What happens when a meat-loving father has his diet (and his morality) questioned by his animal-loving daughter? He gets a quick lesson in veganism. Click to read the full article at Alive.com:
What happens when a meat-loving father has his diet (and his morality) questioned by his animal-loving daughter? He gets a quick lesson in veganism. Click to read the full article at Alive.com:
It was her makeup application that first made me think something was not right. Foundation that was a few millimeters short of her hairline, and a few more from her jaw.
Odd, I thought.
In hindsight, I recognize the irony—misapplied camouflage attempting to conceal a slow deterioration. A failed cover-up.
What gradually followed for my mother were lost words and mild disorientation.
As with addiction, when reaching out to someone with dementia one can only prod, and suggest, and hope. Often, however, there must be a bottoming out—a physical or psychological cellar, a darkness through which the ill cannot see without guidance and advocacy.
My mother fell into that cellar this past April.
The woman who had, after her own mother’s passing, assumed the role of family matriarch, was being crippled by the mysterious demons of dementia and delirium.
The transition was gradual: at first forgetfulness and disorientation, a solemn diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and ultimately a terrifying psychosis triggered by the unforgiving combination of a urinary tract infection and slow cognitive decline.
Two weeks earlier she was misplacing keys and struggling to comprehend Visa statements. Now, her apartment betrayed a scene of violence: a chair strewn in the hall, food and Corningware on the floor, and stories of strangers creeping up the back stairs where no stairs existed. To her uninitiated children, it was a psychological supernova; a terrifying introduction to the enigmatic and sometimes violent world of delirium.
Emergency Room, restraints, antibiotics, examinations, time.
Seven months later, the urgency is struggling to be replaced with acceptance, balanced with fatigue; the responsibility of a child towards their parent is wrestling with the responsibility of a father towards his children, and that of a grown adult granting himself the gift of self-care.
ACCEPTING THE LOSS OF THE PERSON WHO WAS
In my experience, most adults have complicated histories with their parents, which inevitably colour any present day interactions. There are incidents which are both unforgiven and unforgotten. Our parents try to compensate for their own regrets by regularly offering course corrections on our own parenting voyage. Nearly every adult child / parent relationship is a full plate drizzled with appreciation and overbearance; with affection and exasperation.
Dementia unplugs the pool of personal history. All that was is drained away, one day at a time, and is replaced by a new iteration of a being who is not quite whole.
Reconciling one’s self with that, means learning to find an escape route through which you can permit yourself to be free of that history. It becomes a frank exercise in acceptance and objectivity: those arguments unresolved, and those wounds unhealed, can no longer be allowed to demand your energy, or your time, or your impatience.
Your parent, in almost every definable fashion, has become your child.
It suddenly became necessary for me to re-centre my thought process. I found it often useful to imagine my mother a stranger. How would I care for the elderly mother of a close friend? Which version of myself would I want to present to a septuagenarian in crisis on a street corner?
Those answers were simple: patience, kindness, and advocacy.
A relationship with acceptance, and absolutely no sense of a shared history.
Those touchstones of my relationship with my mother forty-five years in the making—my parents’ divorce and its consequences; personalities in conflict; disapproval and debate–must be buried in a grave alongside what used to be the healthy psychological profile of my aging parent.
Alzheimer’s and dementia: the ultimate arbitrators of any relationship.
DAD, WHAT’S HAPPENING TO BUBBY?
As a child, I have become responsible for my mother’s well-being. As a parent, I am constantly standing on a teeter totter’s fulcrum, trying to credit my children’s intelligence by keeping them informed, while balancing that against the preservation of their memory of their grandmother who used to be well enough to host them for sleepovers and lead them on subway trips to see the Nutcracker.
Protectionism was my first instinct: euphemize recent stories of screaming, physical restraints, and terrifying hallucinations by replacing them with, “Bubby’s okay, and she sends her love.”
Much of that language trots alongside the timeline of the disease. During the first weeks, diagnoses are uncertain, and prognoses are hopeful. Time, though, slowly absorbs equivocation. Now, in early December, it is likely my mother is as improved as she will be. Throughout these months of treatment, bevies of conversations with physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, with my sister, my wife, and my mother’s lifelong friends, have helped me become comfortable with my own understanding of this disease. The result is my being more able, and more comfortable, being truthful and straightforward with my children.
They are old enough to understand that if I am not bringing them to visit their bubby, it is probably best they are not exposed to what lies on the far side of that hospital door.
My answers to their questions have finally become frank. We speak of depression, and dementia, and Alzheimer’s. At a psychologist’s request, we send videos of the grandchildren. I explain to my children that bubby becomes agitated and sad, and seeing them, even though a tablet’s screen, brings her great comfort.
It is one of the cruelest dimensions of this type of psychological disintegration: there is just enough residual intelligence and understanding for my mother to recognize the grandchildren, and to ask after them, and to be comforted by their image. However, enough logic and dimension has been stripped away that every day brings with it bursts of fear and anger, and outbursts of tears and confusion.
“How is Bubby?”
She’s not well. She gets very sad. But she misses you. She loves hearing stories about you, and seeing pictures of you.
And she probably won’t get better.
GUILT VS SELF-CARE
Summers, for me, are a period of lighter workloads and more flexible hours. If there was good fortune to be found in what was transpiring with my mother, it is that the crisis was born in late April.
This resulted in my sister (a school teacher with similar flexibility during the summer months) and I were in a temporal position of being able to become full-time advocates during an emergent situation.
Each of us was on-call either daily or every second day at the hospital, asking questions of the medical staff or being bedside attempting to digest a prognosis. We were able to be present during her UTI diagnosis and treatment, and then throughout the decision-making and healing process of a double craniotomy. We were there to provide recognition and comfort when she was moved for a short period into a residence, and then researched on her behalf and advocated for her readmittance to the hospital when her cognitive and behavioral condition became once again unstable.
Summer’s end brought with it the fall of our flexibility, and the onset of not only real life (school for my sister and my children, and my more demanding workload), but also with it the complicated logistics of my mother no longer being at a residence down the block from me, but rather in a hospital which would demand extra hours of weekly commuting were I to attempt to maintain my previous visitation schedule.
I was also beginning to understand the toll of caregivers’ fatigue. I was short-tempered with my family, not sleeping properly and was slinking back to fast food and potato chips as dopamine delivery systems while I was stuck in rush hour traffic. (It became a ritual that I meet my sister outside her house prior to hospital visits with a McFlurry for each of us. What she never knew is that, when I was alone, I upsized my small to a medium. Here lies the confession, sis.)
Therapy helped. Although guilt is the world’s most sensitive hair-trigger. Every call from the hospital elicits a churning of regret. My ability to overcome and assuage my guilt is directly related to the nature of the conversation.
The calls I have learned to most easily recover from are those from the nursing staff informing me my mother has fallen, but is unharmed (a several times weekly occurrence), or the necessity of hiring someone to care for her toenails, or the connection or disconnection of the television.
Conversely, guilt perverts itself into shame and sorrow when my mother calls asking if I have any room in my house, even for just a day or so, so she can live with her family while she obtains a new credit card and shops for a condo. The pleas are tear-filled. I can hear my mother fighting to sound as rational as possible, as though she were aware that her psychological health was tenuous, and under constant evaluation.
(Even in relaying these details, my guilt coerces me into justifying that, during those same conversations, she will confide in me that there are men chasing her, that she had been out for a drive earlier that day, and that she has been caring for her cat. All this while not realizing she has not left the hospital for months.)
Many people who visit a counselor for their marriage or other relationships are told: you cannot love others unless you learn to love yourself.
That seemed to me the mantra of ethereal hipsterism until a few months ago.
Now, I accept it as a truism.
My mother is in a place where she is being cared for. We are fortunate that, despite the nurse’s salary she earned throughout her career, she was a careful and steadfast financial planner and we are thankfully able to provide companions for her.
I am learning to give myself permission to be my own first priority. Who do I want to be? How do I want to feel? What kind of energy do I want to reserve for my own family?
Finding the answers to these questions is far easier that implementing their solutions.
My mother’s friends and more distant relatives, who are satellites to her predicament, grasp for news and explanations and understanding. Helplessness can be excruciating. I have learned to answer only when it is convenient for me, and only truthfully. I have accepted that, if my mother’s condition has worsened, or improved, or stabilized, it is not because of what I have not done. It is because this is the nature of this disease.
No amount of my attention can scrape away plaques and tangles, or frighten away hallucinations, or defeat depression.
Her bedside will welcome me when I am available, and will wait silently during my absence. All the while, dementia will creep in through the cracks, whether I am posted guard or not.
The gifts of a long-term illness such as Alzheimer’s are as few as the memories the disease leaves in its wake. However, its lessons can be ironically abundant and fruitful. Discovering those lessons, and drawing meaning from them, is the slog.
I relentlessly try to remind myself that each day offers rewards in some form. A hug from my children, my wife’s humor showing up in a text, driving in the middle lane while absorbing an hour of my favourite podcast.
Forever in the shadow of those moments lurks the awareness of the life my mother is “living,” a grey room in a geriatric hospital. Sadness. Fear. Loneliness. Confusion. The cruelty of a disease which strips away not only mental souvenirs, but with them wedges of personality and understanding.
Since beginning to speak aloud (and write) of these circumstances, I have met many peers and friends who have been affected by dementia in those people dear to them. Many who suffer from Alzheimer’s are left docile and accepting, even from within their cognitive blindness. Others, like my mother, are treated more cruelly. The remaining aspects of their personality are darker embers, sediments not deglazed.
Why? What determines one’s experience with dementia? Genetics? Personality profiles? Environment?
The only certainty seems to be all the things which will forever be uncertain. And acceptance seems to be the only state which allows us, the satellites to the disease, to continue to function from a place of patience, and gratitude for ourselves and for our own families.
It is a mental exercise of daily personal challenge and learning. Should I ever become afflicted by Alzheimer’s intellectual invasion, I hope that—at the very least—I can remember a life lived without regret.
Teaching your children responsibility is one of the backbones of parenting. Why, then, is it so difficult to know how much is too much, and how soon is too soon? Sometimes the hardest thing for an adult to do is to let their child grow up.
On BT Montreal, we discuss some tips for helping your pre-teen transition from elementary school to high school.
This can be a challenge for both parents and children who may be nervous and concerned for what lies ahead :
I no longer perceive smartphones as being monsters under children's beds.
Progress has triumphed, as it always does. My sense of realism has allowed me to accept that communication is no longer what it was. It is what it is, and, one day, will be what it will be.
When I watch my kids text their friends—their necks strained toward the floor, giving them a profile of a lower-case "r", like a lamplight with a loose shoelace—it no longer makes me grit and spasm.
"Why don't you just call them?!" I used to shout.
"What the difference?!" They would answer.
I didn't really know what the difference was.
Perhaps it was through watching reruns of Downton Abbey I realized that, in 1915, even the simple telephone was a modern horror.
Present day, when it came to texting and "Facetiming" (that word still evokes images of something one gets done at a spa), I was the problem.
What was it then? Why, despite meditation and a determined sense of acceptance, did social media habits still drive me crazy?!
I pondered that question.
And here are the answers :
You can't leave it alone.
You forget it's on.
- The alarm is set for school days. But, today, there was no school, but we were awakened anyway. That is why I didn't want a dog - because sleep-ins.
- The battery is low, and it is calling to us at 3am from somewhere under a sofa cushion. Which cushion? We don't know. However, in the middle of the night, it is mostly likely under the cushion furthest from the bedroom, necessitating a series of shin-bruising stumbles into ottomans and doorways.
- You promised not to answer your device during a meal. But, you didn't actually turn it off. So:
"This steak is delic-" bleep!
"Remember I said I would speak to my boss today? Well I did. She said, 'If there is one thing I want to make absolutely clear, it's-'" blap!
"I took the pregnancy test and shockingly I-" zing!
People reach out, with nothing to say.
- How does one answer a text which reads "Hey! What's up?!"
Do I write "Nothing." Or, do you really want the whole story?
- Or the Facetime call (do we call them "calls?", or are they "connections?" or "digitizations?") so that we may witness the cat curled curled up next to the bird, who is asleep on the dog, who is asleep on your Ugg, which you just Pintrested. Ugh.
Having something to say should be a prerequisite for any Facetime/Skype/Hangout interaction. Your snoring husband doesn't count. Even a "hysterical" snoring husband loses his pizzazz after I've been watching him for thirteen seconds on my thirteen inch screen.
"Say something," as the song goes, or, "I'm giving up on you."
You can't figure the thing out, so they end up texting me.
I fault no one for not understanding technology. I fault no one for choosing to avoid technology. The fault lies with the person who understands tech halfway, but chooses the deadly-tech-combo of not being curious to learn more, and yet still using it freely.
It produces weird tech math:
1) You reach out to them.
2) They respond to you.
3) You are unaware of, and/or cannot retrieve the text/voice/email message.
4) So they reach out to me.
5) I am now in charge of this project.
This is where old tech trumps new tech.
Just call them.
Use the wall phone and a pen and a wall calendar.
That way we techies are left out of it.
You're at my house...to see me.
Don't know much about history.
Don't know much biology.
Don't know much about a science book.
Don't know much about the French I took...
- Sam Cooke
...And you don't need to brush up on all of that while I'm offering you homemade dates wrapped with bacon, pesto bruschetta, and a glass of that 20 year port you love.
We see each other semi-annually. Put. It. Down. And...
...please talk to me
Won't you please talk to me
We can unlock this misery
Come on, come talk to me
- Peter Gabriel
"Why aren't they answering?!" Anxiety
12:04 pm - Text sent.
12:08 pm - Check for response (while pouring coffee)
12:10 pm - Check for response (while ironing with one hand)
12:16 pm - Check for response (while sitting on the toilet)
12:41 pm - Check for response (while driving)
12:50 pm - Check for response (while yelling at your kids to put down the iPad and go play outside.)
12:56 pm - Check for response (and become angry that they are not answering.)
13:04 pm - Check for response (becoming worried now.)
13:08 pm - Send the follow up, "Hello??!!" text.
13:14 pm - Send a text to another friend asking, "Have you heard from Rachel lately? I'm worried"
13:22 pm - Begin to imagine scenarios when you have wronged Rachel, giving her cause to unfriend, and generally hate you.
I love my phone. It is my communications tool, my research tool, and a tool for entertainment and diversion.
The difference between the land line and the smart phone—the difference between then and now—is: the "now" device has become an unabashed dictator.
It dictates the user's behaviour, often in countersense to the user's wishes or intentions.
It behaves similarly with the...usee (pronounced yoo-zee), the person with whom the user is supposed to be interacting.
I cannot recall a previous innovation which, along with pleasure, brought so much imbalance, anxiety and unwanted distraction.
Of course, we humans created the machines. There are no ghosts, only programmers and users. If there are phantoms within these pods and pads, they exist only to create the illusion that we will be somehow disadvantaged if we cut the tether.
We are worried that, if we walk away, not only will we no longer be part of an important social media collective, but the device itself may whisper to us from the dark,
"Where are you going? You're not leaving me alone, are you?"
The apparatus is the clown on the chair during heat lightning. It smiles when the lights flicker. And, when it suddenly goes missing, we become frightened.
We spend so much time searching online for what we might be missing, I worry we miss too much by not lifting our chins and searching for what was there all along.
By the way, feel free to take 2 minutes away from whatever you're doing to share this link.
Discussions about women's biological clocks are fairly routine. Interestingly, studies have begun to pop up showing that men, too, experience decreasing fertility sooner than we first thought. When asked, men also admitted to feeling deep regret about choosing career over parenthood.
This was the topic of my most recent visit to Breakfast Television:
Increase your folic acid intake.
Eliminate tobacco and alcohol.
Reduce caffeine in your diet.
Maintain proper nutrition and regular exercise.
Congratulations, you're pregnant!
There have been many debates surrounding the type of lifestyle changes which need to be implemented and/or maintained during pregnancy.
"What harm can it do?" and, "My babies were fine, and I didn't really scrutinize my lifestyle," are common refrains when justifying being more lax with one's pre-natal health than is suggested by physicians.
However, a new study suggests that, despite giving birth to an apparently healthy baby, the conditions in utero may have lasting effects which can influence a child's health into adolescence and adulthood.
A team from Quebec-based Research Unit on Children’s Psychosocial Maladjustment had the results of their study published in Human Brain Mapping.
Their subjects were pairs of identical twins, which they followed from birth, through to their teenage years.
They found that, despite having identical genetic profiles, one twin presented with different birthweight from the partner in the uterus. The twin with the higher birthweight also showed more advanced brain development as the children grew older.
In an article, published on Montreal's Concordia University's website, Linda Booij, associate professor of psychology in Concordia’s Faculty of Arts and Science and a researcher at Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, explained the results:
By the time our participants had reached teenagehood, differences in brain volume were present in the cortex, which is where much of our regulation of emotions and cognitive processes takes place. Interestingly, twins with large differences in birth weight and cortical structure also had epigenetic differences. This means that what happens in utero may affect a person’s brain development by the time they reach their teen years, and that epigenetic processes may play a role in this relationship.
The article describes epigenetics as changes in the activity of how a gene is expressed through environmental experiences, rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.
This means that there could be factors affecting one fetus more than the other, which may be extrapolated and manifested as differences in the children more than a decade later.
Dr. Booij explains to Concordia University:
Since the twins in our study are genetically identical, this difference in birth weight must be due to specific factors acting in utero. For instance, one fetus might have a better placement in the womb or better access to nutrition.
The study focused on in utero conditions affecting one fetus, positively or negatively, more than the other. However, as any parent with more than one child can attest to, no two, or three, or four siblings are alike. Wouldn't the parenting style and external factors after delivery also affect a child's emotional and physical health? For example: parents are often more nervous and strict with a first child versus their younger siblings. Children from one family also may have drastically different nutritional and/or lifestyle habits--i.e. be more inclined towards a healthy diet or athletics--than the other sibling.
Wouldn't these factors also explain the differences in sibling brain profiles through the teenage years?
I posed that question to Dr. Booij:
In general since the twins were raised in the same family and all still lived with their parents, many measures are similar (e.g. Eating habits). We have measures on parenting (in which the parent fills in a questionnaire for each child how e.g. Strict they are with each child). We noted that these measures were very similar.Nevertheless, we can expect that factors after birth play a role, and that the differences within twin pairs may become larger once the twins are more apart. In fact, we continue to follow the twins and hopefully can repeat the epigenetic and brain measures in a new data collection when they are older.
What does this mean for a woman and her pregnancy? It may be further evidence that all that advice and caution one receives prior to, and during pregnancy, may not only mean a healthier baby at birth. It may also be the gateway to a healthier adolescent and, therefore, a happier and healthier adult.
Dear Family Pediatrician,
Thank you for your suggestion that I put all of my concerns into one letter so that you may give them proper consideration.
As I had (briefly) mentioned during my son's last exam, I find some of my children's new behaviors worrisome. I have listed them below, in no particular order:
THEIR EYES: I am ignorant as to the musculature associated with the eyeball, and how it interacts with its socket and the surrounding nerves. Having admitted that, I am fairly confident both my children's ocular regions are malfunctioning.
During times of emotional stress, or even mild displeasure, they seem to have trouble focusing their vision straight ahead. Their eyes seem to wander towards the ceiling, or towards either side of the room. Sometimes this rolling of the eyes seems so extreme I worry they may lose consciousness.
Is this normal?
THEIR PHYSICAL STRENGTH (especially as it pertains to the lower back and arms): When each of my children was a toddler, their strength seemed unusual for such a small child. They would be able to heave large toys across the room, inflict pain on a full-grown adult either by grabbing fistfuls of skin or hair, or kicking them in the stomach or groin area upon being lifted.
Now, nearly a decade removed from this stage, they exhale a groan of pain while lifting even the smallest of items; a sock from the floor, or a plate off the table, for example.
Sometimes the pain seems to even precede the task. My son actually began groaning on his way to his school bag, before even attempting to carry it to the front door. Should I give them Tylenol daily, perhaps with breakfast, to relieve this symptom?
Is this normal?
THEIR MEMORIES: From what I have read online, the different sections, or lobes, of the brain are responsible for different cognitive abilities. For instance, I have read our long-term memories are stored in one area, but our capacity to perform daily tasks (such as eating, writing, walking, etc.), are governed by a different cerebral mechanism entirely. This would explain the problem my children seem to encounter where selective reasoning and recollection are concerned.
This morning, they asked what was for supper. I told them it was Tofu Stir Fry with Rice and Vegetables. When they returned from school, they asked again, and then yet again once their homework was done. They really seemed to have trouble remembering what was for supper. This wouldn't normally be of any concern, except that they have nearly photographic recall when it came to reminding me that the 21st and 28th of this month are pizza days at school.
Also, I had to remind my son three times to feed his guinea pig (the poor thing, I believe, is horribly malnourished. You don't treat family pets, do you, Doctor?), yet, he was able to recall all the showtimes for the 3D viewing of Dr. Strange this weekend at our local cinema.
Is this normal?
THEIR SPEECH & GRAMMAR: I remember, when my kids were younger, they were constantly asking me to explain things. I would have to speak very slowly, and use repetitive, simple language to be sure I was understood. Recently, though, we have been experiencing role reversal on that front.
Their speech velocity has increased dramatically, while their enunciation has become so muddled, I have difficulty understanding them. Sometimes I ask them to repeat themselves, and to slow down (which, once again, triggers that weird ocular reflex I mentioned earlier). But, even then, their language is nonsensical. They say things like "Get wrecked," or "BooYa," or sometimes they just look at me and yell, "Ohhhhhh!" when they have made an argument they are particularly pleased with.
When I seem to have the upper hand during a family debate, they sputter quietly and mumble unintelligibly. Perhaps their brains are suddenly having trouble understanding my point of view?
Is this normal?
THEIR SPATIAL AWARENESS: Finally, Doctor, I may have to phone your receptionist and book an appointment for myself. (Do you see only children, or will you examine parents of children as well?) I have sustained several injuries lately, which, I'm afraid, I must blame on my kids.
Last week, the kids and I pulled into the driveway, after having been grocery shopping. I exited the vehicle, went around to the trunk, and grabbed two bags full of produce. I turned to head into the house, and tripped over my daughter who was suddenly standing right behind me. The celery flew onto my neighbor's lawn, and I hit my head on the uni-stone. My daughter claimed to have not seen me. Isn't that strange?
On Monday, I was emptying the dishwasher. When I stood, I smashed my head (fortunately on the opposite side from the uni-stone contusion) on the cupboard door, which my son had opened while I was gathering soup spoons from the cutlery tray. He, too claimed not to have seen me. Weird, no?
I would not mention this at all, except that yesterday, during family movie night, my son was scrolling through our collection of shows on our PVR when he asked my wife whether he could erase the Godfather trilogy I had recorded last month. My wife suggested he ask me that question. My son's reply was, "Well, when is Dad getting home?"
Doctor, I was sitting right next to him!
I'm not sure if this "parental invisibility syndrome" (PIS?) would be categorized as difficulty with spatial recognition, or vision.
I suppose first I would need to know: Is this normal?
Thank you very much for your time, I am eager for your opinions on these matters. Meanwhile, would you recommend heat or cold for minor head wounds?
Kenny Bodanis, "Parent."
This article in The Atlantic, quotes a study which suggests a strong percentage of girls still feel more comfortable with men in roles of authority: politicians, heads of student councils, CEO's, etc.
In this interview on City TV's Breakfast Television, we talk about why that trend is so hard to break, and why it still exists at all.
Yesterday, I was on CJAD's Barry Morgan Show discussing this article, printed in the Washington Post.
The article juxtaposed two points of view: the first extolling the benefits of organized sports—almost to the point of proving they are mandatory for any child's well-being; the second putting the emphasis on emotional balance being the key predictor of a child's future success.
As I mention during the interview (see link below), reading about this latter point of view—supported by a Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence study—provided me with tremendous relief.
Despite being a "parenting blogger," I have rarely, in recent years, divulged much personal information about my children. They are 11 and 9-years-old respectively, and I feel their stories are less and less mine to tell.
However, I will reveal that neither my son nor my daughter is enamored with organized sports or other activities.
Fellow parents are often taken aback when they ask whether my child is signed up for such-and-such or so-and-so, and I answer "No," and "No."
We have tried, soccer, swimming, baseball, the Scouting movement, music lessons and other pastimes...no go. I have had moments where their reluctance to participate was translating into my own feelings of helplessness and failure. After all, I was involved in organized sport throughout my childhood, and my experiences on-ice where much-more favorable than many encounters I experienced in school hallways (I figure skated for seventeen years).
Everybody else's kids signed up for stuff, why not mine? Shouldn't I force them? Shouldn't I argue more? Who's the parent, anyway?
Then I read the Washington Post article, which speaks of children being urged against their will into activities they don't enjoy.
At times, that push-pull dynamic results in a child who is anxious, stressed and withdrawn.
Many kids love 7 AM hockey practices. Organized sports offer physical activity, life lessons, socialization, and a feeling of community for both parents and their little athletes.
But, they are simply not for everybody, and, here is the affirmation which gets pushed aside more and more often during the age of social media and internet parenting blogs: That's okay.
My son bike rides for dozens of kilometers alone or with our family; in his spare time he loves learning how to code computers.
My daughter will have dance parties in her room with her friends, and plays basketball in the driveway with her mom and dad.
Both my kids seem well-adjusted and happy, despite being enrolled in nothing. And That's okay.
It is becoming harder and harder to remind ourselves that, in general, we know what is best for our child.
Sometime hockey practice and piano recitals are simply not a good fit.
And That's okay.
Here is the interview: