Archive for the ‘Raising children’ 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®

Raising a Person You Want to Meet at Age 25

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

“So how am I doing?”  That was a frequent question posed by Ed Koch, the popular three-term New York City Mayor.  What a great question for parents! But how do you know how you’re doing?  Is our goal to raise a straight ‘A’ student or a good person?

The job of parenting is 24/7, 365 for the rest of your life.  It includes a laundry list of skills you are required to learn that look something like this.

But these are tasks, not the goal.

Then I came across a wonderful quote by Michelangelo in his response to someone who asked how he took a slab of marble and carved such a beautiful angel.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

And I realized that was the answer!

As parents, we need to see our children in the future, which is basically reverse engineering them into the adults we want to meet.

When I asked parents what values they want their children to possess, there was a response of over 400 qualities.

Raising a good person is easier than you think, and most effective when you:

  1. Model the behavior you want to see
  2. Encourage good behavior
  3. Offer alternative ways to act when children exhibit less than desirable behaviors

Starting next Sunday, June 7th I will be sending out a weekly evening email focusing on one value such as empathy, gratitude and family. That week’s highlighted value will be reinforced on the Parental Wisdom® Facebook page giving parents helpful ideas and tips, such as capitalizing on car time, breakfast banter and dinner discussions.

Being a parent can be unpredictable, but you can count on this email every Sunday night 9pm EST.  Consider it your “big kid bedtime story,” and a great way to kick off your week.

If you would like to receive the weekly email, simply signup here.

Don’t forget to share your stories too; after all, we are in this together!

Thanks and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Mom & 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®

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®

Screen free week is here!

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

I’m so excited!  As I previously wrote in my earlier post, Party like it’s 1914, Screen Free Week begins, and I just planned play tweets for the entire month of May.

As a reminder, Screen Free week starts this

Monday, May 5th and runs through May 11th 

In reading the bubble over the heads of my snarky friends and followers, “How do we read tweets if we’re going cold turkey?” The screen free part is family time; after all you most likely have to work!

I love the timing of this program as most families are currently involved in sports so they won’t even miss the screen time!  This is a great way to saunter into summer and set a pattern to enjoy time with each other and the great outdoors.

My prediction is that after a single week of less screen time and more family time, your stress will significantly drop and fun will dramatically increase.

Here are some guides/info to help:

Thanks to the folks from Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood for putting this together!

Hope you find this helpful at the very least, and life changing at best.

Let’s give our children back a childhood! 

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Follow me on Twitter  #justplay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is a minute not equal to a minute

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Some of the best ideas I get seem to happen when I’m doing mindless manual labor or exercise. I’m not sure how that happens, but it leaves me free for remarkable ideas to occur.  – Chuck Palahniuk

The January 25th WSJ featured an essay entitled, Why Mom’s Time Is Different from Dad’s Time.

The premise is that even though moms are working more and dads are contributing more, even if the time is equal the tasks are not.

So when does a minute not equal a minute? The answer is when the intensity of the task takes more focus, thought, single mindedness, etc.

When divvying up tasks, most moms will take the dishes because, “The dishes don’t talk back to you.” 

Reading through this, my thoughts trailed back to my childhood.  As the second eldest in a family of six kids, I remember my mother doing the dishes and singing Everybody’s talking at me.

In our multi-tasking, attention grabbing, never quiet present day society, we would willingly gravitate to the tasks that are, for lack of a better word, mindless.

I know I do…call me crazy, but I LOVE ironing!  My mind wanders, but yet at the same time there is attention to detail on the task at hand.

Most would agree that Moms are the CEO’s of the household and in that role, need time for quiet reflection.  So dads, volunteer for bath time after dinner, so moms can get lost in the dishes.

For fun, here are two links:

1.   From the past the classic Honeymooners show “A woman’s work is never done

2.   Present day link from Buzzfeed “Why dads can’t be Trusted to do Anything Right.”

Now, if you will excuse me…the ironing pile is calling.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

We must not give our children too much

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Your children need your presence more than your presents.  – Jesse Jackson

Privileged Texas teen Ethan Couch was charged in the deaths of four pedestrians while driving drunk.

His attorney used the ‘affluenza’ defense claiming that he had a sense of entitlement and was irresponsible.  His poor behavior was due to the fact that his parents did not set proper boundaries.

The judge gave the teen 10 years of probation for the fatal accident. Prosecutors were seeking the maximum 20-year prison sentence.

In the season of giving, you may want to give your children less in terms of material things.

You may want to consider the four gift rule:

  1. 1 thing they want
  2. 1 thing they need
  3. 1 thing they wear
  4. 1 thing they read

You are probably done shopping now.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Cookies, not kids should be pictured on milk cartons

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

On May 25th 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared while walking alone to his school bus stop for the very first time, just two blocks from his Manhattan Soho neighborhood.

Etan was the first missing child to be pictured on the side of a milk carton.

The cold case which has stretched decades became hot again.  This past week police investigators began digging up the basement down the street from the boy’s home.

Also last week, Dateline NBC aired a hidden camera series which tests parents’ teaching their children about strangers.   In the first episode of “My kid would never do that,” Natalie Morales put her own 8-year-old son in a situation where he has to decide if it is safe to enter an ice cream truck. After he initially hesitates, Morales tears up when her son follows his friends.  It’s clear that she and the other moms had the stranger talk with their children.

We have come so far to protect our children 33 years after the disappearance of Etan Patz, but as we can see in the Dateline report, the best defense is to empower our kids to handle situations by role-playing and what-if scenarios. 

  • Does your family have a codeword? 
  • Do you children have clear rules about who can come in your home?  Make sure your rules are very simple.  In our house, the only people who could enter were those with keys.
  • If they are lost in a public place, have them ask a woman for help.
  • Explain that an adult should never ask a child for help.
  • If they are being followed by a car, run in the opposite direction of the car.

We hope that our children hear our messages, but it is clear we need to reinforce the message and role play as often as possible. 

 Best said by Ronald Regan in response to national security issues, “Trust, but verify.”

Have a great 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®

 

Three Simple Ways to Stop Bullying

Monday, October 31st, 2011

“Promise me you’ll always remember…you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” Christopher Robin to Pooh

Was it so much easier a generation ago to be a kid?

You probably didn’t think so at the time if you suffered much the same taunts and teases as kids do today.  The difference between then and now is that we could go home, close the door, and find people who loved you, even with your own fair share of sibling battles.

Today, there is no where to hide.  Bullies find you everywhere, at all times, and if online; forever.  But imagine if bullying were approached like a drug problem, where both supply and demand is simultaneously approached.

Here are three simple ideas that you can put into effect right now:

  1. Let your child know he/she is loved unconditionally by everyone in your household and more in terms of extended family.  See the wonderful quote above by Christopher Robin that says it all!
  2. Arm your children with a powerful weapon to neutralize the bully.  Bill Cosby’s The Meanest Thing to Say has empowered many four- to eight-year-olds to resist the schoolyard bully. Cosby encourages young readers to respond to taunts simply by saying, “So?” instead of giving away their true feelings or responding aggressively. While “So?” will not always disarm a bully, it is one terrific tool for children to put into their social-skills toolbox.
  3. Here is a very effective exercise.  Draw a line in the room and have everyone stand on one side.  Now ask anyone who has ever been bullied to step over the line.  You will find that (just about) everyone steps over which in itself is a powerful emotion.  What this does is recognize the bully has also been bullied.  With schools facing budget cuts and at the same time required to present anti-bullying programs, there is a wonderful, free program offered by the folks at Operation Respect.

There is no hurt as difficult as when our children hurt.  Hopefully, this little band-aid can help make it go away.

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera

Founder, Parental Wisdom®