Browsing Category "parenting"
18 Feb
2014
Posted in: parenting
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None of Your Business: Becoming Unaware

I know more times than not, people aren’t giving me as much thought as I selfishly think they are. Among the litany of issues I hope to teach my children to deal with, is how to navigate this world without being caught up in what may or may not be said about you.

I’ll bet there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think, “What someone else thinks about you, is none of your business.” Just be who you are. Be content in your own skin. I feel ridiculous uttering these words to my children, when I struggle with it myself. In the almost 12 years of parenting I’ve done, I’ve learned most lessons are best learned with practical application not just rhetoric.

rasing the unaware

Our 4-year-old, A,  is a born performer. She dances and sings when she’s moved to do so, regardless of time or place. I spend the majority of time with her while the boys are at school and daddy at work. Her joyful outbursts don’t bother me nearly as much as they bother her brothers. Our nine-year-old, J,  is reserved, quiet and not prone to outbursts. My grocery shopping helpers tonight were A and J. Near the end of our excursion, A began belting out songs from Disney’s Frozen. Her hands were waving and facial expressions were lighting up her face. J was not impressed.

J: (leaning in close) “Mom make her stop singing. It’s so embarrassing.”
Me: “I don’t mind happy kids. She’s not bothering anyone.”
J: “Everyone is staring. Stop pushing the cart and look.”
Sure enough…everyone in the produce section was watching her and us. They were looking and smiling. They saw someone unabashedly filled with joy. She was gifting shoppers with a show among the apples and oranges.
Me: “People are looking at us, but they’re smiling. I’d much rather be caught with a child singing and drawing attention than one crying, screaming and throwing a fit.”
J: “Is she going to cry if you make her stop?”
Me: “Possibly.”
J to Me: “Fine. She can sing.”
J to A: “You’re singing is really nice.”

My daughter sang unaware of our conversation or people watching her. That’s what I wish for my children. I wish it was possible to go through life blissfully unaware of whispers and stares. It’s not realistic. At some point, we all are conscious of others’ observations of us. I hope to give my children the tools needed to not be overly aware of what others may or may not be thinking or saying about you. I hope a song is not squelched just because someone might be listening.


 
Showing My Children Love
By     |    Feb 14, 2014
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Showing My Children Love

Occasionally, I’ll ask our children what they do and don’t like about different things. It’s my way of evaluating my performance. Topics range from things in the house they would change, best/worst parts of road trips, foods to eat more or less of, ways to spend our days, etc. Each time I’m surprised by their answers. My personality leans toward making life more complicated than it needs to be. Discussing life with my kiddos has always shown it’s the simple... [Read More]

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Dear Parent/Guardian
By     |    Feb 11, 2014
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Dear Parent/Guardian

There are times when I’m not even aware life is weighing me down, when decisions made and seemingly filed away are, in actuality, still lingering in the peripheral of my mind. We chose our top three junior high school choices for our oldest son a few weeks ago. I was prepared to wait months before finding out if he would attend his #1 school next year since children registering for kindergarten receive letters in March or April. When I checked... [Read More]

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Late Night Television and Fear of the Dark
By     |    Feb 7, 2014
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Late Night Television and Fear of the Dark

My love of late night television stretches back over two decades when my fear of the dark began. I first watched The Tonight Show, then with Johnny Carson, as a 6th grader. We had moved into a new-to-us house. The house was older, not well-taken care of, and my bedroom was in the basement. I moved into a new neighborhood and was heading to middle school. That time in my childhood was full of insecurities and riddled with low self-esteem.... [Read More]

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Weather and Attitude
By     |    Feb 5, 2014
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Weather and Attitude

I’ve bundled my kids up and sent them off to school in freezing temperatures the last two mornings. It’s not the first time or the last time I’ll go through the routine of checking for double-layered coats, snow boots, heavy gloves, and thick hats. This morning when I woke it was a frigid -17° F…yes, far below zero. That doesn’t include the wind chill (always significant in Casper), which puts the air actually feeling like -34°. By 8:30 a.m., the... [Read More]

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Life Lessons from the Super Bowl
By     |    Feb 3, 2014
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Life Lessons from the Super Bowl

We live in Denver Broncos country. The Super Bowl this year is all anyone wanted to talk about. Blue and orange were everywhere you turned. The hype was incredible. That’s why the fall was so humbling. The Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8. I’ve spent my entire life in Wyoming. You were assured of almostone thing every week from August until December…the Broncos would be on TV. There are no other close NFL teams. The majority of people root... [Read More]

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Raising Rapunzel
By     |    Jan 31, 2014
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Raising Rapunzel

Our first three children are boys. When I was pregnant with our fourth, everyone assumed we just desperately wanted a girl. When I would tell people we were going to have a daughter, I was met with “finally,” “you must be so relieved,” and “oh, thank goodness.” It was as if there was something wrong with the potential of four boys, like I should feel less complete if I were to never have a daughter. I didn’t feel that way.... [Read More]

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Why a Chore Chart Didn’t Work for Our Family
By     |    Jan 22, 2014
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Why a Chore Chart Didn’t Work for Our Family

I like a good list of tasks to cross off to make me feel accomplished. A couple of children ago, I jumped on the chore chart bandwagon. I, mistakenly, thought it would give me the same feeling of accomplishment and instill in my children responsibility. I was really, really wrong. I made the chart, gathered the stickers and by day five, wanted to rip that blasted chart to shreds. There are days I struggle remembering to have everyone brush teeth... [Read More]

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Greatest Adventure
By     |    Jan 16, 2014
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Greatest Adventure

We have a chalkboard hanging on the door leading into our garage. I write phrases on it or let the kiddos draw a picture on it. Most of the time, you’ll find something seasonal on the board. The start of the new year, a new beginning, had me looking at inspirational quotes for the benefit of the kids. This is what our board said: “Mistakes are proof you are trying.” I thought it was perfect. I grew up terrified of... [Read More]

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Insights From a Tween
By     |    Jan 14, 2014
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Insights From a Tween

Sometimes I forget my 11-year-old is turning into quite the little man. This morning he shared some tween insights with me. I’m not sure he intentionally planned the pep talk or if it was just a case of his sarcastic nature. I feel as if I underestimate him a good portion of the time. For every 20 moments where I don’t feel like I’m doing anything right with this parenting gig, there’s one amazing moment where I am reminded my... [Read More]

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Junior High Shopping
By     |    Jan 9, 2014
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Junior High Shopping

Our oldest will be in junior high next year. That thought is pervasive. It pops into my head relentlessly. Next year. Junior high. What? How? Our school district has a school of choice enrollment process. Each January, students enroll in their top three schools. The district then attempts to put everyone in their first choice, which doesn’t always happen. Once you’re in a school, your enrollment rolls over for that school each following year. The lottery only affects students entering kindergarten,... [Read More]

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All Together
By     |    Jan 6, 2014
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All Together

“Nobody has it all together. Including the family sitting in front of you.” Those words appeared at the end of a short video we watched at the beginning of our church service yesterday. The video showed a family arriving at church all spiffed up and smiling, but in reality their morning had started late and had more than a few hiccups before walking into church. It’s funny because it’s true. If we’re meant to be somewhere at a certain time... [Read More]

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