Archives for November, 2010
Parents want their kids to do well in school, no doubt about it. But sometimes parents who mean well can make mistakes about their child's homework. Think about how you might handle these possible scenarios. Your child flakes off an assignment - do you take on some of the work yourself so they can meet the deadline? Your child's paper has some typos - do you correct them yourself because you know it will cost them points off their grade? These situations could seem like legitimate times to just finish up some of your kid's homework for them. But in reality, you may be hurting your kid's chances at success more than you would help. The best plan is to understand how to help without crossing that line.
This may look like a post about cooking, but it's really about being a leader for your family. You want your kids to be healthy as they grow up, and too much fast food doesn't fit well with that goal. Even if you have a challenging schedule, you can change the direction of your children's habits with food. Not the legislators, not the fast food companies, not the advertisers - you, the parent. The big hump that many parents may need to clear is the habit of reacting as opposed to planning. I know, planning takes work and that isn't fun if you have a little part of you that wants to feel lazy. I'm saying this because I have that part and I fight the planning too, even when I know it's a good thing! I'm with you folks, I really am. But planning, even just a little, can make SO many things better. More family time, less stress, and less strain on your wallet. Here it goes:
Last week, I posted my commentary on the San Francisco legislation on restaurant kids' meals. After more consideration, I decided to really think about why parents might take their kids to a fast food restaurant any more often than for an occasional treat. Two-parent working household, cramped dinner time Kids may or may not have snacks after school, dying of hunger well by the time mom or dad get home and no supper is made yet Breakfast is iffy, hunger is somewhat uneven throughout the day Overall eating plan is designed more for convenience than well-balanced nutrition Parents are simply used to responding rather than planning Hungry People And Little Time To Cook I know the feeling of crash landing at home in the late afternoon, only to find ravishingly hungry people and nothing ready to eat. I know the feeling of having a lot of activities around the supper hour, making it difficult at times to get everyone taken care of. I know the feeling of working evenings and hoping I'd bought something my husband could pull together while caring for a couple of very small children. Talk about stress.
Ever have a time when your kid went on a real streak of misbehavior and you seemed powerless to stop it? You were frustrated, at the end of your rope, and feeling sort of desperate that the usual things weren't working, right? Yep, I think we've all had some times like those. It's enough to make you pull your hair out and ground them for the next year (if that would even make a dent). Before you blow your top, sit back a moment and find out what could be behind the scenes.
A kidnapping flashback has appeared in the news recently. Elizabeth Smart, known for being kidnapped at age 14 in 2002, has been participating in a long-awaited trial for her abductor. She was missing for nearly nine months while the nation watched and waited. The relief was palpable when she was finally discovered alive and reunited with her family. Kidnapping and "stranger danger" are huge emotional hot buttons for parents. When a community experiences something like this, everyone becomes more alert and worried. It's like one of those mystery detective shows, except it includes names and places you personally recognize. It's surreal and it's unnerving. It makes you want to keep your kids in your direct eyesight until they move away from home. Just writing about this makes me a little unnerved.
Last week, the city of San Francisco passed legislation that will put pressure on restaurants to make changes in their kids' meals. The mayor vetoed the measure, but the Board of Supervisors is supposedly meeting again soon to override the mayor's veto. The point of this is to help reverse the trend of childhood obesity being observed in recent years. Those are the facts, and now I'll share my opinion. As always, feel free to disagree with me and put up your point of view. I'd particularly like to hear from people in the San Francisco area. All I have to go with is what I get from the news, so it would be great to get an opinion from someone in that area.
You may have seen something this week about the ten year old (you read that correctly) girl in Spain who gave birth. Apparently, this isn't quite the youngest girl on record to have done this, but it's still pretty darn early in my book. Aside from the obvious shock factor of her unusually young age, this young girl took on some significant health risks carrying the baby to term. If you have kids, this info can be a good supplement to your talks about sex and growing up. Lack of Good Prenatal Care - Girls who hide their pregnancies don't get monitored and educated about how to take care of themselves. This can even happen with parents who do support their daughter through her pregnancy. Menstrual cycles can be somewhat random, making it difficult to detect possible pregnancy for several months. Any unhealthy behaviors like drinking, smoking, drug use, or poor nutrition can impact the baby before anything can be done.
This Monday was my oldest daughter's birthday. My (and my husband's) journey of parenthood started eleven years ago. Granted, she was with me long before her actual birth-day, but babies are a whole lot easier to take care of when they are still on the inside! Anyway, this birthday has given me cause to look back at how much I've grown as a parent. We all need to do this sometimes, to give ourselves some credit for hanging on from our fingernails, learning the toughest and most rewarding job on the planet without a manual.