Happy Mother’s Day! Where would society be without mothers? Mothers give birth, nurture, soothe, teach, nurse and dispense justice. We are the keepers of tradition and the bolt of lightning that can change societies. I hope you use the month of May to honor yourself and all of the women in your life who have influenced you.
We have a wonderful issue this merry month of May. Our resident father, Steve Shapiro, tells us how modern kids make themselves famous by creating narrative video son YouTube. The subjects run from styling hair to kids ‘activities and many of these child-created videos have over a million subscribers! Sheila Janakos, our wonderful lactation consultant, gives advice to a young mother who feels that her nursing days might be over. And our pediatrician Dr. Jason Clark tells what you can do when your little angel shoves a marble up her nose.
Ever feel frustrated that Mother’s Day has become too commercial? Read “Take Back Mother’s Day in Four Easy Steps.” Kimberly Gonsalves has some interesting idea show to honor the influential women in your life—and honor yourself!
“Preschool Parent” is a column written by parents or caregivers of preschoolers. This month Carol Cross-Phillips, the director of Little Hands Parent-Child Center, shares with us the magic that happens when parents gather and share both their joys and frustrations. Parenting is a journey and reaching out to those also on the journey brings comfort and support.
Take the “Love and Money Quiz”! Frequently financial problems arise when partners have different perceptions about money. In Pamela Yellen’s article, there are no right or wrong answers. You and your partner should compare answers to see if you both have the same perception of money. A good topic to explore with family and friends!
How do we raise our sons to be kind to their mother? In “Mom’s Rules and Manhood,” a Korean adoptee shares bits from his childhood. I came away with a respect for his father. Don’t miss it.
Our fitness expert, Brien Shamp (Coach’s Corner) used to tell people to stop drinking if they wanted to lose weight, but a recent study of drinkers of red wine changed his mind. It seems that red wine polyphenols can inhibition-beneficial bacteria from the human micro biota (decrease the bad bacteria) and potentiate the growth of probiotic bacteria, the good guys! This can even help lower cholesterol. Wow. Imagine that. For years I’ve been sipping my own nightly health drink. Now I feel even better!
Live, love and be happy this beautiful spring!
Until next time,
— Tory Hartmann
I was adopted from Korea—an interesting fact about me that would play a crucial role this day. And mom’s rules would trigger events that would change me forever.
At breakfast, I reached over to the box of Raisin Bran on the table when my mother fixed her shockingly bright blue eyes on me. “Noah, isn’t that the same shirt that you wore yesterday? You need to go back upstairs and change your shirt, Youngman. You know the rules, no son of mine is going to leave this house wearing the same shirt two days in a row.” Something about her words seemed to pull the pin from a grenade inside me.
“Since I’m NOT your son, I am not changing my shirt!!”
Ah, Mother’s Day—step-sister holiday to Valentine’s Day—usually better in theory than reality. Second only to Christmas in terms of commercial hoopla and profits. Blech. No wonder it often sucks.
Moms, it’s time to take back Mother’s Day! Are you ready? You know you’ve been robbed on Mother’s Day when you find yourself:
- Taking your kid to the mall/movies/friend’s house so they can hang out. Like. Every. Other. Day.
- Going out for a crappy breakfast at a place you hate because they serve food your kids will eat and it’s convenient to the next three errands on your list
- Getting up before your husband/partner because he’s a light sleeper and works long hours. (If you like to be the first one awake and have time to yourself, by all means, go for it!)
- Seeing extended family (or anyone) out of a sense of obligation
Do you like red wine? Many of my clients do also and for years I have told them if they want to lose weight and get “healthy” they should stop drinking until they achieve their health or weight loss goal.
Yes, I have heard about all the beneficial antioxidants and resveratrol in red wine; however, the calories, sugar and pesticides outweighed the positives for me.
Back in 2012, there was a study published by MaríaIsabel Queipo-Ortuño, et. al., in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Influence of red wine polyphenols and ethanol on the gut microbiota ecology and biochemical biomarkers” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2012;95:1323-1334) that has made me think a little differently about wine consumption.
When a child has a life-threatening illness, life for the parents—as they know it—ends. The world starts spinning and it becomes a confusing existence. New medical terms to learn and new procedures to get used to. No parent wants to make mistakes. The fear of making an error is magnified when a child is hit with what often seems unfair. Some parents scream, “This can’t be happening to me!” But it is.
A wise man—or woman—once said that “it’s the small things in life that matter.” This philosophy could not ring more true than when applied to the health and well-being of our nation’s children. There is no one thing that, no matter how consistently done, will assure good health. Rather, it’s the culmination of many single, relatively small behaviors that, all together and over time, will help children foster a healthy body. When asked what choices ‘my’ family makes relative to nutrition and fitness that keep us all healthy and fit, a specific answer often varies, but it always conveys easy ways to make healthy options the norm in a family’s daily routine rather than the exception—and without the family feeling any sense of loss or deprivation.
Father Knows Best?:
Many of us fantasize about what it might be like to be a celebrity—especially when we’re kids. I know this was a common dream of mine growing up. Anew decades later, my daughters have stumbled upon some kids online who have actually made this dream a reality and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.
It all started when my wife was trying to find some fun hairstyles she could try on the kids and came across a YouTube channel called Cute Girls Hairstyles. These videos featured a mother giving hair styling tutorials using her daughters as her models. My wife would stream these videos on our living room TV and follow along on our daughters’ hair. While she was solely interested in the instructional content of these tutorials, my daughters gradually became interested in the kids in the videos upon whose hair their mother did these demonstrations. They always looked so cheerful while staying remarkably still. Those kids would even sometimes join their mother in the wrap-up spiel that closed each video. After several weeks of hair tutorials, my kids started asking to just watch the videos as entertainment unto themselves—not just when my wife was doing the hairstyling at the same time. This interest seemed purely innocuous and both the motherland the kids in the videos appeared to be pleasant enough. So we let them watch.
Nursing Your Baby:
Lauren asks, “I am seriously upset. My nine-month-old was always a great sleeper and has been going eight to ten hours for months completely on his own. Now he has stopped sleeping through the night and is up almost every hour. I feel like I am the mother of a newborn. Last night he was screaming so loud it broke my heart to hear him in so much pain. It truly sounded like something terrible had happened.
“The other strange thing is that he does not really want to nurse and even pushes me away. I am afraid I will lose my milk supply. It has been almost a whole day and I cannot get him to have a decent feeding from me. I checked his temperature and he is not ill, although he is extremely clingy and so fussy that daycare called and had me leave work to come get him. Is this because there is something wrong with my milk or my supply? My breasts also have been feeling less full and I am starting to worry that breastfeeding is over. Is there any chance I can turn this around? I do not want him to wean this early because my goal was to feed him well beyond the first year.”
Each year in late winter, I like to take a break from the standard discussion topics with the parents in my classes—potty training, language development, understanding temperament and the like—to have a special conversation with them in which they get to talk about themselves and about parenting. We focus on the parents, allowing them to unload a bit, in confidence, about the things they find troubling, the things that make parenting exhausting, overwhelming and for many, very lonely.
Each year I wonder before we talk, “Will this group of parents get anything out of this? They seem good, content, happy and in control.” I fear that dreaded empty silence when I ask them to share what’s going on with them lately, how they are coping, what they find challenging and how their past lives make their current lives easier or harder. But there is never silence. Ever. Often within the first 20words spoken by the first parent, I have to grab a box of tissues. The gates are easily opened for many and the need to share, cry, complain and reach out for support takes over.
Growing Up Online:
Learning to distinguish between reliable and bogus information is a crucial skill in the 21st century. Fora brief time, it seemed search engines might help people to zero in on accurate, well-researched information. Instead, social media has made it easy to share “news” that has no basis in fact.
The proliferation of fake news has accelerated because of websites that exploit the pay-per-click feature of online advertising. Nothing gets more clicks than an outrageous or too-good-to-be-true headline. When people share such stories without thinking, they ricochet around cyberspace, encouraging people to mourn celebrities who aren’t dead, worry about risks that aren’t real and feel outrage over things that never happened. The problem has become so serious that Google is reportedly investigating ways to rank its results to factor in accuracy as well as popularity.