Divorcing Someone With Mental Illness – What You Need To Know

Divorcing Someone With Mental Illness

Divorce has never been easy. It involves going through tremendous amounts of pain, struggling with mental and physical health, managing other aspects of divorce when you have no energy left. It can strike even worse to the people who are already suffering from mental health issues. For such people, the process can be a little more complicated but remember that there is always the light at the end of the tunnel. And it all gets better with time.

If you’re divorcing a spouse with mental illness, it changes the whole negotiation process and, in some cases, it might get really hard to come to reasonable negotiations. While you’re at it, you could use some tips to make it as smooth as you can. Let’s hear it out:

Tips To Follow When You’re Divorcing Someone With Mental Illness

There are so many things that you need to keep in mind. We have tried to narrow down our list to few tips that prove to be the most effective:

Do Not Try To Change The Person

Well, the one thing that’s definitely not going to work is changing the person with mental illness. You can try to make amends in yourself, your actions, and your divorce process, but you don’t mess up with theirs. Mental issues are something that doesn’t go away that quickly. You have to understand their concerns and take your next step accordingly. If there are a lot of issues in their approaches, you must seek professional help.

Wait For Them To Be In Their Right Mind

People with mental illness have their ups and downs. They have their bad days and good days. So, never ever make a move when their mental state is highly unstable. Instead, wait for them to reach the state of mind when they are able to think clearly. That is the time when they will be able to make reasonable decisions. Therefore, never rush things when you’re divorcing someone mentally ill. Always choose the best time for talking to them.

Do Not Feel Guilty About Yourself

Poor mental health may affect a relationship a lot. You might want to be there for your partner, but sometimes it consumes you all. Then comes the time when you get tired and want an out. Let us assure you that it is okay to feel that way. It is okay to look for your own happiness instead of giving someone your all. So, if you face the feelings of guilt, failure, and loneliness, do not forget to remind yourself that your mental health is important too and that you have the right to be happy no matter what. If that takes moving out of the marriage, so be it.

Keep The Divorce Process Friendly

No matter how complicated the situation gets, always try your best to keep things friendly from your end – especially if you have children to look after. Do not fight over unnecessary details and try to make reasonable agreements with your spouse. Keep their mental situation in mind while you do that. Go for some other more friendly divorce alternatives if you can. It’s okay if you have to lose a thing or two, but make sure the divorce process is easy on both of you.

Starting The Divorce Process

When you’re filing or starting the divorce, you must mention and state the “grounds” for divorce or reasons for the separation – and mental health concerns of your spouse can be one. If you are divorcing your spouse on the faults grounds, you must provide proof of abuse, negles, ignorance, incurable mental illness, infidelity, abandonment, or other fault factors allowed and recognized by your state as the grounds for divorce.

Obtaining a no-fault divorce, on the other hand, is typically a simpler process and doesn’t require you to prove the cause of your divorce. Virtually every state recognizes “no fault” grounds where a couple can simply plead that irreconcilable differences led to the marriage’s breakdown.

However, if you’re seeking a divorce due to a spouse’s severe mental health issues, you may want to file for a fault-based divorce. In certain circumstances, you could be entitled to a larger share of marital assets or a higher support award if you’re able to prove your spouse’s mental health issues caused the marriage’s breakdown. If you’re unsure whether a fault or no-fault divorce is right for you, contact a local family law attorney for advice.

Can Your Spouse’s Mental Illness Prevent You From Obtaining Divorce?

Mental illness can be a legal defense against some of the criminal charges but these rules are not applicable as far as divorce cases are concerned. Your divorce is not assessed on the basis of mental illness of your spouse. Neither you nor your spouse can avoid a certain divorce by pleading mental health issues. Nevertheless, a person going through mental illness may be entitled to some additional privileges and protection under the law especially if the respective spouse is residing in the mental health facility. There are many states in Canada where a judge will appoint a guardian to represent a spouse who has impairing mental health issues or is housed in a mental health facility to ensure that the ill spouse’s legal interests are protected and ideally represented in a divorce.

Mental Illness & Child Custody

A mentally ill person may lose their parental rights due to mental illness under extreme conditions. If the court feels that a parent’s mental illness is affecting the child’s health or well-being or if they feel that the child’s best interest requires them to be removed from their custody, only then one’s parent’s right might be terminated.

Below-mentioned conditions can lead to the termination of one’s parental rights:

  • The parent has not been able to be present for their children due to mental illness.
  • The parent is not able to provide for their children’s needs due to mental illness..
  • The child has been removed from the parent’s care due to mental health concerns in the past and legal expectations have not been met.

Even the persons who are proactively treating their mental illness and have been able to maintain good health, they will be treated the same as the person with mental illness in the court. In general, having a mental illness won’t jeopardize child custody without any reasonable cause.

Just keep in mind that there is no single factor that can determine the result of a custody case. And therefore, your mental health issues won’t necessarily strengthen or weaken your case. On the contrary, a judge will evaluate your family’s overall circumstances to determine the custody of your child. And they will make decisions according to your child’s best interest.

Your mental health issues can be one of various factors that a judge might keep in mind while making a decision in your case. Here are some factors that can be looked upon by a judge to determine your custody case:

  • the child’s need, how developed the child is, and the child’s age
  • the kind of relationship child shares with each of the parent
  • The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs and provide a good life
  • The age of each parent and their physical and emotional health
  • How well the child adjusts to the school and community
  • The kind of relationship child shares with siblings and extended family members
  • History of domestic violence by either parent
  • The willingness of each parent to allow a relationship between the child and the child’s other parent, and
  • any other relevant factor.

These were some of the many factors that a judge might consider before giving you the custody of the child. Parents with more severe mental health issues may face greater obstacles to obtaining custody. Also, your family’s living environment and unique circumstances may also affect your custody case. The idea is to protect the rights and best interests of the child.

How To Protect Your Mental Health During Divorce?

The entire process of divorce can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining. It jeopardizes your overall well-being, no matter if you’re mentally ill or not. Therefore, it is very important that you reach out to the therapists or your loved ones for the emotional support you might need at the moment. At the same time, keep a healthy diet, work out whenever you can, and take a walk into nature when you’re feeling low or lost. Maintaining good sleeping patterns and meditating will also help.

7 Useful Road Trip Travel Tips for Single Parents with Kids

Road Trip Travel Tips for Single Parents with Kids

Today the notion of traveling exceeds beyond just the boundaries of fun and adventure. It acts as an anchor to bond with your close ones, finding time for yourself and rejuvenate. Today, a large percentage of single parents are choosing to travel with their kids to fill the gaps and discover a new dimension of family bonding. But easier said than done, traveling with kids can be challenging as a single parent. You will have to take care of a range of responsibilities. To avoid hassles and unnecessary troubles, consider these seven practical travel tips to make the most of your time with your upcoming tour!

1.   Set Your Tour Expectations Right

New parents do not have much experience in managing kids when out for a tour. But the task even gets challenging when you are a single parent and trying, and the journey is long. The biggest mistake is comparing the tour expectations with your travel experience in the past. It is important to set each expectation by keeping the kids in mind. It will ensure you enjoy the tour to the fullest and neither you nor your kids are disappointed.

2.   Involve Your Kids into the Plan

Traveling with children will add to your responsibilities and accountabilities. Some responsibilities like taking care of their health, dealing with the chattering, miscellaneous tantrums are inevitable. While you make up your mind to deal with them all by yourself, you can just have a chat with them about the trip. This way, they shall feel a sense of responsibility. They might even cooperate with you a little if you are lucky!

3.   Add A Little Fun and Free Up Space with a Roof Rack

The more spacious the cargo, the better the trip! There is a range of car accessories out there available today. You can use them to make your road trip a lot more fun! The 4runner roof rackis one of the accessories that you should consider getting installed on your vehicle. It is a lightweight, robust weight rack that extends the flexibility of your cargo. Once attached to the roof, you can store or keep any accessory you want in its slots.

Setting up a tent right at the top of your car is also a brilliant way to clean up a lot of space in the cargo. This will make things easy for you and your kids. You do not have to cut down on the options of carrying luggage for the kids.

4.   Take Care of Travel Sickness

As per surveys, car sicknesses are the foremost concerns parents have when traveling with kids. Many kids are prone to this problem, and it is unavoidable most of the time. So you should be well-prepared. Drivers or front seat users are less likely to get sick. This is because the one engaged in motor skills rarely feels sick, and also, the front section undergoes less bouncing movement.

Motion sickness is more common among back-seat passengers and especially kids. So, you can travel with a couple of disposable bags and some nausea preventive edibles. These can include some peppermint candies, lime juice, and any safe medication.

5.   Indulge Them in Offline Games!

The concept of traveling existed and was cherished long before the emergence of cell phones or tablets. Today’s kids grow up amidst technology. The drive can be an excellent opportunity to take your kid’s eyes off the digital screen. You can plan or arrange for some cool car games that they can play comfortably in the back seat. Alphabet games, card games, memory games, musicals can serve just perfectly to keep the kids entertained and busy!

6.   Take Frequent Breaks

Do not forget that your kids do not have the same capacity as you have while traveling. They are more engrossed in the nitty-gritty of the tour than just reaching the destination. Kids tend to get bored very quickly or begin to feel tired. Hence, single parents should take frequent breaks.

If you are traveling somewhere far and using the highways, you will find many roadside attractions or restaurants. The small breaks might add up a little time to your journey, but they’ll be worth it. You can rest assured that this little trick shall add to the excitement of your kids. Parks, restaurants, pools, lakes, supermarkets are some of the examples that you can consider for your stop-by option!

7.   Keep Fast Food at Bay

People often tend to pick up fast food when they hit the road for a long trip. The casual eatery chains are abundant and affordable when on the way. They are delicious, easy to carry and eat! But, when traveling with kids, they can also get you in trouble. It is not a good idea to load the little tummies with processed or junk food. This can often make them feel nauseous in a long journey. In the worst scenarios, it can make them sick, which you do not want! The best is to replace junk food with home-cooked dry snacks, fruits, and health drinks!

Final Thoughts

Health professionals suggest that traveling can have many positive impacts on budding minds. Thus, traveling has become common practice in single-parent families. It helps to provide the young members the joy, excitement, and lifestyle they truly deserve. Even if you are new to your single parenting role, the above tips will navigate you through the first road trip with your children.

Co-Parenting an Autistic Child: Everything You Need to Know

Co-Parenting an Autistic Child: Everything You Need to Know

Raising a child with autism can be both challenging and rewarding. 

Research shows that 1 in 54 children has autism spectrum disorder. Children with autism experience the world in a number of different ways. Many of them experience their parents’ separation and feel overwhelmed. 

Co-parenting an autistic child does not have to be a burden. You just need to familiarize yourself with strategies for helping autistic children. Then, you can adapt your strategies to your new life. 

It’s important to get the facts you need to help the children in your care. Here is your quick guide. 

Explaining a Separation 

Many children struggle to understand why their parents are getting a divorce. They feel upset, or they may want to be alone in order to process the news. 

Children with autism are no different. You should loop them in on what is going on.

Children with autism are perceptive and introspective. They just express and process information in different ways. 

Practice what you are going to say in advance. You can write notes or record a video rehearsing your thoughts. 

Both parents should tell the child that a separation is occurring. If you each talk to the child individually, you each may provide conflicting information. You should both show that you will support your child for the rest of your lives. 

Remain calm and clear as you’re talking. Do not cast blame on the other parent, and do not frame the separation as being one parent’s initiative. Explain that you both want something different in life. 

Your child may have many questions. Answer them. Assure them that they are not the cause of the separation. 

You can use a social story to help them understand. This is especially good for younger children or non-verbal individuals. 

However, do not talk down to your child. Put things in age-appropriate terms. 

Your child may react in a number of different ways. They may laugh or smile, or they may not show emotions at all. Be prepared for any reaction and provide calming activities for them after you have your conversation. 

Negotiating Custody

While you are negotiating custody, keep things as normal for your child as possible. Both parents should try to live in the same house. If that’s not an option, both parents should contact the child every day. 

Most separations result in joint custody. Joint custody has many advantages, including that it keeps a child in contact with both parents.

If you were not in an abusive relationship, you should opt for some sort of joint measure. This will give a good structure for your entire family. 

You can tell your child informal updates on how things are going, but don’t burden them with details. Keep them focused on school, friends, and therapy. 

Update their therapist, doctor, teacher, and support staff about your separation. It is essential that all of you are on the same page. You do not have to give details, but explain why your child may be unwilling to participate in activities. 

If your child is a teenager, keep in mind their rights during the separation process. Most states allow negotiators and judges to consider their wishes for custody and visitation. 

While deciding upon child support, make sure you talk over terms for your child’s therapy. Everything should be provided for in the plan.


If your child needs significant help from both of you, a bird-nesting arrangement can work. In bird-nesting, the child stays in one home.

Then, the co-parents rotate living in that home based on their custody arrangement. While one co-parent lives in the family home, the other lives in another property. 

You can also arrange to have both co-parents stay in the same home but in different parts of the house. This provides maximum continuity for a child with autism. 

You can also use bird-nesting as a transition into joint custody. While you work out the final terms, you swap out while the child remains in the home. Once those terms are done, you can transition to 50/50 visitations.

Or, you can use bird-nesting as a permanent custody solution, which can be tricky. If you or your co-parent finds a new partner, it is difficult to manage a relationship while living in the same house as your ex. 

Work over boundaries and conditions. In particular, figure out how daily expenses and housing costs will be paid.

One aspect to keep in mind? Bird-nesting can lead a child to believe their parents are getting back together. They may find it confusing that their parents are rotating out.

Explain the arrangements in terms they will understand. 

You may find that bird-nesting is a great short-term solution. But in the long term, it can result in disputes with your co-parent. If that is the case, feel free to adapt, but make sure the whole family is on board. 

Handling Transitions

Many children with autism struggle with changes to their routines. They can become upset when playtime is cut short or lunchtime comes later. Having to live somewhere else can be particularly troublesome.

Make the transition as easy as possible for your child. One way that can help is creating an extended custody schedule. If you share 50/50 custody, trade your child off every week instead of every night.

Develop a little transition ritual you can perform. It can be something simple as reading a book or going out for a walk. Be sure to maintain this ritual so your child understands that it signals a move to another home. 

Give your child a calendar so that they know what the schedule is. Remind them of how many more days they will be at home with you. This gives them time to process their emotions. 


If you do not decide on joint custody, you may decide one parent should have sole custody. The other parent will have visitation time, usually amounting to 20% of parenting time

This can be disruptive to children with autism, who want consistent routines. Select a regular visitation time with your other co-parent.

Keep the time consistent and extended. Rather than having one weeknight visit every week, opt for an extended visit of a couple of weeks. 

If you are the parent with visitation, make things as normal as possible. Give plenty of time for your child to do homework and pursue therapy. Integrate some fun activities, but act in a similar manner to your other co-parent. 

Make sure the child can contact both parents whenever they want to. Your child should have phone numbers and email addresses for both of you. 

The Process of Co-Parenting

Co-parenting by yourself does not have to be different than parenting with your former partner. Give your child the best tools out there to learn, play, and grow in a healthy environment. 

Set boundaries and behavioral guidelines with your other co-parent. Decide how you want to discipline your child and teach them important skills. 

Do your best to keep your child in the same school and with the same medical professionals. Too many changes at once can overwhelm them. 

Your child may test your rules, especially if they want something like a toy or an unhealthy snack. Stick to your guidelines. Both co-parents should present a united and communicative front. 

Engage in floor activities with your child. Many children with autism struggle to make eye contact. Get down on the floor and play with different toys. 

Give them age-appropriate and sensory-appropriate toys. Some children have difficulty with textures, so select soft and adjustable objects. 

When giving instructions, use smaller sentences. It can take a while for a child with autism to process long instructions. 

Keep in mind that your child may ask about the other co-parent. You can talk about them, but be brief and respectful. Do not bash them or jump to conclusions about what they are doing. 

Introducing New Partners

It is never a good idea to introduce your new partner to a child immediately after a divorce. It can be especially troublesome for a child with autism, as it can easily confuse and trouble them. 

Talk to your partner about what sort of parenting role they want to play. They may be willing to get involved in your child’s life. They may want you to take the lead. 

Whatever role they want to play, educate them on what life is like with an autistic child. Talk about your child’s development and what they do for therapy. Notify your partner about any behaviors like self-stimulation actions that they may find surprising. 

When you make the introduction itself, keep things brief and cordial. Notify your child in advance about who they will meet. Let your partner talk for themselves, but intervene if your child reacts badly. 

After the introduction, touch base with your partner. If they feel comfortable continuing a relationship, allow them to interact. 

If your partner is of a different background than the other co-parent, your child may make an uncomfortable remark. Prepare your partner ahead of time so you both know how to approach the conversation together. 

Introducing New Siblings

If your new partner has children of their own, you should also wait to introduce them. Even if you think they will get along, it can be overwhelming for everyone to meet new people. 

Talk to your partner’s children. Tell them that your child may process things a little differently, but they can still play and talk together. 

As with introducing your new partner, you want to preview the introduction for all parties. Provide a space where all of the children feel comfortable interacting with each other. It’s a good idea to play a game or read a book. 

You can move in with your partner and their children, but do notify your child of your decision. In the new environment, hold to the old routines your child had. 

Their new siblings may feel you are neglecting them, so make sure to spend plenty of time with all of the children in your care. Set aside activities you can do with those kids so they don’t feel alone. 

Caring for Yourself 

Raising an autistic child in and of itself can difficult. Dealing with a separation on top of them increases the difficulty. 

Once you and your child have settled into your routine, make sure you take time to care for yourself. During times where your co-parent is watching over your child, do things you like to do. Travel, have dinner out, and pursue creative projects. 

There are support groups for people dealing with a separation and raising autistic children. You can attend both. You can also speak to a therapist who can address both issues at once. 

Talk to an expert about what you can do to help your child with autism. Every child with autism is different, and it’s important to get all the information you need. 

Along the way, make sure that you take time to rebuild your confidence. Accept the past and celebrate the positives that are going on in your life.

Interact with your support network, including your child. They love you and want what’s best for you. 

Find Success Co-Parenting an Autistic Child

Co-parenting an autistic child requires a few different steps. Both co-parents should explain the separation together. During custody, measures should be taken to provide normalcy and routine, like nesting.

Pay a lot of attention to creating smooth transitions. Provide time for your child to do normal things. 

Take time introducing new partners and new siblings. You should also take time to care for yourself and reach out to others. 

You can be a great co-parent once you have the facts. 2houses is the Internet’s leading service for co-parents. Contact us today for more advice and information.  

Top Tips For Effective Long-Distance Parenting

Effective Long-Distance Parenting

The challenge of long-distance parenting can be overwhelming, no matter the age of your child or how well you get along with the non-custodial parent. Beyond the concept of holidays and special events, day-to-day living can also be strenuous on everyone involved. While every situation is unique, there are some strategies for being as close as possible, even from a distance. Below are just a few tips to ensure that this living arrangement is as easy as possible for all parties.  

Focus On Communication

One of the most vital things to do in a long-distance parenting situation is to keep up with communication. Just because you are not living under the same roof does not mean that communication should disappear or dwindle. Now more than ever, it is imperative for the safety and happiness of your child to be communicative, not only about their day-to-day lives but about how they are in general. Not only is communication between you and your child important, but communication between you and the co-parent is equally as important. Some communication points to consider:

  • Who are your child’s friends? How often do they see them outside of school?
  • How are they performing in school?
  • What activities are they participating in?
  • Are there any areas of concern to which both parents should be aware of?
  • What does your child need from you in terms of communication?
  • If this is a new process, what can make this easier?

These are just a few of the things that should be communicated, but the list can be endless. While it is not necessary to hover or be a helicopter parent, it is crucial to not keep either parent in the dark about things, no matter how your relationship with the co-parent is. Communication shows that even though you are not physically present all the time, you still have an enormous amount of care for your child and the life that they are living.  One line of questioning to avoid is asking too in-depth about how the custodial parent is doing. A high-level ask is fine, but avoid badgering your child to get “dirt” on the parent that they spend the most time with. Once you have the more serious questions out of the way, try asking more valuable questions to forge the bond you have. Asking deeper questions opens a conversation for you to learn something you didn’t know about your child! 

Conversely, have your child communicate with you. In a long-distance parenting relationship, it’s not uncommon for a child to shut down in a way. Encourage your child to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and any questions they may have. If you have a younger child, they might feel that your absence is their fault, whereas an older child might not need as many phone calls as you might assume. Keeping these lines of communication open makes for an easier time for everyone and will eliminate any chance of a misunderstanding.

While you are making the efforts to reach out to your child and connect with them from a distance, it is important to remember that they are living their life. Don’t get discouraged if they miss a phone call from time-to-time or ask to change the routine. Part of understanding is being available for your child (and sometimes, the custodial parent). Being available to talk fosters a positive relationship between all parties and makes this lifestyle easy to adjust to.  

Make Time For Fun

Even though it might not be possible to plan in-person activities with your child every day or week, you can plan virtual activities to still spend quality time with them. In today’s day and age, it is important to connect with your child when possible. There are several Zoom games that you and your family can play together, no matter how young or old. For example, playing a family-friendly version of “Would You Rather” can open up avenues for additional conversation and learning. For older kids, you can download phone games such as “Heads Up” for a competitive guessing game. 

When you plan to visit your child, it can be easy to overdo the planning with over-the-top activities. While visiting, try to keep the focus on your time together and less about the activity you’re doing. This not only sets realistic expectations for the time that you are together but limits the possibility of your child choosing a “favorite parent” to be around. 

Prepare For The Future 

One of the hardest facets of long-distance parenting is not knowing what the future will bring. Not being in the same household can create stress and uncertainty, and it’s beneficial to set up preparations for any circumstance. 

While it’s not the easiest thing to think about, it is beneficial to consider your child’s financial security once you’re gone. One way to think ahead is to research the cost of a life insurance policy. A life insurance policy pays out a lump sum of money in the case of your passing. While this benefit cannot replace you as a lost parent, it can provide money to help pay for the mortgage payment of where your child lives or even college tuition. It can also help the custodial parent with any lost child support. With this policy, you can designate one or multiple beneficiaries, giving your family the financial support they need. 

Another way to plan ahead is to create a family emergency binder. This simple yet effective planning tool can help you organize your files and have everything located in one place if an emergency were to occur. In the case of needing to leave your home in a hurry, this one binder can provide all necessary information for not only yourself but your dependents as well. Things to have in the emergency binder include:

  • Insurance Policies (homeowners, auto, life, and medical)
  • Medical Information (allergies, medical conditions, medications)
  • Emergency contact list (custodial parent and any near-by relatives or family friends)
  • Identification Papers (copy of driver’s license, passport, social security cards, and birth certificates). 

Finally, creating a rainy day fund for you and your child can prove fruitful for a few reasons. First, this can make events such as holidays or vacations easier on your budget, as this money has already been put away. This can also alleviate potential stress between you and the custodial parent in case of an emergency. 

Send Snail Mail

In a world filled with technology for basically everything, it can be easy to forget about snail mail. The rush of excitement that a child gets from getting a care package or a handwritten letter is almost unmatchable. If you’re sending a letter, write down things that you can do together when you see each other next. Or, consider sending a postcard with the start of a joke, and send a follow-up one with the punchline. This small act will keep your child engaged at any age!

Care packages are also a great way to bond with your child. The great thing about these is they are completely customizable to your child’s age, interests, and hobbies. For example:

  • Teenage girl: chocolate, magazines, facial mask, lip gloss 
  • Young boy: candy, stickers, small toys
  • College student: water, energy drink, pens, chips, gum

While care packages shouldn’t be sent all the time, they can be used to make a special occasion that much more exciting. Just know that these tokens do not have to be expensive, they just have to be from the heart. Your kid will be ecstatic when they find they have something from you that’s just for them!

Create Traditions 

One of the most special things you can do with your child is to create tradition. These traditions create warmth and the continued promise of certainty. Traditions also create positive memories for your children, no matter their age, plus they are fun to look forward to!  Some examples of traditions that you and your child could start:

  • Going to a certain restaurant when you see each other
  • Try making some family recipes, perhaps for a holiday
  • Designate a certain night of the week for a game night
  • Choose a community service project for you to do together
  • Plan a yearly vacation

Remember that all traditions do not have to be large or extravagant. Whatever traditions you decide, the critical thing is to stick with them! Most simply put, a tradition is not a tradition if it’s not followed. Your child will be looking forward to this moment with you as a stable moment. Depending on how your relationship is with the custodial parent, you can create new traditions for all of you to do together to reinforce the family aspect, even though you live apart.    

For the Custodial Parent

While most of these tips have been aimed at the parent that does not live with the child, we also need to discuss tips for the parent who does live with the child. Long-distance parenting can bring a whirlwind of emotions, and it’s important for your child to know that you are also there for them too, at any age.  Do not let any negative emotions you have about the non-custodial parent impact your child. In fact, it is beneficial to all parties involved to be as positive as possible when speaking about the co-parent. Do not try to make your child choose sides between the two parents as this will only create tension between all parties, and it will put stress most of all on your child. If long-distance parenting is new to your child, remember to frame it in a way that does not emotionally hurt them. Instead of expressing any ill-will, remind your child when they will be seeing the non-custodial parent, and remind them that they can call them at any time. 

Discussing financial obligations that you need is also something that needs to be done. If there is child support that is owed, it is vital that you and the non-custodial parent not only reach an agreement but stick to it. If there are any additional child financial obligations (like school and sports fees), it is important to determine who is going to pay for these or if these costs will be split. Having these considerations ahead of time will make life easier for everyone.     

How to Encourage Your Kids to Do Household Chores

How to Encourage Your Kids to Do Household Chores

Are your kids defiant when you ask them to help with household chores? At your wit’s end trying to get them to do as you ask?

Parenting is hard, there’s no getting around that. And more so when you’re trying to co-parent. Getting your children to help out with household chores can be a fight, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are key ideas and tactics you can use to help encourage your kids to help with cleaning. 

Connect With Them Emotionally

Three very important first steps revolve around a change in your attitude. Yes, you are exhausted and frustrated, but that’s not going to make your kids want to help clean.

It can be trying at times, but remember that kids are people, too. Their moods are everchanging, just like yours. It is important to lead by example and treat them with kindness, positivity, and good communication. 


Divorce is a very difficult time for anyone going through the situation. It causes many changes in your child’s life. It is extremely important to acknowledge and respect your children’s feelings.

As one of the main people going through the separation, you may find yourself not giving your children the space or guidance they need to get through this tough time. 

By being kind and respecting their moods, you are showing them that their feelings matter. Getting mad and yelling at them isn’t going to help any situation. 


Being positive might seem out of reach, but it is important to be a good role model for your kids. Show them how to get through this time, or this chore, with a positive attitude. 

“We will get through this together!” Don’t dismiss their feelings, in place put a positive spin on it. 

“I know that you are having a hard time with this divorce, and so am I. I am always here for you, and we will carry on together.”

“Doing laundry can be tedious, but we do need clean clothes.”

Your mood will set the tone for your kids. Try to stay as positive as possible to keep up their good attitudes. 


Complete transparency is always best, assuming the child is old enough and emotionally intelligent enough to comprehend what is going on.

Don’t hide information because you think it will make them feel better. They will just be angry that you hid the information.

Also keeping the line of communication open with your co-parent will create a more cohesive co-parenting relationship. Make sure you are on the same page with chores and expect the same things from your children.

This goes for chores, too. Make sure they know exactly what is expected of them, and have a zero-tolerance policy for lying. “If you didn’t finish your chores before bed, just let me know so I can help finish them.”

Get Your Kids to Help With Household Chores

Now that emotionally they are in a good place, you will need to find a way to motivate them. Here are some techniques and ideas you can use to entice your kids to help with household chores.

Make Chores Age-Appropriate

Make sure the household chores you are asking your kids to do are age-appropriate. If they are teens they can do most anything, but expecting your 6-year-old to mow the lawn probably isn’t going to go over well. 

By age 10 they can probably help clean the bathroom and do the dishes. A 4-year-old can sort silverware and help put that away. 

Start Them Young

Start cleaning with kids when they’re a toddler. Toddlers love to help. They can start by helping you with small tasks. 

2-3-year olds love putting things in other things! They can help clean the toy area by putting all the blocks in a bin. They also love throwing things in the garbage. They are little helpers in training, get them used to helping out early in life. 

Help Them With Their Chores

Getting started is the hardest part. When they don’t know where to start, give them a hand and a direction. When you start cleaning with your kids, they will be more likely to finish it themselves.

You can also teach them the proper way to load the dishwasher, fold their clothes, or organize their room. They will recognize the work that you put into keeping the house clean. 

Teens often won’t admit to not knowing something. You might have to trial-and-error certain tasks if they won’t accept help. But beginning to help is a success of its own.

Make It a Contest

Kid’s love competition, even if the award is only bragging rights! “Who can clean their bedroom the fastest?” “The first person to put their laundry away gets to pick what’s for dinner!”

The younger the kids are, the better this will work. A teenager isn’t going to fall for this one. But they might be motivated by a prize such as picking what movie for family movie night or being able to have a friend over. 

Dance Party

Dancing while cleaning will make it a lot more fun. Blasting music and singing at the top of your lungs can make folding laundry a little more enjoyable.

Try this playlist for younger kids! Or if your children are older, they can pick their own music!

Assigned Chore Chart

Knowing what to expect and when to expect it could be key. Having certain jobs done on specific days can create a sense of routine that kids can depend on. Kids thrive on routine. 

It also lets them visualize what needs to be done. A to-do list that things can be crossed off of is very satisfying. 

Give Them a Time Limit

Giving your child a 10-30 minute timer for chores will encourage them to complete their tasks faster. This gives the kids an ending time. Chores are not indefinite, they will end very soon.

“For the next 15 minutes, we are going to clean this house. Let’s see how much we can get done!” Or the 20 minutes before bedtime are reserved for cleaning their bedroom.

Give Them a Choice

Kids might be more inclined to do chores if they’re the ones who pick what they do. Create a chore list for them to choose from.

You might have one child who doesn’t mind washing the dishes every day and one who despises it. If everyone chooses their own task they’re more likely to actually do it. 

Everyone Does Chores at the Same Time

Have your children complete their chores at the same time. Additionally, you can be doing your cleaning routine during this time, too.

If one of your kids is vacuuming, and the other kid is having a snack at that moment, they will be jealous and in return be frustrated. Kids tend to want everything to be fair, which we know is unattainable. But keeping things feeling somewhat equal is something you can do for them. 

When everyone is working together for the same outcome – a clean house – the teamwork aspect will keep your kids motivated.

Don’t Micromanage 

Commonly, parents have a right way and a wrong way of doing something. When you ask your children to complete a chore, don’t micromanage.

Let them complete it the way they want to. Even if that means that sweeping the floor will take half an hour rather than the five minutes it should.

It might frustrate you, but it’s important they learn how to complete it themselves. They might ask you for help, which is fine, but otherwise, let them handle it.

They might surprise you and have a better way of doing something than you do! 

Pay Them

Money talks! As a last resort, you can pay your kids to help out. Figure out a reasonable rate to pay your children to help clean. $1 per year of life, maybe per task… whatever you feel is a good number!

Some experts advise against paying kids for chores, but one benefit is that it can also help teach money management. 

This might not be a route you want to go with, but you could always adjust it to provide incentives. The child could earn something they want, extra screen time, or something along those lines.

Natural Consequences

When they don’t complete their chores, let them experience natural consequences. If they don’t clean their room, they’re not going to have any clean clothes to wear. Next time, maybe they will foresee the consequences and clean their room.

Sometimes it can be hard to watch your children deal with natural consequences. As long as they aren’t in danger in any way, then let it happen. Especially teens need to learn why they need to do chores and what happens if they don’t do them.

Don’t Make Chores a Punishment

When you make doing chores a form of punishment, your children might see doing them as a negative thing. Have chores be routine, punishment is separate.

Make chores positive. They’re helping out around the house. We all live here and need to contribute.

Thank Them!

A little thank you goes a long way! When kids feel appreciated they will want to help more. 

Think about how you feel when no one appreciates what you do! An added bonus is that when you start thanking them for their help, they will most likely start thanking you. Your children will start to see what you do for them every day and acknowledge it.

This will also help teach manners to younger children. The more you use a word, the more they will. If you say thank you every time they throw something away for you, then they will learn to say thank you every time you throw something away for them.

Sprinkle in Fun Chores

Have one of their chores be something fun, like planning a family outing, decorating the kitchen for taco night, or coming to the grocery store with you and being able to help pick out snacks for the week.

Chores for kids don’t need to be hard, gross, or boring. Add some fun and exciting things to their lists. Normalize chores being tasks to help keep the household going rather than just boring cleaning that no one wants to do. 

Realistic Expectations

Expecting any child to do a bunch of chores is unrealistic. Keep their to-do lists around 2-5 tasks depending on age and how long it takes to complete them.

If your teen has sports after school, it is likely that they are going to be exhausted. Don’t request that they have hours or chores along with any homework they might have to do. After their long day, their only chore should be to shower and go to bed. 

Being a kid can be hard. Especially when you are going through a lot of changes. Allow a little leniency at times, and give them time to be a kid.

Parenting Is Hard 

Motivating your children to help with chores can be quite difficult. It takes a lot of patience and communication. 

Household chores are only a small part of this transition. Divorce is hard, and we can help. 2houses offers various resources to improve communication and make co-parenting easier.

We are here to assist you with all of your parenting needs. Our blog has more helpful pointers to help guide you through this difficult time. 

2houses has many resources you can to make sure your co-parent and you are on the same page. You can coordinate calendars, share important information about your children’s medical and school, and much more!

Check out what we offer and start your 14-day trial today!

How to Plan for a Potential Divorce During Pandemic Times

How to Plan for a Potential Divorce During Pandemic Times

Every year in the United States, more than 700,000 couples get divorced. So if you’re considering this option, you are not alone! But divorce is never easy, no matter your circumstances.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of strain on people’s marriages. On top of this, it has also made planning a divorce more challenging. With everyone under one roof knowing how to move forward is no easy feat. 

Thankfully, there are lots of things that you can do to make getting a divorce during the coronavirus pandemic as smooth as possible. The key to this is planning

Read on to find out my top tips on how to place a divorce during COVID-19.

Consider Your Divorce Options

Once you start to plan a divorce you’ll quickly realize there are loads of different routes you can take. Getting your head around each of these will make it easier to figure out the right one for you. 

Pro Se divorces involve the two parties agreeing on a divorce settlement themselves, without the help of lawyers or mediators. You then file the paperwork on your own.

Mediation involves a neutral third party, which helps guide settlement discussions. You can use a mediator even if you don’t have a divorce lawyer.

Collaborative Process divorce proceedings involve specially trained collaborative teams. These teams consist of: 

  • Both spouses
  • A neutral financial advisor
  • A counselor
  • A child specialist (if you have a child)

Together this team reaches a settlement. When entering the collaborative process, all parties agree not to litigate the settlement. 

Attorney-to-Attorney divorce is the most traditional approach to divorce. In this case, each spouse hires an attorney to represent them in settlement discussions. This minimizes communication between the two spouses.

Litigation is often the final option and happens when a settlement cannot be reached. When this happens a judge will review your case and make a final settlement decision. 

There is no absolute “right way” to get a divorce. It is important for you to find what works for you and will be the most straightforward.

Pro Se and Collaborate Process divorces are great if you and your ex find communicating easy. But if one or both of you is hurting, involving a mediator or an attorney can make things easier.

Communicate as Clearly as Possible

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, it is a good idea to communicate this clearly. This can be very difficult and may require several conversations.

It is important to be sensitive to what both spouses need during these conversations. Wanting to protect your ex-spouse is all well and good. But it is also important to look after yourself.

For example, if conversations start spiraling it might be worth getting some space or bringing a mediator in. This will help to keep the conversations clear and productive rather than frustrating and hurtful.

You will both feel a range of emotions after a separation. However, keeping divorce conversations as practical as possible will help things run smoothly.

If you have children, they may also have questions about your divorce. Letting them know what is going on will make them feel more secure in the whole process. For example, you may want to sit them down and explain where you will be living.

For your children’s sake, it is important to stay as neutral as possible during these conversations. Accusations, tension, or conflict can leave children feeling as if they have to pick which parent to side with. So try to agree on a party-line with your spouse beforehand.

Review Your Living Situation

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of divorce during COVID-19 is your living situation. Most people will be under the same roof as their spouse and moving is more difficult than normal. 

However, it is still a good idea to think carefully about your living situation. Living with someone that you are divorcing can be very stressful. It can also make negotiating the boundaries in your new relationship difficult. 

This can be hurtful for both parties and for anyone else living with you. Divorce can be a confusing time for children but keeping things simple really helps. 

If one of you does decide to move out of the family home, it is a good idea to stay nearby. This can make it easier to reach divorce meetings. If you have kids, it also making co-parenting a lot easier.

There are several options to consider when moving out of the family home, such as:

  • Renting a new place
  • Staying with a friend or family member
  • Staying in a hotel
  • Buying somewhere new

Renting or stay with a friend are generally the most popular choices. These provide more stability for the person who has moved out. Once the divorce has been settled, it is much easier to think about buying somewhere new.

Get support from Professionals

As we’ve already mentioned, you don’t have to get help from professionals during a divorce. But if you want to, it’s a good idea to have a few options lined up. 

There are more than 62,000 family law companies operating across the United States. So you’ve got plenty of choices to pick from!

When choosing an attorney, mediator, or counselor for your divorce, it’s a good idea to look at their testimonials. This will help you find someone to suit you and your personal situation. It is also a good idea to discuss issues that you feel could become a problem and see how they respond to these.

Get Your Financial Paperwork in Place

Dividing your finances is a huge part of the divorce process. You can save yourself time (and lawyers’ fees!) by getting your financial paperwork together as soon as possible.

This should cover information on your income and assets, as well as your bank account information. Your financial paperwork can include things like: 

  • Payslips
  • Bank statements (for personal and business accounts) 
  • Tax returns 
  • Investment funds
  • Retirement or pension accounts
  • Real estate investments 
  • Business interests 

If you have any liabilities you should include these too. These include: 

  • Student loans 
  • Mortgages
  • Car loans 
  • Credit card debt
  • Business debt

It is a good idea to collect this into one, secure online location. Then you can use secure-sharing portals to give your lawyer access to these. This means you can avoid meeting in person altogether.

Create a Budget for the Divorce Proceedings

Planning ahead can make going through a divorce as stress-free as possible. And creating a budget can really help. This means that you won’t have to worry about your financial stability during divorce proceedings. 

Your budget should include any divorce-related costs. For example, you should budget your lawyers’ or mediator’s fees. 

However, it’s also worth thinking about the practical costs of divorce as well. For example, let’s say that you decide to move out of your marital home and rent an apartment. In that case, you will need to have enough money saved to cover your rental costs. 

If you have children with your partner, you may have to continue paying child support before you reach a settlement. So it’s worth considering that you will have to contribute to two household’s food budgets. 

This can feel like a lot to handle. But minimizing financial pressure during this time will help you to keep focused. So you will still be able to make sound decisions about the direction of your divorce.

Put a Parenting Plan in Place

Getting divorced when you have children can be a tough decision but it is also extremely brave.

If your marriage isn’t working, it is also the right decision in the long run. In fact, growing up around a dysfunctional relationship can be very damaging for children. So often divorce is the best course of action for your children’s happiness.

50% of children in America will see their parents’ divorce, so your kids will be in good company!

However, creating stability for your children during a divorce is vital. This helps them to understand what is going on and creates security at a time of uncertainty. So it is important you have a parenting plan in place before you tell them. 

This should outline who will have custody of your children during and after your divorce. It should also discuss how often your children are going to see each parent. 

Other practical considerations to discuss include: 

  • Division of home-schooling responsibilities
  • Travel responsibilities 
  • How much warning should be given for a change for plans (for example 48 hours) 
  • Financial support if the children are going to live in one home more

Deciding these in advance will help you to co-parent as smoothly as possible.

Take Care of Your Own Mental Health

No couple goes into a marriage planning their divorce. So, when this happens, there will often be a period of adjustment. 

As well as planning practically you should also take good care of your mental health. This will help you to make informed decisions about your divorce. It will also help you be a present parent if you are looking after your children while divorcing. 

It is a good idea to reach out to friends or family members about what you are going through. That way they can check in on you, give you space to vent, or offer practical support.

Taking time out for yourself is also incredibly important. Here are some great ideas for relieving stress:

  • Taking a long bath
  • Turning your phone off few a phone hours
  • Going for a walk in nature
  • Exercising
  • Meditation
  • Phoning a friend or family member for a catch-up
  • Reading a book

It is also important that you look after yourself physically. Eating properly, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly will all support your overall mental health.

Assess the Logistics of Your Situation

There is one big difference when it comes to getting divorced during coronavirus. Unlike in ‘normal’ times, most of your meetings will take place via video or phone calls.

This means you may spend long periods on the phone with your lawyers. It also means that you have to handle all of your divorce proceedings from home.

There are benefits to this. For example, you may find your lawyer has more availability for over-the-phone meetings. This means that your divorce proceedings are handled quickly.

However, you or your spouse may decide that it would be better to have in-person meetings. For example, meeting in person can be easier if you are going through a collaborative-process divorce. 

In that case, it may be worth considering your options.

If you want to have meetings in-person, you may want to consider separating for the foreseeable future. If both of you are more comfortable with this arrangement, for the time being, this can be a good option. Then, once things become more normal, you can resume the process.

The most important thing is finding something that works for both parties. This is the best way to keep conflict at a minimum.

Get Help with Planning a Divorce Now

Planning a divorce can feel like an overwhelming task, especially during a global pandemic!

This is why it is important to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to consider your options. There are also lots of places you can turn to for support during a divorce.

Thanks to technology, coordinating schedules with your ex-partner is now easier than ever. To find out more about how 2House apps can make this transition smoother for you, check them out now.

How To Rebuild Your Confidence After Divorce

How To Rebuild Your Confidence After Divorce

It’s common for people to fall into depression and anxiety or turn to substance abuse after a divorce. When a marriage ends, there are overwhelming feelings of failure, shame, and sometimes even guilt.

Of course, all of this gives your self-esteem and confidence a huge knock. You may be finding it difficult to think positively about yourself, your body image may be struggling and your confidence lacking. 

Have you lost your confidence after divorce?

While this is completely natural after a divorce, it’s important to take steps to reclaim your identity and boost your self-esteem. 

There are ways to get back on track. Keep reading for tips on how to regain your confidence after a divorce and take back your life. 

Regaining Confidence After Divorce Starts With Accepting the Past 

Going through a divorce in many ways mimics the process of grief. And why wouldn’t it? You have lost an essential part of your life, and it may feel like you’ve lost a part of your identity, too.

It’s easy to get stuck in toxic cycles of picking apart the past to figure out where it went wrong. This leads to negative self-criticism, a cycle of blame, and feelings of guilt. One of the most important post-divorce tips to rebuild confidence is to accept what has happened, and accept that you cannot change it. 

Equally important is realizing that obsessing over questions you cannot answer is damaging to your self-esteem. You cannot change the past, but you can learn from it and change yourself in a positive way. This should be your focus after a divorce. 

Of course, this is easier said than done. Start by focusing on what you can change. Redirect your attention from analyzing the past to improving your present and building a new future. The key to improving your self-esteem starts by accepting where you are right now and working towards where you want to be.

Move Away from the Blame Game

When a relationship ends it’s common to get stuck in an unhealthy cycle of blame — this is something you should avoid. No one wants to take responsibility for the part that they played in their marriage ending. This is a sort of denial that you experience as a reflexive mechanism to deal with the trauma. 

However, it doesn’t serve you or your confidence to shift blame onto your ex-spouse or others around you. An important part of reclaiming your confidence is taking ownership of your mistakes. No one is free from fault when a marriage breaks down. Facing your mistakes with courage will empower you to step out of your self-pity and into a new life with grace. 

Furthermore, accepting that you have aided in creating your own path comes with the knowledge that you are in control of where your life goes from there. 

While it may be true that someone had a great influence on the negative situation you find yourself in, you are ultimately the agent of your life. Recognize the choices you’ve made so that you can empower yourself with the courage to make better choices now.

Rebuild Self-Esteem by Celebrating the Positives 

You may be finding it difficult to identify any positives in your life right now. This includes situational positives as well as positive traits within yourself. It’s essential to find a way to celebrate the positives to rebuild confidence after divorce. 

To begin with, move away from negative self-talk and start practicing positive self-talk. It may feel superficial, and like a pretense, in the beginning, but continue with it regardless. 

Start with writing down things that lift you up in your life. What makes you happy? What are you grateful for? What are the positive forces in your life?

If you’re struggling to find sources of positivity in your present, look to memories and experiences in your past. Identify moments where you’ve been happy and times of your life that you’ve felt good about yourself. 

As a result of writing these things down, you’ll be cementing uplifting thought patterns and creating a roadmap for improving your self-esteem. 

Furthermore, make an effort to verbally affirm your positive traits. If you find it a challenge, start small. Say, or write down, one thing you like about yourself, or one thing people like about you. Build on these every day as you become the person you want to be.

Turn to Your Support System 

After a divorce, it’s common to feel isolated and lonely. You may feel ashamed or as if you’ve failed and this may prevent you from seeking support from your friends and family. It’s important to remember that divorce does not equal failure and there are people who love you and want what’s best for you. 

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your loved ones and lean on your support system. Being around people that lift you up and make you feel good about yourself does wonders for your confidence. 

Aside from helping you to feel better about yourself, friends who are removed from the situation can offer an objective perspective. This may help to provide you with some clarity and positive perspective change. 

Take this opportunity to connect with old friends, spend valuable time with loved ones, and join group events. Finding solace in friendship provides you a space to feel loved and fulfilled outside of a marriage or romantic relationship. 

In addition, reach out to people who’ve been in similar situations. Or, talk to like-minded people. Seeking validity and support is a huge benefit to your confidence.

By doing this, you’ll remember what makes you a great friend and person, it will highlight your positive traits and ultimately help to rebuild confidence.

Rebuild Confidence by Trying New Things: Reinvent and Empower Yourself

To rebuild confidence you need to rediscover your post-divorce freedom. This is the time to figure out who you are separate from your spouse or any other romantic partner. 

If you’re still partaking in activities and daily habits that you used to do with your spouse, these constant reminders are probably getting you down. Begin with phasing out things that used to be ‘couple activities’ and marriage routines. 

By doing this, you’re freeing up personal time and shedding baggage that lowers your self-esteem. Now you can consider trying new things, incorporating new hobbies into your life, or focusing on your social life. 

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but have never got around to? This is the time to start! Perhaps you’ve always been interested in painting or curious about dancing — join a class. Maybe you’ve thought about sprucing up your garden or have always wanted to learn a language — throw yourself into new things. 

By choosing to reinvent and empower yourself by trying new things, you’ll boost your confidence. As you begin to learn, test your capabilities and skills or simply find something you love doing your self-esteem benefits.

Sign up for classes, do that tutorial, pick up that book, volunteer at that place. Move beyond who you think you are towards who you want to be. Reclaim your freedom and reinvent your individual identity to rebuild self-esteem.

Decide Who You Want to Be and Live Like That Person

Sometimes boosting your confidence is as simple as acting the way you want to feel. Living with intention is a powerful tool to change your life in a positive way. If you hope to be happier, choose to be happy — smile at strangers, sing along to your favorite song. 

If your goal is to be someone who is more active, then get moving. It may feel disingenuous at first, but creating strong habits is the first step. Living with intention is the next step. 

By choosing to behave in a positive way, you create a positive environment and life for yourself. 

Furthermore, set yourself challenges and goals. These start small with challenges such as ‘smile at three strangers today.’ As you begin to feel better about yourself, set yourself greater challenges and positive goals.

Accomplishing the challenges that you’ve set for yourself will make you feel good and boost your self-esteem.

Find Coping Mechanisms to Turn to When it Gets Overwhelming 

There are times when anxiety and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness will become overwhelming. This is natural and normal and it’s important that you allow yourself the space to grieve. Feeling pain, disappointment, and sadness when a marriage ends is healthy and common emotions after a separation. 

That being said, you want to avoid sinking into pits of despair that you cannot get out of. When you’re working to build your confidence you don’t want to take two steps backward whenever you feel overwhelmed with negative emotions. 

Therefore it’s important to create coping mechanisms that you can turn to in your darkest hours of insecurity. This could be something as simple as a positive-affirming mantra that you repeat to yourself. It may be phoning a friend or meditating. 

A calming coping mechanism is different for everyone. Explore activities or habits which make you feel good and turn to these when a wave of emotion threatens to knock you down. 

Incorporate Exercise into Your Daily Life

There are a few major advantages of exercise when it comes to boosting self-esteem and regaining confidence after divorce. Incorporating exercise into your life isn’t about throwing yourself into crazy workout programs to attain the ‘perfect body.’ It can be as simple as taking a daily walk. 

Research has shown time and time again the positive effects of exercise on mental health. Exercise improves physical health, boosts endorphins, improves your mood, and helps to relieve stress. These are all things you need after a divorce. 

Furthermore, feeling your physical body become stronger and more capable is guaranteed to improve your self-confidence and body image. 

Another benefit of exercise is the social aspect. You may choose to go walking with a friend, join a running group or take part in yoga retreats. This is an excellent way to create new connections and expand your support network — ultimately boosting your confidence. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help 

This is the most crucial of post-divorce tips. If you find that your self-esteem isn’t improving, that you’re slipping into depression, or that you’re feeling stuck in despair, you should seek professional help. 

Sometimes you can do everything right and still struggle. There is no shame in seeking out the help of a therapist — it’s a courageous decision that you will come to admire about yourself. 

Mental health professionals can equip you with tools to improve your self-esteem and strengthen your mental health. They can guide you through cognitive behavioral therapy. This focuses on changing your perceptions about yourself and the world around you. 

Furthermore, a psychologist is an objective point of support who can help you to see things differently and can highlight your strengths and abilities. There are many good reasons to go to therapy, the first step is just about deciding to do it. 

Believe in Yourself and Never Give Up

Choosing to believe in yourself and persevere in the face of struggle may sound like a pre-football game speech. Bu,t that is what it’s going to take to come out of your divorce stronger than ever.

Regaining confidence after divorce is no simple feat, but by investing in yourself and your life you’ll get back your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth.

If you’re seeking advice, support, or information to help you through your divorce, explore the 2houses blog for all of the resources you need. Or, contact us for more details.

How to Bond With Step-Children in Blended Families

How to Bond With Step-Children in Blended Families

Have you recently gotten remarried, or do you plan to get married to someone with children from a previous marriage? Are you looking to bring your new blended family together?

Well, you’re not alone. In 2018, there were nearly 4 million households with stepchildren just in the United States. And making these new relationships feel real can be difficult.

But, it can be done if you work hard enough. Let’s go through how to bond with your newfound step-children so you can fully enjoy your relationship.

Don’t Overstep Your Boundaries

If your step-children’s other parent is in the future, you want to make sure you’re not encroaching on your territory. You’ll all need to work together to make your children feel comfortable, so you’ll want to keep your relationship with your spouse’s ex-partner as cordial as possible. 

And, at all times, stay as positive as possible when building your relationship with your step-kids. Positivity helps other people feel good about your energy, and it will help all the relationships work better together.

It’s also key not to go overboard with your expectations. Try to be realistic, and don’t expect too much out of your new relationship (especially right away).

Follow the children’s lead when working on your relationship and making plans. That way, they’ll feel like they have control of the situation and they will be less likely to lash out at you for taking control. 

Make Sure You and Your Partner Are on the Same Page

And, you should discuss expectations with your partner and with your stepchildren’s other parent. You don’t want to accidentally overstep their boundaries, either. Ask them what their thoughts on your relationship with their children are, and what they expect of you as an extra parental figure.

Of course, your approach will have to be different depending on the age of the step-children. You’ll need to take a different tack with babies and toddlers versus preschool-age versus school-aged children versus teenaged children, so make sure you consider these factors into your calculation.

Don’t Push Too Hard

While it may be your instinct, it’s important that you don’t push your new stepchildren into situations that may make them uncomfortable.

You also shouldn’t push yourself to feel things you don’t. When you first meet your stepkids, you may not feel connected to them right away. It takes time to feel love and appreciation for kids you aren’t close to. Make slow strides, and don’t stress yourself out about the situation.

You should also make sure that your stepchildren have plenty of one on one time with their primary or biological parent.

While it’s good to create your own relationship, and to spend time together as a big blended family, your stepchildren will also need to be secure in the relationship they have with the parent they already knew.

You don’t want to make the kids feel like you’re encroaching or taking over their territory.

Have your partner schedule one on one time with their children and make yourself scarce for a while. Later on, you can start having your own time with them, but it’s important to take it slow and steady. 

Be Transparent

Be as open and honest as possible when communicating with your new stepchildren. Especially for older children, don’t shy away from hard questions or hide the truth.

Be honest about any concerns you might have, and communicate about your relationship with them. It’s important to be on the same page with them as much as possible. 

You also need to be honest with your partner. Let them know about any insecurities in the relationship you have when them or their children, and any concerns or thoughts you have.

If you have any negative or positive experiences or end up in a confusing situation with one of the children, make sure you let your partner know. They’re your partner for a reason, after all, and as the children’s primary parent it’s important for them to be kept up to date with any problems.

You need to make sure the two of you are on the same page, to keep a steady environment for all of the children in your life.         

Make Your Family Cohesive

If you have your own children or other loved ones important to your life, you should do your best to make sure everyone’s relationships work together.

This can depend on what the custody agreement is with your partner’s ex. If you have joint custody, it will be a different situation if one parent has sole custody.

You can make sure that you don’t miss any major events in your stepchildren’s lives and synchronize schedules and planning with your partner and your stepchildren’s other parents using the different features on the 2houses app.

Co-Parent Successfully

Although it can often be overwhelming, it is important to create and maintain a good co-parent relationship. That will make your stepchildren feel more confident in the arrangement, and make it feel more like a real blended family for everyone involved.

There are plenty of co-parenting tips and tricks out there to help you get started on your co-parenting journey.

And, never, ever bad-talk your step-children’s other parent in front of them. That will just cause resentment and bad feelings between the children and between you and the other parent. Stay positive, and if you don’t have anything nice to say just don’t say anything at all.

Consider Your Children

If you’re bringing your own children in as part of your new blended family, the situation can get even more complicated. But, with the right tools and the right amount of effort, you’ll have a cohesive blended family in no time. 

But, it’s also important to keep it even across the board. Treat your children and your step-children the same from day one. The same punishments, the same privileges, the same curfews, and bedtimes.

You don’t want to give them a reason to resent each other, or to resent you or your partner. So, make sure you treat every child equally to avoid any complications. 

That means you should be supporting your step-children like you would your children, too. Attend their extracurricular activities and other big life events in their life. Help them with their homework, and give them support when they need it.

That way, they’ll feel like you respect them and your relationship as much as you do your biological children.

Have Confidence

No matter what, it’s important to feel strongly about the approach you’re taking. If you think there’s a problem, you should ask questions and really examine what your issue is.

Stay strong, and don’t back down when you’re right. If you look like you stand strong in your beliefs, your stepchildren will be more likely to come around to understanding your point of view.

Be Respectful of Your Step-Children

After a certain age, most kids get unruly and downright rude. That will also be true of your stepchildren. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not important for you to be respectful. You need to set an example, so that your stepchildren will see your behavior and know what’s expected of them.

That will make it easier for you to point to examples of positive and negative reinforcement in your relationship with them, and help them to understand how best to interact with you appropriately. Eventually, the respect you pay to your stepchildren will end up becoming reciprocal. 

Stay away from being judgemental as well. You won’t always know the full context of a situation, and you don’t know everything that happened in your step-children’s lives before you entered the picture.

So, be sure to always keep an open mind and be respectful with your responses to their needs and statements.

Ask For Help

Sometimes, you just need a break and to blow off some steam. Phone a trusted friend to vent any concerns, hurts, and other feelings you might have. Counseling or therapy can also be a super useful tool.

If your entire family is having trouble community, you might want to look into family therapy. If your partner and your stepchildren’s other parent are receptive, therapy can be a great tool to get you all on the same page and to help you feel more secure in your relationships.

It can be difficult reorganizing your nuclear family with biological parents and stepsiblings, so there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help if you need.

Set Plenty of Boundaries

You may feel like you want to let your stepchildren get away with whatever they want, at least at first, but it’s important to set boundaries and limits so they know what to expect.

If you fail to set boundaries now, they’ll be getting away with bad behavior for years in the future. That’s why you should stay strong right off the bat, so everyone will be happier in the long run.

And, make sure you don’t fold. Always stay strong, and stick to your guns, and eventually your boundaries will be the status quo for the family.

Meet Them at Their Level

When getting to know your step-children, it’s important to relate to them in ways that work for them. Talk to them about their interests, the subjects they like in school, and their favorite pieces of pop culture.

Find activities that they enjoy, and you can do together as a family activity. That way, they will actually want to hang out with you and won’t resent you from taking time away from their interests or friends. 

Here are some low-stress activities you can try out with your step-children that they might enjoy:

  • Go to the movies
  • Head to the bowling alley
  • Play board games at home
  • Have a picnic in the park
  • Hang out at the beach
  • Play their favorite video games
  • Head to the library for a day of reading
  • Go skating at the ice rink or the roller rink
  • Have a day of culture at a museum, aquarium, or the zoo
  • Go hiking out in the great outdoors
  • Make plans to go to a special event, like a yearly festival or parade
  • Go shopping at the mall or the local shopping district

Of course, you’ll want to base what you choose based on your step-children’s interests. Don’t make a kid who hates exercise go mini golfing, for example!

Incorporate Your Step-Children Into Your Family

You may feel like it’s important just to incorporate your step-children into your nuclear family, but you shouldn’t just stop there. it’s still important for your step-children to feel like part of the extended family, as well.

If your family has big traditions for the holidays or other occasions, make sure that your new step-children are invited and feel like a part of the tradition. That will make your family ties stronger, and make everyone feel more like a real blended family.

You can also start new traditions with your step-children. That can help them feel like you’re making an extra effort to find a way to work them in in a way that suits them, rather than trying to force them in somewhere they don’t fit.

Enjoy Your Step-Children and Your Family

As long as your patient and careful, you’ll form a good relationship with your step-children in no time flat. Just stay calm, take it slow, and be communicative, and your blended family will be perfectly happy and healthy.

Need help organizing and coordinating your blended household? Contact us today for all the tools you need.

Co-Parenting During the Holidays: Top Tips for Parents

Co-Parenting During the Holidays

When you and the other parent of your child or children are no longer together, the holidays can be rough. You want to give the best holiday experience to your entire family, but our stereotype of that experience involves a family that’s still together.

Not being romantically involved with your former partner doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fun and stress-free holiday, though. After all, children often joke about the one benefit of parents in separate households: two holidays!

Jokes aside, I want to tell you how you make co-parenting easy. Between using a co-parenting app, opening up communication, managing bad feelings, and more, here are my top tips for making your holidays special despite your situation.

Talk to Your Children

The first and most important thing that you need to do is talk to your children about the holidays (as long as they’re old enough to understand). Your children are the first priority for both you and your former partner. 

If you’re old enough, ask them what they would like to do. While their choice isn’t the only factor, it gives you a good baseline. The holidays are often child-focused. 

Some children may want to stay with the parent that’s nearest their friends if the other one lives far away. Other children will want to split time. Asking their opinions gives them agency and helps them understand the negotiating process. 

Also, regardless of age, make sure that they understand the situation, especially if it’s your first holiday after a separation. They don’t know what to expect and they may get disappointed if they realize last-minute that the holidays are going to be different this year.

Preparing them ahead of time will make them more comfortable when the holidays finally roll around. This is the new normal, and it may take more than one holiday for them to accept it, but starting them off on the right foot is all that you can do. 

Make Arrangements With Your Former Partner Ahead of Time

You need to plan ahead. You don’t want to have any last-minute disputes over who gets to spend how much time with your children and where they get to spend that time. There are several ways that you can handle this situation.

If you’re on good terms, this still applies. Even the most civil or friendly of co-parenting relationships could get tense during the holidays whether you’re on your first go-around or you’ve been doing this for a while. 

Talk with your former partner about what you want and why you want it, and give them space to do the same. Think of this as a continuation of your separation negotiations. 

If you’re not on good terms, try putting aside your differences for your children, even if this means talking through a middle-man or doing everything online. 

It’s good to have things on paper. Whether it’s in the paperwork for your separation and custody agreements, written in a later contract, recorded on a co-parenting calendar, or simply discussed via text or email, having it on paper allows you to have a paper trail and prevents you or your former partner from forgetting. 

Split Time Equally

Unless there are unusual circumstances, it’s best to split time so both parents have an equal holiday experience with their children. That said, this looks different for every family. 

If you and your former partner live far away from each other, like in different states (or even countries), it may not be possible for your children to spend the same holiday in both places. In this situation, consider alternating years, but evening out the difference with other holidays. 

For example, one parent gets the winter holidays one year, but during that same year, the other parent gets Halloween or Thanksgiving. While it’s not the same, it’s fair. You exchange spots every year outside of extenuating circumstances. 

When you live close together, it’s generally easier to switch back and forth. While only one parent will have the actual holiday (and you should still swap every year), the days before and after are still valuable.

Consider giving Christmas eve to one parent and Christmas to the other. You could also consider giving New Years to the parent that didn’t get Christmas. 

If you’re in an ideal situation, it’s possible that one parent doesn’t celebrate the same holiday as the other. If you celebrate Channukah and your former partner celebrates Christmas, there’s no problem.

Work Past Bad Feelings

Sometimes you need to work through your own emotions when there are other people in the relationship. If your or your partner (or both) re-marries, there may come a time when the children could spend more holiday time with them as they could have two sets of families on each side.

Consider seeing a counselor to discuss this as it’s a more complicated situation. It’s okay to be uncomfortable with your children spending time with the other family, but they come first.  

Discuss Gifts and Activities

It’s crucial that you and your co-parent discuss the details of the holidays before they come around. Notably: the gifts and events.

While doubling up on gifts once in a while is no big deal (after all, who doesn’t want to have a bike or television at both houses?), it’s a good idea to make sure that most gifts are given by one parent or the other.

If your child still believes in Santa, not discussing gifts ahead of time could ruin the illusion. 

Make sure that neither parent tries to “out-do” the other one to cause tension with the children. If you want to get a large gift, like a cell phone, consider doing so together. There’s no need for one parent to out-do the other when the goal is to give the kids a great holiday. 

These rules also apply to events. If you live near each other, it’s tempting to take advantage of every event even if you’re doubling up. Instead, try to split them.

For example, one parent gets to do photos with Santa while the other gets to go through a winter wonderland display. 

Some children may not mind doing an event more than once, but you don’t want one parent getting to all of them first so the child is bored by the time they go through them again. 

Use A Co-Parenting App 

It’s time to start using technology to your advantage. Using a co-parenting app and co-parenting calendar makes everything more seamless year-round. 

Using that app, you can create a parenting calendar that lets you make and track an easy-to-read schedule. When changes come up, they’re easy to make and both parents have access so there’s no confusion. 

It’s easy to message back and forth in a secure setting so there’s no chance of children finding out about potential gifts. You don’t want them listening in on the phone!

It’s also great for exchanging holiday photos. The parent without the children on the holiday may feel sad that they’re missing out. When you can share photos right away, it takes away some of the stress. 

You can even set up a private “social network” so that both sides of the family can keep up with each other. You can post pictures, statuses, videos, articles, and more so everyone has access.

This is a great alternative if you’re no longer comfortable with having your former partner on your normal social media accounts. 

The apps make co-parenting as easy and painless as possible during the holidays and beyond. 

Consider Mediation or Counseling

If you’re having trouble with the negotiation process, there’s nothing wrong with seeking out an unbiased third party to help. The holidays are stressful, so even if you usually get along, you may run into snags.

Many people continue counseling even after the relationship is over. It’s good for you, it’s good for the kids, and it’s a good way to avoid problems when situations like this arise. 

Instead of managing the stress on your own, talk to a mediator. 

Give Children Special Experiences

If your children are new to having to split their holidays, it’s important that you remind them that the holidays are still a happy and special time of year. You don’t want to make them sad or you may risk your child associating that feeling with the holidays. 

This is a perfect time to plan out special experiences.

If you can, look for fun events like breakfast with Santa, light shows, musicals, and anything else that could get your child into the festive spirit. If they have a favorite place that isn’t holiday-related, now is a great time to take them.

You should spend as much family time together as possible. Not all holiday activities are expensive or far from home.

Take your child ice skating or watch some favorite holiday movies with them. Make a point to decorate the tree (if you use one) as a family. If your child bought a gift for their other parent, help them wrap it so they know there’s no animosity. 

You can use this time to set up traditions, like baking special cookies every year or making decorations. 

A split holiday doesn’t have to be a bad holiday. When you show your child how special and warm it can be, they won’t fret when it’s time to split households. 

Consider Celebrating Together

This is an unusual situation, but if you and your co-parent are both up for it, see if you’re able to celebrate together under one roof.

This isn’t always an option, especially soon after the separation occurs. That’s okay and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. 

That said, if you’re on good terms (or even friends), it doesn’t hurt to consider the possibility of working together to make a special holiday for the kids. This doesn’t mean that you’re best friends or reuniting. You’re doing this for the children. 

Your child needs to know (or at least perceive) that you and your former partner are getting along. There should be no yelling, arguing, or otherwise disrupting the peace. 

Coming together for a holiday may give your child a more stable situation. Make sure that they understand that this is a friendly occasion rather than a romantic one.

Even if your former partner has a new partner, coming together in this way can be enjoyable if you’re ready. Don’t pressure yourself, though. 

Be Flexible

Flexibility is everything, even during “normal” holidays. There’s so much to do and so little time and things rarely go to plan. 

This is extra true when you’re co-parenting during the holidays. 

Remember that things on either side may go awry. It’s possible that the other parent needs you to have the kids even when it’s “their year,” or vice-versa.

For example, if your co-parent has someone on their side of the family that they don’t get to see often who doesn’t get many opportunities to see the children, consider letting them have “your year” after negotiating a good alternative. 

Be Gentle on Yourself 

At the end of the day, this is a stressful time. You’re managing a new situation and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You need to take time for yourself.

Engage in self-care and try to slow down despite the quick pace of the holidays. Consider seeking individual counseling if you need to discuss the events without commentary or judgment. 

Don’t put pressure on yourself to give your kids a perfect holiday. No holiday is perfect. What matters is that you’re doing your best to provide a special experience despite the circumstances. Taking care of your mental health helps you provide a better holiday for the kids. 

Use These Co-Parenting Tips for an Easier Split Holiday

No one ever said that co-parenting during the holidays was going to be easy. By using a helpful co-parenting app, keeping an open conversation with your co-parent, and prioritizing the children, it doesn’t have to be stressful. 

Remember that both you and your former partner have your children’s best interests at heart. What matters is that you all have a joyful holiday season.

Are you looking for more guidance and help for your co-parenting experience? Not only does 2houses have helpful articles that make co-parenting easy, but they also have a great co-parenting app that helps you manage all of the details of your split custody. 

For one price per family, you can revitalize your co-parenting. Sign up today and start a 14-day free trial so you can see the difference. 

The Top Ways for Your Mother-in-Law to Bond With Your Kids

The Top Ways for Your Mother-in-Law to Bond With Your Kids

Dealing with kids is hard itself, especially if you’re a single parent, coping with divorce, or under stress. How do you find the time to ensure all their relationships for your kids are still in check?

The grandchildren-grandparent relationship is especially important. Those who are close to their grandparents have healthier lives overall. They have fewer emotional problems even later in life.

Maybe you and your mother-in-law didn’t have the perfect relationship. Read on for the top ways for your mother-in-law to bond with your kids. You can still ensure your children have a good connection with your ex-in-laws with these tips. 

Be a Role Model

Kids are little copy machines. They mimic the behavior of everyone around them, especially the parents. If you want them to get closer to their grandparents, you should also show how you care about your in-laws.

You set an example for your kids. If you let them see how you love their grandparents, they’ll follow and behave the same way.

If your in-law is far away, you can tell stories about your relationship with her. This makes them excited about meeting their grandparent.

Even if they haven’t had many mother-in-law bonding moments with her, making them comfortable around their grandparents is important. It will allow them to bond easier and better in the future.

Encourage Your Kids

In the physical absence of the grandparents, you will take on the role of bringing them closer. In line with our advice above, you can do this by telling stories. 

Think of some interesting memories you’ve had with your in-laws. Hearing about them through your stories will make your kids feel closer. 

Then, encourage your children to make memories with them, too. Let them think of ways they can connect with their grandparents. 

Have them make a list of what activities they would like to do with their grandparents. Make sure to let them think about what your in-laws would enjoy doing, as well. 

You can suggest things that your kids might like to learn. If your in-laws have hobbies or occupations that they can teach to your children. 

Give Them Some Alone Time

The best way your in-laws and kids can bond is if you give them some alone time. Kids are pretty attached to parents, so you’ll likely get in the way of their bonding without intending to. They might pay more attention to you instead of the grandparent.

Once you’re sure that your kid is okay with the grandparents, you can schedule some alone time. It’s best to do this once they’ve already met your in-laws a couple of times. That way, they won’t feel that you left them to a stranger.

Alone time can range from an uninterrupted moment in your home or a date night without either parent. As the parent, you can also choose the level of interaction you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to force your kid for a whole weekend alone with grandma if they’re uncomfortable. 

When they’re alone, your children have no choice but to interact with their grandparents. This gives them better chances to find things they like about each other.

They’ll feel closer to each other this way. Soon, they’ll develop an unbreakable bond they’ll cherish for the rest of their lives. 

As they feel more comfortable, they can have more alone times with their grandparents. You can have them start from a few hours in your house, then progress to seeing a movie together.

Activities like fishing and going to amusement parks can be next in line. If all three parties agree, you can allow your kids to stay overnight at their grandparent’s house. 

Go on Vacations Together

When you go on vacations, consider inviting your in-laws, too. These moments offer great opportunities for making memories, which is why these are important for the grandparents, too. 

Even a simple trip to the beach can be meaningful to everyone involved. Your kids will always be able to associate good memories with their grandparents.

Once you’re comfortable with the idea, you can also have your kids go on vacations without you. These moments are rare, but it’s a great way to further strengthen their relationship. Plus, you can get some more “me time,” which is a precious commodity for all the single parents out there.

Play Board Games

Humans have long been using board games to bond with their peers. The good thing about it is that it brings together generations.

You can play them with your friends, parents, and grandparents. As long as everyone knows the rules, everyone is up for a good time. 

Board games force face-to-face interactions, unlike other types of games. Video games, for example, require players to glue their eyes on the screen. There’s little interaction aside from talking. 

That’s why they’re great as a bonding activity even when the players have a huge age gap. Your kids will be able to connect more with your in-laws. And, as a plus, this activity can foster their social skills, too.

Board games also require thinking and strategizing. These can help your kids develop other skills, like decision-making and problem-solving.

Invite the Grandparents to Meals

Eating meals together is a good opportunity to have meaningful conversations. Dinners, in particular, are a good time for everyone to bring closure to their days.

You should encourage conversations during family dinners. Ask your kids about their days, and share some stories about yours, too. You can also ban cellphones on the table so that everyone can pay attention to the table.

When this becomes a normal part of any meal, it will be easier to bond over a good meal. You can then invite them over for dinner once in a while. You can even schedule weekly dinners as kids like having routines.

When possible, you can also dine out in new and interesting restaurants. Make it a fun activity for everyone. Get your kids excited about it so they’ll look forward to it every time. 

Let Them Do Any Activity At All

Are your in-laws coming over? That’s enough opportunity for both them and the kids to have some bonding sessions. They can do any activity while they’re at your house.

It can be cooking a meal, reading a book, or even cleaning. It can be any activity that they’re willing to participate in. That should be enough to make them closer to each other.

Encourage Them to Hear Some Family Stories

Every grandparent has cool stories to share. Whenever the chance arises, get your kids to ask about them. Your in-laws will be happy to tell some interesting stories that might even interest you.

Your in-laws will appreciate the rare chance to tell their stories. And, your kids will love hearing about them.

It’s a good opportunity for you and your children to hear more about the family. These are stories they’ll carry for the rest of their lives.

This is one of the top ways for your mother-in-law to bond with your kids because it can happen anywhere. They can tell the stories over the phone, when they come over, or even right before bedtime.

Invite the Grandparents to Your Kids’ Activities

Do your kids have any extracurricular activities, like soccer, ballet, or piano lessons? If so, their grandparents should be involving themselves in some way.

You can invite them to matches, recitals, and even to practices. Keep them updated, send them pictures, and tell them stories. They’ll appreciate the gesture as you make sure they’re still involved in your children’s lives.

Your children will also appreciate that their grandparents are coming to see them. They’ll remember all the times your in-laws came to support them. After every event, you can go for meals together to further strengthen their bond.

This is only a problem if your in-laws don’t live nearby and can’t come over often. In this case, you can take advantage of the Internet to involve them in these events and activities.

You can call them over their device and enable video. It may sound like a cliche and a hassle, but it’s important to involve them in these events. Speaking of tech, continue reading to find out how else you can integrate technology into bonding.

Connect Over Long Distances

Thanks to the newest technology, you can now talk face-to-face with anyone in the world. As long as you have a device that can connect to the internet, you can see your loved ones anytime.

This is useful for when you want your in-laws to bond with your kids but physical meetings are impossible. Normalize letting your kids talk to their grandparents over Skype or Zoom.

This can be a weekly ritual, in which your children can share how their week went. Have them tell absurd kid stories, and ask how their grandparents are doing. This timeframe offers enough of a break to help kids gather stories to tell.

This isn’t the only way you can take advantage of technology, though. You can also play games in real-time over the internet or find videos to watch together.

The internet is a gold mine of information and activities. You only have to regulate your kids’ consumption and make sure they stay on the good side of the internet.

Send Them Letters and Arts

Another way you can conquer the distance is to do it the old way – by sending the grandparents letters. While the internet makes everything more convenient, using the mail system makes for a cool new activity for your kids.

Have your kids write letters to your in-laws in their own words. Tell them to write about their day, their new favorite movie, their pet, or anything at all. It doesn’t even have to make sense – their grandparents will love it either way.

For the grandparents, every letter they receive becomes a treasure. Don’t let it surprise you if you find a box full of their grandchildren’s letters in their house.

To spice things up a bit, you can also send some of your kids’ creative works. Be it a finger painting, a nice drawing of their grandparents, or an unidentified craft. It will be a nice addition to your in-laws’ fridge or such.

The bonus is that making some arts and crafts is also a good bonding activity for you and your children. It’s a great way to keep them busy, and they’ll enjoy making it with you, as well.

Allow the Grandparents to Share Their Hobbies

Sometimes, you should also let the grandparents take the helm. What do they want to do with their grandkids?

They might want to share their hobby or favorite activity. It could be gardening, fishing, shopping, or some other interest. 

This is a good way for your kids to learn more about their grandparents. They might even love doing a particular activity so much that they want to make it their hobby, too. This gives them more common grounds, which they can bond over in the future.

Look for More Ways for Your Mother-in-Law to Bond With Your Kids

Looking for more ideas? You can always come up with new ways for your mother-in-law to bond with your kids.

Find activities that work for all parties involved. After all, every kid and every situation are different. If you need more parenting tips, feel free to visit our website or contact us for more details.