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The Adults We Are Creating

helicopterParentRecently I’ve heard stories about the way our kids are getting along in the “real world”. Not my kids, all kids. I’ve heard tales from a college source and tales from the job world. While some kids are doing just great others have not yet mastered what today’s reality is all about. I’m not talking about current events, I’m talking about dealing with day-to-day expectations and basically being self-reliant and able to cope with the “stresses” of daily life.

I’m not here to judge, only pass along some info that might give parents a different perspective on the outcome of some of the ways you are nurturing your kids. Here are a few examples:

  • A young woman shows up for a job interview – accompanied by her parents. (In all honesty, I think it was just her mother.) The parent proceeds to monopolize the interview. The person from human resources is dumbfounded. The manager for the department she wants to get a job in doesn’t know what to say or do. The interviewers act accordingly. They are cordial and proceed with the “interview”. Afterward they review what just happened and can’t believe that an adult would need to have her parent accompany her to a job interview. Who was at fault here? It’s your guess. Did the woman really need her parent to intervene? Was her mother “making sure” her daughter got the job? Obviously a parent who extolls the virtues of her child will ensure that said child lands the job, right?
  • Putting the odd interview aside, the woman mentioned above really does have the credentials to do the job. She is hired. She starts her new job. What happens next? Her mother calls at every opportunity to make sure her daughter made it to work. She drops off lunch. She calls multiple times during the day – for what reason, I have no idea. It’s starting to become apparent to her co-workers that she doesn’t enjoy all of this parental attention, yet she doesn’t know how to make it stop. Now… who is going to handle this delicate situation? Is it the responsibility of the employee to reign in her mother? Is it the responsibility of her employer to rectify the situation? Why should it be any employer’s task to deal with an employee’s parent? I know how this was handled. I’m not going to say. I want you all to think about the situation and how it came about. This connectivity between parent and child didn’t occur overnight. It was a long-standing way of interacting.
  • Kids grow up. They go off to college. It’s their first time living away from home. Ahhh, they no longer have to follow the rules of their household. They are independent and self sufficient. That’s what you’d think. I know of a young woman who resides in the dorm of her college. Her parents live a good 20 – 30 minutes away. Every morning like clockwork her mother arrives on campus to ferry her daughter in her car to her morning class. Why? I have no idea. As far as I’ve been told there is no physical reason for this. Her daughter is quite capable.
  • It’s snowing out.  The kids who live on campus are expected to go about their normal schedule. Anyone who has ever gone to college knows how hectic it can be. Snow just adds a little extra something to the mix. In their efforts to finish assignments, get dressed, eat, and get to class on time it is not unusual to expect your average student to not be thinking of checking in with their parents. Obviously this is not the logic that some parents follow. A barrage of phone calls start at the campus police department. Most of the phone calls go something like this, “It’s snowing out. I haven’t heard from my son/daughter. Would you go check on them?” The officer replies, “How long has it been since you’ve contacted your son/daughter?” Reply, “We spoke on the phone last night but I haven’t heard from them this morning.” Following protocol the officer can only respond by telling the parent that a lack of a phone call does not imply any form of distress. Even if it is snowing out. The parent requests that the police officer seek out their child in order to find out if they are okay or not because, you know, it IS snowing out. I know how this was handled. I’m not going to say. I want you to think about how this situation came about.
  • A young adult is pulled over for a potential traffic violation. Do they listen to the police officer? Do they answer any questions asked of them? Do they produce the proper identification and pertinent registration info requested? The answer may be yes, but it may also be yes “with a twist”. Okay, okay, they’ll give the police officer the info but not without a myriad of excuses why they shouldn’t be bothered. And when I say bothered I’m talking about a conceived state of being that entitles them to not follow laws, not respect authority, act as if any fingers being pointed in their direction are an act of unjustified persecution. They are autonomous. They are beyond reproach. The fact is that it is quite simple to establish whether they are in the wrong or not. They do have avenues to pursue if they think they are being treated unjustly. In this case though the person in question feels obligated to reprimand the police officer for his actions. Establishes their position by expressing their outrage and also following up with their intention of not paying a ticket. Inevitably there may also be the appearance of said scoundrel’s parent(s) at police headquarters. Their appearance includes yelling at the desk officer, waving the ticket in question in the air like a red cape in front of a bull, and informing those in authority that their child has the “right” to do as they please because they have paid a substantial amount of money for their child to attend this school. No… I’m not kidding here. This has happened. I know how this was handled. I’m not going to say. I just want you to think about how this situation came about.

What is the common denominator in all of these situations? For me, I’d say it’s the parents. All of the young adults in question are a direct product of their upbringing. They are not bad people. And for the most part I don’t think they went out of their way to do anything bad. They made a mistake. They accepted some not-so-great advice or followed a less than perfect example. They came to rely on their mentors – their parents. I’m not persecuting the parents here either. I’m sure they are all doing what they believe is in the best interest of their child. What is obvious to a third party reviewing these situations is that the parents involved have gone too far. They are too involved.

If you recognize yourself or someone you know from the situations I’ve just told you about I hope that it gives you pause. I hope that you reflect on the possibility that all of that help and concern and attention you have lavished on your child and continue to lavish on an adult is not necessarily helping them. Of course as a parent you want no harm to come to your child. It would be wonderful to take away any chance of discomfort for them. Practically speaking, isn’t it even better to teach them to be responsible. Choices – Consequences. I can think of no greater way of showing your love for your child than to be there for them when they make a mistake. Help them recognize where they went wrong. Support them as they rectify their situation. Like it or not, our kids are human. They do make mistakes. The best form your love can take is to let them know that it’s okay to make a mistake or fail. Let them know that no matter what you will be there to support them.

By Gret Boyd

Children & Technology Addiction

Great article from Green Child Magazine

Originally posted on June 13, 2013, by Amanda Hearn

Technology-Addition“It’s hard to imagine how the next generation is going to save the environment if they haven’t actually spent time in it.” 
~ author unknown

Technology is growing and changing just as quickly as our children. With constant exposure to screens, it’s only natural for a parent to be concerned about what all this screen time is doing to our children.

What can technology addiction look like?

  • She can’t entertain herself without electronics.
  • Disconnecting him results in tantrums or high level of irritation.
  • She develops a negative attitude towards spending time in nature.
  • He can’t manage guidelines surrounding electronics.

Older kids are entering a digital world with social issues connected to cyber bullying with texting, social media, adult content websites, and violent video games. We are just beginning to learn the trickle effect of advanced time spent connected to screens and children plugged into technology.

As a parent – and the one who buys devices, games, and apps – you control your child’s access to technology.  Sometimes things get out of hand before we realize what happened.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  It’s never too late to reframe your family’s technology rules.

1)   Don’t view your phone as a shut-up toy.  When my oldest child was repeatedly asking for my phone I explained that I didn’t want to shut him up. I always wanted to hear his thoughts. That conversation (and a few reminders) ended the habit he had formed of always asking for my phone out of boredom.

2)   Free range your children! The summer months are ideal for getting outside more and sitting in front of a screen less. This is the best tip for that older 10 year old who can’t get enough video games. Give them the freedom to free-range with a friend, visit a local park, or just to explore! Start with smaller time intervals and let them enjoy exploring the neighborhood on their own. As a mom learning to encourage free-range play, it’s difficult to not feel panic at first. I stay positive by thinking of free-range play as a gift I can give my children to help them grow and discover the beauty of play and nature through their own eyes and experiences.

3)   Insist on electronic-free play dates. We’ve all seen the effect of one child pulling out an ipod and suddenly all social interaction is lost with a group of children. Request that electronic gadgets don’t accompany guests or play dates when you are hosting.

4)   Have a child that doesn’t like nature? Rekindle their love by including low-level technology to help enhance their connection. Have an old digital camera? Children love to take pictures and you can create amazing eye-spy games and hunts. Another tool to getting kids outdoors is geocaching. It’s a digital style treasure hunt that involves either a GPS or just following clues and instructions. Time spent in nature is incredibly important – if you need to take baby steps to get kids outside, every little bit counts.

5)   Look at your own habits. What example are you teaching children with your relationship to electronics? When you have idle time – how do you spend it? If you are checking your phone and needing constant stimuli, it might be time to wean yourself down from your own technology addiction. Need something to keep hands busy and productive? Take up a hobby. Watch yourself through the eyes of your child and show them that you are willing to detox from electronics too.

Sometimes we need to reevaluate technology and the huge advancements and accessibility to understand how connected we’ve become. There’s no app that can replace the importance of play and time spent in nature.

 

 

How To Care For Those Sick With Flu

Here’s a great article from the American Red Cross

m13740217_FluSeason
“Wash Your Hands As Often As You Can”

Health officials report most of the country is battling a widespread outbreak of the flu and are urging people to get vaccinated now if they haven’t already done so.

With so many people sick, the American Red Cross has steps people should take if they are caring for someone who has the flu.

The flu virus spreads from person-to-person in droplets of coughs or sneezes. The virus can also spread if a person touches droplets on another person or object and then touches their own mouth or nose before washing their hands. To prevent the spread of the flu virus, it is important to remember to wash your hands and cover your cough or sneeze.

WASH YOUR HANDS Washing hands properly is an important step to avoid getting the flu.For visibly soiled hands, first wash with soap and warm water. When using soap and water:

  • Wash for at least 20 seconds, covering the entire hand including fingernails and under jewelry.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly with a disposable towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the faucet.
  • If using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:
  • Rub thoroughly over the entire hand, including nail areas and between the fingers.
  • Continue to rub until the product dries.

SNEEZING AND COUGHING If someone has to cough or sneeze, they should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue and wash their hands afterwards. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow or upper arm, not their hands.

TAKING CARE OF THE SICK If caring for someone who has the flu, people should:

  • Disinfect door knobs, switches, handles, toys and other surfaces that everyone touches.
  • Use detergent and very hot water to do dishes and wash clothes. It’s okay to wash everyone’s dishes and clothes together. They should wash their hands after handling dirty laundry.
  • Designate only one adult as the caregiver. People at increased risk of severe illness from the flu should not be caregivers.
  • Deal with crisis situations calmly and confidently to give the best support to the person being cared for.
  • Remember their own needs as well. Practice healthy habits. Eat a balanced diet. Drink plenty of water. Get regular exercise. Get enough sleep and rest.

 If someone is ill, they should:

  • Stay in a room separate from common areas of the home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.
  • Stay at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without using medicine to reduce the fever.
  • Get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • Consider wearing a facemask, if available and tolerable, when sharing common spaces with household members.
  • Check with their healthcare provider about whether they should take antiviral medication, or if fever persists, whether antibiotics are needed.

 Information on what to do if someone has the flu is available as part of the freeRed Cross First Aid mobile app available for iPhone and Android devices.You can find more information about how to help keep you and your loved ones protected by visiting redcross.org/FluTips.

 

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Most Mothers Give Infants Solid Food Too Early

Came across this article online. Interesting discussion about the best age to start an infant on solid food. What do you think? Any comments? Share…

Most Mothers Give Infants Solid Food Too Early

By Rachael Rettner, MyHealthDaily Staff Writer / LiveScience.com

u12868682More than a third of U.S. mothers start feeding their infants solid food too soon, a new study finds.

In the study, 40 percent of mothers said they gave their infants solid foods before the age of 4 months, which is earlier than recommended. About 24 percent of mothers who breast-fed, and 53 percent of mothers who formula-fed, gave their babies solid food too early.  Read the rest of this entry »

‘Thigh Gap’: New Teen Body Obsession?

photo of 'thigh gap'I caught this segment on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning. Apparently a ‘thigh gap’ is the latest must have in order to have the “perfect” body. This obsession is rampant among teens and I’m sure tweens too. Unfortunately, these girls don’t realize that 99.9% of the photos they see in magazines have been retouched to death. OK, some women are born that way. I would venture to guess that the majority of us were not. If nothing else this article will give a parent a heads-up on a potential body image issue. 

‘Thigh Gap’: New Teen Body Obsession?

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The Stories That Bind Us

What is your family’s narrative? Are there stories passed down from generation to generation? The following article will make you realize the importance and impact of your stories about family struggles and success. You’ll come to realize it’s the glue that binds your family together and helps each member realize their place in a legacy that’s bigger than themselves.

The Stories That Bind Us

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Dental Injuries In Young Children

Thanks to a very hard fall onto the wooden arm of a couch when I was very little, under two years old, I had all of my front teeth pulled. Needless to say it was a very different kind of face I showed the world for many years to come. I had no front teeth until my second set of teeth finally came in. With great empathy for the topic of this article I just came across, I am sharing some important information about dental injuries in young children.

Dental Injuries in Young Children

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The Hungry Hoard At My Table

As another round of holiday meals is approaching I thought I’d share…

Some of my fondest memories are of large holiday gatherings. When the gathering is happening in my house you can be sure that I’m going all out to make it a special occasion. I plan out my menu. I shop with careful consideration of every part of the meal. I try to be innovative and definitely festive. Being a designer I take special care to decorate and present my creation in a way that I hope will bring delight to my guests the moment they see my handiwork. It is with great pride and anticipation that I put myself through the rigors of preparation and presentation. While this might sound like a lot of self-inflicted angst, it is always a labor of love. The moment I hear the praise of “what a lovely table,” or “something smells good,” I know I’m on the track to success.

There is one element of this process that I have no control over. It is the hungry hoard that pounces on my table before I’ve had a chance to thoroughly secure it. Read the rest of this entry »

Mom Finds Devastating “Diet List” on 7-Year-Old’s Bedroom Floor

As a mom we are aware of the pressures put on our little girls to be “pretty” and “fit”. You do your best to steer your daughter in the right direction so she makes good choices when it comes to what she eats and her activity level. All the while you think you’re doing the right thing. When do the influences get to be too much? Was it something you said or did? Is someone outside the family making comments that are pushing your daughter to excess? At what age should you start to be concerned about your child’s self image? If nothing else, this article will make you think. It will make you want to pay closer attention to how focused your daughter is on her physical being.

Mom Finds Devastating “Diet List” On 7-Year-Old’s Bedroom Floor

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