Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guarino,
What will you do with your time once your children leave the nest? The
years of parenting are spent focusing on other people?s needs, often with little
time for self-reflection. Career exploration is a wonderful opportunity for self-discovery
and personal growth. It is a time to reinvest in you and learn about the resources
available to you.
Here are a few exercises to get you thinking about what you have to offer and
ways you can expand your options.
Over time you have developed opinions as to what you are ?good at.? These personal
opinions are relevant but rarely do we give ourselves enough credit. It is time
you think outside the box. Think about the activities and job categories that interest
you, regardless of whether or not you currently have the skills, or even have experience
in those areas. Write down your responses to the following questions:
Action Steps: 1) Think about the following If you could do ANYTHING, what would
you do?; 2: What are the characteristics of your ideal job? Examples - working with
children, being outdoors, independence, etc.
It is helpful to take inventory of the skills you have that will be useful across
a variety of work settings. Think about all the invaluable experience you have accumulated
? parenting is itself a highly-skilled ?career.?
Personal traits ? attitudes and characteristics such as empathy, diplomacy and
ability to delegate.
Knowledge-based ? technical knowledge or job-specific information that you have
acquired through paid and non-paid experiences, such as bookkeeping, child development
Transferable skills ? skills that you?ve acquired through experience, such as
planning, organizing and writing.
Action Steps: 1) List 7 achievements you have experienced in the past few years
in the context of parenting, work, volunteering, hobbies, coursework, travel, or
special projects. For each achievement, list the skills, abilities and personal
traits that were most important in making each of the experiences meaningful for
you; 2) Once you have completed this list, look for patterns in terms of skills,
settings, or types of people involved.
It is always important to build and maintain your social networks, especially
when you are contemplating a career change. Your existing social networks can be
invaluable in helping you during this process. Do you have friends, family or acquaintances
who have been through similar transitions, or who might know about the fields you
are considering? Perhaps they know someone who does.
Action Steps: 1) Nurture your existing network. Schedule a get-together with
one friend or acquaintance per week. It?s a great way to keep in touch and it will
give you a chance to talk about what you are working on and learn about other people?s
experiences; 2) Expand your social networks. Look into local networking and volunteer
opportunities, as well as membership in professional organizations related to your
fields of interest. Join online networking communities, such as Ryze.com and Company
of Friends, which offer free membership, special interest groups and real-life monthly
By taking inventory of your many existing resources and building new ones, you
will be better prepared for any career path you choose. Now that you have time to
focus on yourself, you have a great opportunity for self-discovery.
Enjoy the journey!
Dr. Mary Guarino is a life coach
who specializes in helping people evaluate and improve their lives, particularly
in the areas of life transitions and interpersonal relationships. Dr. Guarino is
the author of
?>?It`s Your Time Now: What Will You Do With It? An 8-Week Plan for Figuring Out
the What`s Next In Your Life" and owner of
The Art & The Science Life Coaching.
She holds a Ph.D. in Lifespan Developmental Psychology and a coaching certificate
from the Institute for Life Coaching.
Are You Placing Your Child in Danger? - By Linda J Alexander, ESQ.
More than ever before it has become absolutely crucial for people to pay
attention to their surroundings and the people they meet. There are now hundreds
of organizations and websites dedicated to the safety and welfare of young children
and yet, children are being abducted every single day.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics reveals more than
one third of America`s children are being raised by one biological parent who very
often has a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, or eventual step-parent. Statistically
speaking, children raised in these settings have a forty percent greater chance
of being abused than children living with both biological parents. Always scrutinize
people before allowing them access to your child! If you are considering a live-in
housemate of any kind, you may benefit from the information available from WhoisHe.Com
or WhoisShe.Com before they move in.
Conscientious and caring parents can benefit from programs that take DNA samplings,
and fingerprints of their children to keep on file in case they are ever needed
to help find or identify their youngster. All parents are busy parents, yet they
need to MAKE the time to plan ahead to safeguard the children who depend on them.
One of the best ways to protect children is to take regular photographs of them
as they grow. This information can then be provided quickly if ever it becomes necessary
to issue an "Amber alert", or any other search for a missing child.
Though we live in a very busy world we ought to train ourselves and our families
to pay attention to details so they can be remembered and reported if needed. Consider
the events surrounding the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart who was forcibly taken
from her bed in the middle of the night. Her sister, who slept in the same room,
was so terrified it took hours before she could wake her parents and tell them.
Elizabeth was missing for nine months. Her little sister`s traumatic experience
of an intruder awakening and abducting her sister delayed her ability to realize
that she could identify the kidnapper. When she finally was able to recall the name
and description of the person who took Elizabeth, the entire family was horrified
to learn he was someone they had innocently brought into the home as a day laborer.
Their compassion for a stranger cost them nine months of their beloved daughter`s
Still, the Smarts were among the very few fortunate families to reunite with
a stolen child after such an extended amount of time. Sadly, statistics of children
taken by strangers show that being gone for as little as three hours severely diminishes
the chance they will be seen alive again. The Smart family strongly supports a nationwide
"Amber alert" to help find missing children quickly. If they had required background
searches on people who worked in their home, they would have discovered criminal
records on not one, but TWO of those they hired! Just asking questions is not enough
when you realize that a USA Today article states fully sixty percent of people lie
about who they are! The loving Smart family would never have jeopardized their children.
Instead they were being kind in an attempt to help strangers who very nearly destroyed
the Smart family`s happiness.
Sometimes children disappear when taken by some relative or family "friend" who
may or may not intend to harm them. The White House issued a grim press release
in August of 2002, stating that that each year. "More than 58,000 children are abducted
by non-family members" and "Many of these children are returned home quickly, but
some are not." There are heartbreaking horror stories of children abducted and murdered,
seemingly by random, at the hands of strangers. Yet too many times children are
abducted, molested, or killed by a neighbor or someone else known to the child or
the family. These are agonizing betrayals since children may so easily be lured
by a predator they know and might even like. Consider the case of little Danielle
Van Dam whose neighbor, David Westerfield, was convicted of kidnapping and killing
this trusting child who knew him from her own, supposedly "safe", neighborhood!
We cannot wrap our children in a bubble of absolute protection and still allow
them the freedom to grow and explore life. We can, however, commit our parenting
skills to prevention, assuring our children and ourselves that we are doing everything
we can to keep them safe. Certainly we can keep an up-to-date file folder on each
of our children with all of the personal information that would be necessary to
identify them. We can, and must, carefully consider all people we allow to have
contact with our children. There have been far too many cases of children molested,
abused, kidnapped or killed by a boyfriend of the mother. Perhaps along with child
support payments from non-custodial parents, we might start a trend toward using
background checks when either custodial parent allows a boyfriend or girlfriend
to share a dwelling with their child.
Statistics show the standard of living after divorce often decreases, especially
for women who become head of the household. It is not surprising then that a mother
who is struggling financially might be tempted to rush into a live-in arrangement
with someone to help with the responsibilities. Many times predators look for just
these types of situations.
Seldom, however, do these single parents stop to think that they may be putting
their child in harm`s way under their own roof! Situations like this beg for background
checks before handing over the house key, and the safety and well being of an innocent
Children depend on the parents who are there to love them and tend to their needs.
Background checks through organizations such as WhoisHe.Com and WhoisShe.Com are
an affordable way to learn the history of the person you are expecting your child
to allow close to them. You are your children`s first line of defense. Don`t let
Linda J Alexander, ESQ is an attorney
and the President of WhoisHe.Com /
WhoisShe.Com a professional web service which
provides comprehensive background, criminal and civil record checks on prospective
mates, future step-parents, Nanny-checks, employment screening, in-home workers
Children articles index
- Brains on Fire: The Multimodality of Gifted Thinkers - By Brock Eide
- laying Baby Computer Games ? The New Parent-Child Tradition? - By Emma
- Book Excerpt: Einstein Never Used Flash Cards - By Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph
- Putting Fun Into Parenting - By David Stoepker, Psy.D., & Erin Brown Con
- Preparing Your Child for a High-Tech Future - By Sue Sato
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - Predominantly Inattentive
- Abandonment - By Sonya Green
- Explaining Suicide to Children - by Tracy Pierson
- Our Children`s Needs - by Robert Elias Najemy
- How to Develop Self-Esteem in Children - By J. Bailey Molineux, Ph.D.
- Helping Children Overcome Stress and Fear - By Debbie Milam
- Do you Shout at YOUR children? - By James Middleton
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- SPEED SPELLING: Another way to use speed reading skills for "schoolwork&q
- Children and Stress - By Laura Silva Quesada
- Boundaries- Why Are They Needed? - by Derek Randel & Gail Randel M.D.
- Juggling Home
- Explaining World tragedy to Children - By Chick Moorman and Thomas Ha
- Children and Pessimism - By Carol Tuttle
- Loving Yourself, Loving Your Children - By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
- Social Manners for Children - By Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach
- The Sexual Abuse of Children - By J. Bailey Molineux
- A Few Simple Truths About ADHD and Stimulant Drugs - By Steve Edelman1,
- DYSLEXICS and A.D.D. KIDS BECOME GIFTED SPEED READERS - by George Stanc
- Using Feng Shui for Better Behaved Children - By Kathryn Weber
- Book Excerpt: Helping Children with Autism Learn - By Bryna Siegel,
- Five Keys to Raising Nonviolent Children - By Tammy Cox, LMSW
- The Best Way to Reduce Stress: Start Young - By Zach Brull
- Your Child?s Self-Esteem is in The Cards - By Susan Howson
- Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue
- What is ADHD? - By Jeannine Virtue
- Talking to Your Children About Sex - By Jan Andersen
- How Our Children Really Learn And Why They Need To Play More And Memo
- HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS? - By Linda J Alexander,
- Teach Children Positive Self-Image Through Fitness - By Lynn Bode
- No Invitation Needed -- Part 3 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Helping Our Children Feel Good About Themselves - By Dr.Barbara Becker Hol
- Unidentified Stepfamily Zones - Discoveries Made at a Stepfamily Confer
- Divorce and Children: Things To Consider When You`re Staying Married
- Six facts you should know to empower your teaching. - By Emmanuel
- Are You in an Abusive Situation? - by Colin Gabriel Hatcher & Randall
- The Divorce Revolution Has Failed - By J. Bailey Molineux
- Is Your Child Well-Mannered? - By Mary Jesse
- Jesus` Birthday -- Part 2 of 3 Sacred Children Series - By Skye T
- Empty Nesters: What Should You Do Once the Children Leave? - By Mary Guar
- We should celebrate the diversity of children and adults - By Robyn M
- How to Cope with Back to School Stress - By Debbie Mandel
- HIS KIDS: BECOMING A W.O.W. STEPMOTHER - by Julie Donner Andersen
- ADD / ADHD Children : Being Your Child`s Best Friend - By Kate Hufst