Carpool Lane

Carpool Lane - Meet Joline for a "CuppaJo" as she juggles two kids in school, homework, extracurricular activities and trying to find some "me" time.

 

 

rss20

Village Parenting (2)

Written by Joline Atkins. Posted in Carpool Lane

User Rating:  / 0

invite_women_in_circleIt takes a village.

Not a fan of cliches, I have never been too fond of this phrase. I know the intention of its meaning, but I think my dislike of it is rooted in my doubt that this "village mentality", that we SAY we all desire, actually exists. This is an area where I wonder if we are "all talk".

I have these four friends. We meet together one morning a week to catch up on our lives and to pray. We are alike in that we all share the same faith and attend the same church. We also hold similar convictions in certain areas. We have children around the same ages. We enjoy each other's company and have many of the same interests. Only, we four couldn't be more different. We have different personalities. And parenting styles. Even so, I TRUST THEM. I trust them with the things I need to get off my chest. I trust them with sharing tough stuff about myself, my children, and my day. I'm not embarrassed to say that I selfishly created this weekly fellowship for me. It was intentional. We didn't just fall into it. I slowly got to know these women as individuals over the short amount of time I've lived in my new town. And then, I crafted the group. On purpose. I'm sneaky like that.

Gathering this small village was a brainchild of mine last January, and we've now been meeting together once a week for just over a year. 

And sure, while it sounds like this group was developed for my own selfish purposes - to feed my personal needs - there has been another, bigger purpose.

To feed my children.

Not literally. (Although they have. And my kids seem to prefer their food over mine.)

I want my children to know my friends. I want my children to know the women that I trust. I want my children to feel comfortable with my friends. I want my children to know that my friends are watching out for them. No, not like a hawk. More like a mother eagle. 

Case in point. 

All of our kids have an iPod Touch. And while we are cool with them playing games and listening to their music, we carry the concern that they will stumble upon something online or YouTube for which their young eyes are not ready to see. It is after all, the big world of the Internet - where there is much good. And also, so much more. Yes, the devices come complete with the ability to restrict applications. We're all good with that - after a quick lesson on my son's iPod this morning. 

We also have general rules for the use of their iPods. For example, here a just a few for our household: 

1. The iPod can not be played until homework, chores, and musical instrument practice is complete.

2. The iPod is not a guest at our dinner table. Ever.

3. "Obey the first time" (in reference to something either I or my husband tell them to do) or lose the iPod for a full 24 hrs.

Maybe these seem "over the top", but my kids DIG THEIR IPODS, and could play on them forever. Hyperbole? Yes. Um, no. (Okay, yes.)

So, what does my "village" have to do with this?

We are currently compiling our iPod rules and sharing them with one another. Why? Because I have given my friends permission to talk with my children if they find them breaking one of my rules. 

Here again, let's be clear. My kids KNOW THESE PARENTS. They play with their children. And they know that George and I trust and respect these parents. We have a relationship with these families.

Why is this important?

Let's say, in a few years (please, Lord, give me a few years), one of our kids hits some difficulty and is having a tough time talking to us about it. Sure, they will have their youth leader to talk to at church. But, in our case, remember, Daddy also WORKS at the church. So I want to provide other avenues. Thus, I am doing what I can to communicate to my children that I am surrounded by some stellar friends, who also happen to be Moms. Moms that I trust. Moms they can trust. Moms who pray for them every week. That's not just talk. I've heard them.

It's worth a shot. 

But, until that day, we will simply continue to meet once a week. To talk. To pray. We'll get together for dinners. And birthday breakfasts. And we'll keep an eye out for one another's children.

So there you have it. It may be Village 101, but at least we're making attempts to actually build one.


pittsburgh_mom_copyJoline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask. 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Hard Discussions With Our Children

Written by Joline Atkins. Posted in Carpool Lane

User Rating:  / 3

iStock_000012755560XSmall_3Usually, I like to sprinkle humor in my posts. That's my personality - to find a chuckle in everything.

This week, I'm not chuckling.

And, I'm a bit tongue-tied.

Me.

This week, my quaint, small town experienced a tragedy.

A tragedy that included a bus driver and two second grade girls. As reported HERE.

Amidst all the FB chatter, emails, hub-bub at pick-up after school, and news reports, I have had to address the issue of molestation with my children. Again.

Some may find the discussion of molestation to be unnecessary with their children.

Maybe due to embarrassment, or being unsure of how to handle the conversation.

Perhaps, one believes their child is too young for the discussion. Or, too old.

"I've already talked with my child about this issue." So why revisit?

Me?

My father taught me to drive offensively. Rather than a defensively.

So, I had the discussion.

Again.

And hated it.

I was careful not to mention to my son that the incident involved two students from his school. The last thing I wanted was for him, innocently, to blurt out to friends that two little girls in school had been "hurt" by their bus driver.

He looked petrified during our discussion. And on the verge of tears, as I once again addressed this uncomfortable subject.

He landed in our bed that night . . .

Harper's eyes which are already huge, grew even wider as I talked with her. She simply asked, "Why would an adult want to do that?"

We prayed for the girls and their families. (And even the bus driver. That was hard.)

Are you struggling to have this conversation with your child?

Here is a great resource to help you navigate this absolutely and incredibly important issue with your treasures.

I don't always know the right words to say. But, I'm an actor. Hand me a script and I'll follow it.

Please do not fear talking with your children about molestation. There. I said it again.

Molestation.

Be well, my Pittsburgh Moms.

And may our children be protected from creeps.

That's all I've got for you this week.

 


pittsburgh_momJoline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Hard Discussions With Our Children (2)

Written by Joline Atkins. Posted in Carpool Lane

User Rating:  / 0

iStock_000012755560XSmall_3Usually, I like to sprinkle humor in my posts. That's my personality - to find a chuckle in everything.

This week, I'm not chuckling.

And, I'm a bit tongue-tied.

Me.

This week, my quaint, small town experienced a tragedy.

A tragedy that included a bus driver and two second grade girls. As reported HERE.

Amidst all the FB chatter, emails, hub-bub at pick-up after school, and news reports, I have had to address the issue of molestation with my children. Again.

Some may find the discussion of molestation to be unnecessary with their children.

Maybe due to embarrassment, or being unsure of how to handle the conversation.

Perhaps, one believes their child is too young for the discussion. Or, too old.

"I've already talked with my child about this issue." So why revisit?

Me?

My father taught me to drive offensively. Rather than a defensively.

So, I had the discussion.

Again.

And hated it.

I was careful not to mention to my son that the incident involved two students from his school. The last thing I wanted was for him, innocently, to blurt out to friends that two little girls in school had been "hurt" by their bus driver.

He looked petrified during our discussion. And on the verge of tears, as I once again addressed this uncomfortable subject.

He landed in our bed that night . . .

Harper's eyes which are already huge, grew even wider as I talked with her. She simply asked, "Why would an adult want to do that?"

We prayed for the girls and their families. (And even the bus driver. That was hard.)

Are you struggling to have this conversation with your child?

Here is a great resource to help you navigate this absolutely and incredibly important issue with your treasures.

I don't always know the right words to say. But, I'm an actor. Hand me a script and I'll follow it.

Please do not fear talking with your children about molestation. There. I said it again.

Molestation.

Be well, my Pittsburgh Moms.

And may our children be protected from creeps.

That's all I've got for you this week.

 


pittsburgh_momJoline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa Jo, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask. 

 

 

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Zane is Reading! The Tabloids . . .

Written by Joline Atkins. Posted in Carpool Lane

User Rating:  / 0

tabloidI received this text from my husband tonight while he was out at the grocery store with Zane. It read:

Dad, what's a boob job? As he read the cover of Star Magazine.

I'm so proud!

Zane is reading sooooooo well!

And so . . . loudly.

This is a kid who can't read silently to himself yet. Or think silently. Or even whisper, as evidenced by his disgruntled exclamation of, "Oh come on! Hello! People need their tickets!" in response to the kissing scene in the ticket booth at the end of "We Bought a Zoo."

Who knew that an innocent post-game run to Giant Eagle to surprise our daughter with some ice cream (it was an AWESOME game, and I cheered wildly!) would result in the second surprise of having to explain a boob job to our son?

My husband didn't do it - explain a boob job.

No. Instead, as any good 21st century parent does, he made sure to text me so we could both share this beautiful moment, and then promptly told our "I-will-be-7-in-only-4-days" son (he's also good at math), that he didn't need to know what a boob job was and to please stop reading the covers of the magazines.

Check-out lines have hazards of all kinds. The majority of those are covered in chocolate, red-dye #4586, or are of the cured meaty stick variety.

Zane usually prefers hanging at the Eagles Nest while I shop. So standing in a check-out line, surrounded by so many dazzling impulse products to look at, touch, purchase, or READ, is foreign to him.

As are boob jobs.

Thankfully.

And to quote someone, (as I have no idea who actually first coined this phrase), "We're not going there."

Any funny reading stories to share? I can NOT be the only one . . .


 

pittsburgh_momJoline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa JoFit With Jo, and is a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 10 and 6, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.

Zane is Reading! The Tabloids . . . (2)

Written by Joline Atkins. Posted in Carpool Lane

User Rating:  / 0

tabloidI received this text from my husband tonight while he was out at the grocery store with Zane. It read:

Dad, what's a boob job? As he read the cover of Star Magazine.

I'm so proud!

Zane is reading sooooooo well!

And so . . . loudly.

This is a kid who can't read silently to himself yet. Or think silently. Or even whisper, as evidenced by his disgruntled exclamation of, "Oh come on! Hello! People need their tickets!" in response to the kissing scene in the ticket booth at the end of "We Bought a Zoo."

Who knew that an innocent post-game run to Giant Eagle to surprise our daughter with some ice cream (it was an AWESOME game, and I cheered wildly!) would result in the second surprise of having to explain a boob job to our son?

My husband didn't do it - explain a boob job.

No. Instead, as any good 21st century parent does, he made sure to text me so we could both share this beautiful moment, and then promptly told our "I-will-be-7-in-only-4-days" son (he's also good at math), that he didn't need to know what a boob job was and to please stop reading the covers of the magazines.

Check-out lines have hazards of all kinds. The majority of those are covered in chocolate, red-dye #4586, or are of the cured meaty stick variety.

Zane usually prefers hanging at the Eagles Nest while I shop. So standing in a check-out line, surrounded by so many dazzling impulse products to look at, touch, purchase, or READ, is foreign to him.

As are boob jobs.

Thankfully.

And to quote someone, (as I have no idea who actually first coined this phrase), "We're not going there."

Any funny reading stories to share? I can NOT be the only one . . .


 

pittsburgh_momJoline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be founding writing at The Cuppa JoFit With Jo, and is a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 10 and 6, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she sweats out any daily angst by running (not with sharp objects) and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.