Archive | September, 2010

I can do it myself!

26 Sep
When children grow up constantly looking over their shoulder to see if their choices are the right ones, eventually, they subconsciously stop making their own choices, and simply follow what everyone else is doing.” -Ela Forest, The Parental Intelligence Newsletter
You would think most two (almost three) year-olds would still need their parents.  Apparently, my husband and I are already becoming obsolete to Hannah. She constantly says, “Hannah can do that!” to which I tell her, “No, you say, ‘I can do that.’” We’re still working on that one. Either way, she wants to do everything herself. Last night Sean asked her if she needed help cutting her broccoli with her fork (yes, she was eating broccoli!) and she said, “No, I got it.” We can’t help but laugh because she sounds so grown-up and independent! Secretly (or maybe not so secretly), we’re both a little sad to see her growing up so quickly. It’s certainly a fun journey, though!
I found a great article on Family Education about struggling with independence and helping your child. One tip that struck a chord with me was, “ Intervene only if your child becomes frustrated or asks for help.” I have a tendency to intervene quite often, especially if I am tired or in a hurry.
The tip continues with, “If you lose patience and do it for him, you will undermine your two-year-old’s confidence and transform everything he’s done up to now into wasted effort.” I have to say, this part makes me feel really guilty. As I said, if I’m in a hurry, I tend to try to do things for Hannah when she wants to do them herself. We end up getting frustrated with each other, and then one of us starts crying. Usually it’s her, but that’s not always the case.
I am finding that my patience is wearing even thinner than usual because I’m so busy with school. Obviously, this is not Hannah’s fault, and I need to remember that. I often hear my classmates quote the old adage, “patience is a virtue,” and I certainly believe that can be applied to this situation. I’m sure there are plenty of other stressed-out parents out there who go through the same thing every day, so I hope we can gain a little perspective and give our children a chance to try new things and show how much they are learning from us.
Advertisements

News anchors seek balance, too

18 Sep

Parenting experience of the week:

I took Hannah to the mall to let her release some energy at the Children’s Play Area on Wednesday evening, and while I was driving, she started talking about the traffic lights. Green circle! Red circle! Green circle! Red circle!” I figured I might as well give her her first driving lesson (never too early, right?), so I said, “Green means go, and red means stop.” Instead of repeating me, she asked, “How about white, mom?” As in, what does the color white mean? Totally stumped! I wish she had asked about yellow instead because I could have said, “proceed with caution” or something! She wouldn’t have understood me, but at least I would have had an answer! I can’t wait until she starts asking about the differences between boys and girls…

Now on to a completely different subject: news anchors and their families! This week I attended an event at school featuring two local anchors, Lin Sue Cooney and Mark Curtis, from 12 News. They talked about their previous journalism experiences, why they decided to get into this field, the most difficult news stories they have ever had to cover, etc. The most interesting part to me, however, was not what they do, but how they balance all of it. I quickly learned that both Cooney and Curtis have children, and I was immediately interested in how they make time for their families. I know this blog is supposed to be about school and family, but I’ll eventually be done with school, and then I’ll have to balance work and family (well, hopefully). Might as well gather information while I can!

Here’s a piece of my Cronkite Conversations post that I found relevant to this:

Cooney very passionately stated that her privacy is important to her and that her family comes first. She clearly finds significance in the work she does, but she takes parenting seriously, as well. Curtis echoed this sentiment, although he mentioned losing track of his priorities at different times throughout his career. He referred to the time he asked his wife to be induced so he could witness the birth of his daughter before leaving to cover the 1988 Olympics. I can only imagine what a difficult situation that must have been, and I will strive to ensure that I don’t miss out on milestones that I might later regret.

Curtis also said, “This business can be very hard on relationships,” which he made clear through the above example, and it led me to think about how my desire to be a journalist will later affect my role as a wife and mother. I want to excel in both family and career-related roles, and it looks as though I, like our speakers, will just have to work hard to maintain a balance between the two.

I was thrilled to soak up their advice and experiences, and I was even more excited when I realized I have a place to share all of this! So here’s the lesson of the week: you have to figure out where to draw the line. Only take on as much as you can handle, or you’ll end up pulling your hair out trying to spread yourself too thin.

Let go of the guilt…if you can

12 Sep

During a conversation with a fellow parent/classmate the other day, I was asked if I feel guilty about being in school and having less time to spend with my daughter, Hannah. He said he struggles with this because he had become accustomed to doing certain things with his children that he currently has no time to do. I jumped at the chance to say, “Yes! I feel guilty, too!” I was immediately relieved to learn that I am not alone in this battle. So what should we do to resolve this?

My simple answer: try to let go of the guilt. I know, easier said than done. Take a look at this idea for a moment, though. Where is the guilt coming from? Well, for me, it’s the fact that I used to be with my daughter 24/7. Now I’m spending several (or more) hours a day at school, and then I’m working on assignments or reading when I come home. The quality time I spend with Hannah is diminished.

That being said, I also have to look at what I’m doing while I’m not with Hannah. I am furthering my education in an effort to find a great job that will not only help me provide for my family, but it will also make ME happy. Yes, ME. I loved being home with my daughter, but I also struggled with it. I felt stagnant. I wasn’t accomplishing any of the other educational or career-related goals I had set for myself. It was time to do something for ME.

So, fellow parents/students, spend as much quality time with your children as you possibly can, but remember you’re doing this for them, too. Teaching them the value of education is worth more than you think.

A few inexpensive ways to spend time together:

  • For all ages: if you have a child who loves to read, spend some time at the library. You can also use it as an opportunity to find books for that research paper due next week….plus, it’s free! For locations in Phoenix and surrounding areas, go to http://www.phoenixpubliclibrary.org
  • For the younger kiddos who love to read with you at home (and for those who may not be able to just pick up and leave the house): http://www.onemorestory.com allows you to read along with your child or listen to the narrator tell the story. Several free book samples are available on the site, and the subscription fees are reasonable. Thank you to my pal Karen for this recommendation!
  • It’s difficult to take children to the park when it’s 110 degrees outside, but when it starts to cool off, there are more than 100 beautiful parks in the Phoenix area that would thrill any child:  http://phoenix.gov/PARKS/parks.html

Welcome!

2 Sep

Welcome to my blog, My Daughter Ate My Homework. This is intended to provide helpful tips, funny stories, and venting opportunities for those of you who are trying to balance your responsibilities as a parent with your requirements as a student.

More to come!