Tag Archives: children

When I become a Mother…

18 Jul

I interviewed my mother for my Infant & Toddler Development assignment.  After the interview, we were required to reflect on it.  Here are my thoughts…

My mother has three children including myself, age 25, my brother Steven who is 15 and my brother John who is 12.

She had me when she was just 17 years old, so I came as quite a shock to my family.  My mother did not have another child until I was 10 years old.  She said she hoped to have at least two children.

Her decision to have three children came because she had felt sorry that I had gone 10 whole years without having a sibling.  Then, when my brother Steven was 3, I had become more of a mother figure to him (after all, we were and are 10 years apart).  I was becoming a teenager and like most teenagers are, I was constantly wanting to be around my friends.

That’s when my mother decided that it was time to have another child, my brother John.  She wanted Steven to have a “buddy”, as she puts it.

My mother’s motives did match some of the motives on page 92 of the Berk text.  She had more than one child because she thought we should have siblings.  One aspect that was interesting was that Yolanda’s grandmother mentioned how if she had settled with only one child, that child may have become spoiled.  She also mentioned that she did not think about having children because everyone had them.

I’ve already mentioned this in my response to another student’s post, but I will repeat.  I feel that people years ago had a lot of children.  My mother is one of 6.  This day in age you have the modern mom.  I feel that the 2012 modern mother thinks A LOT about having children, how many children she should have, and what sort of direction she should take as far as parenting tactics go.  There is nothing wrong with this; mothers just think more carefully now as far as family planning goes, than they did in the past.

I do not have any children of my own yet.  I am getting married next year and excited to start a family as soon as we are settled in a home.  When I am pregnant someday, I can imagine that I will be pretty confident about the kind of parents my husband and I will be.  Some concerns will be involved with the birthing process, as it is a scary thing.  I am sure every women is a bit nervous before they give birth though.

My main concerns will have to do with what will occur when the baby comes home.  Can my husband and I be on the same page?  Will I be an extremely paranoid mother?  What sort of changes will my body go through mentally and physically?  Also, will I be a better parent than my parents were to me?  My biggest fear is becoming my mother.  She was not a terrible mother, but she was not the kind of mother that I want to be to my kids.

As it states on page 121 in the Berk text, many parents look to negative experiences from their own childhood in order to understand how they can do it differently.  I really do appreciate the idea about the marital workshops for expectant parents.  That is something I would love to get involved in when my fiance/soon to be husband decide to have a child.

References

Berk, E., Laura. Infants and Children: Prenatal Through Middle Childhood. 7th ed. Pearson Education, Inc. 2012.

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My Most Personal Post Yet

7 Jun

So, I very rarely use my blog as a personal venting area.  I find that many people DO use their blogs as a diary.  Anywho, here’s getting to know me….

On February 10th, 2012, my boyfriend Brian and I were on the observation deck of the Marriot Custom House in Boston, Mass.  After kissing me on the head he got down on one knee and proposed.  Ever since that day, scratch that—ever since the day that we met…I’ve been on cloud nine.

How cliche; boy meets girl, they marry, and live happily ever after.  Blah, blah, blah.  No but in all seriousness, I am so happy.  Sometimes I can hardly contain my happiness.  I tell my friend Loretta that I feel as though sunshine and rainbows are going to burst through my skin (lol).

I just love my fiance so very much.  Sometimes I think God built the perfect man and sent him to me through some sort of debt; not that the “big man upstairs” owes anyone (let alone me) any debts, and I won’t get into specifics here…but did I deserve this man?  I’d like to think so.  My road has not been easy up until this point and I cannot thank the good Lord enough for sending Brian to me.  I like to thank God for him, but in reality I should thank Brian himself.  He is the most wonderful person I have ever met in my entire life–fiance or not.  He’s a great man, and the fact that I am marrying him in 1 year and 4 months makes me beam with pride.

I can only hope that I get to change my blog to “The Nifty Mommy” is a couple of years!   🙂

Water Table Play

21 May


Okay, so for $99.99 dollars at Walmart you can buy the water table pictured above.  I know a hundred bucks is a nice chunk of change, but trust me.  Water tables provide so much more of an amazing learning experience than you may think.  It is not just about your little one splashing and making a mess.

First off, your child will have a great time practicing their sensory skills.  Give them a bowl and a tiny cup.  Have them count how many cups it took them to fill that bowl.

Other items to use in water tables that most parents/nannies/teachers may not think of:

-Eye droppers

-Toy Cars

-Toy/plastic animals

-Paper

-Sand (Nifty idea: have the child(ren) make animal tracks in the sand with the plastic animals)

-Shovels/buckets/cups

-Sponges

-Baby Dolls

My favorite water play activity is something I’d like to call “Water Babies”.  Fill the table up just covering the base, squeeze in a dab of soap (enough to create some bubbles), then throw in some sponges and naked dolls/ babies.  Walk the child through the steps of giving the baby a bath and drying them off.  This instills empathy, mimics self-help skills, and shows responsibility.  Your child will feel important that they are actually giving a “baby” a bath.

This is also a very cute activity, as children typically say the most adorable things while cleaning their baby dolls.

**Remember, this activity is suitable for little boys too.  I think it is important for boys to play with dolls because like I said, it instills empathy.

Discipline: When have you gone too far, or not far enough?

31 Mar

Now as I’ve mentioned many times before, I myself do not have any children of my own.  However, I have had to discipline my fair share of kiddies over the past few years and let me tell you something, it is down…right…DRAINING!  First of all, you do not want to discipline a child.  It makes you feel bad, them feel bad, and it could possibly ruin a great part of the day.  First, I want to talk a little bit about why discipline is necessary.  Then, I’d like to touch what I would constitute as fair discipline (what is allowed, what isn’t allowed, etc).

In my opinion, discipline is very necessary.  Give them an inch, they take a mile.  It is NORMAL.  Do you remember when you were a kid?  Most people don’t.  I have a memory like an elephant (so they say).  I can actually remember what my house in Florida looked like when I was just 2 years old.  I can remember what my great grandmother’s apartment smelled like, as well as her meatballs; correction, World’s BEST Meatballs!  Anyway, you get the gist.  Being a child was rough.  I think it was more confusing than adulthood is (for me at least).  I’d much rather be an adult than a child.  Nonetheless, kids require attention (yes even the older ones).  So why do kids act up?  Typically, yes, it will be for the purpose of obtaining attention of some sort.  The way to handle these children is to try and IGNORE the bad behavior and focus on the good.

By giving a child attention for something they do that is negative, you are reinforcing that negative behavior.  They are now associating it with attention.  “If I pour milk on Johnny’s head, then I will be the center of the show again today!” or whatever the case may be.  Sounds silly I know, but I do believe this to be true.  Like I said, try focusing on POSITIVE behavior.  Go with the saying, positive behavior receives positive attention, negative behavior gets nothing at all.  I’m not saying not to scold a child or put them in time-out if you have to, but if that doesn’t work the first time then chances are, they are trying to get a rise out of you.  Have control and do not allow this to happen.

Another reason why children act up is to reinstate the control in which they have over either you, or their parents.  In my book, these are called the BAD children.  Why are they bad you ask?  Because their parents allow themselves to be walked all-over.  Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth!  Quite frankly, times have changed.  When I was a kid (and we are not talking about the 60’s and 70’s here, for I am quite young), my parents never let me get away with anything.  They never hit.  But I always listened.  If I did not listen, I did not get what I wanted.  If I did not do my homework, I did not get to play outside.  If I bothered my little brother, I did not get to go to the skating rink.  One time, I talked back.  I said something bad.  Do you know what happened?  My television was removed from my room for the entire summer.  Gosh, I loved T.V.  Do you know what it’s like to have a MTV-watching, 13-year-old’s television taken away from her?  It was pure torture.  But I did something wrong, and my parents stuck to their guns.  Now that I am an adult and I can look back on it, I admire them for it.  They did not give in to many things when it came to raising me and I must say, what they got out of it was a pretty hard-working, humble woman with a good head on her shoulders (if I do say so myself).

Ok, so enough about me.  The reason why I said that times are changing is because I feel that this generation of children (especially the VERY young ones) are the dictators of American households.  Many Moms and Dads in this country give their children wayyy too many options in life.  If your child is 4 years old, there should not be a 15-minute debacle  as to what they want to eat for dinner.  Your home is not a restaurant and your child should not have control over a situation such as this.  I am getting to my point now.  If you give your child control in those situations, then the very second that you take that control away, if the child is bold enough, they will FLIP on you.

We can sit here and talk for days about what is the correct way to discipline a child.  I have two rules:

1.)  Stick to your guns

2.)  Never, ever, hit.

Seriously, what kind of sick, twisted monster hits their child nowadays?  It’s 2012 people, not 1845!  If you hit your child whenever you get angry then chances are, they will go to school and hit others when they are angry too.  I heard on the news (now I’ve got to find this article) that people who have patience with children are able to control a specific part of their brain that many other people cannot.  I believe ANYONE can have patience.  The key to having patience is not losing control.  Don’t get caught up in the moment and let your emotions take the best of you.  If you can achieve this, then you have won the most important battle when it comes to raising kids and that’s conquering yourself as a parent.

Please do not mistake my advice as too over-the-top or presumptuous.  It’s just that I’ve seen it too many times.  In all reality, it does make me cringe.  Please remember that you are the parent.  You are the boss.  Your child is not old enough to make sound and or orthodox decisions in life.  That’s why you are there; to guide your little one on this terrific journey.  Trust me, there will be plenty of time for you to step back and allow them to make their own choices–and that comes much, much later.  For now, let them be kids, let yourself be a Mommy or Daddy, and ENJOY it while it lasts!

P.S.  I am giving this advice to parents because you have the most influence on your child.  Nannies are forced to discipline at times, so the same rules apply for us as well!

Photo Courtesy of punishmentforchildren.com

Nanny Stereotypes

16 Feb

My Nanny friends and I always discuss the ways in which people view/judge us–or at least what we believe goes on in their heads when they see us with the children that we care for.  I decided to Google “Nanny Stereotypes” and I stumbled upon a great article from “The Stir” entitled: “Nanny Stereotypes Need to End Now”.  I agree wholeheartedly with the angle of the article.  Those that are stereotyping Nannies need to come to the realization of how important our jobs really are.  Contrary to popular belief, we are not “babysitters”.  We do not sit around all day, sipping our coffee, chit chatting on the phone, without paying attention to the kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I know some Nannies that have these activities on their daily agenda, but all that can’t go unnoticed when the caregiver shows how much interest she REALLY has in the child.

Anywho, this is not a rant; I just wanted it to be known that we are important as Nannies.  Our good deeds should not go unnoticed and others should not be so quick to judge.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been at the park and neighborhood Moms are watching me like a hawk with the “Smith” children (names changed lol).  If I am not being outright lazy or rude with the kids, then please, refrain from the staring.  Similarly to Mothers, we care for precious cargo too.  That should earn respect in itself.

As Nannies, we are people too.  To outsiders: come over, introduce yourself, and get to know us.  You may be surprised.

And to my fellow Nannies: there is only one weapon of mass destruction; kindness.  Kill everyone with kindness–and I mean everyone.

(Photo Courtesy of Babble.com)