Monthly Archives: November 2008
Parenting Teenagers

I knew some parents who intimidated me as a young mother. They seemed to get everything just right. Their children were always immaculate, clean and well-behaved. They slept when they were supposed to and ate what was good for them. These same parents found the time to teach their barely toddlers to recognize their abc’s and still find space in a day to work out! 

I crawled through those early years, happy to make it to the end of each day without a major calamity or concern. I noticed however, with great interest, that these same parents seemed a bit thrown when their children reached eight or nine. Those fun years when kids realize for the first time that you, their wonderful parents, don’t know absolutely everything there is to know on this earth. They learn that their mouths move and they’re not afraid to use them. These parents now go into full gear and ground their kids at the drop of a hat and manage, through these and other punitive techniques, to keep their children, yet again, on the straight and narrow for another few years. Then, TEENAGERS! I’ve come to realize that these years define parents way more than they define children. Parents of teenagers who’ve never doubted their parenting skills could run into serious trouble here. Children of this age want to explore their own wants and desires. They want to experiment with limits and they definitely don’t want you telling them what to do. Parents of teenagers have to become expert diplomats. They have to learn to parent with backbone and understanding in the same sitting. Parents with control issues do not do well parenting this age group. They take rebellion and withdrawal as a personal attack and lose sight of the true role of parent. They are so hung up on getting their children to listen that they forget to look for emotional and social cues. I’m not saying that parenting teenagers is easy. It’s not. But it doesn’t have to spiral into an endless existence of negativity. This is the greatest period of adjustment for parents. It is almost, symbolically speaking, the real cutting of the cord. Parents unable to do this will start to do one of two things. They will start to blame their child (for somehow being innately bad) or they will start to blame others – wrong friends, wrong school, wrong area etc. Sadly, many “perfect” parents do not look to themselves. 
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Boom… Boom… Boom… Book Launch

Here are some pictures from the book launch of my first children’s picture book, “Boom… Boom… Boom…: A Story to Raise Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence.”


The book launch took place on November 15, 2008 at Richmond Hill Public Library – Central Branch.

Book Launch for Boom... Boom... Boom...: A Story to Raise Your Child's Emotional Intelligence

(left to right) Illustrator Troy Books, Me, Full of Ideas Publishing Co-Owner Gaurav Puri

Book Launch Party for Boom... Boom... Boom...: A Story to Raise Your Child's Emotional Intelligence

(left to right) Illustrator Troy Books, Me, Full of Ideas Publishing Co-Owner Gaurav Puri

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What Is A Book?

Where does it begin? Does a book begin with the very first thought? Does it begin when you write the first sentence (which will always change)? Does it begin when you have the book in hand? Or does it begin now, book in hand and transferring that ownership to other hands. I think the more accurate question to ask is, “Does it ever end?” My answer to that is that I hope not. I think my real dream is that the story will hopefully be a positive spark forever. I received an email the other day from a woman who had read the book to her three-and-a-half year old son. He asked her afterwards if “maybe when we’re scared sometimes, we could read that book.” I felt a glow of gladness when I read that. I hope the book is bound strongly enough that it can withstand the test of time and be kept and handed down to children and grandchildren. Please excuse the soppiness of this blog entry. I’m feeling a little soppy today.

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Books arrived. Spent three days at the parenting show. It was great. Very rewarding. Called on some book stores. That was fun. Launch tomorrow. Oi vey! Sorry. No time for joining words (or whatever you call those things). Back soon.

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Choose To Believe

My nine-year old has joined a “secret” club. When I asked her what it was about, she wouldn’t reveal because then it “wouldn’t be secret.” More importantly, she told me that you had to “believe” to be part of the club. I asked, “In what?” Changing the subject, she asked if I had belonged to any club as a kid. Racking my brain, I vaguely remembered belonging to a “no boys allowed” club, and shared this. “No, I mean did you ever belong to a club where you had to believe in something?” At this point, I became confused. “Like what?” I replied. “Like dragons, fairies anything!” Now she was a little frustrated with me. “Well, not a club but I did believe that my toys came to life after I fell asleep.” I felt a little relieved that I  remembered something. “So why did you stop?” she asked. I started to stumble. “I, I… guess I just grew up.”

“Why does growing up make you stop believing? she asked. At that moment, I felt as though I had never heard a better question. I had no answer. After some silence she asked again, “Why don’t you just believe that they come alive?” I replied, “I don’t know.” I felt so lame. She’d asked the question as if I had a choice to believe. “Well!” She said, emphatically. “That’s why you can’t know about the club. You have to believe in what we believe or it doesn’t work. You should believe. It makes life interesting. Adults are very boring.” 
I have retold this story with no embellishment. For those who know my daughter, Gabi, the story will indeed ring true! I love kids.
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