Are kids today more emotionally fragile than we were at their age?
Are said kids more entitled than we were?
This topic could spark debate for days. So this question came about as I watch my kids and their friends and then go back to the way I and my husband, my siblings and some of our friends were raised by our parents. And dare I say, my kids will never have survived in our household.
Growing up, it was understood that our job was to go to school, study hard and do well in school. And it was also understood that we had to do our share of chores in the household – cleaning, laundry, taking out trash and when old enough cooking and helping to take care of younger siblings.
On the school front, often I have come home with a grade of 97% and my parents have been known to say, ‘what happened to the other 3 points?’ Or if I placed 2nd or 3rd in class, they would say, did the kid that placed first have 2 brains? This behavior made us stronger and more competitive. It never made us inadequate or sad or depressed or anxious. It just made us work harder. They wanted us to be the best and we wanted it for ourselves too. And the competition was always to do better than we did on the last test, exam, race, paper, whatever. The competition was not against the other kids because it was already understood that we were better than them.
Contrast this with todays children, mine included of course. I can never imagine not praising or rewarding my kid for a 97% on a test. They would demand it! And what about chores? Do your children ask you to pay them for doing chores in the house? Mine do, and no they don’t get paid for doing chore. I do know people that pay their kids for chores though.
So why can’t we talk to them like our parents did us? I think a big part of it is that we as parents today fear pushing our kids too far for fear of pushing them off the ledge. Why did this work on us and won’t work on kids today? I don’t think there are any good answers but this is part of the emotional blackmail that we are subject to today as parents.
Do you remember your parents saying to you ( I think every parent has said this at some point) -‘I used to walk to school barefoot, uphill, in the snow(or snow equivalent), carrying my books on my head…’ I think our generation of kids actually believed it. My kids laugh when I try to say anything like that to them. First, I think our kids generation have photographic evidence of our childhoods that we did not, so our kids are less likely to believe us. Secondly our kids cannot imagine this because a lot of them have not had any hardships in life, so telling them about our hardships sounds like a fairy tale.
A possible huge factor in all of this is the whole social media and technology explosion today. We simply did not have all of this growing up. We had no cell phones(at least not cool ones), no video games, no endless TV shows and movies to choose from, no Google, no Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Tweeter etc. What all this means is that they are a generation that have both immediate gratification and no interpersonal skills. This is such a bad combination. I believe this lack of interpersonal skills makes one fragile to real life critique, failures and disappointments. The need for immediate gratification makes them feel entitled because everything you need is right at your fingertips.
We are stronger because we have learned to play outside with other kids and actually talk to them and learn all those nuances of friendship and connecting with others. We have also had to work for everything we have. If we need to do research, we go to the library or an encyclopedia instead of googling it. If we want a car or the new hot thing all the other kids have, we work after school to make some extra money. If mom and dad gave us extra, we are very appreciative because we understand that it is extra, not our right.
I hate to spout off problems that I see and not have any solutions for them. And I have to admit that I am one of those parents that fear pushing their kids off the ledge, but I’m lucky to have a partner who is onto the game. The key apparently is starting young. We consider young as early as preschool. Once children get to school, you have lost your window. The reasoning being that today’s kids are so much smarter and more advanced than we ever were. Their mental age at age one is the same as ours at age 6. So if you lay the groundwork from a young age, they are more likely to fall in line later on in life.
Laying down the ground work for us involves no social media or technology at home early on. They will get all of that at school. They should be involved in as much outdoor activity as you can get them into. There should be no televisions, computers or cellphones in the bedrooms and all must be shut down and not within reach at bed time. We did not let our children watch television on school nights and encouraged reading actual books not kindle when there was no homework to work on.
We do believe in the reward system. So long as the grades are good, chores are being done, and rules are not being broken, we give them what they ask for within reason.
These are just things that we have done that worked for our family and not meant to be the bible for raising kids. Hopefully those of my generation that read this can back me up a little and may have some other solutions. If so please share.
As always thanks for reading and leave your comments below.
This is not meant to be a morbid post, but I feel that from time to time we each have to think about our mortality. We all know that no one lives forever, yet we don’t like to acknowledge that fact. Knowing this fact, what I have started to think about lately is, “what is my legacy?’, ‘how will people remember me?’, ‘have I made a positive or negative impact?.’
We do not all have to be Steve Jobs or Barack Obama or Mother Theresa to leave any kind of legacy or impact in life. Our individual legacy or impact will be different. Some will be on a small scale and some will be on the big stage. As a matter of fact, I think it is important to start small. It may get big depending on where life leads you.
These are a few ways you can start to do small things that will leave an impact.
1- Be kind. They say charity begins at home. So true! This is so simple. Be nice to your siblings, parents, children, friends. Volunteer to help when they need help. Say kind words of encouragement whenever you can. Be supportive of them and their efforts especially if its not the norm. Give a helping hand to someone that’s struggling. Remember anything you give whether it is your time, or money will be repaid to you in multiples. I truly believe this!
2- Be socially conscious. Once you master kindness to close friends and family then it is easier to take it beyond. There are so many causes out there in need of support. Pick one or two or three- whatever you can handle and support it. Again support can be in the form of your time or money. A few ideas for causes out there are- Komen breast cancer foundation, St Jude children’s research hospital, American foundation for Suicide prevention, Alzheimer’s foundation, Foundation for the homeless, Global hunger foundation, Stop bullying Foundation, LGBTQ foundation and so many more.
3- Be a global citizen. So now that you are kind to your close people and you are involved in social causes around you, it is now time to take it global. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. All that’s involved for this is to pay attention to what is happening globally- racism, child trafficking, injustices to women, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution, lack of access to healthcare, and corruption. Watch the news and please do go beyond CNN and venture into BBC. Talk about these injustices, blog about it, post about it on social media so that more people are aware that it is going on. After all, we are all part of one race- the human race
4- Advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. This includes children, the elderly, disabled people and minority groups. Again start small- speak up if you hear someone use a derogatory term or racial slur or make an inappropriate joke.
5- Always be on the right side of history politically. We all know instinctively what is right and what is wrong but because of our political party affiliate often doing what is right or wrong is a whole other story. An example of this is: Let’s say you are in your 70s and your grandchild is studying the year 2018 in history class and asks what your stance was on the Syrian refugee crisis for instance. We know what the right answer to that is. But will that be the answer you give your grandchild? So, it is important to think beyond today as your actions have future impact.
These are just a few things that are important for us all to be doing as part of the human race. When you are no longer here these are some things that people may say about you:
He/she was very kind. Always ready to help, always supportive and always has something nice to say.
He/she cared so much about the homeless and their plight. They always donated food and clothes to the homeless. They also left donations in their will to several charities
He/she was always so concerned about lack of access to healthcare in certain parts of the world and made sure everyone supported The American Red cross and doctors without borders.
He/she was very passionate about the disabled and not only volunteered but would not hear anyone speak badly of them in their presense
He/she did not belong to any political party. They just wanted someone in office who would do the right things for the country so they fought for individual issues.
Does that not sound nice?
So, what will your legacy be?
Please leave your comments below.
As always, Thanks for reading
Friendship. Such a simple concept yet so complicated
I spent the past weekend with very dear old friends celebrating a milestone birthday. And it got me to thinking and reflecting about friendships in general.
The nuances, the subtlety, the intricacies of making and keeping friends is something we start to learn as early as kindergarten. We continue to hone these skills through elementary school and our teenage years. Even so, way into adulthood some of us never quite get it right.
Why don’t we start with the new Oxford American dictionary definition of friendship. They define a friend as a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection typically exclusive of sexual or family relations. Well that’s a good definition but to me, it does not really describe all the sentiments and emotion that go along with that word.
My definition of a friend or friendship is that relationship which is definitely exclusive of sexual or family relations. A relationship that is built in mutual respect and trust. One of emotional support for each other. A friend has knowledge of most of your secrets and is fiercely protective of those secrets and you. A true friendship is easy. There is
no very little drama, no jealousy and no competition. If there is any drama it is usually resolved quickly.
Unfortunately not everyone knows how to be a friend or how to maintain a friend. I consider myself someone who is a good friend and someone who also has maintained many good friendships over the years. I am very proud to say that I have friends from all stages of life that I stay in contact with. And it is not about talking daily or seeing them everyday. Without being boastful, I can honestly say that anyone that cannot be friends with me will likely not be able to be friends with anyone.
These 6 things are to me what makes a good friend:
1- Be there/make time. You and your friends are going to go through good times and bad times. Just be there when they need you to listen, to hold their hand, to wipe away tears or to laugh and celebrate good times. We are all very busy in our lives, but do make time for your friends. This will had a long way.
2- Just because. Again it’s not necessary to talk or see each other daily but do reach out from time to time to check in. Call when it’s not their birthday or a holiday and see what’s up. Drop by from time to time if you live close and see how they’re doing.
3- Be interested. What’s going on in their life at present. Was there a promotion? Did they start a new business? Did a kid graduate? Are they having personal, marital, children or career issues?
4- Know their family. Your friends immediate and if applicable some of their extended family should be like your family. Know their husbands, wives and kids names and birthdays – it helps to write this down somewhere especially if you have many friends and they have lots of kids and you have trouble keeping names straight.
5- The little things. If I’m out shopping and I see something that reminds me of my friend or something I think will look good on them, I buy it. Pick up the tab sometimes when you are out with your friend without keeping tabs on who paid the last time.
6- Be the vault. When your friend entrusts you with their innermost secrets, you are obligated to keep it to yourself
If you are able to keep these things in mind in your friend relationships, you will have no problems keeping your friends for life. If you are having problems keeping or maintaining good friends, there is a possibility you are the problem.
Try my suggestions. If you agree or disagree or have your own friend requirements, please comment below.
As always, thanks for reading
Do you ever get moments, days or weeks when it seems like you are walking in quicksand? When you feel like you are running faster and faster, but getting nowhere and no progress is being made. You feel like even though you are getting so much work done, there is still so much more left to do. These are usually the times when we are so completely overwhelmed that we can’t possibly see any way out of it. There are so many euphemisms for this. “your plate is full, ” your cup runneth over”, “you are over scheduled.”
I just call it plain old being stressed out.
This is not a good feeling and definitely not good for you, your health or those around you. Hence the title of the post because stress is definitely not your friend.
As a rule, I just don’t get stressed out and I refuse to be stressed out. This is a rule that I had established for myself some time ago. When I do get stressed, it is usually because I have not done all the things that I have set up over time in my life to avoid it. Some people work well under stress and yes I get it. But others like me, not so much because stress can have physical and psychologic manifestations. For me, it leads to lack of sleep, unattractive dark circles under my eyes, headaches, gastritis, weight loss, hair loss, irritability .and quick to temper/anger. A lot of current studies are now showing associations with developing cancers.
Over the past few years, I have figured out some relatively easy things to do to prevent stress so that I can function better. I will share them here and hope it helps someone.
1 – Never wait until the last minute. In other words, don’t procrastinate. What I do is, if I have a deadline in 7 days. It could be a paper due for school, a presentation at work, I give myself 5 days to be done. So I have 2 extra days to relax and put finishing touches if needed. I like to do many dry runs to make sure it all goes smoothly. I never wing anything.
2 – Make lists. See my previous post (I have lists for my lists). I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Say you have a party planned at your house or have company coming to stay with you or dinner guests, it is important to list everything you need way in advance. And I mean everything. From listing the menu for each day and each meal for your house guests, to grocery lists. And I go further and list everything I need to do to prep the house – bed linens, towels, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, check light bulbs, clean etc. It is so easy to forget something if not listed. Again get everything on your list ahead of time (see #1 above) and so the day or two leading up to the event is about relaxing and getting last minute things done
3 – Make sure to prep ahead. If you’re cooking for the party or guests, make some of your menu items ahead of time. Do all of the chopping and dicing the day before. This gives you so much more time on the day of. When I have houseguests, I don’t want to be tied to the kitchen the entire time making breakfast, lunch and dinner because then you are not enjoying your company. So I make some dishes ahead and freeze, so that all I have to do is heat it up. I also plan for my out of town guests to have one or two dine out meals, where we either order in from a restaurant or go out to eat. Catering if you can afford it is also a great alternative. And if it’s family or close friends visiting, you can share cooking responsibility with them unless you are like me and don’t want anyone in your kitchen
4 – Find quiet time for yourself, deep breathing, meditation, yoga or exercise. These are all proven ways to de stress. I always try to do any of these prior to any major event or when I start to find myself overwhelmed. It grounds me and allows me to re focus on what needs to be done
I believe that these 3 techniques above are so important to all of our wellbeing and hope you agree. Please feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts.
As always, thanks for reading
We have all heard the old adage, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Is that really true? All we have to do is eat an apple a day and be well? Now if it is that easy and doable why aren’t we all living forever. So what’s the catch and are apples really the way to being healthy?
Well, as a doctor, I can tell you that while apples are good for us, we need to do a little bit more than that to keep the doctor away.
What can we be doing right now to prevent illnesses and diseases? Here I have listed 10 things that are relatively easy to do that we can all be doing right now to prevent illnesses and diseases?
1- Eat healthy. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Choose cooking at home over fast food or take out. Make a choice to Broil or bake over frying your food. And finally, a plant based diet has been shown to be superior to meat based diet in cancer risk reduction. If you can’t go plant based just try to increase to ratio of vegetables to meat on your plate gradually.
2- Exercise. The recommendation is for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity at least 5 days a week. If you are able to join a gym then great but exercise is about being active. There are many ways to do it without joining a gym. Get yourself a Fitbit or any step counter. Set a step goal for yourself – 10,000 steps a day is ideal. You can walk with your dog or walk laps around a mall. Play with the grandkids and jump on the trampoline with them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. Pick the furthest parking spot from the entrance and walk those extra steps.
3- Hydrate. We humans are made up of 60% water so water is very important to our bodily functions. Eight 8 ounces glasses on the average is recommended daily. Get yourself a water bottle and drink up
4- Sleep. We should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night if we can. Our body needs this time to recharge. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and illnesses.
5- Sunscreen, seat belt and helmets. These save lives. Period. There are lots of data proving the benefits of these things. I don’t think I need to say more about this.
6- Health maintenance. It is important to see your doctor annually or more frequently if you are having problems. Be aware of chronic illnesses that you have and stay up to date with medicines that are prescribed for you.
7- Stress. Avoid stress at all costs. Yes, this is sometimes unavoidable. But do try as stress can break down our immunity making us more prone to diseases.
8 –Health screening. Screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer is very important. Women age 40 and up should get mammograms yearly. Women who are sexually active should get Pap smears every 3 years or more frequently depending on previous results. Men and women 50 years old and over should get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer.
9- Meditate. Take a few minutes everyday for yourself. Take several deep breaths and clear your mind. This is a great way to recharge and de stress
10- Be honest. Always choose to tell the truth to yourself and others when you can. Lying or holding things in can lead to emotional and physical stress. And we all know that stress is not good for our body.
These are all relatively easy and doable ways to jumpstart a healthy you and keep the doctor at bay. And as always, before embarking on any new exercise or physical activity consult with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you
If you have comments, questions or want elaboration about anything I have mentioned in this blog, please feel free to comment below or email me.
Again thanks for reading,
Week 4- Puzzle
I stand before you mother Earth, naked in birth and naked in death
I am born. Then I live. Finally I die.
The science of birth and death is known and unknown
The mystery that is life is overwhelming
I stand before you mother Earth naked in my ignorance
The vastness that is you, the cumulation of land and water
The existence of sun, moon, stars and all the planets
What about air, rain, snow, sand, grass?
Who am I? Where do I fit?
What is the meaning of it all?
I am in awe of you mother Earth.
Is it just me or has friendships become so much more meaningless lately? It seems that we have a lot more friends but the feeling and meaning behind it is gone. I personally feel that this has a lot to do with social media. It used to be that people had their one friend or group of friends that you either called on the phone to talk ( remember those days?) or sometimes visited in each others homes and occasionally go out to dinner or movies or whatever. These were “your people”. They knew everything about you. They knew where you grew up, which siblings you get along with and which you were currently not talking to. They knew the names and birthdates of your children. They would spend time in your home and you in theirs and sometimes you would even vacation together.
Today our friends are facebook or instagram friends. These are the people I consider superficial friends. They may be people you went to high school with back in the day. Or that cousin that lives in Alaska that you have not seen since you were both toddlers. Or a co worker from your last job. Or parents from your kids schools. They really know nothing about you other than what you want them to know which is basically what you post on social media. They wish you happy birthday and congratulate your achievements only because facebook prompts them to do so. They are voyeurs looking into our lives from the outside. Let’s face it, no one posts the negatives so we are driven to onstantly want to one up or show off to our friends how perfect out lifes are.
This current state of frendships in the world has made me overall very guarded and cautious. I am by nature a very friendly and social person. Therefore, I have many “friends’. I put friends in quotations because I have a very different definition and approach to friendship than many people do. On the whole, I have several groupings of friends. I have the friends that are ‘my people or my real friends’. Then I have my intermediate friends and finally my superficial friends.
My real friends or those people that I call “my people are those close knit group of people that know me best. They don’t only know me but they know my family which includes my parents, siblings, spouse, children. They have been to my home and I to theirs. I can talk to them abut anything. They know things about me that I trust they will carry on to their graves and vice versa. These are people that I trust implicitly which is a key part of friendsip. To me friendships should be EASY. If it becomes work or difficult and full of drama then it is definitely not worth it. These close friends are people that I don’t necessarily see everyday or speak to often or even live close to. But once we get together everything falls into place.
My superficial friends are my social media friends. They know what I want them to know, but they will not have the security codes to my home. The intermediate frients are in between and can basically go back and forth. So is it possible for an intermediate friend to overtime become one of your people? For someone with trust issue, like me that takes a lot of time. Ande yes it is possible for an intermediate friend to become a superficial friend. If so, can a real friend become an intermediate or superficial friend? Well the incidence of this happening is very rare as my real friends have been thouroughly vetted, smetimes over years.
So really, having 1000 friends on facebook or many likes on facebook and instagram posts, does not translate to real life friends. Pay attention and foster friendships with the living, breathing people in your life. Don’t put so much effort into gathering superficial friends that are there for your successes and equally there to see you fail.
Please let me know your thoughts on this topic
I am so excited to be part of this weeks masters of writing flash fiction challenge- week 3. The word promt for the week is lost. Thanks Pia for inviting me to participate.
Here it goes:
This is perfection, I thought as I laid my head on your shoulders and you caress my face. Me and you. You and me. Just being and drowning in our love. We talk deep into the night making plans for our future and relish in the long life we have ahead. I am not sure when I finally fell asleep, but I woke up with a start and feel for you next to me. Nothing. I try to remember the feel of your hands and what we had talked about. Nothing. It is lost to me as you are, forever.
Hello again fellow bloggers. This is a little late but I was nominated for the sunshine blogger award by JBlaide and life by the pages. These are 2 boggers with incredibky original content that I enjoy. So please go check out their sites.
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award given from a blogger to fellow bloggers to recognize each other. This award was given because he/she considers my blog to be inspiring , positive and brings sunshine to the lives of its readers”.
I hope you too find inspiration in my site!
Sunshine Blogger Award Rules:
-Thank the blogger who nominated you.
-Answer the 11 questions asked.
-Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
-List the rules and include the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.
Questions from life by the pages
1. If you could tell your teenage-self anything, what would that be? Be patient. Life gets so much better after high school
2. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? So many places. But Cape town South Africa comes to mind
3. What is your favorite film or book growing up? I was not big into movies growing up but I enjoyed Nacy Drew, The Hardy boys and Agatha Christie
4. What kinds of things bring you joy? My children, Running
5. How do you handle fear in your life? Head on
6. Where are you from? I was born in Nigeria and have lived in the US since age 11
7. What would you like readers to take away from your blog? I want to share how I balance my everyday hard work with my life after work
8. What is your favorite quote? Work hard, play hard
9. Please link your favorite blog post- yours or someone else’s and tell us why is it your fave. Balancing life with jovita
10. What is one thing you hope to achieve in 2018? World peace. No really, I want have a successful blog
11. Do you honestly read the blogs from people that you followed? Yes I try to dedicate a day a week to catch up with all of
Questions from JBlaide
1. What is your favorite smell? Baking bread
2. What of your traits do you think define you? Empathetic
3. In a parallel universe, what do you do for a living? I am an author
4. What makes you feel most confident? When I am taking care of myself- eating healthy and exercising
5. What is your favorite story? The story of creation
6. Are you a reader or a viewer? A reader
7. What is your biggest bucket list item? Travel to Antarctica
8. What is your least favorite taste? Wasabi
9. What is the happiest moment of 2018 thus far for you? The start of my blog
10. What is your favorite holiday and why? Christmas. This is a time of year when everyone for the most part are happy and oh the Xmas carols
11. Do people change or just circumstances? I think circumstances change
My nominees: Any of my followers that want to participate.
Where do you live? Do you have children? Do you have pets? What is your favorite color? What is your favorite pizza? Do you exercise? Do you own a bicycle? Do you come from a big family? Do you like to cook? New York or LA? Paris or Milan?
I can’t wait to see your answers!