From One Mom To Another: The Gift Of Perspective Is Everything, Huffington Post

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“You lift your eyes and there is a bird across the street perched on the topmost point of the firehouse bell-tower. Why does she just sit there? What does she see? You need to follow the way of this mama bird, to get up high above the trees so that you can know where you’ve been and where you’re going.

Truth is, the longer you’ve been a mom, the clearer are your failures. The blessing of perspective allows painful truths to emerge that often you picked at blades of grass instead of getting up high. You’ve regarded yourself as a good mom, yet as you gain distance from the early days of babies and toddlers, preschool and elementary school, from this place above the trees you can finally see.

Like that mama bird sitting up high in the tree, you stand now as a humble mom of 17 years, better able to discern where you’ve been and where you’re going. ”

Read in full on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathryn-streeter/motherhood_b_9686272.html

 

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A Longing More Than Met, Huffington Post

IMG_2684“Thumbing through an old journal, my eyes landed on a paragraph written after my daughter, then 13, emphatically announced that she did not like to read.

I felt the same raw emotion as when I first wrote the entry, though years had passed. From my earliest moments as a new mother, I’d longed for my daughter to experience the same enjoyment from reading and falling into a good book that I’d felt in my youth. I pictured us walking in tandem in our mutual appreciation for stories, unpacking plots and characters for each other as we bonded in conversation. Like opening up a secret tunnel, reading would be my path into her life just as it would be her path to healthy adulthood.

But somehow, for all my best efforts, I apparently wasn’t raising a daughter who loved to read. Yet what she had said on that day long ago in fact didn’t match her actions. Perhaps, in her floundering place somewhere between child and young adult, she had issued that statement as a challenge.

Wanna fight, mom?

Whatever the case, I was deeply grateful she felt safe enough to speak her mind.”

Read in full on Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathryn-streeter/love-for-reading_b_9596980.html

 

What Happened When I Quit Helicopter Parenting And Let My Kids Choose Their Own Path, Scary Mommy

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“But when I coddle, I hurt them. If I keep myself at the center of their universe, helicopter parenting and serving their every need, ultimately, the goal of independence is undermined. It’s much harder to stay in the shadows and watch my kids successfully dodge one bad decision only to perform a dramatic faceplant when the next major obstacle reveals itself. But how else will they learn?”

http://www.scarymommy.com/club-mid/quit-helicopter-parenting

 

 

What Happened When I Quit Helicopter Parenting And Let My Kids Choose Their Own Path

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“I’m a safety mom. A safety person, in fact. During a past ski trip, I consistently arrived back at the chairlift last, underscoring my obvious preoccupation with not hurting myself. I checked my speed the entire descent down the mountain. Speed is not my middle name.

My teens were ahead of me. And though cautionary words were on the tip of my tongue, I made no effort to prohibit them from their rapid downhill flight. I didn’t want to harden their resolve.

People who thrive are people who are being who they believe they were meant to be. That is exactly what I want for my kids, and probably pretty close to what you want, too. We want our kids to mature into independent young adults who can make wise choices on their own.”

Read in full on Scary Mommy: http://www.scarymommy.com/club-mid/quit-helicopter-parenting/

New essay just published on Literary Mama: “My Daughter-Who-Doesn’t-Like-To-Read”

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I believe a shared love for good books deepens relationships. In “My Daughter-Who-Doesn’t-Like-To-Read” I explain:

“Thumbing through an old journal, my eyes landed on a paragraph. In black pen, I’d scrawled, “My mind is spinning. She told me this morning that she doesn’t like to read for fun. Fiction, novels, mysteries—no, she’d rather be writing. A sobering confession. I tried not to lecture her.” She, our barely 13-year-old daughter, the other female in the family. I felt the same raw emotion as when I first wrote the entry, though four years had passed.

Even so, I understand her words differently now. I have come to refer to them as The Great Contradiction.

In 1998 I started my journey as a mother. Since I had been the quintessential bookworm in my 1970s youth, my determination to pass on a love for reading was as strong as Nancy Drew’s dogged perseverance in solving mysteries. School was an hour-long bus ride away and my earliest character obsessions were amateur detective Nancy and her buddies Bess and George. I read on the long ride to school and back, which resulted in my devouring one mystery per week as a third grader. As a parent, I wanted my daughter to feel the same enjoyment at being utterly enveloped by a story.

I’ve also always loved the ease with which good stories communicate truth and beauty, and I longed for my daughter to share that love. I pictured us walking in tandem in our mutual appreciation for reading, unpacking plots and characters for each other as we bonded in conversation. She would live vicariously through characters who would broaden her world, and they would teach her important life lessons better than I ever could. Like opening up a secret tunnel, reading would be my path into her life just as it would be her path to healthy adulthood.

Reality rarely squares with theory, let alone with dreams of what comes next. Somehow, for all my best efforts, I wasn’t raising a daughter who loved to read. Nevertheless, I was deeply grateful she felt safe enough to speak her mind.

Secure, she could tell me she didn’t like to read, crushing my hopes. Secure, she could hurl her dart at me, and though it found its mark, I knew that her declaration didn’t completely square with reality.”

Read in full on Literary Mama http://www.literarymama.com/litreflections/archives/2016/01/my-daughter-who-doesnt-like-to-read.html

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Want Attention In 2016? Read Shakespeare–In Public.

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What are your aspirations for 2016? Since this year marks the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death I felt prompted to update this piece for today’s readers (originally published on CSMonitor).

Want Attention In 2016? Read Shakespeare–In Public.

‘One New Year’s long ago awoke in me a desire to read one Shakespeare drama per month – a resolution that I renewed. With the exception of a few bumps, I’ve honored the promise, and today that resolution has turned into normal reading and won’t find its place on this year’s resolution list.

Shouldn’t this be the goal for resolutions – that they earn permanent places in our habits and outgrow the label of “resolution?”‘

Read in full on Mamalode.

 

The Days

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You lift your eyes and there is a bird across the street perched on the topmost point of the firehouse bell-tower. Why does she just sit there? What does she see? You need to follow the way of this mama-bird, to get up high above the trees so that you can know where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

Truth is, the longer you’ve been a mom, the clearer are your failures.

Read the essay in full on Mamalode.

 

 

But Is It Safe? Abandoning Helicopter Parenting So Kids Can Grow Up

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.28.47 PMWhat good are we doing when we dive in and rescue our kids? There comes a time when we need to let go, the most difficult parenting task of all. Sorry for the bad news. Time to stop crying and let go.

“I’m a safety mom. For starters, speed is not my middle name. During a past ski trip, the fact that I consistently arrived back at the chairlift last underscored this reality. My concern about staying safe informed my behavior. I checked my speed while descending the mountain.

Though cautionary words were on the tip of my tongue, I didn’t prohibit my teens from their downhill flight. I didn’t want to harden their resolve.

A person who thrives is being who they were meant to be. That’s exactly what my goal is for my kids, and probably yours touches on this theme in some way, too. We want our kids to mature into independent young adults who can make wise choices.”

Read in full: http://www.sammichespsychmeds.com/but-is-it-safe-abandoning-helicopter-parenting-so-kids-can-grow-up/

“Let Go Of Your Travel Agenda. Organic Adventure Will Catch You.”

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/let-go-of-your-travel-agenda-organic-adventure-will-catch-you/

This is it, folks—the full story on elephant journal. Originally published in a
condensed version by Great Moments in Parenting, I had a passion for seeing
this story more comprehensively understood, for the sake of begging the
question once and for all: shouldn’t we all just ditch our rigid travel
agendas? Isn’t it the bare unknown that is by definition adventure? You tell
me…