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What to Pay

Jun. 5th, 2009 | 01:28 pm
posted by: stickylatex in tranquilparents

Cross-posted everywhere! (I hope that's OK.)

What would be a reasonable amount to pay an almost-10-year-old for light-responsibility babysitting (I'll always be here), light housework, and also perhaps organizing/babyproofing.

And while I'm at it, (and so I don't have to ask again) what about the same duties more or less, what would you pay an adult? What about a teenager?


ETA: My baby is 4 months old.

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Connecting with children

Oct. 6th, 2007 | 10:27 am
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

Take an art class at a local museum (The Austin Museum of Art offers classes for all age groups as well as Adult/Child classes, check your local museum for classes), or local art shop (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, pottery shops, even smaller shops that cater to artists).

Check out your local community centers, libraries, outreach programs.  Most organizations might even offer free, discounted, or scholarship rates for those of us whom have financial concerns.

Whatever it is that your child(ren) are interested in, share that interest for a day (a couple of hours), even if you think you aren't any good at it (like art, we all have this idea that we have to compete with the VanGoghs, Picassos, and Renoirs of the world, very few people produce work good enough to hang in the Louvre, so don't worry about it, GO HAVE FUN!  Besides, I'm sure it will be beautiful, and your mommy would want to hang it on the refrigerator, if she's available for comment).

The same could be said to do with your Significant Other...

Take a class for yourself, as well.  Convince your sweety to take a class in Salsa Dancing.  Something fun for a day.

Some Suggestions:

Sport related (we're so not into that, but I'm sure they offer something)

My daughter and I are taking a class at the Austin Museum of Art, and I think we may end up taking more separate classes as they become available.  I certainly plan on taking a class on pottery.  I never got the opportunity to throw clay on a potter's wheel, and I really want to.

Also in Austin, we have the Dougherty Arts School.

Definitely do some Google searches, talk to your kids, fin out what their secret desire is.  It might just surprise you.

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Aahhmazing resources...

Sep. 30th, 2007 | 07:31 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

Picked up an amazing little book called The Single Parent Resource lots of really great tips, tricks, and hints for balancing single parenthood.

Time management, life management, how to deal with the Ex, the list goes on.

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Walking where you live

Aug. 6th, 2007 | 06:59 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents


Scores how walkable your neighborhood is. Apparently, studies show that people who live within walkable distance are thinner, healthier, and perhaps happier.

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Jul. 28th, 2007 | 12:29 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents


If you have a profile, add me as a friend, please and thank you.

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Jul. 20th, 2007 | 07:39 am
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

Someone included this in a mailing list I'm part of (Non-Violent Communication - Parenting), and I thought I'd share it with you.

Mothering Myself

In a society preoccupied with how to best raise a child

I'm finding a need to mesh what's best for my children with what's necessary for a well balanced mother.

I'm recognizing that ceaseless giving translates into giving yourself away.

And, when you give yourself away, you're not a healthy mother and you're not a healthy self.

So, now I'm learning to be a woman first and a mother second.

I'm learning to just experience my own emotions

Without robbing my children of their individual dignity by feeling their
emotions too.

I'm learning that a healthy child will have his own set of emotions and
characteristics that are his alone.

And, very different from mine.

I'm learning the importance of honest exchanges of feelings because
pretenses don't fool children,

They know their mother better than she knows herself.

I'm learning that no one overcomes her past unless she confronts it.

Otherwise, her children will absorb exactly what she's attempting to

I'm learning that words of wisdom fall on deaf ears if my actions contradict my deeds.

Children tend to be better impersonators than listeners.

I'm learning that life is meant to be filled with as much sadness and pain
as happiness and pleasure.

And allowing ourselves to feel everything life has to offer is an indicator of fulfillment.

I'm learning that fulfillment can't be attained through giving myself away

But, through giving to myself and sharing with others,

I'm learning that the best way to teach my children to live a fulfilling
life is not by sacrificing my life.

It's through living a fulfilling life myself.

I'm trying to teach my children that I have a lot to learn

Because I'm learning that letting go of them

Is the best way of holding on.

Nancy McBrine Sheehan

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Non-Violent Communication

Jul. 14th, 2007 | 05:31 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

Another book recommendation...I read the book 3-4 years ago while in college, not as part of any curriculum, my sister was reading it, recommended it. I very rarely will ever pass up a book that is recommended to me. I found it extremely helpful in my dealings as a parent.

I will sometimes "slip up", and out of the practice of using the technique, if it can be described as such. It truly is a practice. It is reconnecting with our deep compassion for other humans, and speaking from that place.

It seems to me, that most people think this type of communication opens us up to vulnerability, but I think it allows everybody to become more vulnerable, and allows us to communicate with safety with other people. We are expressing our needs, over trying to manipulate others into giving us our needs.

Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Also, I very rarely turn down a book recommendation, so, if you have one, please feel free to share.

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Creative Endeavors

Jul. 2nd, 2007 | 11:52 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

I have found, when I'm feeling my most creative, I have a sense of peace. I've taught myself to knit (and made the world's longest and most unusable scarf), quilt, sew, needlepoint, the list goes on.

None of my creations are necessarily anything to trot out to the rest of the world, but I like them.

So, how do you get your hands dirty?

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The Book Post

Jun. 15th, 2007 | 07:56 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

These are my recommended parenting books.  These books pretty much explain my perspective and discipline style.

Positive Discipline
by Dr Jane Nelson. LOVE LOVE LOVE her. Very practical, very good results, the parenting book by which I gauge all other parenting books.  Dr. Nelson says my favorite saying to this day regarding the upbringing of children: "Children push our buttons, and when our buttons are pushed we go into our reptilian brains.  And reptiles eat their young."  You just can't get much better than that. 

Parenting from the Inside Out by Drs. Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell. Is very clinical at times, but lots of getting in touch with your reactions and motivations for your own actions and reactions. Helps to make me think about my own responses, why I have those responses and how I can change those responses.

How to Talk so Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. It's a communication book, not a discipline book, but the suggestions and ideas are very good. Again, another book by which I gauge all other books. "You sound (feel in emotion here)."

The Explosive Child by Dr. Ross Greene. A LIFE SAVER. My daughter is oppositional, extremely irritable and cranky. It's a communication/discipline/strategy book for how to deal with children with, shall we say, special issues. I recommend it extremely highly.  Key Phrase: "Do you think you handled that situation effectively?"

Redirecting Children's Behavior by Kathryn Kvols. A little dry for me, I haven't made it all the way through the book, and I've had it for a few years. It's been shelved a few times in preference for other books. I don't know why, exactly, because I really do like the book, and it isn't very thick (the other books are much thicker).  My favorite of all parenting advice came from this book: Take care of yourself first.  There's a reason why, when you board an airplane the attendants tell you to put your mask on first, and then put your child's mask on.  Without you taken care of first, your child is pretty much helpless.  If you need a time out, don't be afraid to take it.

Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline & Jim Fay. Eh, it's ok, in my opinion. SOME of the suggestions only serve to make the situation worse with my daughter, due to her being inflexible to begin with, but over all the book has some good ideas and tools to use. Somebody might find they work extremely well for their situation. For mine, they only infuriate my child further, but she's a special case.  It does give very helpful advice about raising responsible, self-reliant children.  Key phrase: "I look forward to seeing how you are going to solve that problem."

Queen Bees and Wannabes by Roslyn Wiseman.  An extremely helpful book to help with female-to-female bullying.  How to get into a pre-teen and teenager's world, and maintain your parenting edge.  Discusses the birth of the fruit cup girl, and how she evolves into the beer cup girl.  She also wrote the following book:

Queen Bee Moms and King Pin Dads.  This one is about how to navigate the treacherous waters of parenting your children with other parents.  Gives the same type of advice as her first book about empowering kids to deal with the problems that arise among bullies.  Because sometimes you have to get out from behind a fern and deal with other parents.  (read the book, you'll see what I'm alluding to).  Gives my favorite mini-speech about parenting: As long as our children are given stable, safe home lives, they're going to be fine.  Live your values, and your children will be fine.  Also advises against getting children cellphones, or getting them the really uncool phones with no text and no pictures.  These are ways, extremely scary ways, for other children to bully them.

I'm currently reading: Mean Girls All Grown Up by Hayely DiMarco.  I also have Mean Girls Gone by the same author.  I'm not sure what my opinions about the book are, so far.  Mean Girls Gone is more for teenage girls.  It's written from a Christian perspective, so if that's your thing, then I'd recommend this/these books.  Actually, if that's your thing, read them and let me know what your take is.  I'm not the most Christian kid on the block, so I'm kind of ambivalent about the two books, but only because they seem preachy to me.  But I have the very distinct feeling that one person's preachy, is another person's teachy.

I know, that wasn't very peachy.  (ok! I'll stop now)

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Internet Safety

Jun. 14th, 2007 | 07:47 pm
posted by: amacmillian in tranquilparents

2smrt4u.com teaches and empowers youngsters about internet safety.  Tips are geared toward keeping young women from internet predators.  There is also a section for adults to have conversations with those same young women.

One tip to keep kids off the computer without your knowledge, set up a password, and change it regularly.  It isn't that you want to keep kids off the 'net completely, but be aware of when and how they are using this wonderful and terrifying tool.

They are, after all, beyond worth it.

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