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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Part 2; Encouragment and Advice for Parenting a Child with Learning Disabilities

Father and Son Playing Together at Home

Whether you are happily  married, divorced, have a sick partner, or are separated because of hectic work schedules, parenting a child is the greatest challenge anyone faces, our greatest contribution to the world, and our heaviest responsibility in life. Emotions cover an entire spectrum- from sorrow and joy to defeat and triumph with everything in between. Is it any wonder,  parenting a child with autism or any other  learning disability can seem to add insurmountable issues to our lives?

If this is you, rest assured you are uniquely qualified to help your child. A parent’s bond gives special insights others do not possess- this is a fact, so don’t argue. You love this child more than any other person on the planet and want only the best possible life for him. So, do your best and do not sabotage your efforts with thoughts of inadequacy; become his/her most devoted advocate and keep searching for the help you need to provide the right tools for success.

I am pretty sure my son will never be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon, but I am sure my child can achieve some basic level of independence one day. That is why  I always push him to try new things and not settle for a game controller in the basement for the rest of his life.

Sometimes, there are things these kids can do that no one else can do. Many can hyper focus on certain subjects, and therefore outshine any “normal” person. One such area for my son is birds. Yes, I said “birds”. He studied birds;  their names, nesting habits, male/female, adult/juvenile coloring, etc. He could  draw them, map them, and talk about them with anyone who would listen.

Now, imagine turning this unusual hobby into a job, and you can see what I am getting at. Present your child with different activities and see how they respond. Work on their weakest areas, which in my son’s case was becoming more self-aware of how his actions/words affect others. Another area was learning how to sustain a job, ANY job for a long period of time. This takes a lot of paying attention, asking questions, and careful explanations over and over…and over. As the years go by, I try to get my son to see where he started and how far he has come, especially when he is disheartened. He has accomplished more than the average Joe. I try to validate these accomplishments, and encourage him to reach a little further.

Do not compare your special child to any other children, that is an exercise in futility. He is a unique person, with a unique fingerprint, and a unique purpose in life. Help him find it. You will be surprised at how far they can go. I know I have been. We are not where I would LIKE to be with our own son, so we continue the parenting process. I can see great strides over the past five years, and I can see we are getting closer to our goal of independent living. In the end, I have developed some much needed patience and foresight. He continues to learn new things about , time management, social interaction, life skills for holding a job, or volunteering.

You can do this! It is worth the extra effort, time and tears!

Arleen

IMG_3602 Arleen Futch

Arleen is a mother of three, wife of a retired military man who is currently pastor of  a local church.

She enjoys Gardening, reading, raising chickens, and mentoring women in her new role as a pastor’s wife.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, Parenting

 

Have you been thinking about getting a divorce? Think again.

blended family with 2 childrenI’ve often heard the saying “opposites attract” and most of us  know that it’s true to a certain extent. I always found it interesting that the very things that attracted people to their husband or wife are the exact same things that, down the road, end up driving them crazy. Those little idiosyncrasies become annoying habits. Wanting to be together all the time becomes possessiveness and obsession, surprise presents become bad spending habits, the cute snort becomes embarrassing in public, you get the picture.   Add enough of those annoying habits into a pot and you get the simmering kettle of discontent.  Now throw into that same pot, a couple kids, a  dog or two, a mortgage payment, a pile of bills, intense jobs, etc… and now you’re in a pressure cooker.

Years ago most people stayed in this pressure cooker and added a pinch more love, some patience, a bit of optimism, a chunk of marriage counseling and perhaps a dash of humility. They stirred and stirred,simmered and boiled until they got the perfect blend of a marriage that stood the heat of time and  molded their hearts together. Ask any couple that’s been married over 50 years if it was easy and the answer is almost always, no, but they say “we loved each other enough to work through the rough times”.

Nothing, worth anything in life, is easy. I’m not saying that anyone should stay in a bad,  abusive relationship, but I am saying take a realistic look at what life will be like, for everyone involved, if you go through with the divorce.

Here are 10 points to consider before filing for divorce and jumping out of your marriage.

1.) If money is tight now, imagine that same amount of money running two complete households instead of one. The financial pressures don’t decrease, during and after a divorce, they usually increase especially with the impending legal fees for a divorce and custody battle and separate housing and living expenses.

“How much will my divorce cost?” http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/financialissues/f/costofdivorce.htm

2.) If your spouse doesn’t back you up with the kids when you discipline them now, imagine how much more intense it will be when he/she is not enforcing your rules with the kids in a completely different house but instead sending them home to you after a visit, spoiled and out-of-control.

3.) If your husband/wife works so much now that he/she doesn’t spend enough quality time with the kids, how much less time will he/she have with them when taking on the responsibilities a single parent home?

4.) If you feel like the in-laws don’t approve of your parenting techniques, imagine how much more disapproval you’ll feel when you’ve left their child (your spouse). But, remember, you’re children’s relationship does not end with the divorce. After all they are your children’s extended family and it will be important for you to work with them for the benefit of your children.

5.) If you can’t agree on parenting styles now, that does not go away but it magnifies with shared parenting.

6.) If you love your spouse but feel the pressure is too much, how much more hurt will you feel when they introduce a new beau to your children?

7.) Are you being stubborn about certain issues that could easily be rectified if you compromised a little bit? Chances are you’ll be compromising  a lot more later when you enter into a new relationship and form a blended family.

8.) Have you considered marriage counseling, seeing a therapist, or talking to your pastor? When angry or hurt it’s difficult to be objective and sometimes it’s very useful to have a third-party referee, so to speak, to help have a rational conversations and get to the bottom of important issues without it turning into a screaming match or mudslinging.

9.) Does your spouse know exactly how you feel and why you feel that way? For the sake of your children, and yourself, at least talk it over and try to give him/her the opportunity to try to make things better.

10.) Do a T-bar, pros and cons list and write down every issue that is important to you.. List what the issue is, What could be done to fix that issue in the marriage and how will a divorce affect this issue. Really think it through.

The bottom line is, that divorce only ends your marriage not your relationship. It begins a new type of co-parenting partnership. Almost all of the problems that you share with in a marriage you will share outside of the marriage if you share children.

If, after careful consideration, you still think you want to divorce, be sure to start to put together a comprehensive parenting plan. A parenting plan that will benefit both the parents and the children. But please make sure you’re not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Thank you for following,

Tracy Taylor

About My Turn Your Turn
Visit us on our official website at www.MyTurnYourTurn.com. My Turn Your Turn is a co-parenting website that helps 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.

 

Here are 3 Ways to Handle Dad Spoiling the Kids, for Co-Parents

Father Carrying DaughterIt’s a common scenario. Dad is treating the children to lavish gifts, trips and in other ways spoiling the children when he is with them, while Mom is struggling financially.

Mom is furious. But she also knows better than to bad-mouth Dad to the kids. (This is a wise mother who understands that put-downs will only backfire on her in the long run.)

So Mom is looking for suggestions on how to best handle this situation. Usually there is an underlying motive behind this kind of behavior which is often influenced by how often Dad sees the kids.

Some questions to consider include:

1. What kind of relationship does Dad have with them when he is not there?

2. Is Dad intentionally doing this to anger Mom — or is it unconscious irresponsible behavior?

3. Is he resentful about not seeing more of his children and therefore intentionally trying to hurt Mom?

4. Is he aware that Mom is struggling financially? Does he care?

5. Is he trying to show her up and influence the children away from her?

6. Does he know that spoiling is often sabotaging to Mom’s relationships with the kids?

7. Does he think he’s being a wonderful Dad?

Once you understand the agenda behind his behavior you are better able to offer a solution – or at least find a direction in which to initiate a conversation. Clear communication is important at this time. Here are some suggestions.

1. Have a heart-to-heart chat with Dad. If you can communicate without anger on this level, remind him of how his behavior appears from the children’s perspective. He might want to consider their confusion between the two lifestyles of their parents as well as the lessons they are learning about fiscal responsibility and other consequences of spoiling children.

2. Send Dad a note. Ask him some of the questions above if you are not sure about the answers. Share your frustrations with him without accusing him of intentionally creating these challenges. Explain that the children are aware of the different economic climates of their parents and ask you about it. Suggest that the children will be more at ease if there is less contrast between their lives with both parents. Invite him to talk to you if he has unresolved issues that need to be addressed.

3. Accept the reality. Explain to your children that Dad, like many grandparents and others who do not live with the kids on a daily basis, wants to make his time with them very special by treating them to things that are not part of their everyday life. If he were at home with them, that wouldn’t be the case. Mom can’t do that because there are too many daily chores, responsibilities and expenses that she has to tend to. Let them know how lucky they are because this way they get the best of both worlds.

The key here lies in communicating the consequences for the children when Dad shows them different values and a different lifestyle than the one they are living with you. If that is Dad’s intention, you might have to back off and live with it as per the last suggestion. Once you know Dad’s take on the situation continue to be the best parent you can be. In time your children will recognize your love and devotion despite the attraction of material lures and temptations.

*     *     *

Roz 300 dpiRosalind Sedacca, CCT is a Divorce & Parenting Coach and author of How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children — with Love! The book provides fill-in-the-blank templates for customizing a personal family storybook that guides children through this difficult transition with optimum results. For more information about the book, Rosalind’s free articles, ezine, coaching services and other valuable resources for parents visit http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.

© Rosalind Sedacca   All rights reserved.

 
 
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