“It’s really hard especially for moms because it’s hard to put our own needs first and the kids are kind of like the squeaky wheels—so they get the grease. It’s easy to really neglect ourselves and our adult relationship with each other,” Rivka said. “I think for a lot of us, it’s hard to be in a relationship because it takes commitment and understanding and it’s just easier to distract ourselves with the kids and be busy so that we don’t even have time for each other,” Shlomo added.
“Co-parenting is even harder because you don’t have the benefit of just doing things on the fly. You have to be a lot more intentional. It takes more time and effort,” Paige says. “Ask the questions, foster curiosity, and then be the one who’s looking for the solutions and offering those up instead of trying to always make your case and being like two attorneys and just fighting for your cause.”
What is it about Halloween that can be so tricky for Christians? In this week's podcast, I talk about how our family handles the October holiday--and give listeners some food for thought as you craft your own decision about whether to trick or treat.
“I don’t think we should be making kids college and career-ready in this country. I think we should be making them career-ready period,” Mark says. “Sure, a whole bunch of those careers go through four-year universities and bachelor’s degrees and PhDs and MDs and JDs. But there are fantastic careers and occupations that are possible with a two-year associates degree through community and technical colleges. There’s great careers and occupations that are available through certifications and advanced certifications and licensures and apprenticeships, which are becoming huge in this country.”
“The mental health community said, ‘Obedient children, they’re like robots. They’re only following orders and so on.; In fact, we now know from very good research that the most obedient children are also the happiest kids,” John says. “Children have not changed. Children are no different in terms of their essence, their nature than they were in the 1950s. And parenting in the 1950s, a woman could raise 12 kids and not experience the stress that a mother today is experiencing in raising one child.”
“The biggest one that I've seen for myself is accidentally discouraging my child with my tone of voice or my words. Sometimes, I've used a tone that just sounded like I was annoyed or angry with the child and I wasn't,” Kathy says. “Maybe I was worried about my uncle in the hospital or angry that the repairman just tried to rip me off, but if I'm still annoyed about it and it comes through my voice, all the kids know is mom is mad and they think it's their fault. We can accidentally discourage them with that tone of voice, and sometimes, just even with our facial expression.”
“Our siblings are the people who are there with us from the beginning. Siblings can be our first playmates. Parents and caregivers are wonderful but they’re obviously on a very different age group. With siblings, you can start to build a shared history of family memories together,” Allison says. “We also learn how to resolve conflicts because of course we’re not always going to get along with our siblings. Our arguments can help us learn how to negotiate, how to resolve conflict. There’s lots of things we can learn from our siblings.”
“I think one of the challenges is we’re the first generation of parents raising kids in this 24/7 constantly connected culture of devices all the time, and so we don’t really have a model to look at in terms of how do we manage use of devices for ourselves as adults and for our kids,” Nicole said. “It’s one big experiment right now and it’s a huge question that parents have on their minds is how to manage the screen time piece and how this is impacting their kids.”
“You really can make an impact on another family’s life. Just as much as the child might be feeling isolated at school, the parent is probably feeling equally isolated,” Merriam said. “It’s not necessarily what we signed up for as parents when we have a child who’s not neurotypical, and there can be a lot of feelings, guilt, sense of failure as a parent, ‘Was there something I did?’ Just having other people that you feel safe with and that welcome the parent with the child on the spectrum can make such a huge difference on the family side.”
“I think kids want to be cared about even if you’re wrong. It’s okay to say, ‘Hey, sit with me for a sec. What’s going on? How are you? Tell me something good,’” Lynn said. “Our kids do want to talk to us. I think that if we just ask questions and we’re non-judgmental in our questions, we’ll have real conversations with our kids and teens.”