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Boston area, MA, United States

Friday, October 23, 2009

Some articles on parenthood annoy me!

After reading this morning's editorial in the NYT on yelling (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/fashion/22yell.html) I wanted to get into a shouting match with the author!

The gist of the article is in essence that yelling is bad for your children. It demeans, they often block out the "noise" and it erodes their self confidence and ego. Ok, we all heard about how spanking is an absolute no-no in parenting even though most adults I've spoken to, including those writers and researchers admit to being spanked as a child. Did they come out to be mass murderers, violent wife beaters, and other derelicts?

Now I'm being told I can't raise my voice a few octaves to make a point? Anyone who has been around children past the cute, toddler and I only babysit phase understand that certain behaviors elicit a yell every now and then. It wakes them up out of their cocoon of "Oh, I can probably get away with this for long time." Once a child gets in the pre-teen and teen years, they exhibit behaviors that most of the time, you are not happy with. They are not really trying to please you at this point, they're too busy trying to be themselves! So, if my child decides he's not going to brush his teeth in the morning and I find out right when I'm running out the door, what am I to do?

a. In my nice, telephone, at work voice say, "Would you please return to the bathroom and take care of your oral hygiene? (At this point, I will have less than 10 minutes to get to the train station)

b. Pretend I didn't notice and let him offend commuters, teachers and classmates with his breathe?


Needless to say, I've done c. He's 12 for crying out loud, the soothing voice doesn't work when it's repeated behavior. Time out won't work on this one and did I really destroy his self esteem?

My opinion is that the "perfect" parent who does everything on even keel and is never ruffled does more damage than good. What would you think if your mom or dad were always stoic beings? Do they have any emotions? And what about those feelings? Parents who keep all those feelings of resentment, anger, frustration have other unhealthy outlets. Smoking pot, using prescription drugs. (You don't know how many of those cute soccer moms are sneaking out smoking or are on anti-depressant medication.) And really, is it healthy to keep all this frustration internalized. Many moms experience ulcers just from stressors at home (kids, husband) and the job (deadlines, bosses).

So what's the solution? I'm not really sure but I do know all this advice makes me want to scream!

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Silent Illness

I'm finding that many of my friends who are now approaching 30 or already there seem tired and for the most part, depressed.

All of a sudden, a drop in phone calls, weeks go by without a Facebook update and soon you're found wondering, "hey, what happened to so and so?" Depression is what happened.

Most people my age can really identify with depression but refuse or are unable to acknowledge that their experiencing it. Here's a short list taken from WebMD :

Depression symptoms:

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
    irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex (oh no!)
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

Just do a quick survey with your friends. I guarantee that most will have exhibited one or many more of these symptoms. I had someone the other say, "I'm tired. It's been a difficult decade." DECADE?
Economy, family life, work, school all contribute to the stresses of your daily life but if it continues and you find yourself unhappy DAILY, something's wrong. And it's really not our fault. We're surrounded by overachievers, advertisements like, "The world runs on Dunkin", excessive gym rats, and did I mention the overachievers?

People have forgotten what's it's like to do absolutely nothing sometimes. Friends and families working 2, even 3 jobs , 2 or more school aged children EACH with a schedule to follow, full time employees going to graduate school full time, how can one compete with that? It's like you're a utter failure if you're not juggling 3 or 4 plates at a time. And nobody sleeps anymore...not with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You're constantly turned on and plugged in with your Android phone, "crack"berry, and iPhone (of which I'm guilty of too).

Sleep is a powerful tool to combat depression. It's been said that the lack of sleep is linked to depression because of an hormonal imbalance. Look it up! So don't feel guilty if you don't want to go out tonight, put the kids to bed early, turn of the tv, phone, computer, berry, iPod and spend 8 hours (or more) getting the sleep you deserve. You'll be happier and your body will thank you for it.