Win 2 Free CityPASSES on Valentine’s Day!

CityPASSThis week’s FUN FRIDAY is especially fun! CityPASS has offered two free adult passes to Philadelphia or any of your other favorite cities. Here’s the scoop:

Winner will receive two CityPASS ticket booklets to their choice of the following destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle or Toronto. Each CityPASS ticket booklet contains actual admission tickets to a destination’s top five or six attractions. At many sights, CityPASS booklets provide VIP access, allowing travelers to bypass an attraction’s main-entrance ticket line. CityPASS ticket booklets are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Booklets may be activated (first used) anytime between today’s date and Feb. 28, 2015.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. Sign up to receive my blog posts by email! Then, leave a comment naming your favorite family-fun city, and name three of your favorite places to visit while you’re there.

2. “Like” “A Mother on the Road Less Traveled” Facebook page.

3. “Share” a link to the contest on your blog or Facebook page.

4. “Follow” me on Twitter (@hsaxton).

5. Almost done! Now click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway. (WordPress won’t support the JAVA code, so you need to go here to register your entry.)

Tune back in on Valentine’s Day (February 14) to see if you’ve won! Contest closes on Thursday, February 13. Spread the word!

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The Book Whisperer: “Parenting from the Inside Out”

Book WhispererHappy New Year!

Each time I make something for dinner that one or both the children don’t like, the familiar refrain resounds: “Tell us the story of the baked beans!”

When I was about six or seven, my mother made homemade baked beans for dinner, which I refused to eat. After an hour of watching me poke at my plate, my mother said to me, “You may be excused, Heidi. Maybe you’ll eat a good breakfast.”

The next morning, I ran down to the kitchen expecting to find a steaming plate of oatmeal or scrambled eggs … and found instead the baked beans. Again I refused to eat them, and went hungry until lunchtime. That night for dinner I was given beans a third time, and I ate them — reluctantly — only when my father informed me that I would get the beans the next morning in my oatmeal. (This story is always met with a resounding Y-u-u-u-c-k!)

So when the kids balk at eating dinner, all I have to say is, “So… you want that in your oatmeal tomorrow?” Problem solved.

Long before we become parents, we form impressions of what constitutes a “good parent” from the adults in our lives. Our own parents, for better or worse, provided our first model; other cues came from friends and extended family members.

* The aunt who consistently gave up a career in nursing in order to tend to her growing family and bedridden mother-in-law.

* The neighbor who allowed her daughter use mascara in eighth grade to cover up the fact that her lashes were blonde in one eye and brown in the other.

* The church friend who invited every new family at church for “impromptu” dinners of chicken parmesan.

Sometimes these models were not so heart-warming: the parent who drank or spanked excessively, who exaggerated her children’s misbehavior to win sympathy but refused to come clean with her own dark deeds, who yelled at the kids for making noise while he watched T.V. instead of turning off the set and engaging them in conversation. And all too often, these children grow up and find themselves saying and doing the same things with their own children, despite their firm intention never to repeat the same mistakes.

So what is a parent to do?

In Parenting from the Inside Out, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell explore “the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent …. and offer parents a step-by-step approach to forming a deeper understanding of their own life stories that will help them raise compassionate and resilient children.” The authors help parents to identify the “toxic ruptures” in the relationship between parent and child, and the interactive dialogue that must occur in order to repair the damage. Each chapter includes “inside-out exercises” to help the reader apply the lessons of their own lives in order to strength the parent-child bond.

During the month of January, I’ll be reviewing parenting resources. If you have a good book to recommend,write to me at Heidi(dot)hess(dot)saxton(at)gmail(dot)com.