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When I was growing up, nobody in my neighborhood had ever heard of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). There was the occasional kid who couldn't seem to sit still but their parents labeled them as "busy" and they were sent to play outside to work off the excess energy. Today, almost everyone has heard of ADHD and nearly every parent knows a child diagnosed with it. But even with all the information and literature, ADHD can still be complicated to diagnose and difficult to understand.
There are many children who will suffer from diabetes regardless of their activity level or eating habits (about one in 500), but this article is for all the kids who have or who are at risk for Type 2 diabetes - the kind that preys on the obese and inactive. In 1976, seven percent of children ages 6 to 11 were obese. In 2000, 15.3 percent of children were obese, according to the American Obesity Association. Think about your own childhood. Was soda as readily available?
Last September I wrote about my college-bound son heading off down the road less traveled and how much emotion was attached to that transition. I actually thought after my youngest left there was a hole in my gut and the only thing substantial to fill it would be one more hug from him. I confess I kept his bedroom door shut so his smell stayed in the room and I would randomly open the door, take a big gulp of "Zack" and start crying. Well, he's successfully navigated the big freshman year and he and his older brother are both home from their respective colleges for the summer.
If your sunscreen bottle is just as full in September as it is today, your kids might have missed summer, and the opportunity that comes along with it: summer is a fresh chance to make great changes. A client of mine said that her biggest regret with her children is that she didn't show them how to be physically fit. Since her priority was not fitness, her children's priorities were not, either.
We can't really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It's easy to be kind, calm and collected when everything is going well, but how about when things aren't going so well? How about when we don't feel well? When money is tight? When the kids are all acting up at the same time? When we've had no rest and our pride won't let us ask for help?
Webster defines "bully" as "one who is habitually cruel or abusive to others," and defines "habitually" as "a mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary." In other words, bullying is an action done so often that one may not even realize they're doing it. A child may become a bully when they grow up with an aggressive model that is consistently repetitive. Too often in a child's life that model is their parent.
What is the one thing your spouse asks you to do that you haven't or won't? A dear friend of mine asks me this question every time I mention feeling frustrated with my spouse or when I questioned his belief in my abilities. I always pretended to listen to her and acted like I was going home to figure out the "something" my husband wanted, but I didn't want to consider the thing I knew he wanted. In my opinion, it was always something else, not the thing my spouse asked for, not the thing to which he occasionally alluded, not the something that I avoided like the plague.
"Don't worry, there's nothing to be afraid of." How many of us can remember being scared of something as a kid and hearing this traditional dismissive from our parents? Everyone has childhood memories of fear. Maybe it was the dark, or of getting lost in a department store, or big dogs, being left alone or meeting new people.
Self-esteem is a person's unconditional appreciation of themselves. Unconditional appreciation means accepting ourselves as we are, including our body, our feelings and our abilities. It means going beyond body image and recognizing our fundamental worth as a human being.
Did you think about your spouse's temperament or personality before you married? Did you ask yourself, "Is this the person I want to be with everyday until I die?"
We hear a lot about how important it is to help our children deal with trauma. In light of recent events, the media frequently parades experts in front of a listening audience in order to emphasize the need to talk with kids and find out how they feel about the disasters that have occurred in their world.
I was having a conversation about a week ago with a 17-year-old male high school student. I've known him many years, watched him grow up, and know he has loving and supportive parents. What shocked me about the conversation was not that fact that he shared he'd been using drugs on and off for a couple of years but the fact that he thinks his parents have no idea and wouldn't be able to handle it if they found out.
Future college freshmen are shopping for clothes and supplies like everyone else, but they're also shopping for luggage and laptops and taking down the posters from their room... As parents, how do you know that you've prepared them well enough for life? In the middle of pondering that very question, I came across and reread my son's college entrance essay. I'm so proud of him. Take heart moms and dads, you've taught them well. They will be fine in this brave new world they're off to conquer!
All children deserve the chance to have a healthy mom and all moms deserve the chance to enjoy their babies. However, postpartum depression can take that chance away. It's a very real type of depression that occurs after pregnancy. Unfortunately many women don't or won't tell anyone about the symptoms of postpartum depression because they feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty. It can happen to any woman. I know. It happened to me.
All children develop at their own rate, including infants and toddlers. They have their own timetable for toilet training, sippy cups, crawling, walking, and starting to talk. The people around them and the events they experience influence the how and when they begin. As parents we help our children develop when we respect their rates of development and don't push them.
Okay, the title was really just to get your attention, but in all seriousness, I received a sincere query to last month's article entitled "Behind the Bedroom Door." For those of you who didn't read the article, I basically spoke to women about taking care of their husbands; it ruffled a few feminist feathers. I was told "to get my head out of the 1950's - did I think that a wife should be waiting at the door with her husband's slippers and a drink?"
Psychiatrist D.W. Winnicott came up with the phrase, "good-enough mothering." That phrase could be changed to "good-enough parenting." Winnicott said that parents can't expect perfection from themselves and that they will make mistakes. Normal parental mistakes will not prevent a child from developing into a healthy adult. Knowing that we'll make mistakes doesn't mean that we shouldn't work to build our children's self-esteem. In fact, one of the biggest parenting mistakes we don't have to make is forgetting the three most empowering words we share with our kids: I love you.
Spanking - what a controversial subject! Talking about it rouses as much emotion as discussing religion or politics. Parents make valid arguments for each point of view. Whenever I'm queried about this particular parenting tool I ask the question: "What are you trying to teach?" If the answer is, "I don't spank when I'm angry, I'm use spanking as a tool to get my child's attention," then I would challenge you to consider other options.
How was your Valentine's Day? It's interesting how February 14 is equally feared by both men and women. The pressures and the expectations for romance all rolled into one 24-hour period can really put a damper on things. And so many relationships hang precariously based on what happens during the "holiday." Did flowers come? Was dinner reserved? Was a gift purchased? Were the right words whispered softly? Did they remember a card? Wow! No wonder it's a multi-million dollar industry.
As a parent I'm sure many of you have had the experience of being involved in some type of volunteer group; Brownies, soccer, football, baseball, cheer, Awanas... the list goes on, you fill in the blank! And I'm also pretty sure many of you have stood back and observed in fascinated horror certain parents who just lose it when they get involved in these activities.
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