Posts filed under ‘adolescents’

Co-Parenting Tips For The Holidays

CoParenting Tips

Great article by Kelly Frawley and Emily Pollock
Having survived divorce and coparenting, I appreciate the pointers that are listed here for parents who are divorced and share custody.

“The most wonderful time of the year” has the potential to become not so wonderful when parents who share custody of their children don’t have a mutually agreeable holiday plan in place. This isn’t the time for arguments over who’s getting which day or who’s buying what gift; a carefully thought-out plan can help you avoid tension and uncertainty so that all of you — most importantly, your kids — can enjoy a drama-free winter break.

When deciding how to schedule time and collaborate during the holidays, co-parents should take a number of factors into account: the children’s ages, family traditions and religious beliefs, how well the parents get along, and the kind of relationships the parents have with each of the children (it’s important to respect the traditions that are important to each of them). You might also want to factor in what happens during other school breaks during the year. For example, if one parent traditionally takes the kids on a vacation during spring break, then perhaps the other should get the bulk of winter break.

Looking at the big picture can help you see the logical plan for your family.

Setting a Sensible Schedule

Co-parents typically choose to manage the holiday season one of two ways:

1. Alternating years. One parent keeps the children for the entire winter break in odd-numbered years; the other parent gets them for the entire break in even-numbered years. This approach enables each parent, in their designated years, to plan a lengthy trip or schedule activities throughout the break period without needing to worry about giving the other parent equal time. It tends to work best when neither parent has a strong affinity for the season. Perhaps their religious traditions are celebrated at other times of year; a family may have already celebrated Hanukkah, for example, which often falls before winter break.

The downside of this type of arrangement is that one parent is deprived of holiday time with the children during the parent’s “off” years. This causes many co-parents, especially those who place a high value on holiday traditions, to take a different approach.

2. Equal time. Often, co-parents divide winter break in half, which typically gives each of them a week to celebrate the holidays or take a trip with their kids. They may alternate years when considering who takes the first week versus the second, since Christmas usually falls in the first. Parents may also choose to split the time by day, particularly when it comes to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. By each taking one of these important days, both parents, as well as the children, get meaningful Christmas time together each year.

In situations where co-parents get along, a third possibility arises: giving the children time with both parents together. For example, children who believe in Santa and cherish Christmas mornings might appreciate having both parents present in those festivities. In fact, children of any age might appreciate a visit by their other parent, as long as the experience remains amicable.

Buying Gifts: Together or Separately?

If your winter break includes a gift-giving occasion, it makes good sense to collaborate with your ex-spouse so you don’t duplicate gifts for your children or inadvertently neglect to buy the gifts they wanted most because you assumed the other parent was buying them. In a Santa situation, discuss who is responsible for that experience. Will it change year to year based on who has the kids on Christmas, or will you work together?

The more collaborative you can be, the better. However, if you absolutely cannot work with your ex-spouse, then it’s important to work through counsel to determine who will be responsible for what so you don’t put your children through undue awkwardness or stress.

You may also want to consider taking your children shopping so they can buy a holiday gift for the other parent. It teaches children not only about giving, but shows that you encourage kindness towards your ex-spouse.

Making the Plan Official (more…)

December 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

How to Motivate Our Kids

Did you ever take music lessons or practice a sport to become the best? It’s called deliberate practice and there are important life skills that children learn when they practice becoming better at something. One lesson that comes up for me is resilience. My daughter wanted to take dance lessons, and once she started attending the class, she decided she didn’t like it and wanted to quit. That happens often with children. They will like something because their friends like it. The challenge is getting them to stick it out until a natural ending like a concert or the season ends. Requiring them to finish at a natural ending point, teaches tolerance.

You see it a lot in some cultures where practice is relentless, but the outcomes are amazing. I think about the Olympics and Russians gymnasts. I thought they excelled because of their over-the-top work ethic. I also think about Chinese students and music. Practice makes their performances better!

This deliberate practice requires us (as parents) to perform our show and tell. It’s one thing to tell your child to go and practice their clarinet. It’s quite a different feeling when you share with them that on your job or in your business, you have goals to attain and the better that you are at setting those goals, the better you are at mastering them and achieving them or smashing them!

Parents, we have an opportunity here to build excellence no matter what your economic or social standing. When your kids are with you, get them to do more of what they like and practice it until it is amazing. You notice I’m not saying perfect because perfect means there’s no room to grow and be better and there’s always room to grow and be better. I’m also suggesting that you allow them to do something that they like, as opposed to what you like for them. It’s less of a struggle

By the way, this is not just a skill for musically and sports inclined children. For the kids who love academics; who love reading; who love writing; who love tech; help them find tune that skill and motivate them to become outliers.

An outlier is a person that stands out from all other members of a particular group or set. They stand out! That’s a positive thing. Our children are born with gifts that require motivation, nurturing and fine-tuning to stand out. As parents, this is what we can offer our children:

  • A safe home environment
  • Food to eat
  • Love
  • Encouragement
  • Structure

Sometimes the gifts that live inside of our child, are quite different from ours or anyone within our family. It doesn’t make the gift wrong or strange… just different.

So practice motivating your child and that gift of theirs, while they are on summer break. If you haven’t already seen their brilliance peek out, keep watching.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

June 26, 2019 at 5:58 pm Leave a comment

The Blending Of Blended Families

my blended family

Falling in love with a man or woman is wonderful and exciting. But how will his children feel with you as their stepmom … or better yet how will yours feel?

Click on the link below and watch the rest of my video blog!

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Order a copy of my book: Yours & Mine: A Winning Blended Family Formula

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

How to Defuse Anger in Your Family

Have you noticed that the people around you (at work or school) are so angry? Maybe it’s you or people within your family.

How do you keep that anger emotion from taking over?

Listen to my YouTube vlog and let me know what you think. Click here. Once you’re done subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Want to learn more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

March 13, 2019 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Which One Are You Today?

It’s funny when your kids are small, you don’t ever want them to grow up. They are so innocent and precious and they listen to our every word. Then the day comes when they start saying things like “I’m grown, I can make my own decisions.” And you realize they are growing up and maybe you should let them (make their decisions). 

Then they change back into a non-adult! They say things like:

  • Can you pay for my phone?
  • Will you complete my FAFSA?
  • Do you have money for me to get my nails done?
  • Can you pay my car insurance?
  • Will you pay my rent?

Wait a minute!

  • I thought you were an adult?
  • Isn’t that what you told me you were?
  • What happened to “I can do this? Please stop telling me what to do!?”

This is the brain of our teenage or twenty-something kid. The problem is that they really don’t want a lessons learned talk, they kinda want to figure it out, but don’t mind asking for your money and support.

My feeling is that when your kid says, “I can do it”, it’s important to let him or her do it. I believe today’s parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes that they made. It sounds good, but isn’t realistic. Growing up means you make mistakes. I made them? You did too. It’s okay. 

Young people today don’t mind making mistakes. They don’t want to be nagged or guilt tripped, but they also want to be rescued when they’ve made a mistake. It’s doesn’t work both ways! Some lessons can only be learned through experience. A daughter who has a child without the security of marriage (against the advice of her parents), takes a risk that she will raise her child alone. A son who wants to play pro ball and decides not to go to college, takes a risk of having an injury (that keeps him from playing) and working the rest of his life as a laborer.

It’s hard watching our children make mistakes especially ones that can follow them for life. It’s harder when they tell you to butt out – let them live their life. Those are hard lessons for us as parents. However, just like our parents had to let us go and grow… we have to do the same thing. A little lesson learning never hurt anybody! Happy 2019!

Are you saying Yes when you really mean No? Click here to Join my FREE Facebook Group – Balanced Moms Club to join with other moms to receive tips about time management, organization and basic meal planning.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

January 4, 2019 at 10:14 pm 5 comments

Have You Established A School Routine?

When I was in elementary and high school, my mother started preparing my siblings and me for our 1st day of school several weeks in advance. She changed our bedtimes and reduced our outside playing time to prepare us for the new school year. It didn’t make sense at the time, but the transition to school was smoother and we weren’t sleepy in the mornings. 

Once I had children of my own, having a routine, made a lot of sense. And as a former high school teacher, I could tell which students had routines at home and those who didn’t. Email me back if you want to know how I knew….

If you are dreading the first week of school and wondering how you are going to prepare for a new routine where everyone is on time to where they are going – l CAN HELP!

As a Back to School gift to all parents who are getting children of all ages back into the groove of school, I am offering you a gift of peace instead of chaotic mornings and bedtimes. To receive this gem of information, join my parent community. I promise that your contact information will be safe and is not for sale by me or anyone on my staff.

Below is a link to preschool, elementary and high school routines that I created to help you help your child get into the groove of school as easily as possible. 

CLICK HERE

If your current routines aren’t working to your satisfaction, build a new set of routines this year. The routines will teach your children how to manage themselves and their time for better success in school. Have a great school year!

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

August 29, 2018 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

How Do You Protect Your Gang Connected Kid?

I would talk to her, take her phone and try to keep her away from it, but it was hard,” said Brown, who believed her daughter was trying to protect herself from people who had targeted her. “You got to put up a tough front. I knew she was scared. She was scared all the time.” 

My heart goes out to this mom as she explains what she did to protect her daughter from gang members, yet in the end, her daughter was still targeted and killed.

I’m reading this article in the Chicago Tribune and thinking about the influence that social media plays in the lives of our kids. Cell phones were important when my children were tweens and teens, but I would confiscate my older child’s phone at night or let her minutes run out. If the minutes ran out before the month was over, her phone didn’t work. Unfortunately there are many cell phone packages and providers, so paying for minutes is no longer an issue.

Kids now take to their social media pages to rant and emote (about pretty much everything). There is no difference between kids who are in or connected to gang members and social media and those who aren’t except for the retaliative violence that they tell their followers they are planning. If I lose a friend or family member to gun violence, I go on Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat and talk about what I plan to do. It’s a form of empowerment that gives our children a feeling of control and power.

The question is, as a parent, how do you manage this type of child? How do you keep them safe and help them feel empowered to make a positive difference? Maybe you send them to live with your family members in other cities where they can go to school and grow into adults.

That could work if you have family members living somewhere else and your displaced kids stay off of social media. These are two big questions and I don’t have the answers. Let’s start a online dialogue and figure out how to save our children.

Interested in learning more about your family’s dynamics? Contact me – Ms. Parent Guru to receive information about my inspiring parenting programs for Aging Parents, Mothers and Daughters, Mothers and their Sons, Fathers and Daughters or Fathers and their Sons.

Click Here to become a part of my parenting community.

C. Lynn Williams, #MsParentguru

Family Dynamics Strategist, Author & Speaker

www.clynnwilliams.com

April 12, 2018 at 9:46 am 4 comments

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