Tag Archives: discipline

Tips For Adulthood: Five Reasons I Love To Blog

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood.

As some of you know, last Friday was the first anniversary of RealDelia. And while I fully intended to break out the champagne…the confetti…the whole nine yards, somehow I didn’t quite pull it off. (I had hoped that my wife would throw me a party, but she was too busy that day).

So I thought that I would mark the occasion today instead, by telling you five reasons why I love to blog, and why you might like it too:

1. It helps you to find your voice. I have been writing for a long time now in my adult life. I started as a research assistant when I first got out of college. Then there was that long, hazy academic morass when I was a graduate student and then a professor. Over the past three years, it’s been a blend of personal essays, reported features and occasional fiction writing. But it was only once I started this blog that I felt that I finally found my voice as a writer, and realized that – with all my career shifts – that was what I’d been looking for all along.

2. It makes you more mindful as a person. Mindfulness is one of those new-agey terms that I deliberately avoided for awhile. But in fact, one of the great virtues of blogging – at least if you are blogging about your own life and trying to extract lessons from it – is that it makes you more aware of how you lead your life, in ways both large and small. In my own case, one of the major innovations in my personal life was my decision to stop working on Saturdays. And while I can’t attribute that decision entirely to blogging, I think that being in the habit of examining my life on a daily basis (on the blog) gave me the tools to step back and change my life.

3. You make new friends. There’s my e-BFF Sharon, of course – of Neverbloomers fame – whom I first got to know through this blog because of our shared interest in adulthood. Now we’re on Facebook, we Skype one another and I think a professional collaboration may come down the pike. But there are a whole host of people I can think of right off the top of my hat – Colleen, Mike, Kristen, Katy, LPC – to name a few, whom I never would have “met” except through blogging (OK, I did in fact meet Katy once but blogging is our bond.) And I’m so enriched because of those connections.

4. You become more disciplined. Yeah, yeah. It’s trite, I know. But it’s true what they say. When you start writing on a regular basis, it makes you a better writer. Partly because practice makes perfect. But also because you’re able to just sit down and pound it out when you really need to. Which – in my case – has come in really handy over the past nine months that I’ve also been writing for PoliticsDaily.com.

5. You learn a ton. When I started doing this, I thought it would be fun to share my small musings about the world with other like-minded folk. And it has been loads of fun. But it turns out that the best part about blogging is what you learn from other people, either because of a comment they leave on your post, or because you subscribe to their blog, or because you encounter them haphazardly while doing some research on – say – adulthood – and then you end up staying to see what else they’ve got up their sleeve.

In that vein – and to steal a page from Nicola (another great blogger I’ve gotten to e-know), I’d love it if, in the comments section, you’d leave a link to a blog that you really like and which you think I (and readers of RealDelia) should check out. Feel free to leave your own blog’s name. I’d love to come visit.

And most of all, thank you!

Image: Blogging Research Wordle by KristinaB via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

Disciplining Your Kids: Chocolate, Anyone?

I read a great article in Slate last week appropriately titled “No, You Shut Up!” about anger management and how best to discipline your children.

What I liked most about this article – in addition to its very social scientific approach to discipline (note to self: must try “parking ticket” method!) – is that it openly acknowledges the very real issue of being furious with your kids (for an equally refreshing acknowledgment of anger towards spouses, see this article in Parenting as well as this post on Motherlode).

I think that one of the great myths of adulthood is that you somehow get rid of your anger when you grow up. Wrong. You may no longer lie down and kick your heels on the floor (or throw a fork at your brother’s eye, as someone I..ahem..know quite well once did), but anger is a very real – and constant – part of adulthood and particularly of family life.

I was therefore amused when attending a recent parenting seminar to see how others (in this case, mothers) deal with their frustration when their kids act out and/or don’t do what they are told.

We were sitting there going through some of the standard “parenting book” fare on eliciting cooperation from kids – e.g. look them in the eye when you want them to do something, don’t multi-task, use descriptive praise to encourage good behaviors, acknowledge their feelings etc etc. (True confessions: I attended a nearly identical seminar about 1.5 years ago and I still had to take notes. You know it’s bad when you’re having a senior moment during childcare 101…)

So, anyway, there we were sitting around learning how to pry our 8-year olds off the computer screen without ruining our vocal chords and/or threatening a time-out for a month, when this woman pipes up: “Well, what if I’ve already given her a chocolate and she still won’t do what I ask?”

Instantly, twenty heads shifted their gaze towards this maternal pariah.

You could see the parenting coach gulping back her horror. “You…em…give your daughter chocolate when she does something you want?”

“Yeah, all the time,” came the blahzee response.

Stay tuned, reader. It gets worse.

“I mean, how can I tell her not to eat chocolate? I eat it all the time myself.”

“Well…,” the coach stammered, clearly having no index in her handout for completely bat-!$%# parenting. “If that’s your value system,” she continued, “…and you’re comfortable with that…then yes, I suppose you can use that as an incentive…” (Translated: “If you wish to poison your child and make her obese, feel free…”)

I don’t know about anyone else in the room, but I felt a great deal better after this woman spoke her piece.

I’m not always consistent with my kids, and I do occasionally scream, but chocolate? Really???

One of the great things about parenting is that just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, you see that someone else got there first. And, if nothing else, it encourages you to plow on…

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