Mom of the Year Friday – The Halloween Edition

In celebration of Halloween, here are some costumes you should perhaps NOT put your child in, lest he end up on Mom of the Year Friday.

 I’m sure the kid said, “Daddy, I want to be Ariel the Mermaid for Halloween”.  And Daddy said, “Don’t worry kid.  Let me go out into my shop and I’ll hook you up.”parent-of-the-yearnys

Um yeah….Not really sure what to say here. I could do a whole MOTYF series of babies eating/drinking/smoking things they definately should NOT be eating/drinking/smoking.

38431587_611977badmomanddad

Ok, this is not technically a Halloween costume but having the whole family with hair like this has GOT to be some sort of child abuse.  I bet this kid cries in memory everytime she goes to the hairdressor.

BigBadHair1

 

Oh don’t start now, Kid!

So, Zoey comes up to me with a baby doll in her arms, cuddling and singing.  I say, “Hey Zoey, what’s your baby’s name?” Out she says, quick as a wink, “Baby Sister”.

Oh no you don’t kid!  It’s too early for this pressure, especially from a two-year old!

Do You think shows like TLC’s Duggar Family Help or Harm the Only Child Cause?

Cable television seems to have a fascination with huge families lately.  Shows like Jon and Kate Plus Eight and the 19-plus Duggar family highlight the trials and tribulations of families with huge numbers of children.   But my question is, do shows like these help or hurt the cause of those families who choose to limit theirselves down to one child?

Looking at the case example of the Duggars.  I believe at this time they have something like 19 children.   I found this post from Psychology Today that expresses my thoughts exactly:

FROM SUSAN NEWMAN, PSYCHOLOGY TODAY: I didn’t know much about the Duggars at the time of the interview, but have since been looking into their lifestyle, their living arrangements, and wondering why 18 offspring or if it’s wise. The Duggar’s report being self-sufficient, have a lovely home, and are not on any public assistance… they say. I would guess that income from their Learning Channel TV show and commercial product donations allow them financial freedom right now. BUT, no mother-or father-can reasonably be expected to care for 18 children herself in the way that most of us believe is desirable, positive parenting.

Years ago I asked elementary school children ranging in age from 5 to 12 to finish this sentence: “My mother is special because…” Here, a smattering of responses:
…she gives me lots of hugs and kisses
…she helps me when I’m stuck on something
…she washes my clothes
…she reads me a bedtime story
…she plays games with me
…she helps me with my homework
…she makes my problems her problems
…she’s like a backdrop with padded velvet to comfort me
…she lets me get in her bed every night
…she knows what I’m thinking
…she cheers me up when I am sad
…she does everything with me

It is these one-on-one actions and feelings, cultivated over years of interaction, that bond parent and child and create enduring closeness. Realistically, the burden of caring for and “parenting” the younger Duggar children falls to the the older ones-to help with homework, to bathe, to dress, to feed, to kiss and hug.” (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/singletons/200901/are-the-duggars-family-20-or-industry).

 

Ms. Newman makes an excellent point.  Let’s be realistic here. I am a working mom with a full time schedule. Between work, commute times and bedtimes, I estimate I have two, maybe three good hours of quality time with my daughter a day – and a lot of that still gets taken up with cooking, cleaning, bathtimes, and the other day-to-day chores of life.  If I start having two or more kids, I’m not going to magically get more than those 2 or 3 hours, not without making some major lifestyle changes. I’d have to divide that time up accordingly.   I almost feel as if I’d be giving less of myself with more.

Perhaps I am wrong. What do you think?

“Mom of the Year” Friday

Just to toss things out on this new blog of mine, I think I shall start a new Friday regular post on the blog, deemed (sarcastically, as you will find)

Mom of the Year

Here will be pictures and stories from around the internet to assure all of us parents out there that no matter how tough parenting is, how much we all feel like we fail our kids on a regular basis, at least we have not failed parenting on such a monumental basis as these folks have (at least in their one moment of brainlessness).  Enjoy!

I am completely in favor of breastfeeding, but this takes it a bit too far…

 67995_momsonsbewbswrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you feel the need to drag your child butt-naked down a public road…

57136_momthongbabyroad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No words necessary here…

 

Famous Only Children

Here is a list of famous only children I found online – just for a fun Friday post!

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Ansel Adams
  • Steve Allen
  • William A. Anders
  • Hans Christian Anderson
  • Christina Applegate
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Lauren Bacall
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • John the Baptist
  • Candice Bergen
  • Frank Borman
  • Bill Bradley
  • Carol Burnett
  • Mark Burnett
  • Laura Bush
  • Ada Byron
  • Roy Cohn
  • Chelsea Clinton
  • David Copperfield
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Sammy Davis Jr.
  • Robert De Niro
  • Nick Faldo
  • Gerald Ford
  • E.M. Forster
  • Indira Gandhi
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Rudolph Giuliani
  • Tipper Gore
  • Cary Grant
  • Alan Greenspan
  • Teri Hatcher
  • William Randolph Hearst
  • Lillian Hellman
  • Anthony Hopkins
  • Gayle Hunnicut
  • Samuel L. Jackson
  • Shirley Jones
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • James A. Lovell
  • China Kantner
  • Alicia Keys
  • Ted Koppel
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Charles Lindbergh
  • John Lennon
  • Phil Lynott
  • Jesse Metcalfe
  • Joe Montana
  • Iris Murdoch
  • Isaac Newton
  • Al Pacino
  • Gregory Peck
  • Matthew Perry
  • Cole Porter
  • Natalie Portman
  • Ezra Pound
  • Enoch Powell
  • Elvis Presley
  • Lisa Marie Presley
  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Nancy Reagan
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • LeAnn Rimes
  • Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Richie Sambora
  • Jean Paul Sartre
  • Brooke Shields
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Kirsten Smith
  • Danielle Steel
  • Barbra Striesand
  • Charlize Theron
  • John Updike
  • Betty White
  • Robin Williams
  • Tiger Woods

Raising An Only Child Tips (Parents Magazine Article)

Raising an Only Child

Parenting just one has its own joys and difficulties.
By Colleen Davis Gardephe

http://www.parents.com/baby/development/sibling-issues/raising-only-child/

Introduction

Fifty years ago, when only children represented just 10 percent of all kids under age 18, “onlies” were often thought of as lonely, spoiled, and socially inept. But the tide has turned, and as the number of only children climbs, their place in society has risen. Today there are some 14 million only children in America, representing about 20 percent of all kids, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

A small family differs dramatically from a large one and, consequently, comes with an entirely different set of challenges and rewards. Read the following pages for some strategic guidelines to parenting an only child.

Help Forge Friendships

Give only children the opportunity to interact with other kids. Social activities need to be engineered more for only children, even as early as 18 months of age, says J. Lane Tanner, MD, FAAP, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco. Options for child socializing include:

  • Preschool
  • Special classes
  • Play dates

Play dates should be scheduled both in the child’s home, where she has to share her toys and her parents’ attention, and at a friend’s home, where she has to follow the lead of her peer. Also be sure to orchestrate play time with kids your child’s age, since onlies often gravitate toward older or younger children.

Teach your child social skills. Only children don’t have the benefit of the rough-and-tumble of sibling relationships. What we call sibling rivalry is actually a chance to get along with peers on a daily basis, explains Meri Wallace, author of Birth Order Blues. Losing a game, waiting a turn, joining a group — all of these things are hard for an only child, she adds. To help children succeed in social situations, parents should:

Demonstrate by example how to share, compromise, and show consideration for others
Reward children when they’re being considerate and administer consequences when they aren’t

Separate Yourself

Foster your child’s independence. Since only children develop such a close relationship with their parents, some become too reliant on them for moral support, homework help, and entertainment. Parents, too, can unknowingly reinforce this dependence.

A parent can counter the dependency by giving her child some responsibility, such as chores, explains Wallace. An only child needs to learn how to occupy himself and have fun — the parent doesn’t always have to be the entertainer.

Set clear boundaries. Only children often feel like one of the adults and believe they should have equal say and equal power, Wallace points out. And while many parents of onlies do give their child a say in some family matters, there are obviously many decisions that should be made by the parents alone.

Experts also emphasize the need for parents of onlies to enjoy some couple time. Getting to spend a lot of quality time with your child is one of the many advantages of having a single child, but it’s essential to nurture your marriage. Remember that Mom and Dad have a right to their own life.

Don’t Push Too Hard

Set realistic expectations. Since many onlies are verbally precocious and high achievers at an early age, it’s sometimes hard to know what behavior is age-appropriate for them. It’s also difficult to know when you’re pushing too hard and when you’re not pushing enough. By the age of 7 or 8, only children are like little adults. In their opinion, kids their own age are immature. Slow down, and make sure your only child has a childhood.

Don’t ask for perfection. For most only children, perfectionism seems to go with the territory. Only children want so much to please their parents, and because they peer with adults, they take on adult standards, says Carl E. Pickhardt, PhD, author of Keys to Parenting an Only Child. While it’s fine to want the best for your child, it’s important not to make your goals and anxieties his.

Since onlies often receive parental approval for their many successes (or even their attempts), parents need to explain that their love is not conditioned on the child’s performance.

Keep Splurging to a Minimum

Keep gifts in check. Experts warn that when onlies are bombarded with gifts and their every wish is fulfilled, they get the message, “I always get what I want.”

It’s never too late to rein in excessive gift-giving, notes Pickhardt. Emotional protests will likely follow, but taking this stand will be beneficial in the long run. Parents need to realize that it’s not the gifts that matter; it’s time spent with the child that’s most important.

Don’t overindulge your child. During early childhood, an only child’s expressions of need are responded to quickly. In contrast, children with siblings need to “wait in line” to have their needs met. And learning how to wait, says Dr. Tanner, is a vital lesson.

To prevent only children from developing an attitude of “What I want, I get,” parents should:

  • Set limits
  • Delay gratification
  • Stick to household rules
  • Instill discipline through guidelines and expectations

Parents of onlies also have to learn this valuable lesson: You can’t get hung up on the notion that your child always has to be happy. If you dote on your only child and satisfy his every whim, you’ll regret doing so in the long run, says Pickhardt. One of the repercussions of such overindulgence: Some onlies want to have everything on their own terms. They develop a mentality of, “It’s either my way or no way at all.”

As experts and parents note, the undivided attention an only child receives from his parents can be either a positive or negative force. But if you avoid some of the common pitfalls and offer your only child your unconditional love, he will no doubt thrive. In fact, many parents of onlies say that their relationship with their child is like a wonderful friendship. Best of all, they say, it’s a great friendship that lasts a lifetime!

The “Single” Mom Dilemma, Wherein a Choice Must Be Made

Let me be upfront in this post by being very clear: I am not a single mom.  I have never been a single mom, and I hope and pray every day of my life that I never have to become a single mom.  I have the utmost respect for single mothers, and wish I had but a fraction of the tenacity these mothers have. I simultaneously pity and worship my single mother friends.

However, that being said, half of the time when I am caring for my daughter, I do feel a bit like a single mom.  You see my husband is a law enforcement officer who works nights.  His shift causes him to leave me and my daughter at 7pm for half of the nights of the week, not to return until the next morning.  On those work nights, care for my daughter is 100% up to me.  All feeding, all playing, all bathtimes, all bedtimes, all middle-of-the-night crying fits…all me.  When my daughter was a little tiny baby, this situation often led me to tears.  A terribly, sleep deprived mother, woken every hour by an infant, with no one else to rely on. Now that she is a toddler, this whole process is much easier, and most nights I find myself alone with “Me Time” from about 8pm on…all in all, not a bad situation.

As I was reading my daughter her bedtime story last night, the thought popped in my head, “What if I DID have another child right now?”  That child would be just a baby, most likely. Without my husband to assist me, I would be forced to make difficult choices between my children. Would I not be able to give my daughter her nightly ritual of bath-book-snuggle-bed?  Where would I put the baby? Lay her down on the floor next to us?  Place her in a crib and hope she stays quiet as I dedicate time to my eldest?  Or perhaps tell my eldest daughter, “Sorry kid.  The new kid in the house outranks you in need. Put yourself to bed alone.”

As far as difficult choices make, the nightime ritual is a fairly minor choice.  But these choices one must make only echo larger and larger as the children age, forcing all parents of multiples to make difficult choices between their children.   I suppose all parents of multiple children adapt, and their children adapt.

But am I selfish in not wanting to HAVE to make a choice?

About This Blog

Our Little Family - Just the Way We Like It!

Our Little Family - Just the Way We Like It!

Only child…singleton…spoiled brats…

The connotations for only children are historically negative. G. Stanley Hall was one of the first experts to give only children a bad reputation when he referred to their situation as “a disease in itself.” Even today, only children are commonly stereotyped as “spoiled, selfish and bratty.”

Parents of only children are often faced with feelings of guilt, condescension, selfishness or just a general feeling that they are “cheating” their child out of a sibling.

Mommy blogs abound across the Internet, but there seems to be a severe lack of information and blogs about a lonely group of parents out there – those who either by circumstances or by choice have become the parents of an only child.  Thus, “My Only Child, My Lion” was born.  I am a parent of an only child by choice, and I plan this blog to be a resource and refuge for all parents of singletons.

About the Name

A fable written by Lokman, an Ethiopian sage of ancient times, shares the following story:

A hare, upon meeting a lioness one day, said reproachfully: “I have always a great number of children while you have only one or two now and then.”
The lioness replied, “That is true, but my one child is a lion.”

What Is An Only Child? The Wikipedia Definition

It says something about society and its attitudes towards the subject of only children when even the Wikipedia Article on the subject is relatively short!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Only_child

~~~~~

An only child is a child with no siblings, either biological or adopted. Although first-born children may be considered temporary only children, and have a similar early family environment, the term only child is generally applied only to those individuals who never have siblings. An “only child”, however may have half-siblings or step-siblings who come along considerably late (after he/she turns, say, 12) and still be considered an “only child”. Children with much older siblings may also have a similar family environment to only children.

Families may have an only child for a variety of reasons, including: family planning, including financial issues, stress in the family, time constraints, fears over pregnancy, advanced age, infertility, personal preferences, and death of a sibling. Additionally, some parents decide to have only one child because they simply prefer it that way. Under the the One-child policy in Mainland China, subject to local relaxations, urban parents are prohibited by law to have more than one child.

In Western culture, only children are often subject to a stereotype that equates them with spoiled brats.

G. Stanley Hall was one of the first experts to give only children a bad reputation when he referred to their situation as “a disease in itself.” Even today, only children are commonly stereotyped as “spoiled, selfish and bratty.” Susan Newman, a social psychologist at Rutgers University and the author of Parenting an Only Child, says that this is a myth. “People articulate that only children are spoiled, they’re aggressive, they’re bossy, they’re lonely, they’re maladjusted,” she said. The reality, according to Newman, is that “there have been hundreds and hundreds of research studies that show that only children are no different from their peers.”

Alfred Adler (1870-1937), an Austrian psychiatrist and a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, was another early theorist who believed that only children were deficient. He argued that birth order leaves an indelible impression on an individual’s style of life – that is, the individual’s habitual way of dealing with the tasks of friendship, love, and work. Adler believed that because only children have no rivals for their parents’ affection, they may be pampered and spoiled by their parents, particularly the mother. He suggested that this could later cause interpersonal difficulties if the person is not universally liked and admired.

A 1987 quantitative review of 141 studies on 16 different personality traits contradicted Adler’s theory by finding no evidence of any maladjustment in only children. The most important finding was that only children are not very different from children with siblings. The main exception to this was the finding that only children are higher in achievement motivation.[3] A second analysis revealed that only children, first-borns, and children with only one sibling score higher on tests of verbal ability than later-borns and children with multiple siblings.[4]

The advantage of only children in test scores and achievement motivation may be due to the greater amount of parental attention they receive. According to the Resource Dilution Model, parental resources (e.g. time to read to the child) are important in development. Because these resources are finite, children with many siblings receive fewer resources.[5]

In his book, Maybe One, Bill McKibben argues in favor of a one child policy based on this research. He argues that most cultural stereotypes are false, that there are not many differences between only children and other children, and where there are differences, they are favorable to the only child. Aside from scoring significantly better in achievement motivation, only children score significantly better in personal adjustment to new situations. Only children are also more likely to make outside friends, whereas children with siblings tend to be “more parochial and limited in their understanding of a variety of social roles.”[6]