Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Stranger Irony

We set our kids up to be lured into traps with strangers. And we don't even know it.

We do it All. The. Time.

Here's the scenario:
A young child is sitting in the cart seat at the grocery store. An elderly man approaches. "Hello, pretty girl! You are adorable. What's your name?"

Child looks to Mommy for a moment, puzzled with how to proceed. Most of us will nudge our child to answer. "Go ahead, tell him your name!"

"And how old are you, sweetie?"

Child cowers and avoids looking at the stranger. Most of us will answer for our child. "Oh, she's 3. Her birthday was just last week."

BAM.

We've just taught our child to openly speak with strangers, and if they ask for personal information, the polite and correct response is to reply directly and honestly.

...and then we tell them at home "never talk to strangers, right?"

This is a classic case of *saying* one thing, but *doing* another.

In public places: grocery stores, shopping malls, even playgrounds, strangers approach vulnerable, young children constantly with a barrage of smiles, winks, and invitations to play or joke with them. And we adults typically entertain these gestures as if it's normal and ok to smile back, give a high-five, and yes - even take that cookie and enjoy it.

But we don't realize that we are sending our children entirely mixed messages that can potentially lead to the worst-case-scenario.

"Hey little guy, what's your name?"

"Awww that's so cute! Did your mommy get you that adorable hat?"

"Hi pal, is that your baby sister in the car seat?"

At the risk of coming across as rude (and consider, dear reader, why you *care* if the cashier or elderly grandmama thinks you're rude?) the wiser choice is to firmly inform, "I'm sorry but we don't talk to strangers" and show your kid that you live by your word.

Teach by example. Don't talk to strangers.




Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You are NOT my friend

Most of us want to be known as nice people. Caring friends. Neighborly neighbors. Good Christians. We throw dinner parties that exhaust us. We volunteer with the PTA. We donate to charitable causes. We chit-chat with friends and family, often entertaining conversations that lead nowhere about mundane topics of little interest. We do it to be liked, to be accepted.

We also live in a world which values smiles above-all-else. "Don't Worry, Be Happy" seems to be not a goal but a dictate. As if, God-Forbid someone actually NOT smile and be happy.


Unfortunately, in the modern world, our desire to share smiles and joy *at all times* often goes too far, especially vis a vis our children.

See – our children need us to care for them, raise them, and teach them. They need to learn how to be respectable members of society in their own right. We are their primary source of sustenance and protection, until they leave home and explore the world-beyond.


But modern parents have gotten confused. They are grossly conflict-averse (since conflict may actually challenge that ever-present smile), and so rather than demanding reverence from their children, in today’s world of blurred boundaries, they seek friendship and acceptance. Rather than be their children’s firm coaches, feared teachers, and respected elders, they are chums and pals. They share intimate secrets, inappropriate conversations, and enjoy pop-culture together.

Our children are learning that they need to respect no one, seek acceptance from nobody, and therefore suffer from a catastrophic lack of ambition that has never been seen in history. Why be motivated to do anything when your parents will dote on you, even if you sit on the couch all day? Why strive to excel when parents are equally impressed with mediocrity? When parents slap on a smile to every-single-report-card, children eventually lose interest.

Parents: your children are not your friends. They need to be taught. They need to learn discipline and responsibility. They need to experience your disappointment and frustration when they don't live up to who they can and should be. By coddling your child with friendship, you do him and all future generations a great disservice.

Step up to the plate and find your friends elsewhere - your child will be the stronger for it.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sneaky Chocolate Milk

It started very simple. I was thirsty and wanted to enjoy a bit of sweet chocolatey yum - in the form of a chocolate milk box. My daughter was playing quietly in the room next door, and I had just finished washing dishes. I walked over to the pantry and reached for the milk box with a cartoon of a cow on the front, when suddenly a small voice behind me said "Moo?"

She had caught me.

"Moo? Moo!" She cried, and her face lit up. She pointed to the milk box, easily identifying the picture of the cow. "Moo! Moo!" as she reached up toward me with eager arms, smacking her lips in anticipation.

I was torn. Panicked, really. I had just taught her that these chocolate milk boxes were special for weekends-only. These were treats, not to be simply grabbed and punched open at-will. The weekday drinks were milk, juice, or water. Not chocolate-milk.

"Moo!"

She was starting to get confused - why was I delaying handing her the treat? After all, it was *in my hands*!

This was a clear predicament. I couldn't explain to my 15-month-old daughter the difference between MY treat and HERS. No, she was too young to understand the difference. To her, whatever I had, she wanted. Wherever I went, she followed. Whatever I ate, she ate as well.

I had to step up to the plate. I had to be the role model.

"No - no Moo today." I said, putting the box back on the shelf.

She cried. I comforted her and offered other drinks. She shook her head, crying "Moo! Moo!"

I hugged her close: "I'm so sorry, baby... I won't do that to you EVER again." And I didn't.

We parents have to understand that the FIRST rule of parenthood is to Be A Role Model. If you want a treat, your kid is allowed to want it too. We need to act with integrity and set our children to the standards we set for ourselves.

All too often, we fall short, but we don't give our children the "wiggle-room" we grant ourselves.
How many of us do the following:
-Shout at your child to "Stop Yelling!"
-Linger to chat with a parent after a playdate and then berate your child when he wants "just another 5 minutes? please?!"
-Snap at your own parent and then tell your child "you need to respect Grammy!"
-Leave a mess in the kitchen, but insist your child carefully pick up his toys
...and the list goes on.

We are human and won't be perfect. But remember that your child is watching you - imperfections and all. Strive to be better and he will too.