if you find yourself thinking about your Ex, start thinking about your kids instead

Can’t Stop Thinking About Your Ex? Start Thinking About Your Kids Instead!

Exchanges can be a difficult time for parents and kids. Parents begin to anticipate the worst and dread having contact with their Ex. Kids have to prepare to say goodbye to one parent and switch homes. When conflict arises, things get much worse real fast for both adults and children. But this is a time of reunion! A time of stability for your kids: a reinforcement of the parent-child bond that survives beyond your adult romantic relationship. This is about your kids, getting to be with them, and making them happy. When your thoughts start to be all about your Ex, refocus on your kids!

Have you ever been unable to enjoy one of your kids’ sporting games or school activities because you’ve spent the whole time on the look-out for your Ex?  Does planning your child’s birthday party sound like great fun until you start thinking about if you have to invite your Ex and in-laws?  When you arrive at the exchange, are you tense and in a bad mood for your kids immediately when they see you or are saying goodbye and maybe for the next hour because of the stress of interacting with your Ex?

Our Brain Tries Hard to Protect Our Heart

Our brain tries to protect our heart from pain and harm by creating a defensive shield.  We think if we can anticipate a bunch of bad outcomes, we’ll be prepared to handle whatever happens.  Unfortunately, this often works against us and sets us up for things to be worse than they have to be.  Instead of our primitive brain just helping us be prepared for a dangerous animal to jump out of a bush (as in our ancient ancestor’s days) we begin to create scenarios that are not necessarily real. 

We begin to imagine all of the bad outcomes that could happen and start to assume the worst about the other person  It’s natural but it’s not good for getting through exchanges.  You begin thinking your Ex will never agree to your request, that you’ll never see eye-to-eye on how to raise your kids, that saying anything is going to start a huge fight.  This automatically makes you defensive and reactive and keeps you from having a normal interaction with your Ex and being happy and positive for your kids. 

We Can Bring Our Brain Into the Present

Negative emotions – fear, anger, sadness, can be overwhelming to our thoughts.  Evolution has made these emotions dominate to help keep us safe.  Our ancestors didn’t save themselves from danger by being eternal optimists.  What saved us was always being on the look-out for dangers.  Thankfully, we live in a pretty stable world and our primitive brain isn’t as necessary as it once was.  It still works hard though to keep us safe.  Once we focus in on potential conflict, it is very difficult to break that train of thought, but the last thing you want to do when you have time with your kids is to be thinking about your Ex.  What a waste!!!! 

Everyone Can Agree Thinking About Your Kids is a GOOD Thing!

There are a lot of hints & tips for how to not let your Ex bother you, but one effective way to ‘train your brain’ is to just think about your kids!  When you start getting worked up about interacting with your Ex, think about these things instead:

focus on your kids instead of your Ex!

                What are you going to do with the kids during your time with them?

                What do you think they have done since you saw them last?

               Have you done anything you need to fill them on?

                Is there a project or outing you can do together?

                What is your favorite memory of them?

                What can you do to make things better for them?

                What is going on in THEIR brains?

More Than Anything, You Don’t Want Your Kids to Be Scared or Sad

 Exchanges are a brief reunion of family that can help give children a sense of security but when conflict occurs they believe it is because of them.  They don’t know you are grouchy because of the adult problems surrounding your relationship, they just know that exchanges are a negative experience that they would rather avoid.  If exchanges often have their parents in bad moods, then the normal stress of switching homes comes with a whole new set of problems and the kids begin to dread the exchange as much as you do. 

This should be a happy time!  This is a time that reinforces the consistency of the parenting plan that gives structure to your children’s lives.  It’s a time of reunion and a reminder that the family unit and child-parent bond is the strongest relationship humans can have.  Find resources, find a little extra help, do what is necessary to make it a good experience for you and for your children!  Keep them in the forefront of your mind and you’ll have the strengths to make things will better!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print

Sign Up for Discounts & Updates

Get notifications for discounted prices or new resources available on our site.

Leave a Comment

protect your kids from divorce
Your Favorite Little Humans

Why Do Your Kids Leave Happy and Come Back Sad?

Kids who have parents in two homes are always saying goodbye to someone and hello to someone else. They have to balance between being sad to leave one parent and being happy to see the other. Imagine only being able to see one of your children at a given time and always having to choose which one you’ll share different experiences with. Transitions are tough, and you’ll see the stress in your child’s behavior, regardless of their age. Be patient, be kind, be supportive. This was not their choice and everyone needs a little extra help through this difficult time.

Read More »

Blended Families Weren’t Created for Global Pandemics

The purpose of quarantine and social distancing is about minimizing contact with others. Blended families are all about contact with multiple families and households and caring for kids coming from different places! How do you keep your households functioning like normal without providing the perfect environment for Covid?

Read More »

Can You Suspend Visitation During the Covid Crisis?

Can you suspend visitation if it’s dangerous to travel? What if your Ex has high exposure to Covid? What if your child is going into the home of people you don’t know? What if your Ex’s state has more lax rules than yours? What if you are afraid for your family?
Yes . . Maybe . . . No . . .? There are no answers so here’s how to resolve these questions without the Court.

Read More »
let kids be kids and think about their lives instead of about divorce let kids be kids during divorce
Your Favorite Little Humans

Children Are the Ultimate Narcissists (and that’s OKAY!)

Kids need to be able to focus on themselves in order to grow up to be healthy, happy and productive humans. If they have to worry about adult relationships or divorce, it’s just too much for their brains and affects their development. Children of ALL ages need to just be kids, regardless of how their family is structured. No matter what has happened between you and your Ex, your relationship with your child is never ending and keeping it separate and apart from conflict will help your kids grow up to be well adjusted adults.

Read More »

Beware! The ONE Behavior Courts Will NOT like during the Covid Crisis!

If parenting time has changed because of this global health pandemic, then expect parents and children to communicate more often via the telephone or computer. Try to set up a schedule, and be aware that being “live” in your Ex’s home remotely may be awkward. Learn how to balance each parent’s right to be with their children with privacy in your own home.

Read More »

More Articles

learn to co-parent conflict-free

Conflict-Free & Lovin It

Learn how to avoid fights and how to get out of ones you can't avoid. Use a few well-timed phrases to completely change how you interact with a high-conflict Ex.

Your New Life Is Waiting

Your New Life Is Waiting

Figure out how to put more energy into your new life than rehashing the past. You can't change what has happened but you can choose to be happy moving forward.

Co-Parenting Stress Solved

Get past all of the relationship problems that emerge post separation. Get hints & tips to make it easier to transition from co-habitators to co-parentors so you and your kids can be happy.

Methods to End the Madness of Co-Parenting

Methods to End the Madness

Find out about techniques that can help you prevent and solve your biggest problems. Just a little bit of work up front makes life a whole lot easier for a long time to come.

Make the Transition to Your New Life
a Happy One

Learn How to Stay Focused on Your Kids - Every. Single. Time.

Text Your Ex gives you some space and distance so that you can focus on yourself and your kids without constantly struggling to communicate with your Ex.  We help separate the emotion of your relationship from your job of raising happy, healthy and productive humans.  When parents work together to find the best answers for their kids, it gives their children a brighter future.

Once you are able to make decisions about your children conflict-free, you’ll be able to imagine a better way forward and things will be easier.  Text Your Ex gives you a chance to resolve the emotions of your separation separately from making decisions about your kids so you can transition from co-habitators to co-parentors smoothly and without conflict.

Learn How to Stay Focused on Your Kids - Every. Single. Time.

Reset Your Relationship

The Services You Need to
co-parent stress-free

More Than an App

We don't just scan for 'appropriate' language but we let you say what you want and then work with you to communicate your goals. We provide interactive services for every message sent between you and your Ex.

Universal & Neutral Messages

Mediators make sure that each and every message is easily understood. We help clarify details and prevent misunderstandings. We make sure anyone would understand exactly what each person is saying.

Support for Issues Big & Small

Whether you dread any contact with your Ex or know that a certain topic is going to start a big fight - we can help. Instead of thinking about what your Ex said over and over again, contact us and we can help resolve things right away. We give you the peace of mind that any communication with your Ex will be calm and polite.

Real-Time Response

Your message goes out within 1 hour. Co-parents who are actively engaged get immediate translation in real-time without delay. Never wait for your attorney to return your call - you get professional services immediately!

Less Anger & Stress

It's always easier to talk to a 3rd Party about your problems than to the source of our problems. We help tamp down emotions and break the old patterns of communication. You and your Ex can listen to options with a more neutral ear and objective perspective.

Protect Your Kids from Conflict

Kids feel your pain; they know when their parents are mad or sad and it causes them stress. The more you can avoid conflict with your Ex, the easier it will be to work with your co-parent and life gets better for you AND your kids. We help you transition to your new role as Co-Parents conflict-free.

thank you for using Text Your Ex co-parenting services

Follow Us for Discounts & Updates!

Thank You!

To Begin Your package:

After you contact us via text or email, we'll have your message sent to your ex and send you confirmation!

co-parent in a new way before, during and after separation or divorce

Your Package is Valid for 60 Days

Contact Us!

Tell us what you think, What you want, or how we can help!

find a divorce mediator with text your ex

Let US help you

Find A Mediator

We'll send you personal recommendations for mediators in your local area.

Please allow 24 hours for a response.