Dating With Children

It goes without saying; our children are an integral part of our lives. Do not downplay the fact that you have children or in any way “apologize” for their existence in your life. Stop wasting time on anyone that you feel discounts you because you have children; children are part of the package.

Obviously, for a host of different reasons, some people are just not interested in dating someone with children. So what! Get over it! Once you realize this, you can move ahead to someone that welcomes the children in your life. Although you want someone you date to know about your children when the relationship is in its infancy, make sure your present yourself as an individual with lots to offer a relationship – not just your role as a parent.

Be Selective

Statistically, persons with strong family ties make the best potential partner for a single parent. When you date someone that has close relationships with their parents, siblings, nieces and nephews and children (if they have them), you know you are dating a person that values family. Although there are exceptions, a person who has never been married and does not exhibit close family relationships is unlikely to have the patience or motivation to become any kind of permanent part of your family dynamic.

Plan Ahead

When you are a single parent with young children, getting back in the dating game and attempting to develop a meaningful relationship requires some adjustment to your schedule; flexibility and patience are required. Be prepared for the unexpected circumstances such as children getting sick, babysitters cancelling at the last minute or school events popping up that can intrude on the best of plans. Try to have a “back up” sitter in reserve or an alternative plan for your date that can include a movie night at home or an activity in which the children can participate.

If your date is upset or complaining when you have to change a dinner reservation or cancel plans because of a situation with the children that requires your attention, you may want to consider if this is someone that will fit into your life. Your children come first. If your new date doesn’t understand your commitment and parenting responsibilities, they are unlikely to be accommodating when a similar situation arises in the future. 

When Children Learn The You Are Dating

The role of a single parent is challenging enough without the added anxiety and stress of getting back into the dating scene. No matter their age, children are vulnerable in the aftermath of divorce. Parents with children face difficulties those not yet dating have yet to experience.

The majority of single parents say that the biggest problem is the reaction of the child when they learn that you are dating. Because it is impossible to know or predict how your child will react to the news, it makes it even more difficult to share the news.

Before you start dating, discuss the prospect with your children. Young children do not understand the concept of dating so it is best to just say your were spending time with your friends when they ask about your absence. With older children, it is very important to discuss dating and give them the opportunity to talk about how they feel about you starting to date. Realize that older children may be resentful of a new person in your life or just need time to adjust to the idea that you are dating.

Offer Young Children Reassurance

Before starting to date someone new, explain to your children why you are dating and reassure them that no one will replace their other parent. No matter their ages, let kids know that they are your number one priority and that you will always be there for them, no matter whom you are dating.

When discussing dating, stress the friendship aspect and downplay any romantic involvement. If children are anxious, resistant or negative, don’t become defensive or ignore your own needs in deference to their feelings. Acknowledge children’s feelings; give extra hugs and attention but do not allow them to manipulate you with guilt.

If you do introduce your children to the new man or woman in your life, understand and acknowledge to yourself that adolescents, tweens and teens will be more affected by a breakup than toddlers. It is confusing and cruel when children become attached to a new person in your life only to have that person disappear; a passing fancy.

It is best not to introduce your kids to an array of different people. To do so sends mixed signals and can cause conflict. To maintain trust and stability, avoid parading a bunch of dates before your kids, only introducing someone new after you have determined that the person you are dating will have a long-term place in your life.

Introductions

Children are complex; “as different as snowflakes.” As a parent, you know when the timing is right to introduce the new person in your life to your child or children. Don’t rush it.

It isn’t necessary to tell your ex that your are dating; it is none of their business as long as your activity does not affect your children. However, if you develop a relationship with someone new that has progressed to the point you want to introduce that person to your child or children, it is best to tell your ex first. After all, you would appreciate the same consideration.

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LIving Rainbow H20 – Dancing with Water

Water “means, medium, and message of life.”

Are you remembering to stay hydrated? Water is essential to life and adequate consumption is required for good health.

via LIving Rainbow H20 – Dancing with Water.

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Effective Tips to Say Goodbye to Your Emotional Baggage

Effective Tips to Say Goodbye to Your Emotional Baggage.

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Another Perspective

I Am…Druid
By: Jason Griffit
My name is Jason, and I am a former Sergeant of the United States Marine Corps. I was raised attending Southern Baptist Churches. As a little boy I had so many questions for those in charge of the church. So much so that I was labeled as an annoyance for being too curious and then was shunned when I started to question that which was being preached to the members of the church.My mother raised me to choose my own beliefs, to choose my own path and that my relationship with the creator is my business and no one else’s. All my life I tried to find a Christian church that I could feel that I was a part of but without being forced to conform into a “molded” member just to learn about god.But it never truly happened. I even went to Non-Denominational Christian leadership camps as a teen to try to learn what it was to be a youth ministerto the generation after my own…and still everything I heard never quite made sense. It all sounded like some lavish fairly tale of “unicorns” and “pixie dust”.I’ve spent my whole life asking questions only to receive generic answers from individuals that seemed more brainwashed then God-like…religion alone terrified me as the years went on because I had seen more anger, hatred and evilness come from the very church members that preached against it. I heard preachers give sermons about acceptance and then scorn those that chose a different path than the one the church had laid out for them. So much vileness…so much hatred…too much for a young man to handle.

Upon joining the Marines I felt that I had finally found the type of brotherhood that I had been searching for. However a part of me still felt empty. The only thing, I learned, that seemed to lift that dreary feeling was learning about the healing properties of the land around us, the way that other creatures communicate and how to use everything that nature has already provided, to aid us in nearly anyway we needed.

I felt more spiritual, with my hands in the dirt, planting vegetables, outside my barracks room, than I ever did in a church. Then I remembered what my grandmother told me about our heritage.

Although my family’s bloodline comes from many different areas across theglobe, we have always had our roots set in Ireland and Scotland. She told me that our lineage comes from the Celts.

When I described my distrust of the church and the freedom I felt from learning about holistic methods and obtaining enlightenment by “getting some dirt on my pants” she told me that she wasn’t surprised because many of our ancestors followed the path of the Druid.

I was surprised she divulged so much information about our family’s past as she has always been a devout Christian. (The first true Christian I had ever met I might add.)

Flash forward 2 years…I now find myself attached to a special operations unitin the Middle East surrounded by the biggest hypocrisy of all…Christian-hating Muslims, both of which worship the same god!

It was here within these desolate and unforgiving elder lands that my life changed in many ways. One of which was detrimental to the very fiber of my being…I arrived in these lands as a Marine following orders as well as a Christian seeking answers…and returned with a deep hatred of all things religious.

Out of all the lessons I learned during my time spent within a pointless war, the one that has burned itself deepest into my mind is that; ‘It is within human nature to destroy ourselves, as we are incredibly destructive creatures. When presented with a gift that can enrich life and encourage wisdom…we instead use it for chaos. Religion is no different…religion is a man made excuse to fight with one another. To kill the sons and daughters of your neighbor’s house simply because they don’t see the world as you do. Surely, religion is the root of all evil for it is religion that separates people.” Faith, however, brings them together.

So I cast my “religion” to the wind and decided to allow “faith” to guide me on my path. For the longest time, however…I could not find a church of “Faith”. Every time I would look for one all I would find were religious minions that used the word of “faith” to lure in the curious and the innocent only to hide behind it as a means to scare them into staying. “Have faith!!!! Or you will be damned!!!”

So I continued on my path for the search for others of faith…along my travelsI have met many people that I have held dear to my heart and the strangest thing is that nearly every one of these individuals did not follow a path of religion, but a path of a way of life.

As a child going to church I was taught that wicans, pagans, Satanists, atheists, agnostics or anyone non-Christian was evil, perverted, twisted and dangerous. That was “religion” talking…”faith” brought me to these people and I realized that even though we may follow different paths we all will still end up at the same destination. Mecca, Heaven, Paradise, Valhalla, Infinite Enlightenment…it’s all the same. It’s just how you get there that matters.

So I found my faith and have decided to travel the path of my heritage; the solitary path of the Druid. I acknowledge that there is a higher power that governs and creates life. I acknowledge that we live in an existence of duality; every light will cast a shadow, no good deed will go unpunished, heal one person and find a village that has fallen ill, there is that which is given and that which will take away.

My ancestors knew this and still they found good within this world. They found ways to preserve life using only that which was around them. They dedicated themselves to wisdom and found the balance between law, medicine,scripture and even political leadership. They stood their ground against evil and spoke out above the lies with truth no matter the cost. That is why history has associated the word “Druid” to an individual that upholds the delicate balance of nature.

The path of the Druid does not mean that I don’t believe in written history. Mohammad’s message was great and true, Jesus should be praised for his selfless acts and for the sacrifice he made.  The teachings of Buddha should be learned by every person.

My path is the path of the Druid. My path is one of wisdom, one of patience, one of acceptance but also one of justice. I still become angry, I still will curse when wronged, I will retaliate when attacked, I will make mistakes and suffer consequences. Then I will rise above them…and continue on my path.

I am human after all…

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Building Trust

Trust is an integral part of creating a strong and loving relationship. Lack of trust generates suspicion and fear of loss.

“It takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.” ~ Anonymous

Trust requires a two-way commitment. If you want your partner to believe and trust you, you have to, in turn, trust and believe them.

  • Trust does not grow from secrets. Often times, in a relationship, many people tend to conceal important facts about their past from their lover. However, when these deceptions come to light, doubt and mistrust creep into the emotional bond. Never invent or lie about the past; it has a way of coming back to bite you. Everyone has a right to privacy. How much you reveal is a matter of choice; just make sure that the information you do choose to share is honest and forthcoming.
  • Build a foundation of trust by doing what you say you will do. Follow through and be consistent and reliable. If you are always late, tell little white lies to justify behavior and fabricate excuses, you corrode your credibility. Lies, even the little white ones, add up. Enough of them and trustworthiness are quickly destroyed.
  • Honor your word and keep your promises. Your partner needs to know they can depend on you.

If trust is an issue in your relationship, an intuitive reading can help you understand the dynamics of your partnership. If you need advice or someone to talk to, call now.

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Stress

 “If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.” ~ Socrates

We live in a chaos filled world with commitments, family and professional pressures, personal challenges and seemingly overwhelming obstacles. Most days we manage. We think, if I can just get through next Thursday, next month or make it through the winter gray days I can get my life together. But time passes, the days race by and suddenly your life is rushing up at you.

When the burden feels too heavy, we feel depleted and unable to meet the many demands placed upon us and we experience stress.

In moderation, stress is actually a good thing. Stress motivates us to stay focused and alert and increases our productivity. One type of stress, eustress, is actually a necessary part of a balanced, meaningful life. Eustress is the type of stress we experience when falling in love, riding a roller coaster or participating in a risky activity or extreme sport. Eustress adds spice and flavor to our experiences, making us feel vital and alive.

Problems arise when life’s demands exceed our limitations and negates our ability to cope. This type of stress is called distress and can become an ominous threat to both our emotional and physical well-being. Stress impacts not only our bodies, but our thoughts, emotions, relationships and behavior.

When we feel threatened, whether for our personal safety or our emotional equilibrium, our bodies rapidly respond – we are ready for “flight or fight”. Stress is both a physio-logical and psychological reaction to events that disturb our personal sense of balance. Alarming experiences, either real or imagined, can trigger a stress reaction. When danger is sensed, the body’s defenses activate automatically with a wave of over 1400 reactions including the dumping of a huge variety of stress hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine, into our systems. These chemicals race through our bloodstream, readying us to quickly react to the perceived danger.

We have all experienced a response to stress: rapid pounding or fluttering heartbeat, shallow breathing, blood pressure soars, muscles tensing up with anxiety and all our senses on full alert. It isn’t pleasant and is often terrifying. We feel out of control, spiraling downward, bracing for what can only be a dreadful crash.

This primal “flight or fight” response is experienced by everyone who encounters stress although the threshold that puts us in distress varies from person to person; what bothers me may not bother you, what frightens me, you may meet with confidence and assurance.

For primitive man this response was life saving in that it enhanced his ability to react to danger and physical challenges. In response to stress, heart rate and blood pressure escalate to increase the flow of blood to the brain to improve decision making, clotting occurs more rapidly to prevent blood loss and blood sugar rises to furnish additional fuel for energy. These and many more automatic changes in our bodies persist as long as the threat continues. When the danger passes our bodies return to normal.

Modern day stress tends to be insidious, more persistent and pervasive that our ancestors experienced. Contemporary stress most often originates from psychological rather than physical threats; however, our bodies do not recognize the difference. Unfortunately, our bodies respond with the same “flight or fight” response to any situation that upsets our personal balance. If we have a bad day at work, problems in our personal relationships or we are stuck in traffic, we react. Physical responses that are meant to support and protect us, are instead, potentially damaging and injurious to our health and well-being.

If you live a fast paced life with a lot of worries, obligations and responsibilities, it is likely that you are running on stress most of the time – escalating into emergency mode with every looming business deadline, family crisis or bill that is due. Repeated or extended activation of the “flight or fight” response is especially dangerous as the more it is activated, the more difficult it is to shut off. Instead of leveling off once a crisis is over, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones remain at an elevated level.

Continuous or prolonged exposure to stress increases our risk of memory problems, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, heart disease, stroke, infection or reduced immune function as well as obesity and stomach ulcers. Because of the extensive damage stress can cause, it is imperative that we learn how to handle stress in a more positive manner and reduce its corrosive impact on our health.

The symptoms of stress often mimic other medical problems. Lack of energy, decreased productivity at work, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, severe headaches, back ache or neck pain as well as chest pain, breathlessness, heart palpitations and cold, clammy skin can all be symptoms of stress.

Stress can severely affect our health and well-being and we may not even realize it until the damage is done. If we wish to be pro-active in the pursuit of optimum health, it is important that we understand stress, recognize the symptoms and then take affirmative steps to manage the predictable stress reaction triggers in our daily lives.

There are a number of ways to manage and reduce stress. First, try to find a supportive physician. Share with your doctor the emotions you are experiencing and the physical symptoms your body exhibits when you are exposed to stress. This is an important step in getting the help you need.

Cognitive therapy, a short-term type of psychotherapy based on the belief that we can change how we feel by changing the way we think about things, is often quite effective.

Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can be beneficial. Talking with family, friends or joining a support group are emotional lifesavers and help offset our feelings of social isolation.

For many people, a psychic reading brings enlightenment and answers. A burden shared is lighter than one carried alone.

It is imperative to our heath and well-being that we make dealing with stress a priority. When stressed, decompress – it is helpful to withdraw from the situation, evaluate your feeling from a distance and gain perspective. Try to breathe deeply, take a walk, re-focus and attempt to think of something else. This too will pass.

Click Here To Get Your Free Reading At PsychicAccess Right Now
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Procrastination

I have often found inspiration and motivation in the words of others.  Today, while thinking about procrastination and the many chores I should accomplish before the day is done, I ran across these words of encouragement in an ancient Chinese rhyme.

“This one makes a net, this one stands and wishes. Would you like to make a bet which one gets the fishes?”

Do you often put off until tomorrow tasks that you should do today? I know I am guilty of deferring actions until a later date when it would be in my best interests to just “do it” now. However, I procrastinate, avoiding action, hoping a task or problem will just “go away”. It seldom does. Avoidance often makes the situation worse.

We all put off mundane tasks when something more important demands our attention and energy. A busy life requires that we prioritize, applying the old adage of “first things first”. Prioritizing is not procrastination.

Procrastination has been described as “behavior which is characterized by needless deferment of action or involvement until a later time or delaying making a decision when such a delay is counterproductive to our best interests”.

A recent survey indicates that twenty percent of Americans identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For this segment of the population procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a counterproductive one. They fail to pay their bills on time, they miss appointments and frustrate their friends with their tardiness. They file their income taxes late and leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute. They avoid making decisions. A procrastinator’s maladaptive behavior causes anxiety and stress and often threatens their very lives when they delay seeking medical treatment.

People who indulge in procrastination have a tendency to under-perform in almost every area of their lives, from health to family relationships. They struggle with it, repeatedly promising themselves that next time will be different, that they will not dally and delay, however most often they do.

Procrastination becomes worrisome when it impedes normal functioning. We can determine if we need to address the problem of procrastination by evaluating the consequences of our delaying tactics. Have you ever lost a job, damaged a friendship or your health by putting off until tomorrow what you should have done today?

Many people use procrastination as a way of coping with the anxiety associated with beginning or completing a task or action. We all procrastinate to some degree and it is normal to put off a duty that is unpleasant or stressful. We are busy, “too much to do in too little time”. Procrastinators tend to tell lies to themselves. We invent excuses to avoid something unpleasant, difficult or boring. We will do it later.

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task”. ~ William James

Procrastinators are generally very optimistic about their ability to meet an obligation or deadline. They reassure themselves and others, “don’t worry, everything is under control, I will get it done”. (Therefore there is no need to start.) As an example, they may have a presentation to prepare for work that is due in six weeks. It will only take a few days, so why begin. Procrastinators, lulled by a false sense of security, allow time to drift away. At some point, they cross over an imaginary line and suddenly realize they are not in control. There just isn’t enough time!

At that point they address the problem but they are making progress only because they haven’t any other choice. Their backs are against the wall, there are no alternatives so they get to work. Progress is being made, but they have lost their freedom. They frantically push at the final hour to complete the assignment, telling themselves and others that they function best “when they are behind the 8 ball” or they justify the delay by explaining that they enjoy the euphoric rush of a pressured deadline. That is nonsense!

Procrastinators never know if they could have done a better job if they had only taken the time to complete the task properly rather than in a hurried rush. The presentation may actually be acceptable. This produces confusing mixed feelings: a minor pride of accomplishment, scorn for the employer who doesn’t recognize a sub-standard performance and a sense of guilt for not doing their best.

No matter what the scenario, the net result is reinforcement. The procrastinator is often rewarded positively for their poor behavior. (“Look – I got the job done, no one knows I didn’t give it my best effort”.) Consequently, this counterproductive, time-sapping behavior is repeated over and over again.

Procrastination demands a high cost to others as well as oneself. Procrastination often shifts the burden of responsibilities onto friends, family and co-workers who become resentful. Procrastination destroys teamwork and erodes cooperation in the workplace and in personal relationships. Procrastination has a high potential for painful consequences and leads to feelings of inadequacy, guilt, self-doubt and depression.

Procrastinators have higher level of alcohol consumption as well as excessive use of both prescription and illegal drugs. This is a manifestation of generalized problems in self-regulation. The effect of avoidance coping styles underlies procrastination and leads to disengagement by means of substance abuse.

Procrastination sabotages success. Behavioral psychologists cite several personality traits that procrastinators manifest; perhaps you know some of these folks.

Harried Harry is always rushed. He uses procrastination to focus attention on how busy he is. His affairs are so complex and demanding; that is why he’s always late. Harry suffers from a false sense of self importance and spends considerable time justifying his continual tardiness. Harry fears attachment and procrastinates in order to establish a barrier between himself and others. By delaying, he creates chaos in his life, believing that chaos will keep other people away. It works. Few people have the patience to deal with Harry for very long.

Manipulative Mary uses time to manipulate and control the behavior of the people with whom she interacts. “The meeting can’t start until I arrive” or “I will call you when I’m ready”. She subconsciously feels that if she is on time it will only increase other people’s expectations, thus increasing the amount of pressure and anxiety she experiences. Mary’s frustrating ploy fails to win many friends.

Stubborn Sam’s procrastination is an expression of his stubbornness and pride. “Don’t try to tell me what to do”, “I’ll do it when I am good and ready!” “You can’t push me around!” or “I’ll do it my way”.  Sam is afraid of losing his autonomy and procrastinates as a way of maintaining his independence. Procrastinating helps Sam feel in control of situations in which other people have authority over his time.

Pitiful Paula struggles with feelings of low self-confidence and diminished self esteem. She is a perfectionist and demands a high level of performance even though she feels inadequate or incapable of actually achieving that perfection. Therefore, she avoids doing anything for fear of failure. This type of procrastinator would rather have others believe they lack effort rather than ability. Paula fears being alone. She procrastinates because she wants to feel constantly connected to other people. She procrastinates until she is in such a bind that someone has to come along and rescue her. Procrastination therefore guarantees that other people are involved in her life. Her behavior is not only pitiful, it’s pathetic.

Frustrated Frank always feels like a victim. He is overwhelmed; he cannot or will not understand his behavior or why he just can’t get things done on time; it’s a frustrating mystery and the reason for his constant procrastination “just isn’t his fault”. Frank whines a lot.

It is often truly difficult to stop hem-hawing and eradicate procrastination because delay and avoidance behavior has become an ingrained method of coping with day-to-day stress and responsibilities. It is obvious to the procrastinator that if he stops using delaying tactics, others will put new expectations and demands upon him. It is easier to create an excuse, delay or postpone.

Procrastinators often have trouble seeking help, or finding an understanding source of support, due to the stigma and profound misunderstanding surrounding extreme forms of procrastination. The problem is often mischaracterized simply as a lack of willpower, ambition or just plain laziness.

Research on the physiological roots or cause of procrastination focuses on the role of the prefrontal cortex area of the human brain. This area is responsible for brain functions such as planning, attention and impulse control and acts as a filter by decreasing distracting stimuli from other brain regions. Low activation or damage in this area of the brain may reduce an individual’s ability to filter out distracting stimuli, ultimately resulting in a loss of attention, reduced organizational skills and increased procrastination. This is similar to the prefrontal lobe’s role in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) where under-activation is common.

Acknowledging that we procrastinate and understanding how and to what degree it impacts our daily life is the first step in reducing its influence. Procrastinators can change their behavior. Keep working on it. You may still procrastinate but as you consciously decide not to delay you will experience more freedom from stress and gain personal self-satisfaction.

Old habits are hard to break. When you do succeed, be sure to take time to savor the the victory so you will remember how good it feels to act decisively. This will be a great help the next time you feel in need of a bit of encouragement.

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