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Posts Tagged ‘children’

National Keep Your Kids Home From School Day!

Posted by Sandra on September 1, 2009

National Indoctrination Day is next Tuesday, September 8th.  Most of us have renamed it “National Keep Your Kids Home From School Day“.   

My children will not be attending if our district is participating in this indoctrination experiment.  I have already contacted the school board and the principals and they are trying to find out if our schools will be showing this hot air next week.  If they are, the principal has assured me they will have an alternate for my kids – however, I wonder what that will be?  Sitting in a hallway?  Perhaps being beaten out back because they don’t support the Otard?  If it ‘s anything like what happened pre-election, that wouldn’t surprise me. 

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/09/01/obamas-sept-8-speech-to-schoolchildren/

Think it’s a joke?  Look at the official paperwork sent to the teachers.   Moms and dads, you MUST protect your children at all costs!!obeyAnyone remember reading about Hitler in your history classes?  Yeah.  This makes my stomach churn.

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Playing with light…

Posted by Sandra on August 17, 2009

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Family Sunday Drive…

Posted by Sandra on July 13, 2009

We had planned on heading up to Berlin, Ohio, and the surrounding Amish communities over the weekend, but it rained miserably on Saturday – so instead, we headed up on Sunday, in absolutely beautiful weather.  The downfall?  Everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – is closed in Amish country on Sundays!  I managed to get a couple of good images, but for the two hour drive up and the two hour drive back, it was not the amount I had planned.  That being said, we finished the day at a small park with water play, and the three children (and Daddy!) had a great time splashing and getting wet.  The day could be summed up as quite wonderful, even though we didn’t get to shop for Amish handcrafted items or eat at a wonderful restaurant…  We’re planning a trip back up when the season changes this fall – should make for gorgeous pics!

Just wanted to show a few…

amish1

amish3

water23

water15

water13

water1

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Does the sound bother them?

Posted by Sandra on June 15, 2009

The helicopter parents, that is.  Do they wear earplugs or does the WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH of the blades not disturb them?

Do their children not have to wear sunscreen because of the shadow of their mothers?

My kids have no idea how lucky they are.  I think I will remind them tonight when they come home – oh, from wherever they are playing at, which is – um, dunno.  But they’re safe, and they’ll be home in one piece later.

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

My new mantle art –

Posted by Sandra on April 23, 2009

Five Faces of Four

Five Faces of Four

sans mantle.  I don’t know why I don’t have a mantle.  I built the house and didn’t include one.  11 years later I still don’t have one.  I don’t know why.  I guess the benefit is it’s one less thing to dust.  But I digress…

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Free Range Author – “Guest Blogger”!

Posted by Sandra on April 20, 2009

http://www.nypost.com/seven/04192009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/free_range_kids_165215.htm?&page=0

FREE-RANGE KIDS”
By LENORE SKENAZY

April 19, 2009 —
When author Lenore Skenazy let her son loose on the subway last year, she was dubbed “America’s Worst Mom.” She explains why more parents need to let go.

Tomorrow my kids go back to school after 17 and a half months of vacation.

Oh wait. Here’s my calendar. They’ve only been off 11 days? In our apartment it feels like light years, because most of the time my boys have been hanging out inside. Why? Because no one was hanging out outside for them to hang out with.

And why was that?

For most kids, that’s verboten. The simple, fun things we used to do without a second thought — walking to a friend’s, staying out until dark — are now regarded as insanely risky. See-you-on-a-milk-carton risky. How did childhood change so much, so fast, and is there any way to bring back the good ol’ days?

Actually, there is. It’s called Free-Range parenting — parenting the old way, with new insights into how we got so brainwashed with fear, and how we can get braver. Let’s take a look first at how we got so scared.

If you think about what our parents were watching when they raised us, it was “Marcus Welby.” Or “Dallas.” Or “Dynasty.” Turn on the TV tonight and instead of kindly doctors or millionaires with big hair, you will see autopsies, psychokillers and a playground’s worth of child predators.

And that’s before the news.

Now, thanks to shows like “Law & Order,” “CSI” and “24,” it looks like no child can step outside without some creep following behind them with duct tape. Between that and 24-hour cable news bringing us the latest abduction from Aruba, it’s almost impossible to convince ourselves these events are rarer than rare. TV piles it on because if it told us what’s really happening — “Millions of kids unharmed!” — we’d turn it off.

Then we’d surf the web. Oh look! A new abduction story.

The other thing scaring us is the very industry that’s supposed to reassure us: the safety industry. Today there are flat screen TV monitors to watch your kid’s crib all day and night — as if this is such a dangerous place to be. There are baby knee pads to protect your infants when they crawl — as if this is such a dangerous activity. There are even shopping cart liners to keep your kid from ever touching a germ.

Forget the fact that babies are born to survive. They’ve been doing it since time began and what’s more: They’re safer today than ever. Infant mortality is four times lower than even when I was born. But these products make us think it’s only by the grace of God — and constant, gadget-assisted hovering — that a kid will make it through another day. So, ironically, the more ridiculous safety products there are, the more we worry our kids aren’t safe.

The problem with all this is that we’re accustomed to imagining the very worst. Sure, most kids don’t die from gumming a grocery cart, but what if? Most kids don’t get kidnapped on their way to self-defense, but what if? (And how ironic!) The what if’s take over our brains. And the one time they shut up long enough to let us open the front door and tell the kids, “Go play by the ant hills!” some other parent is just as likely to chide: “What if something happened? Wouldn’t you feel terrible?”

That’s what everyone was asking me last year when I became infamous for letting my 9-year-old ride the subway alone. What if something happened? How would I feel? One guy called into an NPR talk show and asked why would I give my son one day of “fun,” knowing it would probably end in rape and murder. Wouldn’t I rather let him live to a ripe old age? Comments like that are how I got dubbed, “America’s Worst Mom.” (Go ahead — Google it.)

Please. We all care about our kids. But the fact is, we are living in very safe times for them. Crime has been declining since 1993. Sex crimes against kids, in particular, are down a whopping 79%, according to U.S. Department of Justice statistics.

The way to combat our fears and give our children a childhood again is to step back from all the hysteria and look at what’s really going on: It’s a lovely time to be a kid!

And you know what? It’s a lovely time to be a parent, too.

Lenore Skenazy is the founder of freerangekids.com and author ofFree-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry (Wiley), out now.

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New Art Project

Posted by Sandra on April 1, 2009

I got a neat idea the other day, and realized how simple and inexpensive it actually will turn out to be.  I probably should wait until I’ve actually completed it to blog about it, but I wanted to show off pics so I’m posting prematurely. 😀

Anyways, I picked up a couple of packages of teeny magnets (about 1/4″ diameter round) at Michael’s Craft Store the other day.  They came in packages of 6 for about $2.00.  Then I picked up some heavy gauge jewelry wire for about another dollar.  The magnets are much more powerful than they seem, and they stick to the wire like, well, a magnet. 

So I did a shoot last night with my four kids, and wanted to get a series of five shots of each of them with different expressions and looks.  Now I’m going to print the pics up as 5″x5″ squares, laminate them, and attach them to the wires with the magnets.  I’ll string the wire taut vertically, one right above the other, with about a 7″ gap.  It should make for a very interesting “work of art” and conversation piece, especially with the fun pics!  So I wanted to share the pics, and as soon as the project is done I’ll be sure to post the final result.  I’m very excited to get started.

I’ve posted my favorites, the ones that show the personality the most, in “large” format.  I put the other in a gallery, if you’re interested in looking! 😀

 

1

71

 

18

 

13

 

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Rainy spring break…

Posted by Sandra on March 29, 2009

Haven’t had much going on here – kids have been on spring break for the week, and all but Monday was rainy and cold.  It’s even predicted we may have a teeny bit of snow flurries in the next few days.  Love Ohio – sunny and 70 one day, snowy and 40 the next!

So about the only exciting thing was Autumn and her fish acquisition.  Justus’ Satan Fish finally died (this fish lived without food, in sludge water, you name it – and never died – and managed to kill about 10 fish in the meantime) so we went hunting for a new resident for his small aquarium.  Autumn talked us into one for her too – and she’s OBSESSED.

I now see us as the family that makes a secret run to the pet store to replace a floating fish without her knowledge.  I never thought that would be us, but it will be.

She’s had several animals die in her life – the Cat Eating Bird incident (I don’t believe I ever told that story – that’s for another time), several of Justus’ fish, etc.  But they were never HERS.  She must’ve checked on that fish (upstairs in Justus’ room) seven times last night. 

And named him Fish.

She’s so creative.

I tried to talk her into “Cat”.  I thought I was funny.  She did not.

I heard her say “Good Night Fish” last night.

Maybe we should’ve picked a pet that doesn’t have a lifespan shorter than a moon phase.  This could get messy.

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Fabulous site!

Posted by Sandra on March 18, 2009

The Perfect Baby Handbook

It’s here: The unparalleled humor book that understands every parent’s natural desire to raise a conveniently superior child.

No, not The Baby Whisperer. The green book right there.  home-book

… Web bonus:  The often amusing Perfect Baby Blog!

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Free Range Kids – Book signing!!!!!

Posted by Sandra on March 18, 2009

I’ve already pre-ordered my book from Amazon – I highly recommend it to everyone!  I’m very excited and anxious to get it.  I wish I could be in NY to attend this:

Event: Lenore Skenazy, author of Free-Range Kids, to speak & sign books in Brooklyn

Lenore Skenazy
Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry
Event: Speak & Sign
Location: Barnes & Noble 267 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215
Date: May 6, 2009
Time: 7pm-8:30pm

 

For more information, contact:
Keira Kordowski

(201) 748-6707
kkordows@wiley.com
Free-Range Kids: Giving Our Children the Freedom We Had Without Going Nuts with Worry
By Lenore Skenazy

Jossey-Bass; April 2009; $24.95
978-0-470-47194-4; Hardcover

Posted in **My Family Life**, The Care of the Babe | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Phonetics at it’s best…

Posted by Sandra on March 11, 2009

So I was cleaning out the shed and remembered we had put the old bookcase from the playroom into the shed to hold stuff.  The boys meticulously labeled the shelves so they could stay organized.  They were probably 3 and 7 when they did the labeling.

I’m still laughing:

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

On the way to renewal.

Posted by Sandra on February 26, 2009

prayer

Spiritual renewal.

I have so many mentors to thank for helping me lately – great people I have met that are so willing to help guide me on the path back to God.  I found a neat daily devotional site that I am going to begin following today, too.  I have already increased my daily prayers and thanks, and feel “lightened” up, in just the short time since I realized I needed to invite Him back into my life. 

  **********

Not only am I renewing spiritually, we (as a household) are taking physical exercise a step up too.  With the unpredictible weather here in the Midwest, we haven’t been able to get outside as much as we do in the Spring and Summer, so we’re trying to get the heart beating indoors.  I’ve been very proud of myself, doing 30 mimutes a day of step, jogging, or yoga.  My foot has been giving me just a bit of trouble, but I’m ignoring it.  I’m tired of it getting in the way.  I’ve integrated weights now so that it increases my workout.  Brett has been working with freeweights for quite a while now, so he doesn’t participate with Daddy, me, Justus, and Autumn yet, but he doesn’t need to.   He also runs.

What’s our great motivator?  The Wii Fit!   This thing is really great.  We got it shortly after the holidays and we’re all noticing the positive effects. 

I had my stepdad make a riser for the balance board which really increases the workout – takes it to a whole ‘nuther level, as they say.  So the family has been spending even more time together as we “play” while we exercise!  We already had the sports pack –  which the family delights in beating old Mama at tennis and bowling – and we got the outdoor games too, more active physical fun on a big mat.  One of Autumn’s gifts for her birthday coming up is the Dora Saves the Snow Princess game, which she will LOVE.  We’ve noticed Autumn’s hand-eye coordination really improving too, as she is a pro at boxing and tennis!

So, changes they are a’comin’.  I feel fantastic.  Now if I could just get eight hours of sleep! 😉

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are you KIDDING me?

Posted by Sandra on February 5, 2009

Okay, so insomnia forces me to scroll through television channels in the middle of the night, looking for something that will entertain me but yet maybe soothe me to sleep.  Not an easy task, but eh.  So last night I’m browsing the channels, and accidentally (trust me, it was QUITE accidental) stopped on Rosie’s Family Cruise, or whatever it’s called… that special by Rosie O’Donnell, whom is on my most-disliked person in the world list next to Tom Cruise, Satan, and The One… but I digress.

So in the millisecond I paused on this channel, I hear her talking about her 9 year old son, and how he’s constantly asking to do things by himself, and she is just so frustrated with this, like he wants to go to the public bathroom by himself, and why don’t more places have mom/child bathrooms….

.

.

.

.

.

.

Wait… are you like me and had to re-read that?

Yes.  9 years old.  And wants to go to the restroom by himself.

How DARE he!!!  I am shocked and stunned!!  The restroom?  ALONE?  At the young young age of NINE????

Please, someone tell me I mis-heard her at midnight.  Someone please tell me that this woman, this “mother”, really doesn’t take her 9 year old into women’s restrooms because he’s not old enough to do it by himself.  I will delete this thread if someone tells me she was talking about her 3 year old, or her 9 year old dog, or something other than her son…

Now, I apologize in advance if her little bundle of joy has a physical disability or a mental impairment that requires Mom’s help – but if it’s the same little boy they flashed on during the brief brief moment I had the show on, he looked perfectly capable to me.

Dear Lord, this borders on creepy, if not obscene.

Posted in **My Family Life**, The Care of the Babe | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Stranger Danger… or just misplaced paranoia???

Posted by Sandra on August 13, 2008

Bullshit! yet again hit the nail on the head with their show on Stranger Danger.  With real statistics, real experts, and unbiased information, this show is one of the best on cable, really. 

And of course it doesn’t help that aside from their God and bible stance (they are atheists, I am Christian – but they still researched their information and got great experts to do their show), I agree with them wholeheartedly, on virtually every subject.  But I had to chuckle at their latest episode, I could’ve written it myself. 

I have always known what a wonderfully safe world we live in, and have always known my children ARE safe in this world.  I refuse to do them the disservice of looking over their shoulders everywhere they go, thinking they shouldn’t be allowed to fall down, or making them sterilize their hands every time they touch a shopping cart.  I can’t imagine living that way – I mean, truly, an airplane can crash into your roof RIGHT NOW… but you can’t spend your life outside looking up at the sky waiting on Delta to come a’knockin’! 

My children are the most important things in my life.  That should never come into question, for most every mother.  The fact that my teenager is allowed to bike 3 or 4 miles to the fast food place with his buddies, or my 10 year old can walk to the nearby park by himself, or my 3 year old is allowed in the fenced back yard while I’m in at the kitchen table has nothing to do with not caring about their safety.  No one is going to abduct them.  They’re not going to molested in the back yard.  And yes, they may fall down.  That’s why Band-Aid is in business, it happens.  Ain’t no thang.

Here’s a biggie – do you know the odds are greater that a DOCTOR (or a medical procedure) will kill your child than him being abducted?  Heck, the odds of pretty much ANYTHING hurting your child is greater than an abduction.

Yup.  Those that live in mortal fear of the stranger in their bushes out front better think twice about taking your kid to the pediatrician. 

People need to relax.  In this day of 24 hour news (hey, when I was growing up, there were three stations, with news only at 6 a.m., noon, and 11 p.m. – we actually got good news, too… imagine that!) we are prejudiced to think the world is much worse than it is.  The media paints such an ugly picture, because the pretty pictures don’t make the billions of dollars in ad revenue that they need to keep perpetuating the fear.  Stop it.  Now.  Don’t buy into it, and let your child ride her bike on the sidewalk without you being, well, a Helicopter Parent.

Posted in **My Family Life**, The Care of the Babe, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Olympics and Mothering

Posted by Sandra on August 9, 2008

I’ll admit it – I’m not a big Olympics watcher.  And if I do watch, I prefer the winter ones.  But I wanted to make sure to watch the opening ceremonies last night, and I wasn’t disappointed.

My father-in-law was visiting from out of town and the family was gathered around the television to watch this event.  Fantastic, to say the least.   As we were watching, I made the comment that I truly admire those atheletes with that much drive, passion, desire, and skill to do their sport so often and so long that they’re qualified to be in the Olympics.  I mean, I just don’t get the true want to get up at 6:00 in the morning, hit the ice, and figure skate for 8 hours, every day, for years and years.  I don’t have anything I’m that devoted to.  I wish I did – I am awestruck by their skills but mostly by their hearts.

My FIL looked at me and stated what really is the obvious – yes, I DO have something I’m that passionate about – being a mother!  He went on to say mothers do it 24 hours a day, day in and day out, for years and years.  He said he personally doesn’t understand the maternal instinct that (most) women have, and he finds THAT admirable.

Mothering.  A Olympic-worthy sport?  Yeah.  And my medal is just these beautiful, smart little beings that I was responsible for nurturing to wonderful little people.

See, FILs are good for some things, sometimes!

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Friday Random Thoughts

Posted by Sandra on August 8, 2008

  • If an unstoppable object runs into an immoveable object, what happens?
  • Everyone should love someone enough that every time you hug them, you hug so hard you could end up on the other side of them.
  • Momfidence is raising your child freehand, rather than with a paint-by-numbers kit. To paraphrase Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts: The expert is Within. – Paula Spencer
    • Everyone should read the Paula Spencer book, “An Oreo Never Killed Anyone”.
  • How someone treats you is their karma.  How you respond is yours.  Don’t get them confused – there’s a lot of rude people in the world!
  • If something happened to you today and a stranger had to clean out your bedside table drawer, would you be embarrassed?
  • It takes 21 days to start a habit.  Spend the next three weeks being extra nice.   Your life will change.  And so will those around you.
  • You are not raising inconveniences, you are raising children.
  • Office Space is perhaps one of the most perfect movies ever.  Unless you’re under 12, then it’s Jumanji.
  • I should’ve named my dogs Bissell and Hoover. 
  • I should’ve named my 3 year old Hurricane.
  • I’m too young to have a 15 year old child.

Posted in **My Family Life**, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A letter to Brett

Posted by Sandra on August 7, 2008

Tomorrow you will be 15.  Fifteen years ago today I had no idea what a miracle I would be holding in a short 24 hours.  And I had no idea how much my life would be enriched.

Nor would I have any idea how fast a decade and a half would fly.

I’ve watched you learn it all – and as a teenager, you know it all.  😉  From crawling, to walking, to – in six months – DRIVING.  You are becoming a man.  My firstborn.

I love you.  I know you won’t totally grasp the depth of that love until you hold your own child.  No one can fully understand that a mother or father would throw themselves in front of a bus for their baby, until they have that baby.  And you are still my baby.  You always will be.  That embarrasses you now, but it will be a comfort some day.  I promise you that.

We’ve had a great times and our bad.  Your short stint in our Home Maximum Security Prison was hard… but we all survived.  And if you think it sucked for you to be stuck here for all those months, think of those that had to survive your moping.  Yeah, that sucked too.  🙂  But you learned, you changed, you grew. 

Yes, Dad and I still plan on practicing our duets when you bring your first girlfriend home to meet us.  It is our obligation to try to embarrass you if we can.  We are truly looking forward to it.  mwahhahahahhaaaa

And our afternoon discussions.  I wouldn’t trade that few hours for the world.  Every day you come home from school, and we talk about politics, or current events, or anything… and you can discuss them with such intelligence, common sense, and intuitiveness it gives me chills.  I am in awe of you.

I made you.  This fact still amazes me.  I made this tall, handsome, brilliant, funny, classy being that I know is going to make such an impact on this world.  Whatever you choose to do with your life, be happy.  BE HAPPY.  And always make those around you happy.

Always remember to be kind.  That’s the most important thing I want to implore you to do.  Your smile and kind words may make someone’s day.  It could change someone’s life.  And it’s so easy to do.  Don’t be rude or cruel.  Don’t be jealous, and don’t allow yourself to worry.  Those are two more wasted emotions.

Always put your family first.  We’re always going to be there – friends may not be.  There may be bumps in that road, but the bumps are what you use to hold onto while you climb.  Without those bumps, you may slip.  Your brother loves you so much, and believe me, I know it’s hard to understand that now.  When you’re 25, or 30, or 40, you’ll depend on that love to get you through rough times.  And you’ll depend on that love to be there during the good times. 

Your sisters are really going to depend on you.  They look up to you now – and I know, I know – you don’t fully “get” that either.  You are so fortunate.  We are all very blessed.

I hope you meet someone that makes you happy.  After all these years, I still want to hug Daddy so hard I end up on the other side of him, and I hope you find that too.  You deserve it.

I love you so much.  I hope you have a Happy 15th Birthday, and many, many more.

Posted in **My Family Life** | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

No escape from ‘helicopter parents’

Posted by Sandra on August 1, 2008

 

This is fantastic!   The Helicopter Parent. 

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/209473_copterparents.html

Constant hovering can kick up a cloud of troubles

By FELIX CARROLL
ALBANY TIMES UNION

Excuse me, but you’re hovering. You realize that, right?

The media, pediatricians, psychologists and even the college dean, they’ve all got you figured out — or so they say. They’re calling you a helicopter parent. Get it? Because you hover?

You’re a baby boomer, right? OK, then. Listen up, because this is what they’re saying about you:
You’re too obsessed with your children. You treat them like little princes and princesses — like they’re No. 1, like they’re MVPs. You’ve painstakingly planned their lives from their first play date to their first day of college.

They’re your little Renaissance kids. You shuttle them from soccer practice, to clarinet lessons, to karate, and — because they will be going to a great college — to SAT prep class. Whoops! Speaking of which: You’re late.

You inflate their egos. You give them graduation ceremonies even when it’s just from preschool. You give them a trophy at the end of the season even when they lose. And by the time they get to college and are asked who their hero is, your child will say those words you long to hear: My dad. My mom.

Yes, helicopter parent, your intentions are good, but that rotor of yours is causing a din. Bring her down to terra firma. Let’s talk.

A report on “60 Minutes” last fall discussed how the so-called echo boomers — the children of baby boomers, who were born between 1982 and 1995 — are “overmanaged” and “very pressured” and treated by their parents as pieces of “Baccarat crystal or something that could somehow shatter at any point.”

Indeed, Mel Levine, a professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School in Chapel Hill, says today’s children “may well shatter.”

He thinks children are being coddled and protected to a degree that threatens their ability later in life to strike off on their own and form healthy relationships and proper job skills.

“These parents are trying to create a really terrific statue of a child rather than a child,” says Levine, author of “Ready or Not, Here Comes Life” (Simon and Schuster, 2005).

Beverly Low, dean of the first-year class at Colgate University, says that where before parents would drop their kids off to college and get out of the way, parents now constantly call her office intervening in a roommate dispute or questioning a professor’s grading system.

“A lot of our students tell us, ‘Hey, my mom is my best friend. My father is my best friend.’ Is that a good thing? It’s a different thing,” she says.

But why is it happening? Mary Elizabeth Hughes, a sociologist at Duke University, says helicopter parenting may be an outward sign of economic anxiety, particularly when parents consider the uncertain job market that may await their children.

“They’re very concerned that their kids do very well and excel at a lot of things as a result,” she says.

Hughes says such parenting may reflect generational changes as well.

Many baby boomer parents came of age during the turbulent ’60s where they couldn’t help but experience social change and respond by creating new lifestyles including new forms of parenting.

Mark and Cathy Gamsjager of Greenville, N.Y., are annoyed by parents who turn their loving into hovering. But baby boomers, as a whole, may not be getting the credit they deserve, they say, particularly for some of the improvements they’ve brought to parenthood.

Mark Gamsjager, 42, fronts the rockabilly band The Lustre Kings. He skateboards and snowboards with his two boys, Austin, 13, and Thomas, 9.

They have a great relationship and have lots to talk about, he says.

But he’s still their dad.

“I think there’s got to be a line, you know?” he says. “You still have got to be the tough guy.”

Indeed, the Gamsjagers say they try to take the best aspects of their parents — emphasizing education, independence and discipline — while improving upon their parents’ shortcomings.

“I think parents make much more of an effort to be with their kids,” says Cathy Gamsjager. “It seems to me that we’ve gotten away from everybody being an authoritarian. Not that we don’t have authority over our kids, but there’s more honesty. You spend more time actually talking to your kids about real things.”

But being open and honest doesn’t mean being a pushover, she says. “I’m not my kids’ best friend,” she says. “I’m their mom. I love being their mom, and I love being fun, but in the end I totally get that I’m responsible for helping them make good choices. I’m responsible for where their lives head. I can enjoy them, but no, I can’t be their friend.”

 

Ahhh… please, parents, I beg of you – don’t become a Helicopter Parent!

 

 

 

 

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T.M.I.

Posted by Sandra on June 4, 2008

 

I know now what the problem is that new moms have.  I think some veteran moms do too.

It’s TMI.  They’ve been hit at every angle by information.  Too much.  Too often.  By their doctors (who are not always right), by the Internet, by the media, by friends, by family, by books, by tapes, by commercials, by retails stores, by strangers.

It’s made something that really is not that complex into something so complicated that it’s perpetuating more and more “experts” and opinions. 

It seems that mothers no longer do what feels right – if an expert didn’t say it was right, if it’s not on the right “timeline”, if the “milestones” aren’t met, then it must not be done. 

Don’t use walkers – kids fall down open stairs.  Use pacifiers – they reduce the risk of crib death.  Use sleep positioners so they don’t roll. Use this $30.00 tub instead of the kitchen sink.  Don’t use sleep positioners, they’re a suffocation hazard.  Buy this monitor that “prevents” an unpreventable syndrome.  Don’t give table foods – how ridiculous!  Sterilize bottles in this expensive mechanism so that as soon as they hit the air they’re no longer sterile.  Don’t use pacifiers – you’ll mess up their teeth.  Co-sleep because it reduces the risk of SIDS.  Buy a special mixer to blend food to give baby, because for some reason you can’t give them your food.  Wrap your crib mattress in this $100.00 piece of cloth.  Watch this DVD, it will make your baby smarter.  You must have a video monitor for $100.00!  Buy this tasteless jar of food, it’s healthy.  Change your baby on this $300.00 table.   Give baby this bland cereal first, because that’s what the book says.  Don’t co-sleep, you will roll over on baby.  Don’t let baby watch Baby Einstien, it will cause autism.  Buy this white noise machine because the fan you already own isn’t good enough. AAAAAUGH!

I see a big trend of supply and demand.  If I were to publish an article, which anyone can do, that said babies that wear purple have an IQ that’s 3 points higher than babies that wear other clothing colors – then I ran out and began manufacturing purple clothes – I would be rich in no time.  It’s all about money.  The parenting industry is a multi-BILLION dollar industry, and most of the stuff they sell is unnecessary CRAP.

If a mom stopped for just a minute, did what she felt was right, forgot studies and books and experts, I think her stress level would be cut in half, her baby would be happier because of it, and chance are very high that the choices she would make WITHOUT referring to an “expert” would be just fine.

Relax.  It’s not rocket science.

 

 

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Ayla and her “See-Food”… mmmm!  She loves mama’s pasta and sauce!

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Heaven on Earth

Posted by Sandra on November 18, 2007

Is THIS heaven?

 

Have I found it? 

Sunday morning… a beautiful little girl in her silver satin pajamas climbs into bed between Daddy and Mama.  As we all sleep peacefully for a short time more, the sun rises – and we begin to hear those adorable little giggles.

As our noses are pinched, and our lips are kissed, and our hands are rubbed, our beautiful little angel lets us know it’s time to get up.  I glance over at Gary when he doesn’t think I’m looking and see such unwavering love in his eyes as he hugs and laughs with our little girl, this little miracle we created with our endless love… and he must feel my eyes on him as he glances at me, smiles, kisses my hand, and says “I love you so much”.

Now I realize, in a few short weeks, another perfect little angel will be snuggled between us all night.  Autumn will find room when she wants to come in too – I will make sure of that.  I often wonder how I could possibly fit any more love in my heart – how it could physically not burst from the pressure – and then I realize that without my wonderful soulmate and all of my little miracles, I wouldn’t have any idea what heaven on Earth is really like.

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