All Articles Tagged "Parenting"
Some stories you just can’t make up.
My husband always warned me about “looking for trouble,” and this time, I should’ve listened to him. During the height of the whole Ashley Madison craziness, I read an article late one night about how to tell if someone you know had a subscription on the site that promoted cheating. Many women I knew were going to this Trustify website and entering in their husband’s email addresses to see if a “you’ve been compromised” alert popped up. As with any data breach, companies sometimes provide a site that informs you whether or not you could be a victim. In this case, those found compromised would more than likely become the victim of an angry spouse.
Early one morning while nursing my two-month-old son, I figured why not check out this site. It’s not that I thought my husband would participate in such foolishness (aside from being super cheap, he knows da– well I’ll jump straight to the “until death do us part” portion of our vows. Don’t play with me), I did have fun rummaging through my phone and inserting emails. I just knew someone I know would pop up and provide tea to sip on for time to come.
Well, someone in fact did have a subscription and to this day, my mouth is still on the floor. In order to protect the guilty, I’m choosing not to give away their name — or family title for that matter.
“Babe, wake up,” I said to my husband, who was not happy with my detective work. “Do you believe this bulls—?”
Once he was able to wake up a little and get a better understanding of my actions, he only had two questions to ask: Why did I go looking for something I didn’t want to find, and was I really shocked to find this family member had a subscription?
“I mean, I think it’s nasty but that’s me,” my husband told me. “People will always do what they want.”
Obviously, he was right, there will be people in this world who may or may not directly match with your moral compass. While I can’t change a person’s viewpoints (everyone is entitled to their own), does that mean that I allow my children around influences that conflict with our values?
Yes and no.
When you think about it, you can’t shield your child from craziness anymore than people with questionable behavior from time to time. Even though the subscription did bother me on a moral viewpoint, that didn’t mean I was going to hold this family member at bay with a 10 foot pole. They love my children and my children love them.
On the flip side, that doesn’t mean my husband and I will be OK with them taking our kids for the summer (just using that as an example).
You see, aside from this recent “discovery,” this family member has always been…extremely free shall we say in the relationship department. Now if you want to swerve and curve in the sheets with whomever, that’s your personal choice — but do realize that while you might not have a problem with every piece of tail coming and going through your home, I do if you plan to have my children at your pad for a period of time (don’t act like people wouldn’t try to sneak a freak in the middle of the night). One can only hope they wouldn’t allow that part of their life to interfere with family time, but hey, you never know. Plus, I don’t know who the heck they may or may not have around my kids that they met off the site (potential safety issue).
To make matters worse, I later found out this said family member not only had an Ashley Madison account, but also one on a site called Adult Friend Finder. Now if you’re a bit clueless like me, you might think that was some social media sort of thing to reconnect with people. Wrong. It’s a site to find local butt, aka one night stands.
I feel a little better after speaking with this family member but know in the back of my mind I don’t want them trying to give my kids advice on certain things. No my little ones won’t be in a bubble, but I also don’t want to have to have them around potentially crazy situations.
Have sites like Ashley Madison ever made you change how you look at someone?
Having a “favorite” child is a concept that many parents and children joke about, but sometimes there is some truth to those jokes. Some parents may never ever admit that they have a favorite child, but having a favorite child is more common than you think. A 2005 study out of the University of California at Davis found that 65 percent of moms and 70 percent of dads had a preference for one child and it was usually the older one.
It’s better to not be in denial about this even if you just keep it in your own head. Internally admitting it is more beneficial for the whole family in the long run because this way you can be more conscious about making sure that all of your kids feel special.
Here are some ways to remedy it…
Spend One-On-One Time
It is so important to have a date night with each child alone. And on your date night, make sure you are doing things they are interested in. Go and watch movies they like or go to a restaurant of their choice to make them feel extra special.
The Little Things
Each child brings something unique into this world. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion for you to let them know you love them just the way they are. You could do little things like randomly picking up their favorite donut or treat. You could also leave them a sticky note on their bedroom door saying, “I love you.”
If you were a dancer in high school then you may have a ton in common with your daughter who loves to dance. But if your other daughter is into science fiction or something that doesn’t interest you, make an effort to learn more about that, too. Research to find out the next time there is a local science fiction fair and let her know about it. It will show her that you genuinely care.
Ph.D. Ellen Weber Libby says: “favorite children grow up with distorted, inflated views of themselves. They are vulnerable to feeling entitled and believing that rules don’t apply to them. They are likely to struggle with intimate relationships. Additionally, they are likely to grow up alienated from their siblings.”
Sounds heavy, but here are her signs for behavior when favoritism has gone too far.
- Parents who have favorite children are defensive regarding their treatment of the favored, overlooked or unfavored child. When spouses, friends, teachers, or strangers point out attitudes or behaviors reflecting unfair treatment of one child over another, these parents have many explanations and justifications for their behaviors.
- One child works hard to get parental affirmation and does not succeed. These children, either passively or aggressively, direct their energies at accomplishing this goal.
- A parent excessively praises one child while ignoring, criticizing, or saying little positive about other children. These parents have difficulty acknowledging one child’s shortcomings (often the favorite) or appreciating other children’s strengths (often the overlooked or unfavorite).
I’m 33-years-old and a mother now, and a few years ago I asked my friends if their mothers ever had the ‘sex talk’ with them. To my surprise they all said ‘no.’ I was in that same boat because my mother never had the ‘talk’ with me either. We all just learned on our own, and in hindsight, I wish someone would have talked to me.
I guess the conversation was a little taboo for my mother’s generation, but sexuality is such an important part of a person’s identity. Sexuality should be embraced as something beautiful that is to be respected. It’s so important to talk to kids about sex because they’re receiving messages about sexuality from TV, music, and their peers–and the messages they get aren’t always positive.
A study from the National Survey of Family Growth held from 2006 to 2008 showed that more than 40 percent of U.S. teenagers have had sex at least once.
If you have a preteen or teenager and you haven’t had the sex talk with them yet, here are some things to consider:
Assess Your Beliefs First
It’s important to first assess your own thoughts and feelings surrounding sexuality before talking to your child. Your tone in the conversation is very important, so if, for example, you have negative feelings surrounding sexuality you should deal with those first.
Keep The Goal In Mind
The goal of sex education with your child shouldn’t only be to scare them to death. It should be for them to gain a positive view of sexuality, understand their bodies better, know some of the cons of having sex too early, and to learn about safe sex practices. You want them to be able to make healthy decisions on their own based off of what you tell them.
This can be an awkward conversation for some parents and teens, so you could use an example from a movie that you saw together as a family and ask their opinion about a certain scene. To kick things off, could also make up a scenario question and ask them which answer they think is the best.
You may want to consider explaining why you feel the way you do about sex. This is the time to use any examples that support your values. Sharing a tidbit from a personal experience allows you to connect and may help them feel more comfortable opening up with you in the conversation or in the future.
The Birds And The Bees
You can use an online program for sex education to help guide you or you can use diagrams with images and explain both the male and female bodies. Then you can ask them what they already know and then explain what happens during sexual intercourse.
After you have explained how sex works, talk to them about why it’s important to wait until it’s with the right person and the right time. You can give them suggestions and brainstorm together about ways they can talk with their romantic partners about delaying sex.
Regardless of whether they are sexually active or not, talking about safe sex is important. Based on the statistic above, if you want them to avoid an unplanned pregnancy or getting an STD then their knowledge about contraception is important. Make sure he or she knows where to get safe sex supplies and birth control. Let them know that you are more than willing to take them to a sexual and reproductive health center if they want to go.
If by any chance your child is so uncomfortable that they refuse or are totally tuned out when talking with you, then tell them their other option is to talk with a professional at a local reproductive health center. Even though you may want to be the one to have the talk, it’s better that they have it with someone versus no one at all.
Nowadays kids know how to use apps better than some parents. Becoming accustomed to technology early can be a great thing if done in a balanced way because that is the direction that the world is flowing. And, if they are using educational fun apps, it’s even better. We took some time out to chat with the team from Kuato Studios who are the creators of Dino Tales and Safari Tales to find out the inspiration behind the learning app.
Mommynoire: Tell us a little about the app and how it works?
KUATO: In creating Dino Tales and Safari Tales, we set out to design games that would bring a new and engaging experience to reading. The child begins by naming and giving a gender to (in Dino Tales) a baby dinosaur, and (in Safari Tales) a baby elephant. As they enter the world of the each game, children are given a fun challenge to complete, such as reaching the top of the volcano or taking a trip down a river rapid. As they set off, they explore worlds that are rich in facts and fictions, and full of interesting activities; finding fossils, searching for colorful berries, making new friends…
Sounds like a lot of information for kids to handle…
Because children love asking questions, we decided to incorporate a learning buddy called Darwin in each game – a pterosaur in Dino Tales, and a meerkat in Safari Tales. When Darwin appears, children can use playful word wheels to form questions which Darwin answers in the cheery voice of a child. These word wheels are as much about word association and vocabulary enrichment as they are about interesting facts and Darwin’s often funny responses.
At the end of each play session, the length of which can be set by the parent in Parent Corner, the game generates a colorful storybook which is a record of that ‘day’s’ adventures.
Can these experiences be shared?
KUATO: The storybooks are designed to be shared with parents and loved ones, and encourage children to alter the descriptive captions that accompany the pictures. By playing with the adjectives, adverbs and verbs, children make their own language choices. In this way, we are encouraging young readers to see language as something playful, something they can create and change.
We want the child to be so excited by the game that they share and discuss the storybooks with family and friends; that they talk about the questions they posed to Darwin (and his answers); that they are motivated to read and research further.
What are some of the key features?
KUATO: For parents, there’s Parent Corner a secure environment controlled by a pin code, where parents can adjust the length of time children can play the game, set a reading age appropriate to the child, and receive email notifications when their child has created a new Tale.
There is also an option in Parent Corner to toggle the lock on/off, so that your child isn’t locked out the game. In Dino Tales, there are six baby dinosaurs to find and play with, and in Safari Tales, there are six baby safari animals.
As mentioned, Darwin is always on hand to answer pressing questions – sometimes factual, sometimes whimsical, always interesting. Fun features like the Berry Blaster allow children to go a bit wild in creating ‘looks’ for their dinosaurs and safari animals.
Most games are for kids only, but incorporating parents to create a personalized story is next level. What did you find in the research as far as coming up with this idea?
KUATO: Discovering the joy and value of reading is, or should be, an integral aspect of childhood, as oftentimes we see parents reading bedtime stories to their children to not only educate them, but also to foster bonding.
In many games, even educational games, there is little or no parental interaction – the tablet is simply used as an entertainment device with minimal parental or guardian involvement. The ability for parents to be alerted to the completion of a play session and then to sit down and read through the ‘tale’ / storybook together is a perfect way to reconnect and discuss what the child has achieved and learned. In this way, reports such as Family Time with Apps from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center speaks exactly to what Kuato aims to achieve with its games.
The games are also proving popular with schools too. Michelle Baldwin, an elementary school teacher in Boulder worked with her class to create a blog of their experience. “As a teacher, I loved that my students could customize their experience, including a setting for reading age.”
When Michelle asked her pupils what they enjoyed most about Dino Tales, the children responded:
“I like that I can ask Darwin questions.”
“I love finding new eggs and new dinosaur friends!”
“I like the stories we can make with our own dinosaurs.”
Do you have plans for more apps in the future?
KUATO: We do have some exciting collaborations and ideas in the works, but nothing we’re able to share just yet. Stay tuned! We hope that parents use these games as a way to connect with their children as they learn. As our world becomes more digitally focused and children become more tech-centric it’s a wonderful opportunity for parents to get involved in their kid’s learning development from a young age, in a whole new way.
Parenting is not an easy job. You are responsible for the life of another human being 24/7 and if you have multiple children your worrying is just amplified. However, life is about balance and too much of anything isn’t always a good thing. If worrying over your child has become all-consuming, you may be a helicopter mom.
A helicopter parent is defined as someone who hovers over their child 24/7 and obsesses over protecting them in every single aspect of their day. There is nothing wrong with being close with your child, but if you are starting to wonder if you have developed some helicopter ways, check out some of the signs below:
1. You Spoil Them Constantly
There isn’t anything wrong with buying things for your kids, but if you are buying the cutest clothes, latest gadgets, and newest cell phones all the time when they aren’t even asking for it, you might be overdoing it.
2. Letting Go Is Very Hard To Do
If it is almost physically impossible to let them out of your sight, no matter what age, you could be a helicopter parent.
3. Your Child Is Always Right
If you are the one that is constantly defending everything about your child and thinks the teacher is crazy when they say your kid could use a little improvement, you are probably a helicopter mom. Helicopter parents are always making excuses for their children.
4. Your Child Always Looks Over-Prepared
It’s time for the school camping trip and your child shows up with an overstuffed backpack, knee pads and goggles so that nothing flies in their eyes. If this is your kid, you are probably a helicopter mom.
5. You Are The Homework Over Achiever
If you start out helping with homework and by the end you have actually taken over and are writing it yourself, you could be a helicopter mom. You want them to succeed so badly that you aren’t letting them do it for themselves.
6. You Make All The Choices
You could be hovering a little too much if you are picking out their clothes, choosing their friends, their food, and all of their extra-curricular activities. In order for them to grow and become more independent they need to start making some decisions on their own.
If you happen to be any or all of these things you may want to consider trying to let go just a little. You are doing a great job as a parent and part of that job is to slowly ease up and allow your child to become more and more independent. Plus, it could boost their self-confidence if they know that you’re starting to trust their judgment more.
One thing that might help you ease up a little is to pursue some things you love, solo. When you take your mind off your little one so that you can have a relaxing time, you’ll end up being a better mom anyway.
As back-to-School time is packed with shopping for school supplies and prepping class schedules, one of the most important preparations may go overlooked: re-establishing a sleep routine.
With 68% of parents noting that adjusting to a back-to-school sleep schedule as the biggest challenge, Sealy, one of America’s oldest mattress brands, has teamed up with the UNC School of Medicine’s Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science Department to provide tips to help families transition from summertime to a cohesive family sleep schedule. They surveyed over 1,000 parents nationwide to learn more about back-to-school, back-to-sleep routines relating to sleep quality, schedules and routines.
It turns out that there are multiple factors that affect what happens when trying to get your kids out of bed.
Hopefully, these tips will help…
Night Owls No More: No Late Bedtimes
“Set your child’s bedtime and stick to all week,” Dr. Mary Ellen Wells, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science at UNC Chapel Hill tells Mommynoire. The recommended number of hours of sleep differs for each age group, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, school age (5-10 years) children should get 10-11 hours of sleep per night while teens (11-17 years) should plan on 8.5-9.5 hours of sleep each night.
Shift Bedtime To Accommodate A Schedule For School
Starting a week or two before school starts, determine the number of hours your child’s bedtime needs to shift and gradually advance the bedtime and wake time to the appropriate time (by no more than 30 minutes per day).
Turn Off Electronics Two To Three Hours Before Bedtime
Any type of electronic that emits blue light or revs up brain activity counteracts the body’s natural transition to sleep. “The sleep environment should be restful – meaning dark, quiet, comfortable and not distracting. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and associating your child’s bed with sleep can also help, which means keeping ‘sleep stealers’ out of the bedroom, such as computers, smart phones, TV, etc.,” Dr. Wells tells us.
Invest In A Comfortable Mattress
Even if you can’t do this right away, keep in mind that 13% of parents say the quality of the mattress has the biggest impact on quality sleep. Younger parents, millennials, aged 18-29 are the most likely to say mattress quality impacts sleep quality (20%). To help ensure a comfortable night’s sleep, invest in a mattress that is engineered to fully support the back and align the body. “A good mattress can the difference of a transformative sleep and one leaving your child tossing and turning at night,” said Kevin Leatherwood, Senior Director of Global Product Development at Sealy. “Investing in a quality mattress for your child can be one of the most important items in transitioning your child back to school.”
Soak Up Sunshine After You Wake Up
There are external cues called zeitgebers that help synchronize our sleep/wake rhythm. The sun is by far the most powerful zeitgeber, which can be used to help us orient to our desired routine. “If possible, have your child get outside for some sunshine in the morning soon after waking,” Dr. Wells says. “15 minutes will do the trick.”
Whether a mother of one or five, tough and trying days are inevitable. But it’s important to remember that you rock! You are victorious and more than a conqueror. You possess the infinite power to overcome anything. There is no burden too big for you to defeat. The following list includes uplifting and inspirational quotes to help with renewing and focusing your mind on what’s important: your babies. These quotes will get you through the day and will remind you of your strength and power. We often forget that the daily responsibilities of mothering show us even more just how much we rock – from balancing it all to taking care of oneself, it’s a full-time job and you’re doing it!
17 Uplifting and Inspirational Quotes for Moms
“Our Feelings And Our Struggles Come Second”: Celebrities Get Real About Their Co-Parenting Problems
Ciara and Future aren’t the only celebrities struggling to co-parent in the spotlight. These stars are doing their best to work with their former spouses to raise their children right.
I was one of the last people in my group of friends to get on Facebook. I just didn’t see what all the hype was about and I wasn’t all that interested in sharing bits of my personal life online. Finally, after much convincing, I started an account and slowly began to add friends. And I do mean slowly because it’s 2015 and I still only have about 350 Facebook friends, compared to the 1,000+ friends that most people I know have.
I was once a Twitter hater as well, but now it’s one of my favorite social media platforms. Needless to say a lot has changed over the years. Some of it has been a genuine interest in using these platforms to stay connected with family and friends, while a lot of it has been an appreciation for the benefits that come with using social media to grow your business. No entrepreneur can deny that.
So with all of the amazing opportunities social media offers, I think we all know that all good things can come with an ugly side. Haven’t you ever seen something on Facebook, Instragram or Twitter and wondered why the hell someone would post it. I know I have. Actually, it happens every single day.
And while I am the first person to now admit that social media is incredible, I am also the first person to wonder why people share so much, not just about themselves but about their kids. Despite my desire to not share too much about my children, I have acknowledged that I chose to launch a business where I am the brand and building trust with my audience requires me to share some of who I am. And honestly, despite my paranoia about the world we live in, I like letting people into my life a little bit.
But I also think that as parents, we might want to consider sharing a little bit less about our children. Although doing so may be all in love and good fun, there can definitely be harmful consequences when we don’t think twice.
Here are 5 reasons you should share less about your kids on social media.
Your kids may not want it public. Sure, it might seem cute to share Jared’s first time on the potty but you really have no idea where this picture might end up or what type of embarrassment it may cause your kid when he gets older. It’s one thing to have family members flipping through albums and seeing those pics, but it’s an entirely different story when anyone can see them.
Some details can put them at risk. We often over share without even realizing it. Posting a picture where people can see the name of the street you live on or the sign for the school your kid attends can be dangerous. You also may want to limit sharing your child’s name, birthday and other details. It gives too many people access to details that they can use to cause harm.
Digital kidnapping is real. You’ve heard the stories before, but I am sure you think it won’t happen to you. I’m here to tell you that it CAN happen to you. People do steal images of children from Facebook pages or Instagram and they can use your child’s image for a number of things without your permission.
Online predators. I know none of us want to think about this, but online predators are out there. So before you post that cute naked picture of your little one in the bath, consider the fact that the image may end up in the wrong hands. Some pictures of our kids belong in a photo album or protected on our hard drives.
You don’t know what their future holds. You really have no idea what your kid plans to do when they become adults, so why take away their power to choose. They may end up in a profession where all those pictures may hurt, or your kids may end up being a lot more private than you are and have no interested in having their images plastered online.
Sharing too much about your kids doesn’t make you a bad parent. Most of the sharing comes from a place of pride and love. It’s totally understandable. But as parents, even the very best intentions can land us in a jam. Think twice before you share more than you really need to. Our job is to protect our kids as much as we can until they are old enough to figure it out on their own.
Martine Foreman is a life + relationship coach, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.
I am a pretty laid back person and I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to criticism. Hell, even moments where I am “in my feelings” only last a few minutes; it takes a lot to get me angry. With all of that said, there is one thing that annoys me almost more than anything else on the planet: people without children giving me parenting advice.
Yes, more than the sound of nails on a chalkboard, sitting in heavy traffic because people are rubbernecking at a car accident, and more than when people say “fustrate” and “conversate.”
There’s just something about people without children giving me parenting advice that drive me up the wall. When someone who hasn’t procreated responds to “You should (insert counsel here),” it takes almost every fiber of my being to respond with a phrase that rhymes with “What the truck cup.”
I am aware that, for the most part, people mean well and aren’t passing judgment. However, I feel as if this is one of the very few arenas in which everyone feels as if they are experts and they have no experience. There is no manual on how to raise a child, everyone comes from a parent, and were raised by someone. How one was raised and how one actually raises their children are very different.
For starters, there is something in a person that changes when they become a parent.
One could love and have played a major role in being a parent figure in a child’s life; but it’s just different. You see the world differently. Self becomes secondary not because one decides to; it’s instinct. There are many things my parents said or did that I didn’t understand-even as an adult-but once I had my daughter made sense. If-or when-I have a second child, I would do things very differently because no matter how many books one reads, siblings they have, or what have you, is an on-the-job kind of thing.
Many times non-parents respond to things by saying “My friend who has kids,” or some variance of that statement. Nope, try again.
What your friends or whatever would do is very different from what you would do. Their collective experiences, applicable knowledge, and paradigm is different. Everything a non-parent says is speculative. I can think of so many things I have said before my daughter that I would never do that I do now. “Why are you paying so much money for tuition for a four year old that you can barely afford?” Because she’s in a very good school and I feel it’s a worthy investment in my kid. “But my friend doesn’t.” Maybe this is something that means a little bit more to me than them. Maybe because I grew up in a family full of teachers so that shaped the way I see schools. Maybe said upbringing has determined how I looked at the teachers in that school and I think they can being the best out of my child who has a unique temperament.
I think that in my circumstance because I am a single father I get it a lot.
I think part of the stigma about how fathers do things a little differently than mothers do comes into play. I do many things in a manner that’s a little unconventional because the circumstances in which I became a single parent are unusual and I swear on everything I love I think my daughter has been here before. Yes, I don’t try to be a mother to my daughter because I can’t. However, I am still nurturing to her. Most people see mothers as just being nurturers and fathers as kind of bumbling fools who protect and just do a lot of the fun stuff. It is almost astounding how many of my women friends don’t believe that I am quite a disciplinarian with my daughter.
I think I am a damn good father; I can’t think of too many people who would say otherwise. But I don’t think that I’m perfect, either. I am pretty sure I mess up from time to time and there are things that I do as a parent that will cause some kind of complex within my daughter. Every parent does this.
Nonetheless, more than likely I–or most parents–know they have that one or two thing that is a breaking point. Mine is music. I was raised by a musician and that will always be my first love and passion. I have learned how to ignore Disney and Nick Jr. shows that play over and over again. But I can’t STAND stuff like Kidz Bop. I think it’s corny and most of that stuff just makes my insides cringe. For the most part, I have found some semblance of balance in this. I am very careful of what Cydney listens to and what she repeats (In fact, nine out of 10 times, she knows what she should and shouldn’t repeat on her own).
I don’t listen to anything referring to drugs or sexual around her. But I love hip hop and I love that my kid does too. With all of that said, since I am with my child with not much relief, there are but so many times I can hear her music over and over in the car that I am driving us somewhere before I lose it. So guess what? I’m gonna turn on the radio and Cydney is gonna listen to the latest Fetty Wap song three or four times for the sake of my sanity. If she asks me what does something mean I will answer it and if it is particularly funny I will laugh to myself or out loud if I deem appropriate to do so.
If I post something on social media or tell a story to my non-parent friends and they say: “You shouldn’t do that,” I want them all to know I am thinking: “Shut up. You’ve never had a kid you can’t drop off.”
I would be a lot more receptive to the opinions of people without children if they started off their statements with: “I think.” I’m a stickler for language, so changing one’s vocabulary does change the context. “I think” insinuates that your opinion is speculative and “You should” is authoritative. It makes a world of a difference.
…I just needed to vent.