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A day in the life!

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I was out running errands this morning and Ben was home with Chrissy, our 11-year-old daughter, who is homeschooled. When I got home, Ben had his truck parked in my spot and was working on it. So I parked my car in his spot and as I’m getting out of it, Ben meets me with this LOOK on his face. All I could think is “Now what?”

Apparently, Chrissy decided to take a break from school and started washing dishes, which is one of her chores. Okay, awesome! No problem, right?

Cody bought a ceramic owl spoon rest for me for Christmas from the Santa Shop at school. He was so proud of himself when he gave it to me.

Well, I’m afraid we had an accident today. It seems that when Chrissy was washing dishes, she didn’t realize the owl was in the bottom of the sink and she kind of dropped some heavier items in on top of it. Yep, you guessed it! The owl spoon rest broke in two.

Now anyone who knows me will know that I don’t get upset over accidents. I have had so much crap happen in my life that I don’t get flapped over much. Things break. They can be replaced. Tell that to my daughter. Rather than go outside and tell Ben she had an accident, she gets into my crafting supplies and gets out the crazy glue. (You can probably see where this is going…)

For the record, my kids are NOT allowed to use any glue except Elmer’s Glue. They are kind of clutzy like me and I can see someone gluing a body part to another body part or the cat or a piece of furniture.

So…. back to Chrissy. She decided she was going to fix the owl with the crazy glue so “Mom wouldn’t get upset.” (More like, “If I glue it back together, no one will know I broke it.”)

After getting glue all over her hands and on the kitchen table, she finally decided that maybe it wasn’t such a bright idea. Somehow without gluing herself to the door handle, she went out and told Daddy that the spoon rest broke. He told her “Okay, not a big deal.” Then, looking down at the porch, she told him she tried to fix it with crazy glue. He told her she is not supposed to EVER use crazy glue.

So a few minutes after this all went down, I got home. Ben filled me in on what happened. As I walked up on the porch, I’m picturing the kid being stuck to the spoon rest. I walked into the house and she’s sitting at the kitchen table, bawling her eyes out, thinking she’s in trouble. *sigh*

So as I took off my shoes and coat, lesson of the day began. I asked her what happened. She told me. I asked why she tried to fix it herself, instead of getting Dad. She said she didn’t want me or Cody to get upset.

I sat down and explained to her that the only “things” I care about are her, her brother, Daddy and the cat. All I want is for them to be safe, healthy and happy. Objects can be replaced. My little family can’t. I told her that she could have gotten herself in more trouble trying to fix it herself than just admitting it happened and letting one of us fix it. I asked her what she would have done if she would have been glued to the cat or got her fingers stuck together. “I dunno.” *sigh*

Moral of the story: Sometimes, you have to spell it out when you talk to your kids. Make sure they know how you feel about them. Make sure you set guidelines about what to do if something happens. Otherwise, who knows, your child may come to you glued to the cat. 

For more insanity, follow my blog! LOL  http://www.LiveHealthyWithPattyBlog.com

A Day In the Life….

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Here’s just a peek at the life of a family living with autism…

My son, Cody, has been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, Sensory Perception Disorder, Dysphagia, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Anxiety, PTSD and about 5 or 6 more difficult-to-say issues. On a weekly basis, we are running to many appointments such as: counseling, group counseling (to help with social skills), speech therapy, occupational therapy and doctors’ appointments! Never a dull moment in our home. Got the idea? I bet you don’t!!

Tuesday was a snow day for the local public school which my son attends. His sister, however, is homeschooled and has school regardless of whether the public schools cancel. So while she’s hitting her classes, I decided to occupy “boychild” with the iPad and had him working with some apps doing math, science, and articulation. He was quiet as a little church mouse. Yay! Christina completed her work and I let the kids watch a movie.  Everything was amazing. On Tuesday.

Now let’s fast forward to Wednesday….

School is on for the day. Our normal routine goes something like this: At 7 am, I wake up and get Cody up. He is supposed to go to the restroom, then go back in his room to change into school clothes. Then back to the restroom to brush his teeth, wash his face and comb his hair. Then it’s time to get his medications, put shoes on and get bundled up for the bus ride to school. This is our EVERY SCHOOL DAY ROUTINE. Should be pretty easy, right? Well, not in the life of an autistic kid.

Here’s how it REALLY played out: I woke him up at 7 am. He got up and went to the restroom. He then went back to his room to (I thought) get dressed. After about 15 minutes, it dawned on me that I hadn’t heard him come back out of his room. So I went to check on him. He’s sitting on his floor still in his pajamas. Bus is due to be here in 25 minutes. I asked him what he was doing. He answered “Nothing.”  I said “I know. Please get dressed for school. Your bus is going to be here in about 20 minutes.”  (With an autistic child, you always want to leave yourself some “wiggle room.”) I closed his door and walked to the kitchen. Five minutes later, he still hadn’t come out of his room. So back I went. I tried to open his door and found it wouldn’t open more than an inch or two. Why? Because he had wedged his trash can up against it. I forced the door open and he’s sitting on his bed in his PJ top and undies. As he saw me, he real quick jerked on his jeans and grinned at me. At this point, I’m starting a slow rolling boil.

I told him he now had 15 minutes to get his shirt changed, brush his teeth and finish getting ready. (Always remind an autistic kid what he still needs to do and keep him posted on time.) I shut the door again. Five more minutes passed. I opened the door to find him slowly unbuttoning his PJ top. I asked him why he was moving so slow. “I don’t know.”  Now this is my absolutely “favorite” phrase in the whole world. NOT! So I stood there and watched him this time. Again, 15 minutes until his bus was due.

He decided to get dressed, finally. I stepped out of the doorway so he could walk past to head to the restroom to brush his teeth and everything else he needed to do. Now, when he’s in a mood like this, the “getting dressed” part is the most challenging and time-consuming of the battle. So I went to the kitchen to start coffee and was silently praying he wouldn’t miss the bus. Any parent can relate to that one, right?

Tuning back into his movements, I heard not the sound of teeth being brushed or water running… I heard singing. *groan* So off to the restroom I marched. And yes, I was marching because the slow rolling boil was starting to become a full boil. I opened the door and he’s quickly putting his toothbrush under the running water. I never saw a kid brush his teeth as fast as he did. He did everything he needed to do and sauntered (yes, sauntered) past me into the hall. *grrrrrrr* Ten minutes left.

Into the kitchen we went to get his meds. No problem there. I then told him to get his sneakers on. He sat down on the floor and decided it was time to act like a puppy. I told him he had one minute to get his shoes on. At this point, he flipped out. He picked up his shoe and threw it. Our cat just happened to be walking by him. Cody kicked out at him. The cat took off running. I had had enough. I went over, picked him up off the floor and told him that he was to NEVER try to hurt the cat or anyone again. He started screaming and ran off to his room. “I hate you!” Nothing can cut through a parent’s heart like those three words.

I let him go for a few minutes so he would calm down. Then I walked back to his room and opened the door. I asked him if he was done yet. “YES!” he yelled. I told him he now had about two minutes before the bus would be here. He stomped past me, put on his shoes and bundled up. The whole time, he looked like he wanted to hurt someone. I reminded him that at school and at home, he is supposed to behave himself. I also told him that I did NOT want to receive a phone call from school. “FINE!”

The bus showed up then. He threw the door open and stomped out to the bus, still glowering. He flopped down in his seat while the driver was looking at me like “What the…?” As she put it in gear, he blew one very angry kiss at me. I blew him a kiss back and smiled.  No matter how he acts, he is my child and I love him. Yes, it still stung that he said what he did. Was I an emotional wreck all day? You betcha. But I have to remind myself this: it’s not Cody saying these things or acting this way. It’s the autism.

He had counseling last night and the issue was addressed. I came home from his appointment and made him some sight cards to help him remember what the steps are he is to perform every morning to get ready for school. Let’s just say his response when I walked him through the cards was horror. “You’re treating me like a baby, Mom!” I said no… I am helping you remember what you need to do since you seem to forget and want to play around.

Keep in mind, we already have a list taped to his bedroom and the bathroom wall. I woke him up this morning and as he was walking past me out of his room, I handed him the ring of cards. He came out of the bathroom and handed them to me and told me he was going to follow the list on the wall. No problems this morning.

And THIS is a day in the life.

Seven Signs of a Stressed-Out Mom (and what you can do about it!)

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By Mary Jane Bogle as seen in Country Living magazine

Hey, Mom, when was your last stress test? No, I’m not talking about running on a treadmill with monitors hooked up to your heart. I’m talking about the stress levels in your home. With the holidays just around the corner, you might want to add a quick tension check-up to your to-do list. How you rate against these seven signs of stress can have a big impact on your holiday season.

1. SLEEP. You’re not getting any, or at least not enough. Mom Sense Rx: Turn off the TV at least an hour before bed. Better yet, don’t turn it on at all – enjoy a good book or long bath instead. Cut out the caffeine, too. Your day will run more smoothly is you get a good night’s sleep.

2. SAYING “NO.” You don’t do it often enough. Overcommitment is the quickest way to send your life spinning out of control. Mom Sense Rx: Let someone else run the bake sale, plan the Christmas play or host the family get-together. Keep your focus where it matters most – at home.

3. SAYING “YES.” If “no” is your instant response to your kids’ requests for your time and attention, it’s time to refocus. Mom Sense Rx: Reprogram your instincts and indulge your kids’ interests. Bake the cookies. Play in the snow. Get out the finger paints and Play-Doh. Not only will you build a lifetime of memories, but you just might find some personal renewal in the process.

4. SELF-CONTROL. You seem to have lost it somewhere along the way. Raising your voice and snapping at the kids (and husband) is no way to spend the holidays! Mom Sense Rx: Inhale and exhale slowly, then count to 10 before you respond to any stressful situations.

5. SUSTENANCE. A Pop-Tart and a cup of coffee do not a calm mother make. Mom Sense Rx: Take time for three nutritious meals every day. Consider talking with your doctor about supplements, too. That extra vitamin B and omega-3 might be just the thing your worn-out body needs.

6. SOCIAL LIFE. If you find yourself complaining about kids, husband and house with your friends, it’s time to change the conversation – or the friendships! Mom Sense Rx: Surround yourself with people who encourage you and build you up as a wife and mom.

7. SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE. When was the last time you took a moment to renew your soul? Mom Sense Rx: A daily quiet time for reflection and prayer will do wonders to keep your focus positive and upbeat.

Taking steps to handle your daily stress now – let alone the extra tension holidays often bring – will reap dividends come Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, helping you and your family experience peace on earth – and in your home!

Part 3 – How Can I Talk With My Teen About Weight Issues?

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DE-EMPHASIZE “DIETING”

“Diets can further complicate an already stressful relationship with food and could trigger continued problems with eating for your child,” says Crawford. “Diets are the #1 risk factor for developing eating disorders. Instead of putting your child on a diet, the goal would be to work toward normalizing eating behavior, ensuring that they are getting the most or all of the necessary nutrients they need in a day, and getting in touch with the body’s natural hunger and fullness cues.”

“Always keep the focus on health, rather than weight,” says Hayes. “Losing weight is incredibly difficult and it is not the only measure of success. If your family starts eating better and moving more, your children may “grow into their weight” as their height increases,” she says. 

“Try to make healthy food choices whenever possible, such as a baked sweet potato instead of fries, water instead of soda, etc.” suggests Chadwick. “But don’t point out your choice or make a big deal out of how you’re choosing the healthy version. Kids will tune that out quickly.”

Remember to show that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation. “Have a treat and enjoy it,” suggest Chadwick. “Show kids that everything – pizza, cheeseburgers, hot fudge sundaes – has a place in a balanced approach to healthy living. When you choose to have a treat, do it mindfully and let your child see you enjoy it. Proclaim it “treat night” and don’t say one word about how it’s going to your thighs or how you shouldn’t be eating it Just enjoy!”

BE THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER

“Getting your teen involved in meal planning and physical activities can be a big help, and you can do it without a lot of talking about the problem.” Get your teen involved with meal planning, creating healthy grocery lists and the grocery shopping, suggests Mehta.

“Get involved in exercise activities with your teen, i.e., kickboxing, martial arts, biking, walking, jogging, tennis, rock climbing or dance aerobics,” suggests Mehta. “Join a health club together or do dance/exercise DVDs together. This can help with bonding and is a win-win situation,” she says. “You get to spend quality time together, get exercise together, and show how you really care about your health and your family’s health.”

KNOW WHEN TO CONSULT AN EXPERT

If you want to be as informed as possible before you talk to your child or her doctor about your concerns, it can be helpful to call an eating-disorder specialist first, suggests Crawford. Inform him or her of your child’s weight gain/loss, current symptoms, health problems or any other concerns you might have. 

It’s always best to have an open line of communication with your child if possible. “If you do express these concerns to your child, indicate that your primary concern is for her health instead of focusing on the weight or the food she may or may not be eating. Be prepared for her to be defensive,” says Crawford.

Your child’s primary-care doctor can be a great first step because 1. your child is already familiar with this person and 2. an appointment can be scheduled without too much resistance from your child generally, especially if it’s incorporated into an annual check-up or well-visit.

Make the doctor aware of your concerns in advance of the appointment so that he or she can plan to ask your child the necessary questions, run the appropriate blood and lab tests and make a referral for recommended treatment. 

But don’t put all your eggs in one basket, Crawford stresses. It’s common for parents to take their concerns to a pediatrician who may not be familiar with eating disorders and, thus, may not take the appropriate steps. If your pediatrician dismisses symptoms and you still have concerns, follow up with an evaluation by an eating-disorder specialist, he suggests.

Also, make sure your pediatrician knows that you endorse a non-diet approach and that you do not want them to focus on the number on the scale or discuss a need for weight gain/loss in front of your child, Crawford advises.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Don’t be offended if someone else is able to get through to your child more easily than you are. “Often a teenager that continually shuts down when confronted by a parent will respond more openly to the concerns when they are expressed by a doctor, school counselor or even a friend,” says Crawford.

Part 2 – How Can I Talk With My Teen About Weight Issues?

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FOCUS ON HEALTH

“Make sure you set a good example for healthy, balanced eating and body image,” says Crawford. “This means not “dieting,” fitting in family meals whenever possible, no excessive exercising and no criticism of your own or other people’s bodies.” If you don’t want your kids to shut down when the topic of weight comes up, let go of a focus on the weight, or the number on the scale, and focus on general health, he says.

Instead of saying, “I’m concerned because you have lost so much weight over the past month,” say “I’m really worried about you because it seems like you don’t have as much energy lately. Are you feeling OK?” Likewise, instead of saying “You seem to be gaining weight. You’d better start watching what you’re eating,” it might be better to say “I know you’ve been grabbing a lot of meals on the run lately. Let’s try to make some more time to have family meals together,” and then follow through by planning and preparing meals that incorporate a variety of foods.

“Keep in mind that everything in moderation – as opposed to completely banning fast food or desserts – is the key to balanced eating,” says Crawford.

EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF BREAKFAST

“It is vital for teens to have breakfast,” says registered dietitician Joan O’Keefe, RD, a frequent speaker on nutrition at schools and the creater of the “Nutrition 101″ video series. “Their biological clocks say “sleep in”, but the reality is that they have to get up and they have to have breakfast and it must include protein.”

Protein in the morning will keep kids satisfied and will help eliminate junk-food cravings, says O’Keefe. “Protein sources can be fast,” she adds. “Leftover protein from dinner (chicken breast, etc.), yogurt with berries, peanut butter and an apple or whey protein (mix it and go out the door with it) are all quick-and-easy options. 

ASK OTHER IMPORTANT ADULTS IN YOUR CHILD’S LIFE TO SEND THE RIGHT MESSAGE

“As with any other important issue, make sure that both parents and important relatives are all on the same page,” suggests Hayes. “Sending mixed messages about weight can also have unhealthy consequences.”

If you’re concerned about other family members having potentially negative discussions with your teen about weight, you may want to share this article with them and talk a bit about the approach you want to use. 

UNDERSTAND PUBERTY-RELATED WEIGHT CHANGES

Teens naturally go through a normal and necessary weight gain at the start of puberty, which allows their body to proceed with maturation, says Crawford. At time goes on, with normal eating behavior, their weight will level off at the body’s unique set point. Parents who draw negative attention to this period of weight gain could trigger body-image concerns and dieting behavior.

Has your daughter started her period yet? If not, would you have expected her to have started earlier? There may be a possibility that low body weight has delayed the onset of menstruation. If she did start menstruating, is she still getting her period, or has it stopped or become irregular? If you have concerns about this, talk with your daughter’s doctor.

MAKE THE MOST OF TEENS’ INTEREST IN THE WEB

“Introduce your teen to some helpful websites that focus on teen health, such aswww.nflrush.com/play60 and www.kidshealth.org (which also has a teen section),” suggests Dallas, Texas registered dietitician Paragi Mehta, RD.

“Together, visit sites such as www. americanheart.org and www.diabetes.org,” suggests Mehta. “This is not to scare your teen, but to create an awareness that if we get healthy now, we can reduce our risk of having lifelong disease or health conditions. Explain to your child that diabetes and heart disease are serious, and talk about how making healthy lifestyle choices now can help protect her health in the future.”

While these sites offer positive examples for teens, the same can’t be said of all

STAY TUNED FOR PART 3 OF THIS AWESOME ARTICLE…..

Part 1 – How Can I Talk With My Teen About Weight Issues?

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By Kathy Sena

as it appears in Ohio Family magazine, April 2013 issue

Are you concerned about your teen’s weight? Are you hitting a brick wall when trying to discuss weight, fitness and health issues with your son or daughter? You’re not alone. Many parents report that this is a particularly tough, and often emotional, subject for parents and teens to discuss. So we’ve asked the experts for tips on broaching this important subject with your child.

RESPECT YOUR CHILD’S FEELINGS

Teens are certainly not alone in their less-than-desirable reactions to the topic of weight, says Steven Crawford, MD, associate medical director of The Center for Eating Disorders at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Consider how you, even as an adult, might react if someone – maybe even your own child – commented on your recent weight gain or pointed out that your exercise and eating habits were really unhealthy,” says Crawford. It’s a sensitive topic for a lot of reasons, but more and more because of the intensity with which our culture, and the media, has placed a focus on weight and connected it to individual self-worth and social status, he adds. “These are, developmentally, very sensitive topics for teens, so some resistance is to be expected.”

Weight is often a tricky subject for moms and daughters, especially, because moms tend to bring their “body baggage” to the conversation, says Dara Chadwick, a journalist and author of You’d Be So Pretty If…: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies – Even When We Don’t Love Our Own (Da Capo Lifelong Books) “For example, if mom was heavy as a child and found that to be a painful experience, she may want to “spare” her daughter from going through what she went through and may take a heavy-handed or critical approach to talking with her daughter about weight or eating,” says Chadwick.

“Or, if mom works very hard to stay slim, she may feel that an overweight daughter is somehow a reflection on her as a mother,” Chadwick says. “Daughters ten to shut down when they feel they’re being lectured, or when it’s a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. In other words, mom or dad tells the daughter to go out and play, or get some exercise, from his or her perch on the couch.”

“Stay alert for natural opportunities to discuss healthy living,” says Chadwick. “While you’re in the kitchen together preparing dinner, while you’re taking a walk after dinner, while you’re watching a television show that makes fun of weight or features an actor who’s incredibly thin. Using moments like this helps take the focus off the daughter herself. Instead, it’s a more global discussion, which tends to feel safer.”

Watch the humor. “I’ll admit I’ve made jokes about my size in the past. But those jokes can hurt just as much as criticism,” says Chadwick. “Don’t make your butt the “butt” of every joke. And think twice before joking about your teen’s body or appearance in any way.” Teens are notoriously sensitive and an off-hand joke about clothes, hair, or weight can sting more than adults may realize.

“Never yell, bribe, threaten or punish your child about weight, food, or physical activity. It you turn these issues into parent-child battlegrounds, the results can be disastrous,” says Dayle Hayes, MS., RD, a registered dietitician in Billings, Montana. “Shame, blame and anger are set-ups for failure. The worse children feel about weight, the more likely they are to overeat or develop an eating disorder.”

STAY TUNED FOR PART 2 OF THIS AWESOME ARTICLE…..

25 RULES FOR MOTHERS OF DAUGHTERS

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25 RULES FOR MOTHERS OF DAUGHTERS

1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly remind her that living and having fun is most important.
2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself.

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.

4. Be present. Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that woman can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself- not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.

9. Give her good role models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman- friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.

14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.

15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.

17. Teach her how to love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy’s feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat – let her know she does not have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect – she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be the better person.

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words; she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her. Being a mother – to her – is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother’s love for their children.

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets – no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her…she may just whisper, “I need my mommy.”

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you; welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news; embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you; find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends or an outfit; tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor – where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile; be home.

The Jar of Awesomeness!

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The Jar of Awesomeness

Here’s an idea I love!
Take a jar, decorate it however you like.
Every time you do something great, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in the jar.
Whenever you start feeling down on yourself, sit down and look at all the amazing things you have done!

This would be great for kids too!

25 Rules for Mothers with Sons

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25 Rules for Mothers with Sons

1. Teach him the words for how he feels.
2. Be a cheerleader for his life

3. Teach him how to do laundry

4. Read to him and read with him.

5. Encourage him to dance.

6. Make sure he has examples of good men who are powerful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity.

7. Make sure he has examples of women who are beautiful because of their brains, their determination, and their integrity

8. Be an example of a beautiful woman with brains, determination, and integrity.You already are all of those things.

If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything – remember this: If you have done any of the following:
a) grew life
b) impossibly and inconceivably got it out of your body
c) taken care of a newborn
d) made a pain go away with a kiss
e) taught someone to read
f) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil
g) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging
h) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them (regardless if they are your own) or i) found a way to be strong when that child is suffering…you are a superhero. do not doubt yourself for one second. Seriously.

9. Teach him to have manners

10. Give him something to believe in

11. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentlelike with babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people’s feelings.

12. Let him ruin his clothes

13. Learn how to throw a football

14. Go outside with him

15. Let him lose

16. Give him opportunities to help others

17. Remind him that practice makes perfect.

18. Answer him when he asks, “Why?”

19. Always carry band-aids and wipes on you.especially the wipes.

20. Let his dad teach him how to do things…without interrupting about how to do it the ‘right way.’

21. Give him something to release his energy

22. Build him forts

23. Take him to new places

24. Kiss him

25. Be home base

You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you’re the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.