Parenting Thoughts: Toddlers Need Some Building Up Too

The formative years for a child are the most crucial to their development. From newborn to about severalmonths old, there is really nothing more than the basic needs as well as love and care that your baby needs from you. As they grow older, they require more attention, more love, discipline and encouragement. Being parents, our responsibility begins to grow. With all these changes that your little toddler encounters, life can also wear them out. Toddlers need some building up too, just as we do as adults. It is your job as a parent to help them.

5 Ways To Build Up Your Toddlers shares how to give that encouragement and praise to boost up your toddler’s self esteem:

1. Offer Quality And Quantity Time

2. Give Small Chores To Accomplish

3. Set Up Guidelines In The Home

4. Praise, Praise, and Praise!

5. Make Eye Contact

This will strengthen your bond with your growing toddler as you incorporate positive and responsible parenting.

“A woman that builds her home, is someone that God calls wise. (Proverbs 14:1)”

Baby Is Not Sleeping Through the Night? Enjoying the Moment

Having a little bundle of joy excites you more than anything. However, just a few days after having that blissful moment of joy reality sinks in. You face the heap of laundry, washing the dishes, and cleaning he house along with the long resounding cry of your beloved little angel. On top of this, is being able to get little to no sleep at all. So your baby is not sleeping through the night? It might seem awful right now, but try to enjoy this moment. Seriously!

According to experts, some babies will be able to adjust and sleep soundly by the time they reach third month. So more parents at this stage get to sleep through the night. A perfect recharge to face another day! What if your child still isn’t outgrown this phase? One inspiring story for moms struggling in this phase actually gave me hope that everything will get better. The blog simply says “Let It Be“. The name of the post really says it all.

“Equally, when you seek out the 15% of parents whose child never sleeps, it feels good – we are not alone! You too are up every few hours with a teething/nocturnal/wide-awake child. At 3am I know that maybe 5 of my friends are up too, we may as well have a conference call (and a coffee).”

Yes, this too shall pass. Well, enjoy it while it lasts because before you know it, your little bundle of joy will go off to college. Well maybe that’s still a ways off, but you get the point! If your baby is not sleeping through the night, take the time you will spend awake as some bonus time together. One day you’ll long for that.

What Makes a Good Parent Anyway?

I read something from a post ” titled TANTRUMS: Grace and Validation for Parents” today that I want to share with you:

If things aren’t going well or we’ve made mistakes – it’s not the current situation or the mistakes that make us rotten parents. No, being a rotten parent comes from the refusal to pause, reflect and make changes when our kids aren’t turning out how we thought they might, or when we’re having constant meltdowns and not trying different approaches. It’s the NOT TRYING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER that makes some parenting rotten. I think this, anyway.

A lot of parents deal with feelings of guilt on a daily basis. We often go hard on ourselves for each wrong decision, action, or judgment we make during our daily interactions with our children. What makes a good parent though? While there is nothing we can do to rid ourselves of these feelings of guilt, we should at least keep in mind that the little trips we commit in parenthood do not make us awful, rotten parents. We are imperfect–we have always been and will always be.

So long as you are learning and becoming better from all the mistakes we have committed, you are just as good as all the A-list parents in the world! So what makes a good parent? The effort, the perseverance, and (of course) the love.

When Your Child’s Favorite Parent Is Not You

I read a very interesting article this morning. The article titled, “The pain of not being your child’s favourite…” was written by a mommy who feels hurt that she is not her little boy’s favorite parent despite the fact that she, “feeds him, changes him, plays with him, mops up the spills, kisses the bumps and grazes, reads to him and cares for him when he’s ill.” When your child’s favorite parent is not you it can kind of hurt your feelings a bit.

Have you ever felt this way with your kids? Feeling like you are less favored by your child/children than your spouse? While I think as parents we try to joke around and take our secondary status lightly, there will always be times when it will get into us–as what the author of the above article says, especially during times when we feel overwhelmed, stressed, or tired.

So what do we do when your child’s favorite parent is not you? I would say, try not to take it personally and think that your child loves you less. As psychologist and author Dr. Ellen Weber Libby puts it, “Having a favorite parent is totally normal. All people have preferences for those with whom they have an unspoken ease or simpatico. That doesn’t mean that the child doesn’t love both parents equally… it means that a given parent meets a given child’s emotional needs in ways that are beyond words.”

Why Kids Need Routines: My Opinion on This Topic

Reading this blog post today, “How Important are Routines for Children,” inspired me to share my thoughts on why routines are very important for both parents and children. I believe that kids need routines just as much as parents do. Personally I love having routine in my life, it allows me to be comfortable.

Over the years I have spent raising my kids, I have come to appreciate how enormously beneficial it is for children to have a predictable routine. As opposed to some who think that creating a structure for kids benefits only the parents, I think routines have more positive effects for children. How? Here are three reasons that I believe kids need routines.

1. It helps children feel safe and secure.

2. It helps children form healthy habits–brushing teeth, early sleep time and etc.

3. It helps children gain a sense of responsibility.

Kids need routines — even if they don’t know it. With schedules and routines, children will become increasingly anxious and fearful as they will constantly think of what’s coming next. However, you should remember that there is not a one-size-fits-all routine for kids. There are different suggested routines for each age group and you should structure your schedules to perfectly suit your family. Do what works for you!

Parents Should Know Their Children

I read an article today titled, Overweight child letters toned down so parents do not feel ‘criticised’ and I felt compelled to share it with all of you parents out there. While I agree with the decision of health officials to phrase letters discussing children’s weight in a “non-judgemental and positively phrased” manner, it saddens me that school and health officials still have to remind and advise parents regarding the weight of their children. Parents should know their children and the problems that exist in their lives.

Do we parents really need to be reminded of our children’s health? Aren’t we supposed to be the first one to know that something’s not quite right with our kids? Yes, many of us may not be sure of what we can do to help our children with their weight problems but surely, we must not need to be made aware by others that there is a problem.

If you’re worried that your child may be overweight, make an appointment with your doctor, who can assess eating and activity habits and make suggestions on how to make positive changes. Parents should know their children enough to recognize that some changes need to be made.

Teaching Kids To React Appropriately

If you are the parent of a child who is already able to think on his/her own, I you’ve likely experienced a number of inappropriate, over-the-top reactions from your child regarding simple matters. I understand that the lack in logical and emotional development amongst children makes it hard for them to recognize, understand, and manage how they respond to things, I believe that there are some things parents can do to somehow help them realize the inappropriateness of their behavior.

Today, I read an article titled “Everything Cannot Be a 10” It is all about teaching kids to react appropriately and I think you will find the advice useful. I know that I did!

Parenting a Spirited Child

Raising kids can be quite a challenge already, but when you have a spirited kid in your family things can get even more challenging. What is it actually that makes one child a “spirited child?” Let me quote writer Mary Sheedy Kurcinka for an answer:

“The word that distinguishes spirited children from other children is the word more. They are normal children who…..possess [certain characteristics] with a depth and range not available to other children.”

 –Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Raising Your Spirited Child

Raising a child whose actions and reactions most seem out of control can bring quite a load to parents. With the right understanding of what goes inside the minds of this group of children, it can be possible to defuse daily struggles and lessen the stress. Here’s a wonderful piece of article about parenting a spirited child that I found to be very enlightening: “Parenting Spirited Children: An Interview with Dr. Jane Nelsen.”

Keeping Kids Safe: Medication-Proofing Your Home

I came across some interesting information on children’s safety while browsing through the parenting section of NY Times today. The article was titled “Making Medicine Bottles Even More Child-Resistant;” and it talks about the “effectiveness of flow restriction devices ” which are found in most medication bottles right now. While researchers concluded that these things are beneficial, they say that they should merely be secondary barriers and that parents still need to take extra precaution when storing medications in our homes.

Statistics show that over 300 children in the United States (ages 0 to 19) are treated in an emergency department every day; 55% of which involve medications. If you don’t want your children to be part of this number, make an effort to medication-proof your home. Medication-proofing is simple and shouldn’t take more than an hour or so.

Here are some strategies I employ to prevent my kids from getting poisoned by medications that are not for them:

1. I store medicines in a locked, hard-to-reach cabinet.

2. I keep all medications in their original containers.

3. I regularly dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter drugs, vitamins, and supplements.

How about you? What do you do to keep your kids safe from medications?

What Nonviolent Parenting Can Do

Many decades ago, Martin Luther said, “Nothing good ever comes of violence.” And while history has proven this premise to be true time and time again, unfortunately, up to this day there are still parents today who choose to impose discipline on their children through violent means or as some would term it, “corporal punishment.”

I know for a fact that most parents who choose to punish their kids through physical means have their own good reasons, but I will always be a believer and an advocate for peaceful parenting. I believe it is more powerful than imposing any form of violent punishment. And here is a marvelous story from “Be the Change! The Power of non Violent Parenting” that can aptly demonstrate what nonviolent parenting can do:

“I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, ‘I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.’

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theater. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, ‘Why were you late?’

I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, ‘The car wasn’t ready, so I had to wait,’ not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said: ‘There’s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I’m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it.’

So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn’t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don’t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.”

What a powerful story that proves what nonviolent parenting can do. Passively teaching your children lessons is the way to go, in my opinion.