who are co-parenting with a partner who was abusive or there is a restraining order against one parent. With the 2houses app, you can set a time and place right into the schedule. Co-parents can choose a neutral area and then meet there for the handoff. The app will mark it in the calendar and it can be changed as needed by sending a simple request.

Number Four: Creates Ways to Communicate when Tension is High

Another excellent feature of 2houses is the journal on the app. Parents can exchange vital information as well as simply write about how the kid’s day was. It can be a terrific way to let the other parent know what is going on even when face to face conversations are filled with tension due to ongoing conflict.

This ability to have conversations not orbiting conflict topics allow co-parents moments to catch their breath and simply enjoy what it means to be a parent…focusing on their kids (our next point). And it allows parents to communicate about just the kids while avoiding any arguments that might have happened when they were face to face.

Number Five: Reminds Co-Parents to Focus on the Kids

Finally, the app is designed with kids in mindin fact, the app can be used as a way for kids to stay in touch with their other parent when they are not with them. While this isn’t really a feature that reduces conflict specifically, knowing that the kids will have access to the app can help reduce conflict. Parents are less likely to start arguing on the app through the calendar or journal if kids could see it.

This means that parents have more time to cool off before they need to respond to a high conflict situation. And this time to cool off can completely correct the conflict that was occurring. One of the best advice the many mediators give is to take a break and think about your answer, and how it will affect your kids. While 2houses can’t directly tell you this, for many parents, knowing the kids could potentially read an angry message, and then end up worrying, it gives them that step back to count to ten and return to it once they have calmed down.

2houses is designed to make co-parenting easy and that means, it is there to help reduce the conflict that can arise, especially early on in the co-parenting journey. It organizes, monitors expenses and provides ways for kids and co-parents to check in to feel secure in the relationship. It is the buffer that co-parents with a lot of tension in their relationships need as they heal from the separation and divorce and learn to leave…and thrive…in a different parenting relationship than the ones they shared in the past.

Conflicts happen, it’s only natural, but with 2houses, you can reduce how often and how severely those conflicts happen. So what are you waiting for? Download the app today.

2houses can Help Separated Australian Parents Improve their Communication

2houses can Help Separated Australian Parents Improve their Communication

Australians. If there are stereotypes around the world, I’m sure we’ve all heard them…Shrimp on the barbie, vegemite on every meal, I’ve even been asked how often we ride kangaroos or battle drop bears. It can be exhausting, but one stereotype that I often feel is true is that Australians are pretty direct in their communication. Unfortunately, that directness can be both a positive and a negative when going through a divorce or separation and it can be pretty easy for communication to break down between parents.

Of course, it’s expected. Divorce is a lot of hard yakka and, sometimes, it is easier to not communicate what we want or what is needed during it. Thankfully, there are ways that Australian parents who are separating can make communication no wakkas…and that’s through a mediation app like 2houses.

In this article, we are going to go through the ways that 2houses can improve the communication of parents without adding extra stress or hassle.

It’s Easy!

First and foremost, the 2houses app is easy. It can be downloaded quickly to any mobile device or you can load it up on your home computer. Either way, you get access to a lot of features that will help with scheduling, organizing paperwork, sharing expenses and communication. While it would be great to get into all the ways that 2houses can help Australian parents who are separated, we are going to focus on the communication part.

However, before we do, remember that it is not only easy to instal but the interface is so user friendly that even kids—or adults not technology inclined—can use it without struggle.

Number One: Keeps the Communication Oriented on the Kids

One of the best features about 2houses is that it really does keep the focus on the co-parenting part of the relationship…and that means it keeps the focus on the kids. Which is exactly where it is supposed to be. With the 2houses app, you can center all the discussions around the kids, their schedules and their needs and leave communication that deals with the divorce and other matters to other discussions.

Number Two: Allows you to Store Documents and Journals for Easy Access

Another great part of the 2houses app that really helps with communication is that you can upload documents and save them right to the app. This may not seem like a communication matter but when parents need to sign off on things, the documents can be uploaded for the other parent to print off, sign and reupload onto the app. This makes getting joint signatures a lot easier than having to do them at transition periods when kids are going from one house to the next, which is hectic enough.

In addition to just simple housekeeping of forms, 2houses does allow those documents and journals to be stored in the event of a breakdown of the co-parenting relationship. If you aren’t communicating, you will have access to all the documents for court cases if you so need them—which, hopefully, you won’t.

Number Three: You won’t Miss Messages

Missing messages about changes in schedules or other things that come up in the day to day is pretty common. In fact, a lot of co-parents find missed messages to be one of the most common problems they are faced with as co-parents.

With the 2houses app, messages can be sent through the journal or directly on the calendar when there needs to be changes to the schedule. The other parent gets a notification, as can the kids, so that they are alerted to the message and can address it. Having these notifications make it easier to keep track of messages and to stay up to date on information from your fellow co-parent.

Number Four: Connecting the Family Through Albums

Having family connections is always valuable and that connection often comes through communicating. With 2houses, kids and co-parents can share photos through the app’s photo albums so that, even when they are apart, parents can still feel like they are part of their kids’ lives and are still working toward sharing and building memories.

This, in turn, helps improve communication because you can begin to see new dynamics that the family will have. You can appreciate the time your kids are spending with your ex-partner and they can do the same with you. And it gives you things to talk about with both your kids and your ex-partner that are positive which fosters better communication.

Number Five: Gives you Ways to Communicate When Times are Hard

Divorce can bring up a ton of different emotions and, at times, it can be difficult to communicate with your ex-partner without getting into huge arguments or creating more problems between you. During those times, the 2houses app is truly invaluable because it allows communication through the app and not in person.

Even if your communication is great, life can be busy with work and other commitments and you may find that you aren’t even doing handoffs together where you could communicate things directly or those handoffs may be really fast as the kids shuffle from door to car or car to car.

With the 2houses app, you can set up communication through notes and the calendar. You can also write longer communication journals so that things are dealt with as needed. With the app, you can avoid arguments or simply find the time to actually communicate when schedules are hectic.

As you can see, there are many different things you can do to keep that communication flowing and all of it is through the use of an app that is easy to use, low cost and allows you to focus on what is important—your kids. So what are you waiting for? Get started with 2houses to improve your communication with your ex.