I remember as a little girl – saving all of the ‘used-almost-to-the-bottom’ candles for the whole year to use for Hallowe’en. Our jack o’ lanterns would house a cornucopia of bright red and gold Christmas candles and a few yellow Easter ones. I would be a bit rattled that my beautiful pumpkin was getting red wax dripped all over, and then completely dejected that whenever I passed my own house (as I was doing the neighborhood candy marathon) the pumpkin would be dark. A gust of wind had just spoiled a child’s excitement at boasting artistic achievements to her friends. I’d quickly apologize and run up to grab a lighter or matches. And I can’t remember being anything other than a princess in chiffon so that + matches was clearly a bad idea…
My tween wants a cell phone. Correction, she wants a cell phone that allows her to text, play games online, send emails and lastly, make phone calls. Yesterday, she told me that more and more of the girls in her class (We’re talking 4th grade folks!) are getting cell phones for their 10th birthdays. She doesn’t want to wait a year. She wants one now. The question is, is my tween ready for a cell phone?
I know every word to the theme song for Paw Patrol. I can recite Goodnight Moon forwards, backwards, upside down, and inebriated. I spend the majority of my days creating with play dough, kicking balls, singing nursery rhymes, and playing make believe games with plastic toys. There are a myriad of reasons behind my participation in all of these activities, the most important being that they interest my children. I repeat. They interest my children. When the sun goes down and the babies are tucked in to bed, you will not find me re-reading Goodnight Moon for the kajillionth time. As it turns out, I have a few interests of my own and none of them involve pups who save the day.
Who solves a Rubik’s cube in under a minute, yet can’t figure out how to turn his clothes right-side out before they go in the hamper?
Who takes 3 showers a day but can’t remember to grab a towel before he goes in?
Who smells like feet and used car salesmen?
My son. My son does.
Why should you teach your teen to negotiate? Negotiation is a skill that is useful at home because it helps keep the line of communication open between you and your child, and makes them feel heard and like their opinions matter.
The change in my son’s behaviour was so gradual I almost didn’t realize what was happening. At first, I wrote it off as a bad day. I explained his emotional meltdowns as tiredness or hunger—I know how a guy can get when he needs a taco.
One bad day turned to two, and two turned into a week. Before I knew it we were living a new normal. An emotionally unhinged, can-other-kids-possibly-be-like-this normal.
So here I am today, writing from Toddler Hell, where the red cup is never blue enough and shoes are evil feet-demons.
Travelling with kids is a chore, there’s no disputing that. Fortunately even relatively “quick jaunts,” like Toronto to LA, can be made easy if one goes prepared with electronic devices and snacks. But the longer trips? Ones to far off countries? Those are a different story.
My son can legally drive a vehicle. Not just any vehicle, but a manual transmission hatchback that has been my husband’s commuter car for the last five years.
Last time I looked my son was driving his matchbox school bus on carefully crafted track around the house. Now he’s taking a car on roads with stop signs, turn lanes, potholes and … OTHER DRIVERS. Sometime in the last ten years he’s grown taller and stronger than me and old enough to drive. Surely just last week I was teaching him to ride a bike and wasn’t it just yesterday he started middle school?
Any parent who has ever taken a small kid to a large zoo, amusement park, museum, or who just has a reason to fear their kid might make a mad dash or decide to play hide-and-seek in public, has worried about what would happen if you got separated from the child. Fear and stress can make grown-ups forget important phone numbers, sometimes a lost child has trouble with their own name.
Now imagine your child has an allergy or other medical condition that causes worry. Perhaps your child is older but still non-verbal or is otherwise unable to communicate with strangers.
No matter what their age or abilities, we want our children to have the opportunity to fully experience the world. How to do that, and still keep them safe?
As your child gets older and more independent, the summer break takes on a whole different vibe. Your now-teenager has successfully navigated middle school, some of high school, and possibly even completed Drivers’ Ed (eek!) At this point, they’re likely pretty entrenched in their daily routine: getting to class, completing assignments, attending practice, and (hopefully) doing their chores. And then summer arrives and it all falls apart. Your once busy teenager suddenly has hours and hours of time to play with and no direction creating a situation that can quickly escalate out of moms control—so here are some summer tips for moms with teens to help nip it in the bud right from the start.