Archive for March, 2012

March 11, 2012

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

Raising an iChild

Between the iPad, the smartphone, the NintendoDS and the television, there are many screens competing for your children’s attention. If you’re like me, you’ve tried lots of tactics to limit screen time – setting a timer, ordering “not on weekdays” or (when you’re really fed up) an all-encompassing ban on electronic gadgets. It’s a struggle, especially as parents grapple with the marketing campaigns touting the “educational benefits” of television, computer games and apps. But honestly, we all know the best after school play for a child is running, jumping, splashing, digging, or any full body activity that tires out more of the body than the thumbs or index fingers.

So, stay strong, parents. Yes, even educational screen time needs to be limited. No, you don’t have to be the meanest parent ever to enforce those limits. Here are some ideas to help set limits on technology while getting the most…

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March 9, 2012

You never know…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

Choices

I was in the park today (03-09-2012) with Logan and I began speaking to a fellow parent. I will not use her name since I do not have permission.

It turned out she is also a same-sex parent of a cute little girl. We began talking and had a lot in common. What I wanted to write about today was things I guess I take for granted were actually of interest to her.

1st – Patience is a virtue. We forget that our little loved ones are just children. We expect them to know and understand at our level. We talked about how can we really, logically, be angry and upset with our child who is so young because they spill their milk, or break a dish or glass. They have no reference, they are learning — should we have not put a cover on the cup, or used a plastic plate. So they spill something – use it as an opportunity to learn, not to admonish! It is hard, but not impossible.

2nd – Understanding consequences. In reference to #1 above and to #2 below “hind sight is 20-20”. I have a client with children in college and were were talking about what our children do and what in the world they must be thinking when they do it. We came to the conclusion, “they are not thinking”. It turns out that our children really do not know what they are thinking and what will happen by what they do. There are studies that show that children under 16 (if not 18) do not have then mental capacity to understand the long term consequences of their actions.

3rd – Discipline of actions (a chance for empathy). I had relayed to her that Logan was very strong for his age and had even bitten a playmate soon after his first day at his daycare. I said we had tried the old ways of saying things like; “Logan, what were you thinking?”, “Logan, why would you do such a thing?”, “Logan, you are a bad boy for doing this!” and then took a different approach. We tried the “empathy” approach. By this I mean we said; “Logan, look your friend is crying.”, “Logan, how do you think your friend feels?”, “Logan, is this the right way to treat your friends?”. Well, the change was amazing. Logan has always showed an early understanding of empathy and he quickly understood what we were saying and changed his behavior accordingly. Now when (if) he does something to hurt someone else we talk to him in terms of the hurt person’s feeling and he understands what he has done wrong.

4th – I am sure there were other things we talked about, but it’s late and I just don’t remember what.

I am not trying to say I have insight to being a great parent. I can only say I am trying very hard to be a better (modern) parent. I am trying not to fall into that same patterns our parents and their parents were taught. I am trying to pause, step back and think about how my actions in the next few minutes can forever change Logan’s future.

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March 8, 2012

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

My son is turning 5 in October and I already miss his younger years. I do stop, look, listen and yes even smell so I can remember all these wonderful childhood moments. Thank you for sharing.

smileevenwhenlifehurts

When I was younger my family would always tell the children when we would complain about not being old enough… “you have 18years to be a child and a lifetime to be an adult.” As I get older I understand what they meant by that. Even at just 20 I find myself wishing someone would push me in a stroller or thinking kindergarden sounds nice. Recess here I come! 

I see so many parents putting so much emphasis on “I’m preparing my child for the real world”, they tend to forget to let the child be a child. There is nothing wrong with preparing your child with whats to come in life (don’t get me wrong) but stop and take a breather for just a moment. Let them stop and smell the flowers, run wild, so what if the outfit they choose to wear isn’t matching that day and their…

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March 4, 2012

You’re a Dummy…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Words Hurt

Words Hurt

How words can hurt…

This brings me back almost 15 years ago when I innocently told my partner, “That’s stupid!”. He was hurt and upset with me for days. During the following few days he sulked and barely talked to me. I could not figure out what I had said (or done) wrong. I repeatedly asked, but he would not tell me. He would say I should know what I had said. I didn’t. Eventually, he told me I had called him stupid. I was flabbergasted and bewildered. I knew I would never say this, but had I actually said it and not remembered?

Truth was it was a cultural difference. I had said “That’s stupid” and he translated it to “You’re stupid”. He is of Hispanic decent and this is how he “heard” what I said. I explained that in English it really means nothing and it is just a saying. I was talking about the action, not the person. He eventually forgave me, but it did point something out. Words can hurt.

Today he and Logan were in the kitchen and I heard him say “You’re a dummy!” about some silly thing Logan did. Now, I personally would not have taken offense to this, but I decided to take a moment and think about what was just said. Jose and I discussed what he said and I told him I thought we should try not to use such language. No matter how innocent he meant it. I suggested that saying, “You’re silly!” might have been a better use of words. He agreed. Logan is only 4.5 yrs old so probably did not take any offense to what was said but it is never too early to begin watching what we say.

What is said today can have far reaching effects in the future. Now as a parent, I think of these and many other things differently than I might have just a few years ago. It’s an ongoing learning experience for all of us.

This video is very poignant…

March 2, 2012

Sanctity of Marriage?

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

I find this ad so offensive.

In a world where I can not marry the person I love, they can make an ad where a man can marry a piece of bacon! Really? Are you kidding me? And then the tag line at the end “You may eat the bride!”, what’s that?

So much for the “sanctity of marriage”!

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