How we Survived Influenza B

One weekend my middle child had a temp of 100 that ran about three days combined with a cough and cold like symptoms. I figured it was a weekend, let him rest and hopefully the temp would go back to normal as 100 degrees isn’t really a worry. Within three days he had recouped but the bug started to spread. My other half and I have various symptoms that still linger such as a cough, sore throat, and congestion. With that being said, my youngest ended up with Influenza B.

Here’s what occurred …

Onset of the Flu

My youngest went to bed just fine, all was normal and I had no fear that he was sick. About 3am the next morning he woke up with a 102 fever and said that his throat felt like razor blades. I immediately assumed he may have strep throat. Needless to say we kept him home from school and took him to the pediatrician. Once in the pediatricians office my son said his stomach felt sick, and it dawned on me that maybe they should test him for both flu and strep. The child was still acting like his silly self, yet had a fever and symptoms of being sick.

Seeing the Pediatrician

The pediatrician came in and said both strep and flu was negative. After looking over my son the doc decided to step out and look at the flu test one last time before we left. That’s when it happened; I was told that my son had Influenza B. I asked some questions, found out that it’s not the worse version of the flu you can get but still can be pretty bad. He would need to be out of school for about 5-7 days as the flu did what it does. I was told a bad cough would come next, but that didn’t arrive until about 3-4 days later. My son had managed to get the fever under control with ibuprofen and Tylenol but he was starting to cough badly.

Opted Out No Tamiflu

We were obviously told about Tamiflu and being that our pediatrician respects and knows we are medicine minimalist we were not pushed to take it. We were educated on what Tamiflu does and upon my own evaluation, decided we didn’t need to give our son this medication. The symptoms weren’t bad enough to try to get 1-2 days eliminated off the flu, I much preferred to let the body do it’s natural work as it was meant to be. What a good decision that was, within 3 days the fever broke to a low grade one with just one weekend day of a 102 temp (probably due to his high activity levels). When the cough arrived I did start to get concerned, and then the concern grew when I saw red spots on his throat.

Strep or Flu?

So another day of school was missed for another strep test, which came back negative. This time we were told that he has a viral thing going on and that as long as he has no fever he can return to school. I was happy since he had been home about a week now. He didn’t miss out on a ton of school work because I had the teacher send home a package with his big brother and we finished it all. Finally the cough was getting scary enough that I felt medication of some sort was needed but I wanted an organic or natural option.

How we survived the flu with a child ...

Maty’s Cough Med

After quite some time in the Rite Aid pharmacy aisle staring down all of the cough medications available, I decided upon a brand called Maty’s which had both an organic and natural option. Since then the cough has bene under control and we have been giving him his inhaler to avoid the asthma symptoms he sometimes has with a cold. So we survived Influenza B without Tamiflu and simply doing some old style ways of dealing with a fever such as cool baths, cool washcloth on head and increasing fluids. I am thankful it didn’t get as bad as it could, but it was still scare to watch as his temp got to 103.9 at one point.

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Have you ever dealt with the flu in a child? What worked when you went through it?

Positive Parenting Tips for Raising Teens

During the days of raising a teen you will find that your once talkative child now has a bit of silence. Most questions are answered with the shrug of a shoulder or a simple one word reply. The teen years are difficult for both the parents and the teenager.

There is good news though, these trying times don’t last forever and if you adhere to a few positive parenting tricks then you and your teen should survive this stage.

ParentINfluence Positive Parenting Raising Teenager Tips

Positive Parenting Tips for Raising Teens

Choose your Battles Wisely

These days’ parents must fight with technology which brings teenagers closer to stranger danger than ever before. It’s difficult to find that proper balance between rules that encourage safety and rules derived from paranoia. So as long as your teenager hasn’t given you a reason to not trust them, give them more trust and space to figure out whom they are and what they enjoy.

Give all of your teen’s friends a chance

Most parents have enough experience to know which kids are good ones and which ones are headed down a bad path. While you may know one kid that’s friends with your teen is a bad apple, your teen doesn’t quite see it this way. Learn to embrace all friendships your teenager has by opening your home to these friends. Sometimes a bad apple can turn into a good apple simply by being around a more positive environment.

Parents must really learn to work together

Many families are split up these days so teens are caught living with one parent and possibly a step parent while their other parent is merely someone they visit. Often times the parent who sees the teen less have more lenient rules. Learn to work with your co-parent on a middle ground where you both can be united in rules and discipline structure. Teenagers do need some freedom but setting boundaries with firm consequences are a must to keep them safe and in check.

Always have a game plan for bad decisions

Your teen is still your underage child and requires parental supervision to some level. Consider having a code word that your teen can text you when they realize they’ve made a bad decision. This allows you to come save them from the situation without them risking ridicule by their peers. While it is important to your teen to have freedom it’s just as important to know that you will be there, no questions asked when they need to be saved from a bad decision.

Remember that you once were a teenager too

When parenting a teenager it’s best to let go of the desire to want your teen to be better than you and have more options than you ever had. Raising your teenager means that you have a child who is under your care and direction, it’s time to step up and be a parent without any thoughts of your regrettable past. Your teenager deserves to have a life free of the past that haunts you, so be sure you are parenting your teen based on hearing who they are and what they feel they need.

Be There for your Teen with Unconditional Love

Last but certainly not least, just be there to hear your teen out. Often times if a parent stays quiet long enough when their teen is rambling on for hours, they will hear how their child actually talks themselves into a positive direction. Sometimes all our teenagers need from us is to know that we are always here for them even during those times they make bad decisions. A parent’s job is to love unconditionally, the teenage years will test this theory but reality is it’s just your past demons and your emotions that get in the way of expressing that unconditional love.

Work towards a positive parenting approach with your teenager and see how much change happens in the next few weeks, you may be surprised!

Help! My Kids Won’t Stop Arguing and Tattling on Each Other

Raising more than one child brings along the issue of sibling rivalry. For some reason my sons have more sibling rivalry in ways like my sis and I did growing up. One worries and tattles on the other. It’s like this never ending battle between sons and when it comes to boys, it can get downright physical between the two. One concept we have been really trying to enforce is that the siblings need to worry about their own self. Often times we get bombarded with so and so did this, but so and so had this, etc. etc. It’s frustrating as the parents within the household trying to stick to what we were attempting to say when the other sibling is butting in.

I admit there are times I just raise my voice, because I literally have had enough with the whole this isn’t fair, or brother got to eat this or do this. It’s annoying, frustrating and one of the most challenging parts of raising boys 2 years and 6 days apart. Even my teen daughter gets into the conversations occasionally and I am like, “you are older, what in the world!” It is what it is, siblings can get a bit competitive, argumentative, and it’s simply how sibling life goes. What can parents do to try to instill the thought process of worry more about you? Well I am no genius on the subject, as we are still trying to get this thought process to stick in our house, but here are some tips for you.

 

Throwback. Me and my kiddos WAY back, like 8 years ago 😍😘 #motherhoodrocks #happiness #throwback

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How to Teach Kids to worry About Their Self Not Others

  • Well we obviously vocalize our desire to have the kids worry about their own self versus their sibling. Speaking in a firm voice stating do not worry about what your sister or brother is doing may be a good starting step.
  • Start explaining the differences in age gaps, for example the siblings here are 14, 10 and 8. One girl and two boys, which means life isn’t going to be fair because of the age gaps and gender differences. Reality is, first, second and third born will always be treated differently without intention.
  • Accept that birth order matters and work to explain this to the children. Your first born will tend to have a bit stricter rules but when child number 2 then 3, etc. comes along, and the rules get a little softer. This happens with nearly every parent.
  • Work on team playing board games. Having many board games in the home such as Uno, Monopoly, Life or Pictionary will help teach your kids to think only about themselves as well as work as a team. I think the key to teaching kids to worry about their own self is to teach team skills and competitive skills.

Parent Influence Help My Kids Wont Stop Arguing and Tattling on Each Other

Keep Your Head up and Stay Confident

There will be times you just want to knock the kids heads together. Maybe not literally and you more than likely wouldn’t actually do something like this, but it’s one of those moments when you stand there watching your children act like monkeys. They literally aren’t making any sense and are arguing over the silliest of things. Learn to remain confident as a parent and keep your head up. Don’t fear walking away and letting the siblings battle it out. I am guilty of not wanting to leave the boys to tend to working out their differences for fear of the physical side of it. I don’t want one brother knocking out the other. That’s the mommy protective gene kicking in.

Sometimes you just need to keep a silent eye on the situation and let them work out their differences. It’s the only way to teach them to communicate better during times of conflict. Last but certainly not least, you can do your part by being the example with your partner. Siblings who grow up in a home with two parents or parental figures that set the example of working out differences without anger will tend to figure out conflict resolution easier. Sibling rivalry really is just another form of a difference in opinion and can be worked out using basic conflict resolution skills.

Good luck parents’, raising more than one child has its positives and negatives, as does anything in life!

What is one tip you have for parents struggling with sibling rivalry and each worrying or tattling on the other?

10 Fun Games for Your Family Night

Planning a family night to occur once per week or twice per month is an easy way to reconnect with the whole family. You can have this night serve as a special dinner night full of board games and laughter. After board games, dinner and laughter has commenced, curl up in the living room with the kids over a good movie like Trolls to end your family night.

Fun Games for your Family Night by ParentINfluence Blog

While there are many ways each of us try to incorporate a family night into our households, today I wanted to share 10 fun games for your family night in case you need some game ideas.

Each of these linked images and text links are affiliate links.

10 Fun Games for Your Family Night

Images courtesy Amazon website.

Beach Safety Tips for Kids

If you are heading to a beach for a family vacation, make sure to follow these beach safety tips! It is important to think ahead and follow these safety tips so you are ready for any situation that may arise. The beach is a great place for families to spend the day, playing in the water, building sandcastles, or just relaxing.

Beach Safety Tips for Kids #Parentinfluence

Beach Safety Flags

Beaches use safety flags to warn visitors of dangerous situations. All beaches might have different colors for different situations, but they will have it posted on what they mean. Generally a green flag indicates the ocean is calm and clear. Yellow indicates moderate surf and currents, and to be cautious. Red indicates the beach is closed or that it has a strong surf and current and to be careful. Blue or Purple means potentially dangerous marine life (sharks or jellyfish, etc.) is spotted in the area. NOTE: all beaches are different, so make sure to be aware of what the  flags mean at the beach you are going to.

Beach Safety Tips for Kids #Parentinfluence

Protect Yourself From the Sun

Most beaches are open so you can’t find many shaded spots. Make sure to bring a beach umbrella. Pack some good sunscreen to protect from sunburns and harmful UV rays. Also pack drinks to stay hydrated in the heat. If you have a floppy hat and sunglasses, that helps to on protecting yourself from the sun and the heat.

Beach Safety Tips for Kids #Parentinfluence

Wear Shoes

The sand can be very hot, and you want to make sure you have shoes on your kids and yourself. They have shoes that you can wear in the water, it is worth buying some. If you don’t want to wear those, at least wear flip flops, you don’t want anyone’s feet to burn.

Safe Swim Areas

Most beaches have designated areas for swimming. Not all areas on the beach are safe, so make sure to look for marked spots that are designated.

Be Aware of Ocean Life

Depending on the area you are in, you need to be aware of ocean life. You might come across crabs, they are well known for pinching so be careful. They could be hiding in little rocks and such if you are out exploring.  When you are in the water being aware for jellyfish and other ocean life.

Beach Safety Tips for Kids #Parentinfluence

All beaches are different, so remember the rules, conditions vary. The lifeguard that is on duty is a great person to go to for your questions. Enjoy your day at the beach and be safe.

High Functioning Autism: Gets Better with Age?

My experiences as a mom to a high functioning autistic son may be different than others. Every person has their own traits, quirks and environment that play a toll in changes that happen. This post is based solely on my own experiences of raising a son on the autism spectrum.

Teach Skills in a Logical Way vs Emotional Way

OCD, Autism, Anxiety and ODD

In Spring of 2014 we received the diagnosis that our son was High Functioning Autistic. After years of counseling, various physiologists and even risky narcotic medications we were at the end of our rope. Nothing was really working and our son didn’t fit into any specific category that anyone could pinpoint. There were some signs of Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism, Bipolar and Anxiety to name a few things.  As parents, we did what we thought was best, following instructions of a counselor and psychologist. The medication seemed to be necessary and so we went with it. After multiple medications being switched and tried, our son became immune to the medication. Any medication our son was placed on seemed to stop helping him as quickly as it helped him.

Anxiety OCD ODD and More with Autism

Finding the Right Psychologist

During I believe the month of May 2014 we met with a psychologist who had a son diagnosed as High Functioning Autism. This woman was amazing and opened our eyes to a few things. The most specific example that helped was that she has an adult son who is high functioning so we felt confident that she would have some answers. After witnessing some things our son did, such as lack of eye contact, rocking and the tick he has when he’s excited or overly happy, our son received the diagnosis that he is indeed High Functioning Autistic. Ever since this meeting in Spring of 2014 I have been educating myself on autism and have found that no two autistic people are alike.

Nothing Was Easy and It Shouldn’t Be

The times were difficult when our son was younger because he was not able to effectively articulate the feelings behind his actions. The toddler years and well into age 8 was the most difficult, once our son hit age 9 and now age 10 he has become more aware of his quirks and what works for him. This current year we are faced with the lovely hormonal influxes that every child goes through, combine that with autism and it can make for some challenges. I have more proud moments than not during this particular age with our son, he is more apt to speak up about something that bothers him rather than lash out in anger. He is more apt to tell me things that he is OCD about and other things that just don’t work for him. When I hear my son at age 10 express things that he has noticed about his self, I beam with pride because in my heart I know he is growing up.

Teach Skills in a Logical Way vs Emotional Way

My Heart Aches

I have many friends with children on the spectrum and my heart aches when I hear about a meltdown. One thing I have learned in this over 10 years of raising a son with autism is that life is unpredictable and until you really get to know your child’s needs and what sets him or her off, life can be challenging. With autistic people not always recognizing politically correct statements nor the feelings of another person you can often have your hands full as a parent. We were once told that our son would never be able to show empathy, to read someone’s facial expressions and to ever really comprehend human nature. I am glad to say we proved “those” people wrong!

Teach Skills in a Logical Way vs Emotional Way

Teach Skills in a Logical Way vs Emotional Way

I say this, it is false that your autistic child will never understand or express empathy, that they will never be able to read facial expressions or learn how to be socially polite. While there are many parts of the autism spectrum, I firmly believe when raising a child who is high functioning medication is not necessary. What is necessary is the willingness to change the environment, your parenting ways and what your child is around on a day to day basis. It wasn’t easy to morph life in a way that helped our son excel, and each day something new arrives I still struggle with the change. What I decided to do as a parent to a high functioning autistic child is to watch his quirks, really take a look and hear what he has to say. Take in everything about this child over the years and learn to adapt things that can be adapted, change my thinking and learn that he can be empathetic but it’s less emotional for him. Teaching empathy and compassion for our son was more about the logical side, versus an emotional response. Now that he is 10 years old and making a lot of friends, he is better able to feel in ways he couldn’t in the years past.

Finally Told Son he is High Functioning Autistic

Finally Told Son he is High Functioning Autistic

We never did tell our son, he was high functioning autistic until recently, as he does have a 504 and is old enough now where he comprehends to some level what it means. The reality is, he has been raised to think he is just an everyday boy who can be anything he wants to be and is loved unconditionally. Isn’t that what our job is as a parent? To teach all of our children that nothing has to hold them back in life? To be humble, kind, compassionate and learn to be confident with who they are. That’s how parenting has worked for me and now at age 10, I firmly feel taking this child off those risky medications was the best decision ever, it’s been three years since our son took risperidol or any other drug for autism and I wouldn’t go back to it if someone paid me.

Advice to Parents Struggling with Autism

Advice to Parents Struggling with Autism

My advice for you is this: when a professional thinks your child needs all of these medications to survive, perhaps open your mind to saying no. Take a moment to work towards changing how you respond to your child, who is around him and change the environment to suit your child’s needs. You will be shocked at what a child of any diagnosis can do when given  the chance simply by having parents who are willing to exhaust themselves in an effort to prove medications are not always the right answer.

Monday Mom Rambles from Mama Bee

Being a parent is the most emotional roller coaster ride I have ever been on. It’s like you love your children even when you should dislike them very much. You get ever so frustrated with them but still you find empathy and love for them. As a mom I have learned to develop patience at a level I never knew existed. I take my job as a mom very serious, well you know with light hearted humor involved too, but it’s the most important job I have ever had that reaps the best rewards ever. Unconditional love from your children is unlike any other love on this planet.

Raising a child with autism is no joke, that’s probably the most difficult part of my mom life. Often times I have to figure out what my son is upset about and quite frankly he could be upset about something that happened two weeks ago. My daughter is now a teen and while she isn’t nearly as rough as I thought she would be coming into the teen years, she has changed slightly even if she doesn’t realize it. Raising a teen daughter has taught me that sometimes we need to bite our tongues, for when I speak sometimes she will shut down when all I was trying to do was converse with her. My youngest child is ridiculously hyper, I am quite certain it is due to his poor food choices. This child is my pickiest eater and as we work to get him to eat new foods, he remains stubborn and goes without dinner.

Mama Bee Mom Ramblings

Being a parent seemed easy when I was a mom to one, I always said that if I were to be guaranteed a child like my first born I would have six children. She really was super easy and still to this day, I have little complaints. Currently I am dealing with the procrastinator side of my teen daughter where she is letting her grades slip but then after much encouraging discussions with me, she gets those grades fixed. I told her just the other night that she is giving me grey hairs with all of this grade stuff in her freshman year of high school. Shake my head.

My middle child, he has grown so much in just the last year alone. Now a 10 year old boy who is diagnosed as high functioning autistic he has found his dry, serious sense of humor that the family often laughs out loud at during our family dinner each night. He doesn’t like school but he works hard to get his work finished. Most recently he had a book report project and was adamant that a crossword puzzle was a word search puzzle which meant I had to remain ridiculously patient yet firm on just taking the project one step at a time. He ultimately got the project done and we will see what grade he gets.

My youngest child seems to be at an age of hormonal fluctuations, one minute he’s a sweet, affectionate boy and the next he’s a miserable little grumpy but. He always keeps me on his toes and Lord knows I spoil him more than I should. A true youngest child by definition, I am working to be more consistent and firm with him while still allowing him to be who he is – a fearless, free spirited, energetic boy.

I don’t think any parent knows what they are doing is right, all they know is what they feel is best. Parents mess up, we make poor decisions and we respond poorly at times. The joy of being a parent is that even during those times that we mess up; our children still find love in their hearts for us regardless of what decisions we make. I am proud to say, at this moment in parenthood, that my children will usually agree that they don’t like my rules, decisions or whatnot, but they do trust I always have their best interest at heart and am being the best Mama I can be.

Being a Parent isn’t for The Thin Skinned

I admit that I am a sensitive person, I can easily have my feelings hurt and be caught crying in the bathroom alone. While I may be a sensitive person emotionally, as a parent I have quickly learned that you must have thick skin. I went into this parenting gig knowing that there would be days my kids may  not “like me” or may think I am the evil Queen of the land. When you become a parent, part of your job is to be this hated person, while remembering that your kids only think they hate you in this moment because they are not getting what they want.

Yesterday, the kids and I went sliding outback. We had hours of fun, laughing so hard I cried, snowball to the face, going down our huge backyard hill face first on a sled and enjoying the new snow tube I had purchased for this school vacation week of fun. The time was wonderful, but the happy times went away once my middle child was forced to ask, rather than demand, use of a sled his sister was on. The middle child proceed to cry as he got all upset and worked up about Mama requiring him to ask not demand to use a sled his sister was on. You would think having to ask is the end of the world, he went from tears to anger and quickly that went into a larger fit of rage with words that a 10 year old should never say.

I immediately told my middle that he was grounded and his reply was even more volatile to me where his siblings sat in shock as they wouldn’t dare speak to me that way, ever. I immediately came inside as I followed my angered son and found out that he felt I don’t care about him. My son felt like I didn’t care about him because I make him go outside on a 50 degree day in the sunshine to interact and have fun with the siblings and me. My son felt I don’t care about him because I refuse to let him demand his way. My son felt I didn’t care about him because he couldn’t sit in front of electronics all day long because “video games are all that matter!”

Being a Parent isn’t for The Thin Skinned

Being a Parent Isnt’ for the Thin Skinned

In this type of moment about 5 years ago, I would have burst into tears. My eyes would have been a watery mess, but I have grown in the last 5 years of parenting a child with autism and have learned that in the angered moment he just spews out words. I took the time to reply to my son telling him that it is okay that he is angry and it is fine to have that emotion, but it is never okay to say bad words, hit people or throw things around. He was entitled to feel like I don’t care, but I made darn sure I explained why I do care about him and that I do love him very much. My words started to hit his heart, as I watched his eyes go from anger to a bit of a softer tone.

I stood firm, even though he calmed I explained that when we do something naughty we have a consequence, that’s simply how life works for every human being. His consequence was pretty simple, as I am trying to teach him to be sorry for his actions. More so, I am trying to teach this son to acknowledge his actions that were wrong, bad or mean and in teaching him this I required that he say sorry, do something kind or anything similar to show he is sorry for hitting his sister and for saying a bad word two times. He wasn’t happy immediately, it’s not like he jumped up and started spewing out the I am sorry’s. No, not at all. This child doesn’t say sorry easily, if at all. This child is better at showing sorry through drawing of a photo, as he has done since he was little.

Eventually my son did what was asked of him, on his own. I waited patiently and continued on in the day with making polymer clay crafts with his siblings as he sat there watching us in a daze. My son is stubborn, but so am I. I have learned to stand firm with a compassionate, yet steady tone that doesn’t get too loud or intimidating (that type of tone only encourages more anger). When I stay firm, do not cry and explain that I do care about him and here’s your consequence because I do care about you, he seems to eventually get it. Autistic children can hang onto things for weeks, months and years allowing those negative feelings to become something larger, I have learned through parenting this child that I have to remain firm yet compassionate while I work to teach him the necessary skills and consequences of actions any parent is supposed to teach their child.

 

Day two of #schoolbreak we went sledding for couple hours and did #crafts with our #polymer clay! #childhood #momlife

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Overall, we had a beautiful day but don’t ever forget that you are the parent and your job is not to befriend your kids to let them get away with bad behavior, regardless of how much of a point they make. Once you set a consequence stick with it, even if it takes that child hours to do what you have asked of them. Be strong, parents must always be compassionate yet strong! Cheers to raising your kids with a thick skin and unconditional love!