Tag Archives: challenges

Be A Warrior in Your Relationships

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Well, I have moved back to my old neighborhood and I am glad because the kids are happy, their schools are closer, and it’s beautiful here.  Along with this move came a reconnection to their dad.  Our past is somewhat intense.  We met in high school and knew then that we wanted to be together “forever” but as we all know, when kids get involved and only one parent matures, it makes for some heavy situations.  Fast forward 14 years and we are both a lot more mature and it is time to act as such.

I have come to the realization that it is important for our daughter to finally see her parents interact in a positive way and our 3.5 year old son to have his dad around on a consistent basis (also in a positive way).  So, I extended the olive branch and offered for him to spend time with the kids and then when they went to bed we could watch the first game of the NBA finals.  Both of us are going for Golden State!

Anyways, he was surprised because I never wanted to watch sports with him when we were together in the past nor did I really want him watching sports alone.  I’d rather have him watch a good Lifetime Movie with me. So, he accepted the offer and was pleasantly surprised when he saw that I had brought two different types of wings, chips and dip, and beer and wine for the game.Go Warriors

We watched it and celebrated the ups and downs of the game.  As we sat there glued to the screen and the food, it suddenly hit me that there was a clear power struggle between him and me. I didn’t want to give up control and he didn’t either.  We also weren’t keeping the kids and each other partner first.  We were young and selfish.  All he wanted was my presence sharing an experience that he enjoyed.  Crazily I used to be so mad at him for other actions that I tied it to anything that he wanted to do and “didn’t do it”.

Needless to say it was a great experience sharing a positive night with their dad and since then he has come over more often to spend time with the kids, talk about our daughters grades and our sons progress in a new preschool, and just relax.

What I want to end with is the fact that there shouldn’t be a power struggle because those types of struggles don’t account for the children.  We need to focus on healthy relationships, which sometimes mean sacrifice, for our kids.

Life in Perspective (Part of a Series)

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I have been “snowed-in” for the past few days and have completed a lot of homework for my new graduate degree that I’m working on.  I have also pinned a lot on Pinterest.  In keeping this post short, I was able to sit down with my daughter and go through these pictures and ask her thoughts on what she saw.  This was a very enlightening moment as she realized that the world was actually as big as she was being told.  Kids are so visual and no matter how many reports they have to write on globalization and multiculturalism, it always hits home when they get to “see” it.  The best is when they can experience.  I wanted to share with you what I shared with her from a site called distractify.com.

Information and link courtesy of distractify.com

The Justin Saga

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So, my two-almost-three-year-old gives me the worst time when I take him out in public. It has gotten to the point where I am afraid to take him anywhere, including church! I have good reason, he randomly yells at people passing by, hits other children, and makes faces at strangers. Of course, I researched and came up with a load of possible reasons why he is the way that he is, my little sprout watching bundle of joy. I had narrowed it down to just a few, oppositional defiance disorder, severe ADHD, and borderline personality disorder. I’ve already taken him to a child psychologist and she prompted me to use the program 1,2,3 Magic! I hope that it works because it is getting hard to find a babysitter to watch him while I go to the grocery store.

After my own analysis of the situation and then speaking with the child psychologist, I came to the conclusion that it “should” be hard to label a two year old. For goodness sake, one of the guidance counselors at my school thinks her son has sociopathic tendencies. Of course we don’t truly believe that there is anything wrong with our children but what we do know is that the behavior being exhibited cannot continue and we want to take action now. Justin’s (my son) pediatrician said that his behavior is normal, especially for a child who spends all day with his older grandparents and is not used to going out and interacting with other children. He stated that the negative behaviors should start to diminish after he starts preschool.

But, guess what? He must be potty-trained to start preschool. And Justin’s response to potty training…. a resounding “No”!

The saga to be continued….

Toddler + Movie Theatre = Challenge

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MovieTheaterJob_HWell, challenge accepted.  Damn $6 Tuesdays at the movies (check your local regal cinemas).  I love a great deal and it is hard to pass up great movies on the big screen for $6 all day long.  I usually take my daughter to see a good show once a month but, this month, I decided to take Justin.  Did I mention that he is in the terrible two-phase (Lord, let it be just a phase).  Anyway, it was raining, he was irritable because he didn’t take a nap beforehand, and my daughter wanted everything she saw at the concession stand.  To summarize, this is how it went:

Scene 1: We enter the multiplex, my 13-year-old daughter says that she has to use the restroom and will get some things from the concession stand. I hand her my credit card (big mistake) and she runs off.

Scene 2:  I struggle with my flailing two-year old and find a spot where he will not annoy any surrounding viewers.  The lights dim, the music from the previews start, and now Justin is in fear for his life.  Why is it dark?  Why is loud?  He cries and jumps into my lap and holds onto me for dear life.

Scene 3:  We sit like this patiently until his sister returns with two huge drinks, chocolate covered raisins, a large popcorn, and sweet and sour cabbage patch kids or we could just say $30 in the hole.

Scene 4:  Justin calms down because his sister is there and he sits between us but, I think he is only calm because he sees food and a huge coke (which he refuses to let sit in the cup holder in the arm rest but instead must hold it in his little lap).

Scene 5:  The movie starts and everything is going okay…. at least for an hour.  The last half hour Justin decides that he would like to ask a lot of questions really loudly during the movie, stand up and dance, move around, cry out when we say no to his demands, and spill food on the floor.  My daughter and I block him in by placing our legs up to the chair in front of us so that he is trapped ( I like to call this unconventional parenting).

Scene 6:  The movie is finally over and it is time to leave.  My daughter has to go back to the restroom, maybe from the huge sprite she drank, and I am left to struggle with Justin to get him out of the theatre, through the rain and into his car seat.  He wanted to run around the lobby area of the theatre instead.

Scene 7:  My daughter finally appears and we are on our way back home.

Now, there are a couple of things that I learned from this incident.

#1 Feed the children before you get to the theatre and keep snacks in your handbag.  I know theaters do not like for you to bring your own food but, I wound up spending more than I would have on regular priced tickets just on food alone.  They are not paying your bills and if you have a toddler (which you pay for their ticket too, you can put some water or juice in their sippy cup along with some  Goldfish or Cheerios and save yourself the money).

#2 Always go on a weekday or early afternoon as there is less chance that the theatre will be packed and people will become annoyed with you and your rambunctious toddler.

#3 Look for another toddler.  This in fact saved me a lot of embarrassment because while Justin was up in the top row talking loudly, a little girl down in the front was screaming at her father and running around.  This took the attention off of us.  Okay, okay that is not an actual lesson learned.

#4 Take them often until they get used to behaving in public.  I know you want to call it quits but, they will never learn if we just avoid all situations where they misbehave (except for the grocery store, at the grocery store leave the cart where it is, take the child and get out.  They will learn that they are not running the show and still will not get what they want and you have not lost any money, only time).

Lastly, the movie sucked.  I should have waited for it on Netflix.