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Parenting Articles for Divorced Parents

Parenting your child after a divorce is not easy. Do you and your ex parent differently? Or perhaps your has become more withdrawnóor is acting out moreósince you and your ex split. Advice for divorced parents from Empowering Parents.
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Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Many parents are at a loss for what to do with their older children during the summer months – they may get the summer off, but you probably don’t. That leaves a whole chunk of time to fill each day. How do you know if your child is responsible enough to be left home alone? What if you know he isn’t, but he won’t stop begging to be in charge of his own schedule this summer?

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5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face: How to Handle the Most Challenging Parenting Issues

5 of the Hardest Things Parents Face: How to Handle the Most Challenging Parenting Issues

Watching my child struggle without stepping in to “fix” things for him was one of the hardest things I’ve personally experienced as a mom, even though I knew it was the best thing for him. And the truth is, from the very beginning, being a mother is a balance of taking care of your kids while letting them grow up and learn from their mistakes. Your role of simply loving and protecting your baby from pain and discomfort changes to one of accepting that your child or teen will need to experience natural consequences for his or her actions. The hard part (for them and for us!) is that these consequences almost always include some discomfort, disappointment or pain.

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Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Positive Parenting: 5 Rules to Help You Deal with Negative Child Behavior More Positively

Do your kids drive you crazy? If you were asked to describe them, after saying, He's a good kid, but... would you use words like “defiant,” “whiny,” “unmotivated,” “disrespectful,” “angry,” or “demanding,” with a few positives sprinkled in? If the negatives loom larger in your mind than the positives, the first thing to realize is that this is natural. We parents are human after all, which means we tend to look for what’s wrong with our offspring so that we can focus on what we should “fix” in them. Somehow this calms us down; we believe we are improving their chances of long-term survival in an often difficult world.

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Perfect Parents Donít Exist: Forgive Yourself For These 6 Parenting Mistakes

Perfect Parents Dont Exist: Forgive Yourself For These 6 Parenting Mistakes

Guilt and parenthood just seem to go together. Maybe you lost control and screamed at your child today, or perhaps you’re struggling to give your kids enough—or you might be worrying that you’re doing too much. Whatever the cause, most parents experience guilt regularly. I’ve talked with so many people who were beating themselves up over something they’d done, sure they’d failed as a parent. But as James Lehman said, “It’s not about blame or fault; it’s about taking responsibility.”

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The Single Parent Juggling Act: 5 Tips to Help You Manage

The Single Parent Juggling Act: 5 Tips to Help You Manage

There’s a famous quote about Ginger Rogers that says, “She did everything that Fred Astaire did, only backwards.” In some ways, being a single parent is similar, except you’re doing everything other parents do, onlysolo.

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Parenting After Divorce: 9 Ways to Parent on Your Own Terms

Parenting After Divorce: 9 Ways to Parent on Your Own Terms

Whether you are recently divorced or have been for some time, don’t be anxious that you have ruined your child’s life. You haven’t. While divorce can be a big part of your child’s life, what will determine his ultimate quality of life is still in the hands of each parent. Can children be affected negatively by their parent’s divorce? Most certainly. But it’s important to understand that children are not necessarily doomed to be negatively impacted.

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The Do's and Don'ts of Divorce for Parents

The Do's and Don'ts of Divorce for Parents

Divorce is a very complex occurrence that takes place within the family. This article will not attempt to cover all of the many nuances and intricacies involved in dealing with children who are experiencing a divorce. There are therapists who deal specifically with divorces as well as many books written on the effects of divorce on children and on parents. Many towns have programs committed to working with children of divorced families, which can be very effective at helping kids come to terms with what’s going on. All of these options should be considered.I hope this article will offer some useful ideas, but I want to stress the fact that it is not meant as a substitute for a broader understanding of divorce and its effect on parents and children.

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The Disneyland Daddy

The Disneyland Daddy

Mike doesn’t have effective parenting skills and tries to make up for it with deep pockets. He’s also perfectly happy that the kids go back to their mother’s and act out because it’s gratifying for him.

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Stop the Stereotyping

Blogger For some single parents, the weight of the world often sits squarely on our shoulders. We are responsible for an incredible amount of things, duties, and actions. Itís not enough to pay the mortgage, be smart when making a purchase and keep the floors relatively clean Ė we are also responsible for our children. Now this isnít exactly a newsflash, but letís look at it a step further. Letís say your child is in elementary school and you get a call from his teacher. Heís been acting up in class, not listening to her and disrupting the daily flow. How do you feel? I will tell you Iíve received those calls Ė more than a few times. I immediately felt like a balloon that had lost its air. My sonís misbehavior felt like my failure. Obviously I hadnít taught him proper behavior, or how to control his impulses. I would ruminate over this situation until I wore a groove of negative self-talk into my brain. As single parents, we become gun shy whenever someone tells us our child misbehaved. Itís as though huge neon arrows are pointed at us so the world can know our kid messed up; therefore, we did too. Maybe married parents feel this way too, I donít know. But I do know this. There are so many negative assumptions and stereotypes about single parenting. For example, the term broken home.Ē That one makes me cringe. My home is not broken; it just looks different from others. Anyway, my mission as I started this solo mom journey was to not be that stereotype. I shunned it and did what I could to prevent anyone from labeling my sons or me. Now sometimes thereís just no way around it. People are going to assume and judge and we just need to hold our heads high and keep living. But the truth is, every time something happens that has to do with our child misbehaving, it knocks the wind out of our sails. Now that my sons are on the verge of young adulthood, I donít get those phone calls anymore (thank goodness, as it would mean bigger issues). I am proud of the young men my boys have become and the paths they are forging into the world. But every once in awhile, ghosts from the past show up like a monster behind the door at a haunted house. Case in point Ė I was at a graduation party with my best friend and fellow single parent of boys. We were enjoying the celebration along with some cake when our kidsí youth pastor arrived. Heís a wonderful person and really good with youth and loving them up. We were reminiscing, as you do at these types of events and he began telling stories about our sons with a huge smile on his face. However, these stories all had the same theme Ė they were all about how our sons had screwed up , how they didnít follow rules and got caught.† I felt the oxygen begin to leave the room little by little with each story, until I found myself highly irritated and no longer interested in graduation cake. My best friend and I talked about this afterwards; why were only the negative stories told? Collectively we have four sons and yet we did not hear any good stories or positive comments about any of them. While our boys are certainly not perfect, they are good people and we are incredibly proud of them. Certainly there are plenty of encouraging stories that could have been told about them, because letís face it: every parent shines when their child is complimented. Heck, hearing positive things about our kids can put enough fuel in our tank to last for miles. But since that didnít happen, and even though our boys had grown past those moments, my friend and I both felt those old familiar biting feelings of failure. We didnít do enough, we werenít good enough moms, and our kids came from a broken home. Do you share these feelings? How do you handle them? Hereís my request for today:† in the next few days, letís all encourage other parents by telling them something we love and admire about their kids. Or how much we respect the parents for the thankless work they do raising children. From now on, letís tell only positive stories. Renee Brown is the tired yet happy mother of two young adult sons, Sam and Zachary. Almost an empty nester, she loves sharing her single parent experiences with the goal of providing hope and encouragement to those struggling on that long and winding road. Renee lives in Minneapolis, works in advertising, and also blogs for Your Teen magazine.
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Summertime and the Living Aint Easy for Single Parents

Blogger Who doesnít love summer? Well, for many reasons, single parents. First of all, itís a financial minefield. With school out thereís full time daycare to pay for and itís not just a tiny bump; itís a major increase in what is likely already a super tight budget. And then there are all the enriching camps and field trips.† You want your child to experience learning new skills and making friends with kids outside of the familiar zone, along with beading bracelets, singing songs and horseback riding. But wow, all of that comes with a hefty price tag. If your kids are older and able to stay at home that solves the daycare issue, but then youíre presented with a whole new line of issues. What will your kids do all day, home alone? Will it be safe? Will they be getting themselves into trouble? And letís not forget how much your grocery bill will increase as they raid the cabinets all afternoon (and late evening), as well as the rise in your utility bills from having the AC on all day (as well as electronics, sucking up electricity). As if this wasnít enough, all around you it will feel like every other family is going on vacation Ė to their cabin, to visit the nationís capital, or to see the Grand Canyon. Wanting to include you in the conversation, they will ask, ďWhere are you going on vacation this summer?Ē †To that I say, hold your head up high and declare, ďWe are planning an amazing staycation!Ē I respect and admire all of you. Your day is long, your to-do list even longer. So for today, I salute you: To all of the working single parents (I realize thatís redundant, all parents are working parents), I respect you. I know the daily grind you face Ė the one that never, ever lets up. I know that when you head to your car in the morning with the promise of a gorgeous day on the horizon Ė I know you really want to dump the kids off at camp and just goof off all day. So I say, make it happen! Schedule a day off alone.† Take the kids to daycare, or somewhere, and just enjoy sitting on a patio, sipping coffee and reveling in the quiet. At that moment, no one needs you! Can you imagine how energized you will feel from that? Schedule your day off today. To all of the work-from-home single parents: you have your own special brand of challenge, as you are likely working from a home office and maybe have the kids underfoot. Thereís not a real separation of work and home life, so you need to be extra diligent to create a boundary between the two. It can be a lonely existence, working from home, so be sure to schedule in some play dates or even trade off babysitting with other parents so you can get some crucial alone time. To all of the working single parents who also attend school: can you say sleep-deprived? As if parenting and working werenít exhausting enough, youíre also the college student, racking up credits while you write papers and complete lab reports; all in an effort to finally secure that degree that promises higher pay, better benefits and a more rewarding career. Do me a favor; pat yourself on the back with gusto. You are killing it! And you canít see it now, but when your kids are all grown-up, they will say how incredible you are to have done all of that. I will leave you with this. Your life is really tough right now, but letís be honest Ė everyone has challenges, tragedies and trials. Instead of focusing on your hardships and exhausting life, put your energy towards creating a positive attitude and being the best parent you can. Seek help from others when the going gets too rough and take some time to enjoy the journey Ė and your summer! Renee Brown is the tired yet happy mother of two young adult sons, Sam and Zachary. Almost an empty nester, she loves sharing her single parent experiences with the goal of providing hope and encouragement to those struggling on that long and winding road. Renee lives in Minneapolis, works in advertising, and also blogs for Your Teen magazine.
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Long Distance Parenting: How to Stay Connected When Your Child Lives Far Away

Blogger Let's face it; it's never easy being a parent. We constantly struggle, wondering if we're doing the best we can for our kids. It's so much pressure knowing that you only get a short window of time to prepare them to become responsible, healthy, and emotionally balanced adults. For some parents, there is an extra challenge of being geographically distant from their children. How can a parent really be a parent when they are living far away, and they can only see their kids on summer vacations and holidays?
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When Parents Divorce: How to Keep Your Kids Out of It

Blogger Since it is a fact that one in two marriages end in divorce in the US, parents have a choice to make the experience manageable for their children. No child wants their parents to be separated or divorced, so when it happens, there is a lot of stress for the child as well as the parent. Children can have a tendency to think that†it's their fault that their†parents did not get along. They can internalize their parents' arguments or concerns, and have many other reactions to a divorce or separation. Just like an adult grieves relationships, children can grieve the relationship with an absent parent as well, or mourn the way†the family†used to be.
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Should You Keep in Touch with Your Ex's Parents for the Sake of Your Kids?

Blogger My friends tell me I have an unusual† relationship was with my former in-laws -- my ex-husband's parents. The way I've always looked at it was that these are my children's grandparents, and I've always had a relationship with them was separate from my ex-husband. I never looked at that as unusual, either. My ex- worked nights and I was often at family events without him. Even before we were married, my then-future mother-in-law invited me to lunch or shopping. My own mother suffered from emphysema and COPD so as my children grew and she got sicker,† I looked more and more to my† mother-in-law for support as a new mom.
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Helping a Child Cope with an Absent Parent

Parent Blogger Just after my daughter turned 2, her father and I separated and divorced; he was abusive and drank too much.† When my daughter was 3 her father lost his visitation privileges as a result of his continued violent and abusive behavior.† He had passed up many Ďsupervisedí visits throughout the year so it came as somewhat of a relief. I have two older step children that are my daughterís half-brother and half-sister.† When I had first met them, one of their deepest pains they shared with me was the vague knowledge/memory they had of not seeing their father for a period of time when they were younger.
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