Enjoy Your Sleep While Pregnant

Knowing that you are carrying your own little person is the best feeling ever. During pregnancy, the quality and quantity of sleep are changing. Well, this is the perfect time to invest in the best mattress for you.

Being pregnant is a wonderful feeling. Especially if it’s your first one. Maybe no one has told you sleep will become harder and harder each day. The frequent need to go to the bathroom, no finding a suitable sleep position, having insomnia and much more are difficulties that future mothers are facing with. Nowadays, complete guidebooks for future moms are written. Generally, there are some tips that should be followed.

The most important thing is to invest in a quality mattress. A high-quality mattress means giving a support and comfort to your body during sleep. Choose between pocket spring mattress, memory foam or latex mattress. They are considered as best among pregnant women because they offer the greatest comfort. Don’t forget, you will be using the mattress as a busy mom too.

Many future mothers complain of having a back pain. In the first trimester, you will be able to sleep on your stomach. Later it won’t be possible because of the growing belly. Forget sleeping on your back too. Your weight presses the spine, causing back pain and other problems. After the 16th week, doctors recommend sleeping on the side, especially on your left side. This will improve the blood flow to the hearts, uterus and kidneys, allowing the baby to grow. Finding a suitable sleep position is no less important than finding the right mattress.

Get comfortable with pillows for an extra belly and back support. You can find special pregnancy pillows on the market these days. But ordinary pillows will do the job too. Put a pillow under your belly or between the knees for relieving some pressure. If you are having heartburn – prop a pillow under your head. If you are facing with shortness of breath – put a pillow under your chest.

Exercise and proper nutrition during pregnancy are important for both, the mother and the unborn child. Walking, swimming, yoga and pilates will help you to sleep better. Do what make you happy. This affects positively on your mind and mood too. Avoid food that is spicy and greasy; eat more vegetables and fruits. Replace caffeine with plenty of water. Your body will be grateful.

10 Tips For A Healthy And Happy Pregnancy

To have a good pregnancy we not only have to look at physical health. Being healthy is fundamental in these moments, but also be mentally calm, prepared and happy. That is why we are going to give ten keys to a healthy and happy pregnancy, in which the mind and body combine in harmony to welcome a new member into our lives.

Eat and drink healthy during pregnancy

The diet has to be varied and balanced. The important thing is to take foods rich in nutrients and vitamins such as folic acid, iron, calcium, and iodine, but not in fats. The diet must be varied based on vegetables, fruits, cereals, dairy products, and legumes, without forgetting the daily contribution of meat and fish proteins.

A healthy diet includes maintaining correct hydration. Drinking enough water and milk to give us calcium is essential. We can also take juices, better natural and not sugary. Of course, let’s forget about alcoholic beverages and coffee.

Take the recommended vitamin supplements

To complement a healthy diet the doctor will recommend certain vitamin supplements that include folic acid, along with other vitamin and mineral supplements also beneficial for pregnancy care, such as iron, iodine, calcium… In this way we help the fetus to develop properly, avoiding deficiencies that they could cause complications for both the baby and the mother.

Perform exercise during pregnancy

For our well-being and an ideal weight gain, it is fundamental to perform physical exercise appropriate to our state. Whether swimming, yoga, walking, the Pilates method…

By performing a moderate and constant exercise we will improve our cardiovascular and muscular condition and favor postural correction. All this will provide the pregnant woman with a better general physical condition and will allow her to face the work of pregnancy and childbirth with fewer risks.

Go to medical visits

Regularly visit the gynecologist to do the corresponding tests and obtain adequate prenatal care. This way we will monitor both the health of the baby and ours, having the possibility of consulting the specialist all our doubts and fears, as well as talking about our delivery plan. The prenatal tests will give us peace of mind, they will help us to “get closer” to the baby and with the ultrasound, we will have their first images for the memory.

Wear appropriate clothes

We must wear comfortable clothing (including shoes), appropriate to the increase in weight and volume we experience. This will help the blood circulate better, our movements are correct and not forced and the skin stays healthy. It’s not about being dressed like bags of potatoes, since fortunately being pregnant is no longer at odds with going fashion, and many stores sell beautiful pre-mama clothes. The heels can wait but feel comfortable and beautiful with a nice “wrap” favors a psychic well-being important at this time.

Pampering our mind during pregnancy

If we dedicate time to take care of our body, we must also save time for our relaxation and the care of our mind. Not only is the body more vulnerable during pregnancy. Finding our tranquility and doing relaxation exercises at home will help us feel better. We do not have to park the activities that we like going to the movies, reading, going out to the country, crafts…

Take care of our skin

During pregnancy, it is essential to apply sunscreen creams to prevent skin spots and burns. Due to the action of hormones, the skin of the pregnant woman suffers alterations such as hyperpigmentation. Also, antistrictive creams are important, which prevent the appearance of these scars with the stretching of our skin, with special attention during the final months, when the skin stretches at a very fast rate.

Hydrating the whole body after a bath or shower gives us a moment of relaxation. Gentle massage after exercise helps us feel better. Of course, external hydration must be complemented with internal hydration, drinking plenty of fluids, as we have already mentioned in the section on nutrition. Everything combined will increase our well-being by feeling more careful and beautiful.

A good rest during pregnancy

Sleeping and resting what the body asks of us is very important. Fatigue and sleep can accompany us from the first moment as one of the first symptoms of pregnancy and hopefully will disappear. But it is more than likely that we will feel very tired and sleepy again in the final phase of pregnancy. It is what the body needs, and we must listen to it, resting as much as possible, without forgetting that moderate exercise will make us rest and sleep better.

Childbirth classes

Attending childbirth classes can be very beneficial for both our physical and mental health. Relating to other pregnant women and sharing experiences opens our mind to discover that we are not the only ones who have doubts or fears.

They also help us to acquire knowledge and awareness about the changes in our body, knowing concepts about the phases of childbirth, baby hygiene or breastfeeding will help us feel more prepared for the changes that lie ahead. Through knowledge, an important self-confidence is generated thanks to security, and being a father begins to live already. As much as possible, it is good to share these classes accompanied by the couple.

Communicate with the baby

Talking to the baby, communicating with him, playing music, will make him feel closer, preparing us for the moment in which he really reaches our arms. Know how your evolution is going on month by month, how it is growing in our womb, write a letter, keep a diary of our pregnancy, respond to your kicks…

All these simple activities will achieve that the life that is gestated in our womb will fill more life to us. The possible discomforts of our pregnancy are forgotten in these moments of communication.

Do not forget, to have a healthy pregnancy requires a happy pregnancy. We have to take care of mind and body in this delicate stage of our life, full of emotions and sometimes contradictory sensations. I hope that these tips to achieve a healthy and happy pregnancy encourage you to face this stage of your lives with an optimistic and full of vitality.

Blessings of a Blended Family

This morning my family celebrated our daughter’s 12th birthday with an early morning “ambush.” While she was asleep, we assembled downstairs and crafted our ambush. We approached the door of her room in “stealth” mode, lined up as if we were doing a strategic SWAT entry on a bad guys home. I have done hundreds of these maneuvers when employed on the police department, cracking the door and tossing a flash bang into the bad guys home to disorient them and anyone else inside and disguise our entry. I was impressed this time, my wife took the lead and the boys fell in place as if they have been to SWAT training a few times. Made me pause and think, WOW, am I influencing them with my training and tactics beyond what I could even think? I had to chuckle to myself, and I will cover this influence a bit more later in the article. So, we bust in and she is sound asleep and we begin to yell, “Happy Birthday” as we then dog pile on her bed. Just a wonderful family moment, bonding, loving and more importantly – liking one another.

In a blended (step family to some) this is major. Loving one another is one thing, but liking one another is huge! As parents, we can make them spend time together, we can make them get along when we are present, we can even make them be nice and courteous to one another – but one thing we cannot make them do is LIKE one another. This shows me how vital it is to allow God in to every one of our relationships, if we want to see them positive and successful. The entire Bible from Genesis to The Revelation is chock full of conflict. However, God uses those conflicts to teach us how to resolve them through love, grace and mercy. When you spend every day together, you better believe you need God’s grace to exercise forgiveness and love.

Here are a few things we are learning and applying to blend our family every day:

1. Cultivate friendships – Cultivating simply means preparing, and we prepare ourselves as parents as well as our children to be friendly with one another. Friendliness involves being kind, tender and nice. Giving one another second, third or fourth chances, just as God gives to us. In cultivating you turn over the soil to break up hardness in the soil. We do the same with our hearts, to ensure no bitterness, hardness or stubbornness sets in. Cultivating every day. I make it a point to not only love my wife in front of them, but to be nice to her and courteous to her. Sharing chores, making her coffee and bringing it to her, complimenting her on so many things, opening her car door and on and on. I want my boys to see and develop a chivalrous attitude and want my daughter to understand how a boy, and later – men, need to respect, appreciate and be kind to her.

2. Commitment – My wife and I have to continually reassure our kids about commitment and loyalty. They have suffered a loss, their biological parents no longer being together, the effects of divorce in their lives can often times go unnoticed and unaddressed. However, my wife and I have to exhibit/demonstrate commitment as well as use “teachable moments” to assure them that our family is together for good. We are committed, loyal and trust worthy of one another. We utilize God’s word to show how committed God is to us – and now we want to be committed to God and one another.

3. Be Graceful – Things happen, things are said, toes are stepped on and the toast is sometimes burned – you cannot always avoid those things from happening. However, we can control how we respond to the issues when they arise. We recognize that our family has flaws, we are not perfect, but we work perfectly together. That means we address these issues with sensitivity and want to react in the way we desire to be treated. No yelling, screaming or throwing a fit – we talk about it and the appropriate responses to the offence.

As I had mentioned earlier, as parents we often influence one another beyond our words. As we lined up for this stealth bedroom entry, I noticed my unintentional influence on the family and their behavior. I later reflected on how influential we are and we need to be so mindful and conscious of what we do and say in front of our children. We want our family to exhibit behaviors inward towards one another so my wife and I need to exhibit the same behaviors inward and outward. We attempt to maximize every opportunity; while coaching, at church, in our businesses and in society every day. Often times we hear the kids say, “wow, we just talked about that.” It keeps you centered, understanding your level of influence when blending a family is major league stuff. You have to always understand that as a blended family, there are biological parents that also hold an influence. This can be a win or a challenge. Having as wide a circle of love and influence as possible only enhances our children’s lives. Yet, if those influences are negative – it can create a huge challenge. Are they supporting what you are teaching? Are they mimicking the negative/positive behavior of the other parent? Are the positive characteristics supported through action? You have to listen, watch and demonstrate daily in order to influence in a positive and productive matter. This perhaps when you have to listen the most, to God and to the kids. God is always speaking, teaching and illuminating – it’s on us to hear and heed and then apply what we have learned.

Today was one of those days – illumination. Through our plan of ambush, I saw the influence I had on this family’s behavior and actions. It reassures me of the blessings of a blended family. The ability to demonstrate love, friendship, kindness, loyalty and commitment beyond the biological. God has “grafted” us into His family, he had only “one begotten Son” but has made us all sons & daughters through his love and sacrifice. Now, the ball is in our court, not because of biological bloodlines, but through blended ones – we make our children, OUR children by demonstrating love, care and compassion. Not just support, but care. No greater gifts we can give, it was a great birthday morning, starting off a great day. The blessings of a blended family. Not only do the kids get more people to pour love into them, but we as parents get more kids to love us. And you can never get too much love!

I was a police officer for years, developing skills and tactics necessary to perform the job duties successfully. However, I have carried these skills and tactics into my everyday life, at times a lifestyle. Unintentionally I have influenced my family with these tactics. However, I am learning with everyday in a blended family, is a day to listen, learn and apply new skills and tactics. Pastoring, coaching and teaching have greatly influenced me to better influence my family. You can hear and read more at [http://www.stuartwelch.com] or in my first book “Champion-Fight for your Life.” Blended families can be a blessing – it really is up to us. Who are you influencing? What are you influencing them towards? Successful & productive is our desire.

The Stepdad’s Guide to Back-To-School Preparation

Whether this is your first or fifth time preparing your stepchildren for the impending school year, you face challenges as a stepdad that traditional parents don’t have to deal with. You’re not alone, though. According to Stepfamily.org, 1,300 new stepfamilies are created every single day. Kick it into high gear as you prepare your family for the school year, and win the award for best stepdad of the year by following these back-to-school tips.

Establish a Cohesive Education Plan

To enforce homework rules within your household, the other parents involved in your stepchildren’s lives need to be supportive, helpful and on the same page. If possible at the beginning of the school year meet with everyone involved in parenting. During the meeting discuss how homework hours or Internet time for playing games or watching videos should be handled. Cooperation as a team makes it easier to keep your children on track and focused academically. Also, it’s better to get these details hammered out in the beginning of the school year, rather than trying to fix a situation halfway through the semester. Stay civil with the other parent; it may be nearly impossible to agree on a workable solution for school issues if parents are at each other’s throats.

Settle in with a Routine

Children benefit from a routine for schoolwork, chores, socializing, free time, and other activities. When you settle them into a routine, it’s easy for everyone in the household to know exactly what they should be doing at a particular point in time. Try to extend this routine to the other parent’s home, especially if the children spend a significant amount of time between both homes. Disrupting the pattern and routine every time they leave for a weekend visit or holiday can break good habits and even cause anxiety. Also, ED.gov reports it’s especially important to focus on a normal school sleep schedule. Instead of letting them stay up as late as they want like during the carefree days of summertime, establish a time during the evening for a bath, snack and story. Make sure your kids are used to waking up at the same time every morning as well.

Volunteer

Volunteering at the school can help you be more involved in your stepchildren’s lives. You’ll meet other parents, students and teachers, which also makes you a more active and aware parent. You’re doing everything you can to help out and be a positive role model. Talk with your partner first before putting in extra time at the school or establishing a routine. It may take time to develop the trust with the children and your partner to take these types of actions without appearing as though you’re overstepping boundaries.

How Do You Bond With Your Step Family?

Going through a divorce is a distressing and heartbreaking experience for any individual, but if you have children who are going through the divorce with you, then it surely intensifies the stress. If you decide to re-marry you need to take into consideration your family as well as your spouse-to-be. Re-marrying is not just about the happiness of two individuals; rather it is the joining of two families, including children of your own and your spouse’s children. This can prove to be a challenging experience, but only for a small amount of time. Your family has gone through some serious changes with can lead to stress, to de-stress your family, you need to look for a person who can help your family get back on the track and bring some balance to your, as well as your children’s life.

Now, before re-marrying, you need to sit down with your spouse-to-be and your children, separately. Discuss with your partner the post-marital challenges that you are likely to face together. Plan with your partner, the changes you might want to make to your house and family environment. Similarly, discuss with your children the possibilities of them accepting and adjusting with a new parent into the family. Let your children meet their parent-to-be, before finalizing the marriage. This way your children will get to know their new parent and will find it relatively easy to develop a better understanding. You need to take your spouse-to-be, along with your children out on dinner, or a football match or even a family picnic. This is to provide your family with a relaxed environment, encouraging a healthy environment for better communication. Do not expect your children to fall in love with their new parent in just a single day! Provide them with some space and enough time to get to know their new parent. You cannot force your children to love someone, until or unless they get to know them on their own. This way, it is likely that your new spouse and your children develop a lasting and affectionate relationship!

If your children are fun-loving, plan some outdoor activities for them. Plan your weekends by either going out or by preparing your favorite meals for dinner with the assistance of your new family. It will definitely take some time for both the parent and children to settle in, but eventually you will make a great step-family. It can happen that children resist in accepting a new parent and siblings, and this situation is the basic cause of frustration for the whole family, and can cause your relationship with your spouse to deteriorate. This can be prevented by showing some patience, giving some love and respect to every individual in the house. Your affection can change the attitude of your step-family towards you, resulting in a successful step-family!

Whose Idea Is It Anyway?

Chloe and Theodore

Almost two years ago we adopted a brother and sister, Chloe and Theodore. Their parents are no longer in their lives. The Pretty Lady and I are now the only parents they have. I remember when we first brought them home how they kept to themselves and would hardly leave their room.

It was several days before they felt comfortable enough to venture out and become familiar with their new home. At times their behavior at best could be considered independent and at worse downright rude. I wish they were more obedient. Like come when you call them but I’ve learned,

“They only respond when it’s their idea.”

Like most kids they do come to us when they’re hungry or decide they want our attention, but again it’s when they decide to do so. Despite all we’ve done for them Mother’s Day and Father’s Day came and went for them just like any other day. Just a little acknowledgement and appreciation would be nice.

Next month will be two years since we adopted our two lovable tabby cats: Chloe and Theodore. Chloe is a sleek grey and black mix. Theodore is a majestic golden color. I grew up as a dog owner but I’ve grown to love my tabbies despite the occasional nasty hairballs, cat hairs on our clothes and random sibling fights at all hours of the day and night. I think their behaviors are fascinating and their unpredictability adds an element of excitement to our household.

Stepparent’s Dissatisfaction

I’ve listened to stepparents protest about rude and disrespectful stepchildren. I’ve heard complaints about their enabling and overly permissive parenting of their spouses. I’ve become intimately familiar in painful detail with all of their spouses’ and stepchildrens’ flaws, character defects and misdeeds.

I’m in total agreement with the stepparents on how much better things would be within their blended families if their children were more respectful and accepting. How their relationship would be not be a jaw tightening labor of love if their spouses weren’t enabling and more authoritative with their children. While these changes would certainly improve the dynamics within their blended families neither the stepparent nor I can impose or force changes on them.

It Needs To Be Their Idea

Like my tabbies your wife and stepchildren are only going to change when it’s their idea. Your insistence on them changing to meet your expectations is actually interfering with their ability to change. As long as it’s your idea it can’t be theirs. You must let go of your expectations to allow them to accept changes in their life as their idea. Understanding and accepting this fact will bring a new level of peace and serenity into your life.

Change Yourself

Rather than focus on the flaws of your blended family which you are absolutely powerless to change instead if I can dare say focus on your own flaws, sins and character defects after all that is only thing you have true control of. Your example in addressing your own shortcomings may serve as the catalyst that will motivate the changes you desire within your blended family members.

Also, train your mind to focus on the positives. Overlook the minor faults of your wife and stepchildren and instead focus on their strengths and the things they do well. I’m not asking you to overlook faults that would be considered morally wrong or evil. When you compliment and praise your spouse and stepchildren for their strengths you will be less likely to notice their weaknesses and faults.

How To Create Healthy Blended Families

If you and your partner are getting ready to move in together with kids this can be an exciting time for everyone, but at the same time, it can be a little worrisome. It is never simple to just move in together and instantly be a happy family with no issues whatsoever. It is a time to be celebrated, though! Here are some tips for taking the plunge and remaining happy under one roof!

Communication is Key!

Even though the relationship between you and your new love is wonderful, you still need to seriously think and weigh all options before you take the plunge. Even if the children of both (or either one) is going very well and you both are sure you are ready to take the next step, take time to communicate with each other as a future family. Talk about any rules, issues that could arise, and continue to spend more time together.

Consistency counts

With any family, philosophies on raising children must be consistent between the two parents. This includes anything that has to do with giving the children the best life possible, such as discipline, communication, traditions, family time, chores, and more. Before your families come together under one roof, it is imperative that future family meetings happen. It is also important that your stepchildren have the same rules, consequences, amount of chores, and all of the other areas of “family life” are consistent and equal. Once you do move in together, it may take time to “get your bearings” and have everything run smoothly.

Keep Tabs on Everyone

Be sure to talk with all of your children on a one-on-one basis. Just because a child doesn’t say anything doesn’t mean that they have accepted their new lifestyle. Making conversation every single day with every child is necessary for a healthy relationship and a family full of love. This goes back to communication, but it is much more personal. Make every child feel loved and be in tune to their actions and emotions to be sure they are doing fine. Knowing how each child in the family is feeling will prevent negative feelings from getting out of hand, and keep the family bond even stronger.

Have Fun Together

The one thing about blending a family together is that it is not just about you and your new partner. Little lives are in your hands, and what better way to make new traditions and memories than to have fun with each other! When the whole family spends time together, bonds strengthen. This does not mean you have to take everyone out to eat, or on weekend getaways every chance you get. Family time is perfect when everyone is together in one room playing games, eating together, having a movie night, or just talking and laughing with each other.

Accept Mistakes

Blending a family together is not easy at first. Some children may have difficulty at first, and may be quite distant, even after communication beforehand. However, with proper preparation, communication, and lots of love, your family will be happy and healthy. Hiccups will occur, as with any family, but that is okay. If you are a strong family and have bonded well, you will be able to get through every bump in the road and be happy together.

5 Reasons Why Grandparents Buy Handmade Baby Quilts

When a new baby is joining the family, the grandparents’ pride and pleasure is boundless. How do they express it? With love and affection for sure, but the gift of a home-made baby quilt says volumes about their devotion.

1. They Appreciate the Keepsake Value

Grandma herself might still have the lace-edged handkerchief from her mother’s wedding, or the ring her father wore. Wonderful keepsakes, but usually tucked away in the back of a drawer and seldom seen by younger family members. Baby quilts handmade from flannel will not only be treasured by the newest arrival, but will be used and appreciated by that baby’s future siblings and maybe her own children. No sequestered drawer for heirloom baby quilts. They’ll be front and center in the next generations’ babyhoods, seen and used in the crib and wherever else babies go.

2. They Seek Originality

Grandparents hope to give their new grandchild something totally different than the many other gifts that will be given. The outfits blur into one big pastel mass. The equipment is destined for a corner of the garage. Nothing is more distinctive than a quilt that has been created from a quilter’s store of unique baby quilt ideas. This won’t be the third one of its kind in a stack of quilts on the shelf of some baby store. This will have a personally chosen theme that dovetails with the family’s interests. There are fish designs and seacraft motifs for boating families. There are animals and flowers for the nature-loving clans. Some minky baby quilts have circus themes and fanciful patterns for the families who love art and grand imagination.

3. They Value Quality

The older generation has witnessed many high tech advances, but at the same time, a sad degeneration of quality goods. Things shrink, fade, fall apart and malfunction with only limited use. Not so homemade baby quilts that have been carefully assembled from high quality fabrics, machine-stitched and expertly bound to insure maximum durability. Most handmade baby quilts for sale can be washed in the washer and dried in the dryer without a loss of their integrity.

4. They Love to Bring Happiness

Grandparents are those special people who slip the grandkids a secret dollar, who let them have forbidden desserts, who spring for the new bike when the parents can’t afford one. It’s in their DNA. So why wouldn’t they want to start that special relationship right in the crib, by giving the new baby such an extraordinary gift – a soft, cheery quilt to cuddle with when it’s sleepy time and come along with when the world gets bigger?

5. They Hope to be Remembered

Not all grandparents live close enough to their loved ones to have them gather for Sunday dinner, or to help out with a little babysitting so Mom and Dad can take break. They’d like to be in their grandchildren’s lives, but distance prevents it. A baby quilt can serve as a constant reminder that although Grandma and Grandpa can’t be there very often to see their new grandchild, they chose a gift that will give pleasure to their grandchild every day.

Parental & Grandparent Alienation Are the Acts of an Emotionally Abusive Bully

Keeping a child from knowing and bonding with his non-custodial parent and grandparents is child abuse. Children should not be denied access to unconditional love. Researchers state that a child is most often alienated from his or her paternal grandparents.

Paternal grandparents give balance in grandchildren’s lives that no one else can copy. Studies have shown that multi-generational contact between children and both sets of their grandparents provides a special unconditional love and nurturing which is healthy for children. The attachment is very strong, and contributes to our grandchildren’s sense of self. This relationship is either nurtured or destroyed by the child’s parent.

The custodial parent is usually the mother, but not always, and it’s typically the custodial parent who engages in parental alienation. However, there are men who also engage in parental alienation. Original research found women to be the perpetrators of this abusive behavior in 90% of reported cases. Recent research indicates both genders equally engage in parental alienation. The exact figures are fuzzy because of under-reporting, false accusations and the positive bias toward mothers that’s rampant in most family courts.

Parents who have no compunction about using their kids to hurt you, their ex, their parents, etc. seem to fit the profile of the emotionally abusive Cluster B personality disorders (narcopaths, sociopaths & malignant narcissists fit into this category of anti-social personality disorders). They will play the professional victim, even as they are emotionally bullying you – anyone who confronts, challenges or criticizes them. They don’t recognize appropriate boundaries, will not accept personal responsibility for their actions-in fact, they blame you for the horrible things they do and always have an excuse to justify their indefensible behaviors.

Alienation is About Power & Control

The destruction of a child’s relationship with one or more of his grandparents begins with the undermining daughter-in-law, daughter, son-in-law, or son, whomever is the custodial parent.

Vindictive parents alienate their children from their parents, grandparents, and any other family member to punish and inflict pain on those who do not cow-tow to her/his whims and manipulation, and refuse to respond to her/his demands.

Individuals who alienate their children from others in the child’s family are like the mean kids in high school who demand that their friends be angry with whomever they’re angry with, and hate whomever they hate. She’s mad at you, or doesn’t like you, so, therefore, your child must do the same.

This parent requires, implicitly or explicitly, that her children feel and act the same way she or he does. The parent who engages in alienation tactics enlists your children to take on his or her battle against you. This is not the act of a responsible, mature adult, much less a responsible, loving parent. This is a bullying behavior called mobbing.

Bullying, Mobbing and Parental Alienation

A narcopath is a bully, and is in all likelihood a serial family bully. Narcopaths (narcissistic sociopaths) use bullying to control those around her. When the narcopath (alienating parent) doesn’t get her way, or you refuse to allow her to control you, she will enlist her flying monkeys to attack your credibility to protect her. She will manipulate her children and other family members into aiding and abetting her attacks on you. They live with her, and through conditioning, know what happens if you disagree with her or stand up to her, even when she is wrong. The narcopath has conditioned her family through bully tactics, to go into attack mode against anyone who dares speak the truth. They know that keeping silent when she is under threat of exposure will enrage her, and they will avoid her abusive behavior at all costs.

Mobbing is usually written about in the context of workplace bullying, but that’s a limited use of the concept. It can occur in any kind of system, including a family system. Mobbing is the impassioned psychological harassment of one person by a group. The attack is usually instigated and led by one or two people who are typically in a position of authority. The New York Times describes it as “group victimization of a single target” with the goal of demeaning, discrediting, alienating, excluding, humiliating and isolating the targeted person.

Mobbing ringleaders are bullies who try to dominate and control others in most situations and relationships. They have “a penchant for deflecting their inadequacies” away from themselves and projecting it on others. They’re generally angry, unpredictable, critical, jealous and manipulative Fueled by jealousy, ringleaders seek to disrupt the family structure and create chaos. With people divided and with their emotions distorted, it is much easier to control and manipulate.

Those around her know that they either agree with the narcopath bully or suffer the consequences, which in my case, is alienation from my grandson, alienated from my son, and the target of an evil smear campaign. Her attitude toward family is “Do as I say, or you will not be included in our lives,” and based on my experience and knowledge in this area, her family has first-hand experience being on the receiving end of this threat.

Potential Child Discipline Tangles

I am the beneficiary of three delightful grandchildren. With ages ranging from six months to 3½ years, these are busy days. The two oldest children belong to my son and daughter-in-law; the baby is the first child of my daughter and her husband. Each grandchild has his/her own special and distinct personality and they keep Ma and Pa hopping on the days that we visit or babysit. The role of grand-parenting is a fun and exciting challenge.

I suppose the only potential issue that might arise between kids, parents, and grandparents is discipline. While our older son has a casual approach which works other than during exhausted and exhaustive meltdowns, our daughter plans to take a much stricter role with her daughter from the outset. With 250 miles dividing the families, disagreement on parenting techniques rarely arises other than in the “go-between” conversation that one sibling might have with me about the behaviors and reactions of the other. As Mom to both I try to nod, agree or disagree, while trying to keep the situation amicable. So far this has served me well, but two upcoming family vacations have me a bit on edge.

The first arrives this June when we plan to spend eight days at our rustic cabin. Built in the late ’30s, we have added conveniences like running water and a toilet, but there is not much privacy. The bedroom is used for storing suitcases and belongings, the open dining room and living room are the general gathering locales for breakfast and games, and we all sleep together on the sleeping porch. We have a lovely beach just down the hill which we share with my sister who has a cabin next door. There is room for all of us, but will it be enough if there is a disagreement on children’s moods and behaviors? I thought all went well last summer, however, we had two kids instead of three, a toddler and baby sister as opposed to two toddlers and a one-year old. A discussion in advance is in order but as a peacekeeper this will not be an easy role for me. Can’t everyone give-and-take and just get along?

I am thinking a designated quiet time in the morning is in order so parents can sleep as I grab the little ones and head out for a hike. Breakfast must be a sit-down-and-eat affair with no snacks to follow. Lunch on the beach must be simple and an afternoon rest or nap will be a requirement for all of us. Dinner, again, requires simplicity, and an established bedtime for kids is an unlikely but desirable wish. Perhaps a schedule for cooking, cleaning up, and other tasks will help. I must also add to the “big talk” list that we all discipline with our own style and we must be receptive and aware that one’s ideas do not necessarily match those of the other family members. If we have zero tolerance of screaming and fighting I think we will survive. Our cabin is wonderful and it would be terrible not to be able to share this time with those I love every summer until forever.

If matters go fairly well, we have also booked a vacation in Hawaii in December. With the three-bedroom condo in mind it seems that there can be separation for naps and nights and a central space for meals, games, and family fun. With a beach out one door and a pool out of the other, entertainment should never be a problem. Adults can golf while Ma and Pa splash and play with the little ones. Later we can unite for some activities and divide for others. It seems to me that space will be a key factor in my dream-world of a family vacation. Again, up-front conversation is vital as well.

I have watched other families disintegrate over disagreements and I do not want to witness that with my own children. My sisters and I get along fairly well, knowing when to gather and when to take quiet, private time away and so I think my own kids should be able to figure this out as well. Input from readers will be valued. Please send me a note.