Once you let go of the expectations of having a perfect family holiday you can really begin to enjoy the opportunities for building deeper connections that are right in front of you. So the kids work through their backseat sibling issues and have fun exploring the new locations. And despite the sand flies the beach was great.
Routine is important for adults as well, and as a parent I must admit I have come to rely heavily upon the school schedule to guide the transition to summer. It is human nature to mark our changes with beginnings, middles and endings. A common complaint is that June is busy with closing ceremonies, awards nights, and all sorts of wind up parties -- nonetheless both the parents and children benefit from these rites of closure.
I'm writing this because I often complain about and worry about my new line of work / not work. I feel like I'm missing out on real life by not punching a clock. That I've perhaps sacrificed my career and will never get it back. I want to remind myself that even if I don't get it back, I haven't been wasting my time here. If anything, I've become a better worker, not a worse one.
It is reinforcing to be acknowledged for accomplishing a goal, but for many parents of children with autism the steps toward goals are mini and slow. Take the time to let them know that you notice their parenting efforts and the positive development you see in their child. In other words, be a cheerleader of the process not just the end goal.
I live in the city of Toronto with three young children. I am a driver and I am a pedestrian. But I am a pedestrian first. Unfortunately, many of the drivers in this city do not share my love of pedestrianism. They do not, in fact, seem to care about the safety and well-being of my children at all. So I put together a few simple rules to help them avoid running over kids with their cars.
Summer is a time for play, and kids know it. The pressure is off, and it's time to relax! Homework and tests are replaced with bike-riding and swimming. If you're lucky, you even get to go to camp. What the kids don't realize is, there's as much to learn at camp as at school, and those lessons can't be taught with books. What they're learning is how to deal with life.
Growing up, I was often embarrassed that my dad sometimes drove a taxi because I thought it was not "prestigious." Ironically, it was during my research on motivation at the prestigious Harvard Medical School Addiction Research Program that I realized that much of what motivates me (and all people) comes from lessons I learned from him in that taxi. Here are some of them.
My dearest little girl, sometimes I forget that you're only four years old. Actually, a month ago you were just three. Maybe I expect too much from you at times because you're a big sister now. Maybe it's because I just haven't taken the time and effort to see things from your bright little eyes. But my darling, I am slowly learning to do exactly this, and I'm sorry I sometimes forget.
Each child is different, gifted uniquely, and those moments of celebration, even if all you do is take them out for Dollar Menu sundaes, builds their confidence. Teaching them not to give up. And helps them to expect more of themselves. And in the end, they need to know that they are loved, accepted, and treasured, apart from their accomplishments. Simply because they are yours.
The families left behind -- that's what is hitting me the hardest in the wake of last week's tragedy in Moncton that saw three RCMP officers -- three fathers -- gunned down. This weekend is Father's Day -- the first in a series of terrible 'firsts' that these will families have to face without husbands and fathers.
Busy parents eagerly anticipate the day when their children can be trusted to stay safe on their own. It frees parents up to stay a little longer at work, head to an appointment or go for dinner. But when is a good time to start leaving your child home alone? Ultimately the decision comes down to when you think your child is ready for this responsibility.
Despite the fact that one in six couples in North America has difficulty conceiving, infertility is still something with a lot of stigma attached to it. Few people openly discuss their fertility struggles, and many people experience shame. As an infertility counsellor, I see many women whose identity, body image, and self-esteem erode as they struggle to conceive while, seemingly, everyone else gets pregnant with ease around them.
My girls have never wanted to answer the phone when it rings or make calls or be the voice on our recorded message. When I pass them the phone to chat with their grandmothers, they look at me like I handed them a grenade. I've reviewed some rules of phone etiquette with them (with obviously not enough emphasis on the consequences of prank calls!), but they need practise to feel confident.
With kids growing up surrounded by advertising, movies and TV, toys, books, and clothes that tell them that some things are for girls, and others are for boys, we're already fighting an uphill battle if our goal is to raise girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems, and boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition.
What's wrong with being moms? What's so awful about this that we feel we need to shout at the world that we are so much more than moms, that we are so much more than everyone else? Fighting fire with fire rarely works and this is yet another case of it. If you were truly proud to be a mom, you wouldn't have to validate your choice on Facebook.
If we convey negative or suspicious attitudes about other cultures and ethnicities, our kids will pick up on these and replicate our behaviour. "Monkey see, monkey do" is real so keep this in mind and remember to convey a positive and open attitude about other cultures, particularly around your children.
While it's true that young people do need the guidance and direction authority figures provide, they also deserve to have people in charge who think rationally and are willing to explain themselves. If we're going to teach our children not to trust just anyone, we need to give them good reason to trust us.