SPAOA - Single Parents Association Of America
 
4Mar/150

How to Help your Child Cope with a Incarcerated Parent

Tip One:

  • Help your child to feel secure and be able to express feelings
  • To make your child(s) feel reassured, surround he/she with reliable people and busy with daily activities.
  • Provide your child with a comfort item to carry throughout the day, such as a family photo or a seashell from a family beach day trip.
  • Keep the relationship open with your child and ask questions. If you notice your child acting up, respond with a question saying,

" Did something happen today that made you feel sad/mad etc.?"

Tip Two:

  • Talk Honestly with your child
  • Children need to hear the truth from their parents, if you don't provide information about the other parent being incarcerated. Your child might come up with his/her idea of why mom/dad doesn't want to be their life.
  • Let your child know it is not their fault mom/dad is incarcerated.
  • If you lie about where mom/dad is really at, in this case incarcerated. Your child can find out on their own, and be angry and frustrated with you and won't be able to trust you. The bond between with you and your child will take a while to be rebuilt again.
  • Be patient once you tell your child, to give the time thats needed for your child to understand what happened. You may need to explain the sitaution several times, depending what age your child is.
  • Let your child know he/she is not alone.

Tip Three:

  • Stay Connected, Family Time
  • When you involve the incarcerated parent in your child's life,its shows your child he/she will always be loved and cared for.
  • Don't pressure your child to visit or connect with their other parent. It is sometimes best to be patient and let the child understand and be comfortable with the lifestyle (schedules, daily activities, etc) first.
  • Visits can be positive for children, but scary as well. Regular visitation may not be ideal for children(depending on age), so ask if the prison has a "Parent-Child Visitation Program." These programs feature flexible visiting hours and play areas with toys or activities, which support more relaxed and meaningful interactions between children and their incarcerated parents.
  • Phone calls is another great way for your child to keep in touch with mom/dad. Help your child think of things to tell their mom/dad.
  • A great idea is to have your child hold a picture of the other parent or family photo during the call.
  • Writing letters and drawing pictures and depending on age sending copies of a grade your child is proud of that they got on a test. This can make the child feel their parent is involved in their school life.
  • If your child can't yet write, ask your child to tell you what tot write, she/he can draw pictures to go with the words.

Every situation is different,However, all children need stability, reassurance and love from both their parents.Children also need to hear positive things about their parent, despite the situation and crime committed. Children also need a safe environment to express anger, anxiety, confusion and sadness. Most children will benefit from contact with their parent. They also need a supportive environment outside of family, including teachers, counselors and friends.

We are always glad to hear what you have to say, feel free to leave a comment down below!
For more tips and information: Click Here

3Mar/150

Must see Inspirational Video

"At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents." - Jane D. Hull

Below is a link to a short video that impacted many hearts and we want to share it with you. Enjoy.

CLICK HERE

We love to hear your input, please comment below.

Also check out our site at www.SPAOA.org

2Mar/150

6 Ways to Survive Single Parenting

"From stoplights to skyscrapers, turns anywhere in civilization and you will imagination at work, It's our inventions, advances and remedies and how a single parent masterminds each day. Imagination is boundless, surrounds us and resides in us all." - Geoffrey S. Fletcher

Accept help - Some things are easier being said then done. Just because you think you made the choice to become a single parent you do need help at times or just some one to hear you out.  It's a struggle being a single parent but you have to remember you're taking on two roles.

Move Forward- You may have friends/family members that are married once becoming single you may start to envy couples because their partner wanted to be with them or who wanted to pitch in. Don't do that look at the advantages. Its much easier to only think you have to only think about your children's needs and yours. Constant envy can turn into resentment and bitterness which will drain your energy. Focus on the positive things in your life.

Planning Ahead-  Everyone has random emergencies or random virus. Imagine your child getting sick in the middle of the night and you're out of ibuprofen or you have a virus and aren't able to tend to your child. And your only adult in the house what do you do at that point? One great tool you can use or make is an "Emergency List" or your friends/family member you know your able to count on.

Creative Ways for Babysitting - "Cultivate a babysitting network," says Soiseth . Instead of using traditional babysitting try conventional ideas. Such as arrange for a student to live with you but instead of paying rent exchange that babysitting. Also another idea is trade childcare with friends/family members. Such as when they want to go on a date you watch their kids and when you would like to run errands ask them to watch your kids save money and benefits both families.

Take care of Yourself - Being a parent your caught in your child's tending to them and everything you could sometimes forget about yourself. Some single parents could take so much on they forget to eat or even to get enough rest.  Sometimes sit back and tend to yourself when children are away or sleeping.

Build a Community - Being a part of a strong community can provide get emotional support & a sense of belonging the perfect isolation brought on by the solo parenting. Don't just focus on other single parents. Having a diverse social group is very important. Building a community may be hard but you need to push yourself into social situati0ns. Meeting new people gets easier with practice.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day and reading this, Please leave comments we love to hear what our members have to say

26Feb/150

Education in Children

Education is essential for every citizen in the United States to have. It is the key factor for a successful professional life. It opens doors to our children so in the future they succeed and fulfill their dreams. According to the National Center for Education Statistics there has been between 347,000 and 544,000 10th-12th grade students who drop out each year without successfully completing high school. On the bright side, our nation’s high school graduation rate is approaching 75% which is the highest rate in 40 years according to a report from Education Week. We live in a country where parents are supposed to make education a priority to their children. We are very fortunate to live in a country where the government gives funds, grants, loans for continued education after high school. The United States has an Act of Congress called “No Child Left Behind Act”. This reauthorized law authorizes several federal education programs that are administered by the states. It requires to test students in reading and math in grades 3-8, and once in high school. All students are expected to meet the state standards.

Unfortunately millions of children don’t receive the proper education, and that has to do with parents lacking interest in their children’s education. It is important as a parent to contribute to good education and training because, “The better their education and training, the better their employment prospects; and the better their jobs, the better the income. That’s the way the social system works.” These are the words of Professor Luther Otto who is well known and respected expert on youth and careers.

You need to encourage, listen, and always help in any way you can.


10 Most Educated Countries in the World

1. Canada- basic knowledge index is at an unprecedented 65.0
2. Japan- basic knowledge index is 64.2
3. Republic of Korea- basic knowledge is 64.2
4. United Kingdom- basic knowledge index is 64.0
5. Sweden- basic knowledge index is 63.7
6. Israel- basic knowledge index is 62.9
7. France- basic knowledge index is 62.5
8. Germany-basic knowledge index is 61.6
9. Poland-basic knowledge index is 61.4
10. United States- basic knowledge index is 61.3

You can read more information about this statistic on the link below

http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/great-grades-the-10-best-educated-countries-in-the-world/?view=all

We love to hear your input, please comment below.

Also check out our site at www.SPAOA.org

24Feb/151

“Hope, Dreams, Love!”

We wanted to share a video with all of you. This video touched our hearts, showing us that the littlest things can make a huge difference. We hope you enjoy this video as much as we did.

:)

CLICK HERE FOR HOPE

Please feel free to leave a comment. We would love to hear your thoughts about this video.

Don't forget to checkout our website for more information www.SPAOA.org

20Feb/151

Study: Working Moms Healthier & Happier

A new study finds that moms with jobs tend to be healthier and happier than those who stay at home with their kids and don’t work during their children’s infancy and preschool years.

Interestingly, while researchers found no difference in the health of moms who worked part-time versus those who worked full-time, they did find that moms who worked part-time felt less conflicted between work and family than those who worked full-time, presumably leading to less stress and greater happiness. Working moms overall reported fewer symptoms of depression and were more likely to rate their health “excellent,” compared with moms who didn’t work. Researchers suggested that stay-at-home moms of very young children may be more socially isolated than working moms, which may increase their chances of being depressed.

The study’s findings are based on interviews, starting in 1991, with 1,364 mothers (24 percent of whom were from ethnic minorities) from Arkansas, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Throughout the span of the study, about 25 percent of the moms were employed part-time, although they moved in and out of part-time work. Researchers interviewed the women throughout their kids’ infancy, preschool years and into elementary school—and found that the differences disappeared when children entered preschool.

Moms who worked part-time reported being just as involved in their kids’ schooling as stay-at-home moms and were, not surprisingly, more involved than moms who worked full-time (seriously, there are only 24 hours in a day, said this full-time working mom of two preschoolers).

The study's limitations include that it only looked at one child in the family and at work hours specifically—not other employment-related factors like professional status, work commitment or scheduling flexibility.

How do you feel about your current employment status? Please feel free to comment and share with us below!

Don't forget to visit our site at www.SPAOA.org

19Feb/151

“Makeup on a budget”

We bet you're wondering how this relates to single parents!

Some parents might have a teenage daughter, and have hit that stage of wearing makeup as a daily routine, or for special occasions. Also, lets not forget some single moms want to feel GORGEOUS too! Some daughter's want the higher-end brands because it's the trend at school and they don't want to feel left out. But as a single parent, buying that type of makeup breaks the bank. It also hurts most parents when they can't make their children happy.

So, we came up with a list of dupes for higher-end makeup so a single mom or teenage daughter can feel in trend and gorgeous without breaking the bank.

ARMANI MAESTRO LIQUID- ranges $62 --- L'OREAL MAGIC NUDE- ranges $10


NARS BLUSH/BRONZER DUO- ranges $27 --- E.L.F STUDIO BLUSH/BRONZER DUO- ranges $3

BENEFIT'S BROW ZING- ranges $48 --- E.L.F'S STUDIO EYEBROW KIT- ranges $3

TOO FACED MASCARA-ranges $23 --- E.L.F STUDIO MINERAL VOLUMIZING MASCARA- ranges $3


STILA LIPGLOSS- ranges $22 --- E.L.F HYPERSHINE GLOSS- ranges $1

Thanks for reading!!! We love hearing from you so please feel free to leave comments. www.SPAOA.org

18Feb/151

How To Be a Better Parent: Rewarding Your Kids

There is no question parenting is hard, particularly as a single parent.  It has always been difficult, but the 21st century brings additional challenges to parents, especially single ones. Video games, the internet, cable television, and other technology has made the world smaller while also capturing the imagination and dominating the time of everyone, including your children. Technology combined with the age of entitlement have changed attitudes. And your kids are no exception...

They see money and they want money. But, how do you reward them for their behavior without going crazy... and without going broke?

The Best (and Easiest) Way To Reward Your Children

For single parents, time is at a premium. It's hard to make rules and enforce them. The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it will be to remember and stick with. The best way to create a reward system for your children is to set up a weekly allowance for doing few specific chores. You can list a few tasks that fall under the category of expected behavior, a few that earn a weekly reward (allowance), and then a few that earn a special reward.

Here's basic example of how to set up a reward system:

Basic tasks - no reward

  • Doing homework
  • Putting clean clothes away
  • Cleaning and putting their dishes in the dishwasher

Tasks for a weekly allowance - reward

  • Taking the trash out before trash day
  • Being ready for school on time each day
  • Cleaning their sink and counter in the bathroom each week

Special rewards!

  • Good report card (you decide what is good)
  • Special cleaning tasks - cleaning the entire bathroom, vacuuming the house, etc.

However you want to set up your reward matrix is up to you. This may depend on your child's behavior, how many children you have, and the ages of your kids. But, the key is to make a decision, set up a workable system, and then sticking to it!

5 Keys to Creating and Maintaining a Reward System for Your Children

  • Keep the rewards reasonable. Enough to make them look forward to their allowance, but low enough to help them understand the value of money. Amounts will also depend on your standard of living to some extent, and on their ages.
  • Don't listen to their arguments. Children will undoubtedly compare their rewards with the excessive (often not real) rewards of their peers. Don't fall for their begging, manipulations, and please your sense of fairness and equality. Set a reasonable amount, stick to it, and if you want to raise it, do so after an extended period of good behavior.
  • Take away rewards if they don't do their tasks. This is not as easy as it sounds. All parents, and especially single parents, are tired at the end of a long work day - it's easy to give in. Stick to your guns, and if they missed one or a few tasks, deduct rewards. Don't feel bad for them - don't take the easy way out.
  • Clear explanations are crucial. If you change their allowance, deduct for specific issues, or even give them extra for special rewards, make sure to tell them precisely why the reward changed.
  • Use the reward system to talk with your kids about finances. You don't want to do this every time, but here and there it is good to have a brief but informative conversation about spending, saving, and budgeting.

Don't forget to comment below and visit our page at www.SPAOA.org!

17Feb/151

Quote of the Day!!

"Change Your Thoughts and You Change Your World."

- Norman Vincent Peale

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We hope this quote helps your day, and never think you can't achieve anything, because the power of WILL, is amazing and surprising. Thinking positive can change the smallest things in your life for good.

Please feel free to leave us your feedback. We appreciate you taking the time to read. www.spaoa.org

12Feb/158

Eating Healthy

Having a healthy diet is an essential in a child’s life. Up to one of every five children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, and this number continues to rise. Overweight children are at high risk of becoming overweight adolescents which can lead to developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, bone problems, and heart disease later in their life.

There are many factors why children become overweight. One of the most common reason is lack of physical activity. Nowadays with technology such as iPads, computers and TV, kids are becoming more prone to choosing to play a game on a tablet instead of playing outside. Children are spending more and more time being inactive. It is very important that kids get about an hour of physical activity each day.

According to the National Institute of Health, you can encourage healthy eating by:
• Serving more fruits and vegetables
• Buying fewer soft drinks and high-fat, high-calorie snack foods
• Making sure your child eats breakfast every day
• Eating fast food less often
• Not using food as a reward

Lack of sleep is another reason for being overweight. Leptin and Ghrelin are two important hormones in the body. When someone is not getting enough sleep, leptin levels are low and ghrelin levels are high, which results in changes of hormone levels that may encourage a child to eat more. Also it is recommended to not eat right before going to sleep. It causes weight gain and food metabolizes slower.

Below is a link where you can find healthy kid-friendly meals
http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/healthy_kids_diet_center

We love to hear your input, please comment below.

Also check out our site at www.SPAOA.org