Sep 28 2011

Teaching Kids Persistence

How Do You Do It?

by: Sharon DeVellis

I am so completely frustrated.

Son No. 1 is brilliant, funny, engaging and just an all-round good kid.

He also gives up too easily.

I could give you a hundred examples of this but the most recent was last night when the whole family went skating.  I spent most of the hour doing a speed skating drill where you go from blue line to blue line balancing on one foot.  Last year I couldn't even go ten feet without putting down my other foot and since balance is important in speed skating, I practiced.  Balancing on one skate is difficult, it not only requires balance but leg strength. 

Last night after watching me, Son No. 1 skated over and asked me how far I could balance on one foot.  "From blue line to blue line" I responded.  I watched as he skated off to try.  He made it about five feet before he veered off and went straight into the wall.  He skated back over to me and as he approached, I told him... "Don't just lift up one leg, squat down with both legs and then lift one up".  Off he went again.

He ended up smashing into a lot of walls last night but instead of persisting, he got angry,  gave up and sulked.  When we got home, the sulking continued along with some drama.

I've tried explaining to him that in order to be good at 'anything' you have to practice, I've tried encouragement, I've tried helping....all to no avail.

It drives me crazy. 

So I'm asking you.  How do you teach your kids the importance and value of persistence? 

Sep 22 2011


Presenting Your Wine In The Perfect Way

by: Sharon DeVellis

Anyone who knows me knows I like wine. There’s just something about sitting on my front porch on a summer evening drinking a cold glass of chardonnay or a shared glass with friends. That's called "truth".

This summer I discovered a nice little wine called STLTO and by discovered I mean they emailed me and asked if they could send me a couple of bottles to try. 

They had me at ‘could’.

Long story short, I liked it so much I approached them and asked if they would donate some bottles for the surprise party we threw Erica last weekend.  And by “we” I mean Party Mummy.  That woman knows how to organize a party – she took the bull by the horns and created what turned out to possibly be the ultimate surprise party of all surprise parties.  The least I could do was provide the wine. 

STLTO didn’t hesitate and within a few days, the wine was delivered.  The downside to this was that I had to look at the wine for weeks before the party.  Not gonna lie…. I *may* have had a bottle.

Or two.

I’m a sucker for a good label and STLTO has a great one – it’s pretty and sparkly (like certain vampires I love) so I didn’t want to hide them in a wine bag.  But how to present them?  After wracking my brain, I came up with this.

Boas! It was the perfect way to present SLTO to the awesome women who helped Erica celebrate her birthday. Thank you SLTO for being a part of it.

The awesome woman who took this photograph is Cherie-Lynn Buchanan of CL Buchanan Photography.  She doesn't just take pictures, she captures your essence with her camera.

Sep 20 2011

Good Mom vs. Bad Mom

Bad Mom Is Way More Fun

by: Sharon DeVellis

It's no secret that back to school has been a bit FUBAR in our house with me dropping the ball, or at least my eyes, at the most inopportune moment in the history of inopportune moments.

But finally, we've had success.  Not "this is all completely fixed" success, but a "baby steps with gripping hugs and tears in the eyes but not spilling over the cheeks" success.  

Basically to help Son No. 2 get through his sadness at going to school, I promised to walk him to his classroom every morning.  So each morning I wait until his line walks in, which inevitably is the last one, and follow them, all the while getting smacked around by little kids with big backpacks.  I wait by his locker as he changes his shoes and hangs up his jacket, still getting smacked by backpacks. 


And then we hug. The tears are there but so is a brave smile. It's not ideal but it's also not the sobbing, hiccupping cry of last week, so I'll take it.

That's Good Mom. She rocks the kazbar and does victory dances around her living room while eating chocolate.  Good Mom also knows Bad Mom is never far behind preparing for a dance off.

Bad mom got a form home for a field trip.  It's the field trip Good Mom went on with Son No. 1 a few years ago where she *may* have lost a child for a few minutes. There's none of this three hours there and back for this field trip. Oh no, sirree.....this baby is 9:00 until 3:00, with a long bus ride and being outdoors all day. 

Bad Mom threw out the form. When Son No. 2 asked me her if she was volunteering, Bad Mom lied and told him "them's volunteer positions was all filled up". 

Apparently Bad Mom is part hillbilly.

Son No. 2 looked dejected but Bad Mom didn't cave because she knows she would turn into Psycho Mom if she ever did that field trip again.  Plus, Bad Mom also volunteers at school which turns her back into Good Mom in the blink of an eye.

I think we all have a bit of the Good Mom and Bad Mom in us but what I know for sure is that we also all have The Trying Our Best Mom.

Somedays that'll just have to do.

As an aside, Bad Mom farted yesterday and blamed it on Son No. 2. 

She's kind of funny.  I like her.



The Face, The Voice, The Blog!

Sharon is a Common Sense Parent which is somewhere in between being free-range and helicopter. She believes in being active as a family and eating well 85% of the time. The other 15% is for the days when she's PMSing and then all bets are off. So far her parenting style has worked wonders for her two boys who astound her on a daily basis but that's not to say she doesn't have time to totally screw it up. She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you've found your tribe.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV

You can also visit her at: Speed Skating Mom: On The Slow Track To Becoming Fast

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