Advice For Foster Parents

Though I told them things, there were some things I could not openly tell them because I did not know or maybe I was afraid to speak up… Anonymous foster care writer

I strongly believe that the toughest and the most satisfying job in this universe is parenting. Luckily, with one’s biological children, parents know where they are and what the children have gone through. On the other hand, foster and adoptive parents usually count themselves lucky to just to find information on what vaccinations the child has had and the identity of a few relatives.

Due to the responsibility of looking after the welfare of a child who is not your own, you will have to properly research into it before making the final decisions. One of the best sources of information is from a fostering agency; they will be able to answer all the questions that you may have. Social workers, former foster parents and birth family members also hold some bits of information about the child’s life. Though none of the above sources will know everything about the child however; each of them holds valuable information that might be of help to the child in life.

I joined my foster family aged nine. By then I had an idea of who I was and my origin, or where I had come from. At that time, I told my foster parents lots of things about myself, my life and my experiences. Though I told them things, there were some things I could not openly tell them because I did not know or maybe I was afraid to speak up. But now that I am a grown-up, I would really like to share some things that I wish my parents knew.

One, you can never and there is no need to, replace the biological parents, or the foster parent who I had before me. My birth parents and the foster parents who were there before me hold special places in my heart, even at the time they became my parents. My parents of my third placement, who happened to take me back for my fifth placement, earned a special title Mom and Dad because they were always there for me. This is not to say that they were perfect, no, they were not, the special thing about them is that they loved me and they never tried to replace or compete with my mum.

As a parent, you should know that foster children think about moving most of the time. When they are happy, they tend to fear that they will be moved to another place. When they are unhappy, they will think about running away or asking to be moved. When I was in care, I usually felt that all things were dependent upon where I would be when some things happened. For instance, I never got happy about family holidays until the day they happened because I knew I might be moved before it happened.

Kids have different thoughts about the services they receive and how they are treated. Make sure you listen to their views even if as a parent you don’t agree. For example, if a child tells you that he or she doesn’t like his or her home therapist, make sure you find out why. I once complained about a therapist who usually fell asleep during my appointments, but no one listened whenever I said I did not want to go to the sessions until my dad saw one of the naps himself.

Always know that foster children have their own identity. Forcing them to be you or to be like other people in your family upsets and suppresses the greatness they possess. As an alternative of trying to turn your child into some other person and get disappointed, encourage them to be what they want and be proud of what he or she can become. One way my parents did this was telling me how clever I was and I could go to college if I worked hard. They really wanted me to be in sports, but they learned I was gifted intellectually and embraced that, and I’m glad they did.

Children have talents, you as a parent have a role to identify them, nurture and help them do something special with them. Help them discover their talent and encourage them that they can continue doing it even when they go to another home. My biggest fear as a child was not finding what I was good at, but my fear was being good at something and then moving to another family that wouldn’t allow me to pursue what I loved. The greatest role my foster parents played in developing my talent was pointing out my talent and allowing me to practise it.

Children who live in foster homes together become very close. Denying them opportunities to see their other foster siblings is one of the most hurtful things you can do as a foster parent. Foster parents always have excuses for it, when this happened, I felt that my foster parents were hurting me. As a result, I felt I needed not to have communication with those parents again because they denied me what was my family.

A foster child is a kid and all kids make mistakes. Therefore, just like any other kids, they need to have the assurance that the foster parents still love them even when they make mistakes. However, this doesn’t mean that there should be no consequences of what they do, it means forgiveness.

After a foster child leaves, they won’t forget you and all the experiences they had in your home. If you really loved that child and gave him or her nice memories, he or she will remember that later in life. By the same way, if all you did was hurt the child, do not think that he or she will forget it later on life. Childhood memories follow each child and most of the times they shape what and who we are as adults.

When foster children grow, they are not under the control of the fost

er parents anymore. However, what you teach them as adults are important. It is very important to teach foster children real-world or practical things like how to manage money and how to keep the house clean but it is also important to teach them about forgiveness, accountability, respect and love. You can do this by setting an example yourself by loving, being accountable, respecting and forgiving other people

Although every single foster parent I lived with had his/her own mistakes, I am thankful that they were my foster parents. If I had never been into such a place, a place that I called home or parents who made sure I was healthy and offered me encouragement to chase my good grades, I would not be who I am today. As one of the foster children, let me say that those efforts make a difference.

The What If Child

The “What If” Child

Every one of us has experienced some form of anxiety. It is a normal physiological reaction which stems from the days our ancestors were faced with the likes of prehistoric lions and bears while they hunted among them and had to choose to fight or flee. It is when we visual our prehistoric predators or anything that produces fear within us, which creates the real problem and annoyance.

Some people are predisposed to anxiety concerns by their genetic makeup while many develop it through experiences which create fear and uncertainty. Often times, those who regularly experience anxiety also typically had caregivers who role modeled their worrisome thoughts to create an automatic reaction of continuous concern. In children, anxiety presents itself in the form of frequent nightmares, not being able to fall asleep alone, racing thoughts they can’t identify, but view as scary, not wanting to try new things, obsessive, compulsive behaviors and worrisome, what if questions, thoughts and comments. The anxious child may ask a lot of questions looking for reassurance. They want to ensure their environment is safe. They may feel sick often, avoid trying new things without assistance, or use behaviors that distance them from people.

Anxiety, plain and simple, is a negative habitual thought pattern. Instead of saying positive, uplifting thoughts to ourselves, we are continuously expressing negative, fearful thoughts to ourselves and our bodies and minds react accordingly. If someone gives us a compliment and we buy into it, we may have a feeling of joy and excitement and increased energy. If someone tells us we’ve done something poorly and we own it, we feel sad, angry, embarrassed and have decreased energy. Our anxiety or joy comes from the same thoughts we tell ourselves. So if our negative thinking is a bad habit, how do we fix it? By creating a new habit that replaces the old. And how can we help our children? By teaching them new habits that work for them.

I have a “what if” child. Every time she “what if’s” the next catastrophe, I “what if” the opposite.

“What if my tooth falls out and I swallow it?’ She’ll say. “What if your tooth comes out while your in school and you get one of those little treasure chests and you get to give it to the tooth fairy that night?” I’ll respond. Feels much better.

“What if I never get to play with Jenny again because she’ll be mad that I didn’t call her back?” She’ll ask. “What if you see Jenny in school and let her know that you were unable to call her back, but you’d like to play soon and will ask your mom to set up a play date?” I’ll answer.

Those are the little ones. A few weeks ago it was the racing thoughts before bed. She has never been a good self soother going to sleep. “What if someone comes in the house while we’re sleeping and kills all of us? What if I die a painful death? What if I knock over a candle and burn the house down and you don’t want me in the family anymore?” So sad that she has these thoughts. This time, I asked her to write them down and then rewrite new, more positive thoughts so she could do it on her own.

She wrote, “If someone comes in our house and tries to kill us, my mom and dad will protect us and call the police. I will die a peaceful death. And if I knock over the candle and burn down the house, I will still be loved and allowed to be part of the family.” Progress.

Just like every other skill we want to improve on, the best way to alter our thoughts and help our children to do the same is to practice. It took practice to create the negative habit and will take practice to create the positive ones.

If your child is afraid of the dark, try sitting with them in the dark, hold their hand and talk about their fears. Help them combat their own thoughts and redirect them to ones that make them feel better. Ask what is the worst thing that can happen and play it out. I like to use humor as often as possible to make light of what is generally untrue.

If your child is afraid to talk to other adults or children they don’t know, create situations where they will be exposed to new people and role model the conversations for them to show and feel what its like to engage in new relationships. Self advocacy and communication are life long skills that if practiced early will take your child anywhere they want to go.

If your child is a perfectionist or has unreasonably high expectations for themselves, help them understand that perfection does not exist and if they were perfect, no one would to hang out with them anyway. Have them set goals for themselves that are high enough to keep them motivated, but low enough to be achievable. Perfectionism is stressful! Especially when it’s impossible to keep up with.

I could probably give 10,000 examples of the different anxieties I have seen in my child, worked with in adolescents and experienced myself. The common denominator remains the same, its all what we say to ourselves. Our thoughts create a physiological reaction that either lifts us up, makes us nervous or jittery, or drains the energy right out of us. Over time, the thought process feels completely natural if that’s how you’ve learned to think. When we identify it in our children, it is so important to acknowledge how they are thinking and help them retrain what they are saying to themselves. If they start to avoid things, it may be even better to get them help with a professional to teach them skills you may be unaware of. Anxiety is normal, we all experience it. But when it starts to control your life, its time to work a little harder to find ways to manage.

I always tell my children and the adolescents I work with that you can tell the difference between a negative thought about yourself and a positive one by the way they make you feel. A negative thought feels awful because it’s a lie and a positive one feels great, because it’s true. The more you lie to yourself, the worse you feel. The more you are honest with yourself, the better you feel.

And just for the record, changing the way we think is not an easy task, but neither is staying stagnant and uncomfortable. At the end of the day, you and your child, have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

What works for you?

If you have any situations that you could use another perspective on, please feel free to Ask My Perspective. There are always options and different ways to view a situation and I’m happy to share my experience with you.

How To Make Your Own Baby Food

Though those commercial foods sold for baby are fine but there is nothing like homemade. Keeping this in mind, today I am going tell you how to make your own baby food. Read on.

How To Make Homemade Baby Food?

When foods are cooked the right way, they provide your baby with right nutrition. In fact, it helps him or her to grow stronger and healthier. Compared to homemade baby foods, commercial ones tend to contain more sugar, sodium & less fiber. Moreover, they are more expensive. If you feel that making your own baby food is going to take a lot of time then think over because there are many simple recipes, which hardly takes time. Now, your baby’s health is more important.

If your baby is only a few months old, consider giving him pureed healthy foods. Once he or she is 9 – 12 months old, know that your baby is prepared to shift from pureed to chopped foods. Believe it or not, there is a lucid cost advantage of making your own baby food, particularly if you are using seasonal vegetables & fruits.

According to experts and survey reports, it is estimated that homemade baby foods cost 30% – 50% less when compared to commercial baby foods. Once you learn how to make your own baby food, you can initiate doing different recipes with wider varieties of foods. However, let me also tell you that not all can make baby food at home. If you are probably working, you might not find time to carefully add in all the flavors. Moreover, if it irritates you when you see your baby spitting it out after you have spent so much time in making it, then it is better to serve him or her commercial baby foods.

Before I list down few simple recipes here in this article, you should know few things as a parent.

Home-Cooked Nutrition

Homemade food gives you total control on what goes into your baby’s mouth. However, homemade baby food can only be nutritious if you make it right with healthy ingredients in correct proportions. Leaving it uncooked or overcooked scores very less nutrients.

Never Add

Salt – can affect baby’s immature internal organs like kidneys. Moreover, it encourages him or her to eat more junks later

Herbs or spices – They aren’t completely grown to give these. Plain food is always better

Butter or margarine – They are unnecessary for a baby

Honey, corn syrup, molasses and sugar – sweeteners lead to weight and dental problems later. So, avoid


While preparing baby food, it is vital that your workspace and equipments are impeccably clean. Keep your hands hygienic the same time. Wash all your utensils & other washable equipment parts using soapy water. Use hot water to rinse & air dry. And before handling any baby food, make sure to clean your hands.


If you want to learn how to make your own baby food the easy yet healthy way, then here are few recipes to try

  1. Yummy Butternut Squash

This is a very simple and healthy recipe. It includes vegetables and babies are sure going to love this.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F

Slice the squash into half & eliminate its seeds

Keep the fresh squash inside a baking tin while facing down about 1-inch water

Bake for around 40 minutes

Add some water if required

If the squash turns soft, know that it is done

Remove its flesh. Puree or mash it slightly using a fork

  1. Tender Carrots

The most popular and common solid food given to a baby around the world is most often carrots. Not only are they cheap but also 100% healthy and nutritious. In fact, I often see people buying so many jars of it. Pick fresh and bigger carrots, they are more nutritious than the baby carrots.

Peel a carrot (if it is big and 2 if small)

Trim its ends

Make few slices

Steam, microwave or boil them

Make a puree out of it and serve your kid

  1. Delicious Sweet Potato Puree

Not only are sweet potatoes healthy but also an all-time favorite food for babies. They love it because of its natural subtle sweetness. Moreover, it is very easy to prepare. Follow the below listed instructions.

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F

Take a sweet potato (large)

Scrub & prick it using a fork

Based on its size, bake for at least 45 minutes or until it turns soft

Once it cooks, split the sweet potato & scrape off its flesh using a spoon. It doesn’t need pureeing

  1. Tasty Zucchini

Since zucchini have great water content, they make up a very thin puree when made. Introduce this ingredient at first, then mix it with other healthy vegetables that might otherwise be too “heavy” in texture. Follow the below listed instructions

Wash zucchini thoroughly

Eliminate both the ends

Slice into few pieces

Boil them in some water or consider microwaving or steaming until it turns tender

As usual, make a puree out of it

  1. Recipe With Apples

This is yet another simple recipe for your baby. Just follow the below listed instructions

You Will Need

Prepared cous-cous – 2 tablespoons

Yogurt – 1 tablespoon

Prepared applesauce – 1 tablespoon

Nutmeg – a pinch (optional)

Method Of Preparation

Just mix applesauce, cous cous in a small clean bowl & top it with fresh yogurt

If you are using nutmeg, stir into applesauce for extra flavor

  1. Baby Food With Fruits

Choose dried, unsweetened frozen or fresh fruit for this recipe. But avoid using canned fruit syrup because they are high in sugars. I would suggest you to pick pears, bananas, papayas, prunes, plums, apricots, peaches, apples, avocadoes and mangoes for this. Don’t take fruits that have seeds or fiber in them like raspberries, strawberries, pineapples and so on.

Wash the fruits properly

Peel their skin

Mash using a fork or puree it using a blender or you can boil them and make puree out of it

Early Signs Of Pregnancy

5 Solid Signs that you’re pregnant

Getting babies is the joy of every marriage. That’s why your heart will skip with happiness at the slightest sign of conception. But now that the signs you’re receiving are a little bit confusing, they may leave you wondering whether you’re pregnant or just suffering from something else.

Now, before you head for a pregnancy test at the nearest clinic, there are things that will prompt you to make that decision in the first place. Some people have reported mood swings, spotting and cramping, to nausea with or without vomiting, tender breasts and so forth.

These early signs of pregnancy are relative to every woman. What you might feel may be different from what someone else is feeling. But all in all, it’s worth noting down the early signs so you’re sure that a baby is on the way.

It’s more likely that you’ll notice changes in your energy levels. You will also experience a slight alteration of your mood and the way your breasts look and feel. These signs are almost similar to what women experience whenever they are having PMS (PMS are signs and symptoms women experience a few days prior to undergoing their menstrual cycle).

The following points are the most common signs of early pregnancy (according to Webmd— ). However, also take note that these symptoms may come as a result of other things, and not necessarily related to pregnancy. So if you notice one or more of these signs, don’t just assume right away that you’re pregnant. In fact, the only reliable way to know that you’re pregnant is by going for a pregnancy test.

Spotting and cramping

The moment conception takes place, the fertilized egg will attach itself to the walls of the uterus. As a result, you will get the very first sign of pregnancy, and this is known as spotting, or sometimes cramping. Others might call it implantation bleeding. The onset of spotting occurs between 6-12 days after the egg has been fertilized.

The cramps you get are similar to menstrual cramps. That’s the reason some women will mistake it for the usual bleeding they get at the onset of their menses. But the key difference to note is that the bleeding and cramping will be slight, not as heavy as what you experience during your period.

Other than the bloody substance that is produced from the birth canal, you might also produce a white, milky substance, coming out of the vagina. This means that the vaginal wall is now thickening in preparation to accommodate a baby. This starts the moment you conceive a child. It’s nothing other than the increased growth of cells found on the walls of the vagina.

Again, it’s worth noting that this discharge is usually harmless and won’t require any form of treatment. However, if the discharge is itchy, burning or is producing a bad smell, then you might consider seeing your doctor so they can establish whether you’re suffering from a yeast infection.

Learn about vaginal yeast infection from this article (

Changes in how your breasts look and feel

Another common sign that signify pregnancy at an early stage is the changes taking place on your breast. These changes are usually attributed to the rapid changes in hormonal levels right after conception. Due to this, your breast may become swollen, tingly or sore after one or two weeks. They may also feel fuller or tender to the hands. The areola (the area around your nipple) will darken.

Even though your breasts may change because of other reasons, if the changes are related to your pregnancy, you will have other signs that point to the fact that you have a baby developing in your womb. It’s going to take a few weeks before you will adapt to the changes in hormonal levels. In the meantime, any breast pain you may be getting should ease up.


Getting exhausted is normal especially after the first week of conception. There are plenty of reasons to support this unusual fatigue which takes place in a woman.

First, the fatigue is related to the high levels of progesterone in the body. Secondly, your fatigue will be attributed to low blood pressure, low blood sugar as well as a boost in blood volume.

Therefore, if fatigue is becoming a major problem in you, it’s recommended that you get plenty of rest during the day and night. Secondly, you are advised to eat lots of foods rich in proteins and irons. These foods will offset the effects of fatigue related to pregnancy.

Morning sickness or nausea

This is a famous symptom among women who are pregnant. Surprisingly, it doesn’t manifest in all women. Now, the exact cause of nausea during pregnancy has not been established yet. But medical researchers suggest that it could be related to the high levels of hormones after conception.

Even though nausea will mostly occur in the morning (hence the name morning sickness), it is also very likely that it will occur at any other time of the day.

Note that some women will crave for certain foods, while others will completely reject those foods, including their smell. This is related to the upset in hormonal levels. It is also possible that the feeling of nausea or food aversions will last the entire length of the pregnancy, though most women report to be free from these symptoms about 13th or 14th week into their pregnancy. So what you can do is to eat a healthy diet so you and the developing baby can remain healthy.

Missed period

Finally, missed period is the most obvious sign of pregnancy you’ll get the moment you conceive. However, not all missed or delayed periods are a sign that you’re pregnant.

You will also experience some bleeding during the lifetime of your period. It’s important to ask your doctor about the type of bleeding that is normal and that which isn’t normal. Missed period can occur due to upset in your hormonal levels. It might even occur because you’re too stressed out.


Those are the most popular early signs of pregnancy. Stay on the know and you’ll avoid panicking or speculating. If you’ve been looking for a baby for a long time, you can possibly start celebrating when you see these signs.

When Do Babies Roll Over

A baby is a blessing. A gift from heaven above, a precious little angel to cherish and to love. Having my baby fall asleep in my arms takes away all of my worries and stresses. A sense of complete and total peace comes over me. – Maria Jose Ovalle. A baby is born with a need to be loved – and never outgrows it. – Frank A. Clark

The above mentioned quotes just give a vague description of the joy of seeing and feeling a baby.

You can count by your fingers those living things who do not love a baby. Even ferocious dogs or guard dogs tend to whine in the presence of a little kid near them. Babies are best considered as a gift from the Supreme Power in all religions. Becoming a parent is considered one of the humbling and most rewarding experiences of a human’s life. An infant or baby is best described as the little offspring of an animal/human. When the baby begins to crawl, toddler is the term given to be used as per the norms of English literature. Infant is usually called for kids who are old in age from a month to a year. Newborn can be applied to the kids, who are born only an hour before or has an age of two to three weeks. Fetus is the terms used for an infant before birth. A newborn brings in many challenges; one among many is health aspects. When do babies roll over is a topic that is asked by mothers all over the world and in this article, every details from age to health has been covered.

You cannot decide on your parents, but you can definitely select your life partner – that was the proverb buzzing in and around, before few years. All comical movies and TV shows show married men as comical guys whose life are made miserable under dominating female partners. But married guys are smarter and seldom care because they know that their lives are far better off than their friends who are single. There was a time when everyone said that marriages are decided in heaven. Now, it is introduction via Facebook, chatting through Twitter and marriage invitation through whatsapp. It is better that you understand that marriage is a commitment, which has withstood the vagaries of time for our elders, and it gives more meaning to your life.

Having a baby is one of the greatest decisions, which couples make in their lives, but it is advisable that you two have a clear discussion about the roles and responsibilities that you have to share once the little bundle of joy is born. Nothing can make a parent happier than see his/her child walk on his or her own. Children display different signs, gestures of conveying their opinion. You, as a parent should be wise enough to understand their language or get help from senior persons.

Once your baby learns to sit without your support, he/she will also acquire control of head and he/she will gain knowledge of rolling over. He/she might first face challenges and might become irritated, but in due course of time, they will flip over from the back to their tummy or vice versa. In duration of four months, they can roll from tummy to their back, but they will need stronger arm and neck muscles for doing the action.

At What Age Do Babies Roll Over?

Usually, your baby will sharpen his/her muscles and arms when lifting the head and shoulders and uses the hands for support. The duration of the action can be three months to five months and after six months, your baby can lift his/her head, move over to the other side and kick his/her legs and swing his/her arms. You can help develop the arm muscles by holding a toy over the head.

The first rollover can happen when you have placed the baby flat on his/her belly during the tummy time session. Your baby will be curious when lifting the hands for raising the head and shoulders from the floor. When flip happens, they will be surprised as well as you!

There are also some babies, who use rolling as their means of transportation via ground to move from one place to another. They can come back to their original position and after resting for some time, crawl to another place. Your little one is gaining skills, so be happy.

Age Babies Roll Over

Ideally, a baby should roll over in the span of five months, but if your baby has not done the roll, then help him/her make it. If you notice the baby rolling over frequently, then lie next to him/her and see if your little one comes near you. Give a big smile, which will be that of applauding the effort. Your baby will have the sixth sense to judge your smile. At the same time, drape him/her with diapers and change diapers if needed. In the duration of three to four months, never leave the baby on its own either in an elevated bed or on any surface. You do not want your baby’s first experience on rolling to be a pain in the back.

What Age Do Babies Roll Over?

Even after seven months, your baby has not rolled over, then you have to exercise precaution. Talk to your pediatrician and he/she can give you the exact reasons. Just as five fingers are not the same, so do babies. Many develop skills at various stages of time, some will be quicker, but medical science has recorded – premature babies have tendency of doing the rollover in later stages compared to their peers.

Note: Be careful about your choice of food for the baby as they may be allergic to some foods. You can detect a sense of uneasiness or constant wailing if the food has caused health problems.

You can notice changes in your baby when he/she moves from as a newborn to six months, they will be happy on your arrival; at the same time, they may wail if someone snatches their favorite play ball. Parenting is a life-long process so keep every part of your senses open. Make your child do simple body exercise such as slow rotation of hands, legs and body parts. Also, provide lots of sleep along with diet suitable as per age. Your baby will grow into a healthy individual.

Non Custodial Parent Rights


Losing full-time access to a child due to a divorce or end of a relationship is difficult to every parent. However, it is always up to the court to decide who the custodial and non-custodial parent becomes. The parent with physical custody of the child is the custodial parent. The non-custodial parent is one who does not have physical custody of the child. Nonetheless, a non-custodial parent can have legal custody.

Non-custodial parent rights are determined by whether both parents have joint legal custody. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions about the child’s life. Though rare, if the non-custodial parent does not enjoy joint legal custody, then the only right they have is visitation rights as directed by the court.

A non-custodial parent has the right to enjoy visitation and spend the court allotted time with the child. Thus, the other parent who enjoys legal custody has no right to deprive the non-custodial parent visitation through not releasing the child. This is termed as an attempt to ruin the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent and may lead to loss of physical custody. The court recognizes that a child’s best interest is to have strong and healthy relationships with both parents. Thus, the court may review custody orders so that the parent willing to cooperate may spend more time with the child.

non custodial parents rights

Non-custodial Parent Rights

Unless a court orders otherwise, non-custodial parents have the same rights as custodial parents. They can participate in teacher-parent meetings, receive educational records and report cards. If the custodian parent denies the non-custodian parent these rights, he/she is allowed to seek court intervention that may lead to deprivation of custodian rights. The non-custodial parent has the right to information. If the custodial parent declines to provide information about the child, a lawsuit may be filed. For example, Petitioner vs. Rotterdam-Mohonasen Central School District. Eric Page’s parents were legally separated, and he lived with the mother who was the custodian parent. The father Mr.Page tried to get involved in the son’s education through contacting the educators and school but the school opted to follow directions from Mrs.Page. They denied all requests by Mr.Page. Mrs.Page believed that as the non-custodian parent, Mr.Page had abandoned all his interest in their son’s education. A lawsuit was filed against the school, and Mr.Page was awarded full access to Eric’s education records and teachers in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act that allows inspection of school records by both parents.

Just like the custodian parent, they should be fully involved in their child’s life. They should communicate with the child regularly through whichever means they deem convenient. It may be through telephone, emails or regular mails. The custodian parent may contact the non-custodian parent and involve them in the child’s emotional and academic issues. However, this depends on the child, history with the other parent and context of the problem. This makes the non-custodian parent feel recognized, and it also builds the child-parent relationship.

Non-custodial Parent Rights with Joint Legal Custody

A non-custodial parent with joint legal custody has the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing. These decisions include; education, medical or religion. Moreover, they are expected to participate in raising the child regardless of where the child lives.

Non-custodial Parent Rights Without Legal Custody

Almost all modern courts offer joint legal custody. Therefore, a parent without joint legal custody must have been deprived of reasons such as; drug abuse, violence or unwillingness to cooperate with the other parent. In such a case, the rights to this parent are limited by the court since it believes that the parent may have some negative impact in the child.

However, a non-custodial parent who was not deprived legal custody may participate in the child’s upbringing. For example; the parent can request information about the child like medical information and school records. A parent who desires to have such information regularly should request it from the custodian parent as long as the court has not discouraged such communication. However, they should not harass the custodian parent for such information.

Legal Tips for Non-custodial Parents

Follow visitation schedule: it is crucial for non-custodial parents to adhere to visitation schedules that are set by the court. If for any reason such as work commitment they cannot follow the schedule, they should communicate with the court to make changes.

The child’s best interests come first: a non-custodial parent may feel frustrated for not having their child by their side always. This may cause them to act in their interest or try to frustrate the custodian parent that should not be the case. The child’s best interest should come first. They should ensure that the child gets a safe place to stay and work together to ensure that the child has a smooth life regardless of not having both parents at hand.

Pay for child support: being a non-custodial parent does not mean that you should stop paying for child support. You are still a parent, and it should be best to assist the custodial parent with child support. This ensures that your child has the best while growing up and never lacks anything. However, some non-custodial parents are charged by the court to pay child support if the custodial parent is not financially stable. Depending on the agreement, the non-custodial parent may pay for service and buy the required items directly or give the custodial parent cash.

Plan ahead for visits: this could be through purchasing your child’s best snacks and food items to ensure that the child is comfortable. They should also ensure that the child has enough activities to do and places to visit without get


ting bored. This may include; going to the movies, playing games and sports events. They make the child feel at home and cared for by their parent.

Unless restricted by the court, a non-custodial parent has every right to access the child’s school, and medical records, unsupervised visitation, regular communication with the child and to attend any events their child participates in.

Anger In Our Children

Anger is a complex yet natural human emotion. For children especially, anger can be hard to understand and even more difficult to manage. It is up to parents and caregivers to teach children how to handle this strong feeling.

Although it doesn’t appear positive on the surface, anger does have its benefits. It clearly tells us that we are unhappy and gives us the opportunity to correct issues that we have control of and to work through those that we do not. This is the good news! Emotions truly are the gateway to understanding ourselves.

Numerous life events could occur that may cause our children to become upset and angry. These occurrences such as when they do not get their way, or when peer conflict happens; are some examples of common reasons for anger to occur. On a more grand scale, there are several theories that exist to explain why a child may be more prone to anger. All are feasible options.

Families who are troubled by great stress that transfers to the children can cause them to be quicker to anger than others

Some families overindulge their child, and this creates a child who always wants (and demands) more. When these children don’t get their way, anger and tantrums are used in an effort to change their caregiver’s mind. Unfortunately, these parents typically give in. This only teaches children that using anger is a viable way of getting what they want in this world.

Some families use hitting and yelling. This teaches children that they can get what they want by using aggression.

Some children are violent because they don’t see any other way to handle their feelings and are unable to look ahead to see the consequences of their actions. More and more young people today are dealing with adult problems.Their minds and bodies are not ready to process these stresses and the choices that go along with these situations.

Sadly, some families treat children in an abusive or neglectful way. This results in children having unmet developmental needs. They may also have difficulty with showing empathy, making wise decisions, using appropriate social skills, and controlling their impulses.

Whatever the theory or reason, I challenge you to look beyond a child’s anger to find the primary cause of this emotion. For example: Is your child angry because he feels neglected? The feeling of neglected is what we call the primary cause for their anger. The anger itself is considered to be a secondary emotion.

Another example could include a child becoming angry at a peer when that peer spent time with a preferred friend. We know that anger is the secondary emotion. Possible primary emotions in this scenario include jealousy, feeling excluded, or even disappointment. Take a moment to look beyond a child’s initial reaction to anger. When you do, you are much more likely to help that child manage their primary and secondary feelings.

The effects of Anger on Our Children

Research has shown that males and females act differently when they are angry. Males typically display anger by acting out, while females tend to internalize anger by becoming anxious, depressed, and withdrawn. Both boys and girls who struggle with anger are likely to have low self-esteem, poor impulse control, and difficulty in judging the intent of others. They also tend to blame others for conflicts with their peers, lack problem-solving skills, and have a hard time accepting responsibility for their actions. Despite these common effects of anger, there is hope. Parents can begin supporting their child as soon as today in managing their strong feelings of anger.


Children undoubtedly need help to learn how to express anger in acceptable ways. When they get angry, they are likely to display inappropriate behavior until taught alternate strategies. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Communicate your child’s needs and anger concerns to their doctor. Allowing your doctor to have this information can be a great help to overall health and wellness treatment. Ensure the presence of consistent and positive role models in your child’s life. Choose people who are tied to your family and who have a desire to be part of your child’s life. Bringing in a new adult friend is too risky as their tie to the family is not necessarily a lasting one. Give nonverbal recognition to your child when you observe positive behavior. This can include a sticker, a smile face on a piece of paper, written words of encouragement, a hug, a thumbs-up, or whatever else you can think of. When your child asks why, you can tell them the specific reason, just smile at them, or say it is because you love them. Any of these three responses will have a positive impact on your child. Reinforce that anger is a natural emotion. However, you must focus directly on the inappropriate behaviors by telling your child that it is not okay to hurt himself, others, or things. Practice the positive coping skills. If your child is unwilling to engage in this conversation and practice with you, find a mental health therapist or community support system that they can participate in. Fostering this learning must be done now. Learning new ways of coping becomes harder as your child gets older. Provide small boxes labeled with feelings such as mad, happy, sad, worried, frustrated, and scared. Your child can put an agreed upon item (such as a small stuffed animal or a toy) in the box that corresponds with their feelings at the moment. This will allow you to know how your child is feeling without asking. You can also use this system to recognize your child’s feelings to show that you are paying attention and want to help. Sometimes, just recognizing your child’s feelings is enough to get your child talking. For young children, create an anger hat together. This can be made out of paper, fabric, or whatever other material you can be creative with! When your child places it on their head, everyone needs to leave them alone. This means no one should look, go near, talk to, or bother your child until the hat is put away.

Regularly catch your child using positive behavior and tell them what specifically makes you proud. Encourage your child to participate in daily physical activity. This helps them to work through strong emotions, and it may be responsible for helping the brain improve its processing and problem-solving abilities. Always show interest in your child’s school and social activities. This shows your child that you care and are willing to take the time to be part of their life. Regularly encourage your child to focus their energy on taking control of their choices, even when they are angry. Empowering children to make choices to achieve what they want in life is extremely valuable. With this skill, they can move beyond just focusing on their emotions and can consider the outcomes that they are choosing based on their decisions. Once an episode of anger has subsided and your child is calm, give encouragement to state their feelings, accept their feelings, and discover the primary feeling or cause. Ask them what they can do if it happens again. Also, ask what can be done now about the situation.

When To Start Potty Training Boys

While dealing with boys, you have to firstly understand that they have some surplus energy in them always. Also, they do not possess some of the common sense that girls have even when they are kids. It is obvious that as far as potty training is concerned, it could get quite daunting for guys when compared to girls. It is a known fact that boys learn later, take longer time to learn things and face more problems than girls do.

When To Start Potty Training Boys?

On an average, boys are mostly prepared for potty training when they reach two and a half years of age. Girls are naturally a bit faster in this case. It is very important to handle this subject with utter care and gentleness. The stages of terminating the usage of diapers and going to the bathroom alone even at night require patience and constant guidance. It usually takes a few weeks for your son to become acquainted with this habit. It takes a bit longer to train him to go out of the house without diapers.

Who Should Take The Initiative?

The boy’s mother, father, grandparents and caregiver can start potty training boys. However, it is advisable that dads choose this responsibility of potty training the boy. This is because being a boy himself proves to be extremely beneficial in teaching sons about potty training.

Ensuring An Easy Potty Training

How to potty train a boy seems to be a tough question to answer. The principal aim should be to enter the mind of our little one to ensure that he starts using the potty and toilet with no hesitation at all. Before you start the training, it is imperative to know that your son is ready for the lessons.

Timing is absolutely critical in giving the guy potty training. If you get the timing correct, you would be able to complete this training successfully in a short period of time with hardly any accidents. If your timing is wrong, the entire process would become stressful and tedious.

When Is Your Son Considered To Be Ready?

20 months is the minimum age for potty training. The signs that your lad is ready to start potty training include the ability to sit, stand and walk confidently and without any difficulties. If the diaper of your kid remains dry for 180 minutes and his bowel movements get regular, he can be given potty training. Your child should be able to climb the stairs and go to the bathroom if you have a toilet upstairs.

When it comes to mental readiness, your child should be able to say “I want to go to the toilet”. Sometimes, kids exhibit curiosity when other people go to the bathroom. He would tell you that his diaper has got unclean. If he stops what he is doing in order to poop in the diaper and squats or hides away, he can be started with potty training. Kids even tell their guardians that they are peeing in the diaper. When they are ready for potty training, they get interested to sit on the potty and flush the toilet. They even start behaving a bit maturely and wish to try big-boy underpants.

When Are You Said To Be Prepared?

The important mantra relevant here is “Do not rush”. It is really very enticing to see the day when your kid is no longer in diapers but the kid should not be pushed into doing it. Once your son has faced successful peeing or pooping once or twice, do not start the potty training. Make sure this training session does not lead to unnecessary stress in your life or give your son the feeling of a failure.

If you are facing busy schedules or you are going to change your house, do not consider potty training your child. Start the training when your life is settled and you are having a normal routine. If your child resists your efforts, immediately back off. You should realize that you can only influence and manage potty training but it is not really possible to control it.

How To Proceed With The Training?

Figure out the personality of your son whether it is impulsive, rebellious or calm. According to that, devise the plan of your potty training. You cannot measure how long it would take. The time period ranges from few weeks to months or even more. Plan a tentative time frame for the training. When you wish to train your child regarding his bowel habits, select an area free from distractions. The less the distractions, the easier it would be to teach him. Focus is one of the integral parts of this training.

You can take help of dolls that wet to demonstrate the method. According to the comfort of your child, you should choose the potty chair. You should appreciate the child during the training process. For this, you should tell him that everyone would be equally delighted on hearing the success of this training. You can include his mother, grandfather, grandmother, most loved friends or even fictional characters like Santa Claus and television characters. Share the advantages of being trained for pee and potty with the kid.

You can even give him some time off, without clothes. If your kid is naked, he would be able to make out the need of peeing or pooping much easily. As long as your child is getting successfully trained for potty, it should not worry you that the floor is getting soiled. You can cover the floor with plastics too. You can be watchful and see his behavior while peeing and pooping. These signs can be used later to tell him that he should go to potty.

Make sure your child remains constantly excited in learning about it. Use some fun tactics for the same. You can even give him gifts, chocolates or anything he loves when he gets trained successfully.

Getting independent and free from diapers is a matter of dignity for kids and they would surely learn this sooner or later. Do not get disheartened if your elder kid or other kids around him have already given up diapers. Your kid too would not go to school in diapers. Be patient and deal with this prudently.

Teens And Letting Go

Three weeks after my first son, Christian was born, my sister-in-law, my neice and my nephew had made the long drive from Southern California to see Christian for the first time and to spend a few days with us. My neice was about eight at the time, my nephew about 13 years old. One morning the three of them rolled out of bed at about 10:30am, while I had been up for since about 4am. Working on only a few hours of sleep I sat and watched my sister-in-law enviously — it all seemed so much easier. She talks, they listen. They talk, she listens. She asks them to get dressed, they get dressed. They could actually sleep through the night! I watched my neice and nephew do things independently from their mother. I looked down at the little bundle in my arms and thought it seemed so far away before I would be able to enjoy even a tad bit of Christian’s autonomy from his nursing mother. It would be years before I could shower as long as I want, eat when I was hungry, and sleep until I was no longer exhausted.

Last week Christian celebrated his 13th birthday. “Those years” that seemed so far away suddenly creeped up on me without me realizing it. Looking back now the months leading up to this “teen scene” – the stage of establishing a stronger sense of independence from his parents was present for years. I noticed it first in subtle ways – he asked less frequently for me to sit with him on the couch and watch a program he had recorded, he no longer asked me to lay with him for “just a minute” before he went to bed and talk about his day, and his conversations with me became shorter, one word responses most of the time – answering politely what he was asked, but did not volunteer much more information. What seemed like a very quick transformation, had been in the works since he was his first year of life.

All of life’s daily routines that take place in the first few years of life help establish the very foundation in which teenagers use to meaneder their way through the turbulent waters of adolescence. Adolescent’s “developmental job” is to discover who they are in relation to their world and others around them. This is one of their primary responsibilities – to become their own person, not just the person people view them as (the smart kid in math, the girl in the the choir with the great voice, the tall one on the soccer team, the shy boy at lunch), but who they think they are. Teens experience individuation – the process in which they seperate themselves from their parents and caregivers. Although individuation takes place at many stages during the life cycle, the process during adolescence is especially critical and lays the founation for the coming challenges and experiences of young adulthood.

It can be difficult for some parents as their pre-teen and teen enters this stage. In my private practice I have heard parents express concern that their teenager is “oppositional, selfish, closed-off, secretive, rebellious” and worry that their child has lost their way and forgotten the morals and values that have been taught in the home. In most cases these behaviors are all part of the the individuation process, even some of the more extreme scenarios. It is typical for a teen to experiement with different things (hairstyles, clothes, music, friends) that maybe five years ago they hated. It is normal for them to “talk back.” I know this can be a very difficult one for parents, yet it is normal (again within reason). As parents we have to set some limits about what is an acceptable level of “rebellion” all in the name of individuation. A teen will express disagreements with parental views, opinions, beliefs. They will balk at requests that are made of them. They are learning what their limits are and how far they can push them, learning how to have self-expression, to have a seperate voice – but it is

important that the parents be there to guide them so this is done in an appropriate matter. Teens storming off in a huff is going to happen and that is normal. Teens calling their parents every foul name in the book after being told they need to unload the dishwaher should be addressed. Again, the parents have to find what are the negotiables and what are the non-negotioables. This is where the perfect cliche’ comes into play: choose your battles with your teen. If parents do not allow for some rebellion, secretiveness, selfishness it will

be a long, long road ahead and that road will most likely lead to resentment on both sides and unsuccessful/unhealthy individuation for the teen. This means for rockier times in adulthood when they are more on their own in their world and when the world requires them to figure things out. The teen needs to be able to make mistakes and learn to adequately prepare them for their future.

If you have ever been in the parenting section of a book store you will notice that there are thousands of books on parenting your child for every concern under the sun. There are thousands of books on similar subjects and age groups and it can leave parents reeling in what approach is the right one. It can be confusing and overwhelming for parents who are just wanting to help their child. Let me save you from hours of trying to figure out what book is the right book or what technique is the right technique. Here is the kicker: there is no “right answer.” There may be better choices but all of it is dependent on YOUR teen.

The behaviors I see now with my son, Christian are different than ones I will see with his brother, Joshua. The individuation process is still occuring for both of them, but it will quite possibly look different. Christian is passionate and vocal; Joshua is more quiet. When Christian mumbles under his breath dissatisfaction with something I have asked of him it is more his way of individuating, whereas Joshua won’t mumble anything, he is more likely to feign deafness and say he never heard me. The concept is the same, however, with both of them asserting their independence and seperateness from me as their mother. I may not like how it is displayed at times, but this was my job as their parent – to help them come into their own as people.

Ironically, Christian came in and layed with me on my bed last night and watched TV…without me asking him. At one point he said “where is it?” I thought for sure he was looking for the remote so I handed it to him. He said, “no, your hand.” A touching moment for me. I was taken back to times when he was younger and that time when my family was visiting. I found myself missing those days he was a bundle in my arms because the years have gone by in a blink of an eye and I am starting to see my child grow into a young independent man.

Best Day Ever Ive Had Better

Have you ever noticed that sometimes…just sometimes, our kids have a totally different perception of what “fun” means?

Let me explain.

The other day, I woke up in such a great mood. I mean g.r.e.a.t! I was feeling a little under the weather, but I was in good spirits. I even showered before anyone else got up (I hope I’m not the only mom who occasionally skips a shower, and if I am…so be it). Anyway, when I got out of the shower I looked at the clock and realized that I even had time to paint my nails. Man, could this day get any better already? I even painted them twice because I couldn’t decide on the color. It was THAT good of morning.

By this time, everyone else was up so I was getting yogurts opened, butts wiped and milk poured. Nails still wet…shoot. There goes that sweet nail job.

As I was walking from my bedroom back into the kitchen I heard this loud CRASH! I assumed it was Eydan, so I rushed in, only to find that the bag of nail polish (that I keep on the top shelf of a cupboard…dumb, dumb, DUMB) fell OUT of the cupboard and crashed. Out of all thirty-some bottles of polish we had, only 3 broke open and spilled all…over…the…kitchen…floor. Some managed to spill on the counter on their way down, even splashing the kitchen wall. I literally had polish all over. Oh yeah, not to mention the jar of nail sparkles that spewed all over as well. And the worst part of it all was that it was MY fault. So, I got all of the polish cleaned up (I think anyway) and I began making sure that the rest of the kids were ready for church. Ray had to leave a little bit early, so I asked if he would please take the two boys with him…please. You’ll soon find out that I was very relieved that I did not have them the rest of the day.

So, it was just me, Emaleigh and her friend that stayed the night left in the house. We finished getting ready and got loaded in the car.

Key in the ignition…sputter, sputter….vrooooooooom. Well that took a minute, but my car finally started. I have no other way to explain it, other than it was sputtering and I could tell I was on my last bit of gas. You see, I don’t consider myself a livin-on-the-edge type of person, but when it comes to my gas tank, I have a terrible habit of pushing that baby until I’m cruisin’ on fumes. And, I was a little confused because according to my gauge, I had 40 miles to still go! Eh, we should make it to town.

So, the first words out of my mouth to the girls were, “First stop is the gas station!”

I pull out of the yard and I could already tell something wasn’t right. We pull onto the highway, merge into the lane and drive for about 50 yards when my gas pedal was no longer working. Alrighty then. I pulled over, and my car stopped. But, when it stopped I could smell a burny smell. Please excuse my mechanic lingo. Clearly, I’m terrible with cars. Obviously.

I tried and tried and my car wasn’t starting anymore. At this point, I could feel a lump making a forever home in my throat. We weren’t going to make it to church. I break the news to the girls and at first they were bummed, but then when I told them we had to walk home….instantly they began hootin’ and hollerin’! Remember, they’re 9…so, this is awesome.

Yes, I called roadside assistance to get towed (because at this point, I didn’t’ realize all I needed was gas) but it was an estimated time of 2 1/2 hours before they could meet me. We were literally two football fields away from our house. And clearly, I’m terrible at measuring distance too.

So, we got out of the car, walked about 100 feet and I looked up to see a car pulling over. Suuuuuuuuuuper. One of the sweetest couples (that I recognized from town) offered to give us a ride. Now let me preface this with telling you that I would NEVER put my kids in harms way, and the only reason we got into a strangers car is because I recognized them. They asked our names and told me that they went to school with my uncle. See, it’s like we are family already. All the while, Emaleigh is whispering in my ear, “mommy, stranger danger!”

Shortest car ride of my life. If you remember, we weren’t far from our house at all. Kind of embarrassing really. Now we are home, and Ray and the boys are still at church. Thank goodness! I’ll condense this last part so I don’t completely bore you…

I pull out my Dad’s pickup so that we can go fill up a gas can. Get the gas can filled up, and drive to my abandoned car. Put gas in said abandoned car and vrooooooom, you guessed it. That baby started right up. So, we drive my dads pickup back to the house and set off on our journey back to get my car. It was lunchtime by now, so we brought some taquitos. I’m sure we were just a sight. Walking along the highway, two girls with grins as big as the sun, a mommy with sunglasses on only to hide the tears that I could feel forming. Emaleigh and her friend were having a blast…I was trying to.

We ran across the highway (yes, mom of the year right here), began walking and I could hear a car coming behind us. Colorado Highway State Patrol. Immediately Emaleigh said, “Mommy, we are NOT getting another ride!”

The officer pulls up next to us, and rolls down his window….says nothing. So, I begin to tell him my short version of the story (minus the nail polish and lump in my throat), tell him we will keep walking and he rolls up his window and drives off. NEVER said anything! Kind of weird…but, we continue on our voyage.

Anyone ever walked alongside the highway? There are tons of holes. Holes that I’m pretty sure house snakes. Want to talk about a sight? Now, there is two girls with grins as big as the sigh, and a mommy who looks like she’s doing some strange rain dance because I was trying not to step on a hole. Ugh. Almost there. I look up as we are about 30 feet from our car. I see a car stop right in front of mine and out jumps the most bubbly girl I have ever seen!

She runs over to us and asks if we are ok. Again, I share my short story and her response is, “Ok, I don’t like to see a mom walking along the highway with her two beautiful young girls.”

Nor do I. I assured her we were ok as we were almost to our destination! Her farewell words to us were (I kid you not) “Well, I’m a P.E teacher in training, and I know what to look for!” as she jogs back to her car. Well, ok.

We got in my car, and immediately drove back to the gas station to fill up. The girls giggled the whole way, and I kept repeatedly hearing, “This was the BEST DAY EVER!”

When we got home my loving husband took the kids into work with him, so I could go lay down and try to work on getting rid of my cold. After a day like that, sometimes quiet time is all I need.

So, what did I learn you might ask?

I learned that my gauge is a liar. Ha, just kidding. But seriously, I now need two hands to count how many times this has happened.

I was reminded to make the best of everything that comes our way. Don’t constantly focus on the bad, there’s probably some good that I might have been overlooking. I learned that in situations (when all you want to do is cry) sometimes it’s best to have your kids with you so you can be reminded that it’s ok to smile, laugh and walk with taquitos on the side of the highway.

Sometimes, you just need to have the mindset of a child, and one of your least favorite days can instantly turn into your best day ever!