It’s a grueling and exhausting task. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry. It’s perilous. It’s inescapable. It’s potty training. Try as we might to put it off, as parents, it is a trial we must all trudge through.
I believe that a family crisis has a way of either bringing family members closer together or fragmenting relationships. There appears to be no middle ground. When a loved one is ill or dies, do the children and relatives rally around each other, or do they hold grudges, fight and feud?
For many years there’s been a debate about rewarding our children. Does it work? Is it effective? If so, what kind of rewards should be used? To use rewards, we establish a standard with our kids and give them something for meeting this standard. Punishment is given out in much the same way, but it’s used when certain standards of performance, behavior, etc. have not been met.
A friend of mine who is a high school English teacher in our local schools has been perplexed by the behavior of some of her current students. She said, “Help me understand why a third of my students can’t sit still in their desks? They wiggle, they squirm, they tap their pencils and their feet and are constantly in motion.” She is experiencing a dose of today’s “hard-wired” youngsters.
I quit my job and, even though I am writing full time and in the process of building a darkroom, by all accounts of definition I am a full time mommy (or “stay-at-home-mom”—there, I said it). I think I am going through a routine that might be familiar to women who have embarked on the brave and noble task of transitioning from independent-career-savvy-mom classically attired for her lunch meeting to harried-distracted-covered-in-peanut-butter…stay-at-home-mom.
Asperger’s syndrome is a rather new category of pervasive developmental disorders affecting children. It is a form of autism generally related to the mildest and highest functioning individuals in the spectrum of autistic disorders. Recently, awareness of Asperger’s disorder as a type of autism has increased due to proper diagnosis of the syndrome and an increase in cases of autism spectrum disorders in general.
Often, parents live vicariously through their children, usually without being aware that they are doing it. They over-function, or are overprotective, and view their children as an extension of themselves. Parents, who have the financial means, may take the extra step of hiring personalized athletic trainers, send their kids to endless sports camps, and hire sports psychologists hoping to give their child the needed edge to gain sports notoriety.
Parenting is an ongoing process of healthy sacrifice: the sacrifice of attention, time, energy, money, personal agendas, and all the activities we would prefer to do if we were not parenting.