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!

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.

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

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!

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 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.

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Rainbow Cake

Grandchildren are truly a gift and I love them dearly.

My grandson is just a one year old and he already has a taste for some sophisticated foods thanks to his parents and their efforts to introduce him to a varied selection of fruits, vegetables and proteins.

For an eight year old, my granddaughter also has a sophisticated palate . She has been sampling various foods from early on but was found to have severe peanut and food allergies at age one so a great amount of vigilance has to be taken especially when we are eating in restaurants. Store bought baked goods are particularly problematic for her as cross contamination is clearly an issue of concern.

So this weekend when both of my dearest were together it was an appropriate time to celebrate with a Rainbow. I have been in love with this cake since I first saw it about 4 years ago and I actually put one together for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday! It is a spectacular picture when you initially cut into it and view the vivid colors. It is a smile built into a confection.

One of the best and most fun parts is to let the kids “doodle” on the icing to make this cake a personal piece of artwork as well as a dessert…it becomes a vision to behold and the kids love the excitement of getting the first colorful piece on their plate. What a sense of accomplishment they have enjoying some of their own efforts.

Baking this beauty is a labor of love as it takes patience, pans of colored cake batter, tons of softened butter and egg whites galore. It seems to magically come together layer upon layer…as you remember the acronym Roy G Biv ….Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet. Although the actual cake has 6 layers by combining the blue and indigo into one layer.

1st Birthday

 We celebrate our two grandchildren

and

the joy they bring to our loves…

the same joy we feel

when we see a RAINBOW across the sky

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

 

Fall weekend

Fall is upon us as is the school schedule along with holiday celebrations like Halloween  are not far off. The weekend fills up fast with Fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin patch visits, football games and raking leaves.

Fall is my second favorite season only to Spring which brings more light back into my windows on the world. I love the seasonal changes but the darkness and gloom of the midwest winters sometimes take a toll on my energy level.

My Fall weekends are precious especially if they are sunny ones that are accompanied by the gold and reds of the trees telling their final stories before the slumber of winter.

Along around mid-September If you are like me your work schedule revs up and if you work from home the distractions are innumerable. Some of you are trying to do chores and run a business from your home with a baby or a toddler in tow. If that is the case then this post is definitely for you.

I am so excited about this piece! I’ve wanted for so long to find someone like Jamie Krenn to address these issues and questions for those of us who work at home, because no matter what type of parent you are- it is overwhelming to mix anything with caring for small children. We all need to know about what this wonderful, resourceful woman has to say about how to juggle the schedule of emotions within parenthood and work. Join Jamie Krenn at CoHatchery in Park Slope for a workshop this Friday, August 26th, from 4:30-6pm about working from home, more productively. Here’s a helpful Q&A, enjoy!

~Rebecca Conroy, Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Source: A Work-from-Home Workshop Not to be Missed! | A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Chicago may be rainy this weekend but that just might offer some time to change out summer clothes for the cozy layers that cooler weather requires or maybe even sink into the sofa with a good book.

Whatever you do enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

The Mystery of Parenting Unraveled

The Mystery of Parenting Unraveled…

Mastery of life is not a precondition to becoming a parent. We assume the responsibility of teaching someone else how to do what we have not yet figured out. We teach, even as we learn through and with our children.

Source: Abby’s Road: The 1st rule of parenting is there are no rules – The Forecaster

parentingOften as parents and even as grandparents we literally muddle through the challenges of raising children and grandchildren

Why?

Because aren’t we all a work in progress…always learning new things and new ways of becoming better versions of ourselves?

So why do we have so many rules and tips on parenting floating around the web?

It is always helpful to have lists and guides in the form of rules and tips when we are insecure. Raising a child is one of those skills which can make even the best of child experts unsure of themselves and their skills.

Remembering there really are no hard and fast rules to raising a child is a place to start when you first bring your little helpless baby home. Preparing is helpful to keep your own sanity intact but so is listening to your gut.

Being present in your child’s life is unspeakably important as is teaching them kindness and empathy.

But knowing that every child and parent dyad is unique and respecting differences will help you sustain yourselves as you parent over the years to come.