Parenting in a Shutdown

It’s been 3 weeks since schools shut down. For my 13 year old, life has been a dream. She has a little world of her own inside her room. Every corner, shelf, space is a collection of things she’s saved since she was a toddler. She’s almost a hoarder. She can stay in her room all day and if possible, have her meals there too. She’s pretty indifferent about going to school, and though she’s a diligent student she never really understood the purpose of physically going to another building to learn. Don’t get me wrong. She’s social enough and a great conversationalist. She has many friends and loves them dearly...

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Times have changed: Covid-19 thoughts

Working from home has been quite interesting to say the least. No more packing lunches and rushing in the morning with my 8th grader’s breakfast falling out of her hands, and getting out of the door just in time to navigate through the buses and what seems like the entire West Valley traffic right outside my door. A one minute drive to my school would take 18 whole minutes, people!

But I miss that chaos. There was so much order in it.

Now I’m cooking a lot more. My kids seem to be hungry all the time. They don’t ask for fancy meals but I find myself bursting with creative juices. I also seem to be cleaning a lot more...

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Set them free…

My 16 year old has her driver’s license now but was hesitating to go anywhere alone. Now that school is about to begin (and she’s doing Running Start so she can’t be dropped off), she’s understanding the importance of driving solo. So she’s been overcoming her fears and going places alone, and feeling so proud of herself. Mama secretly wants to be with her or drive behind her but mama knows she must not do that.

God knows it’s difficult seeing your kids battle their fears…whatever they may be and you just want to hold on to your babies and make all their struggles or problems or fears go away. But then they’ll never grow, they’ll never be strong independent human beings… so yes, I keep talking to myself everyday and tell myself not to handicap them with my emotional needs...

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A few sleepless nights…

Since the Florida school shooting, I have woken up a few times in the middle of the night and walked up to my children’s rooms. As I saw them fast asleep, I thought of those parents who lost their sons and daughters in what was once an inconceivable event, but has, in recent times, become a somewhat usual occurrence in the schools of today. I’ve been troubled — as a parent, as a teacher and as a human being. I know I share the same sentiments as everyone reading this.

These kinds of events lead us to thinking of the why, and while we all are entitled to our opinions, there has to be a plan in place to fix this broken part of our societal structure. I am of the opinion that the common man who is not in military or armed forces should not have such ease of access to firearms...

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Handling Failure

The topic of failure and how kids these days react to it came up at my class yesterday when we were discussing the trends and history in education. Some of the issues covered were dress code, discipline, legislature… but the topic of failure caught my attention a bit more than the others.

I remember failing as a child. My parents didn’t try to make up for it or make me feel better by compensating with a gift. They also didn’t tell me a fake story about how it was actually someone else’s fault and not mine. I was raised to take ownership of my choices and understand the consequences of those choices.

Many kids today are very fragile. One life skill that is not being modeled or communicated is handling failure...

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Helicopters! I’m talking about parents here.

In 1969, Dr. Ginott used the term helicopter parents in his book entitled Parents and Teenagers.

I came across this term a few years ago and didn’t pay much attention to it until I became a teacher and ran into a few parents who fit that term perfectly. Helicopter parents hover over their children excessively, controlling and managing their routines, tasks and decisions, and take responsibility of their child’s failures or successes.

As a parent and a teacher, I have learned that allowing a child to do what they can do by themselves helps empower them. Overcontrolling and overprotection can deplete their natural strengths and curiosity, and hamper their spirit of learning. This can make them overdependent...

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Inspiring a child

Teaching my kids to be fearless dreamers has been on top of my agenda. Dreams evolve, dreams change, but the process of dreaming keeps a child inspired. I share my dreams with my children regardless of how silly they may sound. Inside every dream lies a clue or representation of what could make us passionate. A few days ago, I shared my bucket list with my children who are now fourteen and ten. I started writing out lists from a very early age when my mother, one evening during a thunderstorm blackout, told me that writing thoughts helps make a stronger mark in our minds. Since then, it has become a habit. I make lists for everything, even my dreams for there is great power in visualization, in retrospection, and intention.

I also discovered how keeping my children in a safe box kills thei...

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Crosswalk Culture

One of the many rewarding duties at my job is safety patrol. My permanent spot is at the flag crossing. It is where children and parents walk over the drive-thru lane from the side of the school to the parking lot by the main road. My patrol vest is a shabby orange one that needs a makeover but it grabs attention for sure. I have two student safety patrol members with me in trendy bright green vests and matching neon hard hats. These students and I share a special bond. We are a team. This is where I receive my showering of morning greetings from children crossing the lane and their lovely parents. This is where a few enthusiastic toddlers who accompany their older siblings give me high-five or a good mornin’ cheer...

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Depositing into the minds of our children

There isn’t a 100% sure shot method of ensuring that children don’t get into messy situations while growing up. The only thing I know is that if children are engaged in enough productive activities that keep them busy, nurture their creativity and help them feel accomplished, they may not wander off looking for time-fillers or friends that could be a bad influence. Also, as a parent, we need to spend time with our children in activities they enjoy so they feel respected. Often times, we try to fulfill our dreams and desires through our children instead of focusing on their interests and talents. Every act of ours is a mental deposit into the minds of our children. Only time will tell how well we did as parents. For now, we’ve got to keep them close to our hearts and our presence.

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Can you make your child sing?

Recently at our school open-house, a few parents talked to me about having trouble getting their kids to read and if I could suggest an “app” or technological technique to enhance their interest. So I told them how some kids read because they have to and some kids read because they want to. Some kids feel fulfilled when they read. Some take it to the next level and become avid writers.

At recess, I see some students who find a quiet spot under a tree or on a bench, engrossed in a book, eyes moving intensely with the words, and I can almost see them become a part of the pages, and when the bell rings, I have to tell them to go back in. While I’m secretly impressed by that passion, I’m also fully aware of the fact that sources for passion are different for everybody...

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