What are the rules for parenting other children or giving parenting advice or just plain parenting interference? And what is the appropriate response?
I imagine it differs by country and culture, by personality and preference. I’ve been scolded in both Mexico — and now, in Laos — about not dressing my children “warmly” enough during the “cool” season: (Here, what is considered “cold” to the locals is perfect and refreshing for us to enjoy, say, in jeans and a t-shirt without wrapping ourselves in sweaters and down jackets like everyone else around us.) With an understanding nod and smile, I always reply with a cheerful yet emphatic, “To us, this isn’t cold. It’s perfect!”
For all the concern in other countries about my children being cold, there is a surprising lack of concern for their over-consumption of sweets. One time while waiting to board our plane, a troupe of Korean men and women each gave my kids a piece of candy, repeatedly. After one or two, I asked my kids to politely say, “Thank you.” After the fourth, fifth, sixth piece, I made them do the same while I motion a polite, “Thank you, but please, no more.” Then, when they cojoled my kids to take even more, I resorted to a stern-faced, “NO thank you,” and prohibited my kids from escaping my firm grasp. Enough is enough no matter how kind the gesture.
(Another candy incident that elicited an immediate “No” from me without even a “Thank you” was returning to our hotel in Vietnam late at night with two obviously over-tired kids and having the doorman hand them a bowl (yes, a bowl!) full of candy to grab!)
When my legs felt like lead, I thought of them. When rain and snow pelted my face, I thought of them. When I closed my eyes and wished it was over, I thought of them. 13 charities. 13 reasons to keep on moving.
In September of 2012, still battling the war against the baby weight I had gained in pregnancy and losing (my own “baby” now three and a half), I decided that running seemed like a good idea. Except that in September, I had never successfully run a mile in my life, not even once. I needed a goal to keep me on track, a motivational tool to push me out the door before the sun rose on cold fall days in Paris. Armed with the idea that a half marathon was “completely possible,” I set out to find the most interesting, and difficult, half marathon I could find. A race at the Great Wall of China was first to leap out on the page, but as I scrolled down further, there it was: the 2013 Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania.
Later that evening, I said to my husband, “I’m going to run the half portion of the Kili Marathon in March,” and my husband, slowly raising his eyebrow said, “That’s great, but shouldn’t you run a 5K first?” (more…)
We are in the midst of the Christian Lenten season. About 20% of Koreans are either Catholic or Protestant, so even in this predominantly Buddhist country, I am seeing signs of the Christian faithful observing the 40 days leading up to Easter.
The observation of Lent was not in my faith tradition growing up, and I do not identify as Christian. That said, I decided this year, for the very first time, to observe Lent in my own way.
I love the idea of setting aside a specific amount of time to step back, take stock, and reflect. As I began my research into the origins and practices of Lent I kept coming across something I’d never known; this idea that Lent is a form of justice to God, self, and others and that it is a time to call things what they are.
Calling things what they are. (more…)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every parent has experienced the pain of stepping on a Lego. Some day, hundreds of thousands of years from now, archaeologists will discover our perfectly preserved bodies and wonder what those evenly spaced circular dents on the soles of our feet are.
The first time I had a serious run-in with one of my kids’ toys was when my younger son James was two. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and I walked smack-bang into a toy truck. If the truck had been made of plastic it wouldn’t have been so bad, but it was made of metal.
My foot connected with a sharp corner of the truck and I got a fair-sized gash. Because this happened during a rare moment in which both kids were asleep at the same time, I couldn’t howl in pain and hop around on one leg. I had to just stand there and bleed quietly.
Five years later, I still have a scar on my right foot. And James still has the offending truck. In fact, both of my boys still have just about every toy they have ever owned since the day they were born. My attempts to get rid of some of them have not gone well. (more…)
It takes a lot for me to leave my family behind for a week like I did to go to Uganda. Actually, it was the only time I’ve ever done it, sparked by an URGENT matter. Did you know that every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease?
Doesn’t sound pressing enough?
Well how about some math…:
In the time it takes for the Shot@Life 28 Days of Impact campaign to run through the blogosphere, statistically,120,960 children will succumb to vaccine-preventable deaths in the developing world.
And February is the shortest month.
That is 1.5 MILLION children in a year will die a death that we could have helped prevent for a few bucks. Yes, a few bucks, even just one buck, in some cases. It’s so simple.
Last October I left my family for a week and flew to Uganda with a delegation from the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life