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!!!

Friday, December 2, 2016

5 Tips to Taming Technology

In today's world, smartphones are in the hands of younger and younger audiences, giving them access to information and technology that is beyond limits.

Having participated in a few programs and discussions on how to manage this new technology pervasiveness, here are a few tips on how to safely manage family technology use:

1. Be a Role Model. As in all other aspects of parenthood, children turn to their parents for advice and guidance. If you are constantly connected, then they will likely be as well. If you share inappropriate texts or photos, they will likely do the same. And most importantly: if you are constantly distracted by your phone or screen, they will be as well. In other words: if you think your child is: a) addicted to his/her device or game, b) rude or inappropriate online (or viewing/sharing rude/inappropriate things), or c) too easily distracted by texts or games, then check your own patterns of behavior. Keep yourself in line before berating them.

2. Be Involved. If your child enjoys a particular app or game, have him/her explain it to you, show you how it works, and even scroll through or play together. If you are involved in his technology world, there will be fewer surprises. More importantly, if you are interested in his/her games or apps, then your child sees you as a partner and not a threat - so you will be more likely the person s/he turns to if something is amiss.

3. Constantly Revisit. Technology is changing more rapidly every day. Whatever rules or boundaries you have today will likely change within the next few years (or sooner). The technology itself will offer different features, as new programs, games, and apps become available every day, and each wants to be at the cutting-edge. Internet knowledge is becoming like Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: there's too much movement, so by the time you "fully" understand one game/app/program, it's already been modified and upgraded with new features, layout, or content. With this in mind, it behooves us to do our best to stay as current as possible and revisit our assumptions and rules accordingly.

4. Teach Internet Safety. Some parents want to shelter their children from online dangers by limiting their access, restricting their use, and otherwise creating a buffer from potential pitfalls. But as they grow, our children will be one step (or many!) ahead of us in terms of tech-savvy. So the best way to handle internet safety is to invite him/her to understand why you want to keep safe. Have not one discussion, but many. Using age-appropriate language, address your concerns about the internet and why it's important to be mindful of online personas, usernames and passwords, links, and settings. Give your child concrete examples of email spam, stolen identities, bullying, pornography, and any other internet concerns.

5. Discuss Permanence and Online Citizenship. Texting and commenting in writing is permanent. Unlike interactions many of us had growing up, which were mostly face-to-face, today's internet conversations and photos can be referred to, re-read or reviewed permanently. A questionable or inappropriate photo or comment is not forgotten and can be shared across lines: not only will your peers know what's happened, now your teachers, employers, and strangers around the world have access to your mishaps. Our children need to learn how to pause before pressing-go - consider how the photo or message may be interpreted by others, including people we respect. Our online persona should be carefully considered with each text or photo, as we never know who will read or see it down the pike.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Must-See for all 21st Century Mommies

Welcoming your discussion on this video - chock full of "food for thought" (pun intended).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

New Baby Must-Haves

We live in a consumer society where buying for baby is the #1 consumer splurge, nation-wide. Any baby store will list between 60-100 items that are "must-haves" for when the little guy or gal joins your family. Truth be told, many items truly are necessary - diapers, wipes, a stroller, and baby shampoo, to name a few. But many items can either be purchased on sale or second-hand... or skipped entirely.

Here's MommyingIdeas' official Newborn baby list of items to buy in a store, as well as suggestions of "ok for hand-me-downs".

Buy new:
Disposable products (diapers, wipes, baby shampoo)

Ok for hand-me downs or to buy used:
Everything else, as long as within safe parameters (used car seats, for example).

From experience, my advice is to buy *as little as possible* before baby arrives. Because, I have found, you truly won't know what you will want until baby is safe and sound in your arms. For example: think you'll need baby bottles? Think again! Some babies refuse many different brands and some won't take the bottle at all if you're a breastfeeding mom. What to do? Borrow a few different models from friends and family or buy used. Boil and clean thoroughly and know that you didn't waste money on a new one just to toss aside.

Crib? Get a pack n play with a bassinet top instead. Or better yet: ask to borrow one or buy used.

How about swaddlers? Some babies are quite the mini-houdinis and what looks nice before baby arrives may fall short of his actual needs once he's all folded in.

A stroller, you might ask? Even a stroller is going to be humongous for the infant AND it's best to see what kind of stroller you want once you see how mobile you are after baby arrives. Again: borrow and try out friends' models before you go buy.

SO - what do you do with the money you've saved? Hire help.
Cleaning help.
Cooking help.
Laundry help.
Grocery-shopping help.
Baby-nurse help
Coffee-delivery help.
...you get the gist.

No joke: paying someone to take care of you and your baby is infinitely more valuable than any newfangled contraption you think you "must-have" for the new guy or gal.

Think ahead - you will need fewer items and more help than you expect. Make sure your budget is planned accordingly.