False Hope Can Take You Off Track

Don’t Hold Out With False Hope

Do you rise each morning with the wide-eyed optimism that your child has finally hit that ‘magic’ age where they suddenly become more responsible?   If you haven’t taught your child  this quality all along, then you are experiencing “false hope.”  We all know what false hope means, but we may not be aware we’re practicing it until it’s too late.

Humans have a tendency to continue to hope for things even when no action has been put into place to illicit that desired circumstance or behavior.  It’s like looking at a pile of dirty dishes and believing they will clean and put themselves away on their own.

However, when it comes to parenting holding onto false hope can be damaging to our kids.  Continuing to watch our children practice poor habits day in and day out won’t change the reality of it, no matter how much we “hope” it will change.  This is only compounded when we take false hope a step further and assume they will outgrow it.

Have you latched onto false hope with your parenting techniques?  If so, this tool of  self-deception may be comfortable for a time, but eventually you will have to wake up to the realities in front of you.  If your child hasn’t done his homework without being nagged for an hour beforehand, leaving him to his own devices and hoping he will change is only creating a bigger problem and denying the reality of the situation.

Child Custody, Parenting Plans, and Best Interests of the Child

by Scott D Stewart

Whenever there is a child involved in a couple’s break-up, major decisions on custody need to be made in that child’s best interests.

The custody issues that unmarried parents encounter in Arizona differ in some ways from those faced by their married counterparts. When unmarried parents have a child, but paternity, custody, and parenting time have not yet been established, then the instability and unpredictability of each parent’s access to the child can be very detrimental for everyone in the family.

Although an informal parenting agreement between unmarried parents may work for a while, it is inadequate for the long term. Remember that the long term is 18 years, unless the child is emancipated earlier. Informal parenting arrangements can be helpful for some couples in the interim, but they won’t help resolve problems when a parenting conflict arises.

Whether the couple is married or unmarried, either parent may seek to gain primary custody of the child. When the custody action is initiated, the court begins assessing what is in the best interests of the child.

Requirement of a Parenting Plan

A court-ordered parenting schedule provides a defined, predictable custody arrangement that delineates the terms of access that both parents must abide by, and upon which the child learns to depend. The court’s order is enforceable, so the parties are not reliant on each other’s good will to strengthen and maintain a solid parent-child relationship.

The well-devised parenting plan is made a part of the child custody orders that render it fully enforceable. When a custody proceeding is pending and the court is asked to order joint custody, or shared parenting, three requirements must be met:

1) Both parents agree to joint custody.

2) Joint custody is in the child’s best interests.

3) A written parenting plan is submitted to the court.

With Arizona’s co-parenting model, when the parties seek joint custody, they are required to submit a written parenting plan to the court. Under A.R.S. § 25-403.02, the minimum plan requirements must include a section addressing each of the following:

1. Each parent’s rights and responsibilities for the personal care of the child and for decisions in areas such as education, health care and religious training.

2. A schedule of the physical residence of the child, including holidays and school vacations.

3. A procedure by which proposed changes, disputes and alleged breaches may be mediated or resolved, which may include the use of conciliation services or private counseling.

4. A procedure for periodic review of the plan’s terms by the parents.

5. A statement that the parties understand that joint custody does not necessarily mean equal parenting time.

The court may also examine other factors that might improve the child’s “emotional and physical health.” Whenever the parents are unable to agree on any aspect of the plan, the judge will decide the parenting issue for them.

Specific to the Child’s Needs

The plan must be child-specific to pass muster. Each parent must be prepared to demonstrate how he or she will accomplish the following:

• Properly care for the child while away at work.
• Make adjustments to the work schedule as needed.
• Be flexible with needed care for the child.
• Transport the child to activities and events.
• Be as involved in the child’s life as the parent claims he or she wants to be.

Although the parents may choose their own words in describing their agreements, they should choose those words very carefully. The parents may agree to associate specific definitions to words written into the parenting plan. For example, they could agree that “a day” shall mean “24-hours” and not less. The agreed upon terms and their respective definitions would be written into, and become a part of the plan — those terms are very important to interpretation and implementation.

When the parties do not define any terms specific to their parenting plan, the court will apply default meanings in its interpretation, for example:

• A “day” is eight consecutive hours or less.
• A “weekend” starts at 5:30 p.m.Friday and ends at 6:00 p.m.Sunday.
• A “mid-week” visit is from 5:30 p.m.to 8:00 p.m.on Wednesday (not overnight).
• The “holidays” includes Spring break, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

In preparing the plan, both parties are best served by analyzing every possible situation that could reasonably occur in the child’s life, and plan how best to deal with each of those situations. By going through that process, as involved as it is, they will reduce the likelihood of the family court making parenting decisions for them.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6087640

Parents – If You Want To Nurture Your Child’s Growing Sense Of Responsibility – Be Exemplary

By Rory Sullivan

Daily chores are not the children’s responsibility. They are the parents’ responsibility. No amount of lists, schedules, or duty rotas will alter that. The bed-making, the dusting, the vacuuming, the washing, the ironing, the meal-making, the table-laying, the washing-up, the car-washing, the lawn-mowing, and anything else of this sort, are the parent’s responsibility.

The example parents set – how we choose to carry out those assignments – will have a huge bearing on our child’s sense of responsibility.

Do we go around the house with a woe-is-me, I’m-such-a-martyr, I-haven’t-got-time-to-sit-down, sort of demeanour? Are meals laid on the table with a comment on how much hard work went into preparing them, “and you should be grateful”?

What kind of effect do we think this will have on our children?

If Dad’s work has him out of the house at all hours with little time left for the family, and even that time is accompanied by frequent reminders about how “lucky you ought to feel having a roof over your head,” how do we suppose children are going to react? What will it do for their growing sense of responsibility?

When children choose to come and ask to help, or work alongside you – which they invariably do from a very young age – it is a golden opportunity for fun and togetherness, which can be welcomed with open arms and tactfully restrained enthusiasm – but with the understanding that if the child desires to go and do something else, she can do. And it won’t be accompanied by a caustic, witty or sarcastic aside. When volunteered time together is handled in such a happy and joyous way, this is bound to have a positive effect on the child’s growing sense of responsibility.

We can ask for help, sure – it gives children the opportunity to help if they want to. The demand for chores to be done, on the other hand, is an invitation for struggle. When tasks are left incomplete it is too easy to lapse into self-righteous moralizing. Too many “We don’t quit, Son!” speeches might soon lead to us having a little Jim Stark in the family.

A child’s room is their responsibility. If they choose to have an untidy room, or an unmade bed, that is up to them. And, who knows, it could be their own little haven of rebellion against the way the rest of the household is micro-managed.

When parents carry out their day-to-day assignments in an exemplary, pleasant, and approachable manner – as far as is humanly possible, we all have sour days – this will do more to nurture a child’s growing sense of responsibility than any daily chores list ever will.

Rory Sullivan writes for A carpenter from Nazareth, a website dedicated to helping people unearth the spirituality within.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/535663

See Also Parenting Articles by Dr. Randy Cale at www.TerrificParenting.com