Category Archives: parenting

My Son. The Supernanny.

We all have good days and bad days as a parent. We all pray that our children won’t end up on Dr. Phil one day, telling the world how we messed them up.

And then, out of nowhere, when we least expect it, we get a glimpse of how we’re doing.

While folding clothes and watching a re-run of Supernanny, my youngest son sat down. Just to be in the same room. To play on his Kindle. And he started watching.

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“Mom? They should put her in a time out. Shouldn’t they be in bed by now? I can’t believe he even knows that word. How old is he?”

Then a Supernanny parenting question pops on the screen. We have to wait until the commercial break for the answer.

“I don’t have to wait. That’s an easy one. The answer is C!”

Sure enough, he’s right.

“You’re going to be an amazing father someday,” I beam.

“Yeah,” he muses, going back to his game.

“Just remember everything I taught you,” I say, kissing the top of his head.

“No,” he says, “I’ll remember everything you DID.”

…..

Yep.

Today is a GOOD day.

7 Comments

Filed under children, parenting

How Young Is Too Young? And Am I Setting My Kids Up For Social Suicide?

A friend shared with me her shock and dismay that her niece had an Instagram account. First of all, her niece was constantly on her phone, fingers in motion. Second, the child’s mother spent the weekend saying things like “Ohhh, such a cute shot. You should send that out!” and “Six more followers! Good job!” Third, my friend’s daughter was now begging for an account because all the cool kids had one.

And last, her niece is 10 years old.

Ten.

As in, one and a zero.

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So, I ask. Why does a 10 year old need a phone? Why is her mother so concerned about the number of followers her daughter has? And are my kids uncool because they don’t even have a phone yet?

Social media is difficult enough for an adult to navigate, and I’m talking about the emotional aspects, not the mechanics. Cyber bullying is now addressed in high schools and middle schools. Must we address it in elementary schools, as well?

Of course we must. But that doesn’t mean I want to.

I don’t see the need for my child to have a phone just yet. Knowing what I know about the dangers of the world and how close our technology can connect my child to these dangers is not appealing. Call me a worrywart. Call me over-protective. I don’t care.

My children are at an age when I am having to address this issue and I don’t want to. I want to keep my kids young and innocent and pure. I want their phone conversations to be supervised by a long cord tethered to the phone in the middle of a common area, oh say, like a kitchen. I want to know who is calling and at what time. You know, like it was when we were kids.

I’m struggling.

How young is too young?

Am I setting my kids up for social suicide because I want to prolong their innocence?

What do you think? And how are you handling this tricky, yet common, new century conundrum?

 

10 Comments

Filed under Growing Up, Motherhood, parenting, Ponderings

Damn It. I Hate It When Mom Is Right.

“Damn it!”

Hearing this wouldn’t be shocking. Except it was from the mouth of my 3-year-old foster daughter.

I freaked out when I first heard her say it. I gently reprimanded. I talked about good words and bad words until I was blue in the face. Nothing worked.

“Just ignore it,” counseled my mother. “It will go away.”

“I can’t wait for it to go away! We’re monitored by social workers and case workers. She has a visit with her birthmom in just a week. If she says that in front of her they’ll take her away from us. We’ll be labeled unfit parents. We’ll NEVER get to adopt!”

I was clearly distraught. To me, this slip of the tongue, this bad mommy moment that this angelic toddler had heard and was now emulating, was catastrophic. This behavior had to stop and it had to stop NOW.

So, I continued with my reprimands, my explanations and peppered in a few time-outs.

To no avail.

Running into the grocery store for a few things, I was in a terrible rush. Her older sister was still at school and I was due in the carpool line soon. Time was limited. Trying to get Julia out of the carseat, her foot got tangled in the straps.

“Damn it!” she said.

I froze. I didn’t have time for explanations. I didn’t have time for reprimands. And I certainly didn’t have time for time-outs.

Searching my face for a reaction, she said it again more emphatically, “Damn it, Mommy!”

I remembered my mother’s words of wisdom. In desperation, I decided to take her, although ill-advised, advice. So, I simply scooped her up, placed her in the shopping cart and said, “We just need milk, carrots and eggs. And then, we have to hurry over to the school to pick up your sister.”

We shopped. We dashed to the school (well within speed limits, of course) and we went home. I made dinner. We read stories and played. We bathed before bed. We went to bed. We woke the next morning and started our daily routine.

Twenty four hours. Forty eight hours. A week.

All passed by without incident.

I never heard “Damn it!” from those sweet little lips again.

……..

Sigh.

I hate it when Mom is right.

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under children, parenting, Words of Wisdom

10 Things I’ve Said To My Children That Other Moms Might Not Say. (Thank Goodness.)

I’m a little late to the party but a few of my blogging friends participate in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop and I always have the good intention of trying it out. Here’s my attempt this week. Enjoy!

10 Things I’ve Said To My Child That Other Moms Might Not Say

  1. “How can you have any dessert if you don’t eat your meat?!?” (Cue Pink Floyd music in background.)
  2. “If you wear that out of the house I swear I’ll take a picture and use it for your wedding invitation!”
  3. “No, Sweetie. I’m pretty sure they haven’t made a Lifetime movie about you. Yet.”
  4. “Nanny, nanny boo-boo. I told ya’ so!”
  5. “Oh. It was just beer? Well, at least you’re not trying Meth.”
  6. “I don’t care if you can toot on purpose. Stop doing it. You’re going to hurt your anus.”
  7. “Just be the best teacher or lawyer or ditch digger you can be. But don’t be a pimp. ‘Cause they’re not nice.”
  8. “Yes. Shut-up IS the s-word and I don’t ever want to hear you say it again!”
  9. “I’m pretty sure that the states are androgynous. There is no Mistersippi that I know of.”
  10. “Seriously? Stop that crying right now. There is NO crying in housework!!!” (Just call me a pop culture junkie.)

Feel free to share your doozy below.

8 Comments

Filed under funny, parenting

Teach Your Children Well

Most people who stumble upon or actually choose to peek in on my blog are moms. Almost all are parents who want to raise healthy, happy, well adjusted children. You find practical advice on head lice (it’s still my #1 seller! Go figure!) or find solace in my anecdotes. Or, in laughing at me, you sit a little straighter, knowing you can top Jane in parenting ability.

Now, I’ve never claimed to be a parenting authority.

But I know someone who is.

Madeline Levine, PhD., author of Teach Your Children Well: Parenting For Authentic Success, uses “cutting edge research and thirty years of clinical experience” to help us be the parents we want to be. The best kind of cheerleader for our children. Encouraging, supportive, and nurturing. Her book shows us that superficial success is not what shapes an authentic self.

I am familiar with Ms. Levine’s book The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating A Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids.  I found it so interesting, I decided (since I’m not eligible for the giveaway – and I’m cheap) to request her newest book from our library. There’s a waiting list. Out of the 7 copies, all are checked out with a wait list. Looks like Amazon.com is going to squeeze a book out of me this month. Yep. I don’t want to wait. She’s that good.

Harper Collins has graciously offered a free book (read: GIVEAWAY!) for a reader of my blog. Simply comment below and share a proud mommy/daddy moment, a learning (aka bad mommy/daddy) moment, or simply respond with “I want a free book!” Any comment will do. I’m not picky.

Comment before 12:00pm, EST on Monday, August 13th 2012 and a random winner – from the U.S. or Canada – will be chosen. (Yes. Your fate lies in the sticky fingers of one of my sons.)

Good luck!

Thanks for reading!

And have a happy parenting day full of highs and short on lows!

Update: And the winner is……..Naptime Writing! I guess your two entries increased your odds just the right amount. That and the fact that my son rolled your lucky number on the dice. Congratulations! And thanks, too, to TKW, Robin, Velva, Rudrip and Cool Joe for playing.

7 Comments

Filed under children, Motherhood, parenting

Pinch Me. College Age Daughter Actually Wants To Come Home For A Visit.

“Mom, they cancelled my shift on Saturday. I don’t have to work until Wednesday,” #1daughter whined over the phone.

Boy, this is a switch, I thought. The realities of college expenses are finally sinking in.

I’m dying to ask her to come home, spend some time with us before the boys start school, but I want to be the “cool mom.” I want to be the mom who gives her daughter the space and independence she needs to become a functioning, healthy adult.

So, I bite my tongue. I ask about weekend plans, instead. I suggest biking or checking out the pilates class at the school fitness center.

Silence.

I joke, “If you were a little closer you could come home for a few free meals.” (Okay. I’m not really joking but I’ve run out of suggestions.)

“Really?!” she says excitedly.

“Of course!”

“Okay! I’ll pack a few things and call you as soon as I’m on the road!”

Click.

 

Four hours later my angel was home. Teasing her brothers and taking them out for frozen yogurt. Watching the Olympics with her mom. Late night B-movies with her dad.

Given a few free days and my daughter actually wanted to come home and spend them with us.

What a relief. Maybe I am doing something right.

8 Comments

Filed under Adult Children, Motherhood, parenting

Blame Game Or Personal Responsibility. I Choose Personal Responsibility.

This is information that bears repeating. Those beautifully colored laundry packets are tempting to young children who think they might be a tasty treat. Keep them away from children. If you need more information, click here.

But seriously. Did anyone really need to click the above link?

Cleaning products are dangerous to ingest and should be kept away from children. 

End of story.

Right?

No.

On my morning news I saw a woman, indignant. Sure, there are warning labels on the packaging but toddlers can’t read. (?!) She feels the detergent industry should take it a step further and make the actual packets childproof.

Now, I don’t happen to use these handy little packets. I pour my detergent in the machine the good ol’ fashioned way. But if the packets were actually childproof how would they dissolve in your machine and clean your clothes? And here’s a thought. How about keeping your cleaning supplies away from your children?

Just a thought.

We are losing our grasp on personal responsibility each and every day. A news reporter felt her opinions on this subject were newsworthy and valuable to the viewers at large. Heck, he probably thought the laundry companies should take note.

I disagree.

When I was about 2 years old I ingested Drano. (Which might explain some things, you may be thinking, but that’s for another blog post.) My mother was horrified. I remember her nails digging into my armpits and I remember water splashing onto  my face. Luckily, there was no permanent damage.

And yes, my mother was horrified.

With herself.

She was unloading groceries, pregnant with my sister and thinking about getting dinner started. She set all the cleaning supplies that she had purchased by the stairs, ready to be transported to the basement cabinet that was higher than I could reach. Then, she started to pull things out for dinner. While she was distracted, however, I saw pretty blue crystals and thought they might taste yummy. They didn’t.

My mother was terrified but thought quickly. She raced me to the tub and cleaned out what she could. She then called poison control. They gave her advice and as far as I know, no further action was needed. Apparently, I hadn’t ingested enough. Thank goodness Drano tastes yucky.

After the terror subsided, my mother was embarrassed. And angry. With herself. She didn’t blame the company for making the crystals blue and pretty. She didn’t blame them for not having a childproof cap. She chastised herself for not keeping a closer eye on me and for leaving Drano within my reach.

Personal responsibility.

Just a thought.

 

15 Comments

Filed under parenting, Soapbox