We are so excited to have been a part of Mommy and Me Swag's Website Launch! We were interviewed by the lovely Ms. Porscha for the Launch this weekend. See below for the goods!
What made you and your daughter sit down and say hey we are going to write this book?
We both have strong writing Spirits. I wanted her to publish a book of short stories after reading one of her stories when she was only 10 years old. At the end of the story, I felt like you would when a season of your favorite show ends, like nooooo, where’s the rest of it, what happens next!?! I had a lot of pieces unfinished and this book was one of them. I started the book solo about two years ago after several people commented about how great of a job I was doing with her or how our relationship inspired them. I was getting a lot of parenting questions or inquiries about our relationship, so I thought a book about my journey would be the best way to address them, but life happened, and the book was never completed.
By the time I revisited the book, more than a year later, so much had changed; our relationship had evolved into something bigger than just me being her mother and us having a great relationship to be admired. It was a relationship that overcame some serious obstacles for both of us, so I thought we should both tell our stories. I invited her to write, she said okay, and Changing Directions was born.
Can we talk about Chapter 4 “Setting Goals and Crushing them together” what was going through your mind when creating this chapter, can you share some of the ways you and your daughter have set goals and crushed them together?
I know setting goals together requires both people to be vested. It almost creates a bond you can’t get out of and one that must remain positive if either one is going to achieve the goal. So, if a mother and daughter set a goal together, they will have to work as partners and as a team in a positive way. Since the day Makhyli told me she wanted to perform, goal setting almost became an unspoken ritual or game. It’s like, let’s say we want to do something and then see if we have what it takes to do it. Goal setting is more of a mindset than an action, so we worked on that first; believing in yourself and believing you’re capable of achieving the goal is the first step...
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Co-parenting is essential when it comes to raising an emotionally healthy child. If two people can't get along, they need to figure it out for the child(ren)... So much easier to say than to do! Everything works out great as long as no one is jealous, resentful, angry about one thing or another and everyone is emotionally and mentally able to handle it. Unfortunately, two people usually aren't together because they don't see eye-to-eye, they likely have different parenting-styles, values, beliefs or general ideas about what is acceptable and what is not. I c0-parented successfully for 12 years until we weren't able to do it anymore.
As kids get older, things can become more complicated like school choices, dating issues, religion, discipline, etc. If you are co-parenting for a long period of time like we were, dynamics may change that can cause issues; my ex-husband got divorced from his wife who was great with my daughter and had 2 more children with a woman that was not, while our daughter was turning into a teenager! This caused the beginning of the end of our successful co-parenting. I was more concerned with her feelings and struggles than co-parenting successfully.
Co-parenting is possible if both parties are committed to it an focused on the child(ren)'s well-being. But because we're all human, our own selfish agendas and emotions may take over. Below are some ways we were able to co-parent successfully for so long.
1. Empathy-I made more money than my ex, so I didn't request financial support because I understood how hard things were already for him. If you can make things a little easier emotionally for your ex, do it...it will make things better for the children when they are with them.
2. Flexibility - My court order stated that we shared holidays; I didn't celebrate them, so I allowed him to have her every holiday. I always allowed her to attend her siblings' functions. If I had something planned, he wouldn't hesitate to allow her to be with me.
3.Proximity - We lived in proximity of one another purposely so we both could get her to school and make it to functions easily.
6.Don't talk negatively about the other parent, if possible, don't talk about them at all because a conversation can quickly turn.
7. Issues -Address issues immediately and directly. It may be easier to talk with your children about an issue, especially when they are teenagers, but whenever possible, deal with the other parent directly.
8. Exchange - When kids are small, the outcome of the physical exchange can impact the way the kid sees and deals with the new situation. Don't make a big deal, cry, or get over emotional during the transition. Try not to say you will miss them too much or hold on to them too tightly, yes it may be scary, but your anxiety will be detected.
9.Be prepared - You're not together for a reason and because you are divorced, doesn't mean you don't have to deal with the issues that caused the divorce. If he was irresponsible, he likely will continue to be irresponsible. If she was arrogant or rude, she will not have changed after the divorce. Be prepared to deal with this, which means you may have to overlook it.
10. Rejuvenate - Take the time your kids are away to catch-up, rejuvenate, get a hobby, start a business...something to improve your well-being. I started my business and worked on it only when my daughter was away and her and I traveled a lot with the extra money I made from it.
Leave your comments below...What are some things you did in order to keep your co-parenting healthy and working successful?
What is Positive Parenting?
Mother and daughter fights were unheard of in my household growing up. I did what my mother said, and that was the end of it, but my daughter didn’t get that memo. Before Makhyli was a teenager, I bragged about how wonderful she was to anyone who would listen. I thought God divinely and carefully crafted this perfect child out of loving angel tears specifically for me to enjoy my time here on planet Earth. Then she turned 13 and it shook me to my core.
In the beginning it took a lot of patience when she started to push back, and even more patience when she started to talk back and roll her eyes at any and everything I said. I have a strong personality and a tough and intimidating reputation, but Makhyli didn’t see me that way or didn’t care. She seemed to love pushing my buttons, so she could hear me scream and watch me go off! If I said the sky was blue, she argued it was orange. I remember watching her yawn a thousand times before telling her to get to bed. She told me she wasn’t tired. She forced herself to stay awake, only to fall asleep five minutes later on the couch. We had countless moments like this that drove me crazy. She was turning me into the mother I swore I would not be, a mother I didn’t even know I could be. Suddenly, Makhyli felt impossible to raise, especially alone.
After several incidents caused me to blow up and later reflect and feel ashamed for losing control and being petty Eddie, I realized I had to figure out a better way to deal with this new challenging (to say the very least) daughter I was raising.
Below find 6 ways of positive parenting
1.Mutual Respect - Many people don't understand they can't demand respect from anyone including their child. A parent may demand their child do as they are told, and it’s done, but demanding respect doesn’t work the same way; it must be mutual. Your child is a person and all people want to be respected. When a child loses respect for a parent there is no amount of yelling, threatening, or punishing that will get it back, it will have to be earned.
2. Discipline with love - There's a difference between disciplining and punishing. Some parents take their teen’s transgressions personally; they get angry and punish them only to make them suffer instead of disciplining them to teach them. It's normal to get angry when your teen breaks a rule but lashing out and doing something that breaks their spirit or hurts them emotionally or physically is counterproductive and will cause more issues in the long run.
3. Critical Thinking - This may be tough, but you must allow your child to figure out things on their own; allow them to make mistakes and deal with age appropriate problems. Give them an opportunity to use their resources and critical thinking skills to get out of things or solve their own issues. This will serve them long into their adult life.
4. Unparent - What do I mean by unparent? Of course, you are the parent and that will never change, but there are times when you must teach, mentor or coach your teen and not parent them. Some situations cause for having heartfelt conversations, explaining yourself, giving guidance and direction instead of punishing. Punishing is good for correcting the behavior at the time but is unlikely a long-term solution.
5. Explanation Is Key - Many parents don't feel the need to explain themselves to their teen; if the answer is no, the answer is no. One way of positive parenting is explaining your no's, it’s also a way to make your teen feel respected. Sometimes the answer is no because it's the easiest answer and it flies out of our mouth with no logic. Other times we tell our teens no because they are asking to do something our parents didn’t let us do as teens, like wearing make-up at 16 instead of 14, it’s been a traditional no, so you are only keeping with a tradition. Challenge yourself to find a legit reason before you answer no and explain it to them, this will cause less fights and more understanding.
6. Never Forget - Don't forget you were once a teenager and you made some stupid mistakes or judgement calls and you ended up okay (for the most part), your teen will likely do the same thing. Instead of punishing them, be open and honest; don't pretend you are some perfect person that never make a mistake. Take this as an opportunity to tell them about something stupid or similar you did and what lesson you learned (this isn't in place of discipline, but a part of coaching and mentoring).
Researchers have identified 4 types of parenting styles.
Authoritarian – Wasn’t allowed to have a voice and had to do what I was told with no question
The combination of these parenting styles followed me into my adulthood and caused me so many trials and tribulation; heartbreak and missteps in my young adult life. It took much soul searching, reading, and paying attention for me to get back on track and start to figure life out.
Choose your parenting style wisely because you are affecting someone’s life, possibly for the rest of their life.
Below are a list of 30 mother-daughter quotes to make you smile and remember how great your relationship is.