Teacher Accused of Putting Sleeping Pills into Toddler’s Sippy Cups

Anyone else outraged about this news story?

For parents and many grandparents, the idea of entrusting precious babes to strangers is pretty terrifying – I know it was for me.

The comments on this news story magnify the investment grandparents also have in the quality of care for their grandchildren.

ToddlersDrugged

When I talk with other families who have a multigenerational household or have grandparents as caregivers (aka – granny nannies), the top reasons are:

  • More flexibility with childcare schedule.
  • Feeling more comfortable and secure with a family member caring for the child.
  • Less guilt, for the working parent (typically the mom), about being away from the child.
  • Easier to trust that love will prevail – even in the most challenging childcare situations.
  • The grandparent will not drug the kids to take a nap! (Ok – it’s not that specific – but parents feel the grandparents will not intentionally harm the grandchild.)

Nanny News Network lists 10 great reasons why a Granny-as-Nanny could be a potential option if it hasn’t crossed the minds of parents seeking childcare.

Having a granny nanny may not work for many families – or it may not even be a viable option due to health of grandparents, relationship issues, location/proximity, level of childcare needs, and other factors.Anytime a parent entrusts their child to a caregiver – they are always taking a chance.

The biggest thing, I think, parents should remember is to always trust their intuition when it comes to their children.

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Generation Know

Have you seen the latest U by Kotex TV commercial?

I was angrily picking up some LEGOs one afternoon – after howling upon stepping on one – when I heard an older woman say, “We would lose our virginity if we used a tampon.

Uhm, what?

I grabbed the TiVo remote so fast – stepped on another LEGO – rewound the commercial – and paid closer attention.

Oh wow!

Are girls still receiving bad information on this subject?

If so, the pain of of stepping on a LEGO pales in comparison to this.

The brilliance of this ad campaign is that it highlights how myths can be passed down through generations – and that now is the time to uncover the real facts.

I think about women I knew when I was in high school and college who never had anyone but the health teacher or school nurse cautiously explain  puberty to them – and how if the subject came up at home, it was ignored.

I asked a female relative how this topic was explained to her and how she went about explaining things to her own daughter (daughter is now an adult raising two kids). My female relative responded, “I didn’t talk to her about any of it. I just assumed she would figure it out like I had to.

So yes – these are conversations that need to take place – and U by Kotex is taking an active lead.

Media Post News reported the U by K brand manager, Lauren Kren, says, “It’s been about giving girls a voice. This campaign is in line with the essence of the brand.

I agree the time is now. Now is the time for bold steps that empower generations of girls and women so everyone around us benefits.

Is it provocative? Sure, but isn’t that what gets people’s attention?

Khloé Kardashian Odom’s statement also highlights the need for this campaign, “I’m thrilled to continue my partnership with U by Kotex for Generation Know while helping to empower girls. I’ve always been a motivational resource for my younger sisters and hope I can positively impact and inspire other young girls too. I’m also happy to continue to support Girls For A Change which is making a notable difference for girls everywhere.

It’s good to hear Khloé’s multigenerational perspective support this worthy movement.

What is your take on the Generation Know campaign?

Is it totally ridiculous or filling a void?

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Grandma is a bad influence

Most of us, as parents, slip up and an inappropriate word is said in front of our kids.

Just yesterday, hubby gave me the *wild eyes (which is usually reserved for the kids) when I was playing an online game with my son and I exclaimed, “Dang!” and “Oh crap!

Parental-advisory-explicit-lyrics

(No, it wasn’t the F bomb – this time!)

Setting proper examples is our job in this parenting gig and we, as parents, often think this example setting umbrella hovers over the grandparents’ interactions with our kids.

Is this a proper expectation of grandparents – to be example setters?

Are we putting too much pressure on grandparents to be parents again?

Why these questions?

Because my kids called me into the family room to watch this segment:

I sure hope that mom wasn’t selling granny out as far as teaching that four-year-old to swear like a pro.

If you find the grandparents setting a poor example for your kids, what should you do? How do you approach them? How do you avoid starting a multigenerational war?

Amy Goyer suggests having the grandchildren be the strong influence and set an example for the grandparents. She says,

Grandparents will stop smoking, swearing or drinking because of grandchildren.  But some grandparents have habits that are so ingrained they aren’t even aware that they affect their grandchildren.

Talk gently with grandparents about the habit or behavior that you feel is a negative influence on the children and explain why you feel it is.

Remember that these habits have usually been around a long time and may be hard to break. Be supportive, not confrontational. Acknowledge first that you know they love their grandchildren and would never do anything intentionally to hurt them, but alert them that you think some of their habits may have unintended consequences for the children. Also remember that you, as parents, have the most influence over your kids. Some idiosyncrasies may be unpleasant, but children will not necessarily pick up the bad habits of their grandparents — or aunts, uncles, cousins or any other family member. My grandfather cussed every other word, but I have never once heard my dad or mom swear. We loved our grandfather and giggled when he swore, but my sisters and I didn’t grow up swearing like he did. My dad and mom had much more influence.

Have you had to talk with the grandparents about being a bad influence (in some area) on your kids?

How did you approach them?

What was the outcome (or fallout)?

*wild eyes = the term my 13-year-old uses to refer to her dad giving THAT look

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Thank you card etiquette

I love etiquette books and discussing etiquette.

This not because I want everyone to follow “the rules”, but I really like knowing the rules – the history of the rules – and how the rules can sometimes make my life easier.

When having a multigenerational household and getting along with in-laws, I think having common etiquette knowledge and agreeing to certain rules and expectations can help to lessen miscommunication, keep people mostly on the same page, and assist in not inadvertently slighting or hurting someone else’s feelings.

I had to chuckle when I heard Philip Galanes discuss the generational shift around the proper etiquette of writing thank you cards.

Ouch!

Maybe the grandmother (grandparents – to give full credit) who wrote in to Mr. Galanes worked really hard to teach her own children to write thank you cards. Perhaps she had to chase them around their childhood home to get the thank you card task writing done. It is potentially possible that she was chastised at a social function or the ladies’ mixer, in her community, because her kids failed to send out thank you cards on some Passion. And because of all these possible thank you card faux pas – this grandmother is fixated on thank you card etiquette.

And with her own adult children, maybe they hated the entire idea of writing thank you cards. It sucked, it was a burden, and they didn’t get it. If this is the case – it is highly possible these adult parents are not going to encourage or force their own children to go down the thank you card etiquette road.

I’m just making dramatic speculations here because I think the look of sending a thank you card – for this grandmother, adult children, and grandchildren – needs to be expanded.

Yes, the grandchildren should acknowledge the generosity of their grandparents. At the same time, the grandparents can engage in joyful gift gifting without expecting anything in return.

With my kids having grandparents and a great-grandmother living in other states – we get creative with saying thank you. We take a picture of our kids with the gift the grandparents have sent.

We email or text the pictures (hardcopy for their great-grandmother). This is quick and easy thank you feedback. We may even video chat and talk about the gift and have the kids verbally express their gratitude for what their grandparents have sent. With us being busy, going this route keeps us from forgetting  to say thank you.

As our days, weeks, and months are going on – if I see my kids using the gift from the grandparents, I’ll snap another picture and send it to the grandparents to show them the grandchildren are still enjoying the gift.

For myself, I enjoy sending a handwritten thank you card and sometimes my children get in the mood to do the same. With all the things I have to coordinate and navigate for my family – doing thank you card battle is definitely not on my list.

How do you feel about thank you cards?

How do your children say thank you to their grandparents?

Grandparents, what type of thank you recognition would you like to receive?

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Ultrasound party – a new multigenerational tradition?

I am someone who is addicted to theme parties. The wackier the theme – the better. I’m fully committed to coordinating the decorations, food, costumes, t-shirts…whatever it takes to highlight the theme.

This ultrasound party – I think – took theme parties to a completely different level.

I loved the multigenerational gathering highlighted in this video, but I started to think, “Is technology giving us too much access?

What I mean about access is will the fun anticipation of a new baby arriving be kicked to the curb? What will happen to that joyful build up leading to the baby’s birth? Will ultrasound parties become a bit hit and downplay the fun of a baby shower or sip and see?

What do you think?

 

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Empty nesters

Boxes, and peanuts, and tape – oh my!

Yup, that’s my youngest having a snack, watching TV, and lounging in one of my mother-in-law’s moving boxes.

We are about to have an empty nest.

My mother-in-law is heading northeast this month and the rest of us will head west to California, in December.

How long have I known about this?

Since early August.

Why am I just writing about it?

I struggled with what to say and what not to say.

The move for hubby, the kids, and me is great. New job, promotion, more diversity, and new adventures – I’m thrilled!

The move for my mother-in-law…well, I don’t know what I can say about that. I have never tried to tell her story here – and I’m not starting now.

Why isn’t she coming to California with us?

I’m not so sure about that, either. No clear, succinct, or press release-esque message or response has been provided to me, and I’m not going to push for it.

With this exciting change came a huge wave of discomfort.

Discomfort around:

  • finances
  • security
  • power plays
  • passive aggressive behavior
  • communication
  • openness
  • gratitude
  • familiar structure
  • relationships

Since early August, I feel like I’ve been on this rickety teeter toter of joy, pain, anger, and jubilation. It’s completely exhausting.

What have I gained from all this?

Clarity.

Clarity on what it means to keep family structures positively in place. How to listen intently to the emotions behind the ill-chosen words. How to dig deep and recalibrate a personal lens and shift it to a lens focused on compassion.When to stop talking and let it all play out. How to find internal joy and create space for love in the chaos of change.

It’s been a humbling and lovely experience all at once.

Would I do this all again?

Absolutely – but for a shorter period of time.

Will I continue to write about multigenerational/intergenerational families and in-law dynamics?

Yes! This is a topic near and dear. I greatly enjoy supporting my readers, clients, and community. It’s a full nest will stick around.

Will I ever live in a multigenerational household again?

I’m counting on it!

 

 

 

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