Posts Tagged: mabels labels

Family Pets – To Go or Not Go There?

Maybe a family pet will help us avoid finding other ‘pets’

I’ve always sworn that I wouldn’t get a dog. My kids have begged for one every day for as long as I can remember. They make a full-time job of it. My reasons for being immune to their pleas have been many:

  •  I don’t really like touching them because they’re – well, you know…ANIMALS.
  • I have spent too long cleaning up human poop. Do I really want to add animal poop to my repertoire?
  • I feel so emotionally attached and responsible for six little humans. Do I have the emotional energy to worry about another living creature?
  • While kids make big promises around pet care, I know, at the end of the day, a puppy becomes Mama’s new baby and only wants her. I’ve seen how that puppy thing pans out.

So why am I weakening? Why do I find myself contemplating the very thing I said I would never do?

  • When a bunch of friends and neighbours got dogs over the last year, I called them all fools – FOOLS, I tell you. And yet, each one swears their family pet was a great decision that they have not regretted.  And I don’t *think* they’re lying to me.
  • I actually believe my kids would take care of the dog and pick up the poop. They know that if they stopped doing so, someone might “accidentally” leave the gate open and it would be bye- bye Rover.
  • Their faces. Yes, I can only imagine the reactions if I presented a puppy. They would probably think someone was impersonating me. My sister asked if I would be willing to endure years of doggie care-taking in exchange for a few moments of seeing extreme shock and delight on their faces. My answer – I just might.

So talk to me, wise council of readers. Do you have a family dog? Am I crazy? What kind do I get if I decide to go for it? Someone – please, anyone – be the voice of reason and tell me I’m just going through a weird hormonal stage because my baby is now 3 years old and normally I would have another baby or two by now. Am I just a bit clucky and I should let it pass?

 

Apparently a guy like this is only 20 lbs and doesn’t shed. However, Daddy-o apparently wouldn’t agree to anything with the word “doodle” in it.

Talking to Kids About the Amanda Todd Tragedy

 

I don’t need to tell you about the Amanda Todd tragedy. All I can say is that when these high profile stories hit the media, it is an opportunity for parents to sit down with their kids and find some teachable moments woven within the tragedy. I sat down with my tweens and watched the video. Here is my advice about having the conversation:

 

1) Before giving them information, ask them what they already know. Even if your kids are not on Facebook or into texting friends, their peers are talking. Find out what they already know and use that as a springboard for your conversation.

 

2) Don’t shy away from the tough conversations. If you deliver the information, it means you control the message and can present it in an age appropriate way. By talking to them, you are showing that you are open to hard conversations. It allows you to be the one to field their tricky questions.

 

3) Within the Amanda Todd YouTube video, there is opportunity to talk about many issues that kids face: suicide, stalking, cutting and even sexism. My daughter asked why a 13-year-old girl would “flash”. It’s a good question. Why do young girls want to appear desirable to manipulative creeps? What pressure are our girls facing?

 

What other parenting lessons are there in this story?

- Listen to your kids, even the small stuff. If they feel that you care about the little things, they’re more likely to talk to you about the bigger stuff.

- Teach them that difference is good. Be sure your family is embracing and celebrating all the wonderful differences in people.

- Be a good role model. Don’t bully people in the community. Act with kindness and patience and your children will too.

- Remind them of the power of the bystander. This applies online as well. If they see something happening, they should not visit the page but instead, unlike, unfriend, block and report. By participating in any other activity, they are a contributing bully.

- Make practical decisions about when your kids are ready to be online. Facebook allows 13-year-olds to register, but Facebook is not the parent. Make sure your kids are ready developmentally, are mature enough to handle the responsibility and that they have been trained in internet safety. They need to understand that everything out there is permanent, they can’t trust the delete button, and images and words are like a tattoo that will be with them forever. Currently at our house, children are not entitled to online privacy.

- Not comfortable in the online space? Get comfortable. If your kids are going to be there, you had better be too.

 

No one said this parenting gig would be easy, but certainly some weeks are harder than others. Did you talk to your kids about this tragedy? How did you deliver the information and how was it received?

What Scares Allergy Moms on Hallowe’en

Karma Bryan-Ingle is the Brand/Communications Manager for Mabel’s Labels. When she’s not extolling the virtues of all things labels, she can be found trying to cuddle her 6 year old like crazy! Thanks for this guest blog post, Karma!

As an allergy mama, I occasionally have the pleasure of forgetting that my child could die at any time if we are not vigilant. Hallowe’en is not one of those times. Two months before my son had his third birthday, my sweet baby almost (*gulp*) died.

We were out for dinner one night and had to wait a few minutes for a table. To keep him occupied, my hubs took Evan into the bar – you know, one of those sports bars with peanuts all over the place. We knew that Evan had some sensitivities but he had never had a peanut before – until that night. He popped one in his mouth, spat it out immediately but still got a rash and became irritable within minutes. My hubs dashed home for some Benadryl, but during that time my friend and I made the executive decision that a hospital visit was in order. Evan spent his time in the car either completely freaking out or being lethargic and dazed.

The folks in the ER took us immediately and within minutes there were five doctors and nurses working on my son. They explained that Evan had 20 more minutes of life in him. I was a mere 20 minutes away from losing my baby. We now carry an EpiPen everywhere we go – knowing that it will buy us the 20 minutes we need to get to the hospital.

What does being an allergy mama mean to me? It means that everyday events can be horrifying. Simple celebrations like birthday parties can be a source of stress. Parents always mean well but they don’t know what can trigger a reaction – they do not live with this daily. And the scariest day is around the corner.

While everyone else is trembling over Hallowe’en ghosts, ghouls and zombies, I’m freaking out about the neighbours who hand out chocolate bars with peanuts in them. I love those chocolates as much as the next mama, but hasn’t the awareness of allergies raised to a level that everyone is handing out nut free treats? Serving my child peanut treats is like putting pins in his apples or poison in his candy.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Hallowe’en – and I think we can accomplish that without anyone having to use EpiPens or visit the hospital.

 

Allergy Alert Labels

 

Giveaway Alert! Want to win a set of Allergy Alert Labels? Leave a comment on this post and one person will be chosen at random to receive a set of Allergy Alert Labels. ($18.50 value) Entries will be accepted until October 19th at noon EST. Good luck!

 

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