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Closing the Door On Childbearing

Seen through the lens of transitions, life is a series of doors. The door of childhood closes as the door of adolescence opens. The door of being single shuts to reveal the open door of married life. The door of winter falls asleep as spring’s door awakens. A client who I had counseled through the wedding and motherhood transitions wrote to me about a year ago after having her third child to ask, “How do I know when I’m done having kids? I love having babies and I imagine it’s a transition of its own with real grief when I decide not to have any more kids.” Faced with... read more

Parenting Fails

I'm not the parent I thought I'd be. I had big plans, BIG plans before having kids. I was going to be endlessly patient, I wasn't ever going to yell. I wouldn't swear under my breath (on a good day). My kids would be HAPPY. They would be well adjusted, content. Polite, confident. Neat. Clean. My kids were going to be living proof that I was a good parent.   Because somewhere along the line, I totally got the message that good parents have good kids. And kids who have problems have bad parents. I don't know where - it's not even something I intellectually believe.... read more

How would his Holiness the Dalai Lama deal with three consecutive snow days?

Slammed recently by snow days, my family has been home from school and work and cooped up at home. My wife and I are beat, pushed past our limits of creativity and patience. This has made me wonder, how would my idol, his Holiness the Dalai Lama, deal with three consecutive snow days? I examined this question today on the Kripalu Yoga Center blog... This year, New England, like much of the country, has been pummeled by snow. And that means snow days for our kids. Which is magical. I remember snow days fondly. Sleeping in. Sledding. Snow men and snow forts. Cocoa and... read more

I Want to be Two

    I want to be an infant. I want to lay my head on a pillow and have it sink in to the comfortable softness, warmed and comforted by the very fact that I don’t know enough to worry. I want to smile innocently and laugh freely. I want to take delight in the attentions of others without having the self-awareness to feel self-conscious. I want to be two. I want to state my opinion boldly and confidently. I want to believe in self-assertiveness. I want to let the hedonist in me free. I want to simultaneously want to be cradled and set free. I want to be... read more

Parenting Advice for Raising Teenagers

By Jessica Williams for kidsinthehouse.com   Parenting adolescents can be extremely emotionally challenging. Trying to keep your cool during a teenage outburst of blame and hysteria can untether even the most grounded parent.   In a recent KidsintheHouse.com interview, Michael Bradley, Ed.D., Psychologist and author of Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! Loving Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind, shares great practical advice for communicating with your teenager. He points out how important it is to talk to your kids when there isn't a problem. "Get in the habit of them hearing... read more

Treasured: Remants of my Late Daughter's Life

    By Suzanne Leigh   I have the first outfit I ever dressed you in two days after you were born — gray sweatpants and red shirt (back then I was unfamiliar with infant girl clothing customs). I have your favorite baby and toddler outfits — a cheetah coat, a halter neck dress, a lilac frock with Peter Pan collar (actually they were probably my favorites).   I have a pacifier, a diaper bag, a bib with “I love my Daddy” on it and notes taken from an infant first aid and CPR class (the phrases “turning blue” and “three sharp slaps between the shoulder blades” are... read more

My Five-Year-Old Still Has a Bottle

By Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers     My five-year-old-daughter has a bottle of milk every night. Should I say my five-year-old-daughter still has a bottle of milk every night? Many people would add the modifier—and I can’t fault them for this. I haven’t made even one attempt to wean her from that ritual. No surprise, our shared attachment to her bottle stems back to her babyhood.   One of the biggest adjustments I had to make as a fourth-time mom but first-time adoptive mom was to become comfortable with the bottle’s... read more

Family Planning: Are the Financially Stable the Only Good Parents?

  I always knew I wanted to be a mother. After struggling to find my path in this life, endlessly searching for what would make me happy, the only thing I was ever certain of was that I wanted to have children. Unfortunately, it didn’t come easy for us. In fact, it nearly bankrupted us just to have our first daughter.   I was at Cornell when my body went haywire, and we discovered it may take some time for me to get pregnant. I’m grateful we got started when we did, because I almost ended up with a hysterectomy and no children at the age of 33. Adding fertility... read more

How to Know When It’s Time to Get Rid of the Swing Set

    By Randi Olin   It had been nine years since we moved into our house and acquired the swing set left behind by the previous owners. My son Daniel would climb the stairs and look through the telescope. He would see a pirate ship. A far away galaxy. A dinosaur. He would run into the enclosed “clubhouse” underneath the slide, the sound of the screen door shutting behind him. He would crouch down in a secret spot where he had stored sticks and rocks and grass for the caterpillars he had gathered. My daughter Emily would yell, “higher!” as I pushed her on the swing.... read more

The Transitions of Childhood

My younger son is going through a transition. He’ll be turning four in about seven weeks, and he’s showing all of the tell-tale signs of leaving one stage and shifting into a new stage: reactive, out of control, eating habits shifting and sleep schedule changing. He’s yelling at his big brother for crowding his space, yelling at his dad when he asks if he wants help, and yelling at me when I ask him what he would like to eat for lunch. Five minutes after these outbursts, he’ll be as sweet as pie and telling jokes like the life of the party. If we parented according to... read more

Mothering › Child Articles