Is Your Child Anxious About Summer Break?

 

For some young kids, extended summer time with mom or dad may be filled with anxiety.  If a child can not spell calendar it seems obvious that they also won’t know what a 30 day period means.  If words of encouragement from both mom and dad aren’t getting the job done here are a few simple tips may just do the trick.

Gizmo Gadget:  (Kids 6-10)

 Remember with every technological advance there are pluses and minuses.  The Gizmo Gadget is an phone that your child can call four different people.  At the drop of a hat your child has easy access to contact mom, dad, grandpa or their favorite pal.  A few things about Gizmo gadget:  Designed for comfort#1.  The device carry’s with it a geo tracker – so you may have privacy concerns, #2.  You may want to regulate the manner and means by which the gizmo gadget is used by your child, #3.  There may be disputes between the divorced parents as to which numbers get on the device and which one’s do not, #4.  Some parents fear that your child may inadvertently allow their ex to listen in and hear conversations.

 

 

Facetime

A safe and secure way parents interact with kids is a perfect vehicle to stay in contact during the extended summer time.  Kids should be able to know when to expect a call during the day from mom or dad.  We suggest also playing games with young kids on skypito.

facetime

Remember to use common sense and be respectful when talking to your child on facetime. We knew of one parent who asked his child to walk around the house so he could look at the house his ex spouse was living in.

 

Xbox One

The ultimate interact device.  Xbox one allows you to share pictures, video’s with one another, as well as skype and interact with on line gaming.  Perhaps more parents should explore this option to keep you in the loop.  Perfect for preteens and teens.  Providing on-line gaming access for preteens is obviously an issue.  Provided rules are set in place, the xbox one seems to offer a perfect way to stay in touch with the kids over the summer.xbox one

 

 

 

 

 

Calendaring

calendar

A calendar is a perfect way to keep your child secure about the coming weeks.  If you are tech savvy our suggestion go to the google apps on google chrome and install the android calendar.  Create a new calendar and insert pictures for different events for the summer time

 

Photo Album

Add activities like creating a photo album to build memories of mom and dad’s summer time event.  Remember the summer time can be FUN time but its up to the parents to help reduce stress and manage the time in a POSITIVE WAY!

photo album.jpg

Kids in the Middle: Gender Dysphoria

Every child should be able to explore who they are and what they are.  In 2017 this has expanded to children exploring their sexual identity.  The topic, by itself, is highly controversial.  Lets start with basic definitions:

Basic Definitions:

Gender Dysphoria:  Gender dysphoria or GD is the stress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth.

Cisgender:  denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.

Transgender:  denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

It is important to note that the rate of transgender population is extremely high around 44% in men and about 38% in women.   https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/AFSP-Williams-Suicide-Report-Final.pdf  

The failure to feel accepted by family is a huge factor in why suicide rates are so high.  The question is how do we help these individuals feel supported and find their path in life?  In 2017 that is not an easy answer.  The purpose of this article is NOT to support one position over the other.  The purpose of this article is to EDUCATE the reader in the positions being taken.

One stream of thought is to help children with GD START AT THE VERY BEGINNING develop into the body of their choice.  Young boys as early as age 9, for example, can be prescribed hormone blockers to stop their bodies from naturally evolving into a young man.  The theory would be that children will feel more accepted and less alienated and less inclined to inflict self harm.

On the other hand, The American Pediatric Society  stated that 80 percent to 95 percent of pre-pubertal youth with GD do not persist in their GD.    Given that statistic one could infer from this report that prescribing hormone blockers to children could do MORE harm than good.  Certain critics actually go so far as to say that providing children with hormone blockers amounts to child abuse.

https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/gender-dysphoria-in-children  

So what are we to do when parents take polarizing positions regarding their (gender dysphoric) child?  Divorce Courts will have to help make decisions on how children with gender dysphoria will grow and develop.

Basic thoughts:

  1.  The child should be initially assessed by a psychologist to determine the needs and wants of the child.  If a mental health issue is raised it should be addressed and assessed.
  2. Appoint a parent facilitator to listen to the parents concerns and then help them  develop a parenting plan to meet the needs of the child.
  3. Direct the parents, if necessary to educational programs or support groups, to help them understand the issues confronting their child
  4. Create a plan of action that will allow the child to successfully integrate into school and with peers.
  5. Involve an amicus attorney or guardian ad litem,

It is our hope that additional resources will become available to assist family law courts in dealing with children who have gender dysphoria.

Kids Writing Contest – Ages 4-7

The best way for kids to open up is to pick up a crayon, pencil or pen.  Drawing, sharing stories allows kids to talk about fears, thoughts and feelings.  Help kids of divorce open up by telling their tale through the eyes of one green fruit, our main character in Mommy and Daddy Troubles.  Lets create an environment that provides kids a sense of community and  a platform to have a voice!

Litigate or Collaborate?

Family in Crisis

LITIGATION VS. COLLABORATIVE PROCESS

Do Different Elections Lead to Different Outcomes?

Facts of the Divorce

                John was upset.  He worked way to many hours and had nothing to show for it.  Mary worked 30 hours a week and was primarily taking care of the children.  When John got the mail he saw the balance on their credit card.  That was the last straw for John.  He wanted to get divorced at that moment.

                “I can’t believe Mary.  Mom was right.  I married the wrong woman.  I need to get divorced.”  John really wanted a divorce.  He was starting to hang out at work with Jacki Sparks, a fellow employee at work.

Choosing Litigation

John hires and attorney and runs to the courthouse.  John wants to be heard by the judge at the courthouse.   John is angry and his lawyer tells him that he has a good shot “winning his case” and getting custody of the kids and getting :

Mary is unfit.  She’s not a good mom.  She spends her time charging and charging expenses on our card.   I am a good person judge and I don’t deserve this kind of treatment.  I think that I am the best parent to take care of these kids!  I can work 80 hours and be their primary parent.  NO problem.

The Judge listens to the parents and asks John “What is your plan to take care of the children?  If you are going to be working 80 hours, I don’t know how I’m awarding you the right to establish the primary residence of the children.   I’m ordering that John pays child support, is given standard access to the children. Since this is a custody case I’m ordering a social study and I’m ordering you both to mediation prior to trial.

John tries to talk to Mary who walks away from him, saying  “Unfit?  Not a good mom. You’re a joke John.”   The next few months are filled with John and Mary screaming at each other in front of the children.    The parties meet at mediation and John concedes custody, unable to continue to pay the high cost of his attorney.

 

“STOP AND THINK”

Choosing Mediation (OR other Collaborative Models)

PRIOR TO LITIGATION

John and Mary decide to go to mediation with their attorneys.  The mediator places both parents in separate rooms FAR APART from Mary and starts talking to John.

John:   “I can’t stand Mary.  She’s not a good parent and I want custody and I want what’s mind.”

The mediator looks at John, pauses and says,

Mediator:  “John what do you mean?”

John:    “Just look at this credit card bill.  She can’t manage finances and she’s wrecking my credit.  I can’t get out from under my debt.  She’s ruining my life!”

Mediator:  Lets look at the bills.  Lets look at the past 12 months and see what’s going on.

Mediator:  Well I looked at the bills and help me out here

John:  Why are you taking sides?  Can’t you see that Mary is the worst parent on the planet.  I want my kids and I want my stuff.

John’s attorney:  John, the mediator isn’t taking sides, he’s doing his job.  You agreed to mediate this matter.  The mediator just wants you to focus on what’s important.

Mediator:  John, Telling Mary she’s a bad parent PROBABLY isn’t going to make her want to reach an agreement today.  Just for today, lets focus on the issues what we have.

John:   Ok well I’m looking at the bills, what’s this charge to Walmart for $3000.00.

The mediator leaves, John is angry and bitter.

Mediator meets with Mary.  After a long discussion, Mary says:

Mary:   That $3,000.00 was to buy his kids a smart tv for Christmas.  This whole charge thing is an excuse to leave our marriage.  I know something’s wrong.  John’s been acting weird and blocking me from his phone.  I think he’s having an affair.

Mediator goes back to John:   John the $3,000.00 you are complaining about was to buy the kids a tv.  I looked at the charges and I don’t understand your position.

John:  (Acting nervously) Well I really want out of the marriage, I met someone else.

Mediation continues and John stops talking about Mary being a bad parent, focusing on how to deal with the actual issues at hand.

 

 

DISCUSSION:   

 

 

            Was John informed PRIOR to walking into court and firing accusations at Mary?

 

How was John and Mary’s relationship going to be after litigation?

 

What were the immediate benefits of mediation?

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking the Apps Away:

“From the Principle’s office:  Dear Student’s.  We’ve heard that you’ve all been using your cell phones to bully and harass one another.  This will no longer be tolerated.  Until further notice this zone is a social media free zone.  We have installed a geo fence on our campus. So say goodbye to snapchat, instagram, and facebook.  When you can function together as a healthy student body, a community,  I will take the fence down and you can go back to your normal lives. “

Students reaction:

That is so unfair, its not our fault that some of the kids in our school don’t know how to behave.  I need to use my smart phone.  Why should I have to suffer because some kids are acting bad?

Maybe that’ll make students turn on another and rat out the bully’s.  Maybe that’ll make the bully’s use other means by which to carry out their acts.

Teenagers are fun when you present them with different scenarios.  If you present them with extreme situations they tend to react and then start to think.   Perhaps that is where we start to address the bullying problem.  These kids are extremely smart and are capable of working through the process.  Adults need to interact with them and not treat them as an inmate in some correctional institution.

Teaching kids how to interact is KEY.

If you go on line and look at government statistics, many policies simply don’t work to stop bullying.  Remember the three strike rule?  Not effective.  The teenagers live in their community and have to learn HOW to interact in that community.