Oct 15

Mom, Can You Play With Me?

 

It happens. You’re busy minding your own business, typically with laundry folding or dish washing. You hear the feet come running up behind you. Jaws theme music plays softly in your head. You hope it’s almost anything else. And then,

 ‘Mom, will you come play with me?!’

Typical answer to this question? For me, it’s generally ‘not right now, mommy’s busy.’ That’s usually enough to suffice at least for a short time. If I’m feeling especially generous, I may even offer to get down the crayons or let them crawl up on my bed to watch t.v. Do I sound like an awful person yet? I’m guessing not, because if I am like most every single mom in America, you can relate.
So why do we have such a hard time playing with our kids? It’s a simple enough request. For me, it takes time. Time. Time. Time. I hate that word. There is never enough time, but yet when I play with the kids, it seems like time stands still. I have so much to do! Don’t they realize that?! That’s why I had more than one kid so that they can play with each other and not drag me into it! I kid. But seriously, why is this so hard?!
This weekend was a revelation for me. My husband took a much needed mental health day from work on Friday and as we all sat in our backyard, watching the kids play (and listening to them begging us to play with them) I did the unthinkable. I played with them. I did! I jumped on the trampoline with them. Admittedly, I was terrified that the trampoline was going to rip or that I might vomit from exertion. Did I mention I’m kind of out of shape? But I jumped. We giggled, I got stepped on, kids flew, I did a few hurkeys and pikes that I’m sure looked like a perfect 0, but the kids were impressed. Best of all,

I had fun.

It was short, I only played for like 15 minutes. But an amazing thing happened, without sounding like a horrible person, they honestly did not ask me to play for the rest of the day. Seriously. Today, we played some soccer while over at my mom’s house. It was fun. Again, it was only for a few minutes and the kids were done. They were happy, thought mommy was really cool because I did a few tricks from back in my peewee soccer days, ie, ran while kicking the ball at the same time, and then they were happy to be on there way playing with the dogs.
So why is play so hard?
As a mom, it is so easy to get busy with life. I think because I feed them, bathe, clothe, teach, love, then surely I don’t have to take more time to play. WRONG! Play is a love language of a child. Play=Love. PERIOD. Don’t feel like/can’t get outside to play, sit on the floor and play cars, dolls, draw, tickle. My son and I played ninja while I breastfed this morning. It’s amazingly simple when you just start.

I know it is so cliche to hear, but our kids grow up before our eyes. It’s true. I do not want to be caught ever thinking I did not take the time to play with my kids. So stop, there will always be dirty dishes, clothes, mopping, ALWAYS. There will not always be babies that actually want to play with momma!
 
~Corrie

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/mom-can-you-play-with-me

May 01

Is Your School Great with ADHD, or Just Good with Them?

Photo compliments of break.things at Flickr.

 

Due to the social worker aspects of my previous jobs I have spent a crap-ton of time in schools working with kids.  I have watched kids have things that are unspeakable or highly inappropriate which is a major part of what led me to doing teacher education on “hard kids”….and even those that aren’t.  As my work experience increased I found that more and more schools I set food in treated kiddos with certain disorders all wrong!

Were these educators and staff the devil incarnate.  Most certainly not!  They were doing the best they knew how with what they had been taught.  All the lacked was up-to-date non-conjecture research and information on just exactly how these kids need to be treated. Some of the educators were steeped in their traditions and did not listen but there were some beautiful souls, both male and female, that would listen to me and modify…with fantastic results (a one principle admitted to having a lot more hair).

 

What kind of school does your kiddo with ADHD diagnosis go to?  A great one?  A good one?  Or a crappy one.  Most think in pragmatics (black and white) on this subject.  Either the school sucks…or it’s fantastic.  But the worst enemy to great schools aren’t the crappy ones.  It’s the schools that are perfectly content on being good.

 

Check out today as we talk about the Top 10 Things Your School SHOULD Be Doing with your ADHD kiddo.

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/good-vs-great-adhd-schools

Apr 30

Has Parenting Really Changed…And Are Our Kids More Lazy?

Photo compliments of NotoriousJEN at Flickr.

 

This week I was slightly retrospect on my childhood, the things that we did, and the stuff that I am, quite frankly, surprised we survived.  I can remember riding down the 15 foot tall mound of dirt with our bikes until we went so vertical that we were thrown over the handlebars.  Or when we thought it would be a good idea to use a speedbump to ramp our bikes over a low hanging chain.  I know, I know.  But at the time it seemed like an awesome idea….

My thoughts began to turn quickly to responsiblity and the levels of perceived “laziness” parents report from their kids.  I began to wonder, what has changed.  Quickly ruling out genetic mutations I fell back to my second most likely question, are we in fact teaching this to our kids?

 

To find out more check out Episode 85, Chores: Load Em’ Up or Let Kids sit.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/has-parenting-really-changed-and-are-our-kids-more-lazy

Apr 27

Are We Doing Everything We Can for Our ADHD Kiddos?

Photo compliments of ADHD CENTER at Flickr.

 

Almost all parents love their kiddos, and even their kids that are diagnosed with ADHD.  But lets be honest, they can be challenging to the Nth degree.  Most of us feel like “I’m doing EVERYTHING!!!” But I wonder, are we?  Maybe we are doing 95% of everything we can do, but there is still 5% that could be the determining factor in making ours and our kids lives easier.

I read a book by Kim Frank and Susan Smith-Rex called 102 Practical Strategies for Reducing the Deficit that, even with my masters level training blew my socks off with excellent, practical, and research-based information.  I realized that I still had plenty to learn.  My guess is, so do you.  Maybe, juuuust maybe you have assimilated all the knowledge that there is to know about the diagnosis but even then, a kiddo at age 9 with ADHD is different from a 16 year old with ADHD.  The variable are always changing.

I’m not saying this to be hurtful, condescending, or chastising.  I’m saying this to be evaluative.  I’m saying these things to myself.  If you want to learn more strategies to use with your ADHD kiddo, check out Episode 84 on ADHD and what we can do

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/are-we-doing-everything-we-can-for-our-adhd-kiddos

Apr 26

Should Kids Have Cellphones

 

Many parents have bumped into the question of whether they should allow their children to have cell phones.  The allure of “always having a way to reach them” tantalizes many parents into adding a line for $9.99 and unlocks a host of new issues to handle.  Data, texting, the newest cell phone, the fact that the fruit-based electronic company keeps introducing a new device with a bigger number before the GS leaving us to wonder what it really does different from our inferior model number.  But all the time wishing we had that new phone.
Even this evening I watched many of the youth at our church with Apple 4GS’s leaving me to wonder “man, what do their parents do.” I noticed almost an immediate disdain for these seemingly rambunctious youngsters having this golden bar of iGoodness in their hands.  I love my 3GS and have decided that it is going to service me for a long time before I even think about upgrading.

But what interested me was this upset feeling at these youth having high-dollar phones.  My thoughts were “so what? What does it matter that they have these phones.  Their parents will have to pay any expenses regardless.”  Then I began to wonder, “but what if one of these kiddo’s are truly responsible to handle that phone?  Would my over-generalization actually inhibit perfectly capable kids?”  My answer was probably.

So what are the answers.  What age is old enough for a cell phone and to have a Facebook account.  What is too long to play on video games and should I deny my kid access to any and all tech devices.

 

The answers to these questions and more are discussed and answered on Episode 83 Techno-Kids and Paul McGuire from AffluentStudent.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/should-kids-have-cellphones

Apr 25

Case Study: My Son and Whining

Photo compliments of Photo Gallery at Flickr.

 

One of my sons best attributes is his connection with his emotions.  He can be very sweet, empathic and thoughtful…especially for a 4 year old.  He has always been quick to tend to his little sister and think of others when they are sad.  He experiences pure unadulterated joy of things that surprises me from time to time and can spread smiles across the faces of my wife and I quite easily.

But there is another side to this coin.  He also experiences saddness, dissappointment, and anger in higher doses.  And issue of which I have started feeling increased levels of frustration with.  I have noticed that my ability to curb that frustration has begun to wane so I turned this week to some introspection.

I began to realize that his emotionality is a part of his personality and could be something that makes him millions of dollars or makes him the most happy in his line of work.  My frustration, thought I do not feel guilty for it, can be misappropriated.  If I use that frustration, be hard on him, and try to make him into something he is not, I can expect a very bumpy ride for the both of us.

However, if I can learn to harness that personality trait, temper it, and help him create a conduit for that seemingly frustrating experience, I can help him be the best he can be.
To hear how this story ended check out Episode 82:

Breaking Whining Behavior: Does it Begin with the Kids…Or With Us?

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/case-study-my-son-and-whining

Apr 24

Condoms and Kids – Should They Have Them?

Photo compliments of Paul-Keller at Flickr.

 

I was reading an article today discussing a schools decision to give condoms to kids at a Junior High School.  Many of the comments were polarized on both sides of the fence with some saying that kids will have sex anyways so you may as well provided them. Others  noted that by giving condoms to kids you were in fact saying that sex at that age is just fine.

There are so many implications to this issue that it bakes the ol’ noodle.  Should kids be given free access to them?  Will they have sex more with more condoms available?  It that unconsitutional to force another persons belief of “kids are just going to have sex so hook em’ up” onto another family

What irritates me out of this situation is not the polarized beliefs of “yes let them have them” and “oh heck no you better not.  Both of those approaches make perfect sense to me.  What bothered me were the middle grounders.  Those that said “yeah, I don’t think my kid should be having sex but…well, they’re going to do it anyway so why not give them responsibility.

I have spent many hours studying the human sexual drive.  It fascinates me to no end and I love the physical, emotional, and mental constituencies of it.  It is such a simply-complex thing that brings…well…some intense pleasure.

But my major irritaiton occurs when people push this mentality that “a kid cannot say no to their sexual drives.” If that was the case then there would be no legitimate Monks.  And yes, you can go see the research.  Most Monks do not castrate themselves.  And yet people keep pushing this idea that teens are incapable of saying no to sexual intercourse.

Serisously, what a convenient problem to have.  Wish I could say “man, I just can’t help but overeat and be lethargic.  It’s just my biology.”  Every addict would love this!   But it is also not reality.  The reality is that kids can in fact choose not to but well-intended parents are often making it harder for them.

 

To hear more thoughts, to chime in with your opinion, check out my podcast on the subject:

 

Episode 81 Kids and Condoms – To Give or Not to Give

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/condomsonkids

Mar 18

Ahh. Poor Dad!

Anna comforting Daddy while he is sick. "Ahh...poor daddy."

 

This week I had the…ahem…privilege of contracting a virus.  It has left me mostly on my butt or back with very little action and very little to do.  I am catching this virus on the tail end of our kiddos having the same thing so my kids, who’s affect has been very depressed and lethargic lately, took a major rebound this weekend.  They now have their energy, playfulness, and sense of humor back!  It’s been quite fun watching 3 kids with about a weeks worth of pent up energy coming out…even if I could not partake in it.

Throughout their illnesses we have made an effort to be very compassionate with them.  Asking them if they are alright, holding them, comforting them, giving late-night baths to bring down fevers, giving the “ahh.  Poor sweetie”s and allowing them to sleep in our bed regardless of the flopping and kicking (I’m quite confident we may not be able to have kids due to trauma impact to…well…me).  It can be quite stressful on us as parents and creates extra work and requires more emotional control but my wife and I believe in being especially nurturing and loving when our kids are sick.  Lots of research shows that the psychological components of physical healing are just as, and in some cases, more important.

Now that their stint of sicknesses are over, and mine have begun, I have been on the receiving end of our work now.  Let me explain.  While I was resting on the couch yesterday my oldest daugther Anna walked in and says “how are you feeling Daddy?”  I replied with a “oh, not so good sweetie and thank you.”   She proceeded to walk over, stroke my face, and say “ahh.  Poor Dad.”  This was exactly how we had been treating the kiddos earlier this week and it was neat to see it portrayed back to us.

It served as a good reminder that our kids are watching and learning how to act, so be how you want them to be.  Plus, you never know when circumstance might reverse.  Could you stand yourself if you switched places with your kid?

Even my 2 year old Cora came to love on Daddy.

 

For a limited time only we are giving away a FREE copy of Elizabeth Pantley’s The No Cry Solution to Discipline.  For all those that subscribe to the email notification you will be entered into a random drawing next Friday (3/23/12). Sign up is free and you can opt-out at any time. Your information is never shared with any one else since I hate Spam as much as you!

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Mar 16

Turning Annoying Kids Habits into Money-Making Profit

Photo compliments of samantha celera at Flickr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently I was reminded the value of taking a look at that little stuff that my kids do that irritated me.  My oldest daugther Anna has had a seemingly annoying habit of tying knots on anything that she can.  I’ve walked in on my daugther and her brother tied together, unable to separate themselves.  Anna’s head hung low since she knew this was a no-no in our household.
After months of fighting her on this issues I began to wonder if, in fact, this habit could be used to her benefit.  So I brainstormed.  I have always been fond of military surplus stuff and a popular item right now are the Survival Braclets made from 550-Cord or Paracord.  I began to think, what if we could direct this desire to tie knots into something like this.  If she likes it, she could make all sorts of things and then sell them!

Photo compliments of SonnyandSandy at Flickr.

My natural tendency was to squash this “bad habit” rather than evaluating whether it could be molded in to something that would be profitable for Anna.  Many of the “things I hate that my kid does” I have received over the years are things you would see in a CEO of a major corporation.

 

Are you discouraging success in your kid?  Can you flip that into a positive and teach them to focus their energy in the right place?

For more check out our Podcast Episode on this topic where we go into this more deeply!

 

 

 

We publish new episodes of The Family Podcast Network several times a week. Join our instant notification list to get notified about new episodes and their topics.

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Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/turning-annoying-kids-habits-into-money-making-profit

Feb 22

A Lesson in Logical Consequences

Baked Bootie

Recently I posted an episode where we discussed logical consequences and allowing kids to suffer some negative consequences.  We have a gas styled wall heater.  The longer it runs the hotter the grill at the bottom gets.  My son Grant has thought it funny to pull down his britches, point his bootie at the heater where he proceeds to exclaim “ahhh….I’m baking my bootie!”

On numerous occasions my wife and I have warned him to be careful with the heater, that it is hot, and that he needs to be careful getting so close to it.  He has responded with “I know, I know” and continued to practice this hienie-charring practice.
Yesterday he again decided to pull down his pants and “bake my bootie.”  I warned him “Grant, if your bootie touches that it’s going to burn” to which he responded “I know”.  He backed up closer.  I repeated my warning and he backed up.  Then…his eyes lit up wide, he jumped 30 feet in the air (dramatization added) and grabbed his rear end and ran off.

I had him come back so I could look at it and I noticed some slightly singed skin.  Well, today I checked him again and noticed that he had a perfect grid-pattern (see above) on his right cheek.  I edited the photo for those of you who don’t like seeing baby bottoms (I’m with you).  Today when the heater has been on he has been very careful and has been issuing warnings to both of his sisters “if you touch your bootie on that it will make it look like waffles!”

Since I allowed him to experience negative consequences (that could not damage him permanently) he was able to grow and teach others his mistakes.  Again, do so within life-threatening guidelines (e.g. knife in the electric socket is NOT a good logical consequence moment).

Permanent link to this article: http://thefamilypodcastnetwork.com/blog/a-lesson-in-logical-consequences

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