January has been billed as the “saddest month of the year,” but did you know that November is the one most likely to spark meltdowns, stress-reactions, and freakouts? I call this month the “Dark Days of November.” It’s true! In my line of work, it’s quite common this time of year to hear from parents, students, and teachers who are at the ends of their ropes for many different reasons.
Thankfully we can guide our families through the month of November so everyone comes out the other end reasonably intact.
Andrea Loewen Nair is a former teacher & psychotherapist, now Head of School of Infinity School in London, Ontario Canada. She specializes in the connection between parents and their children. She has been our most-read writer at YMC for 2013, 2014 and 2015! Andrea's parenting help can be found here and through her website where you'll find parenting resources like the Taming Tantrums online book and I Feel Like A Bear! feelings flashcards.
Raising young children is hard work. We all have days that are harder than others (as do our children). Sometimes the weather keeps us stuck inside, the babies keep crying, and the toddlers keep hitting. Sometimes we're at our parenting best, and sometimes we're not.
Let’s admit that some days raising little ones can be more grueling than rewarding. Did you know that two-year-olds are the most violent beings on Earth? There’s a reason Seinfeld said, “A two-year-old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.”
In the process of considering what is the best way for my own children to learn, I’ve spent time discovering more about what hurts and helps children when they are at school. We are in the midst of exciting times in education where hundred-year-old methods are now being examined with a critical eye. It’s also a time when the level of stress in kids is higher than before. Perhaps the combination of these two things will finally bring about real change in education as a whole.
I felt a little guilty yesterday as I rolled through the airport with one small carry-on bag and my purse – and nothing else. I remembered days as a mom of two young kids carrying a stroller and three bags (two crisscrossed over my chest and a backpack overtop that), sweating my way in and out of a bathroom and over to the departure gate - never mind getting myself and the kids through the flight intact!
One of the most-shared parenting articles last year was the Maclean’s magazine cover article: The Collapse of Parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up. I am quoted in this article, although I don’t entirely agree with the way the content was weaved together or presented — I’m more of a fan of titles which help parents feel supported than berated.
When I think back to all the wonderful Christmases I had with my family, I can’t remember a single present I received. Rather, I recall that my Dad got the BBQ going through science gadgetry when it was -30 degrees for our “surf and turf” meal, that we often sang at the table, and that we jived in the living room after dinner.
I haven’t had the opportunity to get away for a vacation for quite sometime because of a new business venture, so I decided to visit Ste. Anne’s Spa with my dear friend, Erica Ehm, as a mini-vacation of sorts.
We’ve encountered a new situation in our house that has caused me distress and concern: a sleepwalking child.
One night my husband and I were sitting downstairs watching a movie when quietly and suddenly (my children usually walk like elephants) one of my children appeared in the kitchen walking towards us. As he came closer, I could see his eyes were open but were glazed over and distant. We talked to him but he didn’t respond so finally we realized he was sleepwalking.