Parallel Parenting and School

For those of you who aren't co-parenting, parallel parenting is the alternative that you turn to. You do what works at your house, your ex does what works at their house. It limits communication as the parties aren't trying to compromise, and while it's not as easy on the kids as co-parenting is, it's considerably easier on the kids than having parents who cannot communicate argue constantly. 

So what happens when your kids are in school and you need to communicate to get things done? I'm thinking about long-term projects, extra-curricular activities, even choir or band nights here. How do you make sure your kids are getting what they need without making it harder on them? Here are my tips for making parallel parenting work:

  1. Try communicating with your ex. The first step should always be to try and communicate with them. Mention the event and see what type of response you get. If it's no response or an awful response, you can always get out of the conversation by explaining what you'll be doing or by saying, "Thank you" and move on to some of the other suggestions. 
  2. Create a "kids only" calendar. Google is a great option for this as the google calendar can be used on any smart phone, accessed online on any computer, and available when needed. What's great about this is that the kids can get involved (if appropriate age-wise) and list items they need both parents to be aware of. If you're using CoParently or Our Family Wizard, there's an excellent calendar built into those! Put the kids activities on it. If your ex chooses not to pay attention to it or doesn't put items on it, there are ways around it (frustrating, but realistic for some individuals). 
  3. Check with the school for an online calendar. Most school's now-a-days list many of the school activities online, so you can easily sync it with the calendar mentioned above. It eliminates the need for someone to input items into the calendar and keeps things open. Sometimes you can even get the homework due dates on an online calendar. If not, and you have a child who struggles to get homework turned in on time, this is a great activity to keep him/her engaged - have THEM put the homework due dates on the calendar so both parents can follow up.  
  4. Go straight to the source. If your ex refuses to tell you what's happening - go to the source. Contact the school and ask for separate copies of notes. Go to the coach and ask for your own calendar. Skip the aggravation and handle it on your own if you need to. (Note: This isn't fair. It is frustrating. It shouldn't be this way. Sometimes it is, though, and I'm genuinely sorry if this is you, know that you are not alone.)

There's no use in trying to sugar coat it. It isn't easy to parallel parent and get your kids through school. In fact, it isn't easy to get kids through school. It is possible, however, and these are just a couple of the creative ways to do it. Generally speaking, when parallel parenting, there can be at least 1 parent who is focused on the academics. Sometimes that parent bears the brunt of getting things done for school, but I tell these parents that it's better to have at least 1 parent engaged for their kids' sake than 0 parents engaged. 

Comment below with how you manage in parallel parenting situations and still get things done for school. 

What happens when you try to communicate with your children about compromise that is or isn't happening with your ex. How do you tell your children about it? DO you tell your children about it. This and other questions are answered in the video. Click on the button below to learn more. 

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Real Communication Stories

Throughout this series on communication (scroll through the blog posts to find more in this series), you’ve learned how important it is for communication to be open in your house - especially after a divorce. You’ve learned that what you do either opens or closes the door of communication between you and your kids. You’ve read that communication isn’t just about what’s said and that there’s some communication you can control and some you cannot. In today’s post, I am going to give you real communication stories I’ve heard in my years of working with families. (All the names and some of the details have been changed to protect families, but the lesson in each of these stories remains in tact.)

Story 1: This story has been made public. It’s the story of an adult who wrote a letter to her Dad. When she was 18, she stopped following the visitation schedule. Her Dad told his daughter that she had let her Mother get to her. The letter was a very raw, honest attempt to show Dad that the decision was hers and hers alone, that it was based in years of her Mom pushing her daughter to have a relationship with her Dad and Dad badmouthing Mom throughout. As I’ve said throughout the communication series, your kids love both you and your ex. Bad-mouthing your ex, even if they deserve it, only hurts your children, and in this case (and others like it), it hurts your relationship with your kids. You can read the full letter here on my Facebook page (don’t forget to give it a like for more stories like this).

Bad-mouthing your ex doesn’t just hurt your child, it hurts your relationship with your child.

Taking communication at your child’s pace can make the difference between a relationship or no relationship.

Story 2: After the divorce of their parents, these sisters transitioned to the Mom’s house/Dad’s house pretty well. The parents did a good job of allowing the kids to wear what they want (regardless of who bought it) between the homes and bring various electronics or other items between the homes. This made the kids feel comfortable with the transition. The difference was in the way Mom’s house and Dad’s house handled family time. In Mom’s house, there were family events like game night or movie night, but there was also time for each family member to enjoy their own hobbies and alone time. Everyone had a say in what games to play, what to eat during family dinners, and what to watch during movie night. In Dad’s house, family time happened every night and Dad and Stepmom chose the movie, the food, and had the kids make it and set it up. The kids didn’t feel as much of a part of the family at Dad’s as they did at Mom’s. This resulted in Dad asking the kids to follow the visitation schedule when they turned 18, and the kids saying they had no intention of doing that. You see, they needed to have a say, they needed their opinions to matter, and they needed to be themselves. You can learn more about this in the Communication Toolkit lesson on opening communication.

The questions you ask can make your child open up or shut down.

Story 3: After the divorce of Mom and Dad while their child was still young, the child was having difficulty transitioning between the homes - or so it seemed. While at Mom’s house, she would cry and ask Mom to sleep in her bed with her. She cried extensively when being dropped off at school, to the point that the school counselor got involved. She didn’t sleep through the night at all and woke up very early. At Dad’s house, she went to bed perfectly and slept alone all through the night. She slept so well that Dad had to wake her up in the morning. Her drop-offs at school were perfect, in fact the counselor and teachers asked that Mom use the same routine Dad and Stepmom did. What’s the difference between the 2 homes? At Mom’s house, as soon as her daughter was with her, the interrogation began: What did you do at Dad’s? Was your Stepmom there? Who did you go with? What did you wear? What did you eat? The questions didn’t stop! This girl felt anxious and felt like her answers either made Mom happy or made Mom sad. This girl put all this pressure on herself, thinking she was what made Mom happy or sad, and it affected her daily. At Dad’s, she could just be herself. She could play, rest up, and know that Dad was happy no matter what, but that time with her made him happier. It was a healthy relationship. You can learn more about this in the Communication Toolkit lesson on communication traps.

In each of those stories, you see the effects of communication on your children. You see that by putting the kids first, by putting the relationship your kids have with you and their other parent first, the parents made their children feel comfortable and loved. When the parents were out to try and compete with their ex, when the parents were trying to force family time, when the parents were trying to interrogate instead of gently involving themselves - it backfired. You can learn more about this and other lessons in the Communication Toolkit.

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Are you helping your kids open up or closing them off?

You already know how important communication is between you and your kids - especially in divorce situations, but what are you doing to ensure there’s open communication between you and your kids?

Everything you do with your kids, can either open communication or close it. In this post, you’ll learn my top tips for ensuring you keep communication open between you and your kids.

f you do nothing else, do this to keep communication open with your kids.

I won’t even beat around the bush - listen to your kids. If you’re a part of my Facebook community, you’ll see that I posted a statistic that says we spend 7 minutes a day talking to our kids and the rest of the time talking at them.

Let that sink in for a moment. How many times a day do you say, “Get your coat”, “Do your homework”, “Where are your shoes?”, etc.? Even when you ask your kids about their day, are you in the middle of making dinner or answering emails that came in while you were picking the kids up?

If you do nothing else, make sure you’re taking the time to really listen to your kids. The rewards you get from doing that are immeasurable and your kids feel like they can tell you anything, because you’ll hear it.

The way you open up to them tells them how open they can be with you.

If you’re expecting your children to tell you about their day, about their other parent’s house, about their homework, and everything else in their world - wouldn’t it make sense that they know a little about your life, too?

Don’t get me wrong. Your children are not your friends, but do your children know what you do on a day-to-day basis at work? Do they have an idea of who your co-workers are? Let’s be honest here, an office is a lot like high school, isn’t it? You have the cliques, you have the drama, and you have the cafeteria (or closest fast food joint that everyone goes to).

Your kids would learn a lot from how you’re handling your life and wouldn’t it be great to let them weigh in on what you’re dealing with?

Imagine the conversations at the dinner table if everyone was opened up, no one had their phones, and you were all making eye contact. Not only would your children feel a part of the family, but you’re ensuring that you’re opening your children up to talk to you about the hard things when you show them that you care.

Comment below with your favorite way of keeping communication open in your home

Ready for more help and support on your communication journey with your kids? Click the button below to be taken to the videos I've put together to give you just that - support and guidance. 

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This is why communication matters

As we get halfway through this series on communication on divorced and blended families, let’s talk about why this all matters. You already know that communication isn’t just about what you say. You’ve already learned that some communication can be controlled whereas others cannot. This week, let’s talk about why it’s important for you to know all of this.

There are 3 main reasons communication with your kids, especially after a divorce or blending of a family, is so important.

  1. Kids have a way of internalizing what happens around them and if communication isn’t open, you won’t know how they’re internalizing any of it.

  2. The way you talk to your kids now is how they’ll talk to their kids later on. It creates a cycle.

  3. Communication is the key to resolving conflict and if it’s not working in good times, it won’t work in bad.

Do you really know what your kids are thinking?

I talked about this a little bit in the previous weeks, but it’s important to note again. Kids feel guilt when their parents divorce. They feel worried that they’re the reason for the divorce and the conflict afterwards. Kids worry that if they look like, act like, and talk like their other parent; one parent will hate them, too. Kids worry that if Mom or Dad left because they fell out of love, that they’ll fall out of love with them, too.

To you and I, this seems ridiculous, yet child after child reports that this is what they’re feeling when they’re asked. To you, it may seem obvious that you love them deeply and could never look at them the same way you look at your ex, but their world just imploded and nothing seems impossible now.

Everything you put in place in the good times, turns into what’s in place in the bad.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Sometimes I open my mouth and my Mother (or Father) comes out”, right? Despite my best efforts, it happens to me often - and my sister calls me on it.. When your kids are older, the same will happen to them. What do you think will come out?

Besides the fact that you’re working to either continue or recreate a cycle for them, how you communicate in good times sets the stage for the bad. If positive communication is happening in good times, you have the chance to positively communicate in bad.

Think about how communication happens when there’s conflict right now. Are you a family of, “Yes you are”, “No you’re not”? Are you a family of lecturers? Now think about whether or not it’s working. If it is, wonderful! What if you could communicate in a way that provides love and discipline?

At the end of the day, communication is the most important tool you have with your children. It can mean the difference of them coming to you with issues and concerns or them going elsewhere. It can help them feel loved and supported, it can give them reassurance when guilt or questions come up. Comment below with ways you keep communication open in your house.

If you're ready to open communicaiton in your house, but aren't sure where to start - this video and worksheet will get you there. 

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Communication isn’t just about what you say

As we continue the talk about communicating with your children after divorce, it’s important to note that communication isn’t just about what you say - it’s in your conscious and subconscious reactions to what your children say.

Like I mentioned in the post last week, keeping communication open means that you have to be receptive to what your kids are saying to you. When you are, there will be a reaction to it, but not all the reactions are reactions you can control.

Imagine your child comes home and says that your ex has a new partner and that the new partner is “so fun!” What goes through your mind? You may feel a pang of jealousy, a twinge of fear, and a pinch of happiness. Those are just a few of the thoughts and feelings that flow through your mind.  

Everything mentioned in that story, all those feelings that come with hearing those stories, however, will flash across your face. That is communication you cannot control. What you can control, however, is how you communicate your feelings to your children when they tell you these stories.

What you communicate to your children in those moments will either open the door of communication or close it.

Think about the last time your child was hurt or angry. You knew immediately when you saw them, am I right? It showed on their face. What happened next was probably a question like, “Are you ok?” or “Is everything alright?”

When your kids see the same feelings flash across your face and it’s after a story they just told you, what do you think goes through their head? It could be something like, “That really upset Mom/Dad, I shouldn’t tell them these stories anymore.” It could also be something like, “Mom/Dad looks angry, I hope I didn’t make them mad.”

What you say after they tell this story is so important. Even if your children are seeing a flash of fear across your face, it’s better for them to see a smile on your face followed by a hug and an, “I’m so happy to hear that!” - even if you don’t mean it.

The communication you can control can make just about any situation better.

After a divorce, you’re nervous, your children are nervous, and there’s some testing going on about what you can and cannot say. When your children are telling you stories, they’re doing it for two reasons:

  1. To get your support and for you to share in their feelings

  2. To test your reaction so they know what they can tell you going forward and what they can’t

What you say to them after they talk to you matters. Even if they see the negative reactions flash across your face, if they hear genuine positive reinforcement - it can make them feel more comfortable.

Think about the last time you saw someone react to something you said in a negative way. What happened next either made you feel better or it didn’t. If they followed up the physical reaction with a positive statement and a smile - didn’t it put you at ease?

The same applies to your children. What is it they need to hear from you after communicating? Comment below with how you put your best foot forward and offer positive reinforcement - even when it’s difficult.

With divorce comes a whole range of emotions. Some are great, some are not so wonderful. When you're ready to control your emotions instead of your emotions controlling you, the Emotional Freedom workbook is exactly what you need. 

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What's Controlling Your Communication?

Most parents consider their child’s feelings when telling their children about divorce, but somewhere along the way - their children’s feelings can take a back seat. These parents don’t mean for it to happen, but it IS happening.

Here’s a story I heard from a child very recently. After a nasty divorce that left one of her parents starting over and looking for a place for a few months, this parent worked hard to save and got an apartment. When this child moved in, they were so excited to share the news with their other parent. This child explained that there was a little room off of the bedroom with a small door where things could be stored. This parent replied saying it seemed dangerous. Now there’s nothing actually dangerous about it other than the danger of slamming fingers in the tiny door (a danger every door holds and that I’ve felt the wrath of), but what happened was the anger and bitterness from the divorce took over and took control of the conversation instead of the love for this child. Both parents love this child, but they’ve let the divorce take over - something many divorced parents do - unconsciously.

This isn’t a conscious choice the parents are making, it’s a product of divorce. Parents need to take the control back and let the feelings towards their child take over rather than the feelings towards their ex.

The #1 way to prevent this from happening is to be engaged in positive communication with your children.

What does that mean? It means you follow the rules for divorce communication. It means you engage in the conversation with your children without letting your feelings towards your ex get in. It means that you are just as genuinely happy for them now when they tell you they had fun with their other parent as you were before you were divorced.

Remember in the movie Inside Out where we watched Joy run things in Riley’s brain? Riley was still a child and joy was and should have been the leader, but did you notice her parent’s brains? Anger had the center seat in Dad’s brain whereas Sadness was taking control in Mom’s. Life happens along the way and sometimes the switch is not conscious, but it happens.

The way you communicate to your children isn’t just an indication of what’s going on in your head, it’s what your children learn from.

It’s perfectly normal to feel anger, frustration, hatred, and bitterness towards your ex. The point of this post is to make sure that you’re aware that when you communicate to your children, they are seeing who has the center seat in your head.

Here’s a test for you: When was the last time your children came home and excitedly told you what they did with their other parent?

  • What was your internal reaction?
  • What was your external reaction?
  • Now, what do you think your children saw and what did they learn from it?

I bring this up to make you aware of how communication can change with your children after a divorce. My hope is that it does nothing more than make you aware. If something needs to change, it's never too late!

I have one more story. It’s the story of a child who went to a park with one parent and ran to tell their other parent about all of the fun they had. Parent 2, like in the story above, also explained all the dangers at the park (slides that go too fast, running and falling, falling off of the monkey bars, etc.). Parent 2, after responding to their child’s happiness with a list of dangers at the park, took their child roller skating. That child excitedly told Parent 1 that they went roller staking and Parent 1 responded with genuine happiness asking all about it. Who do you think this child will open up to as time goes on? What do you think the child learned?

Communication matters. It’s easy to let the feelings from the divorce come out in many places. As soon as you become aware of it, you can work to ensure it doesn’t happen. Comment below with how you make sure you show your children genuine happiness when they’re happy - even when that happiness comes from the other parent.

If you felt like the negative emotions control you more than you control them, the Emotional Freedom workbook is exactly what you need. Download it now to gain the peace only emotional freedom can offer. 

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How your kids REALLY feel

You’ll read a lot of posts and articles about children and divorce. In fact, you can read several of them right here in this blog. You’ll also read a lot of articles about children and their emotions. This post is meant to be real with you about kids and how they communicate to you.

Let me start by saying that you know your kids better than anyone. If you’ve ever worked with me, you’ve heard me say that you can look at your children and know in a heartbeat whether or not they’re getting sick, whether or not they’re hurting, or whether or not they’re happy. They can look at you and know the same thing in a heartbeat. This is important because as you become even more in tune with your children and how they communicate, you’ll be able to look at them and know if they’re being fully open with you and when they’re not.

Getting into figuring out how your kids really feel, it’s up to you to create an environment where they can communicate openly to you without judgement or worry.

Kids have a way of communicating that’s simple and innocent. They simply don’t want to hurt you or their other parent. In fact, your children may not tell you how they’re feeling simply because they think it will hurt you. They will keep it in rather than hurt you. Kids are innocent and unconditionally loving in that way. Couldn’t we all learn this from our kids?

Knowing that your kids are communicating simply to you and trying to shield you from hurt can help you in the way you communicate to them. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to hurt your kids so they know that they can say things that may hurt you. What I’m proposing is that you talk to your kids about the fact that you love them just as unconditionally as they love you. You can talk to your kids about the fact that they could tell you anything and, even if it’s hard for you to hear, your love for them never changes.

When your kids feel like they can open up to you, they’ll test you. They’ll test you with information that’s smaller: failed test, swearing, or a simple ‘no’. Your reaction shows your kids whether they can open up to you or not. As you show them that you love them regardless, they’ll open up more.

Kids won’t feel like they can open to you on the big things until they feel that you can handle the insignificant things. This means that they’ll be talking to you about their day-to-day lives and your willingness to listen can either open them up or shut them down. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story that’s hard to keep up with, something they think is funny, but you don’t, or a story you’ve heard 10 times before; your children are watching to see if you’re listening or not. The more they feel you listen, the more they’ll open up.

Those are just some of the tips I have to keep communication open so you can find out what your children are really feeling. Comment below with your tips!

It's not just about what they say, it's about what they don't say yet are trying to tell you - are you still with me? Your kids non-verbal communication is just as important as their verbal communication. Learn more in this video and worksheet.

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I'm Only a Good Parent If....

...if my kids don't want to be apart from me…

...if they have perfect grades….

…if my ex has no reason to threaten me with court…

Insert anything here. You know it. You feel like you’re not a good parent, unless….

What if I told you that you’re a good parent in spite of whatever caveat you put on it?

I get the opportunity to talk with a lot of parents who are divorced or separated. Many of them spend our time together by questioning whether or not they were making the right decisions, asking if their ex is right when they say (insert the parenting insult here), or if they were as good of a parent as (just about anyone’s name would work here).

The first step in rationalizing those feelings is to know that they’re normal. Not only are you not the only one feeling them, but it would be weird if you didn’t. In fact, it’s part of what makes you a great parent! Questioning the job you’re doing only makes you better at it (not that you need to be better). The great thing is that always trying to do your best as a parent only makes you the best parent you can be for your kids.

The next step is to ask where they’re coming from. For my divorced friends, if this is because there’s more litigation, if it’s because your ex won’t stop sending you messages telling you how much better he/she is, or if this is because you worry your children will love your ex more - stop! OK, that seems harsh, but really - stop! Again, those are normal feelings, but you have to know where they’re coming from. They’re coming from a place of fear and knowing that’s where it comes from helps you in overcoming it.

Finally, now that you know where it’s coming from, you can work to overcome it. How do you overcome fear? You face it head on and you tell fear where to stick it! You tell fear that you are the best parent you can be, that it’s not a competition, and that as long as you love, support, and guide your children on the best path - they’ll turn out (even if you have a bad parenting day) (which is totally normal)...

Here’s the thing. Fear is normal. Feeling like you’re a bad parent is also normal. Now you just have to rationalize those feelings, make the best of them, and move on! Staying stuck in those feelings ensures you miss out on all the good times you have with your kids, so get in and enjoy those knowing you’re doing everything you can to be the best parent you can be.There are a lot of reasons for these insecurities to come out, too many to name here. The reason for this post isn’t to bring up all those reasons, it’s to help you see who you really are as a parent. In order to do that, you need to rationalize those feelings so you don’t sink into a bad parenting hole.

Gain peace. Gain Emotional Freedom. Stop beating yourself up. This workbook can get you there.

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Top 10 Family Date Night Ideas

Let me start with why family dates are important. After a divorce, children may be feeling lost.  They may be wondering where they fit in. Once they fit in with Mom and Dad, but now Mom and Dad are separated, so do they fit in more with Mom? Do they fit in more with Dad? Are they in trouble if they fit in one place more than the other?

Having family date nights can make your child feel included, safe, and loved. In other words, they feel like they fit in. By making family date nights a regular thing, it takes everyone’s minds off of the transition, off of the divorce itself, and off of other stressors that are a normal part of life.

With that said, here’s a list of 10 Family Date Night ideas that are cheap, easy, and, in my opinion, fun!

  1. Movie Night. But here’s where you make it more fun. Make it a themed movie night! If you’re watching Harry Potter, pull a recipe for ButterBeers for everyone to enjoy while watching. Download a Bingo sheet with quotes from whatever movie you’re watching or dress up as the characters in the movie. Winner picks the next movie for movie night! Whatever you do, don’t just make it another night in front of the TV, make it fun. Bonus points for getting your kids involved in the ideas!

  2. Travel Around the World. Or at least have cuisine from around the world during dinner. Pick a country, look up some of the famous cuisine and then get to work in the kitchen! Add to your dinner with trivia or fun facts from the country you choose.

  3. Game Night. Pull out the games that you used to play as a kid or charge up the xbox Remotes, but make sure the entire family is involved. You can be as involved as creating a tournament or as simple as picking a game out of a hat and playing it.

  4. Get Some Culture. Find a museum, a new library, or a concert that your entire family can enjoy and splurge on tickets to get in. Getting out of the house will be welcome for everyone involved and you’ll be adding a positive memory to everyone’s memory banks.

  5. Be Active. When was the last time you went for a bike ride together? What about something as simple as a hike in a state park? Again, you’re getting out of the house, and the activity is proven to create those happy-chemicals in the brain. Who doesn’t want those?

  6. Find a Sporting Event. Whether you’re in a city or town that has a major sporting team or not, there are always sports events going on. There’s nothing like a live crowd cheering for their side to make everyone feel excited, and a little game-day nachos never hurt, either!

  7. Make it a “Favorites” Night. Everyone gets to pick their favorite food and it’s all served up banquet style. Yes, you’ll have mac ‘n cheese, chinese, pizza, and tacos ready all in one night, but then you’ll have leftovers for a week, too. Get everyone to try each other’s favorites, and open up their tastebuds to something new.

  8. Volunteer. Go to a local animal shelter and offer to clean cages, pack some clothing up for the homeless and head to a homeless shelter, or offer to volunteer in a local food bank sorting and storing. What a lesson for your kids and a great way to spend time together as a family.

  9. Cupcake Wars. Whether you watch the show or not, your family can have their very own cupcake wars in your house. Bake the cupcakes, then put toppings out on the table for everyone to decorate. Have a blind vote for the winner, but know that in this event, everyone wins because you all get to eat the cupcakes after!

  10. Camp Out. If weather permits you from camping in the back yard, then bring sleeping bags to the living room, turn off the lights, pass out the flashlights and don’t forget the marshmallows! Tell stories, sing songs, and just enjoy each other’s company. It’s another memory that you and your kids will have for years.

Once you get started on family date nights, your kids won’t want to stop and will start asking when you get to do them again. They’ll start coming up with ideas and before you know it, you have a full-blown tradition on your hands.

Comment below with your ideas for family date night so others can benefit from the memories!

These family dates are one of the most important ways to keep communication open in your house! Get more tips in this video and worksheet. 

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3 Lessons We Teach our Kids that We Need a Review In

Life happens, you remember a lot, but forget other things. I remembered to pick up milk at the store, but I forgot the dessert for a perfect report card celebratory dinner. Though that’s easily fixable, sometimes it’s life lessons that are forgotten and take time to relearn and put into practice.

In parenting, there are a few lessons we teach our children early on, but we seem to forget as time goes on. Below are 3 lessons I know we’re all teaching our children, but may be forgetting to live.  

  1. Be kind. You never know the struggles others are going through, but as we all get older, don’t we think we know what those struggles are? As we age, we also form opinions based on interactions with others, about people with “those” struggles. We forget that every person and every story is unique, we stereotype based on previous experiences and we aren’t always kind because we think we have it all figured out. For my co-parenting folks, it's easy to say that we know what's happening in our ex's life that's causing them to act a certain way, but in reality, we don't know what's going on in their lives. 

  2. Be patient. Things don’t always go our way. The 2 and 3 year olds we are raising or have raised had tantrums when things didn’t go their way. Now that we’re all adults, we’ve grown out of tantrums, right? As it turns out, not always. You may not be throwing yourself on the ground, kicking and screaming (though that may sound good at times), but think back to the last time something didn’t go your way right away. How did you handle it? Did you get mad, maybe take it out on someone you love, or did you run away from it? Maybe you refused to talk about it? Sometimes we forget that things do work out, but not always the we planned, and our reactions aren’t always our best moments.

  3. Never stop learning. This is kind of a big one. We’re the ones with the answers for our kids, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions ourselves. Why do we put so much time and effort into ensuring our kids get the best education they can, but then we stop learning? If you’re struggling with loneliness right now, why not pick up a book to help you get through it? If you can’t seem to find the co-parenting answers, there are classes available to help you with it. You see where I’m going here, instead of struggling, never stop learning.

OK, so that’s all easy to say, but how do you put it into practice? Awareness. Awareness is step 1 to making a change in your life. Do you notice that some of these lessons rang true for you? If so, that’s great! You’re already aware of where you can make a change.  If not, take the time to notice what happens in your day-to-day life. Not only will you find yourself being more present, but you’ll see where you can add to your learning and change your habits - not just for a healthier life, but to be the best example you can be for your children.

Children learn more from what we do than what we say. What lessons do you teach your children by showing them? Share them in the comments below.  

The biggest lessons our children learn are lessons they learn from watching us. We cannot control what our co-parents do, but we can certainly be the best role model possible. It starts with our mindset. Change your mindset, change your life - what type of mindset do you want your children to have? Do you also have that mindset?

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