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Boston Family Law Blog

Massachusetts Parenting Styles Are About You, Not the Baby

What's your parenting style? Are you a Massachusetts attachment parent, free-Parenting Styles.jpgrange parent, a gender-neutral parent, or a tiger parent? The answer says a lot about the expecting adult but very little about how that baby is going to fare. At the core, it doesn't really matter how you parent your baby.
You can be there for every whimper or give them room. You can give them all the toys or none of the toys. You can invest time, money, energy, and a great deal of stress into following parenting advice. None of it will make a difference.

The fact is that babies are designed to be largely immune to parenting styles. They will grow and develop regardless of what a parent does, as long as a parent is there and responsive at least half of the time. The proof of this lies in the history of parenting norms and the enormous diversity of cultural parenting practices around the globe. So why are Massachusetts parents so stuck on the idea that good parenting is so essential for raising healthy babies?

Bashing Your Ex Hurts Massachusetts Children

We all do it from time to time. Make a sarcastic comment about our Massachusetts ex, criticizeChildren 43.jpg something they did or didn't do, gesture or grimace our faces when referring to our former Massachusetts spouse. When we do it in front of, near or within hearing distance of our children, we set ourselves up for a hornet's nest of problems. We have all heard this, but it's easy to forget or let slide. It hurts our children when they hear one of their parents put down the other. This is so even if your child does not say anything about it. With rare exceptions, children innately feel they are part of both parents. They love them both even when that love isn't returned to them in the same way. When you put down their other parent your children are likely to interpret it as a put-down of part of them. When both parents are guilty of this behavior, it can create a sense of unworthiness and low self-esteem. "Something's wrong with me" becomes the child's unconscious belief.. I know it's challenging some times not to criticize your ex, especially when you feel totally justified in doing so. Find a friend or therapist to vent to. Don't do it around your children. And, whenever possible, find some good things to say about their other parent - or hold your tongue. The lesson here is simple. Destructive comments about your ex can impact your children in many negative ways. It creates anxiety and insecurity. It raises their level of fear. It makes them question how much they can trust you and your opinions - or trust themselves. And it adds a level of unhappiness into their lives that they do not need ... or deserve! When you have a problem with your ex, take it directly to them and not to or through the children. Don't exploit a difficult relationship, or difference of opinion with your ex, by editorializing about him or her to the kids. It's easy to slip - especially when your frustration level is mounting. Listen to and monitor your comments to the children about their other parent. · Are you hearing yourself say: "Sounds like you picked that up from your Dad/Mom." · Do you make a negative retort about their behavior and end it with "just like your father/mother." · Do you frequently compare your ex with other divorced parents you know making sure the kids get the negative judgment? · Do you counter every positive comment your child makes about your ex with, "Yeah, but ..." and finish it with a downer? · Do you make your children feel guilty for having had fun visiting the other parent or liking something in their home? · Do you throw around biting statements like "If Mom/Dad really loved you ..." · Do you try to frighten or intimidate your kids during a disagreement by saying "If you don't like it here, then go live with your Mom/Dad? It's easy to fall into these behavior patterns and they can effectively manipulate your children's behavior for the short-term. But in the long run you will be slowly eroding your personal relationship with the children you love and alienating their affection. This will bite you back in the years to come, especially as your children move into and through their teens. As a parent you want to raise children with a healthy sense of self-worth. You want children who are trusting and trust-worthy ,,, who are open to creating loving relationships in their lives. It's not divorce per se that emotionally scars children. It's how you, as a parent, model your behavior before, during and after your divorce. If you model maturity, dignity and integrity whenever challenges occur, that's what your children will see and the path they will take in their own relationships. You can't make life choices for them, but you sure can influence their choices and perceptions about the world when they are young and vulnerable! Minding your tongue around your children can be one of the most difficult behaviors to master after a Massachusetts divorce. It is also one of the behaviors that will reap the greatest rewards in the well-being of your family. Don't let anger, bitterness and indiscriminate remarks affect and harm your children. Keep a "conscious" diligence on your commentary and your ex is more likely to follow suit, as well. If he or she doesn't, your kids will naturally pick up on the different energy and gravitate toward the parent taking the high road. Ultimately that parent will win their respect and admiration. Shouldn't that be you?

Want a Healthy Massachusetts Relationship - Follow These Digital Rules

It's impossible to separate the digital world from the one you build with your Social Media 18.jpgpartner. Massachusetts couples check their smartphones about 46 times a day which can make the devices feel like a third party in a relationship.

How Sleep Affects Your Massachusetts Relationships

In a properly functioning body, sleep helps the brain process your emotions andBrain Scans.jpg memories from the day. You wake up well-rested with enough mental space to both create and log new memories and work through the experiences of your day.

How to Maintain A Relationship With Massachusetts Grandkids Amid Estrangement

Being a Massachusetts grandparent often means passing along traditions, makingFamily 55.jpg memories and building family bonds. But this isn't the reality for many families, especially those affected by estrangement.

IRS Tax Tip: Massachusetts Parents Who Adopt Can Benefit From This Valuable Tax Credit

Massachusetts taxpayers who adopted or started the adoption process during 2019 IRS-image.pngshould review the rules around the adoption credit. While the amount of the credit increases for qualified taxpayers, the rules remain the same.

Here are some facts to help people understand the credit and if they can claim it when filing their taxes:

How Your Relationship With Your Mom Can Predict Your Massachusetts Child's Success

A growing body of psychological research shows that Massachusetts parent-child communicationChildren 40.jpg is important for promoting children's success. Conversations are a fundamental way in which children develop cognitive and language skills.

Can Apps Help Eradicate Sexual Harassment in Massachusetts?

The #MeToo movement is about giving sexual assault and harassment victims in Massachusetts

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the courage to speak up. And the recent conviction of former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is an indication that those who speak up will be believed. But, despite these encouraging trends, many still choose to remain silent when it comes to reporting issues like sexual harassment. New apps aimed at empowering victims are hoping to change that.

Misconceptions About Parenting Plan Schedules for Massachusetts Infants

The approach of Massachusetts parents and family law professionals to creatingBaby stuff.jpgcustody schedules for infants has evolved considerably over the past few decades. As research into early childhood development and the effect of divorce on children has advanced, the complexity and detail put into developing infant visitation schedules have also bloomed.

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