Posts Tagged ‘family matters’
Recently, our daughter Noff celebrated her 12th birthday. When the kids were little, we decided that we would celebrate their birthdays every year, with as many kids as possible. Often, we extended the celebration over a month. We think our kids are such a gift that one day of partying to celebrate their births is just not enough.
Every year, we invite kids over to our house. We prefer celebrating at home to the MacDonald’s parties. We have found that at MacDonald’s, the birthday boy or girl is usually anonymous. Everyone is mostly there for the ice-cream cake. We want our kids to feel special and make a huge effort to make their parties fun and happy. Everyone in the family helps and each year we try to do something different and age appropriate. Our parties have become such a hit that the kids are excited to come every year.
If you have siblings, you are probably going to get into conflict with them at some stage in your life. I can probably go as far as saying that if you have parents, you are probably going to end up arguing with them at some point too. Why? Because parents and siblings are pains in the backside, regardless of how much you love them.
One of my clients gave birth to her second son about 3 years after the first one was born. She says there is a constant struggle to enjoy them both at the same time. Let me explain. The eldest is magnificent, beautiful, and smart, a perfect kid. But he is so jealous of his new brother that he has become aggressive, angry, short-tempered and not fun to be around. When he spends the time with mom or dad on his own, he is completely fine, but when baby brother is around, he gets angry and upset. Mom has to make sure he does not hurt his little brother.
If you are familiar with this blog, you know that parenting is one of our key topics and that is why it is important to discuss parenting when you get to know your partner. This is the final installment of Know Your Partner, a series of posts to help you get to know your partner, and today’s post is about parenting.
You may find that you need to ask many questions that are not cover here. Also, keep in mind that people’s opinions about parenthood are often not fully formed yet. If you have never been a parent, you don’t know what you don’t know.
In this case, parenting is like a discovery zone – you pave the path while walking it. Focus instead on attitudes you think will benefit you or may become an obstacle in your relationships. If attitudes are an obstacle, do not worry. It is possible to change them. It is just good to know what they are at the start, so you can make an educated decision about whether to go into this relationship or not.
Comparing between the old and new generations bring lots of grief to children today. Last week we talked about the dangers of comparing, the risks of having an old vs. new mentality. This time, I would like to offer a more even way of comparing. A perspective where the old generation, my generation, learns to appreciate what each of us has brought to the table, rater than idealizing the old way.
Try to figure out how old the grandmother is in this story.
One day, a young boy asked his grandma about her thoughts regarding changes that happened in the world since she was born. This is what she said…
In my work with parents and teachers I hear lots of complaints about the “new generation”. Adults seem to think that “children these days are selfish, materialistic, impulsive and have no respect”. This makes me really worried. Not because kids today are like that but because the older generation, my generation, holds on to these thoughts. In life, we get what we focus on.
The rules of the self fulfilling prophecy claim that whenever you treat someone in a certain way, you will eventually make them behave like that. So, if the new generation is treated like they are disrespectful, selfish, materialist and impulsive, they will eventually be like that. In other word, you see the world through the lenses you put on. If you want to change what you see, change your lenses.
I learnt about Down Syndrome first hand during my first year of university. I was working with a child with Down Syndrome during my work experience. At first, it was scary and I felt devastated. After getting to know the kid, I learned that he was no different than any other child with intellectual difficulties. To my greatest surprise, he improved quickly and learned a lot. It made me wonder how far we could go. I had my doubts when he did not get things the first time around, but he taught me that as long as I continued to teach him, he would continue to learn.
This experience, coupled with my work on a project about creative thinking (where we tried to teach physics to grade 1 students), taught me that too often we limit kids by our expectations. If we allow them to move forward at their own pace, they will exceed our highest expectations.
A couple of months ago, we went to visit some friends of ours who had a guest. Their guest was a young man who loved cooking but did not really think of himself as cook or a chef. To feed his love for cooking while travelling, he made a nice and easy garlic spread and which we tasted on a piece of bread. It was heavenly.
Since I love introducing the kids to special and healthy food options, I loved the idea. My kids are very much healthy eaters. When they make a sandwich it is full of vegetables and adding the garlic as a spread was a great way to add flavor to the sandwiches without adding junk to it.
When I came home, I had to try it. Here is what you do.
As an advocate of emotional intelligence, I object to kids watching TV. Everything I try to give them, the TV is destroying. I think bringing a TV home is like bringing the opposition into your living room, to tell your kids that you, the parent is wrong. Why would you do that?
When Eden was young and we were a young couple, we did not have a TV at home. My grandmother, who wanted to buy a new TV, suggested we take hers and we refused. We worked and when we were home, there were better things to do with our time than watch TV. Some family members and friends thought we were nuts and that we were not preparing our daughter to live in the real world. 24 years later, I can tell you, she is prepared for the real world, maybe even better than many other kids her age.
A month ago, Brisbane experienced a huge storm and trees were up rooted not far from us (it was really scary). Many houses experienced major damage and were without electricity for days (Many difficulties pop up when you do not have electricity for 3 days. We depend on electricity so much). We were the lucky ones. The only thing that happened to us was that our 20 year old 25 inch TV shorted (even though it had a surge protector). Tsoof and Gal were very happy because they have been wanting to buy a new TV for a year. Eden and I were not very happy. We ended up buying a huge TV with the promise to only watch videos and minimize watching TV.
To find the school that best fits you and your child, and make sure you get the highest return on one of the biggest investments of your life, there are some things to think about. You need to consider how each of the factors or school characteristics influences your child’s education and success.
Here are some tips of what to consider when trying determining your formula for finding the best school. These will improve the chances of your investment being a success. They are in no particular order.
The size of the school needs to match your kid’s personality. Big schools have more programs, more enrichment, and more options in teaching. But there is always a risk that your child will get lost in the hustle and bustle. Check out the school, go meet the principal, talk to parents. Often, parents choose little schools because they want their child to get personal attention. The principal knows the children by name and the school has a personal touch. My children went primary school with over 1600 kids in it. The principal knew all the kids’ names, their parents’ names, their parent’s professions and what their hobbies were. It is possible to get a big school with a personal touch. This was good for my kids. Other parents who went to the exact same schools felt that their child was just a number in such a big school. It was not for them.
In my last post, I Learned it From the Best we talked about how influential parenting is for a child’s future. In the long term, some things parents do are positive and some are negative. But which ones are positive? Which parenting styles are good for your children? In this post, I want to go into detail about the importance of consistency – the value of giving consistent rewards, punishments, attention and praise.
In early childhood, parenting in general gives children a toolkit of skills and beliefs they can take with them. It helps them deal with the challenges that life puts in their paths. If parents give their child positive, useful tools, then they are well equipped for the future. Things like praise and attention give confidence. On the other hand, parents who give their children bad habits and poor attitudes are setting them up for struggle. Addictive behaviors and poor eating habits are examples of unhelpful tools.