By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Stack
Easter always makes me feel like anything is possible. That miracles and new beginnings are just around the corner, waiting to be experienced. This Easter was no different. And neither was my first Easter as a mother.
Ten years ago on Easter Sunday, I stood in church crying tears of pure joy, grateful for the blessings God had given my family. Our son, Win, had just been born 7weeks earlier -- 10 weeks before his due date -- weighing only 3 pounds, 13 ounces. Yet somehow, miraculously, sweet Win had thrived from the minute he graced this earth. He never experienced any of the issues typically faced by preemies his age and size. In fact, the doctors were so amazed by his progress, they deemed him ready to go home after just three short weeks in the Neonatal ICU. His miraculous health was the reason for my tears and gratitude that Easter Sunday. We truly had reason to celebrate.
But sadly, three short weeks later, I was crying very different tears. On May 3rd, Win’s scheduled due date, God welcomed Win into His loving arms and we kissed our sweet baby boy goodbye for the very last time. Read More
By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Stack
By Guest Blogger Jennifer Richwine, author of The World Spins Madly On
Today I threw away an entire pantry shelf, and it felt amazing. I bought this house fifteen years ago, and for over a decade I've been fighting with this shelf that never performed the one duty for which it was designed. One night early in 2000 I decided to clean out the pantry, rearrange it so I knew where everything was and throw out what was out of date. And as I moved all of the soup and vegetable cans to one particular shelf, it collapsed under the weight. What I quickly understood was that this wasn't the first time the shelf had fallen. It had obviously been jury rigged by the previous owner, with pegs that didn't quite fit in the holes that had been drilled into the pantry walls. Over the years I've been to the hardware store numerous times, taken measurements, photos on my iPhone, purchased a variety of pegs and fillers, supports and products guaranteed to fix the problem. But nothing ever worked. The shelf collapsed under even the smallest weight, or tilted so far to one side nothing would stay on it. And it frequently betrayed me with no warning, sometimes falling in the dead of night, waking me up with my heart racing as its contents clattered to the floor. I tried to pretend it didn't exist ... every time I opened the pantry the perfectionist in me avoided looking at the shelf that taunted me with its glaring flaws. Read More
By Guest Blogger Trish Rohr
As the nurse put her arm around my shoulder and walked me to the doors leading out of the ER, I knew that was the moment my life would change permanently and never go back to what it was before. There was a mass in my husband’s head. He was being taken by ambulance to a larger hospital in town, and I had to get in my car and actually drive to the ICU. Surreal.
That was over three years ago, and the lessons I have learned about life, love, faith and hope are endless. I know this with 100% certainty – I am living my best life. Right here and right now. This is THE only life I am going to get, and it is fully up to me to decide how I will live it. Read More
By Rachel Hoeing
"You have to accept yourself and love yourself just the way you are. You are what you are, and that is all you are. You don't need to pretend to be something else. When you pretend to be what you are not, you are always going to fail."
These words are so powerful. They come from an author I admire, Don Miguel Ruiz. I read his book "The Four Agreements" a few years ago and just recently read it again along with his book "The Mastery of Love." Both are extremely quick reads (just a few hours) but contain a wealth of knowledge within the pages. Both books are also worth reading again and again. I feel that so many of us can benefit from his teachings. Read More
By Guest Bloggers Melanie A. Cole, MEd, EdD, NCC, and Barb Andresen, RD, LDN
The best gift you can give your children in teaching them about their bodies is to role model and to teach respect; respect for themselves, their bodies, as well as respect for others.
This respect comes from helping them learn to communicate with their body. Similar to teaching kids how to verbally communicate, this is a skill that can be taught and learned.
Communicating with their bodies will assist them throughout their entire life. What their body is saying, what messages the body is trying to relay and how to respond appropriately is the key to keeping ourselves safe and healthy. Responding to our bodies does not always mean responding with food. Read More
By Guest Blogger Regina Alexander, MSW, LCSW
Someone recently said to me, “It’s scary to be the parent of a teenager these days.” I agreed – there are so many problems that teens face and so much pressure to fit in that sometimes it seems we don’t even know our own children anymore. I think there is more to that statement, though. Adolescence has always been an intimidating stage of life, and with the advent of social media the gulf that opens up between child and parent at this point seems to be getting wider and wider. Parents see their little darlings suddenly slam doors in their faces and proclaim the activities they have always enjoyed “lame” or “stupid.” Many parents of teens hold their breath each morning to see what mood their kid is in that day, and again when school ends. Read More
By Katie Moosbrugger
This post ran a year ago, but now that I'm a daughter of a fourth grader, I think - and stress - about this topic all the time. You’d think every mom should be an expert on this subject, but we all know we're not. If you’ve been through this scenario, please add your tips as a comment below for us newbie moms. What worked for you? What should we avoid? Check out some of the comments we received last year too. ~ Katie
I was an early bloomer. If you know me, you’ll laugh when I tell you I actually had the biggest boobs in the fifth grade. For just being 11 years old, I remember it being a pivotal year with a lot of “firsts.” It was the first time I bought a bra. The first time I had a “crush” on a boy. The first time I learned how to do a back hand-spring. And it was also the first time I got my period. Read More
By Guest Blogger James Raper
Before reading, check out this video first. First, it’s just funny. Second, it just might be relevant to the rest of this post.
For my day job I’m a therapist at a university. That means that much of my time is spent working with college students who are seeking support/help/consultation for a wide range of issues – from a relationship break-up, to relatively severe mental health concerns, to everything in between. Our campus has a large portion of very high achieving students, and with high achievement also often comes perfectionism. For some of these students, getting a 93 on an Organic Chemistry exam truly feels like “failure” and is a sure sign that they will no longer be able to go to medical school (and if they don’t go to medical school, they are failures as people). Read More
By Guest Blogger Tracy Roche, Prevention Consultant at Alcohol & Drug Services
As many may know, Glee actor Cory Monteith, passed away this weekend from a suspected overdose. Social media was flooded with sympathy, beautiful thoughts, and prayers for friends and family. There were also insensitive comments like, “if it was a drug overdose, he only did it to himself.”
Responses such as this date back to the time when we thought addiction was due to a lack of willpower or a moral defect. Now, science is teaching us that addiction is a brain disease. Its “symptoms” shown through behavior.
The earlier teens start to experiment, the more likely they are to have problems later in life. Monteith started using drugs at age 13 and entered rehab for the first time at 19. He was open and honest about his past struggles with addiction. By all accounts, Cory was committed to his career, loved ones, and living drug free. Recently, he successfully completed another round of drug treatment. No one saw this coming. Read More
By Guest Blogger Debbie Wilkins
“Don’t make me a single mom. You know I couldn’t handle it.”
This was the phrase I always told my husband Aaron before he’d go on camping excursions. These words now ring eerily in my mind. Because I am now a single mom.
My husband of 11 years, the father of our 4 sons, died tragically this past August. I still shake my head in disbelief every time I say, think, or write that. In an instant, my worst fear became my reality. An unchangeable reality. I am a widow and our children (ages 9, 7, and 5 year old twins) are fatherless. How is this possible?!
I wonder if you are in a “valley” right now. You cannot believe you are facing such a brutal trial. You are unable to handle this. You know what? You’re right. You can’t. You’re crushed, persecuted, abandoned, lonely, suffering. I think, no, I KNOW, that this is too much for you. Much like my husband’s passing, it is too heavy a burden to bear. Read More
By Rachel Hoeing
In our lifetimes, we will all have different crosses to bear. The way we handle them and the way we survive those challenges will make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. It can make the cross-bearing event a nightmare or we can turn it into something positive.
One of the crosses I have carried in my life is losing my parents within three months of each other, when they were only 63 and 67. I have been skeptical to write too much about their passings, as I don't want to always seem morbid or a downer, but one of the ways I can work through my grief and help others is by sharing what I have learned.
Whether you have one parent still living, both parents, or your grandparents, I hope you can take some of my words to heart. Read More
By Rachel Hoeing
Have you ever had one of those days where you seem to drop everything you touch, trip on anything in sight, mess up any task you have been given, and just want to break down and cry for no reason? You may be going through some real issues, but it may just all be part of the cycle of life!
Back in high school, my Calculus teacher taught us about biorhythms and they still amaze me to this day. In no way do I use these to the point where they would conflict with religious beliefs or anything of that nature, but it sure does make me feel better when I seem to have had one of "those days." Read More
By Guest Blogger Allison Chapple, MS/EdS, LPC, NCC
Pregnancy is a time of nervous, but exciting, anticipation of a brand new life. Many women experience morning sickness and fatigue in the first trimester, unexpected body changes in the second and physical discomfort in the third, but they know all of these symptoms will all come to end once the baby is born. But what most women aren’t prepared for is the “Fourth Trimester,” otherwise known as postpartum. Women especially might not be prepared for the negative feelings that often arise with the addition of a new family member.
The term postpartum depression (PPD) often brings to mind people like Andrea Yates, the Texas mother who killed her five children by drowning them in the bathtub while in a cloud of postpartum psychosis. While tragic events like these do occur, PPD does not typically present in such a severe way. More commonly, new mothers experience the “baby blues,” a term for the short-lived mood swings and weepiness that occur in the first few weeks after birth in one-half to three-quarters of new mothers. By contrast, PPD is a more long-lasting, severe mood state which affects general functioning. The symptoms of PPD, which can emerge anytime from the first few days following birth up until a year post-delivery, include: Read More
By Rachel Hoeing
We don't usually address current events on our website, but after watching the news unfold today I felt compelled to write something. As mothers, I know we all sat down and cried as we thought of those who lost a child in this horrible elementary school shooting. God Bless the students, staff and families affected by this tragedy. They will all be in our thoughts and prayers.
It is easy in times like these to "give up" on humanity. It is easy to talk about being scared for our future and terrified of the world in which we live. It's easy to say "look what our world is coming to" and feel dread. It is easy to be pessimistic, because unfortunately bad things do happen every day all around us. But don't forget that good things happen, too. One of our team members shared this quote today from Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) and it gave me comfort: Read More
By Julie Smith,
Director of Parent Learning
at Summit School
Summit School, founded in 1933, believes in educating the whole child and the whole family. Three years ago educators and parents at Summit began the Inspiring Learning Series. This program is a way to take the innovative ideas about teaching occurring on the Summit campus and extend them to the wider community. It is an invitation to the whole community to join this conversation, ask questions and have meaningful conversations. Together we can think about how to be lifelong learners in our rapidly changing world. The Inspiring Learning Series is a tangible way to strengthen the parent-school partnership. It is a REAL way for parents to have a voice in the education of their children. It is intended to reach out to the entire Winston-Salem/Forsyth County community (and beyond). It is designed to raise questions such as: Read More
By Rachel Hoeing
Many children and teens suffer from anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, and other issues. It is often difficult to get good referrals and information because parents are not always comfortable discussing the problem with others. To assist our readers, we always try to post businesses and services that we, or our readers, personally recommend so that you will know the service is mom-approved. We put out a call for anonymous recommendations of local counselors last year and compiled the list below. If you have anyone to add or edit, please feel free to email us! We hope this list will be helpful to many of you.
This list will always be available on our Directories Page. Read More
By Guest Blogger, Cristin Whiting, PsyD
Why is it so hard to ask for what you really want?
Everyone has had the experience…
Maybe you want a raise or a promotion at work. Maybe you have admired someone for a long time and you want to move your relationship from a friendship to a romance, or maybe you want a certain kind of physical affection from your partner. (Let’s face it money, love and sex are really the big places most get hung up.)
At first blush, asking for what you really want takes bravery or courage. Even with the most artfully phrased and well-reasoned requests, you still can’t be certain what response you will get. Yet, while the element of uncertainty is part of why people get so tripped up when it comes to asking for what they want, there is more to it than that… Read More
By Guest Blogger, Dr. William Satterwhite
One of my deepest sorrows has been the gradual erosion of true “play” for children in the 21st century. People who grew up in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s spent large chunks of their childhoods playing make-believe games with their friends. Whether it was playing ‘house’ or pick-up baseball in the yard, the children set the rules, made the teams, and worked out their disagreements. By law in North Carolina, children didn’t have to start school until first grade, and many did not. For those who went, five year old kindergarten was a half-day, and its primary purpose was play. Reading and writing and sitting still were (and still are) six to seven year old skills. It was widely and accurately recognized that children learned by and through play.
By the mid-1990s and 2000s, things had dramatically shifted. Our society decided that unstructured play for children was a waste of time and that real learning only occurred in structured settings. Rote memorization of facts became more highly valued than learning through play and guided activities. Adding to the intensity of structured learning was the myth that parents are largely responsible for “sculpting” their children’s brains. Thus if you want to be a really good parent, you will engage your children in multiple structured activities in order to teach them as much as possible as early as possible. Read More
By Guest Blogger Anne Powers
Many of you read my blog in December about spending my first Christmas without my Grandmother. Even though she passed away in August, I find that my 6-year-old still brings up how much she misses her. Though she barely knew her, her death is still as unsettled to her as it is sometimes to me. Now that I’m through the Christmas holidays, I want to do a few things to help both my daughter and I honor her memory.
The following are some ideas that any of us could use. (Please keep in mind, they are for those who are not completely overwhelmed with their loss. For those who are overwhelmed with loss, less is more, and the ideas below can be used next year.) Ask your children about things they may like to do to remember the person who passed away. Are there traditions that are important to them? If so, consider them. If you can make it happen, great. If you cannot emotionally handle doing it yourself, consider an alternative tradition to start. Be up front with them so they know what to expect. Read More
By Guest Blogger Anne Powers
I sat at the kitchen counter the Monday before Thanksgiving editing my Christmas card addresses. That’s when it hit me: Granny Stubbins would no longer be on my list. A long-time member of Muirs’ Chapel Church of Greensboro, she spent her final years in Aiken, SC with her daughter’s family. When Marguerite Stubbins died at 94 years old, she was in poor health—and we all knew she would be happier in Heaven with her husband who passed away 25 years ago. Read More
By Guest Blogger, Leslie Newsome
Whether staying at home and raising children or working outside of the home, there is no question that today’s moms are busier than ever! In our increasingly face paced society, we find ourselves working longer hours and taking less time for ourselves. Unfortunately, this often leaves us tired, stressed out and feeling disconnected.
If this sounds familiar, consider this: Practicing yoga provides many benefits for everyone and especially busy moms. It allows us to center and ground ourselves, finding that deep connection with our inner self while also allowing us to connect more fully with others. As well, yoga provides many great physical benefits such as strength, flexibility, reduced stress and better sleep. Finally, practicing yoga regularly in a studio setting creates a great sense of community. And it is also a lot of fun! Read More
By Takashi Hirata, M.D., Medical Associates of Davie at Hillsdale and Forsyth Medical Center
When someone says "body image," most of us probably think of a teenage girl looking in the mirror and not liking what she sees. The word "anorexia" may then come to mind. But body image doesn't have as much of a gender divide as you might think. Boys feel the pressure to look good, too, and the feeling that they don't quite measure up to their peers or celebrities can take a big toll in the form of depression, eating disorders and other problems.
As a primary care physician with primary focus on adolescents, I see the effects of negative body image among girls much more often than in boys. In fact, girls and young women account for the majority of eating disorders. But the 10-15 percent represented by boys and young men should still give us pause. It says that boys are getting the same message that girls are: You're not ok as you are. Read More
By Guest Blogger Kurt L. Klinepeter, M.D. Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Specialist
With school starting and other changes happening this time of year, we thought this blog would be timely. If you are seeking advice regarding anxiety, be sure to consult our directory of Counselors & Therapists for local professionals! ~ Katie
From our adult perspective, we typically think about childhood as a care-free time without significant worry or anxiety. Certain situations may cause children and adolescents to be acutely anxious -- but not for long and not in a chronic, life-changing way. However, childhood anxiety is more common than most people think and if it is sustained for longer periods of time should be addressed. Read More
By Guest Blogger Scott Rigdon, author of the blog Three Five Zero
I have a stunningly beautiful 7 year old daughter. There, I said it! And it didn’t even hurt. I used to lose sleep over raising a daughter alone. I have a strikingly handsome 10 year old son too, but guy stuff comes naturally for he and I. Baby Girl was more of a challenge. I think she’s taught me well, though.
You see, everywhere I look, physical beauty is on sale, for sale, and as far as I can tell our society’s most valuable commodity. Even if that isn’t true, it certainly seems that way. Magazine racks, billboards, any and every advertisement you see… shampoo commercials! All of these things, every day, teaching my Baby Girl she should be pretty above all else. I didn’t give them permission to teach her that. I sternly object. Yet there it is, everywhere, and I can’t change it. Read More
By Guest Blogger, Angela Smith
This past February, I was looking around on TMOM for information about summer camps and trying to decide if my children would enjoy a sports, art, or lego camp. Little did I know, one month later, my father would pass away after a valiant six-year battle with cancer. In turn, I added another camp to their list, Camp Carousel. As a school psychologist with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for the past 12 years, I have referred numerous families to this camp and the feedback has always been positive. As my father’s illness progressed and I worried about my children‘s reaction, I knew there would come a day when I would need this service for my own family.
Camp Carousel is a bereavement camp for children, teens, and adults designed to promote healthy mourning for death-related grief. Reasonably priced at $25 per participant, they hold their camps for one week each summer. The camp is a program of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter and is sponsored by Brenner Children’s Hospital. Camp Carousel’s focus is meeting the unique needs of grieving children and teens ages 6-17 as well as adults in the community. Read More
By Guest Blogger Kelly Hines, author of the blog Southern Fried Children
"So you see, the sperm from the penis fertilizes the egg..."
"But how does the sperm get to the egg?"
Oh. Oh oh oh oh. Here it is, the moment I've been preparing diligently for. I clear my throat and level my gaze at my 10 year old daughter, her eyes wide with curiosity and innocence. I am about to blow her mind. Read More
By Guest Blogger Michelle Bostian, LCSW
Lower School Counselor for Greensboro Day School
Bullying today is just not what it used to be ... We are always hearing that these days. “Well, when I was a kid we had to walk to school in the snow!” The same applies to bullying. It is not the tyranny of the big mean boy who steals lunch money. It’s the otherwise sweet girl that shares her candy with all the girls she likes in front of that one girl that she doesn’t. It’s the special clubs and exclusionary occurrences on the playground day after day. Sure, there are still instances of name calling and deliberate tripping. But now there are obvious and malicious emails intended to haunt and dominate. Today, the bullying we need to target and prevent with our children is the subtle, the covert and the as yet, uncensored. Read More
By Guest Blogger Elizabeth C. Allen, MD
Behavioral Pediatric Specialist
Does my child have ADHD? How is it treated? And what can I do to help my child do his/her best? These are questions parents often ask.
Children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) typically have more difficulty than other children their age in two areas: Inattention and/or Hyperactivity-Impulsivity. Their symptoms significantly impair their ability to function academically, emotionally, and/or socially. Read More
By Guest Blogger
Michelle Bostian, LCSW
Lower School Counselor for Greensboro Day School
Feeling uncomfortable about being separate from mom and dad, or “separation anxiety” is most commonly thought to be something that impacts preschool children and kindergarten age. It does, but also common is the onset around 4th grade. It catches parents off guard because they think they are done with this sort of thing. Read More
By Guest Blogger
Michelle Bostian, LCSW
Lower School Counselor for Greensboro Day School
Technology … a word that evokes both fear and awe. It is bigger than our understanding of it and it will always grow faster than we can possibly keep up. I myself, have little expertise when it comes to technology. I’m learning at a pace much slower than my children, but I suppose that makes me normal. The internet is a place I sense my own fear about the things that hardly ever happen but can, and yet is the first place I turn to for unanswered questions. So how do we live in a relationship with technology and role model for our children the appropriate way to do so? Read More
By Guest Blogger, Daniel Krowchuk, M.D.
General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Expert at Brenner Children’s Hospital
It’s a fact - one third of 9th graders and two thirds of 12th graders in the US report having had sex. If you’d like your child (girl or boy) to act responsibly and make sound decisions, talking about sex is essential. Ideally, these conversations will occur as natural extensions of discussions you’ve already had about “sensitive” issues. No doubt, you will have discussed the names of body parts in early childhood, “where babies come from,” and the body changes that might occur during puberty. The fact that you talk regularly and openly with your child about all sorts of issues will provide a foundation for a discussion of sex. Read More
By Guest Blogger, Lisa Witherspoon
Homework. Sports and extra-curricular activities. Family time. Parents’ work schedules. These are all important parts of out kids’ daily schedules. As you work out the logistics of all these activities, do you factor in the importance of a good night’s sleep???
How much sleep kids get has a direct impact on development, growth, and performance. Research shows that a lack of sleep can negatively affect a child’s behavior, alertness, temperament, and ability to learn. Children who regularly fail to get enough sleep perform poorly on attention and memory tests. These children are more irritable, often overreact emotionally, have trouble concentrating, and forget things easily. Children who are overly tired often wake frequently and are actually more restless during the night. Some children may even display hyperactive behaviors when they are sleep deprived. Read More
By Meggan Goodpasture, M.D.
Pediatrician at Brenner Children’s Hospital and member of the Child Abuse Team
Unfortunately, child abuse and neglect is far more common than we would all like to imagine. In 2007 there were over 3.2 million reports made involving over 5.8 million children. It is estimated that a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in this country. Even though we frequently hear about child abuse on the news or read about it in the newspaper, we may falsely regard child abuse as a problem that exists in "other communities." However, it is important to remember that child abuse crosses ethnic and cultural lines, occurs at all socioeconomic levels and within all religions. It is critical that we are all able to recognize the signs of child abuse as well as know the appropriate steps to take if we suspect that a child is being mistreated. Read More