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Nothing To Wear

I just spent an hour listening to my oldest daughter complain that she has nothing to wear. Rather than go the usual route of showing her all that she has, I listened and sure enough, she’d outgrown everything in her closet. So … we went on line to shop. As the father of two girls with very different tastes, I would like to send a message to the people creating clothes for young ladies.

Get a clue!

First: Not all girls like pink and purple. Pastels are another myth. Some girls like bright greens and blues, grays and blacks. Abercrombie & Fitch gets this … but all of their clothing costs three times as much as Target. I mean, $35 for a t-shirt she’ll wear for 3 months and then grow out of? Ain’t gonna happen.

Second: Not all girls wear Mary Janes. As I was thumbing through the water shoe pages of the new Land’s End catalogue, I was struck by the fact that they appear to be of the opinion that all little girls should wear Mary Jane style water shoes in pastels. Seriously? My oldest just asked me to by her the boys shoes.

Third: Not all girls like Hello Kitty, unicorns and butterflies. Just sifted through about 150 prints on Old Navy’s Web site with my oldest and they’re all frilly patterns with puppies, kittens, flowers and such which is fine for many … but not all. And giving her an NFL or MLB t-shirt option isn’t the answer either. As my daughter so eloquently pointed out, “they’re either too far one way or too far the other.”

The more subtle issue to me is the message we’re sending little girls. Boys are bold, tough and sporty lads who love sharks and soccer; girls are soft and frilly creatures who love kittens and want to be cheerleaders. Nonsense I say! At the very least give girls the option to choose something other than a lavender, lace covered, t-shirt with a dalmatian puppy on the front. Let her know it’s o.k for a little girl to wear a navy blue t-shirt with some rocks on it that says “Yeah … I can throw it farther than you!”

As we started our search, my daughter’s complaint was validated. It just blows my mind that our society continues to send kids messages of what they’re supposed to be. According to who? I’ll keep looking and will pass along information as we find it. In the mean time, if anyone can suggest a Web site that offers little girls an option other than panda bears and rainbows please by all means pass it along. I’m sure I’m not the only dad with this dilemma.

As for my younger daughter; pink t’s with the Eiffel Tower on the front will work just fine.

 

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Divorce & The Holidays

As the holidays grow nearer, I thought I’d share some articles about dealing with divorce and the holidays. These are all fairly recent (within the past few days). If you’d like to share an article feel free to comment with the link.

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/holidays-after-divorce/

http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/21/living/holiday-survival-divorced-darents/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lois-tarter/tis-the-season-to-enjoy-y_b_1161672.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-pease-gadoua/divorce-and-the-holidays-_b_1142534.html

 

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Cosby

I remember watching a stand up routine by Bill Cosby back when I was a kid. There is a part where he talks about having to repeat himself a thousand times because his kids won’t listen to him. I think of that routine just about every day lately as I’m having to tell my kids 30 times to go brush their teeth or go put their pj’s on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87uzTTXqIMY

It could be one of THE most frustrating aspects of having three of them because they feed off of each other. One ignores you so all three do. So what’s the deal?

Have been looking up some resources to get some answers. Here are a few that seem to offer some good insights that may help.

http://www.parenting-journals.com/95/get-your-child-to-listen-the-first-time/

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/discipline-behavior/25-ways-talk-so-children-will-listen

http://www.micheleborba.com/blog/2011/01/05/michele-borba-15-tips-to-get-kids-to-listen-the-first-time/

Getting to the root of WHY they’re not listening I think is important and I tend to agree with the one article that states they’re trying to gain control because they feel they don’t have any. Couple that with their ages and a few other elements and you literally have the perfect storm. So perhaps one answer is to provide them with things that they can control to off-set that trend. Obviously the divorce gives them a sense that they have absolutely no say in what’s happening. When they stay with me I try to offer them tasks that they’re in charge of to help them feel they’re in control of at least something. And of course there’s always the ‘lead by example’ approach.

I think the biggest lesson here for us parents is to remember that for every action there’s usually an underlying cause that we may not be considering. They’re not acting out because they’re bad kids. They’re working through something and it’s our job to try to dig beneath the surface and help them through it which in turn helps everybody. When they act up your first question to yourself should be, “I wonder what might have happened to them today to trigger this behavior.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discovered that something that happened at school was causing one of them to act up. Staying calm and turning it into a mental puzzle of sorts turns you into a detective. When you figure it out it’s one of the most gratifying moments of triumph you’ll ever experience as a parent I promise you.

 

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Twitter

You can now follow the life of a divorced dad on twitter @ http://twitter.com/#!/divorceddadlife

 

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You can now follow my blog on facebook @ www.facebook.com/lifeasadivorceddad.

 
 
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