In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

10 Ways to Encourage Self-Reliant Behavior

Last Friday, I listed reasons 1-5. Today I'll finish the list.

6. Ask your child if he'd like to learn something. "What would you like to learn about cooking, washing windows or cleaning tools in the garage?" You might be surprised! But this single question offers a wonderful opportunity to build on your child's own interests.

7. Focus on specific tasks. Identify what your child can do now, and then look ahead to what he'll be ready to attempt at the next stage. This allows your child to build new skills into what he already knows.

8. Increase each child's level of responsibility. Consider your personal comfort levels as your child adds new areas of responsibility. Follow your personal parenting time line, but continually increase each child's responsibilities.

9. Support your child as he learns. If he is going to take out the garbage every morning before school, he might need to learn how to set an alarm clock that will wake him up five minutes earlier. If he has several tasks to complete on a weekend, show him how to make a list.

10. Remind your child of new areas of competence. After a child has successfully learned something new, ask, "What did you learn from this?" Remind the child about his new areas of competence.

~Mary Manz Simon
Condensed from "The Year-Round Parent"
From Lists to Live By: The Third Collection

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Goldfish Woes

I hate goldfish.
Especially when they are floating on their sides in the fishbowl.
Right now I really, really hate the one my caboose kiddo found this afternoon. It was her favorite one. And it was doing the dead-fish float.
So she bursts into hysterical sobs, as only a heartbroken 7-year-old can.
Of course, my husband was at work at the time. So, I scoop the dead goldfish out of the bowl and dispose of it, hoping Christa doesn't hear the tell-tale flushing sound.
No ceremony there.
Then I sit on the couch and wrap my arms around my daughter, trying to comfort her. She is inconsolable.
"Why do all my fish have to die?"
This is why I didn't want to get the stupid fish in the first place. Goldfish aren't very hardy.
"Life is so unfair."
Well, yes, that's true. I'm sorry she's having to learn that lesson so early in life. But it won't be the last time life is less than fair for my daughter.
"Can we get another fish that won't die?"
Tricky question, that one. There are still two goldfish, which are black, swimming around in the fishbowl. I dread looking at the bowl, fearing that I will see them floating rather than swimming.
I hold my daughter and tell her I love her. I tell her I'm sorry her fish died. And I try to avoid telling her, "Yes, we'll get another kind of fish that won't die."
Part of me wants to help my daughter avoid heartache. It's part of my mommy-makeup. But, I've got three adult children and I know that no amount of prayer and protection can prevent my chilren from experiencing pain--little ones that feel like catastrophes, like the loss of a goldfish, and big ones, like the loss of a friendship or a dream.
No promises have been made. For now, I'll just try to understand that she loved that stupid goldfish.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Answering the Question: Should an Infant (six months or younger) drink water?

A recent news article on warned parents that "babies younger than six months old should never be given water to drink." This was the recommendation of a pediatric emergency physician at Johns Hopkins.

The physician warned that babies' kidneys aren't yet mature, and so consuming too much water can put babies at risk of a potentially life-threatening condition known as water intoxication. Infants should be drinking breast milk or formula, according to the physician.

What tripped me up in this news article was the word never. So, I broached the topic with a family physican, who just so happens to be my husband. Here's his take on the issue:

1. Infants should be given breast milk (ideally) or formula as their main source of both fluids and nutrients.
2. In some rare instances, infants given formula and/or baby foods, may need a small amount extra water in their diet. A small amount = 2 or less ounces a day. This is to avoid constipation. If you are concerned about constipation, contact your baby's doctor.
3. Excessive dilution of formula (or expressed breast milk) with water to stretch your budget is very dangerous. Infants need the full nutritional benefit of whole-strength breast milk or formula.
4. The key to being safe about your infant's water intake is to consult your medical provider if you use fluids (including juices) other than breast milk or formula.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms May 27, 2008

News to know for moms:

Nigerian woman gives birth to 2 sets of twins
A Nigerian woman, 40, gave birth to an unusual set of quadruplets last Friday: identical twin girls and fraternal twin boys. The babies were delivered by Caesarian section. The girls weighed slightly more than two pounds, and the boys weighed slightly more than three pounds, according to officials at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

FDA warns mothers about nipple cream
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned women not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises Inc. of San Rafael, Calif. The cream is sold to nursing mothers to help soothe dry or cracked nipples.
The cream contains two potentially harmful ingredients, chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol, that may cause respiratory distress, vomiting and diarrhea in infants, the FDA said.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

Whatever else you do this Memorial Day, may you remember those who have given their lives in service to America.

Here's an informative article about the origins of Memorial Day, with 15 Simple Ways to Remember Memorial Day.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday's List for Late-in-Life Moms

10 Ways to Encourage Self-Reliant Behavior

Part 1 (1-5)

  1. Help your child develop cofidence. When approaching new tasks, your child needs to feel a sense of confidence. The praise you offer consistently, specifically, and honestly will help your child begin new efforts with a sense of confidence.
  2. Present your child with opportunities. He is continuing to develop new capabilities, better judgment, and increased skills that can be adapted and applied in a variety of settings.
  3. Admit that you make mistakes. If your child only sees you as "perfect," she may feel she can't ever be like that. Your child wants to be like you. Your are the most important role model. Let your child see the authentic you.
  4. Have realistic expectations. A child will not make the bed perfectly the first time. He will need assistance and understanding before the bed looks neat. He may need additional time to gather his soccer gear before the first practice. Adjust your expectations to fit your child.
  5. Teach your child the value of learning. Build rewards into a task. For example, a child who clips food coupons from the newspaper and organizes them might earn a percentage of the mony saved.

~Mary Manz Simon

Condensed from "The Year-Round Parent"

From Lists to Live By: The Third Collection

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

5 Minutes for Mom: The Kid in You Photo Contest

The sisters over at 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting another fun photo contest: “The Kid in You” photo contest/carnival. They're looking for photos that reveal the spirit of childhood - however you want to do that.

You're looking at my entry. It's a picture of my caboose kiddo, Christa, at her 6th birthday party. In her eyes, I can see all the wishes and dreams of childhood. The delight in celebrating with family. The pure joy of a child.

The photo contest is sponsored by Nestle Crunch--I remember enjoying those when I was a little kid. Oh, and did I mention the prizes?

The Grand Prize: A Nintendo Wii
Second Prize: A piñata packed with Nestlé!
Let me know if you join me in the photo contest. I've looked at some of the other entries and they're so creative and fun!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer Vacation's Coming: What's a Mommy-Come-Lately To Do?

Two and a half days and counting.
And I am counting down the days until Christa starts summer vacation.
And while I'm counting, I'm wondering: How am I'm going to keep my oh-so-active caboose kiddo entertained this summer?
Suggestions, anyone?
Christa is lamenting the end of school too. She will miss her friends. Her teachers. All the activities. She knows that, come next Monday, it will be me and her.
I best have a game plan for the summer.
And I do.
Sort of.
Christa requested swim lessons. Okay, she's registered for those.
She's also registered for Vacation Bible School, which is always a lot of fun.
I'll probably enroll her in a day camp for a week. I've already talked to another mom whose daughter is in Christa's class. It'll be more fun if the two girls can go together.
Let's see. That takes care of 4 weeks of summer vacation.
I'm not nearly as prepared as I need to be.
Of course, I want Christa to have some fun with the neighbor kids. They can ride bikes. We can walk to the park. Bake cookies. Build forts. That sort of thing.
There's always the summer reading program at the library. And craft classes at the local craft stores.
One of my main goals this summer is to avoid giving up and giving in and turning on the TV for too many hours.
I'd love to think Christa will sleep in this summer.
Ha. In my dreams.
So, if any of you moms out there--older moms, younger moms--age doesn't matter--have any suggestions for keeping a 7-year-old occupied during summer vacation--I'm listening!!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The "Joy" of a Much-Younger Sister

A conversation between my daughter Katie Beth, who is 21, and my caboose kiddo Christa, who is 7:

Christa: Katie Beth, when I grow up, I am going to have a car and a motorcycle!

Katie Beth: Well, I'll borrow your motorcycle all the time.

Christa: No you won't! You'll be too old!

Katie Beth: How old do you think old is, Christa?

Christa: Like 90.

Katie Beth: When you start driving, I'll only be 30.

Christa: Well, yeah--you'll still be old!

Of course, Christa did not share her plans about having a motorcycle with me. And if 30 is old, I don't know what she thinks I am--besides tired.
And Christa doesn't know that Rob and I plan on her brother and sisters teaching her to drive. So she'd better treat them nicely and not razz them about their age.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms May 19, 2008

News to know:

Stress during pregnancy may raise baby's risks
Moms-to-be who are stressed about money, relationships and other problems during pregnancy may give birth to babies who are predisposed to allergies and asthma, according to new reseach.
The study found that mothers who were the most distressed during pregnancy were most likely to give birth to infants with higher levels of immunoglobulin E or IgE — an immune system compound — even though their mothers had only mild exposure to allergens during pregnancy.

FDA stresses birth defect risks with Roche drug
Health regulators again warned that Roche and Novartis drugs prescribed to organ transplant patients can cause miscarriages and birth defects when used by pregnant women.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a warning in October 20007 after receiving reports of miscarriages and infants born with ear and mouth birth defects after their mothers took Roche's CellCept. At the time, the FDA added its most serious warning to CellCept and a similar Novartis AG drug, Myfortic.
Concern that some physicians may not have seen the initial warning prompted the FDA to reissue its notice that that before prescribing the drugs doctors should confirm their transplant patients are not pregnant, and are using effective contraception.

Breastfeeding may cut mom's arthritis risk
Women who breast-feed their babies longer are less likely to get rheumatoid arthritis, according to a recent study. Mothers who breast-fed for 13 months or more were half as likely to get the painful joint condition as women who never breast-fed, according to the study which was published in British Medical Journal's Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Exercising as teen may stave off breast cancer
New research shows exercise during the teen years — starting as young as age 12 — can help protect girls from breast cancer when they’re grown.
Researchers tracked nearly 65,000 nurses ages 24 to 42 who enrolled in a major health study. Women who were physically active as teens and young adults were 23 percent less likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer than women who grew up sedentary, according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Dichot-Amy Turns 20

"In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal. Darkness turns to light and the world is at peace. This miracle God gave to me gives me strength when I am weak.
I find reason to believe in my daughter's eyes."
~In My Daughter's Eyes, sung by Martina McBride

My daughter, Amy, turns 20 today.
And with that, I no longer have a teenager in my house.
I'll get a six year break from teenagers and then my caboose kiddo will hit 13--and I'll be the mom of a teen again.
I did a little hug-dance with Amy yesterday. Told her she should enjoy her last day as a teen. Today she is a twenty-something.
How did that happen?
Amy earned the nickname "Cookie" when she was just a few months old. I'd taken her to get an immunization. When the nurse gave her the shot, her eyes got oh-so-big. She looked surprised and annoyed. Gave a little grunt. But she didn't cry.
"She's one tough cookie," I announced.
The name stuck.
Amy earned another nickname this past year. She's my "Dichot-Amy." A dichotomy is something with seemingly contradictory qualities.
That's my daughter. She's my homebody who spent the summer after high school in Guatemala--and now dreams of living there. She's my still-waters-run-deep child. She's my "I can't do that" child who dreams bigger than I've ever imagined. She's my shy child who wants to minister to homeless people and prostitutes and orphans.
I've always told God I wouldn't get in the way of what he wants for my children.
I think my Amy is going to test my word on that in ways I never imagined.
But I said it. And I mean it.
I've always been thankful that when my husband and I prayed for a third child, he gave us Amy. And with each year, I have more and more reasons to be thankful.
Happy birthday, Amy.
May this be a year of dreams come true for you.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Older Equals Wiser--and Exhausted

The saying goes, "Older is wiser."
Lots of late-in-life moms say that's true. We believe our added years equals added life experience that makes us wiser (and better) moms.
Some days I feel like that.
Other days--like yesterday--I just feel like an old, tired mom.
By the time my caboose kiddo came home from school, I was on the couch. Worn out and wishing it was bedtime. Hers and mine.
Christa was raring to go--to the store, to be exact. She's got $5 she wants to spend. She knows just what she wants to buy too: a bug box.
Oh, joy.
In my defense, I've had a few late nights that ran into early, early mornings. And I haven't been sleeping too well. I've had a few odd dreams too. So, it's not just my age that's making me tired.
Even so, I can't go through life exhausted. Christa needs more from me than memories of me napping on the couch.
I know I was tired with my first three kiddos, but I don't remember being this tired. Of course, that could mean my memory is going too.
At least I'm smart enough to know I need to cut myself some slack. Christa doesn't need a perfect mommy. She needs to know I love her.
That's why I always welcome her when she snuggles up next to me when I'm resting on the couch. I wrap my arms around her and whisper, "I love you, Sugarplum."
There's always a way to redeem the moments--even the exhausted ones.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

28 Million Women Face Unwanted Pregnancy

Each year, half of American women who would rather not get pregnant will have an unplanned pregnancy, often because they failed to use their contraceptive properly or forgot to use it at all, according to researchers.
As a result, 28 million women in the United States are at risk for an unintended pregnancy, according to the study.

One in four women are very likely to become pregnant because of inconsistent contraception use, researchers said. Many women who are lax about birth control are simply ambivalent about preventing a pregnancy and confessed that they would be very pleased if they found out they were pregnant, according to the study.

If read my story in Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35, you'll find out that my pregnancy at 41 was an unplanned pregnancy.

At the time--7 years ago now--I didn't care that there were lots of other women like me who faced an unplanned pregnancy. I didn't know any of those women. I focused on me--and I alternated between throwing up in a bucket and sobbing.

I'm honest in my book: It took me a while to embrace my mommy-come-lately status. It took me weeks--months--to open my hands and let go of all my plans for my life. Only then could I open my arms and embrace my unexpected blessing.

I prefer to say my pregnancy was unplanned, not unwanted. During one of my radio interviews, a caller said, "You act like abortion wasn't an option."

Well, for me it wasn't.

I am not so naive to think that other women won't make a different choice. But based on who I am and what I believe, I chose my baby.

During my pregnancy, one person referred to my unborn daughter as a "mistake."

"Oh, no," I said. "This baby isn't a mistake. She wasn't on my radar screen--but I believe she was always part of God's plan for my life."

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Woman Pregnant with 18th child

I call myself a repeater mommy-come-lately. By that, I mean I had three much older children when I found out I was pregnant at 41.

Michelle Duggars has me beat. Duggars, 41, is pregnant with her 18th child. That's right: 18th.

Her oldest child is 20. Her youngest is nine months old. The newest Duggars baby, slated to be born on New Year's Day 2009, will join seven sisters and ten brothers. Duggars has two sets of twins. According to an Associated Press article, Duggars has been pregnant for more than 11 years of her life.

The Duggars family has been the focus of a Discovery Health Feature. The Web site listed such fun facts as:
  • the average number of months between Duggars' births is 18
  • estimated number of diapers to date is 90,000
  • the family does approximately 200 loads of laundry a month

All the Duggars kids have names beginning with "J." They are: Joshua, 20; Jana, 18; John-David, 18; Jill, 16; Jessa, 15; Jinger, 14; Joseph, 13; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 9; Jedidiah, 9; Jason, 7; James, 6; Justin, 5; Jackson, 3; and Johannah, 2, and Jennifer, nine months.

The Discovery Health Web site is sponsoring a name contest for baby #18. Go here to cast your vote.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms May 12, 2008

News to know:

Emily, Jacob most popular baby names
For the 12th straight year, Emily topped the list of most popular baby girl names in 2007. Jacob led among names for boys for the ninth year in a row, according to the latest list released by the Social Security Administration.
Only one name — Elizabeth — is new to the top-10 list, returning after a two-year absence. Samantha, which previously ranked 10th, dropped to No. 12.

Families make case for vaccine link to autism
Families claiming thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in vaccines, triggers autism take their case to federal court today.
Overall, nearly 4,900 families have filed claims with the U.S. Court of Claims alleging that vaccines caused autism and other neurological problems in their children. Lawyers for the families will present three different theories of how vaccines caused autism. Monday's case focuses on the second of those theories: that thimerosal-containing vaccines alone cause autism.
Thimerosal has been removed in recent years from standard childhood vaccines, except the flu shot.

Very premature baby survival not improving
Research published in the British Medical Journal found survival rates for babies born at 22 and 23 weeks has not changed between 1994 and 2005.
A study of 650,000 births during the 12 years covered showed clear improvements in survival rates for infants born after 24 and 25 weeks' gestation.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Menopause and Mommies-Come-Lately

Only on a blog for late-in-life moms would I be posting about menopause. Advanced Maternal Age: where motherhood and menopause coincide.
In the Web exclusive article "Biological Alarm Clock," Newsweek reports on how researchers can now predict menopause more accurately--and how this could help women.
According to Newsweek, doctors say too many women assume their biological clock will run full-tilt well into their 40s. Despite medical advances, there is still no good early-warning test to determine exactly when a woman will go through menopause.
Most women go through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, according to the article, but it can happen anytime between 40 and 60. That's a big span. For women who go through menopause on the early side, finding out that they're not as fertile as they thought they'd be in their late 30s can be a heartbreaking surprise.
Researchers think they may have found a way to give women more warning. In a study to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers say that anti-Mullerian hormone, or AMH, is actually a better predictor of a woman's reproductive age than chronological age. AMH is a marker of what doctors call ovarian reserve, which is related to the quality and number of eggs in the ovaries and how well the ovarian follicles, tiny sacs in which eggs mature, respond to hormones.
To read the entire article, go here.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Baby Changes Everything Featured at Club M.A.W.

My book, Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35, is the featured book at Club M.A.W., an online network devoted to encouraging, equipping, and connecting mothers and wives.

To read my interview, as well some of the Mommy-Come-Lately statistics from my book, go here.

And while you're there, browse around Club M.A.W. Michele has developed a wonderful site for women. Club M.A.W. 's purpose is to be "a sisterhood of women who desire to connect through the internet, local interest groups, women's events, conferences, book clubs and more."

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Date Night a la Christa

Tuesday nights are Date Nights for Rob and me.

Our caboose kiddo spends a couple of hours with Rob's mom, a.k.a. MiMaw. They usually share a pizza and visit with MiMaw's friends. Maybe watch a DVD. Rob and I get much-needed time together.

It's springtime in the Rockies where I live, and Rob and I have enjoyed walking in Garden of the Gods for our last couple of date nights.

We have a theme for our summertime Date Nights: How Low Can We Go--meaning how inexpensive can we make our date nights. Tonight's tally: $9.21. If we'd taken Christa's suggestion, we'd have come in well-under that total.

Us: Have a good time at MiMaw's.

Christa: I don't think you should go walking in Garden of the Gods tonight. It looks like it's going to rain.

Us: What do you think we should do?

Christa: You could go to the library. There are people there and lots of books you could read.

Now there's a novel idea for a date night (no pun intended!) I'll have to see what other ideas Christa comes up with for Date Nights. And if anyone else has any suggestions, chime in!


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For all you firstborns out there

I dedicate this post to my brother, Bobby.

You did have it tougher than the rest of us kids--and you now have the research to back up your claim.

A new study, published in the latest issue of the Economic Journal, confirmed what first-borns like my brother have always suspected: The oldest kid in the family really does bear the brunt of parental discipline, while the younger brothers and sisters generally coast on through.

“Parents have an incentive to play tough with their kids, especially the older ones, to try to establish this signal to the other children that they’re not a pushover,” says Joseph Hotz, an economics professor at Duke University and a co-author of the study.

When it comes to parenting the first-born, there’s always a set of younger eyes watching the parents’ every move. But with the youngest, nobody younger is watching the consequences play out, making it harder for parents to stick to all that “tough love” talk. For the youngest kids who get into trouble, the study said parents are more likely to bail them out.

So, Bobby--thanks for being the first-born and carrying the load of parental discipline.
And while I'm at it, I guess I should offer an apology of some sort to my first-born son.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

News of Interest for Late-in-Life Moms May 5, 2008

News to know:

1 in 3 parents lacks knowledge about babies
Nearly a third of U.S. parents know surprisingly little about typical infant development, according to researchers, and this lack of understanding can rob their babies of much-needed mental stimulation.
Researchers analyzed parenting know-how based on a national sample of parents representing more than 10,000 9-month-old babies.They found that 31.2 percent of the parents had a low level of knowledge about what to expect from their child, and this was strongly correlated with lower parental education level and income.

Breastfeeding rates hit new high in U.S.
The U.S. breast-feeding rate has hit its highest mark in at least 20 years with more than three-quarters of new moms nursing their infants, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Experts attributed the rise to education campaigns emphasizing that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. A changing culture that accommodates nursing mothers may also be a factor.

Quarter of kids don't meet vaccine schedule
More than a quarter of American children are not meeting the U.S. government’s recommendations for childhood vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Missed doses accounted for about two-thirds of those not in compliance. The rest got them at the wrong age or too soon after a previous dose to be considered completely effective.

Daycare may protect kids from leukemia
Sending children to day-care at an early age could protect them against leukemia, perhaps by exposing them to certain infections, U.S. researchers said. Children who attended daycare or playgroups have a 30 percent lower risk of developing the most common form of childhood leukemia compared to those who do not.

Expert sees peanut allergy solutin within 5 years
A U.S. food allergy expert believes a form of immunotherapy that could get rid of a person's allergy to peanuts is likely within five years--even as the condition appears to grow more and more common.
One possible approach is using engineered peanut proteins as immunotherapy. Other approaches are showing promise,including the use of Chinese herbal medicine in animal research.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday's List for Moms

Last Friday, I gave you numbers 1-5 of A Child's 10 Commandments to Parents. Today I'll give you numbers 6-10.

A Child's 10 Commandments to Parents (Part 2)

6. I need your encouragement to grow. Please go easy on the criticism; remember, you can criticize the things I do without criticizing me.

7. Please give me the freedom to make decisions concerning myself. Permit me to fail, so that I can learn from my mistakes. Then someday I'll be prepared to make the kinds of decisions life requires of me.

8. Please don't do things over for me. Somehow it makes me feel that my efforts didn't quite measure up to your expections. I know it's hard, but please don't try to compare me to my brother or sister.

9. Please don't be afraid to leave for a weekend together. Kids need vacations from parents, just as parents need vacations from kids. Besides, it's great to show us kids that your marriage is very special.

10. Please take me to Sunday school and church regularly, setting a good example for me to follow. I enjoy learning more about God.

~By Dr. Kevin Leman,
Excerpted from Lists to Live By: For Everything That Really Matters by Alice Gray, Steve Stephens, and John Van Diest

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

The beginning of the end (of the school year)

It's May.
In my book--I mean, calendar--May is a busy as December. It's all the end of school stuff that fills Christa's life to overflowing, while filling up my calendar.
Teachers squeeze in "just one more" field trip--or sometimes it's the first field trip of the year. There are Olympic Field Days at Christa's school too, where we all hope "springtime in the Rockies" cooperates and means sunshine, not snow. Throw in the varied special projects that all of a sudden are deemed "must-do" and it makes for a busy life for a first-grader and her parents.
Meanwhile, Christa is starting to think less about school and more "It's almost summer!" thoughts. Me too. While May fills up, I'm trying to determine how busy Christa's vacation should be. Too slow and I've got one bored 7-year-old on my hand. Misery personified. Too much and I'm a miserable mom.
I've already got one project for the summer: Sorting through the pile of Christa's school papers that accumulated in a basket by my desk. Sure, some got thrown away through the year--when she wasn't looking. But, one day while she's at camp or Vacation Bible School (VBS), I'll do the real work and separate the "keepers" from all the rest. It's never too early to think about what might go in her high school graduation memory album.
But, for right now, I'm concentrating on surviving the month of May.

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