When my best friend told me she was pregnant, I immediately went into baby mode. And when she asked me to be the godfather, I also went into parenting mode. I mean... the both of us equally had experience with babies, but never one that we would be responsible for... permanently.
Being a mother today is no harder or easier than it ever was. It's always been a really tough job. But what my mother and my wife have in common seem to be things that have allowed them to succeed in different ways.
We chronically ill folks have years of experience dealing with unknowingly rude comments. But something changes when you become a parent.
During the thirteen years I ran Kids' Turn, preceded by my years as a public school administrator, it became apparent to me parent education programs were the key to changing patterns in families. Stated simply, people are not born knowing how to be parents.
It dawned on me, on this Tuesday, that we're both still growing up. That we never stop growing up, not really, whether we're 7, 11, 36, 39, or any number before, in between, or after.
We suffer when we believe all of the scary stories in our head. Suffering is exaggerated worry about what could happen if we had a difficult experience, not the actual difficult experience.
Do you look forward to Screen Free Week every spring? Or do you dread the struggle? Do you categorize it as one more thing to do or have you been brainstorming creative outings and activities all winter for that fabulous family week? If you're like me, you're probably somewhere in between.
There are a million different ways to cook potatoes, all of them good. Vinegar will clean pretty much anything.
It is up to us parents to help our kids shift their perspective from the constant need for instant gratification to a deeper understanding of self-control.
Try as we may, it is impossible to completely shield our children from exposure to stories like these. Kids will see it as they flip through TV channels or, if they are older, as they scroll through their own social media. We simply cannot insulate them from it entirely.
With classes already ended and graduation looming, I wanted to reflect on the lessons that have impacted me the most in the past two years. I can write about all the things I've learned in the classroom, but that would be pedantic. Besides, I think this wonderful journey has taught me more through experience than through pedagogy.
I'm 31 and I still get that feeling to go running to you sometimes. You always know what to say to me to make everything feel better. You're the only one who hears everything I don't say and sees everything I try to hide.
She noticed I could not take my eyes off this exquisitely-patterned shell and said, smiling, "I would like to give it to you! Please accept this as my gift from the sea."
Parenting is a tough job, with few absolutes or clear solutions. When it comes to right and wrong, as a parent, you are entitled to state your case and reinforce the fact that when your adolescent child is away from your view, the decisions he makes are ultimately his responsibility.
I am confident that the world my daughter is growing up in will be even better to women than the one in which I was raised. But on those occasions where it's not ideal, I hope that my daughter can keep of some these things in mind.
You can ask, but don't insist on it. Some families are connected on social media and it works for them. Some teens don't want their parents seeing everything on their pages (and will block you from seeing things, which kind of defeats the purpose of being friends). Following your teens online opens up a can of worms, and you'll have to figure out how to negotiate that new relationship.