Posts from ‘Parenting’
We don’t keep secrets in our family, but we can keep surprises.
Secrets are usually something bad that can hurt someone, while surprises are something good, such as a present!
Along with that, I’ve taught my children that if any adults ever say to them, “Don’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this,” that it’s VERY important they tell me right away and I will never be mad at them for doing so. Grown ups only say that if they did something wrong, but when it comes to the safety of my children, I need to know about it. Adults should not be forming secrets with children, period. It’s not healthy for the kids and it sets up a bad power dynamic between the adult and the child. Feeling the pressure of keeping a secret for an adult can create unneeded stress and anxiety for children.
The same goes true the other way – babysitters and teachers should never say to a child “I won’t tell your Mom (or Dad) about this” in order to cover up for the child. I know sometimes people are tempted to do this. The child might plead, “Please don’t tell my mom or dad.” Or the adult might use it as leverage, “I won’t tell your parents about this IF… ” which is also unfair to the child.
Kids make mistakes. Adults make mistakes. But when we keep them secret, they can become shameful, embarrassing and can even be hurtful when they come out later.
This morning from my seven year old:
“Mom, I don’t want to go to school today.
And it’s not because I hate school.
It’s because I want to spend more time with you.”
My first thought was “ouch” and my second thought was “she’s getting good at this.”
And my response:
“Didn’t we just spend all day together yesterday? Didn’t we have so much fun at the Farmer’s Market and relaxing at home and eating a special dinner and going for frozen yogurt?”
Six years ago I became a “food allergy Mom.” Not a title I ever wanted, but one I take very seriously. I’ve written quite a bit about how we manage food allergies in our lives, house, school, etc. What I don’t ever talk about is how other families do it. Because each food allergy family is different. And each one has a different comfort level with risk when it comes to the potential of a food allergy reaction.
And from what I suspect stems from fear, and confusion about the way we all act differently, there can be a lot of judging of people with food allergies. Non-allergy families judging “food allergy parents” for being too dramatic or asking too much, children judging their peers with food allergies for being different, family members feeling burdened or resentful about having to change family traditions or being asked not to serve favorite-recipes at family gatherings. Oh, and families with food allergies judging other families with food allergies because they don’t follow the same “rules” as they do.
These two kiddos begged me to learn karate for at least a year before I gave in. And you know what? I’m so glad I did.
For a year now they’ve been attending classes twice a week, sometimes three, through National Karate. They’ve each grown so much taller they’ve already had to increase their uniform size once during the year. They’ve gone from no belt to white belt to gold belt to green stripe to green belt to green belts with purple stripes…. in other words these kiddos have kicked some serious karate butt.
And yesterday they participated in their first tournament. And it was amazing. Look how bright and shiny they were first thing in the morning! Seriously they’ve been practicing for so long!
What I’m about to share with you is a game changer for the world of food allergies. Seriously.
If you or your child or partner carries an EpiPen for severe allergies, ask yourself if you have you ever:
- left home without your emergency medications and not realize it until you’re far away?
- worried that your medication got too hot or too cold when you accidentally left it in your car?
- had anxiety about your child at school or daycare and want to make sure you are alerted immediately if they have a reaction?
- tried to remember when the medication expires, but it’s at another location and you can’t check it?