When trying to describe our family situation to people, it becomes a jumble of words or a very funny looking diagram written out on a napkin.
Like many families, the horror of what happened in Manchester, UK at the Ariana Grande show has dominated conversation in our house. We are music fans and concert goers and this senseless attack hit us hard. The images of mostly teenage girls running, injured and scared while their parents were frantic, are devastating. So we talk. We talk not only about the news as it comes in, but also about "now what?" And we came up with a plan.
Sometimes you just know.
We want to prepare and protect our child against something dangerous. Our protective role is clear. So the truly complicating factor that makes talking to your children about divorce so difficult is that the parents are the source of the pain.
As a child and family therapist I have been assisting parents in having difficult conversations with their children on a variety of topics. As a parent I have had to have these same conversations with my own children.
I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
Nothing can cause an argument faster in a group of parents than when someone brings up sleep training. Opinions range from "do it as early as possible" to "only terrible parents sleep train." With so many myths about sleep training out there, who do you believe? Let's examine the eight most common myths about sleep training and see what holds up.
Parents model behaviour to their children, and children watch very closely. My dad taught me not to give money on the street, but if someone asked, we should treat them with complete, sincere dignity and take the time to offer them whatever it is they need. It can be inconvenient -- taking a stranger out for lunch and hearing their story, spending an extra 5 minutes buying someone groceries, giving someone our own mittens in the dead of winter, or perhaps giving someone a ride that is out of our way.
Navigating safe online behaviour has become a huge concern for parents of kids today, as they try to find the balance between allowing their children to access online information for fun and for educational reasons, while protecting them from being taken advantage of by sexual predators and other online risks, from a very early age.
I feel that parenting is my responsibility, but I do not feel that my role of mother or wife or daughter is my purpose. I do not feel my role of counsellor or teacher, author or business woman is my purpose. My purpose does not feel as though it can be defined by a role, any role, in my life.