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My Journey

My Journey

5 types of parents you can meet on the playground

The playground. My worst nightmare and a greatest saviour.

If you are a parent, then you are already familiar with the benefits of playgrounds, especially if your kid is not going to kindergarten or school. Not only your child can learn to interact with other kids and practice their social skills but they can also get much needed physical activity. Added benefit is definitely the fact that you can finally get a breather from being the center of their world and main conversation partner. But for me, a socially awkward individual, the playgrounds can be a nightmare because I never know how to act among the other parents who always look more parentish.

But this is why I spend more time observing so I can bring you the list of the parents you can meet in the playground.

  1. Alpha mom

Alpha mom scares me so much. She is prepared for any kind of situation and she is in total control every minute they are in the playground. Not only that she will have all the best snacks, enough toys for everyone but she will also be ready for any accidents. First aid kit? She has it. Poonami? Don’t worry, she has a change of clothes. Kid wants to eat something you never heard of before? She will have it in her bag. She knows all the good parenting techniques you heard of and probably invented some.

  • Joiner Mom

She is always there with her kids no matter if their child is playing football with some other kids, or going up and down on the slide. She will be right next to them to offer a supportive hand. More often than not you want to push her off the slide because she is making it impossible for your child to get near it, or she is taking the last available swing, but it is actually admirable how involved she is.

  • Encouraging dad

My husband belongs in this category and he is embarrassing me every time we go to the playground. It doesn’t matter what is she doing, he will be there encouraging her. You can do it! You are doing amazing! That is the best way to climb up the step! You are a champ! That is the best pile of mud I have ever seen! The downside of this is that Emily now believes she is a Superwoman. The toddler area of the park is not enough for her anymore, now she is tackling the equipment for older kids. 

  • Ultra-protective dad

They have a special place in my heart. You can always hear them running around the playground and their constant flood of warnings. Be careful! Watch where are you going! Don’t go there! Are you cold? Are you warm? Are you thirsty? Watch your step! You can almost hear their raising heartbeats every time their kid starts to run.

  • Competitive mom

No matter how hard you try to avoid them you will never succeed. They will always manage to sneak up on you and then the questions will start. How old is she? Is she speaking? Going to potty? Knows the alphabet and all the numbers? Can name all the presidents? No? Her kid knew that since he was 8 months old. But don’t worry, she has a friend who was in the same situation. I wasn’t worrying until just now, thank you very much.

And then you have me. Hiding somewhere in the corner pretending to read a book or being “super busy” on my phone, actually keeping an eagle eye on Emily and doing everything I can to stop myself from becoming an Overprotective dad.

My Journey

Is your toddler trying to kill you and why yes?

Your toddler has started walking and it became an unstoppable force of nature. There is nothing they can’t do; no matter how many times you try to convince them otherwise.

You probably couldn’t wait for this day to come, but the moment it happened you realized what you brought upon yourself. Now they have so many ways to get hurt.

At least before they were relatively stationary and they couldn’t reach everything, but now, everything is fair game. Cutlery drawer? You mean their new favorite toys? Bookshelf? Do you mean their new adventure park? But put all those scary thoughts on the side for a moment, and join me on a trip through even scarier ones.

Have you noticed that since your toddler is becoming more and more confident and self-sufficient, there have been some accidents you can’t really explain? Well you can, and the explanation is correct. Your toddler is trying to kill you.

toddler trying to kill you

How is your toddler trying to kill you?

Example number 1.

Building blocks and Lego bricks are placed on strategic places through your house guaranteeing that you will step on them at least once during your day. You probably haven’t noticed but a lot of them are placed in convenient places around the stairs. Imagine your innocent-looking toddler saying to the detectives: “I was just enjoying my day playing with my Legos and she was rushing like she always does and she just fell down the stairs. How many times did I tell her to stop and enjoy the day? Carpe diem, mommy”.

Example number 2.  

Losing the pacifier or their favorite toy or even a blanket in the middle of the busiest road. They will insist they have to bring their toy with them wherever you go or that they desperately need the pacifier, and they will seem happy for a while. The moment you relax and stop constantly checking up on them, they will conveniently drop it.

I know what you are thinking, “oh you are overreacting, just pick it up and everything will be ok.” But, no, it is not that easy. They will drop it in the middle of crosswalk on the busiest road, and they will wait until the light turns to orange or even red before they notify you. The next thing happening is you running back to pick up hoping nothing will hit you.

Or if you are me, hoping they will hit you just a little bit so you can have short holidays in the hospital. Oh, peace and quiet how much did I miss you. Now some of you are thinking that luckily your toddlers are not using pacifiers or blankets and they don’t bring toys with them, but let me leave with one word: Shoes.

Example number 3.

Surprise kicks. In any given opportunity they will find a way to sneakily kick you. Just imagine it: “Your adorable toddler just coming towards you to give you a big hug or a sloppy kiss. Bam, surprise kick in the stomach.” We have all been there. Don’t even let me get started on them trying to reach something that is just beside you. Nothing is safe. Their foot will end up in your face, elbow in the gut, or my toddler’s favorite, head butt straight into the bladder.

The worst thing about it? You are completely aware of the fact your toddler trying to kill you, and you are enjoying every single moment of it. Parenthood is indeed the best example of the Stockholm syndrome.

My Journey

Monsters In The Bedroom

 

I didn’t know what had got into my little champion lately. Last night was the second instance she had woken me to go monster hunting in the middle of the night. Yes, you heard me; we were going to hunt a monster that was hiding under her bed.

Two nights ago, when the monster was first reported, I was just beginning to doze off when I heard cluttering in her room. Seconds later she was in my room, her heart pounding and almost out of breath. She was clearly terrified out of her toddler wits.

Monsters In The Bedroom

What’s wrong honey?‘ I asked pulling my daughter and hugging her tightly. Well, that’s when the tears came. Amidst the sobs and crying, she told me that there was a monster flying around in her room. I soothed and calmed her down.

Monsters in the bedroom
When she was finally calm, I gently took her in my arms and declared that we are officially monster hunters. Off we went on this heroic journey to catch the monster flying around in her room. We searched everywhere and despite her insistence that it was hiding under her bed we did not find the terrible monsters in the bedroom.

Maybe he flew out‘ said my baby as she finally dozed off, and that was it. I was convinced that this monster business was behind us, but here she was the next night standing in front of me in complete horror. 

And so for the second night running we were once again on an epic quest to hunt a monster. When we got to her room, my daughter told me that she had already trapped the terrible beast. She was pointing towards a napkin under her bed. I picked the napkin and underneath it, was the largest moth I had ever seen!

It turns out that my daughter had never seen a moth and given that this was particularly a huge moth she thought it has to be a monster. She had valiantly hunted and trapped it, in complete darkness mark you, and I couldn’t be prouder of my little hero. Well, before the next monster in the bedroom episode, I should also teach her about insects!

The lesson here: you should listen to your little ones when they say there are monsters in the bedroom!

What is your little one afraid of? 

My Journey

Mental Illness in Children – How to Deal with this

Mental illness in children is growing to become more and more common. Some parents think their kid will never be affected so when it does happen, they don’t know what to do. The stigma around mental illness in children can also cause parents to feel embarrassed and reluctant to discuss it with loved ones. In case your kid is even diagnosed, here are some do’s and don’ts:

 

Do not feel embarrassed

Feeling embarrassed due to your kid’s illness seems ridiculous, but it is very common. Because mental illness can cause kids to act in completely irrational, disrespectful or dangerous ways, some parents rather keep it all in the family and don’t discuss their situation with friends or loved ones. It becomes a completely taboo issue, a feeling that can pass to your child as well – he or she might feel that they are such a disappointment or that what they are going through is so unique and terrible no one must ever know about it. This, in turn, can keep them and you from seeking help.

The best way to deal with mental illness is precisely to think about it as a disease. You wouldn’t be embarrassed to tell others your child had cancer or even a broken arm. And you wouldn’t think twice about asking help if that was the cause. Mental illness is just that – an illness, something that does not define your family or your kid.

 

Always make sure to follow doctor’s orders

Many people with mental illnesses go through phases in which they decide to stop taking their medications or they refuse to see doctors. As a caretaker, it is your responsibility to make sure that does not happen, even if that pill causes your kid to be nauseated or feel drowsy – common side effects of medication. Even though this might be hard, you have to understand that doctors really do know best and that, depending on the mental illness, your kid might change drastically if he or she is a mere day without medication. Progress is slow and painful with mental illness – don’t complicate it further for stopping treatment midway.

 

Do not blame yourself

It is true many mental illnesses might be made worse due to the environment people are raised in and some might actually develop as side effects of childhood trauma and neglect. But unless you were a very irresponsible parent, you probably did not cause your kid’s mental illness. Many teenagers who suffer from depression or other types of illnesses blame their parents, sometimes even as a manipulation tactic to get them to do whatever they want. But blaming yourself is not going to fix anything and you are only inflicting more pain.

 

Take some time off

It is very, very stressful to handle people who are mentally ill. The mood swings, the unpredictability, the drama…everything can be very difficult and frustrating. Even though it might seem selfish, it is important to take some time off and realize there is more to life than being a caretaker for someone who is mostly dependent on professional help to get better.

 

My Journey

Domestic violence – the facts and figures you should know

Domestic violence is at a disturbingly high level all around the world. Acts of violence between two people who have an intimate domestic relationship occur frequently. For instance, one woman every week is murdered by a current partner, or someone who she was previously in a relationship with. There are different forms of domestic abuse including, physical, psychological and sexual. Although most people who suffer domestic violence are female there are also many incidents where males are abused, either physically or emotionally.

Firms that specialise in family law are used to witnessing the potential fallout from domestic abuse cases. The aftermath of this type of abuse can have long lasting effects, such as mental health problems and housing issues, if a couple can do longer reside at the same address.

What does domestic violence involve?

The range of domestic violence that occurs is large. It can include:

  • Blame for everything that goes wrong in a relationship. This can significantly reduce the self-esteem of an individual.
  • Humiliation in public by the use of swearing and demeaning language.
  • Isolation from friends and family meaning that sufferers have no support available.
  • Control of all the household finances, meaning that the sufferer cannot spend any money without first seeking permission.
  • Threatening behaviour.
  • Physical assaults.
  • Sexual assaults.

Often, different forms of abuse are combined making the situation frightening and extremely dangerous.

How common is domestic abuse in Australia?

Unfortunately, domestic abuse is very common in Australia. Take a look at statistics quoted by White Ribbon, and you can see facts such as;

  • A quarter of women have experienced some form of emotional abuse by a partner, or ex-partner.
  • Around 40% of women continue to be subjected to assaults after they have separated from a violent partner.
  • Violence carried out by a partner is a leading cause of illness and early death for women in the age range 18-44.

It’s interesting that domestic abuse can affect anyone, no matter what ethnic origin, wealth levels and social situation they have. However, it tends to more prevalent when factors such as poverty, lack of education and substance abuse are present. Witnessing abuse as a child can also contribute to the chances of being an offender or a victim.

Movements for change

There are dedicated movements for change, such as Let’s Change the Story. Their aim is to change social beliefs which traditionally place males in a position of power. Even today, males have dominance in society. They tend to earn more and have more chance of gaining promotion at work. They also often have control of the money that goes into the household. Obviously, in many relationships couples are on an even footing; but, all too often, this is not the case. Anti-domestic abuse movements promote equality as a means of moving away from the abuse epidemic.

Their work has not achieved major success as yet, but important changes in social attitudes always take a considerable length of time to teach, and to take effect.

My Journey

Psychology Tips For Understanding Your Child Better

Parenting is not only about providing comfort and food to your child.

Parenting means being there for your child in their time of need, helping him grow emotionally as well as physically and, giving them a sense of security and warmth, but to be a good parent you need to understand how their mind works.

These are some psychology tips for understanding your child better.

  • Observation

The easiest and most effective way to know about your child is via observation. Show interest in your child’s life, what he is doing or talking about, what he likes to eat, when does he sleep, what does he like playing with are all related to observation.

Every child is unique and different in his/her own way and as they grow their personality starts to shine out so to keep their self-esteem strong avoid comparing your child with other kids.

Remember to not judge your child as this will make him feel inferior and ask general questions to know more about his personality such as:

  1. What does he love to eat?
  2. What is his favorite subject?
  3. How many friends he has?

 

  • Spend Time With Your Kid

Everybody has a busy schedule but don’t let your work get in the way of your personal life as kids tend to feel neglected very easily.

To understand your child, you need to spend time with them, remember communication is the key.

Spending time with them on the dinner table or the car ride is not enough, spend some quality time with them playing board games, reading bedtime stories, dancing, etc.

Conversing with your kids will give you an insight into their lives and problems, and you will know things such as what excites them and what they don’t like.

You can even watch a movie and silently observe them as quality time does not always mean talking and having fun.

  • You Attention Means A lot To Your Kid

Every child craves attention from their parents; even a toddler cries when he is not being held by you or given enough attention.

When you take time out to spend with your child, turn off your cell phone and any other thing that might come in between you and your child, which includes cooking, driving and even checking your emails.

This will make your child feel less of a priority thus feeling neglected, and he will slowly slip in his shell, keeping his feelings to himself, or he will burst out and do bad stuff to gain your attention.

  • Child’s Surroundings Matter

Keep in mind that the environment your child hangs out in will play a part in shaping his personality. The surrounding at home must be secure and nice so that he can count on his family in times of need.

Also, parents should know the people their kid hangs out with and how they interact with surroundings and friends play an important role in the development of cognitive skills and language.

If you notice a sudden change in your child’s behavior immediately find out about who he/she is hanging out with and what has influenced him to react in a certain way.

Remember to take time out to create a good ambiance at home.

  • Listen To What Your Child Has To Say

Listening to your kid can make him feel eager to express himself, and it will be easier for him to confide in you.

Try to initiate a conversation and show no criticism as criticizing what he is saying might shut him down as quickly as he opened up.

Put your focus on their tone, expressions, and posture. Try to gauge their emotions out and keep your tone soft and sweet, taking them seriously.

Respond to what they are saying so that they know you understand them.

  • Let Them Express In Their Own Way

No two children are alike; some children express via talking others express themselves through art, and writing or acting so do not restrict their imagination.

If your kid likes to write a diary, do not object to it, do not pry through it instead appreciate what they are doing.

Let them express what they are feeling without judging them.

  • Know About Child Phycology

It is very important to know and educate yourself about child development and phycology as this gives you an upper hand in understanding them easier.

Buy books, read blogs or speak to a child specialist to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

Do not make wild guesses and jump to conclusions quickly, be patient with your child and understanding.

  • Know About Childhood Mental Disorders

There are a few disorders common in kids, educate yourself about them and know how to deal them before they get out of hand. Some common disorders include:

  • Depression

This may cause your child to throw tantrums and immediate mood swings

  • Eating disorder
  • Learning disability

This can make learning for your child hard with poor memory and coordination.

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Your child may show characteristics such as hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They might act excited and aggressive as well.

  • Anxiety
  • Disruptive Behavior

You child may isolate himself or bully other kids.