How to Talk to Your Preteen About Stress

preteen about stress - 2houses

Preteens, also referred to as tweens, have a lot going on both physically and emotionally. Many preteens go through puberty, a process which often causes mood-altering hormonal changes.

During this time, many tweens are still expected to attend school, participate in sports, and help with household chores. Combine these changes and expectations with the fact that 1 out of 8 kids have anxiety, a condition that causes fear and uneasiness, and it’s easy to see why the preteen years can be stressful. Review the tips below so that you can effectively discuss stressful situations with your preteen without coming across as uncompassionate or judgmental.

Ask, Don’t Assume

Many parents unintentionally act as if they know their preteens better than their preteens know themselves. Anytime you have a conversation with your preteen, whether it’s a quick chat or a lengthy heart-to-heart, don’t make assumptions about how she thinks, feels, or behaves. Ask her open-ended questions rather than questions that require a simple yes or no, and then listen when she answers. Don’t talk over her or say that she’s wrong; let her share her opinions or experiences during a judgment-free chat session.

Unsure whether you make assumptions? Here are some common statements parents make:

  • – I know you’ve been stressed lately.
  • – All kids your age want a boyfriend or girlfriend, so I know you like someone.
  • – If I walk upstairs right now, I’m sure I’ll find your bed unmade and your clothes everywhere.
  • – I know you probably hate me right now, but…

These statements make assumptions about your preteen’s thoughts or actions. Instead of beginning a sentence with “I know,” try saying “I feel” instead. Also, avoid projecting your own childhood experiences on your preteen with statements like “All kids your age…”. Your tween may feel that you are implying they are lying or hiding things, which can create additional stress. It may also make them worry that they are failing to do normal activities that other preteens do.

Choose the Right Time

Family meals may seem like an excellent time to discuss stressors because everybody is in one place at the same time. However, your preteen may feel uncomfortable talking about her problems in front of everyone. You may also prefer to reserve mealtimes for fun, casual topics such as weekend plans or popular TV shows instead of addressing heavy topics.

If your preteen has a busy schedule, squeeze in time to chat before bed or during car rides to school or social commitments. You can also take your child out for some one-on-one time and chat over ice cream or milkshakes. Ask your tween what works for them and then plan something together.

Offer Potential Solutions Cautiously

Sometimes your tween simply needs a compassionate ear while she vents about a temporary problem. Other times, she may be battling an ongoing source of stress and want you to offer potential solutions. Things like peer pressure, low self-esteem, academics or a big move can all cause stress in a child’s life. Verbally offer potential solutions if you think your teen might be receptive to them or benefit from them. If not, consider leaving a journal, squishy ball, or meditative CD on her bed so that she can tackle feelings of stress on her own terms.

Tweens who want help with their stress can try yoga, deep breathing techniques, or visualizations. You can also take steps to eliminate stressors from your child’s life rather than just teaching her how to cope with them. For example, if she’s stressed because of a bully at school, you can speak with the principal and help put a stop to the situation. If she’s upset because a friend isn’t speaking to her, you can help her analyze the argument and determine whether to apologize or give the friend space.

If your tween internalizes stressful situations, she may become depressed or anxious. Encourage her to talk about what’s on her mind by utilizing the suggestions above.


20 Useful Tips for Single Parents Traveling with Young Children

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Any parent knows that traveling with young children isn’t the easiest of the things. At times, it can be outright challenging, especially if you’re a single parent. But most parents are known to be resourceful which is why we know they would love any tip or suggestion that would make traveling with children easier and much more fun!

Here, is sharing a set of tips and tricks for all single parents who wish to make the most of globe-trotting with their children!

Don’t Forget the Medicine at Home!

Don’t Forget the Medicine at Home!
This is very important and something a lot of parents overlook. Do not forget medicine at home, whatever you do! Bring medicine for pain, upset tummies, fevers, allergies, and anything else (prescription or not) that your child might require, but make sure that it’s medicine you can travel with. A feverish child is something nobody wants!

Book Transportation in Advance

When leaving on vacation with your child, it is important to think ahead of all the steps needed to be taken from the time you take your first step out your front door, until you put your bags down in your hotel room. Which is why transportation is so important. Don’t just rely on the fact that you will find a taxi when you get off the airplane! Because if you don’t, then you’ll be stuck with a tired child outside an airport and that has got to be a horrible situation to find yourself in. Call ahead, reserve a car, ask around; whatever you do, make sure there’s a car waiting for you when you guys land.

Board Early

Board Early
We know it can be hard to leave the house early when going on vacation with a small child, but if you do make out the door early, you’ll have only benefits to reap. Some airlines will allow parents with children to board just after the first class passengers, so if you make it early, you’re in luck. Boarding early will also release tension and stress, and you and your child will be able to relax on the journey.

Mind the Toys

No matter where you go and for how long you’re staying, you need to bring some toys! Now, it is advisable that you always travel light, so make sure you scale it down when it comes to toys. Hopefully, that can be done without tears being shed, if not, there are so many great travel toys out there that your little one can enjoy.

Avoid Sugar on the Road

Avoid Sugar on the Road
Try as much as possible to avoid giving your child sugar before going on a trip. The last thing you want is for your child to have all the energy in the world kick in when you’re taking off. If they do want something sweet, fruit is always a nice choice, or home made granola. Make the treats small and make sure they eat real food before they have their treats.

Don’t Be Afraid of Your Stroller

Some parents can be so apologetic of the stroller. Some avoid it altogether because it’s too heavy or too hard to carry around on vacations, but we advise against that. A stroller can be a huge help, especially on vacations and in airports, when you have to do a lot of walking. You also need to know that strollers don’t count hand luggage.

Do a Little Training Before You Leave

Do a Little Training Before You Leave
If your child is old enough to remember tasks, then it is wise to do a little training with them before you leave on your vacation. Explain to them what to expect and what is expected from them. Make it short, because we all know kids aren’t too good at paying attention for long periods of time.

Invest in a Child Tracker

The thought that you might lose your child is enough to make any parent break out in a cold sweat, which is why we highly recommend that when you’re on vacation, you get a child tracker for them. Here is a list of some of the most popular child trackers. There are trackers that can be worn as a bracelet, be attached on clothes, just pick the one you think is best for your kid!

Do Your Check In Online

Do Your Check In Online
Online check in has improved airports so much! You can now avoid massive lines by simply checking in online a day in advance from the comfort of your home. I mean, how amazing is that?! If you’re not doing it, we urge you to start checking in online and you’ll see how wonderful it feels to simply breeze through the airport in no time!

Flight Attendants are Your Friends

Flight attendants are there to help you and you! As a single parent traveling with a small child, you should take advantage of that as much as you can. We’re not saying that you should pester them with non-stop requests, but you shouldn’t feel guilty every time you need them for something. Let’s say you need to use the bathroom and you can’t take your child with you. Instead of asking the person sitting next to you to keep an eye out on them, ask one of the flight attendants. They’d be more than happy to help!

Avoid the Back of the Plane

Avoid the Back of the Plane
If you can choose your seats on an airplane, then we recommend you stay away from the back of the plane. It is undoubtedly the loudest spot in the whole airplane. It’s where there is always a line for the lavatory, where the flight attendants are chatting and getting the serving trays ready and where pretty much all the action happens. A child will surely get distracted by all the commotion and that is something nobody on the plane wants.

Research, Research, Research

Researching a hotel is one of the best things a traveler can do before booking a vacation. And this is valid for any traveler, especially for single parents traveling with their children, where so much more things can go wrong. You need to know if a hotel offers babysitting, or if they have a playpen or a laundry service. Everything you need to have a great vacation! Websites such as Hotels or TripAdvisor are awesome for finding out this type of information.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Noise Cancelling Headphones
A pair of good noise cancelling headphones can really make a difference when traveling with a young child. In airports or anywhere there are loud announcements, on the road or in city centers, your small child needs to be shielded from loud noises. Or use them when your child is napping in an airplane or train and you don’t want them to be easily startled. Just make sure that you choose a pair that fits, if there’s one teeny tiny spot that doesn’t around your child’s ear, then everything is in vain!

Announce in Advance You Have Kids

Another great tip that will surely make a huge difference in your stay at any hotel is to announce in advance that you have kids. This way, you get all the information about what that particular hotel can offer and you’ll be able to schedule accordingly. These days, many hotels offer great kids programs that can give you some much needed time off, so make sure you let them know about it!

Create a Routine

Create a Routine
Parents know very well that children thrive on routine, so we highly suggest that you create one for your child while on vacation. It may seem counterproductive to fun, but it’s really not. If your child learns on the first few days how things are going to be, they’ll start relaxing and be more manageable, which will only make your life easier!

Early to Bed, Early to Rise

When on vacation with a small child, it is very important that they go to bed early, for their sake for also for yours. They will be tired and there’s no point mentioning how tired children behave. Besides, if they go to bed early, you get a little time to yourself, to unwind, relax and plan out the schedule for your next day.

Stay As Close to the City Attractions as Possible

Stay As Close to the City Attractions as Possible
When booking a hotel, do your best to choose a hotel that is as close as possible to the city attractions. Even though these hotels tend to be a bit pricier, you will save money on transportation and your child will be a tiny bit happier, because they won’t be forced to walk or be transported too much. Also, you save a lot of time and you can be in and out of things such as museums, in no time!

Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst, and Prepare to be Surprised

Alright, so your vacation probably won’t really be the worst, but you do need to plan accordingly. Just make sure that a few days before you leave, you make a list of things that could go wrong and think how you can counteract that. For example, in case you lose an item that is really important, then make sure you pack a spare one. Trips with small children tend to be filled with surprises, so just make sure you do your best to foresee them, as much as you can.


Alright, now that you’ve planned for the worst and you’re prepared to be surprised, how about you relax? Anxiety is your worst nightmare when leaving on a vacation with your small one, because it produces nothing helpful, just horrible thoughts of things that can go wrong, worrying and stress. We know it’s hard to relax, especially when planning for a vacation when you’re a single parent, which is why we suggest you look into meditation. If you’re already familiar with it, why not go on a meditation retreat?

Go on Single Parent and Kids Retreats

Going on retreats that are aimed at single parents with kids is a great way to unwind and also bond with your child. The absolute best thing about single parent and kids vacations is the support system you will discover there. Meeting single parents will undoubtedly open up your eyes to a whole new world and make you feel like you’re not alone in this, even though, at times, it might seem so. You get to see new and exciting locations, meet like-minded people, bond with your child, relax, have fun and also learn new things. What can be more appealing than that?

Cristina Costea

Cristina is the Community Manager of, a themed travel website offering a vast collection of singles vacations & solo holidays. She is also a passionate traveler, cat aficionado and novice writer.

Children and lies: how to react?

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It’s not unusual for a child to lie on occasion. This isn’t saying the behavior is right, but it is an indication that it isn’t always a serious concern. How you react to the situation may depend on several factors. For instance, age and the number of times it has happened both play a role.

Age Is an Important Number

First and foremost, whoever said age isn’t nothing but a number wasn’t referring to lying. Children who make up stories when they’re under the age of six are just being imaginative and are having fun making up a story. The lies aren’t meant to hurt anyone and aren’t usually anything to worry about. They don’t understand the difference between reality and fiction just yet. You will want to discuss the difference between the truth and a lie with them.

A child may lie for various reasons. Much of the lying is self serving to avoid punishment or having to do something. At this age, it’s time to sit your child down and have a discussion on the importance of being truthful and how lies can hurt other people. When you discuss how lying is a bad behavior, you never want to tell your child she is bad for lying. If the child thinks she’s bad, it can lead to more lying to cover up bad behaviors.

A child between the ages of 6 and 12 may lie just to get out of trouble such as making up an excuse as to why she is late coming home. Make sure you know for sure she’s lying. If you accuse and you’re wrong, you’ll be the one to look foolish and you’ll harm the trust you two have. The best punishment for this age bracket is either taking something away such as TV or video games, or grounding.

The ages from 13 to 18 get a bit rough because your child is really striving to gain independence. The lies are oftentimes a way to cover up partying or just wanting freedom. Make sure you know the child is lying first and foremost. Then let your teen know you know what the real truth is. Give them an opportunity to explain her case. Then you should take away her cell phone, driving privileges or etc to let her know that type of behavior is unacceptable. You want to make it clear that you’re doing this because you need to know where she is for her safety, or why you’re punishing her for whatever she did wrong.

Frequency and Punishment

Your child telling lies can become a frequent event if she is stressed and trying to juggle the demands of her home, school and social life. You should make her aware that you know she’s lying and see if that stops the problem.  Make sure you let her know you’re there to help her through whatever she’s going through, so she doesn’t have to lie. If it doesn’t stop the problem, you’ll need to find an appropriate punishment such as a grounding.

When There’s a Problem

In some cases, your tot’s lying may be indicative of a more serious problem. If your child is telling lies and seems unphased by them or doesn’t care about how they affect others, you may need to seek evaluation by a professional to discover the underlying cause of the lying. Lie that are meant to hurt others or cause problem is also a sign of a more serious problem.

When you live in two separate houses, how you react needs to be consistent in both households. For example, if you one parent is letting it go and the other is correcting it, it will send mix signals to your kid. The apps can help you to balance a child’s life when she has parents who aren’t together anymore in terms of punishment and other aspects. In fact, their apps can assist in getting your child to stop lying about school, partying, where they were and whatever other lies they concoct.

Married life on social network

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Keeping a marriage alive and well has always been an ongoing challenge for couples. In the good old days, the “mother-in-law” was always blamed for interfering with the marriage. But today, social networking is the hurdle putting marriages to the test. According to Divorce-Online, a British legal service, more than a third of divorces implicate Facebook. And, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that more than 80% of the divorce attorneys in the U.S. see an increase in divorce actions involving social networking. So, with social media becoming a universal form of communication, what can you and your spouse do to protect your relationship?

Don’t Post Anything You May Regret

It’s very tempting in the heat of a marital spat to want to vent. Before the internet, you would confide in your best friend over a cup of coffee. No big deal if you said some things you regret – it was just one person after all. But social media is real time and it’s not just one person you are sharing with … it’s the world. While you may be looking for an appreciative audience to validate your grievances, friends and family don’t want to be put in the middle – and it’s likely to back fire on you.

A good example of sharing too much information is a woman who posted complaints about her spouse every day on Facebook. At first, her friends thought she was just prone to drama or she and her spouse might be going through a rough patch. But as time went on, the posts became more toxic and her friends became more uncomfortable. One by one, they started to defriend her, and ultimately the couple divorced.

Regardless of the nature of your marital problems, sharing these matters on social networks leads to feelings of betrayal and lack of trust. And, hurtful posts can reduce your chances of working out problems.

Think About the Kids

If negative postings make adults uncomfortable, just think how they affect children who may have access to their Mom or Dad’s Facebook page? It can be very embarrassing for children, force them to choose sides and foster feeling of insecurity. Kids should never be a part of your marital fights … on line or off.

Set Clear Social Media Boundaries

Just as you monitor your children’s use of social media, you and your spouse need to set rules for yourselves. Nothing should be shared with the outside world unless you’re both in agreement … even good positive moments. Not everyone wants the intimate details of their lives out on the web, or pictures posted that they feel uncomfortable with others seeing.

Be cautious and considerate about whom you befriend. How secure do either of you feel with befriending people from past relationships? Refrain from posting comments to others that could be misconstrued as suggestive or flirting. And, come to an agreement on time spent networking before it becomes an issue.

By sharing your Facebook passwords with each other, you can build trust and help keep yourselves within your agreed boundaries. Remember that openness and honesty helps build the foundation for a good marriage. And, if you cannot post something nice … don’t post anything at all!

What are the 5 best places in the world to go on vacation alone with my ​​children

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Summer vacations can be difficult if you are newly separated. Your children may not want to go far away, especially if their other parent still lives in the same town, and you may not be able to provide the same type of vacation experience that they had when you and your co-parent went on vacation with them as a family. If you choose places that cater specifically to single or separated parents, you and your kids can still have a good time and take all of your minds off of the change in your family situation.

Before You Leave

Before choosing a destination for travel, you may need to do a couple of things in order to ensure a safe, stress-free and fun experience.

  • Tell your co-parent when and where you are traveling in order to eliminate confusion and anxiety. Make sure he or she knows where you and the kids will be so that it doesn’t look like you are trying to keep the kids from him or her.
  • Get a notarized letter of consent from your co-parent if you are planning on traveling abroad.
  • Take pictures of your kids so that if they get lost while you are traveling you can quickly alert authorities.

Consider Single Parent Travel Packages

Expense can sometimes be a problem for single parents. More and more destinations, however, are realizing there’s a need for separated parents to take their children on vacation and are offering travel packages that are designed for them. These travel packages generally include lower prices, activities for kids and appropriate accommodations.

Places to Go

There are several places to go that might be of interest to single parents and their children:

  • Small Group Tours of the United Kingdom – There are several tours that allow parents and children to spend time together while sightseeing and throughout the United Kingdom. Tours usually include sightseeing stops and hotel accommodations for two to three nights. The small group atmosphere makes it easier for both parents and their children to make friends.

  • Christchurch, New Zealand – Christchurch has plenty of family-friendly attractions, such as the Orana Wildlife Park, the Botanic Gardens and even an indoor playground where parents can purchase a cappuccino to drink while watching their children climb, bounce and run. The playground also features a babysitting service for single moms and dads who want to do some sightseeing or shopping on their own.

  • The Caribbean – Several beaches in the Caribbean offer single parent packages. Beach trips may include water parks, accommodations with ocean views and time in the sun and sand.

  • South America – South American countries such as Guatemala offer parents and children exposure to ancient and modern cultures that are different from their own, exotic food, local events and marketplaces where children can meet local craftsmen and artisans.


  • Cruises around the coasts of various countries – Cruise ships are often a great opportunity for a single parent holiday. Family-friendly cruises offer accommodations for parents and children, activities both can enjoy and views of various countries from the ocean. Some cruises offer the ability to take day trips to the countries being visited.


For more advise for single and newly-separated parents, please visit our site

I’m afraid to make mom or dad sad if…

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The most crucial component of successful co-parenting and child happiness is communication. Both parents must communicate amicably and effectively with each other. They must also facilitate positive communication between the child and parents, as well as the child and siblings.


Children often blame themselves for the end of their parents’ relationship as a way of understanding a confusing and scary change in life. It is important to communicate to your child that they are in no way responsible for what is happening. By stressing this message, you can help your child avoid developing anxiety or resentment over what they perceive to be the loss of a parent.

Getting used to having separated parents who live in different places can be confusing to the children and lead to the idea that he or she must choose between mom and dad. Use these tips to help your child deal with the feelings of “choosing” a parent:

  • Let your child know that they never have to choose between mom and dad
  • At the same time, let them know it’s okay to want to spend time each parent
  • Make it clear that you want them to spend time with their other parent
  • Have an open channel of communication so your child isn’t afraid to tell you if he or she wants to spend time with the other parent

Children are often reluctant to communicate openly during a divorce or separation because they are afraid their parents will be sad if they don’t take mom or dad’s side. Questions like “Will mom be sad if I want to spend the weekend at dad’s house?” or “Will dad be mad if mom takes me shopping for school clothes?” are common for children of divorced parents. By encouraging open communication, reassuring the child that he or she is not to blame, and stressing that neither parent will be hurt or sad by the child’s requests, you can help your child navigate this confusing time.


Along with communication, organization is essential to avoid many common issues encountered with kids of divorce. By keeping an organized handle on your child’s life, coparenting can be a rewarding partnership, rather than a source of conflict. Simple acts like calling the other parent if you are running late or have a change of plans can keep everyone happy and avoid conflict and resentment.

Organizational tools, like the 2houses website or mobile app, allow you and your co-parent to have a shared source of information pertaining to your child including a calendar, journal, photo album, finance notes, messages, and an info bank. By using this app, which lets you instantly share information synched to your phones, many of the hassles of coordinating drop offs and pick ups, finance issues, and relaying information of your child, can all be done with a few simple clicks.

By focusing on positive communication and effective organization, divorce doesn’t have to be the end of a family, but can instead facilitate a loving co-parented family bound by respect, joy and, happiness.



The place of my new partner in the education of my child

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Your child’s success and security in life depends upon a good education. So, it is understandable as a parent, you feel responsible and protective for that part of your child’s upbringing.

But, now with a new spouse in the picture, parenting decisions become more complicated. If your spouse seems to be forcing his or her authority in an area where you would prefer to have the first and final word, it could be that they just don’t know what their appropriate role should be.

However, keep in mind, as a stepparent, he or she does have the best of intentions for your child, and these new blended family disputes can be resolved?

Communication with a Capital “C”

The best way to set a solid foundation for your new family and head off conflict is … Communication. If education is the issue that is bothering you, sit down with your spouse and have an open and honest discussion.

If you are able to listen and hear each others point of view – listen is a key word here – you may find that you actually have a lot of the same views on education. Perhaps what you are in disagreement about is who should take charge of educational issues, and who should be the ally and supporter.

Define Your Spouse’s Role

Tell your spouse that you do value his or her ideas, but you want to be in charge of your child’s education. Suggest your spouse’s role be one of guidance and support rather than decision making and authority.

Stepparents who are involved, interested and supportive can do so much more for the family dynamic than trying to take control. Power struggles create a stressful environment that is not healthy for children. In addition, the friction will interfere with your spouse’s attempts to develop a positive relationship with your child. A helpful, upbeat environment at home encourages learning.

Learning Opportunities with a Stepparent

Education is more than school, homework, or good grades. Your child’s learning can be enriched by a stepparent who is willing to spend time and share learning opportunities beyond school.
Shared learning opportunities can be as simple as reading a book or working on a home improvement project together.

If your spouse is an outdoors enthusiast, a walk in the woods, exploring and discussing the trees and vegetation is loved by most children. Giving your child lessons in the game of tennis or golf can be a bonding opportunity while learning something new at the same time. Maybe your new spouse has an interest in art or music that he can share with your child. A trip to the local science museum or zoo is always fun for children, and they learn too

These types of pastimes will encourage your new spouse to be a part of your child’s life. And, sharing time together with fun positive activities can cement the relationship between stepparent and child and create a lifetime of memories..

How to reconcile professional and private life when we are separated?

professional and personal life - 2houses

After a divorce, you have to try to regain a normal life. This includes getting your personal life and your professional life back together. Despite anything you may be going through, you can’t let your work and home life suffer. In particular, you need to focus on keeping your children’s lives as stable as possible. This might seem a bit overwhelming, but with a few tips and the right tools, you can reconcile your professional and private life even when you’re separated.

Private Life

Your private life describes anything having to do with your family such as your children, your ex partner, your friends, your home and etc. It’s easy to let your personal life get away from you a bit during your split up. To keep on the right track, make sure you continue to schedule time to be with your friends. A lady’s or man’s night out might be just what you need to get back into the groove of socializing. Plus, it’s an excellent way to keep your mind off occupied. Make sure you call up your friends still on a regular basis, so you don’t lose touch with them while you’re focusing on your life. Don’t forget about your family either. They can make this process easier on you. Find a family friendly activities for you and the kids to do, which will be good for both of you. Your kids will enjoy a little bit extra of your time.

Professional Life

Your professional life includes every aspect of your job from the actual work part to the lunches you take. A separation may lead to you not performing on the job as well as you did before the breakup. You may not feel the urge to go out with co-workers or participate in events held by the company. The best thing you can do is to participate and get involved. Keep your mind active, and your attention geared toward the positive. Use your break to vent. Try writing in a journal during your 30-minute or 15-minute break to keep your emotions in check, so you don’t feel the need to mix your personal life with your professional life. Maybe use your commute to work as your time to think about everything, so you avoid bringing your personal life into the workplace. Promise yourself to leave your feelings at the door, meaning as soon as you walk in, your thoughts automatically convert to business.

Balancing Your Children and the Rest of Your Life

Once you go through the process of separation, you’ll need to learn to get your life back on track along with learning to deal with your professional and personal life with your children who need you more than ever right now. Firstly, schedule dinner time every night for you to sit down as a family and stay connected. You’ll feel better and so will your children. The next order of business you need to consider is that you may be responsible for more now that you have the kids by yourself for at least a few days.

Fortunately, 2houses has a calendar to keep everything from your children’s life to your private and professional life in order. 2houses also has an info bank section that allows you and your ex to create an address book and a list of medical information online for both of you to be able to view and edit, making it easier for you to juggle everything. You’re able to share documents as well.

With so much going on, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. Everything will get back to order in due time. Most importantly, by take time out for yourself and using 2houses, you’ll have the ability to maintain balance. So do not hesitate to check it now, it’s free!

How to avoid jealousy between children ?

jealousy between children - 2houses

Children are exquisitely sensitive. They have to learn a great deal in a short amount of time, so their brains are hard-wired for imitation, repetition, inference and unspoken language. Parents have to shield children for life’s harshest aspects, so they tend to think that they can hide their feelings as well, especially if those feelings are conflicted or touch on anger, hurt, jealousy and doubt. In families where the parents are experiencing relationship problems, jealousy among the children can arise as the reflection of the parent’s complex conflict.

One thing that must be communicated clearly within families is that it is perfectly normal for children to experience feelings of jealousy or resentment toward their brothers and sisters at some point. We are all human with occasional selfish tendencies and life can’t always be fair. It is inevitable that children may pick up on even trace amounts of favoritism. “It’s not fair!” and “Mom always liked you best!” have probably been shouted out by children since the Stone Age. When the jealousy between siblings becomes violent or persistent then the problem must be addressed head on with a combination of firmness and compassion. The consequences of untreated jealousy can be stunted emotional growth, exaggerated selfishness and erratic, sometimes dangerous, cries for attention. These are actually common issues encountered by children of divorce and separated parents. These troubled children deserve extra care and support, not shaming and condemnation.

The best way to shorten or avoid the rivalries altogether is by reminding children frequently about all the ways that they are unique and wonderful in themselves. Here are 4 ways to help children resolve their differences and become lifelong friends as well as siblings.

  • Help them work it out.

Don’t always step in to decide. Offer them alternatives and explanations, remind them of how much fun they have had playing together, then step away. Allow them plenty of time to practice problem resolution skills.

  • Build their self-esteem.

It doesn’t matter what someone else has if you are happy with your own life. Gift them the gift of gratitude and confidence with these self-esteem boosters.

  • Call on The Boat.

One of the most effective metaphors for a family is a boat on the ocean in a storm. Read a book or watch a movie together about people on a boat who have to pull together to weather the storm. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” for example, shows two very different crews and the benefits of working together.

  • Plan a day out.

When their worlds are bigger, petty squabbles don’t matter so much. Get them out of the four walls they see every day and show them the abundance of the outside world. Export the 2houses calendar to your smartphone and give them a field trip that they will remember the rest of their lives.

Get your wallet ready for the divorce

divorce - 2houses

If you believe divorce is in the foreseeable future, it’s a smart move to starting planning your finances and budget before divorce proceedings begin.  Transitioning to a life after divorce will be much easier and with less of an upheaval when you are financially prepared.  Meet with your planners, use online resources and create a divorce team so you can expertly navigate the details of a divorce.  This post will discuss some suggestions to help get you started and ensure a smoother journey on this difficult path.

Meet with a Financial Advisor and Estate Planner

Make a plan to meet with a financial advisor to review bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement funds and other important financial papers. If these accounts are in your name, your advisor will ensure the right beneficiaries are listed and the funds invested in are appropriate for your situation. An Estate Planner can help you draw up a new Will, advise on obtaining new insurance quotes and advise on your tax situation. Deductibles and other taxation issues will arise, especially if children are involved.

Open your own financial accounts

If you don’t already have your own personal bank accounts or credit cards, open them now and start using them. It can be difficult to obtain credit after your divorce, especially if you are a stay-at-home mom or have put your career on hold. While still married, you can use your shared household income when applying for credit.

Review your credit report

Obtain your credit report and review it for anything that may have tarnished your credit history. If mistakes are present in the report, take steps to correct them now. Pay down any debts you have to improve your credit rating.

Become familiar with online resources

You can find online tools and mobile apps to manage expenses for both households after the divorce. These are great tools to capture expenses and income to keep the accounts balanced and are especially important when children are involved. If your divorce settlement will include monthly support payments, a feature in this online resource will send out friendly reminders that payment has not yet been received which can help to avoid conflicts in your post-divorce relationship with your spouse.


With a looming divorce you will experience many emotions from sadness to worry to peace of mind. Having familiarity with your current finances, especially if your spouse handled the money will bring you confidence and security about your future. Keep your team and resources close at hand so you too can look forward to a single, joyous and independent life.