Puppy Love

Puppy Love

Puppy Love — it’s real!

It seems everywhere I look around my neighborhood there are puppies. During this COVID pandemic I have heard it’s a thing – getting a puppy – and now I know it is true. I walk anywhere and there is a six month old puppy walking along her happy owner. Perhaps you are one of these people who got a pup at the beginning of quarantine.

And what lucky puppies they are. Everyone is at home with hardly a thing to do. What could be a better time to enjoy a puppy and give time to play, walk, train, and be with puppy. I think our little animal friends can provide a calming effect on people as we deal with these odd times. Instead of focusing on all that feels blocked and off this year, puppy gives us something to focus on and enjoy in the here and now — allowing us to be in the present moment rather than getting into thoughts of an anxious future.

Only thing — puppy costs quite a bit these days. Specialized diet, toys, training, vet bills, possibly insurance, and more — it is a significant expense to undertake a puppy who becomes a dog for the long term. So, keep this in mind. Second, keep in mind your schedule. If you are working from home for the foreseeable future, this may not be a problem, but it’s important to note your schedule and how it may change. And when it does, what will happen to puppy? Keep this in mind too.

Outside of the considerations, pets help regulate us and our own emotions, help us remain in the present, and ease our anxiety as they grow into this fun world. For them, it is fun. Keep the puppy love going and take some advice from our little furry friends.

Everything is going to be alright!

Antiracism Books for Teens

Antiracism Books for Teens
Photo Credit: Washington Post

Antiracism books for your teen is a brilliant idea this season!

Your teen has probably been home and studying for months by now. Hard to believe that school is almost out — given school is home and home is school. Still, summer reading season is almost upon us and with everything going on in America, this may be a great summer to have your teens read books that speak to themes of antiracism.

Whether working for social justice, seeking further understanding of the immigrant experience, or gaining knowledge around America’s unique racist ideas that are embedded in our systems, this list offers something interesting that will add appeal to your standard summer reading list.

Do you have younger childre? Then check out this list of antiracist books for children featured in the New York Times. Love this list as it breaks down books by age-appropriateness.

And for all of us, here is a great list to read through and that I believe teens will also appreciate as well. How many have you read?

Many people feel like if they are not protesting in the streets then they are not doing anything for the movement. Yet, reading books that are on these lists is one of the very first steps all of us must take in order to educate ourselves on our history, our past, the movements, and where we are headed into the future. Being well read on these topics is critical in helping to make systemic change in America.

Another idea is to pass along your books after you read them — that is if you bought your book. Share and recommend these books far and wide to all whom you know. It is important work to read, use our language to distill the ideas, and share with your friends and community.

Happy Summer Reading!

Good Enough Parenting

Good Enough Parenting

When I returned to graduate school I learned about a concept that felt radical to me at the time. The idea is when relating to one’s child, one does not need to be prefect, but rather “good enough.” Of course, it sounds intuitively correct, but I think for many of us we seek and aspire to be perfect parents for our children. Unfortunately, it sets up parents to fail and children to not be able to face times when their needs are not completely met perfectly and learning how to manage these times internally and externally.

Recently, there was an interesting article in the New York Times that spotlights how parents are managing this time of being shut in with their children as they try to balance their children, work, and rest of life. What I love about this article is it is composed of snippets from families all across America discussing how well — actually not so well — it is all going. It is honest, real, and definitely brought to mind the idea of “good enough parenting” when parent after parent relates that they are failing their kids, barely getting by, mediocre at best, etc.

What I read had me thinking to myself, “Relax! You are all good enough parents doing a good enough job with your children during this pandemic.” I loved reading how many have moved to simply doing what they can and enjoying activities that make their days and their time with their children flow, but I definitely picked up an undercurrent that this was sort of a “giving up” rather than something to be embraced and overjoyed. The guilt of parenting perfection seems to be a residue on the stories.

Good enough is best. It’s realistic and it helps your children not only see you as one with good and bad sides, but also one who is resilient in the face of major challenges. My guess is the children will not recall all the details of these long months, but they may recall the closeness, the creativity, the freedom, the way it was all crazy and yet good — it was good enough.