When I was pregnant with my first child I was terrified. Once I got over the shock and the excitement began to settle in, I knew I wanted to find out the sex of my new baby. As much as I had hopes and dreams of tutus and ribbons (as many women do), I knew inside that I was going to be blessed with a boy. After all signs pointed to a healthy baby, this was of course confirmed. Okay, I thought, so it won’t be pretty in pink. Maybe next time.
[caption id="attachment_21148" align="alignleft" width="300"] CC license timsnell[/caption]
It’s 1 a.m. when I look up from my screen. I’d only meant to sit down for a few minutes and catch up on my email. That was two hours ago. I try to trace where I lost track of time - was it the link in an email that led me over to Facebook? The interesting article that led to another interesting article that led me to my Twitter feed or LinkedIn profile and back again?
I usually write about women and work. But a big part of my "work" is raising my precious little boys. And the stuff they say is sometimes hilarious. I love the humour in their words. It gets me through the day.
Being a mother myself of two young kids, 5 and 8 years old, I participate in a lot of mommy talk. There’s my parlor group, the ladies at PTA, at soccer, ballet, hockey, etc. etc. Some of the most common discussions often revolve on how to prepare our kids for the world. How to shelter them but also how to help them handle the stresses that will surely affect their lives as they grow and develop as people.
Birthdays are special in my family, especially for my children. I am someone who doesn’t particularly love, or need all the bells and whistles for my own birthday, but my daughters are true birthday queens.
Often at my parenting workshops I will ask for a show of hands from parents who feel their kids' technical skills online have outpaced their own. I'm no longer shocked by the number of hands that go up. With them come guilty confessions from parents who need their six-year-old to turn on the Apple TV, their eight-year-olds to figure out why the printer isn't working, or the ten-year-olds who help them download and set up apps on their smartphones.
As a sexologist, I often get questions from parents who want to discuss relationships and sexuality with their kids, but are not sure the best way to do this. Depending on how you grew up, these kinds of talks can be easy for some as parents, downright scary, or somewhere in between.
Kids pick up on the power of language at a very young age. By the time they are three or four, many of them know that calling another child a bully will get instant adult attention. I call this the power of the "b-word," as in some of the following examples:
[caption id="attachment_1722" align="alignleft" width="300"] Talking to your kids about drugs also means listening to what they have to say, whether at the dinner table, out for a walk or in the car.[/caption]
If your house is anything like ours, all the members of the family blow in from their own hectic lives for a brief 30-45 minute daily window of togetherness. Between work, school, basketball, volleyball, debating, gymnastics and more, dinner is often the only time all five of us are sat down together during the workweek.