Topic Tuesday: Paternity Leave

Paternity leave.  I have always thought it was a great idea.  In the next few weeks I will be subbing for a teacher that is taking is to be home with his wife and new baby.  The thought brought tears to my eyes when he told me and I couldn’t help but tell him how wonderful I thought it was.  He thanked me and confessed that there had been other people that had teased him and even told him it was ridiculous.  Many dads are told that they will be “in the way.”

I talked with a friend of mine about it and she told me that she couldn’t have been happier that her husband had been able to take a week off with each of their children’s births.  I have yet to talk to a mom out there that doesn’t want her husband to commit himself to his relationship with his child.  I believe the commitment begins during pregnancy and includes delivery and onward.  Dad’s should be just as present in their children’s lives as moms. 

Paternity Leave:  A beautiful gift every family deserves.

What do you think???

Do You Listen?



Have you ever noticed your child’s personality starting to change in a way you don’t like?  What do you do?

I ask myself what I am or am not doing differently.  I know that no one knows my children like I do.  As their mother, I have come to realize that I can change ALL parts of their lives, even those that I have no control over.

I know you’re thinking, “Aren’t you full of yourself!”  It is true though.  You can do it with your child too.  It’s all about listening.  I read a wonderful book called, Listening is an Act of Love.  I read it, slowly and carefully.

You see, everyone wants to be heard…understood and loved.  Everyone!  You can help your child through whatever he/she is struggling with by listening.  Not just to their words but to their hearts.

Lately, my nine year old has been struggling with his younger brother.  I can see that he was trying to be bigger so he felt like he needed to break the connection with his little brother.  I could also tell that something else was bothering him but I didn’t know what.  So we sat together.  First I asked him about his current fight with his little brother.  I pointed out that he wasn’t telling me what was really bothering him.  I brought up that it seemed to me that he was wanting to be bigger and, because of that, he was struggling with how to be with his brother.  He said it was true.  I told him I thought I could help him but I needed him to think about what he wanted/needed to feel bigger.  I asked him to make me a list of the things that he sees older kids doing and that he wants to do.

He started to cry and told me about an issue he had with his dad recently that had made him feel bad.  FYI: His dad is an awesome dad even though he is not perfect (who is though?)  I asked him to go ahead and make his list and I would talk to his dad.

I can’t fix his problems but I can listen to his heart, make him feel heard and important and help him to find his own solutions.  Those will change every aspect of his life not just now but forever.

White Santa

There is so much controversy about what race Santa is.  I have a few comments on this crazy topic.  To some people, they might seem harsh or insensitive.  Before you tell me about how terrible I am, please read the entire post.

First, Santa is pretend!  Seriously, he is a storybook character.  He is white because that’s the man in the story.  So is Pippi Longstockings and Anne of Green Gables.  Dora and Diego are Latino.  Sid the Science Kid is African American.  In order to tell your child that Santa is a different race, you have to tell him/her that Santa is pretend.  Which, as you probably know, is what we have done.  My kids don’t care what color Santa’s skin is because he is a character like Frosty and the Power Rangers.  IF you’re interested in how we do Christmas, check it out.

Second, why does Santa have to be sooo important in your child’s life that he/she feels bad that Santa is a different race than your child?  Stop giving a character so much power in your child’s life.  You’re the parent.  Take control.  Tell your child that Santa is pretend, just like Frosty.  You are really Santa, tell your child the truth:  You think about them, love them, and search for the perfect gifts all year long to show your love for him/her.  You take the time to wrap the gifts and spend your own hard earned money on those gifts to make your child feel special.  Teach your child that Christmas is about showing you love and appreciate someone, not about presents.  Then get your child in on the real joy of Christmas and gift giving.  Have your family play “Santa” to someone else.  Give your children the best gift of the season, the lessons about giving, receiving, and loving people regardless of their race.  Start a new tradition and refocus your Christmas.

Last, tell your child that there are lots of different races.  Everyone is different and special.  There literally are no two people that are exactly the same.  People act, look, and sound different.  It’s okay.  It’s better than okay!  It’s fantastic!  If you still feel like your child does not have enough positive role models of a variety of different races,  start looking for more.  You are your child’s best, most important teacher.  Give them the life perspective you want them to have.

And Merry Christmas!

I loved this and HAD to share it!

I often find myself telling people that children do NOT need to be spanked ever.  In our house, we have a no hitting rule for everybody.  One of the thing I say to my children when they act badly is, “Do I do that to you?”  Their response is no and then I remind them that, “If Mommy doesn’t do it to you then you shouldn’t do it to anyone else.”

For me, parenting the best I can is vitally important.  This morning I read some great advise.  I had to share it with all of you.  If you have some sage parenting advise, please share it in the comments below!


New Feeding Guidelines for Introducing Foods to Baby

Do you know when to introduce nuts and cow’s milk to your new baby?  There are new guidelines for introducing babies to high allergy foods.  It’s crazy but now doctors are saying that they had it wrong all along.  The exposure to things that are likely to cause allergies before the first year reduces food allergies.  This is something we already knew about pets.  Kids that are exposed to animals in the first year tend to NOT have allergies to those animals.

So the new guidelines tell parents to introduce high allergy foods to babies earlier, starting as early as 4-6 months of age to reduce the likelihood of children developing food allergies.  This new information is interesting to me (even though my babies aren’t babies anymore) because it’s what I did with my own kids.  See, food gets really boring to me.  I hate serving the same thing over and over.  When my kids started eating baby food, I stuck with the one thing at a time rule but waited about a week and then went to another new food.

The new rules are that you should introduce a wide variety of foods to your baby beginning around 4 months old.  Parenting Mag.  Remember to introduce only ONE new food at a time and to give it several times before moving on.  If you do more than one for at a time then you don’t know which one caused the problem.

I like to check for LOTS of information so here’s a great site to get your info from.  There are still sites that many people go to for reliable information that have outdated information.  One is WebMD.  I was very surprised by his but it had information that had been changed in 2008!  So look around and make sure you use the most accurate information.  Don’t just listen to bloggers (like me) or even your mom or doctor.  Do research.  The health of a baby is so important!