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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Model what you want to see

As my girls age, I notice that they sometimes work out their issues through role playing games. These are spontaneous. They occur basically out of nowhere. One girl will perhaps do something that reminds her or her sister of us, their parents, and it spins off wildly from there.

When this happens, I believe my husband and I don't make the best of it right yet. I noticed it this evening.

Dulce had started play acting that her daddy was her, and she was me, and they had to go to school (something she's been having trouble with this week). Her dad, thinking it was funny, was making a show of protesting, moving slow and not listening.

And it hit me.

Nope.

I shouted jovially that in this game we did what mommy said, we walked quickly, we paid attention, we got to school on time. Dulce was having a ball bossing her daddy around the way her perspective sees me as the evil overlord, but from that point on, her daddy was a very obedient little boy.

Lilly took her turn with me, and acted out the scene from this weekend where she'd had to be away from her twin for the first time ever. I played her, and gave validity to her anxieties, but went along willingly on the adventure and told her that she was right, I had had a good time afterward.

These games might not mean anything to the kids. But if they do, if my kids are trying to process correct behavior through this, I hope that we can guide them in the right direction so that they feel comfortable during the real deal.

Who knows...maybe we'll even get to school on time tomorrow. One can always hope.





 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Intuition in Divorce Court: Paying Attention to the Judge - S post

If your divorce requires you to actually go to divorce court, which is what happens if you, your spouse, and your lawyers can’t seem to agree, then it’s very important that you pay close attention during the proceedings. Knowing what’s going on at all times and being visibly present is important and could potentially help you win your case and get what you want.  Here’s how.

First impressions are everything.
Although a judge is supposed to stick with the facts and not make judgments based on first impressions, it can be hard to do so. For example, if you are waiting patiently in court dressed in your very best, it will have a better effect on the judge than if you were to arrive late wearing sweats and a ripped t-shirt.

Paying attention shows how responsible you are.
Judges want to make sure they are handing out responsibilities appropriately. If you are asked by the judge to do something, and you come back the next day proving that you completed the task, it will show that you’re responsible. This can go a long way in helping you win over the judge. For example, if you and your ex are in court for child custody, proving that you are responsible will help the judge see you in a positive light and be more willing to give you custody of your children, especially if your ex is proving that he or she is not very responsible.

Paying attention shows respect.
No judge wants to be disrespected in his or her courtroom, and paying attention to the judge and following his or her orders shows respect. This can go a long way in divorce proceedings, especially if the judge believes that you and your spouse are both equally deserving of a certain asset.

Paying attention can help your case.
Listening intently to everything that happens in court is extremely important in order for you to walk out feeling accomplished. Listen to everything that your ex and his lawyer have to say, no matter the topic. If you heard something that you know is an absolute lie—and if you have a way to prove that this is a lie—it can help out your cause in court.

Paying attention can also help to speed the process along.
Divorce court is expensive, and nobody wants to be there any longer than they have to be. By paying attention to what happens in court, you can help to speed the process along. For example, if an item comes up in the divorce proceedings and you truly don’t care about it, then offer to give that item to your spouse. For example, if the ownership of an art collection your spouse had before you were married comes up, and you truly don’t want the collection, then just pass it on to your spouse.National Family Solutions reviews this on Facebook as well. The different techniques about this about politely getting your word heard.  Not only will this help to move the process along (saving you money in the long run), but it will also put you in a good light with the judge.










 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Moment of the Week - The Separate Day

We all survived our first separate day. I suffered a few injuries, but after that, everything went smoothly. I couldn't be prouder of the girls, who were pretty scared to try this out.



I brought Natalina to the Natural History museum.


Here we are in the butterfly garden which is how I managed to calm her down.


By the end of it, she was happy as a clam.


Dulce and her daddy went to the movies. They did not see Cops. I promise.



Love them.







 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kindergarten Kids - Separating the Twins

Problem:

Even though the girls are in different classes in school, and have been for a year now, they still exist in a weird continuum where they don't feel as if they can be a full, unique person. Every decision must be passed through the counsel of the sister, and every treat must be evenly divided. Not one individual thing is allowed to pass, because both twins feel that individual things mean better things. Particularly if they are not at the same time. So, if Dulce wanted an ice cream cone at 3 p.m. but Natalina didn't want one, either they would both have one or neither would have one. Either Natalina would cry about not getting a cone so much that Dulce would decide to forego it, or Dulce would badger Natalina so much that Natalina would decide to eat one. Either way, they would not, of their own free choice, do something different. So much so that if one gets one extra bite of graham cracker in the morning, she will throw it away. (This JUST happened). Or if one gets a candy while the other is sleeping or otherwise engaged, she will tell her twin immediately after she sees her again, so her twin can collect her prize.

It's weird. And it's hard to navigate.



Solution:

My friends have been telling me for literally years that I have to take my children out separately. It's been impossible to pull off. My husband works until 8 p.m. every day, and on the weekends, we like to do things as a family.

Today, we are going to take the girls out separately.

And already I'm plagued with, 'what if one of us does something the girls deem 'more fun' at their outing than the other? How can we keep this as even as possible? Should my husband and I talk about this, plan where we're going, come up with ways to prevent tantrums? Each of us do the same number of activities during the outing? Leave and return at the exact same time?

It's taking everything in me to NOT do these things. I will not. We are going to take our kids out separately like regular people take their kids out separately.

In order for this to work, I must not cater to their instinct to compare at all. Otherwise it will just become another instance of strange twin equality competition. And we will have wasted our day.

The goal is for them to be able to have a Saturday when they are older, where one goes swimming at a friend's house, and the other stays home reading or goes to the movies with her buddies. End. Like it's a normal and okay thing to do.

Because right now, as we sit in this house today, that scenario is an utter impossibility.


 

Friday, August 22, 2014

How much have I messed my kids up?

I want my children to reason like adults, and this is causing my entire family endless stress. One of them is full of attitude and contempt right now, and trying purposefully to upset me, so that from sun up to sun down, I must be in battle mode to make it through the day. She lobs bombs and shoots gunfire my way, and will sneak in at least a half dozen ambush attacks where she starts a normal conversation or shows a sweetness, only to lure me in before turning the whole scene into a mess of negativity.

And when this happens, I first react calmly. I tell her what she must do and I make her do it. But eventually, I lose it, and I shout. Sometimes I bully her into doing what she should be doing. The next phase is reasoning and explaining, where I tell her my side, then ask her about her side, and try to figure out, or get her to figure out, what her deal is.

None of this works, obviously.

As parents, we're supposed to be calm, inflappable, upholding the rules because they are rules. Not letting emotions in. Not making it a bigger deal than it is. Either put your pants on and go to camp, or don't and stay home. Why isn't it that easy when I'm not typing? One is that I have twins, and I can't just keep punishing one for the other's behavior, but it's more than that. I want them to do the right thing because it's the right thing. I want them to be able to tell when it's wrong and bring good, solid points to the table as to why it should be another way. I want them to feel like their feelings are valid.

I do not want them to call me stupid, throw things at me, or willfully disobey me.

But I've got both.

And what's messing me up is myself. I'm SCARED I'm messing them up. If one is acting out because I'm spoiling her and letting her do what she wants whenever, then I have to crack down.

But if she's acting out because she's craving loving attention from me (and she DOES need a lot of loving attention which she has been foregoing to do this crap), then cracking down on her will only prove to her that I don't love her? But should she need such explicit validation all the time? But if I stop hearing her out, will she decide she's totally unimportant?

How much have I messed my kids up, is the question, to be honest. And what the hell do I do.





 

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