One day instead of saying "No Honey, Mommy Doesn't Have The Money," I will be able to say, "You know what? I think I can swing it. Do you think we really need to buy this/do X though?"
"The talking animals are sad today," said the spirited princess who looked as if she had a naughty secret. "Because their bangs are too long. So they can't come to the party. And that's why all the birthday cakes are about to be destroyed!"
If you zoom in on a graph, you might see volatility, moment-to-moment, day-to-day. But when you step way, way back, zoom all the way out, the long game might very well be smooth. Your child's life is the whole graph, the long game.
As a former high school administrator I know all too well the dangers of social media and adolescents. I have mediated plenty of fights, verbal confrontations, and school disruptions due to conversations conducted via social media.
she was getting sick. We were so screwed. By the weekend, she was in full-fledged illness with the raspy Kathleen Turner voice and a waste basket full of tissues. An achy, feverish, sadness filled the house. And I knew we were going down in flames. Or were we?
Sleepaway camp can be a rite of passage, and the decision to send your child away is a big one. The first summer, (and the preceding months) is especially big. Kids learn responsibility without a parent rushing to solve every crisis.
From the time my daughter was old enough to jump up and down, she asked for a trampoline every year for her birthday. She never got one and there are four very good reasons why. While she made it through childhood relatively unscathed, she had four brothers who each thought they were Superman.
Pain is an essential lesson for the emotional leap from childhood to adulthood. Mothers shouldn't be able to see photos in real time that capture their children when they're at their worst -- whether because of too much alcohol or too little happiness. We can, after all, sense when "something is not right," just from a photograph.
Life in a family is constant triage; need always dictates priority. Children and their things and their needs osmose around the corners. Sounds come through: a burst of laughter, a slammed door, maybe a faucet left on. You shouldn't have to choose where your heart goes. You don't have to choose.
I did a lot of things right with my kids. I know that. But there were many things I could've done better. So, here's my self-assessed parenting report card in the hopes you'll end up with better grades.
We're in the belly of a pork shortage. All right, maybe not the belly. Perhaps the tail end, optimistically speaking. Nevertheless, from crisis comes opportunity, and now's the time to act.
I know for a fact that heart-warming things still happen around the globe, but we don't hear much about them.
Does it help to talk about it? Do I dare talk about it as a white woman who is incredibly privileged? Can I do something to help? Is trying to do something to help an example of privilege trying to solve problems it doesn't understand?
I don't often feel like I am winning at parenting. The days are long and the struggles are huge. I want them to succeed, and I want them to behave -- but the achievement milestones are onerous, and the behavioral bar is high.
By dealing with kids' nightmares in the right way, you can not only reduce the occurrence of bad dreams and have a family that gets a better night's sleep, you can also use these moments to develop a closer relationship with your child.
"Do you want to know the truth, or do you want to tell a story?" Choosing the latter, my son told others he got the scars from a sword fight with skeleton pirates while riding a long-neck dinosaur, or that it happened during an epic light saber battle with meddling Jedi.