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December 27, 2013

Talk with children about behavior expectations

NORMAN — Q: I have custody of my fifth-grade son and my third-grade daughter, and we do well. When the kids get back from visiting their mother on her weekends, the kids are defiant. It takes a few days to “deprogram” them and get them back into our happy, healthy routine.

I have spoken to their teachers about their behavior on these days, and the teachers notice the difference, also. I am fearful this will cause problems with their school work and their friends and teachers. Any suggestions?

— Micky, of Norman

Dear Micky: Many single parents have faced the same issue. Please use them as a sounding board, because they may have good advice for you, also. As far as what goes on in the classroom, we feel it is wise to let teachers know and encourage them to hold the kids accountable.

When everything is going well at your house (not right before they go or come back from mom’s), it would be a great time to have a conversation with your children about what you have noticed and what your expectations are.

Show empathy and understanding in what they are dealing with, because the divorce was not their fault in any way, yet, we all know children of divorce suffer.

Speaking from personal experience, it does get better as your children get older. Hang in there.

Q: Do you have a suggestion as to what foreign language my daughter should take in high school? We have been told recently that enrollment for next year will begin shortly after the beginning of the second semester.

— Tracy, of Norman

Dear Tracy: You are on the ball, and we thank you. We will address enrollment in a column soon, but as far as in what foreign language your daughter should enroll, in which one is she most interested? The majority of students in our part of the country take Spanish, since we are so close in proximity to Mexico.

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