If someone asked you to name the city with the world’s largest gingerbread village, chances are you wouldn’t guess a city in Arizona. But Prescott, Arizona is exactly where that village resides! Just one of the many reasons to head up to “Arizona’s Christmas City,” you and your grandchildren will be dazzled by the 100+ gingerbread creations that make up this one-of-a-kind village.
Organizations in the community, as well as families and individuals, create unique entries. These entries will be judged, then viewed by as many as 50,000 visitors to this display at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center. This year, there is a tribute to the 19 firefighters lost from this community. The village, which is free of charge to view, will be available until Jan. 1, and your little ones will be wide-eyed at this charming snow-covered village, complete with trains running through it!
There are so many events going on in Prescott during the next few weeks that I am resorting to a list to fit most of them in.
Dec. 1-21: Santa Clause Express at the Verde Canyon Railroad in nearby Clarkdale on the weekends
Dec. 4-8: Walk through Bethlehem
Dec. 7: Breakfast with Santa from 8-10 a.m., 31st annual Christmas Parade from 1-3 p.m. and Courthouse Lighting at 6 p.m.
Dec. 8: Santa with the Animals from 1-3 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary – Santa will bring presents for the animals & will be available for photos
Dec. 13: Acker Musical Showcase from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at downtown locations – see over 100 musicians performing everything from steel drum bands to classical music (a ‘must see’ according to one of the Prescott locals)
Dec. 14: Wildnights at Night from 6-9 p.m. at Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary (every Friday & Saturday night in December).
Since there are more than enough activities to keep you in Prescott for several hours, please support the many wonderful eating and drinking establishments while there, and check the websites listed below for a complete calendar of events.
In addition to the above festive activities, you may even be able to see some white stuff on the ground, which is such a treat at this time of year. Regardless of whether there is snow, be sure to bundle up your little ones so that you can stay longer and take in all that Prescott has to offer in terms of holiday sparkle.
The amazing lights of Courthouse Square is reason enough to make the trip north, but there is so much more to savor. A visit to our own ‘Christmas City’ will leave you all with that warm, cozy feeling of small town Christmases of long ago…
To get there:
Drive north on I-17 to the 69 turnoff (be sure to keep a lookout for the decorated Mystery Christmas Tree in the median near Sunset Point at milepost 254, follow signs to downtown Prescott.
For over 3 decades this Mystery Christmas Tree has mysteriously been decorated at night on Thanksgiving Weekend (Psst…We saw some of those decorators at work, but we wouldn’t DARE post the photos!)
You will pass the Prescott Resort and Conference Center on the left as you are entering Prescott, 1500 Highway 69, 928.776.1666. Continue on to Courthouse Square.
How do we balance extracurricular activities for our child so we are not stressed out?
Before our children are born, parents are already worried or thinking about childcare, preschool, or even the best public/private schools to enroll their children in. Some parents even consider moving to a different location in order to give their child the best education.
We always want to be one step ahead when it comes to parenting our children. We feel this pressure or competition to have our children speak Mandarin, Spanish, play a musical instrument, participate in a sport or be the president of their class. We do not always realize that we might be in competition with our own colleagues, other parents, and family members with children as well.
When is enough really enough?
We have stressed out parents and over-stimulated and exhausted our children. We all need down time to relax and regroup without being rushed all the time.
Here are some ideas and solutions to help you deal with this issue:
-Remember, children develop many interests throughout preschool to high school and they may want to explore new things all the time.
-Ask your child which extracurricular activity/sport would be their number one choice and which would be their number two choice. Do not give them more than two choices.
-After you decide together and give them time to think about it, tell them you will get back to them about the activity. (The cost, amount of time devoted to the activity, and scheduling for both of you before registering.)
-Find out if this activity is flexible or has a specific time, place, and hour to attend. If you are a working parent, this may affect your work schedule or feelings of guilt if you are unable to attend or participate.
-It is critical to consider time management when setting up activities for your child, yourself, and your family. Avoid cramming too many activities into one day. Consider traffic, health, dinner hour, homework, and your own personal time/marriage/relationship.
-Limit the number of extracurricular activities per week. Maybe one is enough, or no more than two, depending on the number of children you have. The last thing you want your child to experience is “burnout.” If your child is complaining every time that they have to participate, then investigate why that might be happening. Ask about bullies, or stress in their life, or about the coach, or their peers attending the activity before you pull them out. You may want to suggest that they finish that term before they quit.
-Sleep, healthy eating and exercise should be a priority as well. Observe yourself and your child if you are always picking up fast food for dinner, how it affects your health, mood, weight, and energy level.
-It is important that your child develop strong relationships with their peers and family members. When we over schedule our children, this will not allow for developing healthy relationships and inspiring teamwork. Talk to your child about the importance of sportsmanship and being respectful of others when they win or lose. Think about role modeling situations where they observe your reactions and attitudes, such as take them with you while you participate in your own activity.
-It is also vital that you find out what type of coach, or mentor your child is being exposed to when selecting an activity/sport.
-Incorporate family time weekly to try to have dinners together and discussions instead of everyone eating separately (this creates a much closer family bond). Father-Son and mother-daughter, even sibling time, alone is also an important thing to include in the calendar. Ask each family member to not have any electronic devices at the table while having dinner. This includes the parent as well as the child to try and avoid answering emails, texts, tweeting, etc. BE PRESENT AND MINDFUL.
-Maintain a large calendar/schedule that is visible to everyone in the house. If they are small children, use pictures instead of words, or color code. In your calendar schedule both parent work and school related activities. This way your children will know when and where you are at all times to avoid any communication issues.
-In addition to a schedule of work and school activities, have a chore chart placed in another part of the kitchen to review as to what is expected each day in order to receive an allowance, or privileges. This method of organizing can hopefully eliminate any excuses. Everyone will know what is expected.
-Contact friends or neighbors as a back-up plan in case you need carpooling, doctor appointment, or general assistance.
-Don’t forget to give positive affirmations and praise daily when your child has accomplished their chores or goals. Be cautious not to be negative with your comments if they did not do what was on the calendar right away. Communicate in a positive manner what time they are planning on doing it, and thanking them and showing appreciation.
-Set up bank accounts early for your children (piggy bank) for helping with chores, completing homework, or participating in family situations. (This teaches the value of a dollar.) Once elementary children can add/subtract and understand the concept of money, give them an opportunity to save or use part of their money towards a toy, food, or an event.
-Teach gratitude daily. Notice when your children do things for the house or family when you do not ask them. Express your thanks by saying phrases such as, “I appreciate that you did the dishes tonight. Thank you so much.”
“Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!” sings the Cat in the Hat at the beginning of Seussical the musical, the beloved production based on the works of Dr. Seuss.
It’s a refrain that could well be every parent’s message to their children. It speaks to the possibilities that exist every day in our lives if we allow time for dreaming, exploration, and discovery.
In Seussical, Jojo, the Mayor of Who’s son, is admonished by his parents for thinking “thinks” — imaginary thoughts that disrupt his school classes and anger his teachers.
When Jojo’s parents lament, “Oh, where are the instructions on how to raise a child?” they speak to a universal question of parenting. However a parent chooses to answer the question, is it not common sense that opportunities for creative expression, trying and erring, and daydreaming be allowed and encouraged?
I’m reminded of a story told recently by Alberto Rios, whom the Governor has appointed as Arizona’s Inaugural Poet Laureate. He recounts, in an interview on KAET’s Horizonte, that, as a child, he was punished by his teacher for “the egregious crime of imagining.” He blesses his parents for not reprimanding him. He thanks them for seeing the possibilities within him and not stifling those creative juices that have made him today a notable literary figure and teacher.
I have had the privilege of working with nonprofit organizations such as Free Arts of Arizona, Phoenix Boys Choir, and Valley Youth Theatre and watched in awe as children from diverse social and economic backgrounds, with different personalities and temperaments have been transformed by the power of imagination. On stage, their talents are unleashed, their inhibitions dissolve, their fear or anxiety morphs into creative energy and expression, and they experience collaboration. And they are encouraged!
When you read a report such as that recently published in The Arizona Republic that Metro Phoenix has the highest rate in the nation of youth who are disconnected from work and school, you have to realize how unnecessary and unacceptable such idleness is — especially when pathways for transformation exist through our non-profit organizations and religious institutions.
Perhaps, all of us…parents, corporations, and government…ought to adapt and adopt Cat in the Hat’s refrain and proclaim, “Oh, the Thinks We Can Think, and the Thinks We Can Do,” to open doors to creative thinking, imagination, and productivity for all children!”
Has your child been bullied or is your child a bully? There are many warning signs and preventative measures you need to be educated on in order to help your child in both scenarios.
Bullying is still a growing problem nationwide. Although we are implementing and enforcing laws against bullying, we still hear on the news horrific stories about shootings, suicides, and peer abuse. Approximately 77 percent of students in the United States report incidents of bullying at their schools.
- Cyber- Through social media, text messaging, gossip, emails, and inappropriate photos, Facebook and other social media sites are becoming large outlets for bullying. This type of bullying has increased tremendously because it is harder to detect.
- Verbal- A child may report being called horrible names, racist comments, homophobic jokes, or being sexually harassed.
- Physical- Some kids bully by being physical, such as: Hitting, spitting, kicking, and physically attacking through weapons, guns, or physical force. These types of bullies are also known to destroy property or steal.
- Indirect- Some bullies will spread gossip or rumors that are not factual and is made up to embarrass another child or teen. Often times this is also considered to be emotional abuse as the child or teen becomes isolated because of the gossip/rumors.
According to bullying statistics in 2013 in the United States, we are still seeing, even with multiple anti-bullying programs mandated in our schools, that:
- 1 in 5 students admitted to bullying their peers at some point.
- About half of students reported being afraid of going to the bathroom for risk of being bullied there.
- Teenagers aged 12-17 claimed they have seen violence increase in their school in the past year.
- In approximately 85 percent of bullying cases, no intervention was made by a teacher or administrator.
- 30 percent of U.S. teenagers have been involved in bullying by either being a bully or a victim.
Cyberbullying advice for parents:
As a parent, it is important to tell your teen that they will not be punished for admitting to being bullied. If the bullying continues after the child has blocked the person on the Internet and their phone, a parent may want to contact the other parent whose child is cyber bulling their own child and have a discussion in order to stop the harassment. Educate your child or teen to keep all threatening or cruel messages and bullying evidence as proof to support their case. Remind your children about predators and how not everyone may be who they say they are online. Make sure you know where your child is at all times, so that a predator cannot hurt your child. Tell your child to have caution when sending messages or pictures through the internet or text because there is a risk that it could “go viral.” Have a code word, for example: a pet’s name, if your child is in danger so that you know how to find them and come and get them.
Cyberbullying statistics consist of some of the following:
- The i-Safe Foundation reported that 1 in 3 children have experienced cyber-threats online.
- Over 25 percent of students report being “repeatedly” bullied through their cell phone and the Internet.
- About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others.
- Girls are more likely than boys to engage in cyberbullying.
- Only 1 out of 10 victims of cyberbullying tell their parents about the incident.
- 1 out of 4 report the cyberbullying to the police.
Parents are very concerned but may not want to believe or imagine that their child is bullying other students. This is called “Denial” about our own child’s behavior. Children who bully other children, statistically, have been physically, mentally, or verbally abused in their own home or at school.
A bully has a need for power, control, and dominance over another child. Here are some indicators that your child may be a bully:
- He/She comes home with items, toys, money, or materials that may not belong to them.
- Your child may often get in trouble with teachers or administrators.
- May start fights with their own siblings.
- May easily react and become violent with others at or outside of the home.
- Blames others for their problems
- Chooses friends who bully other students.
On the other hand, if your child is bullied, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- The child may make excuses to avoid going to school or other activities.
- Your child may experience emotional changes, such as, depression, anxiety, anger, sadness.
- Change in appetite due to nerves or anxiety/stress.
- Drop in academic performance
- May want to attend another school
How can a parent help their child when they are being bullied?
Parents need to explain to their child/teen that it is not acceptable to be afraid or hurt by another person. They do not deserve to be picked on in any capacity. This is considered to be a form of abuse or bullying. Parents need to teach their child to be assertive, not aggressive, back to a child who is bullying them. It’s important to tell the child or teen to report any incident of bullying immediately to a counselor, teacher, administrator, friend, or parent. It is critical that you may need to seek counseling for your child and family.
If you’d like to share a story or comment about your child’s experience with bullying, and how you helped your child, please write to my Dear Linda column at email@example.com, or write on Facebook.
According to psychoanalyst, Alfred Adler, our birth order can predict our personality to some extent. Adler’s theories date back to the early 1900s and are considered to be credible. Dr. Kevin Leman also wrote books and researched the topic of birth order.
After interviewing my own family members and listening to their answers on birth order, I wanted to compare their answers to the research suggested. My oldest daughter Jessica, stated that as a first born, she enjoyed being the first granddaughter born on my side of the family. Jessica felt very loved and supported by parents and relatives. Jessica wished at times, that she had older siblings to learn from because she felt she had to do everything first. Jessica felt a need to figure things out on her own without the guidance of an older sibling. Jessica had high expectations for herself and she claims she is very hard on herself in many respects. Jessica enjoyed her childhood years because her parents played with her and took her on many vacations.
According to the research on first borns, they are considered to be:
- Natural born leaders
- Over achievers
- Center of attention
- Can be perfectionists
- They feel pressure to be the best
- They have higher IQs than younger siblings
- May be the favorites in the family
- Highly self critical
- Tend to be risk-averse
- Many presidents and CEOs are first borns
As a middle child within my family, I felt a need to share and be very social at an early age. I had an older sister whom I modeled after. I had a need to find my own way and be successful in my life. I also became a “big sister” to my youngest brother, along with my older sister, and played and cared for him. I had numerous arguments with my other brother, who was also considered a middle child since there were four of us. We became closer when my sister left for college and throughout the rest of our lives. I am a peace-maker and mediator, but at times I felt left out. According to research of middle children, they are considered to be:
- People pleasers
- Good listeners
- More secretive
- May feel isolated within their own families
- Very loyal
- Hard workers
- Create a different identity from older and younger siblings
The youngest child I interviewed, was my niece, husband, and brother and sister-in-law. All of them talked about being spoiled and received a lot of attention from their parents or siblings. They all discussed feeling a closeness to their mothers. They described growing up faster then they should have due to older siblings’ influences, i.e. drugs, dating, sex, conversations. Sometimes they stated that their siblings felt jealous of them. In some situations, their siblings were much older than them and left home so they felt like an only child. According to the research, the youngest child often times have the following qualities:
- More playful
- Had to fight for attention
- Developed a sense of humor(actors and comedians are usually youngest children)
- Higher risk takers
- More protected
- Felt indestructible
- Lacked some confidence
- Great problem solvers
- Feel a need to “dethrone” the first born
After interviewing an only child who had no siblings, we discussed that he felt lonely at times without siblings. His friends were very important to him, and became what some would call, “surrogate siblings.” He grew up having many adult like conversations with family members and his parents. He learned to be articulate, a leader, but also a risk taker. He had a great imagination, due to the lack of siblings to play with. There are times he has difficulty with criticism. He stated that being an only child put a lot of pressure on him to be very good at everything he attempted. Characteristics of only children:
- They can be leaders in the community
- They have the best of both, the oldest sibling characteristics as well as the youngest
- Risk takers
- Overly protected
- Center of attention, from parents
- Greatest risk for obesity, because food was a form of love
Think about your own family situation and how birth order relates to you, personally. Let me know what you think about this article and if these characteristics apply to you on my Facebook page.
The term “Sandwich Generation” refers to a generation of people who support their own children, while caring for their aging parents. According to the Pew Research Center, just about 1 out of every 8 Americans between 40-60 years of age is raising a child and caring for a parent at the same time. Also, between 7-10 million adults are caring for their parents from a long distance.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, older Americans ages 65 and up will double by the year 2030 to over 70 million. This indicates that more families will be caught in a Sandwich Generation. The term Sandwich Generation was coined by Dorothy A. Miller in 1981.
Carol Abaya M.A., an expert on the Sandwich Generation, described 3 scenarios of this definition:
- Traditional: Those sandwiched between aging parents who need care and or help as well as caring for their own children.
- Club Sandwich: These are people between the ages of 50-60 with aging parents, adult children, and grandchildren or those in their 30s and 40s with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
- Open faced: Refers to anyone else involved in elder care.
It can be very difficult to save for your own retirement and pay your own bills during an economic downturn. It is even more difficult to juggle responsibilities in providing for your own financial future while helping your elderly parents and children simultaneously. Americans 55 and older say they expect to provide for aging relatives for their adult children (according to the Retirement Reset Study by Sun America Financial group and Age wave). If you choose to take time off to care for an elderly family member, then you risk lost wages and 401(k) match benefits and health insurance. This can be a quandary.
Our seniors are struggling to cope with long term care, expenses, and medical costs. Our children, who attend college or grad school, tuition also may need extra financial support. This can also affect one’s own nesting egg, stress level, and emotional well-being. Sometimes you are in a cross road between keeping a full time job and caring for your family.
There are many emotional issues involved in caring for an elderly parent and your own child.
Often times the adult or primary caregiver is trying so desperately to find solutions to both generations’ needs that it can be very difficult when we lose sight of our own personal needs. We need the support to juggle all the different balls in the air. Becoming knowledgeable about elderly care and the resources available can be beneficial in problem solving. Also, guiding our own children throughout the teen years by attending parenting workshops and educating one’s self can get us through the roller coaster times.
If you are feeling overwhelmed in making these critical decisions in your life, consider speaking to a financial adviser, as well as a counselor in family therapy. This can help you decipher what path to take. Attend a group therapy session that can help you in not feeling alone since millions of Americans are struggling with the same issue.
If you are searching for more information on this topic or solutions/strategies, visit Carol Abaya’s website at www.sandwichgeneration.com . This may be very helpful to hear from an expert on the subject.
“Ladies and Gentlemen… Children of all Ages… Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth…”
That famous line, spoken so succinctly by the Ringmaster, triggered goose bumps and brought a smile to my face. The memory of special outings to the circus with my family 55 years ago is something I will never forget, so why not pass that feeling on to the grandchildren? What they may not realize now is a visit to the circus can be a lifelong, positive memory.
It doesn’t need to be Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus you bring your grandchildren to; whether the production is large or small, what’s important is your grandchild’s first memory of tigers looking like big house cats, clowns juggling, and aerial acts skies above. Where else can you share those lasting sensory associations and visuals with your kids, up close and personal?
The circus has changed since I last brought a child which was evident this summer at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. My surprise included lots of singing and dancing, extravagant costumes, wire acts, tumbling, magic, and a meet and greet with the circus performers themselves.
Children and adults alike were captivated by the non-stop action in the center ring and everything around it. Any seat is a good one at the circus, but if you want to go all out, you can purchase some specially designed packages.
Come early for a Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey extravaganza on the all-access pre-show where you meet the performers, observe the animals, try on costumes, and enter to win a painting by one of the elephants.
All ages will enjoy this show called “Built to Amaze,” as it lives up to its billing. Our grandchildren, ages two and three, were mesmerized from the pre-show to the end, cheering, clapping, laughing and dancing.
Before you Go:
- Check out www.ringling.com
- Share the book: “If I ran the Circus” by Dr. Seuss
- Tickets: Range from $10.00 each to $95.00 per person, Kids 23 months and younger free on Lap Souvenirs range from $10.00 to $75.00
- Food – Concessions–Vendors in the stands
- Come as early as you can to enjoy the pre- show activities as it is more fun than the circus for some age groups.
- Dress comfortably and bring a camera.
- Baby’s First Circus – Expectant parents and parents with babies under 12 months of age, check it out.
- All access Pre-Show – Included in ticket; access to the show floor to meet all the performers, try on consumes etc.
- Animal Open House – included in ticket price; beginning 90 minutes prior to show. Meet the Asian elephants outside the arena ( check to see if available in your city)
- Circus Celebrity - Premium seating up front and a ride in a tram on circus floor for part of the show
- Grandparent’s Favorite: Stars of the Steel Vortex
- Grandchildren’s Favorite: FREE clown nose and the tigers going Grrr…
Advice for Parents and their children: If you are going through a divorce, be sure to go over these topics with your child in order to ease the emotional pain and general transition.
The most important thing to realize is that a parents’ divorce is not the child’s fault. So many children believe if they were better behaved or did this or that right, then their parents would not be getting a divorce. That is not true, it is the parents’ relationship that is different or they are no longer a “good fit,” is the reason for divorce, not you. It is very normal to have strong emotional feelings about a parents’ divorce. It can be very difficult and painful to go through. Unless the family experienced domestic violence, it might be a relief to not have continuous fighting or verbal abuse occurring in the home.
Our families can also experience split loyalties and pressure from a parent to take sides and feel guilty. This is not fair to the child because they have the right to love you individually for who you are to them. In my practice, numerous children have stated that they feel as if they are caught in the middle, to take sides. This can create emotional upheaval for your child. Try to find ways and strategies through counseling to prevent this.
Your children also have the right to follow their own dreams, hopes, and goals for their life not just their parents’ needs. Children are allowed to experience their own feelings even if it doesn’t match their parents whether it is anger, pain, frustration, hurt, jealousy, love, or whatever they are going through. If you and your family have a counselor to go to, then please take advantage of this opportunity. There are agencies that are free or have sliding scales. A counselor at your child’s school can help them adjust to the situation as well.
Basic tips for surviving and personal growth during a parents divorce.
- Dealing with these issues alone can be very stressful on a child, please help them by giving them a professional counselor to talk to. It is so beneficial to your whole family to have someone trained in the field to guide you and help all of you through this process. Money does not have to be an issue because agencies like Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Terros, clergy or church community, etc. can help you and your family.
- Continue to help keep your regular routine as well as your child’s such as, school, sports, clubs, and other activities to keep normalcy in your lives and something that is their own. Consider volunteering in order to give back to your community. This can be advantageous for both a parent and child. This can benefit and can help you both feel better in your lives. Focusing on helping others when we hurt is great medicine for the soul.
- If you have yoga, meditation tapes, or any relaxation music, humorous books or movies to watch can be helpful when you and your child are sad or depressed at this time. Sometimes suggesting journaling one’s feelings privately can be helpful for both child and parent to do. Doing art or other activities together can help release negative feelings for the time being if you have no one to talk too.
- Although everyone in the family is hurting, help your child be aware to not take on anyone else’s feelings in the family and harbor them inside themselves. This can be very destructive and can create anger which can affect one’s behavior or actions in a destructive manner. Being physical or aggressive with people, verbally abusive, or numbing your feelings through drugs and alcohol are all warning signs that you need someone to hold you up and support you through this difficult and stressful time. If your child’s grades go down, this can indicate a lack of motivation and feelings of hopelessness. Just allow yourself and your child to have this range of emotions and do not beat yourself up for them or belittle your child’s feelings. Try to validate your child’s feelings by making statements such as, “Johnny, I know you are angry that dad no longer lives here, and you must miss him.” These types of statements can reassure your child’s feelings and help diffuse their anger.
- Allow your child to speak up and let them have a “voice” about their feelings in regards to school, jobs, family matters, babysitting, money, activities, clothes, sleep arrangements, holidays, vacations etc.
- As parents, try to understand your child’s positions in the divorce so you can eventually understand their feelings and needs. Try to be patient, as a parent, because although you are going through hurt, anger, and frustration, your child is also unclear of all the decisions and feelings they are going through as well. Try to approach your child in a positive manner by saying things in a polite or kind voice. Often times, when we are angry, we may direct/transfer our anger onto our children. This can cause upheaval in the home and distance ourselves from healthy communication with our children.
- Ask close relatives, friends, or neighbors whom you trust to talk to you or your children about what your family is experiencing. Often times, friends or relatives, who have also been divorced, can be helpful to talk to about these matters.
- Manipulation can occur when children feel confused and not know what to do about their living situations. A therapist or counselor can help set parameters and structure during this difficult transition so that everyone is on the same page and knows what to do.
- Reading books or other media about divorce with your child can be beneficial. This can help open communication skills and discuss feelings they are experiencing.
After reading this article what are your thoughts? Please comment on SmartFem’s Facebook page and let us know what you think about this article.
Some of the ways we can prepare our daughters for life after high school are:
- Talk to your daughters about attending a university, community college, or trade school to enhance her abilities in a specific field. Teach her how to understand financial assistance. She might need to receive a higher degree than just a bachelor’s or an associate degree. Statistically, more women are attending or staying in college than men.
- Role play with your daughter how to interview and dress professionally for a job. If you are not knowledgeable in that area, then contact someone who is professional and research proper attire and appropriate interview skills.
- Teach your daughters the differences between assertiveness and aggression. In a male’s world, men are taught to be competitive and aggressive. This may be difficult for a young woman to adapt to this work style. Taking a course and role playing how to ask for what you want in an assertive manner can be beneficial in a work setting. Being able to climb a ladder, as young men often do, is a form of competition. Talk about putting in extra time at her job so that superiors notice how hard she is working, instead of just doing the minimal amount.
- Also, talk to your daughter about how to ask and negotiate a salary instead of saying, “Oh thank you. That is okay.” Make sure that she has researched what the company and position is worth in terms of pay. Males generally ask for higher salaries, whereas females feel uncomfortable asking.
- Talk to your daughter about finances and how to budget. If that is not an area of your expertise, then take her to a financial adviser to teach her.
- She may choose to marry later in life than you did. Do not be discouraged by that or push her to marry early if she is working on her career. Try to be supportive and understanding that she may not follow in your footsteps. There can be a strong possibility that your daughter may have to support herself without the help of a husband. There is also a possibility that she could end up divorced which is why it is important to have a stable career to support herself and her family.
- Talk to her about being a parent. Encourage her to study some psychology courses and child development/parenting books.
- If you have been a working mother, speak to your daughter one day about balancing career and family responsibilities.
- Discuss with your teen that she might be a target for sexual harassment on the job. If this has happened to you, then let her know how to handle it.
- Talk to your daughter about the possibility that she may earn more money than her husband and how will they deal with that in their marriage.
- One day she may have her own place. Discuss the importance of taking care of her home and taking pride in it.
Some of the ways we can prepare our sons for life after high school are:
- Encourage your sons to attend university, community college, or some type of trade school in order to support themselves.
- Review specific dress codes that are appropriate and interview skills so that your son will be able to get a job.
- Teach him that being assertive is important in asking for what you want in a dignified manner. Often times young men may appear aggressive in their behavior or speech. It is important to guide them in being respectful, attentive, and kind to their colleagues and superiors.
- Encourage your son to negotiate a decent salary that is commensurate with the job. Also, tell him to work hard and put in the extra mile in order to climb the ladder.
- Teach your son how to be respectful of women. The way you role model with your partner is very influential in the way they will treat a future wife or partner. Talk about how to avoid objectifying women on the job. Tell them not to join in with other males by participating in this objectification of women.
- Teach him how to balance work and family life. By discussing issues that can arise in both your professional world and personal world can be very helpful to him.
- Talk about being a father and the importance it plays in a child’s life. Suggest one day they take parenting classes and read books about child development.
- There is a probability that his partner may make more money than him and how will he deal with that as a male.
- Being an equal partner, he may be sharing chores with his spouse. Being knowledgeable in domestic responsibilities will be advantageous to him. Teach your child how to do laundry, budget, cook, clean, sew a button on, and manage household chores.
There is a wonderful handbook that you may want to purchase immediately prior to your child leaving home. It is entitled, “Help I’m on my Own.” This book will be advantageous to you and your son and daughter to review these various skills.
Check out Linda’s Facebook page for more information on ordering her book, “Help I’m on my Own!”
Linda Gellman Levin holds a dual Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and in Special Education. In this new exclusive SmartFem column Linda will address your tough questions on the difficult and important job of raising children. askLinda@SmartFem.com
My oldest is four and I’ve always made sure to tell him how proud I am of him and tried to make him feel empowered even if he didn’t do something very well. Then, if I see he has room for improvement I give him an “idea to try next time” so he can focus on areas to better himself. Lately I’ve noticed he is very convinced that he is already great at the things he does. He is so convinced that he sounds cocky. I’m concerned because he starts school next year and I’m afraid the other kids will tease him and burst his bubble. Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent a major heart break in my little boy? —Lindsay
First of all, your child is in an ego-centric stage of life, developmentally. That means he sees himself as the center of the universe. It is difficult for him to acknowledge that he may not be successful in a task. My suggestions are:
- Watch out for suggesting anything negative about his character (i.e. being a good/bad/naughty boy). Praise him for accomplishing things such as good listening skills, following the rules, putting his toys away, etc.
- Discuss what he is working on at that time, such as, if he throws a ball, you might suggest, “Show me how to roll a ball!” Then throw the ball with your right hand and show him which hand is his right hand. If he is doing a painting or doing an art project, don’t suggest it is “wonderful” or “fantastic.” Ask your son to tell you about the painting. This will help him express himself without it being about good/bad, right/wrong, etc.
- Four year olds may share or brag about themselves at this stage of life. Don’t be so concerned about other kids teasing him, so much as modeling situations for him and working on that for now.
- I would suggest that you might want to read more about four and five year olds developmentally.
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