Tag Archives: Single Mom Of Boys

7 Proven Parenting Tips

7 proven Parenting Tips

7 proven Parenting Tips

The toughest job… takes courage and strength

The most rewarding job… full of joy and sorrow

On-the-job training… once you think you have it figured out; things change

No instruction manuals… never know what to do

What is your goal as a parent?

Mine is, and always has been, to raise independent, responsible, young men.

I love being a mother. I would have been content living the life of June Cleaver, but I was blessed with the life of Christi Weems; mom of Garrett and Austin Weems. Garrett is the child who always challenged me and felt as though rules were to be broken. Did I mention Garrett is a ginger? Austin is my obedient child who speaks very little, but when he does, he speaks with wisdom and humor.  We have had our peaks and valleys and I have made plenty of bad decisions. I felt as though I should share some methods that have been proven to effective over the years.

  • Allow them to be who they are; not who you want them to be.

The hardest lesson that must be learned as a parent. This one took me years to figure out and caused a lot of heartache in our home. All I ever wanted to be was “football mom” and I was granted the experience for one high school season. Football was not the boys’ passion; it was mine. I had to let it go and let them be themselves. Garrett found his passion with electronics and graphic design. He began his graphic design career at the age of sixteen and opened his own company at seventeen. Austin is a freshman in high school and has yet to find his passion. Recently, he built his own gaming computer. It may be safe to say that gaming is in his future.

  • Live by example.

I cannot expect the boys to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.  I have always worked hard, treated people kindly, and lived with integrity which is exactly what I expect from them. I am raising boys to be men without a male role model. It is important to me for them to have good manners. I will stop at a door and wait for them to open it for me. I explain to them that a woman wants to date a gentleman and gentlemen have manners.

  • Use your words to build them up; not tear them down.

The world is tough enough on children without parents breaking them down at home. Each day, I tell the boys, “You are a champion. I am proud of you. Make good choices.” I place inspirational notes in their lunches periodically. My heart crushes when I hear a parent call their child, “stupid” even if they’re only joking. Those words linger in your child’s head and heart for years.

  • Be hard on them.

The price they pay as children and teenagers is much less than what they’ll pay as adults in society. Any time I received calls from teachers or administrators my response was always, “Be harder on my child than you would be any others.” When Garrett was making bad choices in high school, the assistant principal worked with me to create harsh consequences for his actions. After he suffered the consequences, he straightened up and I did not have any more problems. When they were toddlers, I carried a wooden spoon in my purse; I was never afraid to use it. As they got older, I learned a special pinch on their arm did the trick. Spanking your children may be against your beliefs, but I know it worked for mine.

  • Allow them to fail.

This is heartbreaking to watch, but it is necessary to happen. Garrett did not have a good relationship with one of his Spanish teachers. Garrett has never understood the concept of respecting your elders. In his eyes, you had to earn his respect despite your age. He did not respect her for reasons unknown. After multiple emails, phone calls, and conferences, I realized this was a life lesson for Garrett.  It was tough for me to see him fail, as a teacher, I cringed. I hate seeing students who are fully capable not succeed solely because they are not willing to work. I emailed the teacher the following, “Garrett is a young adult and has to learn from his actions.  I cannot sweep in and do this for him. He has to face the consequences of his actions.” He failed Spanish and had to repeat it the following year. The learning lesson took place about a year later. The first semester he was out of a school an hour early each day, but the second semester he had to stay the extra hour each day to retake Spanish.

  • Give them responsibilities.

We divide all the chores in the house by three and we each do our own part. I cannot do it all on my own and they have to understand what it takes to manage a household. If one of us doesn’t do our part, the house cannot function smoothly. They each do their own laundry. I’m not saying they always do things perfectly or the way I would do it, however,  if I don’t allow them to do things, the will not learn. It’s okay if the towels aren’t folded perfect. I allow them to cook, but I probably should be teaching them cooking skills more regularly. Culinary techniques are not my specialty; therefore, this is an area we could all use some improvement. I also sit down with them to discuss the monthly budget. Often times, they would rewash a load of laundry instead of folding the clothes and putting them away (which infuriated me.) After we discussed the electricity and water bill, this routine concluded.

  • Love Unconditionally.

Love unconditionally is affection without any conditions. Do your children know you love them without any conditions?   Your children must know they are loved despite their behaviors. We create their safe haven by the love we provide.

Raising boys to be men without a man around has been a tough, but rewarding journey.  I am proud of the men my boys have become. Parenting is my favorite job and I have made my share of mistakes. Punishing your children and telling them no may be painful at the moment, but prevents future pain.  My boys are not perfect and they are still learning but they make my life complete. I hope this encourages you to speak words of encouragement to your children today! Believe in yourself because you are doing a great job!!

RED FLAGS: Signs to look for in an abusive personality

RED FLAGS
Signs to look for in an abusive personality:

Jealousy:

At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say that his jealousy is a sign of love. Jealousy has nothing to do with love; it is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. He will question you about whom you talk to, accuse you of flirting, or be jealous of time you spend with family, friends, or children. As the jealousy progresses, he may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may give you a hard time for being involved in activities or work for fear that you will meet someone else. He may even ask friends to watch you.

Controlling Behaviors:

At first, the batterer will say that this behavior is because he is concerned for your safety, your need to use your time well, or your need to make good decisions. He will be angry if you are “late” to meet him after a trip to the store or an appointment. If you cannot see him when he wants, he may question you closely about who you will be with or your plans. As this behavior gets worse, he may try to interfere with your right to make personal decisions about work, school, clothing or going to church. He may act like he wants to own you.

Quick Involvement:

Many women dated or knew the man who abused them for less than six months before they were engaged or living together. He comes on like a whirl-wind – “you’re the only person I could ever talk to,” “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” He needs someone desperately, and will pressure you to commit to him.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
Many women are confused by the abuser’s “sudden” changes in mood-they will describe that one minute he is nice and the next minute he explodes as though he has some special “mental problem” or like he is “crazy.” Mood swings are typical of men who beat their partners, and they are just another way to take control and manipulate a person. These behaviors are related to other characteristics such as hypersensitivity.

Past Battering:

The man may say he has hit girlfriends in the past, but they made him do it. You may hear from the relatives that the man is abusive. A batterer will beat any woman he is with: situational circumstances do not make an abusive personality.

Threats of Violence:
This would include any threat of physical force meant to control you. He may say things such as: “I’ll slap your mouth off,” “I’ll kill you, “or “I’ll break your neck.” Most men do not threaten their mates, but a batterer will try to excuse this behavior by saying, “Everybody talks like that.”

Unrealistic Expectations:

He will be very dependent on you for all of his needs; he expects you to be the perfect girlfriend, mother, lover, and friend. He will say things like, “If you love me, I’m all you need-you’re all I need.” You are supposed to take care of everything for him emotionally and meet all of his needs.

Isolation:

The abuser will try to cut you off from all resources. If you have male friends, you are a slut. If you have girlfriends, you are accused, disparagingly, of being a lesbian. If you are close to family, you are “tied to the apron strings.” He accuses people who are part of your support system of “causing trouble.” He may try to keep you from working or being involved in social, church, family, school or other activities that do not revolve around him.

Blames Others for His Problems:
If he does poorly in school or is chronically unemployed, someone is always doing him wrong or is out to get him. He may make mistakes and then blame you for upsetting him and keeping him from concentrating on doing his job. He will tell you that you are at fault for almost anything that goes wrong.

Playful Use of Force During Sex:
The man may like to throw you down and hold you during sex. He may want to act out fantasies during sex where you are helpless. He is letting you know that the idea of “rape” excites him. He may show little concern about whether you want to have sex and sulk or use anger to manipulate you into compliance. He may start having sex with you while you are sleeping, or demand sex when you are ill or tired.

Verbal Abuse:
In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, he may curse you or put down any of your accomplishments. The man will tell you that you are stupid and unable to function without him He may disrupt your sleep to verbally abuse you or he may not let you sleep. He rarely calls you by your own name, preferring instead to use such terms as bitch, whore, slut, fatso or stupid to address you.

Rigid Sex Roles:
The abuser expects you to serve him. He may say you must meet his needs, that you must obey him in all things-even things that are criminal in nature. The abuser will see women as inferior to men, more stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship.

Blames Others for his feelings:
He will say “You make me mad,” “You’re hurting me by not doing what I ask,” “I can’t help being angry.” He really makes the decision about what he thinks and feels, but will use feelings to manipulate you. Harder to catch are his claims that “You make me happy,” “You control how I feel.”

Hypersensitivity:

The abuser is easily insulted; he claims his feelings are “hurt” when he is really very mad, or he takes the slightest setbacks as personal attacks. He will “rant and rave” about the injustice of things that have happened to him-things that are really just part of living-like getting a traffic ticket, being told that something he does is annoying or being asked to help with chores.

Cruelty to Animals or Children:
This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain or suffering. He may expect children to be capable of doing things far beyond their ability (whips a two year old for wetting his/her diaper) or he may tease children or young brothers or sisters until the cry (60 percent of men who beat the women they are with also beat their children).

Breaking or Striking Objects:

This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize you into submission. The man may beat on tables with his fist; throw objects around or near you. Only very immature people beat on objects in the presence of other people in order to threaten them. He may say, “See, I hit the rear view mirror, not you, I don’t want to hurt you.” Don’t be fooled – it is an implied threat.

Any Force During an Argument:

This may involve him holding you down, physically restraining you from leaving the room, as well as pushing or shoving you. Example: The man may hold you against a wall and say, “You’re going to listen to me.”

Are you in an Abusive Relationship?

Takes this quiz.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Does your partner:

Embarrass you with bad names and put-downs?

Look at you or act in ways that scare you?

Control what you do, who you see or talk to, or where you go?

Stop you from seeing or talking to friends and family?

Act like hitting you is no big deal, it’s your fault, or denies it happened?

Destroy your property?

Intimidate you with guns, knives, or other weapons?

Shove you, slap you, or hit you?

Threaten to kill you?

 

If you feel your life is in danger, call 911.

Atypical New Year’s Post ~ “Fruits of your Labor”

“Fruits of your Labor”

Gratitude journal changes life!

Do you see evidence of your “fruits of your labor?”

While most are planning new year’s resolutions, I have your “atypical New Year’s Post ~ Fruits of your Labor.”

Yes, the new year is an exciting time for me too and I am somewhat at a lose for exactly what my new year’s goal will be since 2013 was amazing.  I have the first few months planned, but am actually looking for a theme or something amazing to carry through the year since I will be celebrating my 40th birthday in March.

 

Over the last few days, I reflected over the last year and some things I wanted to make better within me.  I made a list of what I want in an ideal mate and decided I was dating on purpose this year (meaning if you did not have the qualities on my list, I would not date you- living on purpose).

 

My morning began with the first date of the year. Tom (name changed to protect the innocent) and I met for breakfast and the conversation was good.  He did want to see me again which means I may have broken through my One Date Wonder stage- woo hoo for 2014- making strides!!

 

My last two dates have brought a concern regarding the impact we make on the lives of others as much more importance that the materialistic things. The “fruits of your labor” are far more important to me than your income. I don’t care how much money you make, what type of car you drive (or don’t drive in these cases), the size or location of your house, the restaurants you chose, or the tags on your clothes.

 

As a single mom of two boys who lives on a school teacher’s salary, I know how to stretch the dollar.  I know how to be creative and innovative. What matters to me is the “fruits of your labor.”

 

What are your values and morals?

What are you doing to make yourself better?

What do you do to make your family better?

How do you treat the people who mean the most to you?

How do you treat strangers?

Who are the people that surround you?

When is the last time that you helped someone and expected nothing in return?

 

As you prepare for the new year, I challenge you to focus on the “fruits of your labors” and not the material things.  I suggest starting with a gratitude journal and record your list of gratitude daily.  I promise it will change your life.  I am excited to start with my new journal that I received as a Christmas gift from my oldest son.

Mom of boys

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As a mom of boys, I am able to see the world a little differently. I grew up with my mom and sister and I am now raising two boys as a single mom. Our house has a boy to girl ratio of 2:1 including the pets. Garrett left the house in hot pursuit in his 2001 Honda Civic to make an AdvoCare delivery for me. He was 10 miles from home when his car started smoking and he had to pull over on the side of the road. He called me to pick him up and before I arrived at the destination, he had already researched the problem and had a repair plan in place. He sent me to pick-up water for the radiator with the words, “I have the best mom ever.” When in all reality, I have the best sons ever. I was so proud of his determination and drive. He makes the best out of what he has and keeps a positive attitude. We were not able to repair the car and had to leave it on the side of the road until tomorrow, but I do know that I am creating independent, responsible, young men. I try to lead by example and provide the boys with the things they need to become men. The best thing I can do is continously pray for them and respect myself.

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