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Topic : Single Parenting

Number of Replies: 470
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:46:38 pm
Author : dataimport
A family doesn't always include a mom and a dad. If you are raising children alone, get support from people who understand here.

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October 14, 2005, 1:51 pm CDT

Sorry

Quote From: tkebobby

Well, there is good news and good news! The good news is, there are a lot things that can be done here from a behavioral aspect. The bad news is, I have no idea what is really going on in the situation. Anyone reading does not have any kind of background on what you do as a parent. Second of all, if the behavior, as you say, changes after seeing the grandmother... perhaps you should be questioning what is going on there.  

My daughter's father is not in her life at all.  It comes in and out of her life and I think this is very hard on her.  He abused me in front her on several occasions.  She sleeps with me everynight b/c she will not sleep by herself.  She will wake up crying.  I leave the light on or the tv on for her and it doesn't help.  I have said something to the other grandmother but it doesn't help.  They let her have her way on everything.  She tells them when she wants to take a bath and go to bed.  Not them telling her.  It is very hard b/c when she comes back, if she doesn't get her way then she whines.  Hope this gives you some more info.
 
October 16, 2005, 10:15 am CDT

Biological "Dad" is Jail Bird

 Desperately need some advice .          I am a 26yr old single mom of a very beautiful and intelligent 8 yr old. When I found out I was pregnant for her I broke up with her father because I finally saw who he was( Liar, Cheat and troublemaker). Well a couple of yrs ago he talked me into letting them meet. My daughter was quickly drawn to him but I realized he was never going to change. Shortly after he got into trouble and was placed behind bars.My Daughter didn't know him very long but she fell in love with her "dad" and now I am torn about what I should Do.  Should I let him fade like some distant memory?   SHould I tell my daughter that he is in jail???   I feel like she is happy and we have a stable home...
I never Bad mouth him...As a matter of fact I always remind her that He does love her very much and Im sure he misses her.   Do you think knowing her dad is a bad person will affect her?? Should I allow him to write or should I keep on telling my daughter that I am clueless to his whereabouts?
I dont want her to be angry at me when she gets older for not telling her, but on the same note I'm not sure if children should know that one of their parents is BAD.   PLease Help me If you can...
 
October 16, 2005, 3:54 pm CDT

Single Parenting

Quote From: downey6977

My daughter's father is not in her life at all.  It comes in and out of her life and I think this is very hard on her.  He abused me in front her on several occasions.  She sleeps with me everynight b/c she will not sleep by herself.  She will wake up crying.  I leave the light on or the tv on for her and it doesn't help.  I have said something to the other grandmother but it doesn't help.  They let her have her way on everything.  She tells them when she wants to take a bath and go to bed.  Not them telling her.  It is very hard b/c when she comes back, if she doesn't get her way then she whines.  Hope this gives you some more info.

How old is your daughter? (rhetorical)

How old are you, the parent? (rhetorical) 

  

How old are the grandparents? (rhetorical) 

  

Why are the grandparents letting her do whatever she wants? When you entrusted your child to them, is it fair to assume that you have put them in charge of your child, and not the other way around? And if you know that this is going on while you are not there, and you know that is causing the behavior problems, why then are you still allowing them to treat your child like this?  

  

I'm sorry if that sounds snide, but that is the honest truth. You are the parent, you take control.  

  

On to something else you mention. The abuse that went on, and the inability to sleep with out you there... In terms of psychopathology (mental illness, irregularity if the word illness scares you) children are much different from adults in their expression of some things. So, it is hard to say what/why but there is almost certainly a link between the abuse and the sleep problems. (e.g. Post traumatic stress disorder... a common cause of chronic sleep disturbances). However, before running off to a child psychologist saying some undergraduate psychology major said to see you, if you haven't already, ask why she can't sleep alone. Not whether she wants or needs to sleep with you, but why can she? There might be some explaination (e.g. monster under the bed or something). If this is not the case, then seeking professional counciling might be nessicary.   

 
October 16, 2005, 8:33 pm CDT

Single Parenting

Quote From: sky1514356

Hello everyone reading this, 

  

I am a single mom of a great 5 year old boy, his father has not been around since birth and has recently decided that he wants to be involved in mine and my son's life again. However he also has another son (my son's half brother) who is only 9 months younger than my own son.  He has not paid child support and my son does not have his last name. I have mixed feelings about allowing him to see my son, nor do I know how to go about introducing him to my son. So far me and his father are getting along well but it has only been a few weeks since he has come back around. If anyone knows how to introduce them to each other or has been in a similar situation PLEASE respond with sugestions.     Thanks     INDIANA MOM 

Well, first off I am a firm believer that a child should have two parents. However, both parents need to be responsible adults. As far as allowing him to see his son, it is a good thing IF and ONLY IF he is ready to be this child's father, and that means for the rest of his natural life. Things that might suggest this, for starters, paying child support. No money, no kid. That is not to say that money and material possesions are everything, but lets face it, kids are expencive! Furthermore, I'm even saying that he needs to pay to see his child. What I am suggesting is that the money be a sign that he is being responsible, he has a good job and is willing to provide for his child. You need to have a clearly defined number of things which he must do to prove to you he is willing to be a good father this time around. And he needs to be clearly told, until he has done those things (and continues to do them afterward) he will not have gained your trust.   
 
October 17, 2005, 8:39 am CDT

Transitioning from visits

Quote From: tkebobby

Well, there is good news and good news! The good news is, there are a lot things that can be done here from a behavioral aspect. The bad news is, I have no idea what is really going on in the situation. Anyone reading does not have any kind of background on what you do as a parent. Second of all, if the behavior, as you say, changes after seeing the grandmother... perhaps you should be questioning what is going on there.  

    One thing I've learned in 9 years of single parenting is that the behavior could  be due to the transition from the visit. Have you ever heard of kids that melt down when a parent  picks them up at daycare, yet they behaved all day at daycare?  The child "holds it all together" during the day, and when mom comes, they trust her enough to "let it all out". Our kids are going to another house and have to hold it together for 2-3 DAYS!!  They get home and they just want to be themselves! They've had frustrations the whole weekend that they've had to bottle up. It's the same as us grown-ups that hold it together all day at work and when we get home, we can be our "ugly" self because our family will still love us. 

    Lets put ourselve in their shoes. Every other weekend, they have to sleep in a different bed, eat different food, wear different pj's, etc. (Does anyone want to go out of town and live in a different environment every other weekend? What kind of mood would YOU be in on Sunday evening?) Every other weekend, they get big reminders that their parents are divorced. It stinks for them.  

    My ex isn't a good disciplinarian AT ALL! I had no control over what he did with them. I had a good friend, who was raised in a single parent home, tell me that my ex may not have been doing anything wrong, that her & her siblings just behaved badly when they went back & forth to each parents house. So.... I came up with an idea that worked for me. 

    We used to have the HUGEST meltdowns when the kids came home. They got home at 6pm, I had 2 hours to: eat dinner, do math & spelling, reconnect, bath, get ready for a long week at school. They were so tired from sleepovers, they'd stare blankly at me while I tried to teach them to add fractions!! It was just AWFUL! I tried changing visitation time, having him feed the kids, maybe do homework with them, nothing changed....I had to change something. I found that if I spend the first 15-20 minutes just talking and reconnecting with them, it worked miracles. It is our tradition to this day. I have the table set with "kid's coffee" (decaff General Foods International vanilla coffee) hot chocolate or something and a healthy snack or dinner if they haven't eaten. We sit at the table and hear about everyone's weekend. Just talk & "reconnect". After this, we can "get things done". My kids have matured a little faster and have decided that sleepovers make them more tired & doing homework before Sunday evening makes everything easier.  It's kind of cool, because now my son (who's 14) tries to get everything done so he and I can go for a walk in the evening. We don't have many traditions at our house, it's hard to do with every other holiday, etc, but we have our Sunday evenings. 

    Try to spend the first 15-20  minutes when they get home to just sit on the couch, hug, talk, whatever....and welcome them back home. 

 
October 17, 2005, 11:05 am CDT

Single Parenting

Quote From: tkebobby

How old is your daughter? (rhetorical)

How old are you, the parent? (rhetorical) 

  

How old are the grandparents? (rhetorical) 

  

Why are the grandparents letting her do whatever she wants? When you entrusted your child to them, is it fair to assume that you have put them in charge of your child, and not the other way around? And if you know that this is going on while you are not there, and you know that is causing the behavior problems, why then are you still allowing them to treat your child like this?  

  

I'm sorry if that sounds snide, but that is the honest truth. You are the parent, you take control.  

  

On to something else you mention. The abuse that went on, and the inability to sleep with out you there... In terms of psychopathology (mental illness, irregularity if the word illness scares you) children are much different from adults in their expression of some things. So, it is hard to say what/why but there is almost certainly a link between the abuse and the sleep problems. (e.g. Post traumatic stress disorder... a common cause of chronic sleep disturbances). However, before running off to a child psychologist saying some undergraduate psychology major said to see you, if you haven't already, ask why she can't sleep alone. Not whether she wants or needs to sleep with you, but why can she? There might be some explaination (e.g. monster under the bed or something). If this is not the case, then seeking professional counciling might be nessicary.   

my daughter is 4 yrs old and Im 23. The grandma is in her late 50s.  I don't know why she lets my daughter do anything she wants.  My opinion is that she is taking the father's place. She did this with her son and I think that is why he is like he is today.  She has babied him all his life and never disiplined him.  He has never been taught responsibilities at all.  I have said something to her, but all I get is I just give in and can't let her cry like she does.   

  

I have asked why she doesn't like to sleep by herself and she tells me that she is scared.  She won't say of what though.  I have thought about seeking professional help with her.  B/c I don't want her to suffer later on in life b/c of the abuse that she has seen. 

 
October 17, 2005, 2:51 pm CDT

Single Parenting

Quote From: downey6977

my daughter is 4 yrs old and Im 23. The grandma is in her late 50s.  I don't know why she lets my daughter do anything she wants.  My opinion is that she is taking the father's place. She did this with her son and I think that is why he is like he is today.  She has babied him all his life and never disiplined him.  He has never been taught responsibilities at all.  I have said something to her, but all I get is I just give in and can't let her cry like she does.   

  

I have asked why she doesn't like to sleep by herself and she tells me that she is scared.  She won't say of what though.  I have thought about seeking professional help with her.  B/c I don't want her to suffer later on in life b/c of the abuse that she has seen. 

The reason I ask your ages, is not because it's important how old you are. What is important is that you and the grandparent are oldER than your child, therefore YOU are in charge the child's life, not the child and not the grandmother. And it seems that you try to establish that in your relationship with your child... hence the problem from one setting to another. But if the grandmother isn't doing so, why do you allow that kind of parenting (or lack there of) to continue?  You're damn right that's why your child's father is like he is today. His own mother never held him responsible for his actions, why should he feel responsible for his child? So if the grandma's parenting style (again, or lack there of) caused her son to act the way he did, which ultimately put you where you in this situation... WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING HER DO THE SAME THING TO YOUR CHILD? Frankly, you shouldn't allow her to see grandma. If she stops seeing grandma, it will stop reinforcing this "I can do whatever I want" mentality and the behavior problems will subside. Because that's what is happening here. She learns that she can do what she wants, and Grandma doesn't stop her (reinforcing the idea and behaviors). If you cut off the reinforcement, you cut off the behaviors. Everyone needs  allies/friends/social support in life, particularly children of single parents, but when that "support" really isn't supporting healthy growth and good behaviors... bye bye! It is much easier to cut that connection between her and Grandma than it is to change Grandma's parenting style (which she's been using her whole life!)  

  

Furthermore you need to explain to your daughter that people can't always do whatever they want or not want to do. "Man, this life thing would be a lot more fun if I didn't have to work so much." We've all thought something like that before... but we don't do it, we don't just stop working because we want to. Your daughter needs to understand we can't do everything we want all the time. Ask her, "What would happen if Mommy wanted to have fun and not work? Would you get food? Would you get to go ______ (some activity she enjoys)?" 

  

One more thing, regarding the sleep. Again, it is more than likely that the sleep issues have some connection to the abuse. Someone (be it you, or a professional) need to find out what it is she is afraid of. At this point, for all we know it could be "a monster under the bed." (By the way, easy way to fix that, take the frame way and just lay the mattress on the ground.)" But if you are not able to find out what it is she is afraid of, then someone (a professional) needs to.  

 
October 18, 2005, 11:47 am CDT

Single Parenting

Quote From: tkebobby

The reason I ask your ages, is not because it's important how old you are. What is important is that you and the grandparent are oldER than your child, therefore YOU are in charge the child's life, not the child and not the grandmother. And it seems that you try to establish that in your relationship with your child... hence the problem from one setting to another. But if the grandmother isn't doing so, why do you allow that kind of parenting (or lack there of) to continue?  You're damn right that's why your child's father is like he is today. His own mother never held him responsible for his actions, why should he feel responsible for his child? So if the grandma's parenting style (again, or lack there of) caused her son to act the way he did, which ultimately put you where you in this situation... WHY ARE YOU ALLOWING HER DO THE SAME THING TO YOUR CHILD? Frankly, you shouldn't allow her to see grandma. If she stops seeing grandma, it will stop reinforcing this "I can do whatever I want" mentality and the behavior problems will subside. Because that's what is happening here. She learns that she can do what she wants, and Grandma doesn't stop her (reinforcing the idea and behaviors). If you cut off the reinforcement, you cut off the behaviors. Everyone needs  allies/friends/social support in life, particularly children of single parents, but when that "support" really isn't supporting healthy growth and good behaviors... bye bye! It is much easier to cut that connection between her and Grandma than it is to change Grandma's parenting style (which she's been using her whole life!)  

  

Furthermore you need to explain to your daughter that people can't always do whatever they want or not want to do. "Man, this life thing would be a lot more fun if I didn't have to work so much." We've all thought something like that before... but we don't do it, we don't just stop working because we want to. Your daughter needs to understand we can't do everything we want all the time. Ask her, "What would happen if Mommy wanted to have fun and not work? Would you get food? Would you get to go ______ (some activity she enjoys)?" 

  

One more thing, regarding the sleep. Again, it is more than likely that the sleep issues have some connection to the abuse. Someone (be it you, or a professional) need to find out what it is she is afraid of. At this point, for all we know it could be "a monster under the bed." (By the way, easy way to fix that, take the frame way and just lay the mattress on the ground.)" But if you are not able to find out what it is she is afraid of, then someone (a professional) needs to.  

thanks for the advice.  I just worry that if I don't allow the grandma to see my daughter that it will come back to bite me in the butt.  She only goes over one day a week and spends the night.  But it takes two days to get her back to her normal self.  I agree with you that is why I am in the situation today is bc she didn't do her job as a parent.   

thanks for the advice again. 

My email is downey6977@yahoo.com if you would like to write. 

 
October 20, 2005, 8:31 am CDT

Son's missing out

My son is 5 years old and I am a single mother with a lot going on.  I go to school, am very involved in my son's education, and work.  With all of this I feel as if my relationship with my son suffers sometimes.  I can't afford to give up work or school because I need the paycheck and I want the education to have the better paycheck some day.  I don't want to give up being involved in my son's education because to me that is a priviledge that not enough parents take advantage of these days.  I stay up late at night because I won't do my homework until after my son goes to bed.  With all of this I have still somehow been able to maintain over a 3.5 out of 4.0 G.P.A.  I try to balance everything but sometimes don't feel it works very well.  I also worry about my son because the only male influence he has in his life is my father.  His father left the day he found out I was pregnant and I have no idea where he is.  I feel like my son is missong out on so much and I don't know what to do. 
 
October 20, 2005, 11:38 am CDT

patience

Quote From: downey6977

 I am a single mom to a 4yr old daughter.  She will not talk to me and she is very hateful towards me.  Her father is not in her life.  He could care less about her.  She visits his mother every week and when she comes back from their house, she acts like a totally different person.  Like she is mad at me for some reason.  What can i do to get her to talk? 

  

Your daughter is 4!  She doesn't know how to talk about her feelings and emotions.  She may not grasp hateful tone with feelings of someone else.  

Her father not being in her life has nothing to do with your ability to raise her.  I am a single parent of an 8 yr old which I've raised alone from day 1.  Teach respect.  Explain to her about different "voices" or tones.  Kids don't know things unless they are taught.  If she wants to tell you something in a hateful tone, tell her you will not listen until she talks nicely.  If the grandmother wants to partake in her life, talk with her about her attitude when she returns.  You will not allow her to go if she can not behave afterwards.  When she respects you, then you will let her go.  Again, children will do what they are able to get by with (tempers, etc) and repeat what they are taught.     

 
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