Milo was probably one of the easiest babies you would ever meet. He ate, he didn't fuss, he slept through the night, pretty much fell asleep instantly when putting him down. He still sleeps amazingly well but he is getting pickier at eating, and well, he's now a toddler. And parents know what that means.
The other day, our Wi-Fi died and we were without Internet or television for 36 hours. Yes, that includes Netflix. The kids did not know quite what to do. What about Minecraft? What about Pokemon Go? To this generation, Wi-Fi is like oxygen and they cannot imagine a world where it isn't available all the time. Internet is, after all, considered a basic human right.
If you remove all of life's unpleasantries, what are you really teaching your child about the world? Doing so will only result in giving your child a false sense of reality. Resilience, being able to get back up after you fall down, is what adults must instill in children. Allow your child to face uncomfortable circumstances even if it makes you uncomfortable. This will teach them about overcoming adversity.
Emile knows that he's Jewish, but it's an esoteric concept at his age. He loves eating gefilte fish and searching for the afikomen, hates how long Passover seders take and boasts to his buddies about getting two holidays instead of one in December. I used to do the same. But because we're an invisible minority, it can easily disappear. Maintaining it requires effort. So my role as a father is to help him see the value in making Jewish history, culture and traditions a part of him -- he can decide on the religious part on his own -- so that he might one day pass it all on to his own child.
Parents need to walk that fine line between allowing their teens to fail and make mistakes, so that they can learn from these experiences, and keeping them from being self-destructive or self-defeating. It's important that teens see that their actions have consequences and learn from their own experiences what works for them and what doesn't work. The parents' role is to make sure that the consequences to their teen aren't so severe that there's no coming back.
Our only child, crushed by the death of his grandpa, had transformed from an everyday kid into a faint memory of the boy he was, his every baffling behaviour designed to bring his grandpa back to life. We called this invisible force the "OCD Monster" and we felt powerless to stop it from enslaving our son.
I'm not sure whether to let my son play or drastically limit his playing time. But one thing is for sure: now that school is back in session, there have to be rules around how long my boys are allowed to play and when. I recently began polling parents about their rules, and my kids have listened intently to these discussions.
The thing is, I have always been sad and worried. It's stuck on me like gray toned glitter -- it clouds everything I do and no matter what I do it's never fully gone. When I realized I was different from other kids, I didn't know what to do. I was always sad and worried. Worried that people would notice me for being different and make fun of me. Sad because even when I tried to fit it -- I always felt like I couldn't do it right.
As children move towards the last few years of elementary school, and especially as they move into high school, many become less and less likely to tell a parent or other adult if they are being bullied or are in over their heads with a peer issue. Often this is because they feel that telling an adult won't help or even that it might make the situation worse.
The importance of a healthy family meal can't be overstated -- obesity rates are climbing, and so are chronic diseases, many which are tied to poor diet and lifestyle. It's not only affecting adults, but our young children as well, and at an alarming rate. Preventing these illnesses and poor eating habits in our kid's lives starts now.
Guilt and regret are the ugly Hyde to the Jekyll of sobriety, even years in. With new awareness, we relive past experiences---or in many cases bemoan what might have been. Pain and sorrow previously numbed by a drug or drink of choice is glaringly present, and strikes unpredictably---in the midst of a family gathering; alone, late at night; smack in the middle of an important work presentation, or during a particularly deep yoga class.
Have we ourselves ever fallen victim to the allure that devices and screens provide? I lie if I fail to answer in the affirmative. Of course, our family battles the daily urge to reach for our screens, the lifeline connecting the isolated to the seemingly infinite. But every once in a while, there is something greater that entices.
He loves his little baby just as much as he loves his trains. I think people need to stop over reacting with the whole dolls are for girls and trucks are for boys thing. Just let your kid be who they are, play with what they want to play with. In the end, they will grow up to be the person who they were meant to be.