Sign Up for
Our Newsletter

Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Children

Helping Kids Care for Themselves: Parental Strategies That Work

Growing up in our modern world is as challenging as ever. Part of our job as co-parents is to give children the skills for handling whatever comes their way. The following guide from Wendi’s Tips explores a few practical tactics for raising self-sufficient individuals that are unafraid of tackling life’s challenges.

Modeling Behavior

We come into our lives without knowing anything, so growth begins through imitation. Infants and toddlers, especially, learn by copying adults. Caregivers that overly rely on digital entertainment for occupying tykes risk granting Hollywood too much influence. Circumvent this by switching off devices and engaging in family time. One substitute is instituting a game night. The presence of healthy competition allows you to demonstrate how to lose gracefully and that failure isn’t a tragedy. As a bonus, many games teach fundamentals, such as numbers and colors.

Should your child flip over the board in a fit of rage, take the opportunity to discuss different coping practices. For instance, punching a pillow is a harmless approach to burning away anger. Writing down frustrations and tearing the paper into tiny pieces can also provide emotional release. Meditation requires more time and knowledge but has longer-lasting effects. When outside forces cause grownup stress, let young ones observe you washing away frustration through Eastern practices.

Another refocusing technique is exercise. Make physical activity a joyful experience by turning it into a performance or family dance party. If your child is more an artist than an athlete, draw, paint, or otherwise get messy while putting feelings on canvas. Storytelling allows youth to divulge serious issues they might not be comfortable addressing directly. Set the stage for expressing inner observations by weaving a tale of your own.

Creating Peace

The first step to a peaceful, healthy home environment is to make sure that the products you purchase, whether kitchen gadgets or toys, are conducive to health and safety. To learn about potential purchases, it’s best to seek out unbiased reviews online. A good review can fill you in on need-to-know information about a product’s quality, which can keep you from making a poor purchase decision.

It’s easiest for everyone to be calm in an environment that facilitates that end. Start by decluttering, which has the benefit of making the air healthier. Tossing junk also creates additional room for activities and supports clear thinking.

Refresh your newly decluttered space with houseplants. Choose flora that’s ideal for boosting moods and reducing stress. Involve juveniles by allowing them to pick a few they find appealing. That and assigning them watering duties should help them bond with nature. Position plants in spots with ample light so they’ll grow. Keep blinds and shades open, as exposure to the sun also positively affects humans and pets. Using an oil diffuser makes homes smell fresh and happy. Be careful that the one you choose cannot harm your pets.

Your peaceful home should also extend to your yard, which should be an enticing place for you and your children to play. To help keep your yard looking its best, search online for an aeration service near you. You can quickly find a list of companies that can perform yard maintenance along with customer reviews and ratings. This can help you make an informed decision about who to hire.

Prioritizing Youth

Besides creating a calm house and showing children how to deal with setbacks, positive growth is dependent on spending quality time around one another. Fulfilling this responsibility as a single parent can be tricky, especially during busy times of the year. The best way of assuring your kids get the attention they need is by creating a plan, which should make reaching your goal less stressful.

Daily routines you might want to incorporate into your household lifestyle include bedtime rituals, such as teeth brushing and book reading. Before suppertime, set the expectation that kids complete simple chores around cooking duties. As a reward for completing these tasks, plan a day trip to an offbeat museum or age-appropriate escape room. These excursions will give your entire tribe something worth anticipating.

Divorce and life as a co-parent can be both challenging and scary, so follow Wendi’s Tips for help navigating this phase of you and your children’s lives.

Author Janice Russell believes the only way to survive parenthood is to find the humor in it. She created Parenting Disasters so that parents would have a go-to resource whenever they needed a laugh, but also to show parents they aren’t alone. She wants every frazzled parent out there to remember that for every kid stuck in a toilet, there’s another one out there somewhere who’s just graced their parents’ walls with some Sharpie artwork!

How Single Parents Can Better Manage Stress

Life can be stressful for single parents and their kids. For parents, there is financial stress, job stress, interpersonal stress, and the overarching stress of having to raise the kids alone. For kids, there is a completely different type of stress – fear of the unknown and feeling self-conscious about coming of age without their mother or father in the picture. As a single parent, it’s hard to manage it all.

Here are some tips to help give you some ideas on how to minimize stress.

 

Cut Yourself Some Slack

The first tip is likely the hardest, but it’s something you must strive toward. Single parents often set high expectations for themselves – often too high. However hard it may be, try to cut yourself some slack. Despite any shortcomings, you’re doing the best you can.

 

Practice Relaxation Techniques

The seemingly obvious way to reduce stress is to remove the stressor from your life. Unfortunately, when it comes to managing a single-parent household, this isn’t always an option. So take steps to alleviate the effects of that stress instead. This is where relaxation techniques come into play.

Meditation can be very effective. Listen to guided meditations or try to focus on whatever brings you inner peace. Simply put, meditation is being mindful in the moment.

You can repeat a mantra, or you can just be in the moment consumed by your present surroundings. If your kids are old enough, you can even get them in on the practice. As Psychology Today points out, meditation is scientifically proven to boost all the best parts of life while removing negativity.

When you’re meditating, make sure you’re in a quiet space in your home to promote relaxation. Wearing comfortable clothes like leggings and a roomy T-shirt can also help you focus.

 

Get Your Kids Involved  

You’re not being a bad parent if you want some free time. You need it if you want to keep your sanity. One way to increase your alone time is to get your kids involved in activities. After-school clubs, sports, community arts groups — you can find an organization that specializes in facilitating the exploration of their interests.

Cultivate their love for community service and volunteering by registering for animal welfare or environmental organizations. If your child is athletic, team sports are a great way for them to meet new people and encounter new role models. Talk to your kids about their interests, and there will surely be something they’d love to get involved in.

 

Foster a Stress-Free Home Environment

You spend most of your time at home, so it’s naturally going to have a lot of impact on your stress level. A messy, disorganized home is a stressful home. Even if you aren’t a super tidy person, excess clutter can be a problem. This is especially true for a family run by a single parent who is already busy. Take some time to fully declutter your home from top to bottom so it’s more manageable. You can also use some sensory tips and tricks to reduce stress. Plants, essential oils, aromatherapy candles, and natural light can help people feel relaxed. Open those curtains and let the sun shine in.

As a single parent, you are managing a family alone. There’s no way around that. There will be a lot of stress to deal with — both your own and that of your kids. Try to combat this stress by getting your kids involved in engaging activities, making sure you have a clean, organized, calming home environment, and setting some time aside to practice relaxation exercises.

Author Janice Russell  believes the only way to survive parenthood is to find the humor in it. She created Parenting Disasters so that parents would have a go-to resource whenever they needed a laugh, but also to show parents they aren’t alone. She wants every frazzled parent out there to remember that for every kid stuck in a toilet, there’s another one out there somewhere who’s just graced their parents’ walls with some Sharpie artwork!

 

 

Universal Children’s Day: Tips to Help Kids Cope with Divorce

November 20th is Universal Children’s Day, a time dedicated to improving the welfare of all children. When two parents get divorced, children must transition into a new lifestyle as several aspects of their living situation are changed. Not seeing both parents all the time or having to split time spent with both of them may bring on a mix of emotions including feelings of confusion and guilt.

Mr. David Badanes Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island shared his suggestions for co-parenting and helping kids cope with divorce in healthy ways.  

Create a Parenting Plan: Keeping in contact with your former spouse will help proactively avoid confusion and conflict regarding custody dates and times outlined in the court order. It is important not to argue about custody or visitation in front of your children. Once a plan is established, familiarize your child with the agreed-upon routine. This will help them find stability in all the changes going on around them. It is important for children to understand that both parents will still be present in their lives.  

Keep Conversations Age Appropriate: Divorce impacts children of all ages. When talking to your children about the divorce, tailor the conversation to their understanding. Since kids develop emotionally at different rates, the way you discuss divorce with an elementary-aged school child is different than the way that you would introduce the topic to a college-aged child. No matter the age of your child, ensure them that they are still loved by both of their parents. Maintaining positive relationships with both parents will help with the coping process.  

Validate Your Child’s Feelings: Every child responds to divorce differently. A school-aged child may react to the divorce with moodiness and a desire for their parents to get back together. Adolescents may experience depression, aggression, and trouble focusing on their work. Make sure to reassure your child that the feelings they are experiencing are normal. Being a good listener will go a long way in helping your child adjust. You may also want to consider counseling for you, your children or family counseling.  

Keep Routines as Consistent as Possible: Children positively benefit from structure and routine. With all the changes that come along with a divorce, try and keep certain elements of their routine that are in your control consistent. It is also important to have a conversation with your child to see what they like or don’t like about their current routines to see if any positive changes can be made. Making certain changes within reason can help with adjusting to a new lifestyle as it allows your child to feel heard. If your children split time between two households, discuss rules and boundaries with your ex-spouse to enforce similar rules in both homes. This will prevent conflicts between child and parent and between former spouses.

The circumstances surrounding every divorce are different and it is up to you to decide what is right for your children. If you are having trouble figuring out your co-parenting situation and would like some advice, there are plenty of resources available to you, including counseling for yourself or your child.  

 Author of this article, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.  

Please like us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or LinkedIn to get important legal news, tips and articles.

How to raise a baby as a single mother?

Raising a baby with your partner is an easy and loving experience because you both support each other while caring for your child together. However, raising a baby without your partner is really a challenging situation, especially if you are a woman.

The way you raise your kids highly affects their personality type, as explained in Baumrind parenting types. A single woman may have to work to fulfill her needs and take care of her child simultaneously. Handling both situations at the same time is challenging. However, If you have finalized your decision to raise your baby alone, you don’t need to worry anymore. We have got some useful and practical tips that can help you a lot in this journey. We understand that the first few months will be tough for you, but you will get used to it with time. After few months, you’ll start to love this experience.

Define some rules

Let your child know that you are the boss and they have to follow the rules no matter what. We are not saying about too many strict rules that make your child depressed, but they should know the time to enter or leave the house, limit the time on screen, self-care, and about good behavior. That’s how your child will stay under your control and tend to become a well-mannered and obedient person in the future.

Encourage good behavior

You have to spend some time enforcing good behavior in your child. If your child behaves well or does something right, reward them for their behavior. That’s how they will know that they have done something great. In response, they will try to do something even greater to please you. If they do something wrong, tell them that they have done wrong and need to fix it. You don’t need to shout or correct their behavior with anger. You can just tell them politely, and they’ll learn with time.

Maintain a positive relationship with your child

Children feel secure and loved when a mother maintains a positive relationship with them. You have to create a comfortable environment for them. Try following things to maintain a positive relationship.

  • Spend quality time with your child every day. You can talk about dinner, their favorite things, or toys. You can even watch tv with them.
  • Play different games with your child. It will help you create a strong bond with your child. Moreover, physical games also help in good physical and mental growth, which can be really beneficial for the child in the future.
  • Try to praise your child for their actions and good habits. Whenever they achieve something even, it’s a small task. Say you are proud of them. Show your excitement for their achievement.
  • Always pay positive attention. You can hug or kiss them to show your affection. Your child should know that you love them more than anything in this world.

Spend time with each child alone

You should focus on this point if you have more than one child. It’s good to spend time together as a family. However, spending some time alone with each child can help you understand them better. You can spend this time either by reading a book or just talking.

Maintain a balance

A single mother needs to maintain a perfect balance between work and family life. However, it is a tough situation for both parents as well because they have to figure out several things like who will pick up kids from school and who will make breakfast and dinner for them. However, a single mother has to perform all these duties because she doesn’t have her partner anymore to support her.

She needs to make a perfect schedule to maintain the right balance between work and family life. You should know about your busy days in your week, so try to give extra time to your kid for the rest of the days. Try to spend the whole weekend with your kid. You can go out for a picnic, for a movie, or to the parks.

Managing budget

Managing your budget is important, and it’s really tough for single mothers because they no longer have a partner to support the family expenses. Make a good estimate of your monthly expenses, then spend accordingly. You can divide the monthly expenses into two parts; variable and fixed expenses. Your fixed costs include house rent, loan payments,  and kids’ school fees.

In comparison, the variable expenses include fuel cost, food, clothing, car maintenance, electricity bill, phone bill, and entertainment cost. You can do nothing in the fixed expenses because you have to pay them at any cost. However, you can reduce your variable expenses by using them smartly. Your variable expenses should be according to your budget. That’s how you can efficiently manage your monthly budget without any worry.

Author is Rob Smith   info.babyswing@gmail.com

How to Make Remote Work Possible With a Baby or Toddler at Home

Over the last year, more and more people have had to transition to learning how to work remotely. Even as COVID-19 cases have been reduced, the odds are good that many parents are working out of a home office for the time being. Although remote work limits your risk of spreading the coronavirus, it’s also a major productivity challenge all on its own. Add a very little one to the mix, and things can get hectic, fast.

However, there are ways you can keep your cool, stay productive, eliminate household stress, and manage your household all at once. Wendi’s Tips shares some of the best techniques working parents can use to get through the next few months with their sanity intact.

Dress for Comfort

When you’re taking care of a little one, you’re on the go a lot. Parents of young children spend a lot of time kneeling down, playing on the ground, and chasing after budding crawlers and walkers. If you don’t have access to child care, this is still going to be true while you’re working remotely. The fact that you’re also going to be juggling work is only more reason to focus on wearing comfy clothes.

Now, we’re not saying you should stay in your pajamas all day — that’s not the world’s best look on video calls. However, split the difference with comfortable, fashionable items. You can get yourself a whole cozy remote work wardrobe without spending too much if you keep your eye out for sales at shops like Dillards. This can be an especially good move for new moms — elastic waistbands are your friend for those first few months.

Get Help If Possible

Depending on your situation, you may be able to ask a local friend or family member to bubble up with you and be a dedicated babysitter. Your parents, siblings, or close friends might be willing and able to take this on for you. Have a clear open conversation about what level of quarantine and self-isolation everyone wants out of the bubble. It’s important to be on the same page in order to make sure no one inadvertently crosses a line.

However, we understand that this won’t be feasible for everyone. If you can’t find anyone who can bubble with you, you might still be able to get a little bit of babysitting out of interested loved ones. For example, you can look into setting a friend up as your virtual babysitter. This works by setting your child up with a video chat with the friend or family member in question. It’s not a perfect solution — you definitely still need to be in the room so you can keep your little one safe — but they can hold your child’s attention while you knock out a task or two. Remember, video chats are thought to be a healthy, productive form of screen time!

Ask for Flexibility

At the end of the day, your best bet over the next few months might be asking for flexibility at work. For example, you might ask if, apart from meetings, you can work during non-traditional work hours. If you have a partner who also works from home, see if you can organize it so one of you works earlier than the traditional 9–5 and the other, later. This will give both of you more time to dedicate your full attention to your child or your work, rather than try to split it between both.

Enhance Your Career Prospects  

Now that you’re working remotely, have you considered giving your career a boost? Online degree programs allow you to complete your coursework from home and work at a pace that you can adapt to your family obligations. There are all sorts of online programs available, including those with degrees for business, teaching, nursing, and accounting.

These aren’t the only options, so go into the conversation with an open mind and a few ideas for what might work. You and your supervisor can collaborate to come up with a solution that works for your family and your team. Remember — this is all temporary. Come up with a plan for the next few months, and try to take things one day at a time. Soon, this will all be behind you.

Author Janice Russell believes the only way to survive parenthood is to find the humor in it. She created Parenting Disasters so that parents would have a go-to resource whenever they needed a laugh, but also to show parents they aren’t alone. She wants every frazzled parent out there to remember that for every kid stuck in a toilet, there’s another one out there somewhere who’s just graced their parents’ walls with some Sharpie artwork!

How to support your children though a divorce

The year 2020 has been a pretty brutal one for most people. Some people have been able to find some comfort in the bonds of family and friendship. For others, however, those bonds have been stretched to breaking point. If you’re in the latter group, here is some advice on how to support your children through a divorce.

Have a basic plan in place before you break the news

For a child, there are no positives to a divorce. This means that you need to focus on minimizing negatives. Ideally, you want to be able to show your child that, effectively, nothing is going to change for them. If that is not possible, then explain how you’ll minimize the negative impact of any changes.

It’s best if you and your partner have a complete plan ready before you break the news to your child. At the same time, however, you want to make sure that they hear the news from you, not social media. For practical purposes, therefore, it may be best just to outline your plan and then tell your child. Commit to keeping them in the loop as your plans develop.

Involve your child in discussions/mediation

Wrapping up a marriage almost always involves lengthy discussions, especially where children are involved. For many couples, mediation sessions are a practical and affordable way of keeping these discussions civil and productive. These are probably going to be where you and your partner iron out the practicalities of your split.

Some of those practicalities will have a massive impact on your child. This means that, whenever possible, they should have age-appropriate input into the discussions. They don’t have to know everything. In fact, it’s often better that they don’t. They certainly shouldn’t see their parents openly arguing. They do, however, need a reasonable degree of information and involvement.  

Try to maintain a consistent routine

Right now, COVID19 is probably causing more than enough disruption to their lives, especially when it comes to co-parenting through a pandemic. This means that it’s more important than ever to maintain stability as much as you can.

As a minimum, stick to regular mealtimes and nap/bedtimes. Resist any temptation to try to soften the blow by excess use of treats such as sweets and late nights.

If COVID19 means that you and your partner are stuck with each other’s company for longer than you’d like, keep it civil. You’re probably going to have disagreements. Recognize this in advance, own the fact and agree on a process for dealing with them privately. If you’re able to move out physically, have a plan in place to maintain contact, even if it’s only virtually.

Stay consistent with discipline

This is really a sub-point of keeping to a consistent routine. It is, however, important enough to deserve a mention on its own. Children handle divorce differently. In fact, the same child can handle divorce differently on different days. This is particularly true if they’re going through a lot of hormonal changes.

Recognize the difference between understanding their feelings and handing them control. Maintaining consistent rules and boundaries may be challenging in the short term. It will, however, help your child’s long-term recovery and personal growth.

Author Bio

K J Smith Solicitors are specialists in family law, experienced in all matters relating to divorce, civil partnerships, cohabitation disputes and collaborative law.

 

10 Tips To Prepare Preparing Your Children For Your Divorce

Whenever there is a divorce it impacts a family as a whole. Children are never aware of the situations and hence they are impacted more severely. Parents are involved in their fights while getting a divorce and children get squeezed into these issues. While if a child is not prepared for future outcomes then he may face mental challenges such as depression, aggression, and hatred.

Now how do you make your child prepared? What are the steps to be used to start the process? How to make sure it never happens in the future? So here comes some tested tips to help you out.

Where to start?

No parent would want their child to be in a negative phase of their life and that too because of problems between parents. Hence prior actions can avoid these situations and assure a happy future for your child.

Age matters

There is a difference in the mentality of a toddler and teenager and hence you need to speak to them differently. Well, a parent needs to have a proper consultation with a divorce attorney in Long Beach because they are also going through the same time.

Talking with toddlers

Babies are simple as they don’t understand the events while they need time for care and nutrition. You can not leave them alone. Kindergartners can understand some events with limited thinking. If you can avoid creating situations in front of them then it will do. You can watch their behavior and talk accordingly.

Early teenagers

These are around 6-11-year-olds who have gained enough knowledge to understand the situations. They can recognize and become depressed with thoughts of divorce. They may ask questions or not but you need to empathize with them and tackle with care.

Teens

Children at the age of 12-14-year-olds are more prone to be mentally depressed with divorce or may not get affected at all. But both behaviors are dangerous as they must be explained in situations clearly. While talking to your children and understanding them needs a lot of psychology knowledge.

Priorities

There are times when you reach out to your child but they won’t respond to you. You need to make sure while being in these situations the communication should be more open. You need to tell them that your parents are open to each thought you have. As they can trust you and share their thoughts.

Handling forthcoming prospects 

While handling a divorce your child needs to be ready for each struggle he may face in the future. What you can do? Start with build g a good relationship, you may already have it. It is just that you keep working on it while not forgetting your children in between of divorce.

Tell them what you feel rather than beating around the bush. You should not hide real situations as when they come to know it might be a shock. So be careful when you handle a child.

Read

A parent must not think that they know everything. You may not know some key areas for the importance of a child. But if you read good parenting books then it is more likely that you can understand situations much better before it gets worse. Reading will. make you ready to tackle situations differently.

Avoid conflicts 

What you can do when conflicts are likely to arise during or after divorce? Your child will be against them at some points, he will ask you hundreds of questions each day. You may come across conflicts while answering these questions. It is imperative to avoid conflicts.

How can you avoid conflicts? You can easily avoid conflicts by preparing a reasonable answer backed by logic before the conflict happens. You may want to know what questions can be there. Step into the shoes of your children and think about what they can ask? Eventually, you will understand.

Consistency

A parent’s job is never completed; they need to be continuously working on and creating it with their child. You may lose the consistent behavior but then again start from scratch and try reconnecting. Ask their schedule to be involved more. Engage them with family bonding activities. Slowly be better at it.

Conclusion

Reach out to family law attorneys in Long Beach in case of any help. Don’t hesitate even for once as these situations may be more clearly explained by the best divorce attorney of Long Beach. I wish you all the luck that prevails!

 

3 Tips that Make Budget-Friendly Birthday Parties Easier for Parents

Kids look forward to celebrating their birthday party every year. If you are a parent who is working with a tight budget, however, you may not be looking forward to the costs of hosting a party in your home. Thankfully, putting together an unforgettable home birthday celebration for your child doesn’t have to cost a fortune if you use these budget-friendly tips.   

Keep Kids Busy without Worrying About Extra Expenses  

The whole point of a birthday party is to celebrate and have fun, so make sure you incorporate some savings-savvy party activities into your plans. Hosting a sleepover can offer some super creative ways to entertain all of your little guests, especially when you can put together a backyard stargazing party that’s practically free and oh so much fun! You can use a telescope you already own or have kids build their own. Party guests will be so excited to check out the stars at night, and backyard astronomy lessons are educational as well.

Looking for more activity ideas for a fun birthday bash? Check out these budget-friendly ideas, like a treasure hunt or a chance to stomp on balloons. Just be conscientious of any children who may have sensory processing issues, and try to have alternate games set up for them. Bingo and rubber duck hunts are autism-friendly activity options if you want your celebration to be inclusive of children who have special needs.  

Feed Those Hungry Party Guests without Going Over Budget  

To keep kids from getting cranky, you will want to have few snacks and beverages available. If you plan on hosting your children’s friends for a full meal, try to plan a menu that won’t break the bank but will still satisfy picky eaters. A hot dog bar is a fun way to fill those tummies, or you could go with pizza for a super easy crowd pleaser. Want to avoid the costs of a big meal? Schedule your party between mealtimes. Time is important when you have a super-slim food budget, so aim to have your event happen between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Of course, no birthday bash is complete without a cake. Instead of overspending at a gourmet bakery, go to your local grocery store and give a plain cake an easy makeover that will wow everyone. Cakes from grocery stores are less expensive, and you don’t need to worry about ordering ahead. Simply scrape off any typical store decor, and replace it with your kid’s favorite candy or cereal.  

Plan Your Party Around a Theme to Make Decorating Simple  

Planning out activities and food options will help you keep party costs under control. You can make planning easier by coming up with a fun theme as well. Some of the most popular party themes let you get as fancy or basic as you want, and you can create most of these pulled-together parties for minimal costs.

If your child loves nature, consider a magical enchanted forest theme, and use free decor, like pine cones and tree branches, to spruce up your party space. You can even use pine cones for additional craft activities, which can save you even more. Complete the look and functionality of any birthday party theme by picking up supplies to match too. You can shop online for inexpensive party kits that come with everything you need to add the finishing touches to your celebration. From fun party plates to eco-friendly straws, you’ll have all of your birthday party bases covered.   

By celebrating your child’s birthday at home, you’re already on the right track to stay within your budget. Make sure you save even more, and still keep everyone having fun, by using the handy party-planning tips above. After all, your guests will care much more about the memories they make than they will about how much you spend on the party itself.

This article was written by Natalie Jones of homeownerbliss.info

Reminder: You Can’t Buy Your Children’s Love

It’s a common scenario. Parents get separated or divorced and have joint custody of their kids. One of the parents then starts showering the kids with extravagant gifts from concert tickets and designer clothes to electronics and trips to fun or exotic places. They might let the kids get away with everything, allowing them to stay up late, eat anything they want and enjoy as much screen time as they like.

If you’re guilty of any of these, it’s time to reconsider your behavior.

Divorce is often hard on everyone involved and where you used to enjoy unlimited access to your kids, you now find yourself co-parenting and splitting the time you spend with them with your ex. This can trigger feelings of insecurity tempting you to try to buy your kids’ affection.

Maybe you are still reeling from the divorce and your unresolved feelings are driving you to upstage your ex-spouse in the gift-giving arena. Or perhaps you feel guilty about putting your kids through the trauma of divorce and so you try to buy their love. On the other hand, you might genuinely care for your children and want to spoil them once in a while, especially if you don’t get to see them that often.

Regardless of the reason, you need to stop and reevaluate your actions. Your quest to be known as the favorite parent or secure your children’s favor might be doing more harm than good. An all too common parenting mistake is giving into your kid’s every whim. While it might seem like a sure way of getting into their good books, in reality, you’re just creating entitled kids. Similarly, giving your children extravagant gifts isn’t bad, but you should never do it to compensate for your poor parenting. Otherwise, your kids might come to equate love with “things”.

Making things right

Recognizing that you’ve fallen into a common parenting pitfall is the first step towards changing things for the better.

You can’t buy your kid’s love but you can foster it. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Speak your kid’s love language.

Love can be expressed and received in different ways. Discovering and speaking your kid’s primary love language ensures that they feel loved and allows both of you to build and reap the rewards of a fulfilling relationship.

  • Put their needs first.

In the wake of a divorce, it’s easy to lose sight of your children’s needs. But no matter how confused, angry or hurt you feel, you shouldn’t turn the situation into a competition for your kid’s affections. It’s important to learn how to meet not only their physical but also their emotional needs.

  • Don’t be afraid to discipline them.

You might want your kids to consider you the fun parent so you hold back on disciplining them. However, letting them get away with all kinds of behavior isn’t love. Kids need consistency and structure to thrive so don’t be afraid to lay some ground rules and set consequences.

To get true love from your kids, you need to treat them well and spend time building a healthy lasting relationship with them. Get to really know them and be the best parent you can be. Remember that while presents are nice, what your children really want is your time and attention. These stand the test of time and are way more valuable than any possessions you can get them.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter

Single Moms – Tips To Learning To Read Your Boys’ Emotions

Bringing up kids together with a spouse is one thing, raising a son as a single mom is another. Boys aren’t known to be very emotionally expressive and going through a divorce can make them even more reticent. The lack of a male role model or influence can further complicate things, leaving your son confused as to how to act and express his emotions. As the mom, it’s up to you to learn to read and interpret your son’s emotions.

Unfortunately, society teaches boys and men that they can’t have or express certain emotions. Expressing emotions like loneliness, fear or sadness is often considered feminine and is seen as a sign of weakness. So often these feelings come out as anger and aggression- the emotions that are seen as socially acceptable for boys and men to express.

It’s not uncommon for kids who have been through a divorce to experience a wide range of feelings from anger to anxiety and loneliness. Add adolescence to the picture and you have a young man with a cauldron of emotions churning through him with no socially acceptable way to express them. Without proper guidance to find healthy emotional outlets, he might suppress his feelings or start acting out.

Research has shown that emotional suppression has negative outcomes on children and can lead to depression in teenagers, anxiety disorder, and poor sleeping patterns, among other issues. Acting out, on the other hand, can put your son at risk of substance abuse, disciplinary issues and even run-ins with the law. It is, therefore, crucial for you to help your son find healthy ways to express his emotions.

Interpreting Your Son’s Emotions

Boys may not be adept at expressing their feelings but with a little observation, you can learn to read and interpret them.

Your son may convert stereotypically feminine feelings like vulnerability, nervousness or sadness into pride or anger which are more socially acceptable for boys to experience. He might even cover up these feelings with nonchalance. For instance, if he’s about to take a major exam, he might cover his nervousness with indifference. Alternatively, if he’s feeling fearful or anxious in a certain situation, he might lash out in anger to hide his true feelings.

Suppressed emotions may also leak out in the form of physical ailments. For example, if you might notice that your son regularly complains of headaches or stomach aches when he’s anxious or nervous e.g. before an exam, before playing in a major game, etc.

Helping Your Son To Express Himself

Here’s how you can teach your son to be more emotionally expressive:

  • Model emotional expression. If your son sees you showing a variety of emotions, he’ll become comfortable embracing all his feelings. So let him see you happy, anxious, sad and everything in between. Seeing how you manage these emotions will also teach him how to regulate his.
  • Listen to him. Learn to give your son your complete attention whenever he chooses to express his feelings. Don’t rush to give your opinion, advice or solutions, just listen without judgment to what he’s saying. Seeing you pay attention and take him seriously will encourage him to open up more.
  • Find male role models. Since you’re divorced, your son isn’t likely to see his father every day even if you’re on good terms. This means that he needs strong father figures in his life to mentor him. The male role model could be an uncle, a pastor, counselor, or coach.
  • Teach him healthy coping mechanisms for negative emotions. Left unchecked, negative emotions can wreak havoc in your son’s life. Let him understand that while it’s okay to experience anger, frustration, grief, sadness, discouragement and a host of other such emotions, he’s still responsible for his behavior. Help him find healthy ways to purge these feelings either through physical exertion e.g. playing sports, going to the gym, taking a walk or through creative outlets like music, art or journaling.

In order for boys to grow into well-adjusted men with rich emotional lives and deep connections with others, they have to be taught to embrace their emotions as well as learn to express them in healthy ways.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter

 

Co-Parenting A Teenager That Is Vaping Behind Your Back

Raising a child as a single parent thanks to divorce is no mean feat. If that child is a teenager, then things often become more complicated and you need to know how to handle it..

Take, for instance, the vaping craze that’s exploded among teens. What happens when you discover that your teen is vaping behind your back? How will you handle it? How do you and your ex work together to discover a solution?

Why is Vaping Dangerous?

You might be wondering why vaping is a serious issue. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most parents and teens are under the impression that vaping simply involves inhaling harmless water vapor and flavor. There’s a misconception that e-cigarettes are better than conventional cigarettes.

However, while e-cigarettes are smoke and tobacco-free, most still contain nicotine. This is a dangerous, highly addictive substance that can wreak havoc on teens’ developing brains, affecting their learning ability, attention span as well as their mood and impulse control.

Additionally, the CDC reports that the vapor or aerosol from e-cigarettes isn’t as benign as once thought. It contains chemical fruit or candy flavorings that have been linked to certain lung ailments. What’s more, the nicotine in e-cigarettes might put users at risk for addiction to other drugs in the future.

Co-parenting A Vaping Teen

Teens can turn to vaping for several reasons including acting out because of divorce or because of peer pressure. Here’s how you and your ex-spouse can handle the situation:

Discuss the issue with your ex-spouse.

You and your ex-spouse need to sit down and discuss how you’re going to handle this situation. Things won’t work if one of you sees that vaping is a problem and the other thinks there’s nothing wrong with it. Get on the same page on how you’ll raise the issue with your teen, the consequences they’ll have to face and what kind of help they should receive, if necessary.

Have a discussion with your teen.

Next, have a discussion on vaping with your teen either separately or together as his parents. Avoid scolding or lecturing and instead, ask open-ended questions to initiate dialogue. This way, you have a chance of discovering the root cause of their behavior. During the discussion, educate your teen on the dangers of vaping.

Outline consequences to your teen.

For consistency, both you and your ex-spouse should agree on suitable consequences for your teen’s vaping. These consequences should be clear and should match the committed offense. For instance, you could ground your teen for some days or withdraw some of their privileges for a while. Ensure that consequences set are enforced by both of you and that rules are the same at both homes.

Seek professional help.

Finally, if you both notice that you’re not having any impact on your teen, seek professional help. It can be hard to quit vaping but it is possible as long as your teen is willing to do it. There are trained professionals who can guide your teen on how to become vape-free.

As parents, both you and your spouse should find ways to co-parent your teen through a vaping incident, keeping in mind that his well being is the most important thing.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter

A Single Parent’s Guide To Settling Into A New Neighborhood After Moving

It’s not uncommon for Americans to move multiple times throughout their lives. Some people may simply switch to another city or state, whereas others may head abroad. According to an Internations survey, reasons for moving include love or a desire for a comfier retirement. Whatever the motivation, moving offers an exciting opportunity to get a fresh start. This is especially true if you are recently divorced and looking to turn over a new leaf. The process of transitioning to a new place can be daunting, however, especially if you have a child in tow. So, let these pointers guide you through the process.

Make Sure the House Is Ready Before You Move In

You don’t want to spend the first night in your new home discovering that there’s no hot water for a shower or cooking. Before you move, check that basics such as plumbing are working and that the bare minimum safety devices such as locks, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors are in place. If any remodeling issues related to wiring, plumbing, or heating and cooling are needed, have these fixed before you move in. It’s also smart to scope out amenities before moving day. Where is the nearest pharmacy or supermarket? Do you know who to call in case of an emergency like a power outage or a broken pipe? Lining up this information beforehand can save stress down the line.

Unpack in an Orderly Fashion and Prioritize Kids’ Rooms

When it comes to the actual moving day, label boxes according to room. As you unpack at your new place, Moving.com recommends starting with kids’ rooms. You can ensure your little ones are comfortable and stay safely out of the way in their rooms while you finish unpacking in peace. Consider loading up a tablet with their favorite games and cartoons to keep them occupied. After your kids are cared for, prioritize the remaining unpacking based on the rooms you will need most urgently, such as your own bedroom and the kitchen. As you continue unpacking over the first week, you can start adding personal touches that will make it feel like home, such as kids’ artwork and family photos.

Take the Time to Get to Know the Neighbors

Once your house is somewhat in order, host a housewarming party and invite people from the surrounding neighborhood to stop by. You can simply leave an invitation in their mailbox, with a few brief lines about yourself and your child. This is a great way to get to know fellow parents in the area; some may even have kids in your child’s age range. If not, network and ask those who stop by if they know of potential playmates for your little one. Getting kids involved in local activities like sports teams is another fun way to get them settled.

Get Out and About in Your Community

The key to really getting to feel at home in your community is to get out of the house. Take the time to visit local shops and restaurants, join your neighborhood association, and host events to get to know people. If there is a public library or visitors center nearby, check of bulletin boards advertising community events. The local newspaper is also a great resource to see what’s going on in your area. Finally, a fun activity for a single parent and kid to get to know their city is a hop-on, hop-off bus tour.

While moving can be nerve-wracking for kids and adults alike, you should be able to integrate with ease. Keep in mind it will take time to adjust to your new surroundings and that you and your child may get “homesick” from time to time. This is perfectly normal. Stay positive and focus on the many exciting opportunities your new community has to offer. With an optimistic outlook, you’ll be sure to find yourself feeling at home sooner rather than later.

Author of this article, Tilda Moore, researches and writes about educational resources for openeducators.org. She is passionate about helping parents and teachers in providing kids with the best education possible. She works directly with teachers and other public education groups to ensure they are working toward our vision of constructing a reliable database of verified information