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4 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Attorney During Mediation

4 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Attorney During Mediation

Consulting with an attorney can be a valuable component of an effective divorce mediation process. This article describes how to maximize the benefit and minimize the cost of attorney support during mediation.

The post 4 Tips for Getting the Most from Your Attorney During Mediation appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict

5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict

It is possible and best to look at working through difficulties and problems in relationships as something other than fighting. Sure fighting can and does happen, but there is a better approach that will help both parties come out ahead.

The post 5 Tips for Working Through Relationship Conflict appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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stalking your ex on facebook

Stop Stalking Your Ex On Facebook With These 4 Tips

stalking your ex on facebook

 

You know it’s terrible for you. You know you should stop doing it, yet somehow, you find yourself going back to that search tab on Facebook, and typing in his name. What utterly unsurprising exhibit will you find this time?

Ah, stalking exes on social media. We’ve all done it. Heck, I’ve even had my share of keeping tabs on some old friends I’ve cut ties with. But in terms of toxicity and harmful behavior, social media stalking that guy you dated for six months or the friend you’ve had a falling-out with comes nowhere near the ex-husband, the father of your child. Looking back, I can see precisely how my casual tendency to hop on over to my ex’s Instagram had spiraled into a dangerous habit that brought out the worst in me.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re freshly divorced or it’s been a while. The truth remains that social media surveillance only impedes the natural process that unravels after a serious relationship has failed. That’s a process of healing, coming to terms with what happened, and becoming whole again.

So what do you do when you know it’s not right, but still can’t help yourself?

Stalking Your Ex On Facebook? Here’s How to Stop

Get to know your habit

How often do you stalk your ex on social?

Which feelings does this practice usually evoke?

Pay attention and try to note in which situations you most often search his profile. You’ll notice you hardly ever do it when you’re busy, focused on your wellbeing, or generally content. No, we’ll stalk our exes on social when we’re mind-numbingly bored, feeling petty, or in a self-destructive state where we’re intent on making our anguish worse.

What does that tell you? Yup, nothing good can ever come out of this.

Lastly, whenever the idea of checking out their profile pops up, ask yourself: “What am I looking for?”

The answer to this is seemingly obvious, yet completely vague: well, you “just want to see what he’s up to”. But here’s the thing: you won’t stop until you find something to despise, or something that makes you feel hurt and jealous, or something that proves you’re better off without them.

But this is social media, not real life. And trust me, you don’t need a curated digital presence to prove to you that you’re better off without him. Whether it was you who filed for divorce or him, that decision has been made, and I hardly doubt Facebook/Instagram/Twitter had anything to do with it. Move on and stop looking for confirmation when you have it already.

The thing with this habit of social media surveillance is that you won’t discover anything that you don’t know, think, or feel already. It’s about finding ways to confirm your biases, and that’s exactly what you will do every time. You’ll prove to yourself that you were right. But it won’t feel as good as it should. Am I right?

Keep busy

The reason it won’t feel good is largely owed to that pesky voice that inevitably accompanies all stalking sessions. “Okay, he is still pathetic, but what the hell am I doing with my life, sitting here and scrolling through his profile.”

The best way to cure harmful social media habits is by staying busy and focused on other things. Spend quality time with your kids, go for drinks with friends, find a new hobby. Maybe you want to finally take up hiking and make a new family tradition of enjoying the outdoors with your kids. Whatever activity you’re going for, be mindful and present. You’ll have plenty of tangible proof in your life that you are, indeed, better off without him.

Another good idea is to choose a replacement habit for every time you feel the itch to check on his profile. For example, that could be going for a walk, doing a short meditation exercise, or working on an art project (you can even get your kids on board). And don’t leave this to chance. Plan for this scenario and make sure you have an idea for what you’ll do instead of diving into his social media accounts.

Now, we’ll talk about blocking him from your social media in a moment, but even with those brakes in place, you’ll likely still find yourself craving a social media toxicity hit, at least in the beginning. Like with all bad habits and addictions, a good habit that substitutes the initial behavior will help redirect your focus and ultimately break the cycle.

Go cold turkey

Just. Block. Him.

This is the obvious solution and the one that’s most widely recommended. And if you’re guilty of “hiding” his posts, only to come back and actively search his profile, this is definitely the “parental control” you need to set for yourself.

By blocking his profiles, his online presence becomes invisible to you and vice-versa, which, in all honesty, is really what you need at this stage. Further down the line, maybe a time will come when you’ll be okay with seeing him pop up on your feed, and you really won’t care at all; but if everything is still fresh and you’re struggling with trying not to stalk him, that time has clearly not come yet. So use that block button to avoid temptation and give yourself the much-needed space.

The fact that he won’t be able to see you is equally important, as you won’t be tempted to curate your social media presence to show him that you’re better off. You don’t want to be posting stuff just to get a reaction from him. Trust me; it’s not healthy for you. And remember: his close friends and family come with the package, too. If there’s anyone close to him whose posts will remind you of him and rub salt into the wound, block them also.

But although this is the simple answer, it’s not the ultimate one. To release the demons from within and eliminate the need to stalk him on social, you’ll need all these other steps too.

The bottom line: Commit to letting go

To let go, you’ll need to commit. Set your intentions and muster the willpower to eliminate the habits that are standing in the way. Stalking your ex on social is undoubtedly one of the most harmful, and it’s too darn easy.

These steps have helped me, but if you’re still having a tough time after a few weeks, maybe you want to take a break from social media entirely, even if it’s just temporarily. You’ll find you have a lot more time for all the good things in life.

The post Stop Stalking Your Ex On Facebook With These 4 Tips appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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realities of divorce

6 Tips For Handling The Realities Of Divorce

realities of divorce

 

A couple of weeks ago I saw the post below go through my Facebook newsfeed. It was written by a newly divorced Mom who had learned five realities of divorce while attempting to sell a home and raise her children on her own.

No one tells you divorce makes you an outcast. No one tells you people really do take sides, & they will do it in your face. No one tells you how to learn to get over it. How to sit with your grief.
No one tells you how vulnerable you’ll be & how everything feels shitty. No one tells you you’ll look back at the calendar with disbelief at how long divorce takes and the disentangling and how suddenly the people you thought you knew best…are total strangers. Ghosts.

This Mom is wrong, those things have been told. They’ve been told by experts, they’ve been told by other women who’ve gone through a divorce.

She didn’t discover some dark hidden truth about divorce, she just came face to face with the realities of divorce. Because who pays attention to other people’s problems until they are faced with those same problems?

The realities of divorce will be quite different from what you’ve imagined divorce to be. Don’t be caught off-guard like this woman!

I write about it and other divorce experts share the ugly side of divorce in books and articles daily online. The problem is, the experts aren’t being read or, if they are, folks reading our advice think, “That couldn’t happen to me, my situation is different.”

And, nothing stands in the way of a newly divorced person moving forward and creating a satisfying life more than the “I’m different” thought process. The idea that bad divorces only happen to other people. Or, the belief that people who experience pain and suffering after divorce do so because they did something wrong. These are thought processes that are prevalent among those deciding on and going through a divorce.

Most are under the illusion that divorce is the road to happiness and when faced with the realities of divorce are lost at how to process it and use it to their own advantage. Divorce is not the road to happiness, divorce is hard, harder than most bad marriages and when it turns your world upside down it’s in your best interest to be mentally prepared or you will drown in the “no one told me” pity party.

How to Handle The Realities Of Divorce:

1. The danger in not knowing and expecting the realities of divorce only keeps you stuck in a state of disbelief when those realities become part of your daily life. So, don’t allow yourself to go through a divorce unless you are armed with knowledge about what divorce is and can become. If you read something negative about the consequences of divorce, don’t throw on your shroud of, “that only happens to other people.” Instead, take it to heart.

2. During divorce, people will shun you and even your best friends will take sides and it won’t always be your side. Let them! It’s of no consequence when it comes to how you choose to live your life. Focus on the people who supported you during this painful period in your life, not the ones who turned their backs. That is a more productive use of your time.

3. Divorce means experiencing loss, it’s the death of your marriage. You must learn to adapt to and adjust to that loss and rebuild your life. First, you must grieve and “sit with” the loss. If you are unsure how to do that, Google, “grief after divorce.” There are over 30 million articles and books available for those who are coping with the grief of divorce. Find an article or book that brings you comfort, join a local support group or reach out to friends and family. The key is to admit your vulnerability and be willing to reach out for help.

4. Yep, everything can be “shitty” after a divorce. And when it is, you can feel powerfully vulnerable. Divorce forces people to change when all they want to do is escape the pain. Divorce turns everything upside down. You have to redefine who you are and what you want out of life. When you are in pain and seeking comfort from that pain it can be hard to focus on the one thing that will relieve the pain…embracing the change. Making those necessary changes is the only thing that will take away the “shitty” feelings that pop up during and after divorce.

5. Your lawyer isn’t going to tell you how long the legal process of divorce will take. There are legal guidelines but those can be tossed out the window because, the longer a divorce takes, the more money your lawyer will make. So, here I am, telling you, if you don’t become a proactive part of your legal divorce you will look back in disbelief at how long it took. Just because you hire a lawyer doesn’t mean you should not become an active member of your own divorce team.

6. Learn your state’s divorce laws. Learn your local court procedures related to Family Court matters. Hold your lawyer accountable at the first hint of him/her engaging in adversarial legal tactics. Divorcing couples do not have to come out the other side hating each other if they refuse to allow a dysfunctional family court system to determine the course of their divorce.

There you go, I’ve told you, again. Divorce is no walk in the park. Divorce is not the end of conflict. Divorce is not the road to happiness. Divorce puts an end to marriage but it also puts into play many, many other issues that can be stressful to deal with if you aren’t prepared to meet them head-on. Be prepared!

The post 6 Tips For Handling The Realities Of Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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moving after divorce

Moving after Your Divorce: 6 Tips For Starting Fresh

moving after divorce

The circumstances of a divorce are never easy to deal with, but a divorce is also the start of a new chapter.

Whether your move is voluntary or not, the chance to start a new life focused around your own happiness is a silver lining under the storm clouds of a divorce.

Take charge of your next big adventure with these six essential tips for moving after divorce and starting fresh.

6 Tips For Moving After Divorce

Analyze Your Finances

First, consider your financial options. Calculate your new budget and consider all of your expenditures and costs to estimate the type of place you’ll be able to afford and the cities or towns that match your expected income.

Every state has its own state/local tax burden and property values, so it’s important to shop around and do your research.

If the loss of your spouse’s income is creating a financial hardship for you, a move can help you balance your income and your expenses by downsizing from your current home or area.

Balancing your budget allows you to consider the places you can spend less and the ways you might be able to increase your income.

Moving costs should also be considered before you make any concrete plans. If you’re planning on hiring a moving company to help you get to your new home, don’t hesitate to shop around for the best deal.

You can get a ballpark estimate of moving costs by calling around to a few moving companies to compare rates. Don’t forget to factor in your new utility bills as well; these vary by region, climate, and the size of your home or apartment.

Research Your New Town or City

Finding a new place to put down roots is a challenge all by itself, but it can also be a liberating experience. Maybe you’d like to move to a place you always dreamed of living or a familiar place near your friends and family.

Take some time to consider your options, and find a new location that fits your job, financial situation, family needs, and personal preference. A move to just a few towns over can still bring significant and welcome change to your situation without upturning your entire life.

Once you’ve got an estimate of your cost of living, there are other factors to consider. The culture of your new location, your proximity to services like public transportation, crime rates, and public-education quality could all be major factors for your personal happiness, depending on your circumstances.

Describing your ideal environment can help you identify the things you’re looking for in a new city or town. Consider all aspects of your life: your career, your kids, and your lifestyle.

Databases like City-Data provide a wealth of information if you have a location in mind. A database lets you look up tax assessments, public school ratings, and more without leaving your living room.

Look for New Employment

For most people, starting a new life requires a new job. If you’re currently pursuing a career, a move to a new location gives you a reason to dust off your resume and reach for more income or benefits. You’ve gained skills in your old job, and you can leverage your move to take your career to the next level.

If you were dependent on your spouse for income before your divorce, a divorce can mean an anxious time of finding a job and earning a good income.

Take your list of ideal cities for your move, and start job hunting as soon as you can—some companies may offer you a relocation package to help with the move and starting work.

If you’re already retired, don’t discount the benefits of a new career. With your marriage coming to a close, a career in teaching or consulting could give you a renewed sense of purpose and identity in your new location.

Look around in the area you’re planning to move to and see if it offers opportunities for an exciting new gig.

Plan Your Move-In Day

Once you’ve selected your destination, it’s time to actually get there. With the right steps and planning, you can make moving a more manageable and low-stress experience.

If it’s in your budget, consider hiring a full-service moving company. Many companies will carefully pack your belongings for you and move them into your new home.

You’ll have enough on your mind as it is, so hiring a moving company can help you avoid the stress and focus on planning the new life waiting for you on the other side.

If a full-service moving company is out of budget, you can take your time with your move by renting a portable moving container. With a moving container, you can pack slowly and carefully over several weeks or several months.

When you’re ready, a moving service will pick up your container and move it to your new home. You can also rent a storage unit in your new town if your new home doesn’t have space for everything you want to still keep.

Build a New Network

Being alone in a new place is difficult. When you complete your move, focus on establishing a new network of people you can depend on. You might seek to build relationships with your new neighbors and coworkers, or you can connect with family and friends that live nearby.

Try not to spend too much time alone in your new city; it’s important to start getting out there to feel more comfortable in your new environment, even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone.

Ask around in your current network to see if anyone knows somebody near your new home. Often, your existing friends can help introduce you to new people.

Don’t hesitate to try new activities like a sports league, a board game night, or the local bar’s trivia night—you might end up with a new friend or two. Your move is a chance to surround yourself with new people that reinforce the type of life you want for yourself.

Don’t Forget the Details

You have a lot on your mind with a big move and a big relationship change. Don’t lose track of critical details. Create a moving checklist that includes things like measuring furniture, setting up a new postal address, transferring bank accounts, and defrosting your refrigerator.

If necessary, make a physical list for yourself and keep track of each item on a week-by-week basis.

Once you’re established in your new home, it’s time to nest. You can decorate your home to your own vision and create a space for growth and new beginnings.

You may have started in a place of turmoil and loss, but your new life is an affirmation of your strength and resilience. This transition signifies a new adventure, a new lifestyle, and a brand new you.

The post Moving after Your Divorce: 6 Tips For Starting Fresh appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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people pleaser

Are You a People Pleaser? Here Are 6 Tips On How To Gain Control

people pleaser

While it’s admirable to be a caring person, learning to accept and respect myself has helped me to set healthy boundaries and to say “no” without feeling guilty.

For instance, I used to take on too much responsibility at work because I thought that others would “like” me and I’d feel better about myself. As it turns out, it was a quick way to burn out and I ended up feeling resentful and depleted.

The term “People Pleaser” is often used to describe people who go out of their way to make sure someone else is happy to the detriment of their own happiness. They seek approval from others due to unresolved issues with their parents or a need to be accepted.

Becoming a people pleaser is a way in which many individuals neglect to set boundaries and convey to others that they’re not good enough.

If you’re not sure if this description fits you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

-Do you have a hard time saying “no” when you are asked to do something for others?

-Do you worry a lot about disappointing others or worry they’ll leave you?

-Do you bend over backwards for other people, often at your own expense?

-Do you do some things because of a feeling of obligation, and then feel resentful afterwards?

-Are you afraid that if you don’t take care of others, they’ll think you’re not “nice?”

-Do you avoid speaking up for yourself or voicing your opinion because you’re afraid of conflict?

-Do you let your other people “take advantage” of you?”

If you find yourself recognizing yourself in a lot of these, then you probably can benefit from being more assertive.

After all, although pleasing others at your own expense might gain you some recognition, it won’t be good for your self-esteem in the long run.

Letting Go of Being a Victim

Studies show that while some men may experience “People Pleasing” it appears more often in women. Over time, a lack of setting boundaries in relationships can damage a person’s sense of self-worth. The good news is that this damage is reversible with self-awareness and support from others.

Before you can begin to set healthy boundaries in relationships, you must have healthy self-esteem – which means evaluating yourself in positive ways and believing in yourself. Honestly take stock of your patterns of relating to others.

One of the first things to ask yourself is: how do I treat ymyself? No one is going to treat you with respect if you beat yourself up. Get rid of all those self-defeating thoughts in your head – such as calling yourself “stupid” that won’t help you get back on your feet.

The first step to addressing people pleasing behavior is to examine your attitudes and beliefs. Often people get stuck in the role of “People Pleasing” because they lack self-awareness.  The following 6 ways will allow you to gain control of your life.

How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

  • Embrace the idea that you can’t be liked by everyone. There will always be those who don’t agree or approve of your words or actions. Accept that you can’t control what others think of you. All you can really control is yourself.
  • Ask yourself: do I give too much in relationships? Do you ignore your own needs due to seeking other’s approval? Therapy, reading, and keeping a journal can aid you in this process.
  • Challenge your beliefs and self-defeating thoughts about your self-worth. You don’t need to prove anything to another person about your self-worth. You are just as deserving of attention and caring as other people are.
  • Put an end to playing the role of a victim. Make new decisions to change your life – such as taking time to do the things that you enjoy rather than deferring to the needs of others.
  • Practice compassion and self-approval by learning to set personal boundaries and saying “no”to unreasonable requests from others.  You will feel better when you give yourself time to replenish yourself rather than focusing too much on others.
  • Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you are selfish. As you begin to care less about seeking the approval of others, you’ll find you have more energy – people pleasing can drain us of time and make us feel tired. Strive to achieve balance between your physical, mental, and emotional heath.

Take a moment to ask yourself: Am I able to freeing express my thoughts, wishes, and desires without worrying about my partner or friend’s reaction? If the answer is no, it may be time to consider working on freeing yourself from being a people pleaser.

By learning to be more assertive, you will no longer feel like a victim. Making yourself a priority isn’t the same as being selfish. You are worth the effort and deserve a freer, happier life.

I would love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments at movingpastdivorce.com. To find out more about my research, order my book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy Long-Lasting Relationship.

My forthcoming book “The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around” will be published by Sounds True in the February of 2020.

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

This article originally appeared on movingpastdivorce.com

The post Are You a People Pleaser? Here Are 6 Tips On How To Gain Control appeared first on Divorced Moms.



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Tips For Moving On and Staying Healthy After Divorce

Tips For Moving On and Staying Healthy After Divorce

Here are some helpful hints on staying healthy after a split or divorce.

The post Tips For Moving On and Staying Healthy After Divorce appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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blended family life

4 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life

blended family life

 

According to statistics, there are many more stepfamilies today than there were a decade ago. And the number is projected to grow steadily. It is, therefore, essential for you as the mom in a blended family to help the children make necessary adjustments because such situations hit kids the hardest.

Below are a few ways you can help the kids make the adjustments required for their new, blended way of life.

Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life

Explain the unique situation to the kids

As mentioned earlier, kids are the most affected when their parents either die or get divorced. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you as the mom to make ample time and talk to the kids involved. Acknowledge the difficulties they are going through and give them a pat on the back for being so brave. Then assure them by promising to be with them every step of the way.

Knowing that they have a strong and understanding mom who is ready to help will make the adjustment much easier for the kids, whether they’re yours or not.

Acknowledge their losses and help them through it

Blended families come as a result of deaths, divorces, or nasty breakups. Once again, the kids are usually hit the hardest when they lose a parent (or both their parents). The latter explains why kids are often very reluctant to accept blended families. As a caring mother, or stepmother, acknowledging their pain and at the same time helping them through it will make the transition much easier for the kids.

Helping kids through their pain is easier said than done. Some kids will outright disrespect you or throwing nasty tantrums in the name of coping with their new situation. If the latter happens, then it would be in your best interest to seek professional help. Once you’ve helped the kids overcome their pain, they’ll gradually start warming up to the idea of a blended family.

Nurture existing relationships

Just because you’ve forged a new, complicated relationship doesn’t mean death to the old ties that existed before the blended family. Therefore, it would be a good idea for you and your children to keep your old family traditions. If you used to watch movies or go bike riding once a month, stick to doing that because it will only make the transition gradual and as natural as possible.

You can also encourage your new man to do the same with his kids since they need help as well. Afterward, you can slowly create and introduce new family traditions with the blended family without getting rid of the old ones. Feel free to set your nice alarm panel to remind you of the times you and your kids ought to be doing your usual activities.

Encourage respect

Respect is the glue that holds together all kinds of relationships. And since blended families happen to be complex relationship structures, the more you have to emphasize respect since everything can fall apart so easily. You can start by letting the kids know the importance of respecting each other’s boundaries as well as privacy. There should be consequences if anyone doesn’t recognize anyone in the new family setting.

A final word

Being a member of a blended family can be challenging, especially if there are more kids involved. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to try and approach the situation with a lot of care. Try listening to the kids and letting them know you’ll be there for them every step of the way. If it gets a bit difficult, then don’t hesitate to seek outside help.

Lastly, it’s essential to always remember it gets worse before getting better. Once the children know that the new blended system is meant for them to thrive, they’ll gradually warm up to the idea.

The post 4 Tips For Helping Your Kids Adjust To Blended Family Life appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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child discipline after divorce

Child Discipline After Divorce: 8 Tips For Single Moms

child discipline after divorce

 

Child discipline in an intact family is a responsibility shared between Mom and Dad. Once there is a divorce the custodial parent will have to take on the majority of this responsibility. Non-custodial parents should remain as actively involved in child discipline as possible but it only makes sense that the parent spending more time with the child will end up doing most of the work where discipline is concerned.

It is a dirty job but someone has to do it! It is especially important that children who are struggling to cope with the changes in their family be given a structured environment to help them cope with the many changes that come along with divorce.

This is a guide for the custodial parent who may find themselves not only attempting to cope with the stress of being a single parent but also the impact of divorce on their child.

8 Tips for Child Discipline After Divorce

1. Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Workshop:

Busy children are less likely to get into or cause trouble. Keeping your child engaged in fun or productive activities will not only keep them out of trouble it will keep you focused on something other than your own problems.

My ex sees our children 4 days out of the month which leaves me to deal with any disciplinary problems that arose on all those other days. I found that life was easier for not only me but the children also if I stressed the importance of not only having fun but also being productive.

They both had after school activities to participate in that were outlets for creativity and an opportunity to relax and distress. They also had responsibilities they had to tend to once they were home for the evening. Their homework had to be done, dinner dishes had to be cleaned and they were required to do 45 minutes of reading. By bedtime, they were so tired from their “fun and productive day” they welcomed the idea of crawling between the sheets and settling down.

2. Focus on Positive Behaviors, Not Negative Behaviors:

You can sit my younger son in time out all day or, take away his favorite toy and he would turn around and misbehave…over and over again. The trick with him was to give him something he liked doing as a reward for not misbehaving.

Once I figured this out I spent a lot less time punishing him and more time praising him. For example, he loved feeding the fish and cleaning the fish tank. That was his job unless he misbehaved and to hold onto that “job” he works hard at behaving in a way that is pleasing to his Mom.

If you have a child who isn’t responding in a positive way to standard forms of discipline try rewarding him/her with a liked task in exchange for good behavior. As a parent, it is so much less stressful to be able to say, “job well done,” instead of, “to the corner young man.”

3. Set Clear and Age Appropriate Boundaries and Rules:

Don’t expect your children the respect boundaries or follow rules they are not old enough to understand or physically capable of following. I had a written contract with my elder son that outlined his responsibilities and the rewards for living up to those responsibilities.

My younger son had a chart with stars. He was awarded a star for good behavior and lost a star for bad behavior. And they both knew what I considered good and bad behavior. I was specific with them about the rules and the consequences of breaking the rules. And the consequences for my elder son were different than the ones for my younger son.

4. Be Consistent When Disciplining:

As a single parent, it is easy to take the path of least resistance and relax the rules a bit. Let’s face it, at times it is easier to just “do it yourself” than engage in the power struggle that can ensue when trying to get a child to act.

The idea behind setting rules and boundaries is to let them know who is in charge. The more you bend the rules, the less parental authority you have. Bend them enough and you will soon find yourself with no authority at all.

Being consistent requires a parent have self-discipline, it requires a lot of effort. In other words, being consistent will probably be the hardest part of disciplining your child. If you are able to remain consistent you will not only promote growth and maturity in your child but yourself also.

5. Be Quick and Concise When Disciplining Your Child:

My mother was notorious for threatening me if I misbehaved when away from home. She would shake her finger in my face and say, “when I get you home you will pay for that.” And there I would be, filled with anxiety for hours over what was going to happen once she “got me home.”

She didn’t want to make a scene in front of others but didn’t mind dumping hours of stress and fear onto me in order to save face. Punishment is far more effective and less damaging if it is doled out at the time of the bad behavior. Justice should be swift when dealing with children and it will be more effective if done immediately.

The trick is to have a separate set of consequences the child will suffer if bad behavior takes place away from home than those you have for home. It can be as simple as telling her child if he/she misbehaves at a Birthday party you will remove them from the party. Whatever the consequences, whether at home or away from home do it on the spot.

6. Keep Your Anger Under Control When Disciplining Your Child:

When we discipline we are attempting to send a message…certain behaviors are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. When you become angry and scream or yell the message gets lost. All your child hears or retains is the anger that is mudding up the message.

Keeping your anger under control also helps promote a respectful and loving relationship with your child. You will also be setting an example for your child on how to deal with a negative situation without going off the rails emotionally.

7. Allow Children to Help Set House Rules and Boundaries:

This is especially helpful when disciplining teenagers. An older child will feel more motivated to follow rules and respect boundaries they have helped set. Teens are on the brink of adulthood, they are living on the fence so to speak. It is a very frustrating time of wanting control but having none.

Giving your teen the opportunity to negotiate such things as curfew and what happens if they break curfew will give them a sense of control. I found, as my boys aged the more power they felt they had, the less likely they were to take advantage of that power.

8. Work Constructively With Your Co-Parent When Disciplining Your Child:

Your job as a single parent will be easier if you work with the non-custodial parent when setting up rules and boundaries for your child. These can be a challenging part of co-parenting but for the sake of your children, it is helpful for both parents to be on the same page when it comes to crimes and how those crimes are punished.

As parents, we want to teach our children certain morals and values. If divorced parents do not work together they fall short of teaching their children anything other than to engage in conflict and power struggles.

The rules at one house don’t have to be the same for the other house but parents should be in agreement about the need for setting and enforcing rules and boundaries. Doing so is best for all concerned.

The post Child Discipline After Divorce: 8 Tips For Single Moms 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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