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Parenting 101.5

Welcome to Parenting 101.5!

I dedicated this area of the page for people to come read tips and tricks about parenting.  Mainly being a single parent and some of the struggles you will encounter.  Raising a child with help can be difficult, doing it as a single parent can be even harder! 

            Being a single dad with a daughter I learned to learn fast!  My daughter was about 1 when the divorce happened and then about 2 when I finally moved out.  I had to learn fast from shopping to styling.  As you read you will notice the most current info will be at the top.  As my daughter grows I will add more and more info on what I’ve learned and what others have tough me.  If you start at the bottom you will notice she was about 2.  I started there because that’s when I took over as a single Dad.  As you read up you will notice you will get closer and closer to where we are now.  I did this so i can always add to the site.  When ever I add something new I will update the blog and have it at the top so you the reader won't have to scroll all the way down. 

            I wrote this blog based off the view of how I see my child.  That means I have visitation rights and I have her a few over nights a month.  If you are a single parent that has your child more or has more custody there are still more pointers and tips you can learn.  I just put it together because that is what I am going through and how I am learning.  Maybe someday she will live with me.  I will have to move sides to update my blog.  In the mean time there is going to be a lot of good advise so single Mommies and Daddies alike I hope you enjoy!

            I truly hope this section helps and continues to help parents.  Please leave me advice via comments or emails.  If you don’t mind I will post them for others to learn.  I’m sure I will learn a lot as well.   

***I do say I am sorry you have to read bottom to top if you are new viewer.  Once you start reading more the new post will be on top to view at an easy rate.  This is why I did it this way.

Always remember.

You are never alone…

 1st Grade:
 When Quinn entered first grade I couldn't believe my little one was getting older.  First grade now states they entered an era of the numbers!  She is on her way to the top and she will have more responsibilities!  You will see your little ones reading will get better as well as the homework will increase!  This is a big age and you need to work on reading and math.  They will be the basis of their foundation.  Reading is so important, set time aside each night and some on the weekend to have them practice their reading.  The great things now are there are books made for each age group and they are very well put together.  When I was growing up they had baby books and younger ones but now there are books numbered 1, 2, 3 and so on.  Give your child help as they read but don't do the work for them.  They need to learn to read them selves, it is just so important.   
One thing I have noticed about this age is that Quinn is getting to the point where she is very independent and being 7 she is getting just that much closer to understanding more and more about life and how things are done.  She still puts up a fight here and there we notice but for the most part her screaming matches are slowing down.  This age of their lives is hard not just for them but you for  they can be more difficult.  I am excited to see how she grows!  Take your time with this age and just be mindful.   

As they get older...
    As your child gets older and if you are in a place where you are separated and your child moves back and fourth they may tell you they want to see you more.  My Daughter started telling me this and it is hard because I ask for more time but her Mom doesn't want to share or give any up.  To my single parents I say do the best you can.  Tell your child you want them more and to have them even bring it up to the other parent.  Let them gain some independence, you child is still small but is learning to grow and is starting to ask questions they have every right to.  One of the hardest aspects when a child grows up is where they feel they want to spend more time.  Something I will have to post later on.  However parents I do hope you work together.  It is sad to say the less I speak to my ex the better.  There is no reasoning with her and even though she is a teacher and has so much time off she still fights to give anymore than what she has to.  Only making it more difficult for the child because any parent that withholds time from the other is just not right.  
As your child grows keep showing them one thing, that you love them so much.  Be there for them, work hard and fight harder to show them you are there and nothing not work, a bad day or even your pain in the ass ex will every break them.  Do not break, show them you will be there no matter what.  Something I hear so much is, people tell me my daughter will see how I am treated how her Mom addresses speaks to me, doesn't respect me and they will one day realize this isn't right.  I don't want my child to see this b/c its sad however there is a truth to what she should know...  To my readers please just share your child, work together and for the safety of the child do what's right.   

   The Kindergarten is a fun stage and this is when your child is now in school!  They will ride the bus. (if it applies) have homework start to fully learn and be responsible for their work and what they do.  They can't cry to Mom or Dad anymore.  This is their first step to entering the real world and the world of education.  They will start to make friends go on play dates, and birthday parties.  They will also be in school longer, a full day now!  As they go through this stage you will see them grow and their education will grow significantly.  They will start to do Math and write out sentences as well as they will need to start reading and spelling.  Kindergarten is a the base to their education.  The foundation to what they will know because this will introduce them to what they will do as they get older.  It's just on a small scale. 

       As they come home be sure to ask them how their day was and what they learned.  Interact with them because it will continue to stimulate their brains and keep them working.  They will have more things on their plate now to like Art, Gym and even a lunch time.  Your child will tell you who they sit with and how lunch goes.  Make sure you listen, ask them who they sit with, how there teacher is and what subject they like most!  You will also now have parent teacher conferences!  This is where you can see where your child is progressing and where they may need help.  Make sure you ask questions and see how you can help outside the classroom.  If you are separated from your spouse go with them and show you are there.  You need to make sure you are interacting and being a part.  A teacher that sees both parents even though not together are working then its good for everyone!

However yes you don't have to be next to your Ex.  I no longer go to Quinn's parent teacher conferences with my Ex because I just can't.  I went once and didn't feel anyone cared.  So now I just make time to go another day.  When I went with Kayla it was great and the teacher had no problem.  We talked about Quinns strengths and weaknesses and I got to ask questions and feel I was being listened to.  I told the teacher anything urgent we both will be there, but non urgent issues to just make them separate and she totally understood.  Teachers will, they will not care remember you are the parent and if you explain something like this they will make time to work around your schedule.     
The Pre-K Era!
 The Pre K time is a fun one, your child is starting to attend school.  Usually they go for about half the day and start to just learn the basics.  This is a fun time because of how much they really start to learn and start to get into the Education System!  For me as a single Dad I used to drop off Quinn once a week and pick her up every once and a while.  It is a great time of their lives because your child will starting bringing you home cute art projects and different things they do in class.  Pre K is a very important step because it also gives your child a chance to get used to being around other kids and getting used tot he fact that they now have to work with others.  They will learn more about sharing, team building and just classroom behavior.  They will also meet friends and tell you about their day.  For parents that stay home it can be hard dropping them off the first few times.  Your child may or may not want to go and have issues with you leaving. 
     The staff usually is very well prepared and will help with this.  I loved dropping Quinn off, saying bye to her.  Giving her a big hug and just talking to some of the staff.  Being a single parent it wasn't always easy.  I only got to drop her off once a week and honestly now thinking about it, it brings some sadness to heart.  Thinking about how fast she grew up.  I hope if you are reading this if you are a single parent you and your Ex do work together.  I hope both are involved and you both share time.  There are two terrible things that can happen to a child with parents.  One of the parents or both doesn't want to be involved and shows it.  The other, one parent is controlling and not letting the other do much or be involved just because they want control. 
            As your child goes through Pre-K you will see their skill sharpen.  They will color much better, start to write their name and use bigger words when they are talking to you.  The other nice thing is at the end of the year the program usually has a graduation ceremony.  You get to see your little one walk across the stage and get their paper.  They usually also give a slide show and some fun thinks to do.  It was such a great moment for us.  Make sure you enjoy this time, it is so unique and special!  Watch your child grow, learn and just become this little person right in front of you!  Ask them how school is going and encourage them to talk about their day!  Pretty soon they will be in school full time!

Sometimes they don’t want to go…
         When Quinn was just about 4 I went to pick her up and on more than one occasion she would come out and tell me she doesn’t want to go and run inside.  She would go to her room and start screaming for her Mom to come.  The first time this happened I just let it go and tried to move on.  She ended up coming with me the next time but in a week she did it again.  I ended up talking to her mother and we even tried to sit Quinn down to see why she didn’t like to go or what was going on.  We had lots of fun and I made sure she loved spending time with me.  Finally one weekend came and she pulled this again.  I started off talking to her mother and seeing what we could do, if I could have her an extra night or something.  She really wasn’t up for that so I told her I would just pick her up.  It was hard because we were doing our routine and this was the first time I felt like the bad guy.  I put her in her seat and her mom said a goodbye and we left.  She was upset, mainly because I think she wanted more kisses and hugs from her mom.  It was a hard decision to do, it was not easy but I just had to step up and realize my 4 yr old is not telling me what to do.  She needs time with both parents and that is what’s best for her.  When we got home she relaxed and it was like nothing ever happened.  The weekend went great and Sunday I dropped her off and ever since she hasn’t really brought it up.  Her mom is very helpful as well and that’s cool. 

            It was hard the few weeks this happened because every day felt like a year.  Remember for single dads they go days without seeing their kids so when they don’t go it’s that much longer.  I realize when she gets older I can’t make her go with me.  Once she is past 11 or 12 she is at the age where she can say no and I can’t force her.  I will just have to respect her and go.  I am trying to create and secure our father daughter bond as strong as I can now and if that means well not letting her get her way that is just a part of life.  It is one of the biggest, we need to grow up knowing we do not always get what we want or get our way.  The past few visits have been great and she was excited to come, her mom has been a big help and we have gotten through this speed bump, for now at least.  I say this to my readers, maybe the first time this happens you let the child stay with the parent, but per your agreement you have the right to take them.  I don’t say this to be legal, I am just saying our kids need us and they maybe having fun at the moment but they have to know you and your ex are the boss! 

            Kids also relax after over time and once you start doing something and get them used to it they will come around.  Just always show them they come first and that you love them so very much.  Be excited over what they do and what they show you.   Show them interest and when you go to pick them up have fun things ready and tell them about dinner plans or an adventure to the park.  When I blogged about this many people told me you just have to pick them up and put them in the car.  I know it seems mean or looks bad but it is the right thing to do.  We don’t want them growing up thinking what they say can go because it’s not always like that.   So if you have this happen to you just try to talk to your ex but tell them the child will be fine and when we get home they will settle in.
    Around the time my daughter was about 3 ½ I really noticed how her independence started to show.  I noticed she wanted to do more tings by her self and she was able to as well.  She talks more to me and fully understands things I tell her.  Independence is something we all want and as we get older it just grows.  My advice is to give them some but to teach them about it.  They don’t have to grow up right away and to fast that is.  We always will depend on our family and friends at some point for help but being to independent can be bad because then you grow up thinking the world is against you and trust won’t come easy.  If you aren’t enough then you will have trouble letting go of things and never being able to move on and to greater things. 
            As your child learns about their independence they will start to show it more and you will see them telling you they don’t need help or just watching them do things without you having to be there all the time.  It’s cute and I love watching my daughter rise to the next step.  As a single father sometimes they just to fast.  One day I was holding her like a baby, the next she was getting on her chair without any problems.  Watching her grow up so fast and not seeing her everyday can be difficult.  As a parent I just try my hardest to make the best of the time I have and just show her I’m there.  That’s all we can do.

            So as your child becomes more and more independent watch them and see them grow and change.  Notice how they can play on their own and let their mind be free and notice how they start to listen to more things you tell them.  Independence is an amazing thing it really is, just try to keep a good balance.  The rest they will learn on their own…

The Terrible 2’s or 3’s…. 
            The big joke about kids is the terrible 2’s.  Kids are hard when they hit 2.  Well I hate to break it to you but they are hard at any age.  I found the age of 3 is when my child really started to push the limits and learn her boundaries.  She does and did things to see what she can get away with how she could test me and win.  Any age they probably will be ding this but when they are around this age you have to instill that you are in charge and that she needs to start understanding rules and boundaries.  Be stern with your answers if she is doing something wrong and show her you aren’t joking around.  Let her know you mean business and there are times to be cute and fun and there are times they need to listen to us and that’s the lay of the land.   It’s all part of the growing and learning process so we just have to adapt and show them we don’t get upset or mad.  If you have to instill at time out or you give warming’s follow through and show them if they do something bad they have to be punished.  Instilling this at this age will be helpful as they grow and start to play with other children. 

            This age is a very cute one though you will notice your child being more and more independent and even when they play with other kids they communicate and all work together.  It’s so cute to see kids play and talk to each other without you having to be there to start up a conversation.  To see them be independent is amazing and so special.  I love going to friends homes and seeing her play with other kids.  Just watching her run around and get excited with the other kids as they play with toys and just talk.  When I wrote this section Quinn was only about 3 ½ and she is doing so well with others as well as pushing her limits.  But I find if you talk to her and communicate she does listen.  I try to compromise with her, telling her we will do one thing she likes and one thing I like.  This gets them to understand that they have to enjoy things others do and to adapt and learn.  I read to Quinn and if the book is interactive I make sure I play with it as well to show her to share and be cooperative.  It takes time and I have to repeat my self but over time she then lets me do things and doesn’t get to involved with doing or playing with everything her self.  Once they hit 4 and 5 they become more independent and start growing faster but I guess I will have to blog about that later…

            Try during this time frame to show your child to share and become active with other kids.  Explain the importance of playing nicely and that sharing is very important.  When we share as a child we share as an adult.  Nobody wants to be around and adult that doesn’t share or act’s like a child.  The year’s of 2 and 3 are going to be so important just because they are the beginning years and this is perfect to start instilling a good solid concrete base of understanding and working to be a nice sharing child.  So when it comes to these ages, don’t say its just the terrible years, just know they are testing the waters and limits of your boundaries.  They are learning just like we did and we have to be patient with them or all our hard work will be for nothing.

            Now as far as all this goes with a single parent, well its just that much harder because now you have to be on board with your ex and work with them.  Your child will see how each parent is and they will work the system!  Try to work with your ex but remember as long as your being safe you don’t have to do exactly what they say or do.  This is your life and you can parent differently.  Just try to keep a solid base together.  The rest the child will understand.  They will also probably be more energetic to see the parent they don’t see as much because of how much they miss them.  My daughter is over flowing with energy when I have her because well I am but also because she doesn’t get to see me as much so she is just so excited.  I have to keep all this in mind when she is with me.  I don’t punish her for being this way because she can’t help it, she loves being around her Daddy.  I just work with what she is doing and parent accordingly. 

          Winter for me is a time to rest and relax.  After a long year of running around and playing outside it’s time to find a nice hot meal and sit on the couch for some good TV time.  Now when Quinn and I are hanging out we like to go to places that are indoords.  Like the The Sandbox an indoor play ground.  The gym allows her to stretch her legs and stay active.  After we usually relax and catch up on some R&R.  However it can also cause issues where the cold can make everyone tired.  Take time to relax but don't get stuck inside to much you will get cabin fever!   
            Sledding is also a great idea.  If you get snow take your kids sledding.  It’s free and fun, it also gets you to pull them up the hill and burn off some of that BBQ you put on during the summer.  Or all the Halloween candy you had!  Sledding is just a great free activity that your kids will remember for ever.  Growing up I sill remember my parents taking us sledding.  It wouldn’t be winter with out it.  Now of course it has to snow so I hope you get a good snowfall for that!  Sometimes you get the winter cold with out the snowfall.  This can make summer difficult and challenging.  To have it cold out but still see the grass!  This is when you can stay inside and play games, puzzles, make forts, or just color.  When I have Quinn on my weekends I take the time to color or draw with her when it’s cold out.  We also love to just lay on the couch and “chill”.  What ever you do make sure you child is there and just enjoying your time. 

Being creative with some blankets and pillows or just relaxing on the couch if you child is with you the bond will grow.  Sometimes I can tell she’s so happy just hanging out on the couch.  She’s got her dad next to her and were just watching some TV or a movie.  Winter is a time to be inside and let nature take a break.  The earth needs a little time to rest as well.  Get outside and run around in the snow or go to a movie or indoor facility.  A play museum or nature center is always a great idea as well.  What ever you do end up doing always include your child and do things they will enjoy because once they go back to their other parent you will have that emptiness come back and all the time in the world to try to hide it…
          Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love it because the weather cools down and you start to see the leaves change. It starts up with more holidays like Halloween and people start to get more festive.  You can also remain outside and still enjoy the nice weather.  The new smells fill the air and you start to wear warmer attire.  Quinn and I have fall birthdays so that is always exciting as well!  I love fall also because it also starts a new cycle.  Kids go back to school, summer is over and it’s time to start thinking of doing more baking, and slow cooking.  I love to make long slow dishes over the stove that take a good long Saturday to get through. 
            I still walk Quinn around the block and we enjoy the playgrounds as well.  As the weather cools down we also may take one more trip up to the cabin to see the leaves change and just get a good glimpse of how beautiful New York is.  I’m very fortunate to live in New York because of how beautiful all the seasons are.  When it comes to Fall even guest and out of towers know that states like NY Rule Fall…  Quinn and I also start to get ready for winter.  I make sure her warmer cloths are ready and out.  We also spend a little more time doing things inside as we get ready for winter.  I try to take advantage of every nice day but if it is raining we stay in.  The difference between spring rain and fall rain is you can play in spring rain. 
            Now you are probably asking what??  Well when spring time comes the weather is getting warmer and your body is starting to adjust.  The rain is usually cooler, but the temp is rising.  Fall rain can be deceiving because it may feel nice but the temp is dropping so if you are in it to long you can get sick easier.  I know this sounds weird but take it from me, Spring rain is ok to play in.  Fall rain you want to just look at and stay dry as you enjoy it. 
            With Fall comes Halloween and this marks the beginning of the end of the last holidays.  I like to mark Halloween as the first holiday then go to the others.  Not sure why.  I always felt like Fall was also a good starting point.  I guess if you look at it, any season can be your starting or ending point.  What ever excites you I think is just fine
            Well as Fall turns to Winter you start to see some birds head south and the air gets cooler and then before you know it…
            Summer, the fun in the sun season!  Summer is a time for playing out side, staying up late and having BBQ’s and picnics.  It’s a time for relaxing out side and just enjoying the sun and warm weather.  Swimming and boating, campfires and cookouts it is a time of just relaxing and taking that much needed Vacation time! 

            I love summer because I can have more days with Quinn if I need them, it also lets us start our adventures!  We go to my camp for the annual balloon rally, we go kayaking, swimming take long walks and go camping.  We have get to stay up late and sleep in too.  Sit outside on my porch and have our snack while we listen to music.  In the summer Quinn loves to jump on my neighbor’s trampoline or go swimming in their pool.  If you have tips you can plan summer is the best time to do them!  Going to our family cabin is one of my favorites.  We go up early and spend the whole weekend there.  The summer is perfect for taking an adventure and going camping seeing the outdoors and enjoying the outside.  Summer just brings up the excitement of relaxing in the sun and lazy days outside.  School is out and people are outdoors more just enjoying the weather. 

            Take advantage of the good weather, if you live someplace very hot then summer may actually be like a winter.  Some places it gets to hot to even be outside so staying in is more comfortable and safe.  It is very interesting to see how different areas are.  Here in New York the summer is a time when people are outdoors but if you look at hotter areas like the south you almost have to stay in and spend your time inside because of how danger it is.  I have been to different areas of the country and was in California in the month of January once.  It felt like a cool spring day.  I walked around with shorts and a t-shirt on.  Come summer they have to be more in doors only because it gets dangerously hot.  What ever the event summer has a universal sign for just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine…

            I started out with good old fashion spring. For where I live Spring is a good time to start getting back to the playgrounds and getting your summer cloths ready.  Now depending on how your winter goes and if you get and early or late spring you have to just adjust.  I take the time to do some cleaning with my daughter.  We make it a game to clean up and get ready for the warmer months to come in.  Spring is also very rainy so we take advantage of running outside in the rain and jumping in puddles.  As the weather warms up I take Quinn out for more walks, try to get some new fresh air and start getting our legs moving.  Spring is a good time to start visiting friends and making play dates.  Meeting up at parks and having fun events with your friends.  You can also start to organize her toys and cloths.  Get her closet and other spaces ready for the new warmer seasons!  You may not have to shop yet but you will have to start thinking about it. 

            Spring is the new beginning.  Flowers blooming and new life is coming.  The winter is gone and the warmth brings the animals back and the sun out!  A time to start over and clean up the house.  It also is a good time to get outside and walk.  Talking my daughter for a walk is just one of the most wonderful things ever.  We get to talk and she gets a free ride as I get some exercise.  Spring is also a good time to wind down from the winter.  You don’t have to run out side right away.  You can have lazy rainy days and finish up your coloring and staying in on stormy days.  The nice thing about spring and fall is they are more like seasons that slowly get you ready for the big seasons.  Summer, a hot season and winter the extreme opposite cold season.

So as Spring rolls through enjoy the new life approaching and being outside more.  Jump in puddles and play in the rain!  Know that the warmer time of year is coming…  Also below is a Quietly breakdown of the seasons I didn't include the exact start dates of the times but rather make is simpler.

Seasonal Calendar:
Spring: March-June
Summer: July-August
Fall:  September-November
Winter: December-February

Embracing the Seasons

          Where ever you live there are seasons, I guess unless you live on the Equator but every city has some different changes.  I am very fortunate; I live in Western New York.  We get wet springs, warm summers, cool falls, and snowy winters.  To show your child the beauty of this world you have to embrace the seasons.  Now this section is for anyone with seasons, if you live in a city and the seasons change but not extremely you can still embrace them.  You may not get snow or very hot summers, but you can work with what you have.  I have added all the seasons below and different things you can do!  Just work with what I put and give me other examples I’d love to see and add them!
The “Daytrip” Bag
          In this section I will show you tips and tricks I have learned about going out and having the right bag packed.  This section is for children from about 1 ½ to about 3ish.  After my daughter turned 3 and was fully potty trained a bad to go out was not as necessary.  A going out bag is very important you will find your self up a creek with out a paddle if you decide to just wing it.  Your bag will have supplies and things to entertain them while you are out and about. 
            First, get a nice bag, one that can go over your shoulder like a backpack.  I got one from our children’s doctor.  Its nice, hold a bunch of stuff she needs.  When you child is young pack the following.

1)      One extra outfit. 
2)      Diaper (if they use them)
3)      A snack
4)      Sippy cup or some kind of drink
5)      A few small quiet toys or just one toy
6)      Crayons and Paper
7)      A small first aid kit, something that has a few things.
8)      Diaper rash cream if they are young and it applies
9)      Sun screen  
10)  Anything else that you feel they may need and can fit.  Also any medical supplies your child may need or have a special need for.  E.g. An epee pen.
Don’t stuff the bag and don’t back light either.  Remember when you are out if something happens you will be prepared.  The bag will change as they grow older but the one thing you can always leave is Crayons and Paper.  This is always a good fix to keep them busy if they are getting to be distracted.  I typically don’t recommend having snacks left in the bag but I have done it.  I usually do gold fish, m&m’s, things like that.  They stay fresh for a while and my daughter loves them. 

I found you can pack in early before a trip or just leave some things always in there.  Just make sure you update tings like cloths and sun screen.  You don’t want your child not fitting into the emergency outfit!  You also do not want old sun screen.  I keep sunscreen in Quinn’s bag because it’s easy to carry and you never know when that sun comes out for a visit.  A sun burn can be extremely dangerous on kids.    Take a look at the picture below of the bag I have and what I have in it for Quinn.  There are a bunch of things and I packed it to show you over time what you can have in there. 

If you have some advise or things you use let me know! I would love to hear new ideas! 

Insert Picture here!

The going on adventure bag is extremely important and shows you are a smart and responsible parent.  You don’t want to be that guy/girl that needs something and is like “ohh, umm I don’t have that”.  Now granted you won’t have your child’s whole wardrobe and med kit with you but just bring a extra set of cloths, some things to play with, and a small first aid kit. 
First holidays!       

          When it comes time for a major holiday to come you should be excited!  Mine was Thanksgiving.  I had Quinn in the beginning of November so I had a month to get ready.  The holiday was good and went off with out a hitch.  Christmas was next and I was excited.  I did things like got a tree and started to get the house ready.  For a guy I tried my best.  Now a divorce can be finically difficult so if they child is younger don’t feel like you have go break the bank!  Kids love to just open gifts!  They don’t even care what’s in them! 

            As a tip for this I would either buy nice but less expensive items also family will always buy more than necessary so don’t feel embarrassed to piggy back off family.  My first Christmas with her alone I even re-wrapped older toys she hasn’t played with.  Now granted after about 3 they will catch on so if your child is younger this will fly but once they develop then you will have to step it up! 

            Again for holidays be sure to be excited.  Children can sense if you’re sad or hurt.  Don’t let the separation or the fact that yes you have to bring them home that day or the next or sometime soon hurt you or bring you down.  I know it isn’t fair but for now we just have to deal…  Show your child the holiday went great and they will be excited about more coming up!  I will tell you now how sorry I am and how it will hurt when the holiday is over.  It feels like you just got your angel and now they have to go.  Please try and not think about it or stay busy.  The first Christmas you are away and have to bring your child back will be the hardest one.  Again, I’m sorry you’re going to feel like you just had a few moments and then you have to return them back and depending on what the agreement is it will never feel like enough time.  All I can say is it just takes time show your child how happy you are to have them. 

            Holidays will get easier and better once you get through a couple.  As your child ages and realizes they don’t see you as much they will show their love as long as you show it back.  However your family may not fully get the divorce so please make sure you are not running around making everyone happy and ending up tired on the couch!  You do what's best for you and your child! 

Adapting to your new life.
          This part will take time.  Like I will continue to tell you keep busy!  Find a second job or a hobby.  If you’re not with your child take some time off for you!  Visit friends or family.  Take a vacation away and see old friends if they live further out.  As the time passes and you learn the schedule do things like learn how to use the seasons to have fun.  You will see further up the blog how you can use the seasons (if they apply) to have fun and play with your child. 

            Also learn the area well.  If you moved towns take the time to find where places are to have fun, eat take walks.  Learn the parks and different areas they can enjoy.  You don’t want your child coming over and being bored.  I don’t have my daughter as much as her mother so I make sure our time is used to have fun, learn and grow! 
You’re first day on the job!       

When the day comes and you move out and your home is finally ready for your child to spend some time with you.  If it’s just the day or if it’s an overnight you will feel a pride like no other.  Make sure the house is ready for them, have their room or area ready and have some toys out.  I remember I went to Babies "R" Us and got her a bear and a cute chair to have so she had a place to sit.  Now depending on the age of your child every case will be different.  My daughter was 2, but being younger or older you will have to adapt them differently.  I had to finish the house so I only had her half my weekend.  

            I picked her up and talked to her mother.  Her bag was packed and we left.  I introduced her to the house and just took some time to show it to her.  I showed her things like her toy section and her room.  Just letting her see it all and take it in.  Even at her age she is used to her other house.  I made her feel welcome and just showed her it was going to be our home.  The day or two we had for our first over night we took it easy.  Do dinner and just show your child how comfortable the setting is.  Take extra time to rock her to sleep.  They may ask when they are going home.  You just have to say things like “well we are going to spend the night here!”  If you make it exciting they will get excited.  The next day I brought her home and we started the process of  the agreement.   The first weekend was a success!

            Now that Sunday I won’t lie it was so hard.  It takes time to adapt to her leaving but I won’t like the feeling of fun and excitement will leave when you look down and see an empty living room.   You have to be strong.  Keep busy and stay focused.  The time will get to you if you don’t pass it by keeping busy.  Watch a little TV, visit friends be around people is the best I found.  I would go visit my friends and they always took me in.  As time goes on this will go away take it from me.

            For you’re your first night or day trip with them, again.  Do the following.

1)      Make sure the home is ready, at least to the point they can visit and stay.
2)      Have a gift ready for them.  A bear or something to say Welcome to our new home!
3)      Show them around and make hints to the fact that this is your new home and they will be seeing it more.  (You can do this slowly)
4)      Spend time with them and just show them the cool new pad!
5)      Pick them up and drop them off without to much emotion.  Don’t cry when you have to go they will catch up on that.  I know it isn't easy but be strong. 
And always remember to have fun and enjoy the time you have with your child, they are a gift cherries them…


            If you are reading this down hear it might be your fist time!  As you can see this page is a reverse book.  I did this because as I post more and more I will enter them at the top of this one long page section.  This way if you follow and keep up, you don't have to continually scroll down to the newest section!  The newest sections of Parenting 101.5 will be posted at the top for easy read!  Yes you will have to read down, then scroll up for the next chapter but as you catch up you only have to read the next section.  I also will post the newest chapters as they come out so you don't get to far behind.  I do apologize in advances some of the sections have different fonts this is because some of this blog was written outside the blog and can't be updated. I hope you enjoy



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