Mental Health Awareness Week…

Mental Health Awareness Week
Depression, anxiety and panic attacks are NOT a sign of weakness. They are signs of having tried to remain strong for way too long. Would you post this on your wall, at least for one day? It’s Mental Health Awareness week. Did you know that 1 in each 3 of us will go through this at some point in our lives? Share the support! Let those who struggle know they’re not alone, they… are loved.
As a clinical social worker and registered nurse I consider mental health as part of overall health. Personally, I have had bouts with anxiety and panic attacks as a young adult and anxiety rears its ugly head every now and then. Mindfulness and yoga has been part of my lifestyle for a very long time and has seriously helped me in times of high anxiety.
Anxiety is worry about the future and depression is related usually to past events none of which we have too much control over.
If you are a parent or you have kids that experience depression, anxiety and or panic attacks…know that there is help available. Please find a mental health professional that you like and respect to help you. You can always start with the NASW (National Association of Social Work)…they will help you find professional assistance.

Kid’s Birthday Bashes….


As a mom, kids’ birthday parties have always irritated me …as a grandmother I realize not much has changed…my feelings are pretty much the same as they were “back in the day”.

Now don’t get me wrong…I love a good party and I guess that is the question. What is a good party for a toddler and preschooler?

My guidelines:

  • pick a theme
  • make it simple
  • make it fun
  • no gifts
  • useful goody bags
  • no candy

I prefer a morning party for a young child and have actually hosted a couple of “breakfast” parties. The kids usually eat and by lunch time all is said and done and there still is something left of the day….Years back we actually did a diner theme party from the “Penny Whistle Party Planner“. It was fun and entertaining…more importantly, the kids loved it.

Afternoon parties can be problematic if naps are still part of a child’s routine but let’s say it is an early afternoon event.,,, like after lunch,  snacks and cake…maybe decorate your own cupcakes would amuse…some work involved …messy of course but let’s be creative here. How about ending with a game or two?

A late afternoon party could incorporate dinner foods like pizza and then parents don’t have to worry about getting the kids to eat after they are stuffed with sweets…

Some type of theme is always fun…and the kids really do enjoy make-believe and seeing their parents role playing. Penny Whistle is a great reference…it is a timeless go to book.


Face it most kids don’t really need anything…they have stuff and more stuff.

So what about those gifts…how about asking for diapers to deliver to a shelter (Every Little Bottom) or some other thoughtful donation and have one gift from the parents or grandparents to open at the party.

On to those goody bags…or should I say “not so good bags”.

What about these…

lets just skip them altogether….nah!

or how about some simple useful stuff…

…crayons and a nice coloring book …easy and useful…markers and paper…no candy…please no candy

The party does not have to be at home but that of course is nice…

But let’s be realistic…how about checking out kid friendly venues and adapting it to your needs.

In any event…make it a kid friendly…

Happy Birthday!

Toddler Interviews…”Kids Say the Darndest Things”…

Dear Diary:

As I was walking on Park Avenue last month, I noticed a little girl about 3 years old, standing next to her stroller.

She was wearing a lovely outfit, but what got my attention even more were her silver shoes.

I paused to admire her when the baby sitter volunteered, “She has an interview.”

via A Moment With a Mayor, and Other Reader Tales –

I love this little anecdote…toddler interviews…

I laughed when reading this…

What pressures parents living in a city like New York experience when they want to send their child to a private pre-school.

Toddler interviews

How do parents prepare for this…the “right” outfit of course but what else?

What are these interviews like?

If you and your child have been through a school “interview” please share some of your experience. What was it like…how nervous where you?

Why Caucasian Dads are Superior…REVISITED…

Noteworthy Wednesday!

This is my most read post in 2011…since “Tiger Mom” is now published in paperback and it is the one year anniversary of the commotion that it set off I am reposting this for you perusal.


Why Caucasian fathers are superior.

“So it should come as no surprise that I am better at parenting than most humans (and all animals, except bison and unicorns). The reason? I’m a Caucasian male.

The Caucasian culture does not accept mediocrity. You name it, we excel at it. Whether it’s playing hockey, or watching hockey, or dancing (the polka), or finishing last in 100-metre races, or suppressing the civil rights of minorities, Caucasian males do it best. We also raise the brightest children.”

Seriously, this is such an amusing piece that responds to the “Tiger Mom”  uproar. I thought we had read just about everything but apparently not so.

Given all the commotion that Tiger Mom has generated, I think that it is time to consider some balance. Parenting is something that is too important to actually laugh about.

It seems there are as many beliefs about the right way to parent as there are parents. It is my belief that anything taken to extremes is never really a good thing. There are exceptions to almost any “rule”. To be excessively rigid in your parenting style could pass this rigidity on to your child or create the opposite stance on your child’s part. Neither of these responses is what I personally would want.

There are many aspects of attachment parenting that I like and I probably was an attached parent and am an attached grandparent although I did not “co-sleep” nor did I breast feed.

My personal parenting guidelines came from Erik Erikson’s stages of development. I tried to parent so that my children successfully completed Erikson’s  stages of development.

I also tried to model behavior for my children. They experienced how important it was for both their grandmothers to die having completed their final stage of life at age 89. They both died with integrity and dignity.

Parenting never really ends.

For me, it is about teaching your children how to have love and empathy and be able to develop their own skills to live each stage of life.

With that said please read this “caucasian father’s” editorial reaction to “Tiger Mom” and laugh if you like…it is pretty humorous!