Parents, Kids, Road Rage

Wake up and hit the floor running. Quickly wake the kids. Get them moving to the restroom. Inspect their outfits. Slop some food on the table and call it breakfast. Sprint to the car. Hook in the seatbelts and throw the car in reverse. And, hope that the world gets out of the way while you race the kids to school and dash to the office. Sound familiar?

What happens when you get the numbskull on the road that drives slow in the fast lane, doesn’t bother to use their turn signal, or races to pass you only to slow down when they get in front of you? Oh, you will show them! You might yell profanities, ride their tail too close, send them the universal hand gesture, or worse, really get mad!

True enough, showing our anger feels so much better, at that particular moment, but, truthfully, did it make anything better? Did we really get to work any faster/slower? Did we bother to actually speak to the kids while we had a perfect opportunity? Did we notice how beautiful the day was? Did we listen to the music on the radio that speaks to our hearts? Or did we let some inconsiderate driver control our actions and emotions?

No matter how hard we try, at times other drivers will make our blood boil! What we need though is to keep it into perspective. True enough, there are people behind the wheels of vehicles that shouldn’t be allowed to ride a tricycle. But, we can’t change that. What we can change is how we respond.

First and foremost, display patience when the children are in the car. We certainly don’t want them to learn our bad habits. It will be hard enough dealing with the bad habits they will pick up on their own without giving them ours. Even when you are alone, chill! Very rarely is a few extra minutes going to be earth shattering.

When you are on the road and selected drivers have seemed to have left their brains behind, let it roll off of you. Sometimes, just for the pure fun of it, smile knowing you remembered your brain today and how embarrassed that person will be when they realize theirs is still home soaking in the sink with the breakfast dishes.

Don’t get mad. Don’t react. Just let the moment pass. Why let them influence the start of your delightful day?

Parenting Kids With Challenges

It is advisable to have yearly check-ups from a certified physician. Some parents don’t even know that their child has disabilities until their negative behavior has intensified to the point where it can’t be dealt with anymore. Children with challenges such as learning disabilities, neurological impairments or those who’ve been traumatized are very fragile and require special care and attention. These children need support for them to achieve their potential and personal development.

One thing to keep in mind is to not treat them as challenges or make them feel at fault. It is our responsibility as parents to understand and support our child all the way. Accepting children for who they are is a key component in changing their behavior. Negative behavior is not a part of their character but rather a way of compensating from being misunderstood by others. Failing to understand their character can definitely develop severe social and emotional problems as well. It could also affect how they deal with others when they become adults.

Learned helplessness shouldn’t be tolerated. Imagine that James is a precocious 6 year old who was diagnosed with mental retardation. He lets his mother do all his homework because of his disability. This practice is quite common among families with handicapped kids. Escaping responsibility just because of a disability is not the solution. A child must learn to face responsibilities given to him so can learn the needed problem solving skills. It he is not taught well then he can only rely upon others, which can affect his living conditions. Complete avoidance of responsibilities can not only affect his mental and social development but also personal growth and self-perception.

Having developmental problems is not an excuse to do improper behavior. Just because a child has ADD does not mean he can vandalize the walls, kick the cat or bully other kids. They still need to be disciplined just as any other “normal” kid would be. Failing to learn the right skills to cope with problems can have lifelong consequences. Children must learn how to handle stress, respect authority and function normally in society as anyone else. Handicapped kids aren’t exempted from the law and as they grow up and become independent they must also abide by the regulations and rules set upon by society. Disabilities are not an excuse to act out in public or do things that can harm others. Parents must teach them to face responsibilities and help them understand what behavior is acceptable.

Parenting Kids on Myspace

So, you have a responsible teen and you/they would like for them to be able to keep their MySpace account. Alright, we have put together a guide on how to let your kids enjoy MySpace safely and responsibly. I believe it can be done, but, it will require parental supervision and for both parties to come to an agreement.

Let’s get sta

#1 Establish clear cut rules. Sign a Parent child internet contract like the one found

#2 Install a filtering and logging software package. The filtering is to stop the basic inappropriate images and sites, set time limits, and to verify, if necessary, where someone has been online, etc. The logging software or “key logger” will be used to track conversations online at whatever intervals the parent decides. With the key logger, nothing gets typed without your knowledge. With the filtering, most porn is kept away and you have control of the computer.

#3 The single most important factor for your children to have a safe internet environment is parental involvement. I cannot say enough about how important this is. Even with all the tools listed here, if parents do not get involved then it’s completely pointless. Parents, you will have to spend a little of your time each day to check out the site and review the logs. The intervals at which your check their internet usage are up to you. But, logging onto their MySpace account and reviewing it will give you a good idea about how things are going.

*note: I am assuming you already have virus protection installed. If not, you need to add that to the list, even if you don’t allow MySpace usage.

Richard French is a father of 5 and his site TheParentsEdge is dedicated to help parents keeps their kids safe while online. With how to’s, step by step guides,news,safe surfing rules and more TheParentsEdge is designed to give parents the “edge” in todays tech savvy teen world. Free step by step guide How to block websites with IE

Parents, Kids and Time Alone

“What are some of the ways in which you explain to kids that mom and
dad need time alone, without feeling guilty about it?”

A journalist, writing an article on having time alone and couple time
when you have kids, asked me this question.

Parents will feel guilty only when they believe that they are doing
something wrong by spending time alone and couple time without their
children.

This is a false belief.

The truth is that children grow up far healthier emotionally when their
parents are happy and fulfilled, even if it means that their parents spend
less time with them. When parents understand that they are being good
parents by talking loving care of themselves and their relationship, their
children will understand this.

One way of helping children understand this is to introduce the concept
of “time alone” very early in a child’s life. By the time a child is three, he
or she can easily understand the concept of time alone. If, each time you
spend time alone with your child, you say, “This is our time alone,” your
child will begin to understand the concept. When you have time to
yourself, you can say, “This is my time alone with myself.” When you
spend time with your partner, you can say, “This is Mom and Dad’s time
alone together.” Parents can tell their children, as soon as they are
capable of understanding the words, “We need time alone with you, with
each other, and with ourselves. All of us need to respect this about each
other.”

Our three children fully understood the concept of “time alone” because
we spent time alone with each them. They came to understand and
respect at a very young age the need for time alone.

If you put yourself aside and don’t spend time with yourself and with
your partner, you are giving your children unhealthy role modeling. You
are teaching them that others are always responsible for meeting their
needs. You are teaching them to feel entitled to your time and attention
rather than helping them learn to respect others’ time. You are teaching
them that it is okay to demand that others put themselves aside for them,
which may create narcissistic behavior.

Healthy parenting means finding a balance between being with your
children, being with your partner, and being with yourself. For your
children to grow up taking responsibility for their own needs and
feelings, they need to see you taking responsibility for your needs and
feelings. Constantly sacrificing yourself for your children does not role
model personal responsibility.

Children need to experience you and your spouse enjoying your time
with each other, as well as with yourselves. They need to see you
pursuing your work, hobbies, creativity and passions in order to
understand that they also need to find their passions. If you are always
there to meet your children’s needs, how can they discover who they are
and what brings them joy? Always being there to meet your children’s
needs for entertainment creates a dependency on others rather than
finding these resources within themselves.

Many people grow up not knowing how to be alone with themselves.
Because they were either always in front of a TV or being entertained by
their parents, they never discovered how to “play by themselves.”

Of course it is very important to have enough time alone with your
children. But it is equally important to have enough time alone with your
spouse and with yourself. When you understand this, you will stop
feeling guilty about taking your time alone. When you no longer feel
guilty, your children will learn to stop guilting you and respect your
needs.

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Kids Aren’t the Problem You Think They Are

Recently a friend asked me how I approached dating my wife many years ago, as I looked at him he added, you know how did you deal with the kids and the ex always being around to see them? This got me thinking, how many men seem to see the single mum and her children before they see the real woman inside. They see the kids and the kid’s father as their main problem. Yes dating for parents is always going to involve the kids, in many cases on both sides, but it really isn’t the main issue at all. Nor should it be the reason that you turn down a relationship with a beautiful woman just because she has kids.

You’ve got to understand that every single mother is a woman first and mum second. When you meet a woman that you think you may get on with, whether it’s on a dating website, or out with friends, and then find out she has kids think about how you get on with this person first and then think about the kids. Yes the kids will be an issue that has to be dealt with, but don’t get preoccupied with them, always look at this new person for what she is and how you get on first.

Your able to do this and before you know it the dating has turned into a relationship, it’s now that you must deal with the kids, not before. The priority is to reassure her that you don’t in any way see the children as a problem, because believe me every single mum dating again after leaving her previous relationship will be acutely worried about how men are going to view her now that she comes with ‘baggage’.

Ask about the kids routines, learn to work out when it’s best to see each other around the kids, do this and you’ll reassure her that you realise that she has commitments, but that you are prepared to work around them. As time goes on offer to mix seeing each other with the kids around and slowly learn to get to know them and see them as new friends.

Make sure you see their dad as an opportunity, not an obstacle, after all he’s a free baby sitting service there and willing to be used! Reassure him that you are in no way trying to replace, or compete with him, make sure that he knows that yes you are dating his children’s mum, but you also value his input with his children. And don’t get jealous about him still being around, he’s around because he is the children’s father and nothing else.

Whatever you do see that woman for what she is first before seeing problems that really don’t exist. Dating for parents isn’t about the kids, it’s about normal people wanting to find love, friendship and everything in between, so make sure you don’t miss out on that great woman just because you can’t see past the fact that she’s a single mum.