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One Bright Star

star

I sit here tonight and watch the star that I have "found" in the heavens. Memories collide and I am reminded of a sweaty little palm that held tightly onto my hand, a palm that, too quickly, slipped from my grasp.



Activism: Walking the Walk

We are better than this

Picture credit: Pixabay

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High students are reminding us that youth can speak to power, can foment change, and that it is a force to be reckoned with. These young survivors of the Parkland massacre bring firsthand authority to the gun debate and are showing the adult population how to solve problems.

Looking Forward

child looking forward to life

Too often, when they become adolescents, our children feel they must decide on what they want to be when they grow up. Adolescence is just too young for somebody to decide what they will do for a lifetime. Setting goals and self-imposing rules at such a young age can hinder a young person's growth more than help it.

When Baby Cries

Mother with crying baby

Babies cry for all sorts of reasons. Hunger. Thirst. Discomfort. Sometimes just to exercise their lungs. When we brought my first-born home, he cried almost constantly.



Barn Burners

match flame

When my children were young, I learned that sometimes you literally have to have a fire lit under you to appreciate how dear those close to you are. We moved to the country looking for a safer, less stressful life for ourselves and our two young children. Our rural Minnesota house sat well back from the road. There was ample room for Nicki, our three-year old, and Lance, our six year old, to play safely on the five acre plot of land that surrounded our house.

The Importance of Second Opinions:
A Lazy Eye Experience

doctor giving advice

For many years, I was intimidated by doctors. I grew up thinking the doctor was always right. I have a crooked little finger that resulted from a doctor telling my mom it wasn't broken. It apparently was. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I learned the value of getting a second opinion when you have any question at all about your doctor's diagnosis or the treatment he or she may recommend.



Help Children Learn to Earn

shoes

We all want to provide for our children, to give them a better life than we had, no matter how rich or poor a background we come from. Yet, I think the best way to provide for our children is to prepare them to lead a rewarding life.



Punishment vs. Discipline:
Are You a Parent Bully?

fighters
Do you remember being told or telling a rival to “pick on someone your own size?” As parents, it’s easy to forget our children are not our size, and confuse punishment with discipline. Punishment, either mental or physical, beats up a person or brings them down. Discipline teaches self-control. We need to teach our children to learn social norms and control themselves within those norms. At the market, a father and his small daughter stood ahead of me in a checkout line. The child wanted candy and her dad said, “No.” When wheedling and pleading didn’t work, the girl fell into a full-blown, on the floor, kicking and screaming tantrum. Without a word, her father scooped her up and wrapped his arms around her, holding her to his chest. For a few moments, she continued kicking and screaming. Then the kicking stopped and the screams dwindled into quiet tears. Within a few minutes, the child became calm. It was one of the best examples of parenting I have ever seen. The father’s clear message told his daughter: “I won’t allow this behavior, but I still love you.” Her father’s firm, but loving, embrace quelled her anger and her tears. I was and am envious of his wisdom. I wish I had dealt with my children in the same way. I used to think a swat on the bottom was okay to keep them from danger, for instance, if one runs into the street. Children have different perceptions than adults. If you spank your children to teach them not to run into the street, they don’t understand you did it to keep them safe. Even if you tell them the reason, they feel the hurt, not the love behind it. Instead of keeping them from hurting, you hurt them. Everything you do for a child should be recognizable as love-based. Children need to learn how to be effective in solving their problems. Resorting to violence is never a solution for anyone. Show your children that you know everybody messes up sometimes, and we do, we face consequences for our errors in judgment. Just as important, though, we must show our children they are worthy of our love.

ADHD

Boy playing jenga
Photo Credit: Michal Parzuchowski

There's a rumor going around that ADHD is madeup by Monsanto and big pharma. It could not be further from the truth. If you have a child who tries to climb the walls, you know that ADHD is a real and horrible condition. Those scoffers, who think they have a cannon in the fight against big pharma and big chemical companies, are in the wrong part of the battlefield.

Where Are You Now

boys playing in a creek
photo credit: Sasin Tipchai

In Memory of Lance Paquette || September 5, 1975 - April 1, 1997
My sweet dark eyed boy tell me.
Where are you now?