Tag Archives: parenting philosophy

Is bullying ever okay?

cover face bullying

Bullying is awful and a big deal. I don’t envy kids today – thanks to social media, school bullying doesn’t end with the last bell and can cause serious psychological scars. But it’s not just kids who get bullied. There’s that woman who accidentally shared a picture intended for her husband with a whole Whatsapp group, who is being shamed by almost all of South Africa through the continual sharing of her picture. Or the parents of the kid who fell in with Harambe, who were blamed and accused of being bad parents. Or anyone who is shamed in shopping centers for breastfeeding, or for having a toddler throw a tantrum, or for going back to work, or for not going back to work… the list goes on and on.

I often write about feeling judged, about my continual affirmation that no one can tell me how to raise my kid. I’ve talked about not apologizing when Harley cries, or about how I know what’s best for my little one and how irritated I get when other people tell me that she must be cold or need to eat differently. I am adamant that every baby is different and that I don’t care what people do – if they want to use disposable or cloth nappies, if they opt for breast or bottle, if they stay home or work, if kids are put in creche/day care or stay home with a nanny or au pair. Everyone needs to make life work for them, and who am I to judge anyone for any of those decisions? So I’ve been a bit taken aback by a new instinct I’ve had. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Why boredom is important for babies and children (and adults)

bored kitty

My mom and I still laugh at some bizarre stories from when I was a kid. Seemingly out of nowhere, I’d dress up in a silly outfit and come barging out of my room with the Chinese restaurant menu that was printed on a scroll singing “Bell horses!”. I remember doing it, I remember thinking it was such an obvious and fun thing to do. I don’t remember why I thought that. But somehow it was a way for me to entertain myself, to have fun and to play. I also remember reading, teaching a pretend class, building with LEGO, or my favorite for years – my parents would give me the big box when we’d get a major appliance and I would draw all over it with markers, climb inside with a flashlight and read or pretend I was in a cave or any other type of play. Considering all the research that keeps coming out, it’s one of the best things my mom did; she purposely left me and my brother unscheduled, allowing us to be bored.

Boredom is often the bane of parents’ existence. When kids are bored, they get into trouble, right? When kids are bored, they whine about it, and then you find them covered in paint or suspended between two pieces of furniture or whatever else. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And the same goes for adults, so we can all use this important reminder. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Attachment parenting and the most important year

attachment parenting

I can’t stress enough how lucky I am. Sure, I have plenty of ups and downs and real life and troubles like everyone else, but I am incredibly lucky – I work from home. While it’s a lot of hard work, and I’ve struggled to find a balance at times, it has meant that I’ve been able to work and take care of Harley at the same time. She hasn’t needed a nanny or a creche; I have been her primary caretaker, her teacher, her entertainment, her jungle gym, her bed, her food source, so in a word – her mommy.

It hasn’t been easy, and I often felt like I was failing. Especially when Harley was even smaller than she is now, I wondered if it was enough to just hold her during the day while I worked, I would get frustrated when I didn’t know what was wrong or when I felt like I couldn’t help her. It’s gotten so much easier as she has gotten bigger and easier to understand, and a big part of that is because we both know that I can take care of her, even when I’m not totally sure how. But the more I read about attachment parenting, the more it sounds like what I’ve done with Harley naturally, and will continue to do cognizantly. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Thumb sucking and other sources of comfort

sources of comfort 1080

Before Harley was born, people asked me if I would want her to use a dummy/pacifier or suck her thumb. I wasn’t too worried about it – I figured if she liked a dummy she could use that, if she liked her thumb she could suck that, and whatever happened happened. Then she ended up in the NICU and she had to use a dummy to improve her sucking reflex. That didn’t last long once she was out of there, but she didn’t seem to interested in sucking on anything other than boob, and even that was just for food and then she’d unlatch herself.

Lately, though, she’s been discovering that she can suck her thumb. She hasn’t quite picked a preferred hand, using whichever thumb happens to find it’s way into her mouth. It’s a noisy endeavor, too, as she talks and murmurs around her thumb while sucking, making bizarre sounds but seemingly having fun. I’m not sure if it just feels good while teething, or is generally nice for soothing herself, but I’m endlessly amused to watch her figure this out. Plus, I’m happy that she’s found a source of comfort for herself.  Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.

Activities for baby development – 6-9 months old

Harley at 6 months

I’ve written before about my desire to help Harley develop. It’s not just about making her a genius, which would obviously be great, but also about making her a well-rounded person with all the motor, cognitive, emotional and social skills she’ll need to thrive as she grows up. But it’s really weird with a baby. I mean, on the one hand they are sort of like blobs who can’t really do that much, but on the other hand their brains are developing faster than they ever will. They are learning so much all the time, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and there are all sort of things that we can do to help them.

I’m enjoying Harley a lot more now. She is so much more engaging – she smiles when we do things, she loves to see me and interact with me, and she is so much easier to read now. Plus, the activities that we can do together are much more fun now, too. Sure, the 3-6 month activities were pretty cool, and the stuff we did when she was 0-3 months helped so much with bonding, but now it feels like we do things together instead of me doing all the work. Continue Reading

DID YOU LIKE THIS POST?

If you like these words, please check out more of what I say on twitter and Facebook, and pics I take on Instagram and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, please be sure to sign up to my carefully curated, crafted and infrequent newsletter.