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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Tummy Growling

A few years ago, when parenting my Godson, I was struggling with getting him to eat breakfast before school each morning. He did not understand why breakfast was so important to me. I didn’t understand why he refused to eat breakfast. Every morning was a a power struggle between us that no one ever won.

I simply did not want to send him to school at 7:30 am without any food. I was concerned because his next meal wouldn’t be until 12:45 for lunch. The whole situation made my head hurt and my stomach growl. One morning I decided I was not going to give in, he was going to eat something and I didn’t want to hear any excuses. I didn’t care if we were both late for morning schedules because he was going to eat breakfast.

He sat at the table with a bagel in front of him. I sat across from him and waited and watched. 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed, closing in on 15 minutes, I started getting vocal—“you will eat that bagel and you will eat it now!”. Next thing you know, a flying object whizzed past my face—fast, and then cream cheese hit the wall. It was a disaster. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. And, in the end he went to school without breakfast.

Later, I confided in my friend what happened and she reminded me that you cannot make a kid eat. He would learn by his own mistakes and if he chose to not eat then he would be hungry and learn his lesson. It was a power struggle we didn’t need to have. Mornings got a lot better once I learned to take a step back and accept that we would not always see eye to eye. I had to let him make some of his own decisions. We all know nutrition is important, but as parents, all we can really do is provide them with information and guide them to make the right decisions. As they grow up, you have to be willing to take a step back and allow them to make their own mistakes. It is the only way they will grow into healthy, confident and responsible adults.

Do you struggle with your children about nutrition? What do you do to get them to eat?

Thank you for following us on My Turn Your Turn,

Pamela McColloch

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

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My Dad, My Greatest Influence

I was recently asked by my friend Mike Austin at RadioDad.com to be a guest blogger on his website dedicated to dads. I often tell people my dad (pictured on the right was taken with me when I was 4) was my greatest influence in life and so it was easy to write this about him:

My dad was my greatest influence and truly my favorite person in the whole world. Growing up, he always made me feel special and let me help him on various projects around the house. He was a dreamer and had an entrepreneurial spirit. He lived by the motto, “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. In my adult years, we built several businesses together and he always encouraged me to be an entrepreneur, like him. He passed away in 2004 and every time I start a new project I think of him and wish he were here to encourage me to push forward.

Because of my relationship with my own dad and the influence he has had in my life, I always encourage dads to spend quality time with their children talking to them, encouraging them, dreaming with them and helping them see the possibilities around them. The memories you make with your children are priceless! Giving them the confidence to go out into the world and be creative is a gift that will keep on giving! Who knows you might even find that they will want to go into business with you as well!

Are you a dad-preneuer at heart? Create a tradition your child will love…read the full story on Radio Dad with Mike Austin: http://radiodad.com/mikeaustin/2012/04/18/my-dad-my-greatest-influence-entrepreneur/

Thank you for following us,

Tracy

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2012 in Building Memories, Fatherhood

 

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Communicating with an uncooperative co-parent!

This subject is one that hits very close to home for me! Just writing about it now makes me shudder. And, sadly I know there are others, like me, that have to deal with an uncooperative or intimidating co-parent.

I have two ex-husbands that were completely uncooperative co-parents and one that was verbally abusive to me in most communications with him. My first husband, Jean-Jacques and I separated in 1995, there were no cell phones or computers in my household. I didn’t even have caller ID on my home phone. He was the father of my daughter, Jillian and would call her every day in the beginning. Slowly that would change and he would go months without calling and eventually stopped calling at all but those first few years when he did call, I was always on edge. Every time the phone rang, I would hyperventilate because I knew the rage he had inside and how he would unleash it on me if the conversation didn’t go his way. I tried to stay strong so my daughter would not be fearful of him or be uncomfortable when he called but all my fears that I had when we were married would come flooding back to me with the sound of his voice. I too said things I wished I hadn’t. I was too foolish and insecure to hang up the phone and often would take the expletives and insults that he would throw at me which only fueled the vicious cycle we were on.

Rick on the other hand, my step daughter, Jacki’s father, had boundary issues and could not understand that I did not want to sit on the phone and argue with him. Eventually, I would hang up the phone on him, but he would call me back repeatedly until I answered. Communication was impossible and left us both feeling frustrated.

In both situations, co-parenting was difficult and painful for all of us but it had the biggest impact on our children because they witnessed negative communication between their parents day after day. It is hard for a child to understand what is normal and what isn’t. I don’t regret standing up for my daughters because I love them both so much but I do wish I had learned a better way to communicate with my ex-husbands that would have ended the cycle of poor communication and calmed the situation down.

I knew after years of going to battle with my ex’s that I just couldn’t be rational with an irrational person. I couldn’t change the way they reacted but I could change the way I did. One of the things I started doing to improve communication was to track my daughters’ visitation calendars. This calendar helped all of us stick to facts and argue less on opinion or emotion.  I wish I had also used a journal to document my feelings, positive memories, frustrations, fears and facts. Both would have helped us tremendously not just in daily communication but in court when facts matter.

Although those days have passed and my daughters are both grown and have their own families, I never forgot how I felt and always look back and wish that I had known and accepted that I was a person worthy of love and respect.  It is too late to change what has happened in the past but it is never too late to change how you deal with your co-parent today or in the future. No one should ever be allowed to intimidate you or bully you into making a decision.

Divorce is painful, co-parenting doesn’t have to be. Creating a system where you can track your visitation calendars, expenses, journal entries, incident reports and important documents for your family is crucial in all co-parenting situations and even more critical when communication is difficult. You may not be able to change how a person reacts to you but you do have a choice on how you communicate with them and what you communicate to them. You have the choice to stop the cycle of negativity and you can start today.

My Turn Your Turn was created to help co-parents be the best co-parents they can be and provide the tools necessary to improve communication within the family. Visit our blog often at MyTurnYourTurnBlog.com and watch for important updates on the official site launch coming in June 2012.

Written by: Tracy Taylor
Co-Written by: Erika Rossi-Raia
www.MyTurnYourTurnBlog.com

Visit us on our official website at http://www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website designed to help organize families and improve communication between co-parents sharing children due to divorce or separation.  Specializing in co-parenting tools and shared parenting resources including an online custody calendar,  online divorce journal, child support tracker and more for blended families, single parents and high conflict divorce cases.

 

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