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Stepparent Discipline: What’s Acceptable?

One of the trickiest things to navigate if you remarry and create a blended family is stepparent discipline. Co-parenting comes in many forms and this is absolutely one of them that takes a bit of adjustment. After all, you want to both be a good parent, but also don’t want them to resent you. Striking that balance can be hard, but you can make it easier by using the right techniques…

Stepparent Discipline: Do It Right

Let your spouse take the lead

When it comes to stepparent discipline, the stepparent shouldn’t be taking the lead initially. During those early months, your stepchild may not fully respect your authority. Therefore, when you do try and discipline them, they’ll either ignore you or get even worse. That’s why you want your partner to take control.

It’s good to let your spouse handle discipline at first. They’ll be more experienced, and your stepchild will hold more respect for what they say. You can try to talk to them in a positive manner when they’re misbehaving and see if they stop. But if they don’t, then let your partner take over.

Don’t be too harsh

When it comes time to implement some stepparent discipline, it’s important to not go to far. Being too harsh on your stepchild will cause them to view you as mean and hurt your relationship. Adjusting to being a stepparent can be hard and you may be a bit stressed. Still, you don’t want that to come out in your punishments.

Your punishments should ideally fit with what your stepchild has done wrong. For example, if they were being mean to someone else, you shouldn’t ground them for a week. Instead, explain why what they did was wrong and send them to their room to calm down. When they don’t feel like they’re being punished unfairly, kids tend to better understand why what they did was wrong.

Hear them out

An important part of stepparent discipline is giving your stepchild a chance to tell their side of things. Much like you have, they too have been going through a lot of change. Not only did they have to deal with their parents divorcing, but now they must adjust to a “new” family. This can bring up a lot of emotions and make them act out in response.

However, by giving them a chance to talk, you can better understand how they feel. That way, you can see why they may be acting a certain way. Instead of punishing them, encourage them to talk to you and use it as a chance to help them and improve your bond.

How-to: Battle Divorce Loneliness in Quarantine

Divorce or separation can be an extremely difficult time for most. Granted, there are a select few where the main feeling you will have is relief. But, the majority of people will go through some of the stages of grief. This is quite common and there are plenty of ways to manage it, but in the age of COVID… how can you battle divorce loneliness while also maintaining social distance and safety for yourself and others? In a time when isolation is not only encouraged, but essential, how do you get through this difficult time? 

How-to: Battle Divorce Loneliness during Quarantine

Get comfortable in your own spaces and with yourself 

While it isn’t ideal that you have to spend all of this time alone with your thoughts, it can be important in facing the sobering reality of your situation and working through it. No matter how much of a distraction you have in normal times, there will still come a point in time where you have to come face to face with how you’re feeling and begin to work through it. So, while this can be a difficulty it can also work to your advantage in battling divorce loneliness and getting more comfortable with time to yourself. 

Consider virtual therapy sessions 

While facing the music has to come at some point, doing so alone is not always easy, possible, or advisable. That’s where a licensed professional might become essential to you. While in-person therapy sessions might be difficult to come by, virtual therapy sessions are a great option while still maintaining your health and safety. In fact, your insurance likely covers mental health for online or in-person sessions. Divorce loneliness can be crippling, but with the right resources— you will be able to face these difficulties and move forward in the best way possible. 

Utilize Facetime, Skype, Zoom or other means of virtual connectivity 

Isolation can be difficult for anyone, but you don’t have to be isolated fully. In this day and age, you have options for connecting with the people you love without stepping into their spaces. A video app allows for connecting with your loved ones outside of a phone call or a text message. Furthermore, consider joining some sort of Facebook group. There are plenty of different groups that focus on different things, such as divorce loneliness. Look at options that appeal to you— ones about divorce, single parenting, grieving divorce, or so forth. Find what works for you specifically and talk to people who understand exactly what you’re going through. We wish you a safe and healthy holiday season as you heal through this difficult time. 

How-to Raise Money for Adoptions: Financial Challenges

It is no secret that adoptions can be very expensive. Some families who are wanting to adopt may face financial challenges when setting out on their adoption journey. It can feel like an overwhelming challenge at times. But, there are many creative ways people raise money for adoptions. Learn more about being able to pay for an adoption so that you are prepared when the time comes.

How-to Raise Money for Adoptions: Fund-Raising

Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding campaigns like GoFundMe have become a popular way to raise money for an adoption. If you are able to create a blog, record a video, or find a way to share your story, other people could be inspired to donate to your cause. Who knows, your fundraiser campaign could even go viral.

Another crowdfunding resource is Kickstarter. The drawback to this one is that you may not get your funds released if you do not hit your set goal. This is different than GoFundMe, which releases the funds even if you do not raise the full amount of your goal.

Gift Campaign

Your birthday is perfect time to raise money for adoptions. Instead of asking for physical gifts, ask for a donation towards your adoption fund instead. This also applies to Christmas gifts as well. When someone asks you want you want for a gift, tell them you are skipping physical gifts in lieu of donations towards the adoption goal.

Also, fundraising campaigns on Facebook are becoming popular for birthday gift campaigns. You are able to create a fundraiser to help raise money for a cause. Many people launch these fundraisers for their birthday.

Declutter Your Home

You probably have extra clutter laying around your house. Use decluttering to your advantage and raise money for adoptions. As an added bonus, you will be making more room for your new child and their things! One way to do this is to host a yard sale. You can sell unwanted items and clothing out in your own front yard!

If your home is not conducive to this, or you do not want to set up a yard sale, there are other options for you. Ebay, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are all great resources for selling unwanted items. Poshmark is more geared towards clothing items, but the other 3 platforms can sell just about anything.

While it may seem like an unreachable challenge to raise all of the money you need for an adoption, it is possible. Use crowdfunding resources, forgo asking for physical gifts in lieu of a donation, and sell unwanted items laying around your house. If you put in some effort, you will be well on your way towards reaching your goal in no time!

Post-Divorce Identity: Redefine Your Life

When you’re in a marriage, it can become a large part of your identity. As a result, a divorce can make you question who you really are. Discovering your new post-divorce identity can be tricky. However, there are some ways you can make it easier…

Post-Divorce Identity: Find the New You

Viewing divorce

In order to create your new post-divorce identity, you should first consider how you view the divorce itself. For many people, they see their marriage as a sign of success. Over time, their marriage becomes a very important part of who they are. A divorce is drastically changing what they see as a key part of who they are.

Usually, this will make them feel like they are a failure. They believe that they failed in their role as a spouse, rather than accepting that sometime relationships of all types don’t work out. This also tends to come with a massive sense of loss. If you find yourself feeling this way, then it’s key to make some changes.

Don’t let divorce define you

It’s important that you don’t let your divorce define your post-divorce identity. The end of a marriage doesn’t mean you can’t experience new, great things in the future. Instead, you have to keep in mind that a divorce is just one small hurdle in the grand scheme of life.

You should also remember that while a divorce can be rough, it doesn’t always properly represent the people involved. You and your spouse can be great people who just had a relationship which didn’t work out. The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with that, and you don’t have to let it define you!

Looking to the future

Your should focus your post-divorce identity on what you want to do in the future. It’s good to take some time and reflect on what you really enjoy doing. Start small by thinking about stuff like hobbies or interests that you neglected while married. These can serve to be some inspiration for what you’d like to do down the line.

Also, consider the lessons your marriage and divorce have taught you. Taking away those important lessons will help you immensely in the future. That way, you can begin to do some strong self-improvement, and really become the person you want to be.

Ending a Marriage: How to Call it Quits

Ending a marriage can come in several different forms. There is a difference between divorce, separation and annulment. They all mean different things. Here are some of their differences.

Ending a Marriage: Divorce, Separation and Annulment

Divorce

A divorce is when a couple goes through the process of legally ending a marriage before either spouse has passed away. There are many different reasons that a couple may choose to get a divorce. Each state may handle the divorce process differently. Once a divorce is finalized, the two people are no longer legally bound to each another. This opens up the ability for either or both people to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership.

Annulment

When someone gets an annulment, it is a way of ending a marriage that states that the marriage is null and void. Annulments are not granted very often. An exception to this is when a court finds that a marriage is not valid. Reasons that could warrant an annulment are duress, fraud, bigamy, or incest. Another reason could be that one party was underage and lacked parental consent. Alternatively, they never lived together, or one spouse was not mentally able to make the decision. 

Annulments are not the same as a divorce. If someone does not meet the requirements for an annulment, they will have to file for a divorce. With an annulment, the marriage never happened. On the other hand, a divorce ends a marriage that was legally valid. Just like with a divorce, the parties are legally single. Because of this, the parties are able to get remarry afterwards. 

Separation 

A separation is not actually a way of ending a marriage directly. A separation occurs when a married couple makes a legal decision to live separate lives. This happens while thinking about or getting ready for divorce. This is not the same as if a couple decides to informally live apart. A separation does not allow for either person to remarry. This is because they are still both legally married. 

In some states, the date a couple separated will determine how long they have to wait to get a divorce. Sometimes, couples work through their issues during this period. This can lead to them to get back together. Other times, couples decide to go through with a divorce. 

As you can see, divorce, annulment and separation are 3 very different things. With divorce and annulment, the parties become single. On the other hand, separation is just a time period before a possible divorce takes place. 

Co-Parenting Depression: Ways To Cope

Divorce can be a draining and emotional process which can leave you feeling pretty down and depressed. These feelings can begin to seep into other parts of your life, especially if you’re a co-parenting. Co-parenting depression can be rough on both you and your kids. Therefore, it’s helpful to know some methods which make things easier for everyone and can help you bounce back…

Co-Parenting Depression: Emotional Impact of Divorce

Have shared house rules

Something which can make your co-parenting depression worse is a lack of shared rules. It can be extremely tough for you when your kids forget how to behave because you and your ex don’t share any basic rules. Plus, this makes It harder for your kids to learn what kind of behavior is acceptable or not. Therefore, you’ll want to have some rules which you both enforce.

For example, maybe you can both agree on certain bedtimes. You may also be able to find common ground on when they should do their homework, time they get to spend on electronics, etc. While not every rule has to be the same, just having a few in common can make things go smoother.

Keep in touch

Another issue which can contribute to co-parenting depression is a lack of communication. Some exes struggle to talk without arguing. Others may not communicate at all, which prevents them from being on the same page. However, it’s important to keep some kind of healthy communication open.

One thing you may want to try is keeping your conversations digital. It may be easier for you to keep it touch via email or text instead of phone calls or in-person meetings. Plus, it’ll be more convenient, especially if there’s any sudden schedule changes or other issues which come up.

Focus on what you have

Going from being a “normal” family to a split one is a major source of co-parenting depression. This can be made even worse if it seems your ex is moving on faster then you are. However, it’s important not to focus on the supposed negatives. Rather, you should focus on the positive things you have.

After all, you still get to be a parent to your kids and be involved in their lives. Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you can’t be a great parent. There may even be new opportunities which have opened up because of your divorce. You just have to be willing to look for them!