Bad marriages and the kids

I have heard many people say regardless of how bad marriages are couples should stay in it for the kids as they need and deserve to be in a two parents household. Frankly, I disagree. being in a miserable household where the two parents are fighting all the time or are simply not affectionate doesn’t model what marriages is for the kids, let alone what a good marriage should look like, and it’s important for kids to see this.
If for whatever reason the marriage no longer works and both people are miserable, in my opinion it’s best for the children to have two happy, sane and loving parents living apart than two bad behaving adults living together. Again by separating, we are modeling how conflicts can be resolved in a mutually agreed up manner.
My marriage disintegrated and was dysfunctional for years, when I finally ended it, one of my children asked, “what took you so long.”
I was surprised that this question was asked. Children are observant, they are living the marriage just as we are, and if we are miserable, chances are they are too.
Adults need to realize when a marriage is over, accept that it is over, separate and be mature adults about the process. A marriage is a contract and partnership between two people, and just as some contracts and partnerships should be dissolved so should some marriages.
Don’t get me wrong, parents should do all they can to rehabilitate their marriages, however when all attempts have failed, it can mean it’s time to pull the plug, and that can be best for all including the children.

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Working mom and the challenging teenager

What do you do if you are a working mom raising a challenging teenager who is heavily influenced by his peers, the culture and ignore many of your values? I have one of those, and boy is he a lot of work! He has been keeping me busy and away from my blog 🙂
Here are some of the steps I take. They might be controversial to some new age parents, but might appeal to others, read on.

What are some challenges?

  1. Monitoring his activities. Lately my teenager had gotten involved in what’s called the sneaker game, he used his money to buy “cool” sneakers, wore them for bragging rights, then tried to put them back on the market. This was a shocker as it’s a dangerous activity, plus it’s totally against my value system.
    On the buying side, I refuse to accept that a teenager should spend $200 for a pair of sneakers, I don’t care if the money was saved from grandma, birthdays, or earned. On the selling side, I think the kids who buys these sneakers for status are being exploited, and I won’t allow my kid to be a part of that even if he makes a profit. Who knows where this activity could have lead, and what dangerous people he could have gotten involved with if I had not been vigilant.
  2. Monitoring his text. Some of you might disagree with me here, but it’s my personal opinion that until they start paying for the phone, and the bill, or reach 18yrs of age, I reserve the right to monitor what is sent or received. We have had many fruitful and valuable conversations around some the texts that are exchanged. Some of these texts were hints that lead me to the ongoing shoe buying/selling activity.
  3. Monitoring his friends. I try to meet all my teenager’s friends and their parents. These are not always folks who would normally be in my social circle, but I have to make the effort if I want to know what his environmental influences are outside the home.
  4. Having meaningful conversations. I don’t like monosyllabic answers, and I don’t allow him to get away with just “ok”, “hmhm” or “good”, I always like to probe for more. I can tell when he’s have a bad day and just don’t want to talk right then, in those cases, I will let him have his own space, but since every day can’t be bad, I do expect to have conversations, and we do. When riding in the car, just the two of us I don’t accept the headphones on, I actually consider that to be quite rude. I ask for them to be off and encourage conversation, you’d be surprised how soon the annoyance goes away and we connect with each other.
  5. Monitoring the grades. Have you heard, “mom everyone failed, so a C is actually good.” Well, no it’s not! I am very involved in my kids’ school, but not in school work, I expect my children to be self motivated and driven so I step in only as needed, so this makes the grades monitoring a bit hard, as on one hand I am trying to encourage independence, but on the other, I don’t want the grades to slip, so I do jump in and offer help or suggestions if I think it’s needed. I have heard, “mom I have this under control.” In that case, I just move on and give an expected date to see improvement, if there is none, we move on to consequences.

These are only some of my challenges, I will continue soon….reply if you’d like and share your challenges.

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Working Moms

WeMomsWork is a Blog that covers all aspects of a working mother’s life. Issues ranging from protecting the kids on social media such as Facebook are discussed. We share how to deal with kids and cell phones, step parenting strategies, and many work related topics such as interviewing.
This is a one stop shop for moms looking for advice and tools! If you visit and think a particular topic should be discussed let us know, suggestions are welcome!!

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When Should Kids Be Allowed To Go Dating?

This topic is one that will elicit different answers depending on the background, educational levels and age of the parents.   Most opinions regarding whether or not, or when to date is largely influenced by the cultural backgrounds of the parents.  In the western world parents are usually more likely to be open to the idea of dating than the parents from the eastern world. My views are primarily influenced by my strict upbringing and my spiritual convictions.

I view dating as a precursor to marriage, this is how one gets to interact on a closer level with a potential mate.  If this is the intent, I think dating is a necessary part of socialization, a young man gets a chance to practice the things that they have learned about how to treat girls, and on the other hand girls have an opportunity to figure out what types of guys they would want to marry based on how they are treated their dates.   It seems however that dating and its definition have been changed today, and is not used for the purpose for which it was intended.  I spoke to my 13 year old son about who he would date and why, throughout the conversation he emphasized that young people these days don’t date with the intent to marry, they just date for fun, and not necessarily with marriage in sight.  I was disappointed to hear that; why would one date someone you would not think of marrying, that does not make sense to me.  I hope he was just telling that to me to see my reaction.

What age should you as a parent allow dating, and how far do you allow your kids to go, plus what qualifies as “dating”?  This is one of the toughest question for parents today, especially since kids are wanting to have experiences earlier and earlier.  I have seen kids in my neighborhood going to movies together as a couple at 13 years old.  Is this too young?  I think it is.  I think interaction between the sexes at this age should be done in a group, there is less opportunity for inappropriate behavior to occur in such setting.   The parents who allow their kids to go out together at this early age risk the possibility of their kids engaging in activities for which they are not emotionally and physically ready.  Maybe they have forgotten how as teenagers their harmones were raging.  In my opinion, 16 years old is the age that dating can be allowed, but still with lots of guidance and restrictions.   Even though they are allowed to date, late nights out and being alone for extended periods is dangerous and should be discouraged.  I am afraid of these years, I am definitely not looking forward to it, I have 3 years to prepare, and I hope I will be prepared enough to deal with all the issues that may arise.

Whatever the age you think is ok, make sure you communicate this, plus your values and expectations to your kids.  Don’t wait to address situations as they occur, then it is too late.  Keep the line of communications open always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Real Issues of Working Women and Mothers

Last week, I was really disappointed, it was Women’s day on March 12th, and most of the week was spent on debating contraceptives.  Did we really address the issues that concern us? and why did we not? [Read more…]

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