Friday, August 2, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up (8.2.13)

This Weekly Wrap-Up comes to you courtesy of my children. Not directly from their active imaginations and pudgy little fingers to the interwebs, of course, but in the sense that these last 10 days have been all about them - both literally and in wildly roundabout ways - and as a result, I have parenting on the brain.

I follow a few parenting websites and generally read a post or two each day. That doesn't seem like a lot of reading when you break it down, but when you back up and look at the year as a whole, I'm probably at reading (or at least skimming) close to 700 blog posts for and by parents every year.

When I come across an article that speaks to me - maybe one in every 25 - I bookmark it so that I can share it here. And that's what today is all about: sharing some of the most informative and insightful, as well as some of the funniest, parenting-related pieces out there.

Letting Go of Labels
On Monday I wrote about how it took a nasty comment from a reader to make me realize that parenting is as controversial a topic as politics or religion. Then on Wednesday, my lovely and talented writer-friend, Leslie, coincidentally wrote a somewhat related piece about the judgement that often stems from differing opinions on how children should be raised. As she so eloquently puts it, "the rub begins when we start making judgment on one another's choices, rather than admit that we are all trudging through the same wilderness together". Reading her words softened the harsh edges of this tumultuous week, and renewed my commitment to steer clear of criticizing those who parent differently than I do.

Raising Boys
I was raised with only one sister, so when Will joined our family I no idea what to expect or how to raise him. (I had no idea what to expect or how to raise a baby in general, but I was especially intimidated and confused because Will was a baby boy.) I eventually figured out the basics, but as Will grew older I found myself perplexed when it came to some of the seemingly unique-to-males behaviors I witnessed and conversations I overhead. This article shed a great deal of light on my little boy...and on his daddy as well.

Let Me Be the One Who Says It Out Loud
Any parent who's ever been told, "Enjoy every moment - they grow up so fast!" while simultaneously breaking up a sibling fight, cleaning mayonnaise out of the DVD player, helping with homework, making dinner, and cleaning pee off the bathroom floor will appreciate this article. The Actual Pastor uses humor to help us all feel a better about our day-to-day parenting struggles.

Six Little Words
You'd be surprised how difficult it is to step back from all the sports- and activity-related encouragement, guidance, and suggestions for improvement...I'm trying my very best to follow in the footsteps of this article's author and, at least on occasion, simply tell my children how much I love watching them just live.

25 Manners to Master by Age 9
I love this list, and plan to come up with a way to display each of the 25 manners individually somewhere in our house. Will and Hallie have mastered a few of these, but both still have a l...o...n...g way to go - thankfully they don't turn nine for another two and four-and-a-half years!

Talking to Little Girls
This article was eye-opening. I'd never really given much thought to how the way we casually converse with little girls contributes to how they feel about and see themselves as they grow older. From this point forward I'll address little girls with a new and more well-rounded set of introductory questions and discussion topics.

How to Talk to Your Daughter About her Body
Eating and body image disorders scare the crap out of me. I started worrying about both the moment the ultrasound technician passed her wand across my abdomen and said, "it's a girl!"

Kind of like the previous article, this piece addresses how to best talk to young girls, tweens, or teens to help them build confidence and love themselves in a healthy way. It's the best.

And lastly, this is my new favorite book for kids. Check it out.

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