Archives for May 2011

How to Keep Talking to Your Tween

I love, love, love the fact that Rosalind Wiseman reminds us that we matter to our tweens!

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that when all they talk about is what their friends think — it seems that the only opinions that are those of their peers. I’m just starting down this road with my nine-year old daughter, who would jump at the chance for an outing with her besties (on most days) over some Q.T. with me. Ironically, this is the time when it’s probably most important for us to stay connected… because there are a lot more “stress-inducing moments” than ever before.

So we create opportunities to talk and stay connected but in a way that also respects their growing need to assert some independence. Tricky business, isn’t it? Thank goodness I got to be part of this conversation with Rosalind Wiseman and some other really wise moms about how to keep those lines of communication open. And thanks to Unilever and Bliss TV for pulling it all together for us.

Disclosure: this post sponsored by Bliss TV

How to Celebrate Mamas

In the US alone, $14.6B is spent annually on Mother’s Day for “stuff” that could just never say what’s in our hearts. What if instead, we all just unleashed that love on the world? How would it impact our world if we stopped using stuff as a surrogate for love? What if we invested that love to make the world a better place for Mamas & children everywhere? ~ To Mama With Love

What a radical idea, right? I don’t know about you but I’m so excited about this chance to celebrate all the moms in my life and celebrate being a mom by doing something to “mother” the world.

Last year, our friends at Epic Change launched To Mama with Love, a global collaborative online art project to raise money for Mama Lucy to build a school in Arusha, Tanzania. In less than a week leading up to Mother’s Day 2010, the site raised $17,000. The school has been built… look!

This year, To Mama With Love is expanding to support the work of four extraordinary women (see video): Mama Lucy Kamptoni in Tanzania, Suraya Pakzad in Afghanistan, Maggie Doyne and Renu Bagaria, both in Nepal.

Tonight, when my kids get home from school, we’re going to create heartspaces for my mom, my grandma, my aunt and sister, who all live in the Philippines. And, my aunt in Wisconsin. Thank goodness because cards will never make it in time and oops, that book that I meant to mail is still sitting on the kitchen counter. *sigh*

You can participate by creating a heartspace in honor of a mama you love. You’ll personalize your heartspace with photos, video, poems and artwork – anything you want to share your love for a mama. Heartspaces can be shared with your friends and family so that they can contribute additional funds in honor of your mama and even write comments on the wall of your mama’s heartspace.

Love can change everything!

How Not to “Sweat It!”

All you moms of tweens and teens will appreciate this: I had the chance to talk to Rosalind Wiseman, my Twitter friend and also author of Queen Bees and Wannabees. She visited with several moms about how they talk to their tweens about… (no, not about sex)… about sweat! Yup, that birds and bees conversation also includes the physical changes that come with puberty… increased hormones causing noticeable changes — like growth spurts and strange new odors. It’s all just part of life.

Like it or not, my daughter is just getting to that age. She’s curious about how babies are made. Some of her friends are already wearing bras! And she’s asked me questions about “the bleeding.” What I’ve found works best is just creating space for these conversations to happen naturally. Instead of scheduling a time for “the talk,” I want to create time for us to just be together, and for her to share what’s on her mind. Many times, this is right before bed and she just naturally downloads.

That’s what I shared in the Bliss TV videos and on Unilever’s Don’t Fret the Sweat site. The Facebook Page sponsored by Unliever – maker of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorants – has money saving offers and expert tips, tools and real life stories about how parents helping their tweens become confident and self-reliant teens. I’m honored to be part of it and hope you’ll join me in the always interesting journey of parenting a tween… right, Zen Mommy! 😉

Disclosure: this post sponsored by Bliss TV.