Tag Archives: kids

Damned if We Do, Damned if We Don’t…

Parent Trap

Parent Trap

As a freelance writer, I regularly receive articles, books, gadgets and expert opinions pertaining to parenting and health.

Usually I’m happy to discover new philosophies and content but, sometimes, it can be too much.

For instance, this Huffington Post article Anxiety in Children: Are We to Blame was shared by friends on Facebook yesterday.

The article is certainly valid, focused on the increase in “helicopter parenting” and our apparent inability to lay off kids and give them the independence they require. “…Seligman also identifies learning independence as a major source of growth. Kids need the opportunity to learn for themselves, the chance to make their own decisions and to see how the consequences work out.”

It’s a tough call. After hearing about an eight-year-old girl who was almost snatched on her way to school this week, parents have every right to be concerned about children’s safety.

Is it possible to encourage independence and learning while still maintaining a safe vigil? Where is that illusive line between hovering and respect, loving and awareness?

What’s your take?

Is Your Kid’s Glass Half Full?

Is positive thinking the key for kids?

Is positive thinking the key for kids?

I haven’t been feeling motivated to blog lately. That’s ironic because today’s post is all about positive thinking.

As a freelance writer and researcher, it can be hard to stay positive and focused. Deadlines and money are certainly motivators but when writers pitch ideas to magazines or bid on projects without an immediate return,

it can be difficult to stay on track.

What about kids? What keeps them positive and motivated? Certainly personality plays a part. My own children have wildly different personalities: one tends to be naturally upbeat, curious and positive while the other tends to be more serious, philosophical and wary.

Parents and teachers also influence this thinking. A study, written about in The Atlantic, found that parents have a role in helping children learn how to use positive thinking to feel better when things get tough. Re-framing potentially negative situations into positive ones helps children to cope with stress.

While I’m not going to suggest that positive thinking is the be-all and end-all of emotional success, I am trying to put into practice more of a “glass-is-half-full” approach. Teaching children to be grateful, optimistic and to re-frame situations is a life-long skill that can be used during challenges with school, friends, homework or family.

Do you or the children in your life tend to fall into the “half full” or “half empty” category? What have you done to teach kids to see the positive? I’m eager to hear your thoughts on this matter.

A Cluttered House is a Cluttered Mind

Recently, I took a look at my blog stats on WordPress. One of the most popular search terms for this blog is “hoarding” and one of the most popular posts is Can Children Be Hoarders?

Photo courtesy of Dreamstime.

Most of us have seen shows like Hoarders on A&E. I still remember (along with many others on the planet) being utterly horrified when I watched the first true hoarder (to me) on television. It was on the Oprah show about four years ago – an older woman who lived alone with several animals in a nice, suburban area. Once we got a glimpse into her home we were treated to scenes of ancient animal feces, massive dust bunnies and piles and piles of clothing, housewares, food and lots and lots of stuff.

I grew up in a very neat, clean and organized home. I took it for granted that everyone’s home was in a similar state. Sure, my brother and I might mess up our rooms with clothing and books but the rest of our house was generally spotless. As a working mother of two, I now realize what it takes to keep a house clean and neat. There’s laundry to do, dishes to put away, food to dispose of, grass to cut, pets to care for, toys to pick up and sort, etc.

And it’s that clutter that often clutters up my mind. I’m a writer and feel like I can be most creative when the house is tidy. If I’m staring at a bowl inhabited with congealed milk and granola bar wrappers, I’m much less likely to have a creative epiphany.

My kids laugh sometimes when I tell them that we need to clean up. Why? They ask. Well, to me, clutter is as clutter does. Whether it’s scientifically proven or not, a clean, organized home makes for happier, calmer occupants. Agree?