Helping Canadian Children Adjust to Co-Parenting: Strategies for Smooth Transitions

Children Adjust to Co-Parenting

Adapting to co-parenting arrangements can pose various challenges for children as they navigate changes in their family structure. One of the most common struggles children face is adjusting to a new routine and living in two separate households. This shift can lead to feelings of instability and uncertainty, impacting their sense of security. Additionally, children might grapple with divided loyalties, feeling torn between their parents’ homes and wanting to please both. The logistical challenges of coordinating schedules and transitions can also contribute to stress and anxiety. Maintaining consistent rules and expectations across two households can be confusing for children, affecting their sense of boundaries and discipline. Effective communication between parents becomes crucial in mitigating these struggles and ensuring that children’s emotional needs are prioritized. Over time, with understanding, patience, and support, many children can adapt to co-parenting arrangements and thrive in their new family dynamics.

It’s important for parents and caregivers to be aware of these struggles and provide the necessary emotional support and communication to help children navigate these challenges. Seeking professional help, such as counseling or therapy, can be beneficial for children who are struggling to adjust to co-parenting arrangements.

How Co-Parents Can Help Children Adapt to Co-Parenting Arrangements in Canada

Co-parenting after separation or divorce can be a challenging journey, especially when children are involved. In Canada, the well-being of children is a top priority, and ensuring they adjust to co-parenting arrangements is essential. Navigating this transition requires sensitivity, communication, and a child-centered approach.

  1. Open and Honest Communication:
    Effective communication between co-parents is the cornerstone of successful co-parenting. Keep the lines of communication open and honest, discussing important decisions regarding the children’s upbringing, education, health, and extracurricular activities. Ensure that your children witness respectful conversations between both parents, as this can set a positive example for conflict resolution.
  2. Consistent Routine:
    Maintaining a consistent routine across both households can provide children with a sense of stability and predictability. Coordinate schedules for meals, bedtime, and other daily activities to minimize disruptions. This helps children feel secure in their new living arrangements and eases the transition between homes.
  3. Child-Centric Approach:
    Place your children’s needs and well-being at the center of all decisions. Consider their preferences, interests, and emotional responses when making co-parenting arrangements. Focusing on their best interests can help alleviate feelings of confusion or insecurity.
  4. Coordinated Parenting Styles:
    While parents may have different parenting styles, striving for a degree of consistency can be beneficial. Discuss discipline strategies, rules, and expectations to minimize confusion for children. Having a shared understanding of the rules across both households can create a more harmonious co-parenting experience.
  5. Avoid Negative Talk:
    Refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your children. Negative talk can cause emotional distress and confusion, leading to loyalty conflicts. Instead, encourage positive interactions and communication between your children and their other parent.
  6. Transition Support:
    Transitions between households can be challenging for children. Create a smooth transition by allowing your children to take personal items, such as a favorite toy or blanket, between homes. Plan the transfer of the children with care, ensuring they have enough time to adjust.
  7. Respect Privacy:
    Respect each other’s privacy and personal space. Encourage your children to feel comfortable discussing their experiences in both homes without fear of judgment or reprisal.
  8. Professional Support:
    Consider involving professionals, such as therapists or counselors, to help your children navigate their emotions during the co-parenting transition. These professionals can provide a safe space for children to express their feelings and concerns.
  9. Flexibility and Adaptability:
    Co-parenting arrangements may need adjustments over time as children grow and circumstances change. Be open to revisiting and modifying arrangements if they are no longer meeting the children’s needs.
  10. Self-Care for Parents:
    Taking care of yourself as a co-parent is crucial. Your emotional well-being and ability to cope with challenges directly impact your children. Prioritize self-care, seek support from friends and family, and consider joining support groups or seeking counseling if needed.

Co-parenting in Canada requires a commitment to collaboration, communication, and the well-being of children. By following these strategies, you can help your children adjust to their new living arrangements and promote a healthy and stable environment for their growth and development. Remember, while co-parenting may present challenges, the positive impact on your children’s lives is immeasurable.

How Long Does It Take for Children to Adjust to Co-Parenting Arrangements?

The time it takes for a child to adjust to co-parenting arrangements can vary widely based on factors such as the child’s age, temperament, the nature of the separation or divorce, the level of conflict between parents, and the effectiveness of the co-parenting strategies being employed. However, when both parents are committed to implementing the strategies mentioned earlier and creating a supportive environment, children generally show signs of adjustment within several months to a couple of years.

Here’s a rough breakdown by age group:

  1. Preschool-Age Children (3-5 years): Young children may adjust more quickly, as they are still developing a sense of routine and adaptability. However, they might have difficulty understanding the changes initially and may display regressive behaviors or mood swings. With consistent routines and nurturing care, they may adapt within a few months.
  2. Elementary School-Age Children (6-12 years): These children can grasp the concept of divorce and co-parenting better, but they may still struggle emotionally. With consistent communication, time, and the support of both parents, they might begin to adjust within six months to a year.
  3. Adolescents (13-18 years): Adolescents may have a more complex adjustment period due to their increased awareness of family dynamics and emotions. They might react with a mix of anger, withdrawal, and rebellion. Despite this, they can also adapt relatively quickly when given appropriate space, emotional support, and time.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all timeline for adjustment. Some children might show positive changes sooner, while others might take longer to fully adapt. The commitment of both parents to maintaining a child-centric approach, open communication, and emotional support plays a crucial role in expediting the adjustment process.

The Most Undervalued Tip For Helping Children Adjust to Co-Parenting Arrangements

Respecting each other’s privacy and the privacy of children is essential for creating a smoother transition in co-parenting arrangements. Here are some ways co-parents can achieve this:

  1. Communication Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for communication that respect each other’s personal space and time. Agree on the best methods and frequency of communication that work for both parents.
  2. Private Conversations: Avoid discussing personal matters or conflicts in front of the children. Private conversations should be kept between co-parents and not involve the children as intermediaries or witnesses.
  3. Shared Guidelines: Develop shared guidelines on what information is appropriate to share with each other about your personal lives and new relationships. This helps maintain a respectful distance while ensuring relevant information is shared.
  4. Privacy Agreements: Consider drafting privacy agreements or guidelines that outline expectations for sharing information and respecting boundaries. This can be a formalized way to set mutual expectations.
  5. Separate Spaces: If possible, create separate spaces for each parent within the home to help children adjust to the new living arrangements. This can provide a sense of privacy and ownership.
  6. Consistent Rules: While living in separate households, aim to maintain consistent rules and routines for the children. This creates stability and a sense of predictability, regardless of where they are.
  7. Child’s Perspective: Keep the child’s perspective in mind when sharing information or discussing arrangements. Only share what is necessary for the child’s well-being, and avoid involving them in adult matters.
  8. Agree on Social Media Sharing: Discuss guidelines for sharing photos and information about the children on social media. Both parents should be comfortable with what is shared online.
  9. Respect Personal Spaces: Encourage children to respect personal spaces in both households. This teaches them the importance of boundaries and privacy.
  10. Professional Support: If communication is challenging, consider involving a family therapist or mediator to help establish respectful communication and boundaries.

By prioritizing respect, open communication, and a child-centered approach, co-parents can create an environment that fosters smoother transitions and supports the well-being of everyone involved. During this time, parents should remain patient and empathetic, keeping lines of communication open with their children. Professional guidance, such as family therapy or counseling, can also accelerate the adjustment process by providing a safe space for children to express their feelings and work through any challenges they’re facing.

The Challenges of Blended Families and How to Overcome Them

The Challenges of Blended Families

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

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

The Challenge: Sibling Rivalry

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

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

The Fix:

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

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

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

The Challenge: Legal Disputes

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

The Fix:

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

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

The Challenge: Identity Confusion

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

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

The Fix:

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

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

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

The Challenge: Anger Toward New Stepparents

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

The Fix:

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

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

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

The Emotional Impact of Separation on Children: What Australian Parents Need to Know

The Emotional Impact of Separation on Children: What Australian Parents Need to Know

Separation is never easy. There are a lot of emotions. Anger, sadness, frustration, and even relief when a relationship is dissolved and you decide to finally separate—and that is just for the adults. However, often parents don’t think about the kids involved in the separation or how they might be feeling. Or worse…they try to guess how they are feeling and fix it.

First, you don’t have to “fix” it. Emotions are normal and your kids are going to have their own feelings about the separation and yes, that may even come with some blame toward you, your ex-partner and even themselves.

Second, while you shouldn’t be fixing it, neither should you just ignore it. Kids need reassurance and they need to know that things are going to get better, even if it’s not going to be the same. Supporting your kids, listening and understanding what they are going through is definitely the best way to help your kids get through this…and, surprisingly, it is often the way that we fix the pain around separation for everyone involved.

But what about your kids? While we can’t say exactly how your kids will be affected because of their individual needs and the supports in place for Australian families, we can go over some of the emotional impacts that you can see with your kids.

Emotional Impact #1: Feelings of Guilt

I’ve already touched on this but kids can feel a lot of guilt when their parents are going through divorce. It doesn’t matter their age, unless they are infants, guilt is something that often occurs because kids begin to wonder if their behaviour had anything to do with the separation. Even when parents assure kids that the separation had nothing to do with them at all, kids will still worry.

Another factor of guilt is when they spend time with the other parent and enjoy themselves. They often begin to worry that they are being unfair to the other parent by enjoying time with one or the other parent.

Guilt can lead to many other emotional impacts on kids, which is why it is the first one that we focus on. It can increase the pressure the kids feel, make them worry about minor things, increase their stress and can lead to depression for kids, regardless of their age.

Emotional Impact #2: Becoming Emotionally Sensitive

Emotional sensitivity really does affect children and manifest in children in a number of different ways. Some will act out, others will withdraw, some will cry a lot and others will simply feel overwhelmed and their anxiety can increase. Emotional sensitivity means that your kids are going to be feeling overwhelmed with all of the emotions that they are having and may react to other situations in a more sensitive manner. Things that normally didn’t bother them may suddenly bother them a great deal.

With emotional sensitivity, children are feeling a wide range of emotions from anger to confusion, fear and anxiety and they may even feel relief, especially if you and your ex-partner were fighting a lot before the separation. That last one can lead to feelings of guilt as well. It is particularly important for kids to have a safe outlet to discuss their emotions and it may not be you or your ex-partner in this case.

Emotional Impact #3: Increased Anger

Another emotional impact that kids often feel is anger and irritability. Separation means a lot of change and often very quickly. This can leave kids feeling overwhelmed and many are not sure how to deal with it. And when kids aren’t sure how to deal with a stressor, it is quite easy for them to become angry, frustrated and irritable.

Often, this anger isn’t really directed at one person but at the situation and the feelings of being overwhelmed. However, it often presents itself as being directed at someone or some things and it can be quite scary for parents dealing with the anger.

Parents should realize that anger doesn’t usually last and anger is completely normal. Letting your kids know that they can be angry, but they can’t be hurtful will help them. Getting them someone to talk to will also help them work through those feelings. One of the positives is that anger is usually short lived and for most kids, as new routines are established and they start to feel normal again, their anger will dissipate.

While these are emotional impacts, we should note that these emotional impacts can affect your child both physically and socially. Kids who are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and emotionally sensitive will have an increase of stress. Stress leads to a lot of health problems that can be both short term and long term.

In addition, these emotional impacts can affect them in how well they are adapting to change. If they are unable to adapt to change well, it can prolong the emotional impacts of separation and can lead to behavioural problems and even problems in school or with friends.

Providing them with supports right from the moment you let them know about the separation will enable them to process their emotions. This, in turn, will help them avoid many of the emotional impacts that affect children who are living through a divorce or separation. So find a good therapist for you and your kids and work through these emotions before they seem too large to overcome.

In the end, being supportive, understanding and just allowing your kids to have these emotions is a healthy step toward overcoming the negative impacts that separation can cause. And that is one of the biggest thing that Australian parents want…their kids not being negatively impacted by the decisions their parents have to make.

Support children’s educational transitions between two households after divorce in the USA

children's educational transitions

Divorce is an unfortunate reality for many American families. As parents navigate this emotional journey, their primary concern is often the wellbeing of their children. One significant aspect of this is ensuring that children’s education is not disrupted by the transition between two households. This article aims to provide strategies that can help parents in the USA support their children’s educational journey during these challenging times.

The Impact of Divorce on a Child’s Education

Divorce can have significant effects on a child’s education. It can disrupt routines, create emotional distress, and shift the focus away from academics. This is particularly true when a child is transitioning between two households. The inconsistency and lack of a stable environment can negatively impact a child’s academic performance and emotional wellbeing.

Strategies for Supporting Educational Transitions

Supporting your child’s education during and after divorce requires patience, understanding, and effective communication. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Establish Consistent Routines: Regular schedules can provide a sense of security and normalcy for children during periods of change. This includes consistent wake-up times, meal times, homework times, and bedtimes, regardless of which parent’s house they are in.
  • Create a Unified Parenting Plan: Both parents need to be on the same page when it comes to education. This includes agreement on school choice, homework habits, parent-teacher communication, and attendance at school events.
  • Use Technology to Bridge Communication Gaps: Tools like the 2houses app can help divorced parents coordinate schedules, share school-related information, and maintain clear communication.
  • Support Emotional Health: Emotional distress can interfere with academic performance. Be open and understanding, allow your child to express their feelings, and seek professional help if necessary.

Importance of Parental Cooperation

The success of educational transitions for children in divorced households largely depends on the level of cooperation between parents. This can be challenging, especially in the wake of a recent divorce. However, prioritizing the child’s needs and making efforts to maintain a peaceful co-parenting relationship can significantly reduce the impact of divorce on a child’s education.

Deep Dive into Strategies

The above mentioned strategies provide a roadmap for parents navigating their child’s education between two households. Let’s delve deeper into each of these strategies and understand their importance:

Establish Consistent Routines

Consistency provides a sense of security and predictability for children. During a tumultuous period like a divorce, this becomes even more critical. Here’s how you can maintain consistent routines:

Homework Routine: Designate a specific time and place for homework in each house. Make sure this space is quiet and free from distractions.

Reading Habit: Encourage a regular reading habit. This not only aids in their academics but also serves as a relaxing activity that can alleviate stress.

Bedtime Routine: Regular sleep is essential for a child’s physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive function. Ensure a consistent bedtime routine is followed in both households.

Create a Unified Parenting Plan

A unified parenting plan is a written agreement where you and your ex-spouse commit to a set of guidelines about your children’s upbringing. A few points to consider:

  • Education Goals: Discuss and agree on what educational goals you have for your children. This includes preferences for public or private schooling, college planning, and approach to handling academic challenges.
  • Parent-Teacher Communication: Both parents should remain equally involved in their child’s academic life. This includes attending parent-teacher meetings, staying informed about school activities, and tracking academic progress.
  • Homework and Study Approach: Make sure both parents have a consistent approach to homework and study time. This can include rules about TV or electronic device use, methods for assisting with challenging subjects, and incentives for good grades.

Use Technology to Bridge Communication Gaps

Technology can serve as a critical tool to streamline communication and coordination between two households:

Scheduling: Use tools like the 2houses calendar to coordinate schedules, track school events, and manage pickup and drop-off times.

Document Sharing: Share school reports, permission slips, and other important documents digitally. This ensures both parents have access to all necessary information.

Messaging: Use a dedicated messaging platform to discuss school-related matters. This keeps communication focused and reduces potential conflict.

Support Emotional Health

Supporting your child’s emotional health during a divorce is just as important as maintaining their academic routine. Here are a few ways to do this:

Open Communication: Allow your child to express their feelings about the divorce and the changes it brings. Be a good listener and reassure them that both parents love them unconditionally.

Counseling Support: Consider engaging a child therapist or counselor to provide professional emotional support and coping strategies.

Maintain Positivity: Keep a positive attitude towards your ex-spouse, especially in front of the children. This reduces their stress and helps them adjust more easily to the new living arrangements.

By delving deeper into these strategies, it’s evident that maintaining educational continuity for children in divorced households is a multi-faceted task. It requires effort, understanding, and cooperation from both parents. However, the result is well worth it, providing your child with a stable, supportive environment where they can thrive acadically. Remember, the goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible for your child, allowing them to focus on their education and personal growth.

Building a Support Network

In addition to the strategies mentioned above, it’s vital to remember that you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. Building a support network can provide additional assistance and resources during this challenging time:

Extended Family: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins can provide additional emotional support and assist with practical matters such as transportation to and from school.

Teachers and School Counselors: Keep them informed about your family situation so they can provide extra support and understanding at school.

Support Groups and Online Communities: Connect with other divorced parents who are going through similar experiences. They can offer advice, empathy, and encouragement.

Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed. This could include a family therapist, child psychologist, or a legal professional specializing in family law.


Divorce is undoubtedly challenging, but with the right approach, it’s possible to minimize its impact on your child’s education. Remember, this is a journey of cooperation and understanding – both parents must work together to provide the best possible educational environment for their children. By doing so, you can ensure that your child continues to thrive acadically, despite the changes in their personal life.

We hope this guide has provided some helpful strategies for supporting children’s educational transitions between two households after divorce. For more advice on navigating the challenges of co-parenting, check out our other blog articles.

Helping Your Child Adjust to Living in Two Households after Divorce/Separation

Living in Two Households after Divorce

Divorce or separation can be difficult for both parents and children. It is incredibly challenging for children who must adjust to living in two different households. As a parent, you must provide your child with the support they need during this transition.

A divorce or separation can help your child adjust to living in two households by using joint custody and parenting time. By creating a shared parenting plan that outlines each parent’s responsibilities, you can ensure that your child gets quality time with both of their parents. Other co-parenting tips can help you create a positive environment for your child while they adjust to living in dual households.

How to Help Your Child Adjust to Life in Two Separate Homes

Your child may find it challenging to live in two homes. However, with the correct support systems and coping mechanisms, they may manage the change and live happily in both homes. Having duplicate items in both houses, allowing your children to have their own space, maintaining a routine in each home, and having a predictable schedule for meals, homework, playtime, and bedtime are other ways to help them cope happily in two homes.

These methods and safety nets help establish routine and predictability in each home. Be optimistic and considerate of your co-parents’ time with your children. Make the transitions as seamless and straightforward as possible.

Please do not ask your children to spy on their other parents or serve as a liaison between their two houses. Find a reliable channel for communication between you and your co-parent. Supporting your children living together in other people’s homes is crucial.

Creating Positive Routines for Both Households

Routines for Divorced Families

Consistent routines are highly crucial for divorce children in divided homes. Consistency fosters security, decreases worry, and fosters positive habits and limits. Practices provide stability by allowing youngsters to acquire mastery and enjoy doing their tasks autonomously. Routines alleviate stress by delaying brain and physical growth. Routines also teach positive habits and establish limits.

Parents must put aside differences when it comes to maintaining a uniform pattern across families for their children’s health. Morning routines, after-school routines, and sleep rituals are all equally vital. Sleep routines are critical for your child’s general health and well-being.

Co-Parenting Strategies

It allows kids to fall asleep sooner, return to sleep more readily, and enhances their parents’ emotions. It is critical to consider the pattern of bathing, brushing teeth, and putting on pajamas while establishing a consistent evening routine across two houses.

It is also essential to explain to the children the penalties and incentives for following the rules. Home is the most conducive environment for developing long-term behaviors and embracing the ideas of consequences, limits, and rewards. Make every effort to maintain ritual and regularity wherever possible so your children feel safe and comfortable even in times of change.

Family Therapy Ideas

Mental health is as essential as physical health, and spending time with yourself may help you balance your life. Mental Health America provides tools that allow anyone to live a better life. Plan once a week to jot down five things you would like to include in your self-care routine that week, find something you enjoy and incorporate one or more of these into your life, and reward yourself if you stick to your self-care routine.

How to Talk About Divorce & Co-parenting with Your Kids

Parents should discuss divorce with their children. Parents of young children should stick to routines, be consistent with rules and expectations, and lavish their children with additional attention. Teens should have open, calm dialogues with their parents, encourage emotional responses, and set high standards for their conduct. For all children, their parents’ message should be straightforward and uncomplicated, avoiding confusing details that can lead youngsters to feel they need to fix the issue or are the reason for the divorce. Children may have conflicting emotions in response to the news, so listening to and observing their responses is vital.

It may not startle older children, but it is worthwhile to provide youngsters with several opportunities to ask questions and voice their concerns. Ensure your children understand they are secure by encouraging them to be open about their feelings and validate whatever they are experiencing. The most significant facts in this work are the measures to help youngsters deal with divorce. These measures include being straightforward and honest and ensuring they are secure and cherished. Be upfront about what will change in their daily lives and prepare them beforehand.

Reduce disturbances to their regular routines and help them deal with their emotions. Keep their needs in mind and be as engaged in their lives as possible. Make sure your children understand that it is not their fault. They should also know that the issue is between their parents and that it is not their responsibility to resolve it.

How to Get Support for Yourself as a Parent during a Divorce

Separated parents must collaborate to help their children overcome life’s challenges. Numerous organizations provide online forums where you may meet other people going through a divorce or separation. These people are local to you.

See 2houses for more information about single-parent organizations that provide support and can help you create your own if no groups exist in your area. They may also assist via a variety of channels. Please go here to learn more about the benefits and assistance you may need.

When a parenting plan has been created, and you work out the details with the other parent, your child can adjust to living in two households. It is a necessity that both parents are willing to work together to raise their children in a positive environment, even after divorce or separation. Open communication, honesty, and patience with your child will make it easier for them when they adjust to living in two households. As a parent, you can use these co-parenting tips during this ordeal.

Overall, creating a positive environment for your child during this transition is vital. It will improve your relationship with your child and strengthen your relationship with their other parents. By working together to create a shared parenting plan, you can resolve disputes more efficiently and give your children the support they need to adjust to living in two households after divorce or separation.

Helping Your Children Adjust to a Separation: Strategies for Australian Parents

Help Your Children Adjust to a Separation

Separation isn’t easy. Not for the parents working through the separation. Not for the kids who have a wide range of emotions and their own fears. It is difficult and many children find it difficult to adjust to the separation. But that is a universal truth that is found around the world, including in Australia. After all Australian kids can struggle with the separation and subsequent divorce, but Australian parents can provide them with the support they need to adjust. They just need the right strategies, which is what this article is all about — the right strategies for Australian parents to help their kids adjust to separation. But first, let’s start with some important truths.

The Truths About Children and Separation

Before we launch into the strategies, the first step for Australian parents is to understand that there are several truths they need to understand. These are:

  1. Children will grieve. No matter how supportive we are as parents, this is a major change for everyone, including the kids. And when we have major change, people go through feelings of loss and grief. This is natural and it is okay for kids to feel this way. Don’t discourage these feelings but talk to your child about them. Let them voice the loss they are feeling, or show you that loss in other ways if they are not verbal. The best way to move through that grief is to allow your kids to process it without fear or shame.
  2. Children often misbehave to let their parents know they are hurting. With young kids, this can present as temper tantrums. With teens, it can present as running away or dangerous behaviours.
  3. Children can blame themselves. Sometimes kids don’t let parents know they are thinking this but it’s important to check in with your kids and talk to them about how the separation is not their fault.

Starting from a place of understanding with your kids will help you create better strategies for supporting them during the adjustment from one home to two houses. But let’s look at those strategies.

Do Remember the Positive Memories

When kids are adjusting, they need to remember the good times, especially since the bad times are probably the most recent memories for them. Don’t hesitate to talk about those times before but make sure that you don’t make them think that things will go back to those times. Instead, focus on how you can create new memories together that will be just as good as the past ones.

By doing this, you can help your kids see that the past is good and that the future will be as well. And when you focus on the past, you teach your kids that, even when things look bad, there are still good things to cherish.

Don’t Put Your Kids in the Middle

Remember the good is great but don’t use it as a way to get your kids to pick sides. And definitely don’t put them in the middle of arguments. If you are having issues, keep that between the adults. Don’t ask your kids to pick sides and never use those good memories as ways to get the kids on your sides. Instead, create a rule with your ex-partner that the dissolution of the marriage is only discussed when the kids are not there to avoid arguments. Kids don’t need to know how the house finances are being split, or the reasons behind the split, they just need to know that they have two caring parents who are trying their best to make sure that they are there for their kids no matter what.

Do Create Similar Routines

Kids need stability and a schedule and this is particularly important when they are trying to adjust to a separation. While some changes to the schedule will be inevitable, you can try to keep some things the same, especially between houses. Talk to your co-parent and set up a schedule that stays the same between houses. When kids know what to expect on their day, they can adjust to the separation much faster then if they don’t.

Don’t have Different Rules

This goes back to routines and is often something that is seen hand in hand with scheduling, but it should be pointed out as it is so important for kids to learn to adjust—always have the same rules. If kids are not allowed to have screens an hour before bed at mom’s house, then the same should be followed at dad’s house. If kids can’t go to hang out with certain friends at dad’s house, then the same rule should be followed at mom’s.

When you separate, it is important to set out rules that you and your ex-partner want to keep with the kids and apply them to both homes. When kids have that predictability, they can adjust to change much faster than those who have no predictability in their rules and structures.

Do Nurture Communication with your Ex-Partner

This is especially important when it comes to co-parenting. Kids need to see positive communication between their parents. They need to understand that both parents know what is going on as it will show them that they are important. And it will show them that no matter what, having effective communication will help overcome some of those harder issues that may face throughout life.

Don’t Fight with your Ex-Partner in Front of your Kids

Communication is hard, especially during a separation or divorce and it can be quite easy to slip into arguments with your ex-partner. It is particularly important that you do not argue in front of the kids for several reasons. First, kids may internally take the blame for the argument. This can hurt their confidence and cause more stress and anxiety for them. Second, it can cause the child to feel that they need to take sides. Third, it makes your kids feel that if they show love to one parent or the other, they will be saying that they are picking sides. And this can lead to feelings of isolation for the kids, which only hinders their adjustment to the separation. If you are unable to discuss things with your ex-partner without fighting or arguing, choose a mediator or a mediation app like 2houses.

The main point to remember is that communication, establishing routines and rules and giving your children emotional support are all things that will help them adjust. In the end, all kids are looking for is affirmation that they are still important and still loved no matter whether their family is living between two houses or one.

Keeping Your Child’s Best Interests in Mind: Why it is so Important for Co-Parenting


You have probably read many of our other articles on co-parenting and are familiar with the phrase “best interests”. We use it often, as do the courts, and anyone else involved in the health and well-being of children whose parents are going through a separation or divorce. In fact, you may have even said those words yourself when discussing the needs of your child.

Because the fact is no matter how much conflict was present in the separation or divorce, both you and your ex-partner want what is in the best interests of your children. In this article, we will go over why this is important for co-parenting.

What Does Best Interests Mean to Co-Parents?

What best interests mean to co-parents can vary from co-parenting couple to co-parenting couple; however, most agree with the general psychological definition of what best interests is. For most co-parents, best interests means that children will have their essential needs met. In addition, both co-parents will make sure the children feel loved and are free to love each parent. Another idea that is incorporated into the meaning is that children are allowed to grow and develop in healthy ways, which can be difficult during a separation or divorce. Finally, best interests means that even with two homes, children can reach their full potential. In a nutshell, these are really why it is so important for co-parents to keep best interests in mind.

What Does Best Interests Mean to the Courts?

Legally, best interests of the child is a legal term that judges use to decide on the standard of a co-parenting arrangement. Where you live can affect what those standards are and it can shift slightly from judge to judge. If you are heading into any family court cases with co-parenting, be aware of the standards for best interests in your area so you and your ex-partner can come up with a co-parenting plan that reflects those standards.

Generally, the best interests of the children will make sure that the physical and emotional well-being of the child are being met and that they are receiving protection for their mental, emotional and physical state. Their needs such as food, shelter, clothing need to be met in addition to other standards the local court will use. This can also affect visitation and living arrangements if the courts deem contact with one parent is not in the best interest of the child.

Best Interest Allows You to Work through Conflicts

One of the most important things that you can do as co-parents is avoid conflicts or deal with them efficiently when you have them. Agreeing to approach all conflicts with the best interests of your children in mind will help you work through those conflicts in an easier manner. 

Even if you are having a difficult time working through a conflict, when you keep your child’s best interest in mind, you can avoid a lot of arguments in front of the child. By keeping your conflicts to the 2houses app, or when the child can’t overhear, you can help nurture and protect their emotional and mental well-being. 

Best Interest Allows Your Children to Thrive

This ties into the last point but when you focus on best interests, you are able to make decisions that will help your child thrive, even if it is upsetting to you as a parent. It also allows you to be respectful to your co-parent in a lot of different ways. This is particularly important when you look at visitation time; with your child’s best interest in mind, you can simply allow them to enjoy that time with a well-loved parent without cutting into that time with texts and other distractions. This one on one time is very important for children to thrive and feel loved and supported. 

Best Interests Allows You and Your Ex-Partner to Co-Parent Efficiently

As mentioned already, keeping your child’s best interests in mind will help you in many ways as co-parents. You can avoid conflicts, respect time with the children, and you can co-parent efficiently. So why does this happen? Well, the main reason is that you are less likely to fight about the little things. Instead, you will approach things in a more logical manner that takes out your or your co-parent’s ego. There will be decisions that need to be made that don’t take either of you into account and that is okay.

When you can approach co-parenting in this manner, you find ways to work together. You limit interactions if you need to and keep it to an app such as 2houses, or you work with mediators. If you can interact, you look at it as a relationship that orbits your children completely and it makes it easier to leave those negative emotions on the shelf where they belong.  

Best Interests Puts Your Children First and Above both of You

Finally, when your children come first and above both of you, they really do thrive. This doesn’t mean ignoring your needs, it just means that your kids’ needs are met first and then you look after your own. When kids feel supported, loved, and have a healthy co-parenting relationship nourishing and meeting their needs and wants, they can focus on just being kids, regardless of how stressful the initial separation or divorce was. 

In the end, keeping the best interests of your children in mind is beneficial to everyone in the co-parenting arrangement. You, your ex-partner and your children will feel more secure in the relationship and you’ll find that you are able to build trust and mutual respect for your co-parent since you both have the same goal—making sure your children thrive. 

Parental Divorce and The Consequences for Children

Parental Divorce and The Consequences for Children

Choosing to divorce or separate is never without its complications. There are often unique elements to this choice for every couple, with varying degrees of emotional, financial, and lifestyle impacts depending on your circumstances.

However, children are one key factor that undercuts this choice for everyone. It’s no secret that the choice to separate or divorce can profoundly impact your child’s growth, and may play a key role in how they develop into an adult.

This can be a paralyzing reality that many couples face when they choose to divorce or separate. Often leading to anxiety about how to best prepare, support, and nurture your child through this foundational change in your child’s, and your own lives.

Today we’ll be exploring the consequences of divorce or separation for children. Specifically, we’ll be taking a research and academic-based approach, to equip you with the information you need to make this transition in a healthy and supportive manner.

Do Not Fear the Headlines – The Truth About the Consequences

It’s vital that we first outline an important piece of information, before exploring the consequences a divorce or separation can have on your child. The important word in that sentence is “can”. 

When parents research this topic, it is very easy to become alarmed. The truth is, there are many different aspects of your child’s life, growth, and personality that can be shaped by divorce or separation.

Yet, as is outlined in a wide range of academic papers on the subject, including “The Impact of Parental Divorce on Children’s Educational Attainment, Marital Timing, and Likelihood of Divorce” by Verna M. Keith and Barbara Finlay, these effects are merely more likely.

Unpacking The Statistics: An Example Dissected

To provide an example: Research has shown that children who have divorced or separated parents are more likely to be prone to mental illness later in life.

On the surface, that’s an alarming piece of information. Until you learn that the increase is merely a few percent. Meaning only a fraction of children with divorced or separated parents has suffered this consequence.

When reading the consequences below, you must keep this reality of statistics in mind. Your child may suffer none of these effects. They may not suffer these effects as a result of your divorce or separation either. 

The overwhelming majority of research into this subject has underlined one key factor to a child’s future after divorce. If they have love, support, and a strong connection with their parents, then they have everything they need to grow into perfectly healthy adults.

Emotional Consequences

A divorce or separation will have many immediate emotional effects on your child. This may be the first time your child is faced with a range of emotions, especially depression, stress, and anxiety. Because of this, there is a range of emotional consequences that can present themselves.


Children often lack the introspective tools adults rely on to process a significant change in their lifestyles, such as a divorce or separation. Yet, research has shown that children will often become introspective regardless.

Because they are ill-equipped to properly process this sudden introspection, this can manifest itself as depression. It is common for children to blame themselves, and think they played a key role in their parent’s divorce.

In the long-term, research has reflected that children of divorce suffer a higher rate of depression in adult life.

Anxiety & Stress

Both anxiety and stress will be the most present consequence your child faces on an emotional level, as the result of a divorce or separation. If your child is under the age of eight, this is likely the first time they’ve experienced these two emotions as well.

Your child will likely become hyper-focused on the smaller parts of life. What’s for breakfast? Do I get a juice box? Can I play with my toys later? What are you doing?

Questions like this, whilst innocent on the surface (And expected from almost any child) are a sign your child is stressing out, or anxious, over small details. These questions will likely become more frequent as a result.

Lifestyle Consequences

Tackling lifestyle consequences is difficult, due to the broad nature of our lives. No two lives are the same, and the consequences your child will face as a result will differ. Yet, there is one key consequence that the vast majority of children will face as the result of a divorce or separation.

Two Homes – How to Adjust?

This is a complex topic, and we highly recommend you read our more in-depth article exploring this in more detail. However, we can provide some small insight into how to better handle this reality in the short term.

Honest and open communication is the key to helping your child adapt to suddenly having two homes. Simply be upfront with them, explain the situation, and provide your child with their own space in each home.

In the long term, our article goes into more detail. However, there are no research-based findings that suggest any lasting negative effects as a result of this lifestyle change.

Behavioral Consequences

Perhaps the most explored area of research for the consequences faced by children of divorce is behavioral consequences. This is primarily a result of how children, especially before their teenage years, primarily communicate.

As parents, we will be attuned to the behavior of our children. A shift in their typical behavior is easy to spot, and research has shown that a majority of children will present drastic shifts in their behavior in the short term.

These consequences include:

  • Sudden destructive behavior,
  • Arguing,
  • Shouting, temper problems, or tantrums,
  • Lashing out physically,
  • Being quiet, not wanting to be around others,
  • Crying.

These behavioral consequences are to be expected in the short term. Your child will be struggling with complex emotions. Research has shown that in the long term if left unchecked, this can lead to anger problems, depression, anxiety disorders, as well as a range of other mental illnesses.

In Conclusion

The consequences faced by children of divorce are diverse and complex. Presenting what can often feel like an impossible quandary at an already difficult time. Whilst the statistical likelihood of your child developing long-term negative effects is small, that likelihood still exists.

Thankfully, this reality is not without its silver lining. Now equipped with a broader understanding of the short-term and long-term consequences a divorce or separation can have on a child, you have the tools you need to provide support for this drastic change in your child’s life.

For more in-depth analysis on many of these topics, we highly recommend you browse our wealth of information on this topic. 

The Effects of Divorce on Children’s Behaviour

The Effects of Divorce on Children’s Behaviour

Navigating through a divorce or separation with your partner is nothing short of anxiety-inducing. It is often a process of untangling two economically and emotionally connected lives. Yet, the complexity of this process is confounded when children are involved.

It’s no secret that a divorce or separation can have profound effects on a child’s behaviour. No matter how the divorce or separation is handled, it’s impossible to predict how your child will react, or change, as a result of the decision.

Thankfully, this situation doesn’t have to be without its level of control. Research has shown that understanding how your child’s behaviour may change beforehand can significantly help you mitigate behavioural problems that arise.

Join us today as we outline and explore the most common behavioural changes a child can present as a result of divorce or separation.

Take In the Bigger Picture – First-Year Problems

Working through a divorce or separation can often put us in a hyperactive mindset. We become extremely problem-focused, to rebuild the foundation beneath our lives. Whilst we all experience this differently, it is extremely common for this attitude to cross over to problems our child may be facing.

This is a mistake in the first year of a divorce or separation.

Children of all ages, even into their teenage years, will have difficulty adapting to such a large change in their sociological structure. Your child may be experiencing extreme stress, depression, or anxiety for the first time in their life.

Because of this, changes in their behaviour during this period will be erratic. You will likely see your child act in ways you’ve never witnessed before.

We are absolutely not saying you need to distance yourself from your child going through this. Provide them with the same love and support you always would.

Simply acknowledge that this time will be difficult for everyone, and isn’t a reflection of any long-term effects.

Let’s instead delve into the more common long-term behavioural changes that children experiencing their parent’s divorce or separation often exhibit.

The Most Common Effects of Divorce or Separation on Children’s Behaviour

There are many long-term effects a divorce or separation can have on your child’s behaviour in the long-term. Here is a selection of the most common behavioural changes that can manifest:

Anger and Irritability

Divorce and separation will be overwhelming to most children, especially when they are younger. This can cause, in the long-term, a tendency to express themselves with anger or general irritability.

This will likely not be due to an overwhelming external cause, but instead over small hiccups in daily life. You may notice your child is more prone to arguing with you, shouting, or generally being upset over small inconveniences.

Studies into adolescent behaviour of divorced parents show that, later in life, anger issues can often become engrained.  

Emotionally Sensitive

A somewhat subtle behavioural change is emotional sensitivity for children with divorced or separated parents. Children, in general, are emotionally sensitive to begin with, so it’s no surprise that this can often fly under the radar.

If you notice your child having a more muted, or explosive emotional response than normal, this is likely a sign they are emotionally sensitive.

Research into this behaviour reveals it is most commonly derived from anxiety. Children, especially teenagers, often are not well-equipped to deal with anxiety. This causes internal emotional turmoil, most often expressed externally as emotional sensitivity.

Prone to Sickness

Whilst it may be surprising to hear, studies have shown that children of divorce or separation have a higher perceptibility to general illness. There is a wide range of medical factors at play here, but the most likely culprits are stress, depression, anxiety, and difficulty with sleep.


Jumping off from our last point, we should talk about insomnia. Academic studies into insomnia have noted that adults with divorced parents have a higher likelihood to develop the condition later in life.

The majority (<70%) of adult insomnia patients expressed that they had difficulty sleeping when they were younger. Especially through the years following their parent’s divorce or separation.

In Conclusion

We know that seeing these effects spelled out so plainly can feel overwhelming, even daunting, to conceptualize when it comes to understanding how your child may be affected by divorce or separation.

However, it’s vital that you know that there is no guarantee that any, or all, of these behavioural effects, will manifest in your child. Every kid is different, and with a loving and supportive household, there is no reason to think any of these effects will take root.

Yet, if they do, you have already equipped yourself with the foresight to tackle these problems when they arise. Remember, there is always support out there for you and your child, no matter the problems you face.

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.