Investing in our children as if one day they will be our best friends.

So we buy them what they need, want, desire and so on.  What's the benefit to them/to us?  Do we get brownie points with our children for being "the best mommy?"  Some mothers will go so far as to give everyone they speak to an itemized list of everything they have ever done for their children.  Even our own mothers will say to us, "Remember when I gave you..." 

Why exactly are we giving our children more than enough anyway?  Do we ever bother to think what the long-term effects will be on our children (especially when the money runs out and we can't keep up with all of their requests?)  Who are we trying to impress?  Does anyone even care about all those great activities our children participate in?  Most likely not.  They are too busy living their lives.  But we parents, care!  So much so that we forget that no relative and or family friend should ever be obligated to partake in the burdens we place on ourselves (ie. our children's extracurricular activities.)  So why do we care so much?  Quite possibly because we may have unmet childhood needs, created spoiled brats, or just want to impress our children by getting others to support them.  We try to do and be everything to them, because some of us reason, if we are not, then who will?

I thought about this issue of giving our children in the hopes that some day they will return the favor after listening to a parent rant about her grown daughter not doing for her "after all the years I have helped her!!"  She mentioned the times in her daughter's life she invested in their relationship while the daughter lacked  appreciation and acted as if "that's what family should do."  Apparently someone didn't get the memo that just because you deem a certain child "a favorite" and you do as much as you can for this person, doesn't mean that he or she will think of a parent as such a great person once they become older.  Not only that, the adult son or daughter may not feel as if he or she owes a parent anything simply because part of the title as parent is to care for his or her child.

It seems that the more you give a child (or anyone) who has never experienced what it's like not to have, the more likely he or she will become an ingrate.  This person will behave like what you do for him or her is never good enough.  Think for a moment:  What would happen if you just took a long break from giving your own children as much as you gave them yesterday, last week, a few months ago, or last year?  They would appreciate what you give them moreso the next time.

Now on the other hand, there are those relatives and family friends that don't have a spirit of generosity and more than likely that is why some parents feel obligated to give to their children so much.  It's unfortunate that some of these people behave very selfishly, act ridiculously frugal (cheap.)  Some of these same people think that if they give anything to anyone it should be celebrated.  Your children should be available to work for them since they bought them toys on their birthday.  Your son or daughter should announce to the world that grandpap gave $5 toward a camp trip.  You should do a cartwheel for that  small donation to the college fund--whoopee!  But I digress...

I personally think that if we as parents create a healthy balance between giving and receiving from our children, they will be okay.  Our children will observe what we do, and in time, repeat our actions.  So if we are responsible and give within reason (that means not all the time like everytime we visit a store) they will be more appreciative with what they have already and will do the same with their children one day.  A child that is use to getting what he or she wants all the time will be a challenge to try to change, but if a parent remains consistent in his or her behavior for a time, a son or daughter will catch on and will be less likely to badger the parent with unnecessary requests.

We must remember to evaluate why we give as much as we do to our children.  Then we should take the time to think about how our actions will impact the future.  Lastly, we ought to face the reality that any investment we make today in our children may be null and void once they become adults--not every child will grow up to become an adult that will say, "Thank you.  Now what would you like for me to do for you?"

Nicholl McGuire

What to Expect from the Ex Husband after a Divorce

“Never say what a man won’t do,” my grandmother use to warn.  Some women brag to family and friends about what their ex husbands would never do or say to them. Yet, the truth is one can't predict what ex boyfriends and husbands would and wouldn't do especially now that many of you are single and like to mingle especially online.

The list that follows is only ten popular warnings amongst thousands that your ex might do or say to you since the divorce. Not every one of these situations you may be able to relate, but there are those divorced women that have experienced one if not all of these things. Some divorced women will admit that their ex-husbands just couldn’t seem to move on in the beginning of the break up. These divorced women secretly liked how their ex struggled emotionally, because to them, it was sweet justice, “What goes around comes around!” Here is the list:

One. The ex-husband may surprise you with a phone call that almost sounds like he misses you.

Suddenly after days or weeks have passed since your last contact with him, he is so concerned about you. He may start off asking you about the children, then ask you questions about your job and family. He does this, not so much because he cares, but he is looking for a way to get back into your life personally. Your idea of friendship and his idea of friendship is not the same. He is thinking, “One day I might need sex and she might be available.” You may be thinking like him, then again you might not. The best thing to do when you get the surprise phone call is to keep it brief and always be busy if it means running water in the background, flushing the toilet, talking to the kids, or use the opportunity to tell him you have calls to make as soon as you get off the phone with him. Don’t obligate yourself to call him back even if he asks you to do it.

Two. The ex-husband may request to take you out to dinner, fix something in the home, or blatantly tell you he wants to fulfill your sexual needs.

Depending on his age, what he looks like, and other major things that may keep him from getting a new partner as fast as he thought, he may try to date you until someone else comes along. There are many divorced women who fall for the dating and handyman tactics, because they too haven’t found anyone they consider worthwhile so they go back to what is familiar. When you feel tempted, you can quickly erase any of those false fantasies of bliss by thinking of all the nights you stayed up crying and how he treated you when you needed him most. You can also crowd him out of your life by doing some things to keep you busy from attending church related activities to finding a new spot to hang out with book or laptop in hand. This way you aren’t looking for a new man to replace him.

Three. The ex-husband may surprise you at home or work.

This is not a sign you want to take lightly especially if you have made it clear on what time to pick up the children, if you have any. If you don’t have any children with this man, you will definitely want to be careful as well, because he may be stalking you. Always let others know about these surprise visits, journal them, and notify the authorities if you have asked your ex-husband not to come around you anymore and he keeps persisting. The police will assist you with filing a restraining order. However, if he is in law enforcement, find someone out of his precinct to help you. If you can’t get any help from them then go to church leadership, a nonprofit organization or someone else not related to his profession.

Four. The ex-husband may surprise you with cash.

What a great way to keep you attached to him! What other man do you know will give you money for nothing? If he does it once, he may do it again and again all the while hoping you won’t find anyone else. His intention is one of two things: to restore the marriage or to keep you hanging on while he is dating others. Some men want their cake and everything else too, more than likely that is why many of the women reading this are divorced.

Five. The ex-husband may drive by your home, favorite hangout, or job showing off the new girlfriend (or boyfriend) or new wife.

He isn’t happy with the way things turned out between the two of you, he doesn’t like how he is feeling now that you are not in his life, and he secretly wants you back (at least for a season until things get old again.) Driving the girlfriend or new wife around your neighborhood is his attempt to make you feel the way he feels and to punish you for not being with him. If you allow him to upset you, then you are giving him power and ultimately the chance to come back in your life. Remember your issues that you have isn’t with the woman, but with him using the woman. If you find he is often doing this, you can notify the police and file a restraining order as mentioned earlier or even better have that family member around who doesn't like your ex too much--I'm sure he will cut his visits short.

Six. The ex-husband will display new jewelry, a car or some other things to show you he is doing fine without you.

While women alter their appearance to make themselves look like they are doing better without the ex, their former husbands will make big purchases to appear like they have struck some gold hoping they will be desired once again. Some divorced women are charmed back into their exs' arms only to be harmed again. Oftentimes they end up helping him pay for those large purchases. He may have bought an item he always wanted in the hopes that his na├»ve, desperate ex wife will assist with his bill. Once it’s paid off, out she goes and in a new woman comes riding, driving, wearing, or lying on whatever it is that drew you back into his life again.

Seven. The ex-husband will confide in a mutual friend about how much he misses you.

There is only one reason why he would be open with his feelings to a friend that you both deal with, rather than talk with you, and that is he hopes that you will hear about it and be nicer to him. In his mind that is a start, once you open your feelings up, then he hopes you will open something else too whether that something else is a combination of money, sex, home, contact for a job or business opportunity, or some other selfish need he is trying to satisfy.

Eight. The ex-husband may not hide his personal life from the children.

A man who feels rejected and jealous is on a mission to make your life miserable, so he will intentionally do things in front of the children because he knows they will go back and tell you.  For instance, he may emphasize how important his new family is or his new partner to the kids.  If he can’t win you back into his life, in a nice way like calling him periodically, then he will try to keep you in his life by being vicious. He knows that if the children tell you something disturbing during a visit, you will pick up that phone and talk, yell or curse with him about it. The best thing to do in this situation is to teach your children right from wrong, admonish your ex-husband in writing if need be, ignore his foolish behavior while documenting it, or possibly talk with your attorney.

Nine. The ex-husband suddenly changes finances, housing, and other things he may have promised he wouldn’t change.

You go to use a credit card it’s declined, you visit an old account and the money is gone, and you discover your name is removed from a number of documents including health insurance that he said he would pay for. These are all attempts to control you emotionally, but these are also good signs he just might be someone else's headache now!  Hopefully he won’t be trying to contact you as much and you shouldn’t be encouraging it either--that is if you are indeed over him.  Stick to issues related to the kids maybe some useful information every now and again, but keep yourself busy with your own life!  Win for you!

Consider your ex's deceptive actions, lies he tells his new girlfriend or wife and other negatives blessings in disguise.  These things is what reaffirms that you made a great decision ridding yourself of a bad mistake!  Accept your freedom, rather than fight with him about his past promises, and remember you are divorced from him; therefore, he is no longer obligated to take care of you.

Ten. The ex-husband will play mind games.

If you are feeling guilty about something you did to break up the marriage, he will try to use that as a weapon to keep you feeling bad so that you can’t move on with your life. He may talk about the “good ole days” to keep you hoping and wishing about what could have been. You can end his mind games by not giving him any details about current events in your life which include: topics about the past, the way you feel, your dreams, goals, etc. The great part about being divorced is you don’t have to share your life anymore with a person you are no longer interested or in love with--yeah!

In conclusion, these are just ten of some of the most popular actions men will do after a divorce or break up, you probably will have more to add, please do in the comment section. If you are sincerely over the ex, you will not give into any of these negative actions. Divorced women who are still emotionally and/or physically attached to their exs will fall into the ten traps mentioned every time.

You know that you are still bound to him if your family and friends keep telling you to stop talking or doing for your ex. Although you think there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, what you don’t realize is you are setting yourself up for even more problems in the future than what you had gone through while being married to him. Some of those future problems include: your ex being with other women while sleeping with you, potentially getting a sexually transmitted disease, your children doing badly in school because of witnessing your upset, problems with your relatives supporting you because you look like a flake, and other personal issues like stress resulting in depression, obesity, diabetes, and other health related illnesses.

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight here.


Soap Operas not Good for Children: a Woman’s Childhood Experience

During spring, summer and winter school vacations children tend to watch more television. With that said, there a lot of things that come on during day time television that are not good for young children to watch. I remember as a child experiencing some strange sensations in places I rather not get into, from watching some rather steamy scenes of lovemaking on soap operas. The adults thought that I wasn’t paying much attention to those soaps, but I was doing more than just watching them I was fantasizing about what it would be like for someone to hold and kiss me back in the early 90s. You see I remember over 20 years later passionate moments that Victor and Nikki had then Victor and Ashley on the Young and the Restless. Then there was Brooke and Ridge on the Bold and the Beautiful who seemed to forever have tears in their eyes with every embrace. Then of course Taylor one day becomes the new kid on the block and “steals” Ridge according to Brooke. Then who could forget Another World, Guiding Light, and Days of Our Lives during those muggy summers back then. I remember studying the kisses of some of those characters like Rachel who was in Another World and Reeva who had found many loves on the Guiding Light and Bo, you may remember with his dark, thick hair, how many girls with taste and women with fantasies wanted him to be a part of “…Our Lives.” I wasn’t too young not to know any different – my eyes and emotions were not restricted from what relatives didn’t think was harmful.

There were the common story themes of broken marriages, greed, power struggles, egos, sex, lies, manipulation, unwanted pregnancies, rape, fights, mental disorders, handicaps, murder, mayhem, jealousies, and confrontations. What’s funny is in the course of my life, I have had my share of many dramas such as these. I may have subconsciously handled personal issues in the way that I was conditioned to handle them by watching the soaps due to so many hours watching them during school vacations. Much of my childhood poetry had adult themes and now know why I was writing about relationship issues like cheating as young as 11.

Many of the observations I made were through a mind of a child. I formulated some good thoughts as well as bad based on what I seen the characters do, say and get away with on television. When I first actually noticed soaps and was able to understand the adult messages, I was about 10 years old.

The first thing I inferred from watching these pretend stories was that when couples grew tired of one another or when a new face came to town they would most likely have relationship problems that would often result in a breakup. To me, I learned that one should always be careful of the new person that comes in your life. I noticed that at times characters would cheat on their significant other and for some it was okay as long as they were good providers.

Life was never enjoyable for the soap opera characters something always had to be going on. If it wasn’t someone getting married, someone was in jail, stalking or being stalked, or worse, murdered off the show. But unlike the real world, the dead could come back again and pick up where they left off as if they never left the show.

Children grew up fast in soap opera world too! I remember thinking why couldn’t I and my friends grow up just as fast. One minute a character was holding a newborn in her hand, the next year or so she is giving her son or daughter keys to a car or a job with the family business.

The one thing I remember that was very true to reality was that the good times never lasted for long. A character maybe smiling on Monday, but by Friday he or she is emotional. Arguments and physical fights kept me glued to the television. There was that feeling of anticipation for the next scene then the next episode. Weekends didn’t go by fast enough before I was ready to sit in front of the television again hoping to absorb more daytime trash TV.

The men in the soap operas often carried on conversations at work; the women often visited one another at home. Most didn’t have any titles or positions of authority. They were pretty much the wife of someone powerful. I observed the more serious storylines seemed to evolve around the men and the petty ones around the women.

Many of the storylines suggested women could not be trusted. They were treacherous with one another, evil, conniving and would stop at nothing to destroy one another. Funny, when it came to handling their problems with men, these mischievous characters weren’t so strong.

I can’t tell you how many times I saw a character be in a car accident, wear some bandages for a few scenes then before you know it they are out of the hospital completely healed and attractive. Mentally handicapped characters would disappear for awhile sometimes years then come back mentally stable and ready to jump into bed with someone.

With all this soap watching, I would converse with neighborhood friends about the latest occurrences and if relatives were too busy to see them, I would inform them of what happened that day. Our community had a free phone service you could dial into and listen to recorded messages of what happened on the soaps that day. I wasn’t allowed to sit on the phone during the summer and talk to friends, but it was okay to listen to recorded messages about the soaps.

Needless to say, my summers were so long and hot that by the time school started I was ready for a little more than academics. Although I was too afraid to do anything as a girl, I had natural feelings for boys and was scolded when my developmental changes became noticeable.

The sad part is the women who sat with me and watched soaps were responsible for what my eyes saw, yet they didn’t feel that they were accountable for speeding me up in growth like the children’s lives were sped up in the soaps.

By Nicholl McGuire

10 Ways to Cope When Your Children Are Far Away

Whether your child or children are 3000 miles away in the United States or in another country, you miss them. People around you may not understand your sudden mood swings, your urges to get on the next flight out of town to see them, or your long stories about them to anyone who will listen. So how do you cope when you can’t be with your sons, daughters, or both?

One. Plan time in your schedule to make phone calls.

Surprisingly there are many parents who have children out of state and will rarely call. It’s almost too easy to be consumed by work and other activities and forget about simple acts to show your children you care. Don’t allow this to happen to you! Even if it has been a long time since you made contact, remind yourself to call them just like you remind yourself to pick something up from the grocery store.
Two. Write letters.

Don’t want to be bothered with the ex who wants to tell your child what to say when you talk to him or her? Would you prefer not to get into yet another argument with the mother or father? Write a nice letter that’s simple to read and briefly tells them about what you are doing and how much you love and miss them. For young children include stickers they make the letter child friendly.

Three. Draw or color pictures.

One of the best ways to relate to children is by doing activities they can relate to. How do you think it would make them feel if you drew a picture of something or colored one of their favorite cartoon characters and put their name on it? Sometimes we have to become child like to make them feel we care and that we aren’t so bad after all.
Four. Take photos of yourself.

Make faces, lay down and take a wacky photo of your eye or nose, or stand in front of something beautiful, ugly or scary. Young or old, children will love the fact you are sharing one of your adventures with them. Consider creating a photo book. You can go to any drug store and talk with the photo tech about your idea or search the Internet for creative ways to make your own. Also, consider t-shirts, mugs, and other cool things for them to use with your photo on it.

Five. Record video of yourself.

A simple computer webcam, digital camera, or a Flip Video camera will help you make this idea happen. Tell them about your day, read a book, or record audio or video of your side of the family conversing while commenting on what they are viewing. It will make them feel like they are a part of your world and help them keep you in memory.

Six. Send old photos from when you were about their age.

Now these photos would be different from the recent photos mentioned earlier, you want your children to begin to collect keepsakes from your childhood. They will be impressed at how young you looked and may even have some great questions to ask you during your next phone conversation. Two cool ideas are: creating a puzzle photo or printing photos on cards about the size of baseball collector cards complete with a description of the relative.
Seven. Send care packages.

Who doesn’t like packages in the mail? Whether your son or daughter is old or young, they will be happy to know you thought enough to send a package that may feed their stomach, stimulate their eyes, help them with a problem, or fit all three needs.

Eight. Decorate your workspace or another common area you spend time in with some fun photos of them.

Now while doing for your children will help you cope, here’s something you can do for yourself! Surround yourself with photos of your children. You don’t want too many or they may overwhelm you emotionally—just display a few photos that aren’t off in a dark corner, but not so noticeable that you bump into them. Be selective of the photos you display keep in mind some headshots can actually make you feel bad especially if your children aren’t smiling, or crying in the photos.

Nine. Choose a favorite song, movie or game you and your children use to enjoy playing when you are feeling down.

Maybe you loved playing a certain gaming system together, laughed a lot when you watched one of their movies, or danced together when a great song came on the radio, whatever you did, have fun for a moment and allow yourself to cry. Better to express emotions behind closed doors then out in the public. However, avoid the temptation to keep recreating the event when you start feeling yourself feel really bad.

Ten. Spend time with someone else’s children playing with toys and attending children related events.

One of the fastest ways to get yourself out of a bad mood concerning missing your children is to be around other people’s children. They will remind you of the good, bad, and ugly about parenting. A crying baby, a disobedient child, a loud toy, a hungry toddler will keep you on your toes! Visit the toy aisle and buy them something. The smile on their faces will do your heart good!
These ways will not bring your children back to you at least not now, but they are seeds you are sowing into the future. One day you will return to them or they will come to you and they will remember your efforts to be a part of their lives.

Lastly, if you have a faith, consider prayer. Some people have lost their children due to death, but they still manage to keep a faith because it helps them cope with knowing their children are in a better place than earth. You may want to lean on prayer to help you cope with the fact you are here on earth with your children and are having a difficult time getting to them. Pray for wisdom on how you can be together again with your children. A financial blessing, a frustrated former partner, unexpected time off from work, or a great opportunity can put you in the right place at the right time to see your children.


Don't Suffocate Your Intuition by Listening to Others

There is always someone who is going to tell you how you should feel, what to think and what to say when it comes to things like a relationship and raising children. Some information is quite helpful while other tips are time wasters.

I think of moments in my own life when relatives and friends told me not to worry over something that my gut said, "You better be concerned about this. What will you do if you find out the truth? Let's start planning."

When there is a voice or feeling that keeps nagging at you to do something about a situation, as a wife and mother you better! Forget all that self-talk about, "Being insecure..." Throw away comments like, "Maybe you need to get away..." Sometimes there is no running from a circumstance. You either stand strong and do what you must or sit quiet and wait until you have a plan orchestrated. Whatever you do, don't run, hide, or lie to yourself or others about what is bothering you. Too many people drive themselves crazy suppressing their God-given intuition.

Nicholl McGuire
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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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