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Co-parenting within a blended family : Don’t push your agenda on others.

Co-parenting within a blended family : Don’t push your agenda on others.

Don’t push your agenda on others.

The two adults involved as the parents in the blended family, will generally be motivated to blend their lives and their families, by their love for each other. This is an adult agenda and the adults may wish that the children involved will love their partner as much as they do. This can result in the adults pushing their agenda on the children, and any situation that has pushed generally results in a pushback. It is all too common for the adults to assume that the new family unit can quickly be a happy one, one that spends time together and learns to love and respect and count on one another. This does not happen overnight, this does not happen in a year, nor 2 or even 5 years. It can take an extremely long time for children to get used to a new adult in their lives who has a large influence over their parent, particularly if the children still have both of their parents alive. Having two parents can be challenging enough for children, let alone having a third or even fourth. Take your time, don’t push your agenda.

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Co-parenting within a blended family : Different types of blends mean different types of factors need to be considered.

Co-parenting within a blended family : Different types of blends mean different types of factors need to be considered.

Different types of blends mean different types of factors need to be considered.

In some situations, one adult in the relationship has children and the other doesn’t, until they have a child together. Other situations see both adults having children and two already established family units having to blend. Some families see one adult having a number of children with as many other parents and the children have a number of half-siblings.

Where people live, and who lives with who will vary depending on the situation and the reasons for the family of origin not being a unit will be different, delicate and often fuelled with a lot of unprocessed and undiscussed emotion, which will all in turn influence the dynamic of the new blended family.

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Co-Parenting Within A Blended Family

Co-Parenting Within A Blended Family

Co-parenting within a blended family can be full of highs and lows, like any family. Those who are entering, or who are already in a co-parenting relationship often seek information and advice regarding how to manage different aspects of this complex dynamic, however by the very nature of being in a blended family, every situation is individual.

Family rules, boundaries and accommodations do and should change as children become older and need to be independent and assert their own authority. Communication and compassion starts between the co-parenting adults, which will then filter down to the children, helping them see that tricky situations and conversations can be navigated and managed. Children cannot advocate for themselves, and they end up internalising big emotions that result from the adults in their lives trying to navigate as best they can, changing relationships and emotional trauma. However, children grow up and carry the imprint of their childhood with them into their own romantic relationships. This set of blogs provides some guidance on what factors need to be considered co-parenting within a blended family

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Helping my child / student to stand up for themselves

Helping my child / student to stand up for themselves

I need this if:

My child or student wants to understand more about themselves, and how to be their own advocate.

This can help if:
My child or student is Neurodiverse (Autistic). They are aged between 9 and 15 and I want to understand more about what life is like for my child.
Why is this useful:
It is written using positive language for those who are Neurodiverse and gives them specific examples of what to do in certain situations.
Suggestion for how to use this:
This resource is in a workbook format.
For younger teens, this could be done with a parent, older sibling, or during learning support in school. Older teens can work through it themselves.
How to access this resource:

You can purchase the book “Standing up for myself’ written by Evaleen Whelton for 23.50 and there is also a short video on the book at :

https://konfidentkidz.ie/product/standing-up-formyself-book/

PDF Infograhic : https://www.sycamorepsychology.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Top-Tip-Helping-my-childstudent-to-stand-up-for-themselves.pdf

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Sharenting: an issue of consent for minors

Sharenting: an issue of consent for minors

Sharenting refers to the frequent use of social media for sharing information about ones child or their images in photos. Parents in the UK post nearly 200 photos of their under 5s online every year, meaning a child will feature in around 1,000 online photos before their fifth birthday.

There are concerns, both from some adults and children, about how sharenting can have negative consequences for youngsters such as cyberbullying, a negative digital footprint, identify theft, pedophilia and children’s mental health problems.

Some countries have begun regulating sharenting such as in France, parents can be jailed and fined if their children choose to sue them for breaching privacy and some reports indicate fines of up to €45,000.

Children can have different reactions to sharenting. Microsoft released the results of an internet safety study of 12,500 teens across 25 countries. Of the teens surveyed, 42 percent said they were distressed about how much their parents “sharented” online, with 11 percent of them believing it was a “big problem” in their lives. Another study involving Estonian children aged nine to 13, she found that children liked “parents sharing positive things about them”, but that “there were big discrepancies between what children and parents considered to be nice photos”. The University of Washington and  University of Michigan studied 249 parent-child pairs across 40 states and found that while children ages 10 to 17 “were really concerned” about the ways parents shared their children’s lives online, their parents were far less worried. About three times more children than parents thought there should be rules about what parents shared on social media.

Some children have expressed that they feel parents sharing their information is a breach of privacy and that their youth is an intimate thing not to be shared publicly. Others felt betrayed and utterly embarrassed, some felt unsafe and that companies have their data. A 16-yr-old in Italy won a court case against his mother who constantly posted photos of him on Facebook.

The take-home message here is that parents do not have automatic consent or permission to share information and images of their children, irrespective of their age because the children grow up and they need to have a life of their own and an identity of their own, which they have a right to craft themselves.  It’s traumatic and an invasion of their privacy to already have been made objects for public viewing,  in many cases before they could even speak.

Resource:
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What do you think about sharenting?

Talking to your child about private parts

Talking to your child about private parts

I need this if:

I want to talk to my child about private parts or introduce this topic as part of a larger conversation about consent.

This can help if:

They have autism and they are 4 to 7 years old

Why is this useful:

It gives parents a way to bring up this conversation with their children. The accompanying video linked below is also very child-friendly.

Suggestion for how to use this:

Read the handout on the right and discuss its content with your child. Show them the ‘Pantosaurus’ song and discuss the same points.

How to access this resource:

The information on the right has been adapted from the NSPCC’s guidelines for talking about private parts with children who have autism.

The number included on the document is for the ISPCC’s Childline service.

There is also a child-friendly ‘Pantosaurus’ song on YouTube to support your child’s understanding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lL07JOGU5o

PDF Infograhic : https://www.sycamorepsychology.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Top-Tip-Talking-to-your-child-about-private-parts.pdf 

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Let’s Talk About It

Do you find information and resources like this makes it easier to talk to your children about these kind of topics?