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Sunday, January 24, 2010


I just read an informative and disturbing article entitled Parental Alienation: Four Facts. In the article, Donald Pennington discusses why parental alienation harms children psychologically and spiritually.

We should know that children feel naturally torn when their parents divorce, so when parents add the extra burden of alienating them further by criticizing or belittling the (usually) non-custodial parent,  children hurt in ways that cut them to the core.

A condition now known as Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) suggests that by engaging in behavior that alienates children from their parents, children suffer from ABUSE by the parent who is contributing to the syndrome.

As single parents, we need to understand that just because we are divorced, even if we hate our ex-spouse, we need to provide a safe environment for our children. And except in cases of extreme sexual, sadistic, or physical abuse, we need to encourage relationships between our children and their other parent.

When I was working at the University of Chicago, I met a child once whose mother threw acid in his face. Who do you think that child called when he wanted somebody to comfort him? Obviously his mother suffered from some deeply disturbing psychological illness and should not have been allowed into that child's life until (and if) she became emotionally well. But most of us are not divorced from psychotic individuals and we need to recognize our child's love for his or her other parent.

Please read Parental Alienation: Four Facts to learn more about this disturbing trend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Have You Discovered Floambots?

My Review of the Floam Floambot Kit:

If ever a case presented itself that proved you get what you pay for, the Floam Floambot kit is a perfect example. My daughter paid $2.50 for the kit.

In defense of the Floam Floambot kit, I can see why somebody would want to purchase it. It looks like something a kid would want.

Look at the box – those Floambots look awesome. Heck, kids might even want to collect them.

So on a day when my youngest daughter, Brittney, was home from work, she and my five year-old granddaughter, Audrey, decided to work on the project.

First problem: some of the floam was already hardened. As a matter of fact, all of the floam, except for the green floam, was hard. So they were stuck with making a green Floambot.

As you can see from the photo below, the Floambot  Brittney and Audrey created looks exactly like those pictured on box.

Bottom line: these styrofoam Floambots might be fun if they were only fifty cents, but  Amazon sells them for a whopping $15.95, and Brittney found it at Big Lots for $2.50. However, since they easily fall apart once you make them (but can easily be put back together too), why bother with them at all?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

When Kids Want to Help

When my oldest daughter, Keeley,  was around four years old, we lived with my parents and two sisters. We all shared one bathroom, and my sisters and I would align our contact lenses on the sink in a particular order so that we could find them easily.

One morning before we all awoke to get ready for work, Keeley decided to help us by washing our hard contact lenses for us (you can see where this is going).

Unscrewing the lid on the first case, she placed the lens between her finger and thumb just as she had seen us do a hundred times before, and one by one, she watched the water wash them down the drain.

Not one to quit, Keeley reminded herself that "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."

But what happens when six contact lenses fall down the drain and you can't wash them anymore?

Well, if you're four years old, you don't say anything and hope nobody will notice.

Unfortunately, blind as we were, we ALL noticed. And who did everybody yell at? Me!

And Keeley. Like my sisters, I was infuriated.

All poor Keeley was trying to do was help and we yelled at her for it.

We should have placed our contact lenses higher up so she couldn't reach them. We should have thanked her for trying to help, but we also should have explained to her that she had to ask if she wanted to handle things that belonged to somebody else. We also should have remained calm.

But we weren't thinking "thanks" when we saw $60 (cost at the time) wash down the drain. We were angry. We should have tried to see it from her point of view. But we didn't. All the shoulda-coulda's in the world wouldn't have helped us see anything from her point of view, because we were all so angry.

So I guess the point of this blog is to remind parents to keep important articles out of the reach of small children and to pay attention to your child's motives when he or she tries to help.

If nothing else, the experience will make for a great blog some day.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Does Your Daycare Provider Understand Your Child?

When our children begin to speak, their inflections and tones sometimes alert us to the nuances of their own particular words as they work to refine their language skills.

Sometimes, though, understanding them is a challenge. Once we understand what it is they are trying to say, we should share our findings with people who care for our children. Believe me, life becomes much simpler when we understand what they are trying to tell us.

Consider Creating Helpful Dictionaries to help your providers. Click the link and find out how it worked for me. See also if you can figure out what the words were supposed to be before you checked out the dictionary.

More Help For Single Parents

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