How To Make Moving House Easier For Children

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Moving is one of the most stressful undertakings you will deal with in your life time. While obviously adults have much to fret about; between financing the move, organizing it and obviously executing it you will have plenty of work to do.

While it is easy to get wrapped up in the stress of everything you are dealing with, it is important to remember the stress your children are enduring as well. They are going through a major life change during pivotal learning years and this must be taken into account.

Use these tips to help your children cope with moving:

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Your Child’s Secret Life Online: 7 Ways to Manage It as a Parent

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by Spencer Melnick, LCSW

Your teen needed a laptop for school, so you bought it. He needed a phone to keep in touch with you, so after a half-hour argument with him at the wireless store, a “phone” became an iPhone 6. He has an iPad Air because, after you told him it wasn’t in the budget, he spent the weekend with his dad, and voila! He has an iPad.

Now, every time you look at your son, he has a screen in front of his face, barely audible text notifications going off at all hours and he’s on social media sites you’ve never heard of. Suddenly, his use of technology has gone past school work and into a strange kind of secrecy.

I believe the most important thing you can do is open up regular dialogue about your child’s online experiences and approach it with genuine, open curiosity.

Technology is empowering and necessary for kids and for parents. But the longer I work with families in my practice, the more I see technology becoming problematic for them. Think about your child’s smart phone. It’s a very complex device that can be used for good or bad. It’s a communication tool and a wonderful research and study tool.

For the kid who struggles to focus on homework, however, it’s a chronic distraction machine—an ADD machine, if you will. It’s a camera and video camera that can broadcast your child’s mistakes and poor choices to the world in seconds.

It’s a weapon for bullying and a source of anxiety for kids who are bullied. It’s a reason your son doesn’t get enough sleep at night. It’s a pornography machine at the touch of the wrong link. It’s a device that can expose your young child to things you don’t want her to see. Ever.

How are your kids using technology? Do you know what they’re looking at when they’re curled up on the sofa for five hours with their phones six inches from their face? When you ask them who they’re talking to online, do you get a one-word, snippy answer, if any answer at all?

It’s tricky territory for parents. Your teen knows more about the online world than you probably ever will, and it can quickly become another way for your child to behave defiantly with you. So how do you even talk to your child about their online life, interests and safety?

Use James Lehman’s expert communication techniques in The Total Transformation

Immobilized Parents: “I don’t know what to do about it, so I’ll do nothing.”

Although they may be wizards with setting up devices and finding cool apps, most kids do not have the emotional intelligence to be able to manage and understand everything they’re seeing online. That’s why parents need to be involved.

Increasingly, though, I see parents becoming immobilized around their kids’ use of technology. They don’t know what to do or where to start, so they do nothing. It’s normal for parents to feel “frozen” and helpless about the online world of their child.

I met a parent recently who had discovered her young son had been watching videos online of people playing Russian Roulette. She was lucky. Her son brought up the subject, instead of keeping it to himself, because he was disturbed by what he saw. Mom felt immobilized. What should she do? Take his phone away? Restrict access? Should she talk to him about what else he’s watching online? Without a clear option, should she do nothing?

Remaining immobilized around your child’s technology use isn’t effective or empowering for you as a parent, and it doesn’t help your child. I believe the most important thing you can do is open up regular dialogue about your child’s online experiences and approach it with genuine, open curiosity. Many kids remain secretive about what they’re doing and seeing online because:

  • Technology is a tether to their social life; they are very socially focused and protective of their right to be.
  • They don’t want you in their business, and the secrecy is a form of defiance
  • They’re in over their heads as far as what they’re seeing or engaging in online and don’t know how to talk about it. I remember an 11-year-old client who started looking at pornography sites on his phone and eventually clicked on particularly disturbing, violent porn that gave him nightmares. He wanted to talk about the problem but he was ashamed and afraid.

Feeling stressed about your child’s online activity? The Calm Parent can help you manage your emotions.

This is why it’s important for parents to engage with their kids about what’s happening online for them. It shouldn’t be a secret in the home. Here are some ways for parents to manage their child’s online life and open dialogue about it that I’ve found to be effective.

7 Ways to Manage Your Child’s Online Life

  1. Set large boundaries early. If you have younger children between the ages of 5 and 8, consider setting large boundaries around your own smartphone or tablet. I do this with my own kids. My wife and I make the limit very clear: “You cannot touch Daddy’s iPhone. If you want to see my pictures on the phone, you have to ask first.” I do this because I only want them to be exposed to what’s appropriate for them at that age. And, frankly, it’s just easier for me at this stage. I minimize the risk of them getting on the web and going down some scary road by setting one large, simple limit and staying consistent with it.
  2. Ask your child questions about their online experience with no judgment. Ask when you can do so with openness and genuine curiosity, not when you’re feeling testy or angry. Take the stance that “No one’s in trouble here.”

For example, I do this a lot in my practice. Use the words, “Show me.” I’m at an age where I can very clearly remember what it was like to be 15, but I’m far enough away from it to ask a question that’s fairly innocent.

So if I want to know what kind of social media platforms a teen is engaging in, I’ll simply say, “Hey, what’s SnapChat about? Can you show me?” It’s a simple question, and more often than not, kids will show you the app on their phone, and you can start a conversation about it.

You’re not asking to see specific content and pry into your child’s privacy. You’re simply asking about the app. And you can see where your child is comfortable and uncomfortable. If you feel empowered to be truly curious, you will learn something and connect with your child. It’s no longer a big secret.

I think this is essential when it comes to the online world. If you don’t ask questions, how else will you learn?

  1. Ask your teen what other kids are doing. I use this question to get kids to open up about drug use among their peers: “What kinds of drugs are you seeing kids use?” You can use a similar question about how “other kids” use social media or online chat: “I’m curious. What kinds of social media apps are other kids using? Are they chatting online these days? How?” Again, if you can remain open and curious, this is an opportunity for your child to talk about what’s happening for them online, through the example of “other kids.”
  2. Ask your teen: “Have you ever seen anything online that disturbed you?” As parents, we’ve all encountered things online that made us hit the back button or the home button and get out of it. Your teen has likely done the same thing and may be more interested in talking about it than you think. Ask the question and talk about a personal example of something you found disturbing. It normalizes the experience and makes it less of a secret.
  3. Speak with like-minded parents. You are not the only parent who wishes their child would engage with them half as much as they do their devices. Ask parents whom you trust, “How are you managing phones in your family?” You’re likely to get some good tips on managing technology. All you have to do is ask.
  4. Establish text-free times for everyone in your home. Model appropriate use of technology. Set aside time each day for no texting, Facebook-checking or email sending. And follow it as parents. Put down your iPad. Use that time to talk about how your kids’ days went.
  5. Replace online time with family time. Limits around technology use are a lot easier to enforce if you replace what you’re taking away with something that benefits everyone. Plan a technology-free night as a family. No phones, no Instagram, no texting. Go to a movie or to the beach…and talk.

There’s nothing more powerful than parental influence in a child’s life. But technology holds a seductive type of power for adults and kids that can overwhelm parental influence without us even being aware of it. The antidote to this can be one or two sincere questions that you ask your child and a willingness and courage to allow for whatever the answer is.

Need additional help understanding Technology & Kids? Click here for more articles.


Your Child’s Secret Life Online: 7 Ways to Manage It as a Parent reprinted with permission from Empowering Parents. For more information, visit www.empoweringparents.com


Spencer Melnick, LCSW, is a psychotherapist who works with individuals, couples and families. He also trains and consults with a variety of non-profit organizations and specializes in working with multicultural communities who have limited access to mental health services.

5 Warning Signs Of Teenage Crises That Parents Must Watch Out For

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Contrary to popular opinion, not all teenage crises will appear out of the blue and because of its unexpected appearance, render parents helpless to change the situation for the better.

There are always warning signs – and you just have to know what you’re look for.

What Are The Warning Signs?

  • Change in Academic Grades

Most teenagers who are experiencing serious problems – mental, psychological, or emotional – would usually end up letting their grades slip although this may be unintentionally or otherwise.

If your child used to have straight A’s all the time and yet all of a sudden, other letters start showing up in his report card, it’s definitely a sign that there’s trouble on the horizon.

Ideally, a positive change in academic grades is something to welcome – and you definitely should if you see ample proof that your child is finally working hard to do well in school.

But if there’s no visible evidence to support this change, and further probing reveals that your child isn’t just studying in another setting, then this could be considered a warning sign as well.

  • Extreme Reluctance to Communicate

It’s normal for teenagers to feel a generation gap between them and their parents. If your child used to tell you all his secrets and then stops upon entering high school, this can still be considered normal. At this stage of his life, he feels that he’s able to be more open to people closer to his age.

If, however, his reluctance to communicate with and to you is carried to the extremes, this can then be considered another warning sign of a potential teenage crisis.

If your teenager seems to go out of his way just to avoid talking with you then there’s a possibility that he’s hiding something and he’s unhappy about the fact that he is.

Teenagers may bear strikingly adult-like features in the surface, but inside, they’re still children and their immaturity makes them unable to handle the guilt and pressure of keeping secrets.

  • Change in Friends

If you’re not aware of who your teenager is friends with then it’s time you learn because friends have a significant role in every teenager’s life. Birds of the same feather flock together, and this continues to hold water in today’s world.

If you notice that your teenager is hanging out with a different set of friends, do your best to learn why. If the reason provided seems to be too vague or insufficient then yes, this is yet another warning sign.

If you notice distinct dissimilarities between your teenager and with the people he considers as friends, this should also be taken as a warning sign. Diversity is always good, but it’s important that you make sure his friends are not exercising negative influence or peer pressure over him.

  • Change in Interest and Acquiring New Ones

Hobbies are activities that a person derives personal fun from, and it’s important as well that you know what your teenager’s hobbies are. That way, in the event that your teenager suddenly switches hobbies for no apparent reason, you’ll be able to notice it and consequently probe for the reason behind it.

Naturally, it’s understandable for your teenager to lose interest in toys and consequently become fascinated with sport cars. But developing a sudden interest in the clothes of the opposite sex, or something equally disturbing is definitely a cause for concern.

  • Change in Attitude

The most important warning sign to take note of is a change in attitude. Usually, behavioral changes take a gradual pattern. A usually even-tempered teenager may start, for instance, by raising his voice and then proceed to throwing tantrums or even cussing.

If your teenager is showing more and more alarming signs of not being his usual self, that’s not teenage angst but something definitely more serious.

In the end, however, no precursor of teenage problem, no matter how obvious it appears, will be noticeable if you don’t know your kids well enough in the first place.

Know and love your children well, and let them know that you care. Doing so will not only help you notice the warning signs if and when they do appear but they can also help prevent any teenage crisis from taking place as well.

How To Make Sure Your Kids Have Good Role Models

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As they get older, we need to keep a closer watch.

Regardless of what parenting style you adhere to, you know that children can be very impressionable. At all ages, parents must keep a close eye on the things that their kids consume, be it TV shows or websites, and we need to make sure that they’re not idolizing – or more importantly, emulating – the wrong things.

The task of making sure that our children have good role models is deceptively easy, because younger children aren’t nearly as hell-bent on having their way. Correcting bad behavior in children has sometimes even been said to be as easy as 1-minute magic, because let’s face it, younger children are much more keen to accept your authority, and much more fearful of a parent’s wrath.

But as they get older, children start to grow much more independent, and much less accepting of the authority of their parents. When this happens, it can be a bit more difficult to tell them off for listening to offensive material or watching inappropriate shows. It’s harder to correct bad behavior, and much harder to help them find and keep good role models. So how do you make sure that they don’t end up idolizing the wrong people?

Sometimes, the best solution is the easiest, and in this case, the simplest solution is to find an alternative. Begin by asking your children if there’s anyone they idolize, or aspire to be in the future, and if it seems to you that the person they idolize could be a negative influence, don’t go and tell them off.

After all, if there’s anything older children hate, it’s being told what to do. As the UK’s National Health Service says, “Teenagers hate being lectured or bombarded with solutions. Instead of trying to be the expert on their lives, try to help them think for themselves so that they can make good decisions.”

Ask them what it is exactly that they like about the person they say they idolize. Is it the fact that they make a lot of money, have a lot of friends, or maybe it’s the successful career? As soon as you find out what it is, you can then start giving alternatives.

Rather than tell them right off the bat that their idols are bad for them, try to find positive influences in people you think also embody the characteristics your children find admirable in their idols. Present these people to your children casually, by watching films that these people star in, or talking about things you see on the news.

Positive role models aren’t that hard to come by, and it’s best to introduce them to your kids in the medium that they use the most. On Youtube, we have Bethany Mota, a personality described by Business Insider as “relentlessly upbeat and bouncy” and “a virtuoso of positivity” despite being bullied in her early teens.

In theater, we also have Catherine Bennett of Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model, which Tootsa MacGinty describes as “a ‘modern heroine’ – not the over-sexualised-material-disney-girl that seems to have become the norm, but someone who would inspire our younger female generation”.

There are a slew of potential role models out there, and even if your child doesn’t take to the first one or two that you introduce to them, keep trying. The important thing here is to help your child identify just what it is exactly that makes a role model positive, or negative, so in the future, they won’t even need your help in discerning which is which.

What are some ways you’ve talked to your kids about their role models? Do you have any tips for confronting older children about their idols? Let us know!

Exclusively submitted to Loving Your Child by JenniB

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The Dangers Of Helicopter Parenting

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Many parents these days tend to be extremely protective of their children, to the point that it seems like they’re constantly hovering above their kids. This behavior has been jokingly coined “helicopter parenting,” and despite the humorous name, experts believe it’s no laughing matter.

It’s natural to be protective of your children. I myself have two boys, and I experience an incredible urge to shelter them from harm. In many times, it pays off—we can often anticipate trouble better than our kids, and know how to best avoid it.

The problem arises when we overdo it. We find ourselves demanding to know every single detail of our kids’ lives. We ask where they are 24/7, who they’re spending time with, and what they’re doing.

We end up crossing the line between being involved and being overbearing. While helicopter parents believe they’re doing the right thing, they actually tend to negatively affect their children’s development in several ways:

Robbing children of learning opportunities

Everything that happens in life is a learning opportunity. Failures and mistakes are more so, teaching valuable lessons about how to handle different situations in life. Children can’t learn to deal with failure and bad luck if their parents never let them have these experiences.

Taking care of everything for a child deprives them of the most important impetus to succeed. For  kids to become strong adults, they’ll need to know just how bad things can be. They also need to feel they have choices.

If those are always being made for them, they won’t know how to make smart decisions without mom or dad to help out – and let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, we can’t always be there for our children. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is let them figure out how to deal with problems on their own.

Expanded childhood or adolescence

A 2010 study by Neil Montgomery, a psychologist at Keene State College in New Hampshire, showed that helicopter parenting cultivates dependent, anxious, and vulnerable children.

Surveying first year college students, the study associated helicopter parenting with decreased openness to new ideas and actions. Hovering over a child can hamper their maturity in taking care of themselves and in facing difficult situations, making them constantly worried about even the simplest things.

Overprotected children also become easily upset when situations don’t go their way, because they’re used to their parents making things work for them.

Lower self-esteem

Similarly, doing everything for your children removes their confidence to do things on their own. Helplessly feeling that they can’t do anything for themselves, they hesitate to even try. Over-parenting breeds children who hesitate in aiming high for fear of failure, or who do so only when they know that their parents will make ways for them to succeed anyway.

Montgomery’s study also suggests that these children can become neurotic. They may even rebel in the future in an effort to break away from hovering parents.   How can we remain involved in our kids’ lives without resorting to hovering over them? Here are a couple of tips we use in our family:

  • Encourage, Don’t Hound

If your kids are uncertain about new situations, show them the advantages of trying new things but don’t push them. When they’re doing a school project or preparing to join a competition, offer your help but don’t pressure them into doing things your way.

Children of all ages face problems, and the best way for them to learn how to handle things is usually by experiencing it themselves. Talk to them and let them know the consequences of each decision, but let them do the rest.

Don’t save them from every awkward situation because failure and sadness are a healthy part of life.

  • Trust in Your Child

Relax and let your children live their life as their own. This may be difficult, but if you truly believe that your child is great, then trust that they can go through life with flying colors. This also does wonders to a child’s self-esteem.

What helicopter parents rarely see is the beauty of their children’s personalities; they forget that children are people, too. A little respect for kids’ decision-making abilities can go a long way, both developmentally and socially.

Pasha Lubeck is a single mom to two beautiful boys and a part-time designer for Kichler Lighting. She believes that being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs in the world—and also one of the most rewarding.

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Laws Of Adoption In India

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This article is the second in a series by Pallavi Bhattacharya, the first of which was published as Adoption For Single Women In India.

Child adoption in India is governed by the Personal Law of each community.

The Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 (HAMA):

This Act provides for legal adoption to those of the Hindu faith or religions that have taken birth from Hinduism. Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Brahmos and those belonging to the Prarthana, Arya Samaj, Virashaiva and Lingayat faiths are included under this act.

The woman who adopts should be an adult and of ‘sound mind’. If a single woman is adopting a son the age difference between them should at least be 21 years. If she is however adopting a girl child this age gap restriction doesn’t apply.

The Act allows the adoptive parent to have just one boy child and one girl child. The law makes no distinction whatsoever if the child she may have at the time of adoption is born to her or adopted.

Under this Act the child who is being adopted should be a Hindu and below fifteen years, unless there is a custom or usage applicable to the parties which permits persons who have completed the age of fifteen years being taken in adoption. Under this Act the adopted child has the same rights as the biological child as far as inheritance to parental property is concerned.

The Guradian And Wards Act, 1890 (GWA):

Non-Hindus (Christians, Muslims, Parsis and Jews) and foreign nationals can adopt under this Act. Foreigners obtain the guardianship of an Indian child who will later be adopted in accordance to the adoption law prevailing in their country. A person can take the guardianship of any number of children of either gender under this Act.

This act has been designed to appoint a guardian for the child rather than substitute his birth parents. Unlike a child adopted under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, the child adopted under the Guardian and Wards Act can’t take the family name or inherit parental property.

The adopted child can’t avail of the same status as a child born biologically to the family under this Act. The legal guardian-ward relationship exists till the child becomes a major. In practical terms the child may however be able to enjoy the status of an adopted child by receiving inheritance by the way of a will.

The Guardian and Wards Act has been made as the personal law of Muslims, Parsis and Jews don’t formally recognize adoption. Initially Christians weren’t legally allowed to adopt.

However according to the new interpretation given by two High Courts in the country of the personal law governing Christian adoption, legal adoption of a child is now possible for Indian Christians.

Christians under the Guardian and Wards Act have the right to petition the court to adopt the child two years from the date on which the guardianship order was passed.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000:

This Act provides for adoption as one of the options for rehabilitation and social integration of the children in need of care and protection. This Act offers the placement of the child in a permanent substitute family through the legal process of adoption.

Adoption according to this Act means ‘taking permanent custody and responsibility of a juvenile or a child covered under this Act who shall have pari passu rights of a natural born child.’ Under this Act a person can adopt any number of children of either gender.

Unfortunately not many people are adopting under this Act. Child Right Activist Anjali Pawar Kate, Director of Pune based NGO Sakhee, working on child trafficking for adoption issues, explains why, “Adoption under the Juvenile Justice Act is very complicated and lengthy. That’s why adoption agencies prefer the other two acts that they have already been using for many years”

The adoption procedure:

The majority of adoptions in India take place through adoption agencies. Adoptive applicants are first asked to register with the agency. A nominal registration fee is charged.

In the application form you need to fill in basic information like your name, age, education, occupation, income and the preferred age and gender of the child you want to adopt. A single woman who wants to adopt an infant shouldn’t be more than 45 according to CARA guidelines. You need to get a police clearance for the adoption agency to allow you to adopt.

A series of interviews will be taken of the prospective adoptive parent. Her family, friends, relatives, family physician and priest may also be interviewed if felt necessary.

Health check:

Evidence should be provided to clearly prove that the prospective adoptive parent is in good physical and mental health and free from communicable diseases. HIV and Hepatitis B tests are done.

The adoptive parent shouldn’t be suffering from a health problem which may act as a hindrance to raise the child. This however doesn’t mean that any health problem will instantly debar you from adopting. For instance diabetes which is under control or a previous surgery shouldn’t necessarily disqualify you from adopting.

Home-study:

The adoption agency will conduct a home study to ascertain whether you’ll be able to give the child a loving and caring home. The prospective adoptive parent’s home environment and neighbourhood are studied.

Are the family members supportive of adoption? Is the neighbourhood safe and conducive to raising a child? Is she financially solvent to raise a child?

The adoption agency will try to ascertain your personality and lifestyle through observation and interviews. You may be asked to describe a day in your life to help the adoption agency to ascertain if you are suitable to raise a child.

You may be asked to state your likes and dislikes and how you have coped with stressful situations in your life. Have you sailed smoothly through ups and downs in life? Or do you have weak coping skills and low EQ?

Your motivation for the acceptance of adoption will be carefully explored. Most importantly are you adopting just to fulfil your needs or for the sake of the child?

After all for adoption agencies the well-being of the child is the primary concern. If you are adopting a child as you think he/ she will ‘solve your life’s problems’ like loneliness and boredom, you may have to undergo counselling to modify your thinking.

Through the home study you are explained what raising an adopted child requires of you. Faulty notions of adoption and replaced with authentic factual information.

Selecting a child:

If the home-study has deemed you eligible for adoption, the process of selecting a child begins. You are not taken to a nursery full of children to choose a child for yourself.

The adoption agency will show you one child at a time. They will select a child who they think is suitable for you. Data like the age, health details and social background of the child will be shared with you before showing you a child.

Some adoption agencies will show you the photograph of the child before actually showing him/ her to you.

Mal-practices by adoption agencies while selecting a child for you:

Advocate of the Mumbai High Court, Uday Prakash Warunjikar points out, “The demand and supply ratio of adoption shows an imbalance. The demand greatly exceeds supply. Because of this adoption houses have started giving preference to certain candidates.”

Anjali Pawar Kate adds, “Unscrupulous adoption agencies make rich candidates pay more than the stipulated adoption fees in exchange of a fair-complexioned, healthy and good looking baby.”

Make sure that you don’t pay a rupee more than the adoption fee fixed by CARA. For Indian adoption (in country adoption) it is maximum Rs 15,000, for foreign adoption (inter country adoption) it is maximum $ 3500.

Don’t make looks a criteria for adopting a child:

Psychologist Dr.Sanjoy Mukherji cautions prospective adoptive parents against making the looks of the child a parameter for selection. He says, “Please don’t go by the looks of the child. For instance just because you are fair you don’t have to adopt a fair child.”

“Rather than trying to find a child who matches your looks, try to see if your vibration matches with the child. Especially if you are adopting an older child try to ascertain if the personality of the child suits you.”

“It is the soul match that matters. Ultimately the child as well as the people around you will know that the child is adopted; hence, the looks should not be the criterion at all. Give the child so much of love that even someone’s own child may not get.”

Adopting an older child:

There is a long queue for adopting babies. Some candidates just have to wait on endlessly for adoption. Older children have fewer takers. So if you go for an older child, adoption may be a faster process for you.

Sometimes you may be dissuaded from adoption an older child as it is believed that as older children ‘come with a lot of emotional baggage’ it’ll be difficult for them to adjust easily to your home, family and lifestyle. Bonding surely takes longer with an older child but please do remember that people have adopted and successfully raised older children.

Arrange for several preliminary meetings for longer and longer periods till an older child is comfortable with you. The adoption agency may allow you to take out the child for outings and even night stays at your home. Try to win over the confidence and trust of the child.

An older child has the right to choose whether he wants to be a part of your family. In the case of placement of a child above six, both written and verbal consent must be obtained from the child.

The child should be freely allowed to express his views of being separated from his familiar institution and being reintegrated into a family. His institute’s social worker needs to assure him/ her that he/ she will keep in touch as long as he/she needs to.

You may find that a child who was quiet and polite in the institute is having behavioural problems like temper tantrums, disobedience, loss of appetite, bed-wetting and poor performance in school. Please don’t worry. Visit a child psychologist who will guide you how to handle this.

Adopting a special child:

The reason for adopting a special child should never be to show off to society how noble you are. Nor should you adopt a special child because you pity him/ her. Rather it should be a pure act of love.

Special needs children seem to be the hardest ones to place in adoption. So adoption agencies sometimes try to coerce prospective adoptive candidates to adopt a special needs child.

Please don’t adopt a special needs child if you aren’t prepared for it. Adoption agencies don’t have the right to make you feel guilty if you don’t want to adopt a special needs child.

Special needs children require extra time, energy and money to be raised as compared to children without disabilities. They also need extra love, patience, compassion and strength. You need to update yourself on the disability the child has and train yourself to be able to handle it.

Adoptions within the family:

In India unlike certain foreign countries it is not the norm to advertise in newspapers or magazines if you want to adopt a child. Most adoptions are done through adoption agencies. However adoptions within the family also take place. Many families feel that rather than giving up a child to a stranger they should rather place the child with a relative.

Can you adopt a child from a foreign nation?

Foreigners adopt children from India. But can we adopt children from foreign nations including our neighbouring countries? According to Anjali Pawar Kate, “The Hague Convention has categorized India as a ‘sending country’ as far as adoption goes. So Indians can’t adopt children from other countries.”

Adopting from a town:

As queues for adoption from metropolitan cities are long, people are going to small towns to adopt. Adoption agencies in towns may have far shorter queues.

Integrating an adopted child into your life:

Bringing an adopted child home needs intensive preparation. Just painting and decking up a nursery with expensive stuffed toys is hardly a preparation. Buy some toys for your child but you don’t have to convert your whole house into a toy shop.

What is far more important that you locate a paediatrician to look after your child. Make sure that your child is given all the vaccinations.

Buy some basics like baby clothes, furnishings (crib, pram, baby car seat) and baby food. Take leave from work for a while. Find out if your work place gives adoptive parents the same length of leave as birth parents. Ask people who have children to train you in infant care before getting a child home.

Says single mother Sulochana Kalro who adopted a two-year-old boy nineteen years ago, “All the time you need to plan for a very important little member to be added to your family. Before the child comes home you think just of yourself. But after adoption you think of the child too. His/ her health and welfare comes first.”

“You need to make adjustments in your life for the sake of the child. For instance the food you cook for him/ her will be different from the spicy food you normally eat. You need to cut down late hours at work to come home early to spend time with your child.”

Some neighbours and relatives may ask inquisitive questions and make annoying remarks on you adopting a child. Try to stay away from these unpleasant people. Handle them with firmness and maturity instead of getting self-conscious and hurt.

How to tell the child that s/he is adopted:

It is detrimental not to tell the child that s/he is adopted. Many couples sadly don’t have the courage to tell their adopted child the truth. If the child finds out from other sources that s/he is adopted s/he may feel highly betrayed, undergo an identity crisis and try to search for his/her birth parents.

A single woman of course has no other choice but to tell the child that s/he is adopted. After all as the child grows up he/ she will ask why s/he doesn’t have a father.

Jaissita Panigrahi, Managing Trustee of Bal Vikas, advises, “Through stories of adoption from epics and religious texts, children may be acquainted with the concept of adoption. The word ‘adoption’ should often come up during conversations.”

Sulochana Kalro, Managing Trustee of Bal Anand World Children Welfare Trust India adds, “Between age five and six the child should know that he is adopted. This is because the child begins to go to school at this age and meets his peers. Peers won’t be as protective as parents are.”

“In the case of adoption by a single mother peers will start asking the child about his/ her father. Use your wisdom and maturity to tell your child about his birth parents. What you tell a ten-year-old will be different from what you tell a fifteen-year-old about his/ her adoption. You give a teenager a more realistic answer about his birth parents.”

Hansa Apparao, Consultant of the Indian Association for Promotion of Adoption and Child Welfare says, “You can’t hide from the child that he/ she has two sets of parents- one who brought him into the world and the parent who is raising him/ her.”

“Telling the child that he/she is adopted is not a one-time-affair. It is a gradual process that can start early. There is no single way to deal with this. Each child is different, and so are the parents. Important thing is that the parents be comfortable about their adoptive status; and avoid falsehood.”

“At the same time they need to keep in mind their child’s level of understanding and age, when talking about the birth parents. Even though they may go through temporary disturbance, especially during adolescence, most children are able to absorb the sensitive information about the birth parents. A strong bond between the adoptive parent and the child helps in overcoming the challenges.”

Explain to the child that only blood ties don’t make a family. Husband and wife are not related by blood, nevertheless deeply love one another. Similarly an adopted child may be loved just as much as a biological child.

Psychiatrist Dr.Rajiv Anand advises, “Explain to the child that his/ her adoption is just a theoretical reality. You are my child. I am your mother. Not only have I adopted you but you have also adopted me. We are now a happy family. You should never ever give the child the impression that the biological mother deserted her and therefore s/he is a rejected child.”

Rather tell him/ her that his birth mother loved him/ her so that she gave him/ her for adoption so that he/ she would find a happy home to grow up as unfortunately the situation wasn’t conducive to her raising him/ her. If the bond between the adoptive mother and child is strong enough he/ she may never want to go on a search for his birth parents.

Says 21-year-old Siddharth Kalro, the college-going son of Sulochana Kalro who is also a talented artist, “I never thought it was important to find out who my birth parents were. Nor did I ever miss not having a brother or a sister. My mother is my world. She is very sensitive, loving, caring, understanding and hardworking. I feel she is the greatest mom in the world.”

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Parents, Google Yourself Before Your Kids Do

Child on Computer

People share far too much information online. They post revealing or suggestive photos of themselves on Facebook or Twitter, they run inappropriate blogs and use their full name, they comment on posts with anger, poor spelling and grammar, and potentially offensive comments. And they willingly share this information, forgetting that there are consequences.

When you have a child, you need to remember that your kids can now find this information. There’s no such thing as true privacy, because once something is online it’s there forever, even if it’s “deleted” or it’s posted on an account you believe you be private.

To be a great parent, you need to make sure that your web presence is as safe as possible, so that when your kid is old enough to Google you, you can be proud of the results that they find.

How to Prepare Your Web Presence

  •  Stop Posting Private Things

I spoke with a young woman awhile back. She was posting rants with numerous expletives about the people she meets, and several photos of her in attractive poses in her bikini. I asked her why she posted these things in public and her answer was “my friends want updates on my life.”

This is the most likely reason that people post private information online, and it’s a misguided one. No one needs to hear the private things that have happened to you in your life, nor do they need to see you in suggestive photos. Maybe they enjoy watching you share this information, but they don’t “need it.”

So stop. Stop posting things that you don’t want your children to read. If you really need to vent, call a close friend or two or vent on the phone. If you want someone to see you looking attractive, invite them over for a romantic night together.

Don’t post pictures of you drinking, smoking, and doing drugs unless you’re okay with your child doing it too. None of these are things that anyone else needs to see or hear in digital form. There are ample more private places to share this information.

  • Create a Better Web Presence

There are often things you can’t control. If you broke the law, for example, you can’t clear your record and erase your past from the Internet.

But what you can do is create a professional web presence your child can be proud of. You can do this by keeping everything you do online as clean and professional as possible – this includes your Facebook and Twitter pages.

You can create a professional website or two dedicated to your accomplishments, guest post on relevant websites related to your field of study or your career, or you can register for the types of social media sites that indicate adult behavior, like LinkedIn.

You cannot necessarily prevent your child from finding out information on you, but at least you can improve the general information they see when they search for your name.

  • Google Yourself, Delete What You Can

Finally, search for yourself early and often, and see what you can get deleted. Everything you post online stays online. Everything. Even if you delete it, it doesn’t go away.

But if you delete it, you can make it much, much harder for your child to find the information, and that’s still in your benefit. Never assume your child can’t still find it, but at the very least they’ll need to be trying long and hard to get access to any of that cached information.

Maintaining a Healthy Web Presence

There’s a lot that goes into raising your child. Don’t let what you’ve decided to share on the Internet get in the way of all the hard work you put in every day.

Maintain a better web presence so that your child finds encouraging information whenever they Google you.

About the Author:

Ryan Rivera understands the value of a good web presence. He writes primarily about anxiety and anxiety cures at www.calmclinic.com

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Parenting After Divorce: Tips From A Divorce Lawyer

Parenting after divorce

Going through a divorce can be a difficult time for every member of a family. Although parents can experience a great deal of emotional pain and stress during this time, they must learn to help their children cope with the changes in the family structure.

Parents who have no experience with divorce may be unsure how to proceed. An uncooperative ex-spouse can make parenting with traditional methods seem impossible.

However, a divorced parent can also be a great parent. Using the following five strategies will help you be an excellent parent in spite of divorce.

  • Let Your Kids Know that the Divorce Was Not Their Fault

Tell your children that you love them and that the divorce was not their fault. Even if your marriage made your home life miserable, it was still familiar to your child. The changes will probably be upsetting to him.

Children may wonder if you will stop loving them or if they caused the divorce. You must periodically reassure your children that this is not the case in the months following the divorce.

  • Be Consistent

It can be tempting to slack off on providing boundaries when you are tired or when you haven’t seen your children in awhile. Yet, children are more secure when parents provide rules and boundaries.

Even if your ex-spouse does not have the same rules, it is okay to lovingly tell your children, “I know your mom does things differently, but when you are here, you must do as I say.”

Your children will eventually adjust to the differences in households, although they may accidentally “slip-up” from time to time. Be sure to give them grace for unintentional mistakes.

  • Find a Healthy Outlet for Your Emotions

Divorce will stir up many strange and difficult emotions. You may feel angry, depressed or lonely, particularly when your children are visiting their other parent. To cope with these emotions, some people may overeat, drink excessive alcohol, watch too much television or develop other bad habits.

However, a wise parent will find healthy outlets for emotions. Expect these feelings to come, and have a plan in place to manage them. Instead of eating, perhaps you may want to exercise.

Instead of drinking, you may need to call a friend to talk. Instead of watching television, you may want to take up a new hobby.

  • Be An Adult

Even if you feel that your ex-spouse sometimes acts childish, stay calm, and behave in a mature way. Likewise, you should remember that, even if your child seems sophisticated and mature, she is still a child.

Children are unequipped to handle certain information, such as the specifics of your failed marriage or your feelings regarding your ex-spouse. Your child needs to know that he can count on you to behave consistently and maturely.

  • Find Ways to Communicate with Your Ex

Even if your ex drives you crazy, you still share at least one child. You are going to have to talk sometimes. Try to stay matter-of-fact and to the point. Make the conversations brief and calm, and try to avoid getting sucked into arguments.

Learn to recognize when your ex is attempting to provoke you into a fight, so that you can make an effort to avoid it. Texting might be a good way of communicating necessary information in an unemotional manner.

Divorce changes so much in a family. In order to be a good parent, you are going to have to learn to adapt to those changes.

Even though your marriage may not have lasted, you still have wonderful children as a result of the relationship with your ex-spouse. Make them a priority in the months following the divorce so that they will be secure, loved and healthy.

About the Author

Scott Morgan is a board certified Austin divorce lawyer who regularly blogs on the subject of divorce and family law. You can read his blog at AustinDivorceSpecialist.com

Divorce Resources:

  • The Secret to a Friendly Divorce – The divorce book you want your soon-to-be ex to read. Your personal guide to a cooperative, affordable, and out-of-court settlement. It shows you a surprisingly simple way to discuss money with your soon-to-be ex without stirring up trouble and without making your divorce harder than it has to be.
  • How Do I Tell the Kids About the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide – This unique book doesn’t just tell you what to say — it says it for you! Fill-in-the-blank templates show parents how to create a storybook with family photos and history to simplify this tough conversation. With therapist advice. Professionally endorsed.

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Child Psychology: Understanding Children And Their Temperaments

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By Priya Florence Shah

One of the most sensitive and important issues parents have to contend with is the matter of their child’s temperament.

Understanding children and their temperament is one important key to better growing-up development of each child’s personality vis-à-vis the world at large.

Understand Your Child’s Temperament

There is never a better way of knowing your child than understanding his temperament. Doing so means you accept his uniqueness and not your pre-conceived ideas about him before he showed up in your life.

Understanding his temperament will help you in letting go and not blame yourself or your child for situations that are normal as seen from the point of view of your child’s temperament.

Understanding your child’s temperament can help you and your spouse plan strategies to deal with complicated circumstances and situations your child may find himself in. Mild situations need not escalate into major conflicts or difficulties that may cause harm for all parties, especially your child.

You will also understand better how your child learns on his own accord. Experts place fast-adjusting temperaments as those who learn more by doing and practicing. Slower-to-warm temperaments learn by watching and rehearsing internally.

Remember, everyone is different. In this situation, you will learn to forgive yourself and your child after some bad times.

As authorities had expressed before, there are no bad temperaments, only that some are more challenging than others and it is up to you to meet up these challenge. Even the most challenging of situations can be “planned” in some way because it had been understood.

With everybody having their own temperaments, you will have to accept that yours and that of your child might not be great going together at present circumstances.

However, you may want to look at the possibility that your child’s temperament might just work out fine for him out there in the world. It could happen, too, that maybe in the future your lives may work out fine.

  • Easy/Flexible Temperament

This child has a generally optimistic outlook, can adapt quickly and is usually positive. He is an easy learner, eats and sleeps regularly (has no trouble sleeping), pleasant and cheerful, And maintains a low-intensity mood.

He can be a crybaby and feels deeply some situations, but he has few significant emotional outbursts. This type comprises about 40% of all people.

  • Feisty/Difficult/Spirited

The Feisty/Difficult/Spirited type has about 10% of the population, the opposite of the Easy /Flexible. This child is difficult to nap or feed in regular ways. Moreover, he has irregular bowel movements, and sometimes shows his mastery with some things in general.

He has tantrums, is fussy with things, hard to transition and is often unpleasant in manners and ways. On the other hand, he or she is bursting with energy, gets into mischief, and is capable of exploring anything with great intensity.

This type attracts all kinds of negative things and it is easy to scold, punish or even resent this child with this kind of temperament.

  • Slow-To-Warm Types

The 3rd temperament type is aptly called Slow-To-Warm. 15% of the population belongs to this category. Sometimes, these guys are mistaken for shy or highly-sensitive persons (which they sometimes are).

They usually observe a lot on the outside of things before coming in. he or she may have an irregular sleeping, feeding and other personal habits. This child seems to be always enjoying things or doing them at his own sweet pace.

The rest of the population (35%) cannot be categorized or typed into a group with a pervading form of temperament to classify. The only feature they have is that they all have all features of all three temperaments.

In all these temperament types, you will also find yours. Understanding children and their temperaments also includes understanding your own.

Doing so will open your eyes to the many areas where you can connect to that of your child’s, whether you are compatible with each other or not.

© Loving Your Child

This article may be reprinted with attribution to www.lovingyourchild.com

Parenting Tips:

  • Turnaround – Cure Your Child’s Anxiety – Based on the most effective treatment for child anxiety (CBT), Turnaround uses a story to invite your child to join six other anxious children on an imaginary 10-day camping adventure that teaches them how to break free from their fears.
  • Children Bedtime Stories With Music Therapy – Imprint positive thoughts on your child and a deep sense of inner peace. These Bedtime stories with music therapy are designed to relieve anxiety, stress and insomnia in children, gently leading them to a magical world where only love and happiness surround him, in a deep and relaxing sleep.

End Child Anxiety

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