Newsletter Articles for Older Moms Parenting Later in Life
Midlife Mothers over 35 who are parenting later in life and want parenting support, love our free monthly Baby Bloomer newsletter - written for and by older moms (and dads). Below is a sampling of articles...... Click here to subscribe to our newsletter for older moms parenting later in life.
By Mark Hutten, Family Therapist and Online Parent Coach
Moms and dads expect temper tantrums from a 2-year-old, but angry outbursts don’t necessarily stop after the toddler years. Older children sometimes have trouble handling anger and frustration, too. Some children only lose their cool on occasion, but others seem to have a harder time when things don’t go their way. Children who tend to have strong reactions by nature will need more help from moms and dads to manage their tempers.
Here are 20 “temper-taming tips” for the “strong-willed” child:
1. By the time you arrive at the scene of the fight, you may be at the end of your own rope. After all, the sound of screaming is upsetting, and you may be frustrated that your children aren’t sharing or trying to get along. (And you know that this toy they’re fighting over is going to be lost, broken, or ignored before long anyway!). In these situations, the best thing to do is to keep your own self-control intact. Teaching by example is your most powerful tool. Speak calmly, clearly, and firmly — not with anger, blame, harsh criticisms, threats, or putdowns.
2. Create clear ground rules and stick to them. Set and maintain clear expectations for what is and what is not acceptable. Your youngster will get the message if you make clear, simple statements about what’s off limits and explain what you want him or her to … (read more…)
By Amy Wall Lerman, Baby Bloomer Editor
On October 5th of this month I put an end to my reproductive life. Having lived through thirteen years of abnormal bleeding which has always taken a toll on my health and quality of life, I came to the painful decision that it was time to take care of myself and stop fantasizing about having more biological children. So after months of deliberating and internal struggle, I decided to have an endometrial ablation which effectively put an end to my ability to bear children. It’s a procedure that removes the lining of the uterus so that the endometrium can no longer develop. And, of course, without that valuable lining, a fetus cannot survive and periods cease for good. I’m 46 years old, I’m not menopausal, and while there are many women out there becoming pregnant at my age, either naturally or with the help of medical technology, for me the dream had to be put to rest.
Here is why I made the decision and why it was so hard to get there. When I was 32 years old I started to bleed erratically – spotting for six weeks at a time or heavy bleeding for several days straight – sometimes hemorrhaging to the point of missing work and spending a lot of time on the phone with my doctor. My cycle was never regular and when I did bleed it was almost always heavy and painful.
I was in a relationship when I was 32 but it was a rocky one and my boyfriend was not ready for kids … (read more…)
By Amy Wall Lerman, Baby Bloomer Editor
It’s Autism Awareness month – and boy – am I aware! I never really understood the significance of all these awareness days and months until I found myself in a position of having to be aware of at least one of them – April.
When my son was about a year old he started to flap his hands over his ears like he was trying to block something out. I knew it wasn’t because of noise but because something was upsetting him. For me, it was a trigger that something could be wrong. Sounds ridiculous right? I know…I’m a helicopter mom, a worry-wart, a hypochondriac, you name it… I thought it. But no matter how much other moms told me not to worry, what they didn’t know, and I couldn’t be completely sure of at that time, is that Autism is in my genes.
Whether or not a genetic link has been identified by researchers, from the day my son was born I had my eyes wide open for signs of things not being quite the way they should be – not just because I knew the latest statistics: 1 in every 110 children is diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) in the United States and no one knows why – but because my nephew, Matthew, now 21 years old, has Autism.
Around the time Evan, my son, started to walk, my brother and his wife drove their 21 month old son, Emmet, to see a doctor in Pennsylvania (recommended by my sister – the mother of Matthew) because they too had … (read more…)
By Gigi R. Khonyongwa-Fernandez, Parenting Coach
I personally hate the word “disability,” which is why I purposely put it in quotation marks whenever I write it. My distaste for this word developed long before my precious son Alejandro entered this world unexpectedly in my 24th week of pregnancy; before he developed severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in the NICU which left him legally blind in both eyes; and well, before he was labeled with significant global developmental delays, complex medical and surgical history, and vision loss.
“Disability” and I parted ways back in the early 90’s, when I was practicing as a neurological occupational therapist (OT). I could never quite get my head around how a person could all of a sudden disappear (in the eyes of the therapeutic community) the minute he/she suffered a catastrophic injury or illness. Why did we immediately start referring to them as “stroke” or “head injury” patients instead of by their names and why was everything about what they did (or didn’t do) viewed under the umbrella of their condition? We were losing the essence of their true being because of our need to define and treat a condition. We were forgetting that we were treating, first and foremost, a human being – no different than ourselves.
The term “disability” is complex – filled with perceptions and assumptions (often misperceptions and incorrect assumptions). I would … (read more…)
By Erin Kurt, B.Ed., Parenting Expert
Does your child hoard toys and possessions or have trouble taking turns? Many times we think telling a child to “play nice,” is enough to get him or her to share. But sharing isn’t just about being nice, it’s about respecting the feelings of others. The best way to get your child to consider the needs and feelings of others is to actually SHOW them how to share.
Young children have the most difficulty with sharing because they’re in that “me-me-me” phase. Its hard thinking about others when your own needs are so pressing! But this should not make parents step back and say, “It’s a phase, they’ll grow out of it.” This is the time our kids need our guidance.
Here are some steps you can take to help your child learn about sharing and turn-taking:
Show and Tell: Make sharing a common topic of conversation in your home. When you are playing with your child, make his or her toys imitate the act of sharing. Or say things like, “Can I have a turn? Thank you! Now it’s your turn.”
Try using phrases like,” You sat in the front seat last week – now it’s your sister’s turn.” Or “Remember, everyone gets a turn at the game.” You can use these phrases when playing games like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders which are perfect for teaching turn-taking.
Turn the Tables: Don’t underestimate the value of sharing – meaning the impact sharing … (read more…)
By Amy Wall Lerman, Baby Bloomer Editor
I have this fantasy about motherhood that makes my life difficult: Aprons, cookie-baking, ironed sheets, schedules posted on the fridge, clean house with made beds. All this and I’d still have time for sock darning, starching collars, and “The Young and the Restless.” Yep, the whole “Leave it to Beaver” perfection complex.
Okay, I exaggerate slightly. I know the difference between black and white TV and Technicolor reality. But seriously, I did have certain preconceptions about what motherhood would be like and so far I’ve only been right about one piece of it. Maybe we all start out with the fantasy of being the “perfect mom” but what does that really mean anyway?
I started thinking about this as I pulled my arts and crafts supplies from the depths of my basement. Yanking the cobwebs off the large Tupperware bins, I started plotting the construction of my son’s Halloween costume. In looking for ideas online, I considered how easy it would be to just point and click and “abra cadabra” a costume would arrive complete in all its prefabricated glory neatly packed in an Amazon.com box on my doorstep without me lifting more than my index finger. Fight the urge. Fight the urge. What would Mrs. Cleaver say?
First let me say that I think I’m a decent enough mom. I worry about his nutrition. I worry about the television shows I let him watch. I give him … (read more…)
By Melissa Hart
Jonathan and I met over my bumper sticker which read “If I wanted to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I’d put shoes on my cat.” We didn’t want children. Then, about four years ago, we went on a kayaking trip with his niece and nephew (both adopted from Korea) and decided to adopt.
Two weeks after we adopted a 17-month old girl from Oregon’s foster-care program, my husband and I took her backpacking and swam with her in a frigid mountain lake. Our new daughter, Maia, met the challenge with a wide, delighted smile. Even though she could not yet talk, I suspected – watching her chow down on S’mores barefoot next to our campfire – that if she could articulate her feelings about her new parents, she’d say, “Bring it on!” Now Maia camps and swims in icy lakes, kayaks five hours at a time and has flown all over the United States. We couldn’t be happier.
Jonathan and I weren’t entirely sure how we’d fit a child into our life. We work as a professional writer and photographer, frequently collaborating on travel pieces for newspapers and magazines. We wanted to expand our family to include a child in need of a home, but we didn’t want to alter our adventurous lifestyle.
“So don’t,” our social worker said. “Children are resilient. Maia can simply go where you go.”
This proved to be true. We followed the wilderness trip with car camping weekends and hikes in … (read more…)