Sharing Thursday: Raising our kids to be successful

Credits: TED

I feel the above is worth sharing.

Hearing it from a former Dean of Freshmen of one of the top colleges should benefit parents on both sides of the spectrum; that is, those who over-pamper their kids on one spectrum and those who are too strict with their kids on the other end. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum until one day I chose to intentionally “let go.” Oh how I wished I released (or dropped) the hammer sooner and just allowed us all to live.

When my daughters were in middle and high schools, they thought they had Cinderella’s step mother as a mom. But, on starting college, they couldn’t stop raving and thanking me for the chores I made them do though they didn’t like it at the time. I might have mentioned this before in one of my blogs. One of my daughters had a roommate in freshman who didn’t know how to lay her bed, another didn’t know how to wash dishes or clean up after herself. She was willing to pay her roomies to do it for her. She also didn’t know how to call to make a doctor’s appointment. My daughter was happy to show her. “Where did you learn it from?” she asked my daughter. Our Mom taught us. Her mom, on the other hand, did everything for her.

I’m not bashing my daughter’s roommate, but merely collaborating the essence of the TED video.

I never allowed my daughters to take the bus or train alone until they were in high school. I went with them on the first rides and allow them afterwards on their own with instructions and advices. They had friends who had been riding buses and trains alone since middle school. It’s all a matter of parents’ comfort level and styles.

What’s your parenting style?

Parenting styles are different. And like the proverbial “one man’s meat is another’s poison,” parenting styles can and do often clash. Within households, fathers can be too overbearing, while mothers because of their nurtured wirings, might be ones with the soft touch balancing dad’s acts. It could also be the reverse where mom is the stricter of the parents. This is not uncommon in households with all, or more, girls/daughters. Because Dads often are softer with their daughters, moms step in and up to ensure the necessary discipline.

Notwithstanding the differences in styles, it is essential that our kids be balanced in life. How we ensure the balance depends on a variety of factors. Each household is unique and the balancing act also will be equally as unique. As the TED video shows, the balance is more profound towards academics than other areas. We would rather wash their dirty dishes and clothes, while our kids “study” or do their homeworks. We are more focused on their grades than their welfare.

As an example, my daughter, while a freshman on her high school’s varsity basketball team, which was a rarity at the time (first in the school’s history) allowed her grades to suffer because I gave her “some freedom” and didn’t micromanage her in order to keep up being a best on the team. When asked why, she told me “I thought freshman’s grades don’t count. I’ll make it up through my sophomore to senior years.” I felt like “strangling” her. Instead, I sat her down and explained to her that without the grade, she can’t continue to be on the varsity team which would be double-jeopardy. She ended up taking college classes to make up her grades. She loved the idea of being a high-school in college and took classes till her first semester of senior. She graduated high school with excess credits as a result because I disallowed her taking the rest of her senior semesters off.

I don’t think that I could have lived with myself having her flunk any class. Could I have slacked more and allowed her to make it up in the subsequent years? Maybe. But what if by her Junior year, her grades are still not where she had hoped they would be? Then what? We would have had no time for any recourse. An alternative would have been for her to give up basketball, but that would have been taking away something she was good at and worked hard for.

Again, it’s a parenting preference.

The key point of the post is to know where and what to forgo in order to help our kids be alive and have a successful balanced life.

Coping Mechanisms for Career Mothers

Are you torn between your career and home? Or are you one of the few efficiently balancing both? If so, what are (or were) your secrets?

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, offers mothers an advice. She recommends “coping mechanisms.” Watch this video to catch it, and other advices she gave. Married for 30+ years; any wonder that she was able to successfully balance both career and her home?

. . .

Having a successful and rewarding career and a happy home where both parents are happily present for lunch, or at the dinner table, with their children, has become a rarity. Parents attending their children’s PTA’s, sporting, or end-of-year activities has become a luxury because of work and/or due to working late hours. It is not unusual for the parents also not to see each other. As a result of the need to have one parent home with the children, most parents chose alternate work hours where one works the regular 8-5 hours and the other works the night or graveyard shift.

Granted that these scenarios have shifted due to covid19. Covid19 now has “forced” parents to engage more with their children making it one of the good things that came out of it. However, what are parents going to do when it’s over and we return to normalcy?

The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other.

Indra Nooyi

For most mothers, and according to Nooyi, the biological and career clocks are in conflict with each other. I totally agree with her. Neither does one clock chooses to wait for the other. Each goes the opposite way and the gap widens and never converge.

Some cultures, especially Africans and Asians, have the extended family support system that surround them with love and the necessary pro bono help in times of need such as new births, deaths, surgeries, etc. Others employ the help (maid, driver, chef, etc.) as they are relatively cheaper.

In the Western culture, however, help is scarce or non-existence. Tons of families are therefore torn between fulfilling a rewarding career and or balancing their homes soon after childbirth or during the growing years of their children. I was. With a husband who, at the time was more of a traveling salesman than working his real profession, it was hard to keep both smoothly. I remembered the budget period and crunch times were the times when one or both my kids tended to be ill and their dad was not around or he couldn’t take off.

I couldn’t tell if it was because they missed their dad or just nature (or nurture) telling me that I had to choose. Why couldn’t I have it all?

Summertime was also a challenge. Most summer events or schools ran short for a week or two at a time and drop offs and pick ups ran contrary to corporate hours. I eventually chose and made the decision to be a stay-at-home parent. No more “begging” others to pick my kids up for me or having them stay after-school 3-4 hours till they were picked up or paying the $1/minute charges when they weren’t picked up on time. (Sigh). And being involved in sports, though great for their well-being and a relief to occupy their growing minds, often came with its own challenges.

I’m glad those years are behind us now. Though my career took a dip and turn, I did not regret the decision at all.

If you’re a career mother or parent, how did you cope pre-covid?

Who stays home when the kids are sick?

For us at the time, it was unwritten and assumed that the mother/wife should be the one to take off. One of the cultural pass-downs. I knew a lot of households where the mothers were the chosen ones to take off. But should it really be?

Other things being considered, such as who has more flexibility at work, whose work/career is more accommodating and can work from home, who is the higher-paid parent, tenure on-the-job, etc., must be addressed.

Either way, whoever takes off more will impact his/her career notwithstanding the paid time off (family, personal, or sick) benefits that the work provides.

Opportunity Cost

Yes, we paid for day care. At the time, having a nanny was unpopular and too expensive for us – one of us might as well stay home to do the job.

However, if the benefits of going to work and pursuing a career is greater for you than the cost of employing a nanny, by all means go for it. I’m a believer in benefits and costs. The benefits must always outweigh its costs to be worth pursuing.

. . .

What coping mechanisms did you impose on yourself or home in order to balance your career, especially as a mother, while raising your children?

Thanks for reading and sharing your coping mechanisms.

Is A Parent’s Job Ever Done?

Dear Parents,

  1. How do you know if you’ve done a great job at parenting, home training, and/or raising your adult children?
  2. What yardsticks do you use to measure their success?
  3. Is’t by your adult children having successfully completed high school, college, professional studies, or being married?
  4. If they’re not married, does being unmarried equate unsuccessful?
  5. And if they are married, does being happily married or otherwise, with or without children, count as success?
  6. Are you culpable for the choices that your adult children make after the age of 18 (or 21 in some countries) which coincidentally are the years that they are in college and, technically, you have no control over them – what they do, whether or not they’re going to class, or are busy partying away, or the friends (or relationships) they choose to cultivate?

As a parent of two young adults, these, and many more, questions run amok in my head most days. One of my adult children once said, “Mom, you never tell us these things.” Referring to not sharing enough of our culture with them. Which brings me to the next question:

  1. How do you know what to share and when to share?
  2. Is it possible to share everything that you know with your children or adult children?

Let’s talk. Let’s dialogue.

Answer all the above questions in the Comments, or pick any question to answer and/or elaborate on. Sharing your opinion will help us all.

The goal is to help each other.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, experience, and two-cents. 😍

Dating and Checking Each Other Out

I love to see the youngsters in love; I’m talking about the latter millennials/Gen Zs,.

You know how we know and what they do, right? Prior to Covid-19, they talk/text all day and night on the phone, hang out too often, visit one another endlessly, go to movies, visit mutual friends, hardly stay at home anymore, and sometimes they sleep over.

I’m going to my friend’s and will spend the night.” However, they sometimes withhold critical information from their parents. Such information as where they are spending the night, who the friend is, where s/he lives, how they met, who the parents are, etc. You know, the kind of information that gives loving caring parents a peace of mind and that makes them sleep through the night knowing that their son/daughter is safe! Ask questions and the youngsters are quick to snap back, “Mom/Pops, no big deal; we’re just checking each other out or “you’re asking too many questions.”

What does this mean …?

What did you just say – we’re just checking each other out!” In their language, “checking each other out” is not the same as dating. I will call it pre-dating where the two (boy/girl) do all the activities together (and sometimes play house) for a period of time and decide afterwards whether they want to continue on a longer term or not. Mind you, the decision is not about their compatibility or shared values. Well, maybe it is about compatibility but should they spend so much time to do that?

They both can decide to extend the period of “checking each other out,” but the extension doesn’t necessarily equate permanency.

Questions, Questions, Questions.

Who coined this term? And why do our youngsters think it is cool or beneficial?

How many girls/boys do they have to check out before deciding to “buy?” Sorry, I meant, stay put?

Is this “checking each other out” a fad or has this type of dating come to stay?

When did our sons/daughters become items, like a purse or pair of sneakers or jeans/dress/outfit to be “checked out?” And what happens if the item doesn’t fit? You simply return it no questions asked? Aka Nordstrom?Neiman Marcus?

While “checking each other out” and the girl is already sleeping over at the boy’s place and both are “playing house,” what golden incentives are there for either to be taken seriously about relationship commitments?

why does the man have to pay for something he’s getting free?

An African saying to inspire young ladies and deter them from sex before marriage

Are parents over-indulging their youngsters by allowing sleepovers of the opposite sexes?

It bothers me though that the parents don’t ask their guests questions like “does your parent(s) know you’re here?” “How long will you be staying?” “Can I have a relative’s name/phone number in case of an emergency” forgetting that they become responsible, and can be liable, for the guest in their house should there be an incident!

Once I begin my rhetorics with “When we were growing up,” my daughter would respond “yay yay yay Mom that was then, this is now!” Lol Well, growing up, you do not sleepover at your boyfriend’s place. It was unheard of. When you visit, no matter how late, you have to return home. Actually, we had to be home before 10:00 p.m.

Statistics

“Thirty-five percent of teens (ages 13-17) have some experience with romantic relationships, and 19 percent are currently in a relationship. Older teens (ages 15-17) are more likely than younger teens to have experience with romantic relationships.”

– The Office of Population Affairs (OPA)

Among the young adults .., 60 percent were in some type of romantic relationship in their early 20s, with 16 percent married, 17 percent cohabiting, and 27 percent dating.”

What’s your take on this?

Blogging Community, am I being old fashioned? Since America’s adult age is 18, most parents simply hands off their children’s affairs once they turn 18. But, at 18 and 19, they’re still teenagers who really don’t know what they’re doing and still need guidance.

I acknowledge that parents ought to let off the reins and allow their children to mature, but do parents totally hands-off? How about shifting positions to advisor of sorts?

I was happy to find this article which resonates with my thoughts exactly as to what parents/older adults could be do to guide youngsters in relationships. Please check it out.

Should youngsters be “checking each other out” or should they be steered towards cultivating real relationships if they desire to be in one?
Please feel free to comment and/or educate me.

Thanks for reading.

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

More Is Caught Than Taught – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/more-is-caught-than-taught/

Leadership. Leaders. Leaders and Leadership. We are all leaders in our own ways though many don’t ascribe to the title and some think that it’s humility to be titled a follower. We need both leaders and followers. As a matter of fact, every leader must be a follower or learn to follow at times; it’s a form of life balance.

The truth is that we are all one form of a leader in many ways.

I love leaders and leadership. I know that I haven’t blogged on it yet. Well, I’m sharing the first article/blog. I signed up for a webinar featuring Stephen R. Graves. It’s my first time hearing of him (I realize that there are a whole lot more great folks out there that I’m still yet to meet!) and decided to check him out before the day. This article/blog straight away caught my attention as it’s one of my favorite phrases.

The probability of leaders having like followers is higher than having dissimilar followers. Needless to say, leaders have to lead well.

Some things are taught, but many are caught. This phrase is particularly true with families. Without being specifically told, we find ourselves doing the same things we watch our parents do. We inherit their habits, styles, mannerisms, likes and dislikes, etc. My father loved to travel. When he does, we jest on how he packs like a woman because he overpacks. I realize now that I do the same; granted that I am the lady. And my daughters jest me on overpacking 😜. I justify my packing lol by responding that I do not want to buy things out there that I have at home and could have brought with me.

Guess what?! I now notice my daughters doing exactly the same! They caught my habit!

In the Bible, Elisha caught Elijah’s anointing and received a double-portion.

In essence, we ought to be mindful of all that we do because we never know who is watching!

What do you think? Leave your comments below. I hope you also learned something from Dr. Graves’ article.

Peace.