Dear Ana, I'm writing to give some insight into a day in your life with Christian and your children in 10 years' time. You're probably more shocked by this snapshot of your future than you were upon first entry into Christian's red room of pain. I know.
The point isn't to criticize children. But it's to recognize that self-esteem really, truly comes as the result of achievement -- in the classroom, on the field, at home -- rather than false accomplishments.
I will not and cannot parent my granddaughter because as far as I'm concerned she is already perfection. I am blind to her issues and happy to hand the parenting reigns to my son and daughter-in-law. Let them be in charge of the hard stuff. I want to be in charge of ice cream.
A parent's biggest challenge -- and privilege -- is to watch these moments and try to make the most of them before they slip away. But those moments are just as important at 5, 10 and 15 as they are at five months, and it's not just Moms who bear this responsibility.
For parents hoping to make technology a healthy part of life for kids, it's essential to not only speak with children about online safety and digital citizenship, but also make it a running conversation.
If teens are ready to have oral (or any other) sex, then we, as a society, need to do our utmost to help them recognize that "being ready" means more than just understanding the mechanics or being afraid of STDs.
The birth she imagined for herself had evaporated into a cloud of tubes and wires -- and now scalpels and anesthesia. As I sat and waited in that hallway, my love for her and our baby really was all-consuming.
As an educator of teachers and counsellors, I never have to wait long to hear the next sentence that contains an expletive alongside the word "teenager." Having raised three of my own, I'm not unrealistic about the challenges that they can bring.
I'm not suggesting that everyone should stop texting or that our youth should spend all of their time in libraries reading and studying. We need a realistic solution grounded in awareness and balance that will last over the long haul.