Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Parenting Teens & Tweens: Tips & Tricks

 

Last week I was picking up my daughters from dance class, and was greeted by some stressed out mothers who had recently been experiencing a bit of “tween girl hormonal rage”. Considering my girls are ages 9, 12 and 13, they figured I might have some experiences and advice to share. While I think I’ve gotten off pretty easily in the hormonal attitude department, I do have a few teen girl advice tricks up my sleeve that are worth sharing:

1) Make sure they get sleep. Big kids may resent little kid bedtimes, but they need them. Kiddo bedtime at my house is 8:30pm, and that applies to everyone from toddler to teen. I don’t like kid meltdowns at any age and sleep is a good way to prevent them.

2) Don’t stoop to their level. Take a deep breath and stop yourself from getting into a screaming match and door slamming competition with your moody teens and tweens. Keep your cool and never let them see you sweat. You will only escalate the situation by getting sucked into it.

3) Don’t take their crap. Just because they have raging hormones and may lack some self-control, it doesn’t mean you have to take their verbal abuse. Expect to be spoken to with respect. Mouthy kids should be sent to their rooms or somewhere quiet to cool off.

4) Talk to them. Once they’ve chilled out a bit, you can have a productive chat and explain why the way they acted is not acceptable in the family. Chances are they feel bad for how they behaved even if they are stubborn in admitting it.

5) Keep talking to them. Was there a trigger? There might be some bigger issues going on. Did they get in a fight with a friend at school? Are they worried about a math test? Provide many opportunities throughout the day for open conversations. You never know what little tidbits might get leaked!

The most important thing I tell myself is to NEVER TAKE ANYTHING THEY SAY PERSONALLY! Remember your own experience – that moment in your early twenties you realized your parents are HUMAN and have these things called FEELINGS and they actually did so much for you? Yeah, it’ll happen. You just have a decade of exercising extreme patience ahead of you before it does.

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

 

What I Learned About My Kids on Instagram

For all you social media types, I have to admit I was a little late to the party when it came to Instagram. For those who don’t know what Instagram is, it’s basically like Twitter but with photos – and it’s a favourite social networking site for teens and tweens. Think “selfies” – there is no lack of them on Instagram.

My biggie kids have had Instagram for a while, and although I’d pop on their accounts occasionally and make sure everything they were posting was above board, I mostly left them to their own devices. They’re pretty sensible kids and if something even a little bit sketchy went down, I’m the first person they would tell.

Last week I joined Instagram and learned a few interesting things about my biggie-sized kiddos:

They do weird things together and take pictures of it. In this picture on one of my kiddo’s accounts, I discovered that they like to cover their brother with nuts and let chipmunks eat off his face.

They love their siblings. One daughter posted this photo of her brother when he was on TV sharing his experience with autism. Her comment “awesome job Mack!”

And just when you think they only see their little brothers as annoyances, you find this picture on Instagram with the caption “my brothers are the cutest hockey players ever”.

As much as they love each other, they may love the dog more. One kid has about 60 posts. I’d say about 55 of them are of the dog. Not a human in sight.

They like their parents too, and aren’t afraid to share that with their friends. In this post, my daughter wrote “mommy and me time”.

And this post I found speaks for itself:

Do you have any kiddos on social media?  Have you discovered any surprises – good or bad, when you connected with them online?

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

The poopy little puppy.

When I got talked into getting a dog almost 2 years ago, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Growing up, I had never had a dog. Heck, I don’t think I had ever properly petted a dog.  But I signed up, got our puppy and, honestly, I can’t imagine our family without him now.

One problem. I recently discovered he has a lot of feelings and responds to them in ways I never anticipated. THAT, I didn’t sign up for.

Our family just returned from a month overseas. While away, we had wonderful friends move into our house and provide Ozzy with the best doggie care possible. Our dog was spoiled with treats, walks and attention. By all reports, he was on his best behavior the entire time we were gone.

Upon our arrival home, I thought we returned to a very sick dog. He had chronic diarrhea, but strangely it only happened when our family was out and he was alone in the house. We kept returning home to a house full of doggie diarrhea. It was absolutely disgusting, but I couldn’t decide whether to feel sorry for the dog, or kill him. Dog friends suggested that he was responding to our absence – that he worried when we left the house, we wouldn’t be coming back and that was what caused his poopy issues. I had never heard of something so ridiculous! After all, he’s a dog – not a human!

The last straw was when I returned home from work to find he had crapped down a heating vent. I booked a vet appointment, proving that I am more likely to get medical attention for my dog than my children. His diarrhea was so bad; he had to have something physically wrong with him. Or so I thought. The vet confirmed what the dog friends had said – it was behavioral. We were dealing with puppy separation anxiety!

So dogs are a little more human than I realized. I have been shocked to learn that his response to our absence is not rare. Many friends relayed similar horrifying stories involving dog poop. Have you ever left your dog for an extended amount of time? How did pup respond? What’s your experience with separation anxiety in dogs?

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

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