Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What to do when your Ex doesn’t want to see the Children after a Divorce

In most divorces where people have children, they fight to be able to see them as much as possible. It can be hard to share them but that is what has to be done in order for everyone to win. A plan is made and approved as far as parenting time and the children are encouraged so that they can adjust to it. Yet not everyone wants to have a role in the lives of their children after a divorce.

As difficult as this may be to understand it is the truth. There are many reasons why a person doesn’t want to have anything to do with their children after a divorce. They may feel that it is their family holding them back so they want to start all over on their own. Others have too many personal issues to take care of anyone but themselves right then. That has to be respected even though it can be difficult.

In other instances, the parent who leaves doesn’t feel like it will be in the best interest of the children to be with them. They want what is best for them and they feel that is with the other parent. Some people have the misconception that it is only men who walk away from their children. Yet many women choose to do it as well.

Sadly, another scenario is that the parent is going to be with someone else. Their new partner may not be ready for a family or want children around at all. It is scary to think a person would choose a lover over their flesh and blood but it does happen. All of these scenarios do ensure the children are with someone who does want them though and that is the positive side of the issue.

Children can be severely affected by this type of scenario. They can definitely blame themselves for their parent removing themselves from their lives. Sometimes they will blame the parent they are with too for running them off. This is a discussion you need to have with your children. You can decide how honest you want to be with them about it.

While you don’t want to be making excuses for the parent, you don’t want to damage your child’s self esteem either. It is better to say that they are consumed right now with getting their own life on track than to say they don’t want to be with you because their new girlfriend doesn’t like children.

It can be difficult when your ex doesn’t want to see the children after a divorce. You can choose to find out why if you desire. Some people are happy with the arrangement and so they don’t pursue it. They may still be paying child support even though they don’t take an active role in the life of the children.

Keep in mind how you handle the situation is going to affect your children. Make sure they understand that it isn’t their fault their parent doesn’t want to see them at this time. While it isn’t fair that this responsibility falls on your shoulders you need to take care of it for the sake of your children. They can choose to attempt to work out a relationship with their absent parent when they are an adult if they want to pursue it.

5 Great Parenting Rules

So you want some guidelines that you can stick to and that your children will follow? Here are five of them. Remember you are the parent, you make the rules, don’t let your little one be in charge. Offer great praise and rewards. No, not necessarily candy, a new bike, the new Wii game, but love attention and praise.

1. Routine
Have a routine and stick to it. If bedtime is 8 o’clock that means in the bed, teeth brushed, pjs on, getting ready to go to sleep. Keep your home organized and in order. Clutter can be a catastrophe. Set times for waking, meals and bath as well. When the routine is set, you can be flexible. You have probably been on a routine for some time. It gets easier to adjust to after a while, it works the same for children.

2. Warnings
Tell them that it is almost time for dinner or a bath.

3. Restraint
Keep your cool. You have probably handled more in your life than an 8 year old. Count to ten, and remind yourself that you’re in charge. You are the adult they are the children. Do not shout back. Remember kids are kids, they like the game of who can shout the loudest. The problem with this, is that usually the child will yell louder and think its fun. Exercise your cool, calm, control, it will make all the difference, especially in the way your children speak to you.

4. Explain
Explain what you want in a way a child can understand. Keep it simple. If she does something wrong, explain why it is wrong, and ask if she understands the reason. Don’t make things to complicated. Children are pretty smart, they understand what’s going on, because they observe adult.

5. Responsibility
Children can be responsible. There is the notion that children want to grow up quickly. They think work is just a place where you go to check email, hang around other adults, and get paid money to buy toys. Give them incentives to finish a project in an appropriate amount of time. Let them know you believe they can do great things.

Discussing the Issue of Divorce with your Children

A divorce can be a difficult time for any family, but communication is important. The children need to understand that they aren’t responsible for what is taking place. They also need to realize that both parents love them and want to be a part of their lives. This can help children to deal with the many changes that will take place with a divorce.

It is a good idea for the parents to sit down with the children to discuss the issue of divorce. Some parents choose to do this with all of the children at one time. Others find it is better to do so with each child one at a time. This is often due to age differences as well as the individual personalities of each child.

The responsibility of telling the children about the divorce should never fall on the shoulders of only one parent. A united front needs to be displayed from the start of it. The children will feel more secure hearing the information from both of their parents rather than just one of them.

The children don’t need to know all of the details of why the parents are divorcing. It shouldn’t turn into a blame game where each of the parents tries to get the children to take their side in the matter. What they do need to know is that their parents won’t be staying together and how that is going to affect them.

Give children time to take in the information that is taking place. Even though they likely have an idea that things aren’t going well in the home, they may be shocked by the idea of a divorce. Let them know they can come to either parent with questions that they may have about it.

It can be a good idea to have another meeting with both parents and all the children or each child one on one a couple of weeks later. That will give the children some time to deal with their thoughts about the divorce. They may be more ready to talk about it now than they were when you first told them about it.

Be ready to offer your children more support during the divorce process. Some children act out in anger because of it. Others many become withdrawn due to their emotions. It is important that their needs are addresses as too many parents are too wrapped up in their own feelings over a divorce to provide their children with the support they need.

Older children may press for more information as to why the divorce is taking place. Parents need to have a plan of action as to how they will handle such questions. If one of the adults has been having an affair you may decide it is best not to disclose that information to the children. This is a personal choice that you need to make before you sit down to talk about the divorce with the children though.

Parents need to come to terms with the concepts of the divorce before the children are approached though. The children need to be reassured that they will be fine through all of it. That can’t happen if they get the impression that their parents aren’t okay with what is going to be taking place.

Try to share some basic plans with the children as well. For example you need to tell them what the living arrangements will be. You also need to let them know when the changes will be taking place. This way they can start to prepare for what is ahead of them.

When children are involved in what is going on with a divorce they tend to deal with it better. They don’t feel like they are just being thrown into the middle of what is going on. A divorce is never easy for anyone, especially when children are involved. Yet it can be a process everyone gets through if you are willing to put your differences aside and work together to come up with a good solution for everyone.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Effective Discipline Techniques for the Stressed Parent

It is only natural to feel as though you have more to deal with than you can handle.  This is often the case when no matter what tactics you use your child just won’t seem to listen.

No matter what discipline style you use; try to remember the following tips:

•    It is better not to try to discipline your child while you are overly-stressed out, irritable, or feeling angry. You are more likely to say or do the wrong thing if you do not take time to cool down and assess the situation before acting.

This may be hard to do when a situation warrants your immediate attention, but it can help you from making mistakes you will regret. At the very least, taking a few deep breaths and/or counting to ten will help you calm down enough to think rationally.

•    Make sure you withhold consequences from a misbehaving child, but not your love. For instance, you may restrict your child from using the phone, watching television, or playing video games.

However, it is not wise to send the child to bed without supper, refuse to hug the child, or tell the child you do not love him or her. Doing so will send the child that your love is conditional, which can damage the child.

•    If you make a mistake in trying to correct your child own up to it as soon as possible. For instance, perhaps you had made the mistake of accusing a child of a wrong the child did not commit.
This is an honest mistake, as you may or may not have been misinformed regarding a particular situation. Nevertheless, it would be great of you to tell your child you are sorry you doubted him/her.  It doing so, you will teach your child about another aspect of love-forgiveness.

Aside from the tips mentioned above, you may have other things to consider.  For instance, perhaps you find yourself becoming more short-tempered than usually lately. If so, it could be for any number of reasons.

One of the most common reasons a parent is overly irritable or even angry at times is he or she is overworked. If this is the case, you may need to find ways to cut back on your responsibilities.  Also, you may just need more of a break from your child once in awhile.

It is perfectly “normal” to need time away from your child. Perhaps you need to remember what it is to have fun with other adults, and it may be time to hire a qualified sitter and plan an evening out.

Reducing the stress in your life will help you become more effective in disciplining your child.  If this helps the situation, then you will be able to strengthen the relationship between you and your children. Furthermore, you will be more likely to gain their respect.

In the event you are at wits end and have tried everything to get your child to behave and have not succeeded, further intervention may be necessary. For example, many parents have brought their child to see a therapist and have found out that the child was born with some time of disability or mental impairment.

One of the most common behavioral disorders is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  This is one that can be corrected with alternative discipline measures and/or medication.

Mothers Stop Competing With Your Daughters

When did this change come about where women in their forties pride themselves on being able to fit into their teenage daughter’s clothes? Why did they actually start wearing them out in public? There is horrible phenomenon that seems to be wreaking havoc on certain teenage girls. Their mothers are competing with them non-stop.

In a culture where we are obsessed with youth and beauty, it is scary to see the drastic measures that women are going to retain their youth. The problem with many of these women, is they don’t seem to recognize that although they may look fabulous in their forties, there are not seventeen anymore.

Some mothers seem to compete with their teenage daughters to the point that it rips apart the girls’ self-esteem and provides them with no positive role models. Good parenting skills are recognized as knowing when to step back and what is right for your children. Mothers accompany their daughters to gyms and when their seventeen year old takes a break from working out to get a smoothie, her mother jumps all over her telling her she will get fat. Yes, this actually happens. The girls are so young and still reveling in their newfound bodies, which they don’t know what to take from that. They think they are indeed fat at a size 2 and develop eating disorders.

If a young woman doesn’t have her mother to look up to, she can’t exactly turn to celebrities as role models who smoke cigarettes, and abuse cocaine and enter rehab to maintain their slim figures. Worst of all its praised. These mothers need to step back, stop being selfish and realize what they are doing. They might find this youth obsessed, bad attitude, and rude woman thing pretty. But wake up, its not. You can still be attractive and sexy, but stop trying to wear the little mini dresses that should be left to twenty year olds. Commit more time to your family, than your social engagements. Work on being a better parent. Take your daughter out to lunch and discuss what might be going on in her life. Offer to listen and give advice that is your number one job as a parent. She might actually need her mom for some great parenting tips. Grow up: she’s the daughter, you’re the mother, so act like it.

How to Help Teens with Homework Time without Parental Hovering

It can be tricky to know how much effort you should put into trying to be involved in various aspects of your teen’s life. This is true, even when trying to determine how to help them with their homework.

The level of involvement you have in your teen’s life depends upon the individual development of that child. Some teens need little help and still receive outstanding grades in school, while others struggle just to pass their classes.

At the very least you will want to encourage your teen that he or she can accomplish anything. Furthermore, you will want to point out your teens strong points and help develop those areas.

You will also want to ask your teen at least a few times a week how school is going. Also, you may want to find out if there are any classes they are struggling in.  However, try not to be too hard on them if they are diligent, yet not very strong in a particular area such as math, reading, spelling, etc.

Staying alert and interested in your teen can help you address any potential learning problems. For instance, if your teen is doing poorly in most of his studies, it could be a result of depression, ADD, or cognitive problem. In most cases, these issues can be corrected with the right help.

If your child is not as academically bright as other children, perhaps it is because they were meant for a different path. For instance, it has been said that some of the wealthiest persons in the world have not even made it past the eighth grade.

Also, recognize that not all children have the same learning style. Some students tend to do better in a more controlled and structured environment where they are assigned tasks daily. Other students are more independent learners and are more bent towards creativity than logic.

If your child is not doing well in the school he or she is enrolled in you may want to consider other options. Many children who did poorly in a traditional or public educational setting have benefited from a Montessori or similar type educational program.

Other ways you can be involved in your child’s school studies without hovering is to keep in contact with the child’s teachers. You can attend teacher’s conferences, and check in once in awhile with whomever is in charge of providing your child with education. This will help keep your child accountable.

However, you also need to be sensitive to your teen’s feelings. A teen can easily get embarrassed if a parent shows up at their school a little too often. They may feel “babied” as well. Remember to respect your teen’s need for space while making an effort to show you care.

Also, your teen is likely to come to you for help if you assure him or her that you are there if need be. Also, you as a parent need not be ashamed if the work is too difficult for you. This is often the case, as standards of education change from year to year.

If you cannot help your child with homework, you can at least direct the child to suitable tutoring services. This is just as effective of a way to show you care as would be helping the child your self.

Besides, your teen will respect you for your honesty, and will see that you are not afraid to say, “I don’t know.” This is one concept that is important in the development of teenagers-for the adults in their lives to be transparent as well as to be good examples.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Communication is Essential for Divorced Couples with Children

Getting a divorce means you will no longer be with the person you once thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with. However, if there are children from that marriage then you will always be linked to each other. Many divorces are very bitter with hurt and angry feelings lasting for years.

Yet you need to do your very best to move past all of that for the sake of the children. Effective communication between the parents is necessary in order for them to both have an active role in what is taking place in the lives of their children. School is a big issue for parents to be concerned with. Both need to be attending school functions and talking with teachers about the progress of the students.

It is important for the children to see the parents getting along with each other at least when it comes to their needs. A child should never have to hear one parent talking bad about the other one. It can lead to feelings of insecurity as well as resentment. Children should never have to choose between their love for one parent over the other either.

Too many divorces couples use their children as a way to communicate with their ex spouse. They place the burden of sending messages back and forth on the children. This isn’t acceptable and it isn’t fair to the children. Instead you need to work out being able to talk with your ex spouse about issues that concern the children.

If it is too difficult or tense for you to talk face to face then do so over the phone. Make an agreement to stick only to the issues that are going on with the children. Try to be objective rather than always attempting to get your own way. Compromise is very important when you are divorced and dealing with issues that concern your children together.

Some couples find that notes are easier for them than talking in person or over the phone. Again though you need to take your children out of the equation. Don’t make them responsible for passing the notes back and forth. With written communication a person can think before they respond and that can help prevent emotions from dictating the conversations you are attempting to have about your children.

It won’t always be easy to maintain good communication with your ex spouse. In fact, that is one of the most common reasons why people end up filing for a divorce in the first place. Yet you do want to make a sincere effort to try. The future of your children is too important for you not to attempt to make this work for you.

Sometimes it can help if you attend a class with your ex spouse. It can help you to understand the importance of good communication after the divorce. You can also learn effective techniques to use so you don’t slip into your old behaviors. It can take some time to make this work but don’t give up on it.

Your children will certainly appreciate all of your efforts to be decent to their other parent. It is a very important lesson that you can teach them by example. Showing them that you still respect their other parent and include them in important decisions shows that you really care about their well being.

How To Be A Good Parent At A Young Age

Did you get pregnant and it was unplanned? Are you a young couple who wanted children young? It may be more difficult to be a parent at a young age than anything else.

If you are young and have a child or multiple children it may feel like many people do not understand what you are going through. Yes, it was more than likely your choice to have sex, but it was also your choice to have the baby. Do not let other people make you feel bad for choosing to have a child. It does not matter what the situation was before, the fact is, you are a parent now, and you probably want to know how it is you go about gaining parenting skills or just need parenting tips.

Ask For Help
There is no shame in admitting you have no idea what you are doing. Ask your parents or an older sibling or relative for their advice. You are going to need to know the basics. You can invest your time in learning everything you can about becoming a great parent. Read books, search for articles on the internet. Look up organizations and mother or father groups where you can talk with other parents.

Love That Baby
Raise your baby well. Instill in them the values that you want them to have. If you are raising this baby with a partner, lean on them and discuss how you want to raise the child. Write down things you would like for your baby to know. Write down your hopes and dreams for that little one, and always put her first.

Adjust To Your New Life
Your number one priority now should be your baby. This does not mean that all of your dreams and goals need to go away now. Realistically, it may mean you reach your goals in a different time frame, but you should continue to follow your dreams. You can still continue your education. If your parents are helping you, appreciate them, you are luckier than some. Understand that while your friends might go out on the weekends, you’re probably going to want to spend time with that little baby. If you need a babysitter or nanny make sure you really know them. Make time for your partner, family and friends.

Remember, we can avoid punitive and coercive control by using positive reinforcement!

Don’t let your Children Manipulate you when you are Divorced

Children definitely are smarter than most of us give them credit for. They learn quickly what will annoy their parents as well as what will please them. Most parents are very worried about how their divorce is going to affect their children. As a result they may give their children too much leeway. Yet that can be something you don’t want to do very often.

It may surprise you how many children learn to manipulate their parents after a divorce. Some parents have the attitude that their children would never do so, but it is common. They may see it as a viable avenue to get their own way. Young children do it as well as older children. The difference is the way they go about it and what they are attempting to get out of the deal.

It is understandable why parents would fall for this though. After all, they don’t want their children to be traumatized by what has taken place. They want to see their children happy and thriving in their environment. Make sure you are consistent with the rules you have set for your children though. They may come to you and say a later curfew or hanging out with friends without adult supervision makes them feel better. This is just a ploy to get you to let them do what they want to do.

You should expect your child to attempt to test the limits though. They may tell you they want to go live with their other parent when you don’t give in to them. This is going to hurt you and they know it. Stand firm and tell them you are sorry they feel that way but that you are sticking by your decision. If you can work out similar rules at both homes with your ex this issue will be eliminated for both of you.

It is true that children can have conflicts in life that are a direct result of the divorce. For example your child may have drop in their grades or changes in their attitude. While you need to understand this, they need to know that the divorce isn’t an excuse for letting things go. They still need to be doing their homework and they still need to be respecting you. They need to help out at home and do what is asked of them without problems.

Make sure you understand the difference between what your children need and when they are attempting to get one over on you. They may find your defenses are down after a divorce and use it to their benefit. Don’t be too hard on your children if you find out this is what is going on. Let them know you are disappointed though and that they aren’t going to be allowed to continue doing it.

One of the reasons why children are able to successfully manipulate their parents after a divorce is due to the parents feeling inadequate. They don’t want to let their children down any more than they feel they already have. They also have a fear that their children won’t love them as much as the other parent if they don’t give in to their desires. That isn’t the reality of it though.

Remember, we can avoid punitive and coercive control by using positive reinforcement!

Turn Off that TV and Get to Know Your Kids Again

There are many families that seem to be fixated on the television.  While this fixation may not be active on the part of the parents, it may seem for them to be almost easier letting their children watch television than figuring out how to connect with them.  Sometimes, parents may even try to connect with their children through watching a television show with the child.  Still, the most effective ways in which a parent can reconnect with their child or children is by first making the point to turn the TV off.

1.One of the simplest ways to enjoy family time together is to try having dinner together.
Some families prefer to have dinner together every night of the week, while others strive for just two or three nighttime meals together.  Again, the important thing here will be to make sure that the television is not on during these meals.  While eating, it is important not to sit in silence.  It is very likely that almost all parents and their children will find this uncomfortable.  Instead, try to talk about each other’s days.  Parents can share with their children things such as when they plan to go grocery shopping, and they can also ask their children what lunch meats or snacks they would prefer to have for the upcoming week or so.  Children can be encouraged to share what they enjoyed most about their days and what they learned throughout their day.  Remember – keep the television off!

2.Board games are also a great way to connect with one’s children.
Not only do board games help parents to see their children in action, it also showcases the child’s nature or personality.  Are they strategic?  Are they ruthless?  Are they competitive? Are they just in it for the fun of the game?  These are all great questions that will give parents insight into their children and their behaviors.  A board game is inexpensive for the most part and families can come together once or twice a week for a bonding experience.  This is also particularly interesting for families that choose to play games that require the family to team up and bond in that specific manner.  However, it will be important to try to shy away from board games that utilize the television, since this may lead back to the familiar or easier television watching days.  Pictionary, Charades, Guesstures, Chess and Trouble are all great games.  There are many games at stores that families can consider as well.

3.If time allows on the weekends or on nice, mild weathered days, parks and playgrounds can be considered.
Parks are often fun whether children are small enough to enjoy the swings and see-saws, or whether the family wants to spend time walking around, perhaps playing with the family dog.  It also helps the family to get some exercise together, which is always nice!  While the television is great for getting news and staying up to date on current events outside the home, it often does not allow for much bonding or quality time within the home.  By simply turning off the television, parents can take a proactive step towards getting to know their children again and spending quality time with them.  It will also be important for families to look at their own individual situations when considering activities.  Active families may find more outdoor activities or sports to take part in while more secluded families prefer to stay in and play board games.  If one idea is not working for your family, feel free to try another until you become more comfortable as a whole!

Remember, we can avoid punitive and coercive control by using positive reinforcement!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Different Ways to Instill Responsibility in your Kids

Responsibility is always something that comes with a price. Part of the problem with a lot of situations and children today is that they simply don't have the responsibility that they need to make good decisions and to do well in the world around them. There are many reasons for this, and there are many things that a parent can do in order to help their children learn more responsibility in the long run.

1. First of all, the best way to teach a child responsibility is to model it. It is a proven fact that a child will respond best to what he sees around him. This means that as a child watches the way that you run your life and the things that you say and do to others, this is what they are going to learn. Therefore, if you are not responsible, and if you do things that you might not think are the best ways to do things, you will see that your child will model these behaviors as well. There are many times when you might find yourself faced with this type of choice – and you should know that the best way for you to get children to be responsible is to show them what it means to be responsible.

2. The other way that you can teach your children to be responsible is to start small. Many times when a parent feels that their child is ready for responsibilities, they shove many onto them at once. This creates a situation where a child has absolutely no idea of how to proceed with their responsibilities, and they might feel as if they have been totally overlooked. If you want to make your child responsible and teach them how to be so, you have to start out in ways that they can understand. Start with small projects and small tasks, and then work your way to the larger things. This is the best way that you can help your child be just as responsible as you need them to be. You cannot teach a child to be responsible by giving them so many tasks that they cannot see a way to be successful.

Therefore, you have to start small. Give a child one thing to do, and make sure that they do it. If, for some reason, they do not do what you have asked them to do, there should be a consequence that happens. Doing small projects with small consequences is the best way that you can make sure your children learn how to be responsible.

3. Remember that part of being responsible is wanting to take control of things and want to be the person who is in charge. Often, a small pet such as a fish or a rodent is a good way to teach a child to be responsible because they are fairly easy to care for and they are something that a parent can deal with if they need to. If your child wants a larger pet like a cat or a dog, you can start small and see how they handle the responsibility of that smaller pet. If they are able to take care of the smaller pet, you might find that they are ready for bigger responsibilities.  Remember, a child will be more likely to show you what they are ready for, and they will be more likely to help you understand what they can and cannot do yet. So take your cues from them, know your children, and you will see that this is the best way for them to become responsible.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

10 Ways for Busy Parents to Strengthen Their Connection with their Kids

You are a busy parent, often juggling the responsibilities of housework, family life, work and your own personal goals at the same time. Sometimes, it is necessary to stop and slow down in order to focus on reconnecting with your children. It is often hard to make a connection with your children, and it is often harder to make that connection as strong as possible. There are many ways that you can make sure you are strengthening that connection.

1. First, you should look at the time that you spend with your kids and make sure that it is quality time. There are lots of things that you probably have to get done in your day, so why not do these things together as a family to make a stronger connection?

2. Second, try to eat dinner together each night that it is possible. Turn off the TV, take away the books, and simply listen to your family talk about their day. This is very important because you know that there are going to be lots of things that come up.

3. Third, always be honest with your children. Make sure that they know that they can come to you if they have questions and that you will always be as honest as possible with them. This will help them learn to trust you when it comes to making good decisions, and it will help you to know that they can trust you as well.

4. Fourth, as a parent you have to remember that no matter how busy you are and what else you have going on in your life, you should always be modeling the behavior that you want your children to come away with. You should have the respect, and the responsibility and the honesty that you want your children to have.

5. Fifth, you should respect your children's privacy to a certain point, but remember that you are the parent and no matter how old they are, it is still your job to make sure that they come out all right in the end. This might require a little bit of snooping, but your children should know that they cannot keep secrets from their parents.

6. Sixth, oftentimes, busy parents try to be fun parents. They figure that if they can't spend as much time as they would like with their children, they will fill the time that they do spend together with fun things. This might be good in the short term, but remember that you need to be a parent as well as a buddy, and your children will end up much better off if you can make sure that you are being a parent at all times, no matter how much or how little time you have to spend with your children.

7. Seventh, you want to focus on things that the whole family can do that will get you out of the house and get you to do things that you have never done before but might enjoy together.

8. Eighth, be sure that you are leaving plenty of time to just talk to each other. This should be a rule for all of your children.

9. Ninth, you always want to make sure that your children have creating outlets that they can share with you. Not only will this help them develop a better connection with who they are as well as the world around them, but it can also help them develop a better connection with you as a parent.

10. Finally, remember that not everyone is going to be perfect. This includes you and your children. Try as hard as you can to be a happy and loving family, and love each other no matter what.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Protect your Child’s Self Esteem and Identity during a Divorce

Children experience an array of emotions when they find out their parents are getting a divorce. It is no different from what the adults feel yet they may not have all of the facts. This can result in children blaming themselves for the divorce. They will remember all of the times their parents had a conflict over them.

It is very important to talk openly with your children about the divorce. They need to know that they aren’t the cause of it. This will help them to have a very good sense of self worth. Many children from divorced families end up with low self esteem as they grow up being unsure of their role in all of it.

Each person needs to have their own self identity, and that is even more so when they parents have gotten a divorce. Children need to be able to follow their own dreams and engage in activities that make them happy. Trying new experiences can also help them to cope with what is going on as well.

Every attempt should be made by both parents to keep some common things the same during the divorce. Children will recognize this and it helps them to get their footing back. Stability is very important for children to thrive. When you through in new family dynamics as well as living someplace new it can be very overwhelming.

It is very important for parents to encourage their children to talk openly about how the divorce is affecting them. Too many children hide what they truly feel as they don’t want to make things more difficult for the parents. They can see they are already hurting and they don’t want to compound that. Children can be very compassionate that way.

Yet it doesn’t help them as far as developing their own identity or with their self esteem. Suppressing what is really going on inside of them can lead to depression and other problems for your child. They may learn to be what they feel others want them to be at the expense of being who it is that they really want to be. This is a struggle that they will find difficult to deal with.

The effects of a divorce are something that happen ongoing. They don’t just affect children when they are first told about what will be taking place. They are going to take their cues from the adults so make sure you offer a good example. Do your best to have a decent relationship with your soon to be ex spouse if only for the sake of your children.

Encourage your children to do what is going to make them happy. At the same time you need to do the same thing. You want to be able to fully recover from the effects of the divorce yourself. If you aren’t able to, you won’t be able to commit fully to the needs of your children.

Having good self esteem is very important for a child. They will need it to have the desire to pursue their goals and their dreams. Knowing who you are and being proud of that is a big part of that. While you can’t shield your children from all of the negative emotions and burdens of a divorce you can help them to maintain those two things. Be willing to step into their shoes and see how things are going to affect them in the overall scheme of things.

There are too many adults out there right now carrying around scars from their own childhood and the divorce of their own parents. In our society divorce is very common and in many instances unavoidable. If that is the right choice from you then make sure you do everything in your power to help your children do more than just survive it.

Storytelling Parenting Tips

One of the greatest things a parent can do is encourage their children to be creative. One of the best ways children can learn to be creative is through books and storytelling.

Luckily, there are some great fairy tales, cartoons, and movies that have already introduced your children to storytelling; so that part has been done for you. If you happen to have a nanny or a babysitter who takes care of your children while you are working, you can pass these storytelling tips onto them as well. It is great though to improve your own parenting skills through teaching your children about storytelling.

Pick the Story
Depending on if your child or children are boys or girls, and what age they are, affects what stories you might want to tell. Always choose a story that can easily be filled with tales of dragons or princes and princes, or even ghosts and goblins. You can easily start out with simple lines from certain children’s books or well-known fairy tales and tell your children they have to make the line funny. That is s a great way to start.

Make Them A Part of the Story
This is where your parenting skills really come into play. During Halloween you can easily have your children tell ghost stories, without the scare. No matter what age the child is, or how tough they seem to be, scary horror stories frighten children. This doesn’t mean they can’t create their own unique Halloween story.

Create Characters
You can start with a line such as “The old green witch sat stirring her boiling concoction, a bat perched on her left shoulder stored out at the beautiful young princess. The witch said to the young woman I will turn you into a cat now!” You can even switch it up and make the princess the bad person, and the other a powerful little good witch. Then have your children weave ideas into the story. Children can create their own story, or the story can go from child to child, with every one adding a new part to the story. Encourage everyone involved to keep violence out and humor in. Let them know the purpose of this is fun. They can dance and even use props for their part of the story. It is a great way to improve your parenting skills while fine-tuning your children’s imagination.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Help in Identifying your Child's Reaction to Anger and What to Do About It

Being a parent is not easy and it gets even harder, when your child gets angry. A toddler throwing a temper tantrum, a young child screaming and pounding or an adolescent slamming the door slamming, can leave us all puzzled, frustrated and at our wits end. Sometimes it might even make us angry and it is hard to deal with your child’s anger if you are getting angry and frustrated too.

Therefore one of the first things you might want to do when trying to deal with child anger and tantrums is identifying the source. Find out what triggered the anger and also, find out what the child’s reaction to anger is. Not all children have the same reaction. Some scream, some pound, others might hit and bite, bang their heads on the wall or not show any exterior signs at all while they store the anger inside. Even though many of us were taught that anger is a bad thing and that we should be ashamed for being angry, this is not exactly true. Of course anger is not a nice thing, but learning to properly deal with and express our anger can make all the difference.

Children should always be allowed to express their feelings and the feelings should be treated with respect. A child has a different view of life. What angers him now might not even bother him tomorrow, but for now we need to respect the feelings and acknowledge them. The angry outburst of a child might be a defense mechanism or might be related to failure or self esteem. Sometimes it might even be a way to express anxiety. Many young children actually get angry when they are sad. It is a normal reaction for them because anger and sadness are very closely related.

If you are worried about your child, find out when and why the child gets angry. Also there is a fine line between anger and aggression. Anger is a temporary situation, whereas aggression is a way of hurting a person or destroying property. Neither one of the two is really bad, but when other people can get hurt it is absolutely time for you to deal with your child’s anger/aggression. When dealing with an angry child, think about trying to protect and help the child; don’t think about punishing the child.

Ways to prevent anger or help a child with the anger are more or less effective for different children. Here are some ways that you can deal with anger in children.

First of all, “catch your child being good”. Telling a child when he or she has done something that pleases you helps a child learn what you think is good behavior. It also makes the child feel good about him/her by accomplishing things that are important to you. When a child learns the difference between good and not so good behavior the child will try to behave more often in a way that you appreciate. This does not mean to just tell the child that he is good. It needs to be related to a specific situation. Praise your child after cleaning up by himself, after taking the shoes off when entering the house or after helping you with a chore without being asked.

Another important part with dealing with aggressive/angry children is to ignore behavior and situations that can be tolerated. If you tell your child every time he does something wrong you not only overwhelm the child, you might also lower the self-esteem. The child will think that he or she can never do anything to please you.

Additionally you can help your child by giving him or her physical outlets or by manipulating the surroundings. Sometimes anger comes from having to much energy to burn; the child is on the edge. If the child gets an opportunity to burn the energy there will be less energy put into anger. Manipulating the surroundings to prevent the child from being angry is also helpful (removing a toy, starting a different activity).

Lastly, one of the most important things, show your child that you love him or her, be close, lovingly connect to your child through touch and talk. And if you get into a situation, try some humor to break the ice; it will ease the tension in your child.

When Dad Travels a Lot – How to Still Be an Effective Parent

As if it is not already difficult for a family to stay together, it is necessary for some dads to travel a lot. This can cause a fair amount of stress on the family, and cause some dads to feel guilty about being away so often.         

However, there is no need for any man to feel bad about being required to be away from home if that time away serves a useful purpose. After all, if the dad did not do what his superiors asked of him-even to travel-he may not be able to keep his job. 

Even if a man cannot be home all the time he can still be a dad even when on the road. It is especially easier in this present technological age for a man to keep in touch with his wife and children while on the road.

The use of the Internet, laptop computers, cell phones, handheld devices, and other communication media help a dad to be able to talk to his family on a daily basis.  Taking advantage of this type of technology does not replace the physical presence of having a child around. 

However, what a child needs to know most of all is that their dad is willing to be there whenever possible. Furthermore, it is important for a man-even a man on the road a lot-to continue to show his children that he loves them.   This can be done by talking to them as often as possible, even if it is just a few minutes a day to say “good night”.

Even if a dad cannot be physically present in his children’s life there are other ways he can engage with them, even by telephone or Internet.  Perhaps he can tell them a bedtime story over the phone, or he can set up a web cam which will help his child to actually see him, wave to him, and know that his dad is still there.

For older children whose father is away, maybe the dad can take a few minutes out of his day to play an online video game with his child via the Internet.  This may especially be useful for fathers who are the parent of pre-teens and adolescent children. It does not replace traditional bonding time, but helps lessen the blow of a father’s distance.

There is one thing that a man away from home will want to beware of.  It sometimes it is far too easy for a many to “buy” his children’s love with gifts and money, and other material things. This is great, but what children need with their father most of all is to feel emotionally connected with their father, and to feel protected by him in some way.

Along with that, a child needs to know that if a family emergency were to happen that their father would do his best to drop everything and to come home as soon as possible. 

Another important aspect of being an affective traveling dad is to for that dad to keep his promises. No parent is perfect, and sometimes it is impossible to always follow through on a scheduled date with a child. However, it is very important for a dad who is away quite often to not forget how important it is that he keeps his dates with his children and his wife as often as he can.

In the event a father is not sure he can make it home for a certain event in a child’s life, such as a soccer game, birthday, or school play, it is recommended that the man “play it safe.”  In other words, it would be better for a father to be honest with the child and say that even he cannot make it on a special day that he will make a plan for when he can come home.

If necessary, it would benefit a father to even schedule dates with his family on a calendar. After all, if his work appointments are important enough to put on a calendar then why not make it a point to place the most valuable people in his life on the calendar as well?

5 Easy Ways for a Busy Parent to Get More Involved in Their Kid's Education

Did you know that one of the number one complaints from our teachers and educators nowadays is parental involvement or better non-involvement? Many parents seem to think that the school should teach their children, manage them when they are there and that they as parents do not need to be involved or put any effort in the education of their children. So if you want to change this and get more involved in your children’s education, here are five easy ways to do so.

1. One of the easiest ways to get involved in your child’s education is by being interested in his school day.
Ask your child how school was or if anything interesting happened today and when your child answers, listen. Just asking will not help, you have to listen to what they say and respond to their needs. It is very important to ask everyday and to be consistent in asking and listening. When you ask your children about their school day and about their homework, it will signal to them that school is important to you and therefore should be important to them. Asking them about their school day and about their homework will also send a clear message that you expect them to learn and study.

2. A second easy way to get involved in your child’s education is to check their homework.
Not only check, but also assist with the homework and help your child to study for exams. When you check your child’s homework everyday, it will ensure that your child does the homework and also that your child knows that studying and doing the homework are an important part of their education. Some days your child might be in a crabby mood or just plain does not want to do the homework. Give the child some free time, but insist on the completion of the homework by the end of the night or the weekend or some other arbitrary deadline before the next class. Set that time period as a deadline for homework completion and infrequently remind the child of it.

3. Almost as easy as the first two ways to get involved is the parent teacher contact.
Keep up to date on your child’s progress in school; do not just wait for the teacher to send you information home. Frequently get in contact with your child’s teachers and find out about your child’s progress, behavior and anything that relates to school. There are many different ways you can talk to your child’s teacher, meet him after class at school, set up an appointment, set up a parent teacher conference, participate in conferences set by the school, call your teacher or even send the teacher a letter. Teachers like to hear from parents. The teacher knows that parental involvement is one essential key for student’s success in school. Teachers do not have the same influence on children as their parents do.

4. Did you know that getting involved in your child’s education also means to vote in school board elections? Yes, voting for whom you think will do best for the school can improve the environment your child learns and studies in. This is actually a very easy way to be involved in your child’s education; you have to make a checkmark on the voting ballot and are already helping.

5. Lastly, there are also setting guidelines, milestones and rules for your child.
Be involved by not letting your child stay up late on school days, by limiting the time they watch TV and instead encouraging them to read a book, do their homework or study. While you set rules and guidelines for children to follow, make sure that you are a good example of what you preach. Don’t turn the TV on, after you have told your child not to watch TV, but to read a book. Get a book out yourself, or while he or she is doing homework, catch up on paperwork such as bills.

Children of Various Ages will Deal with Divorce Differently

Some children are so young when their parents divorce that they don’t ever remember them being together. Others are old enough to always remember what took place. They will recall what they were doing when they found out about it and how it affected them. It is important for parents to understand that children of various ages will deal with divorce differently.

This means you are going to need to prepare yourself for what each of your children will understand about the process. For some children it is nothing more than knowing that their dad won’t be living in the same house with them. For others it is a complete change of life from the way they have always known it. On top of all of that, children of the same age group will also look at the divorce process differently.

Understanding the feelings of your children and how they relate to a divorce is extremely important. Very young children, even those that aren’t old enough to talk yet can understand the emotions of people. They can often identify issues such as stress, tension, and they definitely know when their parents are upset.

As a result of this their own behaviors may change. They may cling to one or both of their parents. They may not want to go to strangers. Temper tantrums as well as crying are common. A young child may exhibit changes in their eating and sleeping patterns as well.

Children from about three years of age to around five will be able to verbalize some questions about the divorce. They will often notice that the other person isn’t around like they used to be. They may pose questions such as why the other parent doesn’t go to the park with them or whey they live someplace else.

Children that are from the age of six to about eleven will likely know someone who has divorced parents. They will likely know what the term means. However, that doesn’t mean they are going to readily accept it. Be ready for some changes in behavior as well as some very tough questions.

Displays of anger are very common with this age group as the children are simply overwhelmed by their emotions. They may lack the skills to effectively be able to handle what has been taking place. Do your best to get them to talk about it even if they aren’t sure what they are feeling or why.

Older children who are from twelve and up often understand more about divorce than any other age group. They may blame themselves or attempt to find more detailed answers as to what was taking place. Chances are that this older age group was well aware of some issues in the marriage before the announcement of the divorce entered the picture.

It is very common for children in this age group to be angry at one parent and to want to be a caregiver for the other. Do your best to get your child to see both parents as equals. If you can offer a united front as far as the divorce and caring for the children though it will be easier for them to do so. Children don’t need to be your confidante when it comes to the divorce. Turn to another adult for someone to listen or to a professional counselor.

Children of various ages will deal with divorce differently and parents need to be aware of it. This is going to be a huge change for each person involved. Adults need to get a handle on their own emotions though so that they can focus their energy on meeting the needs of their children.

How you approach things with your children during the divorce process is going to affect them for the rest of their lives. With that in mind work hard to have a relationship with your ex on some level. Even if it is nothing more than a hello and goodbye when you exchange the children, the kids will notice it.

5 Ways to Balance your Kid's Busy Schedule with Your Own

In our fast paced society, everybody is busy and has a full schedule. Besides the fact that you and your husband work all day, your children probably also have a schedule after school for extra curricular activities. Three o’clock ballet for your youngest one, four thirty soccer practice for your son and six o’clock picking up the oldest from the library and then dinner? Sounds crazy, but when you have a few children, how can you balance all the schedules without running crazy and without neglecting anybody?

Before starting to change anything on your busy schedule, set aside a little bit of time for the following helpful five steps to balance the schedule.

1. First of all, analyze your schedule. Make up or print out a calendar that shows your activities on a daily bases. If you need help with that there are many helpful pages on the Internet that will actually give you free online or downloadable calendar software. Make sure that your calendar specifically shows all the events and activities in a day. Best would be to actually divide the calendar in a way that it shows what each family member does at what time. This will help you to look for schedules clashing and major problems. It is easy to see on a schedule why you are in such stress and hassle to get your children to the events. Often time’s a too busy schedule can cause stress, fatigue and behavior problems.

2. After you have analyzed your schedule situation, it is important to figure out what you want to be changed and what you want to accomplish with your new schedule. If you want your children to come home and do their homework before they leave to see friends or go to their extra curricular activities, if you want everybody to have family dinner together, or breakfast to be more quiet, now is the time to get your families life on a balanced schedule that focuses on the essentials. It is important to seriously think about what you and the family want and to integrate only the best into your families new schedule.

3. Almost as important as analyzing and then figuring out what it is you actually want, is the step to write your thoughts and ideas down. The process of analyzing and brainstorming is only helpful when you can get to a written result. Written thoughts and ideas do not get lost and get more often set into reality than those not written down. When writing down your thoughts and ideas, make sure to include your family into the process. It is very likely that you will get your kids to oppose. At this point it is important not to give in to their begging or their tantrums and to stand a firm ground. Your family’s desires are what brought your family on the crazy schedule in the first point. Introduce your family to the new schedule in a calm, positive manner, emphasize what is good or even better about this new schedule and maybe tell them what was wrong with the old schedule, how it left you and everyone else restless and breathless.

4. The fourth important step in balancing your schedule is to follow the new schedule for at least one week. Check the schedule for the activities to be done today and make sure that you do not include anything else. Do not add to the schedule for the first week. Instruct everybody to look at the schedule at the beginning of the day and also make sure that they check it and stick to it in the flow of the day. If the schedule holds chores, get everybody to be responsible for their participation in the housework.

5.Lastly to get your busy schedule balanced, be flexible. After that first week of sticking to the schedule, analyze the week. Maybe there have to be a few changes to make it run smoother or to accommodate the one or other family member a little better. But when tweaking the schedule, do not add too much, to not throw it overboard. Even if you tweak it, follow the schedule for a few weeks till it sticks with you naturally and by then you will love your more balanced family life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Busy Parent's Guide to Handling Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry can be a cause for worry in some parents. However, it is a problem that can be corrected.

Part of preventing sibling rivalry involves understanding why it occurs in the first place.   A combination of different changes can result in jealousy and competitiveness among brothers and sisters.

On of the most common causes of sibling rivalry is the loss of attention that an only child receives when a new brother and sister is born. Another cause of competitiveness between brothers and sisters is the feeling that he or she is not the favored child-that one or both parents’ love one of the children more than the others.

Often siblings will try to become the favored child by competing for their parent’s attention in some way. This could happen in two ways-by good deeds committed or by bad deeds committed.

A child who does good most of the time will receive attention from his parents, and so will a child that does “bad” things most of the time. The reason a “good” child chooses to always strive for positive approval is because those children may only feel loved when a parent notices something good he or she has done.

The “bad” child does “bad” things for a similar reason, to receive the love and attention from a parent that often accompanies discipline. (Negative attention to this child often seems better than no attention at all, which is often the reason why certain children will act out.)

Another aspect of sibling rivalry is for one child to find a way to get the other child in trouble. This may be accomplished when a jealous child decides to “tattle” on the other in the event that other child has done something that is considered wrong in one or both of the parent’s eyes.

Some children will even make up lies about a brother or sister, especially if the favored child who can “do no wrong” in a parents eyes will believe the lies told.  This is true in a case when parents do not discipline fairly in a household.

Sibling rivalry can be seen as a negative aspect of growing up, or it can be seen as a positive aspect of growing up. Some view it as the first step towards two children learning how to resolve conflict. Parents can step in and help siblings learn how to “fight fairly”.

At a certain age, it is recommended to not intervene in every single little “battle” that your children may have.  It is important to let them learn to work out conflicts on their own. If you allow them to develop healthy conflict-resolution styles chances are they will develop mature friendships and relationships when they are older.

On the other hand, you do not want to allow your children to abuse one another by hitting one another or calling names. However, you want to encourage them to learn how to get along and to forgive one another when hurt has been caused.

One thing you can do as a parent to decrease the likelihood that your children will hate one another is to love them for who they are as individuals. Although you cannot always treat each child the same, you can try to be as fair as possible when enforcing rules, applying discipline, and allowing certain freedoms.

Also, it is important that you as a parent avoid comparing one child to another. For instance, it is best to not make statements to your children such as “why can’t you be more like your sister (or brother)?”

In the long wrong this can damage a child’s self-esteem.  Do your best to encourage all of your children to develop into the unique beings that they are.

Signs that your Child is not Coping well with a Divorce

In the eyes of children, divorce is very different than for the parents. They don’t always grasp the reasons why it was necessary. You don’t want to get too caught up in your own issues to notice what they need. For many parents who are divorcing, the needs of their children is what they focus on. It also helps them to get through the issue as they have more than there own needs to worry about.

Not all children are going to come right out and tell you that they are having trouble dealing with the divorce. There are many signs though that can be an indication that they are struggling. You can then choose a good time to talk to them about it. If that doesn’t seem to help you may consider having them see a counselor.

You will likely have to use your own judgement to decide when intervention needs to take place. Sometimes children from divorced families just need some time alone to get through what they are feeling. Keep in mind that they may have trouble dealing with it down the road instead of immediately. There is no set time frame as to when children will have issues with dealing with their parent’s divorce.

Anxiety is very common for children once they find out a divorce is going to be taking place. This can cause them to have changes in their moods. They may be happy one minute and then in tears the next. They may seem just find one moment and then showing signs of aggression the next. Changes in their eating habits and how well they sleep are also common.

Older children may change in appearance. They may not be paying attention to their personal hygiene like they should. Sometimes this is just an issue with adolescence but not always. They may rebel too so their choice of clothing and hairstyles may be different from what they would normally be featured with.

Watch for signs that your child is withdrawing. They may want more time alone to deal with their feelings so be respectful of that. However, if they aren’t doing well in school, aren’t hanging out with friends, and don’t engage in normal activities that they used to enjoy then they may be suffering from depression.

You have to make sure you stay firm about boundaries. You don’t want them to end up being violent towards you or other people. They need to learn to deal with their feelings of anger in a positive way instead of destroying things.

Be careful if your child is blaming others for the divorce. They shouldn’t be putting the blame on you or their other parent. They also shouldn’t be looking for outside things to blame such as work or other people. Help them to see the situation for what it truly is so they can accept it.

If you are able to identify the signs that your child isn’t coping well with divorce, you can help them to handle it better. Your child may exhibit a variety of symptoms or just one or two. Communication is the key to helping to discover what the true situation is and how to help them find a positive outcome.

Parenting Skills and Your Marriage

Why is it that when some people have children, their marriage suddenly sits on the back burner? This does not have to be the case at all. You can still have incredible parenting skills and a great marriage too. In fact, the two might help each other out.

Do Not Neglect Your Spouse

You have this new little tiny bundle of joy now. Whether he is your first, fourth, or your partner has a child from a previous relationship doesn’t matter, your marriage still needs to be a top priority. You can continue to show love to your children have a career and have a marriage.


Put the effort into your spouse that you did when you first starting dating. That passion does not need to die. If you are the husband you probably pursued your now wife. You bought her flowers and wondered if this amazing woman could actually marry you. Score: she did and now you have a child together. Continue to show her that you desire her and want her as much as you did before, if not more now that you created a life.


You might have liked the chase, or maybe you loved being chased. When you and your husband first started dating you wanted to keep his eyes on you. Don’t think that just because you’ve got him, you shouldn’t still want to keep him. At times when you might feel tired because of all of the parenting skills efforts, still apply makeup, and wear attractive clothing that makes you feel good and keeps your husband’s attention. Surprise him with a romantic date night filled with sexy lingerie. Have the conversations you had before about what you both want out of your lives.

Great Marriage Result

When you have a great marriage, where both people still feel wanted and attractive, your children will see that real love. Not only will they appreciate the effort your put into being better parents, they will also have a real example of a kind of love they can strive to find. You will notice that through a happy marriage, your parenting skills improve. You will be more relaxed, excited, and enjoyable for your children to be around. Do not think your children must always be first. They are wonderful, but so is the person you’re married to. Make your marriage come first and your parenting skills will improve.

Try to keep some Elements the Same for Children after a Divorce

You can do yourself and your children a huge favor if you are able to keep some elements the same. If possible, one parent should remain in the family home with them. This way they aren’t being uprooted from where they call home and losing their family structure at the same time. Financially though this scenario isn’t always possible and a move is inevitable.

For children who are in school, it is best if you can keep them in that school. Even if you have to move it needs to be in the same school district if possible. At least for the duration of the school year they are in you will want this. If you have a small commute to get them there each day that is fine.

It can be almost impossible for your children to deal with divorce, a new home, and then a new school all at once. They simply can’t deal with all of the emotions associated with all of it at one time. Try to limit as many changes as you can due to the divorce so that your children can hold on to the pieces of stability that are left for them.

It can get tricky where family and friends are involved though. You may feel uncomfortable taking them to their aunt’s house on your ex’s side of the family. Talk opening with family and friends though to find out where everyone is at on things. You don’t want anyone to feel out of place. You also don’t want your children to lose out on such valuable relationships.

If you have family rituals then they should continue. For example if you all watch a movie and each popcorn on Friday nights that should be a part of the plan. While they will miss the other parent joining in, they will adjust to it. They will need that time for family bonding to understand the rest of what they have is still in place.

If your spouse always took the children out for ice cream on Sunday afternoons, they should continue to do so. You have no idea how much children look forward to these various rituals at home. There are plenty of memories involved in them and you don’t want to take all of that away from them due to the divorce. They already have enough on their plate to deal with.

You can also ask them about new traditions and rituals they may want to try. This can be as good of a time as any for some new and fun things to come into their life. These can be memories they make with you and their siblings that aren’t associated with the other parent. They can do the same when they are with that parent as well.

A divorce is very difficult on children so parents have to do their part to make it as easy as possible. Do your very best to keep some elements of their life the same as they were before. It isn’t going to be possible to do so with everything but do what you can. You want your children to be happy and healthy after the divorce. This type of process will help them to heal instead of carrying around open wounds.

Simple Tips for Talking with your Kids and Getting Them to Open Up

Children and teens will often shrug their shoulders and give one-word answers when you ask them what is bothering them. It may be obvious to you that something is wrong, but your child may not know how to express it.
The strategy you use to get a child to open up will differ slightly with a younger child than with a teen. With children-especially children ages four to ten-will usually not mind if you are a little bit “nosy”.

They will feel less violated than would a teen if you try to ask them a number of questions to get them to open up. However, if you choose your questions carefully, this caring persistence can also help a teen open up as well.          

Part of dealing with a child at any age is how you talk to that child.  More importantly, how you listen to that child or teen is what is crucial. If you have established a report of non-judgmental listening, your child will be more willing to open up to you regardless of age.

Also, if your child knows that you are giving him or her the choice to share that child will feel respected.  Since the child feels respected in this case, chances are he or she will be willing to tell you what is going on inside.

If a child is reluctant to open up even after you try to show that you care, give the child time. Perhaps an hour or two later the child or teen will surprise you by coming to you. This is very important to remember, especially during the teen years.      

If you respect your child’s space, that child will trust you more. The reverse is true as well.

If you try to coerce your child with threats your child could end up losing respect for you completely. Eventually, they will hide everything from you-including any future sexual encounters, confrontation with drugs, or feelings of rejection.

If you have made mistakes with your child but you want to do better, the first step is to forgive yourself. Also, you will want to apologize to your child as well, and make an effort to turn things around.

The earlier that you established trust and respect between you and your children the better off you will be later on in life.  However, it is never too late for you to establish a healthier relationship with them.  

Some families have been able to reach their children by way of mediation and counseling. In the process they may even be able to learn more about their children, in the event that behavior problems are surfacing.

If you are having difficulty with your child, there is help available. Sometimes it may even be necessary for your child or teen to take a prescription medication for any number of reasons-to combat depressive disorders, ADD, or other disability.

Furthermore, receiving professional help will help provide additional tools to tackle unresolved issues. For instance, maybe your family has never dealt openly with the death of a close relative, or maybe your family is suffering the effects of marital problems and divorce.

Whatever the case may be, it is recommended that you work on establishing open and honest communication with your children. The most important thing you can do for them is assure them you love them and always try to remain as non-judgmental to them as possible.

Furthermore, if you and your mate are in the midst of divorce, you will want to assure your children is it not their fault. It may take time for them to fully understand the reasons why things cannot stay the same, but at least you can give them the piece of mind they are not to blame.