Articles about parenting

When parents decide to separate, they need to make decisions about child custody. Because the parents are now living in different places, they need to figure out where and with whom the children will live and a schedule for the children visiting the other parent. The best way to address these issues is to create a parenting plan.

A parenting plan during separation will include the times the children will spend with each parent, any upcoming holidays and where the children will spend their time, and any other information that the parents want to include. The parents can create the plan together and then go to court and have it made into a temporary custody order. Or, each parent can create the plan they want and go to court and have the judge decide. It’s better if the parents can come to an agreement together though, rather than leaving it in the hands of the court.

To decide where the children will live, the parents need to think about stability. It is in the children’s best interest to have a stable environment–especially because there is a lot of change in their family circumstances. If possible, the children should still live in their home. This means that the parent who stays in the home will most likely be the custodial parent. If the parents want to eventually have joint custody, they will need to work up to that (there needs to be some time for the other parent to establish a household).

The parents should consider work and school schedules as they come up with a visitation schedule. It’s important that children have about the same contact with their parents as before. This means that if both parents were very involved in the children’s lives, the parent who moves out should have frequent visitation with the children. Always think of your children’s best interest–even if it means inconvenience in traveling and shuttling back and forth.

Once your schedule is figure out, decide with the other parent about any provisions you want about custody during separation. Neither parent should plan on taking the kids on vacation during this time, and both parents should plan on keeping the other parent up to date on addresses, phone numbers, school issues, etc. Start good communication now so it carries over as you make your permanent parenting plan.

If you can establish a good temporary parenting plan, it will help you as things become more permanent. The more you can make decisions about your children together, the better your plan will work out. So, make a parenting plan right after separation to help your child custody situation.

Discover how Custody X Change can help with child custody & separation by letting you create the best parenting plan for you and your children.

Using nulls to apply expressions can be a great way to apply a ‘hands off’ method of using expressions to direct your object while leaving the child object free. This gives you flexibility and freedom as you apply the expressions and greater control with the null object. Why not apply these same expressions to the primary object? why bring a null into the picture?

One of the best ways of viewing the use of a Null is that it gives you the ability to control/impart certain like characteristics to child objects while keeping their independence from one another. You might want them to share a path but scale differently or vice versa. Using a Null will let you do this.

I want to set up a dog chasing a cat. This is a cute animation with the animals emotions glowing, their relative size expanding with their emotions but their position is *very much* connected, the dog is chasing the Cat!

We can tie both to a Null to create this linked position while leaving them free …. to express their own emotions.

Parenting is a simple concept whose application draws explicitly from the terminology. As you design a relationship, simply ask yourself, which object drives? which object controls the flow you want to combine. Motion is an obvious application. Maybe you have an animated character riding in an automobile. Clearly the automobile drives! (forgive me). You place your character animation on a separate layer, or bring in the composition with him, and simply ‘pick whip’ the parent characteristic from the animation to the automobile.

The parent column may not be displayed by default. Within the time line panel resource columns, right click to display the columns for resources available, choose parent if it is not currently displayed.

I can’t verify ‘we reduce the Math’ using parenting but intuition would say so with fewer parameters to compute and keep up with and dependencies driving relationships, there must be some relief on our processing resources.

This can help with our hi def/avchd renderings where the sheer amount of extra information can add quite a bit to our render time and anything that contributes to the work load helps. I’ve found with my Canon vixia, using parent, expressions, and all the short cuts After Effects offers makes a real contribution to the rendering process time. There is another issue with the avchd hi def format and that is, it challenges your PC resources. Depending on your memory and processor capability, the review can appear jerky and staggered. Parenting won’t cure this but of the many resources and techniques which contribute to the consistency and fluid appearance of your composition, this is an easy one keep in your tool box.
Adobe After Effects is my application of choice; it seems to have endless possibilities. I use Premiere Pro for video, Flash for final Web compatible movie.

Art Linkletter knew: kids say the darndest things. They also do the darndest things, and, all-too-often, imitate the darndest things. And that’s not always a good thing, especially when it comes to smoking.

Common Sense Media found that, 57% of parents are worried about their children overusing media, and 68% of them acknowledge that “media generally impacted their kids’ health.” Yet only 44% are concerned about their kids’ smoking, and 87% don’t think media ups the chances of their children lighting up.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Reportedly, 50% of all kids who start smoking do so because they’re imitating what they see in the movies-and one-third of them will likely die from a smoking-related disease.

And it’s no accident that stars are puffing away on the big (and little) screen. Way back in 1983, Smoke Free Movies reports that then-president of Phillip Morris International, Hamish Maxwell said, “I do feel heartened at the increasing number of occasions when I go to a movie and see a pack of cigarettes in the hands of a leading lady. This is in sharp contrast to the state of affairs just a few years ago when cigarettes rarely showed up on camera. We must continue to exploit new opportunities to get cigarettes on screen and into the hands of smokers.”

And they have-with stunning success and devastating effect. “In fact,” says Common Sense Media’s CEO, James Steyer, “Smoking in the movies is one of the most effective ways to get kids to pick up the habit.” Moreover, according to a Dartmouth Medical School report, smoking shows up in 74% of all movies, leading many teens to follow suit.

Reports the American Medical Association, almost 4,000 teens start smoking every day, and 50% of them do so because they saw it in the movies. And don’t think the PG-13 rating is any help, since 75% such movies portray an actor/actress lighting up.

More Smoking Facts:

• 90% of smokers start before their 21st birthday-and have the hardest time quitting.

• About 4.5 million U.S. adolescents smoke.

• Almost 20% of 12th graders, 12% of 10th graders, and 5.5% of 8th graders smoke daily.

And don’t think your child is immune from the effects of watching their favorite stars puffing away on screen just because they’re involved in sports. It helps, but it’s no guarantee. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at Dartmouth Medical School’s Hood Center for Children and Families proves that point, finding that between 30% and 50% of adolescent smokers took their lead from the movies.

The study also established that, while those not involved in sports were two times as likely to smoke as those who were, it concluded that, “Movie smoking exposure increases the risk of established smoking among both team sports participants and non-participants. Parents, teachers, coaches, and clinicians should be aware that encouraging team sports participation in tandem with minimizing early exposure to movie smoking may offer the greatest likelihood of preventing youth smoking.”

Lead researcher Anna M. Adachi-Mejia put it this way: “Parents need to be aware of the need to minimize their child’s exposure to movie smoking. So even if their child plays a sport, that’s not enough.”

What can parents do? Besides involving your children in sports activities and reducing the chances of their viewing smoking movies, at the very least also . . .

1. Quit smoking if you’re already hooked-and let your kids know how you got started and how hard it is to give up the habit.

2. Watch television and movies together-and when smoking is portrayed, speak up about the harmful effects of such behavior.

3. Share the hard facts about smoking-related diseases-and the deaths that result.

4. Try not to expose your 2- to 8-year-olds to movie smoking-but if/when it happens, stress smoking’s negatives.

5. Sign up email alerts at Smoke Free Movies.

6. Add your name to the global petition to help stop “youth-oriented movies recruiting new young smokers around the world,” by going to thepetitionsite.

7. Start writing letters-your friends should, as well-to media studios. Names and addresses can be found at Smoke Free Movies.

8. Let your feelings be known to the managers of your local movies theaters and such video retailers as Blockbuster and Netflix, either in writing or in person.

9. Be part of the Movie Smoking Scorecard on Facebook.

Carol is a learning specialist who worked with middle school children and their parents at the Methacton School District in Pennsylvania for more than 25 years and now supervises student teachers at Gwynedd-Mercy College. Along with the booklet, 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips: Intermediate Grades & Up, and numerous articles in such publications as Teaching Pre-K-8 and Curious Parents, she has authored three successful learning guidebooks: Getting School-Wise: A Student Guidebook, Other-Wise and School-Wise: A Parent Guidebook, and ESL Activities for Every Month of the School Year. Carol also writes for; find her articles at For more information, go to or contact Carol at


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