Posts tagged ‘single mom’

Do father’s have equal rights when battling custody?

It seems that times are in constant change. One topic I’ve heard plenty over the course of my research to publish SPMagazine.Net is that father’s have to fight super hard to gain custody rights of their children. Or in the least, fight an expensive battle just to spend a little extra time with their children who were once under the same roof as their dads on a daily basis. If the kids want to be with the other parent, put your differences aside. Trust me, it will help you in the long run.

The fathers I have met in the last couple of years have brought tears to my eyes. Why? They will put off anything to spend quality time with their children and I feel like my son was short-handed. His father, who unfortunately gives other fathers a bad rap making the court system what it is today, spends zero time with his son. Yet he expects his son on Father’s Day because there is a big feast. Everyone in his circle of friends and family expects a father and son, obviously. To show up without a kid would be detrimental to the image he’s been portraying – a tattoo with this son’s name and birthday. The bad mom that doesn’t let him spend that quality time with his son. I recently found out that he had been telling lies for years saying he calls to see his son all the time but I wouldn’t allow it. A fallacy that kills me because the one thing I promised myself  as a child was never to do that to my own kids. You see, my mother did that to my siblings and I and it was not fair to us. It’s been a difficult time forgiving my mother for what she did.

Children are used as tools by some mothers, giving mother’s like me a bad rap – and a believable lie to use for some men, not going to point fingers. 🙂 I have seen first hand, second hand, and whatever other terms there are to use, how women who claim to love their children will use their kid(s) as pawns just to get their way whether it is for financial gain or because of emotional injury.

Here’s a message for mothers and/or fathers, FORGET for  a minute that the other hurt you or is not paying child support. The children and your personal adult misunderstandings and issues have nothing to do with parenting. If you can truly say your children enjoy the other parent and they miss them (unless there are addictions like alcoholism and/or scary pedophiliac tendencies) let them spend time with the other parent!

My son wishes now more then ever that his father took part in his life – he’s in his early teens. Don’t take away from the child any quality time with the other parent because you can’t turn back time. Hard as it may be emotionally, give in for the child’s sake and find some busy hobbies, work, time with friends and family, anything to help you through that time away from the kid(s). And when your kid(s) grow up, they WILL appreciate your good efforts. It comes back to you, so think about the future! Don’t ruin a good relationship with your children.

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July 7, 2009 at 1:00 PM 11 comments

Should children be spanked?

Diane and Peter on a boat in St. Maarten

On a boat in St. Maarten - Mom and son vacation continues to be a yearly priority, no matter how much harder I have to work.

Are you raising your child(ren) the same way you were raised? Spanking as a form of punishment is not like it used to be and if you are one of many raised by ‘the belt’, than you’re probably nodding your head. Most people will tell you stories about their childhood that make you cringe. Many parents today who experienced harsh forms of childhood discipline refuse to raise a hand to their children while others fall into the same pattern, with feelings of guilt after their actions.

As a product of a harsh disciplinary upbringing, I made a conscious decision not to spank. However, I am guilty of going against my will. On those rare occasions, I felt this uncontrollable urge that ended in spanking my son on the buttocks or on his arm. In the end, it left me feeling horribly regretful – even though it was nothing close to what I had endured as a kid.

For my child, my main choice for disciplinary action was through time-outs (1 minute per age) and it was by far more effective. Spanking brought on rebellion, anger and the urge for my child to hit me back.

For hours after those few times I spanked my son I remember my guilty conscious would get the best of me, keeping me up wondering why and how I can ensure I wasn’t a repeat offender. I often I asked myself, was the spanking (or yelling – a whole different animal) a part of my child’s misbehaving or was there something else lingering behind my actions (besides a natural instinct from my upbringing)? In most, if not all cases, it wasn’t my son’s misbehavior. The culprit was usually a bad day at work, a situation with a friend or family member, feeling lonely as a single parent and in need of a mommy break. The list of excuses can go on but in the end it was something else and my son was getting punished for it.

Parenting is never easy and it’s even more demanding when there is only one parent dealing with the day to day list of demands.  At the end of the day, I  look back and feel satisfied as a parent because I did something about my guilty conscious by trying harder each time to control my urges. My son is happy, treats his elders and everyone that comes in contact with him with respect, and has few memories (can count them in one hand) of spanking as a form of discipline and many memories of time well spent. I think that was the main secret, I spent a lot of time with him and we had a lot of fun.

So, don’t beat yourself up! If you’re reading this, you are obviously a GREAT parent who wants the best for your child(ren) and I commend you for that.

Here are sites that might help on this topic:

Why NOT to Spank

http://www.principalhealthnews.com/topic/spanking6to12

Time-Out Proponents / Time-Out Opponents (from one of my favorite sites, about.com)

http://childcare.about.com/od/behaviors/qt/timeouts.htm

On Spanking: Raising Children 1-3 and 3-6 at AHealthyMe.com

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking1to3

http://www.ahealthyme.com/topic/spanking3to6

If it’s your strong belief to use spanking as a form of discipline, here’s a helpful ‘How To’ guide:

http://www.wikihow.com/Include-Spanking-in-Child-Discipline

Share your story and/or thoughts by adding a comment. Are you a single parent or step parent? Visit SP at www.spmagazine.net for information on our publication.

May 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM 11 comments

Boy to man advice please!

My son is 13, soon to be 14, and it feels as if he is refusing to grow up. He remains attached to me and I feel awful when I tell him he needs to break free and become more independent. He seems to quiet down but reverts to the same needy state. He will not make decisions for himself and I am simply at a loss when he just sits around waiting for me to give him direction. HELP!

May 11, 2009 at 12:44 PM 6 comments

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all you wonderful momma’s, and father’s who take on both roles, HAVE A WONDERFUL MOTHER’S DAY!!!

May 10, 2009 at 7:14 PM Leave a comment

Parent Dating

If you’re a single parent, chances are you have told yourself at least once that you will not date until your kid(s) are older. I’m guilty. My son was only 1 when I realized it was time to move out and move on from a partner with alcohol issues.  I even paid most if not all of the bills – there was nothing positive about it. So off I went, vowing never to date again until my son was in his late teens.

Two years later I thought, what a mistake! Until a child is 3 years old, he/she can endure meeting mommy’s (or daddy’s) date. After 3 is when they really get attached – and they’re memory begins to set in! So when my pumpkin was three, I really wanted to date but I didn’t trust strangers to babysit. His father didn’t want anything to do with spending time with him. His excuse was, ‘so you could go out?’ Parenting or being a father figure was never a factor for him. And not having family around, well, I was stuck just wishing. You see, I had placed another set of rules for myself: no introducing dates to my son unless it’s very serious. How was I going to get serious if I couldn’t go out? And when I could go out it was on a whim so, hmm…

More years went by. I finally began dating someone. My son was about 6. He was a man I met at work. It was a mistake and, although we promised we’d still be friends if things didn’t work out, we weren’t. Not for a while – and we had to work in the same area! My son was indifferent since he never got involved during the 5 months of dating. It was more a game of ‘when is it my turn to get attention’.

Another year (or two?) went by and I began dating someone else from work. Notice a pattern? 🙂 Heck going to work was my idea of ‘going out’ so where else was I going to meet someone? This time, though, he worked on the opposite side of the building. Nice! 😉 It almost worked! But, it ended after a year. And my pumpkin, once again was OK with it since he too played that game – none with my son. My thoughts were, hey, this is OK because he was dating me and parenting was my responsibility only. How sad for my son for never having a father figure.

In the upcoming issue of my print publication, spmagazine.net , I have tips on office dating. In the next issue I’ll be writing about online dating.

My pumpkin is almost 14 and I’m dating someone I met online. Yep – I’m a hip mom, in with the times! And he’s great with my son. And that’s all I’m going to say for now so wish me luck! 🙂

April 2, 2009 at 10:41 AM Leave a comment

Dating – When to Involve the Kids

The single parent night life can be no different than any other. It’s when there’s a love connection that it can get hairy. Ever start a conversation without immediately saying ‘I have a kid’? I rarely do, honestly. I don’t like wasting my time so I throw it out there right away, take it or leave it. Saves me the trouble of rejection later. But it’s those few times where I unexpectedly meet someone and I connect through intense conversations about anything other than my kid and then I wonder, will it change things when I bring up my lifestyle? I’m guilty of that thought –and action! I’ve actually saved the detail for a later time. And yes, I felt guilty! But it’s natural. You may wonder why it has to make a difference. But it’s a world of difference. I’ve been rejected for being a single parent but I understand. Before I had my son, I did not want to date someone with history, like a prior marriage or children. So when I get rejected, I look back at my choices then and nod with approval that everyone has a choice to live the life they choose. So I move on and keep living with a positive attitude.

October 30, 2008 at 8:37 AM Leave a comment

A Child’s Thoughts (from SP Magazine’s Vol 1 Issue 1)

Being an Only Child with a Single Parent

By Peter Rodrigues (unedited)

 

Being an only child with a single parent is normal for me now. I also got used to having a pet. I’m 12 years old now. My whole life I’ve been alone with my mom. There are very bad and very good things about having a single parent and being an only child. First of all, the disadvantages of being the son of a single parent: One is that my mom is always working so I’m always alone. Also, one parent might not like things you do but if you had another, that one might. Now about being an only child I don’t have to take away spare time to take care of a little kid or get bullied by an older sibling. Plus, I dn’t have to let anyone mess with my stuff or me getting in trouble for getting mad.

 

            Now, the benefits of all that. If I want to do something, my parents don’t need to have an argument. Then they might argue and by the time they’re done, they say yes but it’s too late now. And two parents would be a problem because of double punishment, and double strictness.

 

            Something that would be good about having two parents is that we would have more money, which means I could get more things. So that’s all I thought of today about being an only child with a single parent. My name is Peter Rodrigues. I’m 12 years old. This is how I lived all my life and that’s all I have to say about being an only child with a single parent.

October 29, 2008 at 8:40 AM Leave a comment

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