Archive for the ‘Parenting Tips’ Category

Parenting Class for Divorce

Divorcing parents in most states are sometimes required to take a parenting class. These classes are offered by court-approved centers in every state and last about four hours. They may be taken in person, online, or by mail (although this isn’t very common today), and usually cost between $30 and $60. Some centers offer them in Spanish as well as English.

In most states, a certificate of completion stating the number of hours taken must be presented to the court before the divorce can push through. Couples may also need to take and pass an exam following the course before they can be issued the certificate. Normally the fees only apply to the course itself; there should be no additional fees for claiming the certificate except in special situations (e.g. claiming after a given time frame).

One of the main purposes of the parenting class for divorce is to help the couple deal with the impact of the situation on their children. The most commonly required class is called Impact of Divorce on Children (IODC), a four-hour course that focuses on how children can cope with the changes and what parents can do about it. It teaches parents how to avoid putting their kids in the middle of the conflict, understand their situation, detect warning signs of depression and anger, and maintain a clear line of communication between all parties. The counselor can also help parents develop a parallel parenting plan based on their particular situations.

Hourly requirements vary by state—some just require the IODC course, but others require six, eight, or even twelve hours of courses. To comply, couples can take additional courses such as the Impact of Divorce on Adults (IODA), a two-hour session focusing on the effects of divorce on the couple themselves. This may include advice on coping positively with the stress and anger that accompanies a divorce, dealing with spousal and child abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, and other safety issues.

When choosing a parenting class for divorce, make sure to go to a court-appointed center. Your safest bet is to get a list from the court itself, or to have your lawyer recommend one. More importantly, take your course seriously—think of it not as a court requirement, but as a favor to your kids. More than getting the paperwork over with, it’s a way of keeping the divorce from making you a bad parent, or even letting it make you a better one.

Effects of Authoritarian Parenting

For those who have children you will know that parenting can provide you with many challenges and can also be the most rewarding thing you can do in your life.  Parents are never perfect when it comes to raising children and all parents make mistakes while negotiating the mine field that is parenting.  All parents want their children to turn out right and posses qualities such as discipline and being able to behave themselves and for some parents adopting an Authoritarian Parenting style is the way to achieve this.

Authoritarian parenting involves the setting of a code of conduct and a focus on shaping and controlling a child’s behaviour in line with the rules of this code of conduct.  Parents who use this parenting style demand total respect from the children and place a very high value on obedience.

This style of parenting generally uses forceful measures to keep in check a child’s behaviour and to make sure that the right behaviour is maintained at all times.  Most parents who use the authoritarian parenting style do so with little flexibility and generally set extremely high standards of behaviour that a child must live up to.

Parents that adopt this style of managing their children stress that it is important to always be in control and be able to exert that control over their children.  The control comes with setting a number of strict rules that are designed to keep some sort of order in the family and achieve this without the need for any affection or emotion on the part of the parents.  Children who are raised in this type of environment are constantly pushed to meet high standards of behaviour and if they fail to meet these high standards they are then subject to harsh criticism or punishment.

One of the main problems with using an authoritarian parenting style is that children who are subject to rules and this type of discipline rarely get to think for themselves and when put in a situation where they are allowed this freedom they are not sure what to do.  Another problem with this type of parenting style is that children can get confused about what they should and shouldn’t do and this provides stress to the child as a wrong move could result in punishment.

Authoritarian parenting is regarded by many as an outdated parenting style and not suited to today’s modern society and family life.  Many parents adopt more flexible ways of parenting which involves treating children with respect and showing them love and affection.

The Basics of Attachment Parenting

Attachment parenting is basically a way to care for your child that instils a close bond between parent and child.  This way of parenting is quite popular as it generally brings out the best in both the baby and the parents.  The basics of Attachment Parenting can be divided into seven steps and deals with different aspects of a babies relationship with their parents.

Bonding at birth is the first of these steps and attachment parenting encourages the mother especially to be close to the baby after birth.  Being close to their mother after birth is said to promote natural biological attachment between the two.  In cases where the newborn baby has been separated from the mother usually due to medical issues the  relationship still goes through a bonding stage to ‘catch up’.

Breast feeding forms part of the basics of Attachment Parenting and is important as it helps a mum to learn to read a babies cues.  Breast feeding is the best option for newborns as it contains all the important nutrients required by the baby at this time in its life and also promotes a chemistry between mother and child.

Carrying and holding a baby is also  promoted in attachment parenting as carried babies tend to fuss less and prefer to be close to mum rather than in a pram or stroller.  Baby wearing also improves the parents sensitivity towards the needs of the baby.

The sleeping arrangements are also important for attachment parenting and co sleeping is encouraged.  Co sleeping for many families involves having the babies bed in the same room as them so that they can be close by if they need to comfort the baby.

Attachment parenting also teaches parents the language value of a babies cry.  Baby’s cry as a way of communicating and this method of parenting also teaches that a babies cry is a signal designed for the babies survival and the development of the parents.  In responding to a baby’s cry parents soon learn to communicate with the child and meet their needs.

The next stage of Attachment parenting involves the use of baby trainers.  Attachment parenting advises against using baby trainers as they are generally rigid and extreme parenting styles which focus more on time management then the babies needs.

Lastly Attachment parenting focuses on balance.  With the arrival of a new baby it is easy for the focus to shift from yourself to the baby.  What is really needed in these situations is a balance between your needs and the needs of the child.  It is important to have some time to yourself and to know when to say no which for some may be difficult.

Parenting Your Children: Keeping Them Safe While Online

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse as it can be a great resource for kids at school when doing homework or assignments however it also exposes children and especially teenagers to many dangerous situations.  Apart from supervising a child while they are online and educating children about how to stay safe while online there are a few things that can be done to help protect children while they are online.

Using an ISP filter or a filter from a third party is a good way to prevent children from accessing sites and material that is offensive.  There are many providers that offer filters which can be installed to protect children when online, many of these are available for free.

Monitoring a child’s use of social networking is also important as these websites such as Facebook contain information that may attract online predators.  While a child is logged on to a social networking site it is important to supervise the child and ensure that private details such as addresses and phone numbers are not given out to anyone you don’t know.

Another way to protect children from offensive content is to install a child friendly search engine.  As parents it is important to keep children safe when online and there are quite a few child friendly search engines to choose from such as Quintura which only gives G rated material on the results page.  Parenting your children will be a lot easier if you avoid exposing them to material that may frighten them or lead to a barrage of questions in which the child is too young to understand.

One of the best ways to keep children safe while online is to educate them about the internet and the potential dangers that are online.  Children are very quick learners so education is a great tool for avoiding problems while online.  There are also a few resources that can be accessed online which can help parents and children with this education process.

Even if you implement some of these suggestions in your home it is important to remember that there is no substitution for parental supervision.  While children are online the computer that they are using should be in a public place in the house such as the kitchen so either parent can monitor the websites they visit.  It is important not to leave a child alone with the computer as it is essential that they are supervised to avoid viewing inappropriate material.

Preparing Kids for the First Day of School

The first day of school is months away, but it’s never too early to prepare your child—especially if they’re stepping into a classroom for the first time. It’s a pretty harsh lifestyle change, after all, from TV and playdates to being cooped up in a classroom eight hours a day for the next decade or two.

Today’s Parent offers a detailed guide to preparing your child for school, from practical tips and safety measures to emotional conditioning. They start with some simple pointers, such as getting kids’ brains working by upping the reading time and waking them up early a week or two before to get them used to the new routine.

They also advised against doing anything big on Labor Day weekend, typically the last weekend before the start of school. Children should be able to relax the day before rather than go to bed tired. Lay out their clothes and pack their lunches before going to bed yourself, so the next morning isn’t too hectic. Pick a spot for their backpacks to avoid the last-minute scrambling for supplies before heading out the door.

Limit shopping to the basics, such as paper, pencils, and crayons. Teachers usually send kids home on the first day with a list of the things they’ll need—that’s a better time to hit the stores, as you’ll know exactly what to look for.

The authors also offer a few safety reminders; for instance, they said children should know the home phone number and address by heart by the time they start first grade. They should also know how to call 911. If they walk or cycle to school, do several test runs and make sure to point out areas to avoid, such as alleys.

According to the article, most school bus accidents happen when kids get on or off. Teach them to wait a good distance from the curb, and never to walk right behind or in front of the bus (or any vehicle, for that matter).

Emotional preparations are also important. Show enthusiasm for their first day, but don’t go overboard. Explain that it’s okay to be nervous, that teachers will understand if they are, and that making friends is a great way to cope. Sticking a note or a family photo into the child’s bag can help relieve separation anxiety. If possible, schedule a tour of the school so they’ll know where their classrooms are and meet their teachers.