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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

5 Secrets of good communication with your ex-spouse if you have children

Getting divorced, the two people cease to be husband and wife for each other, but it must not be forgotten that for a child, they remain to be mom and dad. They remain to be parents forever.

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With a divorce, in a family where there are children, often a change of roles occurs. In a conjugal family, there are specific, clear roles (i.e. mom, dad and child), but then after a divorce, the roles change, so that everybody could get confused. For instance, if dad starts living separately from everyone, mom may put him in the position of not the father, but the older brother – like: “Go, take a walk, look after the baby.” Then there’s the “weekend dad” who may entertain the child, but in the eyes of the mother, does not bear almost any responsibility for the kid; and that’s bad.

According to OnlineDivorce statistics, more often, such a change of roles is initiated by the women, who still are more often awarded primary custody than their ex-spouses. So, unfortunately, women often consciously provide unnecessarily tough conditions regarding father’s communication with children. They usually give their former husbands a child only for a particular time (an hour or two, only once or twice a week), and only for entertainment. Men are still quite often denied the right to continually take care of the children, to seriously engage in their education, or their moral and cultural development.

There are several reasons for this.

First, severe restrictions for communication between father and child sometimes act as a variant of the influence, even manipulation. That is, in some cases, such humiliation of the ex-husband, who is obliged to comply with some certain rules, satisfies the wife’s thirst for revenge.

But at the same time, the removal of the former spouse from close contact with the child may also be due to a far more reasonable cause. In cases where one of the parents is an abuser or addicted to alcohol, drugs, et cetera, it is clear that the other parent with whom the child remains loses confidence in such a person, and tries to protect the son or daughter.

However, in such cases, even the court claims that contact with this parent can be harmful and is not in the best interest of the child. These are cases when sole custody (both physical and legal) can be awarded.

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In other situations, regardless of the personal issues of the former spouses, it is considered that communication with both parents is essential for the child, which means parents must learn to negotiate and cooperate even after the marriage is dissolved.

Parental Alliance: How to Minimize the Effects of Divorce on Children

Divorce is a sad phenomenon. When love, or that the husband and wife considered love, leaves, then for the spouses and their children, there comes a challenging time. Not a single child can be happy when his father and mother stop loving each other and break up. This must be realized always when you are on the verge of a divorce, and that you may want to consider to stop it.

But if the spouses have already split up, then it is essential to avoid the confusing concepts in thoughts, words and deeds. Getting divorced, the two people cease to be husband and wife for each other, but it must not be forgotten that for a child, they remain to be mom and dad. They remain to be parents forever.

Realizing this fact, not being spouses, the parents continue to be partners in matters of raising the child. And no matter who has physical custody of the child, the father and mother are equally responsible for the kid’s future.

Very often, parents are well aware that it is necessary for a child to communicate with both dad and mom. But they do not understand such an important thing for the healthy, full-fledged personal development of the child, it is equally important that the parents communicate with each other about the child. That is what can be called parental alliance.

Responsible divorced spouses with children, when building new relationships after breaking up, do not think about themselves, about their own ambitions, benefits, feelings, but about the welfare of their children. 

According to GoodTherapy, such a breakdown of the relationship between parents, when they refuse to cooperate and to create a joint parental strategy, is extremely harmful to the child’s mental health. The consequences may be reflected in his behavior, in the violation of mental functions, such as attention, memory, perception and communication skills.

So, whether there is an amicable relationship between you and your ex right now or not, you can learn step by step how to make things right for the sake of your child.

Tips For Good Communication

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Realize, understand, remember: “I am in charge of the psyche and happy life of my child.” The way your child’s relationship with the other parent develops is also your will and responsibility. If your ex is not interested enough to maintain a healthy relationship and communication with the child, then you can also inspire and form this communication and relationship yourself. As for non-custodial fathers, not all dads know and understand how to behave with a child and ex-wife right after a divorce. The ex-husband himself may be shocked and do not know what to do.

So, whether there is an amicable relationship between you and your ex right now or not, you can learn step by step how to make things right for the sake of your child.

Here are a few tips of good communication which should help you.

1. Leave behind all your grudge against your ex, the words left unsaid, and self-absorption.

All communication with the former spouse after the divorce is only about your child, and nothing more. You can’t stop resenting your spouse? Go to a psychologist with this problem, just as you would go to the dentist with a toothache.

2. Decide how you see the future relationship of the child and another parent.

The child needs to feel that mom and dad do not blame him for divorce. Also, do not say bad things against your ex in front of the kid. Unfortunately, this is the most frequent parents’ mistake, but a child in no case should think that he must take sides.

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3. Think of what is the purpose of your communication with the former spouse and stick to it clearly, acting within the borders.

For example, “I communicate with my ex-spouse because…

  • I want the child to know that he still has a father (mother) who loves him and has not disappeared, but has only changed his/her geographical position.
  • I want the ex and child to communicate at any time, and for this, we need to coordinate the schedule and trust each other.
  • I want the child’s dad (mom) to be well-informed about the kid’s life…” and so on.

4. Your ex should make sure that your communication is safe for him/her, and that your messages do not have a dirty trick in the form of a desire to control his/her life.

If the spouse does not call, start chatting via messenger about how the kid is. The short text may just be like: “The son is fine, he sends you regards. Call him later” is quite enough. Leave behind the rantings, do not blame, do not ask questions about how he is, or how can he even sleep, if he doesn’t even know what’s going on with the child, et cetera.

The purpose of these messages is “the child should know that the dad/mom is aware of his life,” and not a demonstration of your offense or an attempt to manipulate. You create a connection between the child and his parent, and that’s it.

Your ex should get used to the fact that the news about the child is exactly the news about the child; that the dialogue will not end with reproach or claim.

5. Make a well-detailed parenting plan and follow it.

Do not rush while preparing a parenting agreement in a divorce. Parenting plan is a necessary arrangement which may significantly ease your future life. Even if you prefer a DIY divorce or online divorce option, do not spare money for divorce mediator who can help to make a really working and mutually beneficial parenting agreement. In addition to custody issues and establishing of the visitation schedule, this arrangement may cover any subject you wish. Rather strict but a real method to avoid a lot of disputes and misunderstandings in the future.

Health & Wellness

When caregivers need care

Caregivers provide tremendous benefits for their loved ones, yet they may be at risk for lacking access to needed services which puts their health in jeopardy.

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Photo by Rémi Walle from Unsplash.com

People who regularly care for or assist a family member or friend with a health problem or disability are more likely to neglect their own health, particularly by not having insurance or putting off necessary health services due to cost.

This is according to “Healthcare Coverage and Utilization Among Caregivers in the United States: Findings from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System” by Jamie L. Tingey, MS, Jeremiah Lum, MS, Whitney Morean, MS, Rebecca Franklin, MS, and Jacob A. Bentley, PhD; and which was published in Rehabilitation Psychology

“Caregivers provide tremendous benefits for their loved ones, yet they may be at risk for lacking access to needed services which puts their health in jeopardy,” said Bentley of Seattle Pacific University, co-author of the study. “We found that caregivers were more likely not to have health care coverage or forgo needed medical appointments and services. They were also at an increased risk for experiencing depression in their lifetime as compared with non-caregivers.”

The study focused solely on people who provided care to family and friends, not professional caregivers.

More than 43 million adults in the US (alone) function as caregivers each year, according to 2015 data from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP cited in the study.

“Informal caregiving provides enormous economic value to our society because if we were to replace informal caregiving with formal, paid caregiving services, it could cost the country upwards of $600 billion in wages for home health aides,” said Bentley. “Despite the economic benefits for society and valuable assistance provided to care recipients, attention must also be given to caregivers’ own financial, physical and emotional challenges.”

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The study used data from more than 24,000 people who participated in the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System annual phone survey conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most participants were white women under 65 earning between $10,000 and $70,000 per year. Half were employed, half were unemployed or retired.

Participants reported that they had provided regular care or assistance to a family member or friend with a health problem or disability within the 30 days prior to the survey. More than half of the participants provided care for up to eight hours a week, typically doing household tasks such as cleaning, managing money or preparing meals. The vast majority indicated that they did not need support services, such as support groups or individual counseling, suggesting a need for additional research into alternative support services that are prioritized by caregivers, according to Bentley.

Participants were also asked if they had health insurance, if there was a time within the 12 months before the survey that they did not see a doctor because of the cost and if they had ever been diagnosed with a depressive disorder by a health care provider.

“Caregivers had a 26% higher risk of not having health care coverage, compared with non-caregivers, and they were at a significantly higher risk, a 59% additional risk, for not going to the doctor or getting a necessary health service due to cost, ” said Bentley.

Further, one-fourth of the caregivers reported that they had been diagnosed with a depressive disorder by a health care provider at some point during their lives, representing a 36% increased risk over non-caregivers, according to the study.

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“Also, nearly 30% reported experiencing at least one limitation to daily activities because of physical, mental or emotional problems,” said Bentley.

Bentley and his colleagues believe that some of these disparities may be due to financial barriers experienced by caregivers. Previous research has indicated that their duties may interfere with their ability to seek employment outside of the home or advance their careers due to the need for flexible schedules to accommodate their caregiving responsibilities, he said.

“While we expected caregivers to be more at risk in these areas, we were concerned to learn of the extent of these risks and barriers to health care access encountered by caregivers,” said Bentley. “Given the scope of difficulties acquiring health care coverage and utilizing needed services in this large national sample, we believe our findings warrant additional research and likely the development of low-cost and accessible services that meet the multifaceted needs of caregivers.”

“At a broader level, these findings can serve as evidence for policymakers focused on public health agendas because they have the power to develop policies aimed at reducing financial burdens and heath care service gaps among caregivers who are vital not only to those in our communities who need care, but also to our overall health care economy,” he said.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

The crazy things stress can do to you (and what you need to do about it)

The sad truth is that many of us are simply not aware of how damaging stress can be to our overall health and wellbeing. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the crazy things that stress can do to your mind and body (and what you need to do about it).

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Stress is a simple fact of life for many of us. It is the price we’re told we need to pay for our ambitions, our careers and our jobs. Indeed stress, in small enough doses, can actually be good for us. It can give us the push we need to be at our best. It can shake us out of sluggishness or apathy. It can increase awareness, focus and concentration, and help to bring out the best in us. Over time, however, stress can become chronic, and this can result in significant health and behavioral problems for us. 

The sad truth is that many of us are simply not aware of how damaging stress can be to our overall health and wellbeing. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the crazy things that stress can do to your mind and body (and what you need to do about it).

It can make you a dangerous driver

Chronic stress can make us more impulsive and prone to risk taking behaviors on the road and elsewhere (more on that later). It can also prevent us from getting the sleep our bodies and brains need to function optimally. This can slow reaction times thereby making us unable to perceive hazards as effectively as we could if our minds were rested. It’s always worth taking a few deep breaths before getting into the car, or better yet carrying out some mindfulness meditation before getting behind the wheel. 

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It can lead to poor eating behaviors, weight loss and weight gain

Stress can suppress the appetite while also burning calories in excess, causing you to lose weight and miss out on the nourishment your body needs. However, it can also go the other way and cause you to comfort eat at the end of a long and stressful day. This is why it’s important to stay away from the vending machines at work and their high-cal, low-nutrient sugary, salty and fatty treats. Keep some healthy snacks at your desk, graze throughout the day and remember to stay hydrated no matter how busy you get.

It can lead to risky sexual behaviors

Stress can lead to impulsivity and this in turn can lead to risky sexual behaviors like unprotected sex, non-monogamous behaviors (infidelity) and one-night stands. All too often this occurs when judgment has been impaired by alcohol and other substances which brings us to…

It can push us to drugs and alcohol abuse

Chronic stress can push us towards less than healthy ways of unwinding, especially when we factor in peer pressure from friends and co-workers. Drugs and alcohol abuse may seem like a handy release valve for stress but they have no place in a healthy lifestyle, and it’s only a matter of time before addiction sets in. Addiction therapy programs can help to break destructive cycles and help you gravitate towards healthier and more productive ways to deal with your stress. 

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It can ruin your relationship

Finally, stress can make you emotionally erratic, prone to irritability or emotionally absent at home. If you feel like your stress is turning you into someone you don’t want to be, you may need to take some vacation pay or call in some personal days. Remember to keep your sights set on what’s really important.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

American football has the highest rate of heat shock

Heatstroke can significantly affect the performance of the athletes, which results in affecting the results of the match.

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Athletes playing endurance sports like American football can suffer from heatstroke.

Heat shock is a condition caused by an overheating of the body, usually due to prolonged exposure or exertion at high temperatures. This is the most serious form of thermal injury. Diagnosis of heat shock when the body’s core temperature rises above 40 degrees Celsius, accompanied by cognitive and cognitive disorders.

Heatstroke can significantly affect the performance of the athletes, which results in affecting the results of the match. Therefore, when participating in NFL Odds NJ, you should take notice of this.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an average of 9237 cases of heatstroke from sports each year in high schools. A report of the American Football Association in 2008 showed that 31 athletes have died from Exertional Heatstroke (EHS) since 1995. There were 6 cases in 2008 alone. According to a study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the deaths from heatstroke were higher in the 2005-2009 period than in any 5-year period in the previous 35 years.

In the US, American football is the sport most at risk for heatstroke. The rate of meeting EHS when playing professional American football is 4.5/100 000. The number of EHS cases in the system of school sports tournaments is also quite high at the rate of 1.45/100,000.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the young athletes are not fully developed biologically, so the body is not able to cope with or adapt to changes in temperature. Therefore, children are at high risk of EHS when playing sports.

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In the 2005-2011 period, based on a report extracted from the Sports Injury Monitoring System of US schools, there were 51,943 EHS cases of 9 sports occurring across the United States. 75.2% of all EHS related incidents fall into the pre-season period, only 23.6% of cases occur during the season.

Not surprisingly, cities and states with hot weather have an exceptionally high EHI: Florida (21.60/100,000), Alabama (17.92), Arizona (13.63) and Kentucky (13.08). Among the EHI cases, athletes playing in the striker position were at the highest risk with 35.7%, the second midfielder (16.9%) and the defender (9.7%).

Surprisingly, EHS cases among female students were also found in women’s volleyball (4.8%), although athletes who played the game competed indoors. August is the peak time of EHS in the US with the rate of EHS cases up to 60.3%, of which more than 90% of cases fall into the preparation period for the season.

In addition to American football, high-intensity sports such as hiking or triathlon are also more likely to experience heatstroke.

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Tips for activists: How to prepare for a protest

For a protest like Pride to actually work and for change to happen, it pays to make sure the protest is tightly organized.

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One of the best ways to get the attention of our elected officials is to protest peacefully. Together our voices can be heard and we can help enact legislation to end discrimination.

For a protest like Pride to actually work and for change to happen, it pays to make sure the protest is tightly organized.

That means that everybody has to have their protest plans down pat. How? In this article, we are going to go over how you can prepare for a protest to make sure it is peaceful, you are protected and your message gets heard.

Keep it pithy

You should have your messaging on point. It should be clear to anybody there what it is that you want. 

If you can make a clever play on words, try to keep it short. That way it is easy to remember and even has a chance to go viral to make its mark on the media.

Long winded slogans are less likely to be remembered and may even have the opposite effect of your intentions.

For a protest like Pride to actually work and for change to happen, it pays to make sure the protest is tightly organized.

Put it on a shirt

When you have your slogan on point, get it on a sign and on a shirt. Your sign may get lost or damaged, but as long as you keep your shirt on your message will still get seen.

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It is easy to get your message on any kind of garment these days from a customized apron to hoodies to t-shirts. With direct to garment printing, you can put anything you want on some clothes. 

Order some with your slogan and wear one yourself and then pass some out for others to wear to really spread the message.

Go as a group

Another way to make sure your message doesn’t get drowned out at a protest is to make sure you have a group with you. If you all are wearing the same customized shirt, then it will be harder to miss the message.

Then, it is always safer to have numbers on your side. Having a group means that if something happens to you at the protest, there will be people who know you need help.

Make a plan with your group

If you are able to go with a group, make sure you are all on the same page before you leave.

Have certain times when you check in with each other in case you get separated. Also, have a meeting point where everybody has to be at a certain time when it is time to leave. 

When anybody is later than 30 minutes to get to the spot then you know something happened and you need to find your friend.

Having a group means that if something happens to you at the protest, there will be people who know you need help.

Have an emergency contact number

You may have to make a call if you get detained or if you need to coordinate with your group if you get separated.

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This can be tricky if you lose your phone or have it taken away from you. That’s why you should carry emergency numbers with you if you don’t know the number of your contact by heart.

In fact, a good idea is to write these numbers somewhere on your body. 

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LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

Most common preventable health issues

To prevent any of these illnesses, start working out on a regular basis, reduce your food portions, and eat a healthy diet. You can consult a nutritionist and gym instructor to help you identify a diet that will suit your body and metabolic needs, as well as the best work out for you.

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The United States spends more on health care than any other nation, with over 75% of the health issues revolving around chronic conditions. Research further shows that seven out of ten people die of chronic illnesses, most of which are preventable.

Although people are constantly reminded of the importance of proper diet and workout routines, these common preventable health issues are still an issue. 

1. Obesity and overweight 

Over 70 million adults and 13.7 million kids are obese. Although you can control your weight with a healthy diet and regular work out, only 23% of US adults get the required amount of exercise in a week. Obesity increases your chances of contracting chronic illnesses such as hypertension, stroke, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, break, colon, and prostate cancer, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, among others. To prevent any of these illnesses, start working out on a regular basis, reduce your food portions, and eat a healthy diet. You can consult a nutritionist and gym instructor to help you identify a diet that will suit your body and metabolic needs, as well as the best work out for you. 

2. Tobacco related illnesses 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that an estimated 34.2 million adults smoke cigarettes, which accounts for 13.7% of the adult population. According to the research, tobacco is responsible for one death in every five. Smoking causes cancer, leukoplakia, increases the chances of early delivery and stillbirth for pregnant mothers, and teeth decay and loss. While a dentist can help with teeth whitening and decay, most people still wonder; is charcoal toothpaste safe, and can it be used to whiten teeth? While charcoal is known to absorb some poison and keep it from spreading in your body, it does have some negative effects that outweigh any positive aspects you might see at first. The best option is to visit a dentist and quit smoking.

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3. Drugs and alcohol abuse 

Without a doubt, there are many illnesses associated with drugs and substance abuse. While they don’t in themselves cause illnesses, they increase infection risks for diseases such as depression and anxiety to sexually transmitted diseases. Besides this increased risk, being addicted to drugs causes problems at home, work, school, changes in behavior, money issues, and physical health issues such as lack of energy and motivation, red-eye, and weight loss or gain. Drug abuse is rampant in both young and old, with alcohol, marijuana, and cannabis being the most abused drugs. Breaking this habit requires that you get professional help and have support from your family and friends. 

We know what we ought to do to prevent these common health issues, but most people still find it challenging to start the journey. Whether it’s the belief that they can’t contract these illnesses, being ignorant, or not having enough time, being strong-willed is vital in starting and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Making a step a day could be all it takes to form healthier habits that will keep these illnesses at bay. Start and keep moving despite the challenges you face.

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In the Scene

Clubs and bars must support women by cracking down on sexual aggression

Women practicing ‘feisty femininity’ overtly resist unwanted encounters and this approach can arguably play a role in ending gendered violence. However, such responses may expose women to risks and place the labour of managing unwanted incidents onto women directly.

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Photo by Nick Fewings from Unsplash.com

Nightclubs and bars must create a supportive environment that cracks down on unwanted sexual attention and allows women to enjoy their nights out, according to a new study.

Increasing numbers of women are prepared to speak back to sexual harassment while enjoying a night out with female friends by confronting the men responsible and telling them clearly and robustly that their behavior is unacceptable.

But researchers say that such a response – which they dub ‘feisty femininity’ – is complex and can result in backlash. It, therefore, needs businesses within the Night Time Economy to take seriously unwanted encounters in order to foster safer venues and help to end gendered violence.

Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Liverpool worked with colleagues at Liverpool John Moores University to explore women’s navigation of unwanted sexual attention when in bars and nightclubs. “Unwanted Sexual Attention in the Night-Time Economy: Behaviors, Safety Strategies, and Conceptualizing ‘Feisty Femininity'” by Clare Gunby , Anna Carline, Stuart Taylor and Helena Gosling is published in Feminist Criminology.

They conducted focus groups with young women in Liverpool and discovered two broad forms for unwanted sexual attention when women went out: ‘the pick-up routine’, which men used to start sexual encounters; and ‘showing off for the lads’, where males engaged in undermining and abusive interactions with women for the purpose of impressing their male friends.

Encountering ‘the pick-up routine’ tended to prompt the use of ‘diplomatic’ rejection responses, which were carefully constructed in order to manage a potentially aggressive reaction. In contrast, ‘showing off for the lads’ approaches were more likely to spark a robust ‘feisty’ rebuttal from the targeted woman.

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Article author Dr. Clare Gunby, from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, commented: “Young people, globally, are starting to demand accountability for sexist structures and norms, partly due to the re-emergence of feminism and activism on University campuses and beyond.

“Women practicing ‘feisty femininity’ overtly resist unwanted encounters and this approach can arguably play a role in ending gendered violence. However, such responses may expose women to risks and place the labour of managing unwanted incidents onto women directly.

“Indeed, our participants felt that staff in nightclubs and bars did not take their concerns around safety seriously. Hence, women’s informal strategies for dealing with unwanted attention become especially important because more formal lines of recourse often remain unavailable.

“Venues must, therefore, play a key role in creating a safe environment that makes it clear that unwanted sexual aggression will not be tolerated. There must be a multipronged approach across the Night Time Economy to addressing sexual violence.”

The study sheds light on women’s navigation of unwanted sexual attention when in bars and nightclubs – about which little is known, especially in the UK context. In addition to ‘feisty femininity’, the researchers found that women had developed three other risk management solutions:

  • ‘Emotion management’ – offering a tactful and diplomatic explanation for their lack of interest (in order to mitigate negative reactions when rejecting men).
  • ‘Men as protector’ – specifically going out with male friends or using a boyfriend (actual and mythical) to reduce the likelihood of an unwanted encounter.
  • ‘From individualism to camaraderie among the girls’ – cutting an evening short, moving to another venue, laughing off unwanted attention or stepping in to stop men from exploiting drunken friends and strangers.
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“There was a shared reticence to report unwanted incidents to venue staff or police as women felt that any report would be shrugged off and that no one would care due to the perceived normality of such practices when out in bars and nightclubs,” Dr. Gunby notes.

“The lack of formal sanction for such behaviors could arguably play a role in their maintenance, prompting women to fill this gap by taking it upon themselves to monitor friends and strangers.”

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