Monday

6 Things that Most Parents Go Through When it Comes to Children...

Sometimes we are battling with so many things at home that we forget the difference between normal and abnormal.  I can tell you, from personal experience, some things that are normal parenting stuff. 

1.  Children will irritate you and there will be those moments where you feel like you are going to lose it.  What's normal is yelling, putting Johnny in his room or in a corner is also typical, and even spanking is common in many circles.  Some parents will feed "the problem" hoping that Suzie will shut up.  Other parents will buy whatever whenever hoping that the child will calm down enough so that they can catch a breath.  However, doing any of these things and others all the time--uh oh, you better hope you aren't creating a menace and worse no one calls the police on you!

2.  Sickness can't be avoided and some children are sicker than most.  But running your child to the hospital often?  Not normal.  You have to ask yourself, "Am I doing my job?  Is the hospital staff doing theirs?"

3.  Energetic children is all too common.  They jump, bounce, yell, make weird noises, have imaginary friends, and want to do odd stuff like smell stuff and dig for things.  Okay, acceptable.  But when these things are always happening all too frequently.  Someone is out of control.  It's either you, your child or both.

4.  Children lie.  I know parents don't want to believe it, but it happens.  They may lie or maybe forget.  Children may also say something, but leave out the details.  All normal.  But when they are doing this sort of thing all the time, you have to ask, "Who or what are they covering?"  Then again maybe there is some mental things going on, like a brain that is still developing for starters.  Watch closely and don't ever take every word as truth, if so, you will be sorry.

5.  Accidents.  From drink spills to pee-pee in the bed, this kind of stuff when it comes to raising children happens.  But, if everytime you look up this is going on, it's time to remedy this behavior as best you can.  Buy a Wet-Alert, this is a device that helps you help them keep the urine out of the bed over time.  If your child is constantly spilling something, don't give he or she much to drink and get a spill-free cup.  You might also want to consider where you are leaving your own drinks too.  Now let's say, accidents aren't this simple and they are the kind that you're ready to rip your child a new one!  Once again, responsibility falls on you.  The law doesn't want to hear how you repeatedly told your child not to play with lighters, even though you left your lighter sitting on the table, and the whole house burned down!

6.  They say and do things that would make you go, "What!?"  You aren't really a parent if those moments don't happen sometimes.  I know you thought you knew your son or daughter well.  I know you thought he or she would never, "Oh no, my child comes from a good home, she would never..."  But, they will and it won't be the only time either if you don't make a lasting memory that says, "If you ever do that $%^#& stuff again, I will %^$#& you!  Capice?"  Remember you were once a child, you may have not done the same thing, but you did something that left your parents scratching their heads.

So I hope this blog post makes you feel at ease.  Your child is normal.  But, if you see a pattern of behavior starting to develop, that doesn't look like the rest of the children, you have to ask yourself, "What did I bring into this world?  Now what help do they have out here to help my child?"  Don't look the other way or ignore the problem, do something now before the whole world knows, "Something is definitely wrong with that kid."

Nicholl McGuire
Author When Mothers Cry

Sunday

Do You Consider Yourself to Be a Good Stepmom?

Some mothers just don't know what they are getting themselves into when they remarry someone else who also has children.  Most stepmoms really try hard to be the best they can in their roles, while others are ready to jump ship.  One woman who gave her stepmom a hard time, writes about how what she thought was a wicked stepmother turned out not to be after all.  Read more here.

Saturday

Walking on Egg Shells When It Comes to Parenting Your Children the Right Way

Some of you reading this probably have some idea where I am going with this blog entry simply by reading the title.  I want moms everywhere to know that I can relate when you are trying to raise your children the right way and it seems every time you take two steps forward, there is someone in your circle who intentionally or absentmindedly puts your children two steps back by doing and/or saying foolish things when it comes to parenting them.

Now you may live with this person or there is a caretaker that makes you feel like you are walking on eggshells whenever you say something about your children to them.  Whether you say something in a polite way, angrily, or quietly, you can pretty much bet that this person is going to defend his or her actions, eye-roll, sigh, get quiet, ignore you, or point out your flaws, because they don't like you telling them what to do.  They don't like you stating what is best for your child, because they didn't come up with the idea, they may have not liked a certain thing when they were a child or whatever the reason maybe.

You say to yourself, "What have I got myself into?  Why did I allow this person to come into my life in the first place?  What was I thinking?"  You pray that God will protect your child from the foolishness of this person in the meantime while hoping for a better way to resolve your issues. 

Some people just don't get it.  You can tell them, "Please don't let the children do..." and they will go ahead and let the children do out of spite.  You think, "Who thinks like that?  What kind of person is this?" 

We all know you can't allow a child to partake in things that are reserved for adults.  I remember getting into a bad argument with someone about letting my children listen to a popular radio shock jock on their way to school.  He really got upset because this was one of a few ridiculous things he was doing.  So like a child he complained, "I always have to give up something!"

Any well-meaningful parent knows you can't raise a child without some kind of schedule.  And you definitely can't allow children to dictate what is best for them on a regular basis.  If this is the case, then we would have children running a muck just about everywhere.  What child wants to go to bed, take a bath, and refrain from eating sweets and desserts all day?  Yet, those parents and care-takers who felt deprived as children grow up to be boy men and girl women who want to give everything they never got to their children.  If only they would step back and see that all they are creating are little monsters, children who will one day expect the world to do what they want and if they don't, they will attempt to shake up society with their screams, yells and threats.  Unfortunately, there are jails around the world full of people with this kind of mindset.  Do fools really know what's best for children?  I think not.  That is why God made wise mothers, but some just don't use their common sense.  When this happens, we must find people, services and tools to help us with our parenting when we, us or they are doing a poor job!  We can't just sit by and be quiet on everything when it comes to parenting our children.  Yes, sometimes you won't want to say anything to that person with the ego handling your children, because you aren't in the mood to fight World War III, but there will be those moments that you ought to get in there, mom and fight the good fight for the best interest of your children!  If you were in court, the judge would make that choice for you, now wouldn't he or she?

We all have walked on egg shells around people who we thought were at first doing the right thing by our children, but then we later learned that they were really not doing all they could do because they lacked some parenting skills.  Some of you have years experience working with children while your partner doesn't.  So it would make sense that the inexperienced would be listening to the experienced, right?  However, that poor ego gets in the way of the fool, doesn't it?  The voice in his or her head says, "Oh she thinks she knows so much because...I won't listen to her.  I will just do things my way.  She thinks she is so right about everything anyway!"  It's unfortunate but that ego has cost many men and women their jobs, families, and more because it refused to reach a compromise.  On the other hand, when we don't consider one's ideas, we can also make our jobs harder than they ought to be. 

If you are one of those moms living in a home where you feel like your words are falling on deaf ears, the key is not to stop talking to this person who makes you feel like you are walking on egg shells; rather keep talking and do provide examples as to why the current way of doing things when it comes to parenting the children just isn't working.  You would then start implementing your own tactics.  Point out the successes. 

Sometimes the only way you can get through to someone is to allow them to fail.

Of course, there is an appropriate time for everything, so when you want to do something different you can always try your own strategies when you are alone with the children.  When you are teaching your children right from wrong, do not be bullied, shamed, or made to feel guilty when someone or a group doesn't like a certain parenting tactic you are using.  If it has been proven by experts and others, you know it has worked in the past, and it doesn't cause any harm or mental problems for the child, then you have to wonder why a partner or caretaker would give you so much flack about it?  Some one's ego must be put in check!  There may be some underlying issues going on with that person. 

As mentioned previously, there are those parents that have felt deprived as children by parents who were too busy, too angry, too upset, too drunk, too whatever to give them a nice life.  Therefore, these people grow up to be men with little boy needs and women with little girl needs--you know boy men and girl women.  They believe if they give children everything they want they will be okay.  But as we know, there are many people who once had everything, have nothing now.  Why?  Because they never learned how to appreciate and manage what they already have.  We are doing our children a disservice giving them everything they want!  If we left it up to children to raise themselves, they would never take a bath, brush their teeth, do their homework, stay up all hours of the night, go wherever, do whatever, and eat unhealthy. 

So to those moms out there who are currently living with someone who doesn't appreciate your efforts, criticizes your parenting skills (whether to your face or behind your back,) do what's right for your children anyway.  Continue to take up time with them.  Keep talking to your sons and daughters about the things that will make them good citizens later in life.  Surround yourself and children around like-minded positive people.  Limit the time they watch TV, play video games, surf the Internet, and do other things by giving them alternative tasks that benefit the whole household.  How can that one you live with or those others who care for your children complain when you are raising your children to be useful not only to yourself but others?

Eventually, that egotistical person or that "I think I know-it-all" caretaker who is helping you parent your children, will have to do one of two things, walk right or walk out!  Their choice.  Meanwhile, you just have a back-up plan. 

Nicholl McGuire

Read more by me at a blog entitled,  Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate

Thursday

What Does the Future Hold for Your Child?

So how does a mother answer a question about her child's future?  How does she know what her son or daughter will grow up to be and what impact (whether positive or negative) will her child make on society? 

We may not be able to answer these difficult questions about our children's futures in the most confident way, but we can surely increase their odds of being something more than a fool!

How many mothers out there are really taking the time out to mold and shape their children into what destiny calls them to be or are they leaving it all up to the school and relatives?  Have they even bothered to consult with a superior higher than themselves? Have they sat down and talked with others about their observations concerning their children?  Have they met with counselors on how to steer wayward children in the right direction?

From the looks of things, there are so many moms concerned about everything external, "What will we be eating for dinner...I need to make a hair and nail appointment...I really want this promotion...I hope this guy really likes me...I have to visit that store..." that they fail to even think about their children's future much less their spiritual, mental and or physical health.  Does mom have a clue what her child's weaknesses and strengths are in the classroom?  Does she know about that girl or boy who keeps bothering her child?  Does she know that a relative is teaching her child some despicable things?  Has she noticed the physical signs that her son or daughter is too ill to go to school? 

If you don't agree with the previous point about some moms being more concerned with everything, but their children's future, just ask a daycare worker what sorts of challenges she has to deal with when working with children being raised by selfish parents (oh yeah, dad needs to be held accountable too)?  Why not interview a middle school or highschool teacher and get his or her opinion on the mental state of some of his or her students and are they really prepared for life after graduation?  Sit down with the selfish parents' child for a minute and he or she will tell you the truth about their go-getter parents.  "Mom is always working...dad is mad a lot...I don't like being at home," the child cries out.  Better yet, talk to your own family about what they see when watching your children. 

Video games don't help children become productive members of society especially if the characters are performing immoral acts ie.) stealing, cursing, having sex, etc.  Buying the latest designer t-shirts for a child to show his or her allegiance to Satan isn't sensible ie.) look at all the rockers' lives in the entertainment industry.  Telling a child to physically hurt another because he doesn't like what someone says isn't putting them on the fast track to world peace.  Giving children what they want just because they cry, pout, or do something embarrassing isn't going to make them respect authority figures.  We could go on and on talking about ethics, morals, biblical commandments and more, but you get the point. 

From the smallest thing to the most significant, everything plays some part in our children's future.  What we do or don't do now with them sets their path in the future.  As a parent, we should refrain from cursing our children to hell or saying things like, "You are so dumb!  I don't think you will ever be anything but!"  While fathers sit with closed mouths, and mom does everything else, there is someone out there who will make sure to teach their son a lesson or two whether good, bad or otherwise.  There are moms worrying about everything including her husband at home, meanwhile she accomplishes nothing with her daughter--no relationship, no mother/daughter date, etc.  Some of these all girl groups will be sure to embrace and love on that lost daughter in ways that would disturb her poor parents. 

Now whether our children stay on the best path we set for them is a whole different story.  It isn't up to us to take responsibility for their wrong choices once they are grown, but it is up to us to keep our children on the straight and narrow in the meantime.  As future parents of adult children, we can only say that we did the best we could while our children lived with us.  How they choose to live their lives once they become adults is out of our hands. 

Having one's priorities in the wrong place doesn't make one a bad mother, it just makes her misguided.  She will need to spend more time talking to her child.  Asking the tough questions and observing her child interacting with others in order to get some kind of understanding on what exactly is she raising.  She will also have to be open to what others say about her child.  Of course, some people will be overly critical and say hurtful things, but we all must ask ourselves, "Why?"  Then get on the fast track to helping our children.

We live in a world where there is help for just about everything!  It doesn't make sense that there are so many children talking, dressing, and acting like they have no parent in the home who cares.  Now sure, there are those children who don't have mothers living with them, but there should be enough support around children, despite circumstances, that will give them a sense of direction even if mom is absent from the home.  It is up to us parents (and those around our children) to make sure they get that supportive network.  Reach out to the children when dad slacks.  Be the best mom to children not your own if you happen to live with yours, theirs and ours. 

When we look at our children from a different set of eyes; rather than in a way that says, "I can't wait until you grow up," maybe we will be able to see a glimpse of what the future has to offer.

Nicholl McGuire

Read more of my work here.  Watch videos here. 

Tuesday

Little Boys, Little Girls Not One in the Same

Contrary to what others think is considered feminine and masculine, I have my own opinion, plan, and teaching when it comes to raising my sons.  So I don't give into what society tells me is acceptable. 

Toys, clothes and shoes are blue and pink for reasons that some of us may go along with while others simply will not.  I have four boys and they are all very distinct personalities.  One of my sons (who is now eleven) has a kind, sociable personality.  There was a time, while a little boy, he would cry at the drop of a dime, and I would hear, "He's so sensitive."  Well, I didn't encourage such sensitivity, but I didn't scare him to the point that it would make him hate being male.  I understand his environment, his clothing and his associations are and always will make up a good part of who he is.  This is why I teach him to be selective about all and don't let others bully you into thinking their way either!  Therefore, I ask you this, who am I to allow society to tell me that it is now okay for my sons to wear pink?  Why would I tell my sons to never speak up when it comes to homosexuality? 

Year after year the line between what defines a little boy and what defines a little girl are further being blurred.  I had a mother some time ago want to debate about why it was okay for her to let her son wear a purse at five years old.  I'm sorry, but I simply can't give into such foolishness--save that debate for someone who cares.  Mind you, she didn't mention anything about the boy's father, need I say more.

My sons will never be girls no matter what society deems appropriate for them.  They just weren't born that way despite what Gaga's experience was or has been!  Dress a boy up in a wig, wear pumps, sashay across a stage, speak feminine -- it doesn't matter, a boy will always be a boy and a girl will always be a girl. 

When fathers take part in their sons' lives they can help them with defining who they are--that is if dad knows who he is; unfortunately there are men who secretly struggle with their own identity.  Dad's involvement doesn't necessarily mean that it will keep little Johnny from being gay one day, but it sure doesn't hurt!  Little Johnny was born male; therefore, he should be just that without society pressuring him to "come out" or "make a choice."  He should also understand that there are those individuals who will trick him into wearing and doing things to promote their hidden agendas. 

Mothers should encourage dad to get off his behind and do more for the children if he is living in the home or distant.  Why should he be allowed to sit back and relax from being a parent?  Hello!?  Dad should introduce his sons to all things male that is morally, physically, and spiritually decent.  Why leave it up to mom, the coach, the television, and the school all the time to teach and preach to him about what defines his maleness?  What exactly does it mean to be a male anyway?  A mother can't answer that question like a father can whether he is the biological father or step-father. 

From the looks of things, more and more men are looking and acting like women!  They are back-biting, gossiping, wearing women's clothes, moving their arms and legs around like women and so on.  Why is this happening?   Because the majority of people are daily being backed in the corner by the minority!  "If you say that or do this, homophobe, I'll sue!" says the gay man.  Now who is acting like a bully?  Cowards have sat back for far too long and said, "It's okay. I will love you anyway.  Sure, we are a Christian organization and we know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but it's okay for you to preach and teach."  They encourage the foolishness rather than sitting down and talking with gay people in an open and honest way.  Isn't that what they want anyway, the truth?  Give them the truth, even if it hurts!  "We don't agree with your lifestyle and because of that I prefer that you don't call me a name because of it.  If you want respect, you have to respect my point of view.  I will not allow my sons to dress or talk like a girl or woman.  Please refrain from doing XYZ things around my children.  I'm sure you love your boyfriend/girlfriend, but I'm not interested in hearing about your relationship."  Speak up!    

Well, if it isn't okay for women to take on certain societal roles that could possibly endanger them, why would it be okay for men to take on certain societal roles that is actually putting them on a fast track to being the next endangered species?  One day we will look up and see the majority of men that will primarily be everything but simply male.  Oh I dread that day!

From men on steroids to men wearing pumps, we have our share of freaks of nature run by freaks that tell us to be "more open, loving, accepting..."  I didn't mind going along with the program until I had my own children.  Then the blinders came off!  Did I really want a man wearing lipstick and a wig influencing my sons?  Did I really want my own sons putting my heels on and parading around the house?  Did I really want my sons wearing lip gloss and nail polish?

Nope.  Little boys and little girls are different.  Little boys don't have to play with dolls unless you buy them for them.  Little girls don't have to push cars and trucks around on hands and knees unless you make them available.  Little boys do things that make society say, "Oh yeah, he's a boy!  There is no question about it!"  So why would I take something that was meant to be and make it meant not? 

Nicholl McGuire
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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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