The clock stops for no woman. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn into your mother!
Nor does it mean I have to turn into mine (even though I love my mom dearly)!
Through some light research in aging, anecdotal evidence and thinking (while we are still young!) Akron Ohio Moms have created this list of ways to NOT turn into your mother.
Keep the Chills Coming!
As your body ages, it gets harder and harder to create dopamine in response to new things.
Let’s face it, you may like Adele, but you don’t get Chills when you hear “Hello”, whereas your daughter freaks out when she hears Taylor Swift!
Dopamine is the response your brain releases when it thinks something should stand out- and kids, teens, and adults younger than you are better at it than you are. So improve your Brain’s ability to create Dopamine by showing your brain new things!
1. Never order FAVORITES at a restaurant. Pick something new for a new experience.
2. Spend Time on Pinterest. Start on our Page:)
3. Learn ten phrases in Swahili AND Italian.
4. Order a Sushi Making Kit and Eat Raw Fish!
5. Visit the Zoo with a Child and look in the smallest cages and cases.
6. Visit a tiny museum you’ve never before visited.
7. Watch Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart.
8. Buy 3 Vegetables at the Grocery Store you’ve never eaten before. Prepare and eat them.
9. Randomly Browse through Amazon Categories you never consider.
10. Tour a local Factory and learn how things are made.
11. Sell something, ANYTHING on ebay. Spend your earnings on something unexpected.
12. Try a Rope Course or Zipline.
13. Go Camping, or stay at a State Lodge.
14. Eat Dessert at a Fancy Restaurant. I suggest the super tall chocolate cake at Fleming’s!
15. Join a Polar Bear Club and Take the Plunge!
16. Ride a Mechanical Bull at a country western bar.
17. Go to the Symphony. Cleveland has the beautiful Severence Hall.
18. Go Skeet Shooting.
19. Take a single Belly Dancing Lesson. Take 3 ballroom dancing lessons.
20. Hit up a Flea Market and Buy something bigger than a bread box.
21. Click around YouTube for new Videos.
22. Watch Short Documentaries on Amazon Prime.
23. List Down Your Small Tasks and Finish Them. Checking Things Off of a To Do List improves your dopamine response- and tricks your brain into thinking you will receive a reward! Similarly, 24. get a little obsessive about what you get done. keep track of how many days in a row you keep the dishes clean after dinner, 25. Count How many nights a week you get to bed on time, and 26. put a sticker on your chart every time you exercise. Silly yes, but dopamine training, YES!!
26. Listen to Music that you already like- this has been found to increase dopamine.
27. Get a Massage- this has been scientifically proven to increase dopamine (and serotonin) levels.
28. Take a dopamine encouragement supplement like Curcumin, Ginkgo Biloba, L-theanine or Acetyl-i-tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea, and, popular in our house, Omega-3 Fatty Acids (you know, the DHA in baby formula!)
29. Protect the dopamine your body can consume by correcting a magnesium deficiency, and increasing your vitamin C and E intake (Start on MultiVitamin, pretty simple)
30. Make sure your body can make Dopamine by having Tyrosine in your blood stream. Common foods that are a good source of tyrosine include Almonds, Avocados, Bananas, Beef, Chicken, Eggs, Dairy, Coffee and Chocolate.
31. Dopamine doesn’t get created if Lipolypo, a toxin, is in your system. That means you need to live clean(er). Consider a Cleanse.
32. Consume Probiotics found in yogurt and other cultured products.
33. Sleep enough so your body can run its cleaning cycle at night.
34. Stay away from fatty and sugary foods. Except for Chocolate- that helps Make Dopamine… NEVER skip the chocolate.
35. Exercise! Yes Dopamine happens when you exercise- keep it flowing, even if you hate it! (This is the inexpensive Exercise Bike that I bought, and have vowed NEVER to hang clothes on!)
36. Get Creative- getting into a mode, and really focusing on a hobby that requires some thought, like crafting, drawing, photography, tinkering can settle you down and get you into a dopamine creating groove. Something as simple as an adult coloring book lets you do this. (don’t forget the right pens!)
The point of all this dopamine is allow your body’s dopamine to flow when new things come to the forefront, and for you to be more accepting and excited about the newness. Try New Things!!
Thinking without Empathy
Teenagers are indeed self-centered. Scientific Studies show that teens have less empathy for their friends and family than you do – their care quotient regarding how their actions and behaviors affect others is less developed than yours. Your empathy, my dear mother, is hampering you from thinking like a teen.
Of course, having empathy for others is a GOOD THING. It is what separates you from your growing child- and your children just do not recognize this.
To not turn into your mother, you need to be empathetic and lenient to your teen’s self-centered attitude. Wanting your child to understand what their actions and behaviors do to others can lead to arguments, and you spouting off things that you’ve heard your mother say before.
37. Think through situations in the first, and then third person.
38. Don’t personalize a lesson with ‘how do you think your friend felt”. Instead start fresh with a new but similar situation- Think King David’s Counselor regarding Bathsheba or Andy Griffith Stories for Opie. Let the situation be understood, and then translate.
39. Don’t Teach self-centered behavior like being a social media fiend. Point out and describe WHY you put down your smartphone after 6pm..or 8pm… or 9:30…
Put Planning Aside Now and Then
A teen’s motivation is often around short term gains, thrill seeking, and reward based activities (read about dopamine above!). In turn they are lacking some skills that you possess, old, wise, motherly one….Planning and gratification can make an adult happy but a tween or teen sees your great ability to plan as a huge nag.
40. Don’t say “wear your coat”. Don’t say it extra loud. Instead say “Today’s Forecasted high is only 20 degrees. I’ll be getting my coat for my walk from the car to the office.”
41. Make homework rewards about the short term if necessary. It’s not always about getting into college. It can be about an hour of TV time.
42. Make chores and cleaning about requirements, rewards and allowance too, and not about how the results compare to when you were young.
43. Don’t say “Take your dish to the sink”. Instead suggest that an unclean will attract rats and roaches.- That works- kids HATE rats.
44. Picky Eaters have less energy, have bad complexions and live sad depressing lives- tell your kids that.
45. You can complain that your teenager may have a disorganized mess, but do give them the tools and organizational structure inside their space to be able to easily clean up and organize.
46. Rejoice with your teen with their short term gains (a high score on Candy Crush, a retweet by a popular class mate, or their ability to do any instant gratification task). If you don’t show excitement in these small activities, they won’t think you care at all.
Sleeping In is OK
Melatonin Levels over the course of a day change their peaks over the course of human life- and that means we want to sleep at different times of the day than our kids.
Children seem to be normal, but teens, they are physically wired to stay up late, and sleep-in during the morning. Adults get into a groove of normalcy, until they hit retirement and start shifting in the other direction- getting dinner at 4:15, bed by 8, and up by 4am.
47. Do not punish your teen for sleeping in and make fun of them.
48. Try and stay up late every once in a while- match your child hour by hour.
Bland Food Choices No More
Adults can get into a rut and eat/make the same foods day in and day out. With sites like Yummly and Pinterest, there is no need for repeating recipes, even if you are good at preparing them!
49. When visiting a restaurant, select 3 menu items that you’re willing to try, and let your kids pick from these.
50. When at home, select a dozen recipes you are willing to make, and let your kids pick their top 4.
51. Visit your nearest Indian Restaurant and, if you are not Indian, have a dumb look on your face when you order something AMAZING. (LOVE Indian flavors and spices!)
52. Ask the clerk at your local Chinese restaurant what their most exotic meal is…. And Order it.
Nostalgia, Not so much
Reminiscing about the good old days, rehashing old stories and retelling favorite jokes actually acts as an anti-depressant for those of us with plenty to remember.
These actions calm the brain and do let it relax. (Maybe they retrace old brain pathways and release dopamine, who knows!)
Kids, on the other hand, just see this as a groan worthy exercise that has nothing to do with the bright future ahead. So, talk about the bright future ahead!
53. Plan out conversation topics and have them ready if you ever feel like retelling a story to your children!
54. Journal and Track Who knows What Stories, make it a life goal to share with all, but never to repeat!
Appearance, Just try to Keep up!
No, no, don’t start shopping in the Young Miss Section at Kohl’s, but do skip the house coat section at KMart Closeouts! Appearing Young goes a long way towards acting young.
55. If you color your hair, get it done once professionally, and learn the best color for your skin tone.
56. Buy sexy bras that support you, but that could NOT be used to secure your car door. Just enough ladies!
57. Check out fashion ensembles that professionals put together- use those as reference points!
58. Minimize your Purse size (yes, I can’t do this myself)
59. Check out decade old hair magazines, and make sure your hairstyle can’t be found in them.
60. Consider Contacts instead of glasses this year.
I hope you like my list, again, love you Mom!