Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

Hold Yourself Accountable

This has been on my mind lately. In fact, this has been gnawing at me quite a bit.

Why do some parents not take responsibility for the action of their children?

I experience this quite a bit. A person I know refuses to ever hold themselves accountable for anything their children may do. If their child breaks something that belongs to someone else, this person refuses to replace it. I asked them why they think that they should not and the answer always is the same: “I didn’t do it.?

What? It is beyond me how anyone could not understand that if their child does something wrong, it reflects on them as a parent. Most parents I know would fall over themselves apologizing, punish the child if the behavior was intentional, then replace the item. Accidents are another matter, which punishment should not be given, but a good explanation of why the accident resulted in the break,injury, or other damage.

Recently, an expensive gaming platform of ours was damaged by this person’s child. We barred them from touching it again, and the parent thinks we are being unreasonable. This person also lies, refuses to believe in consequences for any of their own actions, then wonders why the children they have raised do not behave in a normally acceptable fashion

As parents, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our children’s actions and behavior. But, before we can wonder why our children behave poorly (if they do), we need to take a good look at our own behavior. Are we setting good examples?

Children learn by watching their parents. It sounds simple enough, but some parents do not understand this. I don’t know why, perhaps there is something missing in their thought process. We all know these types and at one time or another, we’ve all been as flabbergasted as I am now.

So, for those who are not quite sure on how to avoid setting a bad example, here are a few tips. Those of you who know what I mean, smile with me.

1. Lying.
If you lie, your children will as well. More than likely, to you.

2. If you act as if you’ll never have to pay a bill, your children will probably live with you until they’re 50.

3. Commit a crime, then act like it was a joke? Be prepared to share a cell with your child one day in the future. He’ll never take authority seriously.

4. Did your child break something and you won’t replace it? Then don’t get upset when she breaks YOUR stuff.

5. If you can’t keep a job, don’t complain about how your son and wife move in with you later on down the road. He’s only living as he learned.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting | 2 Comments »

Bedtime Blues

Each night it my children seem to get worked up right before bedtime. I am not sure if this is a last burst of energy, a futile effort to stay up with Mommy and Daddy, or just something that nature designed to test the patience of parents.

A few months ago I had struggled to keep the my three year old asleep at night. She and her sister did not want to go to sleep, but eventually tiredness would win out. The problem was that my littlest girl (Terisa) would wake up at nearly the same time each night. In an effort to keep her sleeping soundly, we moved the girl’s small toddler beds out of the room and gave them a full sized bed to share. With the comfort of being near her older sister, Terisa almost immediately began sleeping without many episodes of waking.

Still, the trouble of having them both fall asleep at a proper time persisted. Amber, my older child, would usually fall asleep before Terisa. Introducing music helped a little with Terisa…but they were still very worked up when we reached their bedroom. I have a routine, so the relaxation was in place and has been for at least two years.

Last night, I think I hit a winning solution. This may not work for some children, but for mine it was a godsend. I just posted about the Secrets Of Happily Married Women book and how it has helped my marriage. Perhaps, just perhaps those tools would work with my children! I know their nature. Part of this nature is being worked up right before bed, so I decided to just let them do their normal jump on the bed deal last night.

They ran to their room and started their bouncing. This time, I surprised them by grabbing my book, leaning against the wall and saying, “Ok guys. You can jump on the bed until I am done reading. When Mommy is finished, it is bedtime.?

Wow! They were so happy they very nearly bumped the ceiling with their little heads. Mommy was letting them jump to their heart’s content. When I had nearly finished the chapter I was on, they had already slowed down and were yawning. Amber, the oldest, has sensory issues, so the bouncing actually helps her body calm down. Terisa just follows suit.

We put their giant stuffed bunnies to bed, complete with baby blankets, then the girls got under their own blankets. It did not take long for their classical CD to lull them to sleep. A half hour or so of good fun instead of crying.

I am a happy mom today.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Activities | No Comments »

Holiday Productivity (or non-productivity)

How many times have you made plans in the evening, right before going to bed only to find the next day that everything you plan to do has gone *POOF*? During the holiday season this happens more often. I notice that my plans go awry almost from the time I wake. Breakfast slows down because the kids need this and that, baby decides to wash his hair with syrup, big sister un-decorates the tree. These minor mishaps through the rest of the morning into a down spiral.

I don’t post too often about my writing here or my own experiences at home. But, today seemed to be the perfect idea for a post to share with you. If you are a mom or dad who works at home, or maybe you work outside of the home only to come home and have your plans go falling apart worse than Aunt Mary’s crumbly cakes, then this is your post.

I try. I promise you, I try to get things done. Just don’t take a peek into my laundry room or my kitchen right now. The bedrooms? Forget about it. My productivity levels have dropped to an all time low. It’s not that I have much more work than normal. I think it is the lack of support that we who work to support our families get from the same family.

Have you ever sat down to your computer only to have a little one pop up beside you asking for a snack? You just fed her, but suddenly she has the capacity for food of a beluga whale. Or maybe you have just come home from work and everyone wants to go shopping. Can’t a person have a break? Can’t your partner handle the shopping for one night or hold off on the need to go out for one more day?

If you are a home worker, most of the time everyone thinks you are sitting in front of the computer, knocking back the wine while nibbling bon bons. Heck, even my husband seems to think that writing is no big deal. So I have eight articles that need to be 1,000 words done in three days, that doesn’t get his boxers washed, now does it? If only they made self washing-drying-folding-putting away clothing. I’d be in heaven! Oh, and what about self washing dishes? Euphoria. If my house could sustain itself while I work, it would be a dream. I thought we were supposed to be living like the Jetsons nowadays, anyway.

Here are some things that might help your productivity levels rise. Well, only if you aren’t like me and forget to put the tips into motion.

1. Forget what mom told you about separating your laundry. Try doing it more simply. Keep whites separate, but wash everything else in one big lump. If you are worried about reds running onto other colors, just throw reds and blacks into the same load. If this doesn’t work for you, find a laundry that does your clothing for you. Load them into your vehicle, drop them off, forget them until it’s time to go get’em.

2. The vacuum is your friend. Just pick up everything that is too large to go into the thing and vacuum the whole house. Forget dropping it for a broom. That wastes time. If your dog or cat sheds badly, grab them and take care of the excess hair while you are cleaning the floors. Voila, two birds with one big whirring rock.

3. Enlist help. Even the smallest kids can help you get things done. Give older children a bag and the directions to “pick up all that junk you put there?. Usually they’ll get confused, so gently point them in the right direction. Motivate them into helping, only if you meet resistance, by holding a favorite toy hostage. A squirt gun to the head of a favorite doll is an amazing motivator.

5. Don’t put off today what you will have to do tomorrow. If something really needs to be done, go on and do it. Waiting will make it worse. If you need proof, come look at my kitchen. Bring pepper spray.

So now you have a short list of tips that may help you. Understanding the mechanics of your home will also help. Understand that no matter what you do, sometime tomorrow the mess will come back. If you are sneaky and attack after the kids are asleep, you are more likely to have a clean home for most of the next day. Unless your kids stay at home all day, if that is the case, then I suggest getting a dog to clean crumbs they leave behind and a snow shovel to pick up toys in the quickest manner. At least you will have a few extra minutes here and there to devote to work, holiday decorating, or holiday cooking.

Posted in Parenting, Daily Living, Holidays, Writing, Humor | 3 Comments »

Are All Men Pedophiles?

I am deeply disturbed. I read a blog post by a concerned mother over a comment another child’s father had made to her own daughter and how she felt about it. While it is natural for a mother to be protective of her children, it made me think on how society at large perceives men and their connection to children. This is not a jab or attempt to belittle the concerned mother, I won’t link to the post, but I would like to address this type of topic.

In today’s society, it is generally ok for a woman to say she loves children. For a mother to be present at school functions or even in classes, if a man states he loves children the first thought that often comes to mind is ‘Oh my gosh, he must be a pedophile’ or ‘That is so weird’. So generally, all men who love children is a pedophile in many minds. I’ve seen enough of this type of talk in forums, chats, and in person to know this is a major frame of mind.

This is very scary to mothers out there who encourage their children’s fathers to be involved in their children’s lives. A father who spends the same amount of time, if not more, with their children at school, in extra curricular activities, or allowing their children’s friends to visit suddenly is a weirdo. Why is this? There have been women who take advantage of young men or boys throughout time. But I have heard people when viewing such stories covered in the media think the women involved were punished too severely. It is like a rite of passage for a teen boy to be sexually involved with an older woman. Take a peek at any of the American Pie movie series if you don’t believe that one. Older woman + young man/boy= acceptable.

Don’t think I am advocating that older men should be allowed to touch a younger girl. Quite the opposite. Women should be given the same treatment as men who make advances on young girls. It is not fair, not at all. We should all expand our views to first look at a man as a good father for being involved in his child’s life before making assumptions based on his sex.

Sexism is stereotyping people based on their sex alone, not women, people. Men are the victims of sexism far more often than women. We assume men need to fit into a male model that has been moldeed throughout centuries, millennia even. Men are written about undesirably concerning their lack of emotions, insensitivity, hot looks, and beyond. What makes that ok?

Maybe I’ve went off on a rant here, but it irks me to no end how society at large wants everyone to be equal, which in the end means that if you are a woman, minority, or gay it is not acceptable to say anything negative without backlash. I should probably remove the minority from there, because men from all races put up with this type of sexism. Men deserve more respect for just being human. They should not have to fear assumptions being made if they care for their kids and love kids.

All of you guys out there…here’s to you. Keep being who you are, don’t let people or the media get you down. Some of us love ya however you are.

**I have decided to add a note here concerning the above post. I had already written that this is not intended to belittle the poster from the other blog. Her post caused me to think and it led down this path. Any writer or blogger who reads usually finds that their thoughts continue down the ‘what if’ path. One of the best freelance writers out there, Jenna Glatzer, spoke of finding another story within a story. This is what I have done. I have the utmost respect for my fellow bloggers and writers, I would not stoop to making insults nor ‘calling out’ someone on a blog meant for families. Making others think is why we all blog or write, so I thank J. for her original post.**

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting | 6 Comments »

Xbox Live: Predator Game Space

Do you know what your children are doing online?

With the internet, many parents have become more careful in the time they allow their children to spend online. Parents monitor the sites kids are visiting and have restrictions set on their computers. In some cases the kids get past those restrictions and meet adults online. While this happens, many parents are trying harder to combat this issue.

Cue Xbox Live.

A few days ago we subscribed to Xbox Live. My husband and brother in law wanted to play Halo 3 online and see what else they could find to distract them from their manly stresses. (insert a chuckle here, I know what they do all day) I didn’t mind, thought it would be fun.

Imagine our horror when we heard some sad sack hitting on a 13 year old girl! The horror wasn’t really from the man hitting on her, it stemmed mainly from the fact that she gave him information on where she lived. State, home town, and the name of the apartment building. Anyone plugged in to that particular scenerio could hear her.

Scary stuff. Parents should think twice before buying a younger teen a subscription to Xbox Live or at least monitor the child’s gaming activities. Children must be responsible enough to not relate their personal information to anyone who asks.

Predators will use any outlet to reach their target. When you use Xbox Live, remember that it is the same as the internet where any number of people came meet and chat together. Some of the people do not have the best of intentions. I cannot stress this enough: Teach your children to never, ever give out their home address, school location, or real name to people met online or via Xbox Live. (or any other platform with interweb capabilities)

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Personal Safety, Technology | 3 Comments »

Tuesday’s Tunes: SpongeBob Squarepants

SpongeBob. You either love him or hate him. I am in the love camp because as silly as he is, SpongeBob has some great lessons built in. The little yellow guy is himself, all of the time, without regard for what other people think of him.
SpongeBob is Fun!
He loves music, too. I picked up the SpongeBob Squarepants TV Theme cd and my kids from the five year old to the one year old danced all over the place. Silly songs, fun beats and a love of all things ‘kid’, this cd is saturated with those things!

You might have dismissed SpongeBob and the music from the show as too silly for your child, but remember that children love silly things that to an adult make no sense. Take some time to let go for a minute and just enjoy the silliness.

Posted in Parenting, Only Children, Music | 3 Comments »

Motivational Monday: The Glad Game

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. -Confucius

I’m trying really hard with this one today. It seems that people are more inclined to remember injuries and to be honest, I’m one of them. Learning to let go of personal injuries to the emotions is a hard lesson, but not impossible. Lately I’ve been playing the ‘glad game’. Remember PollyAnna? If you’ve never read that book, take a chance and read it.

The ‘glad game’ is taking the time to think of ways to be glad over everything that happens to you. The harder it is, the better it is for your soul. For example…you didn’t get the promotion you wanted or a job you wanted didn’t come through. Well, perhaps you can be glad that you don’t have to spend the extra time on the job and you can spend it with your loved ones instead. Maybe you need eyeglasses, but you can be glad you are not blind, and so on.

The Glad Game is hard, but easier than living with constant regret.

Posted in Conflict and Anger, Character Development, Mental Environment, Stress Management | No Comments »

Motivational Monday:Love

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.”-Mother Teresa


Often times we wonder if we are spending enough time with our families. A phone call to mom, a walk with the kids, a quiet dinner with our partner. All of the demands our busy lives place on us cuts down the precious moments we share with the ones we love the most.

We may not be able to change our schedules to make more time in some cases and nature will not allow another hour to be added to our day. What we can do is make the time we spend with our families full of love. Take a few moments to say ‘yes’ to reading just one more story at bedtime, ‘yes’ to a short walk, and ‘yes’ to cuddling with your partner for five extra minutes in the morning before work. Here is a great article on love and how to keep it going in your relationship. Love Will Keep Us Together.

Before you turn out the lights in your child’s room, say ‘I love you’ one more time. Make it a habit to look into your partner’s eyes when you tell them you love them, so it becomes a habit to make a connection with one another; instead of a habit to just say the words. Just one extra thoughtful moment for each person you love each day will make your life more full of what every human needs: love.

Posted in Parenting, Relationships, Building and Maintaining, Cohabitation, Communication, Marriage, Daily Living | 2 Comments »

The Special Needs Child: Be The Wheel

Yesterday was going to be themed for nutrition, but due to circumstances, I missed posting. I apologize for that and today I’m going to focus on something totally different from what I originally meant to use.

Education and Special Needs will be the theme for today.

There are many, many children in public schools today who are specials needs. Each one of these children have a specialized educational program that should be followed by their school. Even if they do not have an Individualized Education Program or IEP in place, they should. The sad fact is, even though schools are required by law to provide special services for children who need them, a large percentage never receive the services that are their right.

Why is this? Low funding is one problem, lack of communication is another, and in some cases plain neglect. As a parent it is our right to know and understand the IEP and services our children are given or have been recommended to receive. It is also our right to have phone numbers, addresses, and names of the people who we need to speak with in case an IEP is not working for our child.

As a parent you are your child’s most powerful tool in life. You are their advocate. Keep a list of phone numbers, have their IEP handy, and if possible, get to know as many of staff members in your childs’ school. Be as friendly as possible with these people, because as biased and sad as this sounds, children of parents who are friendly and involved in their school as they are able are treated much better. If you notice problems, complain. Try politeness first, if that fails, then make sure the system knows you are displeased. Make as many calls as you can, let the school system know you are not going to back down until the problem you are having is solved.

As my child’s liasion told me…the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Be your childs’ wheel and squeak until they have what they deserve and need.

Posted in Parenting, Child Development, School and Learning, Child Education | No Comments »

Wednesday Works

Looking For Jobs

So many parents are working at home these days. Thanks to the internet we can stay home, take care of the kids, or spend time with our partners without that daily nine to five grind. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into working at home, I’m going to be linking to some opportunities here each Wednesday. Don’t think that staying home means lounging in your jammies and eating bon-bons, because here’s the honest truth…

If you are going to stay at home and work, be it freelance writing or sewing your own designer diaper line, you will have to work, work, work. Keeping up with clients, meeting deadlines, posting and selling product. You will probably work harder than you ever did outside of the home, but it can be the most satisfying feeling in the world to know you are working for yourself.

This week I offer some links to freelance writing jobs. Two links are to collections of jobs and two are to single postings I have found to be encouraging.


Deb Ng’s Freelance Job Blog

Telecommuting Jobs

Banks.Com Writing Job

A Blogging Contest

Posted in Parenting, Computers and Technology, Career Minded, Writing, Websites | No Comments »

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