Posts tagged ‘solo parents’

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.

Advertisements

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

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

Going Green (from SP Magazine’s Issue 1 Vol 1)

Going Green?

By Barbara Beelitz

 

Sometimes the idea of “going green” can feel overwhelming, and sound expensive – hybrid vehicles, solar heating panels, new appliances. Yikes! That sounds like more than most of us can afford. We don’t know where to start, so we don’t start at all.

 

But, like any other project worth doing, if we break it down into bite-size pieces, we can actually begin to make a difference. Every step in the right direction counts.

 

Don’t take it all on yourself. Involve the family. If your children are old enough to use a computer, give them the assignment of finding one or two changes you can make every month so they can feel they are making a contribution as well. Introduce your children to sites such as http://www.epa.gov/kids, www.pbskids.org/eekoworld or http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/kids. They’re fun and informative. Or, just do a search for “kids green websites” where you will find an amazing number of sites to explore.

 

So you want to get started immediately but don’t have the time to figure out where to begin… here are a few changes you can make right now, as well as the positive impact they will have on our environment.

 

1.     Skip the bottled water – There are 2.7 million tons of plastic used to make water bottles each year. In the U.S., less than 20 percent of water bottles are recycled. Also consider the health ramifications of plastic. According to the Enviromental Working Group (www.ewg.org) “Make sure your stainless steel bottle doesn’t have a plastic liner inside, which may leach bisphenol-A (BPA), an industrial chemical linked to birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems and other health concerns.” Filter your tap water, and consider purchasing a reusable bottle such as the Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle at http://www.kleankanteen.com. They’re durable, lightweight and come in a variety of sizes.

2.     Bring your own mug to coffee shops when you stop for your morning brew. You can determine just how much your traditional paper or Styrofoam cups are contributing to landfills by going to http://www.dzignism.com/projects/coffee.waste. If you’re ready to make a change, go to www.reusablebags.com where you can shop for a “stainless steel travel mug”.

3.     STOP THE PLASTIC BAGS FROM TAKING OVER! Approximately 100 billion plastic bags are used each year. Very few of them are recycled. Bring your own cloth bags to the supermarket to bag your orders instead of using plastic. Some stores are actually issuing credits for reusing your shopping bags or bringing your own cloth version.

4.     Make sure the paper products you need to use are made from recycled paper. Sunrise by Marcal paper products are 100% premium recycled paper manufactured by New Jersey’s own Marcal Paper Mills. Marcal has been recycling paper for over 60 years, collecting over 200,000 tons of recyclable paper annually from local towns and offices.

5.     Don’t exceed the speed limit when driving. “Driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph will lower your fuel economy by about 10 percent, and can dramatically increase tailpipe pollution in many vehicles,” as per Greenercars.org.

6.     Another great website to visit is www.idealbite.com. You will find simple, innovative ways to go green.

 

Remember to give yourself credit for each step you take. There will always be ways we can improve and lead healthier lives for our own good as well as the good of our planet. Keep in mind the words of Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian author, educator and scholar, who once said On Spaceship Earth there are no passengers; everybody is a member of the crew. We have moved into an age in which everybody’s activities affect everybody else. Take responsibility by taking action. Now.

 

 

Pamela Beelitz is a Shaklee Independent Distributor whose product lines include nutritional supplements, green cleaning products, weight management, skin care, cosmetics and air & water purification.

October 28, 2008 at 8:37 AM 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

Single Parent Adoption (An Article from SP Magazine’s Issue 1 Volume 1)

Single Parent Adoption

Lucy Aponte

 

In 1977, as a single mother of three I ventured to adopt, unaware of the prejudices I faced as a single Latina woman. I was excited as I entered the NY agency for my interview. Introducing herself the worker led me towards the elevator. I wondered if my child was amongst the little children we passed in the halls and in the elevator. Little did I know, the worker had already decided I would not qualify to adopt.

So, after confidently answering the questions posed to me, I was told there were no children. The children I had seen, she claimed when I asked her, were not for adoption. I could not believe that in this huge building, there was not one child that needed a mother’s love. In fact thousands of children lived isolated, hidden deep within the bellies of such institutions; alone, unloved and parentless.

Confused and feeling inadequate, I left with tears in my eyes.  

 

It would be another year before I’d have the courage to try again. But, this time research led me to the New York Council on Adoptable Children.  At COAC I learned that my experience with the previous agency was commonplace for single parents wanting to adopt. I was relieved to learn from the counselor that there was nothing wrong with me.  They helped me through the process of looking and deciding what kind of child I could parent. Although I originally wanted a two year old, I was willing to take an older child. All children yearn for love and family and I had that to give.

 

Ten-year-old “Michael,” ironically lived under the supervision of the agency that had rejected my application. He had a severe developmental disability and did not speak. Experience with baby sitting my Downs Syndrome cousin gave me the confidence to meet such a challenge. Visits began, first at the institution and then weekends at home. When I’d visit Michael, other children grabbed me kissing my hand, hoping I would take them home. Michael would possessively lead me towards the door so we could leave. I detested going to that institution and after three months I insisted I was ready to take him home. The institution was reluctant and warned I’d be back with him within two weeks.

 

Michael came home on three psychotropic drugs to manage behavior. Most of his misbehavior was due to lack of basic social skills, because of low expectations by previous care-takers. We taught him to use the toilet, tie his shoe laces, eat with a spoon and fork and we all learned sign language, so he could communicate. With patience, consistency and training Michael acquired social skills that allowed him to integrate within the family and freed him from drug-induced immobilization and isolation.  

Weeks of shampooing uncovered Michael’s natural blond hair beneath the brown grime. For the first time, he had clothes that fit and that he didn’t have to share. Rather than gauze to hold his pants and to lace his shoes, he wore a belt and tied real laces. I wonder today, if the hospital is still waiting for his return.

 

 

Three years after Michael, we heard about 8 month old Daniel, a boarder baby. I knew I could care for a sick baby, I was a nurse. But, learning he was terminally ill stopped me dead in my tracks. I did not want a baby to die in my home. He’d go to an institution, as he was due for discharge. His doctors and my children convinced me he’d be better with us. So, after two months of visits Daniel came home. We would give him loads of love in his final month and lots of holding.

 

Daniel would never sit, stand, nor walk, predicted doctors. But, my fourteen year old daughter Kim, decided he would do so before he died. So, every day Kim exercised Daniel, strengthening his back, neck and abdominal muscles. She’d stand him on her feet to practice walking through the apartment. One month later, Daniel walked between Kim and me into the clinic, holding our hands. The doctors were excited and took him up to the intensive care unit for his nurses to see how he’d grown. They were thrilled to see him and passed him around. These visits became a must at each appointment. Daniel had countless emergency situations, hospitalizations and three near death experiences over the next 12 years. Yes, he survived that first month and today, he is a twenty seven year old young man, doing well. He came to be known as “The Miracle Baby” of Jacobi Hospital.

Single parent adoption is more common today but too many children are still waiting for their permanent family.

Contact COAC @ 212-475-0222 for adoption information.

October 26, 2008 at 8:24 PM Leave a 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