Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Parenting Ideas: Bubble Bursting

Many years ago, I learned that I didn't need to be the one to "burst" my kids's "bubble" of hope and dreams for their futures, even if I saw them as unrealistic. 

My oldest son wanted to play in the NBA, when he was young-- say from age 5-14. We weren't as positive as we probably should have been. I think we said, "Oh! That would be fun, but it's really hard. Not many people get there. You can do it, but it's not going to be easy." I know... ouch. Life then taught him, beginning with Junior Jazz, then church ball and workouts with the high school teams, that basketball was not his path. He's not very tall, and although he's got great shooting skills, his anxiety and temper got in the way of him becoming a really great player. Which is okay. Luckily, he has been blessed with other interests and opportunities and he doesn't feel remorse over having to set aside his NBA dreams. 

from wallstcheatsheet.com
However, I feel like I shouldn't have begun teaching him what the world and life were about to teach him. Even if he's not good enough, I don't want to be the parent that says, "Oh, honey, that will never happen. You should give up that dream right now and focus on Waste Management." I should probably have said, "Wow! Good for you! I can't wait to see what you do!" And left it at that. The world was all ready and waiting to pop that dream bubble. I certainly didn't need to deflate it first.

My second son wants to be a computer programmer, my third son wants to work in filmmaking and my daughter wants to be an author. Having mentally told myself not to be the bubble deflater again, I haven't said anything about how difficult any of these jobs might be to attain. I have been positive and encouraging, and allowed them to pursue their interests. If they stink at what they want to do, future bosses, critics and co-workers will certainly tell them so. 
from preschooler.thebump.com

Maybe just getting out of the way is the best way parents can support their kids? If it doesn't work out, it isn't because we put doubt in their minds, but if it does, we will be able to smile and pat ourselves on the back for supporting their dreams all along.

I want my kids to be able to stand on the podium of achievement one day and say that their mom stood by them the whole way, that I always knew they could do it. And I want that to be the truth.

from the-flack.com

It's a tricky balancing act, though, like most things parents do. How do you encourage your kids without making the mistake of treating them as though they are a perfect cupcake of talent and can do no wrong? (This is one of my favorite articles on this topic.) 

I believe it's by giving them room to explore their interests, while calling them down for behaviors that are out of line. Expect great things, but also give them opportunities to work. 

Kids will understand that there will always be someone smarter, prettier, funnier, faster, taller, and better at _________ than them. However, I hope they are also learning that if they are diligent and righteous and dedicated, willing to work hard and start where they are (at the bottom, usually), they can achieve their dreams. Because they can. I really believe that.

And if I'm wrong, I will still be here, ready to stand by them during their next adventure.

So what do you think? 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anxiety Adventures #10: Dreams

One of the potential side effects of Venlafaxine (which I'm still taking) is vivid dreams. They weren't kidding. I'm just hoping that one day I'll dream something I can use as the basis of the Great American Novel.

Without medication, I have odd or especially memorable dreams a handful of times each month. Sometimes I remember them, but usually they fade pretty quickly after I get up. Often, after a particularly exciting or emotional dream, when I go to bed the next night my mind seems to have a muscle memory of it or something. I will lay my head on the pillow and I can feel the dream from the night before, even if I don't remember the details. I'm weird, I know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adult Acne Solution

Years ago, I discovered this easy, affordable solution to my adult acne, and I've never looked back. My skin is very clear and I'm completely happy with the results. Recently, thought, I've made a couple of slight changes, so I'm updating this as of April 2014. 

Adult acne sucks-- just when you thought you had escaped the horrors of adolescence, pop! Wrong-o. It's embarrassing, frustrating, and just as difficult to solve as it was when you were a teen. This easy regimen works, though. 

Three Cool Things: April 2, 2014

I've finally finished binge-watching bad vampire-themed soap operas and it's time to get back to real life. I won't promise this feature will return weekly, which was my original goal, because life is crazy, but I do want to share some cool stuff from time to time, when I find it.