Posts Categorized: Julie Cole

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!

Valentine’s Day Made Simple

Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day can be a bit of a contrived holiday, kids love it! And with six kids in elementary school, it’s generally a very busy holiday in my household. I try to remember that it’s only a Hallmark holiday – there’s no point in letting it cause stress. So, I have a few easy tips to keep Valentine’s Day in perspective:

1)            Keep it simple: What puts me over the edge is when the kids return home from school with gobs of Valentine’s Day stuff. Gone are the days of the simple card. My children now arrive home with bags of lollies, pencils, stickers and even gift bags! I continue to resist the urge to conform. And when I say “urge”, I use that term VERY loosely.

2)            Card delivery system: Having your kid address each Valentine’s Day card to a specific child turns the process into a delivery nightmare. Instead, simply have them sign his or her name, and then every card can go to any friend. And please, if you’re going to send in cards – for goodness sake, send one in for every kid. No one wants to be left out on a special day.

3)            Keep the romance out of it: There is nothing grosser than seeing romance attached to children. I even get twitchy when I hear parents talking about their five-year-old son’s “girlfriend”. Keep the focus on friendship, not romantic love. And when it comes to picking out cards, we go either gender neutral or I have my kiddos pick what they like based on their own interests, and that’s what everyone gets. Yes, that can mean girls get Valentine’s cards with trucks on them.

4)            Don’t forget the food allergy kids: I’m not sure how people get around the whole “don’t send food into school for other kids” thing on this day. It must drive allergy mamas crazy, unsure of what their kids might be ingesting. Even mamas who don’t want their kids overloaded on junk are guaranteed to have kids return home with sugar highs. My personal take – don’t send in food treats. It’s just not necessary.

5)            What should mama do for her kiddos? Again, I follow my standard rule of keeping it simple. I write a little love note and sneak it into their lunchboxes with a special treat. Because my kids don’t get adoring notes from me daily and aren’t bombarded with treats, this makes it special for them.

How big a deal is Valentine’s Day in your house? Do you go all out, or close your eyes hoping the day will pass without much notice?

 

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. This Valentine’s Day, say “Be Mine” with a personal touch. Give a fun, cute gift of love with personalized heart Sticky Labels! And stay tuned for a special Valentine’s Day sale!

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