Monthly Archives: April 2013

5 Lessons about Marriage for Your Daughter

5 Lessons about Marriage for Your Daughter

5 Lessons for Your Daughter About Marriage - Dot Girl ProductsThis past weekend, my husband and I attended the wedding of one of our daughter’s high school friends. Hayley was a bridesmaid and it was fun to see her walk down the aisle, even though she wasn’t the blushing bride. It made us realize though that her wedding will some day be upon us (we hope!) and there are some lessons we would like to make sure she knows before she embarks on the marriage road. Note that we want our two sons to learn these lessons too!

Lesson #1
Once you take those marriage vows, your spouse becomes the person you check with on decisions, large and small. Yes, your parents are still available for guidance and feedback (and love of course) but a married couple is a unit unto themselves and decisions should be based on what is best for that unit.

Lesson #2
Communication is the key to a successful marriage. A couple should be able to discuss anything and everything with each other. Being afraid or unwilling to talk to your spouse about health issues, money, or relationship concerns can lead to months if not years of unhappiness and spending too much time wondering what the other person is thinking instead of working out the issue.

Lesson #3
Be ‘OK’ with each other having ‘mad money’ that can be spent with no recriminations from the other spouse. Budget carefully to allow for this – i.e. monthly bills paid on time, money set aside for retirement or education needs, and a rainy day fund – and then set aside the ‘mad money’ with no questions asked.

Lesson #4
My mother always used to say ‘If momma ain’t happy, then no one is happy’. In today’s day and age, the same goes for dad. Child rearing is a joint task and duties should be divided on the parent’s strengths. One might be better at organizing and making sure that the kids get to school on time, the other might be better at helping with homework. Talk about it and review frequently to make sure both of you are enjoying the child raising, not just enduring it. And remember, take time for yourselves away from the kids. It ensures that you’ll still like each other when you end up ’empty nesters’.

Lesson #5

This goes along with taking time out for yourselves with each other. Develop a common hobby and have friends in common. Whether you center your life around a faith community, a volunteer organization or an active outdoor activity, do something together and develop a close knit group of friends who share your values. You’ll appreciate the support if there are times of trouble and appreciate a group to grow old with.

Celebrate Earth Day 2013 with Clean Water

Celebrate Earth Day 2013 with Clean Water

Celebrate Earh Day 2013Today marks the 43rd celebration of Earth Day.  According to the Earth Day Network website, “All of EDN’s activities, whether greening schools or promoting green economic policies at home and abroad, inform and energize populations so they will act to secure a healthy future for themselves and their children.”

In the spirit of Earth Day 2013, I thought I would do some research and provide information on several charities that work to provide clean water for bathing, drinking and washing to people across the globe.  This idea was sparked by my recent visit to the Gates Foundation Visitor’s Center in downtown Seattle.

The exhibit includes a ‘water walkway’ where you can walk in the footsteps of an African woman who must walk several miles a day to get water for her family.  There is even a bucket filled with water to give visitors an idea of how heavy the load is.  Another subtext is the time spent on getting the water, time that could be spent on other activities such as growing food or educating her children.

As a reminder, always use Charity Navigator to thoroughly vet a charity before sending them your money.  I hope this list inspires you and your daughter to research these organizations and donate in support of working towards clean water for the populations who need it.

Water Charity is a nonprofit corporation, directed toward improving the human rights and dignity of individuals throughout the world by providing them with resources that impact upon their health and wellbeing. With all donations applied to projects in the field, we have become one of the best and highest-ranked water charities delivering global services.

The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.

 Clean Water Fund

Clean Water Fund’s mission is to develop strong grassroots environmental leadership and to bring together diverse constituencies to work cooperatively for changes that improve their lives, focused on health, consumer, environmental and community problems.

What do you say to the children about violence?

What do you say to the children about Violence?

How do you talk to your kids about violence?With today’s horrific events in Boston, MA, we are once again reminded of how fragile life is. We place ourselves in random every day events and wonder what would happen if a bomb went off or a shot rang out. Life must go on though, we cannot hide from it in our homes and hope that tragedy never happens near us.

As parents, we also have to decide how to discuss these events with our children. Our 21 year old son Dylan feels that his generation will be marked by the events of 9/11. Among his friends they divide themselves into those who remember what happened that day and those that don’t. Just as I’m sure another generation marked themselves by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

And it’s not just large scale bombings or terrorist attacks that need to be explained. There is always war news on TV and there are mass shootings of innocent people and the fear that we are not safe in our schools, shopping malls, theaters or other public gathering places. This can cause anxiety in children, an anxiety that could last a lifetime if not handled properly.

When the Newtown school shootings occurred, a wonderful story about Mister Rogers was in the Washington Post. The concept is so simple to understand, especially for young children – “Look for the helpers”. This is what I would tell young children – look for the people who are helping, whether they are in uniform or not. And those people will always be there, as witnessed today when video of the Boston Marathon explosions showed people running toward the source of the explosions. Those are the helpers. Knowing that there will always be someone there to help in an emergency will make a young child feel safer.

For older children, it’s not letting them get too caught up in the media frenzy that happens after these types of events. The constant attention paid on cable news, social media, and newspapers can be overwhelming. Know when to turn it all off and try to be there with your child to discuss what they are seeing on the news and how they feel about it.

Many people say we live in dangerous times, that things were better when they were kids. And yet, I have a friend in her sixties who remembers drills in case of nuclear attack and backyard bomb shelters. The 1960’s were marked by political assassinations and bloody civil rights riots while the 1970’s saw the Vietnam War played out nightly on network news.

Learning how to help our children understand and handle violent events will go a long way in helping them feel secure in the world.

Find other good advice from:
Parenting Press
American Psychological Association

‘What’s Normal?’ Bookmarks

‘What’s Normal?’ Bookmarks

Dot Girl BookmarkAs part of our community service at Dot Girl Products we distribute free ‘What’s Normal?’ bookmarks to schools and non profit organizations.  It is our way of educating as many girls as possible about the facts of menstruation.  The bookmarks contain several statements about periods and what is ‘normal’ as girls are always worrying if what they are going through is ‘normal’ although every girl is different, but normal.

The statements are simple and straightforward:

It’s normal….for your friends to start their periods before or after you.  Your body will know when it’s right for you.

It’s normal…to feel tenderness in your breasts while they are still developing, to see mucous in your panties before your period, to start your period later if you are athletic.

It’s normal…to worry that pads will show through your clothes, but they really won’t; to keep a pad or tampon in your pocket ‘just in case’; to have irregular periods the first two years.

It’s normal…to have cramps or feel a little blue around your period so be good to yourself; to have questions about how your body is changing so don’t be afraid to talk to someone you trust.

I receive many emails from young girls who are waiting, just waiting to start their first period.  Some are anxious about starting, some want to start soon so that they will be ‘all grown up’.  What is interesting is that their questions usually are about the statements above – I’m seeing yellow stuff in my underwear, my breasts are popping out and are tender, I’m getting pubic hair – what should I do?  And the age old question – when am I going to start my period?  Of course, no one can answer that last question for any girl.

We all can though make sure that our daughters or other young girls we are responsible for understand what menstruation is all about. If you know of a school group or non profit that would benefit from the ‘What’s Normal?’ bookmark, please let us know through our ‘Contact Us‘ page.