Thursday, February 23, 2012

I love you

This morning, I looked over at my young daughter and just had to tell her how much I love her.  "I love you (daughter's name)," I said.  She didn't even look up at me and just replied, "I know.  You tell me every day!" 

Why is it so easy to tell our children that we love them, and so much more difficult to share that same sentiment with adults?  After hearing my daughter's reply, I started thinking about the other people in my life.  Do they feel as confident about my love for them?  I know I don't tell the adults in my life that I love them nearly as much as I do my children.  I am sure they need to hear it.  It would be a good thing to do.  It just is not as easy to blurt out, "I love you," to an adult as it is to a child.  Maybe it's fear of being critized or maybe it's because it would create an awkward moment.  What would you do if your sister or brother told you they loved you out of the blue, in person?  Would it be awkward?

I venture to guess that many adults feel they shouldn't have to tell the people they love that they love them.  Those people should already know!  Your spouse should know this.  I mean you married them, the ultimate love commitment.  But is this enough?  How about e-mails that say, "I love you?"  Does that do it?  I argue that e-mails are good, but not as powerful as face-to-face declarations.  They certainly are not as awkward and are easier to do.  So, doesn't that make them mean a little less.

Valentines day may be over, but those you love in your life still need to hear you say those three little words once in a while.  I think that should have been my New Years Resolution, to say "I love you" to the adults in my life more frequently.  On that note, I could probably work on my reactions to those that tell me they love me, as well.  I hope I am not making it awkard.

So, "I love you Mom, Dad, Grandma, Kristi, Steve!"  Well, it's a start...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Your Peanut-Allergic Kid is the Strongest kid I know

I ate a lot of peanut butter and jelly lunches as a child, and I loved them!  Peanut butter is great on toast and can even make celery taste good.  I do have happy memories of eating peanut butter flavored snacks and PB&J sandwiches.  I also have happy memories of eating pizza, pudding cups, and the occasional grilled cheese for lunch.  So what? 

If the absence of peanut butter during lunch creates a great deal of suffering, then our society is creating some seriously altered views of entitlement.  Who is the weak one?  The person that can't live without a sugary spread on their bread, or the person that can?

Peanut products are everywhere and cross-contamination can be found in many items that don't even have peanuts in the ingredients.  For the peanut allergic kid, this makes food choices a minefield each time they eat outside of the home.  These kids need to a be smart, vigilant, and bold each time they eat!  How many of us can accurately say that we were able to stand up in front of our peers, as adolescents, and call ourselves out as different?

Food allergic kids are forced to accept their food allergy fate and wear it on their sleeve.  They get bullied for it.  Their parents get bullied for it.  They are forced to act mature and confident before they even hit puberty!

So, I say that "Your Peanut-Allergic Kid is the STRONGEST Kid I know."

Friday, February 10, 2012


This is a big Kyrptonite for me when it concerns my children.  I will not tolerate them bullying other kids, and I will do all that I can to help them stop any bullying to which they are subjected.  Trying to walk through the bullying minefield with your child is just awful!  When do you step in?  What do you do when you decide to help?  There are no clear cut answers.  Yet, as parents we know that bullying situations can negatively impact our children throughout their life without appropriate intervention.  The pressure is enormous to handle these situations correctly!

Recently, my son was slugged in the face one to many times.  During a sports game in the front yard, one of the players got angry at the outcome and sucker punched my son in the face.  This particular bully has a history of slugging my child from uncontrolled anger at losing.  Since we live near this child, it is very difficult to distance ourselves from this behavior.  After the incident, I went over to the child's house with my son and confronted the issue with him and his parents.  My son has had so many years of this child's bullying he started to backpedal on his story of how he was slugged when faced with the other child's defensive version of the story.  Unfortunately for us, this child's parents have never acknowledged wrong doing of their child to me.  We have still to receive an apology for the strike.  Instead, all we heard was excuses and double talk about blaming on all boys for rough play. 

Come on parents!  Let's call a spade a spade and deal with the real issues.  You may not want to admit that your child did anything wrong.  It is difficult to hear that your child has been bullying other children, and our instinct is to defend our child and try to find a good excuse for their behavior.  That is the right approach if you want to raise a child with anger issues.  Take control while they are young!  Let your child know that you will not tolerate this them taking their anger out on other children.  You are not protecting your child by making excuses for them.

Let's work together as parents!  It would be nice if more parents would acknowledge these bullying situations for what they are and work with the other parents to find a solution.  If both children knew that both parents were working together, they would not be able to get away with as much.  The child being bullied would feel more protected and the bully would have more of a reason to stop his negative behavior.

So, get over yourself.  Your children are not perfect and neither are you.  Who cares what others think.  Take appropriate action where it is needed and do your children a favor.

What have been your experiences with parents when you approach them about their child's bullying?