How do you know when to say no and when to say yes?I wish I had a crystal ball when it comes to answering my children’s questions. After three kids, you would think I could make decisions in seconds.
Instead, I labor over whether I should let them spend the night at a friend’s house, go shopping without me, or attend a concert or some other freedom-enhancing activity.
If the girls ask me if they can have ice cream or my son says, “O-Gurt,” because he wants a second helping of yogurt, those are pretty easy decisions – not life-changing. If it’s the wrong answer … well, there really is no wrong answer to these questions.
But, when my 14-year-old asked me this week if she could attend a concert with a friend, this was a big deal to me. And, while I don’t want to ”ruin her life” or be ”too overbearing,” it’s my job to protect her. God gave me that job, and I take it seriously.
My first response to her when she couldn’t tell me where the concert was planned, was “no.” Well, that didn’t go over too well. She was obviously not happy and expressed that unpleasantness quite well.
Not expecting her reaction, I thought I would dig some more. Yea! I at least found out the name of the group. Progress.
When met with more defensiveness, I said no again.
You would have thought I would have stopped there, but something told me she really wanted to go to this event.
Then, I went to the Internet, searched the location of the concert (Yes! There really was a concert at a well-established venue), looked into our newspaper’s archives for stories written about the event (Yes! More information – and written by a friend!!!), and then I talked to the reporter the next day and was assured this was going to be a really exciting concert event that would be good for my daughter.
Finally, I spoke to my daughter’s friend’s mother who assured me she would be attending with the girls.
Then, my answer was “yes.”
Whew! …. Making decisions on candy and “O-Gurt” are a lot less stressful!
– Linda Lynn
The weather outside is no longer frightful, but I’m feeling a little bit spiteful. Because school is still out, and my kids are about and getting to work is a challenge.
Most metro school district canceled school again today. While the main roads are clear and the sun is shining, some neighborhood streets remain too slick for school buses. So for the third day, my husband and I must determine who has MORE IMPORTANT things happening at work, and who is staying home with the kids.
It’s a real dilemma for working parents, who already don’t have enough days off to cover normal school holidays.
I have a possible solution. My daughters’ schools both have afterschool programs run by teachers. Some of those teachers might want to make some extra money (and I would surely pay) to open part of the schools during snow days for childcare.
Parents could drive their children to school (no buses, no liability) and the kids would be in a safe place with people they know. Sack lunches would take care of the issue of the cafeteria being closed.
What do you think? Is anyone doing this? Would districts be open to it?
Comment here with your thoughts.
The campaign hopes to help the teens deal with unwanted text messages from other teens seeking sexual messages, pictures or videos. This also applies to such requests made online.
Teen and their parents are invited to explore a new Web site at www.Thatsnotcool.com.
The Web site offers teens some ways to respond to the so-called “textual harrasment,” among other interesting information.
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to produce, distribute and promote public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as improving the quality of life for children, preventive health, education, community well-being, environmental preservation and strengthening families.
The council is partnering on this new campaign with other agencies, incluing the National Family Violence Prevention Fund.
(fixed broken link and updated with corrected name of New York Times author)
When my oldest child was 9 months old, he got really picky about what he ate. His hands played goalie to his mouth and only a limited variety of foods was allowed in. Except the day he ate a junebug off the floor as he crawled around. I got there just in time to hear the crunch. It was gross. I’ll spare you the details.
Now the New York Times is saying here that kind of behavior might be instinctual, that babies who put everything in their mouths as soon as they get mobile might be protecting their immune system more than the ultraclean environments some live in today.
“In studies of what is called the hygiene hypothesis, researchers are concluding that organisms like the millions of bacteria, viruses and especially worms that enter the body along with “dirt” spur the development of a healthy immune system,” writes Jane E. Brody in the New York Times.
Experts she quoted speculate that the increase in the number of immune system disorders – like asthma, allergies or Type 1 diabetes – diagnosed each year may be related to the idea that we should keep our children from germs of any kind.
The lesson here is that while cleanliness is still a virtue, it’s OK to allow some dirt in your house, and your children don’t always have to wash their hands after touching it. And if they eat a junebug or a worm or some other disgusting thing they pick up off the floor, then they might actually be helping their immune systems.
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For those who don’t keep up with the show, it airs on the ABC Family Channel on Monday nights and chronicles the life of pregnant teen Amy Juergens, along with the lives of her family and friends.
Ricky, the father of Amy’s baby, was the victim of not only physical abuse, but sexual abuse from his father. The news comes out because Ricky’s father just got out of prison and wants to re-enter his son’s life and, get this, sell Amy and Ricky’s baby to somebody that wants a baby.
Ricky had the emotional scenes this episode as he almost tearfully tells Adrian and some others the truth about why his father went to prison.
You could tell that the molestation and physical abuse has tortured the boy. It helped shed light on why Ricky acts the way he acts.
In other scenes, Amy tells Ben, her boyfriend, that he can’t come with her to her ultrasound. Ben’s father gives his son some much-needed advice, telling him not to count on doing that kind of thing with Amy since she’s just a young teen like himself, he’s not the father of her baby, and frankly, she’s in a pretty tough situation.
Oh, and Amy learned the sex of the baby.
Things have started to get more than a little complicated for Amy. My hope is that teens watching the program will be able to see that and maybe think about just how complicated their own lives would become should they become pregnant or get get someone pregnant.
The biggest complication of them all is coming down the pike: Amy has to decide whether or not she’s going to give the baby up for adoption.
As the show progresses, it looks like viewers are going to be able to see how much angst this causes and what the implications are behind that decision.
This is my scheduled posting for the week and it is late because there has been so much going on this week. However, I did manage to see the latest episode of “Secret Life” on Monday and it was probably one of the better ones.
For those late the game, “Secret Life” is a television show airing on Monday evenings on the ABC Family Channel. It chronicles the life of a pregnant teenager named Amy Juergens, her family and friends.
In this week’s episode, Adrian’s father talks bluntly with her about Ricky. Adrian is the show’s “bad girl,” so to speak, but viewers have been able to see what her home life is like and exactly why she is the way she is. Ricky is the show’s “bad boy,” for lack of a better term. He’s the father of the Amy’s baby.
Adrian’s father, who just recently came into her life, is an assistant district attorney who wants to help his daughter get her life on track. She makes excellent grades but has been labeled the school slut for good reason.
Her father tells her that Ricky is just using her, having sex with her at night while taking Grace, a Christian girl, out on actual dates.
It’s the classic “hook-up” scenario that teens will tell you about if you ask them.
The show has been criticized for stereotyping the characters, and yet we know that so many teen girls are looking for love and settling for sex, then get hurt when the guy discards them and moves on.
I think the straight talk that Adrian’s dad gave her was this episode’s main message.
We’ll have to see if she takes his advice and leaves Ricky alone.
Meanwhile, Ricky is having lots of trouble of his own. His dad is back from prison and there’s some mystery about why he was in prison in the first place.
Even if the plot keeps twisting (this is TV, OK?), I still see the show as a good way for parents to open up some interesting (and hopefully meaningful) discussions about relationships and sex.
Last night, I took my son to see “Walking with Dinosaurs-The Arena Spectacular” at the Ford Center. I was hesitant about taking him at first, because I was worried he would get scared, since he’s only 2. But he loves dinosaurs so I gave in and bought tickets.
We were not disappointed. The show was phenomenal. The dinosaurs were very realistic and their movements and sounds were quite believable. A paleontologist guided the show, narrating what was going on during the different periods dinosaurs existed, how they fended for themselves, fought off prey and eventually became extinct.
My son was in complete awe through the entire show. I purposefully chose seats that were high up so that he’d be looking down at the dinosaurs and not up at them, which turned out to be a good idea. The dinosaurs can get close to those sitting in the lower section and they can get very loud when they roar.
The show is appropriate for young children through adults. It is about 2 hours long with a 20-minute intermission. It runs through Sunday at the Ford Center. You can get tickets online at ticketmaster.com or by calling (800) 745-3000.
Would you know what to do if your child started choking?
The answer for me a year ago was ‘no’ and it scared me to think that if my son started to choke, I wouldn’t know how to save him. I kept picturing just the two of us, at home eating dinner when a piece of pizza or steak got lodged in his throat. I would probably panic and call 911, but by the time they would come, it could be too late.
Wanting to be prepared for the worst prompted me to take CPR and first aid training from the Red Cross last February. It’s a full-day class, where you are trained by a professional on how to do CPR and first aid on infants, children and adults.
At the end of the class, you’ll know what to do for not only for choking, but also burns, gashes, broken bones and other major injuries.
There’s a test at the end of the course and passing is required for certifcation. The great thing about taking a course from the Red Cross is that the CPR certification is valid for one year, and for first aid, it is valid for three years. There are no prerequisities necessary.
To register with the Red Cross, go to http://okc.redcross.org/ and click on ‘Be Educated’ and choose ‘Red Cross Courses’ from the drop-down menu. From there you browse all their course offerings. If you’d like to learn how to do CPR and first aid on an infant or child, take the course that specifically says “Class adult, child, infant CPR, first aid.” Classes range from $48 – $60.
Isn’t having the ability to save your child’s life or someone else’s worth a Saturday? It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind. I know I’ll be going to back to get re-certified next month.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the amazing ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ – and how U.S. Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III made an incredible split-second decision to land the plane into the Hudson River, saving all 155 on board.
In New York City, a kids’ group called KidCity started a project to thank the hero they say saved not only his crew and passengers, but quite possibly many more people on the ground. Kids are honoring the pilot by sending him artwork, photos, drawings, and more. They are compiling the art and including a gift to present to “Sully.”
Even though this project is based out of New York City, I am sure his efforts are appreciated across the country. Kids here in Oklahoma can contribute to this project by sending cards, artwork, photos, or anything else to honor the pilot to:
300 W. 55th St.#15A
New York, NY 10019
What a great way to say “Thank you for a job well done.”
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III
Please tell me it’s not possible.
We all know about the terrible twos. They are notorious for being difficult. The sudden independence, the tirades and tantrums, the battle of wills that a 2-year-old always wins. So why is everyone telling me 3 is worse?
Because there may be some truth to it. Over the past few months, as my son inches closer to the 3-year mark, he has become … well, difficult. He seems more intent on doing things his way. Forget what Mom tells him to do. Sometimes it’s like he even outright ignores me. And the demands … “get it now!” or “I said I want a hot dog!” or “No! I won’t go to school today!” What suddenly happened to my always perfectly sweet and innocent baby?
On babycenter.com, one of their experts answers the question “Is there such a thing as the terrible threes?”
Developmental psychologist Susanne Ayers Denhams explains that 2-year-olds are eager to explore and if they come up against a barrier (like Mom) they can react with intense negativity. Their developing identity also has them testing limits and with their growing vocabulary, sometimes they still can’t voice what they want in a way parents will understand.
She goes on to say that 3-year-olds can go through the same trials of growing. Cycling through phases is common (being at peace, getting frustrated or discouraged, going through life changes) so rough patches can really happen at any time. New discoveries can make a child angry and they can start reacting to demands put on them at home and day care. They can lash out if they are aggravated and it’s a common emotion at this age.
She also offers tips on dealing with difficult 3-year-old behaviors and tantrums:
-Stay calm and don’t take it too seriously.
-Encourage your child to put their feelings into words and be patient if he or she can’t do that quite yet.
-Figure out what’s bothering your child and attempt to resolve it.
-If all else fails, and you think it may be a caused by another underlying problem, you may want to consult with a pediatrician for advice.
We’ll see how this works out. Any other advice is welcome here! Let me know how life is with your toddler. Comment below or email me at email@example.com.