2016 Election – What Do I Tell the Kids?

Election 2016Many people will be blogging about this, and they will come from many different perspectives. Everything from bullying, to racism, to sexism will be pulled out, examined ad infinitum, and tossed back into the whirling chum that is our media coverage. People will display an array of emotions, and some people who would have hesitated to air negative and acrimonious feelings and opinions in the past may feel this is the time to let it all out.

Just for a moment, take a breath with me and think about the children.  Continue reading

Advice Tyranny

Pregnant Woman SilhouetteFunny, isn’t it, that I should write an observational advice blog on parenting and then give advice on avoiding advice?

Seriously though, advice is a very powerful thing and should be taken carefully and with great forethought. Does it really fit your style and your child’s personality? Is it appropriate for where you are in your child’s development or time of life? Do you trust the advice giver’s credibility or do you just think it’s an interesting idea?

That is totally okay, you know. You can take wisdom or usable techniques where you find them without particularly thinking that the person you have heard it from has done a great job of applying it themselves.

After all, think about all of the mediocre managers you have had in your professional career who somehow managed to impart just one nugget of usable information that helped you do your job more efficiently or to understand a difficult concept more clearly

As I have gone through both professional and parenting careers, I have learned to pan for gold in the most unexpected places.

It starts with pregnancy. Have you ever noticed that once you start to show, everyone you meet who has ever had a child wants to share their birth experience or experiences with you? And maybe it was just me, but it seemed like the more frightening the tale, the greater relish they took in sharing them. I got to the point with Daughter 2 where I would cut the reminiscences off at the pass with an, “Oh that sounds just fascinating and I would love to hear about it sometime soon, but right now that just makes me so queasy…”  🙂 Amazingly effective. Continue reading

Stepping Into Life

Graduation DayOur younger daughter graduated from her dream university in May. She went through the stress of finals, elation of graduation and ultimately, disappointment when she did not immediately get into the accelerated graduate nursing programs she applied to.

That last item was tough for her. She had a picture in her mind of how things were going to roll out, and they just didn’t fall that way. She will never know precisely why, but my suspicion is that God had another plan for her. It was a bit slower and in some ways a bit more grueling, but it has given her the gift of time and experience.

She recently received the great news that she is accepted to the one of the top five nursing programs in the country, and she will begin in the spring semester of 2014. Meanwhile, she has had a few months  to work in the field she thinks she wants to pursue, to research and learn more about it from the very people who are doing it right now, and to become an even stronger candidate when the time came. She got a glimpse of how capable and organized she is, and how her work ethic is going to serve her well, both in school and beyond. Continue reading

Kissing Values and Kids

Two children kissing on the cheekWho would have thought we would need them? And yet, a young mother I know asked me this question recently:

“…  Our five-year old daughter got in trouble at school yesterday for kissing a boy in her class. Yikes! It occurs to me as we work on this, that we don’t have a family value about kissing. I mean, I can tell her now that she shouldn’t kiss boys, but it always makes more sense to me if the message I give her now at five mirrors the message I give her at fifteen.”

This mom is one smart cookie, because she is thinking ahead now to years in the future when the value messages of your family should still match up. This is analogous to strategic planning in corporate life, and if you aren’t spending as much time and energy doing it for your family as your business, you are missing an opportunity.

These were the thoughts and experiences I shared with my friend:

Our generation was given a societal message of appropriate behavior in a variety of ways that do not exist for our children. Everything seems hyper-sexual from the media, and even though her five-year old is not putting it into that context, we have to be sensitive to the messages they are getting along the way.

When this came up with our daughters, we put it a few different ways to them as they matured. Continue reading