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Every year, my daughter has her birthday exactly 1 week after my mother’s birthday. 1 week. To the day. Every year. It’s still weird. And every year, my daughter’s birthday falls on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. This, too, is a surprise each year as if this is supposed to be an occasional alignment of planets, solar systems and comets and TA DA! the birthdays align again this year! Go figure! And every year, her birthday comes as a complete shock – though I distinctly recall her urgent need to be born, arriving as she did with a list of things to…
Today is my sister’s birthday. No kidding. If you’ve been following along, you’ll realize that we go bam - bam - bam in this family. Three weeks in a row, three birthdays back to back to back. Three generations. I can’t write much about today, though. Except to say that this day is hard: a few years ago, my younger sister stopped talking to me and to everyone else in our family. This is a topic rarely talked about inside of family circles and barely whispered to outsiders. There was an argument. There was anger. There was confusion. And there…
You know “the argument”. The one where you suggest something to do that you know your child will love and they go – for lack of a better word – berserko? They announce that they will never – not EVER (just in case you were uncertain) – do this thing that you were sure that they’d love and be so excited about that they would proclaim you to be the world’s best parent ever – EVER. Instead, they announce that you are crazy. Then, they shout. Then scream louder. And, because they have the floor, the stage and the entire…
Meet my two daughters. One of the easiest ways to know them is by how they answer “How was your day?” My Favorite Older Daughter whom I love the bluest** answers: “Fine.” And walks away. She’s not mad. She’s not tired. She’s just answered the question and she’s done. (By the way, have you noticed that there is no reliable translation for “fine”? For her, it could mean: “I just managed to keep from crying when I bombed the test that I had studied 10 hours straight for and I don’t need to talk about it. Thank you, I’m fine.”…
Meet my two daughters. One of the easiest ways to know them is by how they answer “How was your day?” My Favorite Older Daughter whom I love the bluest** answers: “Fine.” And walks away. She’s not mad. She’s not tired. She’s just answered the question and she’s done. (By the way, have you noticed that there is no reliable translation for “fine”? For her, it could mean: “I just managed to keep from crying when I bombed the test that I had studied 10 hours straight for and I don’t need to talk about it. Thank you, I’m fine.”…
Without any doubt, my kids hold me accountable – as they should. I can forget on occasion; I can mix up Ann with Anne with Anna. But after that, I’m sunk – especially when I see their pained expression and hear “You weren’t listening.” Ouch. If I am going to pull them in, I need to be prepared to listen and to listen closely. I work to focus in on each daughter in different ways. I need to (and sometimes do) take notes so that I can remember a new friend (or enemy), a class assignment or test date; or…
This week’s post is my own response to last week’s, “Caring What They Say”, which spoke to caring about what our children say. While it is important to be an active listener in all conversations with your children (and well, in all your important relationships), you simply do NOT have to listen to what everyone has to say, especially with regards to parenting advice from non-parents. Case in point: Before I was a parent, I had T-H-E best parenting advice that I (thankfully) kept to myself. I would visit friends with kids and make mental notes of the many errors…
…if you listen to the sound of your own voice, you can rise above doubt and judgment. ~ Nancy Lopez There are far too many “they”s in my life and they all love to give an opinion. Today’s revelation? I don’t always need to listen to “them” and I don’t always need to take their advice. I’ve thought long about accountability. About listening. About trusting others – or, about not. But what of addressing the art of being accountable to, listening to, and trusting … myself? They say we learn more from our mistakes than our successes. What they don’t…
  Dear TiffinTalker, The school year has begun and we have all transitioned yet again. But before we go much further, there is an important piece of parenting reality that you may need to consider (more) fully. Parents are often divided into two groups: Those who count the days until school starts. and Those who count the days until school ends. No judgements here. Some of us parent better with specific schedules dictated by the 9-month academic year. At day’lsquo;s end, we know what to talk to our kids about: their school day. There is a routine, a rhythm. The…
5 Points to Help You Focus on What Your Kids are Saying I am the organizer. The watcher-outer. The list maker. The get things done do-er. I make the stuff that is supposed to happen happen and I give the “all clear” on the day’s “to-do’s” as they are “ta-done”. In the typecast world, I’m not a Type A; I’m a Type A+. I’m far too serious. I’m focused. I’m lost in details. I’m one step ahead and panicked that I’m behind. In my world, I’m constantly struggling to not think of what’s coming next, to not play out every…
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