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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 Or perhaps your has become more withdrawn—or is acting out more—since you and your ex split.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 Don’t 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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Single Parenting in December: Keep it in Perspective

Blogger 'Tis the season, as they say; and for many parents, it’s a tough season. The month of December is a Pandora’s Box of expectations, demands, and pressure. You have the average month’s worth of usual stuff—work, laundry, keeping everyone healthy, basketball practices—then throw in the prep, planning and execution of the holidays. Makes you want to pull the covers back over your head, doesn’t it? While I pride myself on being quite organized and a dutiful planner, December used to make me seize with anxiety. When my kids were young, the average month soaked every ounce of energy from me.  I often wondered how in the world I would carry off the extra tasks required to make December a success. Luckily, those were simpler times; meaning, I had very little extra money after the bills were paid! Christmas gifts for my two children were incredibly basic: a flashlight for reading under the covers and secondhand toys.  My family filled in with other presents, thankfully, and I don’t think my kids felt they were missing out on anything. Having a simpler lifestyle actually helped us get through the holidays. Since Santa wasn’t bringing huge or expensive gifts, I put my focus on other seasonal things, like the special books and movies that only came out of storage in December, along with the decorations and ornaments. We would bake and decorate Christmas cookies, a full-on, all-day Saturday event that left the kitchen destroyed but was always a great experience. Those were wonderful times. I can still remember the joy I felt when my church offered a free babysitting deal for four hours one Sunday in early December.  The pure bliss I experienced, having such a huge chunk of time to shop and wrap gifts without little ones around. When I picked the boys up, feeling weightless and accomplished, they had made Christmas ornaments: their smiling photos tucked inside small wreaths, hanging from ribbons. These were the types of things that would carry me through the hectic month. Of course, at the end of the month there would be no school, and sometimes no daycare, which was yet another wrench thrown into things. I tried to save up my vacation time so the three of us could be home together. We’d make pancakes in the morning and enjoy a long, luxurious breakfast. Some days were dubbed “PJ Day,” where no one ever changed out of their pajamas. Those were the days—there was a lack of money, but an abundance of love.  Just the other day I was in Michaels (feeling inadequate as I passed all the options for making crafts), and the store was playing music from the Nutcracker. A thousand happy memories rushed to my heart as I thought about my boys doing their own interpretive dance to the soundtrack we played daily near Christmas. So try to keep this mind when you find yourself buried in shopping lists and crumb cake recipes: when your children are adults and they start to reminisce, what holiday memories do you want them to have? Memories of a ton of gifts under the tree, or memories of special traditions that even MasterCard can’t claim? My struggles back then were real and challenging, but our memories are unmatched. 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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Invite Gratitude into Your Life Every Day

Blogger I love November; a month filled with reminders to be thankful. It’s such a simple concept, yet we always need reminders to be grateful for what we have.  As many single parents know, me included, it’s so easy to get caught up in the mantra of wanting MORE. We want MORE money because we’re exhausted from stretching that paycheck until it screams. We want MORE breaks in life because, quite honestly, sometimes just surviving the day wipes us out. We want MORE opportunities for our kids because we feel that living in a single-parent home puts them at a disadvantage. And we want MORE love in our lives because, dang it, it feels good; sometimes I feel like I can go three days just on a heartfelt compliment!
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Accepting the Gift of Help

Blogger When you’re raising kids on your own, you are a downright super hero. Making sure everyone gets to where they need to be, with all of their equipment and paperwork and lunches and gym shoes, is absolutely a Herculean effort. Even an average Tuesday can rock the socks right off of you at times.
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You Can Make Time for Yourself

Blogger I am the type of person that wants it all, and I want it all NOW. This mentality makes me feel like I’m perpetually chasing a bus I cannot catch, no matter how fast I sprint.  Some days, it feels like an enormous task to just get everyone fed and into bed at the end of the day!
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Does My Child Need To See A Therapist?

Blogger Your seven-year-old son, Justin, is so embarrassing.  He approaches adults and asks personal questions that seem inappropriate.  He seems to have no sense of shame, and little interest in conforming to social norms.  You cringe at the thought of taking him to family affairs and public events, where you never know what kind of catastrophe might transpire.  And when you broach the topic, he easily dismisses it and hardly makes eye contact.  You have already heard dubious murmurs regarding your parenting capabilities on several occasions, causing you to feel completely misunderstood.  All this despite the parenting lectures you invested in!
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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. It’s not enough to pay the mortgage, be smart when making a purchase and keep the floors relatively clean – we are also responsible for our children. Now this isn’t exactly a newsflash, but let’s look at it a step further. Let’s say your child is in elementary school and you get a call from his teacher. He’s been acting up in class, not listening to her and disrupting the daily flow. How do you feel? I will tell you I’ve received those calls – more than a few times. I immediately felt like a balloon that had lost its air. My son’s misbehavior felt like my failure. Obviously I hadn’t 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.
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