Surefire ways to help your kids get along

Sibling rivalry is a subject that many parents aren’t well equipped to handle. It’s also a subject that evokes self-doubt, public embarrassment and extreme criticism. Parents ask me, “Why do my kid’s always fight?” “What am I doing wrong?” “Does this mean I’m a bad parent?” “If I let them fight,...

Raising a Winner

“You’re out!!! No I’m not, I touched the base. That doesn’t matter because you have to touch me!!!” We’ve all heard these arguments from our children at youth sports events and unfortunately, we’ve also heard one like this from an irate parent yelling at the umpire from the sidelines, “He’s out!!!”...

Discipline and Punishment are Not the same thing

Discipline and Punishment are Not the same thing

Many parents use the words “discipline” and “punishment” interchangeably.  The dictionary informs us that discipline is from the word “disciple” which means “a student” while punishment has to do with “pain”, “harm” and “suffering.” Taking a closer look at these two words allows parents to make a choice as to what is in the best...

Are You Going to Hit Me?

It was December 19th, I had just finished teaching the last class of Positive Practical Parenting of the year. Before leaving the Center I quickly glanced through the written comments on the parents’ satisfaction survey. One parent wrote: “Thank you for opening my eyes to the difference between punishment and discipline. The simple idea of treating...

Who Started It Doesn’t Necessarily Matter!

Remember in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy began her stroll down the Yellow Brick Road? Eventually she came upon a fork in the road. There she stood, unable to determine which way to go until the voice of the Scarecrow came from behind. With arms folded one over the other and fingers pointing out in opposite directions, he said, “some folks go that way...

Whose Day Is It Today?

Keeping track of children’s residential schedules is often a source of conflict between separated parents. So too is communicating simple things such as doctor’s appointments, parent-teachers meetings and the like.  Changes to children’s residential schedules and missed appointments often serve as a flash point particularly with separated parents who hold...

Dating, Sex, and the Single Parent

As most divorced adults eventually resume a social life, dating enters the picture.  It is probably one of the more difficult things a child must become accustomed to. It’s not easy on you, either! A child’s usual reaction to Mom or Dad’s first date is a negative one. Some divorced parents who’ve weathered the storms say. “Make...

Keep Your Ex-Spouse From Becoming an Ex-Parent

Unfortunately, sole custody means, by definition, that one parent has lost custody. Being an un-empowered parent becomes painful, and absence often becomes easier than dealing with the visitation schedule of legal access to your children. Yes, there are parents who don’t care to give or nurture, but often it is the loss of normal access to their children...

Co-Parenting Agreement

Co-Parenting Agreement

Cooperative parenting is a process whereby parents living apart agree to act jointly in the best interests of their children, by establishing two homes for them and by consulting with one another concerning the needs of the children and their own needs as co-parents. The following is a co-parenting agreement that you may wish to agree to: CO-Parenting...

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Child custody disputes have become increasingly common. As the frequency of child custody disputes has increased, so has the animosity and antagonism parents bring to these conflicts. Often children are caught in the middle of parental disputes and are enlisted by one parent as an ally against the other parent in a campaign of systematic denigration and...

Parenting Through Your Divorce

Here is a quick reference guide of DO’S and DON’T’S for Helping Your Children Through Your Divorce: DO Do encourage your children to talk openly about their feelings Do emphasize that the divorce was not their fault Do understand that your children’s behavior may reflect feelings of anger, fear, confusion, sadness and loss. Validate their feelings,...

20 Activities for Long- Distance Moms to do with their Children

1. Go to the mall and have a photo of yourself put on a pillow case and then send it to your child. If you have a favorite cologne you might want to put a little bit on the pillowcase to remind your child of you. 2. Purchase or make stickers of your child’s name and stick them over the names of a character in one of their favorite books. You can also get...

20 Activities for Long-Distance Dads to do with their Children

1. Go to the mall and have a photo of yourself put on a pillow case and then send it to your child. If you have a favorite cologne you might want to put a little bit on the pillowcase to remind your child of you. 2. Purchase or make stickers of your child’s name and stick them over the names of a character in one of their favorite books. You can also get...

Why Me! A Day in the Life of a Father

Just last night I said to my 5-year-old son, “Hey buddy we have to leave”. Within seconds he started screaming at the top of his lungs, “No I don’t want to go”. Then he slammed down his Nintendo controller and started crying. I asked him, “What’s wrong?” He turned away and refused to look at me. Then I asked him...

My Father’s Voice: A Long-Distance Fathering Story

My Father’s Voice: A Long-Distance Fathering Story

With supper finished it was mom’s time for a break from her children. It was our time to be with dad. Cindy, my eight-year old sister, got the book while Tom, my six-year old brother, and I (four-years old) climbed on our gray couch. Book in hand, Cindy joined us on the couch and we all waited for mom to start the old reel-to-reel tape player. Dad was...

Recommended reading list

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. P. E. T. – Parent Effectiveness Training by Dr. Thomas Gordon Dr. Mom’s Parenting Guide Commonsense Guidance for the Life of your Child by Marianne Neifert, M.D. Positive Discipline – The...

The Danger of Continuing Conflict

Studies completed by Dr. Joanne Rocklin, who works with divorcing couples, clearly show that whether the family is divorced or intact, continued parental conflict is the most harmful aspect to children of any age. Children whose parents frequently argue in front of them often are less socially competent than their peers and get lower grades in school. Too often...

Thank God It’s Over: A Child’s Story

One Child’s Tale of Growing up in a Divorced Home By Anonymous When Dr. Shulman first approached me to write this article I was flooded with many different thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Do I really want to relive this terror? How will this help me in the future? What’s in the past is the past! As I started to think about my task, I must admit...

What effect will my divorce have on my children?

Question: I’ve been considering divorce for a long time. What kind of effect will it have on my children? Answer: Divorce is a very serious decision that will have lasting effects on your children. The data from studies show that divorce can lead to depression, anxiety, behavioral problems at school, and relationship problems in the future. In addition,...

Should I wait for my child to get older to get a divorce?

Question: When is the best time for me to get a divorce? Should I wait for my child to get older so that he can understand why I’m choosing this option? Answer: There is no easy answer for this question. You need to be the judge. Data shows that children who grow up in a hostile, aggressive, conflict filled, and stressful environment may be worse off than...

Signs that your child needs professional help coping with divorce

Question: What are some signs that my child needs professional help in coping with our divorce? Answer: All children are affected by divorce, but each deals with the stress differently. Your task as a parent is to identify and differentiate between your child’s “normal” behavior and sudden behavioral changes. In addition, identify if these...

For the Kid’s Sake

Whatever your differences may be, can you and your spouse agree that you don’t want to hurt your children? Will you and your spouse work together to make the process as easy as possible for them? When the decision has been made to separate, even the most caring parents are not totally rational. It’s hard to be supportive and available to your...

Give a Reason for Your Divorce

Children need to know why the divorce is occurring so they don’t blame themselves. Finding the right words is not always easy. Be sure your children are told that: THEY DID NOT CAUSE THE DIVORCE… NOR COULD THEY HAVE PREVENTED IT! Your tone and your words make a difference. Try to explain the reasons without anger and harshness in your voice. If a parent...

Helping Children Understand Divorce

When parents decide to divorce, they typically have been through a series of events that have led them to this decision. Whether or not children are aware of parents’ decisions depends on many things, including parents’ behaviors and children’s experiences. In some families, husbands and wives may argue frequently in front of the children,...

Children’s Understanding of Divorce by Age Group

Children’s understanding of parental divorce depends on their age. It is important for parents to know what thoughts and feelings children of different ages may be having so that they can modify their own behaviors to help children adjust to the divorce. INFANTS Understandings Infants notice changes in parents’ energy level and emotional...

Activities for Helping Children Deal With Divorce

Going through the process of divorce is a challenging life transition for both parents and children. During their parents’ divorce, children often feel a wide variety of conflicting emotions. It is very important for parents to provide their children with understanding and support. This guide provides ideas for many activities parents can do to support...

Sibling Relationships in Divorced Families

When parents divorce, brothers and sisters may begin to interact differently. While some siblings become closer at this time, others may argue more and become emotionally distant. It is difficult to predict how children will respond in any particular family. The emotional stress that parents feel following divorce may temporarily reduce the amount of attention...

Using Books to Talk to Children About Divorce

Children’s books about divorce can help them work through the issues they face. Reading books can give children a way to express their emotions and discuss issues that they may not otherwise be comfortable talking about. Parents also may benefit from these books by learning common things that children of divorce experience. It’s not your fault, KoKo...

Affairs

Affairs

Affairs are devastating to the trust that is the foundation of your marriage. Some people confront their partners as soon as they have any suspicion of an affair.  But for most, coming to grips with their suspicions is a long struggle. Unfortunately, the possibility of an affair is so frightening to most people that they either suppress their awareness of these...

An Affair is No Way to End a Marriage

Marriage can be a struggle for so many reasons. Struggles may be as simple as; immaturity of one or both partners; financial pressures; caring for aging parents; sexual boredom; care of children; juggling jobs and so on. In a healthy marriage as struggles ensue, the partners raise issues between themselves and seek to resolve them through direct dialogue. In...

Domestic Violence Overview and Resources

Domestic Violence Overview and Resources

Between 2 and 4 million women annually are victimized by domestic violence. In 1991, at least 21,000 domestic violence crimes against women were reported to the police every week. Approximately 52% of women visiting hospital emergency rooms report at least one incident of violence during their lifetime. Most children in homes in which domestic violence occurs...

Domestic Violence Statistics

A 1992 national survey by the Family Violence Prevention Fund found that 13% of women surveyed had been physically attacked by their partner. According to the FBI, domestic violence claims the lives of four women each day.1 A Philadelphia study found that 20% of women presenting with injuries at emergency rooms were victims of domestic violence.2 A 1988 study by...

Conflict Resolution with your Spouse

Conflict occurs when two or more people believe that what each wants is incompatible with what the other wants. Conflict is likely to increase in times of change. It is an important human process which can often lead to constructive and creative results. Conflict makes it necessary to search for new approaches. Better ideas are often produced through conflict...

Domestic Violence: Don’t Fall Victim

Many people believe that domestic violence is male dominated and involves only verbal and physical abuse. In reality, verbal and physical abuse are only part of the problem. The elements of domestic violence can be much more in-depth and more subtle than most people realize. Statistics reveal that domestic violence affects both men and women. It’s neither...

10 Ways to Make Your Divorce Easier

Divorce is a very stressful event in your life and only you have the power to decide its impact on your future. Change Your Point of View The divorce does not have power over your thoughts, perceptions, and choices; you do. Instead of staying sad or angry, look at this phase as a new beginning. Look At the Good Things About Your Decision Since the divorce...

10 Things Your Mother Never Told You About Divorce

10 Things Your Mother Never Told You About Divorce

The Voice of Experience For anyone who hasn’t been divorced, trust me— divorce is never what you imagine it to be. Here are a few insights that may hopefully save you a trip to court— or at the very least, give you some idea of what may lie ahead. I know the 10 things listed here might not apply to everybody (there’s always going to be the...

10 Ways to Avoid Becoming a Disneyland Dad

Being a divorced father has a great deal of internalized stress associated with it. There’s a strong desire to make your children like you and want to spend time with you, especially if you only get to see them a few days a month. Studies show that what kids remember growing up is not the extravagant birthday parties or the expensive vacations. It’s...

10 Ways to Help Your Children Through Divorce

Encourage your children to talk openly about their feelings Emphasize that the divorce was not their fault Understand that your children’s behavior may reflect feelings of anger, fear, confusion, sadness and loss. Validate their feelings, allow them to be angry with you Be honest with your children about the finality of divorce according to what is age...

Top 10 Emotional Facts About Divorce

The wife may not be able to keep the house. The husband may need to share his pension. In divvying up household items, you may not be able to keep your favorite painting or casserole dish. You may not have as much money as you want, need, or used to have. You may have to set up a visitation schedule for your family pet. The kids will go to your ex for...

10 Ways to Build Resilience

The following has been reprinted with permission from The Road to Resilience, a brochure put out by The American Psychological Association (APA). Whether going through a divorce, loss of a job, serious illness, or other difficult times, how we respond to these experiences can enable us to more effectively manage these situations. What enables people to deal with...

Custody Evaluation

The Custody Evaluation Legal and Practical Context Context The custody evaluation is often referred to as a “730 Evaluation.” This is because the respective section of the Evidence Code authorizes a judge to order such an evaluation. A custody evaluation can be: Agreed to by the parties and their attorneys (legally referred to as “by...

The Custody Evaluation Process

In a previous article, I explained the legal context within which a custody evaluation is ordered or agreed to, how the evaluator is selected, and what how the evaluation is handled once it is received by the court. In this article, I will describe the custody evaluation process. However, before beginning, I would like to remind the reader that most parents,...

Top 10 Ways To Keep Your Children Out Of The Middle Of Divorce

Top 10 Ways To Keep Your Children Out Of The Middle Of Divorce

 Do not criticize your former spouse in front of the child. Do not argue with your former spouse in your children’s presence. Be careful not to argue during exchanges of the child. Don’t discuss adult issues such as finances or the details of divorce case in your child’s presence. You should never use your children to deliver messages, money, or...