Weekend from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend from Parenting in the Loop

summer weekend

Summer Safety

Weekends and summer are times of get togethers with family and friends for fun and food.  Keeping it safe is essential especially for kids as they rely on the adults to keep them free from hazards.

“It only takes a second”…

How many times I have read that statement and spoken those words?

One weekend many years ago I was standing at the Top of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco with my one year old daughter in between me and my husband. We both admired the view at exactly the same moment. When we looked down at our daughter she was not there and no where in sight! The elevator doors were just closing and my heart was skipping many beats at the same moment. It seemed like an eternity but it was only a second later that I heard her voice saying, “hi”…”hi” and I realized that she was walking throughout the hotel bar greeting all of the people who were having drinks and enjoying the gorgeous view.

Yes…it only takes a second for a catastrophe to happen. Summer, pools and beaches are so much fun for everyone but it only takes a second to change that into a horrific event. Keep your eyes on your children around water no matter what. “It only takes a second”

Now every time we go to the pool or near any kind of water, I review safety strategies with my 3-year-old son. I remind him …

  • Anytime he doesn’t know what to do or is scared in the water, to look for the sky and roll over on his back.

  • That he knows how to find the edge of the pool and that it’s always a safe place to grab on to.

  • That he knows how to blow bubbles and close his mouth so water doesn’t get in.

     

I Only Looked Away for a Second

Have a happy and a safe weekend!

The Great Reward for Aging

The Rewards of Aging

aging

As a demographic, we have swelled into a giant bulge in the population. There are more than 27,000 new grandparents in the United States every week. Many are the “revolutionaries” of the 1960s and ’70s — the pioneer women who entered the white-collar work force. Well, now, 40, 50 years later, these same women are pioneers again, this time reinventing grandparenting.

Source: Grandbabies: The Great Reward for Aging – The New York Times

My life changed the day I became a grandmother. I never realized how much a grandchild could steal my heart and make me fall in love all over again with a little baby!

My granddaughter is almost nine and we have a grandson, who will turn two this summer. Right from the beginning my own memories of my grandmother and mother influenced how I would grandparent. I was “grandmothering in the loop” of my own experiences of how loving and important my Nana and Mom were in my childhood.

I  don’t believe I am reinventing anything. I am merely handing down the precious love of my mother and grandmother to my own grandchildren.

As I see it and as mentioned in the NYT article, today’s aging adults and grandparents  are able to indulge grandchildren but at the same time assist their parents with some of the many responsibilities that go along with providing for a child. We are also able to babysit, and do various childcare errands which allow for both sets of parents to have careers.

I would not trade the time that I have spent and will continue to spend with my grandchildren for anything. They are cherished beyond all else and have been since we first learned we were to become grandparents.

My wish is that the beauty of this kind of love for new lives making their way in this complicated world is forever considered a blessing by those of us whom they call Nana and Papa.

Aging is not always fun but it can be good thanks to grandkids.

Cherished moment with my grandson! Made with Waterlogue App.

Weekend Pick: “What Does an Allergy Attack Look Like?”

Weekend Pick:

Allergy

“What Does an Allergic Reaction Look Like?”

Read and Learn

 

Allergy Awareness

It seems that every month marks a cause and May is no different. It is dedicated as  Allergy Awareness Month. At our house we are acutely aware of food allergies because our granddaughter is peanut and tree nut allergic. She also has asthma. We found this out before she was two years old and it was all new to us.

My niece has a teenage son who has many food allergies so I looked to her first. What I found out was how difficult it was to impress upon other adults the supreme seriousness of anaphylactic reactions to foods like nuts, eggs, milk. In minutes a child can be dead from ingesting or even touching an allergen.

What I have found over the years is that stories from other parents of kids who have had anaphylactic reactions sometimes have an effect on people that statistics, and medical information just does not. Parents sharing their anguish as they recount watching their child experience cardiac arrest after eating or touching a peanut makes people listen.

Just as Jimmy Kimmel’s tearful story about his newborn son’s cardiac anomaly and emergency heart surgery affected millions of viewers, we need more stories from food allergy parents to help with awareness of this disability.

This week I read Julia Ryan’s story about her son Tagg. It left me with chills! She mentions Oakley Debbs in her story. I too think of Oakley, who died this past Thanksgiving and whose parents have founded RedSneakers.org in his memory.

Julia Ryan and Merrill Debbs have different stories but both women have shared theirs in order to prevent others from suffering as they have.

Please support Food Allergy Awareness in any way you can .

You may save a life!

 

“Make sure you’re sharing from your scars, not your open wounds.” I need to talk about the two times in less than two weeks my son was transferred by ambulance-a Critical Care Transfer Unit-from one emergency room to second larger hospital and admitted to the ICU.  I know this could have been written better but sometimes done is better than none.

Source: Julia Ryan: What does an allergy attack look like.

Pets Improving Your Health

Pets Can Improve Your Health

Pets Improve Your Health

Having a pet is more than just having someone to come home to. This is another member of your family, who will love you unconditionally. It doesn’t really matter what type of animal you keep as a pet, you have someone who relies on you and just wants the best bond with you.

Source: All You Need to Know About Pets Improving Your Health

I love dogs! They truly are best friends that never deny you their support and friendship by being too busy or too tired.

When I moved to NYC my mom bought me a puppy from a pet store on in  NY. He was a Lhasa Apso, a small white mop with a tongue that hung out the side of his mouth due to an orthodonture problem. Immediately, he stole my family’s heart.

Fortunately, Tam adapted well to the streets of Manhattan walking off the sidewalk into the street to do his business. He loved his walks, smelling everything along the sidewalk and paying no attention to all the noises and other city dogs.

Since Tam left us many years ago, we have always had a dog in our house for the last 40 years. Pets have been essential to each of us, keeping us company on all occasions. At times, we have had three dogs in our midst. Each dog had a completely different personality and needs. Sometimes there was sibling rivalry between them as well.

Pets keep you on a timetable, as they need to eat on a schedule and do their business on schedule too. If they love walks outside you get a little exercise as well.

When you don’t feel well or are having a bad day, your dog or cat will sense that you may need a furry friend to cozy up to you.

I will always have a dog!

Is There a Toddler Copycat in Your Midst?

Your Little Toddler Copycat

Your toddler won’t be able to carry on a conversation just yet, but don’t be surprised if he starts mimicking your telephone style with his toy phone. You may also catch him imitating the way you act behind the wheel of the car, preparing meals, or cleaning the house. This copycat behavior can be charming or potentially embarrassing. Now’s a good time to pay extra attention to your own language and behavior. via Baby Center

Toddler at the beach

We have a toddler in our house and he is the cutest when he imitates his mom (my daughter) and his dad.

He loves to take a napkin or paper towel and clean his place at the table or the top of his high chair and just about anything else in his reach.

It is only a matter of time when he will imitate the things his mom and dad and anyone else in earshot says.

It is now time to make sure that what we say is something that we would not mind him repeating. Personally, I find the car a place where I might exclaim words that I would not like to hear him say…even thought when a child imitates our behavior we tend to laugh which only encourages him to keep saying things that are not appropriate.

So just remember that the toddler in your midst is listening to everything and is already planning to embarrass you when you least expect it.

Baby’s Space…The Nursery

The Nursery…Baby’s Space and Mom’s Too

new babyBecoming a parent for the first time or the third time brings new challenges. Preparing a friendly landscape for you and your child is important for a seamless arrival home.

Whether you have a separate nursery or just a dedicated space in your own room for your new baby, it is essential to make it friendly, safe and welcoming.

Ideally, it is good to anticipate what you will need and where you will put it before the little one arrives in your home. Avoiding unnecessary chaos in those early days after baby’s homecoming is both relaxing and time-saving. There really is nothing like being ready when it comes to a new family member that has so many unique needs.

I have found a helpful guide that could help you through setting up your baby’s nursery.

How to Organize a Beautiful, Functional Nursery

 

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?

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

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 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!