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!!!

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.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Healthy Touch

I recently read a study (sorry- I can't remember where) that discussed the importance of physical contact* with your child - a hug, a high-five, or even just a pat on the back. Touch is a subconscious reminder of the intimate connection between parent and child. Both benefit from this contact, as it calms and focuses their attentions. Parents are more understanding and patient, while children feel supported and accepted.

Unfortunately, older children - and especially teens - can go days without being touched by their parent(s). Babies are coddled and constantly shown affection, but the relationship with older children becomes primarily verbal - in some cases exclusively so. This is especially true of father-daughter relationships, as Dads become uncomfortable showing any sort of physical affection while daughters grow and change. According to the study, this often has an impact on daughters, who are more likely to seek physical male affection elsewhere (!)

For some of us, it takes some effort to touch our children, even in some small way, daily. Did you give a kiss before he headed to school? Did you rub her shoulders as she was sitting doing homework? Did you tousle his hair in congratulations for a job well done?

In fact, this same principle holds true for spouses and close friends - a welcoming hug, a high-five, or even a pat on the arm, create a sense of solidarity and connection.

As children grow, they continue to learn from their parents, especially with regard to relationship-building and maintenance. Parents who continue to provide physical contact with their children encourage them to feel comfortable with their bodies and also appreciate the subtleties of different forms and styles of touch. In contrast, those parents who withdraw physical touch fail to teach their children about healthy adult (non-sexual) physical interaction. After all, when all touch is "taboo" then a naive teen will easily misinterpret a handshake, a tap on the shoulder, or a hug. Healthy touching leads to more confidence in teen years and a better understanding of what is "ok" and what is not.

Pay attention to how often you touch your child - and challenge yourself to increase it and see how it affects the relationship. I'd be glad to hear what happens...


*It goes without saying that this post refers to affectionate and absolutely *non-sexual* contact. Obviously, anything breaching that would constitute abuse.