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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Motherhood-The Creeper That Bites You in the Butt

Confessions of a Single Mother.

If someone told me ten years ago that I would be raising two generation-z boys, I would call them crazy. Crappy diapers and sleep deprivation  were not my idea of a good life. My career was taking off and I was making good money. The idea of duplicating myself - a self centered brat, seemed like a grave disservice to humanity at large. 

Fate will have its way no matter what your plans are.

For a decade doctors told me I could not have any children. Once my maternal instincts were done grieving - about a week at best, I accepted my infertility as a fact. I never wanted to have any kids so it seemed fate was playing right into my hands.

Surprise! Surprise! The doctors were wrong!

GenZ #1 Arrived in January 2004. An absolutely gorgeous blue-eyed boy, who knocked us off our feet the moment he laid eyes on us. But despite my son's charm my maternal instincts were just not kicking in   I wanted to run away. I couldn't wrap my brain around this new life changing event for months. The fact that I only found out about my pregnancy late didn't help. I basically had 4 months to transition from independent me - to me being a room and board for 9 months to a life that was coming no matter what! Fate had its way. GenZ1 is the perfect proof.

Second Time is the Charm!

GenZ#2 Arrived in December 2004. Man oh man, is he ever the charmer! This is a kid that can shred your heart and win you back with his puppy dog eyes within the same ten minutes. Unlike his brother, GenZ2's arrival was known from the day of conception. I actually had a choice this time! At least it felt like I did. I wasn't too keen on having another screamer in the house. GenZ1 was only 2 months old and I was sleep deprived to the point of just being functional. 

Fate uses our loved ones to get its way.

My mother was a wise woman, God rest her soul. She advocated for GenZ1 like a champ! "A child needs a sibling...after all I was an only child and don't I remember how lonely I used to be as a kid?" She had a very convincing manipulator  kind of personality. I still didn't want to have any kids, but my principles wouldn't allow me to kill a life.

Growing pains polish your personality.

My blog goes into the details of the trials and tribulations of raising two genZ boys alone. For now let me just end this post by saying.....I would never be who I am today, had it not been for my two boys. Their mere existence motivates me to be a better person, because I have a sense of responsibility to show them the right example. I fail miserably on some occasions, screw it up quite often, but one thing is always constant. I can laugh at my own mistakes and learn from them,knowing that tomorrow I will do better.  

If you can't run away at least be able to laugh at yourself!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shopping with Kids Does Not Have to Be a Nightmare.


Here is how to turn shopping with kids into a fun way to teach them essential skills like budgeting, price comparison, reading ingredient labels, and writing.  Skills that parents try to teach as part of homework, but usually ends in frustration.

Make Your Shopping List. Keep control of your budget.
I like to start off doing this alone. Involving the kids at this point usually ends up with a much longer list.

Have the Kids Make a Shopping List. It’s a great way to practice writing.
From my shopping list that has been arranged into food groups, the kids get to pick a column of  items  that they copy to a list of their own.  I ask them to leave a line for the prices they will be filling in later. Items marked with a star have coupons that need to be used. Because it’s a specific brand of product they need to find, I give the kids bonus points for getting the exact item.  They can also accumulate points by writing down the right prices, how timely they are, for adding the prices up correctly, or any other criteria that teaches them the skill you want. I like to keep the reward to non-food items, like extra activities or privileges. If our treat pantry needs replenishing I will allow an extra treat of their choice at the end of shopping.

An Ounce of Prevention is a Pound of Cure. Be prepared to avoid unnecessary obstacles.
Getting the kids used to thinking ahead can be a challenge. With consistency it can be done, and over time it will become second nature to them.   Do you have your own shopping lists, pencil, and a quarter for their own shopping cart?
Talk about the rules of shopping with your kids.  If they are tuning you out, have them tell you the rules. Here are a few suggestions for you to consider.
  • No running with carts, inside voice ect.
  • Treats are the last item to be picked out, IF there is money left in the shopping budget. You would be amazed how it motivates them to look for sales and be frugal in their choices.
  • Compare the price of similar items. My rule of thumb is, pick the cheaper ones, except for food items.
  • Read the labels. My rule of thumb is, you do not pick an item if : the first three ingredients include glucose, fructose, sugar, or red food coloring.  With an autistic son and another with ADHD, consuming these items can be likened to a time bomb of irritable behaviour.
  • Learn the meaning of barcodes. Did you know that bar codes tell you where an item is from and if they have been genetically modified?  Even if you don’t support buying local items, the benefit of fresh produce vs shipped from around the world are eminently clear.   

Time to Add Up the Numbers.  A great way to teach math.
This is a bit time consuming, but it’s well worth the effort. Find a quiet spot in the store and have the kids add up the prices. If you have younger kids, ask them to count the number of items in their list, or get them to check off that they got everything.  Now that you have everyone’s totals, you can decide how much is left for treats or items the kids want vs need. My younger son often surprises me with picking fruits that are not on the usual shopping list. You would be amazed at what choices kids can come up with, if given the power of decision. On the days when they get out of hand and want to buy a whole candy display, I limit their choices to one candy and one healthy treat.

With a little preparation, communicating expectations clearly and consistent practice, it is possible to have a pleasant shopping experience with children. Like or Share if you agree. Thanks !

Edina Hodos
Website:            www.raising-generation-z.com

Every Kid Needs a Champion.



Rita Pierson, a teacher for 40 years, once heard a colleague say, "They don't pay me to like the kids." Her response: "Kids don't learn from people they don’t like.’” A rousing call to educators to believe in their students and actually connect with them on a real, human, personal level.



ADHD Parenting – Should Parents Discipline Kids With Attention Deficit Disorder Differently?



ADHD parenting presents different challenges than raising kids who do not have this disorder. While you do not want to hold your child responsible for tasks beyond his means, you don’t want to enable him either or make him a victim of his disorder. In this article, you’ll learn five tips for disciplining kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.





ADHD Parenting: 5 Top Discipline Tips
First, lets talk about the word “discipline.” The word comes from the Latin word “discipulus” which means “learner” or “to become a disciple of.” What this means is that you should always strive to teach values, rather than punish your child.

1. Understand what your child is capable of and what is beyond his current abilities. A basic understanding of child development can help, but also take the time to learn the areas in which your child seems to struggle most. Rather than punishing him for behaving in a way that he is currently unable to, avoid situations that you know will be a set up for inappropriate behavior. Teach him what you want him to do, rather than yelling at him for what he did wrong. This distinction is subtle, but important.

2. Parenting kids with ADHD requires firm and consistent discipline. When you take away a privilege, don’t give it back without having your child do something to earn it. Don’t let your child negotiate his way out punishments because then he will believe that everything is negotiable. If your child is chronically disrespectful or unusually defiant, then you will need to learn some new ADHD parenting skills that are also very effective with kids who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. These are skills that your parents did not teach you. Don’t wait. Do it now. Defiant behavior does not get better on its own.

3. Focus on who your child is, rather than his performance. Children who start to feel like they are only valued for doing well on homework, tests, chores and in sports are much more likely to give up or feel bad about themselves when they fail to perform to expectations. Your child’s sense of self-worth should be tied to the fact that he is a whole human being, rather than how he does on a particular task. Although you may not always be able to give him an “attaboy,” you can give him encouragement and ask him what he learned from the experience.

4. Don’t try to be a friend, instead, take the high road and be the parent. Being a parent is tough. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions, set the limits, take away privileges or insist that your child do something that you know is in his best interests. Parents who shirk these responsibilities because they want their kids to like them, usually end up with teens who neither like nor respect them because they failed to do the tough work of being a parent.

5. Know when to say when. Some things just aren’t worth fighting over. Sometimes, it is better to let it go, especially if your child has had an unusually tough day and could just be acting out due to frustration or overwhelm. That said, there are no excuses for abusive behavior. Do not let the label of “ADHD child” be an excuse for mean-spirited behavior.

ADHD parenting is a challenge, but you are up to it. In addition to following the tips in this article, make sure to take some time out for yourself to unwind and rejuvenate every day, so you’ll be able to face the challenges that will inevitably come tomorrow.

Source Bebe Magico