My kids play with knives and other parenting confessions

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Last night my 5 year old, 3 year old, and 9 year old used actual sharp knives to help me cut up a potato.  Before you can child protective services, I was right there helping, guiding, teaching them how to slide their fingers back out of the way.

No one died.  No one even bled. No tears.

Kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Let them learn.  Let them explore.  Believe in them.

Getting away from good job

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"Good job" this praise pops into my head a thousand times a day is a phrase I am trying to stop using.

It sounds like something you'd say to praise a dog not a child- does it then hold that if I do not say 'good job' it is a 'bad job'? That kind of all or nothing approach is sad.  The inherent judgement in the statement is sad.  I want my kids to know that my love and support for them and of them is not dependent on them doing 'a good job'. 

I want my children to be intrinsically motivated not waiting for my praise or my approval.  I want them to get the satisfaction of doing something for themselves.  I want them to be motivated to do something for themselves not for me.  I do not want them to be reward or praise seeking.  I also do not want to manipulate them into doing something.

There has been some discussion as to why parents should reduce saying this phrase- and in large part I agree with them- so I am trying to not say it that much- but what I am I to say when my kids are looking to me for approval?

I have worked on saying 'wow, you worked hard!" or "you should be really proud of yourself!" or asking questions about what they did.  I also make comments about what they did such as "I really like the way you used the triangles here." or something that just declares you noticed what they did.

Clearly, saying 'Good job' is not the worst thing to happen and it will not be catastrophic for them. I will continue to try and work on my internal script. 

Love, Marriage and name changes

Monday, June 17, 2013

My sister kept her maiden name when she married her husband.

I took my husbands name.

This is not what I had expected.  I had been very loud about planning to keep my name- as getting married did not change who I was- I was just married.

My husband wanted me to change my name- it was very important to him- when pressed he just said, "It was the way it was supposed to be."

I hesitated though.  I was embarrassed.  I didn't want to hurt my dad's feelings by dropping his name. Seriously- that was my biggest concern- I didn't want to hurt my dad's feelings.

Anyway-  I took his name.  Its my name now. Our name.

Slightly off topic but I was discussing this with another woman a few years ago and she thought you were required to change your name after marriage.  I was stunned, do you know anyone who thinks that?

Renaming littleDude

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It has been brought to my attention that LittleDude would be better described with the nickname "scooter" in reference to how he crawled scooting his bum a long.

Now of course he can can walk but from now on--- he will be Scooter

LittleDude is braver than me...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

There has to be a first injury right?

LittleDude sure got his.

My mom was visiting and we were outside, LittleDude was driving his toy car having a great time.  Until he wasn't, he climbed over short landscaping wall, I picked him up and pulled him out and set him down.  He turned around and toddled back towards the wall he tripped and fell, hitting his head on the stone landscaping wall right above his eye.

The awful hollow sound that his head made as it hit the stone sends a shiver down my spine whenever I think of it.

Immediately I picked him up- and saw the cut and my mind blanked I could not remember what I was supposed to do... Airway-- breathing--circulation right??

It was bleeding. a lot. I handed him to my mom to get ice and a towel.  There were no towels in the drawer. Of course. Found a towel. ice. pressure.

The cut was deep- edges were pulling apart.

We got in the car to go to the hospital and of course hit the

He vomited and got very drowsy so we detoured to the fire house where someone could actually probably think clearly.

The paramedics helped and took him to the hospital.   When we arrived at the hospital he was stitched and glued back together.

A popsicle was  the reward for being so brave for LittleDude.  I needed a glass of wine for holding it together.

He seems to not mind it in the least, but it looks awful!!! I hope it does not hurt him too much. 

Virtually Connected

Sunday, June 2, 2013

When I was little--- you know a hundred years or so ago (my son asked me if we had electricity when I was born), computers did not connect to the internet- there wasn't an internet to connect to, your mail came to your house, you had a phone in the house that everyone shared, no cell phones, not texting, none of it. 
If I went somewhere, I'd leave a note on the counter, so would my parents, I also had an emergency quarter to call home with if I needed too- for a payphone. 

The phone most often used was in the kitchen and it had a long cord so you could walk all around the kitchen and still talk- but the phone itself was mounted on the wall. If someone called while the phone was in use- they got a busy signal (remember those?? I don't think my kids have ever heard one).

My mom would spend a lot of time talking to her friends on the phone chatting.  I don't.

The point of this is to discuss whether with all of out social media connections- we are more or less connected to others than before- because personally- I feel lonely- despite 600 facebook friends, 1000 twitter followers, and a house full of kids.

So with all of this connectedness how are we less close to others than we were 20 years ago?

Here are my thoughts:

My mom would chat for a while with just a few people- not 500.  But with those few people she was very open and had great support.

So while I chat on Facebook with a huge crowd- I am not open.  I am not giving of my deepest my real self- I lost touch with that long a go.

When talking on the phone or visiting in person, you can tell a lot about what a person is not saying by tone, inflection, or word choice.  How many huge fights have been started on the internet because of a comment that was said as a joke but the reader took it seriously (why we need a sarcasm font).

My mom actually saw the people she visited with.  They would sit and have tea together while the other kids and I played.

I am not saying that all tech is bad- I love video chatting with my kids when I can't be there- but it is just not the same as actually being there- iPads are great- but they kind of suck at hugs (said with sarcasm).

So, in some ways new technology brings us together- but in others it drives us apart- we can become isolated in our homes not venturing out to actually see people or have any real interactions..

All of the Facebook and text "I love you" messages in the world will not hold a candle to a great big hug from my husband and a kiss to tell me I am loved.

I am going to really make an effort to have real interactions with people in the coming months- not just virtual ones.

Hold me to it please.

Do you feel less connected or lonely despite the incredible technology out there??