Homeless in America: the HBO special: The Orange county kids


Last night I watched the show, “Homeless in America.” It was about the working poor who were living in a hotel in Orange County, California. It focused on the family’s children.

The families they focused on had jobs: one lady worked as a nurses aid, one guy worked at Target, and other jobs working from 9-12.00 an hour. They were the working poor.

This hotel wasn’t the best environment for the kids. They could tell you in detail who was taking drugs, and why the police were coming. It was sad that such little kids were so worldly.

The documentary showed how these kids had to share spare living quarters with their families. They had to keep their clothes in crowded spaces. (One family had 4 little dogs living with them. This made no sense. Why would she be feeding dogs when her kids were in such need? Never owned a dog, I don’t quite get it.)

The rest of the people were really trying to stress values. I thought one mother was way too Continue reading

Advertisements

Children grow up and become instant presto friends. There’s nothing like it!


Baloon Fun Time

Baloon Fun Time (Photo credit: andreasandrews)

 

Speaking from experience, once you have a child, they make it into you heart forever. There is no getting around it.  Maybe some people can forget about their kids once they reach 18, but that would be a person who doesn’t have a soul.

 

What’s great about adult children is that you can enjoy them on an adult level. Presto, you have instant friends. You will find that they might share your taste in clothes, food, and recreational activities.

 

My daughter keeps asking me if it’s weird having a grown-up daughter. The answer is no. It’s delightful.

 

The children they were stay in your memory and are in pictures, but  you readily accept them as adults.

 

It’s a plus.

 

Having children has been a fun experience for me, and an additional joy. I never expected to get all the benefits from it.

 

When they’re little, you get to experience life from their perspective. Who doesn’t enjoy watching your child ride the merry-go round for the first time? How about going to the zoo with them? There’s nothing like that first smile. Then there’s the first step. The first step away from you. But that’s your job. To help them grow up.

 

When they grow up, you can feel proud of them and share in their accomplishments and joys. That’s just as satisfying, of course, you do share in the disappointments too. That means like everything else in life, you” take the bitter with the sweet. ”

 

All in all, I think parenthood is a rewarding experience and well-worth the hard work.

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

Dr. Phil’s show is sordid, but sometimes nuggets of wisdom emerge


An icon illustrating a parent and child

An icon illustrating a parent and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hate to admit this, but I do sometimes turn on the Dr. Phil. TV show.  It’s really sordid. Sometimes,  I wonder if his guests are merely actors pretending to be real people.

I didn’t fully watch his show today, but at the end of the show, he had  a psychologist on who had some good tips for listening to your kids.

Listening to your kid’s concerns and problems is one of the most important thing a parent can do.  It’s called paying attention to them.

Remembering the chaos that surrounds children makes it sometimes difficult to give them your full attention. Fulfilling their physical needs sometimes takes precedence over their emotional ones.

Today’s parents have to be exhausted. Both parents, or only a single parent,  have to work full-time jobs to make ends meet. Some parents are working more than one job. I can’t imagine how hard it would be today. Gas prices, food prices, and all those valid problems.

I think cell phones, computers, I-pads and all that technical stuff has to make it even harder to talk to your kids.  It bothers me when I’m out somewhere, and people are paying more attention to their phones than their kids. It’s a little frightening. Some of those kids have forlorn expressions on their faces.

What really bothers me when  both parties, the child and the parent, are busy on their communication devices. Then, they don’t seem to be together at all.

Tips for listening to your kids

Put all that stuff aside when your kid is talking to you. Fully look at the child. One thing the psychologist pointed out is that children can read your body language and your facial expressions. They’re going to pick up on whether you’re really listening.

Do reflective listening. See if you can tell how the child is feeling. Reflect this back by saying, “I know you’re feeling hurt, or I think you’re feeling…… Don’t make it phony. (I had a friend who always used to say, “I hear you.” Finally I asked her if she’d gotten that expression in her graduate course.).

Be supportive. I think that’s also important. Try to see their side of things. Then discuss it with them. You may not agree, but at least know how they’re thinking

What do you think? How do you listen to your kids? Please don’t do it holding your i-phone!

Don’t ever leave your key in the ignition when a toddler is in the car


The day my daughter took my her little brother for a ride in a mini-van

 

I will never forget the day my daughter figured out how to drive. She was around 3. I went in the house to get something, and left my kids in the car for only a  minute or two.  Somehow my daughter maneuvered her way into the driver’s seat. (In those days she wasn’t required to sit in a child’s seat.)  She also figured out how to turn the key sitting in the ignition of the van.

 

When I came out of the house, the big van was rolling down the driveway. My daughter looked like she wasn’t a bit surprised that she was powering the car down the driveway.  I ran to the open window of the driver’s side. I looked back. My son was in his baby seat looking like it was perfectly normal for his big sister to be driving him down the driveway.

 

I ran and tried to get to the steering wheel, but I couldn’t get to it.  The car was going very slowly. It ran over my foot. I still kept going. We went out the driveway heading for my neighbor’s car parked in their driveway across the street. I ran and ran. Finally I got to the steering wheel and pushed it toward the parked position. We were 1/2  inch from my neighbors car.

 

It was like being in the movies. I was so relieved!  The only consequence was my foot hurting for a couple of weeks.

 

But this could have been a real tragedy. A car could have been coming down the street, or she could have run into my neighbor’s car. I recently heard of a case where the outcome wasn’t so good. A woman left her key in the ignition and as a result the child had an accident and is now brain damaged. That sad story reminded me of this past incident.

Steering Wheel

Steering Wheel (Photo credit: Wikiped

 

Lesson: don’t ever leave your kid in the car by themselves with the key in the ignition. Not even for one second.

 

Kids are smarter than you think.

 

TV’s Supernanny is cool: A Review. Ten of the best techniques I’ve gleaned from the show.


I am fascinated by the Supernanny.  She’s the English Nanny who helps rescue people being over-run by their kids.  What’s most fascinating about her is that she doesn’t have any kids, but she seems to have a good understanding of what makes kids tick. No matter how assertive she is with the children,  the kids seem to love her. She knows the difference between being stern and mean. (It is TV) It just proves that kids are looking for authority figures, not friends.

This lady has good ideas. I was watching a marathon of these shows yesterday. Why I should be interested after I’m all done with mothering bewilders me. Maybe I’m just glad I didn’t live with abusive kids.

These new parents have a lot on their plates. It takes two incomes to raise kids these days. It’s a lot of responsibility, work and time.  I think maybe we’ve lost sight of what’s important. I think our mothers, father, and grandparents had a better idea.

I’m not saying I was the perfect mother, far from it. Luckily, my kids came out all right, but I  could have used some of the techniques I see proposed on this TV show.

Ten Valuable Techniques (I’ve watched

Supernanny

Supernanny (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Supernanny teach hapless parents.)

1 .When disciplining the child, get down on their level. Have them think about what they did wrong, then have them apologize. (I actually did use this technique. It was in place in the medieval times. )
2. Put some authority in your voice, so they know you mean business.
3. Make them go in their corner or room for one minute per age.
4. If they get out of bed at night, just put them back in their beds. The first time, say something, but after that don’t talk, just put them back in bed.
5 .Don’t let them use bad language, kick, hit or abuse the parents. It should never be tolerated.
6. Keep a good routine going. Give them thing to do that they will like. (Don’t just expect toys or TV  to completely entertain them.)
7 .Make sure your house is safe and that they can’t get into trouble.
8. Give them responsibility.
9. Take time to play with them.
10 Take time to listen to them.

Clinging Child

The story that I found unbelievable was about a little boy who was clinging onto his mother. She couldn’t walk 10 feet without him putting up his arms and demanding that she pick him up. She never turned him down.  He also decided what time his  mom and he should go to bed.  When he got tired, he happily crawled in bed with Mom and Dad (already asleep).

Supernanny gave Mom several  techniques to un-cling little 2-year old.  Mom was unwittingly promoting these  clinging habits. Dad wasn’t helping because when  he came home from work, he had transition time which never ended. He sat on a chair all night and watched TV. As soon as he became engaged with his kids, things began to improve.

It all came out all right. (At least on the TV show.)  The clinging  child  finally went to sleep in his own bed, disengaged from his mom and stopped throwing tantrums every time she put him on the floor.

If the kids featured on Supernanny are messed up, it’s easy to see who is responsible. It usually goes back to Mom and Dad.

The parents don’t seem to have any insight in what they’re doing to create these little monsters. Some parents are afraid of their kids not liking them, some are too lazy to tend to their kid’s needs, and others just don’t know what to do.

It seems peculiar that they don’t teach these kinds of skills in school. I think it’s needed now, more than ever.

Your thoughts?

A Baby Boomer’s humorous look at newer innovations: the modern baby ultrasounds


Head of a fetus, aged 29 weeks, in a "3D ...

Head of a fetus, aged 29 weeks, in a “3D ultrasound” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Someone I vaguely know, posted a picture of their baby’s ultrasound on Facebook. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The ones that really creep me out are the three-dimensional pictures.  I think it’s very Science Fiction like, and kind of odd. Should you be looking at the kid before it comes out of the womb?  It seems like you’re invading the embryo’s privacy in some way.

It was bad enough when your parents showed you naked on a blanket. Now, they can show you actually developing.
It’s mind boggling to know that we  all start out looking like something from another dimension.   It’s one thing to be pregnant and know there’s something going on. It’s another thing to actually watch it. This whole process reminds me of a “Twilight Zone” episode.  (For all you baby boomers out there!)

Along with showing the parent’s monthly ultrasounds, the doctors also draw comparisons between pieces of fruit. The little embryos are compared to naval oranges, avocados, bananas, and a variety of foods.

Maybe it helps the parents get used to the idea of having a baby, and it is a good conceptual tool. What do we usually do with pieces of fruit? We eat them. Now, that’s creepy.

Baby boomers did experience this a little bit

When I’d go to the doctor every month, he would put me on the scale and take my urine to check out if I had some kind of disorder or other. I still hear my doctor saying, “you’re not eating for three are you?”   They did do one ultrasound per pregnancy. Once in a while it revealed the sex. In my case, it never revealed anything to me except the fetus was developing normally.  That was a reassuring thing to know.  It seemed like Science Fiction to me, even back then.  (I recently found one of these pictures, but I couldn’t remember which kid it was.)

I didn’t know whether any of my kids was a boy or girl before they arrived.  The only tooI I had in those days was the Drano test which really didn’t work. You mixed Drano with urine and it either turned blue or brown. Blue was a boy, and brown was a girl. My husband and I tried it each time and it was highly inaccurate. But it did bubble, make a sizzling noise and stink to high heaven.  You had to make sure you weren’t near it when it bubbled.

What’s next?
Twenty-four hour surveillance of all the potential baby’s movements which you can play for all your friends and relatives, and a soundtrack to go along with it? Maybe a prenatal beauty contest awards ceremony?

I do think all of this is really cool, but I’m wondering how necessary it all is. How much does the extra technology cost? Am I being overly skeptical?

What do you think?

Ten things I’m Grateful for this Thanksgiving: 2012


1 .My best friend for over 40 years. I’m talking about my terrific husband. ( We don’t always agree on things, but that keeps life interesting.)
.
2. My children, who I would choose as friends. I am proud of each one of them. My son-in-law is pretty cool too!

3.  Good health and being able to see and hear!  (My mother was blind at the end of her life, and I personally witnessed how difficult that was for her.

4. Still being able to travel and enjoying different American cities.

5. My happy childhood and married life.  I can look back on happy times when I  experience frustration. (Yes, I do get down sometimes. It’s in my DNA)

6.  Having activities I can feel passionate about.

An old favorite picture of mine. My mom, and my husband, me, and children.

7. Living in America– Still the greatest nation on earth!

8. Having experienced some great life-cycle events with my family.