Raising children is a lifelong lesson in letting go. From the moment they are born, our instinct is to protect them, to shield them, to make their lives easier. We help them with as much as we can — not because we are overprotective — but, because we love them and want them to succeed.
Ultimate success, however, comes by stepping back, and letting our kids do more on their own. Each age offers new opportunities for growth, and each family can decide what works best for them.
I look out for signs from my kids to guide me about when they might be ready to try new tasks. So, when my son, who is five, started insisting on making meatballs on his on, I let him. Continue reading →
Around the time my youngest turned two, he became difficult to put to bed. I would start his routine with a bath, then dress him in his pajamas, read him a story or two, and then cuddle for a bit. After a few minutes, however, he would jump out of bed and run downstairs. My husband or I would grab him and bring him back up, but inevitably he’d bolt again. It didn’t matter if one of us was in the room, he didn’t want to be there.
We tried leaving him in the room, but he would keep coming out. more agitated each time.
Eventually, we would just give up, and let our son play downstairs. Mind you this was already well past 9 p.m., and eating into our chill time. Aside from the obvious reasons to get our kids to bed early, my husband and I were missing out on our time together.
You might be thinking, maybe you are putting him to bed too early? Maybe he just isn’t ready for bed before 10 p.m.?
Most toddlers need to be in bed well before 10, and mine is no exception. The day after a late bedtime, my child was cranky and miserable, until he inevitably crashed late in the afternoon, when even just a 30 minute nap would push his bedtime back by hours. It was a horrible cycle.
I am a member of several Facebook groups for moms. They have become so common, that poking fun of them has become standard practice. For better or worse, they have a huge influence on parents, and can be quite helpful. I know lots of parents who say they could not survive without them.
What if our little ones had the same access to Facebook (and knew how to read, write and engage in snarky banter)? What would their posts look like?
Social media has changed the way we do things for our kids. Birthday parties, especially, have become a bit over the top, as we parents try to mimic those beautiful pictures we see on Pinterest.
It’s hard to remember a time when parties were simpler, and nobody was making 5000 Moana statues for a two-year-old’s birthday party. Not that I’m dogging on anyone who does that, because, seriously, that is impressive.
Before the Internet, the only people you had to impress were the people at your party, and you probably only saw them once in awhile anyway, so you didn’t care too much about what they thought.
My mom was a bit ahead of her time, when it came to birthday parties. We always had them in our house, complete with homemade desserts, craft projects and entertainment provided by friends and family. Continue reading →
Staring up at the young performers in “Dear Evan Hansen,” watching in awe as they masterfully captured the angst, confusion, boredom and small joys of being teenagers, two thoughts popped in my head:
Wow, this reminds me so much of high school.
Is this what my kids will be like?
I am privileged to say I have attended a number of Broadway shows, several with strong, emotional stories and engaging characters. When I watched these shows in my teens and my 20s, I felt their struggles and connected with their emotions. It didn’t matter that I had no idea what it was like to be a 20-something in the late 80s living in the East Village (RENT), or a sexually-confused teen in 19th-century Germany or green witch struggling to find acceptance in Oz (Wicked); I saw myself in those characters.
We all see ourselves in fictional characters, whether on the stage, screen or the page. It is what drives us to experience these stories. That deep connection. That sense of knowing exactly how a character feels. We are moved by them, because we are them. Continue reading →
During the early 2000s, “Sex and the City” was one of the hottest shows on television. I, a young college student, watched in awe as those 30-something-year-old women gallivanted about New York City, enjoying an endless slew of men, fashion and cosmopolitans. Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha seemed to have it all — great apartments, fabulous careers and access to the best clubs. Yet, no matter how wonderful their lives were, there was an undercurrent of emptiness following through the series.
This feeling was exemplified by the episode featuring Carrie’s 35th birthday. In one of the saddest displays ever seen on television, we find Carrie, sitting alone at a huge table, wondering when her friends will arrive. Making matters worse, at a nearby table, an exuberant young lady is celebrating her own birthday, at which she exclaims, “Twenty-five! Fuck, I’m old!”
I turn 35 this week, and as a married woman with kids, my life is very different than the one portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker on “Sex and the City.” Funny how when I watched the show in youth, I pictured my adult life involving lots of parties and a great career. Marriage and family were not top of mind. My life is very different than how I envisioned it at 19, and in many ways, I have what those women were striving for, a husband, a family – people with whom I can share my celebrations as well as sadness.
Editor’s note: In order to provide my readers with the best information, my family’s visit was compensated by the museum. All views expressed are my own.
Imagine That!!!! is a favorite destination for my kids, so when I learned the popular children’s museum in Florham Park, N.J. was under new ownership — and getting a totally revamped design — I knew I had to check it out.
My family visited the museum over the break, and we were all thrilled by the wider space, updated play areas, expanded climbing section, new features and more.
Read on to see why Imagine That!!! is a must-visit for families in the New York/New Jersey metro area. Continue reading →