Flashback to little AJ Earley, 14 going on 15. She’d attended Monroe Elementary for six years, and spent her entire junior high tenure at Boise, Idaho’s lovely South Junior High. It was nearing the end of the first half of her 9th grade year, her last year of junior high, after which she’d move on to Borah High School, and take with her all of the friends she’d gained over the last nine years.
When it comes to the overall health and wellness of America’s precious youth, we’ve all seen and heard news that tips either end of the scale. While medical advances like vaccinations and better medicinal and surgical options have decreased childhood death rates, we’ve also seen an increase in childhood obesity and heart health issues.
Most people will tell you that’s it’s a bad idea to give a gift that someone may never use. I personally disagree with this stance, and here’s why: the tradition of joke gift giving has brightened up every family holiday, birthday, and celebratory occasion for years. Joke gifts (or as some call them, ‘prank’ or ‘gag’ gifts,) are rarely “useful” in the traditional sense, and they can definitely go too far.
It is amazing how much energy children can suck out of us some days, and what is worse is that having kids in the house makes it more difficult to get to sleep! Getting adequate sleep is, by far, one of the most important aspects to living a healthy, happy life. It is hard to be a good parent when you are tired, irritable, and distracted, yet so many of us struggle to get the sleep we need. Unless you have a serious health condition, medication can be a dangerous option and is not ideal for most.
One of the most difficult things any parent will ever have to do is talk to their children about death and serious illness. Ideally this would be a chat had at the dinner table about hypothetical situations that could, and probably will, happen in the future. But not every family has that luxury. Often times, these devastating concepts have to be explained to children long before they’re ready. For the many parents who find themselves in this situation, what’s the best way to go about it?
Conception and pregnancy can both be very harrowing, especially when it comes to the seemingly never-ending lists of things you should avoid. Many think the dentist is on this list of no-nos, and that’s no surprise to anyone who’s had more than a cleaning done. The X-Ray machines combined with all those whirring torturous devices are terrifying enough, and soon-to-be moms are likely to start wondering what kind of dangerous chemicals are in all of the toothpastes and mouthwashes they use every day.
Being a parent is frightening enough - even before they learn to walk, if we’re being honest - and then they become teenagers and enter the big wide world of booze and drugs. Just the thought is enough to set most parents on edge.
Picky eating habits can start at any age, from infancy to the teen years, and if you’ve dealt with a picky eater, you know that they can turn every single meal into a battle. Finicky eaters are a touchy subject, and each parent handles this situation in a different way.
If you have a child with special needs, you know the disappointment that comes when they are invited to an activity that they can’t participate in. You’ve seen the defeated look on their face when they watch the other kids having a great time, or the look of sadness in their eyes when they can’t have cake and ice cream with everyone else. You’ve also seen how much of a difference it can make when others take a little time and effort to include them in the fun.
Many parents don’t have the option to stay home and not work, while others simply love their careers and consider them an important part of their life. Those of us who already do work from home know that it’s not the fairy tale it’s made out to be. It can be just as stressful as being in a soul-crushing environment away from your family for 40+ hours a week. It can also be very rewarding. Working from home is not right for everyone, every home, or every situation, and I’m here to talk realistically about the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home working parent.
Psy.D., Author of What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew: Working Together to Empower Kids for Success in School and Life