School is back in session and after-school activities are starting to kick in. Suddenly, besides the before-school shuffle and the after-school shuffle, stay-at-home parents suddenly have a lot more kid-free time. But time is tricky - there never seems to be enough of it no matter how much you have. And somehow, even though the kids are in school again, their needs and schedules always take priority. Sound familiar? If so, this might be a good opportunity to make time for you a priority as well. Before your newly kid-free schedule starts filling up to overflowing, put a few ‘want-tos’ at the top of your priority list.
In the era of over-sharing, it’s not surprising that parents post photos of their kids on social media. What’s truly startling is the popularity of something that has been called, for better or worse, ‘kid-shaming.’ The idea of taking a photo of a sign hanging around a loved one’s neck seems to have started with pets. Maybe it is funny to see dogs, cats and even hamsters who seem to be confessing their ‘sins,’ but when children are the subject of these photos, many viewers find themselves cringing instead of chuckling.
Part of the parenting job is to teach children proper socialization and to be considerate of others in public places. These skills will help children get along harmoniously with their future teachers, friends, co-workers, bosses and in-laws. Learning the etiquette of parenting takes practice and noticing what are the norms in North American society. If you are inexperienced with children of a particular age or stage, it might be helpful to learn a bit about child development, which explains why kids do what they do.
Recently, I celebrated a ‘big’ birthday, so family and friends extended the celebrations appropriately. I returned home from one outing with girlfriends and proudly displayed my bright orange latte mug. Painted across the front is: “BFF: Brilliant, Fun-Loving Friend”. My 13-year-old daughter piped up, “Do you really consider yourself fun-loving?” Ouch.
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