Kim Skinner, motivational speaker, Jacksonville, dental implants

Getting Long In the Tooth: It Beats the Alternative

I’ve been spending some quality time with my maxillofacial surgeon lately. As a neighbor and personal friend, I have been happy to cheer him on as he removed my older children’s wisdom teeth. I applauded his skill and then left him to shower my swollen 18-year-olds with smoothies and ice cream.

How surprised was I to later find myself in the patient’s chair! Three cracked teeth have totally changed my outlook.

How clueless was I to take for granted a full set of teeth? I now know what a “flipper” is and how uncomfortable it is to wear. CAT scans and X-rays allow my toothless skeletal smiles to glow across the big screen as I recline in the dental chair. The furrowed brow of my doctor causes me to gulp as I wait for his verdict.

“Another delay,” he says. “You need to develop more bone growth.”

In case you have the pleasure of being personally unfamiliar with implants, let me pause to explain a little about how they work. The surgeon basically jabs metal rods into your jawbone and you simply wait for the bone to grow around it. The teeth are then attached to the implanted parts, once they are solidly in place.   Apparently mine are not.

How is it that I, who have the constitution of a draft horse, find myself so weakened? Did I not womp up the energy and determination to push out five huge babies? Was I not a calcium-producing machine as I breast-fed those babies for countless years?

My doctor, who is a few years older than me, pats my hand and says, “You know, at our age, we need to be patient. These things take time.”

I want to grind my teeth with frustration, but then remember that clenching is what got me into this mess in the first place. I’m envisioning a future of reluctant patience and tapioca.

Children | Mistakes | Kim Skinner | Motivational Speaker

Letting Our Children Flub Up

Are you okay about not being okay? Most of us would agree that we can learn from our mistakes. But when it comes to our children….

I’ll never forget one of the earliest teacher conferences I had concerning my firstborn child. The seemingly negative assessment and numerated critiques of my precious one cut to my heart and made my blood boil. No way! This is someone else’s fault!

It’s only natural for us to become roaring lionesses when our cubs are attacked. But at some point this behavior becomes destructive.

In a wonderful parenting bestseller, “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Techniques to Raise Self-Reliant Children” by Dr. Wendy Mogel, overprotective mommies are called out.

Why do I refuse to hear criticism about my child?

How are my dreams and expectations coloring the way my child sees himself?

When is it okay to let a child fall down and suffer the consequences?

Mogel stresses the importance of faith in the household. Why? Because faith determines what is ultimately most important. If godly character, respect and kindness are most important, then discipline and hard lessons are not only acceptable, but essential.

On reflection, no matter what our professed faith may be, our actions truly reveal where our functional priorities reside.

  • If reputation and appearance are everything, then our children are encouraged to look and act perfectly.
  • If we stress over financial security, then educational success, admission to top universities, and well-paying careers become our children’s priority.
  • If we live for our children’s love, then we sacrifice everything to make them happy. (Trust me, this is a lose-lose.)

Honestly, my faith journey has been one of many skinned knees. Personal pain and flub-ups are essential to get my attention. I truly remind myself of a mule I once knew.

Bottom line: “Skinned knees” are great teaching moments. Let’s embrace them and learn. Let us, with humility, celebrate such moments with our children and point them to the wisdom of our faith!

Wives In the Locker Room: Sneak Peek!

My first marriage book is finally launching and a book-signing party is coming up!  I just couldn’t wait to share the first chapter here.

Why all the excitement?

  • I believe every woman, regardless of marital status or sports affiliation/aversion, struggles with relationships and “difficult” people.  (Just because it’s not your husband doesn’t mean that the principles don’t apply.)
  • I put a lot of ME into this book. I truly think you can relate and will be amused. And of course, new perspectives are always helpful.
  • This book is meant to be shared. How many young women do you know that could benefit from a fun and potentially life-changing read?

Please join me at the party!

The book signing will be at The BookMark in Neptune Beach (22o First Street) on February 9 at 7 p.m.  So enjoy this snippet and then pick up your copy in person on February 9 just in time for Valentine’s Day with your man!  Can’t make it out to The BookMark?  You can get a copy right here.