I've repeated this phrase since then, on many occasions. During the good, the bad, and even the mundane and pedestrian parts of my parenting journey. Parenthood can often feel like a desperate race through the "phases," always hurtling forward, always wishing this current phase was over, that the children would be more independent, less clingy, less messy, less fidgety, less screamy, less whiney.
Sometimes people feel the need to come up to me and tell me how smart she is, as though that was ever in question. My daughter can recognize words on a 12th grade level so yes, she is smart -- but she can't tell when her shirt or pants are on backwards and that the tag almost always goes in the back.
If we can reinforce it in schools and at home, our kids may be lucky enough to grow up wanting to be no one other than their beautiful selves. We can help them by encouraging them to fail, and hugging and kissing them after they do. We can teach them curiosity about the world and show them that difference is the one thing that makes us all the same.
Anxiety is the number one mental health concern for children. Our children are growing up in a highly anxious world, surrounded by a massive amount of stimulation and information. Here are some practical and important tips to assist you with grounding your children in this anxious world, and helping them develop their self regulation capabilities.
Out of the blue, my daughter said: "Daddy, when I get up in the morning, you are always there. When I am hungry, it's you who puts food on the table. When I need someone to play with, you always play with me. Thank you, Daddy." This story should have made me feel utterly happy, but instead I felt like I was simultaneously kicked in the stomach and stabbed in the heart.
It's fair to say that many teens love getting something for nothing. Free candy? It fits the bill. And every October 31, they fail to disappoint, showing up at the door, thrusting a bag in the direction of unwitting participants, sometimes without even uttering the agreed request -- sometimes, the words "Trick or Treat" aren't even mentioned.
A young reserve solider was shot and killed in our capital city of Ottawa by a gunman. Most of us are still reeling from this news and trying to make sense of what has happened today. But we also need to respond to our young people and help them understand what has occurred. There is much we will need to understand and process around this horrific event, but here are some tips to help you talk with your children right here and right now.
It was an ordinary summer day. People were milling on the main thoroughfare, bikes zig-zagging through traffic, cafés and pubs spilling onto the sidewalk, patrons sipping their way through a lazy Friday afternoon. We were ordinary that day too. Just another family, managing the hectic jumble of kids' lessons, bills, our careers, endless streams of birthday parties, too little sleep and the occasional date night out. But it was all shattered with a single word: autism.
It's really important to talk to your doctor about what you're going to do. It's good to be in shape before you get pregnant. And doing some form of exercise in pregnancy and after. But enjoy your baby! I wasn't rushing back into training. It's a special moment when your baby arrives and that's your focus.
Let me make this clear: It is not just one little sleeper. It is countless versions of these little declarations appearing on t-shirts, cups, purses and other random propaganda, coming together to form one big, persistent message. This message will help shape my daughters view of being a woman as she gets older and it tells girls exactly what society expects of them before they can even walk, or you know, hold up their own heads.
Parents often think that they have to have an immediate answer or solution at their fingertips, but sometimes all a kid needs is to be heard. When we listen to young people without interrupting, it helps them feel understood and it validates their feelings by making them feel less alone in whatever they may be coping with.
A recent study calling family dinners 'elitist' and 'unrealistic' has ruffled some feathers. I don't think family dinners or home cooking for one or more is elitist and unrealistic, but I do think that we have to temper our expectations of ourselves down to what is doable under the circumstances of our lives.
I don't have time to hide veggies in everything I cook, and I can make only so many muffins. I continue to offer her veggies often, but I'm battle weary, folks. Ready to admit defeat. Then I imagine her little body deficient in countless vitamins and minerals, and I strategize my battle plans for the week ahead.
As a mother, I have struggled with being labelled at times. Even so recently as last week, I denounced myself in conversation with my husband as being a helicopter parent, feeling defensive about my level of involvement in our children's lives. As a mom, I find myself consistently teaching, mentoring, coaching and loving our four.
I just sat in the car and had a good cry. I was in the parking lot of my 11-year-old daughter's school on her first day of middle school, but I wasn't having the "oh my child is growing up" type of cry. Instead, I was unexpectedly engulfed in fear about her life threatening allergies to peanuts and shellfish.