Posts tagged ‘single mother’

Using Children as Pawns

Can a parent, with all the love we have for our children, lose site of what’s best for them when angry at the other parent? You betcha! Too often are parents so enthralled in their little world of anger that they lose site of what’s best for the child. They make decisions based on anger and self-pity and use the children as a weapon of emotional destruction towards the other parent.

Unless there is a perfectly good reason, punishing the other parent by turning the children against them, or trying to, and keeping the children away is not only selfish but harmful to the child as this can affect them in their teen years as well as adulthood.

Below are suggested sites that can help you learn more about this subject and perhaps help you become a better parent. We’re not perfect. We acknowledge our mistakes and for the love of our children, make it better each day.

How to Make Shared Custody Work

Surviving Divorce and Separation

The Politics of Divorce

Have other suggested sites? Comment and share!

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August 10, 2009 at 8:51 PM 2 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

The Birth of SP (Single Parent / Step Parent)Magazine

A single mom since 1996, I struggled to find publications that contained editorial on being a single parent. For years I said to myself that if no one was going to do this, I would. But fear always took precedence. With no publishing background, I would take minor steps, I even bought a domain to start a website, but time and experience and fear would get in the way and eventually I would put it aside for a later date.

Fastfoward 9 years. In late 2005, I was laid off and thought to myself that it was a very good thing. I would finally research and start the magazine! But fear took over again and I decided I would stick to what I knew well and that was corporate computer training. But less than 2 years later I found myself struggling to find work. It took almost a year, and thousands of dollars in debt later, to finally get the courage to start the magazine. I had NOTHING to lose, literally. I was on the verge of losing everything because I had pretty much depleted my ‘debt income’ (my term for living off of my equity and credit cards) and was unable to pay bills.

In February 2008, I recruited help from networking events and a meetup group I started at meetup.com and found a production manager, one who had decades of experience in magazine layout, and a few writers. Salespeople are hard to come by so I set out to do sales myself. By the end of April I had enough sales to cover most of the printing costs so with the last credit card standing, I maxed it and sent out the finalized 16-page production to a printer and SP Magazine was born!

The week the magazine was born (it really felt like I gave birth) was a very good week because I also found work. Although I wanted to devote 100% of my time to this new child of mine, I new that I had to take care of my priorities in order to keep my son fed with a roof over his head.

Today I work full-time for a great organization that is getting me back on track with my bills. In the evenings and weekends, after I’ve spent quality time with my boy, I am working on the magazine and reinventing a plan for the publication to run smoothly next year. There will be one more issue in 2008 and it will be available in November. Thank you to all the volunteer writers and volunteer contributors that are helping to make this happen! And thank you to the subscribers that have faith in me and this magazine!

October 25, 2008 at 7:49 PM 3 comments

Raising a Teen – the early stages

I’ve entered what I like to call Phase 3 of Child Rearing. Phase 1 is from childbirth through 4 or 5 years old where everything is an adventure because life is grand and new, always learning and retaining.

Phase 2, through about age 11 or so, is when life tones downs a little, it’s not always fun and games due to the new responsibility of homework and a more regiment routine. My son had such a wonderful Phase 1 that even today, in Phase 3, he wishes to go back to a time where he didn’t have to worry about assignments and being mature (the latter he’s taking his time with).

Now we’re in Phase 3, which starts from about age 12 or 13 and, from what I hear (my son is 13), it lasts until about age 16. This phase is a detachment phase. Since my son was 1, it has pretty much been just the two of us. We’re very close to say the least. But in the past year I have unexpectly had more time for myself. I’ve learned from asking and reading books that, though he loves me very much (at times undeniably), I’m pretty much the last person he wants to do fun and exciting things with. If I compare my situation to other parents with young teenaged children, we’re doing a heck of a lot together but I’m preparing myself and accepting this phase, that my little boy is no longer little :(. As he enters this phase that will lead him to adulthood (phase 4), I wish him much wisdom and success with friends, education and new responsibilities.

Here’s to all the single mothers and fathers who I credit greatly on doing a heck of a job. Remember, we ALL make mistakes. So when life throws you lemons, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Pat yourself on the back for being two people in one, a mother and father (or vice versa, whichever you prefer :)!

October 22, 2008 at 2:01 PM Leave a comment

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