• Sending My Child Back to School Makes Me Sad - why I'll miss my son when he returns to his Kindergarten classroom

    Sending My Child Back to School Makes Me Sad

    This post is publishing today, which must mean my sweet little boy has gone back to Kindergarten after 3 weeks off for the winter holidays. I know many parents count down to this day, and there’s even a Christmas song that mentions parents looking forward to their kids going back to school. But I’m not one of them. Before my son started Kindergarten, I was looking at my calendar, thinking he would be off for the winter holidays for 2 weeks, which is what I had grown up with. I remember thinking 2 weeks wasn’t a long time. They would go by in the blink of an eye. I was…

  • And a New Phase of Worry as a Parent Has Begun - one mother's fears during her son's first year of public school

    And a New Phase of Worry as a Parent Has Begun

    Parents understand worry very well. Not only is the world a scary place, but babies and young children are just so fragile. I remember worrying about my kids when they were both newborns. SIDS terrified me and, since both were born early, both were slightly more likely to succumb to it. When my oldest learned to roll over just before he turned 6 months, he loved sleeping on his face. I spent a very sleepless week worrying about him. I slept with the monitor glued to my ear. I got up every 10 minutes to check on him. All night. Every night. Then the kids started to crawl and walk…

  • The Damaging Effect a "Perfect Mother" Can Have on a Daughter

    The Damaging Effect a “Perfect Mother” Can Have on a Daughter

    A perfect mother is a woman who can cook, clean, care for her kids, love her husband, and get involved with the community with a seemingly unlimited amount of energy, good will, and a boundless grace. Not only does she dress well, but her kids are dressed well and are always on their best behavior in public. Her marriage is the stuff of dreams. She bakes and volunteers at her children’s school(s). Maybe she works, and maybe she doesn’t, but, whatever she does, she does it all with a smile and timeless grace. I mean, in some ways, maybe it’s appealing. I don’t know about you, but it just sounds…

  • Not Snow Days, but Fire Days

    Not Snow Days, But Fire Days

    My son was born in Pennsylvania. We moved to California when he was six weeks old, so he has no memories of his first home, and only a dim understanding of what snow is as we have yet to take our kids to the mountains during the winter. He’s five and has just started school. He’s loving it so far, but, as he gets older and understands more, I wonder how he’ll react when he learns he could have had snow days. I’m a California girl, born and raised. I never knew snow days existed. I grew up watching TV shows that took place back East and always saw high…

  • Mom Message: To the Schools - a plea from one mom of a Kindergartener

    Mom Message: To the Schools

    I never intended to write anything like this here now that I’ve changed my blog up to supporting stories, but sometimes I need this to be my platform. My oldest child started Kindergarten at the end of last month. It’s been a big month of changes, from having to get up earlier to having to go to school earlier to having to eat lunch with peers instead of mom and sister to missing out on his much loved quiet time. It’s been a big adjustment for me, too. I’m used to having my babies with me almost all the time. I’m used to being the one to be there for…

  • Two Quarters from a Stranger

    Two Quarters From a Stranger

    I took my children to the mall for ice cream to celebrate my son’s first week of Kindergarten. He asked for chocolate and mint chocolate chip for him, his younger sister, and me to share. As we went to sit, I barely registered that we had passed by an older Asian couple. I didn’t pay them any mind; I’m used to passing by Asians, but they usually pass by on their on business as I do on mine. I am never asked if I can speak Chinese (which I can’t) unless the cashier at an Asian market asks. My son didn’t want to eat the mint chocolate chip because it…

  • Parenting with Psychology: ABA Behavior Modification

    Personally, I hate the term behavior modification. But it has an important place in ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). Anyone who has worked with, known, or been in contact with a child with an autism spectrum disorder knows behaviors are inevitable. These are highly sensitive, highly rigid individuals, which makes even the slightest deviation tantrum-worthy. The goal of ABA behavior modification isn’t to try to control the children or their behaviors. It’s to understand why the child is behaving that way so they can be taught how to ask for what they want and express their needs in a more socially acceptable way. It helps give them tools they can take…

  • What Kindergarten Means to Me

    What Kindergarten Means to Me

    All across the country, parents are preparing to send their kids back to school. And some, like me, are sending a child off to Kindergarten. For some, it’s a time to celebrate freedom. For others, it’s time to turn on the waterworks as they watch their babies grow up right in front of them. This year, I’m sending my first off to Kindergarten. He did a year of preschool, so this isn’t new territory to us. But sending him off to public school has me in knots. I’m worried and relieved all at the same time. Kindergarten means longer days away from me. I’m a control freak. I’ve loved having…

  • The Mom I Admire

    The mom I admire is a bit harried, a little scattered, and definitely missing a marble or three. She constantly wonders how she’s stacking up against every other mom, especially the one without a hair out of place. She spends all day begging her kids to eat, clean up after themselves, and stop screaming. And half the night tearfully pleading her baby to go to sleep. She has permanent stains on her clothes from the time her oldest refused peas as a baby and the time she skidded on the dirt and grass to save her child from getting hurt and the time her sick kid puked all over her…

  • My Parenting Philosophy

    I always thought my parenting was simply informed by my background in psychology. To a large degree, that’s true. But, one afternoon, I was out to lunch with my family, watching my husband and I interact with our kids while the book I was currently reading flowed through my head. It hit me then: I have a parenting philosophy. One afternoon, we were having lunch in a restaurant. It was lunch on a weekday, so it was far from crowded. Perfect when there are two kids under 5. We were having a good time with my husband keeping our son occupied with some games on one of those devices that…