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parenting lessons

Saying no to your children can be a teaching moment - an opportunity to learn about responsibility and how to deal with disappointment. It can free up some time for the things that you really want to do, and can alleviate a lot of the stress that comes with being a parent.
People always say that they never knew what love was until they had children. Before having kids of my own, I assumed that this phrase referenced the amazing, unconditional love a mother has for her progeny, a bottomless supply required to overcome challenges such as poop-smeared walls and 24+ hours of labor.
Now my kids know that it is their job to calm down after throwing a fit and I'll remove myself from the room if my head starts ringing from the noise. I'd have to say that the five most important things I did to get from raging-freaking-out-mommy to keeping-it-cool-mommy were...
It's been one of those days when the words are many, yet not enough. Because what can you possibly say about such horror? Nothing really. I've wept for the parents, siblings, children, spouses, friends and families of those who were so violently taken from this earth at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
My boys were keeping score over everything and it drove me crazy. I was officially on strike. This meant I would be doing nothing. If they wanted food, they would have to prepare it, if they needed clean clothes, they would have to wash them. If they needed something at the store, they would have to walk to the store to get it. They would put themselves to bed. There would be no fun outings until the strike was over.