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Parenting Thoughts

Children and Wealth

Children and Wealth

By Pam Henderson

When asked about how much wealth he was going to pass onto his children, billionaire Warren Buffet told Fortune magazine in 1986, “I want to give them enough that they would feel they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.”

Here in our little community where 1 in 4 children live in poverty, it’s hard for most of us to imagine that having so much money could be disabling enough to make one able to do nothing. Rather, it seems at the surface that having money would solve all of the problems. It could buy food, medicine, education, clothing and heat – all of the luxuries that belong to those who don’t live in poverty. But, of all of the things that money can buy, it can’t buy happiness.

Over the weekend, my family and I strolled through the Gold Coast as we made our way to Michigan Avenue from a parking garage. Parked along the curb, one in front of the other, were a Lamborghini, Ferrari, Range Rover and Porsche. The $355,000 Aston Martin was tucked safely inside the dealership. We could look, but couldn’t touch. We posed for photographs while sitting inside a sporty, Batman-esque Tesla.

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Post-Partum Depression in Fathers

Post-Partum Depression in Fathers

By Pam Henderson

When a baby arrives, a parent’s world forever changes. Your heart swells bigger than you ever imagined possible, and you fall head over heels in love with your precious bundle of joy.

But, there is another side to parenthood, too, especially in those early days. When the nurses are no longer at your beck and call and loved ones leave your bedside to return to their own lives, being in charge of an 7 lb., 12 oz. human being can feel rather daunting.

Suddenly, your Circadian rhythm gets so confused that nights become days and days become nights. Even if your baby lets you sleep, you might feel like you shouldn’t just in case he or she stops breathing. You’re constantly wondering if your baby is eating enough, wearing warm enough clothes, sleeping enough, gaining enough weight. Every well-intentioned relative, neighbor and friend is giving you advice. You may feel tremendous emptiness, even though your life is tremendously full.

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Children and Bedtime

Children and Bedtime

By Pam Henderson

When the clock springs forward on March 11, some children will struggle with having to go to bed an hour earlier. They can’t quite grasp the concept that morning will arrive 60 minutes sooner than it had the previous day. It calls for parents to summon all of their patience as the bedtime battle wages, waiting for the time on their children’s internal clocks to catch up to the time on the night stand clock. The challenge of putting little ones down for bed oftentimes intensifies in the summer, when daylight seems to last forever and there is enough natural light to read a novel outdoors at 9:00 pm. How can it be bedtime when the world outside is telling you it’s playtime?

Still, sleep is reparative and making sure your little one gets a good night of shut eye will help him be healthier and happier. It will also help you to be healthier and happier. Any sleep-deprived parent can attest to the decreased productivity and weakened focus that follows a poor night’s sleep.

Surprisingly, cultures around the world approach children’s bedtime differently. Researchers, in a 2-year study sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, analyzed over 29,000 families in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. They surveyed parents about bedtimes of their children ages 3 years and younger.

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Giving Them Wings

Giving Them Wings

By Pam Henderson

I’m feeling kind of melancholy these days as one of my daughters nears another milestone birthday. The feeling hit over the weekend while we were out to lunch, and “Surfin’ USA” came on the radio. You know the song – the catchy Beach Boys tune that makes it feel like summer even when it’s 12 degrees with 25 inches of snow on the ground. That song will always remind Rick and me of her.

At 42 weeks of pregnancy, my obstetrician decided to give nature a little nudge. I was healthy and it was a great pregnancy, but babies aren’t meant to live in their mommy’s belly forever. And, I was already as round as I was tall. Just a few days before, a stranger in a restaurant asked me when I was due. Imagine his surprise when I replied, “10 days ago”.

We arrived at the hospital at the crack of dawn, knowing that by the end of the day, we would have a baby of our own. After a routine medical procedure, Rick and I walked around the hospital for two hours in an effort to trigger labor. Still, no baby (but it was fun to get curious looks from hospital guests).

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Home Alone 2017

Home Alone 2017

By Pam Henderson

While students are jumping up and down at the announcement of a Snow Day, the day off of school leaves parents scrambling to figure out what to do with them. Most grown-ups don’t have the luxury of a Snow Day. I know that when that cancellation call comes at 5:10 am, my jealousy sets in and I’m left wondering why I didn’t become a perpetual student.

Sometimes, the anticipation of a snow event gives parents time to plan ahead. Yet, here on the south shores of Lake Michigan, weather has a mind of its own and that early morning call-off leaves parents with their first worry of the day – what to do with the children.

For working parents, a Snow Day means more than calling home at noon to make sure your children are out of bed and have remembered to take out the dog. You might be grappling with whether or not your children are old enough to stay home alone.

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