Hey, this is Len Mooney, author of “Adventures in Single Parenting” and creator of the website SingleParenting.us, and welcome to this video. This is another one of my stories about the kids growing up, and sharing some of the experiences.
Today I want to talk about my son. He had a bicycle. He, like all teenagers, young teenagers, he was doing brodies, and wheelies, and all kinds of tricks on his bicycle. Well, I’m standing out front one evening, marveling at some of the antics, some of the acrobatics, when he came tearing down the driveway, popped a wheelie, spun a brodie, and promptly went over the handlebars, falling flat on his face, laying in the middle of the street with the bike laying on top of him.
Now, I’d had plenty of experiences, so I tend to under-react to these sorts of things. I didn’t panic. sherrirhodesrte88.blogspot.com I realized that he was still moving, and he would stand up eventually, which he did. And he gathered up his bicycle, and he was sort of dragging him and his bike back to the garage, limping, blood running down his leg. Clearly not seriously injured.
So I did the fatherly thing. I looked at him and I said, “Gee, don’t you think that if you were being a little more careful, these things wouldn’t happen?”
And he looked at me indignantly and said, “Dad, I was being careful. I was in perfect control. There was absolutely nothing wrong. I just suddenly found myself flying over the handlebars; that’s all.”
Now, he dragged the bike into the garage, pulled the toolbox down, started wrenching on the bike. A few minutes later, took off down the driveway, popped a wheelie, did a brodie, and rode off into the sunset.
It’s always amazed me that kids don’t just lose their parts as they grow up, you know? They have so many things happen to them, you would think that, over a period of time, parts would just start falling off. And I guess we’re all very lucky that our kids manage to get through some of the things they do without hurting themselves more seriously than they manage to.
Well, this is Len. That’s all for today. As usual, my wish for you is that your children grow up happy, healthy, and are positive contributors to society. We’ll talk again. Once again, this is Len. Bye for now.
This is Len, author of “Adventures in Single Parenting”, and creator of the
website, singleparenting.us, and welcome to this video. This is another short
story about the kids living with me. I learned the hard way that teaching kids
to cook takes time and patience but is well worth the investment.
Once again,when they came to live with me, they were in early grade school,
and I had a job; a very busy job. I worked outside the home initially, and so
I used to get home around dinner time, and I would feel very rushed.
I would feel like I needed to just sort of crash around and get dinner on
the table, and get the kids fed and take care of the chores, et cetera,
whatever needed to be done. The consequence of that is that I didn’t do a
very good job of teaching my daughter or my son – I don’t mean to be
prejudiced here – teaching either of the children to cook in the early
years. If they offered to help in the kitchen, I sort of thought that,
“Well, I could get it done faster myself, and I really didn’t need any help
right now. So why don’t you go off and do something else? Play with your
friends. Do your homework. I’ll take care of the cooking.”
The consequence of that is just that they didn’t learn how to cook
really well, and so one day my daughter decided that she wanted to make a
grilled cheese sandwich, and she did. She made an open-faced, grilled
cheese sandwich, in the toaster with Velveeta cheese. Now, if you can
imagine that, you can imagine what this toaster looked like. The toaster
was no more. One of the other things that I noticed when the kids started
to try to cook for themselves from time to time is that they always had
this illusion that they needed to turn the stove to high. For some reason,
they were always trying to cook things fast, so they were really infamous
for making burnt scrambled eggs and burnt grilled cheese sandwiches (that
weren’t open-faced in the toaster) just by keeping the stove too high.
Some of the incidents were really hilarious, though. I do look back on
that, and I wish to myself that I had just spent more time in the early
years letting them help me in the kitchen so that they had a better idea of
what to do.
Well, if you’re on YouTube and you like this video, go ahead and click “Like”
and click “Share”, and if you’re on Facebook click “Like”, click “Share”, and
better yet, go visit my website, http://singleparenting.us/ and/or pick up a copy
of the book, “Adventures in Single Parenting”. It’s available at Amazon and
in Kindle and you’ll find links to it on my website.
My wish for you is your children grow up healthy, happy, and
are positive contributors to society. This is Len. We’ll talk again. Bye for now.
Hello, there. This is Len Mooney, author of “Adventures in Single Parenting” and creator of the website singleparenting.us, and welcome to this video. This is another one of my short videos about incidents that happened in my life, our life, as me and the children grew up together. I think I’ve told you in the past, the children came to live with me when they were in early grade school, and when they first moved in they started, “Dad, can we have a dog?”
It turned out that, when I was a single parent, the neighbor across the street had a litter of puppies, and one of these puppies found its way home. It was a German Shepard/Labrador mix. It had all the markings of a Shepard and the temperament of lab, so it was a really, really great dog. It grew up to be a wonderful dog to have around the house.
But somehow, somewhere along the line, around the time the puppy came home, a kitten came home too, and I honestly don’t quite remember how that happened. But a kitten came to live with us, so the dog and the cat grew up together, and for the most part, they got along extremely well. Now, I have to tell you one little incident that always stuck in my mind, and you have to sort of draw a picture in your mind now.
You walked in the front door of my house and if you turned hard to the right, you went down a long, skinny hallway, where all the bedrooms and the bathrooms were, and etc. If you walked straight ahead, you walked into the living room, and if you did a left, 180 degree turn, you walked into the kitchen. If you kept walking through the kitchen, you ended up in the backyard.
So, one day I’m sitting in the living room, and I hear this ruckus down the hallway at the very end of the hall. It’s obviously the dog and the cat playing. I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m just about to get up to investigate when suddenly down the hallway shoots this cat, running as fast as it can possibly go. It makes the turn into the kitchen, jumps on the kitchen table, races across the kitchen table, bounds off the table and out the backdoor.
In hot pursuit comes 85 pounds of German Shepard, right across the kitchen table, after the cat. Now, can you imagine 85 pounds of German Shepard chasing a cat across your kitchen table? It was mind-boggling, and the dog of course would never have gotten on the kitchen table, ever. So this was clearly a mindless pursuit. In the emotion of the moment, he just chased that cat right out the backdoor.
Now, I have no idea what the ruckus was all about, and sometime later the cat and the dog managed to return to the house, and they weren’t any worse for the wear, and fortunately the kitchen wasn’t any worse for the wear either. Well, I want to keep these short, so that’s all for today.
This is Len, and if you like this video click “Like”. If you’re on YouTube, share it with a friend, and go ahead and visit my website, singleparenting.us. Better yet, pick up a copy of the book, “Adventures in Single Parenting”; I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s available on Amazon.com, and it’s also available at Kindle. As usual, my wish for you is that your children grow up healthy, happy, and are positive contributors to society. This is Len, we’ll talk again. Bye for now.
Hi this is Len, the author of “Adventures in Single Parenting” and creator of the website, “singleparenting.us”. Welcome to this video! Today’s topic is holiday visitation and planning!
The holidays are stressful
I don’t have to tell you how stressful the holidays can be. They are especially stressful for single families and blended families as well. It is important to remember how stressful it can be for the children also. The myriad of activities, in laws, grandparents, and other family members who want a piece of the children can be overwhelming.
It is also a time of year when they may try to bring you back together with your ex. They still want you to be a family so questions like, “Mom, why can’t dad just come her for Christmas?” or Dad, Can’t we all just go to mom’s house?” are not uncommon. Be prepared for them and answer them as truthfully as possible without being angry.
Plan ahead of time.
Throughout all the holiday planning, it is important to pay close attention to what the kids want to do. After all, it is their holiday also and they want to spend time with their friends, or they may have their own activities they want to participate in. Crazaberamer . Don’t under estimate the importance of that for them.
The best way to approach the holidays is to have a plan in place well ahead of time. Begin to work on the visitation plan early so that you have a chance of getting everyone’s agreement on the basic plan. It is not too early to start. As I am writing this, Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.
Make your own plan if necessary and distribute it.
I know some of you have an ex who is uncooperative or maybe doesn’t want to participate at all. That is very sad and is their loss. Resist the temptation to ask the children to be the messengers and have them become unwilling pawns between the warring adults.
Don’t ask little Johnny to go ask his dad what he wants unless you are sure it is a really friendly exchange. The likely outcome is little Johnny returns with a message and you, out of desperation, shoot the messenger and scoop your child up into the conflict between you and your ex. We wouldn’t want that to happen so best to try and establish a plan yourself.
Make a proposal and e mail it or mail it to your ex and ask him or her to get back directly to you with his or her thoughts. Try communicating on Facebook or whatever it takes to establish a plan that is as fair as possible and avoids the last minute frustration of not knowing where the kids are going to be, when they are going to be there and how many turkey dinners they have to eat on the same day.
What about an existing co-parenting plan?
There may be a co-parenting plan in place that agrees for example, that the children rotate holidays every other year. That’s fine, but still flexibility and cooperation are needed to insure a safe, sane, stress reduced holiday for everyone involved.
Now my wish for you is that you and your children have a very safe, peaceful and happy holiday season.
Todays topic is integrating together single families.
The Brady Bunch works well on TV
I will start off by observing that the Brady Bunch works far better on television than it does in real life. In our real world, whenever there are two families to integrate together and both have children, there will be considerable issues among the children.
I had two children. It was therefore impossible for me to find or date a woman who had children and expect that both of my children would like her children. What I mean is, even if my date had only one child, at least one of my children would not like her child. Simple! That’s the way it works. Or so it seemed to me. I wasn’t alone in reaching this conclusion. Since I was a single parent, I tended to have a circle of friends that were in the same position. They always admitted to similar problems in their dating life. I had one lady friend who had completely given up dating because she didn’t want to deal with the inevitable conflicts that arose among the children.
I wasn’t quite so ready to quit although there were plenty of long, shall we just call them dry spells, during which I wasn’t dating anyone.
Conflicts among the children are inevitable
As I mentioned, when the children first came to live with me, I had a friend I had been dating for some time. After the children moved in, this arrangement continued for another year or so. In fact, for some time, she lived with me. Her two girls, and my boy and girl all together living happily! Right? Wrong! The conflicts among the kids were very troublesome and very difficult to deal with. There are not only the jealousies one would expect among the kids, there are also the inevitable problems among the adults.
We both had been single for some time and both had developed our own habits and techniques for dealing with our kids. Even in a two parent household, there are the inevitable attempts to play off mommy versus daddy. You know, there are frequent times when a child will ask one parent for something and if they don’t get the answer they want, then it’s off to try the other parent. Not uncommon is a certain degree of misrepresentation as well. You know what I mean. I am talking about the inevitable, “Daddy , Mommy said I should ask you if it’s ok to do such and such” Thus implying that Mommy said “yes if Daddy agrees” when in fact what Mommy said was “No”!
This sort of playing off between the adults is exaggerated in the two family household. It starts with, “That’s not the way my mommy does it” or ” I don’t have to listen to you cause you’re not my real dad”. Inevitably, there are differences between the way you and your new friend deal with individual problems.
There are also differences in the way the individual kids have been dealt with. For your new relation to have even a tiny chance of survival, it is important to reach lots of agreements ahead of time. This is probably an area were written rules and consequences that everyone agrees to are as helpful as they can ever be.
Disagreements among the adults
Inevitably, you and your new friend will have disagreements over which one of you is too strict or too lenient. You will disagree on the proper punishment for some crime and the things that are to be considered crimes in the first place. Perhaps you have fastidiously enforced a rule that strictly limits the amount of television the children are permitted to watch every day and your new friend has never set such limits. Now what do you do? Seemingly simple things like how much TV is ok and when it is ok will cause enormous problems if not agreed on ahead of time. They not only cause problems between you and your friend, they cause conflict between your kids and the “other” kids.
“Dad, Johnny’s a brat. I told him to turn off the television and he wouldn’t, so I just walked up and turned it off. Meanwhile Johnny is off telling his mom what a brat your kid is for turning off the television and so the battle lines are drawn.
The simple things we almost all take for granted will become conflicts if permitted to. Homework time, when is it done? How much is done? TV time, when and how much? Snacks after school. What’s permitted and what isn’t. Food for dinner. Your kids won’t like your friend’s menu selections and her kids won’t like yours. Unless its McDonald’s then at least the kids can agree on it (maybe)! And if you think the menu selections are a problem, wait until you hear what the kids think of the others persons cooking.
I came to the conclusion that the problems of integrating together single families were so severe as to be not worth the emotional price that one has to pay to get it done. I did however, continue to date but always tried to find situations and dates that the kids were comfortable with. Frequently, the kids were included on dates. A day at the park, or the zoo or a camping trip or something else the kids could participate in. This way I minimized their feeling of being excluded.
Besides, I always enjoyed the company of a good woman and felt it was easier to have someone else along to help ride herd on things. The obvious result was the kids felt included, they had someone other than just me to “play” with and I had adult companionship; usually an all around win for everyone.
Hi, It’s Len. The creator of singleparenting.us and author of the book, “Adventures in Single Parenting”. Welcome to this video. Today’s topic is sex and the single parent.
What! After all this you still have energy left for “you know what”? How can that be? You truly are superhuman! Well I did too and I suppose I have to be quite frank about it. First, I was (still am) an adult male who subscribed to the “use it or lose it” philosophy and I certainly had no intention of losing it. When the kids first came to live with me, I was already involved with a lady who had two kids of her own. This friendship had been developing for some time even before my kids came to live with me. It was therefore natural to expect it to continue and for the most part, there were no immediate problems.
Ultimately, this relationship failed primarily due to conflicts amongst the kids. In another video, I discuss integrating families together and some of the consequences. So here I was dating again and maybe you are also.
No matter how you do it, sooner or later your children are going to figure out that you are out dining, dancing and having sex and it isn’t with your former spouse. Most single parents start to date. And many engage in sex, often with more than one person. The critical thing is that it be done discreetly, with a sense of appropriate timing and with special sensitivity to children, and with recognition that children will have different reactions depending on their age.
This desire to get the family back together is not limited to young children. They seem to never get over the idea that we will reunite with our former spouse. This notion persisted well into the teenage years with my kids. It’s not clear to me whether or not my son has ever really accepted the fact even to this day, that it is not going to happen.
On the positive side of things, it is important for the children to see real intimacy between you and your new friend. It is here that they will hopefully form a positive image of what it is all about to form relationships. The final days or years of your marriage may have been marred by open conflict. This then is what your children know about adult relations. They know that adult relations don’t work very well and they are likely to repeat the same scenario in their own relationships. They have not seen a working adult relation; they have only been exposed to one that didn’t work.
Your dating and your new friends provide an opportunity to teach them a different way, a better way. You have the chance through your dates to show the children what healthy adult friendships and relationships should be like and to repair some of the damage done by the final days of the marriage.
Now if you haven’t already, go check out my website http://singleparenting.us. Let’s get to know each other. Good luck in the days ahead. My wish for you is that your children grow up healthy, and contribute to society in a positive way. I’m here to help you get there. We’ll talk again. This is Len. Bye for now!
So you are feeling the need for some more intimate adult companionship than your circle of friends and you want to start dating again.
The first, and very important step, is to talk to your kids about your desire to date. The kids will probably see your new date as a threat to the still existent notion that somehow the relation between you and your former spouse will be mended. No matter what the problems were and how severe, your children may still harbor a notion that you and your former spouse will reunite.
They might ask questions like, “Why can’t you just date (insert dad or mom)? Be prepared to be honest without being negative. Support the other person with statements like, “You know your dad (or mom) is a good person, he and I just don’t get along
The children want to see themselves and their parents as a normal family unit. They don’t like the idea of weekend visits and exchanging holidays.
The children need reassured you will still be there for them
They also feel the loss of the non-custodial parent and depending on where your children are in their own development cycle, they might see your dating and your new friend as a threat to their own relation with you. They may even feel threatened to the point that they believe if you continue on with your new relationship that they will lose you and be left with no parents at all.
So once again, the message is communicate your intentions. Your kids have a right to know whether you’re building casual friendships or whether you really hope to get married again (or for the first time). Be honest with their questions and don’t be afraid to say, “I’m not ready to answer that at this time.” Look, your kids are your family. Crazaberamer . Of course, you can’t predict the future, but you can clue them in to your intentions.
So what’s next?
Alright so you have gone on a date now what? Go slow. The potential to get hurt again is huge and the risk of hurting the kids is also there. Don’t bring a new friend into your home until you really know them well and are confident that the relation has some stability. Your new friend will probably try hard to impress the kids which means they will become attached. But of course that means they are vulnerable to being hurt again if you and your new friend break up. So once again, proceed with caution.
Finding someone to date
It’s hard enough when you are single and not a parent to find someone to date. It is really very difficult when you have all the other responsibilities of single parenting. I personally have had some luck with on line dating services. Stay with the more reputable ones. Of course, any time you are meeting someone “on line” you run some risk so proceed with caution.
Meet up groups
Personally I also like the myriad of clubs and activities that are available. I prefer outdoors stuff so I belong to a water ski club, sailing club and snow ski club. There are many good clubs to join that provide a social outlet and an opportunity to meet new friends. Whatever your interest is, there is probably a meet up nea by that caters to it. If not, start your own. Starting a meetup is easy
First I want to thank teachers in general and observe that most are good people with hearts of gold and armor of steel.
There was a recent Facebook post concerning a 5 year old who informed her teacher she needed to go potty. She was refused permission and subsequently soiled her pants and was forced to sit in it for the remainder of the day.
Simply and unequivocally this is wrong. No child should have to endure this humility and certainly not one so young. In the face of massive physical evidence (soiled clothes) it is easy to see the problem and take action.
In this case, my suggestion is action begins with a meeting with the teacher and her supervisor and depending on the outcome, goes from there.
My personal experience
But what about a more subtle problem, one with no physical evidence? So your child comes home and tells you Mrs. so and so is mean. What to do?
This happened to me. My daughter had never ha d a problem with a teacher but in 5th grade, she began to have an issue with a specific teacher. I met with the teacher and personally observed what appeared to be a kind but strict individual. Well I thought, maybe Dawn needs some strict rules and anyhow, in life we need to learn to accommodate many types of personalities so I ignored this situation for some time thinking my daughter would adjust.
Well I was wrong. It turned out that behind closed doors, this was a mean spirited, sarcastic, negative teacher and by the time I understood the magnitude of the problem, my daughter had basically slid backwards almost a full year. She learned almost nothing that year except to hide.
The Bottom Line
My message is simple. If your child is having a problem with a teacher, investigate it thoroughly and take action as appropriate. Now I understand sometimes kids cry wolf when there is none but seriously, if your child is having a difficult time with a teacher, his or her education is at risk so you need to take it seriously and investigate thoroughly and move your child if necessary to a different teacher.
The bottom line is put your child’s needs and education first and take action if necessary to protect your child from a bad teacher. Once again, most teachers are good people but occasionally… Well you get the idea. Dealing with student/teacher conflict
Educating your child takes the work of you and the teacher. It takes communication, understanding, and cooperation. If you have an issue with your child’s teacher set up an appointment to speak with the teacher. Don’t barge in and discuss your issue in a classroom full of kids. The teacher is working during school hours, respect that.
When you meet with the teacher, have a list of talking points. Include your child’s statements and concerns.
Talk about Issues
Don’t explode on the teacher. Talk about the issues. Listen to find out if your child is missing the big picture, or stretching the truth. Allow yourself to hear the teacher’s perspective and try to get a feel for the teacher’s level of genuine concern.
Step back and compare the two perspectives. Draw conclusions and take action with the teacher. Then, If things don’t work out consider bringing your well documented and researched information to the principle. The best case scenario at this point is to meet with the teacher and the principle at the same time.
Remember, the most important thing is your child’s education. Crazaberamer . That should be the goal of every parent, teacher, and administrator in our school systems.
My wish for you
Now my wish for you is your children grow up healthy and are positive contributors to society. I’m here to help you get there. This is Len. We’ll talk again. Bye for now.
Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
In the United States, car accidents represent the highest cause of death for children above the age of 3 and are responsible for over 140,000 children’s visits to the emergency room each year.
What is the best car seat for my kid?
No one seat is the “best” or “safest.” The best seat is the one that fits your child’s size, is correctly installed, fits well in your vehicle, and is used properly every time you drive.
Typically infants and toddlers up to about 2 yrs of age should be in rear facing seats installed on the rear of the car and away from the air bags. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle that has an active front passenger air bag. If the air bag inflates, it will hit the back of the car seat, right where your baby’s head is, and could cause serious injury or death.
Older toddlers and pre schoolers should be seated in forward facing seats, again in the rear of the vehicle and away from the airbags. Once again, if at all possible, it is best to keep children away from the airbags in the front so the forward facing seat is installed on the rear of the vehicle. If a car seat must be used in the front, move it as far back as possible and way from the airbag.
When they are too big for a car seat
School age children sho0uld use a belt positioning booster seat for as long as possible up to usually about 4 ft 9 in height, so typically 8 to 12 years old
Obviously, once the child is big enough for a seat belt to fit snuggly, that is where they belong
In a previous video I discussed some of the financial considerations surrounding divorce but did you know that August is Child Support Awareness Month in many states. The purpose is to raise awareness concerning the issues around child support. The newest statistics are in and they are not good.
Less than half (actually about 41%) of the custodial parents who have been awarded child support are getting the full amount. Almost 30% are getting no child support at all and another approximately 30% get some money but again, not all.
I experienced both sides
Personally, I was on both sides of this issue. There was a time when I was paying child support before the kids came to live with me. I know it is tough sometimes but you guys (and girls) who owe child support need to be paying it. Your kids deserve it.
For you parents who are owed child support and are not getting it, you can contact the local child support agency in you state and seek help. There is more information in my written blog about how to do that.
Some women prefer not to pursue child support
Many times I have spoken with parents, especially woman, who do not want to pursue child support for fear that will encourage the ex boy friend back into the picture.
But consider your child. Isn’t your child is being deprived financially if they are not getting the support they deserve? Consider also the future. How will you cope with your child’s needs as they grow unless you have the support to do it?
Can you really do it alone?
Can you support your child on your own all the way through high school and college. Can they participate in activities that will keep them occupied and off the streets (see my video on alcohol for example). As I mentioned in prior videos on alcohol and drug use the children mist likely to stay clean are those who are very active in other things after school. And the after school hours are the time when kids get into alcohol and drugs initially.
And not applying for child support now does not guarantee the absent parent will not return in the future and demand rights anyhow. It simply guarantees you child is not getting what he or she deserves now. So think about it and go for it. Get what is yours and what is your child’s.
Please subscribe to my channel. Also please leave me a comment and tell me what you think or ask a question. And please click “like” and also “share” this video with your friends. Thank you!
Finally, go check out my website singleparenting.us. Let’s get to know each other. Good luck in the days ahead. My wish for you is that your children grow up healthy, and contribute to society in a positive way. I’m here to help you get there. We’ll talk again. This is Len. Bye for now!