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Friday, March 10, 2017

Raising Emotionally Strong Kids

Part of Whole Health is emotional health. As a parent, it is much easier to sooth bumps and bruises than to sooth matters of the heart.

Our daughter, is strong, smart, independent, beautiful, talented and so many other things.  Of course I am not biased at all.  There is nothing worse than to watch your children hurt. Trying to teach your children resilience and emotional strength is a crap shoot at best.  I guess honestly it is often hard for adults to navigate the road of relationships so how are we expected to teach our children to do it?

There are so many times that our children seem wise beyond their years.  This is one of them.  I found this letter that our daughter wrote a few years ago in 2014-2015.  It is so wise and mature I thought it was worth repeating.


Someone asked me if I knew you, a million memories flashed through my mind, I just smiled and said, "I used to."  Some would say it is your loss, but it is mine.  I'm so sorry that I couldn't make you stay.  I'm so sorry that I'm just not enough.  I could see you getting really close with other people and I could feel myself becoming less important.  My heart got this deep ache and soon everything just hurt.  Now you may call this jealousy and you very well may be right.  But I call it fear of losing you.

It will happen like this.
 1.  The conversations go from 3 hours to 1
2. The way we look at each other goes from "how could I live without you" to "you're my friend".
3. Then, the conversations go from 1 to none
4.  You won't even need to look at me anymore
5.  And that will be it.  I'll no longer be part of your life.
6. And that will be that.

It was really amazing, we were two strangers and we became the best of friends, but it was really sad when the best of friends become two strangers.  When you can walk right past someone like they were never a big part of your life.  How you used to talk for hours and how now, you can barely even look at them.

You and me
We used to be together
Everyday together always
I really feel
That I'm losing my best friend
I can't believe 
This could be the end
It looks as if you're letting go
And if it is real
Well I don't want to know
Because losing a friend is more painful than losing a romantic relationship

Sometimes I get this urge to talk to you, then I remember that we're different people now.  It is just sad because I miss you a lot.  We parted ways not because we fought or ceased to be friends.  We simply got older and this just meant we had more responsibilities to attend to.  Everything is changing now, people are forgetting who they are.  Everyone wants to fit in and when they finally get the chance to, they leave behind the people they care about for the people that don't care about them.  It is supposed to be about quality not quantity.  Unfortunately that has never been the case for me.  I've had many "best friends" through the years.  The one problem with these friendships?  They didn't last.  I want you to know that I'm holding on to the memories, the laughter, the pictures, to every precious moment with you, like the left behind color in the sky when the sun is gone.  I'm so sorry I tired so hard to be worth your time, to be funny and smart and pretty and deserving of your love but despite every attempt I'm still not enough.  I'm not sure which is worse, missing you, or knowing there is nothing I can do about it.  

I learn every day from my children.  I hope I am doing right by them.  Stand by your friends.  Stay in touch.  Don't let things come between you.  Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other is gold.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Please Let Children be Children. Please!

Oh my word.  Oh my goodness.  Good grief.     Social media is an amazing and terrifying thing for kids and honestly for parents as well.  I am a member of some Mom's groups on Facebook.  Most of the Mom's are first timers or Mom's that have young children.  My children are not young anymore so we face very different issues.

There is so much pressure put on kids today to perform and excel that we don't let kids be kids anymore.
Image result for let kids be kids

This morning a post on social media from a Mom really caught my attention.   She had a picture of a valentine that her 4 year old had "signed".  It was scribbled and she seemed stressed about the fact that he couldn't write his name.

Here was her post, 

"My 4 and a half year old son is so frustrating at times! He can't write yet, and gets so lazy when it comes to practicing. This is his name for his valentines. (I wrote his name below) What do I do to help him? He's so smart in other things but I'm afraid he's going to be behind in other things that he should already know."

"It took an hour tears and all to do get these done!"

Some of the responses on her post absolutely blew me away.  Here
 are a few.

"My 5 year old just did 32 cards this evening. His name is Jeremiah, last year he struggled. We made him write his name when he got home from school 10 times before he could do anything and we got work books from target to help him."  The original poster asked if the 5 year old fought her on that and here is her response, "stand your ground. I took away anything he liked until he completed them. He finally learned it was my way or the highway."

Oh my word.  I am honestly speechless about that response....

"My son is 4 and has no interest in coloring, drawing or writing. I'm nervous too."

I'm nervous?  Really?  They are 4 years old.  I am pretty sure at 4, I was not worried about writing.

"Look up handwriting without tears. It's a writing curriculum that starts with putting ones and curves together like a puzzle to make a person and then to make letters. Eventually, kids draw pictures and then letters using lines and curves. There's even a fun song/activity you can do to make "mat man." I'm sure there are lots of ideas on Pinterest and some videos on YouTube"

At least this suggestion sounded like helping them learn to write at a young age could be made to be fun.  Better than the Mom that took away anything her kid liked until he got it right.
"look up Dysgraphia"

OH MY GOSH!  I had to look this up.  Here is the definition.

  1. inability to write coherently, as a symptom of brain disease or damage.

The kid is 4!  What a horrible thing to say to a Mom.  Your 4 year old can't write his name so he probably has brain disease or brain damage?

" I wonder if focusing on 1 letter at a time would help - perhaps he is overwhelmed by all the shapes. Maybe if he just had to do the capital R over and over till he could do it, then add the y... If you show him several letters can he pick out the ones in his name? has (insert kid name) been thru preschool screening yet? Do you see other delays?"  "but has he been evaluated by the school district? It's totally free and may qualify him for extra help before kindergarten... and is separate from preschool"

Evaluated by the school district?  He is 4!!!  (I can't say that enough.  He is 4. He is 4. He is 4>

"Have him practice writing his name 20 times a day."

He is 4.  He is a kid.  Let him be a kid for heaven's sake.

"Have you had him tested for visual processing disorders? Most of you are probably saying..."what the heck is that?!" Often times, we see patients like your son, who are having a very difficult time writing or in an academic setting, but are exceptionally intelligent. Sometimes, this can be a result of poor visual processing skills. Just a thought. If you are interested (Insert Dr. Name and Clinic Name)  offers free Vision Therapy Evaluations."

This woman must work for the clinic?  But again, is this really necessary for a 4 year old? 

Of course there were a number of people that were responding with don't worry about it, it is all normal etc.   But honestly this whole thing upset me at so many levels.

We push our kids harder and harder all the time.  So many parents want Johnny or Susie to be the next child prodigy in school, music, sports, dance or any other activity.  Why are we doing this?  What is the point?   

Here is a great article if you want to read a little more about it.  Let Kids Be Kids  

Children should be playing, be outside, jumping in puddles, building snowmen, creative play, exercise, HAVE FUN!