jeudi 22 août 2019

Get Back on Your Feet With Your Children After the Divorce

Get Back on Your Feet With Your Children After the Divorce
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Divorce is a distressing time and when children are involved it is even more so. Many parents try to protect their children from the worst of the fallout, but it is not always possible. Divorce, when there are children to consider, has special legal and financial implications; custody, access, overheads and maintenance are the most obvious areas, but there are many others.
Here are some ways to help you personally get back on your feet with your children:
- Consider counselling and hypnotherapy. Divorce brings with it hurt and distress. Many people feel anger towards their ex partner. The things that were said and done can cause simmering resentments and it can be difficult to protect the children from being aware of those issues. Damaging the relationship your children have towards their non-custodial parent is unfair. Counselling and hypnotherapy can help you deal with your personal issues, accept responsibility for your part in the divorce, reconcile to your ex's behaviour and become better able to move forward from the relationship. That way the children can build their own relationship with both parents, independent of their parent's attitudes towards each other.
- Establishing a new home can be difficult especially at first. Often the marital home has to be let go and both parents have to start again. The custodial parent may want to stay where they are; school, friends and family may be valid reasons to stay in the area. At first one option may be to live with family. They can provide support, childcare and help with finances until things settle down. Once a more permanent home is found it can be a good decision to involve older children. Perhaps let them choose the decor in their own rooms or contribute ideas and help. A family unit is then established quicker, with everyone included.
- Mother is usually the parent who is awarded custody of the children. Initially she may feel like her whole life has been ripped apart. She may need to find a job to supplement her maintenance, may need to establish a new home, consider where the future lies. It is important to take time before making major decisions, like relocating and starting anew. When the choices seriously impact on children's lives it is important to be clear as to the implications of the next step. Also as a single mother personal time can become a rarity. Friends, social life and quiet time can become non-existent as the ultimate responsibility for the children is hers. Finding ways to alternate childcare, entertain at home and be more creative can enable some personal time to be introduced.
- The non-custodial parent is usually the father. He may be required to earn more money in order to fund his family and personal obligations. Access is sometimes difficult to arrange as he may travel distances for work, keep longer hours. Children can feel hurt, abandoned and neglected and it is not unusual for them to refuse to see their father for a time. Perseverance is the key to getting this relationship back on its feet. Even if your children are angry and refuse to see you keep sending cards, birthday presents, messages of love and support. Honour your financial responsibilities and be true to your commitments. It may take months or even years but usually the relationship gets back on its feet eventually. Children, as they get older and understand more about adult relationships, often start to appreciate both sides of the story.
- Discipline and behaviour can be a minefield at first with both parents trying to rebuild trust and a good connection with their children. Children may be unsettled and behave badly or side with one parent out of a desire to demonstrate loyalty. One way to get the relationship back on its feet is for both parents to agree not to discuss each other's shortcomings, to agree about discipline, diet, bedtime, treats, and to communicate regularly about the children's after school activities, parents evenings, school trips, so that they can co-parent effectively. An intermediary may help smooth the transition. Grandparents may be in a position to provide continuity and consistency as well as a supportive, stable presence for the children.

When Someone Else Has to Look After Our Children

When Someone Else Has to Look After Our Children
Expert Author Susan Leigh
When someone else has to look after our children it can bring many issues to the surface. Firstly there is the challenge of finding someone who we feel is capable of doing the job to our standards. Then there are the mixed emotions of handing over our precious charges to some else's care. Often there are house rules that we want respecting. A plethora of issues can arise when we someone else has to look after our children.
It is not uncommon to require help with looking after the children. It may be through being a single parent who needs to earn a wage or being in a family where both parents are committed to their jobs. Childcare may be needed to enable both parents to pursue their careers. Some people may be able to rely on family or friends, others may need to hire someone to do the job.
The problem with someone else looking after our children is that whilst they are well-intentioned, they often have different standards or attitudes to childcare than we do. For example, we may find someone who is lovely but sees no harm in sugary treats. Consequently our child/children may end up being hyper-active and difficult to settle in the evenings. If we have to rely on someone to help and can't afford to upset them we may need to deal sensitively with any issues.
Let's look at potential problems when someone else has to look after our children:
- It's important to remember that good childcare is difficult to find. When we find someone our children are happy and content with, who is convenient, trustworthy and affordable we don't want to risk alienating them. But we also have to be aware of the children's best interests too.
- Guilt can be a factor when we have to rely on someone else to look after our children. We may feel guilt at being a bad parent, pursing our own selfish needs, neglecting our children, missing out on their development. But a parent who is fulfilled and positive is more likely to do a good job and appreciate their children than someone who feels resentful and trapped at home. Also many families need the income to survive and support their lifestyle.
- Could jealousy be a factor? Sometimes it can be hard to admit that we feel hurt, aggrieved and jealous at missing out on our children growing up, at witnessing significant moments in their all too short childhoods. We may be jealous of the relationship our children have with their carer. However, if they are happy, content and settled we should be happy too. We can go about our daily business, safe in the knowledge that our children are safe and secure, being looked after by someone they like.
- How receptive would your childcare be to your explaining your concerns? If their diet is a concern you could tackle the subject by saying that you've seen a documentary or read an interesting article on the subject, for example, on the effect of sugar on children's behaviour. This way you're introducing your concerns in a subtle, information sharing way.
- Your childcare may have different views on raising children to you. She may think that being easy-going, with little discipline, dispensing sugary treats is demonstrating love and providing them with a happy childhood. She may feel that they deserve a treat, that she doesn't give them much, that it never did her children any harm. You may need to be firm and explain your rules, that they need a nap in the afternoon, that you want them to spend time being creative or reading, that you ration your children to one treat a day. Be firm and stress that you need her to respect your decision. Explain that you have genuine concerns about their behaviour and that you are telling grandparents, friends, school about your views on this matter.
- Pack your children certain things that you want them to use each day; crayons, reading books, a lunch box and tell her that this is their preferred activity whilst they are with her. You could say that your intention is to minimise her work load, to avoid being a burden to her, to save her the expense of catering for your children.
Unfortunately if these strategies don't result in her adhering to your wishes you may need to reconsider your childcare arrangements. Many people find that relying on family or friends for childcare can put a strain on their relationship as almost everyone has strong opinions on how children should be raised. Maintaining a relaxed attitude as long as the children are happy and settled is often the key to success.

samedi 27 juillet 2019

Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Rejection
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Some people are more used to rejection than others. People who make cold calls, knock on doors, stop people in the street, telephone unsuspecting people in an effort to introduce their goods or services experience rejection regularly. They become inured to being ignored, treated with indifference, even sworn at perhaps. They no doubt learn to accept it as part of the job.
But rejection is often a very different, more difficult experience for those of us who are heavily invested in our work, our relationships and our interests. These people care greatly about what they are doing, have given their all to make something special occur. What does rejection mean to them?
When someone says 'no' to us it can be tough to accept, especially if we are passionate about what we are offering. There are some areas in our lives where rejection may well be met with a shrug of the shoulders, perhaps even relief if we are indifferent about the outcome. But when we have invested time, energy, emotions, our hopes and dreams into a person or project hearing 'no' can feel like a more personal rejection.
It can be especially frustrating if we firmly believe that what are offering will be of significant advantage to the other person's life. We may feel that we can save them money, time, enhance their lives with our presence. All that's needed is for them to listen to us, take on board what we are saying and give it/us a go. That sense of frustration can cause a myriad of emotions to occur; fear, anger, confusion.
Appreciating and accepting that the other person has different priorities to us can help us overcome our fear and come to terms with their rejection. We can learn to accept that it's not a personal slight. They may be preoccupied with important issues and concerns of their own, our timing may be unfortunate or they may not be especially interested in us, whether it be to buy from us, accept an invitation or participate in a more personal relationship.
Rejection can feel like it's us who are being turned down, refused, dismissed and yet the other person may not see it that way. They may be looking to prioritize their time, energy, ability to cope with situations and we just happen to be in the firing line, literally. It's often the case that they don't see us fitting their needs, their perception of what it is that they are looking for.
As we grow older and have a wider variety of life experiences we can come to appreciate how harsh and potentially damaging it can feel to be rejected. From not being popular at school, to losing our first love, missing out on a place at college, a job or promotion we felt we deserved; all these experiences teach us that sometimes life isn't fair, that not everyone will truly value and appreciate us.
If we experience rejection on a regular basis or start to take the rejection personally it can ultimately damage our self-esteem. It may impact on our resilience, our ability to bounce back and start again, we may lose motivation and self belief, feel that making an effort is a waste of time. Hypnotherapy can help put those experiences into better perspective, help drain the negative thoughts and feelings away and develop a more positive, resilient outlook, come to terms with the fact that rejection can provide valuable life lessons.
Experience of rejection can also hopefully teach us about boundaries, the importance of not being too attached to other people's opinions, expectations and judgements. It can teach us about the importance of being sensitive, a little more empathic, kinder so that when we have occasion to say 'no' to someone we're able to let them down gracefully, allow them to retain their self-esteem, dignity and confidence.

Do You Need to Take a Sabbatical From Your Relationship?

Do You Need to Take a Sabbatical From Your Relationship?
Expert Author Susan Leigh
There has been much coverage in the media of late on the value of taking a sabbatical from your relationship. The reasoning behind taking a sabbatical is that it provides a breathing space to reflect on your life, what your relationship means to you, ponder the good and the bad, really consider what it is you want. But are there other ways of reaching that same level of insight and awareness? Do you really need to take a sabbatical from your relationship to discover if it's still for you?
Let's look at four C's that might influence your need to take a sabbatical from your relationship:
- An ability to communicate; many couples struggle over communications. They lead exceptionally busy lives, have many demands on their time. By the time they reach home there is often much that still needs to be done by way of chores, cooking, the demands of growing children. Taking time to converse properly with a partner can seem a massive effort when all you want to do is sink into a relaxing bath or enjoy a glass of wine and watch TV. Many couples end up effectively house-sharing, where their main communication is 'we're out of cereal' or 'can you pick up the dry-cleaning'.
A sabbatical can provide an appealing escape from everyday life and its demands. It can mean that when you do meet up you schedule that time exclusively for your relationship, do pleasant things together, have adult conversations like you did way back at the start of your relationship, discuss each other's days, your thoughts and feelings.
In your day-to-day life consider how you demonstrate the way you feel about your partner through your words and actions. Many people have successful relationships because they plan to include 'us' time in their lives. They delegate some of the mundane tasks in order to have space in their lives for each other. Would it be feasible to have a cleaner once a week, have your grocery shopping delivered, send out the ironing, give the children some tasks? What about having one evening a week where you freshen up, dress nicely and sit and eat dinner together with distractions like the television or phones switched off? Think of something that could work for you that provides an opportunity to focus on your relationship and support better communications.
- A preparedness to compromise; many of us have relatives, friends, hobbies, jobs that our partner might not 'get', might regard as more of a nuisance than a pleasure. These external demands can place a strain on a relationship, especially if there is an undercurrent of pressure and tension over the amount of time these interests consume. There might be a resultant feeling of not being respected or understood which could ultimately escalate into a need for a sabbatical in order to consider how the relationship is working out.
Consider ways that time can be found to accommodate the things that each of you regard as important. Could you both pursue family/friend/work/hobby related interests separately and then meet up afterwards? Having separate interests can add interest and conversation to a relationship.There's no reason why you have to do everything together. If there are times when it's required to bring along a partner remember that compromise is about occasionally doing things you don't want to do in order to show support for your partner.
- Look to co-operate; work together, even if there are things you disagree about in private, behind closed doors. Build a solid relationship and discover that your relationship works better when you act together as a team. Presenting a united front allows both of you to feel supported, strong, with a good friend and ally by your side. Loyalty can be an important part of this commitment. It means that whatever you both think in private you co-operate and work together for the greater good.
Co-operation also means that when one of you is overloaded the other steps in to provide extra help and support. There are times when one of you will be extra-supportive and other times when the roles may be reversed but no one keeps a tally, that's the way it works, it's about give and take.
- Remember to connect; remaining aware of the various demands on your relationship allows you to discuss how you feel about those demands. Having a strong connection means being honest with each other about how you feel, even if there's no apparent solution in sight. There may be issues with an impossible workload, a relative who's seriously ill, a friend who's going through a bad time and you or your partner has to be involved.
Discuss how you feel, reassure each other that they're your top priority but that you need some latitude during this time. Demonstrate your love and try to allow regular quality time to meet and talk, to have a little fun, and enjoy a pleasant interlude together.
By treating your relationship as important, not taking each other for granted and maintaining an attitude of respect and openness you may find that your relationship remains consistently good. Then there may be no need to take a sabbatical from your relationship.

Tips to Help Your Relationship Survive Christmas

Tips to Help Your Relationship Survive Christmas
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Many people have high expectations of Christmas. They spend weeks planning, shopping for perfect gifts, decorating their homes, anticipating the wonderful festivities so often depicted in films, adverts and magazines.
Reality though can mean that things don't always go to plan. Some couples discover that they're not as relaxed with each other as they thought or may have completely different ideas as to how they'd like to spend the time and with whom. It may start to dawn on them that they've been growing apart over the years.
Interestingly, post-Christmas is the busiest time for divorce lawyers after the full-on closeness, stress and drama of a family Christmas spent hot-housed together. The intensive time together can highlight serious flaws and issues within the relationship.
Let's look at some tips to help your relationship survive Christmas;
- Don't expect everything to be perfect. Perfection's a tough ask and can make for a tense home if people feel they have to behave in a more formal way, especially if there are guests. Remember, the times that people remember with affection are often the times when things didn't go to plan; when the brussels spouts were discovered still on the stove after the meal had finished or when granny said something indiscreet.
- Relax a little and share the load. Allow others to help, including the children. Jobs like dressing the tree, setting the table, preparing vegetables, planning the entertainment can be fun for all, including your guests. Many people want to join in and feel of value. You can ease your stress and occupy the in-laws, both at the same time.
- Resist the temptation to overspend. A recent survey revealed that children preferred spending time with their parents rather than receiving a miscellany of gifts. Agree on one special gift, then focus on giving memories, days out walking, playing games, doing crafts together. Use the opportunity to invest time and affection into your family relationships.
- Make food less of an issue. Some meals are expected to be traditional, whilst others can be more relaxed. Prepare soups, stews, pies and casseroles in advance and cook them as required. Accept if guests offer to contribute a dish. It can make for more of a party atmosphere whilst easing the expense and time usually spent in the kitchen.
- Present a united front. House guests and children can cause division between a couple. Refuse to be side-lined and agree to discuss contentious issues when you're alone in private. Try to dedicate some time everyday to be alone together to talk, to share your thoughts and feelings and reconnect.
- Determine to spend some festive time as a couple. Ask house guests to babysit for a few hours so you can go for coffee, lunch or an evening out together. Let them know that it's important for you both to spend some fun Christmas time together too.
- Have a little quiet 'me' time too, when you take a bath, read a book, go for a run or simply relax for half an hour. Find a way to manage your festive stress. If you're stressed and over-tired your mood can cause both you and your partner to feel frustrated and resentful.

jeudi 11 juillet 2019

How Is Invention Different From Innovation

How Is Invention Different From Innovation

Expert Author Kiriti Chandan Chavadi
In today's global economy, to be successful one needs to either invent or innovate.
Invention is about creating something new while Innovation is a concept that uses an idea or a method that causes changes in behavior or interactions.
Companies often claim that they are leaders in Innovation by showing a few patents as evidence. Patents are evidence of invention. But it is not necessary that all these patents have been of 'use' to influence a product or an industry. Such patents are not innovating. If innovation refers the 'use' of a new method and qualifies the change in behavior, processes or the business then it's innovating. Most Innovations are evolutionary changes to existing processes, uses or functions which are made better by an existing invention.
The best example is that of Apple's iPhone, which created a revolutionary innovation from being a stagnant mobile phone to a redesigned user interface screen that accommodated media content, telecommunications, licensing, application development and unified all of them under one roof.
Many inventions are made for a purpose totally different from what it is actually used for. Like instance Alexander Graham Bell thought that the telephone would be used for listening and that Edison invented phonograph for taking dictation. That, people ended up using them, to talk to each other and to listen to music surprised the inventors.
To innovate is to take an existing concept and to make it better or to make a significant contribution to something that has already been invented. The best example to quote for innovation is the Steve Jobs iPod. Though the iPod was not the first portable music device or the first MP3 player, the innovation was the easy-to-use ecosystem that unified music and puts it in a single device and tied into a platform that updated music effortlessly.
To invent is to make or create something entirely new, something which was not existing at all or introducing a process for the first time.
Difference between Invention and Innovation
Take the case of the first Vacuum Cleaner which was invented by Murray Spengler, who is little known for his invention, thanks to W. H. Hoover, who marketed and sold them and he was the innovator of this 'electric suction sweeper'
Similar is the case of modern telegraphy, where Samuel Morse invented the code and other inventions came from others. Morse spread the concept of linking people separated by distances and his combination of marketing and political skills made his name famous.
One such example is that of the inventor of sewing machine Elias Howe. But he was unable to sell his ideas despite travelling to England and finally, when he returned to the USA, he found that Issac Singer had stolen the patient and had built a successful business. Though Singer paid royalties to Howe, many associates the sewing machine with the innovator Singer and not Howe.
Though innovation is seen as a powerful way of securing competitive advantage, success is not always guaranteed.
Like for example, considering the case of The Motorola's ambitious venture to offer mobile communications from literally anywhere on the planet- be it the Mount Everest or the South Pole was a huge draw. All networks were established to put 88 satellites into orbit at the cost of $7 billion. The dilemma was that, people realized that they did not make many calls from the South Pole or any remote islands and that their requirement was met with less expensive mobile networks. Also the Motorola handsets were big and clumsy due to complex electronics and their call charges were highly priced. When nothing worked, the company filed for bankruptcy but still their problems were far from over. The satellites put in the orbit cost $2m per month for maintenance. Since no other telecoms took interest to take advantage of these satellites, Motorola further put in $50m to bring them out of orbit and destroy them safely. This was also criticized by NASA for posing a nuclear threat.
So also the 'Ford' car was one such failure when it first launched in 1952. To make it road worthy, the production line had to spend twice the amount of the vehicle cost and when it did, the marketing campaign on a Live TV slot, the car failed to start. The consumer indifference to the design led the company to abandon the car.This concludes as to why Innovation cannot be a success at all times.
The Innovation should be with an objective to make it look different or its application is such that it is as good as a new Invention.
Innovation can take place either in product, process or position. It involves combining different kinds of Knowledge. Innovation may be difficult and carry the risk of failure but this needs to be set against the bigger risk of failing to change in an uncertain environment. Innovation is all about taking risk to create a new market.

samedi 6 juillet 2019

Drive-By Shootings and Other Drive-Bys

Drive-By Shootings and Other Drive-Bys
Expert Author Hank Mattimore
Drive By Shootings and Other Driveby's
Ho Hum! Another drive by shooting in Oakland or Chicago, or San Jose.. We hardly notice them anymore. Tragic as it is to the victims, it's yesterday's news. Only the major terrorist attacks get much attention anymore.
The truth is, drive by shootings usually take place in inner city neighborhoods which are largely invisible to the eyes of middle class or more affluent folks. We may not say it but unconsciously we expect that "drive by's are a dime of dozen in THOSE areas, and there's nothing we can do about it anyway."
Well, we are dead wrong about that. Drive by shootings happen for many reasons but they are all connected one way or another with you and me, with the dysfunctional prison system we allow to exist, with the deep and ever-widening chasm between the haves and the have nots, our underfunded educational and mental health programs, and outrageously out of balance military budget, etc etc etc. All of which we, as citizens, can do something about.
We are also guilty of a different type of drive-bys. We are not pulling the triggers of those AK 47's but we too easily accept the murderous results of their actions.
We drive by the black kid being hassled by a police officer for no other reason than the color of his skin. We don't SEE the elementary school in need of repair or the veteran waiting for the benefits long overdue him or the working family who have been priced out of a housing market unresponsive to the needs of ordinary people.
We are not bad people, you and me. Most of us are not totally unaware of what is going on in our midst. We don't consider ourselves racist. (Hell no! my friend Jose is a great guy. We bowl together on Saturdays)
But folks, we are not hitting on all eight cylinders. Our potential for leaving this world a much better place is not being tapped fully, not even close. It's so much easier to escape into the womb of a comfortable lifestyle.
Hey, we are not breaking any laws (well maybe we'll fudge a bit on our taxes). We might even go to church on Sundays and not cheat on our spouses.
But is that what we want for ourselves and our lives? We want our legacy to proclaim to our own families and to the world that we managed our lives without making any waves?
Medical students take the Hippocratic Oath to "First, do no harm," but we would not have made the tremendous progress we have made in the practice of medicine if we stopped there.
The future for ourselves and our children is being written right now. Do we
Want to be an active participant in making this a better world or just another driveby?
hank mattimore, aka "Grandpa Hank, is a published author and the former chair of the Juvenile Justice Commission in Sonoma County, CA. and a spiritual adviser to kids in Juvenile Hall.