Posts Tagged ‘SuperParent’


Divorced Moms Article: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Single Moms

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

7 Habits of Highly Effective Single Moms

By: Terry Gaspard with Divorced Moms

There is definitely an art and a science to successful single parenting. Since I was raised by a single parent and raised two children solo for a few years, it’s worth mentioning that there is a silver lining to being a single mom. Fortunately, many moms gain self-confidence in their ability to handle challenges and their children become more determined and independent.

However, making the transition from married to single life won’t be easy for you or your children. It takes time to adjust to financial changes, expanded household and child care responsibilities and to being alone. It’s essential that you develop daily habits and routines to smooth the way for you and your children.

The key to successful single parenting is to reflect daily upon the importance of preparing for your new life and accepting that change is necessary. It will take time for you and your children to adjust to your new lifestyle but developing a positive mindset will help ease the transition.

Since I’ve always found paradigms and principles useful to setting goals, I will borrow habits from Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and adapt them for single moms. In several cases, I borrowed his heading and in others, developed my own.

7 Habits of Effective Single Moms:

  1. Be proactive: Get support for yourself and your children. This includes counseling, social outlets and child care. Avoid playing the role of victim and remind yourself that things will get better over time.
  2. Create a positive vision: Take control of your life and develop a clear picture of where you are heading. Decide what your values are for raising your children and start with setting three goals that are meaningful to you. Keep in mind that it can take up to a month to see any change.
  3. Prioritize: Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep the focus on spending time with your kids and positive interactions. For instance, in our house we had pizza on Tuesday nights which gave us one week night to spend more time together when I wasn’t so focused on cooking and cleaning up. (more…)

The Stir Article: 17 Things Only a Divorced Mom Knows

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

17 Things Only a Divorced Mom Knows

By: Jodi Meltzer for on CafeMom’s blog, The Stir.

After the divorce tear gas stops stinging and the OMG-I-should-have-been-a-lawyer bills are paid, there’s a period of awakening, of embracing your new reality as a divorced mom.

At times, it’s intoxicating. The freedom, the firsts, the time you have to devote to your precious child. Other days are wracked with guilt, with “what if”s, with longing for your baby. It’s a bumpy road only those who have gone through it can possibly understand. Here are 17 things only a divorced mom knows.

  1. How infuriating it is to deal with “Disneyland Dad.” Everything is more fun at dad’s. It’s no problem when your kid hangs from his ceiling fan while eating candy for breakfast.
  2. The loneliness of your kid making mom-free memories, taking mom-free trips, and enjoying mom-free time in a home where you’re most likely not welcome.
  3. Having to censor everything you say because your kid has become a recording device that plays back your conversations to his dad.
  4. Wondering which of your friends will be on Team Mom and which will be on Team Dad. They always choose sides — and this can mess things up for all of your kids.
  5. The challenge of co-parenting. If your ex is spiteful, he may do things just to piss you off (like feeding your vegetarian a double cheeseburger). And there’s nothing you can do about it. Also, see #1.
  6. Choking back tears on the phone knowing your baby wants a goodnight kiss you can’t deliver. Or worrying that he’ll wake up after a nightmare and you won’t be there to comfort him.
  7. Watching your siblings form teams with their kids for the family’s annual Thanksgiving Day lawn football game, but having no ‘team’ in attendance this year. Why do we even play football on Thanksgiving? Football is stupid. So is Thanksgiving. Decide never to celebrate again in solidarity with the Native Americans. Until next year, when your kid will be with you.
  8. The sting when your child says, “I want daddy!” Ouch. It’s so much worse than when you were married.
  9. Trying to act like a grown-up when you talk about your ex so you don’t “tarnish” your kids’ image of him or make them feel like they have to take sides. Even though you know they’d totally pick you. Right?
  10. Pretending you don’t notice your child watching the happy family of four eating dinner at a restaurant. Shiny, happy people holding hands, please go away.
  11. The thrill of post-divorce sex — no worrying about locking the door because your kid definitely won’t interrupt. It’s dad’s night!
  12. Wondering if and when you should introduce your child to your new man. OMG. Is he good enough to be a stepdad? Will my kid like him? Do I like him?
  13. Feeling like a third wheel on playdates that spill into the evenings when that lovely couple invites you to stay for dinner. Nice … but awkward.
  14. Agonizing over whether you’ll be “replaced” when daddy gets a girlfriend. Conducting a seance or doing a rain dance to ward this off.
  15. Feeling guilty about everything. From fearing your kid will blame you for breaking up the family to fearing your kid’s bad grades, allergies, [insert anything here] are all because of the divorce. Divorced mommy guilt is like regular mommy guilt… on steroids.
  16. The incredible exhaustion of being up all night with a sick kid and having to work the next day. There’s no more sharing shifts with the hubby. It’s all on you, baby.
  17. Cuddling with your child in your own home that’s finally free of toxic energy. Just the two of you.

What would you add to the list?


In The Stir’s article “17 Things Only a Divorced Mom KnowsMs. Meltzer states a few feelings that most all divorce moms understand. It’s difficult to go through divorce and feel the pull of what have I done (or what has he done) to this family.  The emotion of wanting to have your children with you all the time and posing the question of whether you could stay in a unbearable situation just so you can be there to keep them safe all the time instead of half the time.  
 
There are so many different thoughts that come into consideration when you are struggling with the back and forth of divorce or separation. Sometimes you feel cornered with no way out and that’s why we are here to help.  If you or someone you know is in a circumstance that is intimidating or even hostile, please call our office for assistant.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: 7 Ways To Stop Procrastinating

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

7 Ways To Stop Procrastinating

By: Gail Saltz, M.D. with Health.com

Choices are never easy, especially when it comes to life’s big ones. Phoebe, 39, came to see me one day, distraught after learning from a doctor that she might not be able to conceive. “How long have you been trying?” I asked. “On and off for eight months,” she told me. Even though she had always wanted a baby and had been married for seven years, she confessed that she’d had a lot of trouble committing to getting pregnant. She didn’t understand why; in fact, she’d had a similar problem deciding whether or not to marry her (very) long-term boyfriend, to the point that she almost lost him.

Of course, getting married and starting a family aren’t decisions you enter into lightly, but Phoebe had a major case of life procrastination. That’s what I call voluntarily putting off something you truly want to do, despite knowing that you’ll probably be worse off because of the delay.

People tend to think of procrastination in terms of concrete to-dos — waiting until the last minute to turn in a work report, say, or paying bills late. But it can also take hold when making life decisions both small and large, from Should I join a gym? to Do I ask for a raise? These missed opportunities can damage your career or relationship and also give you a nagging, frustrating feeling that you’re stuck in a rut of your own making.

Research shows that about 20 percent of adults are chronic procrastinators, but many more of us occasionally put off until tomorrow what we need — and even want — to do today. Yet for the most part, we don’t realize that it’s happening or that, in the process, we’re undermining our own happiness. Procrastinators tend to be far more stressed than those who don’t have this habit; they get sick more often, too. If you can suck it up and act, however, you’ll find your day-to-day a lot more pleasant and rewarding: Your mind will be released from all that ruminating and second-guessing, paving the way for other opportunities. After all, life is richest when filled with milestones and accomplishments — not with regrets of what you should’ve and would’ve done, if only.

So why would a woman push off a marriage or baby she really wants? Why would someone stay in a job she no longer likes? It’s not that they’re lazy or overly laid-back. Life procrastinators may dread failure. They may have a fear of success, an urge to be defiant, a perfectionist streak or a need to take risks — all of which can get in the way when trying to make a decision. Take my diagnostic quiz to see if you are a life procrastinator, then keep reading to discover what’s driving your indecision and find real-world solutions that will finally set you free.

‘I Don’t Want To Fail’
If you’re so afraid of being bad (or, worse, just OK) at something that you’d rather not try it at all, here’s a news flash: You’re a perfectionist. Perhaps you hardly ever work out because you’d feel terrible if you killed yourself at the gym but couldn’t lose the last 10 pounds or hone that six-pack. Carrying this to the extreme, you may also believe that you are only lovable and worthwhile if your performance at everything is nothing less than outstanding.

Try this: The next time you’re hemming and hawing over something you could crash and burn at, take a page from Sheryl Sandberg and tell yourself, Done is better than perfect. Chances are, no one will notice if the results aren’t up to your exacting standards; they’ll just be impressed that you got results, period.

‘I’m Afraid Of Being Successful’
On the flip side, some of us become paralyzed by imagining that if we excel, we will be expected to keep performing at that level. Or we freak out that the achievement would change our lives in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways. Concerns you may have: If I ask for that promotion and get it, who’s going to help out with the kids if I have to put in more hours at the office? Are my work friends going to stop inviting me to lunch?

Try this: Accept uncertainty. The reality is that any choice you make (even if you decide to keep things status quo) will have upsides and downsides. Imagining the potential negatives (My friend at work will be so jealous) and telling yourself that it will work out (She’ll deal, or else I’ll find a new confidant) can help you stop obsessing and start doing. Worried that you’ll be less available for your loved ones? That’s a classic fear of success. Keep in mind that if and when you accept a new position or job, you can set boundaries at the outset. Thing is, you can’t do that unless you apply first.

‘I Don’t Want To Be Told What To Do’
You aim — fine, you need — to be in charge. You probably grew up with an authoritarian parent who was very controlling. Unfortunately, now you’re asserting yourself by delaying things that must be addressed, like making basic updates to your circa-1950s kitchen. Your story is: “Hey! No one can order me around!” — even though no one really is — “I’ll do it on my terms!” Which may be never.

Try this: When you find yourself resisting a change, ask yourself how you’re really feeling at heart. Indecision often masks anxiety, sadness or anger. Perhaps your parents were always fighting about money, so even though you have the cash to renovate, you feel stressed-out about spending it. Figuring out which emotion is stopping you from acting can make a decision clearer because it becomes more obvious that the conflict over taking action is coming from you. In other words, you are fighting only yourself.

‘I Get A Rush Out Of Doing Things Last-Minute’
Some put-offers aren’t anxious at all: They thrive on the excitement of scrambling to hit deadlines, often because they find the daily grind boring—and boredom terrifying. A thrill seeker who wants to go on some fantasy vacation, such as a boat cruise in the Galapagos, may delay purchasing tickets but keep checking to see how many spots are left until, finally, she is forced to commit because the trip is almost booked.

Try this: If you’re always telling yourself that you’re at your best when under pressure, prove it (in a small, innocuous way). Do a task — like tossing in a load of laundry or completing your expenses at work — at the last minute, as usual. Then one day perform that same chore ahead of schedule. You’ll most likely notice that your overall routine seems a little saner and that you have more free time on your hands when you knock stuff off early. Even better: You’ll have a full underwear drawer — and a cool trip to look forward to.

3 Everyday Ways To Just Do It
Quick tips that will help you tackle those little things you put off, courtesy of John Perry, Ph.D., author of The Art of Procrastination.

Nag yourself.
It’s hard to ignore in-your-face reminders. Put Post-its on the fridge at night with a list of errands for the next day. Program your computer to send alerts, or try a task-manager app like Any.do. Place the bag of clothes to return to the store right by the door so you have to take it with you.

Think of an ominous task.
Maybe it’s changing the oil in your car or cleaning out the attic. Soon you’ll find yourself doing what you really need to do because it’s better than the dreaded chore. It’s all relative: Some activities may be mundane, but they’re not nearly as bad as an oil change.

Make tinier to-dos.
For instance, instead of writing, Send thank-you cards, jot down, 1. Find thank-you cards. 2. Write them out. 3. Address envelopes. Why it works: The thrill of checking off all those little tasks makes you feel so successful that you’re revved to keep on going. Mission, accomplished.


In Huffington Post’s article “7 Ways To Stop Procrastinating” Ms. Saltz with Health.com gives advice on how to stop procrastinating. We all do it. We put off our worst tasks and move around our to-do lists to avoid things that we just don’t want to do.
 
Some things are just too unpleasant that we want to hide it at the bottom of our lists and hope that it will just disappear. In divorce, there is so much to do, stacks of forms to fill out and an unbelievable amount of paperwork to read through. It’s easy to get lost and want to toss it all in a corner and forget about it.
 
Especially with legal paperwork, you do not ever want to procrastinate. You want to make sure you fill your forms on time and file it with the appropriate parties. You don’t want to end up with penalties and fees you could have avoided by filing your responses on time. If you feel as though the stacks are overwhelming and need help reading all the legal jargon, we are here to help. Call our office now for a complimentary consultation and we will assist you with your case.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: 11 Things All Divorced Parents Need To Hear

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

11 Things All Divorced Parents Need To Hear

By: Brittany Wong with Huffington Post

Your divorce may have been a drawn-out, dramatic mess but if you want your kids to come out unscathed, your co-parenting relationship with your ex needs to be anything but.

So how do you make nice with your ex when it’s the last thing you want to do? Below, HuffPost Divorce readers share the one word of advice they’d give fellow divorcees struggling to forge a working parenting relationship with their ex.

1. “Co-parent. Learn to look at your ex as a business partner. And if you feel the need to vent about him or her, vent to your friends and not to your kids. The kids’ feelings always have to come first.”

2. “Keep as many rules consistent between the two households as possible. This way, the kids won’t be able to play both sides. What’s not allowed at mom’s house isn’t allowed at dad’s, either.”

3. “Find a way to overcome the anger you feel toward your ex. Face him or her as a father or mother and give them the opportunity to maintain and improve your bond as co-parents.”

4. “Remember: Your kids are not pawns and divorce is not a game to win.”

5. “The way you manage conflicts will determine how your children emerge from the divorce. You may no longer be married, but your roles as co-parents will last for the rest of your lives.”

6. “It’s so easy to get lost in your own wants and needs and go to battle with your ex, but taking the high road makes for a happier life for everyone involved.”

7. “Be cautious if you’re tempted to be judgmental; that magnifying glass works both ways. Unless your child is in danger, you have to give the benefit of the doubt that your child’s other parent is doing the best they can do, the same way you are.”

8.“Quit the manipulation. Stop badmouthing the other parent to the kids. You divorced your spouse, not the kids, so don’t take your anger out on them.”

9. “Let go of what happens in the other parent’s house, unless it’s truly egregious.”

10. “Communication is key. You have to keep the lines of communication open between you and your ex. Never let the resentment you feel toward him or her seep into your conversations — that’s so unproductive.”

11. “Kids need both parents and they need them to get along. Do you want your kids to be a bitter, unforgiving people? Because that’s what you’re modeling for them if you can’t put your past hurts behind you. Instead, opt to co-parent in a civil way so you can teach the kids how to create healthy relationships in adversity. It’s one of the best lessons you can give them.”


In Huffington Post’s article “11 Things All Divorced Parents Need To Hear” lists some sound points to remember when going through a divorce with children. Sometimes you work really hard co-parenting with your ex and it seems as though they feed off the drama and you may feel like you are at your wits end.
 
If you feel like the cards are stacking against you and you cannot seem to communicate with your ex regarding anything without it becoming a long drama filled argument, then call our office. We can assist you in putting together the pieces of your damaged relationship and find common ground to work with your co-parent.
 
Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: The Most Important Thing My Mom Taught Me About Parenting

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The Most Important Thing My Mom Taught Me About Parenting

By: Marisa McPeck-Stringham for Huffington Post

The other day I was looking at a photo of myself at my toddler daughter’s age. I marveled at how much she looked like me, and I relished the family resemblance. We don’t have the same eye color, but we do have the same eye shape and the same long eyelashes. I realized that, although I was hoping she would have my blue eyes, she has hazel eyes like my mother. Then I pulled out a photo of my mother crying on her first birthday. I could see my daughter’s face in hers, since my baby has that exact same expression when she cries. I realized the family resemblance ran through at least three generations. These moments are especially bittersweet since I can’t share them with my mother because she died six years ago from pancreatic cancer. But the family resemblances don’t end at our face shapes and our shared hair color; my mom taught me a lot of lessons about parenting, and often, I’m a reflection of her.

Toddler me in 1979. My daughter looks just like me.

1. The love of reading.
Every Saturday of my childhood, my mother would take me to the library. She was an avid reader and always had her name on a list to reserve the latest must-read book. I spent countless hours at our city library stacking up the piles of books she let me check out. I remember when she got me my first library card and how proud I was to be responsible for my own books. I remember my mother said once she could survive anything in life as long as she had her books to take her away on a new adventure. She instilled her love of books in me. I don’t take my children to the library as often as she did, but I take them frequently. In the summer, I read a large chapter book to my children for a few minutes every night. They’re always begging me to read more chapters. Whenever I see one of my kids reading a book independent of a school assignment, I get a little thrill.

2. Parenting doesn’t stop when your child turns 18.
After my mother died, I was going through her things and picking out the books I wanted to keep while the rest would be donated. Among the thousands of books I found in her collection was a book about parenting from an empty nest. To think that my mother was worried about parenting her children right even after we were adults let me know how much she truly did love us and want us to succeed. I was married young, and after I had only completed two and a half years of college. My mother constantly encouraged me to go back to school. She wanted each of her children to have a college education, and it was an important goal for her since she never got the opportunity. After the birth of my second child, every so often my mom would ask me when I was planning on going back. Once I made the decision to quit my job and go back to school full-time, my mother supported me completely. She and my dad even paid for the semesters not covered by financial aid. It took me two years to graduate, and my mother couldn’t have been prouder. I’ll always be thankful she was there to see me graduate, since she died six months after I donned my cap and gown.

3. Loyalty.
My mom always taught me that “blood is thicker than water,” or that you should always stand up for your family no matter what. She taught me that you should always have your family’s back over other people. I think I learned this lesson too well, because one of the earliest memories my younger brother has is of me taking off my shoe in the foyer at our church and hitting a kid with it who was teasing him. My mother especially wanted her children to have a close relationship as siblings. I think it’s because she instilled that loyalty to my family in me that my sister and brother are two of the most important people in my world. I try to instill this in my own children, too, which is why it’s especially painful for me when they fight with each other. I want them to know that most friends come and go, but family is forever.

Mom on her first birthday. My toddler looks just like this when she cries.

4. Your life doesn’t stop because you have children.
When I became a mother for the first time, my mother told me that children are supposed to fit into our lives, not the other way around. Because of this I have not lost my whole self in motherhood to the point where that is my whole identity. While I love being a mother and parenting my children, I have retained my hobbies and my friendships and I encourage this with my husband as well. I completed my Bachelor’s degree when I had two children, and plan to complete a Master’s degree when my youngest gets out of the toddler years. Active parenting is such a short period of time, and while most of my time is devoted to parenting, I hold a small space that is just my own and only belongs to me.

5. Talking.
My mother was somebody I could always talk to. I would lie in her bed with her for hours talking about my life and my problems. Even during my cranky teenage years, my mother was someone I could always talk to, and she would always listen. She would even put down her book long enough to pay attention to me. Years later, as an adult, even though she only lived five miles away, I would call my mom and we would spend hours on the phone. I’ve had friends tell me that they could never talk to their mothers the way I talked to mine, like a friend. I remember the first time I reached for the phone to call my mother after she died, and realized, with a slap to the face, she wouldn’t be on the other end if I called her number. I still have the very last voicemail she ever left me, singing me a birthday song and wishing me a happy birthday. As my oldest is about the enter the teenage years, I have tried to develop this relationship with her. She comes and talks to me about school, her friends and the boy she likes, and I try to listen without judgment. The other day she told me liked hanging out with me, so maybe I’m doing a good job at this.

6. Accepting me for who I am.
I was flipping through a book about mothers that my in-laws gave me one Mother’s Day when I came across this quote by Fredelle Maynard and it struck me:

Beyond all lessons, beyond the model she provided, my mother gave me a parent's ultimate gift; 
she made me feel lovable and good. She paid attention; she listened; she remembered what I said. 
She did not think me perfect, but she accepted me, without qualification.

My mother always accepted me for who I was. She didn’t try to change me or push me into doing things I didn’t want to do. I mean, within reason. She did expect me to finish my vegetables at dinner. She didn’t try to change me into the Homecoming Queen when I was a book nerd. She let me make my own mistakes and learn from them. A lot of parents try to make their children in their own image, and that is not what my mother did. She let us find out who we were without expectations or qualifications, like Maynard said. As a mother, I have loved watching my children’s personalities unfold, and like my mother, I try to not push my own view of who they should be on them. I want them to grow up to be exactly who they are.

7. Time is a gift.
The most important thing my mom taught me about parenting is that time is a gift. The reason why time is so precious is that you never know when your time is going to end. My mother died when I was 29 years old. I believed that we had at least 20 more years together. I thought she would be around to watch my children grow up and to be an active grandparent in their lives, but she’s not. That has made every moment that I ever spent with her special. I don’t know how much time I have with my children on this Earth. That means the time I do spend with them is precious to me, and I want them to know it’s special, too. I can’t think of a greater gift to my children than to give them my time.

My daughter and me on her first birthday.

This post was originally published on the Iron Daisy blog.


 
“Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother.”
 
Happy Mother’s Day from the Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C.!

Huffington Post Article: 12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say
By: Tara Kennedy-Kline for YourTango

Divorce can really suck. Two people, at one time so in love they committed to spend the rest of their lives together, find themselves communicating through lawyers and dividing assets and possessions so they can start their lives over again — on their own. But for families with children, there’s a whole other layer of complication and planning, and too often kids don’t have a voice in what’s happening. The only measure of control kids may have (at certain ages and in some states/countries) is choosing which parent’s house they would like to live in. But that’s just geography. What about the feelings that accompany a house torn apart, and their unspoken expectations of a life lived with a whole family?

The most vivid and painful memories many kids from divorced families have of early childhood aren’t of playground scuffles, skinned knees or getting in trouble. Instead, they relive scenes from their parents’ divorce. Kids of all ages — some barely aware of their own roles in the world — are acutely aware of events, situations and actions in families divided.

After working with hundreds of families — and observing the behavior of kids as they struggled through the breakdown of their families — here are the top 12 things kids think about divorce, but don’t have the world experience to say directly. If they could find the words or the courage, this is what kids wish they could tell their divorcing parents:

1. You got divorced, not me. I know you hate everything about “your ex”, but your ex is still my other parent, and I still love both of you. Please stop talking badly about each other to me or in front of me; it just makes me disrespect you. Don’t gossip with your friends and family about them when I’m around. It makes me feel like crap and you look like a jerk.

2. I really don’t care which one of you gets the car, the timeshare, or Nana’s ashtray collection, so stop telling me about how pissed you are about it and how you feel it’s “unfair”. When you start putting all your energy into material things, you make me think that’s all you care about. Honestly, you should be more angry about losing our family than you are about losing your gym membership.

3. I trust you to protect me from bullies or people who would hurt me. I may need you to shield me right now from the stupid things other people say to me. I don’t have all the right answers, and my feelings get hurt really easily, so please stand up for me. Also, it’s not ok to let your newest “squeeze” discipline me. They don’t know me well enough to scold or even correct me. They have no idea what I am going through, and I lose trust for you when you let them push me around or hurt me — even if it’s unintentional.

4. When you’re talking to each other about visitation, please don’t talk about me like a project that needs to be “managed”. If it’s your weekend to spend time with me, consider the fact that I may really be excited to spend time with you before you let me overhear you say things like, “I have a date. Can’t you just keep her and I’ll cover your weekend?” And when it comes to big events, keep in mind that I have family that I love on both sides. So how about instead of letting a judge decide who I get to see on the holidays — ask me what I want.

5. Don’t use your failed marriage and bitterness toward the opposite sex as your reference when you lecture me about my friendships and relationships. I’m too young to bear your wounds. My friends are my escape from all the stress your divorce is creating, so you may want to not talk badly about them right now, that will just make me rebel against you more.

6. When you start dating again, don’t assume that I am going to love every person you bring home. I have my own opinions, and just because you like them doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically hit it off with someone you’re dating. Remember, you have a different set of criteria for this relationship than I do. Your new “friend” is not my friend, so maybe I don’t want to be nice to them. As a matter of fact, I might fight with them on purpose because I want you take sides — my side. If I’m getting upset please remember that I may be a kid, but I still have feelings. It might be time for us to spend some quality time together — just us.

7. Don’t insult or make fun of the gifts and things I receive from my other parent or the experiences I have with them and their family. This isn’t about you. If you’re jealous, then say that. But insulting the things I like, enjoy and am proud of just because they came from my other parent, only makes you look like a huge, petty brat. It also makes me think twice about sharing new things with you.

8. Quit telling me I’m “being dramatic” about what’s happening. Don’t dismiss my emotions. I’m allowed to be sad/angry/disappointed/depressed over the divorce of my parents. The family I knew for the whole of my life is ending, and I am scared to death. And from my perspective, you simply stopped loving someone who made you angry, so how long will it be before I do something to make you stop loving me? And on that note, now that I have realized your love has limits, be prepared for me to test those limits almost daily.

9. I would really appreciate it if the two of you could stop acting like children and come up with a plan that allows you to be in the same space at the same time without being mean to each other. For example: my birthday, sports events, recitals, concerts, and basically any time my other family, friends, coaches or teachers are around. If you could manage to put your own selfish crap aside and be civil with each other every once in a while, that would be great for everyone.

10. Please get on the same page when it comes to values, rules and discipline. When — out of spite for each other — you let me get away with stuff that even I know is wrong, you confuse and frustrate me. You teach me how to manipulate people and pit you against each other to get what I want. It is then that I stop taking either of you seriously. Just because you stopped being married, doesn’t mean you stopped being parents. I need you to teach me how to resolve conflict, not create it.

11. Please recognize that there are some things that my other parent is better at than you … and that’s OK! I won’t think less of you if you let Dad teach me how to catch a ball or Mom show me how to drive. I need to learn from both of you. When you take those experiences away, I can see right through you. I know you want to be able to do this whole parenting thing on your own, but I don’t want you to! I like making both my parents happy. I love seeing you smile when I do something you’ve taught me, and it makes me very happy when you compliment each other by saying things like, “You should ask your (other parent), they’re really good at that.” When you allow me to learn from and value both of my parents, that teaches me to appreciate the gifts in others and to ask for help when I need it.

12. When I do something to make you mad, don’t compare me to the person you divorced. “You’re a slob just like your father!” or “You whine and complain like your mother!” are statements that insult me, not the person you divorced. Remember, you left that person. You removed them from your life because of the very things you are identifying in me. Saying that you see things in me that make you think of the things you despise in them makes me feel unlovable and self-conscious — and it destroys my already damaged self esteem. If you want me to clean up after myself or speak more respectfully, then show me how, or make a rule, or talk about it. Just stop putting in my head that my actions are just as offensive to you as the person you divorced.

Divorce isn’t pretty or upbeat, but it’s also not a time to shut down. When kids are involved, it becomes necessary to open a door for conversation and realization of what your child(ren) are going through — and what they desperately need from both parents. It may be an “adult” situation, but the kids are very aware of what’s going on. Be there for them.
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Huffington Post’s article “12 Things Kids Think About Divorce But Are Too Afraid To Say” gives insight to what children may be thinking when faced with divorcing parents.

It’s a difficult situation for everyone involved but remember that children don’t always understand what they are feeling and might be too scared to speak up when they want to. You know why you’re separating and can comprehend all the reasons that led to it but they don’t and they cannot grasp the motivation behind it. Especially in young children, knowing that two people don’t love each other anymore can make them frightened into thinking “what if they stop loving me too?” and that is why it’s important to guide your children through it in a positive and loving way.

Always remember to bear in mind that you are getting divorced, not them; so keep conversations regarding your divorce, custody or support issues between the adults only. Those are not conversations you share with your children no matter how mature they are or if you think they can handle a comment or conversation here and there.

Also, consider what your extended family and friends say when they are around your children, as well. Your children are your number one priority and protecting them against an onslaught of “he said, she said” is the same as keeping them safe from bullies. Stay focused on moving forward and being proactive in finding solutions and working towards a life with a co-parent.

If your circumstances is unmanageable with your ex-spouse and you would like guidance or have questions regarding your divorce or custody issues please call our office. We offer a complimentary consultation to answer questions and give you the support you need.

Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation.

Huffington Post Article: 14 Habits Of Ultra-Organized People

Friday, March 21st, 2014

14 Habits Of Ultra-Organized People
By: Sarah Klein at Huffington Post

They’re the people who just love to check things off a list. Their idea of heaven is The Container Store. And they sure know their way around a spreadsheet. They’re the ultra-organized, and to those who prefer things a little less tidy, their ways are mysterious.

But they’re also onto something. More than 80 percent of people polled in a 2010 survey said being organized improved their work performance.  Being organized may lead to feeling more in control and having more mental energy. Not to mention, who really needs the stress of misplacing the car keys one more time?

The good news is that anyone can be (or at least become) an organized person. “There really is no organizing ‘gene,'” says Annette Reyman, president of the greater Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers and CEO of All Right Organizing and All Right Moves, professional organizing and unpacking companies, respectfully. “With some people it comes more naturally, [but] it absolutely can be learned.”

While of course, every individual, organized or not, will act differently in different situations, there are some patterns among the highly organized. Here are 14 common habits.

Organized people are goal-oriented.

Most organized people aren’t keeping everything in order just for their own amusement — they’re doing it for a reason, says Reyman. Maybe your organized neighbors love to host guests at their home, she says. They’re going to set things up around their house that make it an easy and comfortable environment for new people — and they’ll work to keep it that way. “They can easily let go of things that are not connected to those goals,” she says, “whether that be stuff or time commitments.”

They’re optimistic.
Reyman says she’s observed that organized people tend to be more positive, at least anecdotally. “They have a can-do attitude,” she says, “even if they’re moving forward an inch and not a foot at a time.” Frequently, she explains, disorganized people will decide to consult a professional organizer after something has occurred in their lives that inspires them to be more positive. They reach out for help, saying, “I’m ready to go forward,” she says.

They’re conscientious.
In what’s known as the Five-Factor Model, personality is evaluated along five major spectrums, one of which is conscientiousness, says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, the assistant executive director for the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence.  A person who scores high in conscientiousness is likely to be efficient, achievement-oriented and self-disciplined, and to show a preference for planned activities over spontaneous ones, he says. While you’re not necessarily one or the other — this is a spectrum, remember — organized people tend to score higher in this trait.

They may not always be open to new ideas.

“While we tend to think that being organized and tidy is a good thing — and it certainly helps people be productive and efficient — there’s also a downside, potentially,” says Ballard. A 2013 study suggested that working in a messier office environment sparks more creative ideas than working in a more orderly space. “Sometimes there’s an upside to being in a little more chaotic environment,” he says. “You don’t want total chaos, but you also don’t want to restrict your thinking.”

They’re decision makers.
“In general, organized people can say, ‘This is good enough,’ and then move forward,” says Reyman. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, and we don’t have to rehash it 10,000 different ways.” Organized people consider their options, choose one and stick to it, without looking back with regret on the paths not taken, she says.

The decision-making process hinges on an organized person’s ability to prioritize, keeping their big-picture goals in mind, says Ballard. Organized people decide what is most important to do immediately, and what is still important but doesn’t need to interrupt their flow.

They let go of perfectionism.
It follows then, that not everything has to be perfect: Sometimes good enough is good enough. In fact, many perfectionists are actually incredibly disorganized, says Reyman. “They concentrate on all the fine details and end up becoming immobilized by [them],” she says.

The final 20 percent in a push to make something perfect “takes a disproportionate amount of time and energy and resources and may not produce the equivalent value,” says Ballard. “Being good but not necessarily having to be perfect is a balance that varies person to person.”

They capture, calendar and contain.

Reyman came up with this alliterative list to sum up the list-making tendencies of organized people. “Organized people capture everything,” she says, from events to ideas to requests from others, and it’s usually done in a list. If it’s a recurring event or something with a certain deadline, they are likely to do their capturing on a calendar. And they arm themselves with the appropriate physical containers to make physical items easy to capture, she says. “[Organized people] won’t throw a bunch of something into one big empty basket,” she says. “It’s going to be a system where, when you have to go back to it, it’s easily accessible.”

They check in with their lists.
Organized people “are really in touch with their commitments,” says Reyman. And there’s big payoff: “We spend a lot of mental energy trying to keep track of all the things we need to remember,” Ballard says. Putting them on paper frees up some of that mental energy, he says, so much so that people who have trouble sleeping may get better rest simply by writing down those to-dos. Just don’t let the list itself stress you out, he says. Keep it to a few manageable tasks for each day and one longer-term project you’ll work toward so it doesn’t overwhelm you.

They have a do-it-now attitude.
When an organized person walks in the door after work, she hangs her coat up immediately rather than throwing it on the back of a chair, says Reyman. “They know there would be five coats on the chair later, and they might say they’re too lazy to do that work later, while disorganized people might say they’re too lazy to do the work now.” If a task takes fewer than five minutes, an organized person is likely to just get it out of the way, she says.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t put things off until later, she says, their procrastination just happens in a slightly less time-wasting fashion. “Sometimes something will move from this week’s list to next week’s list, but it doesn’t stay on there for long,” says Reyman. “[Organized people] like to check things off.”

They prepare.

Organized people like to be ready for anything. It doesn’t mean they’ve necessarily finished that work presentation three weeks before it’s due, says Reyman. “It’s just knowing how much time they have and leaving enough time to do it,” she says. Every individual will have his or her own style of meeting deadlines, she says, but organized people are likely to leave a cushion big enough that if something else were to come up they wouldn’t be totally thrown off.

They ask for help.
Organized people know their strengths and weaknesses, and they delegate accordingly. “They know they don’t have to do it all themselves,” Reyman says, and they avoid additional stress by reaching out when they need support. This reflects a high sense of self-worth among organized people: “They realize that their time is worth more than trying to figure out every little thing,” she says, and if they use others’ strengths to make something run more efficiently, everyone ends up with more time. “Thinking about your time as a resource that has value will help you decide how to effectively allocate across all the other things that you’re doing,” says Ballard. Perfectionists and high-achievers may not be comfortable letting anyone else share the reins, but interpersonal support goes a long way in managing stress and staying on top of goals, he says.

They unitask.
“People who think they’re really productive like to think that they’re great multi-taskers,” says Ballard. “But in reality, even those who think they’re good at it are not.” Multi-tasking essentially spreads your attention too thin, and all the different tasks you’re juggling get less and lower-quality love as a consequence. “The more efficient, effective and organized people do it as little as possible,” he says. They give one task their ultimate attention, turning off email pop-ups and other disruptive notifications to “protect their time,” he says, whether it’s in the office or with family or just quiet time alone.

They know when they do their best work.

You’ve probably known at least one ultra-organized person who you’d say was extraordinarily well-versed in the skills of time management. But Ballard says there should be a greater appreciation of energy management. Organized people know to do particular tasks at specific points throughout the day that are best-suited to the energy level needed for the task. For example, he says, if a project requires your clearest thinking and most creative ideas, you wouldn’t save that for the middle of your afternoon slump. Organized people are keenly aware of “where their head is throughout the day,” he says. An organized person will charge through a challenging to-do list item at the natural high-energy point in his or her day. “Don’t try to accomplish critical tasks at that time of a lull,” Ballard says.

They de-stress.
Organized people know how to let it all go, says Ballard. “Most of us are operating in a state of chronic stress; we’re always on.” But the same people who are “able to really stay focused and stay organized do things to manage their stress effectively,” he says. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, meditation, mindfulness, exercise or even seeing a mental health professional; the important part is “getting that support to help manage the stress they’re facing… so that it doesn’t detract from their performance and health,” he says.

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Huffington Post’s article “14 Habits Of Ultra-Organized People” lists some key points on how organized people stay organized.  Whether you are already organized or looking to become more organized, this is a good read to remind ourselves how to retain or regain control in our chaotic lives.  

If you are feeling out of control and would like to receive guidance on how to better manage you impending divorce or custody case, please contact our office.  We are here to help you manage your circumstances and maintain an organized lifestyle.

Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation today!

Huffington Post Article: 11 Hard Truths About Single Parenting

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

11 Hard Truths About Single Parenting

By: Huffington Post

Jumping into parenting is daunting enough with a partner. When you’re a single parent going it alone, the stakes seem that much higher. From diaper duty with no shift changes to shelling out for college tuition all on your own, single parenting is not for the faint of heart.

It’s understandable, then, that any piece of advice from a single parent who’s been there would be of value. With that in mind, we asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter to share with us the advice they wish they had received before becoming a single parent.

From warnings about what to expect for (Dating with kids? Tough doesn’t even begin to describe it) to a reassurance that it does get easier, scroll down for 11 of the best responses.

1. “You’re strong enough to raise the kids on your own, whether you believe it or not. It’s built into your DNA.”

2. “Make sure you schedule time for you. A single parent can burn out fast if they don’t take a breather once in a while.”

3. “Don’t expect your kids to start acting like adults just because you’re on your own. Do not discuss problems related to your ex or finances with them — and never expect them to take sides. I took this advice to heart and eight years later, my kids are well-adjusted.”

4. “Realize that there’s a possibility that your ex is only going to be a parent for the kids when it’s convenient for him or her. Some parents become glorified playmates after divorce.”

5. “It takes a village even you’re a single parent — don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.”

6. “Know that no matter how much love you shower your child with, they will always wonder why the other parent isn’t there or doing the same.”

7. “You’d be surprised how quiet the house gets — and how lonely you get — once the kids are sleeping and there’s no more mothering to do.”

8. “One stable, consistent, present parent can successfully raise children!”

9. “Being a single custodial parent is really hard on relationships. I’m a guy with a daughter. Women can be jealous.”

10. “Make sure you surround yourself with positive supportive people. Get rid of the negative ones. Never lose track of who you are because you have to be there for your kids. Just breathe and know that it get better.”

11. “You’re only one person; let go of trying to do everything on your own.”

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In Huffington Post’s article “11 Hard Truths About Single Parenting” they list several real truths that can be very difficult for single parents.  Our office provides support through divorce while helping families adjust to their new roles as a single parent.  Just as number five states, you are not alone and understanding that asking for help is always an option.  If you would like more information about the services we provide, please call our office for a complimentary consultation.

Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P. C. Santa Clarita Divorce
Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation today!

Are you Trying to be a Super-Parent? Trying to handle absolutely everything is super hard! By: Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman P.C. Santa Clarita Divorce

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Super ParentWe know this can be quite a balancing act, and one that you may be experiencing right now. Here are some tips for those going through a divorce or separation to help you stop and think before you attempt being (although we know you already are) a super-parent.

Many of my clients report feeling like a horrible mess of guilt and fear attached to their decision about parting, and one of the responses that can occur is what we in our office refer to as, unrealistic parenting. Unrealistic parenting is when you think to yourself, “Alright then, I’ll just do it all. I’ll take it all on and I’ll be everything to everyone, especially my children.”

We all understand this approach because it may seem like it’s one way to undo and make up for the pain and distress you may feel you have caused your kids. This unrealistic parenting then can trigger the hero role of the super-parent. Although it’s true you are capable of amazing feats, at the end of the day… you can only do so much alone and that is to be human. So rather than trying to be a super-parent, be a healthy parent.

What is a healthy parent?

As a healthy parent you are emotionally stable and balanced. You are able to be present and engage with your child on a daily basis. You are able to follow through with your commitments, and spend quality time with your children.

As a healthy parent, you set appropriate boundaries so your children can have a sense of direction, and feel that you are their anchor and their guide through life. Being a healthy parent takes the pressure off you to be a super-parent, and your role of being a healthy parent will help you and your children endure today and forever. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Just know that you don’t have to do it alone to have your kids see you as their own personal super hero!

If you feel you need someone to speak to about being a healthy-parent rather than a super parent, call the Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C. today for a divorce coaching session. We can guide you through the process and help you develop a strategy for dealing with your ex, soon to be ex and your children’s best interest.

Call 661-255-1800 for your free initial consultation today!