Top Tips For Keeping Your Kids Safe When You’re Out And About

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Anything happening to our children is a parent’s worst nightmare, bar none. Even the thought can keep us up at night. But when we’re out and about in public places, there’s a multitude of risks that our little ones face. There are, however, measures we can take to keep them safe. Whether it’s about teaching them their emergency contact number, or buying the right equipment to ensure they’re protected, here are some ways to help to ensure your little ones are safe.

 

In the park

If you’ve ever tried to keep track of more than one child in an expansive public place, you’ll know the challenges. They seem to be able to zip off at a moment’s notice, and somehow end up 50 feet away with no warning. The park is open to strangers, animals, and other dangers, which can make a trip to the park quite anxiety-inducing for any parent or carer.

 

Firstly, keep them safe from injury. The park is usually full of all manner of equipment, but these pieces of equipment were created with different age groups in mind. Encouraging your children to only play on pieces which were created with their age group in mind will help to reduce the likelihood of injury, or them getting stuck at a height – which you typically have to climb up to to help them down. When you arrive at the park, give the equipment a quick once over. Check that it is sturdy, installed properly, and that it isn’t obviously damaged in any way. It’s also worth doing a quick scout of the ground too, checking for sharp objects and broken glass, as well as any dirt or dog excrement – you’d much prefer to find it before the games begin, then you children find it later on. Never leave your children unattended when playing on park equipment – the risk of fall, a banged head, or worse are too high to risk it.

 

Try only to go to play parks in enclosed areas. This tends to help keep pet dogs at bay, who may only come over out of inquisitiveness, but could startle children. It also helps to avoid them running away and hiding while your back is turned. There is obviously the concern of Stranger Danger in parks. Be sure to discuss this with your youngsters as soon as they’re old enough to understand. If they know to avoid people that they don’t know, and never to follow a stranger, their safety is improved. Be vigilant when you’re in the park – keep an eye out for people who look suspicious, warn other parents nearby and, if you think it’s necessary, be sure to contact your local police department. Stranger danger is no small matter, and vigilance must be maintained.

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In a crowd

It’s so easily to get separated accidentally from your loved ones in a crowd. Many parents feel very nervous while walking through a crowded space with their young children, as it is so easy to lose sight of them. It isn’t possible to always avoid crowds at events or the mall, but it is possible to make your children safer.

 

If you’re attending an event which you expect will be busy, there are a few things you can do. At the start of the day take a photo on your cell phone of your child – this will be useful when forming a search if you do end up being separated. It’s also a good idea to write your cell phone number on your child’s wrist, covering it with a liquid band aid to stop the ink from being rubbed off, and telling them to show that to an authority figure if they can’t find you. It’s always worth agreeing on a meeting point when you arrive at a venue, so that if you do become separated your child knows where to ask a member of staff to take them to to be reunited with you.

 

There are also exercises you can do with your children before an event, so they know what to do if you get separated. For example, as soon as they’re old enough to memorize numbers, teach them your cell number by heart – you could even make it into a little song to help to aid their memory. A good game to help them to recognize authority figures is to play the “who works here?” game when you’re out and about. Ask them to pick out police officers, shop assistants, lifeguards, security officers, and help them to recognize identifying features. That way, if you ever do get separated, they’re comfortable working out who to approach for help.

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In the car

If you’ve ever driven a newborn baby home from the hospital, you’ll know at that point you will never speed, brake hard, or take chances on intersections ever again. Driving with your child in the car can be terrifying, but obviously you can’t take responsibility for how other road users behave. You can, however, ensure that everything within your vehicle is as safe as possible for them.

 

Start with the car seat – any child under around the age of 12 should be in a car seat – a baby seat for small children, and a booster seat as they get a bit older. This ensures they are held properly in place if any collision does occur, but it also helps to keep them comfortable on the journey, and allows them to see out of the window. Choosing the right baby seat for your car can be tricky, but using a review website such as https://babyseats.reviews/ can help you to find one which works for you and your vehicle within your price range. Once you own the seat, it’s also essential it’s installed properly. Not only does a poorly installed car seat not properly protect your child in the event of an accident, but it can also even put them in more danger.

 

Having a conversation with your children about the importance of good behavior in the car is also important as soon as they understand. It should be explained that they should never distract the driver during a journey, as this could mean they miss something important on the road. It’s also crucial to teach them not to throw things around the car, as objects can find their way into the driver’s area, and even get stuck under pedals, which can potentially cause accidents. Talk to them about the importance of their seatbelt, but also lead by example. If they always see you wearing your belt, they’ll be far more likely to follow suit.

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By the road

Walking down the sidewalk, crossing through traffic, or cycling along the road are all activities fraught with their own dangers. Teaching your child about behaving properly by the road is crucial to avoid accidents. Crossing at proper crossing points is something that can be taught at a young age, and you can lead by example and be a great role model too. If you do need to cross a road which doesn’t have a crossing, be sure to demonstrate the safest means to cross, and never cross between two parked vehicles. It’s also important to demonstrate the safe way to walk by the road. Youngsters should always walk on the size away from the traffic, and it’s essential that they walk, and never run. Running by the road can be really dangerous, especially for small children who have a tendency to fall. It’s far easier to teach good habits than to break bad habits, so leading by example is definitely the way to go.

 

Keeping your children safe while you’re out and about is about equal part preparation, education, and vigilance.

 

 

 

Benefits Of Putting Your Child In A Child Care Centre

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One of the first big decisions that parents need to make pertaining to their child’s future is choosing a care centre. Unlike those days, most parents opt to leave their child for a few hours in a day care centre whether or not both parents are working. One main reason for this is, nuclear families are increasing in number and therefore, there aren’t many people at home for the child to interact and develop social skills and interpersonal relationships. So, it has become mandatory for parents to leave their child for several hours of the day in a reliable care centre.

There are parents who are not certain whether they can leave their children in a care centre at an early age of three or four; however, with ‘single child’ concept spreading tremendously, children do not have anyone to play with or interact at home. They need kids of their age group to play, learn, grow and enjoy. So, attending a good care centre will be a great option for these children.

Here are the benefits of putting your child in a care centre:

 

There are many benefits that your child can get from being in child care. Once your child is enrolled in the care centre, they are placed in a structured program with other children. This will help your child to learn how to socialize with others and how to be part of a team. They get to learn how to share with others and how to resolve conflicts. Since the children follow a certain routine, they will not have a problem settling in once they join school.

A care centre offers your child the opportunity to learn at an early age through observation and play which improves their intellectual abilities. The care centres are being inspected every time to ensure that they adhere with the legislative requirements. This means that your child will be in a safe environment that has the required health and safety standards. Care centres are required to have a certain adult to child ratio which means that your child will get the attention that she needs.

Children in disadvantaged homes are less likely to have ample cognitive/ intellectual stimulation as within the home environments. Such type of stimulation are found in such care learning programs, which can greatly help in narrowing the existing achievement gaps. In fact, the study revealed that the intellectual and social benefits derived from preschool learning extended far beyond a child’s early years and on to his/ her adult life. Even at 40 years of age, such a child would have much better economic performance, educational outcomes and far less commission of crime.

The interactions among children and with teachers, afforded by a preschool learning environment, are great opportunities for young kids to sharpen their communication skills. This also helps in building much better social skills, which they would not have otherwise achieved.

Therefore, the best way to ensure that your child easily settles in when she joins care centre is to interact extensively with the staff. They should be aware about any special requirements your child has and what makes her calm down when she is agitated. The more the staff know about your child, the better placed they will be to handle her. You can visit the care centre with your child before the actual start date so that she can begin to get used to the environment. You can also carry her favourite toy so that she can have something to comfort her.


 

How to Keep Your Kids Safe When Swimming

When I was little, I remember feeling a wave of excitement come over me whenever I was within striking distance of a swimming pool.  I’d shriek in delight at the smell of chlorinated water.  And now that I have kids, I see that they share the same enchantment with pools.  If your kids are anything like mine, you’d be smart enough to consider the following pool safety tips- especially for toddlers:

Get in gear.  Buy proper-fitting floatation devices such as life vests, and have your kids wear them whenever they’re near water.  For toddlers, it’s advisable to pick one with a strap between the legs and a “collar” for enough head support.  This will keep the kid’s head and face up and out of the water.

Never leave the kid alone.  Don’t think for a minute that just because your little one aced his swimming lessons, he’s going to be the next Michael Phelps.  That does not make him “drown-proof”.  No matter what, a child always needs to be supervised in water. An adult swimmer should be within arm’s reach.

Keep them fenced in.  Be sure to swim in a pool surrounded by pool fencing that is four-sided, and has no openings where a kid can crawl under. Choose a pool with a gate that closes and latches by itself.

Slather on sunscreen. Never underestimate the importance of protecting your kid’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun. Apply a generous amount on all exposed areas of his skin to keep him from burning to a crisp.

Swimming or playing in the water can provide your toddler lots of fun. Just always remember to make safety a priority. And then you too can relax and have fun!

Big Kid Budgets: When and Why to Get Your Child Their First Savings Account

Do you remember when you first discovered what money is and what it can do? If you’re like most folks, you probably collected money from the tooth fairy and started saving dimes in a bank shaped like a pig. That’s fine, but there are more realistic ways for kids to learn to manage money than pillows and piggies. Is your child old enough to handle a bank savings account? They will be, if you pay attention to the following information.

Savings habits are established early

A nonprofit community development group called Neighborhood Works recently completed a study that revealed a startling fact: Out of every three Americans, one of them has no emergency savings at all. This may be due to the fact that if people fail to establish good savings habits early in life, they tend to be forgetful about setting aside money as adults.

John Buerger is a financial expert in San Luis Obispo, California. He notes that money habits, whether they show a tendency toward saving or spending, are generally put into place between the ages of five to 12. Parents who set a good example by saving 10 to 20 percent of their income stand the best chance of raising kids who smartly manage money.

The first time kids open an account

For their first banking experience, help your kid open a savings account in lieu of a checking account. Once your child has been saving for several years, they may wish to have a more complicated account, but for starters, keep it simple. Shop around for a bank that offers low- or no-fee savings accounts for kids. Many local credit unions will do this. Be sure to open an account at a bank that has a secure website where kids can watch their savings grow. Don’t deposit money online, however. Making a deposit in person at a brick-and-mortar banking institution helps kids understand the magnitude of saving money.

Keep it simple

Long winded lectures about investments are not going to be of much interest to your child. Therefore, look for a bank with a website that provides kid-friendly features. Ask other parents what banking site their kids like the most. Some banks offer cool rewards such as bonuses for good grades in school and interactive savings clubs where kids can be inspired to save even more.

Adults who learned to manage money at a young age tend to be smarter about financial matters. When it comes to selecting a credit card for travellers and other credit products, they tend to be savvy shoppers. So you can see why teaching your kids to save now may bring big rewards to their futures.

Set a good example by showing your kids how to save. If you can’t afford to set aside 20 percent per paycheck, save what you can and explain why it’s an important habit for life.

 

Sam Bentley is a Father who is passionate about teaching his children some good to know life lessons when it comes to money.

Tips for Parents with Children Suffering from Addiction

Parenting is usually an uphill task, but no one said it was going to be easy. No parents wish for their child to become a drug addict. Drug addiction is a nightmare for American society. More than 24 million Americans use drugs and it shatters their lives completely.

Parents may be confused when they have to deal with a child who is a drug addict, but feeling sad and sorry will not help solve the problem. The best course of action is to help your child overcome this habit. Here are a few tips to handle the situation.

Revitalize the Relationship You Have with Your Child

Children who are addicted to drugs can be rude and unruly. This might damage the relationship you have with your child. You are also likely to blame your child for failing to listen to your counsel. Conflicts develop between you and your child and this is likely to worsen the already precarious situation.

The best thing to do is to express your love and support for your child. Make your child feel that it is not their fault and you are not angry with them even though you don’t approve of their habit. By being their friend at a time when they need you most, you make them build trust in you.

Communicate Openly and Firmly with Your Child and Make Them Understand the Risks Involved

Ensure that your tone is nonjudgmental as you talk to them about their addiction. Encourage them that they can overcome their addiction and be clear that they have no other option. Try to listen to them and understand their opinion about their addiction. In these talk sessions, focus on the positive. Tell them what they stand to gain by quitting their addiction.

Reinforce Positive Behavior

Never highlight the negative behavior of your children. Don’t blame them for their poor decision-making or be sarcastic while dealing with a drug addict. This will further lower their self-esteem and make it more difficult to end the addiction.

You could, for instance, highlight something good they did in the past or what they are currently doing right. Give examples of other successful people who overcame addiction. If there is some hobby they like doing like playing the piano, join them in their practice and genuinely compliment them when they perform well. This will help build their confidence and make them willing to beat their addiction.

Seek Professional Help

Taking your child to a rehabilitation center is an option, but not necessarily the best one. If you take your child to rehab, he or she is likely to feel abandoned and unloved. Seeking professional help, however, is the right move to make. Find a counselor who you can have sessions with together with your child.

There are many professionals with certified degrees in substance abuse counseling who can help you with your child. Counseling for substance abuse will help your child realize their bad decisions and make an effort to correct them with your help.

Overcoming an addiction is not easy. Ask anyone who was struggling with addiction and quit. Whatever you do, make sure that you remain patient with your child and stay committed.

 

 

Simple Secrets To Ensure That Your Kids Stay Healthy And Happy

Being a mom, a lot of your time can be taken up with worry about how your kids are doing. Are they healthy enough? Are they happy? But so much of life is not in our control, despite our instinct to protect and provide. But something that we can do is give them the best foundation on which to build their lives. Which in turn, gives them the best chance of growing up both healthy and happy. Read on to find out more.

 

Model their diet now

 

Something that can be helpful when you’re trying to raise healthy kids is to model their diet now. It’s no good letting them eat what they want for the first few years of their lives. Then expecting them to switch to a super healthy diet without a fight later on!

 

The best way a parent can do this, aside from providing healthy food in the home, is to eat a similar diet themselves. Kids are sharp, and they will pick up on any inconsistencies between what you eat, and what you are feeding them very quickly. They also model a lot of behavior from their parents and siblings as they grow up, so make sure that there are plenty of good role models around for them.

 

Another important aspect of their diet is to include whole foods that can help boost things like their immune system. But be careful here, as there is a lot of unscientific advice out there about this sort of thing. Meaning it can be from very confusing as to what is truly healthy and what isn’t.

 

To assist you in making that choice you can use sites like HealthyButSmart.com. Which provide the low down, and evidence on the latest food fads and trends, so you can be sure that they are worth the time and effort.

Healthy relationships are important

 

Something else that is essential for your child’s happiness is for them to form healthy relationships, both with you,their parent and with their friends, and siblings. Remember so much of how they feel about themselves is based on their early experiences. So it’s important to make these as healthy as possible.

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This means teaching them fair but consistent discipline. As well as how to communicate effectively, sharing, and turn taking.

 

It is also important to set aside some time in which you and you kids can bond. Use this time to demonstrate an interest in what is important to them.

Make Activity Fun

 

Something else that you can do for your kids, from when they are very young is introduced them to fun exercise activities. It is better to put the emphasis on fun and participation, rather than just the exercise. As this can help them build a healthy relationship with exercise that will stand them in good stead for a lifetime.

 

Remember adults that exercise 5 times a week as less of a change of contacting many major diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Help them to be ahead of the curve later in life by getting them interested and engaged in exercise now.

 

 

Teach Your Kids To Be More Mindful Of The Environment

As parents, it’s our job to teach our children the skills that they will need to grow into successful adults. We make time to help our kids with their homework, to teach them to cook and clean, and show them how to tell time and tie their shoelaces, but what about teaching them about the environment? Far too many of us are failing our children when it comes to teaching them about the importance of looking after the environment. They are the future of the planet, so we need to teach them how to look after it and preserve the earth for future generations. The question is, what are the best ways to go about doing that?

Watch documentaries with them

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There are hundreds of fantastic documentaries about the impact that we have on the environment, many of which are aimed at children. Find a couple of documentaries that you think would interest your child and watch them together. Answer any questions that they have and help them to understand how they, as an individual, impact the environment. Use easy examples, such as how when we use too much energy we melt the ice caps, meaning that the penguins and polar bears have nowhere to live. If there’s anything that your child asks you that you don’t know, research it together.

 

Lead by example

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Studies have shown that children tend to pick up their parents’ habits and copy what they do, so one of the best ways to encourage your kids to be mindful of the environment is to lead by example. This means making green choices yourself and ensuring that your home is as eco-friendly as possible. The key to this is using eco-friendly appliances, researching how having solar panels fitted by a solar company could help you to be greener, and only using environmentally-friendly products, such as soaps and washing detergent. Little changes like buying meat locally and growing your own fruits and vegetables are also great, as these teach kids about the importance of buying local and using less chemicals. Your children will always want to do what you do, so leading by example is a must when it comes to encouraging your kids to be more mindful of the environment.

 

Encourage them to make greener choices

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It’s all well and good telling your kids how to be greener, but if you want them to get into the habit of doing so, it’s best to gently encourage them not tell them to do things. For instance, if you notice that your child has finished playing on their games console and has left it turned on, you might be tempted to say ‘please can you turn your games console off.’ Instead, it’s best to give them some gentle encouragement, such as by saying ‘is there anything that you’ve forgotten to do now that you’ve finished with your games console?’. This will give them time to think about what they have forgotten to do and will help to encourage them to get into good habits when it comes to leading a greener life.

 

Believe it or not, teaching your little ones to be more mindful of the environment doesn’t have to be difficult. Take note of the tips and ideas above, and you can make it a relatively painless process.

 

Let’s Colour! These Bright, Bold Styles Will Look Gorgeous On Any Child

Flickr Photo: Walter
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As the days gradually lengthen, sunny spells grow longer and there’s a little less bite in the morning air.  Our thoughts then turn towards spring. What’s amazing is that kid’s fashion can be classic yet innovative at the same time. Lightweight jumpers, trousers, and t-shirts remain structurally similar, but the fabrics, materials, and colors are completely different to winter. No matter where you live, when spring arrives it brings sunshine, laughter, and lots of outdoor playtime.

Bold Prints

We’re seeing a definite re-emergence of Native American, and Navajo-style prints, geometrics and even bead and feather trims. Kids love the laid back, happy hippie throwback look and will be clamouring to wear cotton tees, bright shorts and bohemian colors like canary yellow, jungle green and sky blue. Tassels, fringing, and embroidery, will also be big on shoes, sandals and even jackets. Think festival fun for little ones but don’t overdo it, a little coat embellishment or a pair of cute feather print shorts is fine but nothing too in your face or messy.

Distressed Denim

The ripped, faded and acid washed look has even filtered down into children’s clothing so your kids will be begging you for cutoff shorts come summer. Double denim also looks awesome on children, think jeans with patches on, checked shirts and sun hats plus child size leather jackets, made from softer tans and with minimal buttons and zips. Look out for a rise in kids boots too in materials like velvet, suede, leather and lace as well as smaller kids versions of the infamous Doc Marten shoe.

Ladylike Lace

Prepare for girly glam to truly take off this year with layers of lace, ribbons and even tulle on girls dresses. Think ballet dancer, movie star and even fairy princess and you’ll be along the right lines. Florals, including leaf, petal and 3D flower patterns are going to be massive all year long, so these beautiful giggle moon dresses are all bang on trend. Cream, white and even blue lace is going to be everywhere, with delicate trousers, dresses and even tops featuring lace, pearl and flower motifs. By summer, color popping maxi dresses, multi layered skirts, and even rainbow sandals are going be on every little girl’s wish list.

Prep School

Most schools in America don’t require students to wear a uniform but thanks to the rising popularity of England’s young royals, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte, the demand for posh, private school style play clothes has become huge. Look out for tailored boys blazers, smart shirts, and Oxford loafers as well as adorable pinafores, cashmere cardigans, and fancy top/skirt combos. While your kids may happily carry satchels, or want to wear tights we think they’ll probably draw the line at ties!

Casual Athletic

Again, thanks to the growing demand for tailored adult sportswear that can be worn to work, dinner and even the gym athletic kids wear is very in vogue right now. While t-shirts, shorts, and tennis dresses are all classic styles, designers are now mixing up modern twists using color blocking, stripes and squares, sequins and bold shades to add flair. Expect to see the shops packed with kids hoodies, basketball shoes and soccer jackets come April.

 

 

Flickr Photo: THOR

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Golden Years: Five Things That Every Single Child Should Do Before They Grow Up

When you look back at being a kid, you probably have a few select memories that are really precious to you. And there’s a pretty good chance that those memories usually involve something special that you did or some wonderful time spent with your family. When you have kids of your own, it’s totally natural to want them to be able to create their own memories just like that. But all of the distractions around for kids today, it can seem like they could easily just spend their time online, never really enjoying what it’s like to be a kid. With that in mind, here are a few things that every kid should do before they grow up!

 

Go exploring

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There really is nothing like the thrill of getting lost in the wilderness. Even if that wilderness is just the woods near your house, it’s still a fantastic experience. Your kids should take themselves out into nature without any distraction so that they can really discover the amazing world around them. It’s also a great way for them to learn some independence as they navigate their way home. Of course, you’ll always be pretty close by! You want them to be safe after all. But that way they stay safe without feeling like you’re constantly hovering over them.

 

Go to a summer camp

 

Just about everyone has those memories of a fantastic summer spent at camp! Learning all sorts of new skills, making friends and just getting to enjoy the thrill of being young. A summer camp is a really wonderful way to help a child build character in a safe, supportive environment. And the counselors at summer camps are incredibly passionate people who will really help bring out the best in your kids.

 

Camp out in a tent

 

This can be as simple as setting up a tent in the yard and sleeping there overnight. Kids love being able to get out and find adventure and camping is a wonderful way to help them get that feeling while still keeping them safe.

 

Build something from scratch

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You could buy your kids all the toys in the world, and it’s never going to be quite as satisfying for them as building something with their own two hands. The fantastic thing is that it can be made out of anything. Wood, metal, even cardboard! Whatever you have lying around can be turned into something magical that your kids can be proud of. It’s also a fantastic bonding opportunity for both of you. You can guide them and offer helpful advice to help them figure out what it is that they want to create.

 

Cook their very own meal

 

There’s really nothing like the look on a child’s face when they first taste some food that they cooked themselves. The sense of pride and achievement is something that can stay with them for years. Not only that but it starts them on the road to knowing one of the most important skills that a person can have.

 

Divorce and Your Child: A Developmental Mini-Guide to Understanding Their Feelings

Divorce is, for children, a devastating experience. Most parents, fortunately, are more than ready to take time out from their own personal tensions to prioritize the task of guiding their kids through the trauma. It is important at these times to think clearly and to see things from the child’s point of view, but that point of view changes rapidly in the child’s developing mind.

It’s About Feelings

In times of extreme stress, emotions are never far from the surface. Remember that the relationship between feelings and facts is an unpredictable one, especially in a child.

Because divorce affects feelings in so many different ways, it will help if you can find an attorney who has an understanding of the way divorce affects those around, whether you are approaching an online practitioner such as www.divorceguru.com or using a family attorney.

Early Months

Up to about 18 months, a baby has very little conceptual framework to guide her. Everything is centered on the security represented by the primary care-giver, usually the mother. She responds quickly to unspoken tension and may become clingy and tearful.

Toddlers

As the toddler begins to master language, he gets a better sense of the world, but it is a world that is all about him. His parents are the two closest and largest planets in this little solar system so any disruption is going to throw him out of balance. He may retreat to a former secure existence by temper displays and regression to baby behavior.

Early Junior

The child’s imagination is growing, which means she can extend the present distress into the future and conceive of more and worse things happening. So her life can be taken up with fear. Will she ever see the absent parent again? Will both parents disappear from her life? She does not have much concept of time or distance, so separation may seem more absolute and final than it actually is. She needs her parents to be predictable and reliable.

Older Junior

As the child grows, his center of life is beginning to move outwards, but only from a secure base. If that base is challenged by parents separating, he may use his growing mental abilities to protect himself. He may retreat into a fantasy world and deny the reality of what is happening around him, or construct scenarios where he is to blame.

Pre-Adolescent

The child is on the verge of big changes, and taking tentative steps to discover her place in the world. The last thing she needs is for her parents’ problems to take center stage in her life. So she is likely to display intense anger which can reveal itself in many ways, but at the same time she is learning to empathize and understand their pain.

Crucial Moments

The effects of a divorce can reverberate for a lifetime, and nobody handles it perfectly. For parents, an effort to understand how their children are perceiving the situation can help to ease the pain and give them the resources to move forward.

 

Joanne Morrison shares her tips and support regarding divorce and stepfamilies. She uses her own life experiences to write informative articles which appear online at family and parenting blogs as well as relationship and divorce focused blogs.