Smart Lessons in Back-to-School Savings

Back-to-school shopping is an annual ritual that millions of parents participate in each year. In fact, back-to-school time is one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year, second only to the winter holidays. Last year, Americans spent more than $54 billion on supplies, clothes and electronics for school and college-age kids, according to the National Retail Federation, with jeans, backpacks and electronics as some of the most popular back-to-school products.

Getting what students need and keeping the costs reasonable calls for some smart shopping strategies. The easiest place to start is at your computer. These tips will help you study the online possibilities and earn some A+ deals.

Add Up Extra Savings

Before you start hunting down everything on the must-have list, check for printable coupons or online coupon codes on Web sites such as: Get helpful feedback from users on what coupon codes worked and which ones didn’t. Entering your zip code lets you find deals specific to your area.

Be on the lookout for free shipping offers on these sites, as well. If you’re not careful, shipping costs can negate any savings you may have found.

Do Your Homework

You might find a great deal on a backpack or computer, but is the cost savings really worth a possible trade off in quality? Find out how products stack up to real world use at sites such as, where users share their product experience. At, there are expert and user reviews shown side by side for each product. A little research can save you time, hassle and money down the road.

Get the Latest Scoop

If you know exactly what you want to buy, sign up for notifications from and Both sites will notify you of new listings matching your search criteria – so when someone wants to sell that Juicy Couture jacket you’re looking for, you’ll know right away.

If you need help deciding how to get the best product for your money, look at online buying guides. Not sure which laptop to get? Need help figuring out what kind of backpack or desk chair to get? Check out a mix of user and professional reviews at or read buying guides – there are helpful tips on what to look for and how to make a smart choice.

Another way to stay in the loop on savings is to sign up for retail newsletters and emails. You can also check online retailer sites for RSS feeds that automatically send you updates on promotions as they occur. A well-timed update on a new sale lets you get in on the savings early.

Get Cash Back

A growing trend in smart online shopping is participation in programs that give you cash back. Web sites such as have partnerships with major retailers to offer items at great prices. Registered users shop for name brand items and when purchases are made through the site, they automatically get a percentage of the purchase price back as a cash rebate. More details on how this works can be found at

The amounts, which change daily, can be sent via check to your address or deposited into a bank account or PayPal account, and after a 60-day waiting period, the money is yours.

“This is a great way to save money on school supplies,” said Bridget Tate, Bing Shopping product manager. “When you look at how much back-to-school items such as laptops, clothes, backpacks and tech gadgets can cost, that 5 or 10 percent really helps.” During back-to-school season, adds Tate, Bing Shopping will be offering even higher percentages of cash back (up to 50 percent more).

Getting the kids ready for school again doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Smart shopping will send them off in style and leave you with a smile.

To learn more about how to be a smart online shopper and get cash back this back-to-school season, visit

Shopping That Pays You Back

Shopping with the following merchants through could give you savings like these:

Back to School Gear and Gadgets

HP, 5%, 3 to 5%, 10%

Back to School Fashion, 19%, 2 to 8%
Old Navy, 4%, 11%
Foot Locker, 20%, 2%, 10%, 3%

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Everyday Indulgences

New! Family Features – Women across the country are meeting the demands of busy schedules and tightened wallets by setting aside life’s simple pleasures and putting themselves at the bottom of the to-do list.

In fact, a new survey commissioned by the makers of Edwards frozen desserts finds more than nine in 10 American women have cut back on indulgences during the past year.

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents are cutting back on events out with friends and more than one-third (35 percent) are cutting back on even the smallest treats, such as manicures and desserts.

The survey also found that:

  • Nearly all (94 percent) American women in the study admit that they don’t indulge or treat themselves as often as they’d like because other people or commitments come first.
  • Fifty-six percent of women say they don’t treat themselves as often as they’d like because they can’t afford to.
  • Nearly a third (32 percent) of women say they now have less free time for themselves than they did a year ago.

Small rewards offer sweet peace of mind

Heather Reider and Mary Goulet, founders of and hosts of MomsTown Radio, know a thing or two about the challenges of juggling a family and career while making the time to treat themselves.

Continue reading Everyday Indulgences

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Teens and Credit Cards

Even with good training, teenagers can sometimes have real difficulty with the onslaught of credit offers they receive, usually in the senior year in high school and early college. Times have changed since we fathers were teens. A credit card was seen as a mark that you had “made it”–that you were credit-worthy. Today, teens get offers in the mail for cards with credit limits that make us cringe. What are some guidelines for helping your teens treat credit with the respect it deserves?

1. Helping them understand credit will help them respect it. Understanding how credit cards work is a big help to teens. They certainly won’t get the true story by reading the ads and solicitations they or their friends receive. Some really good tools for fathers who want to help teach their children about credit include:

* Credit Card Payoff Calculator. This site shows you at various interest rates how long it will take to payoff a given balance if you only make minimum payments. This is an incredibly easy resource and the truth can be astounding!
* Written just for teens, the Learn Good Credit Management Page at can really help a teen understand why credit card companies want them and how they can discipline themselves.

2. Start them out slow. With continuing concerns about teens in credit trouble, it makes some sense to teach them the value of good spending habits with plastic. There are several opportunities to do this with some innovative products. A parent or teen loads the card with value via electronic funds transfer and then teen then uses the card until the limit is reached. Visa provides online web access to spending records and allows funds to be added to the card at the parents’ initiative.

3. Think about intervention. One of the best ideas I have seen is a credit card sleeve that is marketed by the Institute of Consumer Financial Responsibility. These sleeves have messages on them like “Warning: Overuse is Dangerous” and “If You Can Eat It, Drink It, or Wear It, It is NOT an Emergency.” Visit the ICEF site for information on these sleeves.

4. Don’t Bail Them Out. If, despite all your best efforts, your teen gets overextended on credit, take a firm hand. Let them experience the consequences of bad financial decisions. You can accompany them to visit the Consumer Credit Counseling Service in your area and help them find a way to get out of debt on their own. It’s better to help them take responsibility for a $2,500 debt than a $25,000 debt later on!

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Teenagers and Money Management

My first real job was cooking french fries and waiting on customers at McDonald’s in my hometown of Seattle, WA. At sixteen years old, I was making an awesome $3.25 an hour and feeling rich every two weeks when that pay envelope hit my hot little hand.

Having been raised in a family where money was usually quite tight, I had learned the value of being frugal by experience. But I have to admit, I didn’t always make good decisions about how to use that important resource in my life.

As I have watched my teenagers at their first part time jobs as high school students, I have relived some of those painful memories. As I see them “squander” their play money on everything from junk food to $250 prom dates, I remember the feelings all too well. But, fortunately, my wife and I have tried to instill some good habits of savings and budgeting in our children from their very first allowances. And now all three of our teenagers have healthy balances in their college funds and have learned the value of money.

The following are good guidelines for helping your kids manage their money effectively.

1. Start Saving Early. One of the tools we have used is starting a savings account for the kids’ college years when they were about 9 or 10. Even at $10 every two weeks, the savings added up to a noticeable balance by the time they were older teens.

2. Set Spending and Savings Patterns Early. Our rule at home is that 10% of each child’s earnings is used for charitable contributions–a way to give back to the community or church. An additional 40% goes into a savings account that Mom or Dad have to sign for to withdraw funds. This we call the “college fund” and is reserved for getting the child into college or some appropriate post secondary activity. The remaining 50% can be used at the child’s discretion, but we also set up an additional savings account for them to use for this play money. By setting some patterns while they are under your roof, kids can learn good spending and budgeting habits.

3. Consider a Matching Savings Fund. Some parents I have talked with encourage savings by matching dollar for dollar what their children put into a college fund. This pattern allows them to see first hand their parents’ attitudes about money management.

4. Family Financial Councils. About once a year, we take one of our weekly family council meetings to discuss family finances. We take Mom and Dad’s gross monthly income and convert it to Monopoly money and then go through the family budget with the children. This helps them see how Mom and Dad budget and how much things cost in the real world. Utility and transportation costs are usually the most shocking for them, and it helps them see the trade-offs that are inherent in any budgeting process.

5. Checking Accounts. Helping an older teen establish a checking account can be the next step in teaching financial responsibility. Most banks and credit unions offer special plans for teens. Also, sit down with your teen at the computer and visit the Checkbook Basics site at This site offers online lessons in writing and recording checks, reviewing statements and balancing your account.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Protecting Your Family During A Disaster

Disaster can strike at any time. Whether it’s a natural disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane or tornado, or, in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack, your family needs to be prepared to deal with the possible loss of basic services such as water and electricity. The following information and supplies lists are a good start to help you plan for a disaster.

There are six basics you should stock for your home: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items. Keep the items that you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to carry container. Possible containers include a large, covered trash container, a camping backpack, or a duffle bag.


Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.

* Store one gallon of water per person per day.
* Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).


Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:

* Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
* Canned juices
* Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
* High energy foods
* Vitamins
* Food for infants
* Comfort/stress foods

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.

* Sterile adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
* Assorted sizes of safety pins
* Cleansing agent/soap
* Latex gloves (2 pairs)
* Sunscreen
* 2-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
* 4-inch sterile gauze pads (4-6)
* Triangular bandages (3)
* Non-prescription drugs
* 2-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
* 3-inch sterile roller bandages (3 rolls)
* Scissors
* Tweezers
* Needle
* Moistened towelettes
* Antiseptic
* Thermometer
* Tongue blades (2)
* Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant

Non-Prescription Drugs

* Aspirin or nonaspirin pain reliever
* Anti-diarrhea medication
* Antacid (for stomach upset)
* Syrup of Ipecac (use to induce vomiting if advised by the Poison Control Center)
* Laxative
* Activated charcoal (use if advised by the Poison Control Center)

Tools and Supplies

* Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
* Emergency preparedness manual
* Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
* Flashlight and extra batteries
* Cash or traveler’s checks, change
* Non-electric can opener, utility knife
* Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
* Tube tent
* Pliers
* Tape
* Compass
* Matches in a waterproof container
* Aluminum foil
* Plastic storage containers
* Signal flare
* Paper, pencil
* Needles, thread
* Medicine dropper
* Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
* Whistle
* Plastic sheeting
* Map of the area (for locating shelters)


* Toilet paper, towelettes
* Soap, liquid detergent
* Feminine supplies
* Personal hygiene items
* Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
* Plastic bucket with tight lid
* Disinfectant
* Household chlorine bleach

Clothing and Bedding
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.

* Sturdy shoes or work boots
* Rain gear
* Blankets or sleeping bags
* Hat and gloves
* Thermal underwear
* Sunglasses

From “Disaster Supplies Kit.” developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

A Parenting Strategy- Attention Seeking Behavior

A child that wants attention will get it by some means. This is usually done in a positive way. They do a drawing or perform a play but by offering an adult the best of what they have to offer they seek and hopefully get some attention. In general children who are well adjusted tend to need attention on a little and not very often basis. As long as attention is given when needed, which is usually the case things run smoothly. However, some children seem to have an insatiable desire for attention. They get positive attention galore yet they want more.

They misbehave and quickly realize that certain behaviors can’t be ignored by adults and engage in them. The class teacher will tell you they spend vast quantities of their time with the child yet it is never enough. The child if observed in class will be engaging in a whole host of activities all of which appear geared toward getting attention. It would be nothing noteworthy for children like this to have the teacher intervene with them every 2-3 minutes.

Often parents and teachers are confused. They will tell the psychologist that the child gets lots of attention, much more than any other member of the class, something that is supported by observation. The important thing to remember with humans, in such cases, is that we are never dealing with concrete realities. What we are dealing with is perceptions.

If is rather convenient to see the child’s thinking in terms of there being a black box through which all thinking must pass. The black box contains one simple instruction that is, “I do not get enough attention”. If we take on board this simple assumption we can now see why the child will behave in an attention seeking way for, instance after being taken out for a wonderful day out and absolutely showered with attention they come home and do something totally silly that guarantees more attention, albeit negative. So what to do?

The following intervention is extraordinarily powerful. It works just about every time and the only reason it fails is because the adult stops. Children never tire of this intervention. The intervention takes about ten minutes each day and is focused on the child’s perceptual system.

Special Time:

* Tell the child that they will be getting a special time each day.
* Then each day tell them that special time will start in 2 minutes.
* Tell the child that special time will start now.
* Engage in special time.
* Tell the child that special time will end in 2 minutes.
* Tell the child that special time will end now.

You have therefore told the child four times that they are getting special time.

During special time the child may choose to do anything that is reasonable. They may want to watch a video with you or make a cake (use a ready made mix) for instance. Do not teach. Simply watch the child, helping if they request it, never offer. The adult watches the child and every so often sums up what the child is doing with praise for the skills shown. For instance I love the way you cuddle me. I love the way you are mixing that cake mix. This shows that the adult is paying attention. The analogy usually used is bathing the child in a warm bath of positive attention.

* Do this every day.
* Do not under any circumstances take away the special time as a sanction.
* Even if the child has had an awful day, do special time.

Keeping your connection with your child is imperative to their growth and development of good manners! Check out for more parenting tips!

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Picky Eaters & Solutions

If you have a picky eater, mealtime can make you feel like you want to pull your hair out. It is very frustrating for parents to watch their child only fiddle with their food at dinner or not even touch it, claiming they “don’t like it.” Then what happens? Thirty minutes later guess who is hungry? You guessed it. Your little picky eater.

Jamie’s mother was concerned about Jamie’s lack of interest in food. She told me, “Jamie never wants to eat anything I fix for dinner. What can I do to encourage Jamie to eat the meals that I have prepared?” I came up with the following ten tips for her. You may find them useful as well.

You could have Jamie help with planning the menu or meal preparation. Kids are less likely to “turn up their nose” at something, they had a hand in.

Perhaps Jamie is playing with her food at dinner and not real interested in eating it. Mom say’s, “Jamie, I will be serving breakfast at 7:00 a.m. try to eat enough to make it to then. You decide how much you will need. Oh! We will be clearing the table in _____ minutes.”

When Jamie comes to you later that evening complaining of being hungry. With an understanding tone, simply remind her that you will be serving breakfast at 7:00 a.m. as usual. Jamie will most likely be persistent about getting something else to eat. It is important that you follow through with the limit you have placed. Otherwise, Jamie learns that you do not mean what you say and you lose your credibility with her. You may have to tell her several times that you will be “serving breakfast at 7:00” until she realizes that your are not going to give in.

Jamie: “Mom I’m hungry. Can I have some cookies?”

Mom: “Kids who eat all their dinner are welcome to have a snack after.”

Jamie: “But mom I’m really hungry.”

Mom: “I know Jamie. I would be hungry too if I ate as little as you did for dinner, but don’t worry I will be fixing a big breakfast at 7:00 a.m.”

Jamie: “What? Do you want me to starve?”

Mom: “I’ll be serving breakfast at 7:00 Jamie”

Jamie: “This isn’t fair.”

Mom: “I’ll be serving breakfast at 7:00 Jamie”

Jamie: “Fine!”

TIP: NOTICE THE EXCEPTIONS. Call attention to the times when Jamie eats most of her meal. “Wow! Jamie you ate everything on your plate. Good job. You should be proud of yourself.” Too often, we only notice the negative aspects of our children’s behavior and that is what we reinforce with our negative attention.

TIP: CATER TO JAMIE’S DESIRE TO BE “BIG”. ” You probably won’t like this halibut Jamie. Usually, adults are the only ones who like halibut.” Guess what may just become Jamie’s new favorite food?

“Would you rather sit by me or by mommy?” “You can eat with a fork or a spoon which would you prefer?” “Do you think you will need more potatoes or is that enough?” “Have as much as you think you will need to make it to dinner.” “Milk or juice?” “Should we eat at 7:00 or 7:30?”

“You know dear, although spaghetti is not my favorite, I will eat it because I know how hard you worked to make it.”

TIP: EXPOSURE. Encourage Jamie to try a variety of foods early on in her life before she knows any different. Some children may have never thought liver was gross if it hadn’t been for what someone else had set their expectation to be.

Let’s remember there are some foods that certain children just can not stomach. If Jamie has a problem with spinach but it is part of that particular meal, try to have other items that she can get her fill up on once everyone has their share. However, this should be the exception rather than the rule.

Try letting Jamie dip her foods in sauces, dressings, syrups or ketchup. It may make them taste better to her.

TIP: MAKE MEALTIME ENJOYABLE. Try to talk about things other than eating at mealtime. Dinner is a great time to talk to Jamie about how her day went. During breakfast, you could discuss what everyone has planned for the day.

Everyone pitching in to help prepare the meal can teach Jamie an important family value. An added bonus for children is that it can teach them important thinking skills regarding timing, measuring, colors, comparisons, counting, and cause and effect.

Be creative in the ways that you dish up Jamie’s food. Mold her mashed potatoes into a volcano, cut her meat or sandwich into bite sized pieces and poke toothpicks in them, layout veggies in the shapes of letters or numbers, or use a drop or two of food coloring to make it more interesting.

TIP: LIMIT SNACKING. For children to be hungry enough to eat a meal they usually need to go two or three hours without food. However, it is difficult for children to go from noon to 6:00 p.m. without food. A nutritious snack after school should be fine to get Jamie to dinner still having her appetite.

TIP: RECALL PAST SUCCESSES. Think back about times when Jamie has ate her meals. What were you doing? Were you placing a lot of emphasis on her need to eat her food? What was she doing? What were you eating? What happened before the meal? These kinds of questions may help you realize some of the things you or Jamie is already doing which assist her in becoming a better eater.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Kids and Divorce

Are you tired of playing joint-custody tug-of-war with your Ex? Would you rather be paying for your kid’s needs than paying your custody attorney? Discover the How-Tos of mutual respect with your Ex and co-operation in your shared parenting plans. Find advice that’s miles apart from the usual divorced-parent information found in any ordinary shared-custody parenting class. Using the Family Calendar at Family is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your kids!

These 5 Steps to Successful Co-parenting give you, your Ex, and your children the support you need most.

Divorced with kids, but still playing the “who’s-right, who’s-wrong” game? Are your attempts to co-parent plagued by leftover anger and unsettled arguments from the past? If you’re angry, confused, or just wondering how in the world you will ever be able to share the responsibility of raising your kids with your Ex, then read on.
Five Steps to Co-parenting for Happy, Healthy Kids
Here are five simple steps you can follow to cultivate a co-parenting relationship that will help you, your children, and your Ex-Spouse to flourish – even after divorce. While the steps are simple, using them successfully still requires both commitment and follow-through. But anything worth doing is worth doing well. And isn’t having happy, healthy kids worth it to you?
Step One: Clarify Your Intention Are you clear about your co-parenting intentions? But first, do you know the difference between an intention and a strategy? Knowing this difference is essential.
Your intention can be described as your values expressed as a vision for a particular situation in an area of your life. Your strategies are specific plans or results that will give you what you value.
If you don’t understand this, you’ll tend to get stuck on whether or not other people agree with your strategies. This can leave people feeling defensive and closed-minded. Even worse, being attached to a particular strategy dramatically limits your opportunities to be satisfied.
One strategy = One opportunity
You might have adopted the strategy to hold a family meeting every week that everyone must attend. But what is your intention that had you pick this strategy? You intention may have been to create a peaceful, supportive atmosphere for your kids to grow up in.
But there are many strategies for creating this intention. And when you’re clear about the intention, it remains possible even if your specific strategy fails.
A critical first step is to create a detailed vision, or clear mental image, describing what you value that you would like to experience in your co-parenting relationship, for you, your kids, and your Ex.
Step Two: Get On The Same Page Do you share the same vision and want the same results? After you get clear about your values and what you would like to experience, get together with your co-parent and explore what they want. It’s critical that you keep at this dialog until you’re just as sure that you each understand what the other person wants as you are about what you want yourself.
And remember to keep all strategies out of this part of the discussion. They are important, but they come later.
After you each clearly understand what you both value about co-parenting your children, then co-create a shared intention about what you want. Start small but build big.
To begin with, it shouldn’t be difficult for you and your Ex to agree that you value your kids happiness, security, education, etc. List all the things you both can easily agree that you value for your children.
Then you can start tossing out strategies like family meetings, but just use these as opportunities to get to what you value. Keep adding to the list of values that you can be on the same page about until you have a WOW experience, like this: “Wow! If we could create that for our kids I’d be overjoyed!” Then you know you’ve co-created a powerful intention for your kid’s future.
When you begin by getting on the same page, you pave the way for easy agreements, successful results, and greater satisfaction for everyone along the way. Step Three: Negotiate
Will you take your own and your co-parent’s needs into consideration? Will you keep negotiating until both of you are satisfied? Do you know the difference between negotiation and compromise? It’s another difference that is essential to understand for success in your co-parenting relationship. Compromise begins when you identify what everyone wants. Then you see who’s willing to give up part of what they want until everyone can live with what’s left. It is a lose-lose solution.
Compromise is based in scarcity thinking: the belief that there isn’t enough to go around, so you have to settle for whatever you can get in order to get anything at all. Negotiation, on the other hand, begins when you identify what everyone values and then determine what’s missing in the situation. Why don’t you have what you value now? Then you keep your attention focused on what you value while you co-create strategies that will satisfy everyone.
Negotiation is based in abundance thinking: the belief that if we truly understand the problem the perfect solution will present itself.
When you believe it’s possible for everyone to be satisfied – no compromise necessary – you’ll have the confidence to stick with the process until it works. Never give up on the values you hold for your kids: that they continue to learn, grow, and know that they are safe and loved.
Step Four: Create Powerful Agreements.
Now that you’ve negotiated a plan, what needs to happen and who’s willing to do which parts? Often when people think they’ve made agreements, in reality they’ve only expressed vague understandings of what they want and how they would like that to happen. This is wishful thinking – not agreeing.
Powerful agreements are specific about who, what, when, and how. They require positive confirmation of each person’s willingness and commitment to co-operate with the plan.
If anyone is unwilling to clearly commit to an action it only means that there is something they value that hasn’t been considered in the plan. It’s simply an opportunity to revisit your shared intention and renegotiate your strategies.
Powerful agreements are made joyfully because you clearly see how they support your vision and values. Step Five: Set Up Accountability. Will your agreements continue to work for everyone in the family? Will they create the results you want? Without accountability you can’t know if your agreements are actually working. By the time you finally find out that they aren’t, you may have already built up dangerous levels of frustration, resentment and resignation.
You create accountability by setting specific times to follow up on your agreements. Then discuss how things are working and see what changes might be needed. If you practice accountability with your co-parent it will build trust and confidence. Accountability meetings allow you to practice all 5 Steps of Successful Co-parenting. 1. Do you still have a clear Intention? 2. Are you still On the Same Page? 3. Do you need more Negotiation? 4. Is it time to make new Agreements? 5. How will you ensure ongoing Accountability? Co-parenting is challenging enough when you’re married.

When you throw in the upset and stress of divorce, the likelihood of difficulty and disappointment skyrockets, because you and your Ex bring old baggage into this new relationship, habitual patterns and unresolved issues are guaranteed to come up.
Remember that clarifying your intention focuses you on what you want, and understanding what everyone values in the situation creates the possibility of everyone being satisfied.
With your commitment and focused attention, you can build a successful co-parenting relationship and open the way to raising happy , healthy kids together.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

Children And Divorce

One out of every two marriages today ends in divorce and many divorcing families include children. Parents who are getting a divorce are frequently worried about the effect the divorce will have on their children.

During this difficult period, parents may be preoccupied with their own problems, but continue to be the most important people in their children lives. We at Family Crossings believe in the ability for all to stay connected. Keep the non-custodial parent up to date with their children by using our website. With a calendar section the non-custodial parent can be kept in the loop of important activities, changes in scheduling and the ability to contact the child and the other parent 24/7. This feature is very beneficial to keep the child in the other parent’s life, share photos, stories from school and even just to say “Hi!”- don’t let divorce separate you from your child visit rel=”nofollow” Family Crossings today and reconnect to your child TODAY!
Continue reading Children And Divorce

  • Share/Save/Bookmark

ADHD & Your Child

Parents are distressed when they receive a note from school saying that their child “won’t listen to the teacher” or “causes trouble in class.” One possible reason for this kind of behavior is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Even though the child with ADHD often wants to be a good student, the impulsive behavior and difficulty paying attention in class frequently interferes and causes problems. Teachers, parents, and friends know that the child is “misbehaving” or “different” but they may not be able to tell exactly what is wrong.

Any child may show inattention, distractibility, impulsivity, or hyperactivity at times, but the child with ADHD shows these symptoms and behaviors more frequently and severely than other children of the same age or developmental level. ADHD occurs in 3-5% of school age children. ADHD must begin before the age of seven and it can continue into adulthood. ADHD runs in families with about 25% of biological parents also having this medical condition.

A child with ADHD often shows some of the following:

    trouble paying attention
    inattention to details and makes careless mistakes
    easily distracted loses school supplies,
    forgets to turn in homework
    trouble finishing class work and homework
    trouble listening trouble following multiple adult commands
    blurts out answers
    fidgets or squirms leaves seat and runs about or climbs excessively seems “on the go”
    talks too much and has difficulty playing quietly
    interrupts or intrudes on others

A child presenting with ADHD symptoms must have a comprehensive evaluation. A child with ADHD may have other psychiatric disorders such as conduct disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, or manic-depressive disorder. Without proper treatment, the child may fall behind in schoolwork, and friendships may suffer. The child experiences more failure than success and is criticized by teachers and family who do not recognize a health problem.

Research clearly demonstrates that medication can be helpful. Stimulant medication such as methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and pemoline can improve attention, focus, goal directed behavior, and organizational skills. Other medications such as guanfacine, clonidine, and some antidepressants may also be helpful.

Other treatment approaches may include cognitive-behavioral therapy, social skills training, parent education, and modifications to the child’s education program. Behavioral therapy can help a child control aggression, modulate social behavior, and be more productive. Cognitive therapy can help a child build self esteem, reduce negative thoughts, and improve problem solving skills. Parents can learn management skills such as issuing instructions one step at a time rather than issuing multiple requests at once. Education modifications can address ADHD symptoms along with any coexisting learning disabilities.

A child who is diagnosed with ADHD and treated appropriately can have a productive and successful life. If a child shows symptoms and behaviors like those of ADHD, parents may ask their pediatrician or family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who can diagnose and treat this medical condition.

  • Share/Save/Bookmark