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The Effects of Domestic Violence on Your Children

In Child Custody, Domestic Violence by Carly Baker

Domestic violence in a relationship is dangerous and can be deadly. While victims suffer both emotional and physical trauma from an abusive relationship, the impact of the violence on children must also be considered. During these formative times in their development, children need stability, safety, and trust. Unfortunately, the presence of domestic violence—whether it is occurs in the child’s presence or not—can throw a giant monkey wrench into all of these critical childhood needs. If this topic is relevant to your current relationship, consider the following: Domestic violence can be incredibly dangerous to children. While you love your children, domestic violence situations involve heightened emotions and bad decisions. This means that an abuser is not acting in children’s best interest and is putting them at great risk of harm; further, …

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Celebrating Halloween When Separated

In Child Custody, Parenting, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Holidays are among the most fun times you have as a parent. Among these holidays, Halloween is near the top of anyone’s list. There are really cute costumes, happy kids, and tons of candy. When you are separated or divorced, there is only one Halloween night, which means that only one parent can actually trick or treat with them. Despite this, even if you miss the actual Halloween night, there are still opportunities for you to celebrate with your children and to have a memorable time celebrating this fun holiday. Alternate costume—even if you don’t have the children on Halloween doesn’t mean you can’t have your own costume event. Buy or make costumes with your children and have your own dress-up event at home, with games and treats. Decorate your …

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Your Childhood Experiences Impact Your Parenting

In Parenting by Carly Baker

Being a parent is hard. Even the best parent finds themselves in situations where they have regrets. Or at the very least, they say or do something to their child and wonder: where on Earth did that come from? For the good and bad we bring into our roles as parents, a big part how we act and react is informed by our childhood experiences. Consider the following aspects of your childhood: Relationships. From the time we are children, we model our interpersonal interactions and relationships on what we see from our parents, from family, from parents of friends, and even on television. Therefore, what we saw can be incredibly powerful, even if we don’t realize it as adults. For example, if we see our parents treat each other with …

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Teenagers and Child Custody

In Child Custody, Parenting by Elizabeth Stephenson

Working through the realities of child custody is challenging for any parent. Even with the most thoughtful, well-intentioned parenting plan agreement or child custody order, and co-parents who communicate well, our life circumstances evolve and our children age. In fact, as children of separated parents become teenagers, new custody challenges can arise that will challenge the best of us. Teenagers Have Their Own Lives A natural part of children’s development is that they are less and less dependent as they grow up. Long gone are the days when they were super-attached and always wanted to be around you. Now they have their friends, they start to date, they have school, they have extracurricular activities, and they have hobbies. In other words they are increasingly busy. Because of their social lives, …

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Parenting and Healthy Boundaries

In Parenting, Relationships by Sarah Hink

Family dynamics with your parents and other relatives can be incredibly complex. A lot of the parenting decisions and methods that your parents utilized or that you witnessed of extended family—for better or worse—have impacted who you are as an adult and how you raise your own children. When you have children, it can therefore be confusing as you try to balance your own values of how you want to parent your children, versus the unsolicited advice that you receive from your family and friends. When you are a new parent, you will probably experience the gravitational pull that young children seem to have on your parents, your siblings, and your extended family. This is natural as your kids are adorable. However, with this increased exposure and access to family …

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Fatherhood and Leading by Example

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

    Children learn to socialize, cope, develop relationships, and navigate life based on their observations of the adults in their lives. Amongst the strongest influences in helping children develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults are their parents. This is why as a father, it is so important to approach parenting in a thoughtful, consistent manner. A critical part of this equation is to truly understand that you lead your children with both your words and your actions. In essence, you can positively lead by example when your actions match your words. Healthy Relationships  Children often mimic their parents’ mannerisms in the context of what they see between adults. Just watch them interact with their friends or at the playground, and you may notice them using some very familiar words and …

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Transitioning the Kids Back to School

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

The end of the Summer is a bittersweet time for parents. On some level, you’re ready to resume the consistency and structure of the school year; while simultaneously feeling like your time with the kids is about to become much more limited. Children experience similar internal conflicts, where they are nervous about new teachers and sad about the lack of freedom, while also excited to see their friends again. Fortunately, your children have you to help guide them into the new school year. With a thoughtful approach, you can definitely put them in a position to hit the ground running toward a productive school year. Transition your children’s internal clocks back to school hours. Children tend to stay up later and wake up later during the summer. Start enforcing an …

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Making the Most of the End of Summer

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

As your children get older, it becomes painfully clear how fast time flies. This rings particularly true if you share custody of your children with their other parent—and therefore have a lot more limited time with them than you would like. And while many parents joke that they can’t wait for their kids to be back in school, most realize that these times are precious. Therefore, as summer comes to a close, it is really important to live in the moment and to make the most of the end of summer. Here are a few friendly suggestions to really make these last weeks count: Have a barbecue with all of your kids’ friends and their parents. Make it a potluck while you supply the meats for grilling. Buy a giant …

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Making the Most of Your Visitation

In Child Custody by Elizabeth Stephenson

Children really grow up fast. Not too long ago, you were watching them learn to walk. The next thing you know, they’re potty trained. Then, you blink and find yourself having complete conversations with them and fear that they may already be smarter than you. The journey is a real blessing. Unfortunately, life tends to throw many distractions our way, which limits our time with our children and prevents us from being as present as we want to be. This is particularly true when you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, or if an agreement or custody order don’t provide you as much visitation with your children as you want. Some parents also have trouble getting past their conflict with the other parent, that they allow it …

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What Say Do You Have Regarding Your Child’s Education?

In Child Custody, Parenting by Sarah Hink

Your children’s education provides critical academic knowledge and socialization that really lays a foundation for their future success. As a parent, you take your child’s education very seriously, knowing that it is both an investment and an opportunity. Further, you understand that you have to advocate for your child and to help your child find the motivation to achieve academic success. When parents separate, the issue of education can be a very delicate one. First, parents often fight over who can have physical custody of the child, so the geographic location of the child’s school is a big deal. In addition, if your child has been in a school for a long time, then there is the factor of normalcy for the child and allowing them to stay at a …