Category Archives: Parenting

How to Co-Parent Effectively

Divorce is a messy, tense experience and the situation can be even harder when you have kids. Children tie you and your ex together forever so you must learn to co-parent effectively even after the two of you have parted ways romantically. Your children still love both parents and will enjoy spending time with each of them, so it is important for you to put their happiness first and create a custody plan that everyone is happy with. Here are four tips to help you develop a healthy, functional co-parenting relationship with your ex.

Be Cordial

Your ex is probably not your favorite person and it can be tempting to talk negatively about him or her to your kids. This is detrimental to your kids because your ex is still the other parent. Letting emotions take over while you are communicating with your ex quickly causes problems to escalate, so you must learn to be cordial to each other. This may feel impossible, especially at first, and you may feel the need to use mediators and lawyers to smooth over conflicts. A law firm such as Cordell & Cordell can help you navigate the custody process and find an arrangement that suits everyone. The Cordell & Cordell team can ensure both parents get a fair amount of time with the kids.

Communicate

You have to learn to communicate with your ex in a way that is beneficial for both of you. There will always be information about the kids that needs to be shared, from medical issues to problems at school. To make communication easier, you should decide on a method that works for both of you. Some people prefer to limit non-emergency communication to the pickup and drop-off meetings and want to talk about the information in person. Others want to communicate via text or email so they can keep a record of what was said and limit personal interaction. Regardless of which communication method you choose to use, the important thing to remember is to ensure your interactions always center around your kids.

Make Important Decisions Together

Kids benefit from consistency and routine, so they need to understand that the same basic rules apply at both parents’ houses. If one parent is more lenient than the other, children will likely turn to that parent for large requests. However, granting a large request without consulting the other parent will cause friction in the relationship. You should always discuss major decisions such as whether to buy your teenager a car or whether your young child is ready for summer camp with the other parent. This show of respect will make your co-parenting relationship smoother. However, it is important to remember that not every decision has to be made together.

Be Flexible

While you should stick to your custody arrangement as often as possible, it is important to remain flexible and show the same respect to your ex that you expect in return. If your ex wants to attend a special event that only occurs while the kids are in your custody, you may want to consider trading nights or coming up with an alternate arrangement. Being flexible keeps the communication lines upon and reduces the risk of one parent becoming resentful.

Co-parenting can be difficult but learning to do so effectively is in the best interest of your kids. Use the four tips to make the process easier but above all, remember to put your kids first. Their needs and emotions should always be prioritized by both parents. When you help kids adjust to this new lifestyle and make them feel loved by both parents, they will thrive.

Why Send Your Child to Camp?

Camp may not seem like a worthwhile investment when there are so many other ways your child could spend their summer. But kids can learn so many new things while spending a week or more at a camp. Everything from meeting great friends to trying something like rock-climbing or horseback-riding for the first time can happen at camp. Of all the many great benefits of sending your kid to camp, here are three that you should consider.

They Will Meet New Friends

For many kids, especially the more extroverted ones, making new friends is one of their favorite things about camp. For more introverted kids, this may be more of a stressor, but it can also help them work past their inhibitions. Because children are placed into bunks or cabins with a handful of new kids for a week at camp, they can learn to find commonalities quickly, develop friendships that go past that one week, and, as a result, strengthen their social skills.

2. They Go Tech-Free

There is no doubt that society is becoming more and more centered around technology. Children as young as a year old can be seen playing with tablets and cell phones. As a result, many kids may not be getting the right balance of physical activity in their lives. This could lead to a bevy of health problems later on, from obesity to depression to struggles in the classroom. However, camps provide a great opportunity for kids to ditch their phones, tablets, and computers and get their hands dirty! By attending an adventure camp or a youth sports camp, kids can get active and remember what it is like to simply go outside and play.

3. They Learn Independence

When kids are dropped off at camp, they can suddenly find themselves in a position to make far more decisions than they might make at home. Of course, this depends on the camp and the age of the camper, but often times campers will have a chance to choose between different activities, foods, and games. This gives kids the chance to practice independent decision-making and learn to put themselves out there, all valuable skills that can benefit them greatly in life.

It can be incredible to see the difference a week or more at camp can make on a child. They may go into the week shy, uncertain of themselves, and uninterested, but come back enthusiastic, refreshed, and full of more self-confidence. No matter what camp they attend, kids can really benefit from getting outside, trying new things, and meeting new kids their own age.

How to Help Your Child Keep Up in School

Students fall behind in school for a number of reasons. Even the most intelligent students can struggle at times, but what do you do to help your child during this time? First and foremost you want to make sure there is not an underlying cause. If there is something going on at home or outside the classroom, you’ll want to take care of your child emotionally first. However, as school gets more challenging, many students just need a little extra help understanding certain concepts. Here are some ways you can help keep your child from falling behind.

Hire a Tutor

Hiring a tutor is a great way to keep your child on track. You can either hire someone to work one on one with your student, or you can try out small group tutoring. These usually take place at a learning center where students are grouped according to grade level. It is a good idea to check with your child’s teacher first to find out what they need the most help on. Reading programs often focus on reading comprehension, while math programs go over everything from addition to order of operations. This way you can find somewhere that can follow along with the school’s curriculum and focus on the concepts your child needs the most help on.

Give Extra Practice

It is never a bad idea to give your child a little extra practice at home. You want to make sure they have time to play and go to different activities, but try to set aside some time for school work as well. This is especially beneficial during the summer when children tend to forget what they learned throughout the school year. You can visit your local learning or book store to find workbooks for your little one to do. You can also print off worksheets online.

Use Online Programs

If you look online you will find plenty of websites that provide additional help for your student. You can also download apps for your child’s tablet. These are often fun and interactive, so you may even end up having a hard time pulling your kid away from them. You’ll just want to make sure that these sites and apps are safe and secure for your little one. Read reviews and do some research beforehand. You can even ask your child’s school or teacher for the ones they recommend the most. School’s often have a list of apps and sites that they approve, so you know these will be safe.

If you see your student struggling, it is best to intervene as early as possible. Concepts, especially in math, build on themselves, so if your child doesn’t understand one thing, they may have a very hard time getting anything after that. It is never a bad idea to give a little extra practice at home even if your child isn’t behind. Students often forget a lot of what they learned over the year during the summer break, so this is a great time to provide your student with some extra work at home to get them ready for the next school year.

4 Tips for Hiring Your First Babysitter

Even though most parents look forward to some free time away from the little ones, leaving children can be a stressful experience for moms and dads. Whether you are looking for regular care or just an occasional babysitter to call as needed, there are a few important steps you can take to ensure your child’s wellbeing and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve.

Make a Stress-Free Introduction

It is always a good idea to introduce a potential babysitter to your child before leaving them alone together. Invite the sitter to your home and allow individual playtime with your child or infant. You can use this time to relax or get work done, ut remain in the house, and occasionally observe how the sitter and your child interact with one another. The sitter should be calm and gentle while maintaining control of the situation. This is a good opportunity for your child and the sitter to get to know one another and for you to be easily accessible in case the sitter has questions or concerns. You should also familiarize your sitter with the layout of the house, and show him or her where to locate any necessary items.

Check Background and References

Talking to references and running a background check is a crucial step before you entrust anyone to care for your child. It is a quick and simple process to run a criminal background check online. This is the best way to obtain verified information on a sitter’s history. Also, be sure to ask any potential caretaker for multiple references. Get a first and last name for all references, and take the time to contact each one.

Set Clear Expectations

Defining your needs and expectations upfront can save you and the babysitter a lot of hassle and stress down the line. It is important to be clear about little things, such as wanting the sitter to give the child a bath before bed or clean up any toys used during the day. Things that may seem obvious to you may not be obvious to the new caregiver. As you establish a list of rules and guidelines, try to walk yourself through a typical day in the shoes of someone who is unfamiliar with your home and your child’s routine.

Consider Training and Experience

Any qualified caregiver should have CPR and First Aid Training. It is also a good idea to match your sitter’s age and experience level with your individual situation. If you simply want someone to play with the child while you are nearby, a younger sitter may be a good choice. If the babysitter will be doing a more extensive parenting routine, an older teenager or adult may be more appropriate. Similarly, a sitter who only has experience caring for older children may not be the best fit to watch a newborn infant. Assess each potential babysitter according to your needs.

The right babysitter can make a world of difference in the lives of both parents and children. Parents can find time for social activities and date nights, while their child builds a fun relationship with a caring sitter. It is best to begin your caregiver search early, and follow these tips to create a safe and smooth transition for everyone.