12 Commandments For Parents

This list, which was authored by Mr. Meiselman, was first
published by Ann Landers in her nationally syndicated column on
January 23, 1994.

    1. Never make visitation arrangements directly with children under 12.

    2. Never suggest visitation arrangements you have not previously
    discussed with the other parent. Always confirm with the other parent
    any visitation arrangements made with children 12 and over.

    3. Send and return children who are clean, well-rested and fed. Do not
    send or return a sack or suitcase full of soiled clothes.

    4. Do not use a telephone answering device to screen calls from the
    other parent or limit telephone access between your children and the
    other parent — except after your children's actual bedtime, not the
    bedtime you would like them to have.

    5. Do not discuss divorce disputes with your children or allow them to
    hear you discussing your differences regarding them.

    6. Do not send messages or money with your children.

    7. Do not speak ill of the other parent — or of his or her relatives,
    friends or loved ones.

    8. Do not ask your children for information about the other parent's
    household, friends, income or activities.

    9. Do not believe everything you hear from your children.

    10. Do not second-guess the other parent regarding discipline,
    rewards or anything else.

    11. Give a sympathetic ear to your children, but affirm and reaffirm as
    often as necessary that you are not a referee or a mediator between
    your children and the other parent.

    12. Be courteous. Do not honk your horn for your child to come out.
    Walk to the other parent's door, but don't go inside unless invited.
    Have the children ready to go.  Always be on time. Smile.   
    © 1993, 1994 Neal J. Meiselman
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