Conflict Resolution

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Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool
Excerpt

Introduction

So, maybe you’ve seen me on TV discussing parenting. Perhaps you’ve read my blog and my online contributions for Huffington Post and Everything Zoomer magazine online. Now the critical moment is upon you. You’re standing in the parenting section of the store with my book in hand. You’ve checked out my photo and you’ve read the little blurb about what you can expect within the pages. It’s decision time. Do you buy this woman’s book or not? You speed-read through my bio one more time. Her bio is unimpressive, you say to yourself. She doesn’t have a degree in child education, psychology, family therapy — any of it. What makes her an expert? Why should you listen to her?

I’ll tell you the single most powerful reason:

I am a survivor.

I am the mother to not one, not two, but three daughters. I have lived through tween puberty and adolescence three times.

I have weathered and counselled them through brutal breakups.

I have sheltered them from bullies who just wouldn’t quit.

I have raised the first generation of social media children, and managed to get all three of my girls to adulthood without one of them baring their boobs for some boy to screenshot and send around the globe.

I am a parenting survivor.

Being a parent is like being on the front line of a war, every single day. And if you were going into an actual battle, who would you take with you? Someone who theorizes about battle? Or someone who has actually survived it?

I know who I would take.

Let me tell you, I wasn’t the sort of woman who daydreamed about being a mother. I wasn’t the doll-toting kind of kid. I was more of a climb-the-tree-with-my-big-brother-and-all-his-friends sort of girl. From a very young age, I had a vision for my life. I was put into dance class at the tender age of four, and from the first time the footlights shone up on my smiling face and people clapped, I was bitten. I knew right then and there that I would be a performer. As the years went by and I went to the movies and watched glamorous women in film and television, I was determined to become one of them.

Being a mother truly never crossed my mind. Not ever. I have not one single memory of envisioning my life with a husband or babies as part of the equation. But the universe had another plan, and there I found myself, nineteen and pregnant, with a boy I didn’t know I would love for thirty-one years, three daughters later. The odds were stacked heavily against us. We had been dating for only four months when we figured out we were expecting a baby. We were both from broken homes, both of us neglected by our parents — him by both parents, having been left to live on his own in pursuit of an acting career at the tender age of fifteen (regardless of what a child wants, a parent still needs to parent and guide their child); and me by a father who had no idea how to be in a relationship with a female if it wasn’t sexual. My mother, a single parent, did all she could to give me a normal life, and to make up for the fact that my dad was not interested in me.

So, picture these two nineteen-year-old people, who barely know one another, procreating. Yeah. Wouldn’t seem to be a hope in hell that we could work it out.

Yet we did.

Not only did we manage to stay together, thirty-one years and counting, but we have managed, despite all our baggage, our dysfunction and the lack of example set before us, to raise three of the most well-rounded, sensitive, intelligent, bold, talented, fearless females you’ve ever met. Not perfect, as we all know there’s no such thing, but solid, respectful, caring global citizens.

We did a really great job, with few to no skills, even though we were young; even though it looked from the outside as if we would crash and burn and become just another group of statistics. Somehow, we were like the tributes in Hunger Games — someone said, “may the odds be ever in our favour,” and they were.

But how?

How did we manage to raise three incredible grown-up people, who happen to be three of our favourite people on the planet, without losing our cool? Well, those secrets are tucked into the pages of this book. I’m giving them to you.

I’m giving them to you, because this trend of helicopter and permissive parenting that is permeating our society is, pardon me for saying, fucking up our world. And it’s pissing me off. It needs to stop. From when our first child (now thirty-one years old) was little to when our third child (now twenty-three) came along, parenting seemed to have become more permissive. And I know the trend has continued since. Now we have kids who don’t know how to accept defeat, failure, or the word no. This is a huge problem. Kids need to know how to lose. They need to know how to accept no as a complete answer.

Not many parenting books will encourage you to discipline, or to stay out of your kids’ relationships with their teachers or their classmates. Nor are any of your girlfriends going to tell you the whole truth and nothing but the truth about pregnancy, delivery, and the state of your post-baby vag.

But I will.

I will also tell you right here, right now, that you’re not always going to love your kid. But you will always love them.

You won’t always be thankful that you had them, when the shit is hitting the fan. But in the end, they will become your favourite people.

My book will give you the tools you need to get through all the challenges of being a parent without losing your cool.

You can trust me on this. I’ve gone to battle, and I’ve won the war.

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Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander

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edition:Paperback
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Cyberbullying: The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander

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