There are no polarities when it comes to twins. No "good" one vs. "bad one;" no angelic child versus evil spawn, no duelling forces, vying for the top spot in their respective categories. There are just kids, warts, scabbed knees and all. Though the mythology and expectation of opposite-minded twin siblings is appealing to some, it is, fortunately, untrue.
Being a new parent means that you are often bombarded with advice and suggestions about raising a child. Family, friends and even strangers will no doubt offer their two cents on all sorts of topics. Problem is, how do you know who to listen to? I debunk some top myths to help soon-to-be moms and dads navigate the world of parenthood.
No question from my oldest daughter has torn more at my heart. A discussion about never taking rides with strangers unexpectedly morphed into a talk about sexual assault. "Mom," she whispered tentatively. "Do you mean that someone can just sneak up and do THAT to me?" My heart lurched into my throat. Until that moment, my bright-eyed daughter lived blissfully unaware of the fact that women can be raped. I was rendered momentarily speechless.
Allow your children time to grieve and remain open to ongoing conversations after the big announcement. If your children are asking you questions, this is positive. Encourage further conversations and be open to their questions, thoughts, and feelings. You may want to consider setting up a time for the children to talk with a therapist at some point.
Something is amiss in Canada. A 2014 UNICEF report compared the health and development of children in Canada with 28 other wealthy nations. In spite of being a G8 country, Canada's children rank number 17th, a status that has not budged in the last 10 years. The question is, why are these problems still so widespread?
If we expect our children to not listen to us -- whether it's going to bed, eating a meal or not hitting their brother -- then I'm going to guess that, surprise, they're not going to listen to us. By the same token, if in the work world we expect our employees to keep doing the same things over and over again, in an inefficient way, that's exactly what they're going to do.
Living below two little kids (who sounded like quintuplets) when I was a university student gave me a soft spot for people who want to live in relative peace and quiet. So when my landlord sent me an email last month kindly asking me if there was anything I could do about my baby's crying, I wasn't miffed. I was, in fact, apologetic and obliging.
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.