Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Teachers Spill The Tea on What It’s Like Dealing With Divorced Parents, and it could use a little more tea

During the summer, while catching up on some old movies that had slipped through the crack in years past, I gathered with career moms to watch a few movies that we could somewhat relate to, while catching some gut-busting laughter and a break from work. As we met, we exchanged dynamic stories of the inner dealings of co-parenting our children. We also shared our anxieties over school beginning, taking on larger than life responsibilities in our careers; where new beginnings were concerned, as well as moves we would have to make, exploring family dynamics, and how to find blends and balances. While a few of us are still dealing with unwilling parents, there were others who have evolved into a place where they have been able to work together, in providing a nurturing environment between homes. Even when it’s a one-sided operation, we keep reaching to find solutions and ways to create a more cohesive relationship, in the name of our children.

In sharing stories as such, you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your plight to raise your children. You find comfort in laughing about things of the past. You also find that you have so much in common. While we all had different stories, there was one denominator in which we all seem to share, with reference to the anxiety of our kids/kid going back to school. It was how the teachers usually handle divorced parents, when it came to access and information.

The kids have been back in school for at least two weeks in some areas, whereas other schools that weren’t closed or affected by closures, due to weather related concerns, began a little over a month ago. Curriculum is underway, as students, teachers, counselors and advisors are getting adjusted to the early morning commute, the back-to-school routine, dismissals and parent-teacher conferences. We thought it would be a great idea to gather teacher perspectives, on what they face from the inside; to either solidify our feeling and claim, or to put it to rest.

Among other things that teachers and school administrators dread, dealing with parents of divorced kids was one. The teachers say that they are often caught in the middle of the mess a lot of times and do not know what to do, which is probably the reason that the other parent feels slighted. While they are advised by superiors, on how to handle situations, it gets sticky when they have formed relationships with one parent, instead of both parents. BOOM! Just what we thought. They went on to say, the hearsay from one parent, regarding the other parent, has influenced them on how they deal with the other parent, and has put them in the cross-fire on many occasions. Here’s more on what they had to say:

In general-In joint or full custody, when moms are the primary: When it comes to dealing with divorced parents, moms major concern was that NO ONE is to pick up child without moms’ consent – no early or random dismissals from school, without her being notified, even if it was dad. School administrators agreed with this as a valid concern for safety*. Dad is permitted to have all the access to the school as she does. Mom wants Dad is to be informed about all things related to child, should he request information. Dad is to be included on the list of immediate emergency contact. Dad should be included on email advisories about events, projects, assignments and all things related to the child/school. However, some moms scoff or rolls eyes, at the sound of dads’ name and throws shade, when having conversations with the teacher. Makes it awkward and uncomfortable for teachers. Moms were described as mom Nazi’s by some teachers account, and the teachers felt as though it was an overcompensation for being a single-parent.

In general-In joint or full custody, when dads are the primary: Dad usually have classify the mother as a “crazy baby-momma”, when addressing teachers. More than half of these Teachers/Administrators said that the dads are the hardest to deal with, being that they use power and influence to make uncompromising request such as: Do not allow mom to visit, do not allow mom access to info regarding grades, teacher curriculum, behavior growth and progress of child; their request seemed more vindictive and spiteful, rather than a true and genuine concern for the child. Their request was reflective of a parent who wanted to deliberately leave the other parent out of activities.

While dads painted a picture of a bad mom, some teachers can read between those lines, to see that it’s not that mom is absent of her child’s affairs, but that she is being maliciously left out, for dad to bring this paining to life. For instance: If mom doesn’t know about curriculum night at the school, because she has not been informed by the school or dad, she is a no-show. Dad express care and concern for the child, but their hatred toward the mother makes teachers uncomfortable*.

About this survey: (conducted in Harris County, Texas/Cy-Fair ISD) -Interviewed 20 teachers / 4 principles / 4 schools-(16 female teachers / 4 male teachers: athletic instructors) (18 teachers whom are married/2 divorced) Grades K-5Questions asked: 1. Is it harder to deal with moms or dads and why? Provide examples. 2. What is mom/dad major concern, with respect to the child? 3. Does the opinion of one parent about the other parent influence you on how to deal with the other parent? 4. How does it make you feel, when one parent puts you in an uncompromising situation? 5. Does either parent influence you to take sides, by with gifts for the school/class or fundraising?

Statement from the Principles: It is our overall concern to teach children while they are in our care, and make sure that they are in a safe environment, conducive to learning and teaching. While it is extremely necessary in sensitive situations, regarding the child, for us to know pertinent information, when it comes to enforcing our policies on safety of the children; it is not necessary to know that one or both parents had a troubled marriage, and that they have a grave dislike for one another. It creates a hostile situation for all, when parents discourage administrators from having a parent-teacher relationship with the other parent. We would like to keep both parents involved, when it comes to the child that they share. We hope that parents will come to agree, that this is what’s best for the child.”

http://www.workingmother.com/teachers-spill-tea-on-what-its-like-dealing-with-divorced-parents

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Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Give The Children What They Need, And Put A Little Something Extra In Your Child’s Lunchbox – It’s Time To Go Back-To-School

Image result for food productsA portion of my summer, was spent doing product trials with my child, to determine some of the best items to add to a kid’s lunchbox, or snack bag when school began again. And now that the time is upon us, I am confident that I will not have to be on the receiving end of the teachers concerned phone call or little handwritten note, to tell me that my child “seems to still be hungry, after lunch.”

Imagine how I felt, momentarily… that one time in April, when my child’s teacher reached out to me, via text, to give me a “heads-up.” She said that my child doesn’t appear to be getting enough to eat, and seems hungry. First thought, wow- I have been paying child support and my child does not have lunch? Second thought, who’s packing my child lunch and why were they not giving him enough? Third thought, dads claim to fame is how much money he makes, certainly he can afford to pack a healthy, hearty and wholesome snack and lunch for our son.

Ok, so then I calmed to a normal pace, to avoid jumping to conclusions and to try to understand what was going on. I got a little emotional, because I wanted to advise my sons dad of what the teacher said, as well as, to ask the appropriate questions regarding my child nutrition. However, due to the nature of our relationship being what it is, I walk on egg shells with what I say, out of concerns about how he will take it. For instance: Will he think I am taking jabs at him? Will he think that I am saying that he is not winning at parenting, if I relate this concern?

I paused, to allow the anxiety to subside, and to truly look at the situation, as one that could be an easy fix. Especially with the bottom line being, IT NEEDS TO BE FIXED, and I have no time to sugar-coat anything. I 86’d the above questions and I emailed him. I offered my assistance to find amazing snack ideas, if he had been too busy to do so himself. I offered to price them at three different stores that was near his home, to make shopping easier and most affordable for him. I offered to make the list for Monday-Friday, on what should be packed each day, where to get it and how much it would cost. While my proposal wasn’t accepted prior to the summer beginning, and before school ended; I will be pitching it again this week, in hopes that going forward, it will.

So, anyway, over the summer, during my quest to find something, I came across the following:

Black Forest Gummy Bears

Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears: “America’s Best Tasting Gummy Bears! Black Forest Organic Gummy Bears are made with thoughtful ingredients like lemon juice, organic cane sugar, potato starch, carrot and beet juice. These lovable little Gummy Bears are made with love and feature a taste YOU WILL LOVE. Every bag includes cherry, orange, lemon, apple and pineapple flavors. USDA Certified Organic. Gluten Free.” (http://www.blackforestusa.com/products/)

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CLIF Kids Zbar: “CLIF Kid Zbar® is an organic, baked whole grain energy snack, made with a blend of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat to give kids energy so they can keep zipping and zooming along. Our products never include high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors.” (http://www.clifbar.com/products/clif-kid/zbar)

SunButter

SunButter: With nearly three pounds of shelled, roasted sunflower seeds in each jar, SunButter has 7 grams of protein per serving, and it has more vitamins and minerals than nut butter. SunButter provides 45% of the US recommended daily allowance for Vitamin E with no trans-fat and less saturated fat than the leading brand of almond butter.

SunButter is free from the top 8 food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, and crustacean shellfish. SunButter is also free from Canada’s ten priority food allergens, which include mustard, sulfites, and sesame.

SunButter is made in the US from locally-grown, specially-roasted sunflower seeds, which are processed in our dedicated peanut free and tree nut free facility. Our sunflower seeds are grown in a region of the country where peanuts are not grown, eliminating the risk of cross contamination. SunButter is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO, and certified kosher.

This is not an ad for the companies above. I am sincerely recommending these products, because I have tried them for myself, and because I got the stamp pf approval, from my First-grader. The good thing is, these snacks don’t just work for the kids, they make great on-the-go snacks for the working mother.

Double check the lunch box, making sure that your child has something filling, and of nutritional value. Moms, I am not the mom Nazi! However, sometimes we just need reminders, from other moms who may have heard a suggestion or two from a teacher… and before hearing it in a less than sensitive memo, I am giving you the heads up.

Unfortunately, I won’t get to be the one who packs my child’s lunch box, to ensure that it is done with a lot of extra love to fill his belly. But it is with all my heart, that I hope he’s getting all he needs from it, when it’s time.

Here’s the perfect starter guide:

Fresh fruit.

Crunchy vegetables.

A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*

Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yoghurt.

Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.

Water.

Article Originally published HERE, at Working Mother

Lifestyle, Parenting

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It

HEY SUNBUTTER! He Likes It!

It would be awfully selfish of me if I didn’t share this tidbit of information with Mom Bloggers Club. As much as I would like to be the keeper of this secret, I just can’t. It’s totally worth sharing, and you can thank me later. Unless of course, it was something that everyone else already knew about. Lol! I found something else that my son gave his stamp of approval on, and so, I proudly gave it my Mom Approved stamp of approval as well, after trying it for myself. SunButter came into our lives last week, while setting up for a Moms Group, to try out the product and see what we all had to say. I wasn’t 5 minutes in, before my own son had cracked open the On The Go sized, SunButter Single cups.

It was a hilarious moment, because as I was trying to video the real, raw reactions and thoughts of the moms that attended, my son can be heard, butting in, to say: It’s good! I’m eating it all up! There couldn’t have been a more natural and unrehearsed moment, as he continued to dig into the cup with his saltine cracker. Take One, Final cut- My work was done! He dismisses us, to ask “Can I have another cracker?”

Where do you go from there? Does it get any better? I found a snack, on my hunt for some back to school goodies, and I got one that he took to, off the bat. #Winning I know that moms everywhere can absolutely agree, that this is a monumental moment, when you have a picky eater; one who is hard to please sometimes, who judges food by the smell, the texture, the look, the everything else that frustrates you while you’re saying, “Just Eat The Cake Anna Mae!” All the while, wondering if your child is malnourished, because he won’t eat anything on his plate.

He’s an active 6- year old boy, who’s always running, jumping, flipping, bouncing around off walls, beds, sofas etc. He’s a playful ball of energy who thinks that sleep is the enemy. To get him to sit down is one thing. To get him to sit still is another thing. While getting him to eat, is not impossible, it has been a challenge.

However, on that one-day last week, and every day up until the SunButter On The Go Single cups were all gone, I accomplished a moment of silence. That’s the big secret I had to share. Thank GOODNESS, we had more!

This has made it onto our list of top 5 things to add to your child’s lunch box, while considering that its Back to School time. It also makes a perfect on the go snack for adults! Check out these awesome recipes for incorporating Sun Butter into y…

SunButter Curry Meatballs

Here are a few fun facts: 7g Protein, USA Grown and Made, More Vitamins and Minerals than NutButter, Top 8 Allergen Free, Non GMO.  SunButter Sunflower Butter comes in 5 choices:

Natural -most popular variety – with 7 grams of protein per serving!

Creamy- Creamy, delicious and easy to spread – perfect for snacking

Natural Crunch- Delicious roasted sunflower seed flavor with a crunch you’ll love

No Sugar Added-Simply roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of salt for flavor.

Organic-SunButter Organic is made without added sugar, salt or hydrogenated oil.

SunButter On The Go Creamy Singles -Six convenient 1.5 oz. cups of Creamy SunButter with 9 grams of protein per serving!

Originally posted on Mom Bloggers Club, Here

Lifestyle, Parenting, Relationships

For Those Mean Kids, Here’s A Powerful Message From My Six-Year Old As He Heads Back To School

As repulsive as it is to think about bullies, bad kids and mean kids, which to me are all the same; as a mother, I do know that they exist, from what I have seen take place on playgrounds, in back yards, on school grounds and at events. As much as I love ALL children, no matter whom they belong, and from whence they come, I cringe when I hear some of the nasty and hurtful things they say. I grovel at some of the things that I see them do.

It’s beyond kids just being kids, expressions of personalities and clashes, behavioral differences and learning how to get along. It’s the line that they cross, when their words and actions resemble behavior that seems to be taught, engrained and instilled into them, by perhaps elders. Just an assumption about where it may come from….

Image result for racism

Where else, would kids these days come up with their sometime, pre-historic assessments, that someone can/cannot do, or can/cannot afford something, or be something; due to their skin color? And why would they feel this, at the tender age of 6 or 7…8…9 and 10, that being a certain color, means you’re ugly or not worthy of playing with? And why would they ‘feel’ that it’s ok, to pick on another child just because the other child has a different color skin?

Who is responsible for bestowing credence, in these children’s behavior; whereas they would think it’s anywhere near on the side of right, to discriminate against another child or person, for that matter? The nature of the comments and actions just don’t seem to be conceived in the mind of a child. IJS.

We don’t want to think of any child as being bad, or even mean, but that’s the translation sometimes. So, perhaps they are just misguided? Kids are adorable-that’s how they are born. They only become nasty through experiences and exposure. Their behavior is either replicated behavior or sublimated and emulated by imitation.

Image result for bullies

My child was outdoors today, and in his normal fashion of being highly energized, friendly and eager to play. He saw 4 kids, close to his age, one being a bit older, maybe 10- years old; and he asked if he could play with them. I said, yes of course. They were riding bikes, all except one. My son ran alongside of them. Shortly after, they said and did somethings that weren’t very nice. Later, I was told that my son endured it and continued to play. That’s just his nature. He loves everyone. When my parents took notice of what was going on, and how my son was being treated, I too became aware. I went outside to get him.

They hurt his feelings. His understanding was just that he wanted to play, and they were in return, being mean to him. That’s an innocent interpretation, until you hear about the entire ordeal. I summarize to say, I had a long talk with him. After-which, a long bubble bath fixed it for him. They may have hurt his feelings, but they didn’t break his spirit. This is what he had to sing to them, when it was all over. (Video Below- captions inside)

Let’s start at home, by doing the following:

Teach your own children first: Teach your children right from wrong. There’s so many ways to do this and so many books to read with good moral lessons, as well as PBS and other educational television shows, which teach children how to practice good manners, by introducing situations, where a child may learn what the right thing in those cases, are to do.

There are many value-lesson games which you can play together, as well as simply being an example yourself. Set the tone for your child. We must instill, into our children, that which we want to come out of them.

Sometimes, children can overhear us talking about other people or expressing language that is not fit for their ears, and when they leave the house, they repeat it. So, be mindful when the kids are watching. It’s just good manners.

Preparing your child: In a perfect world, your child won’t face any challenges at school with mean kids or bullies or racism. They will go off to school unhurt and they will return unhurt- especially when we feel that we’ve taught them how to act, so they will be ok.

But it’s just like being on the road. The lesson is, to watch out for the “other driver” because you can be as safe as possible, and still find yourself in an accident that was unavoidable. So, while our children are outdoors doing the right thing, we cannot always count on other children doing the right thing. We should however, foster a community where every child is looked after, as it was way back when…

Preparation is key in just teaching them that it’s not always something that they do or have done, which will cause someone to do something to them.

Having age appropriate conversations: Deciding on the best time to have any discussions about what may or may not occurs is up to the parent and the situations that their children are facing. But we do have to take into account age and timing. When is the time right? You’ll know. I didn’t think it was appropriate to discuss bullying or racism, for instance, until he came face to face with it. When he encountered a situation, where he would need answers or understanding, that’s when it would be necessary. Or if someone begins to pick at him, for no reason, taunting him and harassing him, then he needs to know what this is. And he needs to know that it’s not right, so that he will know the steps he needs to take, regarding reporting the behavior.

Letting them know it’s not their fault: I think that when your child comes home, after being taunted about their skin color, or their shoes, or their hair, their reading glasses, their clothes, facial or body features; it’s important for us as parents, being the closest people to them, to constantly be building their morale. This is where their self-esteem rest. These are the years that those mean comments can shape and mold a child, causing them to retreat to the inside, finding something wrong with themselves and then begin to dislike how they were made. It may even manifest into adulthood, where they too become bullies. We have to combat this as much as we can as parents, by building them back up, if someone tries to break them down. But to keep it in the road as well, (balance) so that they do not become full of themselves.

Let’s do our due diligence, when setting expectations of teachers to uphold a standard in what will not be tolerated in school, as it relates to bullying someone, beit due to their race or gender.

After we’ve done this, we hope that in the school that we selected for our children to attend, that there will be teachers who will also reinforce good behavior. We hope that teachers practice good behavior also, and do not discriminate against any child or use intimidation tactics to demolish our children’s esteem. We hope that teachers exercise their ability to teach manners and how good manners are what make people feel good. Doing good, being good and having that returned, is the ideal situation.

Originally posted here. On CAFEMOM