Let Them Be Little

Kids grow up fast, real fast. One moment they are sitting in the back of the car singing the ABCs, then next moment they are singing ‘hot line bling’. If you think about it, childhood is just small portion of life, not even 10%…I’m not sure who decided that childhood should be so short, but whoever made the decision, they totally got things backwards.

As parents, we want to raise our children to be functioning members of society. We want them to be good people, to know right from wrong, to think before they speak and not to pick their nose in public. As parents, it is our job to teach our children these things, especially how to use a Kleenex.  Of course, the earlier we start to teach our children, the better, the more we teach our children, the better, but remember, they are only children for so long, and sometimes we just have to, ‘let them be little’.

Sometimes I have to stop and think about what I am teaching my kids; is it such a bad thing that they are jumping on the bed? Or painting their faces with apple sauce? Or wearing no pants? Do I need to tell my kids not to do these things? Will they be bad people if they jump on the bed? Will they not understand right from wrong if they paint their faces with apple sauce? The answer is no, they will turn out completely fine. The no pants thing will have to stop at some point, but while they have cute little tushes, might as well let them roam pants-free.

So next time you are going to use the words, ‘no’ or, ‘don’t do that’ think about why. Relax the rules and let your kids enjoy being children, doing the things that children do, because before you know it, they will be all grown up, and wearing no pants won’t be so cute anymore. It takes a change in mindset to ease-up on the discipline, but it is such a beautiful thing to watch your kids run naked through a fountain without a care in the world, or laugh like crazy while jumping on the bed. So let them be little, because they are only that way for just a little while.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please leave a comment below. If you think this post will benefit others, please share.

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping THEIR Cool – Kids & Stress

Kids are kind of like adults, except they are cuter, they can’t drink (legally), they can’t drive and they can’t cook – minus the drinking part, being a kid doesn’t sound half bad to me, I can live without driving and cooking. Like adults, kids also experience stress, who knew! I have always been envious of the carefree life children lead, but knowing that stress is a component, my envious feelings have been slightly weakened.

Adam and I participated in a workshop a few months ago on stress and how it affects children. It happened to be on the same night as game 5 of the ALCS, a critical night for the Blue Jays, so I am not sure how much, ‘paying attention’ there was, but it was a good reminder to be mindful of this very common emotion children feel, how to identify it and how to manage it.

Children demonstrate stress in many of the same ways adults do, they can be irritable, have trouble sleeping, want to eat more, have trouble getting along with friends, get stomach aches, headaches, and my two favourite forms of self-expression, whining and crying.  This is where not being able to have a glass of wine would be troubling for me, wine solves a lot of problems, especially stress.

Stress can come from many different situations, some which we can control, and some which are just a part of life and learning and we can’t control, but can certainly help to manage. Here are some very common situations where stress for kids can arise:

•  Change – moving to a new home, school (not controllable)
•  Having too much to do – overloaded with activities (controllable)
•  Having trouble at school with friends or schoolwork (semi-controllable)
•  Getting yelled at (semi-controllable)
•  Feeling rushed (controllable)
•  Feeling lonely (semi-controllable)

Put yourself in your child’s shoes, if you are getting rushed out of your house and getting yelled at to hurry up, how would you feel? Stressed! If you were overloaded with things to do and had no time to relax, how would you feel? Stressed! What does this result in? Irritable and whiny children. Do we want that? No! Something I’ve put into practice is to put myself into my children’s shoes, and if I know I’d feel stress in a particular situation, I try to be mindful that they probably would as well. I’ve been conscious  of this and it has worked wonders – reduced whining and crying, awesome. A few small changes, like not overloading your kids with activities, allowing enough time to get out of the house and being conscious of the yelling (yeah, I know, it is hard) can really make a difference. For the stressful situations you can’t control, love, comfort and understanding are huge.

If all else fails, there is wine, for you, not your kids. Have an awesome and stress-free weekend.

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The Flock in 20.4 Megapixels

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Phone cameras are convenient, especially when I am pushing a stroller, holding Kaylee because she doesn’t want to sit in the stroller, holding Maiya’s hand and lugging our gear for the afternoon – I really don’t need anything else to carry. My phone sits conveniently in my purse, doesn’t take up any extra room and takes a marginally okay photograph. As the kids are getting older, and Adam and I are trying to capture as many moments as possible, I’ve noticed that our moments are a little fuzzy. So this weekend I decided, no more fuzzy moments, time to invest in an actual camera that takes great photos.

So this weekend I dragged my husband and kids camera shopping. A few things I’ve learned from camera shopping:

1. There are a billion cameras out there that all appear to do almost the same thing, with slight differences, for a huge range of prices. Totally overwhelming.

2. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a fantastic camera.

3. Great cameras come in small packages.

4. Do not take your kids camera shopping – it is a liability.

I really wanted the crème de la crème in compact cameras, but that comes at a fairly significant cost. After a lot of shopping, comparing and chasing my children through Best Buy, I ended up with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX60, which is an awesome camera. It takes SLR quality pictures, but I am able to cram it into my purse, somewhere between the wipes and the spare pull-up fairly easily, and it really doesn’t add a lot of extra weight. Adam and I have been playing around with it and have already captured some adorable photos of the girls. We have been running after them with the camera all weekend…unfortunately they have started running away.

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About Me

My name is Lauren Segal. First and foremost, thanks for being a part of my community and reading my blog! I hope you are enjoying the posts and finding them helpful, inspiring and humorous of course.

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PASSIONS:

Family: Nothing else matters without family. I have been married to my hunky husband, Adam for almost 6 years. It is like being married to my best friend, I envy my own relationship with him. We have two kids, Maiya (almost 5) and Kaylee (almost 3) who are, as cliché as it is,  the light of our lives and our inspiration each and every day. I also have the most wonderful parents and brother, and the most awesome extended family I could ever ask for.

Helping People: Whether it be through advice, moral support or being a workout buddy.

Food: I LOVE to cook, and I hear, from trustworthy sources, I am really good at it. I’ve adapted a lot of the recipes I love to suite families. I never use cookbooks, so all the recipes you see on this blog are Lauren Segal originals.

Fitness: I am a passionate runner. I’ve been running for over 10 years, and have recently started racing. Running is my, ‘me’ time and it helps to burn off all the chocolate I eat.

I am a working mom. I do daycare/school drop-offs and pick-ups, I cook, I clean, I run, do a lot of laundry and some how manage to be a very relaxed person and have somewhat of a social life. I often get the question, ‘how do you do all of that?’. This blog was started because of that question, and of course, my passions.