Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa…

 

Tummy time” and “Back to Sleep” weren’t part of the playbook when Ginny Fountain gave birth a generation ago. This expectant grandma’s got a lot to learn about newborns, which is how Fountain, 64, wound up in a grandparenting class offered earlier this month at a hospital in Seattle.

……………….

But as it turns out, learning about all the new developments is actually the easy part; what’s trickier is figuring out how to play a supporting role and how not to bigfoot the new parents. If you think the birth of a grandchild is an opportunity to show off what you know, think again. The I-raised-you-and-you-turned-out-okay argument doesn’t cut it anymore. “Parents are very smart today,” Peel cautions her class.

via Grandparenting 101: Teaching Grandma and Grandpa About Modern Parenting | Healthland | TIME.com.

Grandparenting styles are something I often think about. I am a maternal child nurse and a social worker specializing in children. That being said…it is difficult for me to keep my mouth shut in my role as grandmother.

So that is one of the reasons I began writing  “parenting in the loop“. It gives me a voice and helps me understand the depth and width of parenting in 2012,  some thirty years after I began my journey as a mother.

Mothering and parenting have always been learning experiences. At times the learning  learning curve is a steep one. We had Dr.T. Berry Brazelton, who was preceded by Dr. Spock. They were the physician experts in the 60’s  70’s and 80’s.

But oh …how times have changed …with the advent of the internet, we are all able to share our experiences and personal preferences when it comes to parenting. The information is more than abundant, so it is no wonder that today’s generation of parents can have problems when their parents say,”we did it this way and you turned out okay”!

Here are my simple recommendations for grandparents:

  • Take a grandparenting class prior to the arrival of your first grandchild (even if your kids turned out okay).
  • If there are no ‘grandparenting classes’…go ahead and sign up for a parenting class like the one at your local hospital.
  • Learn how to listen to your children about their parenting preferences.
  • Incorporate your child’s parenting style into your grandparenting style.
  • Respect your grandchild’s parents…listen…think before you make comments or suggestions…smile often.
  • Visit some of the mommy blogs to become familiar with contemporary parenting styles.
  • Enjoy the heck out of your grandchildren.

 

 

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Traveling….Mom 2.0 Summit…

Mom 2.0 Summit

I am going to the MOM 2.0 Summit this coming weekend and yesterday I went shopping  to get my fashions ready for Miami.

Now as you know, if you read my blog…I am a grandmother so finding fashions that do not look like me trying to be my daughters’ wannabe but still trying to be comfortable for my age and somewhat in fashion is not easy these days.

Yesterday, I went to Chicago for a meeting which unfortunately fortunately was cancelled…turns out it was the perfect day to shop. All the spring and summer fashions were tempting me and my upcoming trip to Miami was all the excuse I needed to get out my charge card and begin my own seasonal make-over.

I find that Eileen Fisher really speaks to my style…it does not speak to my daughters but so be it. I have learned to deal with their criticism and my own comfort.

Shopping

 

Eileen Fisher’s window displays beckoned me into their Water Tower Store.

I was greeted and helped by Kris…she put together the perfect travel wear for Miami…comfortable…mix and match…fun casual pieces for daytime meetings with of course a little glitz for the evening at the Versace Mansion.

Eileen Fisher has managed to make clothes that are comfortable, stylish and made of natural fabrics. She has the perfect shoes and accessories to give any outfit that extra pizzazz.

Her stores have great dressing areas with plenty of room to indulge in trying on everything that appeals to you. The staff lets you have enough privacy to make selections on your own without any pressure, just gentle guidance if you request it…I love their attention… yet they do not overwhelm you with too many choices.

I had a wonderful day…and am ready for MOM 2.0.

Bring it on.

I was not compensated for this post…all opinions are my own.

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Parenting in the Loop’s New Site…

PLEASE RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION—ITS FREE!

I forgot to mention that because this is a brand new website, if you were subscribed to  Parenting in the Loop, previously in order to continue to receive new post notifications you will have to subscribe again to the new site.

I hope you will do so I enjoy all my subscribers and their blogs as well.

Have a great weekend.

Lorette

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Week in Review…Parenting in the Loop…

Some reading for the weekend…articles I want to share…ENJOY!

Peace of mind for working mothers who have to travel comes in all sorts of forms. While working fathers who go away on business may use some of the same tactics, mothers are often the ones laying out their children’s skating outfits and freezing extra dinners before they leave town.

 There has been some juggling — my baby-sitter needs to know that one child is going to a friend’s house this afternoon, and two other children will be staying home, instead of playing at a friend’s, because the logistics felt like they weren’t worth it (the baby-sitter’s got her own three kids, as well as mine, to juggle tonight).

Infant vaccinations can be a distressing experience for both parent and child. But new research suggests that parents can lessen the sting of an injection by soothing their babies with a quick series of comforting measures, including a popular technique called swaddling..

If you are reading this I hope you are enjoying Parenting in the Loop’s redesigned site. I appreciate you reading and following. You are great! …..Lorette

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Mommy Wars…No Cease Fire Near…

Mommy Wars …No Cease Fire Near!

April 25, 2012 by lorettelavine | Edit

Mommy wars...very much in the news.

I have never really dwelled much on the external and internal ‘mommy wars’ that most of us moms experience daily.

Though lately, these ongoing cold wars have been hard to ignore.

In the past couple of weeks SAHM(stay at home moms) were criticized when Mitt Romney‘s wife came under fire for being a SAH privileged mother who could not relate to working moms, who were in the workforce because they had bills which they could not pay if they did not work.

SAHM are accused of not working…or at least not balancing a job outside the home. Working mothers are seen as more fiscally aware. It is women against women in this seemingly never ending battle.

This is not the only ongoing ‘mommy war’.

There are several other mommy wars being waged… the breastfeeding moms vs. the formula feeding moms…the attached moms vs. the not so attached moms…the cry it out sleep training moms v.s the co-sleeping moms …women against women.

If these wars aren’t enough, now there is a book on the real and virtual shelves examining another woman’s war.

It is the internal war that moms face in the age of too much information and the pressure bombarded upon themselves from all that information.

It seems moms are warring with each other trying to be  ”natural” mothers …cloth diapers, elimination communication, breast-feeding until their child is in school and so on. These moms seem to be warring within themselves as well… the natural mom vs. the feminist mom.

” If we absorb a message that to breastfeed on demand, to protect one’s children from all dubious chemical exposures, and to take on full responsibility for their physical and psychological health at all times are crucial to our children’s well-being, then does that message also push women away from the work force, and back into the realm of home and family?

Motherlode Book Club: Elisabeth Badinters The Conflict. Has Motherhood Replaced Sexism in Oppressing Women? – NYTimes.com.

It is the war to end all wars, the one ‘to have everything and do everything not just well but perfectly well’.

Elisabeth Badinter’s book, “The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women,” is guaranteed to feed that fire. Not only does she believe that the best course of action for any woman, no matter what her maternal status, is to stay in the work force, but she also argues that the women who have chosen to do otherwise have essentially been sold a bill of goods.Influenced and deceived by the modern natural-parenting movement — with its labor-intensive breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and requirement that infants be properly stimulated and nurtured at all times — mothers “choose” to stay home because if they do not, they cannot meet the standards of this new ideal.

via Motherlode Book Club: Elisabeth Badinters The Conflict. Has Motherhood Replaced Sexism in Oppressing Women? – NYTimes.com.

One of the worst failures of feminism has been its tendency to alienate men. Ms. Badinter sees men as the victors and women as the victims of this trend, but women are the perpetrators and both mothers and fathers are losers.

via Book Review: The Conflict – WSJ.com.

Are we mothers and women so conflicted about our roles that we are victims of our own internal war?

Are we being undermined by Modern Motherhood?

I am one of those  women who tried to have it all…I thought as a nurse I would be able to accomplish this because I would always be employable. For numerous reasons that was the case … due to relocating three times, caring for my own family…caring for my elderly mother, and caring for my own health needs. Reasons beyond my control took me out of the workforce on and off for the last thirty years.

I was also not a warrior feminist. I fully supported women’s rights but not to the point of alienating men.

I worked primarily with physicians, who were mostly men in the early 70′s. In fact I married one, whom I met in the workplace. It was a different world at that time inNYC.

Fortunately, back in my day…in the NYC academic hospital settings nurses and doctors were encouraged to work in a collegial atmosphere so it was not necessary, at least in my eyes, to draw territorial lines and assert myself as a feminist. It was simple…I needed to be the best professional nurse I could be and respect in the workplace followed.

Now I know this was not the case for most other women in the workplace at that time…I did not have to look far to find women who were suffering. My mother was a single parent and never experienced equality in the workplace…which was one of the deciding factors in my decision to become a Bachelor’s degree prepared nurse at a time when they were few and far between.

I was very young…our country was at war (Vietnam) and there were anti-war protests everywhere…it was a time when you had to pick your battles.

Today the ‘mommy wars’ disturb me immensely because I see women fighting among themselves and thus weakening what could be a very strong alliance. I guess I am older and hopefully somewhat wiser.

Can we as women accept other women’s choices as just that and focus on the real issues at hand?

Wouldn’t a change in our attitudes serve our children just as well and enable us all to be ‘natural moms’ and feminists in one way or another?

Just some thoughts…

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Week in Review…Parenting in the Loop

Interesting reads of my week….enjoy.

I love taking pictures of all kinds of things…my favorite subjects are people especially babies. Babies are beautiful and photographing them with a telephoto lens can really capture some wonderful ‘shots’ without disturbing their moment. Here are some tips on photographing those tiny baby hands and feet….nothing cuter!

It’s an adorable way to share something precious and personal with your friends, family, and followers, especially if you haven’t published photos of your lil one’s face yet. Here are a few tips on getting a great shot of those tiny feet and hands to share on social media.

I don’t think I’m ready for finger pointing, and I’m starting to wonder — is sibling rivalry unavoidable? Are brothers destined to bicker with, resent, blame, ignore, irritate or annoy each other? Is fighting just part of the deal? Could it be that even having kids 12 years apart might not be enough to save us?

Remember the party hostess who warned me to not be sidelined by non-issues? Well she’s got to be feeling smug this week. You can’t listen to a newscast or read an item without an explosion of the Red versus Blue Mommy Wars.

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

“Dont Potty Train Your Baby”…What???

I’m a pediatric urologist, and here’s my response to the parents of Izabella Oniciuc, the famous potty-trained 6-month-old: I know you are excited about your precocious pooper, but watch your daughter closely, because she may be headed for trouble.

Potty training is and has always been a topic up for discussion…after potty training two girls of my own and helping with my granddaughter, I feel comfortable saying that each child is different.

My statement, that each child is different in and of itself, is not earth shattering, But if you deeply believe that every child is unique it is my opinion that potty training will viewed as more of a natural process without the pressure that some parents feel with all the well meaning advice that they read and hear.

I think that this particular article has a lot to say to parents about some of the ideas that are ‘floating’ around potty training.

“My son wasn’t trained until he was 3.5 and it just clicked. My daughter is 3 and is giving me a hard time, but I have a feeling it will be the same way. Rest assured, they will not be going off to school still wearing diapers, so I don’t push it. There are more important things in life to stress over.”

via Steve Hodges, M.D.: A Doctor Responds: Dont Potty Train Your Baby.

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Temper Tantrum

NOTEWORTHY WEDNESDAY!

Temper Tantrums

Tantrums are not easy to deal with…even though you love your child and grandchild to the moon and back!

During a tantrum you might want to send them to the moon!

It sometimes can seem that they are possessed by something or someone when having a tantrum…but who or what has set this usually charming child into an uncontrollable rage?

We have experienced our share of tantrums in our house…and what I have learned as a grandmother I only wish that I knew as a mom of two children less than two years apart in age.

There is always one or two events that stand out in the family tantrum history…one was my own memory of tearing a newspaper to shreds when my working mother told me she had not brought me home anything from work that evening. I was not so much spoiled as I was unhappy that she forgotten about me. I was left alone until I calmed down and the paper was completely shredded.

With my own kids…the sentinel tantrum was one at the entrance to the Miami Zoo when my younger daughter did not want to go and see any animals. She was around 3 years old.  We were hoping to have a family outing on a very hot Miami day.

I recall trying the old standby…”bye, we are leaving…you can stay here if you want”. Is that wishful thinking on the part of parents during a horrible tantrum.

Of course, nothing worked until she was ready to put her anger aside after what seemed an eternity. We then visited a pond where the resident Koi made us all laugh as they fought over food that visitors were encouraged to throw into theirwater. It was the Koi version of ‘Hunger Games“.

Usually temper tantrums and anger in children is induced by stress. Young children do not know how to handle stress and do not have the verbal skills to explain why they are so upset.

Even if they try to tell a grown up …commonly it is about something that many times parents do not have patience to listen to nor attempt to understand.

I am no different. At least I wasn’t when my kids were young.

Anger in children often comes from stress. Yes. Stress is part of a child’s life as much as it is a part of an adult’s life. Teaching a child how to handle stress is one of the best things we as parents can do for our children. A healthy dose of stress actually builds resilience …and optimism. At the same time, parents must also be aware that anger is a sign of child anxieties. There are ways to address child anxieties.

via Anger in Children: Whats Normal and Whats Not!.

I am happy to report I am different with my granddaughter…thank you, Dr. Harvey Karp and your book, “Happiest Toddler on the Block

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re faced with a child in the throes of a tantrum, no matter what the cause, is simple and crucial: Keep cool. Don’t complicate the problem with your own frustration. Kids can sense when parents are becoming frustrated. This can just make their frustration worse, and you may have an escalated tantrum on your hands. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly. via Temper Tantrums.
Dr. Karp’s advice is simple and easy to follow. It is called the “fast food rule
Follow the Fast-Food Rule. This rule is simple: When your child is upset, you should take a lesson from the order-takers at a burger joint — always repeat back his “order” (what he wants) before you tell him your “price” (what you want). Toddlers who are in the middle of a meltdown are incapable of hearing our message (our reasons, reassurance, distraction or warning) until they’re sure we understand and respect their message. So when your tot is upset, before you mention your ideas, take a minute to sincerely describe what he’s doing and how you think he feels.

Janet Lansbury who writes her own blog has this to say to a mom regarding tantrums. In this particular situation there is a ‘new baby’ that a toddler is trying to accept.

Don’t feel responsible when your daughter doesn’t get her way and falls apart…. What she needs most of all (especially right now) are confident, stable, unruffled parents who project calm in the face of her storms (and the freedom you are giving her to have them).

Clarify the situation and make a plan. During more peaceful moments together, talk about life after new baby. Give her details about the changes that will occur, an imagined play-by-play of the day with the new baby.  Be honest and realistic.  Toddlers are way too perceptive to believe any whitewashing, and that won’t help her feel settled.  Tell her that although you will be very busy taking care of the baby and not be available for her all the time, you’ll make sure she always gets what she needs (through daddy, grandma, etc.). Tell her that you two will have some special time together each day and maybe once (or twice) a week a special outing that she picks.

Then, later, when you are busy with the baby and she’s upset you can say to her calmly and confidently, “I know you want me to do such-in-such with you now, but I can’t. I know it’s hard to wait, but we will have our time together in an hour (or whatever). I’m looking forward to it.”  She may have to keep testing that limit until she is certain you will hold your ground.

If you can make the outings work, I highly recommend them, even if you can only give her a choice between a walk down the street and a half-hour outing to the park. It’s not about what you do (or even the amount of time), just about being together. From my experience, those little one-on-one dates with your big girl will be very special, just the way dinner dates with a husband feel extra special once you’ve become parents.

Encourage her to process the feelings. Another thing to do in peaceful moments together is to check in with her about her feelings.  The goal is not to get her to label them, but to assure her that anything and everything she is feeling is normal, expected, perfectly all right.  You might put it this way, “When children have a baby brother or sister they have all kinds of feelings.

via Positive Parenting In The Tantrum Zone | Janet Lansbury.

What do you find helpful when dealing with a tantrum?

How often does your little one have a ‘meltdown’?

I would be interested in hearing your personal experiences.

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Parenting…’Hunger Games’ style…

Although ‘Hunger Games‘ is a movie…in my opinion, it is much more than a big box office hit.

It is a commentary on the fierceness with which we approach certain parts of our lives.

It is very popular with our teenagers…why?

Why is it that they love the type of competition that ‘Hunger Games’ portrays?

At dinner with friends the other night, I tried to initiate a discussion about ‘Hunger Games’…I asked what they thought of the violence in the movie?

Now, I have to admit that none of us have even seen the movie. So I probably had no business even starting a discussion in the the first place.

But my friend popped up and said …”it really isn’t that violent”…which is what she had heard somewhere in a review…she did not get a chance to go on, because the men at the table changed the subject.

So I am turning to you …to see what you think about this Op-ed piece in the New York Times?

What is this movie saying to kids and parents?…

Are some kids being raised with a ‘Hunger Games’ mentality?

To answer all my questions, I may even have to go see ‘Hunger Games’ in the theatre instead of waiting for the DVD  …but then haven’t I just fallen into the media hype pit?

Please click the link and read the cartoon segments that precede this quote in the ‘OP-ED’ New York Times. 

‘Hunger Games’ Parenting – NYTimes.com.

Amy Chua’s best-seller, “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” trumpeted the benefits of raising children with draconian strictness in the Chinese fashion (or allegedly so). Pamela Druckerman’s “Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” made the case for a more casual, laissez-faire approach. But each mode has something to offer! Thus, cruelty and indifference combine to perfect effect in the philosophies of the “Hunger Games” Mother. Who better to help parents navigate the brutal, futuristic dystopia that is contemporary childhood? A primer, above.

Attention: Grandma and Grandpa... | Family

Sleep Solutions…

Last week, I blogged about sleep and our resident 3 year old. I thought that I should report on our progress.

Well, most nights we have done okay…after all is said and done she has usually been asleep by 8:30pm…not bad, right?

We have not been too rigid in our routine and it works sort of like this…

  • We begin bedtime routine at around 7pm … going upstairs and either a bath or washing up and toileting.
  • Books are chosen…we try to stick with only one book but I have to admit sometimes we vary and read two or three short ones.
  • Mama, Nana or Papa usually rock with her for about 5 mins…sometimes more but never less, (sometimes I fall asleep).
  • Into bed…hugs and kisses…
  • Sometimes, I return to the rocker for 5 more minutes and then leave the room with her asleep or almost .

I have to admit it was easier when she was an infant and before she learned the art of procrastination.

Back then, it was a bath…quiet time…with her toys on the bedroom floor and a picture book.

Into the crib with lights out and some music playing…she would talk to herself and then off to sleep …

We were always listening on the monitor from the comfort of our own room…

With summer fast approaching and the evenings beckoning for more time outside, this routine will undoubtedly be disrupted and refined to include trips to the ice cream parlor and to the park…I cannot wait!

Sleep schedules will always be somewhat fraught with issues but we will roll with the changes…

Bring on summer….and a more relaxed schedule.