“It’s Not Fair” – Coping with Your Child’s Complaining Over the Holidays

parenting, it's not fair, complaining“Somehow my older child didn’t think Santa was fair this year. She felt her sister’s presents were bigger and better, and hers were smaller and worse.

Although I felt badly for her because she truly felt wronged, I wanted to point out why hers were just as good and in some cases better.

And I also had the urge to make her “shut up” and stop complaining about her presents!

I didn’t.

I listened to her while she complained and whined and explained to me how she didn’t like Santa anymore and how Santa was a bad guy.

I tried to tell her Santa and I both loved her.

I didn’t take this personally, which I would have done in years past. Instead, I empathized and listened intently.

She was sad for a while, but once I let her offload the hurt and gave her a chance to be heard, she started to let it go. She actually loved her gifts, and said so at the end of her upset. It was nice to see her come all the way through.

How to Work with “It’s Not Fair!”

How many hours do we parents spend trying to make sure everything is fair? We measure ice cream scoops so they’re the exact same size. We count shirts and pants to ensure that everyone gets an equal share of back-to-school clothes. We time our children’s electronics usage so that one doesn’t get a minute more than another. And if one child gets invited to a movie with a friend, we quickly think up a treat to offer the others, so they won’t feel badly.

But, as my kids will tell you, “Life’s not fair!”

If one child has holes in his shoes and another’s shoes are in good shape, only one child is in need of a new pair. If a ten-year-old functions well on ten hours sleep, but her younger brother needs twelve to make it through the day, it makes sense for her to have a later bedtime.

In fact, trying to make life fair for our children works against them. We’re essentially denying them the opportunity to learn to overcome upset.

Instead, let’s gift our children the attention they need to overcome disappointments and feelings of being slighted.

This mother didn’t run out to buy bigger and better Christmas presents. Instead, she Staylistened to her daughter. And by offering her love and connection to heal from hurt, this mother gave her daughter the best gift there is—the ability to acknowledge her upset, feel her way through it, heal, and get back to enjoying life.

What is Staylistening, and Why Do Tears Heal Hurts and Upsets?

boy looking tearful in front of Christmas treeHave you ever felt that your child’s reaction is huge compared to whatever minor event set her off crying? Sometimes a child will collect feelings of anxiousness and fears, from little slights to major disappointments seemingly without stress. Ava will carry on painting long after her brother swiped the blue and kept it for himself. Joey will look sad at the Christmas party as the last gingerbread disappears before he helps himself, but will then happily tuck into some popcorn instead.

No worries.

But slowly, these feelings build up and become harder to contain. As dad chats heartily with his brother and doesn’t see his son stand longingly wanting to play ball. When a child’s friend at school gets invited to another friend’s house for a party and he doesn’t. When he wants to show grandma a cool new game, but she’s busy frosting cupcakes. Little things individually, each one filling what we call his “emotional backpack.”

Why A Child’s Whining Shows A Storm is Coming

Soon, the upsets cannot be disguised. Signs of his discomfort begin to surface:

  • He asks and asks and asks for you to “just come see,” or “when can we play?”
  • He ignores requests to do things that usually wouldn’t cause a fuss.
  • He tips over a water glass on the table, accidentally on purpose.
  • He takes a cookie you told him were to be saved for the guests visiting later.

Behaviors are a Signal About Emotional Well-being

All of these behaviors are signs that disconnection is present. In this season, so often called silly season, where parents and caregivers are busier than ever, it can be hard finding moments to pay close attention, to take a minute to laugh and to play. That’s not anyone’s fault, but as disconnection grows, a child will soon demand the attention he needs to feel better. Through tears. Big and loud. Through angry upsets. Seemingly over small things.

Like when Santa deals out what is deemed a less than pleasing present.

Then the tears come. All the feelings squashed until now erupt in a torrent of angry words, fight reflexes, and just, well, “urggghhhh”!

And when they are listened to, they pass.

A child returns to being sweet, playful and even appreciative.

I Get It, but I Still Lose it When My Kids Complain at Christmas

When a child says his sister’s present is better, or he hates the gift he received, it can stir up many deep feelings for us in return. We might feel a child

  • Is ungrateful
  • Is entitled or spoilt
  • Should be thankful
  • Is not kind or polite

If he acts this way in front of others, you may also feel embarrassed and judged. You find yourself tight and unable to respond lightly or playfully.

A lot of these feelings begin with how we were raised and the messages we received as children.

How were you listened to if you complained as a child? How do you remember the holidays at your house? How many times did you receive a gift you didn’t like but had to smile and say thank you politely?

These factors play a huge role in how difficult or easy you find it to listen to a child complaining about gifts or fairness. If you were not allowed to complain, it takes a lot to listen to your own child, even when you understand the reason why.

It takes practice, for sure, and it also takes preparation.

Three Ways To Get Prepped for “It’s Not Fair!”

Taking those feelings you have locked away and sharing them with a Listening Partner is one way to free up space so that you can respond in kind if your child has upsets over gifts and what is and isn’t fair over the holidays. You might revisit the times you were chastised or were expected to be compliant or polite through your own disappointments, you might dwell on the feelings that you have around ungratefulness or entitlement.

Go Back in Time

Say the words you wanted to say as a child but could not:

  • But those socks are UGLY
  • Why does Jane always get better stuff than me?
  • I wanted a real dog, not a toy hamster

Let the Anger Loose

Try saying, out loud the harsh, angry things you really want to say to your child. Get them out of your head and out of the way. Be loud, be wild, be sarcastic. If the anger moves to laughter, go there too.

Test Your Responses

Test out a few responses that you could use with your child. Try an angry tone against a neutral tone or even dramatic a playful tone. Some phrases you might want to try are:

  • “It’s not exactly what you wanted? That’s hard”
  • “I know sweetie, this is different.”
  • “Your sister got the gift you wanted. I see.”

When you have planned for complaining and can interpret your child’s behaviors as being less about being spoiled, entitled or wanting and more about connection, you’ll find it easier to respond.

But What About The Judgment?

Even if you get on board with listening to your child’s complaints, others in your family might not be so happy to hear them. If you find their judgment has you squirming or angry, it’s fine to take your child out of the situation, and reconnect somewhere else. Scooping him up and saying lightly, “I think I need some time alone with this little elf,” alludes to your family that you are “dealing with the situation” while giving you the time and space you both need to Staylisten effectively.

The anecdote used in this post is taken from the the book Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. The book has hundreds of real-life examples from families using this approach. You can listen to a sample on audio here.

The post “It’s Not Fair” – Coping with Your Child’s Complaining Over the Holidays appeared first on Hand in Hand Parenting.

Glitter Eyeliner Is the Prettiest Way to Wear Sparkle For the Holidays

So, you’ve mastered the smoky eye, the winged liner, and a seductive red lip . . . unfortunately, by holiday party season, so has everyone else. If you’re looking for a way to stand out this year, you’re going to need a secret weapon. And for 2016, the technique you should have in your arsenal is glitter eyeliner.

Various takes on sparkly and sophisticated glitter eyeliner are sweeping across social media, dazzling Instagram beauty gurus. Even the experts are taking notice. According to Make Up For Ever‘s Executive Director of Education and Artistry Patrick Eichler, it’s a must-try style for Winter. “The holiday season is all about shimmer, so there’s no better time to turn up the sparkle in your makeup.”

One of the best things about this technique is the various ways it can be customized, making it a pretty pick for less experienced gals and makeup maestros alike. For a more dramatic finish, layer the glitter liner just above a black base, add it to a smoky eye, or show off your skills with a wing worthy of Cleopatra herself.

For those seeking a more subdued style, Eichler recommends Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Liners ($23), especially those with diamond finishes: “[These products] give a beautiful metallic sparkle, require no mixing, and are easy to apply. Perfect for the glitter ‘newbie.'”

The finished effect can also vary due to the product chosen. Those who want a bit more sparkle can mix a glitter shadow or powder – Eichler suggests Make Up For Ever Diamond Powder ($25) – with a liquid liner or adhesive like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Seal ($21). If you really want to gleam, try the same method with loose glitter, which comes in a variety of sizes. Eichler notes that depending on whether you choose small flecks or larger chunks, “the looks [will be] different, from fairy-dust sparkle to disco-ball reflective.”

Before you run to the store to snatch up some glitter, check out our favorite sparkly eyeliner looks from Instagram for inspiration.

TSL Snowshoes Symbioz Elite Snowshoes Review

TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes are designed for snowshoeing in mountainous terrain
TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes are designed for snowshoeing in mountainous terrain

TSL’s Symbioz Elite Snowshoes are designed for use in mountainous terrain with aggressive crampons and a heel lift for climbing steep and icy slopes. They have a large horizontal front crampon, good for digging into slopes, with 8 stainless-steel cleats (rotated 90 degrees) down the sides to prevent side slipping. But what sets these snowshoes apart from all others is the comfort and ergonomics of snowshoeing in them. It doesn’t matter if you’re snowshoeing along a packed trail or breaking trail in deep powder, it feels like you’re walking in a normal pair of shoes when you wear them, not bowlegged, or pronated, or duck-footed, the way that many other snowshoes make you feel. Snowshoeing with them is simply easier, resulting in less fatigue and greater comfort. Much greater comfort.

Specs at a Glance

  • Sizes (L, M, S)
  • Dimensions: 27 x 8.5″  / 23.5 x 8″ / 20.5 x 7.5″
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 12.8 oz. / 4 lbs. 4.8 oz. / 4 lbs. 1.6 oz.
  • Rec. Max Load : 150 – 300 / 110 – 260 / 65 – 180

There are several factors that make these snowshoes unique.

First is the hourglass shape, wider in the front and narrower at the rear, which keeps you from stepping on your opposite snowshoe as you walk. Slots in the decking help keep snow from accumulating on top, while the short length helps keep your gait normal. The shorter length of these snowshoes means that they have less flotation that much larger ones, something to consider if you’re looking for a less technical snowshoe designed for flatter terrain and deep powder.

The hourglass shape and short length help keep your gait natural
The hourglass shape and short length help keep your gait natural, while holes in the frame prevent snow from piling up on top and slowing you down when snowshoeing in deep snow.

Next is the adjustable binding system which can be set both length-wise and across your toes to precisely fit your boots. The binding “remembers” your settings, so you can just slip your boots into them without having to re-adjust the binding every time you use the snowshoes. Simply flip the plastic hinge above your toes to lock your forefoot in place and ratchet close the padded strap that reaches around the front of your ankle. Once set up, it’s as simple as slipping on a pair of loafers. Fast transition times are important in winter because you need to keep moving to stay warm. The last thing your hiking partners want to do is watch you fight with a snowshoe binding.

Binding closeup - front binding closes ove rthe toe box, while the rear binding closes with a ratchet mechanism.
Binding closeup – front binding closes over the toe box, while the rear binding closes over the front of the ankle with a ratchet mechanism.

The nice thing about the Symbioz Elite binding system is that you don’t have to make the toe or the ankle binding super tight when you strap yourself in. Both the toe and heel bindings lock your boot in without the need for a lot of pressure from the straps. This eliminates rubbing and hotspots inside your boot, while maintaining good blow flow, which will keep your toes and feet warmer.

The Symbioz Elite is like a lot of other mountaineering style snowshoes in that is has a heel lift, which can be deployed when you’re climbing up a hill. The function of the lift is to raise your heel, so it feels like you’re walking on level ground even though you’re hiking up an incline. This greatly reduces calf fatigue, so you can keep hiking longer. Rather than flip the lift up under your heel like MSR snowshoes, you push it down with Symbioz Elite, a process which is trivial to do with the handle or basket of your trekking pole. It’s equally easy to flip it up, again with your trekking pole handle.

Finally, there’s the Hyperflex frame, made with a springy plastic decking and carbon fiber strips, which allows the snowshoe to flex around ground features, keeping the crampons and cleats in the snow while reducing slippage. The flex also helps reduce the amount of balling (clumping of snow) that occurs on the bottom of the snowshoes when you get them wet or in warm conditions.

Snowshoeing in deep powder with the TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes
Snowshoeing in deep powder with the TSL Symbioz Elite Snowshoes

If there’s one gotcha with the Symbioz Elite, it’s the bulk of the binding which prevents stacking the snowshoes and lashing them to the back of your pack, the way you can with a lay-flat ski-strap-style binding. This means you need a backpack with sufficiently long side compression straps, so you can lash the Symbioz Elites to the sides of the pack when you have to carry them.


The TSL Snowshoes’ Symbioz Elite Snowshoes are optimized for use in steep technical terrain with aggressive crampons and a comfortable binding system that can be preset to match your precise boot size. But what makes these snowshoes unique is the comfort and ergonomics of using them. They facilitate a very natural stride that feels a lot more like hiking than snowshoeing, helping to conserve your energy across a wide range of snow conditions.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.

Written 2017.

Support SectionHiker.com, where we actually field test the products we review. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you.

The post TSL Snowshoes Symbioz Elite Snowshoes Review appeared first on Section Hikers Backpacking Blog.

What French Girls Will (and Won’t) Wear for the Holidays

As it turns out, celebrating the holidays in France doesn’t sound all that different from celebrating stateside. “Usually it’s a family time, very relaxed, good homemade food, foie gras, champagne, etc.,” says Judith Milgrom, designer of Parisian label Maje. But while there may be similarities (excluding the foie gras), the holiday uniform for French women is distinct. “I think we might opt for a less dressy look than Americans,” Milgrom notes. “Or if we dress up, we’ll go with a faux non-makeup look and leave our hair undone, natural. It’s always a question of balance. We do our best to look cool, but it actually takes time.”

And as for New Year’s, like us, the French also love a little sparkle: “Anything glitter, embroidered, lace, sequins, metallic, gold, rhinestones… but never too much. High heels are an option, but we also like to twist an evening dress with flats. If we wear high heels, we take them off while dancing on the dance floor.” So what are the five holiday staples of French women? We asked Milgrom to fill us in. Her picks are a little black dress, a tuxedo jacket (with matching pants), a mini bag, a statement coat, and simple, easy-to-dance-in heels. Below, we’re shopping out each pick for you. Just remember, in Milgrom’s words, “imperfection is beautiful,” so don’t stress too hard about pulling off an exact ensemble. Wear what you enjoy.

Shop it all below!

Available in sizes 6 to 12.
Available in sizes 12 to 24.
Available in sizes 0 to 12.
Available in sizes 35 to 42.
Available in sizes 5.5 to 8.
Available in sizes 36 to 41.
Available in sizes XS to XL.
Available in sizes 1 to 2.
 Available in sizes S to 4XL.
Tuxedo Trousers ($50). Available in sizes XS to XL.
   Slim-Fit Stretch Trousers ($100). Blazer available in sizes XS to XL. Pants available in sizes 10 to 22.
  and 7/8 Length Crepe Trousers ($325). Jacket available in sizes S to L. Pants available in sizes XS to L. Want more? Here’s a French woman’s take on winter dressing.

Behind the ambitious plan to build and race flying cars


Since Back to the Future, you’re far from alone if you’ve wondered where the heck your flying car is already.

Sure, we’ve seen pitches by the likes of Kitty Hawk, which is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, and Slovakian startup AeroMobil — but the reality of a flying car still seems a way off.

An Australian startup called Alauda has an ambition to fast-track that reality with its electric, low-altitude aircraft, the Airspeeder Mark I. 

Alauda is founded by Matt Pearson, who also cofounded space startup Fleet. Over the past two years, Pearson has been working on the project as part of a team of five in a Sydney warehouse. Read more…

More about Tech, Australia, Transportation, Racing, and Flying Cars

Must-See Art Guide: Zürich

We’re spending this last week of the fall season in Zürich, rounding up the hottest art in the alpine city. First on our list is a solo exhibition of pioneering Surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim at Galerie Ziegler SA. Expect to experience Oppenheim’s playful bronze sculpture, characteristic wit, and her critical awareness of female identity and exploitation as manifest in her works on paper. For more subversive, humorous object art, check out Claes Oldenburg at Galerie Gmurzynska, one of many heavy-hitters featured in a survey exhibition of 100 years of sculpture.

Contemporary American artists are holding their own in Switzerland’s largest city, with Alex Hubbard, Matt Mullican, and Raffi Kalenderian representing the country coast-to-coast. Hubbard’s newest Abstract Expressionist-inspired paintings are up at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, complimented by his layered, volatile video installations. Over at Mai 36 Galerie, Mullican—known for his visceral images and interest in hypnosis—continues his exploration of pattern and the picture as a physical place in his multi-media work. Meanwhile, Kalenderian’s intimate portraits oscillating between reality and illusion are on display at Galerie Peter Kilchmann. Closing out this week’s selection is Museum Haus Konstruktiv’s exhibition of work by 2017 Zurich Art Prize recipient Marguerite Humeau, an artist who takes inspiration from events of prehistory, the occult, and ancient creatures.

Browse our full list of picks below.


Exhibition: Jonathan Wateridge: Swimmer, oil paintings & oil studies
When: November 2, 2017–January 13, 2018
Where: Galerie Haas AG, Talstraße 62a, Zürich, Switzerland

Alex Hubbard, Illegal Muscles (2017). Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber.

Exhibition: Alex Hubbard: Chemical Compulsion
When: October 28–December 21, 2017
Where: Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zahnradstraße 21, Zürich, Switzerland

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Yellow Monster 12) (2017). Courtesy of Mai 36 Galerie.

Exhibition: Representing That World
When: November 3–December 23, 2017
Where: Mai 36 Galerie, Rämistrasse 37, Zürich, Switzerland

Meret Oppenheim, Das Ohr von Giacometti (1933–1977). Courtesy of Galerie Zeigler SA.

Exhibition: “Meret Oppenheim
When: December 8, 2017–January 26, 2018
Where: Galerie Zeigler SA, Rämistraße 34, Zürich, Switzerland

Yves Klein, SE 6 (c. 1959). Courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

Exhibition: “From Surface To Space: 100 Years of Sculpture, Relief and Collage
When: October 16, 2017–January 31, 2018
Where: Galerie Gmurzynska, Paradeplatz 2, Zürich, Switzerland

Barbara Ellmerer, Works on paper (2017). Courtesy of Galerie Andres Thalmann.

Exhibition: “Barbara Ellmerer: Recent Work
When: November 17, 2017–January 27, 2018
Where: Galerie Andres Thalmann, Talstraße 66, Zürich, Switzerland

Raffi Kalenderian, Steven (2017). Courtesy of Galerie Peter Kilchmann.

Exhibition:Raffi Kalenderian: Portraits
When: November 4–December 22, 2017
Where: Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zahnradstraße 21, Zürich, Switzerland

Marguerite Humeau, “RIDDLES (Last Beats)” (2017). Courtesy of Museum Haus Konstruktiv.

Exhibition: Marguerite Humeau: RIDDLES (Final Beats)” and “Julije Knifer
When: October 26, 2017–January 14, 2018
Where: Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Selnaustrasse 25, Zürich, Switzerland

The post Must-See Art Guide: Zürich appeared first on artnet News.

What’s New for 2018: GMC

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Black EditionGeneral Motors’ continued efforts to differentiate its truck brand from the rest of its offerings are in full force this year. The automaker’s redesigned Terrain crossover has an all-new design and a transmission that set it apart from the related Chevrolet Equinox. Although they’re the same under the skin, they don’t look and feel much alike…