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As a parent I am convinced that getting a pet for your children is more than an act of love. Who really wants to take care of another pooping thing, particularly one not the same species? When we are encouraged (pushed) by a child to get a pet, we hesitate because we know that the addition to the household will incrementally increase poop, throw up and pee. While darling animals charm us, we get that gut feeling that we soon will be making a wrong decision. What is practical about bringing a creature into our family that has even a more difficult time than our children to grasp the concept of “acceptable behavior”?
Tags: Parenting Tips, Child Rearing Styles, Pets
The British love their dogs and appear to have a respectful relationship with them. They seem to be able to love and care for their pets with grace. Pets of the royal family join in walks at home and sometimes hunt and travel with the family.
Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, gave his daughters a Corgi. "Dookie" was popular in their family and was described as “unquestionably the character of the Princesses’ delightful canine family” and a “born sentimentalist." Wow, I would like that to be said and felt about a human I know! Such a thought might be-“Uncle George is the character of the family. George is a born sentimentalist and provides, if you will, the positive emotional glue in our family."
Dogs are cherished by the Royal Family and have been given as valued presents to mark a rite of passage. The Queen received a Corgi named Susan for her 18th birthday. The tradition of keeping Corgis continues today. She now owns four; Holly, Linnet, Monty and Willow.
How can we hope to achieve such a graceful existence with our pets? Do the Brits think such things out more clearly before they commit to such a decision? Are plans put into place to accommodate the change? What happens when mom or dad, caught after nightly prayers with one of the kids is beseeched (yes I said it) with that look and request for an animal? I remember it took two months of nightly prayers to get my horse.
Well, I can tell you the tradition our family has enjoyed with our pets. Royal chaos!
According to William Secord, the leading authority on 19th century dog painting and the founder of the William Secord Gallery, "The English come by their affection for dogs honestly: when Charles II came to the throne in 1660, dogs enjoyed an unprecedented place in the Royal household, and he was inconsolable when one of them ran astray; Queen Victoria had as many as 75 dogs at her kennels at Windsor Castle. This Royal love for canines was reflected in all levels of English society - and just as Queen Victoria found solace in the love of a dog, so do the majority of English citizens today."
Tags: Pets, Articles on Parenting, Parenting Magazine Articles
Just like Mom did! That is why our family (hunting) dog lived at a hunting kennel a half - hour drive from our house. I'll bet Dad found a closer kennel, and she probably convinced him that it was better for the dog to be out in the really remote country. Her real concern probably was that the dog might find his way home.
I remember one Halloween, Mom was dressed in one of her belted, full-skirted, flowing pastel floral dresses. The front door bell chimed to announce another kid. She ran on cue toward the front door (nicely Pavlovian) to hand out lollipops. I was in the kitchen supplementing my sugar intake when I heard a primal scream. I dropped the bowl of Neapolitan ice cream, kicked the rotating door of the dining room and ran into our front foyer. It was fantastic!!! Even I couldn’t have done better! The dog had gotten the big salad bowl of lollipops and, one by one, eaten them all. All that remained at the crime scene were some spit-covered sticks and plastic covers. But these were well-strewn from the front foyer into the dining room to a spot on the floor where the big empty bowl was overturned. Maybe this was a pivotal event in my parent’s marriage, hmm. Maybe there was an ultimatum given that night. Overnight camp for dog in the country!
You may have guessed by now that we never did the total English thing of the photo or painting of us as a family with our beloved dog. It may have been deep in Dad’s subconscious to be even more English in nature than we already appeared, but it wouldn’t happen.
Can you imagine a life where you felt that every action you did throughout the day was judged? Or that you were really supposed to act like a parent or know better (than others)? As a firstborn, you were always supposed to lead, even when you had no idea of what that job entailed? Welcome to the life of firstborns.
Tags: Parenting Tips, Articles on Parenting, Child Rearing Styles
I’ll take a sloppy second, or even third place in the birth order. In fact, skip the second place, those poor second borns have to smile and always say the correct thing!
It is great being a third-born. Your parents have used up all their hope and dreams and you are left without any expectations except being cute. It is particularly wonderful if your parents are old and tired.
Caution, you may get stuck with hand-me-down clothes. I have a solution, though . . . just get fat! If you bug them for school clothes early in the season, you can drop the weight, return the clothes and have a new wardrobe!
If you are lucky, your parents don’t plan to remodel important rooms in the house until you get big enough to leave home. That means that you can take that family room, den or basement room and use it to house all your potential pets from outdoors. This also works for post-Easter chick rescues, lame dogs and even “pet” squirrels that you believe will behave indoors.
Something else that is great about being a third child is that if you have acute hearing, you can avoid the majority of dilemmas with your parents. Take note of every half-baked scheme of your older siblings. Avoid. Note the way they request night outs or use of the car. If it works, use it.
NOTE: Caution, older siblings may sometimes use the excuse of taking you to a class or a haircut to expand the trip to enhance their social connections. It is crucial that you are reimbursed for your discretion.
I wasn’t a normal girl, or maybe I was. I liked doing things that I thought boys liked to do. I liked building forts.
Tags: Parenting Magazine Articles, Child Rearing Styles, Articles on Parenting
I remember my first fort. It was built, by design, to be cramped in a corner of our yard where the neighbors couldn’t see. It was wedged between the lilac bushes that surrounded the side and end closest to the front of our house. My corner. It was a dark area where the sun didn’t hit and so grass didn’t grow. It was far from Mom’s flower garden with the charming stone path in its center. Her area in the back of the yard could be seen by anyone who might peer up the driveway from the street and enjoy the glorious color of all the flowers.
My fort was not so pretty. I think that I must have scabbed the plywood and 2 x 4’s from a project Dad had made. I don’t remember, but one day I just had all the materials that I needed. As the youngest, I was darn good at gaining what I needed. I had an acute memory of almost everything owned by my siblings and parents and its location. I was the original recycler. Any (now useless) article could be put back to purpose and serve a real need!
Luckily, Dad’s workshop was used rarely. In fact, it probably wasn’t even used after he became aware that most things could be repaired with electrical tape. I knew instinctively that if I took a roll of that I would be found out. I just pilfered, or (should I say) selected those tools necessary to build a fort.
The location for the fort also had additional advantages for me. It was close to our back door. I knew that I wouldn’t starve or wither due to the heat. I could sneak in anytime and raid the fridge. Also, there was a break in the lilac hedge so that the neighbor boy could stealthily sneak out of his back door with supplies and run to our building site.
When finished the fort was maybe not a thing of beauty, but it was at least tall enough for us to stand up in. It was a rough-edged, simple square box with a lean-to quality, much like that of Pisa.
No, we are not talking about a bunch of people eating something tasty. We are talking about a stage when Mom and Dad impact your life. The traditional meaning of sandwich generation means that you have aging parents who need your help while you are trying to finish off the job of raising your own kids. If you are really lucky, you can be part of the club sandwich generation which means that you are somewhere between 50 and 60 years of age, stuck between aging parents, adult children and grandchildren. Or if you are really precocious, you can be only 30 and 40’s with young children, aging parents and grandparents.
Lucky you! You can feel as sexy as a cow tongue sandwich! Remember, you are the meat that keeps the bread stuck together.
10 tips for Caretakers-
Tags: Parenting Tips, Parenting Styles, Articles on Parenting
- Note the fat toddlers in the neighborhood in case your parent’s supply of Depends runs out
- Sippy cups can actually work well for cocktail parties.
- Getting into a nursing home is way easier than a nursery or private school
- Your 9 to 5 workday is actually your chance for breaks such as long lunches, gazing out the window or surfing websites for clothes.
- Trips to the hospital can actually be a good place to people watch, i.e. cute doctors.
- Take Note: When grocery shopping, always take a coat to throw over the bags of Depends. Compassionate caregiver is not the first description of you in the mind of a passerby.
- You can buy a good-looking vehicle to chauffeur, it just must be low to the ground and have blackout windows
- Furniture slipcovers were actually invented by someone in the sandwich generation.