Part 3 of the Things Your Kids Want To Know (But Are Too Afraid To Ask) series.
I’m a bit of a reaction when you hear a parent answer that question with something along the lines of “I love you all the same!” I’m sad to say that I want to slap them and tell them to stop lying.
You cannot possibly love everyone the same because we’re all different people.
I love each of my kids for who they are, and I don’t love one of them more than I love another, but I don’t love them the same.
Maybe it’s just me.
I opened myself up to my kids a few weeks ago and asked each of them what they thought of the way they’d been raised and whether they had any questions of me.
This is the conversation I was dreading: the one with my eldest son.
Not because he’s not a great person or I don’t like him, but he’s scarily smart and a natural analyst and debater. He loves arguments (as I well know from his teenage years) and unless someone can convince him of something beyond (not always) reasonable doubt, and argue their point better than he can argue his, he won’t change his mind.
But what I’d forgotten is that Jamie can also come up with the most insightful, enlightening questions, which is what he did here.
While he did ask (only partly with his tongue stuck firmly in his cheek) which of my kids I preferred, what he wanted to know was what lessons I learned from raising each of the different children.
As always, Jamie made me stop and think…
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60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share 👩👧💖Have you ever wondered what your children REALLY think of your parenting style (but you’re too afraid to ask)💖👩👧I had a brainwave the other week: wouldn’t it be cool to ask my kids what they thought of my parenting style and how it’s affected them, what did and didn’t work, what they’d change, what they’ll keep for when they become parents. Then I realised what I might be opening myself up for and had a full-on meltdown: this was a thoroughly stupid idea. But I sucked it up and got on with it, mainly because I was curious to find out what they actually did think, and while I was totally hoping that they’d say, “No, you were awesome, Mum! I wouldn’t change a thing!”, there was also this macabre desire to find out where I went wrong and how I completely ruined my kids’ lives so I could beat myself up about it. In this episode, I speak to Kira, my 20-year old eldest daughter, who shocked me by turning up armed with a full-on list of questions as to why I did certain things and why I rarely conformed with what her peers (and their parents) felt was “acceptable” parenting. I’ve got to say right here that I was the subject of more than one meme among her friends for several (in)famous incidents, not least of which was Kira being grounded and missing her Year 11 Formal! Interestingly, we didn’t cover that in this chat, it’s definitely a fabulous subject for another time! Why was I adamant that I was not a friend to the kids as they were growing up?Why don’t I consider my kids were difficult teenagers? Why do I hate the way kids behave in American TV shows (vast generalisation here!) and why was I so vocal about that not being acceptable behaviour? How have John & I managed to stay together for so long (30 years!) and how come we never argue? () Why did I allow Kira to go to boarding school when she was 10 years old and how was that for me? That last question led to a very interesting conversation with Kira about her experiences of boarding at such a young age. Listen NOW on your favourite playerApart from the episode I did last week with my second son, Ryan (you can listen to that here), I also did a podcast a while ago talking about why I believe Boys Need Rules, but girls aren’t much different, to be honest. (you can listen to that podcast here)And NOTE: these are all my opinions. They’re not the only ones and they’re not the truth, they’re just what worked for me.If you want to read some books that I thought were absolutely brilliant (partly because they completely validated my own beliefs about parenting! 😜🤣) check out Celia Lashlie’s books.Celia was a prison officer in a juvenile detention centre who went on to be a psychologist and travelled round schools in Australia and New Zealand to talk to parents about teenage boys’ need for rules. More fabulous articles and podcasts 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share “How do you communicate with teenagers?” “How am I going to survive my kids’ teenage years?” “How am I going to keep a relationship going with my kids once they hit their teens?” For some reason, these questions have been coming at me lately, and having survived four lots of teenage years (five, including my own!), I’ve got a fair bit of experience at this. I’m not for one minute suggesting I’m an expert, mind, I just have opinions 😁 and approximately 25 years’ worth of trying to stay sane while my kids’ sanities were completely AWOL. To give an interesting perspective on this, I thought I’d have a few conversations with my kids on how they survived their teenage years, how the world (and my parenting in particular) looked from their perspective, and what they thought of the whole teenage years experience. In this episode, I talk to Ryan about how I pulled teenagers out of their avid and dramatic introspection (“the whole world is against me, no one understands me!”) and into understanding their place in the world, their impact on others and what’s really going on is just inside their own heads. And funnily enough, yes, other people actually do understand them because anyone older than them has been through the whole teenage thing themselves. Let me know if you enjoy it and what your thoughts are on the topic, and don’t forget to subscribe! 😘💖 PS Photo by the amazing & talented Kira O’Connor, who also survived her teenage years in my house! 😘 Click here to listen… Find Out More About Ryan And What He’s Up To Here… https://www.facebook.com/someonenewtheatre https://www.facebook.com/ryanjakeoconnor More fabulous podcasts and articles… 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share At the start of the year, if I’d been thinking about a word that was going to describe my experience in the coming year… …and to be honest, I didn’t do that because I didn’t follow my own advice and recommendations… …BUT if I had come up with a word, I can guarantee that it wouldn’t be the one that it’s turned out to be. Because this year – so far – has been all about connections. Despite the whole Coronavirus lockdown thing, I’m connecting with more people on a daily basis than I have in a very long time. So, while connections seems a strange word to describe life given what’s happening in the world right now, it also turns out to be the most accurate one. Which is just plain weird. Mind you, logistics and internet meltdowns notwithstanding, there are still any number of hiccups. I want to get honest, vulnerable and open in my connections with people. And it’s not always easy… More fabulous podcasts and articles 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share I did a degree in construction back in the 80’s. I was one of 6 women in the UK doing my job when I graduated, I worked on building sites for 5 years and I can hand on heart say that I RARELY experienced any sex discrimination in that time. In fact, I experienced sex discrimination a grand total of three times over that time. I remember each time clearly and I also remember that the man involved didn’t come out of the encounter… intact. My experience was, more than anything, that I had an advantage. Being a rare female in a male dominated industry had huge advantages for me and I had a great time. But over the last few years, I’ve been getting more and more uncomfortable with things. I have this growing, gnawing suspicion that women are growing less and less equal in many ways, it’s just that the inequality is becoming more and more subtle. It’s still there, it’s just pretending to be “freedom” and “self expression” and – I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for saying this – “strong, sexy woman”. I think that women absolutely have the right to be as sexy as they choose, but I also think that in reality (the current reality), it’s still all about objectification. That’s all I’m going to say here. Listen to the podcast, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. K xxx More fabulous podcasts and articles 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share I’ve never really experienced sex discrimination or gender inequality. At least, I didn’t think I had. Till I read a book and started doing some research and then I realised just how much of a difference there is between the way men & women are allowed to communicate (and I say “allowed” purposely). I also discovered what a massive difference there is in medical research for men and women (hint: it’s not equal). Having come out of a major operation to remove some ill-advised pelvic mesh, I’ve got some very interesting things that need sharing. I’m currently three weeks into an eight week recovery period, so while I can’t sit at my laptop and work for long (I can’t sit at all, really!), I do have a fair bit to share! And no doubt, more things will come out over the next few weeks. Listen to the podcast and enjoy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this K xxx Click here to listen to the Someone New Podcast Click here to watch “For The Love Of Fangirls” More fabulous podcasts and articles 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share I’m going to talk today about the big topic of motherhood. I’ve been online for about three and a half or so years now. And I generally avoid the topic of motherhood, and particularly the parenting side of motherhood. I’ll talk about the things that have happened with my children. But I don’t like giving parenting advice. And I don’t like giving my views on parenting… because people get so uptight about their own views on parenting and it just leads to arguments. I don’t want the conflict so I generally avoid it, being a big coward at heart. You know, I want everybody to like me like we all do, and I just want to keep the peace and yeah get everyone to like me. But I’ve had several conversations with friends who have younger children who’ve commented that the parents telling the children what to do is “old fashioned” and that parents these days “discuss” things with their children. There’s nothing wrong with discussion, I always explained what and why we were doing things with my kids and we’d have a conversation about it. But make no mistake: the final decision about what we were doing (and what the kids would be doing) was mine. So what I’m going to say today goes against a lot of the current beliefs about how to raise children because I believe that all children need strong rules and clear boundaries. And consequences. Read the article including the psychiatrist’s comments here More fabulous podcasts and articles Join the very sparse and succinct mailing list (just so’s you get notified when new podcasts and articles are released. Saves me letting you know through social media, right?) 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share I had no idea that a forceps delivery would have any impact on me. I was certainly upset by the bruises on my baby’s face but I honestly thought that an “assisted” birth was way better than having a Caesarean. Twenty five years later, I find out that I have major – and permanent – issues from that decision. To be fair, I don’t think the medical profession understood at the time what a forceps delivery actually does to a woman, they’re only just beginning to understand now. Twelve years ago, I had a pelvic mesh inserted to help with the prolapses from the forceps birth, the same pelvic mesh involved in the worldwide class action (you can read about the Australian class action here). The pelvic mesh started causing problems pretty much straight away and I had procedures to try to correct it in 2011 and 2012. The recovery period for the second operation was three months of no bending, no lifting my arms above my head, no picking anything up, and no driving, then twelve months where the most exertion I could do was walking. I’m just about to have another procedure to try to remove the mesh completely (they weren’t able to do that before) but fortunately, the recovery time shouldn’t be as long. This time, I only have six weeks of not being able to lift, pick things up, bend or drive. I’m not looking forward to it but I can’t wait for the mesh to be removed. If you had an assisted birth and are wondering what the possible implications might be, or if you have pelvic mesh, I’d love to hear from you to find out your experiences, so please get in touch 🙂 You can email me me via the link below or comment on the post or podcast or catch up with me via one of the social media links below xxx John with Jamie just after Jamie was born. You can see the marks from the forceps on Jamie’s forehead and nose. More fabulous articles and podcasts 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share When I started this podcast, one of the things I wanted to do was chat to my friends so they could share their stories. I love listening to people’s stories and I’m always left feeling deep respect for the things they’ve dealt with in their lives and the way they’ve dealt with them. Jo Dolan, the woman I’m talking to today, is one of those women. She’s highly educated, a volunteer fire fighter and former taxi driver who’s shaved her head twice to raise funds for cancer research. And she’s now a much sought after editor for PhD students. Twelve years ago, Jo’s daughter Kate discovered that she had a melanoma. You might think that having a melanoma isn’t a big deal, I know I didn’t. I thought you just went to the hospital, got it cut out, maybe take some drugs to help clear it up and then carry on with your life. But you might just make sure that you use more sunscreen and wear a hat. For Kate, the melanoma wouldn’t clear. After two years of treatment, the cancer got into her brain and Kate died aged 21. What became clear to Jo was that they actually knew very little of their family’s medical history and had they known more, things might – might – have turned out differently. In the ten years since Kate’s death, Jo’s started to turn her own experiences and insights into a way of helping and supporting other people going through the same kind of thing: being carers to their sick child. She’s now coming up to her final qualifications as a life coach as well as setting up a website. Her intention is to help people record their stories for two reaons: Firstly to hopefully to share them with their children or grandchildren. But at the very least to record family medical history so that medical professionals have every piece of medical information that they might need. You can contact Jo at: Her website is http://rightingwriting.com.au/ On Facebook, find her at https://www.facebook.com/joanna.dolan More fabulous podcasts and articles 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share Podcast Episode 9 It’s well known that insomnia can lead to depression and anxiety and vice versa, but there are a few things about sleep that I’ve discovered recently, along with the impact that social isolation can have on our mental & emotional state. Listen to the latest episode here: Resources Video Click here to watch the TedMed talk by Jeffrey Iliff – “One more reason to get a good night’s sleep” Recommended Reading: Note: these are affilliate links and I may get a small commission if you purchase anything. Click on the link on the right to read the full disclosure Sleep Affirmations: 200 Phrases for a Deep and Peaceful Sleep Kindle Edition by Jennifer Williamson Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams Kindle Edition by Matthew Walker Why We Can’t Sleep: Generation X Women’s New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun Sleep: Change the way you sleep with this 90 minute read by Nick Littlehales Apps to Help You Sleep Sleep Cycle: smart alarm clock. Sleep tracker to better health AutoSleep Track Sleep on Watch: Sleep Tracker & Monitor Brainwave Studio: relaxation, stress relief, sleep support, meditation and mind training system, with 40 sessions of nature sounds and ambient music. Affirmation Assistant: hundreds of positive affirmations or positive quotes. More fabulous articles and podcasts 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share
60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share I got asked an interesting question: would I expect to have to parent my partner? I have strong opinions about this aspect of Australian culture that’s always been a source of irritation for me. Plus Part 2 of my learnings and experience during the amazing Persistent Pain Management Program that I’m lucky to be a part of before my upcoming operation to remove the painful pelvic mesh. More fabulous podcasts and articles 60 SHARES Share on Facebook Follow us Save Share