Wendi Schuller

How To Handle Parental Guilt

We are not immune from parental guilt which can be intensified during divorce. One feels like they could have done more for the children, even when nearly at the breaking point. It is a challenge to juggle so many balls in the air during proceedings and not drop one from time to time. We can be our own worst critic – when in reality our actions were fine.

What helps is to have a conversation with the children and tell them that you are under stress. If you snap at the youngsters or are a bit blunt – it is not about them – but rather your tense situation. This helps the kids to feel more secure when told they are not the source of your periodic angry outbursts. When I was about to lose it, I took a time out. I told my sons to let me read for awhile and then I would be calmer.

When feeling that you have failed a child, talk it over with them. Often my sons did not see that anything was wrong, when I thought they were hurt or disappointed. Getting their perspective was a good reality check for me. Apologize if appropriate. Let the youngsters know that you feel badly for what happened. Both of you will feel better afterwards. This is a good example for them to see when someone has messed up, to say that you are sorry.

Even when some things cannot be helped, we still feel guilt. You may have a mandatory meeting at work scheduled during your daughter’s class play. An obligation may keep you from your son’s rugby match. Express your disappointment and let your child talk about how they feel. Reassure offspring that you still love them when you cannot be with them.

Do not label yourself as a bad parent when it is your choice to do something that you need to do for yourself. I recently had to stop calling myself “A bad mum” since I chose to go to a conference in London when my son would be home from university for spring break. I was torn about whether or not to leave, however decided to take the trip. As it turned out, my son had to work and departed before I did.

Notice where in your body you feel tension when you get that parental guilt. It may be a tightening in the chest or discomfort in the gut. When these sensations start to occur, recognize the need to step-back and regroup. Take deep breaths, go on a walk, do meditation or whatever relaxes you to prevent your stress level from escalating

Going out with friends was my cure. Discussing perceived parental shortcomings with others, can help you realize that you are actually doing a great job. Or your friends may have made a much bigger mistake than you did. Nice to know that other parents are not perfect either.  To read more  https://www.divorcemag.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-parental-guilt/

 

Communication Through The Arts For Children With Disabilities

fluteLife can be hard for children with disabilities. Athletic activities may be less practical for children with physical disabilities or difficulty balancing. However, the arts can be a safe space where they can express themselves, develop their minds and bond with others through creativity. Frequently, the challenge can be to get your child interested in an artistic endeavor.  Here are some ways you can help your child tap into their artistic side.

How the arts can help children with disabilities communicate  

The arts are important because even if your child has difficulty in academic subjects, you may find that they are naturally gifted in the arts. Engagement with the arts gives children, who may not be able to express themselves verbally, the opportunity to demonstrate their thoughts and feelings about a range of topics. The process of creation, whether it is visual art, music, or a dance routine, is powerful and helps to build self-esteem and confidence. This can lead to an in increased amount of determination to do well in all other areas of life including school.

Each type of fine art can benefit your child in different ways. Drawing, for example, helps to refine motor skills while teaching your child about shapes, shading, contrast, balance and other mathematical concepts.

How to help your child choose a fine art  

Occasionally, your child will gravitate to a particular subject, topic or form of expression on their own. This makes it significantly easier for you, as you will already have an idea of which type of artistic endeavor they will be interested in. In general, even if your child doesn’t have a particular focus of interest, it is relatively easy to tell. During free time, how does your child behave? Does he draw freehand, hum to himself, or move in rhythm in his chair? Also, how does your child act when around people? Is he gregarious and friendly or more withdrawn? Give them the opportunity to break away from established rules and express themselves artistically without any guidance other than their own inclination. Each of these can be indicating factors that can help you decide which fine art to enroll your child in.

Another way to discover your child’s interests is to expose them to different types of art – try playing different varieties of music, taking them to an art gallery, or going to see live theater. None of these activities are too strenuous for a child with disabilities and can be fascinating for children who have not experienced the arts in person before.

How to encourage your child in music  

If your child is musically inclined, the first task is to figure out what instrument they may wish to play. There are two ways to do this: either talk to them about what instruments they hear in different pieces and songs, or take them to a music shop and let them test out different instruments. Woodwinds including flutes, clarinets and saxophones, can be particularly good for children with impaired hearing, as they will still be able to feel the vibrations of the sound in the reed between their teeth as they play. To encourage your child to play their instrument, show genuine interest. Ask them questions about how their current piece is progressing, or even hold a home concert. If you are engaged in their artistic lives, they will be more likely to stick with it as they grow older.

Even if your child has had difficulty in school, becoming involved with the arts may be the way to get them interested in a wide variety of topics as their confidence builds. Showing excitement at each day’s progress will help raise their self-esteem even more.

Author of this article is Ashley Taylor   ashley@disabledparents.org

4 Key Life Skills To Teach Your Son When His Father Is Not Available

thumbnail__4KeyLifeSkillstoTeachYourSonifDadCan'We all wish our kids could have two solid, involved parents. But sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Regardless of the reason why their father isn’t in the picture anymore, it can feel as thought his place in your child’s life falls on your shoulders. That is a lot of responsibility, especially if you have a son. How can you teach him the same lessons that his father should have taught him?

The truth is that you may be able to teach him even better. There are some life lessons that go beyond how to shave, or the right way to tie a necktie. Lessons that are uniquely suited for a mother to pass down to her son, to make him a better man.

Expressing Emotion

Boys are taught from a young age to be “tough”. They aren’t supposed to cry, get too close to anyone, share how they feel…it is a toxic and unfair image that I have tried hard to break in my own sons. But the world is harsh and that message is so prevalent that it can be difficult to reach them.

As a mother, you can instill sensitivity and empathy in your son and show him that it is OK to have and express emotions.

Respecting Women

There is no doubt about it, there is a serious issue in our youth of how women and girls are portrayed. It is a battle that has been fought for many years and will continue to be. Whether because of pornography, modern media or just an incorrect view of a woman’s place in the world, we seem to be going backwards at times.

You can be a champion for respect, teaching your son how to view women in a healthy way and to treat them with the courtesy they deserve.

Trust and Dependability

A man’s word is all he has…that is a saying my dad used to say and I believe it firmly. Your son should know that if he wants to be trusted he has to show that he is dependable. If he lacks a steady fatherly role in his life, this may be an easy lesson to teach him, as he has seen the impact first hand of a lack of dependability and trustworthiness. You can also utilize the examples of wonderful father figures that surround your child to illustrate these key aspects needed in a man’s character.

Education

This one is a no-brainer. The importance of education, especially in today’s world, can’t be overstated. You should work with your son to see this critical idea. Be involved with his education and help him in his goals.

So many single mothers lament the lack of a father in their child’s life. But your son couldn’t be luckier…he has you! You can teach him those critical life lessons and help him to grow into the man you know he can be.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter |