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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Determining Parenting Plan

  • Sit down privately with the other parent to discuss matters between yourselves:
  • If you are concerned about behavior and still want to discuss things directly with the other parent, choose a public place to meet or include a mutually agreed upon person to join you. This can be someone you both trust in a professional capacity, your clergy, a counselor, a mutual friend (who is able to remain neutral);
  • Meet with a trained counselor whose expertise is helping separated parents communicate between themselves;
  • Meet with a mediator whose expertise includes working with separated parents. A mediator is a professional whose expertise is helping people in conflict reach agreements between themselves by working with them together, even though the notion can be anxiety producing. You only need to be willing to try. You don’t have to believe that yourself or the other parent will actually come to an agreement. In fact, more often than not, people who attend mediation are of the opinion that it is “the other person” who will not be ale to reach an agreement, yet most matters do settle or at least are narrowed down by the process;
  • Retain “collaborative” lawyers and sign a participation agreement. Collaborative lawyers are trained in helping people find solutions to their differences without the threat of going to court. Like mediators, they work outside of the court system and can help you craft specific agreements taking into account the particulars of your situation. Also like mediation, collaborative lawyers and parents meet and work together to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions;
  • Lawyer assisted negotiation is more for those persons who will not meet together. Each parent tells their own lawyer their view of the situations and what they hope to achieve. The lawyers then negotiate between themselves on your behalf. With this approach, you may never know how well your lawyer represented your situation and you may not be privy to their actual communication with the other lawyer. In the hands of a killed negotiator who themselves will remain civil, respectful and not inordinately demanding but conciliatory, this can lead to a resolution. However, this approach is at risk of actually inflaming conflict and the parents will likely never achieve the degree of specificity they may desire because the lawyers will never be as intimately connected to your situation. If you use this approach, ask to read every letter your lawyer sends on your behalf before it is sent. Angry demand letters produce angry demanding responses. Know what is being sent as those letters will represent you to the other parent. Unfortunately, in many cases, lawyer assisted negotiation increases conflict and is a prelude to litigation

All about Parenting Problems

Negotiation means the child wins – Say what you mean and mean what you say. When you find your child trying to change the rules or justify why s/he shouldn’t have to do something you are sunk. The best response to their protests is to calmly and firmly repeat your position without offering an opening for discussion.

Do not reward bad behaviour – When a child does not do what is expected, then they miss out on the fun. For example, not cleaning their room means that they do not go out with friends. They do their work FIRST and then are rewarded. This takes strong resolve on the part of the parent but pays off in the long-run.

Boundaries are a good thing – The child is not your therapist and definitely should not know about all of your personal problems. They need to know that you are not an ATM that will dispense cash into their adulthood. Why should you be faithful in going to your job while they lounge in the basement without contributing because they decided to quit school and not work? Set boundaries, communicate and enforce them.

Consistency makes it easier for next time – Sometimes we are tired and let the child get away with not doing what is required or expected. That just causes problems for the future. Self-discipline is a learned behaviour. Just think about how you feel if you don’t pay your bills this month and then have to face double next month. As a parent, you need to be consistent in your own responsibilities and in ensuring that your child does his/hers.

You can be the bad guy – Sometimes children need to have an excuse for not doing something. I know several who are relieved to know that they can say “My parents would kill me if I did that!” It lets them off the hook.

Your job is to work yourself out of a job – I know that you love to cook, clean and do laundry for your family but if you don’t show them how to do these things, they will be at a disadvantage in the future. Teach them how to manage their money and look after themselves without you so that they can succeed in life.

You do not have to make up for your parents’ failings – I often hear parents say that they want their children to have everything they had as children that was good and everything they didn’t have. Wow! Good luck with that one!

Be a problem-solver or get one – Teach your children how to think and make good choices knowing that there will be rewards or consequences. Often children listen better to someone other than the parent so if they are not doing well, perhaps it would be best to enlist someone else to help them get on track.

Stop Praising

Students turn to cheating because they haven’t developed a strategy for handling failure. The problem is compounded when a parent ignores a child’s failures. Parents often continue to praise the intelligence and insists the kid will do better next time.

Michigan scholar Jennifer Crocker studies this exact scenario and explains that the child may come to believe failure is something so terrible; the family can’t acknowledge its existence. A child deprived of the opportunity to discuss mistakes can’t learn from them.

Cloninger has trained rats and mice in mazes to have persistence by carefully notrewarding them when they get to the finish. “The key is intermittent reinforcement,” says Cloninger. The brain has to learn that frustrating spells can be worked through. “A person who grows up getting too frequent rewards will not have persistence because they’ll quit when the rewards disappear.”

No, praise them differently! Recognize the effort, hard work and process. Let’s say every night your child (12-year-old boy) has math homework and is supposed to read a book aloud. Each takes about fifteen minutes if he concentrates, but he’s easily distracted. You should praise him for concentrating without asking to take a break. If he listens to instructions carefully, praise him for that. After soccer games, praise him for looking to pass, rather than just saying, “You played great.” And if he worked hard to get to the ball, raise the effort he applied.

Bonding With Children

When you have your own chores to do, keep them busy when they are around. Ask them to color pictures in drawing books; give them clay so that they enjoy making stuffs. But to have this upper hand, you initially need to invest your time in teaching them how to do them. Once they get it, they will be engaged and do them on their own and you are free to do your own stuff.

Of course, by age six or seven, it will be high time for them to attend school. So they will need some help with homework. Let them work on their own first based on what they have learnt in school. Then you can correct their concepts if they make a mistake or two.

They also need to have fun outside of home in mother-nature environment. It can be a park to play on swings, see-saws and merry-go-rounds or a nearby pond to feed the ducks. During summer/winter holidays, it is up to you to decide ahead of time with your spouse how you are going to spend these vacations in an exciting way for the benefit of the children especially, within a budget that suits you well. I would say vacationing to a beach in summer or visiting Disneyland would be great for children. If that isn’t possible, just enjoy your time in another friend’s place some distance away and let your children spend some creative time. That family can then come to your place the following summer or winter.

Children grow up fast. So while they are still children, give them the best lessons and teach those in a way that is easy and convenient for them to grasp. You need to bring up children who can make good choices in life. Of course, they will make mistakes and they will learn from them. However, you do have a responsibility to help them face life by age eighteen so that they are well equipped physically and mentally.

When they grow up and you hand over them away in marriage, you will feel like losing some gem pieces of your life but that is life and you will be fine as time will show. However, you will be united occasionally in family get-together parties. You will have grand children and you will have much to celebrate.

My advice to young parents would be: treat your child well, teach them good moral values and discipline and give them a good education and at the same time, also prepare them to face adversities of life boldly and confidently. And they will be fine. On the other hand, you will be happy because you know you have done your very best.