Archives for November 2016

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

How often do your kids really share their thoughts?

Do you always encourage your kids to say whatever they want or do you censor them?  Your immediate reaction might be confusion – how or why would you censor kids?  But, think about it.. have you ever told your child to watch what they say in certain company?  Gave them a stern look as they randomly opened up about their thoughts or observations in front of strangers or your in-laws.  Most parents probably don’t restrict their kids from what they say and we all try and teach them ‘how’ behaviors which we hope will stick as they grow older (we have all been in work situations or at a cocktail party when we notice some adults seem to be lacking in the how).   Nevertheless, it is important for us to really allow our kids to be heard. Not only does this help with their confidence but you will no doubt learn more about who your child is.

My kids very freely discuss their views on anything from politics to gender bias on TV to what to ask Santa for Christmas.  They seem to have an opinion about everything and have no problem sharing it and yes, my son who has absolutely no filter will blurt out something embarrassing.

These are just a few ways in which you can encourage your kids to share their thoughts:

  1. Provide a space for them to share their views in a way they are comfortable with.  My daughter, who is an introvert has her own blog where she will write about random views on any subject.  She has learnt to fine tune this and can discuss them so articulately that I find it hard to believe she is only 11.  Forget CNN having political experts on their panels, they should invite my daughter and ask her what she thinks about the USA elections and the outcomes.  Creating ways for your kids to share their views especially if their personality might be one where they back away from the limelight can reinforce the significance of what they want to share with the world.
  2. Discussions around dinner. I suggested this in an earlier blog- pick a topic and just go from there.  Try something you all heard on the news, maybe saw on a poster, an advert, the latest fad that kids are into, an upcoming event etc.
  3. Responding with active listening.  This is so important to do as a parent and I know we are all guilty of sometimes not really listening.   Our kids have little tidbits of things they say as their minds process their environments – really listen to what they are saying and don’t react but ask open ended questions which will allow them to expand their thoughts and share more with you.  I have found this approach has not only had my kids discuss various topics in depth with me but their friends tend to do the same when they are over at our house.

15178226_1397466740273310_3569625004042050821_nI saw this quote on Facebook and I know you Supermoms would agree with Margaret Mead.  Provide your kids with the tools to expand their minds and become problem solvers. Allow them to understand more of what is happening in the world around them and encourage them to create their own thoughts.  Make them feel that their voice is important, relevant and you truly are interested in what they have to say.

Yes, they live with you and their views will no doubt be a reflection of you and how they have been raised but teach them to question what they see and hear.

You would be amazed at how much we can learn from our children!

 

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

There is no such thing as Tom Boys!

Now this is something I never gave a thought about until this morning.  The notion of a girl being a Tom Boy is so sexist and offensive and just ridiculous how can we even be taking about it in 2016!  My kids were watching some kids show on TV this morning and there was this skit about 2 Tom Boys and which one was more of a Tom Boy.  Just watching it I could feel myself getting more and more irritated.  The whole notion that a girl has to act and behave a certain way and if she is into rough sports, does not wear dresses or play with dolls then she is a Tom Boy is something that should have disappeared 30 years ago.  But, here it was this morning and it made me realize we still have a long way to go to get stereotypes out of the minds of so many and to stop having these type of programs that perpetuate them for kids.  Of course I will also be writing a very stern letter to the station that aired it!

labelsOkay, I will get off my soapbox but it made me realize that we go through life with so much happening around us that probably should have disappeared centuries ago. The truth is many of these prejudices do exist and we probably think about it and then just let it go.   I am all for not taking on more then you can but I urge all you Supermoms out there to please challenge the social stigmas our kids may still be facing.  It is these prejudices that leads to so much bullying and cyberbullying and we know how that has impacted children of all ages.

Does it matter what a child chooses to wear (obviously I am taking into consideration weather and not walking around half-dressed), what they play with or what games they are interested in?  My daughter was 2 and had a Spiderman birthday party because that was her obsession at the time.  My son at 5 always wanted his sister to paint his toenails with nail polish. This is our future leaders expressing themselves and we need to embrace it, encourage them and most importantly not label them.  I know you Supermoms are already doing all of this with your own littles ones so please take a minute and think about is there anything else you can be doing in the outside world so we can move away from hearing the absurdity of girls proving whether or not they are Tom Boys in 2016 and our kids can be whoever they choose to be!

 

 

Posted by Posted Under: mom conversations
Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Supermoms, do you remember how to fly?

It seems like the universe is in such disarray with social media taking over our lives, kids not being able to survive without technology and we can’t find any time to just have a conversation with our friends and partners.  Maybe it is that time of the year with the Holidays near or that change has become a constant in our lives.  Either way don’t you just feel so drained?  I’ve spoken to many of you Supermoms out there and this feeling of spiraling every day and being exhausted is happening to all of us and we just take it as part of what life has become.  As you read this, I’m suggesting to you that maybe it doesn’t have to feel this way.

We are Supermoms for many reasons, one of them being our ability to use that cape of ours and fly above the rest.  I think many of us just forgot how to do it.  My suggestion is if we want to fly again and feel in control then we need to start small – can you find 15 minutes each day just for you.  15 minutes to have a cup of tea and just be in the moment. 15 minutes to journal or maybe read a chapter of a book.  15 minutes to listen to some music you love.  I know some of you might be thinking right, even 15 minutes is impossible.  If it is then why not start with 5 minutes and see how it goes.

dreamstime_xs_21614407When you get to that point where your feet start to lift off the ground, where you can almost feel the relief as you envision your cape starting to flutter,  this point will not only help you with being in a better space but it gives all of us the strength to carry on.   To carry on when we sometimes feel like we can’t even catch up.  You could be a single mom just trying to raise your kids as best as you can,  maybe you’re at a point where you need to make a decision about your relationship or it could be deciding your next career move.  It is not easy having to do any of this or even focus on making a decision when we are in a spiral and can’t find our balance and can’t fly anymore.  So, give it a try and find a few minutes each day for you and see if it helps.  What do you have to lose?

Let us not forget the woman warriors that we were born to be.   If we can manage car pools, after-school sports, leading in the board room, glass ceilings at work, as well as the laundry basket that never empties then I know we can all find a way to learn how to fly again!