Archive for the ‘Parenting 101’ Category

Do we now understand you can’t multitask?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

The drama of the 89th Annual Academy Awards was not due to the actors or motion pictures being honored. The drama occurred as a result of a blunder caused by the accounting firm of PriceWaterhouseCooper. Accounting firms are not normally known for drama.

Brian Cullinan, one of the two PriceWaterhouseCoopers partners who handled the Oscar envelopes on Sunday night, was tweeting photos from backstage minutes before he handed Warren Beatty the wrong Best Picture envelope.

Multitasking caused this error. Multitasking simply doesn’t work; it just isn’t possible to do two things at once.

The most incredible part was when the accountant jumps up and says, ‘He (presenter Warren Beatty) took the wrong envelope!’ and goes running onstage.”

He took the wrong envelope? Nope. You gave him the wrong envelope.

Now, imagine all the times children need their parents attention. Parents are so often on their phones, children feel less important than the Snapchat stories parents are creating, text messages they are sending, or Facebook posts. It has become such an epidemic that a nursery school post asking parents to pay attention to their kids went viral.

What the incident at the Academy Awards demonstrated was that sometimes the effect of our inability to multitask is immediate.

What we won’t know for some time is the impact multitasking has on our children. If Cat Stevens’s lyrics hold true as written in Cat’s in the Cradle, then I’m gonna’ be like you dad, you know I’m gonna’ be like you.

Finally, how do we define irony? While mentally composing this blog post, I got on the wrong train.

 

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Nice to meet you! Let’s not talk about politics

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

parenting 2

It happened a long time ago, but I remember it clearly as if it were yesterday.

I took my two little children to a birthday party for a neighbor’s child.  Michael was just over two, and Noelle about eight months old.  Since my husband was working, I was alone at the party.  Everyone was in the yard, and Michael went to play in one of those outdoor plastic playhouses.  I was right next to the playhouse, and could see his little head and red shirt through the playhouse window.  Every few minutes, while holding Noelle, I would turn to see his little head and the red shirt.  After about 15 minutes the child turns around I realize I was watching another little boy with a red shirt.  I panicked and the entire party began frantically searching all over the yard and in the house for Michael.

A mom ran out front and down the street.   A few minutes later she returned holding him.  Her face was white and she was shaking.  “He was standing at the top of the hill in the middle of the street.  A car coming up the hill would not have seen him, and he would have been hit.”  She is barely able to speak.  I grab and hug him, and take both kids home.

I wouldn’t call myself a bad mother, ever. 

It seems that our polite society gets the fact that we shouldn’t engage in political discussions, especially when we have opposing views.  But we don’t seem to hesitate for a moment when judging other parents.  The anonymity of social media encourages behavior that is quick to judgement, mean and unfair.

This is evident in the recent Cincinnati Zoo incident.  There is a petition with over 460,000 signatures to hold the parents responsible.  Does everyone jump to conclusions?  Do we trust the cell phone video coverage over eyewitness accounts?  Any parent knows accidents can happen in a single moment.

Another example of rush to judgement is the story of the mom who defended the video that shows her baby trying to stay afloat in pool. She taught her daughter to ‘self save’ after losing her two-year-old son in a drowning accident.  Could you imagine to have to defend your position of teaching your child a life skill after losing a child?

Everyday there are countless situations where parents are told by strangers to ‘watch their kids’ whether it is at the pool or the playground.

Parenting is a tough enough job without all the outside critics.  Honestly, let’s just agree to argue about the election – we certainly have enough to discuss.

Please support each other.

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

 

 

Being a Team Player – A Parent’s Guide: On and off the field

Monday, February 29th, 2016

A trophy carries dust. Memories last forever.

Mary Lou Retton

Home Field Advantage: Sports Talk

Why do your children play sports?  Do they want to? Do you want them to? Are they enjoying themselves?

When children sign up for sports, most parents want them to have fun, exercise, learn skills and team play…all while remaining safe and healthy.

How do you know your child is having a positive experience? What is your role as a parent?

Here are some guidelines to consider:

  • Show them your love and support, win or lose.
  • Develop healthy attitudes toward competition; discuss the value of effort, persistence and courage.
  • Encourage them to do their best.
  • Explaining while winning is an admirable goal, winning at all costs is not.
  • Discuss the value of rules and discipline.

Before the Game: Setting Goals

Support your children’s interests by getting to know their coaches, and making sure the coaches (and yes, you too parents) demonstrate behaviors that reflect desired attitudes and ethics.

Game Day: Fan or Foe?

Now that you know the value of being a team player both on and off the field, it’s important to understand your fan “type:”

The Cheerleader: You cheer for your child and her team, or even for a good play on the opposing team.

The Critic: Your comments involve shouting corrections or comments at your child, his teammates, and coaches or referees.

The Observer: You quietly watch your child’s sporting event, smiling, nodding, and giving a “thumb’s up” when you see something positive.

The Ghost: You are not at most of the games, and if you are there, you are not present, but spending time on your phone and with your back to the game.

Ask your child to complete this sentence.  I enjoy when you come to my games because…

If you are one of those amazing sports families, you may want to consider planning a trip to various sports hall of fames, such as:

Hockey Hall of Fame – Toronto, Ontario

Basketball Hall of Fame – Springfield, Massachusetts

Baseball Hall of Fame – Cooperstown, NY

Football Hall of Fame – Canton, OH

Tennis Hall of Fame – Newport, RI

Soccer Hall of Fame – Oneonta, NY

Volleyball Hall of Fame – Holyoke, MA

Golf Hall of Fame – St. Augustine, FL

Softball Hall of Fame – Oklahoma City, OK

Ice Skating – Denver, CO

Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame – Ishpeming, MI

Lacrosse Hall of Fame – Baltimore, MD

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

What are we trying to accomplish?

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

einstein

It happened again. 

The other evening we are at a restaurant.  A family of four enters; the two little boys don’t even glance up from their cell phones as they are being seated. Shortly after orders are placed, the parents join the independent activity on their cell phones.

Yes, times are different but what hasn’t changed is the invaluable connection to the most important people in our lives.  As Einstein fears, are we at the stage where technology is surpassing human interaction?

  • How will our children learn they are part of a family that matters more than anything else?
  • How will they come to know the wonder and craziness of extended family if they don’t listen to the rich family stories?
  • How do parents teach values if children are listening to what is deemed newsworthy by popular culture?

When It Comes to Infant Language Development, Not All Toys Are Created Equal.

Parents – you are the perfect toy!

Of all the changes we would love to make in society but can’t – this one is completely in your control.

Please forgive me if I’m not impressed that your one-year-old knows how to swipe an iPad.  It would be so much better if they know how to turn the page of a book.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

We need to see into the future

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Television has changed a child from an irresistible force to an immovable object.  ~Author Unknown

A young mom visits family and leaves her one-year-old with her aunt for a few minutes.  She returns to find her child holding an iPhone.  He has no idea what to do with it.  When the mom asks what happened, her aunt replies that her grandchildren, both under two, love playing with her iPhone.

A family goes to dinner with friends, looking forward to spending time connecting with their boys, ages 4 and 7.  The boys arrive with iPads and never look up.

No worries.  Now we have BabyFirstTV, a dedicated TV network for 6-month-olds.

What?!

Let’s ignore the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations that entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Huh?! People, like real people?!

Ironic that we want our children to emulate Einstein when Einstein himself as a young child talked late and did poorly in school. This is best illustrated by Einstein’s own response to his discovery:

“When I ask myself how it happened that I in particular discovered the Relativity Theory, it seems to lie in the following circumstance. The normal adult never bothers his head of space-time problems. Everything there is to be thought about, in his opinion, has been done in early childhood. I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I only began to wonder about space and time when I was already grown up. In consequence, I poked deeper into the problem than any ordinary child would.”

Are parents desperately trying to keep up with the stress of a demanding world and compensate by rushing their child’s development?

Dr. Sally Goldberg, author of Baby and Toddler Learning Fun, tells us that reading, singing, and talking to your child provide the best preparation for success in school. This is because the spoken language has an astonishing impact on a young child’s brain development. The number of words an infant hears each day is considered the single most important predicator of later intelligence, school success, and social competence. These words have to come from an active, engaged human being, not radio, TV, DVDs, or computers.

Don’t miss the opportunity to build a relationship with your child. Even worse, by relying on electronic media you’re sending a subliminal message to your child that the television is an approved teacher. Is that the message you really want to send?

Children get it; they like to be read to because of the closeness they feel with the reader. Even with the advances of high definition TV, it is still better for a toddler to walk with you as you talk about the leaves that crunch under your feet, or see a real spider weaving its web. Parents are the perfect educational toy. There is tremendous joy that comes with having children, but the joy comes from spending time with your children.

Teach them how to pay attention by paying attention to them. Think ahead to the future, and raise a person you would want to meet.  You know, one that gives eye contact.

When you become a parent, you don’t get to phone it in.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

He was carefully taught

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes understanding the problem, and the last five minutes solving it.  

Albert Einstein

BC (before children)

The most important job in the world is also the one we are least prepared for.  It’s thrilling the first time we hear we are about to become parents, and prepare by learning as much as we can before the baby’s arrival.

AC (after children)

Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals® we quickly understand training is on the job; very much like a reading the recipe as the pot boils over on the stove.

There is little preparation for the on the spot decisions you have to make.  The most comfortable path is to do what you know, what your parents did, because after all you turned out ok.

The national news surrounding the Adrian Peterson event moved him from anointed celebrity to condemned criminal.  Companies such as Nike and Castrol pulled major endorsement deals. The NFL was paralyzed in forming a response.

How parents should parent was a topic on news programs, along with culture, geography, and religion. It’s easy to (pardon the pun) be a Monday morning quarterback and judge the way others parent.

At the same time, there was an interesting article this week in the WSJ about a non-profit program called Parent-Child-Home which got a boost from the Robin Hood Foundation.  Funds sent literacy specialists to visit families of young children in low income areas encouraging them to read to their children and not talk ‘babyese’.

Both situations, although dramatically different, are similar in the sense that parents simply do what they learned from their own parents.

It is important to begin a national conversation on parenting.

  1. Take the time to really understand the problem rather than talking in sound bites
  2. Share research on long term impact, whether it is reading to children or corporal punishment.
    Basically educate, don’t legislate.
  3. Help parents understand they don’t have to do what has always been done, but can make choices how to parent based on their own values.

Perhaps Nike and Castrol can move the money kept back for endorsements, and in its place fund this important dialog.

In parenting, there is more than one right answer.  The advisors at Parental Wisdom® would be happy to start the conversation.

We believe in this so strongly, we patented it.

 

Thoughts?

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Our reality should not be their reality

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The anniversary of 9/11 is again upon us.  We will replay the horror we witnessed and feel the sadness and loss the victims’ families experience every day.

The scenes of the original attack were aired so many times that the news outlets were asked to stop because children thought the attacks were repetitive.

The news is never meant for young children. 

Recent stories include the beheading of American journalists, war and natural disasters.  Today information is always available, but we have to protect our young children from harsh reality and let them be children as long as we can.

You may want to just play Raffi while you’re in the car!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Where do babies come from?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

If you think you know, there are actually several right answers including adoption, surrogate, IVF and others.

There are usually several right answers to questions which is why I am so thrilled about the success of a collaborative work that launched on September 1st and hit #15 on Amazon in the parenting category on September 2nd.

Parents Ask, Experts Answer: Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children provides multiple answers to questions for parents of children age’s two to six.  A panel of thirty-five experts offers advice on some of the most challenging issues faced by parents:

discipline bullying behavior
sleep caregivers play
family relationships siblings separation
special needs education friendship
technology peer pressure money

The best part about this work is that you get to see all expert answers in one place (all questions have at least three expert responses) so that you, the real expert in knowing your child best, gets to choose which response fits best for your unique child and situation.

This concept is so unique it is protected by US Patents 6193518 and 6482012.

Thank you for supporting this work!

  • Please write a review if you’ve purchased and read the book
  • Share the book information with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

After all, it’s much easier on your relationship to suggest they read the book rather than giving advice!

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®