Be the 'Do as I Do' for them, not just the 'Do as I Say'

So I know I’ve been in a mother-figure role for the last 14 years, but since I had my boys I have come to realize how impressionable the young minds of children really are from the moment they are born.Now at the ages of 5 and 2, nothing gets past these two. And I mean NOTHING!Any time a foul word may accidentally get uttered from one of our mouths, my two-year-old is quick to repeat it the best he can just because he heard us say it. This usually comes into play more when in the car and tensions are running high, and maybe I spout off something like, “You, stupid moron!” to another driver. (Okay, this is a little tame for me.)  I’m usually quick to rethink my words (a little too late though) when I quickly hear “Stupid moron!” come from the backseat.But they want to be just like us because we are their parents -- their first role models. Even down to the fact that I'm always finding my kids walking around clumsily in my shoes or my husband’s shoes, our kids want to do what we do, act like we do, talk like we do, be who we are and literally, walk in our shoes.So being the example for our kids is one of the most crucial things we can do for our kids....more

"Don't Be Silly" and Other Silly Things we Tell our Kids.

I realized with shock the other day that I say things that I don't mean all of the time.  But only to my kids.  And only in thoughtless moments.  Things like "don't be silly" and "learn some manners".  Things that seem neutral but, apparently, have a far greater reach than I could have dreamed...


     When I was a child, my parents would send my sisters and I “back home” to Texas during the summers.  We were placed in the care of my great-grandmother and great-aunt, two strict disciplinarians who took the job of reining in wild, unruly children seriously. The summers I spent with these two sanctified, stalwart reformers of errant behavior were difficult for me because I was a stubborn and willful child.     ...more

Barbie's Hot Bod

My first child came home and asked if I knew that Barbie would never menstruate were she a real person and that, brought to life and expanded to human height, she would tip over because of her toddler-sized feet and Parton-sized boobs.  When she brought forward this litany of anti-Barbie slurs, I nodded in assent and talked of irrational body image, the evil of capitalizing on idealized bodies and stuff good Moms do....more

We were not a family of 3

We were not a family of 3we were a family of 5...our two daughters (they would eventually be joined by two more) had not only front row seats for our adventure, our ups and downs...highs and lows, the laughter and the tears, the joy and the heartache...they were active participants. They had no choice...this family, these parents, this brother...were the ones they were given...this was where God had carefully and thoughtfully placed them......more

Drop-Off Zone Doesn't Mean Drop Your Manners

Of note: Some disabilities aren't visible. Do you know that no one is in chemo/radiation? Or has ...more

When our Parenting Insecurities Get the Best of Us

I was recently on the soccer fields waiting to pick up my daughters when a mom started chatting with me. She asked who my children were, and after I pointed them out she excitedly told me how great my daughters and the other two girls in the group were doing with the larger group of boys. I then of course asked who her son was and as soon as she pointed him out she began to ramble  on about how he wasn’t having a good practice today and they weren’t sure if soccer was his thing and he had a growth spurt recently so he wasn’t as coordinated as the other boys and he wasn’t as fast....more

Parenting Strategy Number 57

I have a boy (Thing 1) and a girl (Thing 2). They are lovely in every way possible: adorable, big brown eyes, charming accents and get on with each other (most of the time). As the mother of a boy, there are certain unspoken rules of death-defying derring-do that it turns out apply more to my girl... The first of which is when watching child about to jump off the top of one of those red and yellow cars (you know the one!), think to yourself 'could I explain this in A and E without shame?'. If you can, let child proceed - no quicker way to learn. If you can't, quickly re-direct child......more

The Man in the Moon Looks Down From the Sky

The moon looked even closer whe...more


Anyone with a special needs kid of any kind wrestles with how much to pathologize, how much to accept, how much to change, how much to except and hope.  This is just one perspective from one complicated diagnosis but maybe, hopefully, it can start us all thinking and talking more openly about what our options really are - medical and non-medical.