Archive | January, 2012

What About Our Girls?

25 Jan

I saw this on a friend’s facebook page and at first I was shocked by the picture on her page since I work with her. Then, I watched the video and I have done nothing but think about it since I watched it.

Have you seen this?

What do you think?

I can’t decide if I should put my thoughts here or see what you ladies think first…

Maybe, I’ll add my commentary later.

Advertisements

Moments Like These

25 Jan

That is a toddler have a fit, a tantrum, a melt down; comes with the territory of being two and three. Today I experienced a tantrum more like this:

Remember her? From Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory? Spoiled Brat! She demanded her every want and desire and threw a fit if she didn’t get it. Missy Mack resembled her today, but with a spinning head. How I didn’t have a Mommy Dearest moment, I am not sure. I seriously was speechless, a little unsure how to react and holding back the laughs at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Here’s what went down:

Last week, our school had this big new fundraiser where the kids receive pledges for laps that they run, and they get prizes and each day the people who run the event, come into their classrooms and pump them up and teach a character lessons. BTW, if you are one of those people who organizes fundraising for your school, check out Boosterthon, we had a fun week and raised a lot of $. Anyway, the principal challenged the school to get a pledge from the 50 states. If the school met this challenge, she would dye her hair pink. We achieved this goal, so she declared Friday, Pink Hair Day.

After school today, my BFF, me and Missy Mack went to Sally’s to purchase pink hair extensions and pink spray for people at school.  We were pumped and excited for our little field trip. We go in and find the spray and some pink feathery extensions that happen to be on sale so we get two (one for me and one for Missy Mack). We are walking around looking at other intersting things and I tell Missy Mack that we are going to share the extensions. One for her and one for me. She sticks out her bottom lips and starts whining and complaining, ‘I don’t want to share’. So, I love and logic her.

‘You have a choice, we can get those two hair extensions and share them or we can’t put them back and not have them to wear on pink hair day.’

MM: ‘I don’t want to share. I want them all for myself.’

Me: ‘I am not buying something special for someone who isn’t willing to share.’

MM: ‘ I want them! I don’t want you to have them.’

More pouting.

I repeat the choice and get more resistance, but worse.

I head back to the aisle  where the pink spray came from and put it back. She follows, complaining. I explain that we don’t have to participate in Pink Hair Day and I am not spending my money on a girl who talks to me like that.

She hugs the hair extensions and declares that she will not let me put those back.

More screaming about wanting them.

I put my purse on the counter and have to basket hold my daughter and forcefully yank the hair out of her hands and she jumped up and down and yelled at me that she wanted them.

I throw dollars at my friend to purchase the new brush I picked out and carry Missy Mack kicking and screaming out of the store.

I calmly lean down and explain that it is not ok to behave like that or talk to your mother that way. Then, I say, I am getting in the car and driving home, if you would like to go with me, you need to get in the car. Otherwise, you will be left here.

She screams in my face that she is going to throw away the money in my purse away and all my stuff. She is jumping, red face, screaming. Just screaming.

I get in the car, I shut the door and she charges after me and start pounding on the window really hard. The woman who witnessed this fun scene in the store was now staring at Missy Mack and I on the sidewalk. I wanted to yell at her, ‘what are you looking at?’.

Missy Mack finally got into the car and continued to yell at me while our friend was inside making her pink hair purchases.  She continued to make threats at me. I ignored.

She cried for the next 15 min.In the car, loudly, while I was driving in the rain.

I kept stopping the car and telling her I was going to have to let her out of the car if she didn’t stop because it was too dangerous.

She finally stopped and then acted like nothing happened.

Consequence?

No pink hair day for her. She had to write me a letter of apology. We are thinking of taking a bday party this weekend away. We truly are at a loss as to how to punish for this. Do we let it go and move on? Do we take more things away? Does taking the birthday party away fit the crime.

I’m not sure.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Great cherry on top? Now that we are home, she is acting all sugary sweet and compliant. WTF!

Do I have a devil on my hands at 6 years old?

Praising Your Children

24 Jan

Recently, I was asked to write an article for a message sent out to our staff. It was well received by the staff so it was sent out to the school. Since  this is a mommy blog of sorts and it was about parenting, I thought  I’d share here:

I invited parents of my students into my classroom to discuss Fixed vs. Growth Mindset. Last year, I became interested in Carol Dweck’s work from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This book has many things to ponder about parenting, business,Psychology of Success. This book has many things to ponder about parenting, business, school and relationships. I am particularly interested in the parent/child relationship, not just for myself, but for the parents of my students. Carol Dweck has done many studies on the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence is a fixed trait leaving children to be concerned for how they are judged and less likely to take a risk since their intelligence is what it is. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is malleable and can grow with effort leaving students more agreeable to take on challenges because with effort comes success.

Now, this book brings about a very uncomfortable battle within my belief of gifts and talents, which is intelligence is not born, but it grows. Can we teach intelligence or are we just born that way? The book brings up several examples of well known people with gifts that were taught and nurtured, not just being born that way, such as Michael Jordan, whose basketball coach in high school told him he would never amount to much. This is a deep and complex thought for me that I still wrestle with because of the way I was taught. The book also has examples of studies that
have recently been discussed on television and NPR about a social experiment with two groups given a test. For the study, researchers divided 128 fifth-graders into groups and gave them a simple IQ test. One group was told it did really well and must be very smart. The other group was told it did really well and must have worked hard. One group was praised for intelligence, the other for effort. Asked if they wanted to take a slightly harder test, the kids praised for their intelligence were reluctant. Of those praised for their effort, however, 90 percent were eager for a more challenging task. And on a final test the effort group performed significantly better than the group praised for its intelligence. Many of the kids who had been labeled “smart” performed worst of all. The “hard workers” got the message that they could improve their scores by trying harder, but the “smart” kids believed they should do well without any effort.

My parent discussion focused on praise. Part of my interest started because I have a close friend who recently was promoted to a managerial position in his large well known corporation. Part of his training was about how to deal with the new generation of hires in their company because they come from the ‘Praise Generation’. You know the type, they have never been a loser at anything, their teams never kept scores, they were raised to believe that they were fabulous, smart, wonderful, brilliant and above all, a winner! Because of this mentality, these types don’t handle failure well, they don’t take initiative in a challenge and have little problem solving skills.

How did we get this way? How have we managed to grow a culture of belief in brilliance with
little effort? It is all about our mindset.

Here are two videos that are short, sweet and help with an understanding how to change our mindset in the way we praise.


I’ve said it a thousand times to my students and my own child; ‘You are so smart that you figure that problem out! Way to go, you are brilliant’! What is so harmful about positive praise?

Here it is, the truth, every word and action a child receives from a parent, teacher, coach, friend sends a message. Tomorrow, listen to what you say to children and tune into the message you are sending. Are they messages that say: You have permanent traits and I am judging them? OR are they messages that say: You are a developing person and I’m interested in our development?

Of course, I have a twitter reference because as I was writing this Friday Focus, I read this link on
twitter: The Trouble With Bright Girls. Intriguing? Yes. Here is the article the tweet sent me to
and it is very related to the praise messages, but this time it is focused on gender.

When you praise a child’s intelligence or talent it is from a fixed mindset. Instead, focus on the process they used- their strategies, their efforts or their choices.

Go forth and praise thoughtfully.

Wrong On Many Levels

23 Jan

When we went to the retro candy store, we let Missy Mack pick two things for herself that she could buy. She picked a grow your own girlfriend and some piece of candy. I can say she did go back and forth between the girlfriend or the boyfriend, whatever.

The grow your own girlfriend was forgotten about and not mentioned, to my relief.

She found it found it and grew her girlfriend.

Sick

And

Wrong.

20120122-204513.jpg

20120122-204639.jpg

A Miracle has Occurred

19 Jan

Seriously.

I wish I had taken before pictures so that you could see the actual miracle that has occurred.

This weekend Mr. Mack cleaned our nasty ass garage. I mean nasty. It was out of control. We could barely open the car doors. There is the beautiful clean wide open space in the garage. I have never seen anything like it. It is truly amazing. He even swept. I am so happy everyday that I open the garage door.

Thanks, Mr. Mack, I heart you!

and that cute little dog!

All Things New and Fun

17 Jan

A new year brings new things. While they are just things, there are some that I just truly love. Like my surprise from my mom from my mom. Aren’t these fine?

Great part is, they are also comfy, comfy, comfy! I am not brave enough to wear them outside of my jeans. I totally love them.

Missy Mack’s Mimi sent these fun old fashion PJs that she made her, aren’t they cute?

If you look really closely, you will notice that Missy Mack has lost one of her front teeth. That is 5 people. We can’t keep up. She now has a giant window on the top of her mouth. I think I cry every time she loses a tooth. Why do they have to grow up so quickly?

Mr. Mack and I saw this in a fancy chocolate store over the holiday and thought is was so funny that we had to buy it. Now, where to put it?

I also wanted this mug from Starbucks and with some gift cards from my students, I treated myself. I was gonna get one for a blog giveaway, but then it brunt when I heated up. Total bummer. I decided no one else should have one if is catches fire. It is perfect for me, Let’s Merry!


I have a board on my pinterest for fun nails. Missy Mack’s class has been learning about penguins this week so I tried this one out.

Mine aren’t as good. I don’t have right stuff, but I did my best and since my subject was a wiggly 6 year old. Here’s my version:

Friday, I got some baby love. A friend from school met us for happy hour and I got to hold this sweet angel and Missy Mack was just in love.

(If you notice our friend, who has cancer, is over to the right, and she has a new thing in her life- HAIR! She is so happy)

And now I have a little dog curled up next to me as I am paralyzed in fear watching Soul Surfing. Have you seen it?

Meet Scruffy

16 Jan

I was certain after we put our beloved Lucy to sleep last New Year ‘s Day, I would never have another dog. As Christmas approached I noticed I was pinning pictures of cute dogs on my pinterest. Mr. Mack noticed I was gushing over dogs in commercials and said, I think it’s time for a dog. We started looking at the pounds website, looking on petfinder, telling friends and discussing it with Missy Mack. It was fun. She was excited. I started having fantasies about Missy Mack opening a box with a puppy from Santa on Christmas morning.

Then a few weeks before Christmas, Missy Mack tells me that she tells me she has decided that she doesn’t really want a dog anymore. When I ask why, here is what she says:

‘I don’t want the dog to eat my barbies, I don’t want to clean up after it and I am afraid that a new dog would take the place of Lucy in our hearts.’

Sweet baby girl!

My response:

“Well, nothing will ever take the place of Lucy in our hearts and Mommy WANTS a dog even if you don’t want one.”

Missy Mack:

“Mommy, having a dog is a WANT, not a NEED. You don’t NEED a dog. ”

We went to the pound with Missy Mack and looked. She spent the whole time trying to convince us to come home with a dog that day. We talked with her about how we had to find the right dog for our family and the day we visited, they didn’t have the right dog for us. She has asked every day since that visit if I have looked on the website and found a dog that is right for us.

Last week, my BFF sent us this photo from her vet.

Then we found this photo of the same dog.


I spent this week writing e mails back and forth with the vet finding out more about Scruffy. Yesterday, we went to pick Scruffy out for a try out with the Mack family. If he works out, he will be our McScruffy or McTruffle.

He is the cutest, sweetest and tiniest thing I have ever encountered. A true snuggler.

The cat has been in hiding so that’s whose approval we are waiting on. We are also having trouble getting him to sleep in an appropriate place without barking!

If he works out, we keep him!

Look at that sweet boy!