Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Dread Of Back-to-School Season

Quite a few moms breathed a collective sigh of relief since school opened back up again, but I admit I was dreading back-to-school season almost as much as the kids. I completed the immense task of tackling the to do's early: supplies were purchased and the kids’ uniforms arrived. We picked out new backpacks and lunchboxes, so we were okay on that front.

It wasn't the preparation that was bothering me. It was the many things that occur when school opens up again for a new year that I detest:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Teacher Won’t Let Me Use The Bathroom!

With school just starting up again, one of the main things that young children worry about is the ability to use the bathroom during the day. Teachers who say no to children using the bathroom have always been a huge pet peeve of mine. I can’t understand why a teacher would deny a child going to the bathroom; it’s not only a normal body function, dare I say it’s a personal right?
There are so many reasons why children should be allowed to use the bathroom at school when they need to, and the top reason is health. Kids’ bladders are not as mature as adults and it’s common sense that they will need to use the bathroom more often.
Furthermore, having a child hold his urine can be damaging. It can cause the child’s bladder to overfill and leak urine, which only makes things worse. Once this happens, children can develop urinary tract infections, which in turn, can lead to an irritable or overactive bladder.
What astounds me is when teachers say they don’t want the child to lose instruction time, but how can kids learn when they are worrying about having an accident? Even worse are the social and mental ramifications of having an accident in the classroom. How many adults are denied using the bathroom at work? What always bothers me is when children are denied personal rights simply because they are young.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Preventing Dog Bites In The Dog Days of August

Preventing Dog Bites In The Dog Days of August
They call August the dog days of summer for a reason. Besides the unrelenting heat and humidity, by the time the summer draws to a close, most of us are tired of feeling hot and sticky, and the same goes for our dogs. In addition to the pool and the beach, summertime can also be the time for dog bites. The hot weather combined with active get-togethers creates the ideal combination for accidents waiting to happen in the form of pooch nips.
Naturally, children are more prone to being bitten by dogs, largely because due to age or ignorance, not all of them know the proper way to behave around dogs.
Below are 10 tips you and your children must know about approaching and playing with dogs, especially in the summertime.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

They Call it ‘Social’ Media for A Reason

I think I’ve finally understood Facebook. I admit I’ve had a love-hate relationship with it. Back in 2009, I first became enthusiastic about it when I attended a publishing conference and learned of the many ways we, as editors, could engage with our readers. I pushed for our company to set up Facebook pages for our magazines and through a collective effort, my edit team began the then-new process of embarking on social media as part of our workload. While not exactly cutting edge, it was exciting and it felt fresh. Since we were using it daily for work, we all had to make a personal page and this was harder for some of us than others. At the time, I had recently started a page, but never really knew what to put on it. And then it happened, just like my colleague told me it would. She had a Facebook page for a few months before I did and told me that once I got on the up-and-coming social media network, I wouldn’t believe the amount of people who would find me, both a good and bad aspect, we agreed.
Slowly, I put up a few photos and reported on my family’s happenings here and there, when I thought something worthwhile presented itself. I watched my friend’s list grow, as did my timeline, and I started to read what other people wrote on their daily status. Some folks wrote everything from what they were eating and which child was currently throwing up to what doctor they were visiting and which stores had the best sales that week. There were the rants about frustrating happenings of the day and then increasingly, there were the more disturbing personal attacks, over-sharing of the dirty laundry and other posts which felt invasive and proved to be uncomfortable reading. There were also the racist, sexist, or otherwise unnerving photos, memes, and articles that were shared which made me view certain people in a whole new, unsettling light.

Monday, May 5, 2014

It All Begins With Mom

mother's day, just write mom
For years on Mother’s Day, many of us have enjoyed being lavished with cards, gifts, and love from our family to show their gratitude to us for all we do, day in and day out, all year long.
It is sweet, and any of us who are lucky enough to enjoy such appreciation should feel cherished and respected. Wouldn’t it be nice if we did that for ourselves — everyday?
It is a fact that for many women, myself included, becoming a mother became synonymous with becoming a caretaker, an unelected fixer of all things, and a selfless being. Many times it is a self-imposed sentence placed on us by societal demands because what is a good mother other than always there for her family? And don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that we need to attend to our children’s needs and recognize them for the complicated individuals they are, but somewhere along the way (and preferably as soon as we get home from the hospital), we need to keep ourselves in the mix.
When was the last time you spent a whole day doing exactly what you liked doing? Or had a beauty night the way you used to when you were single, or simply curled up with a good book or movie? When was the last time you delegated one of your endless responsibilities to your spouse or kids? When was the last time you said “no” to a friend?

Monday, April 7, 2014

How Rude!

Have you ever found yourself strolling around the playground or waiting outside your child’s school, when seemingly out of the blue, a parent has asked you a question that was offensive? Maybe you didn’t immediately know how to respond because you were so taken back by the comment. Perhaps you let him have it, because it was just that rude.
The question might have been about why you are doing or not doing a certain parenting technique with your child or why you are for or against a certain position, movement, or theory. Maybe it got personal.
Rude questions.
There are a lot of them going around these days. While the reasons behind them may change, a rude question generally occurs when someone is stepping out of his or her boundaries and into your business.
Here are some that top the list:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Five Benefits of Spacing Out Your Kids

According to the research paper “Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes” by Kasey S. Buckles and Elizabeth L. Munnich of the University of Notre Dame, spacing siblings more than two years apart results in better scores on reading and math tests for the older children. Parents naturally want to do everything they can so their child can have an advantage, but there are other pros to spacing out your children.
I can’t say the spacing itself is the sole reason for the spike in test scores. I have three kids, each five years apart, unintentionally. They all do very well in school, but so do many of their friends, and some of them are only children or siblings spaced close together. I tend to believe that the parent’s educational goals and imposed study habits combined with a child’s natural ability and quality of teachers will largely determine a child’s educational outcome.
In our hyper-driven educational system that often cares more about test scores than actual learning, I wonder how much it even matters. Still, I have to say there are some definite advantages to spacing siblings widely apart.
Here is my top five: