Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend optimist.

Looking for a Rainbow…the Weekend Optimist!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

As a clinical social worker, I am frequently made aware of the seriousness that surrounds a child when he or she is made a confidante by one or both of his parents. This occurs when the child is treated more like a friend than a child, who is need of guidance himself.

Parents are at risk for doing this when their children are used as a sounding board because of close proximity during times of strife and stress whether it be work or family stressors.

Our children are not our friends. They should not be exposed to all of our adult worries and problems. Children do not have the life experience to deal with their own problems much less the struggles of the adults they are supposed to rely upon to be their confidantes and supporters.

When this happens to children it is called “parentifying”. This occurs when your child feels like your parent because you are sharing your difficulties.

Never underestimate your children. They empathize and take on your feelings of frustration and anger. They repeat your words from the time they are toddlers when they have no idea what the words even mean. Funny thing is, they continue not to understand our words when we parentify them as they do not have the emotional constructs to handle our adult problems.

But according to psychologists, continuously confiding in your child can be damaging to their long-term emotional well-being. And while an isolated incident of rehashing a bad day at work won’t cause harm, regularly discussing adult problems the way you would with a peer, forces children into inappropriate parenting roles similar to that of proxy therapists or surrogate spouses.

Source: Your child is not your confidant – The Washington Post

Then, there are families characterized by having “boundary problems.” Human organizations and relationships have clearly set boundaries in which certain role expectations are assigned and fulfilled by appropriate people. For instance, it is for adults to work and earn a sufficient living to provide safety and security while children are growing up and attending school. This also allows kids to play and enjoy childhood so that they can go through healthy development and become normal adults who are ready to fulfill their roles when the time comes.

Source: Family Boundaries and the Parentified Child

The weekend is in front of us. I don’t know about you but there just are not enough hours in our time off to do all the things that are on our plates especially when the weather does not cooperate.

Here in Chicago we are looking at a weekend full of Spring rain that of course is necessary but it is not a welcome sight especially after a very dreary winter and a house full of people with a case of severe “cabin fever”.

What are you doing this Weekend?

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Parenting in the Loop Weekend News: March is Trisomy Awareness Month

Weekend News : March is Trisomy Awareness Month

Weekend News Healthy Baby

All moms-to-be want to deliver a healthy baby.

From the time a woman learns that she is pregnant it becomes important to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle so that the growing embryo and fetus has the best chance of developing normally.

Trisomy is determined early in pregnancy when there are three chromosomes in every cell rather than the normal two.

Chromosomes are the structures in cells that contain genes. Each person normally has 23 pairs of chromosomes, or 46 in all. An individual inherits one chromosome from the mother’s egg and one from the father’s sperm. When an egg and sperm join together, they normally form a fertilized egg with 46 chromosomes.

Sometimes a mistake in cell division occurs before a woman gets pregnant. A developing egg or sperm ends up with an extra chromosome. When this cell joins with a normal egg or sperm cell, the resulting embryo has 47 chromosomes instead of 46.

March is Trisomy Awareness Month. Many of us know someone affected by trisomy. All cases of trisomy  are unique as is each affected individual.

Several developmental problems are associated with trisomy

Over the last 10 years there has been much research by the March of Dimes which has given us more information about this chromosomal disorder and the associated abnormalities.

I know the weekend is sometimes as busy as our work week. The last month or so has been full of news that for some of us has been upsetting. I find that reading and keeping myself knowledgeable about topics reduces my anxiety especially it it is a worrisome issue.

As I write this, we are faced with many organizations possibly losing funding to do the research that will give us the ability to live a life that is the healthiest possible.

If you read this article and the link below from the March of Dimes over the weekend perhaps you will give thought to supporting this deserving organization.

If you don’t remember polio it is because when I was a child a vaccine was developed to prevent it…the March of Dimes was supportive of the research that ended this deadly disease.

I hope you all enjoy this almost Spring weekend.

Source: News Moms Need » Blog Archive » March is Trisomy Awareness Month

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Good enough is OK …It Really Is!

Good Enough is OK…It Really Is!

How many times have you told your child, “It’s OK to be OK”? Not great, not good, but … passable.

Not that often, I bet. If one extreme of parenting is automatic validation — the participant trophies and everyone’s-a-winner mentality — then the other is conditional approval, the idea that nothing is worth doing unless you can be the best at it.

Between these poles is Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose valuable message of tolerance and experimentation runs through her inspiring body of children’s literature — a list that includes one of my favorites, “The OK Book.”

via “It’s Ok to Be Ok”

This week author Amy Krouse Rosenthal died of ovarian cancer, she was 51 years old. It is a very sad loss for all of us especially children, she was a prolific writer of books with profound messages for both parents and kids.

I especially like “The Ok Book”. Good enough is OK just like the “good enough mother which was made popular by the family theorist Donald Winnicott.

“very subtle things that the mother knows intuitively and without any intellectual appreciation of what is happening, and which she can only arrive at by being left alone and given full responsibility…” (Winnicott1988, p64).

Amy had an understanding of children and wrote in a way that was kind, gentle and inspiring to the reader. She reminded parents that there is joy in trying something for the first time even if you aren’t very good at it. After all if you don’t encourage your child to do new things because they might not like it or might not be good at it think of all the missed opportunities. Good enough is ok is the key to trying when perhaps you don’t really want to do so.

We cannot like everything but wow how fortunate to have new things all around us to try.

Amy thought that life was meant to “Figure it out as you go,” Rosenthal said in a 2010 speech. “If it were imperative to have all the answers before beginning, no one would start anything.” Drop a pancake, fall out of a handstand, slip off the sled. “It’s okay to not have it all worked out.”

Clearly, it all did not work out for Amy to have a long life and see her own kids grow into adulthood. There are no words for her family’s grief and loss. My heart is heavy for them. I can only hope that Amy’s prophetic words “figure it out as you go” holds them up as they move forward.

Good enough is ok

Good enough is ok!

Really

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Food allergies invaded our family about 8 years ago with my granddaughter breaking out in whole body hives. It was a very scary and life changing experience for her and for us.

Learning about food allergies is essential and it is an ongoing routine which includes scrutinizing food labels and monitoring your child’s environment on a daily basis

There have been milestones in my granddaughter’s awareness and self advocacy over the years.

Recently, I came across this wonderful summary and timeline of skills that can be life saving for your child with food allergies.

Weekends are a time when kids are out and about with families and friends…it is a break from work and school but not a break from allergies to food.

Even if you are not affected by these allergies yourself it might be helpful if you knew more about them so you could assist if a child or an adult around you has an allergic reaction.

Weekend reading from spokinGrowing up with food allergies takes baby steps. Spokin has compiled 36 milestones for your food allergic child to help track your progress and theirs.

Source: 36 Skills To Teach Your Food Allergic Child — SPOKIN

Happy Weekend!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

 

Weekend KindnessA Few Quotes of Kindness:

 

  • “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” (Mark Twain)
  • “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” (Aesop)
  • “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” (Scott Adams)
  • “Kind words and actions can seem so small, but their effects are truly endless.” (Author Unknown)

Source: NATIONAL RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY – February 17 | National Day Calendar

Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day and I am returning to my blog after a long hiatus…self imposed.

Kindness is something that when we experience it makes us feel surprised and happy. In some ways, it may just make our day or even our weekend. Think about when you have had someone, friend or stranger go out of their way to do something nice for you. Try to capture that feeling. Now imagine passing that feeling on to someone else.

My wish is that we carry this kindness forward and try to do something kind no matter how small each and every day.

I hope that this weekend is a good one. Here in the Chicago area we are getting an early taste of Spring! Nature’s random act of kindness.

Another story I would like to share is one of kindness built into the job of a New York baker, who works at God’s Love We Deliver.

Wow! If we could only look at our work this way no matter what it is we do.

It is tempting to say Mr. Piekarski is the man who has baked a million cakes, but that figure is a fraction of the sweets he has baked and sent on their way. For almost 26 years, Mr. Piekarski has been the pastry chef for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that prepares meals for people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves — 19 million meals so far.

 

Source: 9 Million Desserts, for Gabriel, Michael, Alessandra and More – The New York Times

Happy Weekend!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers For Oakley”

Weekend Pick “Red Sneakers for Oakley”

Weekend pick- Red Sneakers for Oakley

Would you wear your red sneakers this weekend?

It would help to honor the life of young Oakley Debbs, who died of anaphylaxis in November while on vacation with his family. Read about Oakley and his red sneakers at Redsneaker.org and follow Red Sneakers on Facebook and Instagram to support the nut allergy awareness initiative started by his parents.

The Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative Join the restaurants nationwide who are bringing awareness to food allergies by marking items on their menus with the Red Sneakers for Oakley logo which is becoming the symbol for “Food Allergy Awareness”. We have provided the files below so that your menu designer can integrate the symbols into the menu. Also we ask that you place the logo which contains the statement this food may contain nuts somewhere on the menu so people understand what the Red Sneaker symbol is for.

Source: Red Sneakers For Oakley

My pick for this weekend focuses on food allergies. Since I read about Oakley’s death over the Thanksgiving holiday, I have been supporting his grieving family’s efforts in Food Allergy Awareness along with many others on social media.

It is so very important to understand all you can about food allergies and anaphylaxis that can tragically snuff out a life in a matter of minutes. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction and having a plan of action is mandatory. Having an Epi-Pen and using it can be lifesaving!

Safely eating foods at home and at restaurants is not as simple as it should be. Anything that makes it easier and safer should be welcomed.

I love the Restaurant Nut Allergy Awareness Initiative that has been initiated by RedSneaker.org and I urge you to support it any way you are able.

You may just save a life.

My heart goes out to the Debbs family on the loss of their beloved Oakley. I would encourage you to wear #redsneakersforoakley this weekend!

 

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Pick :Postpartum Depression and the Holiday Season

Postpartum Depression and the Holiday Season

Postpartum DepressionPregnancy left me with a body that felt as foreign as a French film. I had an angry C-section incision that was stubborn to heal, a stone of anxiety clanging around in my chest, and hips packed with extra weight like a fanny pack I couldn’t remove. Then postpartum depression settled in and nearly shattered me.

Source: Reel Love: How Films Helped Me Through Postpartum Depression – NYTimes.com

This is the final weekend before the Christmas and Hanukah holidays. For any mom experiencing postpartum depression this time of year can prove to be very difficult.

One of the things to remember is that if you are dealing with depression you are not alone and there is help for you.

One of my favorite supports is Postpartum Progress found on Facebook and online at http://www.postpartumprogress.com.

About Postpartum Progress
Warrior Mom Logo
Welcome!
This blog is a program of the national nonprofit Postpartum Progress®. We raise awareness, fight stigma and provide peer support and programming to women with maternal mental illness. To learn more about our nonprofit’s mission and all the ways we help moms, click here and here.

Each mom is unique as is her baby and this is what I found most interesting about the post in the New York Times by the mom who found that movies helped her through her difficult time after having a baby.

If you are experiencing sad feelings at this time of year and you think you might be experiencing postpartum depression please do not hesitate to reach out and ask for help from your doctor or visit your nearest Emergency Department at your local hospital.  Also  consider a visit to the Postpartum Progress website where there are many moms who have shared their stories after childbirth. There you will find unconditional support and important information.

My sincere good wishes to all of you for a holiday full of peace.

 

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Food Allergies and Flying

food allergies

 

Tis the season when many families with be traveling with their kids and the hell associated with food allergies and travel.

There are some things you can do to ease the anxiety of this serious situation.

Flying is particularly problematic so I have included a link here from Allergic Living that compares airlines and their approaches to fliers who are allergic to certain foods like peanuts and tree nuts.

If you haven’t flown with your food-allergic child yet, hold on tight to these recommendations and know you’ll be okay! Book with the right airline. If you haven’t booked your  tickets yet, take a moment to review this comprehensive chart from Allergic Living magazine, which shares an in-depth report on the policies 11 major airlines have for working with food allergies. Follow the guidelines of your airline’s policy to get the most accommodation for your flight.

Source: Tips for Flying with Food Allergies

Safe travels everyone!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

Food Allergies: Family Urges Food Allergy Education

red-sneakers-for-oakley

#livlikeoaks

It has been a long week catching up after Thanksgiving and moving on to preparing for Christmas.

As many of you know we have a grandchild that has food allergies, specifically to peanuts and tree nuts. Along the way since her diagnosis we have made many friends who understand the severity of such an allergy but of course there are those times when misunderstanding of anaphylaxis can make all of us involved in the safety of our grandchild frustrated and angry.

I would like to share the story of Oakley Debbs, a young 11year old boy who died over his Thanksgiving celebration with his family after he accidentally ate a piece of a holiday gifted coffee cake at a relatives’ house. His is a story that his parents want all of us to remember by wearing red sneakers on December 10th. That is the day of his funeral and celebration of his short life as a twin of his sister Olivia.

Managing food allergies is no easy matter and it demands constant vigilance which includes carrying epi-pens at all times and closely reading and understanding food labels. Eating out can be a nightmare which adds a huge dimension to traveling.

I am concerned with managing a safe environment for children and education is obligatory. The learning curve can for food allergies can be steep and tedious but there are many support groups and great information available. I cannot emphasize consulting with a pediatric allergist if at all possible and making an action plan that is adhered to all the time.

oakley_a4c3d9d87c128f1111fbcf112c9a998b.today-inline-large-1 Food Allergies

Merrill Debbs is convinced that her son, Oakley, might still be alive if she’d known more about food allergies and how fatal reactions can come on slowly and insidiously. The boy, who had asthma and had tested positive for a mild peanut and tree nut allergy, died after consuming a piece of pound cake the day before Thanksgiving. Oakley thought it was safe to eat, but there was a walnut inside and he’d already swallowed it before realizing what happened.

Source: After 11-year-old boy’s sudden death, mom warns about nut allergies – TODAY.com

 

Red Sneakers Foundation – raising awareness of the danger of asthma & nut allergies, educational programs, research & public policy initiatives.

Source: Red Sneakers Foundation

 

As they prepare for a big memorial tribute to Oakley on Dec. 10, Merrill and Robert Debbs spoke to Allergic Living about their loss, their concerns about vital information they never got at the allergist’s office, and their resolve to raise anaphylaxis advocacy through their new Red Sneakers awareness campaign. (Red was Oakley’s favorite shoe color.) “Whatever we can do to help people protect children who have these food allergies – labeling, education to protect these children so it never happens again,” says Robert of the couple’s decision to start a campaign and website while still coming to grips with their son’s death. Both parents now think they were far more informed about asthma than they were about the management of food allergies and risks of anaphylaxis.

Source: After Son’s Nut Allergy Tragedy, Family Urges Food Allergy Education | Allergic Living

For more information and Food Allergy Education and Research (FARE) :https://www.foodallergy.org/#menu

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop | Llpitlwp

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

It has been a long month and now Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

We have one weekend to prepare for the get together that could raise our blood pressure even more this year than all the others put together.

Because of this year’s presidential election, some of us have serious friend and family disagreements that could cause some unwanted Thanksgiving indigestion.

Here are some tips on how to “argue without rancor”.

Weekend heated discussionsAnd it’s clear that American Thanksgiving gatherings are sure to be interesting affairs this year, as families split between Trump and Clinton supporters try to sit down to dinner without maiming one another — if they show up at all. So this may be a good time to explore what psychologists and philosophers say are the most effective ways to argue. And by “argue” they do not mean “quarrel,” but communicate without rancor or faulty reasoning with someone who has an opposing viewpoint, with the hope of broadening one’s understanding of people and ideas. Here are a few suggestions:

Source: How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor (Hello, Thanksgiving!) – The New York Times

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and a Thanksgiving full of gratitude.