Answer to the above? Of course, we are coping! We must!
But what does this really mean to us?
How Are We Single Moms Coping With COVID19?
Those who are newly divorced single moms and those of us who are not! How is this crisis shaping us as individuals, let alone single mothers who must keep it all calm and keep it all together?
The news on this pandemic is literally changing by the hour. How we start the week on a Monday is very different than how we end the week on a Friday.
My gosh, how we start the day is one story and by 5pm it’s completely altered. And even while the world sleeps or while we are unable to sleep, the 24-hour news cycle is regurgitating the day’s top story over and over with graphics and Breaking News that look like Armageddon!
We consciously and unconsciously absorb all of this and it can be utterly overwhelming. But of course, it is important that we pay attention and heed the warnings.
How do we keep our families calm and keep ourselves glued together, especially if we are the breadwinners of the family?
Schools are closed, mandated work from home orders, shelter in place, layoffs, furloughs and people ripping toilet paper out of each other’s hands and hoarding palettes of water at the grocery stores… we have seen and heard it all. So, let’s get down to it! Let’s cope, shall we!
So, I hear the schools are closed! Umm really? I can hear you all saying to yourselves, “I guess I can be a teacher too?”
Okay, so on this one it may take some memory cells for me to recall this time in my children’s life on a normal day let alone during a pandemic. My kids are in their twenties, so let me reach back to the grade school days that you all may be in now.
I can only imagine how in the world I would cope with orders to stay at home to work remotely and have my kids’ home and out of school at the same time! If you live in Hawaii, no problem. They can play outside in the 80-degree weather. But those who are in places like New York where the temperature is 48 degrees, well they will have a very different experience.
So, I suggest you load up on learning websites, board games, books, arts, and craft projects and all the above that will keep them busy while you try ever so hard to get some work done too. Remember though, you are not in your normal work setting.
Remind those that have mandated this of that fact too. This is one instance that you do not have to feel guilty for caring for your children while appeasing your boss at the same time. Your boss gets it. They must and that’s the end of that story.
You are not a miracle worker…though it feels like it most days.
You are doing the best you can and that is all anyone can ask! How you respond to this will translate over to your children. They are watching you and will learn this skill as it has now become part of their story and life memories. You got this!
So now you find yourself working from home.
Do you get up at the normal time?
Do you even get dressed at all?
Is makeup necessary?
Well, all of that depends on how visible your company asks you to be. I, for example, must be on video calls. Though I don’t need to be in full business attire, I really don’t want my boss and coworkers to see what I look like after I have rolled out of bed and into my home office. Nor do I want to see what they look like.
So yes, as Paul McCartney would say in Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, drag a comb across your head!
Warning…let your kids know when you are on a call! I have worked in a remote office setting for many years, I remember when my son was 3 years old, he wanted his truck fixed and I was on a call with my boss. He walked in and slammed his dump truck down on my desk and asked me to drop everything and fix his truck. I kept switching the mute button on and off as I tried to care for his urgent truck repair and make sure my boss didn’t know a thing about what I was dealing with presently!
I wasn’t about to give him an opportunity to tell me that I didn’t seem focused on my job. I am happy to tell you that in this time of COVID19 home officing, you do not have to hide a thing. It is what it is.
Lean on your colleagues who perhaps do not have kids at home and ask them to help you with whatever you need. A report or an urgent client response, they are there too and can help. Know that you and your office mates, though no longer physically next to each other can still be emotionally connected. It takes a village for sure and this is one of those times!
I had no idea that a football Helmet was required to go to the grocery store!
But in the time of COVID19, you could use a football linebacker as your ringer to get you through the aisles to the water palettes and toilet paper rolls! I honestly have never seen anything like it before!
But for those of us who have either little ones in the house or even elderly ones to care for it can be a do or die task to get these items. The good thing is that they are now rationing, and hoarders are no longer able to stockpile palettes of water and hand sanitizers in their garages only to still be there in 2030.
Again, it takes a village and the way to really survive this time is through kindness.
Kindness to the store clerks and kindness to the family members who are ever present in your space as you all reside together now 24 hours a day… 7 days a week…30 days a month … 364 days a year……Oh, Dear.
Which of course leads me to the intense cohabitation that we now find ourselves in. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. But I wouldn’t mind a little more social distancing practice inside my little abode.
I have realized just how much I am responsible for. More than I really wanted to know. As I am working away on my computer trying to make the living, we all need, my son… who is looking for a job post-college still, is clanging plates downstairs and making his third meal of the day. It’s only 11am.
My daughter is in the background freaking out about how much she loves her classes and doesn’t want to do them online now, and in between rants reminds me that she needs help buying two books (which are $80) to reference for the online classroom platform.
Oh, and if classes resume, she needs a parking pass. I can then hear her videos playing on her Mac in her room as my son continues to run up and down the stairs, as he finds more sustenance for the personal famine he is experiencing.
I work in the tourism industry. An industry that has been pummeled by the COVID19 outbreak. I am not even certain I will have a job next week. But all the while I sigh as I hear the wheels on the inner workings of my little family keep going.
I guess I should be glad that even though the world is changing by the minute outside my front door, my family is still intact, and we are all healthy. I am still a good single working mom taking care of my people and the ever-present responsibilities that go with it all. We really are amazing women!
Stay well, everyone. We have a job to do.
A Message To Single Moms At Christmas
Hey! Hey, you! I see you there, staying up late, searching for the best deals and worrying about how you’re going to put presents under the tree. I know you’ve been squirreling money away since July, hoping to surprise your kids with more than you were able to give last year.
I understand all too well how much easier it would be if you had another income to work with. How much weight would be off your shoulders if you didn’t live paycheck to paycheck all year long?
I know that this time of year is hard, if only because you want to do so much more for your kids than you can.
But I saw you carrying a tree as big as you through the lot all by yourself, never once complaining or asking for help. I saw you bundling the entire family up, going neighborhood to neighborhood to admire the lights as Christmas carols played on your car radio.
I know that most nights, when you’re not too tired or rundown, you try to sit with them and read at least one Christmas story, sometimes in front of a fire. I’ve seen you making hot chocolate and breaking out the advent calendar, determined to make happy holiday memories for those little people you love so much.
I know you’ve been sharing your favorite holiday movies, beaming with pride as your kids laughed at “Elf” or giggled through “A Christmas Story” (Fun fact to impress them with: The same kid who played Ralphie grew up to play one of the head elves, supervising Buddy at the North Pole. Ask your kids if they can spot him!)
I saw you flipping through your Christmas cookie recipes, trying to plan a time to bake with your favorite little people—trying even harder not to think about how much you don’t need those cookies around your house. (It’s the holidays, let yourself indulge a little. I promise you deserve it.)
I know you may be worrying (or even heartbroken) about spending Christmas alone this year (perhaps it’s their dad’s turn to have them) or about not being able to give them the Christmas they deserve if they will be with you. I know that it’s not just the presents that get expensive this time of year.
The visits to Santa, the tree, the new ornaments, even the baking supplies; it all adds up. And maybe you have a job where you won’t get paid on the days you aren’t working, making this a short month with less money coming your way.
I see you trying to do the very best you can anyway.
I know you bolt out of bed some nights, remembering that you forgot to hide the elf. So you jump up and move him while it’s on your mind, and then you can’t fall back asleep for another two hours. Only in the morning do you realize how unoriginal your new hiding spot was.
And I know that you are the only one wrapping gifts and that because you’re tired and stressed out and a little short on personal time, the corners aren’t just right. And you’ve got a few presents with scraps of paper taped together because you don’t have any to waste.
But you know what? Your kids don’t seem to care. They don’t mind that there are only a few presents under the tree, or even that the tree is second-hand and a little beaten up.
They aren’t upset you had to skip the Santa visit this year, and they remember all the Christmas stories by heart—because you’ve read them every year before now. And do you want to know the best part? They think you are beautiful enough to eat all the cookies without fear.
Maybe this is the first year you’ve been doing it all on your own, or perhaps it’s always been like this. Either way, there is an extra pressure there when you are solo parenting around the holidays. You never want your kids to miss out. You never want them to feel as though they don’t have everything every other family does. And this time of year, that missing presence can feel even harder to ignore.
But I promise you’re doing just fine. Amazing, even.
Because every step of the way, you are putting your kids first. You are pushing and striving to make this holiday season better than the last, to stick to the traditions, to create the memories and to show your kids just how much you love them.
You are a superwoman. And I’m here to tell you, even if those attempts don’t go exactly as originally planned, they know it.
And they see you, too.
They see you bending over backward to make the holidays special. They see you slapping a smile on your face as you sing, even though the circles under your eyes are dark. They may not be beaming with gratitude just yet; in fact, it might take them years to tell you just how much your efforts meant. But they see you, and the memories you are working so hard to make.
You are singlehandedly creating Christmas, and your kids are benefitting daily from that fact. They see you, and they’ll always remember…
The hot chocolate.
The lazy elf.
All of this will mean so much more to them than anything you could possibly put under the tree. In fact, years from now, they won’t remember what gifts they got this Christmas—but they will remember how hard their mom worked to make it special.
You’re doing an amazing job. So be kind to yourself this holiday season; you deserve some happy memories, too.
I have now been raising my kiddos solo for approximately two years.
Something that had not entered my head prior to my separation was all of the fears that I would now face raising these two beautiful kids on my own.
The “what ifs” have kept me up at night for many nights and I am sure I am not alone with this. Some of us are afraid if we call out our fears we may sound crazy or irrational, or maybe it will manifest them to reality, or maybe we just are too busy trying to be brave that we are afraid to admit we are scared as fuck!
I will share just a few of my fears here and also some ideas on how to handle them or mitigate them, so if the worst does happen we can be prepared somewhat.
4 Fears All Divorced Moms Are Familiar With
1. What if I die? What will happen to my babies? (I am sure that this affects all moms, not just single ones, and probably most dads too but for me, it was almost an obsessive thought for the first year of my single mama life.)
Go talk to a lawyer!! Make sure you have a will and a solid plan. This will give you peace of mind should the unthinkable happen. Talk to your family about your wishes as well. Ensure you have adequate life insurance coverage. And then let it the f%&$ go because it is out of your control and it will eat away at you to live with this fear each day.
2. What if I am driving and something happens to me causing me to be unresponsive? (Or maybe not driving but for me, I have always feared a car accident that leaves me injured and my kids to deal with that on their own)
Again, this maybe isn’t a single mama dilemma so much, but I certainly worry more about this now than I did when I was married.
At the recommendation of a first responder (a very handsome firefighter I should add) immediately add a contact in your phone under “ICE” which stands for in case of emergency. Police, EMS, and Firefighters may be able to access your phone and will look for this person to contact. Also, add this information to a piece of paper and put it in your wallet with your driver’s license.
Teach your kids age-appropriate ways to handle this. Show them how to call 911, have an emergency plan in place just in case. Once I made these changes and discussed a plan with my kids (ages 6 and 11) I was able to stop obsessing over this fear.
3. Who will care for my kids if I am sick? Or, “How can I get help or medication for one while the other is sleeping? Or various versions of this type of situation…I’m sure you have imagined several scenarios or maybe even lived through them already!
Find your tribe! Surround yourself with lovely people that are willing to drop off medication or ginger ale in the middle of the night while their spouse or older children hold down their fort. Have various medications, Pedialyte or similar, and ginger ale on hand. And this, I will capitalize, as it was a huge roadblock for me at first. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR ASKING FOR HELP! It does not make you a failure or make you appear incapable. Let the guilt go and allow your friends and family to help you.
4. Holding it together…
This is by far the biggest fear I’ve had to face so far settling into our new “normal.” There is NO one to tag out to at the end or a crazy day or night. What if we break down in front of our kids? What if they walk into our room while we are sobbing helplessly on the floor because it is all just so overwhelming?
Well, mamas… I have learned that this will happen. And that it is okay. Our kids will learn that moms have fears, emotions, and moments where we just need to cry it out, just as they do. They will learn that mom goes down but always manages to find the strength to get back up!
Fears will always be present mamas! It is how we face them and prepare for them that makes us stronger.
There is definitely an art and a science to successful single parenting. Since I was raised by a single parent and raised two children solo for a few years, it’s worth mentioning that there is a silver lining to being a single mom. Fortunately, many moms gain self-confidence in their ability to handle challenges and their children become more determined and independent.
However, making the transition from married to single life won’t be easy for you or your children. It takes time to adjust to financial changes, expanded household and childcare responsibilities and being alone. It’s essential that you develop daily habits and routines to smooth the way for you and your children.
The key to successful single parenting is to reflect daily upon the importance of preparing for your new life and accepting that change is necessary. It will take time for you and your children to adjust to your new lifestyle but developing a positive mindset will help ease the transition.
Since I’ve always found paradigms and principles useful to setting goals, I will borrow habits from Stephen R. Covey‘s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and adapt them for single moms. In several cases, I borrowed his heading and in others, developed my own.
7 Habits of an efficient single mom
1. Be proactive: Get support for yourself and your children. This includes counseling, social outlets, and child care. Avoid playing the role of victim and remind yourself that things will get better over time.
2. Create a positive vision: Take control of your life and develop a clear picture of where you are heading. Decide what your values are for raising your children and start with setting three goals that are meaningful to you. Keep in mind that it can take up to a month to see any change.
3. Prioritize: Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep the focus on spending time with your kids and positive interactions. For instance, in our house we had pizza on Tuesday nights which gave us one weeknight to spend more time together when I wasn’t so focused on cooking and cleaning up.
4. Think win-win: Make peace with your ex and keep it that way. No matter how you feel about your ex, don’t bad mouth him or argue in front of your kids. Children pick up on petty fighting and may take it personally. So walk away or take on the role of peacemaker if tension is brewing with your ex. Otherwise, your children will feel forced to take sides, which may cause them to develop loyalty conflicts and possibly emotional problems if there is high conflict.
5. Seek first to understand: then to be understood: Open up the lines of communication with your kids. Be open and honest without giving them too many details or blaming your ex for the divorce. Even if you perceive that he was responsible they shouldn’t hear it from you. Take every opportunity to listen, support, and encourage them to talk about their feelings with you and/or someone they trust.
6. Ensure smooth transitions. Work with your children and possibly your ex to reduce stress in the lives of your children. Children often experience stress moving from parent to parent after divorce. Try your best to develop routines for their leaving and coming home. Be sure not to make them a messenger or ask them to report on the parent they just left. Attempt to be flexible yet consistent with the custody schedule. Keep in mind that as kids reach adolescence they may become rebellious about following the original custody schedule and need more control.
7. It’s Me Time: Take time to do the things that you enjoy. Set expectations for your children to do regular chores. This doesn’t mean overburdening them with too much responsibility. However, having high expectations for your kids will set the stage for making them more independent and will allow you to have more downtime.
How can you embrace this time of your life as an opportunity? First of all, it’s imperative that you focus on the things that are truly important and learn to let other things go. This involves making a commitment to helping your children adjust to your divorce and practicing amicable co-parenting. Working together with your ex and communicating effectively is ideal. However, if this isn’t possible, either because your ex is absent or adversarial, you can still become a successful single parent.
Be patient with your children – it will encourage their cooperation. Give your kids time to adjust to the news that their parents are no longer married. Keep in mind that they will need time to get used to their new schedule and they may show signs of distress or withdraw at times. Reassure them that you are there for them and that things will get better.
At times, you may feel guilty about putting your children through a divorce but don’t let that stop you from setting effective limits and boundaries. For instance, allowing your children to stay up late or sleep with you may backfire because you both need your space and sleep. Be aware that kids play parents off each other and may say things like “Dad lets me stay up until midnight.” Even if this is true, you can say “Your dad has his rules, but in my house bedtime is at 9pm.”
As a single mom, it is of primary importance that you help your children cope with your divorce and develop a mindset of being a positive role model for them. In order to do this, you must take care of yourself. Parents who take control of their own lives, with courage and resilience, help their children do the same. Being a single mom draws on every ounce of energy from you, forcing you to become a more compassionate person.
Learn to trust yourself and embrace your new life by taking care of you. For example, sign up for yoga or an exercise class, eat healthy, and schedule in social times with friends. You will be a more effective parent if you are rested and feel connected to others. Counseling, coaching, or a support group can be helpful supports that will enhance your transition to your new life.
As a parent who is taking care of herself and gaining confidence, you are equipping your child with the best tools possible and the self-esteem to move forward with their life. Developing a sense of adventure and new rituals such as family game night or walks will help you stay connected with your children.
Your divorce can be seen as a transforming event, and you alone are responsible for creating a new kind of family for you and your children. You can choose to model self-acceptance and hope for your kids. Learning to laugh at yourself and focusing on the big picture will enable you and your children to make a good adjustment to divorce.
More from Terry
My Facebook feed is filled with divorced or almost divorced women turning to each other for support and there is one thing you won’t find on there:
Single dads and divorced dads are not gathering in tribes on social media boards or in person to chat about their plight and experience with divorce even if they want to.
Why Divorced Dads Don’t Turn to Each Other for Support
A study published in 2000 in the Psychological Review, showed that stressed women “tend and befriend” while men go for the “fight or flight” option. Researchers suggest that this is due to the fact that when stressed, men’s brains omit less oxytocin, that feel-good love hormone than women. And according to statistics produced by the American Psychological association in 2011, women (70%) are more apt to do something to reduce their stress than men (50%) are.
No matter which way we slice it, research shows that men tend to go the solo route when it comes to working through stress while women look for company along the way.
Men don’t want to raise their hands and say, “Hey everyone, my life sucks,” or “I miss my ex-wife,” or “It’s really hard raising kids in a single-parent home.”
Doing that would mean admitting pain and hardship, something that isn’t considered a masculine trait and let’s face it, while women have been the oppressed gender from the start, men also suffer from unfair stereotypes and expectations. Men aren’t oppressed, they are REPRESSED emotionally!
It’s not OK for a man to cry.
Be a man, suck it up.
You’ve heard those phrases tossed around and so have I.
We tell men to be brave and strong and to keep a straight face. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for grief and sadness.
So it isn’t surprising then that single dads and divorced men are not looking for a support group, but to me, this limits divorced men and single dads from moving past divorce in a healthy way.
If men could form groups or did form groups, it could help them grieve divorce and learn new parenting strategies from other dads. If a man did reach out to another man to say, “Hey, how did you find a good custody schedule,” or “Is mediation the better route?” it would be beneficial for that divorcing dad.
Going solo on such a huge adventure like becoming a divorced, single dad seems risky, from my female-wired brain. It could also be the reason men seem to jump into new relationships, faster.
A new partner might just be the divorced man’s support group, but that is problematic too. Someone you’re romantically interested in shouldn’t be a springboard for grief and renewal.
So for all the divorced dads out there, why not see befriending or growing your support network of other divorced and single dads in a different light, rather than seeing it as a “b*tch fest” or gathering like a group of old ladies?
See reaching out for support as a:
- Chance to network: Maybe your new friends will have good business contacts or even better, cute single female friends.
- Chance to mentor: If you’re a single dad mentoring a man who’s going through the divorce process, you can be a father figure to someone going through the experience—an adoptive son or little brother, as it were.
- Chance to learn from others: Use your man brain and be logical: someone who has been there or done that will know certain pitfalls to avoid as you go through the divorce process that you wouldn’t have known without asking someone in the “know.”
To all the divorced dads or “going through a divorce” dads, why not do things a little differently in your life this time around? Making contacts and building a support network isn’t just for women. It’s for smart people who want to make a huge life adjustment a bit easier or in other words, it’s for you!
The post Why Don’t Divorced Dads Turn To Each Other For Support Like Divorced Moms Do? appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Staying in shape is not easy when you are a single Mom. Either you cannot go out because you need to look after your kids, and when you actually can those fancy fitness classes are just too expensive. However, even if you cannot afford a gym membership it is time to dust off your sneakers.
There are so many free ways to work out and burn those calories, so just pick the one you like and work those muscles!
Staying Physically Fit on a Single Mom’s Budget
Download an app
Instead of listening to your trainer telling you what to do, you can listen to an app. Although some apps you will need to purchase, there are fitness apps that won’t cost you anything. Whether you prefer running or full-body workouts, you will definitely find an app that meets your needs.
Join a club
Not like a fitness club, those can be pricey. These days a lot of people are searching for like-minded individuals online and forming fitness groups anybody can join. There are all kinds of clubs, from marathon training teams to yoga clubs. The best thing about working out in a group like this is that you will receive support and encouragement that can positively influence your exercise habits. Peer pressure is not always a bad thing, you know!
Were you going to the gym just so you could spend some time on a treadmill? Well, forget about paying for a membership and explore the great outdoors for free. There are so many trails just waiting for you to discover them, so pack your backpack and hit the road.
Use your bodyweight
Did you know that short, high-intensity bodyweight workouts are more efficient than never-ending cardio routines? Training with a resistance band is a cheap yet really effective way to get in shape. With just a band (that can easily fit in your bag) and your body, you will be able to exercise anywhere – at home, work or in the park.
Exercise on your way to work
Even if you are a single Mom who spends all of her time with her precious babies, you still have to put the food on the table, right? Since you have to work anyway, you might as well exercise on your way to the office. By walking, jogging or biking to work, not only will you get in shape, but you will save money on gas or public transportation while doing our planet a favor.
Search for free fitness events in your town
If you live in a city, there is a good chance you will be able to find at least a dozen free fitness events in your area every month. You can track them down on Facebook’s events page and since plenty of them are indoors, you will be able to sweat your worries away even during those cold or rainy days.
YouTube to the rescue
Every day we use YouTube to learn all kinds of things, from how to make a fishtail braid, do our makeup to how to make the best chocolate chip cookies for the kids. Therefore, why not use YouTube to get fit? Nowadays so many personal trainers have their own channels and are regularly posting videos to YouTube. This is a great option for all you single Moms who need to keep an eye on your children during the day. So, skip the expensive fees and go straight to sweating.
Hit the road, Jack
The best thing about running is that it is completely free and you can do it almost anywhere. Whether you live in a village, small town or a huge city, you can find an interesting route through your neighborhood, or do a quick Google search and see whether your local high school or college track is open to the public.
Do Yoga at home
What do you need in order to do yoga? Just a mat, right? So why should you pay for a yoga membership when you can easily find thousands of free yoga resources online, and get fit from the comfort of your living room.
Getting fit and burning those calories doesn’t have to break the bank. Whether you cannot afford the gym membership or leaving your home for more than 15 minutes is not an option, with these tips you will be able to easily get in shape.
The post How to Stay Physically Fit On a Single Mom’s Budget appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Child discipline in an intact family is a responsibility shared between Mom and Dad. Once there is a divorce the custodial parent will have to take on the majority of this responsibility. Non-custodial parents should remain as actively involved in child discipline as possible but it only makes sense that the parent spending more time with the child will end up doing most of the work where discipline is concerned.
It is a dirty job but someone has to do it! It is especially important that children who are struggling to cope with the changes in their family be given a structured environment to help them cope with the many changes that come along with divorce.
This is a guide for the custodial parent who may find themselves not only attempting to cope with the stress of being a single parent but also the impact of divorce on their child.
8 Tips for Child Discipline After Divorce
1. Idle Hands Are the Devil’s Workshop:
Busy children are less likely to get into or cause trouble. Keeping your child engaged in fun or productive activities will not only keep them out of trouble it will keep you focused on something other than your own problems.
My ex sees our children 4 days out of the month which leaves me to deal with any disciplinary problems that arose on all those other days. I found that life was easier for not only me but the children also if I stressed the importance of not only having fun but also being productive.
They both had after school activities to participate in that were outlets for creativity and an opportunity to relax and distress. They also had responsibilities they had to tend to once they were home for the evening. Their homework had to be done, dinner dishes had to be cleaned and they were required to do 45 minutes of reading. By bedtime, they were so tired from their “fun and productive day” they welcomed the idea of crawling between the sheets and settling down.
2. Focus on Positive Behaviors, Not Negative Behaviors:
You can sit my younger son in time out all day or, take away his favorite toy and he would turn around and misbehave…over and over again. The trick with him was to give him something he liked doing as a reward for not misbehaving.
Once I figured this out I spent a lot less time punishing him and more time praising him. For example, he loved feeding the fish and cleaning the fish tank. That was his job unless he misbehaved and to hold onto that “job” he works hard at behaving in a way that is pleasing to his Mom.
If you have a child who isn’t responding in a positive way to standard forms of discipline try rewarding him/her with a liked task in exchange for good behavior. As a parent, it is so much less stressful to be able to say, “job well done,” instead of, “to the corner young man.”
3. Set Clear and Age Appropriate Boundaries and Rules:
Don’t expect your children the respect boundaries or follow rules they are not old enough to understand or physically capable of following. I had a written contract with my elder son that outlined his responsibilities and the rewards for living up to those responsibilities.
My younger son had a chart with stars. He was awarded a star for good behavior and lost a star for bad behavior. And they both knew what I considered good and bad behavior. I was specific with them about the rules and the consequences of breaking the rules. And the consequences for my elder son were different than the ones for my younger son.
4. Be Consistent When Disciplining:
As a single parent, it is easy to take the path of least resistance and relax the rules a bit. Let’s face it, at times it is easier to just “do it yourself” than engage in the power struggle that can ensue when trying to get a child to act.
The idea behind setting rules and boundaries is to let them know who is in charge. The more you bend the rules, the less parental authority you have. Bend them enough and you will soon find yourself with no authority at all.
Being consistent requires a parent have self-discipline, it requires a lot of effort. In other words, being consistent will probably be the hardest part of disciplining your child. If you are able to remain consistent you will not only promote growth and maturity in your child but yourself also.
5. Be Quick and Concise When Disciplining Your Child:
My mother was notorious for threatening me if I misbehaved when away from home. She would shake her finger in my face and say, “when I get you home you will pay for that.” And there I would be, filled with anxiety for hours over what was going to happen once she “got me home.”
She didn’t want to make a scene in front of others but didn’t mind dumping hours of stress and fear onto me in order to save face. Punishment is far more effective and less damaging if it is doled out at the time of the bad behavior. Justice should be swift when dealing with children and it will be more effective if done immediately.
The trick is to have a separate set of consequences the child will suffer if bad behavior takes place away from home than those you have for home. It can be as simple as telling her child if he/she misbehaves at a Birthday party you will remove them from the party. Whatever the consequences, whether at home or away from home do it on the spot.
6. Keep Your Anger Under Control When Disciplining Your Child:
When we discipline we are attempting to send a message…certain behaviors are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. When you become angry and scream or yell the message gets lost. All your child hears or retains is the anger that is mudding up the message.
Keeping your anger under control also helps promote a respectful and loving relationship with your child. You will also be setting an example for your child on how to deal with a negative situation without going off the rails emotionally.
7. Allow Children to Help Set House Rules and Boundaries:
This is especially helpful when disciplining teenagers. An older child will feel more motivated to follow rules and respect boundaries they have helped set. Teens are on the brink of adulthood, they are living on the fence so to speak. It is a very frustrating time of wanting control but having none.
Giving your teen the opportunity to negotiate such things as curfew and what happens if they break curfew will give them a sense of control. I found, as my boys aged the more power they felt they had, the less likely they were to take advantage of that power.
8. Work Constructively With Your Co-Parent When Disciplining Your Child:
Your job as a single parent will be easier if you work with the non-custodial parent when setting up rules and boundaries for your child. These can be a challenging part of co-parenting but for the sake of your children, it is helpful for both parents to be on the same page when it comes to crimes and how those crimes are punished.
As parents, we want to teach our children certain morals and values. If divorced parents do not work together they fall short of teaching their children anything other than to engage in conflict and power struggles.
The rules at one house don’t have to be the same for the other house but parents should be in agreement about the need for setting and enforcing rules and boundaries. Doing so is best for all concerned.
The post Child Discipline After Divorce: 8 Tips For Single Moms appeared first on Divorced Moms.
As newly elected district attorney Todd Spitzer investigates family court clerks, custody evaluators and private judges involved in custody and divorce cases in Orange County, California’s two most powerful female district attorneys began to look at family court cases that have been ignored by male their male counterparts for decades.
CONTRA COSTA DA DIANA BECTON &
IRS INVESTIGATE CPAs USED IN DIVORCE CASES
Diana Becton became Contra Costa County DA following the exposure of criminal activity involving Mark Peterson. Peterson was indicted, blasted in the news and disbarred by 2017 in large part based on public outrage that a DA had corrupted the cozy East Bay communities and allowed family courts to run amok for the past two decades.
Becton is reportedly mindful that family court reformers have managed to get the Grand Jury to investigate the county’s CPS and Family Court Services staff investigated and now Becton has an opportunity to investigate CPAs including Jack Peth, Charles Burak, Sally White, Michael Thompson, James Butera and others who are known for not adding properly when it comes to the fair division of community property in divorce cases.
A small group of accountants have been regularly acting in appointed or retained capacities in family law cases, and many of these CPAs have been cooking the books, concealing corporate profits and helping law enforcement officers, tech executives, and even judges engage in tax fraud and tax evasion for decades. Criminal IRS investigators are also reportedly conducting an investigation of several CPAs who acted in high profile divorce cases in a manner that concealed income from the government.
Ms. Becton was recently named to Governor Gavin Newsom’s Judicial Selection Committee. It is reported she is mindful of the public outrage that led to an audit of the CJP, the agency that disciplines the state’s judges. Many in California’s court reform movement come from family court experiences and were largely responsible for getting the audit, and recalling Judge Persky in Santa Clara County in June of 2018.
ALAMEDA DA NANCY E. O’ MALLEY ASKED TO INVESTIGATE LAWYER PERJURY
District Attorneys across the state are asked on a daily basis to investigate perjury and filing of false documents in family court cases.
” We have divorcing couples send transcripts of their former spouse testifying in family court and ask us to investigate perjury related to that testimony. Sadly, while the general public may believe perjury is clear cut, it is not. It is very difficult to prove and frankly we don’t have near enough resources to investigate these crimes, ” described public corruption investigator John Chase of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office after a perjury charge involving attorney Bradford Baugh was brought to his attention in 2015.
What Mr. Chase refused to investigate in 2015 has now landed on the desk of Ms. O” Malley where Mr. Baugh appears to have committed perjury in a video deposition conducted by a former client. Mr. Baugh has been appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Santa Clara county divorce and custody cases for over two decades.
As many lawyers express they aren’t worried Ms. O’Malley will actually start prosecuting perjury in family law cases, a few admit that the perjury of divorce attorney Bradford Baugh would be significant given Baugh’s involvement in hundreds of Silicon Valley’s high profile cases, including cases before Judge Persky, where Mr. Baugh represented he served in Vietnam.
One lawyer regularly appointed to represent children in San Mateo and Alameda County noted he has been aware Mr. Baugh has been court appointed to represent children in addition to typically representing high asset earners in Silicon Valley’s tech and social media industries.
” I thought Baugh served in Vietnam as I heard him discuss it in court before Judges on a regular basis. Pretty sure Judge Persky, Judge Swope , Judge Hill ,and Judge Towery believed he was in the military as well. Certainly doesn’t seem that anyone should be appointed to represent children if they spend decades lying about having served in the Vietnam war”, the attorney said asking to remain off the record.
Bill Dok, Baugh’s former partner claimed to be embarrassed he had been partners with Baugh when Baugh was lying to the family law community. But Mr. Dok may have more than embarrassment to worry about if Mr. Baugh was earning money that paid law firm expenses as Baugh committed perjury in a deposition with a former client.
BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN
In the name of the best interest of children, family court judges have issued orders that have resulted in billions of dollars being spent on lawyers, custody evaluations and sham therapists. These judges have done little for children and more for a crony network that has highjacked California’s legal system.
Lawyers willing to lie, judges willing to cheat and Rule of Law that has been abandoned in family court has inflicted more harm on children than at any other time in California’s history.
WHAT IF INJUSTICE HITS YOUR HOME?
Due process is not alive and well in California’s Courts. Q has been dedicated to matching families with like issues and regional areas. If you have suffered injustice in California’s Family Courts, Email us with your case number, judge, lawyers and experts. Post comments naming the judges and lawyers under anonymous name to prevent retaliation.
All contacts will be carefully vetted and audited before connected to others. Judges and lawyers have been known to read this website and act in a retaliatory manner when the get caught.
As a single mother on Father’s Day, sometimes it can be a little lonely when the children are not by your side, but it is essential to recognize the importance, in your children’s eyes, of spending time with their father – particularly on Father’s Day.
Just as on Mother’s Day, when, as it should be, the mother is properly recognized for all of her contributions to the family, it is equally as important that the children are able to spend time with and recognize their father on their special day.
A Few Father’s Day Do’s and Don’ts
In order to help prepare for not spending time with your children on Father’s Day, here’s a helpful guide of “Do’s and Don’ts” that I have found to be useful in my consultations with clients on the topic of Father’s Day and visitation when the parents are separated.
It should go without saying these suggestions apply equally to Mother’s Day when the children are spending time with their mother, but since Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, we will start from there. So without further ado, here is my helpful list of do’s and don’ts for a single mother on Father’s Day:
Do’s for a Single Mother on Father’s Day
- Do encourage your children to spend time with their father on Father’s Day. Keep any negative feelings to yourself until after the children have left so that they can enjoy a guilt-free day with their dad.
- Do step aside for the day and allow the father to shine, even if only for one day.
- Do make sure your children – if they do not reside in the same geographical area as their father, or if Dad is deployed or working overseas – contact and speak with their father. If possible, connect them through some video conferencing, Skype, Facetime, or a similar application that allows the children and their father to see each other while they’re talking.
- Do have the children create a Father’s Day card and/or encourage your children to make a homemade gift for their father.
- Do take time for yourself and enjoy some quality time with your family or friends. Make plans that don’t involve the children, such as brunch, a movie, or a spa day with friends.
Don’ts for a Single Mother on Father’s Day
- Don’t make plans or schedule other activities on Father’s Day that would deprive the father of the opportunity to spend time with the children on Father’s Day.
- Don’t disparage or otherwise denigrate Father to or around the children. This tip should apply year-round – not just on Father’s Day
- Don’t prohibit the children from spending time with or contacting Father on Father’s Day.
- Don’t allow the children to dictate the terms of their timesharing with Father over Father’s Day.
- Don’t despair: Mother’s Day occurs in May, so make sure these same do’s and don’ts apply for your special day when it comes around each year!
While certainly not an exhaustive list, I hope these do’s and don’ts will help to provide some guidelines on how best to handle – and ensure a smooth timesharing experience for your child – Father’s Day after divorce.
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