Mom Truth: kindness goes a long way with our kids.... May 01 2015, 0 Comments



Turn on the news and there is story after story of bad stuff happening in the world.  I can't help but think - where will we be in 15-20 years, and how will my children be a part of whatever is happening? 

As many parents often do, I like to think about what qualities my children have developed.  Are they nice to others?  Are they respectful with adults?  Where do they fall into this social game we call life.

Recently my daughter and I were walking and she saw a 'friend' up ahead from us.  I quoted that word because after this encounter I am not really sure that they are friends.  That is ok.  I know the whole world can't be friends, but can't we at least be polite?  So, as I said, we were walking down the street and she was holding a bag full of stationary goodies and wanted to show them to this 'friend'..  So she called the name of her 'friend' and started running towards her.  The 'friend' glanced back, saw my daughter and started to run.  Towards her you are probably thinking... but no, sadly, she was running away from her.  My sweet girl continued to call her name and run.  The 'friend' was walking with an older sibling and the siblings friend.  They all looked at my girl, the older ones laughed and the 'friend' continued to run. 

My heart sank.  I watched as my daughter finally caught up (only because the group had to stop to cross the street) and continued to be ignored.  The group then crossed the street while my daughter waited for me.  Luckily my daughter chalked it up to them having to rush home, but I felt a sting. Really?  If someone calls my child's name, we stop, turn, and acknowledge that person.  Do they have to then become best friends?  No.  But, I am teaching my children to be polite to other people, and acknowledge that someone is trying to speak to them.  No one deserves to be ignored. We need to learn how to listen to each other and, even if not the best of friends, learn to work together and co-exist. As good old Benjamin Franklin once said Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Post by Erica
Photo: Smudgetikka





Mom Truths: The birthday dance... January 16 2015, 0 Comments

If your child has started school - or day care, or nursery school - then you my friend have probably started the birthday dance. With two kids, we usually have a birthday party (or more!) to attend every month. But now that my daughter is in Kindergarten - meaning larger classes - birthday parties start getting a bit more streamlined. They are expensive!  So starts the delicate dance of what party to go to and (gasp) some you may not even be invited to. You know, that uncomfortable moment when someone says to you 'See you Saturday!' and you reply with a blank look because you have no idea what they are talking about.  'Little Susie's party - remember? - are you going?' And you realize you (well, really your child) have not been invited.

Whenever someone asks me, and I realize we aren't invited - I go through the stages of party emotions.

At first I am hurt.  Ouch. 

Is my kid being excluded?   

Then I am embarrassed.  Does the mom not like me

Then I have relief - one less present to buy!

But let’s get real here. As 'personal' as this can feel for me - the mom - I have to remain focused on who is the game player here.  It is not me.  It is my kids.  Are they hurt?  Often they don't realize there is a party happening.  But, if they do hear about it at school, and ask if they are going, I am pretty lucky that we have pretty busy weekends.  I can remind them that they have their cousins party, or we are going to see that new movie, or we are heading upstate to visit Grandma and Poppy. 

Some children invite the whole class to their party.  Which, while generous and very inclusive, means you are going to a lot of parties and buying lots of gifts for children that your child might not hang out with that often.  But, a fair decision that has all of the kids happy.

Some children invite only their own gender.  So, if my daughter isn't invited to a party and I discover that only boys are invited, I can easily explain how she is simply not a boy and that was what dictated the guest list.

Some parents ask their child who they want to invite.  This is a budget friendly, more personal approach for the host and guest of honor, but can result in some sad kids.  But, with a little conversation between you and your child, you can very clearly explain why little Johnny, who they never play with, didn't invite them. 

I have found the most simple way to deal with this is to not have a party. Seriously. I have never had to worry who we will or won't invite.  I send a treat to school, but then keep the actual day of birth a family filled event.  Although, this year my daughter is already giving me party ideas for her next birthday.  Uh oh.  

What it comes down to is if you are invited to the party, great, the kid is happy - you're happy. And if you not, you're a big girl, don’t take it personal, and have a conversation with your kid (if they bring it up, if not, phew, one less thing to explain.) This is just one of many dances you will be having as the parent so put on your big girl pants and dance away.


Post by Erica Young

Photo Credit: Hither and Thither