Parents get nervous about the world. It’s natural for us to worry about our kids and how they’ll find their way. Most moms that have opened up about this seem to have gone the route of sheltering their kid(s). It’s easier that way, I suppose, but only for a few short years.
You can’t shelter your loved ones from the world forever. They will wake up one day and be offered drugs or alcohol. They will learn one day that there are other religions besides the one you live by. Your kids will learn one day about sex, porn, kidnappers, rapists, etc. There is no protecting them from everything, forever.
When Goblin #1 was 8 years old, she asked about periods…so, I told her about periods — and sex. I explained it all to her in the biological terms. She didn’t get it all the first time, but we went through it all again less than a year later. She then moved on. Within two weeks, the other moms at the church asked me why I bothered telling her about these things and I found that to be the most ridiculous question ever! Because girls a couple years older than her are starting periods…and because it’s a part of life! Just like giving birth. Just like aging. Just like death. Our kids will face it all, and we need to have them prepared for it.
You can’t protect your kids from the world, but you can prepare them for it.
Talk to your kids…talk about everything. Don’t let them sit in the dark.
I find it strange there are still many people – particularly those of the Christian faith – who refuse to allow their children to read Harry Potter. Knowing that we allow our kids to read the books, I was asked by a woman at a church, “aren’t the Harry Potter books full of recipes for spells? Doesn’t it teach kids how to make potions and put curses on people?”
My response was a hearty laugh, followed by a resounding, “no!”
The Harry Potter books are not manuals for witchcraft but rather, a long, heartfelt story of friendship, adventure, and overcoming adversity. It’s about growing up and seeing the dark in the world as well as the light and making the right decisions when everything seems against you.
Our ten year old is a massive Harry Potter fan. She started the books very early on and has seen most of the movies — and we love it. She spends hours to days curled up with a book! A book full of life lessons even adults can learn from.
- You Can’t Judge a Book by It’s Cover – or rather, a person by their looks.
- We meet Hagrid, a massive mess of a giant who is actually one of the most kind, caring, and gentle characters of the book.
- There’s Professor Snape who is dark, scary, and mean, but willing to do anything for his love. You don’t truly know him until he tells his story.
- The older woman who is pretty in pink and has perfect curls…well, you’ll want her dead more than the Dark Lord Voldemort.
2. Stand Up For Yourself.
- The world is full of people who will take advantage of you if you’re too nice, too small, too nerdy, too anything. There are bullies of every design and they will do what they can to tear you down.
- Evil/negativity comes in many forms and you need to be confident in yourself and to step up, whether it be to your friends, enemies of your friends, or even a critical family member.
3. Money Isn’t Everything
- We have Ron Weasley who is a part of a large family who doesn’t have a whole lot. He wears hand-me-downs and uses his brother’s old books. His life, though, was built on a foundation of a loving and happy family. He lives a good life with people around him who love him to death. Harry, on the flip side, is the richest boy his age, but not even rolling in money can get him what he’s always wanted – his parents.
- Fortunately, DNA doesn’t make family, and Harry learns that those who love him, care for him, and support him are his true family.
4. There is Always Hope
- No matter the circumstances, everything can get better! If you’re breathing, you have the strength. If your brain is alive, you have the wisdom. If your heart is beating, you have the spirit. The bad can always be put aside. Fears can be overcome. Life can restart.
5. A Good Heart is Everything
- Throughout the books, the characters often sacrifice something for a friend. A kind heart will earn you kindness from strangers or once-enemies, and true-to-heart love and loyalty.
- Choosing to bully or belittle someone only proves the lack of heart one has and it will earn nothing but enemies and disloyalty.
As parents, we want our children to learn valuable life lessons, and some of those lessons are better received from favorite, fictional characters than from the parents (kids are “smarter” than their parents these days, right?). Note the sarcasm. Stories can teach lessons to our kids. It is the parents’ job to give books the benefit of the doubt. If you find yourself concerned about a book’s content, then research it.
We’ve extended the date for receiving pictures! Send in a picture by October 24th of your child reading (no names or other personal information needed) and we’ll put it into a promotional video for Reach Out and Read!
A lot has changed over the years when it comes to fatherhood. This video helps us understand why millennial fathers are so different from the fathers before us.
Joshua Robertson is the Goblin King, a proud millennial father of nine children. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology.His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys and ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.
Autumn is here!
And it is glorious! Well, except for the part where viruses are carried on the very air you breathe and your kids come down with something gross…one. At. A. Time.
Tank, our darling almost four-year-old, is prone to croup cough. Now that he’s past the typical age of kids who catch it, I’m hoping this year will go better. That poor kid would catch it at least twice a year. The first time was terrifying. I sat with him on my lap in the rocking chair, holding him in a mostly-seated position on a pillow — for hours. His wheezing was so scary. I gave him a small dose of Hyland’s 4 Kids Cold and Cough. The wheezing stopped almost instantly, so I waited out the night with him and went to the doctor, first thing in the morning.
The second night, when I woke to his wheezing and coughing, I took him downstairs and opened the freezer. I let him breathe in the cold air – per the doctor’s instructions. After a few minutes of that, I took some Oreganol P73, dropped about 3 drops of it into a tablespoon of coconut oil, and slathered it onto his feet. I covered them with socks, then gave him a new dose of Hyland’s. His cough went away within moments and he fell fast asleep. After that second night, at the first sign of croup, I would use the oil and Hyland’s, and he’d be fine for the rest of the night.
During all that time, I had a humidifier running. We still use the same humidifier now. The Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. The output of mist is amazing on this thing and really gets the humidity going in the room. If you put it on the highest setting, there will be water on the ground to clean up in the morning. But, it does the job!
This is my own experience, and I imagine it may not work for everyone, but as a mom, I’m willing to try anything that won’t hurt. In the end, this is four cases of croup cut short and Tank was quickly on the mend.
Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you!
Baby #2 is on his way, huh? Here are some things that can make things easier — from one mom of multiples, to another!
1.Double check your baby-proofing!
-You’ve had your firstborn for some time now. He’s likely a toddler now and it’s going to be a lot harder to keep an eye on him when you’re trying to feed your baby. Give yourself some peace of mind where you can, right? Outlet plugs, cabinet locks, and knob covers — OH MY!
2. Try potty-training!
– Of course, your little one might not be ready for potty-training, but give it a shot anyway. She might actually get excited about it! I mean, who wants two kids in diapers anyway?
Now, if you’ve got a kid as big as our boy, Tank, then a regular potty seat isn’t gonna cut it. You need something a little more…sturdy. For us, the Prince Lionheart weePOD Basix was the way to go.
3. Get your toddler in a toddler bed!
-Again, assuming your firstborn is a toddler and able to crawl in and out of bed, get him into a toddler bed. There is a lot of change that’s going to happen for your little guy and trying to move him into a toddler bed amidst all the new-baby change might not be so easy. If you’re afraid of your little one falling out of bed, get some bed rails! We used Dex Universal Safe Sleeper Bed Rails.
4. Buy a double stroller that accepts at least one carseat.
This doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. Sure, you could go off and get one of those stylish, European-looking strollers for $500 – $2500 dollars. Or, you can stick to something like Graco. We used the Graco Ready2grow Click Connect LX Stroller. It accepts 2 carseats — though we only needed one — and when baby is a bit older, you can still keep her facing you without a carseat. The stroller has everything. Cup holders, a huge basket for a baby bag and toys and whatever else you take with you. It’s also super comfy for baby, and she’ll love being able to play with you as you go!
5. Find a portable “napper.”
When I say “napper,” I mean a little bed that is easy to move and can be kept high from toddler. We used the Tiny Love Cozy Rocker Napper. My goodness…this thing was a lifesaver. My babies were larger than most and using a typical bouncer wasn’t always ideal. My littles needed to lie flat, as if they were in their crib. When I’d be cooking, Tank (our now 4 year old) would be running, jumping, climbing — doing what little kids did. It was easier to keep the baby within eyesight and I decided a napper would be best for us. We could put it high and away from Big Crazy Brother and I could keep an eye on them both, without worrying about him getting into her room and bugging her.
6. Get a sound machine.
The most frustrating thing about toddlers is that they can’t control their volume. When there is a baby trying to sleep, it’s even worse. The stress and anxiety that comes with just trying to keep the house quiet enough for baby to sleep is a lot worse than you probably expect. BUT, there is hope! Our help came in the form of the Marpac Dohm-SS Single Speed All-Natural White Noise Sound Machine!
Put it in the room as baby falls asleep, and she shouldn’t hear a peep from the other rooms! Unless, of course, someone is shrieking like a banshee.
There is always more, but these are the top items I found the most useful when the 2nd little one was coming along — and I’ve had several more and reused every one of these things.
As parents, we want to find the best way to raise our kids with as much care and attention as we can muster, and anything that helps is worth the money. Luckily, not everything here is too pricey, and there are always less expensive options with the same idea.
Moms, Dads — do what needs to be done. Make your lives easier where you can. Either way, you got this.
Confidence. It’s something that so many people lack these days, but it’s such an important trait to have.
I’m not sure why so many teenagers lack this trait, but I know it’s something that can be taken and put into practice overnight. No — in the moment. That’s how it happened for me.
When I was a kid, I wasn’t unconfident but neither was I fully confident in myself. I just sort of meandered through my days. I had more confidence in the beginning of the seventh grade, which I find hilarious because that was probably the most awkward time of my life. I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I knew nothing about fashion. (not that I know much now, at 29 years old) I’d never tried applying makeup. My fingernails were chewed to their base and my posture was — and still is — pretty horrible.
All these things would kind of point in the awkward-kid-no-self-confidence direction. Nope. I was loud, I thought I was funny, I thought I could flirt, I thought I could be “hot.” And all before I even hit the puberty.
Oh lordy, was that fun! Please feel the sarcasm here.
Now, for me, when the changes happened, my confidence came to a halt. Up until then, the boy I had a crush on never noticed me. None of the boys at school noticed me. Up until then, I could stare and dream away like Myrtle after Potter. Until that fateful time in my life when womanhood happened. Boys noticed me. The boy I was crushing on noticed me. None of this attention was positive, though. I started realizing I wasn’t like the other girls when the boys would fake-flirt and then laugh at me about it. It was horrible. The boy I liked? Well, he was a total jerk, but I won’t go into that.
My confidence dropped for the next 3 years. I put myself down all the time. We moved a lot, so I stopped caring about making friends, knowing I’d lose contact with them anyway when we moved again. I had two or three that I kept close, but they were at different schools.
When we moved in the middle of the 10th grade, things changed. I was going to be the “new kid” again, showing up in the middle of the year. No friends. No one would know who I was, so I was going to make myself whoever I wanted to be. They wouldn’t know any different than how I presented myself that first day in school…so I would do something that would throw them off guard.
I gathered all of my black clothes before I started at that school. I got a pair of black boots that made my insanely tall. The Matrix was pretty popular at the time, so I had a black, floor-length duster that I thought made me look like the coolest person since Trinity herself. I had super-long hair that I threw up into a crazy, spunky mess and drew on some thick lines of black eyeliner. I would throw on my collection of fantasy-inspired jewelry — dragons, swords, gryphon claws and orbs. I looked like some mix between a goth and a gypsy. I walked into that first class with long strides and a grin like the Chesire Cat. Dangit, I was tall, I was unknown…I was a NOVELTY…and I was soon referred to as “that mystical girl.” She’s like a wisp wandering the halls. <— actual words — heard it with my own ears 😂
I wasn’t what most would call the average girl, nor was I super attractive compared to the other girls who wore pastel, froofy sweaters, skirts, and sandals with bling. But good god, I was confident, and that year, I could say I made friends with the entire high school. No one picked on me. No one talked me down. Not at school, at least. It wasn’t because they thought I was cool, but because of my confidence. I was happy with myself and people could see that.
When you get down to it, everyone wants to be happy with themselves. Everyone wants to feel their place in the world, but sometimes, you have to find that “zone” and force yourself in there. Once you’re there, you emit a confidence you probably didn’t know you had, because you’re happy and comfortable with you.
It’s not as big a risk as you may think and in the end, it’s worth it.
For the record, our littlest — Goblin 6 — is still giving us a hard time with school. She cries all the way there, all the way inside, until I leave the building…then she quiets and plays the day away. This is still better than Goblin 1 who cried and moped in the classroom corner, all day, for a solid 2 weeks.
Ugh…I feel like a terrible mama leaving any kid in tears like that…but having the teachers laugh at us because Goblin 6 is perfectly fine when I leave does make me feel better.
Such is life.
Keep on parenting, parents. We got this.