Posts Tagged: Parenting

The single most important thing I hope my daughters learn from me.

Guest Post by Mabel’s Labels Copywriter, Heather Dixon

Isn’t it funny how the power and meaning of parenting just creeps up on you sometimes?

One minute you’re in the grocery store looking at a bag of milk and the next you’re sobbing over how incredible your child is because they know how to drink from a sippy cup all of the sudden. They’re just so amazing.

I learned all about this 4 years ago, when I had my first baby girl – and then again 2 years ago when I had my second. Once I had Anna & Lauren, I knew all about this true, incredible love parents just seem to develop immediately and the responsibility that comes along with it.

But my moment of clarity wasn’t in the grocery store. It happened when my Mom and I went to see the musical The Secret Garden while my daughters stayed home with their Dad.

Since it’s a children’s story, there were lots of Moms and Dads and their little kids with them in the theatre. At the end of the row we were sitting in were two little boys. Brothers. Maybe about 6-years old. They looked like they could be twins. One of the boys appeared to have a disability.

Having no personal experience with special needs, I wasn’t sure what his was. All I knew for sure was that he was in a wheelchair – and his parents were very attentive. They watched him closely as he took a sip of his drink. They helped him with his hearing aid when the music was a bit too loud for him.

At one point, near the end of the play, something sort of exciting happened on stage. And when everything went silent, an excited “Whoa!” came from beside us. Everyone nearby turned to see the little boy, no longer in his wheelchair but curled into his Mom’s lap, watching the play intently. It was a sweet moment.

When the play ended, I couldn’t help but want to look over at the little boy again. So I did. And I saw him smiling. Smiling so broadly. His whole body was kind of shaking with excitement.

He was just so… happy.

And I started crying and crying.

I was crying because his parents brought him there. He cuddled into their laps. They rubbed the back of his head with his fuzzy little-boy hair. And they made him incredibly, incredibly happy that day.

That little boy was so clearly and undeniably loved. And that’s what everyone wants, really. We all want to love and be loved.

Seeing that family made me think of my daughters. Sure, I think they’re so cute and funny and smart. I love them more than anything. But I realized in that moment that it’s so incredibly important that they know it.

I realized that I have a huge responsibility to make sure my daughters feels undeniably loved. Life is all about loving these little beings into becoming happy, confident children, filled with the self-esteem and tools they need to be happy and productive adults.

I hope that I’m successful. I hope they always feel adored and self-confident. I hope their lives are happy. Their childhood is happy. I hope they learn from their Dad and I what love is all about.

And more than anything, I hope that they will one day be lucky enough to feel like that little boy felt.

To see the world the way he saw it.

 

 

My Great Parenting Mistakes of 2013

As a general rule, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The last thing I really need is to put extra pressure on myself.

But with a new year upon us, I know we all look for a fresh start – and often in the “how to be a better parent” department. We want to yell less, be more patient, feed the kids healthier meals, spend less time on our tech gadgets, read to them more… the list goes on and on and on.

That’s why I’ve taken a look back at 2013 and reflected on my biggest parenting fails, to help me decide what I can do to do better next year.

1)      The time I forgot a kid somewhere. Oh, and I mean FORGOT. It was actually so traumatizing for me that I’m even getting a little twitchy as I’m writing this. Sharing details would be impossible. But, out of that I learned a big lesson about forgiveness. Forgiving myself is still a work in progress.

2)      The time I picked up my kid’s birthday cake from the bakery in the middle of the party. You got it – I didn’t bake AND I didn’t remember to get a birthday cake before the party.

3)      The usual every day fails: delinquent tooth fairy, lazy Elf on the Shelf, the time they had sandwiches for dinner three nights in a row, those days I don’t check the weather forecast and send them to school dressed inappropriately for the weather – just to name a few.

That nonsense aside, 2013 saw a lot of parenting wins. I made a great decision regarding my daughter’s schooling, I had meaningful conversations with my kids, shared loads of love and laughs, taught them lessons and dealt with issues that came up in a way that makes me proud.

So how about we all take it easy on ourselves in the parenting department this year? Let’s learn from our mistakes but celebrate our wins.

Have you set any “parenting goals” for 2014? What have you learned in the last year?

 

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. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Teaching the Birds and the Bees to Little Children

“Mommy. Where do babies come from?”

So… do you have your answer ready?

Here are some choices:

A) A stork drops them off at the door step.

B) They grow in a cabbage patch.

C) They come from a fertilized egg, only it’s not like the eggs we get at the grocery store. This is a very special tiny egg that mommies have inside them. It is fertilized by tiny sperm, which daddies have. That is why every baby is made up of part mommy and part daddy! The fertilized egg grows in a special place in mommy called a uterus. It takes 9 months for the fertilized egg to grow and grow and grow until it’s a baby that is ready to be born.

I hope your answer is (c). Doesn’t that sound as exciting as dinosaurs and volcanoes? Well, it’s about the same for little kids, so don’t get all caught up in your own adult taboos. Just give them the information and try to look like you are not crapping your pants at the same time.

P.S. This will be the first of MANY talks. Next they’ll want to know how that sperm got there. Are you ready for that?

 

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.

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