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struggles of co-parenting

Do The Struggles Of Co-Parenting Ever End?

struggles of co-parenting

 

As a therapist and writer specializing in divorce, I’m often asked, “When does co-parenting get easier?” While there is no simple answer to this question, most experts probably agree that while families usually adapt to co-parenting over time, it never really gets easier. Most co-parenting arrangements, especially after an acrimonious split, can be exhausting and exasperating.

Put simply, the challenges change as children grow and develop. Consequently, it’s key for parents to keep in mind that the tools necessary to succeed need to be modified considerably as children age and mature.

Do The Struggles Of Co-Parenting Ever End?

Clearly, research by child development experts demonstrates numerous benefits to children when their living arrangements enable support from both parents. One reason is that parents who co-parent tend to experience lower conflict than those who have sole custody arrangements.

Studies show that conflict is what creates the most pain and anguish for children after parents’ split and that keeping parental disagreements to a minimum is a key aspect of helping kids become resilient.

Co-parenting, at its best, is a wonderful opportunity for children of divorce to have close to equal access to both parents – to feel it is okay to love both of their parents.  Dr. Joan Kelly, a renowned psychologist reminds us that the outcomes for children of divorce improve when they have positive bonds with both parents. These include better psychological and behavioral adjustment and enhanced academic performance.

However, few authors mention that while co-parenting is the best decision for children, it takes two special parents to navigate this arrangement over time. Interacting with each other at drop-offs, making shared decisions, or even speaking to an ex who you’d rather forget can be a challenge.

In order to succeed at co-parenting, it’s wise to be realistic about the difficulties that may arise as your kids go through childhood and adolescence. For instance, it might be hard to differentiate between the impact of your divorce and normal adolescent rebellion.

For instance, my two children spent close to equal time with both myself and their father until they reached adolescence when they both protested their schedule.  When my daughter was thirteen, after her father’s remarriage, she chooses to spend most overnights at my home, while her brother started spending more overnights at his father’s house because it was located near most of his friend’s homes.

Fortunately, my ex and I agreed that it was in their best interests to revise their schedule. As a result, our kids thrived as they felt their needs were being respected.

There are numerous benefits of co-parenting for kids:

Children will:

  1. Feel a sense of security. Children who maintain a close bond with both parents and are more likely to have higher self-esteem.
  2. Have better psychological adjustment into adulthood. My research shows that adults raised in divorced families report higher self-esteem and fewer trust issues if they had close to equal time with both parents.
  3. Grow up with a healthier template for seeing their parents cooperate. By cooperating with their other parent, you establish a life pattern that they can carry into their future.
  4. Have better problem-solving skills. Children and adolescents who witness their parents cooperate are more likely to learn how to effectively resolve problems themselves.

The key to successful co-parenting is to keep the focus on your children – and to maintain a cordial relationship with your ex-spouse. Most importantly, you want your children see that their parents are working together for their well-being. Never use them as messengers because when you ask them to tell their other parent something for you, it can make them feel stuck in the middle. It’s best to communicate directly with your ex and lessen the chances your children will experience loyalty conflicts.

The following are suggestions based on my own experience and advice from experts. First of all, it’s paramount that you gear your parenting plan to the age of your children and that it is consistent. Try to develop routines for them leaving and coming home when they are young. As they reach adolescence, they strive to be more flexible and adapt to their changing needs.

Tips to help kids live happily in two homes:

For children under age 10:

  1. Reassure them that they have two parents who love them. If they balk at going to their other parent’s home, you can say something like “Even though mom and dad aren’t married anymore we both still love you and are good parents.”
  2. Maintain a cordial, business-like relationship with your ex so that your children won’t feel intensely divided loyalties. It’s important not to express anger at your ex in front of your children so they don’t feel stuck in the middle
  3. Help your kids anticipate changes in their schedule. Planning ahead and helping them pack important possessions can benefit them. However, keep items to a bare minimum. Most parents prefer to have duplicate items for their kids on hand.
  4. Encourage your younger child to adhere to their parenting time schedule – being consistent with their schedule will help your kids feel secure. Younger children often benefit from avoiding frequent shifts between homes.
  5. Show enthusiasm about their visit with their other parent. It’s important to put your differences with your ex aside and to promote your children’s positive bond with them.

For children over age 10 – to young adulthood:

  1. Allow for flexibility in their schedule. At times, teens may have difficulty juggling their busy life with school, extracurricular activities, friends, and jobs if they start working.
  2. Encourage them to spend time with their friends and extended family (on both sides). Avoid giving them the impression that being with their friends is not as important as spending time with you.
  3. Plan activities with them that might include their friends at times – such as sporting events or movies. Encourage opportunities for them to bond with peers at both homes.
  4. Respect your teen’s need for autonomy and relatednessDr. Emery writes, “Teenagers naturally want more freedom, but they also want and need relationships with their parents, through your adolescent may be unwilling to admit this.”

Keep in mind that communicating with your former spouse is going to be necessary for the length of your children’s childhood into young adulthood. This may include special events, graduations – and perhaps even weddings.  It’s important to keep clear boundaries so that your children wouldn’t harbor fantasies that you will reconcile.

For the most part, this means less personal sharing and focusing on exchanging information, cooperation, and make good decisions about your children.

Finally, modeling cooperation and polite behavior set a positive tone for co-parenting. When children are confident of the love of both of their parents, they will adjust more easily to divorce. Keeping your differences with your ex away from your children will open up opportunities to move beyond divorce in the years to come. Ask yourself this question: how do you want your children to remember you and their childhood when they are adults?

Follow Terry Gaspard on Twitter, Facebook, and movingpastdivorce.com

More From Terry

Fathers and Daughters: An essential bond After Divorce

Building Resiliency In Children After Divorce

The post Do The Struggles Of Co-Parenting Ever End? appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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productive co-parenting communication

Developing Productive Co-Parenting Communication

productive co-parenting communication

 

Parenting can be difficult even in an in-tact household wherein even residing together the time spent together as parents, uninterrupted in thought and time for discussion, results in many discussions occurring through text, email and in passing.

Of course, the hustle and bustle of the world we live in as parents leave much room for errors in schedules, forgotten appointments, and confusion as to who is where. This is even more difficult for two parents who do not reside together yet share in one mutual goal- raising and being involved in their children’s schedules and lives on an equal basis.

Productive Co-Parenting Communication

Married or not, raising children takes a lot of communication. Unfortunately, communication in relationships that have broken down for one reason or the other is made even more difficult and can create a host of issues for couples attempting to co-parent absent a close relationship or any at all for that matter. As family law attorneys, we are often faced with questions, concerns and issues from our client stemming from the lack of communication, i.e. the other side not providing information or not being responsive.

Other times, the absence of communication is used to assert control and intentionally keep the other parent out of the loop. On the other hand, some parents utilize communication in a manner which is harassing such as incessantly texting, calling, or making things difficult. Either way, the reality is that communication in strained relationships can be incredibly difficult and as a result, children suffer by missing activities, homework assignments, family outings, etc.

Therefore, focusing on simple ways to communicate, absent the need to involve lawyers and judges, is the most productive and cost-effective way to co-parent when the relationship with the other parent is less than ideal. The reality is that the involvement of lawyers and the court’s not only costs thousands of dollars, but there is also a delay in resolution by virtue of the time needed for everyone to respond.

Therefore, it is simply not practical on any level to require the use of your lawyer to communicate about everyday issues regarding your children.

It is significant to note that communication is one of the primary statutory factors the courts consider in determining custody and parenting time arrangements. Moreover, just not getting along is not enough to prove that two adults cannot communicate in a manner which would cause a court to minimize either parent’s role.

In fact, the New Jersey Supreme Court has long held that joint legal custody is the “preferred” custody arrangement and that this requires sharing the responsibility for jointly making “major” decisions regarding the child’s welfare, developing a productive way of communication is key to the success of not only the co-parenting relationship but the children’s success overall.

That being said, family law attorneys, as well as Judge’s, are mindful of the difficulties parent’s may have communicating during less than ideal times. Therefore, the focus and trend have been to encourage the use of apps that parties can utilize to limit and focus the communication to just the issues versus the text message and/or email chains that seemingly increase in hostility with the back and forth involved.

For example, one method of communication often utilized by co-parents, either by way of agreement or more frequently now being Court Ordered, is Our Family Wizard.  Our Family Wizard obviously cannot circumvent the use of communication as a weapon in contested or tension ridden co-parenting relationships, however, it is designed to assist parents by having categories that limit and narrow the issues and minimize the probability of misinterpretation of miscommunication.

Parents can download the children’s schedules, they can monitor parenting time changes in their schedules, and even scan in the children’s expenses, none of which can be altered if needed for use in Court. In other words, it is a protected forum which allows communication between parents about the issues relating to their children and provides clearer documentation in the event that communication (or lack of same) is the overriding issue.

In sum, learning and finding a way to communicate is essential to raising children regardless of the status of your relationship. Utilizing applications such as Cozi, Our Family Wizard, Truece, and other applications which permit scanning, scheduling and limit the opportunity for emotions to supersede the issues is beneficial to everyone’s quality of life, especially and most importantly the children involved.

The post Developing Productive Co-Parenting Communication appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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The Thriver’s Guide To Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

The Thriver’s Guide To Co-Parenting With A Narcissist

 

Narcissists don’t co-operate with joint parenting, and co-parenting with one can seem IMPOSSIBLE.

They like to disagree with anything you suggest; refuse to turn up or stick to prior arrangements and mess with your children’s appointments, possessions and their heads!

Are you feeling POWERLESS to get this person to see sense and act decently for the sake of the children? Are you sick of watching your children get hurt, distressed, disappointed and even blatantly abused?

If so, then I offer you this complete guide to a different way to parent with a narcissist that offers real healing solutions.

 

 

Video Transcript

When it comes to co-parenting with narcissists, it really seems impossible because they are not cooperative.

When co-parenting with a narcissist, he or she will commonly use the children to trigger you, affect you, keep you bound up in court and custody battles, and mine narcissistic supply from you.

This is a common way that narcissists continue to abuse ex-partners.

What can help significantly is Parallel Parenting, because this can create space, healing and power for you. It keeps your children removed from their parents’ battles, and also helps you have enough healing and detachment to be the solid, powerful influence that your children need you to be.

Okay, before we get started, thank you everyone who has subscribed to my channel for supporting the Thriver Mission. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, I want to remind you to please do. And if you like this video, please make sure you hit the like button.

Now, let’s dive in.

 

What Is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel Parenting is a co-parenting experience where the parents are disengaged from each other and have limited direct contact. Parallel parenting is about enforcing boundaries and then holding them.

Parallel parenting means that you have separate parenting experiences. At first it can seem really counter-intuitive to do this, yet I promise you that this is the healthiest thing for your children.

One of the ways that continued contact between you and your narcissistic ex damages your children – even more than you could possibly imagine – is if they see you traumatised, feeling powerless, acquiescing and handing away yourself, rights and boundaries.

This sets up your children’s template to be abused or abusive when they get older. It’s what they will likely work from because it forms the foundations of their inner, learned Love Code.

The narcissist can also line you up by triggering you to then turn your children against you – by making you out as the ‘bad’ one.

Naturally, it can be very confronting for you to adopt that level of detachment, especially when the narcissist has your children.

Most definitely we would love to have input into our children’s wellbeing when they are with the narcissist. But the narcissist knows this, and it becomes one of the greatest hooks he or she will use to abuse you and potentially your children.

 

Doing What is Instinctively Natural DOESN’T Work.

Monitoring, lecturing and prescribing to a narcissist does not make them better parents. In fact, it energises them to act up against you and the children, and to use whatever it takes to keep triggering and punishing you.

This doesn’t just result in the children being disappointed, let down, neglected or abused. It also means that you become more traumatised and distraught, which then affects your ability to be a solid, stable, calm and peaceful influence for your children.

So, above all else, you want to take this power away from the narcissist. The more victimised, brutalised and resenting of the narcissist and the situation you feel, when trying to co-parent, the more painful the feeling of being victimised, brutalised and resentful will be, and the more you will co-generate, with the narcissist, these experiences.

Narcissists are a spiritual soul mirror of the most ferocious magnitude. Simply feeling traumatised by them, even without contact, feeds these people the physic energy to keep doing what they are doing.

I know it’s tough; I know it’s horrific.

My heart goes out to you in spades, because I don’t think there is anything more traumatising and serious than when our children are affected.

To survive this and then Thrive for you and your children, regardless of the narcissist co-parent, means that you need to find another way to deal with the situation – a way that works.

You need true solutions for you and your children, and now I’m going to give them to you in four significant steps.

 

Step Number 1 – Acceptance

To get started on the healthiest track for you and your children, it’s vital to accept that this co-parenting experience is happening; that you are not dealing with a reasonable person; and that the normal rules of engagement don’t apply.

Stop expecting this person to do the right thing, comply or make co-parenting harmonious. Let go of that requirement, and all your triggered trauma regarding it, and start focusing on your Being and generating what you CAN to make the best of the situation.

Know that you are in for the long haul, and accept this too. If you keep mired in the victimised feelings of the situation, not only is it going to be hard to emerge from it victorious, it is also going to be deeply detrimental to your children.

The greatest gift we can ever grant our children, is the knowing that life can deal lemons and that we DO have the resources and the way to make lemonade – regardless of how awful it is.

Passing on our victimisation to our children, means they too will remain trauma ridden and will continue the cycles of abuse/abused in their life and their future generation’s lives. The cycle will continue with them attaching themselves to people who make them feel victimised, let down and abused.

I promise you it is NOT true that both us and our children can’t heal when co-parenting is involved.

There are more people in this community having parallel parenting healthy experiences with narcissists than you could imagine. This isn’t some fluke – it’s because they have accepted their situation, rolled up their sleeves and worked very hard at their Beingness and putting in place what is necessary to achieve this.

What else is there to do?

 

Step Number 2 – Emotional Healing and Detachment

What it is that feeds the narcissist the energy needed to keep hurting you, are your emotional triggers.

Triggers that if left unattended inside you, above all else, will derail you. There are no bigger terrors, I believe, than the ones attached to our children being hurt, or the fears of losing them. And I know this is some of the most difficult inner work you can ever do.

Yet, no matter how counter-intuitive it is and hard it is to do, if you release these traumas you will emerge from them powerful and solid. You will absolutely be able to take action in powerful, clear ways without being derailed by your inner triggered trauma.

Then, in everyday shenanigans with a narcissist, you’ll know when a certain message does not require a response, whereas before it might have sent you into a spin.

You will be able to have boundaries, hold them and enforce them without fear.

And you will be able to gently, lovingly and solidly respond to your children, in ways that empower them rather than make them drown in deeper victimisation.

This STEP is completely foundational, essential and is truly the difference between struggling with co-parenting and achieving parallel-parenting that works. I can’t emphasis this enough!

If you try parallel parenting, whilst still feeling non-acceptance of the situation, triggered and victimised, you won’t be able to create solidness and safety. This is because the entire time the narcissist is still receiving the psychic energy from you to keep going after you for narcissistic supply.

Also, you will discover that the right people, assistance, answers, and breakthroughs DON’T come if there are unreleased traumas still screaming inside you.

What comes instead, is Life generating within you, to the letter, more of your already existing traumatised inner programmed beliefs about your situation.

My Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Program (NARP) helps you release the trauma of co-parenting with a narcissist. It is the tool, these people who successfully parallel parent, use.

Over the years, I have had parents tell me that they don’t have time to NARP, because of the kids and the battles with the narcissist. But, truly, this is when we need to be doing this inner work the most. It is the only way I know of to start getting off the trauma hamster wheel with a co-parenting narcissistic ex.

 

Step Number 3 – Create Boundaries and Accountability

The key to successful parallel parenting is to legally create a strict Parenting Plan that contains as much detail in it that you feel necessary.

The Parenting Plan is about parenting separately. It means you don’t do children’s birthdays together. You have your own designated times for school and sporting events. You don’t have contact when dropping off or picking up the children. And it also means your ex can’t just turn up at your house at any time.

It’s vital to put a lot of thought into the Parenting Plan so that there are no grey areas and all contact – other than third party channels – is eliminated.

Also, you need to include a third-party communication hub such as Our Family Wizard (OFW). OFW is a favoured parallel-parenting communication tool in the Thriver Community.

Once set up, this portal is the only way you and the narcissist communicate. All communication is recorded, can’t be erased, and is admissible in court.

If the narcissist changes the plan for the parenting access or doesn’t even make contact – it is recorded. There is no need for you to, react, fix or mop up the pieces – and it is most important that you don’t!

Your boundaries – coupled with working hard with NARP on any triggers that go off within you – means that you can answer any request that comes through OFW as, ‘This is what I am prepared to do and this is what I am not prepared to do.’ Do not comply to the narcissist’s demands and changes. Stick to your agreed Parenting Plan.

Then just record, date and collate every incidence. Stay calm, keep shifting out what arises, and DON’T bite back.

The golden rule of using OFW is this: ‘Anything personal or abusive or accusatory, I remove myself from it and don’t reply to it – period. Any changes to the plan, I don’t comply to.’

See your solicitor to enforce necessary boundaries. Don’t try to bargain, reason with or get the narcissist to understand – that feeds them exactly the attention they are trying to get from you.

Again, every step of the way, keep shifting out any fear or pain that is triggered off within you with NARP.

When you use the portal correctly, keep releasing inner triggers, and don’t respond, the narcissist gets no payoff. He or she can’t extract narcissistic supply, and what they are trying to do gets completely exposed.

The narcissist will despise getting nothing from you. And if you are in court, give them nothing either. Don’t look at the narcissist or his or her solicitor, and only speak directly to the judge.

Then, when finally you have become emotionally disinterested in reacting to the narcissist’s games, and are simply dealing in your empowered, inwardly calm and solid way – everything shifts.

Many narcissists truly stop their ridiculous behaviour at this point. And I’ve even seen countless narcissists capitulate and give people exactly what they asked for regarding custody and settlements.

There is nothing more disconcerting for a narcissist than trying to affect a person, who is no longer affected by them. Additionally, this empowerment and calmness often enrages narcissists, who then metaphorically hang themselves with huge outbursts of nastiness. A narcissist unravelling may be recorded on OFW or appear for all to see in a courtroom.

From your side, please don’t ever diagnose the narcissist as having a personality disorder. Don’t try to expose character, but rather calmly present factual evidence regarding their behaviour.

Many a Thriver has legally won against a narcissist, because of this happening. I promise you, the narcissist is nowhere near as powerful as you may think.

Step Number 4 – Become A Thriver For You and Your Child

I totally believe that all of us, including our children, have at soul level made no mistakes about the learning, healing and growing journeys that we go through.

I know how well my son and countless children of other Thrivers have fared in this Community, because of what we went through with them and because we led the way. Instead of staying victimised and telling our children how bad our life and their lives were because of being with narcissists – we do something completely different.

We keep shifting out trauma and becoming wiser, more real, solid and true, regardless of what happened to us, what we lost or what the narcissist continued to try to do.

Leading by example, we teach our children incredible healing and empowerment because of what happened to us.

As a result of working hard on our inner wounds, we can clean up all the internal barriers to being self-generative. We can start emerging healthier and more able to create security, lifeforce, joy and resources. We are able to release the hooks of dependency that make us hand our power away to abusers.

By doing so, we become more evolved parents, despite circumstances, than we have ever previously been.

When Zac, my son, and I did a Facebook live presentation together recently, he shared how previously he couldn’t stand being around me – my victim energy was so toxic. Because of not healing myself effectively, I was completely absent for him. It wasn’t until I knew my biggest mission for Zac was to get well – that he did as well. And thank goodness I realised, because I nearly once lost him to parent alienation and then again to a drug and alcohol addiction.

All of these things are now in the past – and we couldn’t be closer as Mother and Son.

Such a shift within us as parents means that when our children are dismayed by the narcissist’s poor, disappointing or hurtful behaviour, you can fully validate how hurtful this feels, but stop reinforcing their helplessness and victimisation. This will happen when you don’t rubbish the other parent but empower your children instead.

You can do this by teaching them their worth, boundaries and rights through your own calm, clear actions. Also, by expressing to them how much you love them, see them and believe in them, regardless of what anyone else is or isn’t doing (including the narcissistic parent).

I have found that so many Thriver’s children gravitate to the Thriver parent, detach more and more from the narcissistic one, and become wise and empowered beyond their years.

And I can’t tell you how many special children, who are connected to Thriver parents in this community, are doing their own internal, organic versions of Quanta Freedom Healing, as a result of living with their Thriver parent. Even young children.

Imagine being four years of age and letting go of internal trauma and filling up with Source Energy, as a result of living with a parent who does this! It is happening. We are leading the way for these little Quantum Beings!

As adults, these children, as the result of a healing and evolving parent leading the way, will not need to continue unconsciously being involved in abusive relationships in order to awaken to their healing and evolution back to themselves.

What an incredible gift to get this out of the way so young! Can you imagine if we could have? Can you understand how this sets up the future generations to be conscious, authentic and free from abuse?

I so hope this video has helped.

As I said before. It is completely my belief that if you are co-parenting you need all the support, power and inner shifting you can get – for you and your children.

I invite you to join me in my free webinar, where I will take you through a Quanta Freedom Healing to get you started.

You can do this by clicking this link.

And if you want to see more of my videos, please subscribe so that you will be notified as soon as each new one is released. And if you liked this – click like. Also, please share with your communities so that we can help people awaken to these truths.

As always I am greatly looking forward to answering your comments and questions below.

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make co-parenting easier

Technology: How It Makes Co-Parenting Easier

make co-parenting easier

 

Deciding to go through a divorce is not an easy decision and it is especially difficult when children are involved. While the process can be long and grueling, it can get even harder once the divorce is final.

Having to learn how to co-parent is a new and challenging experience. One way that co-parenting can be made easier is through the use of technology. When sitting down with your divorce lawyer, make sure to dive into all the different ways you can co-parent and see if they can offer some suggestions of what works and what does not.

How to Make Co-Parenting Easier

Common Co-parenting Issues:

While raising your child as a team sounds great, it can get messy when you can’t agree on certain things with your ex. Finding ways to make these issues more subtle or even resolve them can take time. Some of the most common issues that may come along with co-parenting include:

How technology can help:

With all the recent advancements in technology being able to communicate with each other anytime is easier than ever. Without being in the same state or even country you can still communicate and video chat with your kids at any time.

This can help when co-parenting issues may arise, like one parent needing help from the other. In addition to being able to communicate at almost anytime, it can also help parents who work full time.

If you have to watch your children at home, the option of being able to work from home is as easy as ever. You can still put in a productive workday while still being able to be around and watch your children. Technology has also made it easier to minimize miscommunication among divorced parents with children.

Making sure who has the kids and who is picking them up or dropping them off is very simple with technology. Being able to simply text or call to make sure that communication is clear or even sharing a schedule online can limit any potential issues.

Keep in mind:

While technology can bring in a plethora of benefits, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of some misunderstandings. Being able to avoid certain pitfalls when it comes to the use of technology during the co-parenting process. When texting with your ex-spouse understand that a written record of the conversation is being established.

If you do not have the best relationship with your spouse, keeping your texts professional and tone free can ensure a quick and smooth interaction.

Try to keeping texting to a minimum, and have it be used strictly for emergencies, quick notifications or updates, and any logistics that may need to be discussed. Setting up rules like this can help make technology extremely helpful not only for communication but for avoiding conflict as well.

How can your lawyer help?

A divorce lawyer can help you with potential co-parenting issues. With the help of an expert divorce lawyer, you can help you solve issues that you are having with your ex-spouse, whether it is child custody or visitation rights, our team will work to make sure that you get the best possible outcome for you.

Technology has made our lives much easier, one of these ways is through communication. This can help divorced parents and deal with co-parenting. Know that even though it may seem difficult right now, a divorce lawyer can assist you when it comes to solving any co-parenting issues that you may be having.

The post Technology: How It Makes Co-Parenting Easier appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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back to school

5 Tips For Taking Back To School Hassles Out Of Co-Parenting

back to school

 

With school events, sports, and fall activities starting up soon, handling the communication about your children is a hassle when both parents live under the same roof. If you’re a divorced parent, it’s even more difficult.

However, keeping the lines of communication with your ex effective and positive while supporting your child is important, so parents need to make the extra effort to stay organized. How do you handle the communication when the stress of all the fall activities start back up?

How To Take Back To School Hassles Out of Co-Parenting

1: Keep the school and teachers informed

Let teachers and school personnel know how to contact all the parents of your child. Explain how all the parents are involved and want to support their child’s education. Request that you will need two copies of letters, brochures, etc. Send the teacher an email with all pertinent emails and contact information so she can easily contact everyone.

2: Have ONE folder for both homes

In our family, each child has a folder that comes home with their school papers and each night the parent they are staying with reads the papers, completes the assignment, initials it, and leaves it in the folder for the other parent to see. When both parents have seen it, it is trashed or sent back to school, if needed. We inform the teacher of our system so she’s aware to leave the papers in the folder an extra day or so. If it is an urgent matter, we will take a picture using our phone and text it to the other parent to see.

3: Use the same visual reminders in both households

If you have a chore chart, it is easiest if you have the same one in both households so that the children know that the expectations are the same. Another trick that I use to help remind us of the school specials schedule is I make magnets for both homes with the specials listed for each day so that there is no confusion when they need to wear their sneakers or bring their library books to school. Use Pinterest to find little tricks to make organization quick and easy.

4: Use Technology

Find apps that make communication between divorced moms and dads easy. One app we use is FamilyWall. It allows us to share a calendar, pictures, and reminders for upcoming events.  We also all share a Google calendar as well. Our family uses FaceTime and MarcoPolo to chat with each other when the kids are at the other parent’s home. Most schools have an online grading system and online newsletters that all parents that register can review. Another app to track schedules is 2houses.

5 Track and Share Expenses

Back to school supplies can be very expensive so keep receipts or split the cost between the parents. I buy my oldest daughter’s supplies while my ex-husband purchases our son’s items. We also split birthday party gifts when our children attend birthday parties. One month I buy the gift and the next month, he buys one. We agree to a set limit and purchase a gift at that amount. Some people prefer to track expenses and split the costs monthly. The app, 2houses, offers a way to track and manage expenses, in addition to tracking your schedules.

When both divorced parents have open and positive communication focused on the success of our children, it demonstrates that we support our children’s well-being. This is especially important during transitions. With kids going back to school shortly, it’s time to get organized- especially if you’re divorced or separated. If you’re struggling, find the support you need from a life coach or therapist to learn to positively communicate with your ex to make this transition as smoothly as possible.

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My Story of Divorce: Aftermath of Divorce and Co-Parenting (Part 3)

My Story of Divorce: Aftermath of Divorce and Co-Parenting (Part 3)

When the aftermath of destruction is better than the ideal. Sometimes, people parent better apart, than they do when together. This is my story.

The post My Story of Divorce: Aftermath of Divorce and Co-Parenting (Part 3) appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Co-Parenting and Depression: 4 Ways to Cope

Co-Parenting and Depression: 4 Ways to Cope

Depression impacts so many physical functions, from your own well-being and ability to have a new, meaningful relationship to your child’s happiness and social life.

The post Co-Parenting and Depression: 4 Ways to Cope appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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Thoughts to Keep in Mind when Co-Parenting With an Ex

Thoughts to Keep in Mind when Co-Parenting With an Ex

Keeping these things in mind may help co-parenting with your ex much smoother.

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An Example of the Power of Positive Co-Parenting

An Example of the Power of Positive Co-Parenting

The results of our positive co-parenting revealed themselves in how our daughter feels she can now talk about her parents in the same sentence; this never occurred in the past.

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3 Ways to Diffuse High-Conflict Co-Parenting

3 Ways to Diffuse High-Conflict Co-Parenting

High-conflict co-parenting takes a toll on the children and co-parents involved, but reaching a fair parenting plan can help improve these relationships.

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