WNY Family Magazine July 2018 - Page 55

other parent, even when your child is expressing negative feelings or disinter- est. Kids express negative feelings and disinterest about a lot of things, like go- ing to school or church, but that doesn’t mean you let them stay home! Suggest that your child call the other parent when he or she is feeling down or has an excit- ing piece of news to share. Remind them of the other parent’s birthday or encour- age them to make a card or gift for a special holiday. Provide your children with a photo of the other parent to keep in their book bags or on their dressers (especially if the other parent is long dis- tance). Put on your best face when your children are telling you about the excit- ing time they had with the other parent. In all th at you do, send the message that it is okay with you that they love their other parent and that you do not see it as a loyalty violation on their part. They need to know they can love and care about two parents without either of them feeling slighted. FAMILY TRAVEL continued... Nationally more than 800,000 chil- dren became Junior Rangers last year. There are also a variety of Junior Ranger badges that children can earn at home by going to the www.nps.gov website and clicking on junior ranger programs. Travel Tip of the Month: For more information on the Charlottesville area go to www.visitcharlottesville.org or call 877-386-1103 or 434-293-6789. There are a wide variety of accommo- dations in the area. Our choice was the DoubleTree Hotel that features freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on arrival, a warm indoor pool, and a welcome mat for families including their four-legged friends (dogs). For information visit www.doubltree3.hilton.com or call 434- 973-2121. Family packages are avail- able. It overlooks the Rivanna River in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just a few miles from Monticello, the down- town pedestrian mall, and the University of Virginia. For information on Shenandoah National Park visit www.nps.gov/shen or call 540-999-3500. There are lodg- es, cabins and campgrounds within the park. They fill up fast so advance reser- vations are best. Deborah Williams is a veteran travel writer who lives in Holland, NY. Her work has appeared in national and inter- national publications and she is the re- cipient of the Society of American Travel Writers Gold Travel Writing Award. All the research we have tells us that kids who have relationships with both parents do better than kids who lack a relationship with one parent. Even when those relationships are not particu- larly good, kids do better when they are at least given the chance to experience them, rather than grieve over not having them. Armed with that information, you know what is best for them, so don’t be swayed by your or your child’s disgrun- tlement. This doesn’t mean there won’t be occasional exceptions. If you are unsure about whether or not a relationship is harmful to your child, seek professional guidance in de- ciding whether or not to interfere. But, in most all cases, encouraging a parental relationship is much more healthy for your child than discouraging it. Diane C. Dierks is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Atlanta, Geor- gia. She is also author of “The Co-Par- ent Toolbox” (2014 Aha! Publishing) and “Solo Parenting: Raising Strong & Happy Families” (1997 Fairview Press). For more information visit her website is www.dianedierks.com. July 2018 WNY Family 55