How to Get Along with Your Neighbours

Modern life is a lot less conducive to friendships with neighbourliness than it used to be. But positive relationships with those around us can make our lives more pleasant and give us a sense of who we are. Here are a few ways to help nurture those relationships for happier, healthier lifestyle.

Introduce yourself to newcomers. Your new neighbours may be feeling lonely and unsure, especially if they’re far from home, and might appreciate a friendly face bearing a homemade cake or a plant. If they have children, tell them where the other local children live. Give advice on the best places to eat and shop.

Be considerate about noise. As a rule, keep music and loud outdoor conversations down after 9 p.m., and try not to start up the power tools or leaf blower before 8 or 9 a.m.. If you are planning a party, try to let your neighbors know in advance — and if you enjoy throwing frequent parties, it’s not a bad idea to invite your neighbors to one!

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Deal with problems in person. Just as when your neighbors are being too noisy, any other problem should be addressed promptly and in person. It may seem easier to write a note or dash off an email, but written complaints can seem more mean spirited than you intended, and may shut down communication with that neighbor in the future. Give your neighbor a chance to hear what you have to say in a face-to-face chat, and then listen to his or her side as well. Remember, your neighbor is likely not going anywhere, so even if you do not particularly like him or her, it is in your interest to find a way to get through it together.

Keep your front yard tidy. There is no need to get into a competition with neighbors over who has the greenest lawn, but keeping up a basic level of tidiness will be appreciated by all. Put your garbage and recycling cans back promptly after they have been collected, keep grass mowed and weeds pulled, and try to avoid storing too many belongings on your porch or in the driveway.

Be considerate in general. Return anything that you borrow from a neighbour, such as tools, in good condition and as soon as you’re finished with them. Replace anything that belongs to your neighbour that you, your children or your pets break or soil. If your neighbour hasn’t brought in his or her bin yet, do it as a favour. Random acts of consideration will get your neighbours talking.

Follow local parking etiquette. Always try to park in front of your own house if possible, and never block neighbors’ driveways. In some neighborhoods with narrow streets, it is the custom for everyone to park on only one side — even if it’s not an official rule, it is best to follow suit.

Invite your neighbours over. What better way to meet your neighbours than to invite them to an informal barbecue or party? If you deliver the invitations in person, you’ll get a chance to have a chat before moving on to the next house.

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How to Have a Happier Co-Parenting Relationship in 2018

Co-parenting is a skill than you can improve with practice. Read on for tips on how you can get along better with your ex.

Practice good communication skills. Don’t use the written word as a weapon! The purpose of emails and texts is to deliver facts and logistics, not to lash out at your co-parent, or try to convince him of the error of his ways. Keeping your messages simple and devoid of emotion will help maintain an amicable co-parenting relationship.

Get over being angry. It’s easy to become addicted to anger. It distracts you from the difficult task of creating a whole new life. It keeps you psychologically entangled with your co-parent, which is the exact opposite of what you want if you’re to move forward. If you find that you’re constantly marinating in bitterness, get professional help to work through your anger.

Follow the court orders. Pay child support on time. Stick to the visitation schedule. Handle shared child-related expenses as set forth in your agreement. Making a unilateral decision to ignore your court order will certainly pull your children into conflict and possibly result in less custody for you.

Be polite. Say please and thank you. Tell your ex you appreciate his efforts to be a good co-parent (even if he or she is not as “good” as you want). Treating your former spouse with respect and highlighting his positive behaviors will encourage him to do the same.

Respect your ex’s time with the kids. Don’t call, text or FaceTime your kids multiple times during your ex’s visitation. Don’t make your kids feel guilty for having a good time with their other parent. Don’t try to chip away at visitation by being late for drop-offs or keeping the kids longer than allowed. No matter what you think of your ex, he has a right to his parenting time.

Respect co-parenting rules. Some divorced couples are able to agree on basic rules: discipline, bedtimes, policies about electronics and homework. If you agreed to do something, follow through. Otherwise, your ex will be less inclined to hold up their end of the bargain.