Labels Belong on Boxes, Not Children

I was at the meditation center with my 14 year old daughter last week and we were looking at a bulletin board for upcoming meetings.  We saw a flyer advertising an LGBTQA meeting taking place the next week.  My daughter told me that it should really read LGBTQA+.  The PLUS was for people who didn’t fit into any of the other categories.  I stopped to ponder her comment for a bit and had to ask myself “How many categories do we need?” when it comes to identifying a person's gender or sexual orientation? When a child is born,  we immediately put a label on it.  If that a child has a penis, it’s a boy.  If the child has a vagina,  it's labeled a girl.  As the child starts to grow up,  we give it more labels.  Our new baby may be friendly or happy.  In a few years, we label our toddlers … [Read more...]

The Politically Incorrect Way to Deal with Your Picky Eater

Before I start what is probably going to be a very unpopular post, let me just make one point.  I understand that there are a few kids 'on the spectrum' or who have 'texture issues' that really do have medical reasons for being a picky eater.  However, America has significantly more picky eaters than any other country.  Medical reasons for being a picky eater would be much more evenly distributed between different countries if this was strictly due to sensory processing issues.  Most picky eaters are MADE, not BORN. The Politically Incorrect Way to Deal with Your Picky Eater Let me tell you a little story about my own picky eater and see if you can relate.  At the age of 2 my son was only eating breakfast and lunch.  Those were foods he liked...scrambled eggs, fruit, sandwiches, … [Read more...]

A Truly Successful Child Will Question What Parents Teach Them

Last weekend, my 15 year old son was confirmed into the Lutheran church.  After 4 years of confirmation classes, he was thrilled to finally be able to stand up in front of the congregation and make a commitment to God and the church. Really, he was most thrilled that he no longer had to attend confirmation classes.   We aren't the most 'devout' Christians but this was something I really and truly wanted for him and thankfully he felt the same way.  Others in his confirmation class chose NOT to get confirmed...and those particular teens have parents who are WAY more faithful followers than I am.  Their parents were truly heartbroken over their children's decision to not join the church.  It got me to thinking about the divide between what we teach our children and what they choose to … [Read more...]

Communicating with kids: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

When I was a kid, there wasn't a lot of communication going on with my parents.  They were great...I seriously have an awesome relationship with my mom and dad but we didn't sit down and discuss the stuff kids really need to know about.  There was an awkward moment when I was 11 where mom handed me a few books to read and I learned what I really needed to know from my friends.  I would say about half of it was probably true. I didn't want to be that mom.  I wanted my kids to come to me with every single question they could possibly come up with.  I maybe should have rethought that concept...I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I have always had very inquisitive kids. They have questions and rarely do they accept a basic answer without pursuing things further. I … [Read more...]

Skinny shaming, body image and All About That Bass

A few weeks ago I came across an upbeat new song called All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor.  As the mom of a tween girl I thought it would be something she would really enjoy and honestly, I loved both the song and the music video.  Yes, I know...maybe 40 something moms shouldn't enjoy pop music but let me tell you that beat really gets me moving when I work out!  The tween loved the song, thought the video was cute and like a good mom we actually discussed the lyrics and what they meant.  Or, what *I* thought they meant!  The message I got from it was to be happy with your body even if you aren't a size 2.  That what YOU may think of as fat is really a perfectly healthy weight.  We don't need photo shopped perfection in magazines and so what if your butt is just a tad bit … [Read more...]

It’s okay to be a girl, just don’t act like one #LikeaGirl

Do you ever find yourself saying something to your kid that just doesn't come out quite the way you had intended it to?  Like, it sounded really good in your brain but the minute the words came out of your mouth you stopped and went "Uh, wait a minute...".  I had that moment with my daughter a while ago when she tried to act all squeamish over something gross and I told her "It's okay to be a girl, just don't act like one".  I realized as soon as the words came out of my mouth that 'acting like a girl' was one of those generalizations that I tell the kids never to make! I  loathe stereotypes.  Whether it is 'black kids play great basketball' or 'white girls like Starbucks' or 'Jewish people are good with money'  I tell my kids constantly to not make assumptions about people based on … [Read more...]

Game of Thrones and the Definition of Kinky

Let me just state for the record that I have no idea what the Game of Thrones is.  Okay, that's not totally true.  I know it's a TV show.  Is it an actual game?  Are there real thrones involved? I have no clue.  However, apparently my teenage son's friends are watching it.  Thus said the boy child when he brought me the Game of Thrones BOOK that he wanted to buy at the bookstore. Like any good clueless mother I decided to Google 'Should my teenage son read the Game of Thrones book'.  I may be ignorant but I am resourceful! Are there real thrones in the Game of Thrones? What did the Oh Mighty Google tell me about this book?  Apparently there is graphic incest and twisted violence in this lovely book.  I'm curious if my son's friends PARENTS know that their kids are reading this?  One … [Read more...]

Being Cool is Highly Overrated

I have two teenagers who are at 'that age' in life when all of a sudden, 'cool' is becoming important.  Kids are starting to divide themselves into small groups based on coolness.  Herds of mildly uncool teens wander the halls while small packs of 'really cool' kids stand in the corner and silently mock them. At least silent mocking doesn't cause bloodshed, although it can still hurt. I hear my son say 'I can't be friends with that kid there because he is way cooler than I am'.  Discrimination based on coolness runs rampant in the middle school.  And we never outgrow that, even at 40.  At 14 your coolness is based on sneakers.  At 40 you are only as cool as the last vacation you took or the car you drive. Neither Alex nor I had a cool gene to pass on to our kids.  I was in band.  … [Read more...]