Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Discipline Is Not The Same As Punishment

"It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." ~ Abraham Maslow

In the long run, how effective do you think
sending a child to the naughty chair will be?
How often have you heard someone say something like "That child really needs to be disciplined!" or "I can't believe how badly behaved she is, her parents never discipline her"? Before I became a parent I could always tell the good parents from the bad ones because bad parents had children who misbehaved. I was really clued in, wasn't I? In the 4 1/2 years since I became a parent myself, if there is one thing I am sure of it is that if a child is acting out, it is to get a need met. It is unlikely that they are doing it consciously, but dig around a little and you will most likely find this to be true. My husband is not so convinced.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Having A Party? Need Cool Invites? We've Got A Great Giveaway!

Wouldn't you love to go to
this zoo-themed birthday party?
Now and then I come across products I think are really special and would appeal to those of you who read my blog. I recently found a company who makes really fun party invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards, thank you cards, personal stationary and more. This company's designs are bold, modern and super cool. Even better, they're also eco friendly. And when I say eco friendly I don't mean just lip service:
  • A tree is planted for EVERY order
  • All paper is certified as 100% post-consumer recycled
  • All envelopes and packaging are made from recycled paper
  • The paper is generated by wind power!
  • The company is a CarbonFree® partner of CarbonFund.org

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Handling Mean Girls And The "Cool" Kids

At age 4 1/2 my daughter was caught off
guard by "mean girl" behavior. 
As a parent, one of the roles we often throw ourselves into with the most fervor is protector of our children. From the moment we find out we're pregnant, the concern for their welfare begins. We watch what we eat, we try to avoid stress, we set up a non-toxic nursery. We worry about air purification and second-hand smoke, we go out of our way to provide wooden toys and BPA-free bottles. 

As our children get older we may make our own baby food from organic fruits and vegetables, we help them learn to take turns at play dates, teach them to sleep through the night and eventually have a smooth transition to preschool. But somewhere along the way our children's needs get more complex and we, as parents, may feel less sure of our ability to protect them from what might hurt them. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Parent Like Someone Is Watching

You know that famous saying that begins "Dance as if no one is watching you"? The idea being that we might be our true selves and live happier lives if we weren't so self-conscious. But what if what we really need is someone watching over us to make sure we are constantly striving to be our best selves?

What happens when you have two people
who have an equal need to be in control?
This morning I recorded one of my numerous, frustrating interactions with my daughter. I recorded it, at the suggestion of my therapist, both to help me keep my tone of voice where I want it to be, as well as to help dissect what I am doing that is prolonging the battles. Listening to the play back makes me sad. The one conversation I taped lasted 8 minutes. 8 minutes spent arguing about eating more food after she had already finished eating breakfast. 8 minutes spent asking her to speak to me without whining. 8 minutes spent trying to keep a calm voice, not roll my eyes, not sigh deeply out of frustration.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: If I Have To Tell You One More Time

How many of you have caught yourself nagging your kids to do simple tasks? How many of you have children who seem to "act out" on a regular basis? How many of you have ended up yelling over your kids' sibling rivalry behaviors? How many of you feel as though your discipline strategies just aren't working? I'm sure most of you have experienced at least one, if not all of these scenarios. I'll admit I've been in these situations, sometimes all of them within the span of 10 minutes!

A few weeks ago I came across Amy McCready's new book "If I Have to Tell You One More Time" and was intrigued. The subtitle of her book is actually: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding Or Yelling"! But don't let that subtitle fool you, what this book is also about is how connect to your children in a deep, meaningful way and how to speak and react to them so that you are bringing out the best in your children. 

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