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Divorce: 12 Steps to a Happier Life for Parents

 
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How Divorced Parents Can Be Happier

When you divorced, was happiness your goal? If your life could use more joy, consider the 12 steps below. Many of them are based on research and they could help you rebuild your life, treasure who you are, and help you focus on what's truly important.

12 Ways Divorced Parents Can Feel Happier

  1. Set one positive goal at a time and stick with it for 21 days. This builds your “True Grit.”
  2. Create new memories by joining a social group that’s uplifting and fun.
  3. Develop a positive lifestyle that becomes your legacy.
  4. Find enjoyable ways to help others.
  5. Develop a smile from the heart and readily give it to others with a wish for their well-being. Do this at least 3 times a day.
  6. Make a gratitude list. Each evening or morning write down 3 things you’re thankful for from the events of the past day.
  7. Compose a hopeful list. Each morning write down 3 events you are looking forward to that day.
  8. Avoid negative thinkers and make friends with positive people.
  9. Clear out mind polluting thoughts. Replace them with the strong positive images, feelings, and ideas you want.
  10. Take simple risks that help you grow.
  11. Talk with someone you trust. Counselors with cognitive behavioral skills can be helpful.
  12. Strive to live a life of love and compassion for yourself and others.

Divorcing can be a painful process. How to move forward is unclear. Grief, guilt, and anger may grip your heart. If so, consider choosing number 11 to help you gain control of your life. Then pick out the easy steps and once you feel confident in them, move forward to the more challenging goals. You can feel happier.

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As a divorced parent with children, naturally you're concerned about them. My kindle book, Character Building: Divorce Stories and Strategies to Help Your Child Heal will help you help them discuss their concerns. Each story has positive healing strategies they can practice. The healing strategies can help you too.

Cover CB 3
Available at Amazon.com

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Teens with Tempers: How to Control Anger in Your Family

 

Teenage boy stubborn
Help Angry Teenagers with These Responses

Is anger controlling your teenager and your family? If you're concerned about your adolescent's anger and would like 5 responses to restrain your child's aggression, keep reading. Our parenting experts and authors of the book, The Whipped Parent, Marney Studaker-Cordner and Kimberly Abraham are here to help.

 Now we'll define juvenile domestic violence as a pattern of rough and domineering behaviors by juveniles against their parents and siblings. Next we'll give some examples. Then, Marney and Kimberly will share the 5 best responses a parent can use to dampen abusive situations.

4 Signs of Abuse by Teens in the Home Include:

  • Shoving
  • Hitting
  • Threats to harm
  • Using objects to hurt family members

Every family has arguments but they must not end in violence. You need to be concerned about your child and family when members are injured by explosive threats, actions, or gestures. Is there anything you can do reduce the flames of anger? Definitely!  Let's hear the advice of our authors.

How to De-escalate Hostile Behavior

  1. Change the way you think about the behavior.
  2. Stay out of power struggles.
  3. Don't jump to conclusions about why your teen is so upset.
  4. Realize you don't have the full story behind the anger.
  5. Avoid using triggers like blaming, criticizing, or challenging.
  6. Model how to handle situations calmly.

Take a "time out" for yourself if you can't do the above right away. Calm yourself down with deep breathing while counting to 10. Look in the mirror and practice the following responses with self-control, a serious and understanding face, and relaxed body language. When you're ready, talk to your teen with a stress-free voice.

5 Best Replies to Angry Teenagers

Pause and give time for your youngster to respond.

  1. "You seem really upset."
  2. "I understand how you're thinking about this issue. You know, there can be more than one way to look at things."
  3. "You certainly have a right to your opinion, and I respect that."
  4. "You know what? I appreciate your position, but I'm not in the mood to debate this at this time."
  5. "I hear what you're saying." (From pages 99-101)

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I appreciate our authors' answers to upset teens. Their advice to pick the right time to talk with kids makes sense. Angry fights disconnect. Calm discussions reconnect and provide the opportunity for good solutions.

One more thing, if abuse in your family persists, you may need professional help. If danger occurs, you may need help from the law.

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Let's THANK Marney and Kimberly for sharing better ways to respond to teenage anger. As social workers they've worked with families and know how to help.

Authors Marney and Kim
Marney Studaker-Cordner, MSW, CSW, Kimberly Abraham, MSW, CSW

Pick up your copy of:

The Whipped Parent: Hope for Parents Raising an Out-of-Control Teen

The Whipped Parent

Available at Amazon.com  

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Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Bullying and Young Children: Learning Lessons without Lectures

 Waffles and Pancakes Bullies

A Lesson in Bullying

Afraid your young children might become bullies? Cindy Springsteen, our parenting expert and author of the book Waffles and Pancakes ~ A Lesson in Bullying, is here to help. She knows how to teach lessons without lectures. Let's find out her method.

Many young children respond to animal stories. Cindy created a story about 2 hamsters, Waffles and Pancakes, and Oscar, the guinea pig. The boys who own the two hamsters have trouble figuring out why their pets don't feel well. Since hamsters can't talk, the boys didn't know their feelings were hurt by the cruel words of Oscar.

Cindy's story helps kids feel empathy for the hamsters. When parents read this book to their youngsters and probe with questions, they'll be teaching lessons without lectures.

Parents and teachers can use this animal story to:

. Help kids understand animals have feelings

. Be good to animals

. Help kids realize people have feelings

. Be good to others

. Try to get along with everyone

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I suggest asking your children 3 questions while reading this story:

1. Why did the hamsters look sick?

2. Have you ever felt bad when someone said mean things to you? Tell me about it.

3. What advice do you have for Oscar the bully? Why?

You might even have your children draw a picture of the guinea pig bullying the hamsters. Then have them draw a picture of the 3 pets getting along.

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Let's PRAISE Cindy for helping young children understand feelings and why it's important to be good to both animals and people.

Cindy Springsteen
Cindy Springsteen

Pick up your copy of Waffles and Pancakes ~ A Lesson In Bullying

Waffles and Pancakes ~ Bullying

Available at Amazon.com

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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How to Help Your Child Discuss Divorce Stories with Cartoons

Meme  Sammy Please Don't Ask
Pick Up Your Free Copy of Divorce Stories Today and Help Your Child Heal!

Aren't divorce stories like nightmares?  Shouldn't you avoid divorce discussions for fear of stirring up your child's feelings? Why not pretend everything is normal?

Because it isn't. Your child is filled with emotions like guilt, fear, anger, and sadness. Keeping feelings zipped tightly inside doesn't mean they don't exist.  And when they finally tumble out, it could be frightening.

Why Use Stories and Cartoons?

Children love stories and cartoons. The stories help your child think about the cartoon characters' problems and feelings. They protect your child from being targeted by the direct questions they don't want to answer. They help your youngster think objectively about the stories' dilemmas. And they give him the opportunity to share his solutions with you.

How to Discuss Divorce Stories with the Triple A Formula

The Triple A Formula gives your child exactly what he needs from you, your attention, approval, and appreciation.

1. Give Your Full Attention.

After you read Sean's difficulty with his step-brother ask the discussion questions. This is where the healing begins. By listening, direct eye contact, and your pleasant face, you are giving him just what he wants, your full attention.

2. Give Your Approval.

Perhaps you've read Mackenzie's story about needing quality time with her dad. By giving your daughter your approval for her opinions and suggestions, she'll feel important and pleased you liked her thoughts. She may even share her own feelings about some aspect of your divorce. Stay strong, don't criticize, and allow her to talk.

3. Give Your Appreciation.

Maybe you'll read Joey's story. He wanted to quit being his parents' mailman because delivering their angry messages to each other put him in the middle. Let's say you and your children had a great discussion. Their advice for Joey was unique and helpful. Give them your appreciation, "I'm impressed by your wise ideas and specific solutions."

When you use discussion stories with the Triple A Formula, you are helping your children to gently unzip their feelings. They'll feel heard, loved, and relieved. This is how to heal your child.

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Each story contains a special healing strategy to lessen the pain of divorce. A bonus collection of all the healing strategies is included to download at the end. I suggest you keep them in a binder to use whenever you need them.

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Pick up your FREE copy today, July 18, 2013:

Character Building: Divorce Stories and Strategies to Help Your Child Heal

CB 3 Cover Divorce

Available at Amazon.com


Reviews are not required but truly appreciated.

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Please share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Attention Deficit Disorder: 5 Best Ways to Promote It in Your Child

 Boy jumping

Your ADD Child Needs Exercise

Is attention deficit disorder causing problems with you and your child? Dr. Parnell Donahue, parenting expert and author of the book, Messengers in Denim, is here to share some research that could help you make good parenting decisions. You'll learn 5 ways to promote ADD/ADHD and 5 ways to handle it.

Dr. Donahue noted that recent research observed the television habits of 2,500 youngsters.  It seems the more hours kids watched TV each day, the more likely they were diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. The researchers guessed that the frequent and rapid change of scenes may "permanently alter normal brain development." (From page 189)

Do video games include frequent and rapid changes of scenes? What do you think? Of course, there can be a genetic factor to ADD/ADHD.

Let's find out how to make it worse. I'll expand on 5 ways to increase attention deficit disorder in your child, what behaviors you can expect, and suggestions for helping your child.

How to Promote ADD in Your Youngster:

1. Avoid schedules and routines.

2. Keep home life in a state of chaos.

3. Increase TV and video game time.

4. Include sodas with lots of caffeine

5. Provide fatty junk foods and sugary treats.

If you do the above, don't be surprised at the increase in your child's problems. Below are behaviors you can expect.

1. Your child will have listening problems.

2. He won't obey because he can't pay attention.

3. He will be disorganized and fail to finish projects.

4. He will leave his messes for you to clean up.

5. He will impulsively interrupt, take risks, and tear around the house, school, or playground.

These behaviors may increase your frustration, exhaustion, and yelling. Life at your house could be quite difficult.

5 Ways to Handle ADD:

As the parent, you have the power to ~

1. Provide an organized household.

2. Decrease TV and video game time to a minimum.

3. Increase your child's physical activity.

4. Create charts with stars for specific good behaviors. Keep it positive.

5. Use relaxation tapes at bedtime and make sure your child gets plenty of rest.

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If your life travels at the speed of light, slow it down. Eliminate the harmful lists above and  promote the helpful suggestions. If all else fails, begin to consider meds.

Dr. Donahue, in his book, will give you more information on drugs, the side effects, and the $2.2 billion spent on ADD and ADHD medications in 2009 alone. 

He realizes that television and other screen media aren't going away. The best we can do is control them in our own homes. We're the parents. We have the power.

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Pick up a copy of Messengers in Denim and follow Dr. Donahue's wise advice.

  Messenger in Jeans Book
Available on Amazon.com

Let's give Dr. Donahue and HAND for his tireless work in helping parents.

Blog Optimistic Dr. Parnell Donahue
Dr. Donahue, M.D.

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Divorce and Parenting: 6 Essential Messages for Your Child

Parents Laughing with Young boy
Storybook with 6 Essential Messages

If divorce is crushing your child, there are 6 essential messages you need him to believe. Our parenting expert and author, Rosalind Sedacca is here to share those messages from her book, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? First she'll tell her story, then the 6 messages, and end with an excerpt from her son.

The Story

Rosalind and her husband were going to divorce. Her biggest fear was how to tell their son and help him deal with all the changes in his life. Changes he didn't want. Rosalind spent a sleepless night of worry. A thought about creating a loving storybook about her son's life filled her mind. That became, How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce?

The 6 Essential Messages Children of Divorce Must Hear and Believe

Rosalind thought through what her son must know and this is what she presented to her husband:

1. This is not your fault.

2. You are, and always will be, safe.

3. Mom and Dad will always be your parents.

4. Mom and Dad will always love you.

5. This is about change, not about blame.

6. Things will work out okay. (These 6 essential points are from page 9.)

The next day when Rosalind shared these principles with her husband, he agreed to promote them with their 11-year-old son.

Once Rosalind created the photo storybook, she along with her husband and son began reading about the happy events. They enjoyed the pictures and laughed about the good times. As the story evolved into the present tension then into the discussion about divorce, their son cried and cried. It was painful but it was done.

Their son is a young man now. Below is an excerpt from him.

"More than a decade ago, my mother created a special storybook for me. It was like no other book I had read. My mom, dad and I read it together. This was a storybook about my life, complete with photos of me and my parents. It was filled with memories, love and praise. It told a simple tale of how my mom and dad met, the love that they had for each other, and how, over time, it had changed. It ended with talk of divorce, what it meant to me, and why it was the beginning of change - not the end of my family." (From page 6)

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I admire Rosalind's honesty and creativity in developing this book. She does not hold back on the pain, the tears, and the courage to face the truth with her son. Her creativity gave her boy a storybook of his young life and became the visible truth that he would always be loved by each parent. He also learned that he did not cause the divorce.

This book includes templates for telling children about the divorce ranging in age from 5-10 years and from 10-15 years.

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Let's PRAISE Rosalind for giving parents a loving way to help their kids face the pain and move through the divorce and beyond.

Pick up your copy of  How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce?

Rosalind Sedacca
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT

Available at Child-Centered Divorce

Sign up for Rosalind's blog at http://www.childcentereddivorce.com/blog/?pg=blog

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Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting Skills: Problems and Solutions with Runaway Teenagers

 

Girl drinking bigstock
Your Parenting Skills Can Help

Need extra parenting skills to deal with your runaway teenager?  We have parenting expert, Katherine Gordy Levine, author of the kindle book, Why Good Kids Run Away. As a mother, grandmother and foster parent to almost 400 problem teens, Katherine has stories to tell and lessons to share. Today she'll offer some typical problems and wise solutions.

 

Why Teenagers Run Away

  • Anger about parenting rules
  • Got drunk at a party and don't want parents to know
  • Fought at a party and now sports black eyes and breath heavy with alcohol
  • Contracted a sexual disease
  • Impregnated or became pregnant
  • Abused sexually or verbally at home
  • Hear voices and see things that aren't real

Katherine shares stories about each of these problems and how she handled them with her foster students. Of course, there are other specific reasons why teenagers runaway. But Katherine is able to teach the lessons she wants you to know through each of the stories she tells.

Why Parents Worry

1. Their teenager didn't come home.

2. They don't know where their child is.

3. They don't know if their child is hurt.

4. They don't know when to call the police.

5. They don't know when or how much to tell school authorities.

Yes, the teens have problems but so do the parents. Their minds are overwhelmed with fear for their children. They may waver between anger and just wanting to wrap loving arms around their kids.

Solutions Before and After Your Runaway Comes Home:

Katherine gives her best advice on when to call the police, how to ask for advice, and what the police need to know. She has several thoughts on whether to tell or not tell school authorities.

Katherine also offers specific scripts to use with kids after you hug them and let them know you're glad they're home. Finally, she shares her ideas on consequences for your runaway teenager.

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Katherine has the knowledge and experience that make her a unique parenting expert. She's been a professor of Social Work at Columbia University, a director of mental health crisis programs for children, and an accredited therapist. And you already know she was the foster parent of almost 400 children.

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Let's THANK Katherine Gordy Levine for sharing her knowledge, insights, and great advice in When Good Kids Run Away.

Katherine Gordy Levine
Katherine Gordy Levine

Pick up your copy of When Good Kids Run Away and get the relief you need.

When Good Kids Run Away

Available on Amazon.com

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Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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