From Catastrophe to Connection

Guest post by Karen Pearson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago, my16-year-old daughter emerged from our finished basement with an incredible 18” x 24” acrylic-on-canvas portrait she’d been working on. I was so impressed with what she’d accomplished and made sure to let her know. I was less impressed three days later when I went downstairs to throw a load of laundry in, and saw huge lines and blobs of acrylic paint all over the red microfiber couch.

I’d say that I was so angry I literally saw red, but in reality what I saw was various shades of white and black ALL OVER the red furniture. Of course, I did what any enraged mom would do…I texted her.  I managed to keep it Vulcan-like and matter-of-fact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a quick “cleaning acrylic paint off microfiber” Google search, I headed to the basement armed with a few rags and some rubbing alcohol. My daughter came down to check out the damage, apologetically explaining how she had already tried to get the paint out.  “That’s okay, we can work on this together”, I said, while tossing her a rag.  She suggested that while we gently dabbed away, we may as well watch TV, and turned on one of her favourite shows, “Best Ink”. In case you’ve never watched it, it’s a reality competition series that follows a group of tattoo artists through various challenges. They have their work critiqued by celebrity tattoo artist judges, with the hopes of being the contestant with the “Best Ink” and winning a pile of money.

My daughter knows I’m not a huge fan of full body tattoos (“But what if you have a job interview? Or you’re going to a wedding?”). What happened during the next 44 minutes was amazing. It opened up discussions on talent, creativity, individualism, sexism, beauty, judgment, “reality” shows and competition. We talked about the different personalities on the show and how there’s always one person made out to be the one that everyone is supposed to hate.  We talked about expression and style and how great it is when people discover their passion and work hard at their art. I learned about Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer, which was the answer to my job interview and wedding concerns.

My daughter knows she’ll have to wait until she’s old enough to get tattoos since I’m not going to be signing any consent forms, but for those 44 minutes we really bonded over something that’s important to her and it was a beautiful thing.  Today, she suggested we start watching Best Ink together on a regular basis and I’m all for it. Miraculously, we got all that paint out, but even if we hadn’t, I’d still be grateful for the opportunity it gave me to connect with my daughter and get into her teenage world for a bit.

Have you had an unexpected bonding moment with your child? Turned a bad situation into an awesome one?

 

About the Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Pearson is one of the friendly voices you’ll hear on the other end of the phone when calling Customer Service at Mabel’s Labels. She enjoys writing about her family, which includes a husband, 3 kids and a rescue dog from Greece.

Losing a Lovey or Favourite Stuffed Animal

Do you remember your favourite “lovies” from your childhood?  You hear stories of parents trying to get an old security blanket down to a small square by having it progressively “shrink” in the dryer, but what if your child’s lovey disappears by accident prematurely?

Have a look at the email I got from Jen describing her dilemma:

“My daughter will turn 3 next month. She has a toy giraffe which she was extremely dependent on. Trouble is, he was dropped out of the stroller and is now lost. It has been 5 days and she is an absolute mess. I don’t know what to do. She is melting down a lot, temper tantrums, throwing things. She never exhibits this type of behaviour.

We are searching for another similar toy, but it’s hard to find. I’ve tried to coax her to talk about him, but she doesn’t want to discuss it. She has spoken about missing him, and wishing she could find him, etc… It is breaking my heart, and therefore I’m not clamping down on her behaviour. When should I expect that she will be back to normal? Any advice on how to deal with this situation? It is tearing me up inside!”

Oh that is heart wrenching isn’t it?

You have to find that fine line between being empathetic for her real sense of loss – and not tolerating her using it as an excuse to behave badly.

We often see this with adults when they proclaim “I am just not a morning person”.  They walk around being grumpy (aka rude) to us.  They expect others to accept their poor behaviour because they supposedly “aren’t morning people”.  Yet we know that if they weren’t with family, they would not act this way.  They would be polite with the folks in the car pool, or to the neighbour.

So, you named it yourself: you are being lax and not dealing with her the same because of this loss. What might she be learning from this experience then?  I suggest you trust your instincts and get on with discipline as per usual and work to help her find a new “lovey”, even though nothing will replace her beloved giraffe.

I hope that is helpful.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

Fundraiser Spotlight: Bearspaw Preschool Society

Over the years, we’ve had a variety of organizations host a fundraiser with us to assist in generating funds for their cause. We felt it was time to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing people and organizations running a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser.

Bearspaw Preschool Society – located in Calgary, Alberta – has been hosting a successful fundraiser for their not-for-profit organization since 2009. The fundraiser has helped them earn hundreds of dollars over the years to assist with buying supplies and funding day trips for the morning and afternoon programs. Bearspaw Preschool Society runs programs for children ages 3 & 4 and is operated by a five-member executive board; all of which are elected parent volunteers.

Bearspaw thinks that a Mabel’s Labels Fundraiser makes the most sense for a preschool, as it’s the first time many kids and parents are coming into a school environment. They believe that ensuring the students’ items are properly labeled and easily identifiable makes life easier for the parents, children and teachers. They also like that they can promote their campaign throughout the year through their community monthly magazine as well as in an introductory letter that each parent receives upon registration.

Their advice to other organizations running a Mabel’s Labels fundraiser is to actively promote it, and remind parents how beneficial labels are for all sorts of school gear.

Do you want to support Bearspaw Preschool Society? Shop for your Mabel’s Labels here.

If you want to sign your preschool up to earn extra funds, visit www.signup.mabelslabels.com

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