Being a Non-Resident Mother – Lyndsey’s Story

When a couple split up, the divvying up of possessions starts. He gets the sofa, she gets the dining table and chairs. Neither of them really want the vase they got as a wedding present from Great Aunt Issy, and there is a short disagreement about the artwork they bought on honeymoon. Deciding who gets what is the easy part – where it gets really difficult, and often distressing is when it comes to the children.

In 90% of the cases, the children stay with their mother. Like it or not, our society is built on mothers being the main care-givers, regardless if they are doing this alone or with the support of a partner. What does it feel like to be one of the 10% – the non-resident mother. Lyndsey knows only too well, and has agreed to share her experiences with us.

How to Help a Perfectionist Child

Perfectionism – is it a positive trait or a negative one? The typical interview question about personal flaws is often answered with, “I’m a perfectionist”, which is a bit of a humble-brag really. It’s ok to be a perfectionist, up to a point, but what happens when the aim of being flawless goes too far, and begins to impact self-esteem and happiness? And what do we do, when we recognise these traits in our kids?

Emily already wrote about some of the ways that she helps her daughter accept and embrace mistakes; here are some other ways to help a perfectionist child.

 

Celebrate the Journey

Learning something new isn’t just about achieving goals, but having fun along the way. Don’t just comment on the achievements made, but also on the fun of learning something new. Learning a new language is a good example – you can have a lot of fun finding new words, or playing word games, rather than worrying about exam results.

Look Forward and Backwards

My daughter is learning to play the piano, and we sometimes video her. When we play the video back a month or two later, she can see how far she’s come, and how much her playing has improved. It is also encouraging to say, “You’ve improved so much. Just imagine how good you are going to be in another couple of months, and how pleased you will be with your progress”.

Expand Horizons

Perfectionists often limit themselves to activities in which they excel naturally. A friend told me of refusing to learn sudoku or horse-riding, giving the excuse that she didn’t need to, because she was sure to be good at these activities anyway. What she was really hiding was her fear of numbers, and of large animals. If your child does this, then gently coax her out of her comfort zone. Don’t go overboard with praise for the natural talents, but be very encouraging and supportive of the scary activities.

Measure Your Response

When your child comes home from school, happily waving their French exam results, then celebrate the achievement of getting a B, and don’t say, “That’s great. With a bit more work, you’ll get an A next time”. The take-away for your child is, “mum would have been even happier, if I’d got an A. I’ve disappointed her”. Ensure that your child knows that even if they have a disappointing result, that you love them unconditionally, and appreciate the effort that they’ve put in.

Take Their Disappointment Seriously

Don’t try to cajole them, or cheer them up, if they are disappointed with a result. “Oh, well, it doesn’t matter. You’ll do better next time”, won’t help a perfectionist get over their self-anger. Asking “I can see that you are disappointed. Would you like to talk about it?” might help them open up to you. Talk to them about where they think they went wrong, and whether it could have been avoided.

Don’t Model Perfectionist Behaviour

This is the most difficult part, if you have perfectionist tendencies! Try to moderate your comments re your own achievements, both in your personal life, and at work. Show pride and satisfaction in your work, and celebrate the small steps along the way. Try not to be negative when you talk about how things are going at work.

 

 

Parenting a Child with a Chronic Health Condition

Parenting brings many challenges, and one of the hardest to deal with is when your child is ill. When this illness is more than a tummy bug or a broken bone, then it gets even harder. Parenting a child with a chronic health condition brings a whole new list of challenges, and adjusting to the diagnosis can be tough for all of the family. Jump! Mag contributor Tina Price-Johnson grew up with a chronic health condition, and wrote an article for children, published today on our site for kids.

Life as a Child with a Chronic Condition

Here’s Tina’s advice for parents of a child with a chronic health condition.

I was 11 years old and in my first year at senior school when I had my first seizure. I was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and throughout senior school was back and forth to the hospital to see specialists and determine the correct dose of medication. I was generally accompanied by my mum who had to take time off work, and it was my dad who saw my first fit and put into action his first aid training to give me the care I needed at the time. After that it was both parents or my teachers who provided this care.

I was totally freaked out and didn’t know what was happening or why and nor did my parents. In those days you simply did what the doctors told you and didn’t ask questions, and I wish I had asked. So here are my tips for parenting a child with a chronic condition, from the perspective of the child. I hope they are helpful to you:

8 Things Parents of Kids with Allergies Wish You Knew

Like all parents, I sometimes worry about my children when they are out of sight. Did they look both ways before crossing the road? Who are they talking to online? Are they really coming straight home from school?

Some parents have worries that go far beyond that, because the dangers their children face are seemingly benign … and yet they are everywhere. We talked with affected parents, and asked them what the main things are that they, as parents of kids with allergies, wish you knew.

The Truth About Instagram and Self-Esteem

If you believed the headlines about the social networking site Instagram and self-esteem, you’d snatch the smartphone from your daughter and never let her open the photo-sharing app ever again. “Most depressing social network”, “killing your self-esteem”, “Instagram Envy!”… were just a few of the articles I found when searching for information.

More than any other network, Instagram is criticised as a social media site that damages self-esteem. It is creating a generation of selfie-obsessed teen girls, whose only aim is to receive at least 100 likes on their uploaded photos. When their photos aren’t valued by their peers, the girls develop self-esteem issues, which damage them in other areas of their life.

It all sounds pretty scary, but what is the truth behind the headlines, and what can parents do to help their children to use Instagram to boost their confidence rather than dent it?

What is the Etymology of the Word Child?

etymology of the word child

Does the term “etymology” mean anything to you?
Put simply, it is the study of the origin of words and the ways in which their meanings have changed and developed over the course of the centuries.
An etymologist, therefore, is someone who looks at individual words or sometimes phrases and expressions, and tries to trace where they have come from.
A parenting site cannot be complete without reference to what makes us parents: our children, of course. Children fill our days – when we are not with them, we think about them.
What of the etymology of the word child itself? Where does it come from, and has it ever meant anything different?