fbpx

Co-Parenting Goals: Find Success

It can be a bit difficult to start co-parenting. To help you and your ex going in the right direction, it can be a good idea to set some co-parenting goals. These goals can help ensure your efforts result in success…

Co-Parenting Goals

Help the kids feel secure

Divorce usually causes your kids to feel a lot of uncertainty about the future. While you yourself might have a lot of questions about what’s next, your kids also will feel the same. Mainly, they might be worried about where they’ll live, or if the divorce itself was somehow their fault.

Therefore, it helps to set making the kids feel secure as one of your co-parenting goals. Having a good, consistent schedule can help them adjust to this new “normal” and feel more relaxed. Spending plenty of time with them also helps reinforce to them that you or your ex aren’t going anywhere.

Create a budget

Divorce also brings changes to one’s budget. As a co-parent, you’ll not only need to plan a budget for yourself, but also one for your kids with your co-parent. Usually, this budget involves things like major expenses, such as tuition or medical bills. That’s why this shared budget is another of the co-parenting goals to work towards.

One useful way to do this is by first meeting with your ex and going over your individual budgets. Then, you can look at what major kid-related costs you might have. By doing so, you can work on adjusting your budgets to meet your kids’ needs.

Better communication

Not all ex-couples will want to talk all the time after divorcing. Still, co-parenting will require some kind of communication between the two of you. After all, you’ll have to coordinate things like dropping or picking up the kids. Due to this, improving communication is one of the most common co-parenting goals.

A good way to do this is by keeping your conversations positive. Focus on the good things, like if the kids got good grades on a test, over negative topics. It’s also good to help keep them in the loop about any changes to your schedule which could impact your usual co-parenting plans.

Parental Conflict: Spare The Kids

Emotions usually tend to run a bit high during a divorce. However, if you have kids, you won’t want to fight with their other parent in front of them. Rather, it’s important to spare them from as much parental conflict as possible. There’s a few ways you can shield them from those heated disagreements…

Parental Conflict: Protect Your Children

Don’t fight in front of them

For starters, it’s important you keep any parental conflict away from the kids. You don’t want to have a major argument with them there. Doing so will not only scare them, but it’ll leave a lasting impression. This will make it harder for them to adjust to the divorce and process it in a healthy way.

If you come to a disagreement, you should do your best to avoid escalating things into an argument. Keep your calm and don’t engage in any name calling or yelling. Still, if you’re worried about things potentially getting heated, you should ensure your conversations take place in private somewhere away from the kids.

Don’t vent to the kids

Even if you don’t argue in front of the kids, you can accidentally get them involved in parental conflict. In particular, this could happen if you vent to them about the divorce and their other parent. Some parents might think it’s okay to do so, especially if their kids are older and say they want to help.

The reality is venting to them will put them in an awkward position. Suddenly, they’ll feel like they need to take sides, which could cause their relationship with their other parent to suffer. Instead, you should only talk about the divorce and any issue you have with your support network.

Follow the co-parenting plan

You should also make sure that any parental conflict doesn’t get in the way of your co-parenting plan. After a fight with your soon-to-be-ex, you might want to “get back” at them. One way you may do this is either by not dropping off the kids when you’re supposed too, or otherwise not following the original plan.

What this does is basically put your kids in the middle of the divorce. Now, they’re going to feel like they did something wrong, and that’s why things have gone the way they have. Doing this will also negatively impact any co-parenting plans going forward, and could even hurt your divorce goals.

Easing the Custody Transition for Children

Easing the custody transition for children is important because divorce can be quite stressful for them. They might be going back and forth between houses now, or might just be living without one parent. Either way, it’s likely a big change from what they’re used to. It can cause a lot of anxiety in children, so it’s important to make it as easy as you can for them. Prepare them in advance by talking with them about what will happen, and keep the lines of communication open. Keep their schedule as consistent as possible. Communicate with your ex about their needs and make sure that you both are on the same page when it comes to the kids. And finally, reassure your children constantly about how much you love them and how this will feel normal soon. Hopefully, you can make this time in their lives a little less stressful.

Easing the Custody Transition for Children: Smoothing a Stressful Situation

Talk with Them

It’s important to lay the groundwork ahead of time when preparing for the custody transition for children. Let them know what their schedule is going to look like moving forward. In addition, give them a chance to ask questions and raise concerns. If they are older children, or you feel that they might open up more to another person, consider getting them an appointment with a counselor or therapist. Keep the dialog going after you’ve started the transition. Check-in with them to see how they are handling things frequently.

Consistency is Key

Children thrive on consistency and schedules. Especially young children. When easing the custody transition for children, make sure to keep their schedules as similar as possible to what they’re used to. For example, make sure you and your ex are keeping bedtimes, nap times, and mealtime consistent between your houses. Try to keep them in the extra-curricular activities that they’re used to.

Communicate with Your Ex

Another important thing to remember when easing the custody transition for children is to communicate with your ex. It’s important to make sure that you are both on the same page when it comes to things like schedules and discipline. Try to remember that you need to make your children a priority. You and your ex might have some bitter feelings towards one another, but trash-talking can be harmful to children. Try to keep things civil for the sake of your co-parenting relationship.

Reassure Them

Finally, one of the most important things to do when easing the custody transition for children is reassuring them frequently. Children often feel blamed when their parents are going through a divorce. It’s important to remind them over and over that the divorce doesn’t have anything to do with them and that you both love them. Try to also reinforce the idea that this is a time of transition and pretty soon their new schedules will seem normal to them.

Easing the custody transition for children is easy if you just remember that children like consistency and like to know what to expect. Don’t try to surprise them with a new schedule. It’s a much better plan to tell them in advance and give them plenty of opportunities to voice their concerns or questions. Check-in with them frequently throughout the process. Be consistent with their schedules and make sure you and your ex can put things aside to communicate effectively about coordinating schedules. And finally, reassure your children frequently and repeatedly that you love them and that the divorce is not their fault. Let them know that pretty soon, everything will feel very normal to them. Hopefully, you can make this time in their lives a little less stressful.

How to Keep Children Safe from Physical Abuse

If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important to keep children safe from physical abuse. Sometimes abuse can escalate quickly. If you are trying to find a way to safely exit the relationship, you need a way to protect your children in the meantime. While you work on a safe way to leave, create a plan with your children. Practice a safe word and give them tips for protecting themselves. Teach them to not intervene. And finally, reassure them frequently that you will always believe them if they come to you with problems. Hopefully, you can find some support to help you find a safe way to leave your abuser. You and your child will be much better off, not to mention, much safer.

How to Keep Children Safe from Physical Abuse: Protect Them While You Make a Plan

Get Away from Abuser

The most important thing to keep children safe from physical abuse is to leave your abuser as soon as the abuse starts. If you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship and it turns violent, it’s time to leave. Emotional abuse is not okay either, but physical abuse puts you and your children at risk. Find somebody you trust to help you make an exit plan.

Have a Plan

Another thing to help keep children safe from physical abuse is to make a plan with your children. You should teach them a safe place to go if anything starts to happen in front of them. In addition, teach them to find a safe place in the house to hide. Make sure it’s a place that doesn’t have dangerous objects like a kitchen. It’s also a great idea to make a safe word with them so that if they hear it they know to go to a pre-determined safe place. Enlist the help of a neighbor or somebody you trust to be a safe haven for them. Make sure that they memorize their phone numbers.

They Are Not to Intervene

It’s also important to help keep children safe from physical abuse by making sure that they understand not to intervene. Witnessing violence can have damaging lasting effects on children. Not only does it scare them, but it can upset them to see you frightened. Teach them not to intervene under any circumstances. Instead, they should find a safe place to go. Make sure they know techniques to calm down, and of course, make sure they know how to dial 911.

Reassurance

Finally, one last thing to help keep children safe from physical abuse is to make sure that they know they can trust you with anything. Children need to know that you will believe them no matter what they say. If they come to you and reveal that your partner is abusive, you need to take them at their word and investigate further. They need to know that they can trust you. This is a difficult time for them and they need you by their side.

If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you must make sure to keep children safe from physical abuse. The absolute most important thing to do is to get away from your abuser as soon as you can. However, it’s important to make sure that you do this in a safe way that doesn’t put you at further risk. Create a plan just for your child in case abuse starts when they are present. Have a safe word for them to either hide in a safe place or leave the house and get help. Make sure they know not to intervene. And of course, make sure that they know that you will believe them if they come to you with problems. Hopefully, you’ll be able to get some support and find a way to safely exit the relationship so that you and your child can be safer and happier.

COVID-Safe Activities for Young Children

With the Delta variant on the rise, you might be searching for COVID-safe activities for young children. It can be hard to know what is safe and what is a risk, especially with young children in tow. There is still so much unknown about the virus, especially when it comes to young kids. If you are trying to limit your potential exposure, outdoor activities or places where you can socially distance are key. For example, try picking up some food and taking it to a pretty outdoor spot. You can also try the airport overlook and watch planes take off. There are plenty of ways to have outdoor fun, even in the heat. And finally, if you can consider taking a trip or trying out camping with your children. Depending on their ages, there are still plenty of ways to entertain your children without risking exposure.

COVID-Safe Activities for Young Children: Stay Safe and Sane

Picnic

One of the easiest COVID-safe activities for young children is a picnic outside. Try picking up food from a favorite restaurant or ordering curbside takeout. Or you can just try making a special lunch. Then find a pretty place and set out a picnic blanket and sit together and eat. If the weather is nasty you can always do an indoor picnic. Just set up a blanket on the floor and put on a movie. Kids love it when parents switch up the routine, especially if food or movies are involved.

Airport Overlook

Airport overlooks and watching construction sites are other COVID-safe activities for young children. If your kids are interested in trucks or planes, these are great go-to activities. Most airports have a specific overlook where cars can park and watch planes take off and land. You can bring along a picnic, or even just stay in your car and watch. If your children enjoy construction trucks, try to find a site where you can park a safe distance away and watch the trucks working.

Outdoor Fun

There are plenty of COVID-safe activities for young children outdoors. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard with hula hoops or easy activities for them to complete. Or try out a water table with toddlers. If the weather is hot, set up your sprinklers and let the kids run through them, or let them play in a baby pool.

Camping

Finally, if it’s financially possible and feasible time-wise, traveling is one of the most fun COVID-safe activities for young children. You could rent an Air B&B someplace new and try some hikes or outdoor exploring. Many children really love camping as well. Roast s’mores and let them play in creeks and mud. Getting out of your house and just having a change of scenery can improve everybody’s mood. Even if you don’t go very far!

Covid-safe activities for young children are important with the virus still running rampant. If you are looking for ways to stay socially distanced, you can try some of these fun activities with your kids. Try a picnic outside or even in a new room of your house. Check out the airport overlook or a construction site if your kids enjoy watching trucks and planes. You can find plenty of outdoor activities and even water activities if the weather is hot. And finally, change the scenery and get out of town or take a camping trip to mix things up. Keeping kids entertained while staying COVID-safe can be difficult but in the end, it’ll be worth it if it makes you feel safer.

Ways You Can Support a Foster Family

If you are not quite ready to become a foster parent but are wondering how to support a foster family, there are plenty of meaningful ways to be helpful. You can help gather supplies before a new placement arrives. You can also provide food or organize meals. Being a good listener for the parents can be very helpful as well. And finally, you can be there to help welcome a new foster child into the family. Fostering is an amazing way to help the community and provide a meaningful relationship for a family and a child. However, it can be stressful. Foster families can use all the support you can give!

Ways You Can Support a Foster Family: Be Helpful

Help with Supplies

One way to support a foster family is to help gather supplies before a new placement arrives. Sometimes, a foster family doesn’t know that a new child will be living with them until the day before they arrive. They may not have all of the supplies that they need to take care of the child. For example, they may not have diapers, crib, correct size car seats, etc. You can help purchase supplies for them. You can also reach out to your community to see if anybody is willing to donate items.

Organize a Meal Train

Another way to support a foster family is to organize some food for them. Welcoming a new foster child can be a very busy time when it’s easy for parents to get overwhelmed. Cooking a full meal might be the last thing on their mind. If you enjoy cooking or can purchase some meals, drop them by the house. You can also prepare easy frozen meals for them to heat up. If there are other people you know who are wanting to help, organize a meal train where different people can sign up to bring food on different days.

Be a Good Listener

Being a good listener is a very helpful way to support a foster family. Bringing a new foster child into your home is a really exciting time. But it can also be very stressful and filled with difficult emotions. The parents sometimes can feel overwhelmed and just need a supportive friend to talk to. They may be feeling scared, stressed, frustrated, or completely frazzled. Be a sympathetic listener and ask them how they would like you to support them.

Help Welcome a New Placement

Finally, another way to support a foster family is to help them adjust. Invite them all over for a fun game night or group activity. Or you could purchase a new game or something that the family can all do together the first night. Foster children often have many appointments, so it can also be helpful to offer to drive them or to stay with the rest of the family while the foster parents take them. You can also investigate the requirements to be able to provide respite care or babysitting.

Becoming a foster parent can be a very stressful process. If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a foster parent, you can begin by helping to support a foster family. You can help a family collect supplies for their new placement, or organize a meal train and food. It’s great to be a supportive listener if you have a friend becoming a foster parent. It can often be an emotional journey. And finally, you can be supportive by inviting the family to hang out or give them a new activity to do together. You can even get qualified to provide respite care which is a huge help for families. Fostering is such an amazing act of love and supporting foster families is a terrific use of your time and energy.

Budgeting for Adoption: Helpful Tips

Budgeting for adoption can seem daunting because the process can be very expensive in America. However, the ultimate goal is well worth the costs. If you are wanting to adopt, investigate all the costs that will be involved. Decide on a budget goal that you feel is reachable. Look into options for financial help like grants, loans, and employee benefits. And finally, always prepare for some unexpected expenses. The adoption process can be lengthy and expensive, but don’t let the cost deter you from completing your family.

Budgeting for Adoption: Helpful Tips to Reach Your Goal

Research Costs for Adoption

The first step to budgeting for adoption is to do your homework. Explore options for different agencies that you can use. Figure out what the total cost will be of the adoption process from start to finish. Shop around different agencies too and get quotes for what their fees are. Don’t necessarily go with the least expensive option though. You want to make sure that it’s a high-quality agency that will help you through the process.

Decide on a Budget

When budgeting for adoption, you’ll need to decide on a budget that you are comfortable with. Figure out if it’s best to go through state agencies or international. You might investigate agencies run through churches as well. When speaking with adoption agencies, ask about any hidden costs. Things like maternal expenses for the laboring mom, legal fees, and agency fees. You want to pick an agency that is fully transparent and upfront about all of its costs.

Look into Financial Options

When budgeting for adoption, investigate all of your options. You might have employee benefits for adoptive parents. Take advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit. There are also grants provided for adoptive families that you can apply for. You can also take out a personal loan to help pay for adoption expenses. Speak to a financial planner so that they can help you take advantage of any help you can find with subsidizing the costs of an adoption.

Anticipate Unexpected Costs

As with all things, adoption can come with its share of surprises. Therefore, it’s important to anticipate unexpected costs when budgeting for adoption. You might find that the cost of living and healthcare in some states is higher than in others. If you choose a pregnant mother in a more expensive area, or if her health insurance doesn’t cover the costs of birth, your expenses could increase. In addition, sometimes there are adoption plans that fall through at the last second. In these situations, it’s difficult to recoup all of the fees you’ve paid upfront. And of course, the cost of actually bringing a baby home and caring for it can surprise expectant parents sometimes.

Budgeting for adoption is important because the process can be quite expensive. However, if you speak to other adoptive parents you’ll find that the cost is well worth it. Investigate potential agencies and try to get an estimate of overall costs well in advance. Decide on a budget that you are comfortable with and choose an agency from there. Take advantage of tax credits, grants, employee benefits, and other helpful avenues to help cover the cost. And finally, prepare for some unexpected expenses. As with all things in life, adoption can come with its share of surprises. While the cost of adoption can be difficult for families to wrap their heads around, it’s important to not let that deter you from your goal. There are many options available to help you make your dream come true of welcoming a new child into your family.

Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce

Divorce can be incredibly painful and stressful, and can also be stressful on your kids. Helping your children through your divorce is so important because they may be feeling a lot of emotions and not know how to handle them. Be patient with them as they sort out how they’re feeling. Also, be a good listener when they come to you with fears or concerns. Be reassuring and continually make sure they realize that you both still love them. And finally, you and your ex should still be a team when it comes to your children. Divorce is hard on everybody, but it’s important not to forget that your children can be feeling all the stresses that you are.

Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce: Help Them Cope With a Stressful Time

Be Patient

Helping your children through your divorce starts with being patient. This needs to start from the first moment you tell them that the divorce is happening. Give them plenty of space and time to react to the news. Even after you’ve told them, it might take them several days or even weeks to fully process what it means. Their entire world is changing. They may have a lot of questions about what their lives are going to look like in the future. Try to be patient and give them as much time as they need to process their emotions.

Be a Good Listener

Some children react to divorce by becoming very quiet and inward. However, some children are the opposite and want to talk things over. If your children are wanting to discuss concerns with you, be a good listener. Helping your children through your divorce means hearing out all of their fears. They may get angry, or blame you, or feel hurt. Listen to what they say without getting defensive.

Be Reassuring

Helping your children through your divorce often means reassuring them that the divorce is not their fault. No matter how you phrase the reasons for your split up, many children are prone to blaming themselves. Even though it likely has nothing to do with them. They’ll need to hear those words from you frequently. Reassure them that things are changing right now but that they’ll feel settled soon. They will find a new routine that will seem very normal. And of course, always reassure them about how much you love them and support them. Remind them that you’re always there to listen if they are feeling afraid or sad about all the changes happening in their life.

Be a Team

Finally, helping your children through your divorce relies on you and your ex being a team. You may have trouble being around each other. You may even resent them or have all sorts of bitterness towards them. However, you both need to work together to establish a healthy routine for your children. Playing the blame game only ends up hurting your children in the long run. Set the same boundaries for when they’re at each of your houses and don’t try to win their favor by buying them gifts. Your children don’t need to hear about the problems you had in your marriage. Try to remember that they probably deeply love your ex and need to know that you’re supportive of the relationship they have with their other parent.

Helping your children through your divorce is so important because children experience big feelings. But they often don’t know how to process these feelings and can get overwhelmed easily. Be patient when they’re explaining how they feel and be a good listener. Reassure them repeatedly that they are loved and that they did not have anything to do with the divorce. And finally, you and your ex need to be a team, at least when it comes to your children. It’s important to set aside your differences and your bitterness in order to parent them the best way you can. They need your love and support at a time in their lives that is bound to be stressful.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent


If you are becoming a foster parent, you’re making an amazing decision that will improve your life and the life of the child you foster. There are so many children needing supportive foster families out there. However, the process of fostering does require some up-front work. Fostering agencies have to make sure that the parents they place children with are able to give them proper care. This requires training on the part of the foster parents. In some states, a license is actually required. Next, you’ll have an in-home visit where the agency makes sure that you’re prepared for a child. And finally, you’ll have to pass a background check. After you’ve completed all of these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and begin a relationship that will change your life.

Steps to Becoming a Foster Parent: Getting Prepared

Training

The first step to becoming a foster parent is taking a training course. This will probably cover an overview of the child welfare system and how the process of fostering works. It will help families decide whether or not this is a course that is right for them. It will also provide you with some understanding of what types of behaviors you might experience from foster children as a result of them being in the welfare system. Many children have been through the trauma of one sort or another, and the training program can help you be better prepared to help them.

Licensing

In some states becoming a foster parent requires a specific license. For example, in North Carolina, parents must complete a 30-hour course and then apply for a fostering license. Fostering and adopting are two very different things, although sometimes people get them mixed up. In states where you have to get a license, you often need a separate license if you are applying to adopt a child.

In Home Visit

After you’ve completed your training, the next step to becoming a foster parent is the in-home visit. This is when somebody from a foster agency comes to your house to check out how you live. They’ll ask you tons of questions about your lifestyle. They’ll also make sure that you have the essentials for bringing home a child. If you’re fostering a baby, you’ll need to show that you have a crib and have babyproofed. They aren’t trying to find fault with your home, but instead just getting a feel for how you live your life.

Background Check

Finally, the last piece of the puzzle to becoming a foster parent is passing a background check. Foster agencies must make sure that the children they place with foster parents are in a safe environment. Once you choose a foster agency you’d like to work with, they’ll likely order the background check. All in all, a background check keeps the children safer.

Becoming a foster parent is an amazing life-changing decision to make. It’s one that will probably be very difficult but even more rewarding. However, there is prep work to do upfront. You’ll decide which agency you’d like to work with and then begin training. Next, if you live in a state where it’s necessary, you’ll need to apply for a license. You’ll have an agent come to your house for a home visit after that. And finally, you’ll need to pass a background check. Once you’ve completed all these steps, you’ll be ready to take in a foster child and start providing some much needed support to a child in need.

Different Types of Adoption: Pros and Cons

Deciding to adopt a child is a huge decision, but a very exciting one! But the different types of adoption options can be overwhelming. You can choose to have an open adoption or closed adoption. There is also the option of semi-open adoption. Each has benefits and drawbacks. These will help you determine which is the best fit for your family.

Different Types of Adoption: Benefits and Drawbacks

Open Adoption

Open adoption is one of the types of adoption you can choose from. This form of adoption means that you and the birth parents will be in contact. For example, everybody knows everybody else’s identities. The amount of contact between parents can vary based on what everybody wants. However, one of the drawbacks is that there can be boundary issues. Therefore, it’s best to establish clear ideas about your future relationship at the start. One positive of open adoption is that your child can know both sets of parents. Also, you’ll be able to find out more about your child’s medical history.

Closed Adoption

Another type of adoption you can choose is a closed adoption. You and the birth parents will not have any contact at all. You’ll only find out information about the birth parents that is non-identifying. In addition, all your contact will be through a third-party mediator. One of the pros of this is that you won’t have to worry about anybody interfering with your parenting. Another positive is that if the child is from an abusive or dangerous situation, you will never have to worry about them having contact. However, you won’t know much about the child’s medical history, and the decision is permanent.

Semi-Open Adoption

One final option is a semi-open adoption. Of the types of adoptions, this is a little bit of a mix of all. In a semi-open adoption, you can have limited contact with birth parents. This would be through a third-party attorney or mediator. You can exchange mail or photos but you probably won’t know each other’s full identities. Or addresses. A positive of this is that you’ll have more access to your child’s medical history. But a negative is that it can be difficult to move on for the birth parents. Your child can also have some confusion about everybody’s roles.

The three types of adoption each have pros and cons. You can choose an open adoption, closed adoption, or semi-open. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to discuss first with your attorney. You’re making a huge decision for your family. Whichever you choose needs to feel right for you.