When I was growing up there was rarely an overweight child. Occasionally someone would be plump, but I can't remember anyone in my class being fat. However, TV wasn't around until I was eight years old, and the streets were a safe place to play. We had plenty of P.E. in school and we played hard after school. Even as we grew older and had more homework, physical activity was a major part of our lives. And there wasn't so much junk food around yet.
When parents think about discipline, all too often they equate discipline with punishment. Whoa … not so fast! 'What's wrong with punishment?' you may wonder. Well, punishment is costly. It results in kids feeling badly, both about themselves and about you. And is it effective? Not very.
As if deciding to get divorced isn't tough enough, when you have kids, you have to find just the right way to tell them about it. But, what's the best way to break your children's heart? How do you tell them that mommy and daddy won't be living together any longer?
As a parent, it is vitally important that you have a sense of passion and purpose in your life, separate from your children. And, it is essential that you learn to define your own sense of worth, rather than making your children's behavior responsible for this. It is too big a burden for children to be the center of your life.
"Your dad is gay!" my friend spat out one day when we were in a fight. It was as if she were accusing me of something horrible. I was nine at the time. That night, I confronted my mother. "Heather said Dad is gay. He's not, right?" She paused—a long pause—that confirmed my worst fear. I felt betrayed. "How could my dad do this to me? And more importantly, what was I going to tell my friends?"
When my daughter was born, I was determined to be a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, cloth diapering, hippie mama. Nine months later, the only thing that'd stuck was the cloth diapers. I had just started my daughter on formula, she had been in the sling exactly five times and never once slept in her fancy little co-sleeper, which I returned to the store. And yes, I felt like a failure.
Every daughter needs a male role model, even if he is a stand-in father. How daughters relate to males is based on what they observe and experience with their own fathers or father stand-ins. Let's take a look at fathers and celebrate how a father's love protects his daughter. Since father's are doers, let's also celebrate what they do.
Power struggles over homework plague many families. Parents worry, wanting their children to do well. Believing that encouragement, praise, explanations, setting limits, and even threats, anger and punishment are well-meaning, deserved, necessary and loving, parents often interact with their children in ways that lead to the very problems they want to avoid.
Your teen leaves his dirty clothes all over the house. Instead of getting into another fight with him or nagging him to pick them up, you do it for him. It’s easier, right? Your daughter with ADD is having problems completing her science project. She can’t seem to focus and complains that it’s boring and too difficult. After she goes to sleep, you finish it for her. After all, you don’t want her to fail.
If you're the parent of a teenager, you know that over-the-top feeling of Parenting Fatigue. You're exhausted from always working to keep tight boundaries, teaching important life lessons, and guarding against all those dangers you hope your teen never has to experience but are afraid they will. You feel the endless requirements of parenting, wonder if this year your teenager will settle into high school, stand up to the bullies, and graciously accept household chores without argument, or if this is just a fantasy you need to let go of.
When it comes to my children and preparing them for romance, I'm pretty conservative. Love, relationships and sex, are all huge life situations that can make or break times of your life and influence who you are and the path your life will take, and I don't want to underprepare my kids by treatly the subject lightly.
On Saturday May 26, 2012, my oldest daughter graduated from high school and she's off to college in the fall, leaving the nest. This summer is probably the last time she'll be living at home for the rest of her life. Sure, she'll come home over the holidays and summer break, but most of that time is spent going out with friends and catching up on the happenings in their lives. From this point forward, my baby is going to be out in the real world on her own. Am I nostalgic thinking back about the time we spent together? Heck yes. Am I sad? Yes, but excited for the adventure she is about to embark on. Am I worried? No way! Let me share with you a true story involving a little boy and a little girl that happened many years ago but still moves me to tears when I tell it.
Even though my fiance and I are still months away from walking down the aisle, the inevitable question has already come up: When are we going to have kids? This is totally exacerbated by the fact that my younger sister just had a baby in April, and in some cases, the question is annoyingly accusatory (as in, how dare you let your little sister have a baby before you?)
Does your child's behavior, the choices he or she makes, and fears about how he will turn out weigh you down, making you feel like it's all somehow a reflection on you? When our kids don't act in ways we think they should, it's natural to feel anxious and responsible; we're only human. But, when we do this, we stop seeing the boundary between where we end and where our child begins. We become fused with them.