Want Healthy, Happy Kids? Learn How to Love Yourself

A step-by-step guide to better self-esteem for us and our kids.

“What the heck is my problem?!” I snapped, as I chucked my salt-instead-of-sugar cookie dough in the garbage.  “I’m such an idiot. I just can’t do anything right.” I threw the dirty utensils in the sink and speed cleaned the kitchen.

A few hours later, I heard my daughter shout from the other room, “What is WRONG with me? Why do I always do everything wrong?”

I ran to stop her from berating herself and found her with her elbows on the table, fingertips pressed against her temples. Paper shreds all over the floor. Continue reading “Want Healthy, Happy Kids? Learn How to Love Yourself”

Give Your Kids the Most Important Gift: Learning

The ultimate list of toys that will help your kids learn.

He sat on the floor and stared at the shaking truck with glazed eyes. It rumbled and lurched forward for a moment, only to stop and blast out a few shouted phrases and some rock music before taking off again. Flashing lights followed it forward and backward until the timer stopped and the truck halted. It left the room in gaping silence.

He just sat there and waited for it to do something else. His eyes darted away, then back. Away, then back. He leaned forward and pushed the button again. It restarted the cycle and he settled back to watch it again.

He’s not playing.

He is using a toy, but he is not playing. Continue reading “Give Your Kids the Most Important Gift: Learning”

To Teach or Not to Teach? A Difficult Decision

Three questions to ask yourself when deciding if your child is too young to understand.

I sat in the midst of a group of moms who oohed and aahed at the sweet little girl just learning to sit up on her own. She made spit bubbles that dripped down onto the plastic dinosaur toy she played with- but mostly just chewed on.

All of the sudden, my two year old tore into the room, on his own make-believe adventure, and realized the little girl was eating his dinosaur! He ran straight for her, yanked the T-rex out of her little fingers and started to run back into the other room.

My long arms caught up to him before he could make it far, and I took the dinosaur back, telling him to ask for a turn. His loud protests joined the little girl’s and then took over. She had a new toy and was already back to playing happily. And my son was throwing a fit. Continue reading “To Teach or Not to Teach? A Difficult Decision”

Join me on an Amazing Journey to Better Parenting!

How to be a gentle parent for our kids

I’d be lying if I told you I’ve never put my kids to sleep then sat on the bed crying, ashamed and disappointed in myself for losing my temper and being a jerk to my kids. I want to be kind and patient, understanding and forgiving. But every once in a while, the nasty side slips out.

I look at their angelic faces and beat myself up, hoping to do better next time, but not really making a plan. I’m willing to bet you’ve been there too.

Our kids, the people we love most in the world, can be on the receiving end of our most emotional outbursts. We can make all the resolutions we want to become a better parent, but without a plan, it’s just not gonna happen. Continue reading “Join me on an Amazing Journey to Better Parenting!”

10 Things You’ll Miss the Most (Before and After Kids)

I sat on the toilet, nursing my five month old, while my two year old was trying to help me wipe and the four year old shouted to me from the other room. And I thought to myself, “I kinda miss being able to go to the bathroom alone.” I started to realize that there are a lot of small things I didn’t appreciate before I had kids. Little, everyday things I gave up to be mom (which is the best thing ever, BTW).

I don’t regret it for a second, and I love my kids more than anything! But certain sacrifices do come with parenting. This is a list of the small things I wish I took a moment to be thankful for every time I got to experience them, instead of taking them for granted like I did, until they were gone. Continue reading “10 Things You’ll Miss the Most (Before and After Kids)”

It’s Not You, It’s Me.

When one of my kids starts to make a habit of a behavior that’s not-so-great, I start to be a real drama queen in my head. I place all the blame on him and wonder why he can’t just do what I want him to do. Why doesn’t he understand (or care about) the consequences I have in place?

Then I realize, he does understand the consequences I have in place, which is exactly why this behavior keeps happening. I may not realize it, but sometimes my behaviors actually cause his undesirable ones to increase when I really want them to decrease. Sometimes it’s not his fault. Sometimes it’s mine. Continue reading “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”

My Kid Won’t Listen!

A week or so ago, I was listening to myself give the same directions over and over and over again, while my daughter just sat there. Didn’t look at me. Didn’t respond. Just sat, completely ignoring me, playing away with whatever toys she had.

I started to get mad, then I realized it was my fault.

I realized that I was using a really good behavioral tool in a really counterproductive way. I’ve been using the warnings and treat chart with my 4 year old, to help her listen. She had been having trouble listening to me right away when I was telling her to do things, and a lot of times, she just ended up plain old ignoring me when I gave her instructions. Continue reading “My Kid Won’t Listen!”