If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again by Diane Loomans

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd finger-paint more, and point the fingers less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging and less tugging.
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I'd teach less about the love of power, And more about the power of love.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

To conclude....

     Parenting is a time that can be very rewarding but it takes dedication and a lot of time before you will get to a point where you are on a smooth road to success.  Sometimes, that road may be a bumpy ride but in the end, when you are able to look back and see all which you have accomplished, it's all worth it and the feeling of satisfaction is beyond anything that can be measured.

     Being a parent is truly a learning experience by all.  Nothing can really prepare you for what lies ahead when you have become a parent for the first time.  Being a parent has a "trial and error" type of learning process that eventually, there are less errors and more successes.  One thing you have to remember, is that there really isn't a true right or wrong way of being a parent, except for the obvious.  You have to understand that what may work for one parent and his/her child, may not work for yours.  Or you may be able to take a little bit from the advice from one parent and some from another to then blend it with your own. Each child requires their own unique process of being taught, guided and most importantly loved.... no two children are alike!

     As I look back at the way I was parented, and even the way my Grandparents taught my parents, I noticed that, in my opinion, it has gotten more complicated and difficult.  Not that the children themselves have really changed, it is more of a shift in society and how we have more obstacles to overcome.  You have the single parents, the dual working parents, the military parents and even the grand "parents" who are the parents of their children, children.  I look back how the mom would stay home with their children, and I feel that to a point, that did help with the upbringing of the children.  That was her job, her main concern, and she was able to concentrate completely on her children.  Now-a-days, you have the mother who loves her children very dearly, but she also has a career that she much concentrate on and at times, managing both can be quite stressful and complicated.  And its not just about the mother.  You have fathers that are the single parents and are trying to juggle it all to make ends meet, along with having a loving atmosphere with lasting memories for his children. 

     Society, to me, has gotten out of control and sometimes we need to stop take a long, deep look at what is important and what we are missing out on as parents as we are trying to succeed at everything else.  The pressures that are upon us are plentiful and were not the only ones that feel it.... so do our children.  Military families have even more pressures as one or even both parents are serving their country and at any given notice, they could be gone to defend their country.  We sometimes forget that the children of these families also feel that pressure and are scared if their parent will be coming back to them.  Through love and reassurance, we can help them accept the pressures that come with these families.  But no matter what kind of family you are, you all have your own unique situations and the skills of parents are tested every day.

     Last, as parents, you don't normally think about how you might have to be parents to your own parents someday.  That is another area of concern that is rising as the baby boomers are aging and becoming to an age where they require more love and attention, just like when we all were little babies.  This requires a new phase of parenting that will still require dedication, patience and love. 

     Any type of parenting, young or old, is a constant learning process that will never be completely mastered.  Hopefully as you grow older and wiser though, you learn from your previous mistakes and are able to apply what you have learned to new situations and also provide some advice to the new, young parents that are just beginning the process.  Either way, I just hope you are able to enjoy the process and cherish the memories you will create because before you know it, it will all be over with and you will be the grandparent, giving all the unconditional love to your own grandchild!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Middle Age and Older Parenthood and Grandparenthood

Grandparents take their grandchildren by the hand and lead them into the future.

Grandparents are a Blessing

When God created grandparents
the world was truly blessed
with all the special joys
that make a family happiest...
For grandparents know how to do
the things that warm a heart,
They touch our lives with loving care
right from the very start...
They show that they believe in us
and all we're dreaming of...
When God created grandparents,
He blessed our lives with love.

This is good for those who are responsible for the care of their parents.  Its an online support network that brings all caregivers together at one site for the understanding and guidance they need.

If you are like me, I haven't really thought about how the roles in life changes when you become more responsible for your parents.  I also haven't really considered yet how the pressure will strain your relationship with your siblings.  Here, you will find useful information to help guide you as you transition to this phase.

Grandparenting is like the grand-finale of life!  To me, nothing is more important than a Grandparent!  Grandparents offer the unconditional love that all children need to flourish.  Also, being a Grandparent, also means you are coming nearer towards the end of your life.  With that comes greater responsibilities for those who will take care of you, guide you along the journey, all the way to the end. 

Included in this post are areas where you can go to for support, guidance and advice for when you come to those times when you are unsure of yourself and what you are suppose to do to take of those who once took care of you.  I also included a poem that explains what Grandparents mean to me.  The video also touched my heart as there is nothing greater than a Grandparent and all they mean to me!

Parent-Adolescent Interactions

Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes to drain it dry
- Alvin Price

Building Self-Esteem....

Why would you want to be someone else
When you could be better by being yourself
Why pretend to be someone you are not
When you have something they haven't got
Cheating yourself of the life you have to live
Deprives others of that only which you can give
You have much more to offer by being just you
Than walking around in someone else's shoes
Trying to live the life of another is a mistake
It is a masquerade; nothing more than a fake
Be yourself and let your qualities show through
Others will love you more for being just you
Remember that God loves you just as you are
To Him you are already a bright shining star
Family and friends will love you more too
If you spent time practicing just being you"
Written By Ellen Bailey

Kids Health - I really like this site as it has all kinds of different areas for which teens face... body, mind and food, to include recipes! It also isn't just tailored to the teen.  It also has an area for younger children and the parent too!  This site is fun for all and is user friendly with a lot of fun facts and information.

Empowered Teens and Parents - This is an upbeat and friendly site that is aimed toward teen girls and their parents.  Its another useful site that allows teens to go to when feeling alone or confused about life as a teenager.  It also has an area that concentrates on both the teen and her parent.

I selected this chapter as I felt I could relate to it with having two teenagers in the house.  Being a teenager can bring some very highs and lows in their lives and the more they (and you) are equipped with knowledge and places to go to help understand things, the better off everyone is.  One thing while researching the subject though, I quickly came to realize that self-esteem issues are definitely geared towards girls more than boys.  I know that girls in general can have lower self-esteem, but I also feel the need to have just as much information readily available for the teenage boy too.

I felt the two websites I included are great when dealing with self-esteem but also a lot of the issues that you come across as an adolescent.  It broke it down for just the teen but also the teen and their parent.  The poem and video to me help point out that its so important to be yourself!  I think that is one of the most valuable lessons we could help an adolescent understand.  Once they do, they would be that much stronger and capable of doing things because they wanted to and not because of what they thought others would want them to do.  And last...I really liked the picture of the 4 friends as I feel having true, strong friendships helps anyone with their self-esteem and all they can accomplish!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Child Socialization Strategies and Techniques

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege,
than the raising of the next generation.

~ C. Everett Koop

The next chapter for my blog is Chapter 4 - Child Socialization Strategies and Techniques.  This chapter particularly hit home because of the on-going stress I have with my 8 year old. 

Almost as long as I can remember, she has been a very strong-willed child that has been the hardest for me to parent.  I have taken her to counselors, had blood work done and have other parents talk to her but it always seems that it eventually comes back to her misbehaving to mainly me and her sister is nothing to blame but her own desire to be good or not.  As I researched this chapter, I found the below items to be very useful to me.  The more I have looked, the more I realized there is information out there for exactly my situation.

Family Matters Parenting Magazine - This site has numerous sections for assistance.  It provides information about problems you may be having but also inspirational quotes and poems.

Livestrong Website - This site really surprised me as I only thought of it as a cancer support site.  But it is so much more than that!  It offers great information on healthy eating, getting fit, family health, weight management and so much more!

Reducing Behavioral Problems Through Functional Communication Training

Difficult Children by Gene Bedley
Difficult Children, some times need probation
If I don’t get help I’ll need a vacation.

Difficult Children, both stubborn and defiant,
Their every move is less than compliant.

Difficult Children, view school a different way,
Their desire for attention challenges my day.

Difficult Children, fit every description
I’ll go anywhere to find a prescription

Difficult Children, they’re hard to endure
They cause me to dig deep to find a cure.

Difficult Children, add to my load,
Making poor choices as they travel life’s road.

Difficult Children, have blind spots galore,
Increasing their options only adds pain and more.

Difficult Children, some days you’d expel Perhaps they are gifted, only time will tell.

Difficult Children, are absolute stress,
They’re really my teachers, it’s only a test.

Difficult Children, impulsive and bold,
Their history and future are yet to unfold.

Difficult Children, from difficult domains
Love, logic and limits will produce daily gains

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Parents and Children in Varied Family Structures

Divorce and Successful Shared Parenting

Marriage, divorce, and children's adjustment By Robert E. Emery

This site is has tons of information on the different areas of concern with children and when going through a divorce.  It provides link to different articles of concern about custody and different types of custody.  I feel if you have any kind of question or just want more general information, this is a good one to review.

Useful site that is divided by the age of the affected child.  It also provides general, useful information about all children in a divorce situation.

"In my Daughter's Eye's" by Martina McBride
In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes

The first chapter I chose was Chapter 3 because since I'm personally a single mom of three, I felt like I could really relate to what this chapter was all about.  Being divorced for five years now, I have experienced a lot of the different stages a family goes through when divorcing.  Divorce is a very difficult situation but if you keep your children's happiness and success as the main goal, you can make the process a positive one for all.

I choose the above links/picture/video because when going through a divorce, you will inevitably experience some hard times that will be hard to compromise on.  I also feel that you can never have too much information or support systems.  The more that you prepare yourself with, the better all will end up as a lot of the times, you can only understand one side until you get the whole situation presented to you in another way.  Until ones realizes that there was fault on both sides, its hard to move forward in a positive and healthy way.  As for the video I included, I really liked it for a couple of reasons.  First, is because it shows the reality of the labeling a single parent gets.  When you become that single parent, society does put a label on you that is hard to change.  Single parenting is one of the hardest times of ones life but for some reason, you are looked at as a failure and you have to work hard at changing the impression of that.  Gingerbread organization is there for support to help in moving forward.

Last, Martina McBride says it best in her song, "In My Daughter's Eye's."  Like any parent, mother or father, you only want to be the very best for your daughter and to be the very best for her to look up to.  On the days that seem hard to finish, you need to look into the eyes of your daughter and realize that all she wants is you and before you know it, she will be moving on as a parent herself and hopefully you were able to provide a good foundation for her and it wont matter if you were single or dual family.