Helpful Parenting Article: Talking to Toddlers

I recently read an article by Janet Lansbury, titled Talking to Toddlers- 4 Secrets That Bring You Closer  that was helpful and informative. The article discusses 4 ways to communicate with your toddler to alleviate frustration and build trust. The first secret she points out is to talk normal. Don't talk baby talk to your toddler. Speak slowly and in shorter sentences. The second secret she discusses is to turn 'no' into 'yes'. An example, "I want you to sit on my lap" rather than, "Don't bounce on me." She explains that this may not always work but it is better than responding with no and don't all the time. Children appreciate positive instruction. It makes them more likely to respond with compliance and makes them feel more respected. The third secret is to give the toddler real choices. Rather than asking your toddler what they want to wear, ask them if they would like to wear the pink dress or the white dress. Give them two choices and let them decide between the two. Asking them a broad question like what do you want to wear is too overwhelming. Her final secret is to first, acknowledge. She explains that acknowledging your toddler's point of view can be calming. Toddlers get frustrated when they can't communicate what they want or need, and when you acknowledge their point of view it helps them feel that they are being understood. Landsbury points out,"That when a toddler feels understood, she senses the empathy behind our limits and corrections. She … [Read more...]

A Great Parenting Article: Please Don’t Help My Kids

A great article from Kate Bassford Baker's Blog Please Don't Help My Kids I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up and help them climb the ladder. I brought them here so they could learn to climb it themselves. Dear Other Parents At The Park: Please do not lift my daughters to the top of the ladder, especially after you've just heard me tell them I wasn't going to do it for them and encourage them to try it themselves. I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves. They're not here to be at the top of the ladder; they are here to learn to climb. If they can't do it on their own, they will survive the disappointment. What's more, they will have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it. In the meantime, they can use the stairs. I want them to tire of their own limitations and decide to push past them and put in the effort to make that happen without any help from me. It is not my job — and it is certainly not yours — to prevent my children from feeling frustration, fear, or discomfort. If I do, I have robbed them of the opportunity to learn that those things are not the end of the world, and can be overcome or used to their advantage. If they get stuck, it is not my … [Read more...]

So You’re a New Dad?

As Sophia’s mom is getting ready for work, I can’t help but dread the thought of her departing. Yes, I love Kelly and will miss her while she’s at work, off to her “easy” job.  For the real full time work is done at home with Sophia.  New dads should actually be awarded some sort of “chip” or “medallion” like the various 12 step groups around.  I could totally picture this,  “Any new dads here celebrating 30 days of intact sanity? 60 days? 90 days?” New dads  look purely astonished as a dad walks up, smile intact, hair done just right, clothes matching and accepts his 1 year medallion for not only staying sane with a “little one” at home but for keeping his child alive and safe for a whole year! “No friggin way,” the new dad yelps!  “How can any new dad keep from going crazy or losing it for a whole year?” Moms are a different breed compared to dads.  New moms seem to fall into motherhood so naturally. New dads are in a constant state of anxiety and low grade fear when left alone with their baby or toddler while mom heads out for the day to work or god forbid an over night event with the other new moms.  However, I must admit we play it off pretty darn good.  Yet I find myself glancing repetitively at the clock while mom is getting ready to depart. “Ok,” I think, “15 minutes and counting until I am SOLEY responsible for Sophia, who just happens to be the most important thing in Kelly’s life! Anything happens on my watch and I mean ANYTHING to that little miniature goddess … [Read more...]

Too Many Toys?

Do you ever wonder if your child has too many toys?  Do you wonder if they are bored with their selection of toys or not stimulated by them?  I came across a great book titled Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. The subtitle of this book reads; Using the extraordinary power of less to raise calmer, happier, and more secure kids. This is comforting advice regarding my child having too many toys. This is a great book and highlights four tips regarding children and toys. 1. The number of toys your child has should be dramatically reduced. The author writes,"As you decrease clutter, you increase a child's attention and capacity for deep play." She explains that too many toys can be overwhelming for your child. This makes sense. I feel most calm when I have less excess stuff; when my closet is cleaned out and organized, and my drawers are de cluttered. This is when I feel like I can focus best. 2. Organize the room so your child can only see a few toys at a time. It is best to put most of their toys away so they can concentrate on a few at time. Too many toys is too much of a distraction. 3. Reduce the number of books they have in their room. Dr. Payne writes, "Kids need the time to read deeply, and often repeatedly." After they have read the few books you keep out you can put those away and bring a couple new ones out. Too many books is like having too many toys. It is confusing. 4. Keep just one of each type of toy. I like this idea. They don't need 20 cars, 10 dolls, … [Read more...]

Kids These Days are So Much Older

As I drove along the highway with my eleven year old daughter the sites passed us by like any other day until suddenly she said, “kids at my school are so weird and they act really bad a lot of the time.”  I asked, “what do you mean?”  “I mean,” she replied, “that the majority of kids cuss and say the ‘f’ word a lot! They think it’s so cool!” I thought, “are you kidding me?” I mean, these are elementary school kids!  “Oh yeah,” says my daughter, “and my friend is wearing really ‘S’ clothes all the time and it really bugs me.”  “What does ‘S’ mean?”, I asked.  After playing a short word game with my daughter, I came to the conclusion that ‘S’ stood for sexy.  When I found out the kind of outfits her friend was wearing I was blown away.  Sixth grade! "Kids these days are so much older," I thought. On another drive, with another child of mine, (this time with my fifteen year old son) out of the blue I asked if he had seen a certain kid that he really enjoyed spending time with. “What is he up to these days?”, I asked.  “He’s smoking a lot of weed and thinking it’s so cool,” was my son’s reply.  I said, “what?”  “There are a lot of kids who are selling weed and a lot of them smoke it too or they brag about how drunk they got at such and such a time or place”.  These are ninth graders.  I mean, I’ve been around the block a few times and was no saint myself but ninth grade? Again, I thought, "kids these days are so much older." It just seems kids these days are so much … [Read more...]

Show Your Love

I recently read an article in the February issue of Parents magazine titled "Spread the Love" written by Francesca Castagnoli and Amanda Kingloff. I thought it offered parents great advice for how to make your child feel appreciated other than just a hug or a kiss. I know Sophia is only ten months and hugs, kisses, and smiles probably keep her feeling plenty loved and satisfied. It's easy to do this with a ten month old. Kissing them all over is part of the daily routine. As she gets older, I realize it won't always be this way and I'd like to get in the habit now of practicing ways of praise other than just hugs and kisses. Below is a list of my ten favorite creative ways to show your child you appreciate them (10 from their list). my 10 favorite ways to show your child appreciation 1. Let your child teach you something they know that you don't. 2. Give your child a foot rub or a long back scratch. 3. Ask for your child's help when you're cooking dinner. 4. Send your child a handwritten letter to your home address. 5. Shut down your phone or laptop to give your child your full attention. 6. Create a secret handshake that only you, your partner, and your child know. 7. Collect all the change you can find in the house. Spend the findings on ice-cream. 8. Designate a special frame on a prominent wall where you can display their artwork. 9.  Watch an episode of your child's favorite TV show with them. 10. Fill water balloons for your child and her friends to play … [Read more...]