White Teeth and School

By Peter Ehrlich

Even in war, there are rules of civilized engagement. Men in suits gave these rules a great brand – the Geneva Conventions. They represent the bottom line on how people should behave in war.

No matter where you and your ex are at this moment, there are non-negotiable child-related issues that you must immediately come to terms with, regardless of your relationship, politics or court agreement.

It is necessary to reduce the cacophony to the essentials, aside from the most important, being loved; I'm talking about straight teeth and school work.

We all want our children to do well in life. Maybe we single parents want it just a tad more because we often feel so guilty about what we have "chosen" to put our kids through.

I say "chosen" because I am a big proponent of taking ultimate responsibility for the relationship choices we have made in life.

Like it or not, we have chosen every moment with our ex. George Costanza put it another way: "It's not you, it's me." And if Bill Clinton were a single parent, the sign on his wall would be, "It's not the court, stupid, it's me."

Our children need straight teeth and a successful school experience to have a decent a shot at having a good life, and not one nanosecond of single-parent garbage should get in the way of that.

Teeth are an ultimate physical bottom line. You can be the Hunchback of Notre Dame and still find a great job or launch your own business empire if you have a great set of white, straight teeth.

Whatever we have to do to ensure that our child could star in a Crest commercial if they wanted to, we have to do it.

If the access agreement states it's single Mom who has the responsibility to pay the dental bills, but she can't afford to, single Dad doesn't spend one moment fuming, swearing or cancelling any dental appointments.

Rather, you calmly foot the bill with no hesitation. If you can't, sell something, anything.

Quid pro quo. If single Dad can't pay, then single Mom pays in silence.

Unconditional teamwork is also essential in your child's school work.

Single parents must climb out of their respective trenches and find a way to meet in no man's land to be on top of their child's school progress.

For children to do the best they can in school, they should know that both parents are equally supporting their time and work there.

Against all odds, we single parents need to sit down with our kids together, present a unified front and calmly discuss how school is going and what we can do to help.

We need to meet with their teacher with our ex, listen, respond, and then meet with our children to pay the necessary compliments and offer constructive suggestions on how to improve their life in school.

White, straight teeth and a successful school life – our children can't leave home without them. It's our responsibility, no matter what.

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