Minggu, 17 September 2017

Making Military Parenting Plans Work For Active Duty Parents

Working out child custody is hard enough without adding the challenges of one or both parents serving in the armed forces. Custody complications can arise when circumstances related to your military career arise, such as a temporary transfer, mobilization or even deployment. Learn the ins and outs of preparing a military parenting plan to protect your parenting rights and provide for your children's needs.

Military Duty and Child Custody

Most states uphold custody laws that say if one parent is voluntarily absent from the children's lives and does not complete visitations, that parent's custody rights can be changed. When you are serving in the armed forces, technically fulfilling your job duties left you open to legal action concerning custody. For example, if you had custody of your children but then were deployed for an extended period of time, the other parent could possibly file for permanent custody.

There were several high-profile cases in the last decade where deployed parents returned home to find that they had been stripped of custody and that the family courts were reluctant to restore custody because of their absence. While these men and women were preserving the interests of their country, they were losing their children.

Because service member parents have a limited ability to travel in certain circumstances, plus the high cost of travel from some areas of the world where they may be stationed, it is difficult for every deployed parent to engage in custody hearings. It wasn't unusual for divorced military parents to lose custody of their children and spend lots of money trying to regain it.

Helpful Laws Protect Military Parents

The U.S. government, as well as several states, recognized the unfairness of these actions, especially when deployment or other mandatory service was being counted against parents in custody issues. Today, such parents are protected by laws that restrict legal actions at certain times against those serving in the armed forces, including custody hearings.

Service member parents are allowed to have expedited custody hearings that take place before they leave, if possible. They can also deliver testimony via phone or other electronic means. Family courts cannot take permanent custody action taken against them while they are away for certain types of service. The away parents should still retain decision-making abilities where reasonable, and can even designate visitation time with extended family members.

Now, military parents can generally receive the custody levels they enjoyed before deployment within 10 days of their return from duty. No hearings are necessary for this action. While the other parent can try to take action, the family court cannot hold your deployment against you in determining custody.

Delegating Time While Deployed

Deployed parents can designate some of their unused visitation time with a third party, usually grandparents or other close relatives. The current laws don't allow the other parent to restrict or overrule the away parent's wishes when it comes to delegating that time. As long as the third-party member is approved by the court, this delegation will be allowed for as long as the military parent is deployed.

The family courts recognized the service member's right to have a voice in who the children interact with, just as if he or she were home. Many deployed parents feel that this is a big improvement to staying in contact with their children. Often, the other parent may not make the effort to help the children communicate with the away parent. The service member's family can preserve those bonds by including the children in family activities, making contact with the military parent and providing emotional support while they are away.

Military Parenting Plans

It's important to create a parenting plan that takes service member parents into consideration, especially in the event of a deployment or transfer. You and the other parent can create a basic parenting plan for when you are nearby, then create a temporary parenting plan that is in effect while you are away.

Getting a temporary custody in place before you leave is typical of most divorced military parents. You will likely be able to receive expedited custody hearings in order to put your affairs together. If you and the other parent have a sample plan already made up, you can present it to the family court for approval. This temporary parenting plan will end once you return, according to the law.


Children deserve to have a loving, healthy relationship with both parents. Today's military parents face fewer risks of losing your custody privileges after they return. After many years of struggling to keep or regain custody of their children after deployment, military parents are now covered under protective laws that preserve their parent-child relationships.

Kamis, 31 Agustus 2017

How To Spot Signs Of Potential Parental Kidnapping

As stated by the Department of Justice, around 200,000 kids are subjects of parental kidnapping annually. 6 % of these parental kidnapping incidents are open for six months or more. Sadly, some never have been closed at all. This is an overwhelming, though sobering, stat. The very person that a parent should be able to depend on with their children, the other parent, their spouse, can also grow to be so cold and callous as to betray the trust of not just their significant other, but the trust of their own child!

Parental kidnapping does not just up and happen out of nowhere. Indeed, the crime itself comes as a shock to most, however you can always find reasons that create the parent's feeling of frustration and those examples are almost always the result of a recent divorce, or the loss of the child through a child custody case.

So what is Parental Kidnapping, Exactly?

To determine parental kidnapping, the parental right of child custody have to be discussed first. The reason being is the parent who is determined by the judge as the child's legal guardian and/or granted child custody, can rightly take that child just about anywhere they want within reason.

Child custody begins and ends with the true biological parents of a child. Without any unusual mitigating factors, parents can make the majority of decisions involving how, and also where, they are going to raise their child. The parent possesses the legal standing to select the child's education, their medical care, religious beliefs and the topic at hand, location of the child's home. The laws are very clear and parents aren't required to ask the judge for legal right to make such decisions regarding their child.

The issues that reflect back with regards to parental kidnapping and which parent is the victim surrounds those extraordinary mitigating circumstances. Of which, there are several. Although these factors might be a parent's ability to make these decisions, both legally and rationally, has come under question due to their mental ability, or even their physical capacity. For illustration if one parent was suffering from dementia, or was in jail, stationed in another country, etc. In this sort of instance, lawyers would ask the family court for a child custody hearing. The complexities could be limitless, nevertheless it typically involves just one - divorce.

Parental Kidnapping and The Role Divorce Plays;

Divorces involving child custody are as complicated and complex as any lawsuit which has. In issues pertaining to custody of the children, lives are held in the balance. The fate of a child, in addition to the complete heartbreaking loss of one of the two parents concerned lies directly at the feet of the judge. Custody of the children is really a substantial hearing in the lives of families involved.

When a divorce has been filed, the divorce attorneys for both parties will discuss custody, whether it's joint custody or sole custody, visitation rights, financial obligations, health insurance for the child, child support and numerous additional specifics still to be haggled over in family court. Unfortunately, whenever there is no common agreements made with regards to joint custody between the mother and father, one will walk out of court having lost their whole family with one stroke of a pen.

Having lost legal custody of the child, the parent has a diminished right to make judgments concerning the rearing of that child. From that moment on, any right of that parent is allowed solely according to any conditions agreed on by the parties, divorce lawyers and ordered by the judge. This can often be more emotional discord than an individual may handle. It is this experience that could very well set off this ordinarily sensible and rational individual to commit a completely illogical and irrational offense - parental kidnapping.

When, one parent, voluntarily and purposefully takes a child with the aim to deny the custodial parent of their rights defined under the court's order of child custody, has committed the crime of parental kidnapping. It matters in no way what county, what city, nor what state one suspected of parental kidnapping might go. Under the federal laws that oversee such matters, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act rigorously enforces the child custody decision made by the judge of any and all states. Every state will respect, maintain and honor the custody decision of another state.

What to Watch For;

If you, or someone you care about or cherish has recently, is presently going through a divorce that entail child custody, there are specific warning signs you, or they, ought to be on the lookout for to possibly avoid becoming, in addition to the child becoming, the victim of parental kidnapping. Throughout the procedure, if a parent begins to exhibit the signs of not being emotionally, or mentally intact as they were in the past, warn your divorce lawyer of this and let it be noted and reported. The individual might indeed be in need of mental advice or counseling in order to better handle the events unfolding beyond their control. It is logical, though on the other hand, be on guard.

An additional sign to look out for is when the hearings have all occurred and things have to some degree calmed down, the parent starts returning the child from visitation later than arranged. You should have your divorce attorney make the periods of visitation recognized in the court papers. Both sides ought to understand and acknowledge these times and they ought to be honored and enforced. If the time of return begins to be an issue, kindly advise them of the order of the court and call your divorce attorney and get his or her advice on the situation at once.

Anytime the parent states or does something that remotely suggests there could possibly be a problem, or if they ever threaten in any way the possibility of not returning the child, or "taking the child away and you never ever see them again", promptly conclude all contact with the parent and immediately call your divorce attorney in addition to law enforcement. Never take this sort of threat as a joke and never permit your child go away with the parent without supervision again. Have your divorce attorney ask the court for the visitation to be suspended and/or supervised.

In The Event Of Parental Kidnapping;

If the parent has left with your child for any excuse that you weren't made previously aware of, there may be an issue and you ought to begin phoning the other parent immediately. After several phone calls and no reply and no return telephone call, call the police and have them visit the parent's home to check things out. Never go by yourself! Anything might happen while confronting someone potentially unstable. At the first symbol of parental kidnapping, call the authorities. The sooner the police can start working on the case, the better the chances of a speedy reunion with you and your child.

Rabu, 16 Agustus 2017

What Are the Negative Effects of Being a Single Parent?

Being a single parent is on the rise worldwide. Though opted for by few, most are associated with traumatic experiences of marital disharmony or death of the partner.

Children share the trauma. Memories of custody related court proceedings leave them bewildered. Their home is suddenly disrupted and their beliefs and bearings are injured. Lifestyle changes that follow are mingled with pain, gloom and depression.

Incomplete family unit

The family is incomplete without both the parents. Emotional turmoil swallows all. Guilt feeling haunts the separated parent and children. Both strive to keep each other happy. The commitments mount.

A single parent feels torn between the demands at work place and responsibilities of home. In trying to meet these ends the fun is forgotten. Parents struggling single-handed to provide all the children's needs, smilingly shun away personal desires.

Psycho-social effects on children

Childhood is lost in the midst of efforts and obligations. Children mature out prematurely. Their ability to integrate the precious inputs for healthy childhood development is masked.

In spite of the single parent's best intentions, children feel deprived of positive stimulus. "Make-do" attitude takes better of them and their education suffers.

Single parent family is an accepted norm in modern society, yet a social bias prevails and children fall victim to it. The urge to prove themselves often turns them towards dangerous sports, bad company and substance abuse.

Being a single parent is a fight against the rules of nature

Children need both the parents. Each parent's parenting style differs. Fathers help children to face challenges successfully and mothers give them care and emotional stability.

Moreover, parenting is a combination of instinct and art developed subconsciously over years of being parented. A single parent, even with best of efforts, often fails to compensate for the missing partner's influence.

Single parenting goes through swings of ambivalence, and fluctuates from indulgent and protective parenting to corrosive and stringent disciplining. Either way, affectionate democratic parenting gets concealed by conspicuous duty bound parenting.

A single parent finally succumbs to the mounting stress. Loneliness hovers. Desire for new relationship is aroused.

Child abuse

Child abuse is most frequently seen in single parent families. Parents handling responsibilities single-handed get more and more insecure emotionally, socially and economically. Unable to withstand the strain, in fit of emotional upheaval, they happen to ill treat children, the core of their struggle.

Child abuse has many faces; inability to provide for the needs of a child to over indulgence into child's demands. Whatever the form of abuse may be, children are snatched away by the law and put in foster care; supposed to be better for their upbringing!

Emotional trauma

Hardly able to endure the pain of one missing parent, they are snatched away from the other as well. The image of their parents, the basis of their very existence, is blemished. Their self-concept and self-esteem are battered.

Accepting a step parent was hard enough and now foster parents; total strangers in another new surroundings. Can this be home? Someone else in place of own parents! How can these strangers be better than my parents? What did my parents lack, that they have?

Children defy the system and the authorities. Emotionally and psychologically shattered they often land up in reform homes.

Children need secure upbringing in nurturing care of both parents. Single parenting is leading us towards a lame society of disturbed youths.

Could the endurance that we exhibit as a single parent be used more constructively rather than destructively? There is a lot to ponder!

Sabtu, 29 Juli 2017

Mothers Don't Get Preferential Treatment in Custody and Parenting Cases

Many of my clients have discussed with me their parenting and custody questions and have an assumption that the mother (in a heterosexual couple) will, by default, have priority in a custody or parenting issue in law. It is true that historically, courts used to assume that after a divorce or separation, the children were always best off living with their mother. This view reflected society's notion that women were naturally better caregivers than men, and that as such, children should stay with their mothers post-separation. This was an particularly prevalent view when the children were young, as children of "tender years" were assumed to need their mother's connection, and the role of the father was de-emphasized. Nonetheless, as a family lawyer, it is clear to me that family law courts now weigh a wide range of considerations in making determinations of custody, access and parenting arrangements. It is no longer true that there is a presumption in favour of the mother getting sole custody or primary parenting of the children. Conversely, there is no presumption that fathers should have a lesser or minimal role in their children's lives.

Family courts emphasize the best interests of the children. As such, any custody, parenting or access arrangement should foster the children's best interests. In almost all cases, it is assumed that the children's best interests are served by their having a good relationship with both parents. If it is possible and reasonable, children may spend roughly equal amounts of time with each parent. If such an arrangement isn't practical, the children will live most of the time with one parent, who will be the 'primary residential parent.' It would then normally be expected that an arrangement be made that maximizes the children's time with the parent they don't live with.

Courts often try not to vary the children's home life arrangements and schedule with their parents too drastically from the status quo. This means that if a child has been living exclusively with one parent and has not spent any time with the other parent, the court will be cautious in introducing parenting time for the parent the child doesn't live with. It is thought that the best interests of the children, especially young ones, includes refraining from extreme changes from their status quo. However, it is likely that, barring critical factors to the contrary, the court will see it as in the child's best interests to develop or maintain a relationship with both parents.

It is extremely rare that one parent will be excluded entirely from having time with their children. Even if there is a great geographic distance between the parents, and even if the parents themselves don't get along, if the non-custodial parent wants to see their kids, they will generally be given the opportunity to do so. To do otherwise would be to take away the children's right to grow up with both parents involved in their lives.

If a court is involved in determining a custody and parenting arrangement, the court will consider where the parents live, their work schedules, the children's activity schedules and ages, the role that each parent has played in the children's lives up to this point and the ability of each parent to care for the children in making the final determination. Courts will not give preferential treatment to a male parent over a female parent in determining custody or parenting schedules, as these are not relevant considerations as to the best interests of the children.

Let's look at an example. The parents of 10 year-old twins have recently separated and both want the children to live with themself. Parent A lives close to the school that they children have attended for the past four years. Parent A has a flexible work schedule that allows him to pick the children up after school and take them to their after-school activities. Prior to the separation between the parents, Parent A was the primary caregiver of the children. He took time off work to take the children to medical appointments, for school activities and to attend with them at their after-school hobbies. Parent B lives far away from the children's school and works long hours at work. Given her isolated location, there is nobody that could assist with after-school child care or to help take the children to after-school activities. In fact, it may not be possible for the children to continue with their hobbies if they move in with Parent B. Additionally, Parent B doesn't have a driver's license or automobile. Parent B did not have much involvement with the children's lives prior to separation. Given these factors, it is likely that while both parents will have custody of the children, they will have their primary residence with Parent A and will have parenting time (access) with Parent B.

Parents should always remember that they are entitled to draft their own parenting schedules and arrangements, which can then be made into a formal agreement or even a court order. Parents can work on their own, use a trained mediator, or seek the assistance of collaborative legal professionals to come to an agreement. Given the wide range of parenting schedules and options that are available, and the uniqueness of each family's situation, it is often the parents who can think of the best arrangement and schedule for their children. It is therefore always worth the parents' efforts to try to come to an agreement before going before the courts.

Nonetheless, should it be necessary to present your custody or parenting matter to the courts, do not make the mistake of assuming that the female parent will receive any preferential treatment. The judge will make a decision based upon his or her belief as to what is best for the children. Given that it is no longer assumed that a female parent is a better caregiver than a male parent, there are no grounds for a court to determine that the children's best interests are better served simply by living with a female parent if all other factors are equal.

Selasa, 18 Juli 2017

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Rabu, 12 Juli 2017

Effective Parent Teacher Conferences

Effective Teacher Parent Conferences (The Steps to holding)

After conducting an informal survey of elementary school parents regarding parent- teacher conferences and what they feel would better serve them as parents and you as a teacher.

The reoccurring theme throughout most of the responses was clarity of how their child is performing and recourses they can use at home to help their child. This was prevalent with Exceptional Student Education (ESE) parents.

With that in mind I have come up with suggestions that will help you, the classroom teacher, better meet the needs of both students and parents. After all, we are providing a service and the parents are our stakeholders. It's as simple as 1, 2, and 3!

1. Develop Respect and Rapport, 2. Be prepared, and 3. Follow through.

Develop Respect and Rapport:

• As soon as you meet the parent, maintain certain eye contact. Repeat the parent's name and acknowledge the student's name. This may happen at a meet your teacher event.

• Your demeanor and physical appearance will set the tone for all future interactions. If you act timid, uncertain or aloof, you will be treated as such. If you are too aggressive you may cause a shut down with both parties. Students will tell you how their parents feel about you, oftentimes with great joy, even after being warned by the parent not to tell.

• If you teach in a tight-knit community, your reputation will spread like wild fire. As unfair as that may seem, it is a reality. Let's make that reality a positive one.

(If you are a new teacher, never say this is my first teaching job. It is a sure way to instill doubt and uncertainty in parents. You have interned. "I've taught first grade at XYZ Elementary. It's not being deceitful, because you have.)

Be Prepared:

• When requesting a conference have a start and end time. I personally give 20-30 minutes. (If the parent is late, reschedule if you cannot finish by your end time.) Stick to the end time as it will let the parent know you are a professional and your time is valuable.

• You must have your conference notes, work samples and informal notes ready. Nothing screams incompetent like a teacher rifling through papers. Imagine your medical doctor doing that upon your visit. Scary.

• Items needed: Most recent D.R.A., Classroom weekly Tests, Running Records, class work samples and an on level text.

• Take notes. Have your clipboard ready. Start your conference with a positive. ALWAYS. Parents need to hear that you see their children in a positive light. Then address your greatest concern first. One concern. Do not inundate the parent with a grocery list of concerns. That will cause an immediate shut down. If, for example your student is below level in reading. That is the issue you need to address. There may be other issues that grow from that lack of skill, but let's keep it manageable for both you and the parent.

• SAY IT LIKE YOU WOULD WANT TO HEAR IT AS A PARENT! I cannot emphasize this enough. You are talking about their baby, their child! You must use positive phrasing and always give them a sense of hope. If you put the parent on the defensive, you might as well conference with a pencil. That parent is his child's voice. If that parent doesn't feel safe or that his child is safe, it's over. Talk to the pencil!

• You might start off with, "I need your help with a problem I have identified through these samples, Reading Comprehension." Listen to the parent. Take note of what they say. Do not let them see what you're writing. If asked, you inform them that you're noting their concerns.

• You keep in control of the conference. Avoid it becoming a gripe session about the child's past poor teachers. Redirect the parent each and every time they go off on a gripe. Statements like, "This is how I am going to help your child." Let's focus on how we can help your child now." Keep them in the here and now.

• Provide the parent with the Intensive response to intervention that will be done on your part. What does it look like? How often will it occur? How will you measure success?

• Elicit the parents' help. You will get "buy- In" if you include the parent in the solution.

• Provide the parent information (a plan) on EXACTLY how they can help. Have both an intensive plan and a minimal plan. NEVER suggest tutoring unless you are willing to pay. (That also applies to suggesting medical or psychological evaluations.) Most school districts have in place a warning that if you do suggest outside services, you will be assessed those fees. Watch your wording carefully. You are a professional, but not a doctor or psychologist.

Follow up:

• Explain how you plan to follow- up with your conference. I, for example, tell a parent that I will send home graded work with all students on Wednesdays (each week) in the Red PTA folder.

• Communicate through, Emails, texts, and a weekly behavior/ communication sheets and daily planners are ways you will here from me.

• Weekly Newsletter, sharing class news.

• Inform the parent that you will follow- up with how the plan is doing, both at home and at school.

• Allow the parents an out. Some parents cannot work with their own children. Elicit from them possible solutions to this problem. Do NOT suggest, but if they suggest on getting a tutor, you are putting the ball in their court. They suggested it. Tread lightly here. You might say,"Oh, if YOU think that might help, then by all means." You cannot be that tutor. That is clearly a breach of your professional license. Avoid giving suggestions. You clearly want to steer clear of any inferred connection.

Helpful Extras:

• Never hold impromptu conferences unless there is a medical or family emergency where you are listening only.

• Join your union! It will protect you from ineffective administrators that call you up to the office to FACE OFF with parents. (Politely respond. "I am not prepared to discuss this child at this time.)

• If your administration requires you to do so, ask that your union representative sit in with you, AFTER you have stated again to all parties you are unprepared for conference.

• Parents may not abuse you in any way. If they become unruly or begin yelling, politely stand up turn on your heal and proclaim that this conference is over and head toward administration. If you are alone, which you should not be, and in fear for your safety, have your cell phone ready by your side, call 911 and get out into the open where you can be seen by others.

Kamis, 29 Juni 2017

Should You Bail Out Your Aging Parents?

In many cultures and families, the answer is always YES. Your parents sacrificed and raised you to be an upstanding citizen (in most cases), and you may feel forever indebted to making sure they live a comfortable existence through their retirement, no matter what.

In countries such as Spain and China, adult children may be subject to fees and jail time if they neglect their elderly parents.

In the U.S., it's still a choice, but there is still a strong expectation that adult children help out their aging parents.

Under what circumstances are you allowed to step back and question that expectation?

And to what extent can an adult child meddle in their parents' finances and probe them about important decisions that may ultimately impact their own wallet?

If your parents are driving a better car than you are, you may feel more comfortable putting your foot down, without much guilt. My own parents raised their 3 daughters on a minimum wage salary, and still never took a penny from us for rent or food when we were twenty-somethings coming and going in between jobs and school to mooch off the little they had. Thanks to their careful budgeting and humble living, they are financially comfortable, and my sisters and I are ready to generously chip in what we can when necessary. But every family is different.

Some families don't have siblings who chip in equally. In fact, deadbeat siblings are the biggest source of anger among caregivers who use care management services. Strained relationship with parents also adds a layer of complexity.

What if you're just barely making ends meet to feed your own family? What if your parents are in a serious crisis? Do you chip in then?

There is no simple answer.

Over the coming years, more of the sandwich generation will feel the financial squeeze of caring for aging parents. Sadly, more seniors are retiring with little resources and often rely exclusively on a meager Social Security Income (SSI) or the charity of children and others. For example, in December of 2013 close to 8.4 million individuals collected SSI income, and for close to three-fifths of those recipients (a bit over five million individuals), this was their only source of income.

Careless decisions about housing and lifestyles may too be partly to blame, when seniors are living beyond their means.

The growing number of seniors falling victim to financial fraud and abuse has only made matters worse, often at the hands of relatives or corrupt financial advisors. More on that in a moment.

This article explores some of these assumptions and offers readers a few recommendations for preparing your family for critical decisions, such as where parents will live, appropriate lifestyle choices, at what age they should retire, finding part-time work after retirement, how to intervene respectfully.

We'll also help you identify a few red flags that point to aging parents facing financial troubles, or living beyond their means.


Everyone is entitled to live out their old age the way they choose. However, some adult children may take exception to that, especially when they are their parents' back-up plan.

The reality is that most people underestimate the costs of that cozy retirement.

Research suggests that there is roughly a $250,000 gap between what people actually have saved and how much they need for retirement.

A rough guide for desired levels of retirement saving at different age groups are:

- 30 years of age: $56,000
- 40 years of age: $112,000
- 50 years of age: $180,000

Many people fall under these numbers, for a number of reasons.

For example, minorities who worked in low-wage positions without access to a pension plan retire with even fewer resources.

For women, the situation is worse. Well-intended choices to be a stay-at-home mom, or be a devoted caregiver to an aging or disabled relative unfortunately leaves them with fewer lifetime earnings and savings. Disparities in wages between men and women is well documented, and the fact that women will outlive most men suggests that they need a heftier nest egg.

At the same time, many people get caught up in the challenges of living day-to-day and week-to-week, and put off saving for retirement for far too long.

Understanding the costs of retirement are an important factor in planning, as are minimizing costs.

People are often surprised at just how many different ways they can cut costs and save money, money that can help to contribute to the challenges of retirement.


The biggest mistake that your parents can make is trying to remain in the same two-story, four-bedroom house that they raised you and your siblings in, at whatever cost. Financial and practical reasons may require that your parents downsize. If you find yourself doing more back-breaking work trimming trees and bushes in mom and dad's backyard or paying for gardening services, it's time to rethink whether their home still offers the same perks it once used to.

Are you folks having more difficulty trekking up and down the stairs, or worse, experienced a recent fall? If so, it's definitely time to heed the recommendation to downsize. Falls are the number one reason that seniors end up in nursing homes, as a result of sustained injuries and need for round-the-clock care.

Help them sell the house, and move to more affordable living spaces - a small, accessible condo with neighbors to help keep an eye on them.

There are also practical implications of large homes and living in secluded areas. In an emergency, it may be more difficult to reach them, or get transported to a hospital. Seniors often experience social isolation, as they experience limitations in mobility and transportation options after they lose the ability to drive themselves about town.

Obviously, your parents may have an emotional attachment to the home. The thought of plucking them out of their comfort zone and familiar quarters may seem like an uphill battle met with resistance. However, with the right approach, you can encourage your parents to consider a move. I have colleagues who devote their careers to helping seniors make smooth transitions and downsize, in the most respectful way. One of her suggestions is that you transfer symbolic, treasured items and make sure they are prominent in the new location. Most importantly, she advises that you make sure your parents are directly involved in choosing their new living quarters.

If parents are reluctant to leave their ample home because they are still trying to keep up with the Joneses, that's another story. While the idea that You Only Live Once (YOLO) and the concept that FOLO (Fear of Missing Out) are commonplace among young millennials, it's a less appealing quality for seniors on a fixed income.

Life is short, and you don't take your money to the grave. We get that. But, if we can encourage seniors to live more frugally, it'll open up to doors to save for nice vacations and to explore new hobbies.

Another growing trend among seniors is the option of finding roommates.

A friend of mine, who hit the age of 50 this past year, embraced this concept. She shared that she was relocating partly to begin arrangements for a comfortable retirement, where she and other close female friends could share a home and take care of each other.

It's a valid way of supporting each other, sharing expenses, and taking care of each other. Villages that emulate this arrangement are popping up everywhere. Let's not forget that co-habitation and living among many neighbors was a fairly common practice less than a century ago, and still prominent in many cultures and communities outside the U.S.

Couples would also do fine to consider sharing with other couples and splitting the costs of rent, mortgage, and utilities. The movie All Together (2011) cleverly and entertainingly sheds light on this cultural phenomenon.


Retiring early is very appealing, especially for people who really hate their job, or may be experiencing significant health issues.

For some people, retiring early is a good decision. For example, those who already have a great deal in retirement savings, those who are able to dramatically cut down in costs and those who struck it rich, can often survive early retirement well.

Additionally, people who are sick or have injuries that prevent them from working may find that they have no alternative to retiring early.

However, that's not true for most people.

Instead, people tend to take early retirement because it is an easy way out, their job isn't fulfilling, they think that they have worked enough or simply because they feel that they deserve it. Many older adults may have been laid off, and are fed up with unemployment and reluctance from employers to hire a more mature person.

There are many other reasons too, but in general, people tend to not think through the challenges of retiring early.

In particular, there are two big financial challenges.

First, by retiring early, the amount of time a person works for is significantly decreased. This also minimizes how much they can save for retirement.

At the same time, retiring early means that people have a longer period of time without work. This costs more.

So, retiring early gives less potential for saving and involves more costs. This means that many people cripple themselves by retiring early when they really do not need to.

At the same time, retirement has its own non-financial challenges.

For many people, retirement can get boring. It can also be a socially isolating time, as many people got a lot of their social contact through work.

Some of these issues (both financial and otherwise) can be reduced through part-time work.


Every year, more older adults are needlessly laid off prematurely, forced into early retirement, or have their role minimized on account of ageist perceptions in the workplace. They are presumed to be less valuable and as having little to offer.

They may be wrongly perceived as reluctant to learn new technology or get on board with new changes. What's more is that companies mistakenly believe that new college graduates can perform the work of someone with 20+ years of experience, at half the salary.

There are, however, real reasons that older adults may exit the workforce. The growing severity of a chronic illness may prevent them from performing their job.

Sadly, few human resource departments have the know-how to implement provisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act or The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and seniors are either unaware or too exhausted to exercise their rights. It's often hard to prove wrongdoing.

I'm reminded of the time when I had to frequently take my Mazda in for repairs to the dealership.

The older gentleman who typically helped me had disclosed that he was having a few challenges managing his diabetes, but was working toward it. One day, I was surprised to find that he had been fired.

His co-worker shared that he was always falling asleep at work. It's a shame that the company didn't see the connection between his fatigue and his disability (diabetes), and made appropriate accommodations.

When seniors do decide that they want to return to work, few employers are interested in hiring them, even on a part-time basis. Those that manage to land a part-time job, often take on more menial work, in industries or areas completely outside of what they did at a younger age, and at much lower compensation.

It may feel demoralizing, but the key is to encourage seniors to find less stressful positions that bring them just enough income to supplement their social security to pay their bills, and have a little play money.

Seniors report that having the light-weight job gives them an opportunity to stay socially engaged as well.

Finding jobs for seniors can be challenging, especially as many workplaces discriminate against seniors, even though this discrimination is often not intentional.

One good option is retail. This is a field that is frequently hiring and gives seniors the opportunity to interact with others. Typically retail jobs will also offer a flexible schedule, which can be beneficial for seniors. A good first step is to visit local stores and look at which ones are currently hiring.

While you may also be able to find some jobs in newspapers, in the modern day and age, many more jobs are advertised online. As it turns out, a number of organizations have established online job banks exclusively for seniors. The State Department has compiled these databases here.

Helping your parents work with job seeking sites and creating a digital resume may be a challenge, but it is worth the effort.


The signs that a parent may be living beyond their means are not always apparent. The following are a few indicators that your folks may be mishandling their finances and signal an impending ruin that may require that you or other step in to intervene:

- A refrigerator and cabinets that are often empty
- Borrowing money from others
- Often behind on payments
- Looking for second and third jobs to make ends meet
- Attempting to repeatedly refinance their home to squeeze out the last bit of equity
- No emergency funds
- Inability to afford car payments, including basic maintenance
- Paying overdraft fees (late fees)
- Asking for gas money

Perhaps one of your parents underwent a recent medical procedure that surpassed what they were expecting, or have simply made a few bad choices. We all have. At this point, however, you're entitled to ask 'What happened?'

If you're among the people that your parents are coming to with a request for money, then you're entitled to question a request for money, especially if you see these signs.

Even governments scrutinize seniors' assets, before dolling out entitlements such as food stamps, free transportation vouchers, Medicaid, and more. Seniors are often required to spend down their own savings and assets before qualifying for Medicaid, for example. This ensures that Medicaid and other social programs are used for the truly poor and needy, and are not handed to someone driving a luxury vehicle and with a lavish shoe collection.

If your parents require much more assistance than balancing their checkbook, you may wish to invest in a financial consultant or encourage your parents to invest in one. If you take this approach, you need to look for someone that you and your parent can trust. Helpful advice can also be found online, although anything found online needs to be carefully evaluated, as there is a lot of inaccurate information online.


You may be struggling with the decision to intervene. You may think that it's none of your business. The decision to intervene will have a lot to do with your existing relationship with your parents and how your good intentions will be perceived.

In many cases, elderly parents may avoid talking about financial problems because they don't want to worry their children or because they feel embarrassed.

Whatever the case, finances are a delicate subject and something that should always be handled tactfully.

In particular, you want to make sure that your parents know that you aren't trying to control their lives, but that you want to help make sure that they have everything they need. Gently remind them of this and then wait for them to come back to you.

Always focus on making your parent feel like they have control - this can go a long way in helping you gain their trust.

A key component of working with your parents on any issue is to make sure that you have a positive relationship that is built on trust. This may involve taking the time to work out where there are issues in your relationship and also to look for areas where issues can be resolved.

This is an important area to examine with any parent and child relationship, especially when you are helping your parent - as there can often be unresolved issues that are not immediately evident to either party.

Even then, the process may take time, especially for. So, be persistent.

To learn a few strategies for managing stubborn parents that can be applied to this situation, have a look at our article, which highlights many of the challenges of stubborn parents as well as some potential solutions.

If you are repeatedly being asked to bail out your parents, finance their medical and household expenses, or take on extraneous duties around their home to accommodate them at the risk of your own financial health and sanity, then it is perfectly fine to draw some boundaries. Here is where many adult children face an ethical dilemma, and may feel they are abandoning their role as a dutiful son or daughter.

We want you to know that you are entitled to say 'NO'.

'No, mom, if you want to continue living in this home, you will have to either let the weeds grow outside, but I cannot continue to drive 3 hours each way every weekend and spend 5 hours of backbreaking work to keep up your garden. It leaves me very run down and with no time to run my own errands or spend time with my kids. Perhaps we can pay the neighbor's son to help you water such a few of your favorite plants."

Or "No, mom and dad, I cannot lend you $10,000 to expand the patio, or pay the 3 months of late mortgage payments. We need that money for Mary's braces or to repair the leaking roof."

When you stand firm on these decisions, and stop enabling poor spending choices, lifestyles, and budgeting, it will force them to revisit other options.


Everyone is vulnerable to fraud in some degree of another. However, seniors are especially vulnerable to fraud. Seniors can be hit hard financially by ruthless scammers, and immoral caregivers.

In 2012, 26% of all complaints concerning fraud were made by people 60 or above. That's more than any other age group.

Estimates suggest that at some point, one in five Americans who are 65 years of age or above will be abused financially, and that number doesn't count the seniors who were targeted by fraud but did not fall for the scam.

Some of this comes from their vulnerability in general. For example, seniors often heavily rely on family members, meaning that family members are in a position to take advantage of and manipulate them. Sadly, family caregivers as well as paid caregivers are often the biggest perpetrators of elder abuse, financial and otherwise.

Your parents may also be vulnerable to fraud from outside the home.

For example, many different scams directly target seniors, because scammers are aware that seniors have a steady income. Many seniors do not know how to watch out for scams, and may trust people too easily, especially ruthless people who know how to portray someone in a position of authority.

Social isolation can also serve to make seniors even more vulnerable to fraud. It can also subject them to financial manipulation from family members.

When seniors have very little contact with one (or more) of their children, they may be more inclined to do anything for that child who they may view as more loyal and caring for sticking by them. If that child calls up to ask for money, that senior may be more willing to go out of their way to find that money, simply because they do not want to lose contact with the child again.

Because it is a family member asking, many seniors may not recognize that there is anything wrong, and may not even feel that they are being manipulated. However, such situations often end up being the start of a pattern, where a family member may consistently turn to the senior as a source of easy money.

When the scammer calls up, they often do it in the morning or late at night when the senior may not be thinking clearly. When seniors are isolated in this way, they may be willing to spend the time talking to a scammer that calls or may even be more likely to fall for the charm or flattery of that scammer. At the same time, socially isolated seniors have few people to talk to about anything they are concerned about. This is also reflected in a scam known as the 'grandparent scam', which largely targets seniors.

This scam has been around since about 2008, but the scam artists are growing in their abilities to carry it out. Essentially, the scam involves someone calling up and pretending to be the grandchild of the senior, or their friend. They will often claim that they are trapped in a foreign country, and need money wired to bail them out. When the scammer calls up, they often do it in the morning or late at night when the senior may not be thinking clearly.

There are literally thousands of different types of scams and fraud out there. Many of these are targeted at seniors, and even those that aren't can often catch seniors. Scams will often try to tap into an emotion in the senior and try to get them to react emotionally rather than rationally.

Protecting your parents from fraud may seem challenging, but one of the first steps is simply to educate them in what to look out for.

If they trust you, you can also get them to ask you about anything that looks suspicious. However, as always, it is important to approach this topic delicately, as no one likes to be told that.


For most of us, finances are challenging in some way or another - and that's simply when we are focused on our own needs.

Caring for or supporting an elderly parent adds a whole different dimension to this challenge and there are no easy answers for exactly what you should and should not do.

Instead, the answers will ultimately come from your own needs and the needs of your parent, as well as history and the precedence you've set.

Perhaps the key thing to remember is that no matter what, working to build a relationship of trust is critical if you want to try and help your parent with their finances in any way.

After all, if your parent doesn't trust you, they certainly won't be willing to talk to you about a subject as touchy as finances.

Kamis, 15 Juni 2017

Parental Alienation Syndrome and How to Counter Its Three Levels of Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation; the programming of a child by a parent to turn the child against the other parent has three levels of alienation mild, moderate, and severe. As the alienation increases the negative behavior of the children towards the targeted parent also increases. The percentage of children having access and parenting time (visitation) with the alienated parent decreases.

In a case study of thirty highly conflicted divorce and custody cases, submitted by the courts involving fifty nine children was evaluated to determine the existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome. This is when the child aligns with the alienating parent, adopts their views, joins in the defaming of the target parent and rejects that parent citing frivolous and irrational reasoning. Countering Parental Alienation Syndrome will take the knowledge of Parental Alienation and finesse.

This must be confronted to increase the chances for the target parent in reuniting and maintaining a meaningful relationship with their children. Janelle Burrill compiled, analyzed and evaluated the data for one year (2000-2001) from the cases that were submitted from a two year period (1998-2000). In the study twenty two children were listed under the mild alienation category, seventeen in the moderate category, and twenty in the severe.

The children listed under the mild alienation category show that eighty two percent of them expressed affection for the targeted parent. None of them had any anger towards or denigrated (disrespect and reject) the parent. Ninety five percent had parenting-time with the target. With mild alienation there is some cynicism of the target parent. This generally arises from a persons lack of restraint in making negative remarks about the target. They tend to react in this manner when they are hurt, angry, and feel personally attacked. For example, when parents first separate mom is feeling anxious and will implicitly convey to the children that their father is a bad person suggesting that it is not safe to be with him. She may say something to the effect of, "If you get scared or are not having fun call me right away and I will come and get you and bring you home."

Dad may say something like, "Remember to tell your mother that you want to spend more time with me," Suggesting that their mom is trying to separate them from each other. Generally, this behavior from the parents is done so they can look like they are the better parent to be with and that something is wrong with the other one.

In the scenario with mom the children start to question if they are safe to be with their father. With dad they can start to believe their mother is trying to estrange them from their dad. Usually when you point out the alienation to the alienating parent they feel ashamed that their behavior is negatively affecting the children and that they did not have enough self-control to refrain from distributing alienation.

Parents and children in this category normally have a good relationship. The parents who hands out the alienation usually are unaware they are doing it. It is a behavior that has not been addressed so it can be corrected. These parents are usually willing to modify their behavior to benefit the children. The recognizable denigration traits in mild alienation are sighing in disapproval, rolling the eyes in contempt, ignoring, disrespect, snide or sarcastic remarks, and defaming the target parent. To defuse the alienation explain to the children why people will make those kinds of gestures and bad-mouth another person. Let them know it comes from when they feel disrespected, rejected, hurt by a person, and that they lack self-control and respond in undesirable ways to validate themselves.

In the moderate alienation category the percentage of children who had parenting-time with the target parent drops significantly from ninety five percent down to sixty five percent. The same percentage of children also expressed affection for the target parent with fifty nine percent of them expressing anger towards the target and joining in the denigration of that parent.

With moderate alienation the alienating parents have difficulty keeping their composer when thing do not go their way or feel threatened. Like the belief their counterpart is trying to take the children away from them. They will increase the alienation when their anxiety escalates in an effort to keep what they perceive is rightfully theirs. When they lose control they go ballistic disregarding appropriate boundaries, including the fear their behavior produces in the children.

When, they calm down the alienating parent has a hard time taking responsibility for their actions. But, there is hope. Some of these parents in this category can be persuaded to develop their self-control with anger management, therapy, and parenting classes. These parents love their children and want to be a good parent and be viewed as one. But rarely will they volunteer to get help. They blame the other parent for their problems and believe the other parent is the problem.

If they do not modify their behavior then the only remedy is to get a court order for therapy and treatment. With moderately alienated children are hesitant to spend time with the target parent. They have some fear of the target parent due to the alienating parents repeatedly defaming the target in an effort to get the children to get to accept their views about the target parent and to align with them.

To remedy this level of alienation with the children there needs to be an environment where they feel safe and comfortable with the target parent. A therapist can arrange to provide for this. The parent then need to listen to the children without being judgmental, empathize with their feeling, acknowledge their concerns, and let them know the conflict is between the parents and they do not have to choose either parents side. They should not have to reject one parent to please the other parent. They should be able to love both without having a loyalty conflict.

Bring to the attention of the alienating parent the harmful effects the alienation is having on the children because they are conflicted on how to please both parents without displeasing either one of them. Moderate alienation ascends from emotional charged events. The parent feels they have been wronged and react destructively. Afterwards they are embarrassed of their behavior and might be willing to work on not involving the children to even the score for the wrong they believe was done to them. If there is unsatisfactory improvement and willingness on the part of the alienating parent in correcting their behavior, which is often the case, the target will need to get a court order for family counseling and treatment.

In the severe alienation category forty five percent of the children expressed affection for the target parent, ninety percent had anger towards the target, and sixty percent join in the denigration of the parent. Only fifteen percent of the children had any parenting-time with the target parent. With severe alienation there are no-holds-barred attacks on the targets character and the alienator is obsessed with destroying the relationship the children has with the target parent to inflict emotional pain on the target. Because they have deep-rooted distorted beliefs about the target parent and operate from a delusional system of thinking they are hindered from listening to reason.

There is no effective way for treating severe alienation. To minimize the influence of the alienating parent and harm the alienation causes the children is to reduce or remove them from the care of the alienating parent which will take legal intervention. At this level of alienation the children aligns with the alienating parent, adopt their distorted views about the target, and join in the campaign to severe the relationship they have with the target parent. This is where Parental Alienation is transformed into Parental Alienation Syndrome.

A couple of signs of severe alienation are the childrens refusal to participate in parenting-time with the target parent even if it is court order, an automatic alliance with the alienating parent when conflict arises between the parents, and they join in rejecting and defaming the target parent. They back up their claims with weak, frivolous and illogical explanations, and insist that their views are their own and are not influenced by the alienating parent.

The way to counter severe alienation is to obtain a court order for a parenting plan, therapy, and participation in treatment. It is necessary to get the order so the therapist can work with the family to resolve, reduce, or at the very least stymie the alienation. At this level of alienation the alienating parent objective is to hurt the target parent by any means including using the children.

The children need to be shown that they have been exposed to the alienation, participated in the denigration, and how it negatively affects the relationship they have with the target parent. Once the cause of the children's alienation from a parent is identified then an expert mental health professional can provide an appropriate treatment plan to reunite the parent and children.

Sabtu, 27 Mei 2017

Parenting Classes - Parenting Class Reviews

Children don't come with instruction manuals and parenting doesn't come with a manual or an infallible guide. Every situation and family is unique. We as individuals are different. There are different parenting styles and variations. To provide training and education that is universal, it has to be based on fundamentals which make us all similar. This would be human psychology, human behavior, and decades of scientific research and studies. Without training or education, we parent with instinct and our personal experiences. Maybe what we learned (consciously and subconsciously) from our parents, family members or others. We parent around our beliefs, morals, and values. Even with training and education in parenting, we need to be naturally adaptive, resourceful, and improvisational. Proper parenting training and education provides a foundation of knowledge which we can build off of, making it easier and more efficient to use our natural parenting instincts and skills.

Parenting is something that cannot be perfected. We can be passionate about it and do the best possible job that we can. It is the most fruitful investment because it is for the benefit of our children and our relationship with our children. When we are passionate about something or are motivated because it's something that is important to us, we seek knowledge to be as proficient as possible. We educate ourselves by learning from sources which have the best and most comprehensive information on what we are passionate about.

There are many books and programs dealing with all kinds of parenting information and solutions. Some parents look for information on only one parenting topic, such as a certain problem they are having with their child. What they may not know is that a parenting class can provide them with the information and solutions to the problem, as well as a lot of other parenting information and solutions to other problems that may arise. Even further, a parenting class can help them to be an all around skilled parent. It can even help them prevent other problems, saving them valuable time. While it is fine to gain additional knowledge on a certain parenting topics, it is important to have the all around parenting knowledge.

Parenting classes provide an all-around general knowledge of many different aspects of parenting. Parenting classes have to be the best way to acquire comprehensive and all-around knowledge having to do with parenting. The topics and lessons taught in most parenting classes focus on the big picture and the foundation of parenting. Parenting classes are based on scientific research relating to parenting. Parenting classes are designed by this extensive body of knowledge that took decades of studies and research to attain. Of course, people will continue to research this.

There are many theories on the right and wrong ways to parent children, but we have to remember that some theories have been researched and tested by generations of highly educated and skilled scientists and professionals. This body of knowledge is reflected in parenting classes.

It was said that children and parenting your children doesn't come with a manual, but one of the best "parenting manuals" would be a parenting class. Whether you are a new parent or have been a parent, you can benefit from the information offered in parenting classes.

Some parents are court ordered to take a parenting class, or a co-parenting class in divorce or separation situations. This shows that legal professionals view parenting classes as a good and credible source for parenting education. Whether you have to take a parenting class, or just want to improve your parenting skills, online parenting classes are perfect.

Online parenting classes can be done in the privacy of your own home, at your own pace, at any time of day, and around your schedule. They are very affordable and very convenient. The lessons and topics in these parenting classes are practical, easy to understand, and very educational. You can only gain from the experience.

Our children are more valuable and important than anything else, so any knowledge involving them or raising them should be considered valuable and important. We all want to raise our children to grow into strong, loving, and responsible adults. Good parenting benefits parents and children, and the benefits can last a lifetime. Improving our parenting skills and investing in our children are the best investments that we could ever make.

So, hold good parenting and education as high values, take a parenting class, spread the word, and

We at parenting resources and reviews selected a few of the best online parenting classes available. For your convenience and general information, we provided overviews of the lessons and topics covered in these parenting classes, and some of the company website's beneficial features. We also provided reviews of these selected classes. These overviews and reviews will help you make a more informed decision, and help you select the parenting class that is right for you.

Happy parenting!