The Playdate Kids Gazette

This blog is dedicated to all of the Playdate Kids Club Members. We will offer fun to read articles, tips for parents, ideas for arts and crafts projects and more!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Divorce and your parents?

Divorce is a very common issue nowadays. We all know couples who have split up. The percentage of married couples divorcing is so high, books have been written to ease the transition for children involved and some family therapists have opened practices devoted specifically to children of divorced families. What is often not mentioned is the pain and impact a divorce will have on the grandparents in the family.

Many grandparents are surprised by the divorce of their child, and become devastated when they realize the grandchildren they believed to be in a happy and secure home-- were not. The divorce can deeply affect the grandparents, leading them to wonder if it was their fault; perhaps they brought them up wrong or maybe they could have been more helpful. These quandaries haunt the minds of grandparents for years to come.

Grandparents may also become involved in the quarrel between divorcing couples, adding to the tension and confusion the children feel. Many grandparents are cut out of their grandchild's life by the custodial parent. The custodial parent may choose to move away, or make little effort in keeping in touch with the ex's parents. Other very vengeful parents choose to exclude the ex's parents from the child's life in an act of revenge, failing to see the detrimental impact this has on the child. This leaves the children to deal with the break-up of their parents, and the loss of an entire side of their family.

Another dilemma grandparents may face is that of loyalty. It may have been their son or daughter responsible for breaking-up the family. It is an awful situation to face and may cause the grandparent to face a terrible choice when it comes to supporting the family in turmoil. This dilemma may lead to a divide in the extended family as well.

Unfortunately, little support can be found for the parents of a divorcing couple. In many cases, a much-loved son or daughter-in-law is lost. However, grieving for the lost son or daughter is unacceptable. It leaves the mourning parent in solitude.

Often, grandparents can be thrust into taking an extremely hands-on approach with the grandchildren becoming babysitters instead of doting grandparents, thus leaving the grandparent exhausted.

If you know someone facing this unfortunate circumstance, provide then with the support they so deserve. When it comes to divorce, everyone involved needs a shoulder to cry on, not just the children. If your family is splitting up, make sure you have someone to talk to when you need. Your child and grandchildren need your strength and support, but the heartache you feel needs to be cared for as well.

By Amy Mosshart

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summer Reading Hour

It is important during these upcoming summer months that your kids read, read, read. Reading with your child is a great way, not only to spend time quality time with them, but to spur creative thinking. Reading also helps children develop important language and vocabulary skills.

Competing for your child's attention against television, video games, and the internet may seem daunting, but in the end, the benefits you and your child will reap will definitely make it worth the effort. So here are a few tips on how to get your children reading and enjoying it.

Set a routine

Every day set aside a scheduled reading hour for your kids. Consistency is key! A set reading time is important for the same reasons that set nap times and set meal times are important. Routine gives your child a sense of security and predictability. If the transition into book time is a daily routine the whole event will be much easier and more enjoyable.

Limit distractions

Your child's imagination is a powerful and your child can be easily distracted. limit those distractions during reading time. It can be difficult, i.e. impossible, for your child to focus when Pokemon characters are battling for badges or the Care-bears are about to share. Create a quiet and comfortable area to read in away from the noise of the rest of the house. With the designated area your child will be able to focus on the book at hand.

Go to the Library

Take your child to the library. There are books on every subject
imaginable, there are even books based on their favorite TV shows.
However, do not limit your child to any specific type of book;
non-fiction is great for younger children trying to discover the world
around them. Fairytales and legends are great to help spark your
child's imagination and many storybooks, such as the Playdate Kids selection, can help your child through any situation, from moving to dealing with bullies.

Illuminate the selection of books your child can choose from and let your child do the rest. Now that you are sufficiently armed with a variety of books and your
reading hour is set, enjoy it. Make reading time fun!

Talk about the book with your child; their favorite parts,who the main character was, whether or not they like the book. On occasion do a craft pertaining to the book with your child. The biggest factor in getting your child to read this summer is your involvement. If you enjoy reading time, your child will too!