Archive for the ‘Family Friendly America’ Category

Food fixes everything, especially problems with society

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

 

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Mother Teresa

If you’re like me, you want to disconnect from all election news.

Why do we hang our hopes on a leader for societal improvements?   Are we going to have these same conversations four years from now? Eight years from now?

What if the changes were easier than we thought, and we don’t need to wait for anyone?

I believe we can, and change simply begins with food.

Think about when you are happy?   It usually involves, family, friends and food, and connecting with each other around the table. It so happens there are grass movements (ha ha literally!) going on in the country to make sure everyone has access to healthy food.

  1. It begins with school gardens, community gardens, and rooftop gardens.
  2. It’s as simple as making sure a child has a good breakfast before school.
  3. It’s as real as a billionaire believing in chickens.

These powerful movements can grow with a single seed.  What do you say we each plant one?

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Boston and Waco remind us to be good neighbors

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

 

 “If we wish to rebuild our cities, we must first rebuild our neighborhoods.”  Harvey Milk

One of my best memories of growing up in Brooklyn was playing with dozens of kids on my block and having lots of very caring neighbors.  Everybody knew your name and your family.  Being part of that community felt like being covered in a warm blanket.

There has been an explosion of social media and online friends which may cause us to miss opportunities to know the people that are quite literally in our own backyard.

If you agree with this, you may want to celebrate neighbors’ day, April 27th by hanging a sign on your door, or perhaps a little bit more.  Go the extra step to know your neighbors by name, situation and to see if they might need a helping hand.  You could make it as simple as sharing names and emergency contacts, to planning a progressive dinner or a block party (my favorite)!

What we can learn from the tragic explosions this week in Boston and Waco is that we don’t need to wait to let our neighbors know we are here for each other.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want my advice? Not really

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Are you Mom Enough?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.”

 ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

February  1989: My  13-month old isn’t sleeping through the night and I’m pregnant with our second child.  I purchase Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber.   Three nights later and $15.95 out of pocket, I finish the book. 

Though Dr. Ferber has an MD and I’m only a mom this method does not feel right.  Clearly he had done research and I have not.  But the difference is that I care about my long term relationship with this child.  

Years later, I would use that moment of realization, that I am the expert in knowing my own child best, as the basis for a patent defense for Parental Wisdom®. 

If Time Magazine’s objective was to engage conversation and create controversary, they succeeded with their cover and story asking moms if they are ‘mom enough’.  

Great –what we needed just in time for Mother’s Day; another reason for self-doubt and guilt.

Nothing good is coming from that conversation.  But on page 9 in the very same magazine, was an article asking where moms have it worst, ranking 165 countries in categories including child nutrition, access to medical care and maternal mortality, which measures the likelihood of death due to childbirth and other motherhood-related causes.

Perhaps, because we care about the wrong things, the U.S. moms might have it the worst.

Change the conversation, and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

We need to listen before we can empathize

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

He opens his wallet and pulls out a picture of an adorable infant.  “My grandson,” he said beaming with pride.  “How wonderful for you,” I reply.   He then says that his daughter plans to stay home because she wants to raise him.  The hair on the back of my neck stands up, but I say nothing.  He has no idea that he just insulted all women who return to work after having children.  He doesn’t realize that working mothers raise their children and work.  I can’t expect him to understand that any more than he can understand what it is like to be pregnant.

But I expect women to be more supportive of each other.  We have come far and are able to make choices. There are women that have to work, women who don’t have to work, and women who choose to work.  Hillary Rosen was criticized for the comment that Ann Romney never worked a day in her life was taken out of context.  She wasn’t critical of Ann Romney for making the choice to stay-at-home, she simply wanted to point out that due to the economy many women simply don’t have that as a choice.  The critics didn’t listen.

No one should be judging what is right or wrong; it’s only your choice.  Let’s reserve judgment for jury duty.

In the meanwhile, focus on your own physical, spiritual and mental health and on being really good parents. Yes, there I said it!  Let’s not forget that fathers are the other half of the equation we call parents which is not dependent on whether or not moms work.   

Viva la choice!

Have a good week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Parenting in America

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I’ve always felt that it is a mistake to call the birth process labor.  In retrospect, that is the easy part; what follows is the world’s most challenging on the job training, in the world’s toughest training ground – parenting in America.

A good friend once told that me if you say yes to a child who has just asked 27 times to have a piece of candy right before dinner, and you give in, you just taught the child that 27 is the magic number.  This means the next time a child asks for something and you say no, the child will ask at least 27 times before giving up.

For this reason, I was fascinated by the recent WSJ article, “Why French Parents are Superior”.  I’ve watched parenting in America and witnessed rather lengthy negotiations parents have with 4-year-olds over various issues including a store purchase, leaving a playground, or eating a certain food.

Parenting in America

“The thing that impressed me most about America is the way parents obey their children.”

–King Edward VIII

When did American kids take over?  For parenting in America to get better, parents need to remember who is in charge.  It isn’t stifling your child’s creativity or imagination to sit at the dinner table and eat what is put in front of them, or to be part of the dinner conversation without the help of an iPad to keep them quiet.

The French, it seems do what our parents did; have a stern no and a glaring stare, and it seems they can do this and let their kids behave like kids.   If you find yourself apologizing to friends that you can give them eye contact until the kids are in grad school, then let’s take more than the French fries, and French toast and take a tip from French parents. 

And the next time you are having a meaningful conversation with your spouse or a friend and a child interrupts, you can always use the old standby, “the adults are talking”. 

Have a great week

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

We are still here

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

 A few weeks ago, the world didn’t end on May 21st as Harold Camping predicted.   His forecast caused some folks to stop paying the mortgage and bills.  I imagine they are now trying to recover from that decision.

Most things we spend time worrying about just don’t happen.  Parents create anxiety about things that can happen to their kids, and that anxiety keeps them from just being kids. 

I’m not saying there aren’t dangers in the world and it is your job to protect your child from real danger.  But let’s distinguish danger from anxiety.  Practice safety in all aspects of life, from the use of car seats, to child-proofing your home, to cyber protecting your kids to prohibiting alcohol to minors.  These measures all make sense and do protect our children from real danger.

And then lighten up.

Allow your kids to play the way you used to play – outside and unstructured.  Look for ways to celebrate life’s small milestones which help to shape what is in your control in this seemingly out of control world.  What would you like your children to remember about their childhood?

One of life’s milestones is the last day of school.  Each year I would leave work early to pick up the kids, and they knew I would be armed with water blasters.  Of course, one was for me. 

Why should they have all the fun?

 “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable.  It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.”  – Maya Angelou

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Sorry I have been out of touch for a while.

The last time I wrote was on Veteran’s Day, November 11th 2010 where I mentioned Operation Gratitude, a program to thank those who serve in the military.

Next came Thanksgiving and the good news that my son would be home from Iraq for Christmas, which gave us the most wonderful reason to be thankful.   With both my children home, Michael from Iraq, and Noelle from college, it was an amazing holiday with a very white post holiday Christmas that hasn’t quite stopped yet.

There is good to everything, even this overwhelming snow.  In picking up where we left off…this week Michelle Obama appeared on Oprah to discuss how we can help military families.  Stay tuned, here is where it all ties together….

With the snow, out came the neighbors who shoveled more than their own front walks, cars, and driveways.  They started talking again, sometimes even meeting for the first time, or burying the hatchet (or shovel so to speak) to help each other.

No level of social networking can ever be as helpful, or real, or needed, as the human touch.

I think the snow is very symbolic as to what can happen.  Think about this, a single snowflake is small, unique and beautiful, but look what happens when snowflakes stick together.

Just imagine what we can do if we all stick together!

For now, let’s take the lead as Michele Obama suggests, and look to meet our neighbors in need, especially the families of those serving in the military.

As Plato suggests “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Have a wonderful week, and there will be more on this topic!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Paying our dues to be part of the village

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

jaycee

A story in the news this week horrified parents. It brings a few thoughts come to mind:
• How this happened
• What caused it to be uncovered
• And, as members of the ‘village’ what we can do to prevent it

Background
An 11-year-old girl is abducted on her way to school 18 years ago, as her step-father looked on unable to deter the kidnappers. During that period, she gives birth to two daughters fathered by her captor. She is released due to the follow through of alert security guards at the University of California at Berkeley when her captor displayed suspicious behavior while visiting the campus to distribute religious material.

Today
With new school supplies, clothes, sneakers and backpacks, families across the country are excited about the start of a new school year. At the same time, we have to question the safety of our children; specifically as it relates to walking to school. Communities trying to combat childhood obesity encourage families to allow their children to walk to school, but this story could cause major setbacks in this endeavor.

If a safe, community focused approach is taken, we can keep our kids safe, and allow them the freedom and enjoyment of walking to school. Visit International Walk to School in the USA to learn how.

Keeping all of our children safe
There is a belief that a society is judged by something called the “burning building theory.” Here’s how it works. If your child was in a burning building, no doubt you would rush in to save him. But, a society is judged by the willingness of its community members to rush in to save someone else’s child. That is where the concept of the village comes in.

If the village has any chance of working, we need to recognize we’re all in this together. A candle provides a good example of how this works. When used to light another candle, the first candle doesn’t lose its light; in fact, it intensifies. So if each one of us can take care of our own family, and do just a little bit more, we can move the village concept from a wonderful idea to reality.

Experted from Because Kids Don’t Come With Manuals® by Tina Nocera

If the security guards were not observant, or did not follow through on their suspicions, Jaycee Dugard would still be a captive.

Although most situations aren’t quite this serious, there are times where we question whether or not we should say something. Here is a recent question posed by a Parental Wisdom® member that illustrates that point.

I was looking out my window this morning, and noticed a father walking quite a distance ahead of his little girl who appeared to be about 2 years old. It was easy for a car to turn into a driveway and since the little girl was so small the car wouldn’t see her and she could have been hit, or the little girl could have run into the street. My concern is, should I have said something to him? We are all cautious of correcting other parents’ behavior, but what if something could have happened to that little girl and I didn’t point it out to the father? In light of a recent tragic crash involving a mom who apparently was driving intoxicated, I am taking the concept of accident avoidance more seriously. Your advice?

To see answers from our expert advisors, click here

What do you think? Comment below.

Happy Earth Day Microsoft!

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Where do I begin? I just sent out an email to Parental Wisdom members (below) which talks about how we’re stopping our children from enjoying the most wonderful lessons on earth in a rush to excel. I came across a piece by the senior product manager at Microsoft that I have to share:

You helped her learn to walk. He’s totally potty trained at last. Just when it seems you’ve conquered the most angst-ridden issues faced by parents of toddlers, here comes another source of concern: In a world increasingly dominated by technology, familiarizing your child with a computer and online tools is more important than ever.

Parents can’t afford to wait until their children start school to introduce them to technology, says Craig Cincotta, senior product manager at Microsoft Corp.

“Schools are incorporating computers into their curricula at very early grade levels. It’s not unusual to find a computer loaded with learning software in preschool and daycare settings,” he says. “Children who have experience with computers at home will have an edge over those who first encounter technology in the classroom.”

Boy, is this person ever wrong. Children are becoming frustrated and angry, even at young ages because we are not allowing them to be children – children are meant to play, especially outdoors.

Have you ever tried to toilet train a child too early? It doesn’t work. When children are ready, toilet training is easy. The same is true of education, computers and sports. Let children play freely, and when the time comes for studies and computers and organized sports, they will come ready to learn.

Here is the email sent yesterday to Parental Wisdom members.

We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.
-Ancient Proverb

Global climate change, pollution and how large a carbon footprint you leave behind may seem like many issues parents face – overwhelming.

The answer is actually quite simple and lies in the ancient proverb that states we borrow the earth from our children.

Unfortunately, we take our children from the very thing they gravitate to, the wonders of nature. We put them in schools too early, in front of computers too early, in organized sports programs too early, all because being inside and educated means they will be safe, smart and ready for a cutthroat world.

According to a recent article in the Wall St. Journal, the birthplace of kindergarten is returning to its roots – quite literally. Children ages 3 to 6 walk into a forest outside Frankfurt Germany to sing songs, build fires and roll in the mud. To relax, they kick back in a giant ‘sofa’ made of tree stumps and twigs.

Fredrick Frobel, the German educator who opened the world’s first kindergarten actually called it a “children’s garden.” He suggested that children of this age learn far more by playing in nature than they do immersed in letters and numbers.

Let’s move from ‘No Child Left Behind’ to ‘No Child Left Inside’ and stop our 5-year-olds from what some educators call ‘early academic fatigue.’ If you can’t change the education system, at least you could give your children the gift of spending time with nature. Take a walk with your child and see what he sees, it’s amazing what a young child can teach you.

Perhaps if we made this a habit, there wouldn’t be a need to set aside April 22nd to remember the Earth; everyday would be Earth Day.

Mud pies anyone?

Mom on Strike

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

moms-on-strike.png

As I read the article about the arrest of Melissa G. Dean, 33, Florida mother of 4 children ages 17, 16, 14 and 13 for leaving her children home alone, it quickly dawned on me that she was a child herself when she became a mother.

Even for those of us who waited until we felt ‘ready’ to have children, whatever ready means, I can’t imagine how challenging it is not only to be a teenage mother, but to be a teenage mother repeatedly.

Parents, please create a village for yourselves as a means of support. This job of parenting is too hard to do alone. We all need people to rely on and count on. For all of the daily parenting questions that arise, where you need to be your child’s advocate and not break any confidence, you can reach out to Parental Wisdom.

As Plato said, be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.