Like many Indian girls, I wasn't allowed to date when I was a teenager. But today, it's been a different childhood for my 18-year-old. In fact things are very different in my household. My husband and I do our best to cope with the reality that she wants to date, even though we never had the same opportunity as teens.
Sooner or later, and usually at the most inappropriate time, some version of The Question ("Where do babies come from?") will emerge from your child's lips. Whatever the inspiration, our responses as Black Daddies tend to oscillate between evasion and deliberate vagueness ("Go ask your mother....").
During a brief vacation away with my Greek immigrant parents in sunny Florida, I had the serenity to engage them in several wonderful lengthy chats about their past (always a favourite topic of mine) and to quietly observe them. These are the additional gems that I have gained from my parents' experiences.
That moment when you look at your hands, at your feet; and they look...old. When you look at your body and it seems flabby. When you look at your eyes, and they seem tired. That, my dear Mama, is the moment you realize. That being a mother is the hardest gig you've ever had to do. Harder than anything. Keep on keeping on, soldiers.
If you're a parent, you know that your little darlings may not always be telling you the absolute truth. Yes, it's hard to believe, but kids lie. A lot. Just because you've been lied to by your child doesn't mean that it has to continue. It's you against them when it comes to the truth. You're their parent, so you should win.
I am learning, slowly, but surely, that life is not about taking the perfect picture. It is about the big picture. And the smaller ones that define and describe who and what we are. Husband turned and said to me, after the snowman fell and we were rebuilding a second, "He's just like all of us. Falling apart and getting re-built bigger and better again."
Just in front of every baby boomer, there is a parent. Or parents. Like me, on the brink of old age. Let us suppose that I am your mother. Chances are, when you ask me, "How are you Mom?" I will answer "Fine." Am I? Or am I in denial, protecting you from the truth, afraid to admit to my physical and mental lapses?
When it comes to discipline, many parents have taken a large step backwards, and technology is to blame. In this day and age of smart phone journalism, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook shares, parents have become wary and hesitant of punishing their children in case their actions at any moment are recorded and uploaded to a willing audience in a matter of seconds.
I've been using the power of Santa Claus for a few weeks now, and things are looking good. For maximum effectiveness, the use of Santa and his omnipresence is good for the window directly following Halloween until December 25. During this time, I enjoy the increased attentiveness, dearth of meltdowns and general calm that precedes Christmas day.
We've all heard them. Those annoying phrases that our parents said to us growing up and now that we're parents ourselves, we've decided to inflict them our own kids. The reality is that the true meanings behind these messages that parents tell their kids are often not as straightforward as they appear to be. Following are the top 10 phrases that parents use on their kids, and what they really mean.
Dear Caregiver, I am sorry my child lay on the floor today and refused to participate in your class. I also apologize that she further disregarded your implicit instructions pertaining to scheduled activities, not to mention more than once did exactly the opposite of what you requested. Spirited kids are square pegs trying to fit into a round world. They are the ones asking "why" when others are saying "yes." And then some.
With the kids, my husband is the sensitive one. While I am the screamer, he is the voice of reason. I almost felt inadequate when he told me his approach. But then I remembered: who I am is enough too. I don't have to change who I am, I just have to channel the qualities that make me who I am in the right direction.