Shared Parenting With A Controlling Parent

The following question has been asked by a reader:

What is shared parenting like when one parent is already controlling?

What most people do not realize; is that when they go to leave a controlling person  the control does not  stop there. Especially in regards to a divorce with minor children. Often the children are used as pawns. They are bribed, manipulated, and in some cases completely brainwashed.

In today’s court systems; shared parenting seems to be the most common agreement reached in regards to custody. In some cases, it should be named shared chaos. I don’t find these agreements to be appropriate in cases where there have been control issues. It is only setting up the stage for a show that the children will never forget. “If the two parents couldn’t agree and cooperate married, odds are they never will. There will always be hiccups.”

The controlling person may not show up when they say to pick up or return the children. He/She may not return their child’s calls. And often times, he/she uses mind games with the children to get his/her digs in on you. It is a sick game that they play, and often feels to those being controlled as though they are imprisoned. They got away from the environment, and away from the person. Yet still today, that person manages to control them with the children they share.

Examples of control issues post decree:

You have planned a day with the children. The other parent is fully aware. He/she decides you can’t have the kids that day at the last-minute. Now he/she is in control again.

He/she knows that you have a busy day. It is his/her day with the children. Suddenly you get a call from your child/children asking if you can keep them on the other parents parenting time. Of course, you say yes. But then find yourself wondering how you will ever get everything done now, who will babysit, etc. The controlling person has just caused you to get worked up, and he/she wins!

He/She tells the children things such as : “NO, you can’t go see your mom/dad it is MY week!” Or better yet,” NO, you can’t call your mom/dad!” I have read in countless books that this is the absolute worst thing for any parent to do. Interfering with their relationship with the other parent will cause deep seeded issues. They need to figure out who is who, themselves. Nine times out of ten the child as an adult will resent the parent that interfered.

When a person has issues with control and their partner walks away; they begin to lose control themselves. The children this now divorced couple share are the controlling person’s only way left to control their former partner. Whether it be mind games with the kids  or you; the control does not typically stop just by filing for a divorce and divorcing.

In time the intensity of the control may cease but time is the key factor.  It is usually when the children are grown and have finally find their voice to speak up for themselves. This typically does not bring favorable results for the parent with control issues. SO meanwhile, just bite your tongue whenever necessary and bide your time.

Until a controlling person discovers who they are and solve the issues that turned them into a controlling person in the first place; things will be as they have always been. Stressful and overbearing.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Teaching Your Kid To Lie?

I have always said:

“If we ever want to know the truth about something we must simply ask a young child.”

 

Children naturally tell the truth until taught to do otherwise. They say exactly what is on their mind and exactly what they feel. From temper tantrums to screaming their feelings or simply talking, children have a way of not holding back on their thoughts and feelings.

A young child will tell us if we got a bad hair cut, or if our shoes aren’t working with our attire. They will tell us if we have gained or lost weight, as well as how mom and dad really are. Unless children are being trained to be emotionally dishonest they will most generally tell the truth.

With children being as honest as they are it leaves one to wonder how lying begins.

What creates a liar? And how do we as a society create less liars and instead create more acceptance for others and their emotions?

As people we are taught at a young age to be emotionally dishonest with ourselves. We are told to say please and thank you whether we mean it or not. We are forced to say that we are feeling fine when that may not actually be the case. We are taught not to voice our opinions and at other times told to speak up. All of these things we are taught; when once upon a time we had the ability to be emotionally honest with ourselves and the world around us.

Because we train children and each other to be emotionally dishonest we have more or less created a world of liars. We wonder why people hide from their emotions, and why they lie to themselves. We wonder why people are not honest with people in their lives. When in reality, everyone is just doing what they were taught and told to do.

When we expect someone to think like us, feel like us, and react like we would we are merely creating a person who is afraid to be who they are. This causes a person to build walls and become distant. This puts a gap in the relationship, and is the beginning of not knowing that person anymore. That person begins to find friends and people in the world that accepts him/her as he/she is. They surround themselves with people who make them feel at ease. Somewhere that they do not need to wear a mask. A place where they can simply be themselves.

I will hear parents ask or say: “Who is this child?”, “What happened to him/her?”  “I didn’t raise him/her that way!” and a series of other questions or statements  when they realize their child has become a manipulative lying teenager. People making these statements are often unaware of their contribution in making that child be emotionally dishonest with himself/herself. Once emotional honesty vs. emotional dishonesty is approached by that parent, it will be easier for that parent to not only cope, but also correct the behavior in the child before it carries over into that child’s adulthood.

Once we grasp the concept of emotional honesty and the benefits of it, it becomes easier to see situations more clearly. 

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Leaving a Legacy, Or a Liability?

As parents we all want what is best for our children. However, what some parents fail to realize in terms of co-dependent children is that they are no longer leaving a legacy, but yet, a liability.

By leaving a legacy one must raise self-sufficient children. They should be children capable of making their own wise and practical decisions upon adulthood. They should be children who feel compelled to do more with their life than the previous generation. And most importantly, they should be emotionally healthy children who feel they can be who they are, not who we imagined or wanted them to be.

Examples:

Just because we have run the family business, doesn’t mean we should expect our children to take over someday. They will likely have plans of their own.

Just because we played a particular sport and excelled, doesn’t mean we should force our children to play it if they have no interest.

Just because they dream the impossible, doesn’t mean we should squash their dreams.

Our job is to encourage their successes, and help guide them when they encounter failure. It is to teach them how to handle their own relationships vs., being a dictator for their relationships. Our job is tough, but to raise healthy children with the ability to maintain healthy adult relationships, we must push them to do well. We must teach them to put forth effort. We must help them learn to look at the big picture.

Signs of leaving a liability:

The adult child comes to you for every one of life’s hurdles.

The adult child now expects the parent to take care of financial responsibilities.

The adult child now expects parents to bail them out.

The adult child now has no insight.

The adult child now has dependency issues aside from their relationship with their parents. Most likely chemical dependencies.

The adult child is now angry.

The adult child, will then likely leave another liability for their children. And the trend continues. However, there are ways to avoid leaving a liability. And there are proven ways to leave a legacy. Proven ways to leave a legacy are as follows:

Encourage and comfort your children.

Listen to their feelings and respect that they have their own minds, and opinions.

Do not try to control who they are, better yet guide them to where they should be.

Allow them to suffer consequences of their actions. They need tough love. They have their own friends to be best friends with.

And most importantly, practice what you preach. Be a good role model.

I once heard a saying from a parent that said : Well I guess if I was your best friend, and you loved me all the time; then I wouldn’t be a very good parent. And I agree with that statement. There will be times our children do not agree with our decisions in parenting. There will be times they do not understand our reasoning and we find ourselves saying what we once heard: Someday you will understand….when you have kids of your own.

These days I see more parents trying to be best buddies with their kids. They are there to rescue them from situations the kids/adult children put themselves into. Rather than showing tough love so lessons can be learned, they throw them preserver after preserver.

Tough love is absolutely the hardest step for people to take in any forms of relationships. But without it, we leave a liability. We should be leaving a legacy instead. We should be allowing our children to live their own life, and a life that they are proud of. An honest life, and a life with an abundance of good people with direction.

Are you leaving a legacy or a liability? Are you teaching bad habits? Or are you setting a good example instead? The quote that children learn what they live, has much insight. What are your children learning from you?

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerer, 2009-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerer with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Want To Know How To Raise An Honest Child?

100_8126Did you know that the biggest reason adults lie is because as a child they were unable to communicate with their parents or guardians? As children, these lying adults were unable to freely express who they were without fear of judgment or punishment.

Most adult liars were children raised to perform to a particular parents standards, and as a result they have had trouble coming in to who they are. They grew up in a home where free thinking was frowned upon. 

Growing up in such an environment, the child felt a need to lie to keep a parent happy. And because the child feared disappointment or disapproval from his/her parents,  the child then began a pattern of lying that would take years to correct, if ever.

To raise a truth-seeking honest child:

Be honest with your child, and yourself – Children learn what they live. If we expect them to be honest, we must be honest. If a child sees a parent lying that child will not only lose respect, but pick up on the habit. He/she will think “Hey, they got away with it and it made their life easier. It will work for me too!”

Respect who your child is – As parents we have ideas in our mind as to who our kids will be. Sometimes, we live vicariously through them. It is important that we respect who our children are. Perhaps they don’t want to be on the state championship bound football team. Or perhaps they have decided to pursue another form of religion. Whatever it may be; by not respecting their thoughts and feelings, it teaches them to hide it from you in fear of disapproval.

Respect the truth – It takes a lot of courage for children (in some instances) to tell the truth on certain topics. When they do tell the truth, instead of lashing out on them we should show respect for that truth. By lashing out, they learn to close up more and say less. 

Speak the truth – By speaking the truth ourselves and standing up for what we feel is right, our children will naturally begin to as well. If they watch us cower in the corner with every confrontation life brings, and if they watch us being used as doormats for other people then they lose respect. 

Live the  truth – We can tell our children what is right, but if we aren’t living a just life they will see through the charade. We must be honest in all areas of our life if we expect our children to be. 

Promote the truth – We have a rule in our home that the truth bears no punishment. It isn’t to say that there will be no consequences or repercussions, however they will not be punished for being honest. 

Encourage passion – Find something that your child is passionate about where he/she learns to use their voice. Whether it be speaking on animal rights, citizens rights, or student council encourage him/her to be passionate about what they think or feel. Our best leaders in this world were once taught to be passionate, and to find their voice. When they found that voice, they used it. And because of that, they changed the world.

Do Not React – When your child is sharing something about his or her peers do not allow them to see your reaction, shock, or anger as to what they are saying. Do not force them to stop talking to people who make bad decisions. Instead teach them how to make their own good decisions regardless of their company. Reacting will only shut them down and prevent you from knowing what is going on with their friends in the future.

The biggest thing that I have seen with children who lie regularly to their parents is that their parents are really overbearing. Especially those who only have one child and nothing to compare it to. They have a hard time accepting that their child is not them, and that they are their own person.

We can either adopt these items listed above or have a dishonest and unruly teenager when that time comes. And as for me and my house, we will continue to promote honesty and free thinking. So far, so good here!

Spoiled Children & The Parents Who Steal Their Drive

If we give our children everything that they want, what else is there for them to work for? By giving them everything they want or think they need, we begin building a strong foundation for co-dependency. And this co-dependency may follow them for their entire life.

When I look around at different parent child relationships throughout the course of my life I see many things. In families where the child has been given everything, adulthood is difficult for them. With every snag in the line these adult children are calling their parents for help. These once spoiled young children, are now co-dependent adults that have a very hard time standing on their own feet.

When I look at people who had what would be considered a less pampered childhood, there is more success. These people who have fought their way to the top, have done it because up was the only way left to go. They had nothing. They had no one. They realized they could only count on themselves. By not having much, they were given more drive.

There is a remarkable difference when comparing the lives of children who were given it all, and children who had to fight for what they wanted. As adults it is the difference of what most consider to be success or failure, or better yet “sinking, or swimming.”

As we continue to raise our children, let us remember that they do not need everything everyone else has. Nor do children need everything they want. Why have a life full of costly activities when they would be just as content coloring a picture, playing a board game, or making a craft and spending quality time together? They also don’t need the latest sneakers or clothing, because in 6 months it will not fit them anyway.

When we spoil our children we are stealing their drive. We are teaching them that they do not have to work so hard, and that we will “get it” for them. Do we really want them still coming at 40 asking for help with car payments, mortgages, etc.? Or do we want to raise them to be independent and successful?


Children learn what they live. Question is, what exactly are we teaching this next generation? Children are as simple or as high maintenance as we teach them to be.


How To Have And Maintain A Healthy Relationship With Your Children

Although I am not a certified professional in this area, my life experience takes me beyond what any fresh graduate in psychology would know. For I have 7 sisters, and 3 children of my own. I can say for certain that a parents relationship with each and every child is different, and unique.

I have spent years observing the parent child relationships and the differences of perspectives on parents by children who were all reaised within the same household.  It is amazing to see how much perception  varies from child to child. Although children have the same parent providing the same things in the exact same environments, the  children still  have different memories and perceptions of that parent.

While one may remember a parent to be hardworking, one may remember laziness. One child may remember a happy parent, while one remembers them disgruntled. One may remember a parent to be a liar, and another child within that same home and upbringing may remember that parent to be a liar. It varies from family to family, but nonetheless we all remember things differently.

Each child will carry their own issues to adulthood  if they are not tended to in the earlier years. It is important that we as parents are aware of how to not only create a healthy relationship with our children; but keep it healthy for years to come. There are steps we can take early on to promote a lifetime of happiness with our children, even as they mature and become adults themselves.
Steps To Maintaining That Healthy Relationship:

Communication

In any relationship communication is important. It is crucial that our children always remain comfortable telling us anything. With that being said, it is imperative that we do not cast judgment on what they say, and that we truly listen. They are their own person. They are not who we want them to be. They are who they were created to be. Often times children quit speaking if a parent exhibits controlling behavior. If they can’t tell us the little things, they will never tell us the big things. So stay calm, and just listen. They will always come back if you do.

Equality

It is important not to show favoritism, and treat all children fairly. If you are attending events that are important to one child you should be attending events important to the other children as well. By not having equality it is causing the children feeling that are feeling more left out to have less faith in themselves. Therefor lowering their self-esteem, which can have a huge impact on their teenage and adult years.

Support

It is important to show support in anything they do. Even if you think it is the craziest thing you have ever heard of. By being negative about their choices, you are pushing them away from you. Get down on their level, and try to see things as they see it. If they have an interest in something, help them peruse it. If they need someone to extinguish their flame, there are plenty of people in the world to do that. If they are on fire with enthusiasm, burn with them. Being enthusiastic and having drive, is a good thing!

Apologize

There is nothing better for a child or even adult child to see, than a parent apologize when they are wrong. We are not perfect, and we will make mistakes. It is important that we do not sweep things under the rug, and pretend as though we know nothing about what happened. It is OK to apologize to your children if you need to. They understand just as everyone understands, that we are doing the best we can. It’s not like a “How To” guide comes out with the child or even in the afterbirth.

Keep Your Word

Do not make promises you can’t keep. Instead teach them that your word is who you are.

Tough Love

This is a hard thing for any parent, but often necessary. To prevent a co-dependent relationship it must be enforced. Make them work for what they want, and do not bail them out of every situation. By doing this, you are enabling them to repeat the behavior. They will repeat the same mistakes until they learn, and bailing them out only teaches them one thing: not to count on themselves.

Pray

We may have a plan for our children and the direction they go in life, but God likely has one that is completely different. Pray for your children to make wise choices, and to become good people. Pray for them to yield to His plan for their life.

There aren’t exactly any true tests in parenting until the child reaches the age of18. To know how well you have done is only answered when the child does one of two things; sinks or swims. It is vital for their health and the health of our relationship with them that we prepare them in all areas of life to promote healthy adult relationships in their life. It all begins with communication. However it can also end from the lack of such.

© Angela Bininger and The Empowerers, 2009-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this websites author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Angela Bininger and The Empowerers with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Just Leave Tiger Woods Alone Already

This entire story breaks my heart. As if the family isn’t enduring enough pain already. This scandal has proved one thing. Tiger Woods is human. He makes mistakes just like the rest of us. So many are bashing him, when they too could have made the same mistakes. Any one of us could have. At the end of the day, we are all animals. We are all capable of this. It occurs in 70% of relationships.

Anyone in his position would have been vulnerable. Why is everyone bashing him verses the home-wreckers that seduced him? How could they not know that he was married? He is in fact, Tiger Woods. Granted, he shouldn’t have done those things. He should have had more character. But what about the ladies? What about the fact that they had no class or morals? It does indeed take two!

Obviously there are deeper issues beyond cheating. Cheating is typically a symptom of a troubled marriage. There are issues in the relationship long before it happens. And typically those issues are because of both people in the relationship. It takes two to make a relationship, and two to break it.

Perhaps everyone should picture themselves getting millions to do what they love, while always away from their family. While one is home taking care of the kids, the other is bringing home the bacon. Any relationship like that, will encounter problems and there will likely be adultery. It doesn’t matter who it is. And when relationships have issues, and peoples needs aren’t being met these kind of things happen. So lets let the family have a little privacy. Please?