Sure, Santa may determine that a child's behaviour is not up to snuff and is therefore a reason to deny said child of gifts on Christmas Day. But why does Santa have to be the judge, jury and (figurative) executioner on December 25th? Whatever happened to parental responsibility and the ability to look one's child in the eye in an attempt to deliver the verdict?
I made this dreadful realization after a meeting with a new client: half my face was covered with sparkles from my daughter's fairy princess costume and I had forgotten to brush my teeth. Yep, welcome to the world of personal hygiene and style for parents. So, for all you parents who are trying to look halfway decent during this crazy harried pre-Christmas month, this list is for you.
Children may worry they are being disloyal if they start to have too much fun with one parent. They also worry about the parent that they are not with, wondering if that parent is okay. Sometimes they just deeply miss the parent they are not with. The familiar traditions may be gone and this can leave the children feeling as though something or someone is missing.
"Good luck with the little drama queen," they say when they find out I'm expecting a girl. It seems we gals have a rep right out of the womb -- as dramatic, irrational whack-jobs. So, when one of us is assaulted and comes forward, many people instantly think: oh she's exaggerating, seeking attention or revenge or a payday. It's a pattern, after all.
Looking back on my 18 years of parenting experience, I have concluded that it likely didn't matter what approach my wife and I took to raising our daughter. She's her own person. So stop worrying. Follow my seven simple rules for jellyfish parenting and save yourself a lot of grief and possibly a stress-induced stroke.
That image of the family sitting at Christmas dinner, everyone smiling at each other and the ideal turkey perfectly placed on the platter, can quickly become a great disappointment if we make perfection our goal. If you want to get more out of the holidays you can follow a few simple guidelines that will assist you in staying grounded and present during the season.
Six years ago, my husband Matthew was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform, the most common and deadliest of brain cancers. As Matthew's primary caregiver, I've come to recognize that coping in the face of a terminal illness is a learned skill, and sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works.
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.