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Single Parent, Sick Child, Work: How To Balance The Equation

Single Parent, Sick Child, Work: How To Balance The Equation

Single parents often struggle to keep the balance between work and family life equal when they have sick children. Work can get hectic, and deadlines are constant. Yet, kids that do not feel well cannot attend daycare or school. So what is a single parent to do? Consider setting up a proactive sick plan with the following tips.

Single Parent, Sick Children, Work: How To Balance The Equation

balanceFirst, have a proactive discussion with your supervisor before your child becomes ill. Know what the company’s work-at-home policy is, and prove that you can be trusted to abide by it. Technology is a great aid that can help you accomplish your work while playing nurse. Conference calls, web meetings and Skype are all great tools. Also, know your options in regards to flex-time to help you find that balance. If you have to take off on a Tuesday, can you make up the hours by staying late or coming in on a Saturday? Having a discussion will help you develop a last-minute plan when your child begins to feel ill.

Next, stay realistic about time expectations when you have a sick child. Prioritize your work tasks and set personal deadlines. Be productive when your child is asleep or watching a movie. If needed, put in extra hours at night or early morning. To go along with this, let your only distractions be work-related and your sick child. If you were in the office, you would not have the ability to catch up on laundry or dishes, so do not let working from home be an excuse to do chores. It is important for your boss to know that you are being productive as possible from home.

Some parents have back-ups plans for the days their child falls sick. Grandparents, friends, and hired sitters are great alternatives when you have to go to work, but your child cannot go to daycare or school. Think ahead and try to have a list of contacts to call in case you get in this sticky situation.

Overall, a plan is the best thing single parents can have when they have sick children. Find that balance. Talking to family, friends and supervisors will help establish a solid plan. Continue to check back on NHPSC’s website for more blog articles about parenting and divorce.

How to Improve Parenting Skills While Being a Single Parent

How to Improve Parenting Skills While Being a Single Parent

Being a single parent isn’t easy, but it is important to hone your parenting skills. Working with your child without the shoulder of the other parent on which to lean can be quite difficult, frustrating and confusing for you and your child.

parenting skillsHere’s how you can improve your parenting skills while being a single parent –

1. Spend quality time with your child – never let your child feel like he or she has lost a parent even if the judge gave sole custody to one parent. if you’re the parent who didn’t get sole custody but are still entitled to supervised visitation, make sure that the time you spend with your child matters to him and you. Do something with him that he loves or enjoys and so do you–whether it’s going shopping, watching a movie or playing a game outside.

2. Don’t try to take the role of the other parent but promise to be there for your child whenever he or she needs you – the child is suddenly confused as to why he has to live with one parent separately and isn’t used to not having one parent around or to turn to when he needs them the most. Tell your child that even though you’re going to be around all the time that you’re just a phone call or a short drive away.

3. Play the dual role – if you feel like one parent didn’t a certain job better like comforting the child during emotional breakdowns or helping him with his homework, then try to develop those same qualities in you and try to play the role of the other parent, too. This will make your child feel that he can come to you at anytime for anything and not have to depend on the other parent.

Developing your parenting skills as a single parent is a tough task, but well worth it. Remember, this is about your kids.

The Effects of Divorce on Children Today

The Effects of Divorce on Children Today

In this article, we talk about the effects of divorce on children.

effects of divorce on childrenDivorce can be a stressful time for anyone–and the aftermath can be just as traumatic as children are shuffled back and forth between parents all the while missing one parent or another. Essentially, divorce tends to increase a young child’s dependence and accelerates an adolescent’s independence. Adolescents also often become aggressive toward their parents after a divorce.

Effects of Divorce on Children

For the young child, divorce shakes their trust in their parents. It can also be hard to convince a young child of the permanence of divorce. In the short term, young children can get very anxious, so it is important parents take time to answer their questions. If possible, parents should also look for opportunities to spend time together–a family celebration, for instance. Even if the time is brief, it can still leave a lasting positive impression. During this time period, it is not uncommon to see regressive behaviors from children–crying at bed times, bed-wetting, clinging, whining, tantrums, etc.

The more independent-minded adolescent tends to deal more aggressively to divorce. He/ she may get rebellious and insist on taking care of him/herself,. Adolescents tend to try and exact revenge on their parents to get pay back. For parents, it is important to try and take this increase in self-interest and redirect it toward more responsibility. Much like with a younger child, it is important for parents to focus on routines, rituals and reassurance. 

The effects of divorce on children can be difficult for a parent to accept. In accepting them, though, parents acknowledge something very profound–their responsibility to their kids. In the long term, children recognize what their parents have done and will appreciate it. In the short term, it is difficult, but parents need to be consistent and stable for their children. The effects of divorce on children are very real, but can absolutely be mitigated with consistent, patient parenting. 

Having Fun with Your Kids in the Winter

Having Fun with Your Kids in the Winter

Having fun with your kids in the winter

having funIt is cold and there is a lot of snow on the ground, but having fun is still possible with your kids! Here are some ideas!

  1. Play board or video games together–come on, it is time you introduce them to some of your all-time favorites!
  2. Make a pine cone parrot feeder using peanut butter and birdseed. Then hang it outside a window where you’ll see the birds benefit from the treat every day.
  3. Take a guess at how much snow is on the ground. Then pick up a ruler and see how much snow you have–winner gets a prize.
  4. Make handmade cards for residents of an area medical home. Then have a ‘field trip’ to provide them together.
  5. Make snow angels in your garden.
  6. Buy a kid-sized shovel and shovel the driveway or sidewalk jointly. (In case the snow is very deep, be certain to carve out a ‘smaller’ area for your children to work.)
  7. Create a snow fort–remember how much fun they were when you were young? Do it!
  8. Go snowshoeing! 
  9. Collect old winter jackets from family friends and participants. Then donate those to an area charity.
  10. Use your phone’s camera to create a slow-motion video of the snow outside your window. Send it to family members and/or friends and show them how deep it is! It is a lot of fun!

We know that winter can be tough for parents, especially those who are newly single and still trying to find their bearings. Having fun with your kids in the winter can mean any of these things and more. It could mean just sitting down and talking or watching a movie.

The takeaway here is to show your kids that you care. Have questions. Contact us today. You are not alone.

Effective Everyday Parental Strategies

Effective Everyday Parental Strategies

If you are a parent, you want to be the best parent possible and respond appropriately to behavioral problems, so here are some parental strategies.

Parental Strategies

parental strategiesThe following are seven evidence-based strategies: examined parenting strategies were the end result.

Provide Praise. Analyses have shown that the behavior that gets attention is the behavior that you’ll get more often. Reprimanding your child too often  will increase unwanted behavior. At the same time, rewarding desired behaviors increase that good behavior.

Ignore Misbehavior. If a misbehavior is minor and not dangerous, ignore it. Ignoring when a child throws food on the floor or a pre-teen slams a door, while responding with attention when they ask nicely or express their feelings shows the child that good actions are a reliable way to get attention.

Turn into a Student of Kid Development. Understanding developmental breakthroughs is one of the best parental strategies and can help a father or mother attend to and reward steps toward various milestones. Knowing a four-year-old desires to please friends will make you more likely to praise their positive behavior with friends. At the same time, understanding that young teens typically have concerns about body image, looks and clothes might make it better to ignore all that extra time spent in front of the mirror

Time-Outs and  Quality Time-Ins. Short and immediate time-outs have been shown to might be best, particularly when paired with parents who are also modeling positive behaviors and praising good behavior. Keep calm and praise compliance.

Concentrate on Prevention of Misbehavior. Paying attention to when a child gets worn out or hungry can prevent a huge percentage of meltdowns. Preparing ahead and anticipating potential problems and teaching a child strategies to manage problems when they arise may also eliminate the need to use time-outs.

Care for Yourself First. Children are adversely damaged by parental stress, with 86 percent of children reporting that parent stress bothers them. It is essential to take the time to exercise, maintain interests and have fun with friends and partners.

Take Period and Do Nothing. Dedicate time with your child (experts recommend 1 hour a week per child) doing nothing but being with them. Avoid teaching, asking, correcting or offering choice perspectives.

At times, child-rearing can feel like you are in an airplane and the oxygen masks have dropped. Put your mask on first. When that’s accomplished, you can better respond to your child with the best parental strategies.