I AM PROTECTIVE

I Am Protective
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Parenting

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The Parenting Conundrum

My oldest son is 16, and it recently hit me that in two years he could possibly move out of our house. He could become responsible for his own health and well-being. He could be charged with the task of functioning on his own in this complicated world. He would have to buy groceries, do laundry and prepare meals. Fill out forms, schedule doctor appointments and manage a checking account. Just the thought of it scares me to death. I realized all these years while I was trying to be a good mother, I was actually doing him a bit of a disservice. I’m sure any mom can relate to this scenario: you have three loads of laundry to do, groceries to put away, and six work-related emailed to reply to. Your teenage son is in front of the TV, looking at his phone. You can either go disrupt his…

Three Things I Wish I Could Make My Teenagers Understand (But I Know They Won’t)

So here I am again:  back in high school. Not literally, but in a supporting role to my sixteen-year-old son. And, guess what? High school really hasn’t changed much. I’m experiencing a total flashback: the pettiness, bickering, fear, self-loathing, misery, joy, insecurity, expectation, disappointment, heartbreak… You know exactly what I’m talking about. The difference is now I have a few more miles on me. Quite a few, in fact. And the distance gives me the clarity to understand the nature and consequence of this time in life. I see it for what it is, in all its ridiculousness. The only problem is I can’t seem to get my sweet, gentle, caring and perplexed son to listen to me. I can’t seem to get a teenage boy to take my insightful, soul-saving advice to heart. Imagine that. But I’m determined — as most mothers are. And this is what I tell…

Do Confident Kids Get Bullied?

As I began writing this blog, my first thought was that it would be about confidence and how a confident child could would be invulnerable to the effects of bullying. That seems to be a prevailing theory with many parents, so why not discuss it. But then it occurred to me that I don’t know much, if anything, about confidence. I’m not completely confident in anything. I struggle as a psychologist, educator, daughter and student. Did I just mess up with my client? Am I pushing my students too hard? Is my mom right that a good daughter would visit every weekend? (Sound familiar? I can’t be alone in this?) However, despite the fact that there are many situations in which I am not confident, I made it through okay – and I realize much of my situational insecurity resolves itself with a little logic. So I began to search…

Teaching them to Have a Voice

As a mom and a teacher of fifteen plus years, I’ve had to learn how to be a mom when it’s time to be a mom and be a teacher when it’s time to be a teacher. However, there are instances when those two professions overlap. One day, my son came home from school upset because he was held from recess for “tattling.” He went on to explain that he witnessed a student hurt another student and went to tell the teacher. The teacher then reprimanded him for, in her words, “not minding his own business.” My son, dazed and confused at the thought of getting in trouble for something we had taught him was right, came to me looking for a solution – and a hug. I never taught elementary school, so when we went to meet with his teacher over the incident I went in with a mom…

Taking Time: A Teacher’s Guide to Learning Disabilities

Discussing learning disabilities is somewhat difficult. Learning disorders can come in many forms. They can involve difficulty with writing, math, listening, speaking, reading or even reasoning . Sound complicated to identify? You bet! Learning disorders usually require both an intelligence and an achievement test. You must first know a student’s general intelligence level before you can assess a learning disorder. It is sometimes the case that a student earning Cs is actually trying their hardest and doing as well as should be expected. We should obviously praise that student and encourage them to explore new skills and build on their existing knowledge. The general message is “You’re trying hard and we recognize it. We’re proud of you.” While we will never know a student’s IQ without formal testing, there are some clues that suggest a learning disorder as opposed to IQ deficits. Look for discrepancies Is the student only…

Is Your Child Sad or is it Something More?

Recognizing Childhood Depression No one wants to think about their children, or any children, being depressed. Our jobs as parents and caretakers are to protect children from as many of life ails as possible. You hurt yourself? We’ll give it a kiss and tend to the wound. You’re okay. Someone hurt your feelings? We’ll remind you of the great and talented person you are. Other people can be mean, it’s a reflection of them, not you.- You’re okay.  Someone hurt you physically? We’ll make sure we right it. We’re here to protect and nurture you. And again, you’re okay. But what happens when they’re not okay. When we can’t make it better? When they’re just not as happy as they ‘should’ be? Causes of depression Although we try to protect and nurture our children sometimes things go awry. Obviously several paths can lead to the same outcome. Maybe it’s…

The Problem with Teenagers

The problem with kids getting their driver’s license at age 16 is that it coincides with the exact time teenagers believe they know everything. It’s positively maddening to try to teach my son to drive when the answer to everything I say is “I know.” Actually, my son’s version is “I got this.” While he still just had his learner’s permit and I had to be in the car with him, he’d be driving and I’d say, “hey, you really don’t want to pull out in front of that speeding 18-wheeler.” “I got this, mom.” “Hey, you might want to take that curve a little slower,” as I peeled myself off the passenger-side window. “I got this.” Made me crazy! Finally one day I had had enough and snapped, “no, you do not have this. Quit saying that.” And in a flash, he was next to tears. “No, mom, I…