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Category Archives: Single Parents

Do you think your cool enough for your teenager?

 

A Middle Eastern woman with her daughter-in-lawI was walking in the mall with Jillian, now 24, and in front of us was a mom with a young teenage daughter, around age 13. The daughter was about 2 feet in front of her mother, and was acting like she wasn’t with her. My daughter and I both laughed. She said “Oh Mom, do you remember when I used to do that”. And I said “I sure do!”. Those were the days when, as a mother, I wasn’t cool, and for that matter, at 13, not many adults were. I soon realized that many teens exhibit this behavior.  It was comforting to know that it wasn’t just me that wasn’t allowed to hug my child or give her a kiss on the cheek in public. Of course, Jillian out grew that stage and a couple years later we were walking arm in arm through the mall once again.

 

That memory got me thinking about those teenage years so I put together a list of  10 ways you know you have a teenager in the family. I hope you get a kick out of it.

 

1) You know you have a teenager when you look in their bedroom and it looks like the room has been robbed and ransacked. Clothes and other items are everywhere.

 

2) You know you have a teenager when you invite your child and their friends to go to the movies and they insist you go to a different movie.

 

3) You know you have a teenager when your child signs you up for a reality show to teach you how to dress.

 

4) You know you have a teenager when they don’t like anything you buy for them for their birthday, Christmas, or any other ocasion.

 

5) You know you have a teenager when it looks like gremlins have been in the kitchen and have eaten everything in sight.

 

6) You know you have a teenager when  you are longer welcomed to volunteer in the classroom or show up with lunch at the cafeteria.( Orders from  your child.)

 

7)  You know you have a teenager when your children are complaining that there bored all of the time even though they have all of the newest electronic games and computer rigmarole available.

 

8) You know you have a teenager when there seems to be a phone growing out of the side of their head or the tip of their fingers..

 

9)  You know you have a teenager when you find a sign on their door that says “no children allowed” or “Enter at your own risk”.

 

10) You know you have a teenager when your child keeps telling you  “You just don’t understand me. Times have changed since you were young.” (like it was all that long ago.)

 

I was trying to be funny with my top 10 but the truth is that teens need their parents and they need to their parents to understand them and show them love and affection. It’s important to stay involved. Many parents are trying to parent on their own and the added stress of separation or divorce makes it even more difficult to bond with teens. I encourage you not to give up and keep trying to fit in their life. They’ll thank you for it later. I found this article interesting; “Why is it so hard for parents to understand their teenagers?” http://www.youthleadersacademy.com/parents-understand-teenagers/ I hope it helps you. I wish I’d read this when I had two teenager girls in the house!

 

We would love to hear about your experiences with your teens! Maybe you can shed some light on the subject for the rest of the parents  who still have those wonderful teenage years to look forward to.

 

Thanks for reading. Spend some time with your teen today!!

 

Tracy

 

Visit us on our official website at 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.

 

Always Remain Calm (ARC)

Father and Daughter at the BeachI am a single father who had struggled through a nasty divorce in a million of ways. The one thing I kept front and center were my children throughout all the proceedings since they are my world.

With all the emotions and negative energy surrounding you trying to prove you as a competent parent I use this acronym 24/7 no matter what happened in the past or might happen in the future. Now please do not take this as a soft approach of any kind I do deal with the issues at hand but with a calm state of mind. I hope that some of you or all of you remember to keep this in your minds regardless of the tactics used in family courts, disagreements, arguments with your ex. After all these events, one who loses the most is none other than your children.

This is not about something Noah Built but he might have used it.

To some if they just hear it instead of seeing it written ARC conjures up a Man and his animals, safe refuge on a Sea.

To read it one might think of it the graceful movement of a curveball as it streaks by a hitter’s outstretched bat or perhaps the glorious shape of a rainbow on a summer’s day bending down to its storied pot of gold. And yet it is an Acronym from that which I mention as ARC or “Always Remain Calm”.

Don’t lose your temperament and ethics at any cost try staying cool or chill out or even better control your temper.

The challenge is to find a calm state within you and to persist over that. We should not be disturbed or perturbed rather we should be at peace with our self.

Growing up I was told to do many things “Be Strong, toughen up, stop your whining and get on with it. Be a man and act like a matured person.

First as a boy, then as an adolescent and continuing into early adulthood, I was given many directives about how to comfort myself like an adult. Most of them had to do with a façade I was supposed to put on, which would essentially hide way my true feelings.

At no time during my personal happiness would rely, critically, upon the level of my emotional maturity. In Fact, in my world of boys to men, the concept of emotional maturity was rarely even touched upon, and the mechanism for achieving it-nothing at all. One of the catch phrases bandied about quite a bit these days is emotional intelligence or Eq; generally used to refer to the ability to understand the emotional dynamics of a given social setting it is a term that is generally outward looking. Emotional maturity, to my mind is not the only something that is inward looking but also inward handling.

Take the story of the young cowboy who, when searching for a group of stray cattle, spots them in the distance and rushes toward the poor animals in a frantic effort to corral them.

All this anxious action accomplishes is to scatter them even further. His older, wiser ranch partner, seeing the very same wayward animals ambles over to him in no rush and certainly not in a hurry to quietly and calmly round them up and head them back home again. His years in the saddle, his maturity as a working cowboy, tell him that adding anxious behaviour to already difficult situation just makes things worse. By remaining calm and maintaining focus on his goal, he goes about his business a little more slowly, but he accomplishes his task a whole lot faster.

Wiser is the true key word in the last paragraph for me. Back in the day, wisdom was something that carried real heft. The refinement of healthy perspective tough the consistent, repeated application of practical knowledge seems to have lost its value as life experiences have lengthened, and as everyone has become obsessed with eternal youth. Wisdom generally brings as its corollary calmness, because a wise person has been through many things, and is not easily disturbed or perturbed. The positive effect of experience is that it gives us the chance to understand what is going on around us, while it is going on around us. Instead of relying on hindsight to give us 20/20 vision, we can rely on our own innate knowledge to give us the perspective that we need, and perspective is a powerful tool in achieving calmness.

Phrases routinely offered for advice on staying calm include” take a step back””and “Try to see it from the other persons perspective”-these and their like are very well intended. Yet, to achieve a sturdy sense of calm, one that will withstand the rattling of our cages by others, Focus must be placed on the idea of practiced behaviour that clearly present  within us, and readily available to be put into action. Like the wise old cowboy in his saddle, you have to have been to a few round ups before you’ll get the hang of it.

Even more so than the wisdom, the ability to remain calm is a natural by product of emotional maturity. Understanding how we feel in certain situations, and now we react to the emotional inputs of others, allows us to behave in a fairly predictable manner. By practising being conscientious towards ourselves and others, the prediction will be for the calm weather. Emotional maturity is a positive state of being, and resilient calmness has a positive effect on our environment and the people in it. The two go simultaneously hand in hand. It is important that always remaining calm must be seen as a goal, not as an absolute. Getting there takes time and effort, and failure and setbacks, so we must be patient with ourselves as we make our way there. The voyage must be valued as a much as the destination.

How do we achieve this goal? Through hard work, repeated often. Outside of effort in the element of difficulty, there are three ways we can work towards this desirable state of calm.

First we must be thinking about it. Think about being calm, about wanting to be calm. The more we think about being calm the more our mind and body will get used to the idea that this is the way we want to be. This thoughtfulness will instill in us the desire the motivation to remain in a calm state. On top of that, visualization is a key tool at our disposal. Our imagination is a very powerful tool/part of who we are, and it can be employed to take us through the most challenging situations again and again allowing us to practice remaining calm in an emotionally tumultuous world. NOT only does visualization build our emotional muscle memory, it also gives us the edge of predictability and routine. The upsetting acts as others become much more run of the mill, and therefore much less able to get our “goat”. We are able to game out the games of others and our reactions to.(We are most often prone to track other’s activity ignoring ours) Thirdly we must revisit their provocative situations where we have lost our calmness and where we have been able to maintain it intact. Rather than beating ourselves up, or patting ourselves on the back, revisiting our successes and failure gives us the chance to  see where we went wrong or right, to correct our errors and entrench our correct behaviours. If you like photonics, ours’ aim would be to employ the 3 m’s Motivation, mechanics, memory.

Giving thought to calmness will give us the motivation, visualizing calmness will provide us with the mechanics, and employing our memories of situations that require calmness will illuminate a clear path to achieving it.

Here is the fact, Always Remain Calm.

When we inject anger into a difficult situation, we are simply adding fuel to the fire. When we withhold anger (withhold not suppress, for anger put into proper perspective almost always dissipates over time) And instead present our calm, composed self, we rob the fire of its oxygen.

ARC is a means to cross the turbulent waters of life that can be built by any person.

Your life and more importantly your children’s lives will be much better. It’s not easy but it can be done. I can be considered as a proof of this thesis and my son lives with me 50% of the time. So it is “truly your my turn” on an equal fair basis.

You can visit or join my journey here www.youdaman.ca. Being positive is a lot better than being negative, I am living proof.

Thank you,

John

John-1401 the new beginning (1)

 

About My Turn Your Turn

Visit us on our official website at www.MyTurnYourTurn.com and sign up for your free 30-day trial. 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.

 

Have you told your kids about the divorce?

Sad Little GirlWhen I left Jillian’s father it was because I was in an abusive relationship. She was all too happy that we escaped his control. When I told her that her father and I were getting a divorce it was not very upsetting to her. She was afraid of him. My situation was very different than most divorcing parents because Jillian was three and half when she met her father for the first time. We were not married when I found out that I was pregnant and he did not want anything to do with the baby initially. I moved back to my hometown and raised my daughter on my own until we got back together. She was five when we got married. She didn’t have that early childhood bonding with him and therefore did not have the same unconditional love that most children have for their parents. Even children in an abusive child-parent relationship form an attachment to that parent, in the early formative years, in spite of the abuse.

Most experts will tell you that it’s important for both parents to tell the children about the upcoming divorce together. They say that you should not give them the details of why you’re getting divorced, but assure them that you both love them and that both of you will be a vital part of their life. “Helping children understand that both parents still love them after the split-up”.  http://www.myturnyourturn.com/blog/index.php/helping-children-understand-that-both-parents-still-love-them-after-a-split-up/

How you handle this delicate situation, sets the stage for how your children will feel about themselves and how they will feel about both parents going forward. No matter how upset you are, as parents, with each other, it is important to keep your emotions under control for the sake of your children. There are numerous books on the subject. One book is “How to talk to your children about the divorce.” By Jill Jones-Soderman; http://www.amazon.com/Talk-Your-Children-About-Divorce/dp/0976427168

Most experts agree that children do not need to know the details about their parent’s faults in the marriage. It is not appropriate to expose indiscretions to the children unless they are in danger of some kind.  Nor is it wise to talk about inappropriate subject matter with your children. They do not need to know about your sex life, etc. Parents often go to great lengths to try to get the kids to side with them. You need to understand that it is vital to your children’s well being to have a healthy, respectable relationship with both parents. Once things are said, they cannot take them back. Although your needs and feelings are important, protecting your children’s feelings must be top priority.

If you feel that you will be unable to keep calm and objective when telling your children with your coparent, then I suggest you that you do so in the presence of a third party. A relative, friend, pastor, or councilor may be willing to lend support while you break the news. It’s understandable if you are upset, crushed, angry or confused, but your top priority is your children.

Please share with us your thoughts and perhaps you have a great way to share divorce news that will help our readers.

Good luck,

Tracy

Visit us on our official website at www.MyTurnYourTurn.com and sign up for your free 30-day trial. 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.

 
 
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