Posts filed under ‘single parent magazine’

When Single Parents Merge

Finding the right person is tough. Finding the right person for yourself and your child(ren), well, that’s even tougher. You may feel a connection with someone and then BAM, your kids feel no connection at all. Or it could be that your kids like your boyfriend or girlfriend but in time, they feel jealousy or feel left out because they no longer get the attention they once had from you.

Do tread carefully! If you do not listen intently, not just what your kids tell you, but how your kids behave or change, you may be in for some parenting challenges beyond your imagination. Some parents may feel they are doing the best they can but in reality they are not. When a kid turns to bad behavior, how we respond makes all the difference in the world. Some kids will not communicate verbally. They may shut down completely or act out in ways we do not appreciate but they are kids. If your child is a teenager, do not see them as adults, they still have a lot of growing up to do. Spend alone time with them like you used to. Assure them that they are still loved by you. Don’t give up on them because they are craving your love even though they may seem to want nothing to do with you.

Here’s an article from the Fall 2009 issue of SP on the trials of instant parenthood, written by Christine Hurst, a Licensed Therapist and ACPI Certified Coach for Parents & Stepparents:

One of the most difficult barriers for stepparents to overcome is that there may be expectations that things are to be “instant’ when there is nothing instant about them. For example, any relationship between people takes time to establish and similarly every relationship has its ups and downs. There is nothing instant or constant about the relationship of a stepparent and a child. The stepparent and biological parent should be prepared for a long journey as this relationship grows and evolves.

It is important for stepparents and biological parents in the first year or two to recognize that the stepparent needs to gradually grow into their role as a parent-like figure in their stepchild’s life. It can be detrimental to the relationship for the stepparent to come into a family situation assuming parental responsibilities with no or little history or trust to fall back on. This is also dependant on the age of the child. The younger the child the more likely they will be able to adjust to the stepparent as a parental-like figure. A stepparent should approach their role as an adult mentor to the child and a teammate to their partner expecting that time will tell how the relationships will evolve.

Also, the more you know about a child, the less chance you will be upset by particular behaviors. The biological parent remembers loving times and can look at a young adolescent’s rebellion as “just a stage.” The stepparent does not have the history to compare this behavior against a background of easier times.

Stepparents may be entering the relationship with no children of their own or with children of their own. Adjusting to having time, space, and order compromised or sacrificed can be a very difficult task. Stepparents without children are not used to having to sacrifice their time or space as a stepparent who has children of their own. However, a stepparent who has children of their own now has to balance their time with their stepchildren too. In addition, there are stepparents who cannot have children of their own for whatever reason. The grief of not being able to have your own children can be stirred up while being a stepparent, especially for women.

Developing a stepfamily takes a lot of time and energy that is unpredictable until the couple is in the midst of it. At times, it can feel almost impossible to establish a cohesive stepfamily in-between the back-and-forth visits of the children along with daily stresses of life.
Patricia Papernow, a family-life specialist, has identified stages of stepfamily development. These stages can be helpful for stepfamilies to understand that the struggles they are undergoing is part of the process and although at times it may be very difficult there can be a positive outcome.

Fantasy Stage
In the beginning, the newly wed couple may have expectations that the family will quickly unite and the children will adapt quickly. Biological parent may feel relieved that they now have a partner to help with the parenting responsibilities and the step-parent may hope they can rescue the children from any hurt that they underwent with the divorce. For the children, they often wish that the stepparent and stepsiblings would disappear. They may even still have fantasies that their biological mother and father will reunite.

Immersion Stage
When expectations are not met this can lead to frustration, loneliness, guilt, anger, grief, and more. The biological parent may become angry that they still have to do all of the parenting. The stepparent may feel jealous that they are not getting enough alone time with their spouse. The children may start to resent the stepparent for trying to replace their biological parent’s place.

Awareness Stage
The family members’ feelings of hurt, loss and each member’s differing needs must come to light. It can be very difficult to talk about negative feelings and that is why children and teens may begin to act out. For example, the children may begin acting out at school or the teen may avoid being home. The parent and step-parent may begin to argue more and the marriage may become strained. If stepfamilies cannot speak to what is bothering them they may become stuck.

Mobilization Stage
However, if they can begin to speak to what is bothering them they will move into the mobilization stage. This is the beginning to understanding each member’s needs.
Then the family can begin to problem solve. It is important to understand each other’s needs and to create solutions that work for everyone.

Action Stage
Now that the struggles are out in the open the couple can being to find solutions and create new rituals. The couple will begin to create schedules and implement bonding time that will help to address the children’s needs.

Resolution Stage
This is the stage where relationships potentially can become close. Rules and routines that once created misunderstandings are now normal aspects of this families everyday life. The old fantasies are let go and now members of this family are functioning with more realistic expectations.
However, it is important to remember that not all children will get close to their step-parents. In these situations what is important is that there is mutual respect and cooperation.
For some families this process can take less than 4 years and for others it can take 7 or more. This is evidence that it takes time and if your family is struggling to not be discouraged.

Here are some tips that may help when the going is rough:
• Do what you can to understand stepfamily functioning. Join support groups, read books, reach out to a counselor or parent coach who understands stepfamily dynamics. This will help you to let go of their fantasies and work toward realistic goals.
• Never talk negatively about absent parent in front of children. If a child feels his or her relationship with the absent parent is threatened, he or she may act out.
• Listen to children’s feelings and do not dismiss or minimize how they are feeling.
• To resolve conflicts, parents need to be united on a strategy and include the children on problem solving when it is appropriate.

Advertisements

March 30, 2010 at 11:27 AM Leave a comment

Topics for Single Moms, Single Dads & the Blended Families

I’m laying on my sofa on a beautiful day (my son is sick) and I’m contemplating what topics to bring single parents and blended families on the next issue of SP Magazine. At this point, I really should have already had general topics for the rest of the year but in my world, not so much. However, I can now focus on SP thanks to a wonderful new start.

So, I will ponder on this and when I come up with some ideas, and hopefully some tips from awesome participating single parents and step parents, I’ll get back on here and share!

May 16, 2009 at 8:19 PM 2 comments

Blind and Parenting

Friday, February 27, 2009 I attended a meeting for a blind organization called Beyond the Eyes. What a wonderful group! It was an honor to have been asked to attend by James Jasey, President of Beyond the Eyes, who’s touching story will soon be printed in an upcoming issue of SP Magazine.

James Jasey became a single parent after losing his wife and later lost his vision shortly after a near fatal car accident.  His story is sure to touch your hearts! Imagine as parents not being able to visually see the physical changes in your children as they grow, or to be able to see your child(ren)’s artistic abilities, see them play sports, and more. But life goes on and only YOU can make the best of it with what you have.  Don’t miss the next issue. Go to spmagazine.net to subscribe.

Want to learn more about the blind organization? The group meets once a month to identify needs, issues and concerns in the blind organization and to support and encourage each other and much more.  For more information, go to beyondtheeyes.info.

March 2, 2009 at 6:42 PM 1 comment

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

The holidays are upon us. Emails and news reports have been going around about how ‘Happy Holidays’ is now a plot to remove the word ‘Christmas’. Although there is truth of a process of elimination in schools about praying and removing God from their vocabulary, in my opinion, Happy Holidays is not a part of this scheme. It is simply shorter to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS to someone then it is to say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you”. In today’s society, with all the information processing and busier lifestyles, we find shortcuts to quickly say what we need to say and move on. And that’s not the only reason, I trully respect that others are not of my Christian faith and belief in Jesus so when I’m unsure, I purposely say Happy Holidays. Let’s not worry about yet another ‘what if’, be merry and love and respect each other, Happy Holidays!

One more thing. This is a time of cheer and giving. Although for some, it’s a time of loneliness and depression. Some refer to it as the ‘Winter Blues’. In addition, some may also struggle to give because of limited income. For single parents, they may come across both and sometimes want to hide and make it go away. But we don’t because we have someone to care for that is really looking forward to that time of cheer and a gift to open. Procrastinating is almost inevitable but we eventually get around to it because we love our child(ren). To all my fellow single parents, an extra blessing to you and everyone else who struggles in one way or another but yet you continue to grow strong and make the next day a better day.

Have a very Merry Christmas, a very Happy Holiday to all and a fabulous Happy New Year where ever you may be!

December 20, 2008 at 5:22 PM Leave a comment

Getting Organized (from SP Magazine’s Issue 1 Vol 1)

Clean Up

4 ways to help kids learn about organization

 

By Patricia Diesel

Did you know that by having a routine and being organized you can reduce the level of stress within your home?

Providing structure and discipline within your family is a way to instill good habits for your children that will foster their well being and bring you peace of mind.

Make it routine

One way to teach your children how to become better organized is by modeling your very own routine.  Routines show children how to be responsible, thus making them feel safe and secure. 

A simple routine for your children can begin with setting a ritual bath-time and story-time followed by lights-out.  This promotes a sound night’s rest and overall good health.

Make it clean

Showing your children how to clean their rooms and maintain the messiness is another way to show your children the skills of organization and can also reduce the risk of accidents.

Introducing the concept that a child’s room is a place to retreat from the daily stresses and worries will help them take pride and have respect for their space.

Make it simple

A smart way to lower your kid’s level of frustration is to simplify their lives.  Take a look at what activities your children are involved in and then rate the level of importance to their well being.  If your children are continually stressed out, ask yourself what’s the payoff?  Does it makes sense to continue down the same path or do some of the activities need to be cut back?

 

 

 

                                                                                                                        Page 2/Clean Up

 

Make it last

Depending upon the age of your children, think about what you can begin teaching your kids right away that will become life-long skills for them.  Is it learning how to boil water and working your way up to cooking a simple meal?  How about sorting the laundry then progressing to doing the wash and maybe even ironing?  Simple household chores such as taking out the trash and vacuuming the floors are smart ways to introduce segments of good housekeeping rules.

Children are products of their environment and a clutter-free home promotes a clutter-free mind.

October 27, 2008 at 8:33 AM Leave a comment

A Single Parent

I’m a single parent. When I read magazines I sometimes feel like nothing applies to me. Working Mother, Parenting, Child and other similar magazines don’t talk much about the single parent world. Dating is not a topic I would find there so I turn to Cosmopolitan and the likes but there are never any tips on dating when you have children. And what of the ‘step’ parent roles when a single parent does re-marry or dates someone for a long period of time. What role should the other adult play in the children’s lives?

With a full-time job, raising a child and maintaining a home, I sometimes feel I’m crazy to pursue this dream but for 12 years it’s all I’ve wanted to do, start a magazine for single parents because we are far from being alone. www.spmagazine.net is where someone can start in order to get more information. One issue was printed in the Spring of 2008 and the next issue will come out soon, hopefully with the help of a volunteer with InDesign experience. If you read this, say a prayer for me to make this a huge success! I could use all the help I can get, even if it’s spiritual.

In every issue, a story will be covered on one or more single fathers and single mothers from a variety of backgrounds (i.e. through divorce, never married, by choice, death of a spouse, same sex marriage, etc.), step parenting, going green, getting organized and more.

October 22, 2008 at 3:33 AM 1 comment


Twitter

  • My son is half way done with his first year of college. Maybe @SPMagOnline can come back to life. Need to fill my time. 4 years ago
  • Looking to reorganize SP... Look out for more by the end of the year. Woohoo! 7 years ago
  • Hi all! Non-business here, I need your help for a class I am taking. I posted a quick survey on my website at http://www.spmag.net, thanks in adv! 7 years ago
  • Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day dads! 7 years ago

Hits

  • 5,408 hits
December 2018
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31