How To Parent Today

Helping you be the best parent you can possibly be

A Perfect Moment At The End Of A Less Than Perfect Day

Yesterday was one of those days.  I had chastised my 6 and 2 year olds for what seemed the whole day.  No amount of cajoling, threatening, attempted distraction or straight out threats had worked.  Their arguing, sniping, whining and fighting had continued unabated.

I have to say I was totally exhausted and disheartened (to say the least) by the end of the day.  So I was so pleased when 6 year old appeared by my side to say that he was sorry for being so naughty.  All my bad humour melted away and I wrapped him in a big hug, cuddling him close.

After a minute of two he raised his head and looked up at my face with a concerned look and said with all seriousness:  “Mummy, under your arms is a little bit stinky.”

And that was the end of my perfect moment.

But I did laugh and even said yes when he volunteered to get the deodorant for me!

What’s your most perfect moment?

Mamsimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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The Children Three Day Rule

the three day rule

No, I’m not talking about the old dating chestnut, but a technique I use to introduce my baby to new patterns or things.  I have my ever wonderful sister and brother-in-law to thank for this pearl of advice, given to me early in my parenting ‘career’ and it is something I have found very useful ever since.

It sounds a little stringent, but basically in our experience it generally takes 3 days/nights for a baby to get used to new routines or things.  For example, when you move baby from your room to their own, or when you take away the dummy (oh, thats a whole other post in it’s own right!) or when you introduce a new food you need to persevere for a period of three days before it will generally be accepted by your little one.

Now you may be lucky, and have success with your changes immediately, but generally, as we know, little ones do not take well to the unfamiliar or the different, they like repetition and to know what is coming so with anything new you are introducing you need to give it time to become familiar.

This means that you are going to have to battle through the tears and/or the sleepless nights for three long days and nights, until the little one understands or at least accepts the new routine.  Always try your utmost to persevere with kindness, patience and good grace; remember it is as difficult for your little one as it is for you.

But at the end of the 3 days I find that my baby is, if not happy, is resigned to continue  to continue as if the new routine has in fact, always been this way.

Perseverance is key!

Mamasimx.

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

 

© 2012 Simone L Woods

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Emotional Intelligence. Why is it so important in raising a child?

An excerpt from a great post from the Aha! Parenting web site.  Make sure you follow the link at the end to go through to the site to read the rest of the post.

Why is emotional intelligence so important in raising a child?  Managing anxiety in order to tackle a big project, managing Motherhood How to be a better parentanger to work through a marital conflict, managing fear to apply for a job  —  the ability of a human being to manage his or her emotions in a healthy way will determine the quality of his life in a much more fundamental way than his IQ.  In fact, psychologists have come to call this ability EQ, or Emotional Intelligence Quotient.  

What are the core components of high EQ?  Emotional self knowledge and self acceptance, sensitivity to the cues of others,  empathy (which can be defined as the ability to see and feel something from the other’s point of view), and the ability to regulate one’s own anxiety in order to talk about emotionally charged issues in a constructive way. 
 
Your child’s EQ begins with her relationship with you.  How can you lay a solid foundation?

1. Hold your infant when she wants you and respond quickly to her cries.  High EQ starts in infancy with the baby’s earliest interactions with caregivers, from which she develops feelings of security and trust.

2. Calm your own anxiety.  Almost a hundred years ago, psychologist Harry Stack Sullivan originated the idea that infants pick up anxiety from their parents. Recent research has confirmed that parents’ touch, voices, and movements can either soothe a child or stimulate anxiety.

3. Help him learn to self-soothe.  We now know that babies learn to sooth themselves by first having someone else soothe them. From this they gain the experience of their physical and emotional needs as something manageable that can be tolerated. In fact, their nervous systems actually begin to lay the groundwork for self-calming later in life, meaning that babies’ brains and nerves don’t develop adequately unless they are held and soothed when they’re upset. Infants experience needs that aren’t met as life threatening (as unsatiated hunger, or an absent caretaker, actually could be).  Emotions swamp these babies. Without the soothing they need, their nervous systems don’t lay down the pathways that would later allow them to soothe themselves.  As toddlers they have a very hard time learning to self soothe or self regulate, because every feeling makes them anxious -– after all, it might lead to a catastrophe -– and escalates.

In later childhood their feelings of neediness, fear or anger can trigger sweeping anxiety or panic, leading these kids to act out because they can’t tolerate their feelings or calm themselves down.

To read the rest of the great post – click here to be taken directly to the post on the Aha! Parenting site.

Mamasimx About Me
Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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A Year Of Parenting – According to Grant Snider

This tender and funny post by Grant Snider will resonate with many a parent.
Enjoy.
See his wonderful blog ‘Incidental Comics’ here.

Grant Snider - A Year Of Parenting Grant Snider - A Year Of Parenting Grant Snider - A Year Of Parenting

 

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

If you enjoyed this post you will also like:

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10 Ways To Inspire Your Kids

Plant the seeds of curiosity, imagination and creativity in your children

You probably already know how important it is for kids to indulge their creative side, but even when they’re up for being imaginative, many projects are mostly a lesson in following instructions. That’s certainly valuable, but true creativity also involves figuring things out for themselves. Neal Bascomb learned this lesson while writing his book, The New Cool. The author followed a team of 31 high school seniors in Goleta, California who, in the span of just six weeks working alongside mentors, built a robot for an international competition. “This project-based, interactive experience inspires kids like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Bascomb says. Read on for tips on how to inspire your own children.

1. Practice what you preach.

“Mentor and coach alongside your children,” advises Bascomb. “It’s incredibly inspiring for kids to work with their parents, instead of simply taking directions from them.” This way, they’ll see that you’re truly invested in their success and will view you as an ally. And hey, maybe you’ll learn something new, too! So next time they need your help with a project, instead of telling them how to do it, jump in and try to figure it out together.

2. Encourage hands-on activities.

Bascomb stresses the importance of “getting in there and working with your hands,” explaining that there is something almost primal about our desire to build and create. Put away the computers and smartphones, get some tools––even just a hammer, nails and wood––and build something together. “You might light a fire inside your kid that you didn’t know existed.” You’ll also help your child connect to and appreciate the way of life that previous generations experienced, before video games and the Internet.

3. Expect more from your kids.

It can be tempting to over-assist in an effort to help your child succeed, but hand-holding can backfire and send the message that she can’t do it on her own. Instead, says Bascomb, “give your kids responsibility, and expect more from them. It’s amazing what kids are able to do if you push them to take a leadership role, formulate their own ideas and execute them. Give them the tools they need, and let them run.”

4.  Read the rest of the post, by Tori Rodriguez here.

Take a look at these other posts…

Yelling At Your Children – Succumbing To The Dark Side Of The Force

25 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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The Rules of Effortless Parenting

It’s very easy to be a bad parent. It’s harder to be a good parent most of the time. It’s impossible to be a great parent all of the time.

Harassed-Mum-post-image2
We can’t be too hard on ourselves for those times we don’t handle well. We can’t beat ourselves about the shouting or a smack or losing our temper.

We can though (and must) strive to be a good parent most of the time if we want to be proud of our grown kids and proud of ourselves and the job we have done with them.

When I let myself be driven to distraction by the misbehaviour of my children I am guilty of reverting to over authoritarian behaviour. I become my father, bending nose to their little nose, finger pointed and stabbing the air for emphasis, voice raised and lecturing.  (Bless him – in all other ways a great Dad.)

I always regret it afterward. But I don’t beat myself up about it anymore. Any such outbursts act as a red flag. Time to put more effort into better managing my reactions to their behaviour. Time to remember to take a deep breath and count to ten before reacting.   Because it is so easy to forget we have to manage ourselves before we can properly manage our children.  The daily process of getting the day done is often stressful and grinding – if we let it.

I don’t want to look back at the years I spent raising my kids and have regrets.  I don’t want to be the grandmother that says I wish I had been less hard on them, worried less about controlling them every second, been less concerned with ensuring their perfect obedience 100% of the time.

I want us to look back and remember giggles, and tickles and laughing and fun and warmth and love and safety and security and happiness and joy and wonder and LOVE.

So to help me in this process of self management I like to reinforce those practices that help me stay on track by reading and learning from others.

This post from Leo Babauta Zen Habits:Breathe is just such a read. Enjoy.

The Rules of Effortless Parenting
Post written by Leo Babauta.

I often get asked how I can do so much while having six kids.

My short answer, and all you really need to know, is my wife Eva is awesome. I couldn’t do half what I do without her.

She is the reason Zen Habits is able to exist. And so if you want parenting advice, you’d be smart to ask her.

She doesn’t, however, have a blog. And so I’ll share some things that we both do that make our jobs as parents easier.

These are Very Important Rules that must never be broken by any Serious Parent … until, of course, you want to break them. The first rule of Rules of Effortless Parenting is that you should always break rules.

To read the rest of the post click through to the post on Leo’s site here.

Mamsimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

If you enjoyed this post you will also enjoy:
7 Principles of Peaceful Parenting
25 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them

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Discounts For Well Behaved Kids…?!

A restaurant in Canada has started giving discounts if your children behave well during your meal.

What are your thoughts?  Good idea or not?

ensuring good behaviour in restaurants - kids

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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10 Ways To Inspire Your Kids

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Hundreds of children over the age of 5 are sent to school wearing nappies

An article in the Independent yesterday.  This is a pretty shocking statistics…. what are your thoughts?  How old were your children when they were toilet trained?  Were they over 5?  Would love to hear your views.  Leave a comment below.

Hundreds of children over the age of 5 are sent to school wearing nappies – and teenagers as old as 15 can’t use the toilet on their own

Hundreds of school children over the age of five are being sent to school wearing nappies, a major survey suggests.

The survey of 602 teachers in primary schools and 561 teachers in secondary schools found that pupils as old as 15 were not toilet trained, despite having no medical conditions or developmental issues.

Nine per cent – almost one in 10 head teachers and senior staff – said that a child aged between five and seven had come to school wearing a nappy in the past year. The figure was five per cent for classroom teachers.

If the figure is representative of schools across England, it could mean that up to 1,600 of the 16,000 primary schools in the country have at least one pupil over the age of five still wearing a nappy.

The findings also show that as many as 4 per cent of heads and senior staff said they knew of children as old as 11 who had been sent to school in a nappy in the past year.

The survey results add to growing evidence that an increasing number of children are starting school without knowing how to use the toilet on their own.

But this is the first report to suggest that toilet training problems extend beyond the Reception year.

Click here to read the rest of the article on the Independents site….

Mamasimx  About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Team Work – The Key To Successfully Surviving With Kids

Our Kids

Our Kids

Last night I was reminded of how sucessfully surviving with kids depends so much on good team work between parents.

At 11 pm I sat in our darkened nursery, softly singing and rocking our restless 8 month old daughter, trying ever so carefully to lull her finally to sleep.

My husband was similarly occupied in our room with our 2 year old.  Littleboy had woken frightened an hour before.  Hubby had spent sometime calming him and trying to convince him to go back to sleep, to no avail.

At last he had brought him into our bed and now lay cuddling and gently patting him in an effort to settle him.

Finally I heard hubby get up and very slowly, doing his best to avoid the squeeky floorboards, make his way in to me.  I smiled to myself as the nursery door very carefully opened and his head appeared.  He raised his eyebrows and looked down at lttle daughter who had just dropped off to sleep.

I had to smile again at the charades.  Both of us so DID NOT want to wake any of the kids again.  The worst scenario is if all three wakeup and need comforting.  Hard to clone ourselves and unfortunately the kids just make each other worse if they don’t get Mummy or Daddy’s full attention.

So I nodded slowly at husband to show she was asleep and then hubby motioned to the downstairs indicating he would ‘close up’.

Just as carefully I made my way back to our bedroom to put littlegirl back into her cot, which is ‘sidecared’ to our bed.  With a sinking heart I then realised I was holding her the wrong way to easily put her in the cot and I was going to have to edge up our bed past 2 year old to put her in her cot.  This gave me a few tense moments.  And returning hubby watched with baited breath as I did just that.  To accidently wake either of them at this point would have been awful!

With littlegirl settled we both turned to look at our little angel sleeping beautifully in our bed.  We had a conundrum on our hands.  Did we leave him to sleep with me while hubby slept in the spare room (been done often enough before but the spare bed is not the most comfortable)? I could see hubby’s heart sinking at the prospect!  Alternatively, we could put littleboy back into his own bed.  But the chances of him waking when we moved him were pretty good.  And we would have to go through this process all over again as he would almost certainly wake babygirl and probably 6 year old as well with his protests.  Oh god.  What to do?

Again the charades!  Hubby looked questioningly at me.  I grimaced, but nodded and we both held our breath as littleboy was scooped up ever so gently by daddy and just as gently carried to his own bed.  I listened with baited breath but heard no cries.  I closed my eyes with relief!

We both lay down, side by side in our bed holding hands.  Too tired for even a kiss goodnight!

I must have drifted off into sleep then because I was woken at what I thought was a short time later by littleboy calling.  But when I opened my eyes I could see daylight and I thankfully realised it was morning.  All three had slept through the night.  Wow!  Then I did the usual calculation to work out how many uninterrupted hours of sleep hubby and I had just had!

And of course, hubby and I will probably get to do the whole thing again tonight. With no guarantee we will be so successful.  But at least we will be doing it together.  As a team.

Mamasimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Sometimes You Just Need To Dance In The Puddles – How To Be A Better Parent

This is a sweet little post from MEGAN CYRULEWSKI and her Megan’s Blog. Motherhood How to be a better parent

Sometimes, in our busy and stressful lives, we all need reminding about what is important; how to be a better parent….

Sometimes You Just Need To Dance In The Puddles

I’ve been stressed lately, I’m not going to lie. I feel like I have a million things on my plate and my plate is spilling over. I have anxiety disorder and sometimes my anxiety goes up a notch when I’m overwhelmed. This is how my life has always been. Nothing has ever happened a little at a time. I’m riding even for a long time and then everything starts again all at once.

I’ve been feeling sort of like a robot lately. I have deadlines and I know what needs to be done so it gets done. Each day I have a list in my planner (my old-school paper planner) and by the end of the day, everything is checked off. I should feel a sense of accomplishment, but all I see when I look at my planner is what I have to do the next day.

Yesterday when I came home from working on ….

To continue reading the post please click here to be taken to the post in Megan’s Blog.

Hope you enjoyed her sweet post.

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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