Jan 21

What to Know About Marital Abandonment

Most couples facing problems tend to solve this by trying marital counseling, opting for legal separation, or deciding there’s no way to resolve the issue except for divorce. However, there are some cases where individuals decide to sever their ties with the family altogether, and this is known as marital abandonment. With marital abandonment, one spouse doesn’t simply move out of the home, but they move out with no intent to return, no longer pay necessary support, and no desire to fulfill their responsibilities (whether financial or otherwise). Below are a few important things to know about marital abandonment.


It could be grounds for divorce.

If your spouse has abandoned you and your family, it may be grounds for divorce. Some states allow for at-fault divorces, and in these states, abandonment is considered a viable reason for divorce. The spouse claiming abandonment must provide certain documentation to prove abandonment took place, such as proof you didn’t cause the spouse’s departure, proof you didn’t agree to the separation, and proof they haven’t made any financial contribution to you or the family during this time. If you can prove these things, the court will likely rule in your favor and the divorce will be finalized.


There are different types of abandonment.

When most people hear the term “marital abandonment”, they tend to think of one spouse leaving the other. While this is true, there are other types of abandonment:

  • Constructive abandonment: This refers to when one spouse forces another spouse to leave due to bad behavior, such as physical/emotion abuse, infidelity, and offering no financial support. During this type of abandonment, the spouse who is suffering can file a petition with the courts to prove he/she had no other option but to leave the marriage.
  • Criminal abandonment: If you or your spouse suddenly decide to walk away from a spouse with serious health issues or suddenly refuse to provide care or protection for a child, that is a form of criminal abandonment. In these cases, the court will find the spouse who walked away financially responsible to support the child or the sick spouse.


It plays a role in the division of marital assets.

When it comes to divorce, the courts divide marital assets between spouses. However, in the event of marital abandonment, it could play a major role in the division of marital assets. For instance, if one spouse leaves and doesn’t remain financially responsible for the mortgage or bills, the court may rule in the favor of the spouse who was able to continue paying for the house/bills/etc. This may mean the spouse who walked away will not be entitled to any equity or assets that occurred during the marriage.


The abandoned spouse can still request support.

Although marital abandonment refers to one spouse walking away from their responsibilities, it’s still possible for the abandoned spouse to request support from the other one. Whether you’re looking for alimony or child support, you can still ask the court to grant this to you from the other party. Should the court rule in your favor, your spouse will now be legally responsible to provide this to you. If he or she ignores this court-ordered sanction, it puts them at risk of serving jail time for failure to comply. Oftentimes, this is enough to get the spouse to agree to the terms.


Martial abandonment is a serious issue that many people face, and it’s important to know your rights should you find yourself in this situation. By educating yourself, you can make a better case for yourself and know what’s legally available to you.

Sep 20

What to Expect from Mediation

For some couples, divorce is much easier when you do it through mediation instead of through the court system. In fact, many courts are actually asking people to try mediation first before taking their divorce to court. For some couples, this is a great way to finalize the divorce and move on in a healthy way; however, preparing for mediation is not the same as preparing for court. Here is what you should expect from mediation with divorce.


Talk about it.

In order for mediation to work, you and your ex need to be open to it. If one of you attends the mediation with a bad attitude, then it’s not going to work. Instead, be sure you talk about mediation versus the court and ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to settling the divorce quickly and amicably.


Be prepared.

Your mediation will discuss all your possessions and assets, and the mediator will be there to help the two of you discuss what you have and who should get what. To do this effectively, it’s important to have a list of your assets and properties in front of you so you can discuss it in detail. In addition to simply knowing what you have, it’s important to also know what you want. This doesn’t mean being greedy either. Instead, be rationale about what it is you want from the divorce and then use that in your mediation discussion.


As you’re preparing these lists, think long and hard about what you simply won’t let go of and make two lists—the list of your must-haves and a list of the things you can negotiate. Chances are your ex will have a similar list, so be sure you’re open to compromise on their must-have list so they will return the favor for yours.


Aside from what you want, you need to be sure all debts are also accounted for. This way, each of you will walk away knowing who is responsible for what payments, whether it’s a mortgage, a credit card, a student loan, etc. Depending on what is happening with your living situation, some couples opt to put the house up for sale and use the profits from the sale to pay for any outstanding debts you share together. Again, talk to the mediator about this, but ensure you have disclosed all debts upfront.


Do your research.

Some mediators will allow you to have your legal counsel in the room while others will not. It’s best to do your research ahead of time and know whether or not your attorney can be there. If so, be sure they are there to help accurately represent you and your needs. To do this effectively, talk with your legal representative beforehand to ensure they fully understand what you want from the divorce.


Aside from knowing what to expect the day of, you should also research potential mediators. You and your spouse should agree on the same one together so each of you feels as if your best interests are in mind. If you cannot seem to agree on someone, ask the court to provide one for you, as this can be done without any prejudices.


Opting for mediation is a healthy way to get divorced and do so amicably. If you and your ex can work together, you’ll find it’s less expensive, quicker, and easier on everyone involved. If you find yourself facing divorce, consider the benefits of mediation before starting the process through your family court system.

Sep 20

7 Tips to Helping Your Teen Bounce Back After a Break-up

As a parent, you’ve probably committed to doing everything you can to ensure your child’s happiness. But if the emotional distress is caused by the end of a relationship, you may wonder how best to assist your teen. The following are ways to help your child bounce back after experiencing a broken heart for the first time.

Let Them Vent

You may be terrified at the prospect of your teens first relationship. But a first romance can be the start of many life lessons for your child. To your teen, being in love for the first time can have them walking with their head in the clouds. But if the relationship suddenly ends, your son or daughter may need a shoulder to cry and lean on after a breakup. Instead of offering advice or words of, “I told you so,” you want to give them the floor to vent and pour their feelings out. Once your teen has found their voice and shared their concerns, they may feel better upon releasing the burden.

Seek Help From the Professionals

Your teen may take a breakup particularly hard. They may even turn to drugs or alcohol to help numb the pain. Signs of addiction can include symptoms of withdrawal, changes in their demeanor and appearance. You need to seek the help of the professionals immediately. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a leading drug and alcohol rehab facility. Led by a group of professionals who have hands-on experience with the journey, your child will be able to recover in a safe environment.


Ease Them Into a Normal Routine

Similar to adults, the end to a relationship can be crippling for a teen. While you want to give them time to mourn the loss, you also want to ease them into getting back to a normal routine. You can start by encouraging them to get together with their friends. You may also want to plan family activities that take their mind off their ex. The more that they can keep busy, the clearer their mind will be to focus on things that will bring them happiness.

Share Your Own Stories

The last thing your son or daughter will want to hear from a parent is a lecture after a breakup. Although you may want to point out why you think the relationship ended, refrain from doing so. Instead, share your own heartbreaking relationship ending stories that your child may be able to relate to. Hearing that you’ve suffered a broken heart in your teens may make your kids feel less alone. The experiences you share may also help them to move on.

Never Get in the Middle

If the breakup is especially bad for your child, you may feel the need to protect them. You may even want to go on social media such as Facebook or YouTube to call that person out. Unfortunately, getting in the middle of breakup can backfire and cause your child to get angry with you instead of their ex. Put all your energies instead on assisting your teen in processing the end of the relationship and moving forward.

Give Your Teen Space

As a parent, you may want to fix everything for your child. But you can’t put a band-aid on heartbreak. If you’re child doesn’t want to discuss the situation, don’t force them to speak. You need to allow them time to work through their emotions without pressuring them. Allow your teen to come to you when they’re ready. Until then, give your teen space and time to recover. If you share child custody with your Ex, it would behoove your child to be on the same page about this. That way, you are co-parenting about these types of issues.

Encourage Your Teen to Date

Once of the best ways to get over a breakup is to have fun with your friends. Encourage your teen to dip their toes back in the dating world when they feel ready. While they may be hesitant to give their heart to someone new, the experience will help them grow and learn. If they’re not ready for the one-on-one experience, they may have just as much fun hanging out with friends of both sexes in big groups.

Your teen may feel like their world is ending with a breakup. But before you know it, they’ll return to a normal routine. You can help them heal from the pain and heartache by communicating openly with them. You may also want to encourage them to slowly venture back into the real world.

Jun 19

Tips for Successful Co-Parenting

As the summer ends and kids head back to school, a whole new set of co-parenting and communication problems need to be handled.  How you are going to successfully co-parent at school will determine how your child succeeds in school.  If school becomes another war zone, then your child is less likely to be successful.

If you do not get along with your ex, the school situation is going to be quite difficult.  If you do get along then you are going to find that it is not that difficult to figure out how to get things done at the school.  The school year can be stressful for any parents but for those who are co-parenting the stress level can significantly increase.  Co-parents need to have a plan so that they can avoid conflict over their children’s education.


Understand Court Documents

One of the first things that you will need to do when you are trying to be successful co-parents with your child’s education is understand what your court documents say and mean.  The reason that you should first consult paperwork is so that you understand exactly what rights you have.

Some court documents require that parents make joint decisions about things like education while others have one appointed parent who is going to be the main decision maker.  If you have joint communication and get along well then there is no reason that you should not be able to make decisions together.  If you don’t communicate well or have some other reason, then one of the parents was likely appointed during court to be the main decision maker.


Come Up with a Plan at School

 The next thing that you are going to want to do is make sure that you can come up with a plan at school.  The plan should be discussed between the two parents when at all possible.  This way everything can be agreed upon and it is not confusing for the school or teachers.  If you cannot talk, trying to write down everything that each of you want before going is a good idea.  Also, having all court papers and documents in hand is essential.


Plan Who Will Attend School Events

One thing that you should decide upon before you go to the school is how you will handle the two of you attending school events.  The best way to go about this is to logically consider the parents’ work schedules and who will be available during the different times.  One parent might find that it works best for them to do the things during school hours while it works out better for the other parent to do those that are happening after school.  It also might work out that parents need to trade which events that they will attend with the child or that both parents can attend events together.  Just have a plan ahead of time so that you both know the expectations for who will be at the child’s events and activities.


Plan Who Will Fill Out Paperwork/Be Contacted First

Typically, it is easiest for the custodial parent to be contacted first with any child.  However, there are times when this might not be what is best for the children.  Think about where each parent works/lives and who can get to the child’s school quicker.  Also consider if one parent has other children in the same school and whether or not the parent who is being contacted can relay back information to the other parent.


What to Let Teachers Know

Teachers do not need to know about all of the dirt that you have on your ex.  It is obvious to everyone involved that an ex is an ex for a reason.  So, keep yourself clear headed when talking to teachers or others at your child’s school.  Think about how you can put into words simply what each parent’s expectations are.  Let the teacher know if different parents are picking up/dropping off and what days that is happening.  A set schedule is a good idea when possible.  When this is not possible, it might be necessary to send your child’s teacher a weekly note outlining who will be taking and picking up the child each day.

Jun 19

4 Tips to Help Parents Encourage Healthy Lifestyle Habits in Children and Teens

One of the critical roles parents have is preparing their children for adulthood. This includes instilling positive values and social awareness, but it should also include helping kids make healthy choices in their everyday lives. That can be tough, especially for parents of teens, but these tips can make your job a little easier and their lives so much better.


Talk to Teenagers About Driving Safely

If you have a teenager, it is imperative to have discussions about driving safety. Try discussing lighter topics first if you feel odd about starting with safety. For example, you can use this auto insurance guide to give your teen a quick trip through car insurance 101, explaining what policies typically include, and the laws around driving uninsured. Once you open the discussion, however, do not avoid talking about the heavier topics as well. According to the CDC, accidents are a leading cause of death for American teenagers, so addressing basic driving safety with your teen could save someone’s life. Go over vehicle safety, and also touch on the common unsafe driving behaviors, such as texting behind the wheel, that can lead to fatal accidents.


Discuss Mental Health

Accidents may be a leading cause of injury and death for young Americans, but mental health is a common risk as well, especially for teenagers. Over the last few decades, researchers and health experts have started to recognize the importance of mental health in terms of overall wellness. One of the most helpful things you can do to help your children manage their own mental health is to treat mental health issues just as you would a physical illness. Doing so can reduce the stigma around getting help for and managing mental health for your children, which will make it much more likely for them to carry those important lessons into adulthood. You can also provide your children with the self-care tools they need to manage their emotions and lessen feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.


Set Positive Examples When It Comes to Diet

Unhealthy eating habits can be another major risk to the long-term health of your children and teens. Helping your child eat more vegetables and fruits is a step toward creating lasting diet changes, but their habits around food can encompass so much more. It’s also important to set a good example when it comes to portion size and emotional eating. The last one is crucial for parents to address because researchers have found that adults who use food as an emotional crutch are not born with this behavior. Instead, they actually learn it from childhood, whether it’s through being rewarded with food or watching their parents practice the same unhealthy behaviors. If you tend to use food to feed your emotions, try to find ways to break those patterns and begin practicing the same healthy diet habits with your entire family.


Ensure Children Get Outside for Fun and Healthy Exercise

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand when it comes to preventing disease, like diabetes, which is why it’s so important to instill these healthy habits in your little ones. Getting children and teens interested in exercise can often be challenging for parents, especially when social media and video games are involved. However, staying fit as a family can help children of all ages learn to love exercise, so plan some of your activities together around fun and simple exercises. You can play a game of hopscotch at home or get out for a nature hike. Team sports are also a good way for your kids to stay active. Plus, playing sports can provide other life benefits as well, such as higher self-esteem, increased problem-solving skills, and better time management.

As a parent, you know that your job is one of the toughest in the world. After all, not only are you responsible for the health of your children now, but you are also responsible for helping them live healthy lives as adults. Help your children and teenagers make the best choices for their bodies and their minds now so they can live happier lives later.


Photo Credit: Unsplash





Feb 19

Taking Legal Action Against Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is serious, but it is criminal? That’s the question parents face when they discover their child is the victim of serious and ongoing cyberbullying. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut. Here’s what parents need to know about taking action against cyberbullying.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is harassment carried out in a digital format. Cyberbullying can occur through texting, email, websites, blogs, and social media. The greatest difference between cyberbullying and traditional schoolyard bullying is that kids can’t easily escape the hurtful words and actions of online bullies. Cyberbullying content also doesn’t disappear, so targeted children can revisit their abuse again and again, reopening those emotional wounds each time.

Unlike schoolyard taunts, cyberbullying is often anonymous. This makes it difficult for children to report cyberbullying and for adults to take action against perpetrators.

Who is bullying and being bullied online?

When children are cyberbullied, it’s usually by someone they know. According to the Next Web, children are seven times “more likely to be cyberbullied by current or former friends or romantic interests than just some random stranger.”

Girls, LGBTQ students, and minority students are most likely to experience cyberbullying. The perpetrators of cyberbullying, however, are harder to pin down. Boys and girls are equally likely to cyberbully, and while some cyberbullies fit the profile of antisocial trouble-makers, many online bullies experience depression and are themselves victims of bullying or abuse.

Many of the signs of cyberbullying apply to both perpetrators and victims:

  • Secrecy surrounding online activities.
  • Unusual amounts of time spent online.
  • Odd behavior and mood changes when online.
  • Declining grades in school.
  • Changes in friendships.

What is the danger of cyberbullying?

No parent wants to see their child depressed or doing poorly in school. However, for some victims of cyberbullying, the consequences are much greater. Suicide among teenage boys and girls is on the rise, and cyberbullying is part of the reason. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that victims of cyberbullying are at greater risk of self-harm and suicidal behaviors. Perpetrators of cyberbullying are also more likely to self-harm or think about suicide when compared to children who don’t bully.

When children involved in cyberbullying exhibit warning signs of suicide, it’s imperative that parents intervene. As a parent, you may not know where to start, especially when you don’t know the identity of a cyberbully. A digital forensic expert, such as those at Secure Forensics, can help parents identify cyberbullies and collect evidence that can be used to stop the bullying.

Are there laws against cyberbullying?

With the correlation between cyberbullying and suicide, it’s no wonder that parents want to take legal action when their child is victimized online.

There’s no federal law addressing cyberbullying, which means that cyberbullying laws vary by state. Most states have developed laws or policies addressing cyberbullying. However, in most states, policies focus on what actions schools must take to prevent and address cyberbullying and don’t establish cyberbullying as a criminal offense. Some states only apply cyberbullying policies to activities that occur on-campus, limiting schools’ ability to address cyberbullying. Parents can find state-specific info on cyberbullying laws and policies at StopBullying.gov.

Regardless of state cyberbullying laws, public schools must address cyberbullying that’s based on race, nationality, color, sex, age, disability, or religion. That’s because these are protected classes under federal civil rights law.

What can parents do to stop cyberbullying?

Legal policies requiring schools to take action against cyberbullying can help shut down online harassment, but parents should also take a role in protecting kids from cyberbullying.

Parents should instruct children to never respond to cyberbullies and demonstrate how to block and report harassers and add privacy settings to social media profiles. It’s beneficial to limit the time your child spends online; unfortunately, this can feel like punishment to a child who is being cyberbullied. Rather than simply restricting online activity, provide children with more opportunities to have fun offline, like new extracurricular activities, hobbies, and family time.

The law is limited in its ability to stop cyberbullying. While many states have policies requiring schools to take preventive and corrective action in response to cyberbullying, many parents feel it isn’t enough. So, what does that mean for parents? While reporting cyberbullying is still important, protecting kids from cyberbullying has to start at home.


Jan 19

Everything Parents Need to Know About Their Kids and Cyberbullying


According to government statistics, up to 21 percent of kids aged 12 to 18 report being cyberbullied — and that’s just the numbers for reported cases. The hard truth is that many kids, some even younger than 12, are cyberbullied and either don’t recognize it or don’t say anything to anyone in a position of authority. It’s your job as parents to be on the lookout for signs your child is a victim of cyberbullying and to know what to do if you find out they are. Here’s a primer.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Every parent is familiar with the bullying of their day and age — playground scuffles, fights at the Friday night football game, cold shoulders at the school dance. However, cyberbullying is a newer and extremely potent form of bullying. One basic definition of cyberbullying is any use of digital means to harass, intimidate, scare, ridicule, or ostracize. Cyberbullying can happen via text, websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, or any form of digital communication.


How to Know If Your Child Is the Victim of a Cyberbully

Although the easiest way to know if your child is being cyberbullied is them telling you directly, that’s unlikely to happen. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask, however. That’s step one.

Beyond that, it’s up to you to spot the warning signs. Some include:

  • They either stop using the computer/phone or begin to do so only in private. A rapid increase in social media/internet use can also be a warning sign.
  • They get jumpy or defensive when they get a text or message.
  • They become withdrawn.
  • They are hanging out with friends and at social engagements less and less.
  • They appear angry, sad, depressed, or agitated.

If you suspect something is going on, you may want to gain access to their texts, online messages, social media accounts, and any other online platforms (gaming, video, etc.). While you should always have access to your younger children’s digital life, asking for access for an older child (early teen) may feel like an invasion of their privacy. It’s a delicate subject, for sure, but it may be necessary if cyberbullying is occurring. There are also ways to monitor their online activity without actually seizing control of it.


Addressing It

How you approach your own child is personal, but you should be gentle no matter what. Let them know you suspect it and that they can tell you anything without fear.

You should contact your child’s school (if the bully is a classmate) or coach/instructor (if the bully knows your child from an extracurricular activity). You should not contact the bully’s parents directly, as this almost always leads to defensiveness and confrontation. If the bullying is very serious and gets to the point where you fear for your child’s safety or mental health, you may need to hire a digital forensic expert to help you keep records of the bullying to be used as proof should any legal action need to be undertaken. There are many trusted options available for this service, such as SecureForensics.


How to Prevent Additional Cyberbullying

Addressing the source of the bullying is certainly an effective first step, but you must make more decisions as a parent to protect your child from further abuse. You may need to limit or at least closely monitor online time. Get to know your child’s online friends. For instance, require your child to report any bullying to you (let them know that this is not akin to “tattling”).

Keep in mind that you must teach your child that retribution is not the answer under any circumstances. Teach them they can use privacy settings to their advantage and that they should simply block or ignore online nuisances if they persist.

Cyberbullying is a very serious problem — one that can lead to tragic consequences. Some children have been cyberbullied to the point of taking their own life, so it’s certainly not an issue to take lightly or simply wait for it to pass. The good news is that cyberbullying can be addressed, stopped, and prevented, and kids can overcome its effects with guidance and counseling. However, remember this: Recognizing and, in turn, dealing with cyberbullying, like many things, starts with you — the parent. Be observant, be compassionate, and take action.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash




Jan 19

What are My Rights With Sole Custody?

Separation with children results in either joint or sole custody. With joint custody, both parents are responsible for their child’s well-being and care, and they need to make decisions together. With sole custody, one parent is responsible for making major decisions for the child regardless of what the other parent thinks.

The court will decide if joint or sole custody is best for the child, and in most cases, they do prefer to have both parents working together. However, certain circumstances require the court to give sole custody to one parent, and that parent then has the following rights.

Visitation Rights

Unfortunately, even if you have sole custody, it is not up to you what the visitation rights and schedule are for your child. During your divorce or separation, this schedule is determined by the courts, and it is up to both parties to fulfill this schedule to the best of your abilities. In fact, should one of you deter from the court-appointed visitation schedule, it could leave you susceptible to being arrested. While you can plead your case to the court, know that sole custody does not give you the power to keep your ex away from your child.


With sole custody, you do have the ability to decide where the child will live. Depending on your relationship with your ex and your visitation schedule, it may be in the best interest to keep the child in the same neighborhood you lived before the divorce. However, should you need to relocate for work or personal reasons, know you can do so without having to consult with your ex.


In addition to deciding where your child can live, you also get to decide where your child will go to school. Again, this is usually determined by where you live, but should you decide to send your child to a private school, you have the right to do so.


If you are a religious person, parents will sole custody have the ability to decide what religion the child will be raised. Obviously, once your child is old enough to make his or her own decisions, this should be left to the child; however, until then, you can make this decision and raise your child as you see fit following those religious beliefs.

Medical Decisions

Your child’s health is the number one priority, and sometimes health decisions will need to be made for your child. When you have sole custody, you are allowed to decide on your child’s medical decisions without consulting the other parent. For instance, if you are deciding whether or not to vaccinate, whether or not to go through with certain tests, or even whether or not to go through with a procedure, this decision is totally up to you until your child turns 18.


Like visitation rights, you do not get to decide how much child support or alimony payments you receive from your ex. Instead, this decision is again made by the courts, and depending on where you live, it may be a state law that’s followed. Should you ever have any issues with your child support payments, be sure to take it up with the court, not your ex.

Having sole custody of your child gives you plenty of rights, but there are also things you simply cannot decide. Be sure to fully understand what you’re responsible for when it comes to your children, but also be sure to work hard to give them a solid relationship with the other parent, regardless of your personal feelings.

Dec 18

How to Keep Your Family Happy and Free of Stress Through the Holidays

Happy Family During Holidays


The holidays can be a magical time for families. Co-parenting and blended families can add a different dynamic, but even non-blended families can benefit from having a solid morning routine. This keeps anxieties low for the whole family, especially during what might otherwise be a stressful time. Below are some things to keep in mind.


Family Time First

 Life in the 21st century is nonstop, and balancing different activities can seem like we are always on the go. However, children need us to be present, especially if this is their first holiday season in a separated household. The morning is the perfect time to check in on how everyone is doing. Over breakfast, make sure all technology is put away so you can really try to engage in conversation. They may be recalcitrant at first, doubly so if they are experiencing lots of change. Yet, by making time for them and demonstrating that you are there to listen, you can get them to talk about how they feel. Ask open, gentle questions to prompt them, and make sure you don’t come across as accusatory. Breakfast really is the perfect time to have heart-to-heart conversations with no distractions, so make it your special time to bond this holiday season.


Keep Your Energy Up

 Children seem to have a never-ending supply of energy. To keep up with the growing excitement of the coming holidays, with all its delicious food and potential presents, we need to give ourselves a boost, especially in the morning. Start your day right by not hitting snooze, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead, immediately get up, and let natural light into your room. This helps your body wake, and it will also help you sleep at night. Working out regularly can also boost energy, even if it’s low-intensity aerobics such as going for a morning walk with the kids. Eating well and throughout the day with healthful snacks can also keep you energized and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Don’t reach for another cup of coffee if you can avoid it, as this can disrupt sleep and cause you to continue the cycle of exhaustion. Instead, grab a glass of water alongside protein- and fiber-rich snack options.


Family Exercise Routines

 There are many benefits to routines, such as having your children make their bed first thing. They may need normalcy now more than ever, so create routines they can easily manage. One such habit to develop is that of exercise. It’s healthy and helps them process some of the excess energy they may have over the excitement of the holidays. Further, this can be an activity you do as a family. Even just 30 minutes a day can reinforce bonds, and if you do it out of doors, can be especially fun for kids. Try a circuit routine, something they can learn through repetition, as this is fast and relatively straightforward. If there is extra stress from a recent divorce or separation, a workout can be just the thing to help process this.


Add Some Flair for Fun

 Routines can seem boring, especially to children. It’s our jobs as parents to make sure they’re healthy and happy, so make their mornings fun. One such way is to put on upbeat, age-appropriate music for the whole family to bop to. Create your own playlist with some of their favorites, and introduce them to some of yours as well. Your child’s idea of fun might be turning on a video game or grabbing their phone. However, try to resist the desire to engage in tech first thing in the morning. Instead, focus on each other to help develop a positive mindset for the day and relax our dependencies on technology as entertainment.

The holidays can be just as stressful as they are enjoyable. Separated families can experience this more acutely, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to process that stress healthily as a family. By spending time together and developing a good routine, we can set our kids up for success, as well as give ourselves the boost in energy we need.


Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Nov 18

3 Ways Divorce Can Affect A Child’s Ability to Sleep

Divorce is getting more and more common in an era where families do not have to stay together to be able to afford the basic functions in life and where divorcee’s are not looked down upon for not staying together. However, it is still stressful and hard for people of any age to deal with. To make this transition as easy as possible for everyone involved, particularly the kids, sleep is key. Here’s a few reasons that the kid in your life might not be getting enough sleep during this period of their life.


Divorce is hard on every member of the family, from the parents who are separating to even the smallest of children. Whether they are dealing with their parents fighting or just dealing with the changes in their lives, it adds stress to any child’s life.

Stress is a huge problem for anyone who is going through a hard time, and it will make anyone have trouble sleeping. Kids don’t have the stress coping mechanisms that adults have built up over their lives, or the ability to recognize that the stress is what the problem is for them. In addition, lack of sleep causes everyone to be less able to handle even the most minor of stressors in their lives, making everything seem a whole lot harder to deal with.


Change of Routine

Kids thrive on routines. Divorce is, by design, disruption of the routines that they thrive on. Luckily, there is an easy way for parents going through divorce to make this change easier on their kids. If you can keep as much of their routine intact as possible no matter where they’re spending their days, they will sleep better in the long run.

This is especially important when it comes to bedtime. Bedtime routines help to train the brain into recognizing when it is time for it to produce melatonin and start getting sleepy. It also serves as time for parents to bond with their children, especially when they are younger. Kids will grow up and remember the time that their parents spent reading to them at night or telling them silly stories to help them relax.


Changing Sleep Space

Parts of these changes for kids of all ages can be both good and bad, particularly the changing of their sleep space. When one parent moves out, kids usually get new beds and bedrooms. This book can lead them to forget some of the things that they were supposed to bring back to the other parent’s house, but great that they get a new mattress or crib, especially if they are sleeping on a hand-me-down. Mattresses should be replaced every eight years to be as supportive as possible for the people sleeping on them – even when those people are significantly smaller than their parents.

If you notice that a child in your life is not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, it might be worth talking to a doctor or a therapist to see if there is an underlying issue that you can work with to find the underlying problem.