Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

Are My Kids Materialistic Enough?

Fancy clothes? Nah… who needs them. Or shoes, for that matter. Just not a priority around these parts.

Throughout my parenting journey, I’ve generally put value on experiences rather than stuff. I’m not fussed about having fancy furniture or cars, mostly because I’m simply not interested. Those things don’t excite me.

My friends often laugh at my lack of interest over things like a new house or new car. When it was time to buy outdoor furniture, my neighbour picked it out. When I needed new furniture for the family room, my mom and sister did the shopping and I just sent along my credit card for them to buy what they liked.

I don’t make a big deal about a broken dish or such things. Hey, it’s only “stuff”, right? Some of this lack of interest has rubbed off on my children. While my kids have certain fashion “looks” that they like (mostly defined as “comfy”), they have never asked for a certain brand or label of clothing.

While we were away for March break, a friend tried to surprise me by attempting to get some stains out of a couple of the bedroom carpets. Surprise me, she did! It turns out she used bleach as part of her cleaning concoction and as a result, I have multiple patches of bleached carpet throughout two bedrooms. My sister popped over for a visit the night we returned, so I gave her a tour of the damage.

While showing my sister around, I guess I expressed some unusual concern about the bleaching event, because my daughter pulled me aside and shared that she felt I wasn’t acting like my usual self. She reminded me that it was an accident and it’s only carpet and she and her sisters don’t mind that their carpet is splotchy.

Her sentiment impressed me and I liked that she placed so little value on the carpet. But then I thought to myself, “Hold on! I’m going to have to replace these carpets. And I’m the one who paid for them. They ARE of value”.

So it made me question – what have I been teaching my kids without realizing it? Have I raised my kids to be so un-materialistic that they don’t understand the value of anything? (Or should I not worry, because they’re not irresponsible with their belongings, so they’re clearly not too far gone?)

How much value do your children place in “things”? Has your attitude around material possessions been passed down to your kiddos? Do you have any tips on how to teach kids about money and value?

 

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. Getting geared up for hockey finals? Be sure to grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Kids are NOT Mean

After his goal. This is what support looks like.

There’s a general statement I often hear about kids, usually when there has been an incident of bullying or unkind behavior. That statement is “kids are so mean”. I cringe every time I hear it because:

a)      It’s not true

b)      Generalizations don’t serve anyone well and usually end up making me feel twitchy.

Unlike the bullying stories you often hear, I recently had an experience with my 14-year-old son that left me completely overwhelmed with how kind and supportive teenage boys can be.

He was out of town with his hockey team participating in a tournament.  I worried that it might be a bit awkward socially, since the boys on the team didn’t know each other very well heading into the tournament.  I was sure to send Daddy-o and son off with the Xbox and a load of junkie drinks and chips. That way, my kid’s room would be the “cool” place for them to hang out. When you’re raising a child with autism, you are always thinking about setting him up for success socially.

Daddy-o was giving me e-mail updates throughout the second game of the tournament, and what I was reading brought me to my knees. Here’s what happened:

  • My kid got his first goal of the season. The bench cleared and his team went crazy congratulating him. In fact, our coach had to let the other coach know that it was his first goal and that they weren’t in fact rubbing it in that they had gotten so far ahead;
  • Then my kid scored a second goal. More hysteria ensues. With one minute of play left, our coach was sending out the last lineup of players. One of the boys getting sent onto the ice asked coach if Mack could go out in his place so that he’d have a shot at getting a hat trick. Yes, a teammate gave up his own ice time for my son.
  • After the game, his teammates decided he should be the tournament captain. A white “C” made of hockey tape was applied to his jersey, and he was given the game puck.

So you see why I don’t believe that kids are mean. We can’t forget about the coaches either. Any coach who can create an environment of support and peer encouragement for a bunch of testosterony 14-year-old boys has clearly worked some magic.

 

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. Getting into the excitement of hockey right now? Be sure to grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Kids Ear Piercing – For or Against?

No improvements required.

I discovered yet another parenting “hot button” topic this week. In the past, I’ve been sucked into every controversial parenting topic possible. We’ve all beaten a dead horse talking about our stance on different types of vaccinations, circumcision, breastfeeding – the list goes on and on.

And now, the hot topic de jour is ear piercing for kids. It came up in a discussion with a group of moms. They asked my opinion and it turns out – I have one! They wanted to hear it, so, let’s chat about it.

I have three daughters who are tweens. None of them have their ears pierced. There has been some mild interest from one or two of them occasionally, but nothing more than that.

I must admit – I’m not a fan of ear piercing. And I quickly talked them out of it for a few reasons:

1. I kind of like my kids exactly how they are the day they arrive from my uterus. They just seem so perfect. Mother Nature is good that way. It’s the same reason I don’t circumcise my boys. If my kids want to alter their bodies, they are more than welcome to when they are older. They can have all the tats and piercings they want – on their own dime – when the time comes.

2. I worry about the notion of “beauty”, and wonder if putting holes in their ear lobes sends them the message that it’s OK if it hurts because it makes you “beautiful”.  I also don’t take my daughters for manicures or pedicures. I don’t want them associating being made “beautiful” to be relaxing. I like them to relax by shooting baskets or walking the dog with the neighbourhood kids. Besides, I don’t enjoy getting “pampered” so, for me, it wouldn’t be the mother/daughter bonding thing that I think it is meant to be.  Again, they can have all the spa days they can afford once they’ve paid off their student loans.

3. I have no cultural or religious reasons compelling me to partake in body-altering activities.

We have not delved into shaving or waxing yet, so I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I honestly don’t care what other people do with their children’s ears, penises or toenails. As always, mama knows best for her own peeps.

Has your family gone through the ear-piercing debate? Any conflict between parents on the issue? What age did you do it and how did that work out?

 

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. Getting into the excitement of hockey right now? Be sure to grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

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