Tiptastic Tuesday: Honest Parenting

By Damien Knight

This weeks Tiptastic tip is a parenting one. Today I had a long conversation about my childhood with my kids. I answered them without hesitation. And this made me realise I never dared ask my parents how they were raised or what they did as kids.

Growing up it always felt like my parents had always been adults. Surely they never played like I did. I wanted my kids to know I understood, I have been there so I regularly tell anecdotes of my childhood. And that’s my tip for parent’s tell your kids about yourself. Want kids who will trust you with secrets? Trust them, believe me it works. When my son went through some tough stuff he knew I’d listen because I always do.

I am sure this isn’t new advice but maybe for some it is. Anyway happy Tuesday!


Nominated for Liebster Award

By Damien Knight

Hey, we are “The Shade of Writing” a blog written by an entire family. I am Damien, head writer and editor of the blog. I am enthused we got picked for Liebster Award. The acknowledgement of our progress and hard work is encouraging.


We were nominated by Lamees Helal: Motherhood and All. I feel honoured as her blog is inspirational and enjoyable. You all really should go read her posts.
The Liebster Award is an award that only exists online. It was first established in 2011 and it is given to bloggers by other bloggers. You can find all the rules here: https://theglobalaussie.com/blog/liebster-award-2017/

We have to answer these questions asked by Lamees Helal: Motherhood and All. Let’s jump right in!

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Follow Friday: Social Media

Damien Knight

It’s Friday again and so once more it is Follow Friday where I thank my followers. I also want to let you all know that Aaron, our travel blogger, has been on trip in Hawaii and when he returns will have new posts for us. The kids also are working on new writing pieces.

Forward March:


Before I get into our Follow Friday I want to really plug our Patreon. As a college student raising two kids life is expensive. Our Patreon was set up to help fund expenses and reward those who support us. For only a dollar support you get featured at the top of our Follow Friday Blog Post. Thanks in advanced for your support: https://www.patreon.com/KnightD


Want to be featured here? Follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/ArajuanKanosis.

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Thanks everyone and remember we also have an Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Follow our Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/arajuankanosis/

Follow our Pinterest  here: https://www.pinterest.com/theshadeofwriting/boards/

Follow our Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/theshadeofwriting/




Motivation Monday: An Act of Courage

By Damien Knight


As you all know, I have moved into a new house. What you might not know is I suffer from chronic illness. This weekend I posted a poem titled Invisible which captured how I felt dealing with having to unpack an entire house with just me and two kids. I am exhausted, stressed and in constant pain. I know I shouldn’t complain about it but isn’t human?

Absolutely! And not only is it natural and human to complain it is human to want compassion. I have arthritis, Hashimoto’s, Asthma, epilepsy, GERD, and depression brought on by the fact I have had no medication since December due to insurance issues. It gets frustrating just trying to get out of bed. With a thyroid disorder sleepiness is more than just a symptom. It is a way of life. I have trouble sleeping at night and keeping my eyes open in the day. I live on coffee.

In fact, I bet most of you also live on coffee and you don’t even suffer a thyroid problem, right? Or maybe you do. The point is many of us struggle with just getting out of bed. I slept a lot as a kid, the depression so heavy sleep was better than living. Today’s Motivation “Every Day begins with an act of courage.” So true. For me just getting up means the depression, the chronic pain, and Hashimoto’s does not beat me. My illness will not define me, hardships do not have to define us. Be proud today you got out of bed.

Wednesday Wisdom : No Harm in Asking


First off sincere apologies for missing Tiptastic Tuesday. Everything is still very topsy turvey in the Shadow Lair Household. We have been unpacking still and on top of that I had midterms this week and next. This brings me to my Wednesday Wisdom:


My first midterm was in Mineralogy. I was so embarrassed. I had studied all week and I thought I was prepared but when I sat down this feeling of doom took over. The professor, Dr. Wulff, handed the test and I read over it. I couldn’t recall anything I had studied.

Now my teacher is not a tough teacher, he isn’t this brick wall that you can’t approach. While I struggled and wept silently over the test other students would get up and go to the prep room and ask questions. I became more disparaged meanwhile my classmates would sit back down more encouraged. In this situation who is the fool? The man who held his silence with pride and embarrassment or the ones who spoke out their ignorance?

I was most definitely the fool here. I would love to say I realised what I was doing that instant. I did not and I sulked out without directly handing my page to the teacher with my tail between my legs. If I had only asked my teacher about Radius Ratios and made a point that I didn’t understand he could have helped me. I did not ask and so likely did poorly. It is my mistake and I accept this.

Ask, it doesn’t hurt even if the answer is “No,” or “I don’t know.” At least you tried.

Motivational Monday: The Candle in the Darkness



Some months back a big YouTube family lost two of their children in highly publicized CPS custody battle. I won’t name the family, I am sure we all know who I am talking about and their heinousness does not deserve more air time. Just know they were a “Prank Channel” where the pranks were them screaming obscenities at the youngest step child until he cried. He literally was the red headed step-child.

Why am I bringing this up on a motivational Monday? Good question you see during all that I had avoided seeing the “prank videos” and blocked out the story because it was very similar to stuff I suffered. Having my step sisters favoured over me, constantly being called dumb blond or some other insult, having my favourite toys literally thrown away or broken in front of me, and having my parents encourage my step sister to beat me up. While I know they might read this and deny they hurt me I know my past. I know my darkness. I saw those videos today.

It wasn’t intentional, a friend, one who was well meaning, shared it and Facebook auto played it when I scrolled. The flashback happened immediately, I was a scared teenager all over, I was that boy in the video being accused when I hadn’t done a thing wrong. I curled up in a corner and was bawling. Even now it’s hard to not have tears in my eyes. This is not how you treat a child you love.

The candle, the candle to my past is right there in front of me. As I cried my son heard me and came. His arms wrapped around me, I told him how much I loved him and how sorry I was for yelling at him so much. He and his sister just sat their in my arms like babes. Light a candle, forgive.

I do forgive my family, we have grown past so much. I will always struggle with PTSD but I can’t curse the darkness. I know that while I had a difficult childhood I am not the only one who has. My own parents both grew up in tough childhoods. I don’t know much about their lives but I know it was no cake walk and abuse is often a pattern one I hope to keep on breaking.

Happy Monday and stay Motivated!