Tuesday

How to Behave Around Your Ex’s New Girlfriend in Front of the Children

So he got a new girlfriend since the breakup and now you are wondering what now? "How should I act?" Hopefully the following tips will help you "be adult" about such matters.

1. Wave to both when you see them arrive to pick up your children.

2. Think about what you are going to say before you say it. If you don’t have nothing good to say, don’t say anything.

3. Don’t walk over to the car unless you are ready to make eye contact and small talk.

4. If you won’t be walking over to the car, then stay where you are such as standing in front of the family home, on a balcony, or looking outside a window.

5. Find something funny about the way your ex looks, the car he is driving, or his choice in a partner. A sense of humor is always helpful in any kind of situation.

6. Avoid the temptation to drag out your goodbye with the children or say or do anything to draw attention to yourself or anger your ex such as hugging or kissing him. This type of behavior only adds to an already tensed situation.

7. Wave goodbye to everyone and make your exit.

8. If you will be meeting your ex at his vehicle, then be polite and brief. A simple “Hello” and a “How are you?” is sufficient. You may want to add a question addressed to the both of them about the trip, a comment about the weather, some fun place you took the children, or something important regarding an item you packed.

9. Avoid discussing any significant issues with the ex in front of her. Instead, reserve your conversation for the phone or Internet.

10. Offer to help with packing the luggage in the trunk.

11. Say a final good bye and a final wave to all.

12. Wait awhile before you get on the phone and start talking about him to your relatives and friends just in case he may come back for something the children may have forgotten.

13. The tears may come, don’t fight them.

14. Find something to keep you busy.

15. If the children don’t call you when they make it dad's house, you call them, it eases the stress.

Nicholl McGuire

Sunday

What to Do When You Just Feel Bad About Your Health

You may be tired of the way you look, feel, or both. When you look back on photographs of your past there is the feeling of either wishing you could go back, an appreciation of how far you have come, or thoughts of how you let yourself go over the years. Whatever the feeling, you are at a place in your life of unhappiness and you know you need to do something about it.

Some of us have a family history of disease, pain, mental, and physical challenges, while others may not be aware of any chronic illnesses in the family, but find that something strange is happening within our bodies the older we get. It doesn’t make anyone feel any better when another news report tells us that a beloved food or drink is cancer causing. So what do you do when you find that internally you don’t feel well and your doctor has been so kind to advise you to change your eating habits, exercise, and get proper rest while writing out a prescription for whatever ails you? Meanwhile, those around you are gradually dying and that has been an additional stress that has also contributed to your physical pain. The following will help you sort out your internal challenges and better prepare you for your next doctor’s visit.

You will need a note pad and pen to achieve results with this advice. Let’s begin in steps. First, you will want to begin journaling your health concerns include the date you started. Then you will need to interview yourself just like the doctor may have done with you, if you have visited him or her already, the only difference is that you are going to delve deeper in questioning yourself and spend more time thinking of things you may have forgotten to tell your doctor or just didn’t want to share. I personally noted my own observations of bodily changes using a calendar, rather than a notepad. I found it easy to see any possible patterns. Taking the initiative to document your health concerns prior to a doctor visit, is extremely helpful to him or her, because they will have a better understanding of what might be causing you to feel the way you do. Many people don’t bother to think thoroughly about their health experiences prior to visiting their doctor and they leave it all up to him or her to figure out everything. No one knows your symptoms better than you do, so write down what you can remember and if you aren’t a writer use a recorder.

You will start your interview with self by asking questions such as, “What kind of symptoms have I been experiencing lately that has been hindering me at home, work or play?” You make a note of your feelings and bodily changes. You pen dates and times if you can remember and also if anyone said anything to you about any symptoms they may have witnessed you go through such as mood swings, irritability, vomiting, fever, etc.

Next you record what kind of life changes both good and bad you have been experiencing lately. A job loss, a new job, business opportunity, relocations, marriage, death, a birth of a child: are all circumstances whether expected or unexpected that can cause major stress.

Third, if you know your family’s medical history, make a note of any illnesses they may have had and list any similar health problems you went through in the past and include dates and any medications you were prescribed.

Fourth, write down what you are doing to cope. Are you exercising, reading, shopping, watching television, popping pills, drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs to manage the pain? Include how often you are participating in these activities. Think of whether the music you are listening to, the books you are reading or the shows you are watching on television are positive. There are many people who will avoid listening, watching, or reading anything that is tragic, because they know how it makes them feel afterward which is usually depressed.

Fifth, you will want to think when was the last time you took a vacation, had sex, got time off from work, slept in, or simply did something fun for you! Write the date, how often, and describe anything that may have happened that affected your health.

Now that you have taken the time to think about your life events and behaviors, you will want to do the sixth step and that is create a plan to make some changes that have been causing unnecessary stress for you. Think of what you have been eating lately, when you have been eating these things, and how frequently. Consider doing some research on what constitutes healthy eating. Create a shopping list rich in fruits and vegetables. Also, educate yourself about fasting (this is abstaining from certain foods, juicing or going without food or drink for a set period of time.) Talk to your doctor about fasting if you are interested in doing it. If he or she says it’s okay, then you will want to journal your experience with fasting. Some people fast as little as 24 hours while others will fast up to 40 days. Those who have participated in fasting will tell you they learned a lot about their own personal struggles, fears, and body while partaking in the fast and soon after made some changes in their eating habits. For those who participate in fasts for spiritual reasons, they found that their faith in God became stronger. However, true spiritual fasts are God ordained, so you will want to pray if you feel like participating in one. They aren’t easy (in my life time I have participated in some lengthy ones ). You will want to tell someone who can hold you accountable about what you are doing. He or she should be someone who you admire, respect, and is eating healthy.

Lastly, include some time during the day to exercise. You can walk during your lunch hour, stretch in front of the television or do some other exercise that is comfortable for you. Seek out professional instruction on what kind of exercise is best for your body weight. Not every exercise is good for everyone.

In conclusion, when you have made up in your mind that you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you will be building up the motivation to do what you need to do to make you look and feel better. Don’t worry over the exact date and time, just do it. Outline your goals and when you achieve them, don’t do like some people and treat yourself to some food or activity that is harmful to your health; instead, do something that won’t make you feel guilty.

By Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Laugh More, Cry Less


After listening to my son today, laugh up a storm over the littlest of things like when you freeze a frame of a video and someone is doing something bizarre, I realized that with all the pressures surrounding me, I need to do more of that.

Sometimes we get so bogged down with serious matters that we forget to laugh. I can't tell you how many times I said the past few days, "Ooo maybe I shouldn't laugh about that..." suppressing my laughter, even when no one is around to judge me. Now that, my friend, is taking yourself too seriously.

I can't tell you how many jokes pop into my head about my partner, current events, the children, relatives, even strangers on the street. One day, I think I am going to laugh hysterically one day and with tears in my eyes say, "I'm so sorry but I have been holding this in for far too long..." So what, they will think I'm crazy.

So I leave you with this, if you want to laugh at something that maybe you shouldn't, hey your secret is safe with me, because I've made up in my mind that if I see another person in my household or on the street wearing pants so high above the ankles that their walking funny, I'm going to laugh.

Nicholl McGuire

Thursday

After Mother's Day Blues


The media, churches, retail store clerks, relatives, and friends stimulated mothers mentally for weeks about Mother’s Day. Even children were pressured by teachers to create projects to honor their moms. Partners worried over what to do for Mother’s Day since paychecks went to bills. There were so many reminders and so little money and time to find something to make Mom happy. Some of you pulled it off while others couldn’t. There were mothers who received something on Mother’s Day even if it was a simple phone call, while others received a little of something or nothing at all.

Expectant moms, senior moms, divorced moms, single moms, moms in jail and all other moms were desiring something—anything that said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” But it just didn’t happen and now some are bitter. They bad mouthed the holiday, cussed a partner, yelled at the children, and vowed that no one would get anything for a year! Some mothers may have got something last year, but this year they got nothing because someone had vowed last year that, “Mom isn’t getting anything because she didn’t give me anything for my birthday! I am tired of buying for people and they don’t buy for me!” The Mother’s Day blues has set in and it doesn’t go away until certain people honor the mother who feels like she has done so much for everyone else, yet they can’t even bother to say, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

I have been on both sides of the fence--the mom that receives acknowledgment on Mother’s Day and the mom who doesn’t. Years ago, I had freed myself of the burdens of holidays only to get suck back in by media hype and family pressure. I went back to buying people things and sometimes I got things back and sometimes I didn’t. It hurts when you spend your last money on someone that should have been allocated toward a bill. That’s why I have to remind myself to pray first about gift giving no matter what time of year!

I started talking to my children about acknowledging me on Mother’s Day now that they are older with the hopes that they will do the same for their partners once they become adults. The last thing I want are disgruntled daughter-in-laws accusing me of not raising my sons up right over the simplest of things.

As I write, I realize that when someone else’s great idea ie.) Mother’s Day, begins to burden you, your finances and upset your household, you have to break free! I don’t believe the originator’s intention was to cause a problem for some with the Mother’s Day concept, but many have turned it into such because they are angry at: a partner, ungrateful children, a selfish parent or someone else who made the holiday ugly in their sight.

When I thought back to how free I was mentally, physically and spiritually from man-made holidays once upon a time (before starting my own family,) I was happier. I didn’t have to worry over what to buy mom or wonder what a partner would do for me. Everyone knew, “She doesn’t celebrate holidays.” However, once I got myself wrapped up into gift-giving, not with prayer and fasting, but just because everyone else was doing it, I didn’t feel so good about what I was doing. So what happens when you start to feel this way? You don’t want to keep doing it, but you do it anyway sometimes with feelings of resentment and worry. What happens when I can’t celebrate Mother’s Day next year or I have nothing exciting for Father’s Day? Will my own mom talk about me? Will the children’s father try to pay me back next year? What about those days that aren’t holidays that I do for others, will those times be remembered? These thoughts and more went through my mind.

I understand it is hard when one isn’t acknowledged on a day like Mother’s Day, like I said before I have been there, and I know you can’t help but think about all the things you have done for your family and others. However, realize that when you allow what someone does or doesn’t do to affect your mood, you are putting yourself in bondage. There will be other holidays and this person or group may not acknowledge you for those holidays either, but don’t worry, expect nothing and you won’t be let down.

As mothers who are trying to instill positive values in our children, we must remember that we can’t allow our disappointments with our partners or others to affect our parenting. There are those of you who are thinking, “Out of all the people, he should have at least got the children to give me something…” and maybe he should of, but remember people have their reasons for why they do what they do. Some things you might want to do in the future, if you are one of the ones who expect to be honored on Mother’s Day, is to prepare those around you in advance, but you can’t do this with a sour attitude.

Let your family know that you think that Mother’s Day is important. Tell them that even if they don’t have any money or can’t make it to your home on that day, you would be open to another day of acknowledgment at their convenience. As much as some of us would like things to happen when we want them, we must remind ourselves it isn’t always so. If you communicate your feelings to those around you in a polite way, who knows what next year might bring.
However, you may be changing, like I am, and if you are headed in that “take it or leave it” direction, then we must remember that we are letting those around us know that Mother’s Day and other holidays are unimportant, so we must stick to it. When we say one thing, but expect another, we will only be causing upset in our households. People will begin to think, “Well which is it? Celebrate holiday or not?” We also have to remain open to holidays that we might be acknowledged and we might not, but whatever happens, it should always be okay.

I think we paint ourselves in a box when we bad mouth holidays, talk about what someone does or doesn’t do for us, or criticize their gifts, because what we are telling others is, “Don’t buy for her, she’s negative and ungrateful.” Eventually, that painted box will become a wall around us and then when someone comes along with his or her best intentions, they bump right into it! He or she will unfortunately be shut out of our lives with all our negativity. I think God allows this for good-hearted people’s own protection. Once they see that negative wall, they stop coming around.

So I leave you with “Happy Mother’s Days” all year round! May you be blessed with sales, bargains and convenient parking when you go out and honor yourself each payday!

Nicholl McGuire

Tuesday

Why Do Some Parents Continue to Expose Children to Negative People?

Sometimes, as mothers, we have to sit back and think about the people who we allow into our lives. Maybe before the children, it was okay to have every unbelieving, crazy, wild, or ghetto person in our midst, but what about now?

We usually keep people around that make us laugh, tell us "back in the day" stories, or might possibly help us in the future with something. But just like those old clothes in the back of your closet you will never wear, it might be time to do a little house-cleaning, if not for yourself, then for your family.

Some of us have partners that can sniff trouble a mile away, but what do we do, we ignore them especially if they tell us something negative about a relative or old friend. We might argue or tell our partners, "You are so wrong for saying that about..." But what if he is right? Sometimes they are right about the babysitter, the daycare, the grandparents, and other people who we allow in our children's lives on a regular basis. Some of these people have a negative influence that we might choose to ignore. We might even secretly question ourselves, "What is the purpose for having this person around other than watching my child? Isn't there a replacement?" You may be the discerning one that is warning your partner about his side of the family.

I love when mothers will ask their children, after they have done something wrong or embarassing, "Where did you learn that from?" Meanwhile, witnesses are thinking the child will say some child's name from school, but instead, "From your friend mommy...from cousin Joan...from Aunt Mary..." So what does the mom say, "Well, don't say or do that again." Before long, the parent is dropping his or her child back at the guilty relative or best friend's home again sometimes without saying anything about the matter! Then some parents wonder why children have all sorts of bizarre stories to tell involving people or things beyond their years, hmmm.

You might talk to some mothers about this sort of thing, and those that are guilty of having their children around certain negative influences, will become defensive. "It's not like a music video will hurt them, they will see things like that sooner or later! It's not like they haven't heard that word before! I don't care that my friend drinks alcohol or smokes weed just so long as she is not doing it around my child..." Well, unless a parent is with his or her child in that person's home 24/7, mom or dad doesn't know what their relative or friend is exposing their child to especially if this person doesn't have children of his or her own!

Now there is nothing wrong with being an acquaintance with someone who is completely the opposite of you, but this "my dear friend" or "my favorite relative" stuff, just because someone once had an important place in your life growing up is ridiculous when you know the person has been guilty of causing all sorts of havoc around your child or disrespecting your rules!

People change. People grow apart. There are those noticeable differences that show up in their personality when you sit down and talk with them awhile and then there are those differences that they suppress, because they wouldn't ever want you to think they were one way or another.

We assume that our favorites "know me so well" when in fact, a relative or friend might have guessed right that day. Sometimes we allow some of these people to stick around in our lives, knowing that they have repeatedly wronged us, as I said in one article some time ago, pass their expiration date! One day, I awoke to this reality that many of the people that I had kept around for years or re-connected with in recent years, I didn't have much in common and I wouldn't trust my children with them either. It was plain to see when I read some of their tweets, Facebook news feeds, text messages, and emails, just how different we were. "Who were these people and would I allow them into my home, much less, expose them to my children?" I would think.

There's too much nonsense being shoved under our noses as mothers to accept! Just because someone has a title in your family, doesn't make that person a great influence. Some of us reading this had to learn that the hard way! Just because someone has been a great friend the first 10 years of knowing them, doesn't mean they will continue to be a great friend for the next 10 especially if they are watching your children everyday lol!

Unfortunately, some of us never tapped into our mother's intution, because it has been innundated with "what they say;" instead of "what I say." From the half-dressed performer on TV dancing in front of our children any time of the day, to news media reporting changes in schools that are already teaching children to turn parents into authorities for all sorts of things (do your research,) who really has control over your child?

If we aren't too careful who or what is around our children, who knows what they might take back to the school or bring home with them? Now I am not an advocate for a strict household where there is no breathing room for our children, but I am an advocate of wisdom. Let's be smart about who is in control of our children when we aren't. Also, let's find some commonalities in meaningful healthy friendships while saying goodbye to those meaningless associations. As I write, I hear a word of wisdom in my spirit that sounds like this, "If we allow room in our lives for quality people to come in, we will want for nothing." Too many of us mothers aren't getting the best for ourselves or children because we keep settling. "Don't settle for just anything, anymore."

Nicholl McGuire

4 Things a Parent Can Say to a Prodigal Son or Daughter Who Won't Listen to Wisdom

Since becoming an adult, your son or daughter doesn't seem to be as interested in consulting with you or spending as much time, usually this is due to a number of reasons including: an active lifestyle, educational goals, job, or family demands. As much as parents would like for that immediate call back, a yes to an invitation, or an unexpected visit, it won't always happen. (I use to be that twenty-something year old who forgot about my parents.)

There are those sons and daughters that are making life choices that are at times disturbing and unfortunately keep poor mom or dad up at night. You may have tried to talk with your son or daughter about his or her choices, but to no avail your wisdom is going in one ear and out the other. Some parents may have used tough love to drive a point home. However, "the talk" only drove them further away. So now what does a parent do?

I was once a twenty-something year old that was raised by parents who encouraged independence toward the end of my senior year. As a result, I didn't make the wisest decisions, because the bulk of my teen years were isolated from many people, places, and things including most peer social events.

I thought, during my terrible twenties when I was making some of my poor choices, that they were good and that somehow everything would end up being okay, but like many young people, you learn the hard way.

An angry, eye-rolling, cursing parent is not what I needed at the time. So there were moments that my parent's advice wouldn't stick just because of their delivery. Therefore, I provide four statements that may not get your child to do everything you want, but it just might help in getting them to come back around. The key to conversing with a young person is making yourself understand them even if you rather not. If you can take that moment, to put yourself in their shoes, it will help your delivery. You also need a consistent positive attitude when talking to them. I think of the young man who said that someone actually took the time to say, Good morning to him. That told me there aren't too many people in his family or at work who bother to just offer a warm greeting.

So if you are polite and respectful on the phone on Monday with your son or daughter, then be that way the next time you see them and the next and the next. When you do things differently than they are use to (like adjust your attitude,) it will make them want to at least think about what you have been telling them and who knows they might be more pleasant toward you. It will also stimulate some thoughts like, "Well what if mom is right? What if dad has a point? Maybe I should do something different." Life is too short and sometimes a son or daughter may even go so far as to think that, "What if my mom and dad aren't around anymore because of what I am into?" Consider the following statements the next time you talk to your son or daughter.

One. "I'm here if you need me."

This is a statement that can be used so much until the point that it falls on deaf ears, so you might want to change it up a bit. But for parents who never use this statement, it will definitely get your son or daughters attention especially if he or she is in a bad relationship or is having financial difficulty that they are too ashamed to come and ask you for help.

Two. "You can always come back home."

Let's say that a son or daughter is really acting like a fool these days, but you can see that they are troubled and really need your help. A simple statement like this might get them to open up. However, be sure you mean it. Make accommodations for them and do share with them what the rules are before they move in. Also, give them a deadline to move out once they have sufficient income and are stable enough to live alone.

Three. "I love you and I'm concerned about where your actions might lead you."

Saying "I love you" is a nice statement and makes most people feel good when it isn't abused. However, some people use this statement and add nothing to it. Your love for your son or daughter needs to be expressed sometimes and just saying three words may not be enough, so add something to it. When you tell your son or daughter that you are concerned about their actions and where they might lead he or she, the thought might cross their mind about things like: jail, death, or some other tragedy. You might even want to throw in an example of your own. Try to avoid naming their friends, being critical of things they are already doing (no matter how dumb, bad, etc.) because if you don't, you will only start an argument, get the silent treatment, or drive them away. They will defend their friends and their actions (no matter how good or bad) thanks to peer brainwashing.

Four. "I've been where you are."

This is another statement that is often used, but some people who use it don't add anything to it. "What have you done in the past that makes you an expert about me?" That's the attitude you are going to get if you don't spend the time to share something meaningful about your life when you were your son or daughter's age; rather than repeatedly critic he or she. You may even give your son or daughter some pointers on how to get out of their messes.

When you tell a young person that you "have been there and done that," it does nothing more than look like you are bragging about your faults even though that is not the message you want to convey. When the conversation comes up, about something your son or daughter has done that you don't like, listen and then ask, "May I share with you what I did when I was your age? I've been where you are."

Other things you must consider when dealing with a hard-headed adult son or daughter is how frequently or infrequently you are talking to him or her. Sometimes a parent can provoke a son or daughter to do something harmful to self or others when he or she just can't seem to stop beating them up with wisdom or is so silent that the parent gives off the vibe he or she could care less.

Take a break from the "just giving my 2 cents worth" conversation every now and then, and try doing things that have nothing to do with your son or daughter's foolish mistakes. Maybe there is a concert coming up, a simple need that they have like a new coat and shoes at the mall, or some other thing that would encourage them to come around you'"use these needs to draw near to your son or daughter. However, don't allow them to abuse your kindness. Take that together time to do something nice and show them just how much you care.

Some parents treat their children like slaves always asking them to perform a task or duty whenever they see or hear from them. Avoid using every opportunity that you see your son or daughter to ask them to do something for you. This is a put-off especially when dealing with prodigal sons and daughters. They have spent years in your household doing what you ask and now they are free. The last thing they want is to be reminded of their childhood chores and discipline. Remember you no longer have children, but adults even if they don't always act like it.

Nicholl McGuire also maintains http://parentsbabieschildren.blogspot.com
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About Me

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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