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Monday, August 31, 2009

Interesting thought for the day.

Discipline problems are greatly reduced when transitions are planned properly. And children's well-being is promoted when they feel that they have some control over what they are doing and when they are doing it, rather than being "herded" or moved from activity to activity in a rushed and thoughtless way.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The right to bring kids.

I have kids, yes I do. Two of them in fact. Excitable, active, inquisitive children. One toddler, and one preschooler.
I have been noticing of late that we (my family and I) seem to be getting the shaft when it comes to family get togethers when the occur *outside* the home. It seems as though while the grandparents love and cherish their grandchildren they do not want to see them in public. Which some would say is understandable.
While I do agree that there are certain things that children should not be invited to as a wedding, a funeral and the like, a family dinner, a graduation dinner, a birthday dinner are all things that they SHOULD.
Now, it could just be that I feel like this because I feel not being invited to said events is like discrimination. Discrimination for having children. Like Joey's Tomatoes who just dont have a kids menu, and good luck finding a high chair.
So maybe it is because the grandparents dont want to eat at Boston Pizza, that could be a reasonable explanation. I would take that explanation. I would understand that eating out with small children can be annoying. I get it.
However, to invite the other siblings, the ones that *dont* have children, or *choose* not to, is in my opinion just mean.
That is where the discrimination comes in.
If we were invited we would decline to go to fancy restaurants or try and get a sitter.
But we would need the invite first.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hitting as Love

I met a women who also had two boys today. She really spoke to me in such a way that I felt we really connected on a personal level. I was explaining to her how I would become frustrated that my boys were hitting eachother so much and that I had hoped that they would show love and compassion to one another as I did not condone violence in my home.
She laughed and said, that men can not show compassion towards eachother. They can not show love. Well, not in the way that a woman shows love and compassion. If they did, they would then be ridiculed.
As she explained this to me, I started to cry. It was as if she had explained the bottom line fundamentals of boys and men. That they DO love and they DO feel compassion they just express it by hitting, and wrestling and the like.
She went on to say that little boys have a very different relationship with their brothers and their dads and fighting, or rough housing is a way that they express that they are feeling safe with that person. Safe enough to feel vulnerable enough to say, hey we can play at something that can really hurt, and I trust you not to hurt me, because I love you.
This explanation was pure perfection to me, and really made me look at my sons and the relationship that they have with eachother, with their dad and with me.
Boys are expected from a very young age to "man up" to "stop being a sissy" to "stop crying like a girl" and once we place all these restrictions on them they then have to find other acceptable ways to express their feelings. (unless of course they are in sports where bum tapping is okay, or crying after winning a big game.)
This mom really changed my viewpoint about fighting today, and I dont think she will ever know how truly grateful I am.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A new way of looking at things.....

So it is no surprise that I subscribe to the "attachment parenting" philosophy. I breastfed (eed), co-sleep (slept), baby wear (wore) both of my children. I have read Alfie Kohn, Elaine Faber, Gordon Neufield and the like. (Dr. Sears as well). But, I have always felt that there is/was no need for this label.
This "AP" label. It just makes women crazy. That we have to do X and X and X to prove to someone, anyone (ourselves?) that AP is the only way that you can possibly "do right" by a child. I am one of those who fell for that way of thinking hard. 4 hard years ago in fact. I never let my child Cry-it-out. I never once belittled him, ignored him and the like....well, who exactly am I trying to kid?
I am a human first, a woman second and a mom 3rd. Of course I have screwed up. I have not left him to cry, that is right, but he has screamed in my arms. I have ignored him, I have yelled, lost my temper and all the others, I havent smacked him....but who exactly am I qualifying to?
Do you, dear reader, really truly care if I screw up my kid? Isnt that my right as a parent?
So back to the whole AP point that I was trying to make and then got distracted.
I have friends that CIO. And I see their kids, they are just as grouchy as mine, as disrespectful as mine can be, and as loud and obnoxious too...maybe that is just "preschooler". These women are not evil. They are doing the best that they can do, with the knowledge that they have, and who is anyone to judge them. Me? Do I have that right? You? How would I feel if someone judged me? Thought I was the worst parent in the world because I cant keep my boys clean.
I change them over 5 times a day...clothes that is.... doesnt matter, as soon as I put it on its on the floor covered in paint, dirt, snot or other things too gross to mention.
Why am I all riled up? I have been reading my parenting forum and the newbie moms, you know the one's with *one* kid who is less than 2. The ones whose children cant walk let alone backtalk...they just judge so harshly. And it burns me up, because I was like that too. SO judgmental. They just dont understand that by saying "I am so glad that I AP" means that they are building a gap between moms that just need a little support, some guidance, some help. The energy could be so much better spent. Instead of an US vs. Them mentality. Of course I dont have a leg to stand on as I also hold grudges forever.....
One last point on AP and this is the big one, the reason for this post. I actually dont think we AP our kids...I think we AP ourselves. Our children will all react the same way no matter how we raise them, it is how we react that matters.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Other People's Kids

I do love children for the most part. My own children drive me a little crazy now and again. I think compared to most of my friends I am a bit more strict than they are, and I never noticed this until I started hanging out with them more when their children were around.
I posted about discipline (the way other people discipline) a while back and how it didnt actually affect me, how I parent or how it doesnt affect my own children. I have come to the realization that perhaps I was wrong on that assumption.
I was right to say that in the moment a way that a person decides to discipline their own child, or not discipline does not affect any of the above, however, how that child then acts towards *other* authority figures and children in general does affect all of the above.
Dont get me wrong, I do love my friends kids.. I am just starting to notice that some of them (mainly the girls) do not treat my sons so well. They can play nicely for hours but then can turn on a dime, uttering hurtful things and a whole bunch of sassyness.
I honestly try to respect my friends and their parenting style, and for the most part my closest friends and I follow the same style...the difference comes in expectations. Some parents have different expectations for other children. And that is not a bad thing, if we all had the same expectations the world would be quite boring and we wouldnt be able to learn from eachother.
That is where I am a little more strict or harsh, I guess. I expect K to fall in line after he has been given 3 warnings. If he does not comply we leave. Immediately.
He doesnt have a chance to rectify his behaviour. I feel he is given ample warnings and ample time to fix what he is doing.
On the subject of other children....I am not sure how to handle them.
For the most part I am hands off when it comes to my friends children, but there have been more and more times when I have been in a situation where these children disrespect me, or my authority or disrespect my children. The problem with children is that for them to learn something it has to be immediate. But going to find the mom to deal with the situation makes the learning opportunity disappear. And then I wonder, what should I do?
Talk to the child directly? Treat them as I would my own? Some of my friends use gentle discipline, and so talking would be preferable, however, some of these children do not practice "gentle discipline" themselves and just get saucy and rude.
I can usually let it slide off my back, but as keenan gets older and these girls get cattier, it will take all my strength not to say something to them directly. But the question remains, should I?
Is it in my right to correct a girl when my son's feelings are hurt? Would the same happen to him if he was the one hurting feelings? I would hope so.
I just feel like K is a very sensitive boy and the older we get the more comments he receives from girls. It's not that these girls are picking this up from anyone in particular, or that their parents are to blame...that is not the case at all.
Girls get this mentality where they get catty. Bottom line. They form cliques and groups and clubs. People are denied entrance to one and allowed entrance to another, solely based on membership. (this happens in the adult world as well)
So what is a mom to do?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Berry Picking

As an aside from the cottage for the time being.....
We went berry picking at a friends farm today. It was so great to be out in nature in this beautiful weather, it made me feel like maybe we are getting a summer after all.
She has two massive gardens and we went to pick raspberries....I can actually attest, being a city girl and all, that I had no idea that is how raspberries look on a bush. No wonder they are so fricken expensive if someone has to actually pick all of those and put them into little containers before sending them to the store....incredible.
K was happy as a clam to run around and pick as many as he could stuff in his mouth with R close behind.
They were occupied for hours.....says something, doesnt it?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Holiday - The Begining

Well, that was interesting.
I am going to try and blog about my visit to the cottage this year, but as I was without a computer for two weeks I have an abundance of topics to discuss.
I thought, perhaps that I would start from the beginning as it happened in a typical fashion for our family.
I stayed up late the night before to pack much to my hubby's dismay. I came to bed at around midnight. I made sure to set my alarm for 5am since the flight left at 8am and I had two kids to dress etc. Hubby set his alarm as well.
Can you believe that neither of them went off? Not one.
No idea why mine didnt, but hubby's battery died.
So we woke up at 6:30am, just by fluke. We panicked.
We threw stuff in suitcases, took sleeping children and RAN to the truck.
We left our house at 7am. We made it to the airport at 7:30am. As our flight was boarding, and ran to check our bags. (thank goodness for online checkin)
We actually made our flight with minutes to spare.
The funny part was that the next day after hubby charged his phone it went off at 5am (so 3am ont time)...and when we got home my alarm went off at 5 am as well.
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