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, July 19, 2011

Getting in the Fight

There are many opinions about and approaches to children fighting with each other. There are some parents who completely let the children work it out, offering neither advice nor guidance, and believe that they must learn how to deal with obstacles on their own. Then, there are others who get 100% involved themselves: negotiating, pleading, bribing, and often taking sides and punishing when they deem fit.

Parents on all sides of the spectrum will get defensive that their approach is best. On the one hand, getting overly involved can become a crutch and children may never learn to work out their differences on their own. On the other hand, by completely ignoring the tiff, parents are giving a message that they don't care, and also they allow for injustice and bullying where it could otherwise be prevented.

I believe that neither approach is ideal. Instead, I advocate "teaching your child to fish"... referring to the old adage that if you give a man a fish he will eat today, but if you teach a man to fish, he will have food for his lifetime. Having been trained in mediation, I see how little we ADULTS are aware of our conflict communication & behaviors, all the more so children. We will do the next generation a great service by teaching them how to deal with conflicts, empowering them with specific guidelines regarding justice (aka "fairness"). We should listen attentively to their petitions for help, and while we may not take action FOR them, we can ask pointed questions that guide them to mature tactics, along with self-confidence to handle the dispute.

The likelihood that children, working out their own conflicts, will end in a peaceful and just resolution is slim. At best, someone's feelings will be hurt, and at worst, children will end up hating siblings or peers, or worse: themselves. The investment in teaching children how to deal with conflicts, how to speak their minds clearly, and how to approach injustice pays off in infinite reward - empowering children so they not only deal with the immediate issue but also learn how to face future conflicts on their own. While it may take more time and effort to listen to your child, process with him/her the dispute, and guide to some possible resolutions, this is by far the superior approach.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Where There's a Will

One of the most important things to do when you have a child, and yet somehow majorly overlooked, is establishing a legally-binding Last Will & Testament. In just about every parenting and baby magazine, filled with ads for all sorts of toys, tshirts, or other must-haves, there is little or no mention of how to put together a will. It baffles me.

While we are basking in this miracle of new life, we forget how fragile this life is and... well, is there no "what if..."? Listen fellow moms (and dads, and guardians...): Believe it or not, we ARE actually all going to die someday, sooner or later. And what happens to your little cherub when you go? Are you SURE s/he will be taken care of the way you anticipate?

This is true of all parents, young and old alike: we have to make sure we take care of our kids, even after our inevitable demise. I encourage you to check out: WillMaker, an easy and quick way to take care of the basics (see link & image). It includes Health Care Directives & Financial Power of Attorney - both very important for any parent.

If this program isn't to your liking, or you have extra conditions you want to take care of, find an estate lawyer and get talking.

Of course, your will is useless unless it's kept safe. Make a copy and give it to someone close to you, whom you trust. Keep your own copy in a safe or safe deposit box.

Once you have the will in place, it isn't too hard to add or change later. But you have to have the groundwork set in order to stipulate for other additional children or changes in your finances, health, etc.

Be responsible, even about the uncertain and uncontrollable. It's one of the first lessons in parenthood.