Borrowing re-blog worthy parenting advice– a little behavioral management can go a long way

I found this excellent post by fellow mom & blogger Krissy Sherman on her blog  b-inspiredmama.com. Below are my three favorite tips of the 18 she lists.  As a single parent, it is imperative to be consistent with discipline– and this post provides some great general guidelines to help maintain that vigilance. The direct link to her post is: http://www.sverve.com/tip/1361287114996

 

Every Child is Different
“One key to remember is that all children are different. That being said we use positive behavior and reinforcement followed up with logical consequences at our house. I’ll be sharing a lot more about Parenting a Strong Willed Child in March and the tools I’ve used over the years.” Kim of The Educators’ Spin On It

 

Mean What You Say & Say What You Mean”
“One of the best tips for behavior management I learning while teaching was to always ‘mean what you say and say what you.’ This little mantra has helped me as a parent, also, to remember to be clear and consistent with my expectations and consequences and always follow through with what I say.” Krissy of B-Inspired Mama

 

 

Focus on the Cause of Behavior
“Acting badly or in a way that parents don’t like, is a symptom of something deeper. Sometimes when your kid does something naughty it feels like they have done it on purpose to make you angry. But that is not likely to be the case. There are times when Goblin does something that he knows he shouldn’t do and I find myself wondering whether he did it just to get a rise out of me. It would be easy just to apply discipline methods to the symptom, the action that made you angry. But if you look deeper at why they did it you can often treat the cause and that will be more effective at stopping the behaviour for longer.” The Monko ofTaming the Goblin (Find more positive parenting techniques at Taming the Goblin.)

 

 

 

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Back on the road and not white-knuckling the steering wheel…

After a much needed rest stop, I’m finally back behind the steering wheel. Even though there may be some challenging parts ahead in my current course, I feel confident my navigational skills will get me where I need to be.

The next phase of my “so-called life” has officially begun…

In October 2011, I could no longer ignore that my marriage was on a destructive course. I had known that the relationship was very strained between my husband and me. However, when my 6-year-old son shared with me the turmoil he was struggling with due to the relationship he had with his dad, I knew a drastic change of course was necessary.

Fortunately, both of my parents were there for me and my children when I actually took the action to leave my husband in November 2011. I had too optimistically hoped back in October that our separation would be temporary– that my husband would leave the house while we all sought out counseling to sort things out and take the time to heal. However, after a month of promising to leave and seek therapy, my husband never followed through. But, I did. Ironically, the moment when I felt most like a grown-up was when at 34, I moved back to my hometown at my parents’ house with two little ones in tow.

From November 2011-June 2012, the pace of our new course really sped up. I secured a a decent full-time position almost immediately after relocating. Despite moving away and starting a new school, my son made great strides in counseling learning how to appropriately manage the emotional turmoil that had been overwhelming him.  Additionally,  my son went from struggling to read at his 1st grade level, to ending the school year reading at a 4th grade level. Yes, this detour proved to be emotionally exhausting–but my son and I became happier people somehow.

Yet, in June 2012, life was about to take another sudden detour– the kind you are forced to take because the road you were driving on ends, marked by the jarring parade of  fluorescent orange signs,flags and flashing sirens .  It’s the obvious result of the road meeting with a catastrophic event. And it was such an occurrence that happened to our family in the end of June.

While I worked full-time, I was fortunate to have my mom (my best friend, in fact) take care of my children. With her watching my children, I could work with my mind at ease, knowing that my children would not be lacking in the love and attention a mom could provide. However, my mother was also a Type-1 Diabetic, and had already lost both her legs and suffered many complications as the disease ravaged her body. For the two years prior, she hadn’t had any major health issues. In fact, she was more active and healthy than she had ever been. But on June 25, she had a typical episode of a her blood sugar bottoming out– the kind she would always bounce back from in a day or two at most. It was with that mindset that I took it for granted that this event wasn’t anything my mom couldn’t overcome. I was sorely mistaken. On June 27, while at home she took a sudden turn–and I knew when I dialed 911 that this trip to ER was not going to have the typical outcome. She slipped away right in front of me– we were just loading the car to take my mom to the hospital, when my mom went from conscious and talking to completely unresponsive.

It was 1 pm, when I made that fateful call. It was then I already knew by the wrenching of my gut that I would never get to tell my mom “I love you” or even “good-bye”. At 10:22 pm, I got confirmation of what truth my heart already knew. It was that moment and every one that has come since that has really shown me what as a “grown-up” I was truly capable of doing.

We were not prepared in any way for her sudden death, emotionally and financially. My dad and I were given till the end of March 2013 to find another home–the home that was purchased as a gift for my parents needed to be sold ASAP. I could not afford reliable childcare that could accommodate my awkward work schedule–and my work was not able to offer me a schedule that the one childcare source I had available could offer. During the summer and fall of 2012, I found myself facing unemployment, homelessness, while maintaining some semblance of normalcy for my children.

Today, all of the uncertainty presented courtesy of that detour is finally in my rear-view mirror. I found my voice and my sense of direction. My children and I are enjoying a home we can call our own, free of eggshell carpeting. And I am enjoying the fruits of my resourcefulness, as I free-lance my talents and appreciate this time to truly explore my vocational endeavors.

As I continue to drive away from the wreckage of the past– with its reflection continuing to get smaller and smaller in my rear-view mirror– I know that the reflection will always be there even when my eye can no longer discern it. I know there will be moments when I will want to focus on that image, momentarily losing my focus on the road ahead. The key word here is “momentary”. By always remembering to keep my attention on the drive and how my hands are steering wheel– I will keep what I have already overcome where it belongs, and not coming up on me later to splatter across my windshield.
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This an excellent article providing general detail about the reality of proceedings in family law cases–and no it is not what you expect it would be.

pmashilohlopez

The Crisis in Family Law Courts

Also See The nafcj.net

There is a national crisis for women and their children in the family law courts of this country. Affirmed by experts and leaders in the women’s movement,
the existence of this crisis is verified by women in every state who report injustice in their family law cases, especially battered mothers trying to
protect their children from abusive fathers who aggressively litigate against them, using family court to stalk, harass, punish, and impoverish their former
partners and children. NOW recognizes this crisis for women and their children and seeks to address discrimination against women in family courts.

The information presented here has been compiled by the National NOW Family Law Advisory Ad Hoc Committee. Created in April 2004, this all-volunteer committee is comprised
of parents, grandparents, activists, paralegals, organizers, attorneys, and advocates from across the nation devoting their collective experience…

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As I attempt to preserve the well-being of my children within the confines of Family Court and a society in denial about the prevalence of sexual abuse, I am very thankful for bloggers like the one whose post is above. Parents need to be aware that the fate of their family is most often determined before they ever set foot in the courtroom. Too often parents (most often the mother) are blindsided by the rulings passed down in custodial disputes. Prior to my involvement with Family Court, I assumed custody rulings where one  parent demonstrated abusive behavior would typically rule in the favor of the protective parent. However, a simple Google search of custody rulings and abuse will be a real eye-opener.

Let's Get Honest! Blog: Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

(Originally published 2/5/2013) A key issue in the courts includes sexual assault and violence towards women and children. This has also been a key issue with psychoanalysis. 

Below the introduction, most of the post is about the Stunning Validation, but I keep it current and relevant –because it is! — to the subject matter of this blog.  

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When will starting over ever end?

(this is reposted from a blog I started on Myspace)
I’m not sure how many incomplete blogs I’ve created out there in cyberspace with an entry, maybe two. And it doesn’t really matter either, because I’m here now starting another one.

Maybe I’m just stubborn, some would look over several failed attempts to commit the writing of a continuous series of blog entries and say forget it— but not me, I don’t know how to not keep starting over, whether I’m blogging or participating in any other everyday activity. In the not so recent past, there were several attempts to launch from that point in the life cycle where we make the transition into living as adults responsible for the well-being of other human beings, that were not so successful.

Today, it seems we (we-referring to my little family of self, husband, and 3 year old son) have gained a fair amount of distance between ourselves and the land below since our last launch– yet, turbulence still tends to be the ever-present foe threatening the progress we’ve thus managed.

I am compelled to write about these recent experiences, because while I was living those worst of times I unintentionally placed myself into isolation. I do not know if it was out of shame, or stubbornness, or perhaps an innate knowledge possessed by some American Indian tribes who send their youth who are coming of age on a quest with nothing but the clothes on their back– that I allowed this aloneness to happen. For 2 years, I lived in darkness groping for something solid and familiar feeling to determine the way back to light.

I finally have emerged from that place of blackness– and my senses have returned— though are still adjusting. I still catch myself every now and then squinting when I am in the presence of the most subdued light.

I know I am not alone in this aloneness I triumphed over— and I think we are all given a time in our life where we choose or are forced to take a sabbatical from the momentum of our life’s progress– after talking and meeting all kinds of people throughout these past three years I have heard story after story of similar circumstances. The person who talks about this experience seems in no way connected to the person they describe who had underwent this terrible ordeal or had made these horrific mistakes.

The thing is that we never expect to go through an experience in life where we will emerge as someone very much changed— and we somehow become completely detached from the person and circumstances that we had identified with. So, in some ways I am a little bitter about the isolation I created, because I did miss out on the good and bad things that happened to many people who I care deeply about. And I have to acknowledge that some of the distance that grew between the friends & family I withdrew from may never be as close as it was prior.

But regardless of the damage that may be unable to be repaired, there is a whole future for me to continue trying to repair past damages and to create new relationships– there is still much ahead. Being in a place where I can count on the next several years passing in a predictable manner probably isn’t going to happen. I only know where I will work for the next year— and even that I may have to add on to– but as far as where my career job is going to be and what it even is, remains to be seen. At least now I am at a place where I can be okay with, and even enjoy, figuring It out. The person who loved to plan out every phase of her life— I cannot tell you how many 10-year plans I created, revised, rejected, and recreated since I was 14…. in these plans included details on how I was going to live life as a marine biologist, pediatrician, science or English teacher, massage therapist and even an actress. And even though none of those career paths played out, I do feel that I have had the opportunity to experience situations where I have performed the duties of the above occupations.

So with all things considered– I think after surviving mental breakdowns, the consequences of illegal activity, parents and in-laws, and life and death of the people you love most— and
still possessing a somewhat positive perspective on life and a healthy and mostly happy family, I deserve to feel good about what I have achieved— I survived. In 2 months time our family has gained a foundation to stand on. No more living with parents or waiting on someone else to do something so we can move forward. Both my husband and I have positions where we can support our family while providing support to the community– and we finally felt confident enough in our position and future to finance a vehicle (a used one of course)— all the circumstances and living situations of the not so recent past already seem so far removed from the existence of what is now our daily life– though we may not have 6 figures, a new house, or 2009 Family car of the year— we have ourselves, we a Start!