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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Paulo was put in a timeout while on a playdate. His friend, Amalie, decided to join him for moral support.

I started putting Paulo in timeouts when he was about 12-months old. It seemed so silly to put him in a corner because at his age I didn’t really know if he understood the reason or grasped the concept. According to Dr. Sears, timeouts should be around one minute per year of age. So since he was a year old, he sat in the “naughty corner” for one minute.

The first time I put him in timeout, he sat for about two seconds, then ran back to me with a big smile. I guess he thought it was a game. I couldn’t help but smile back because he was just so darn cute! So just what every mother would do, I swooped him up and showered him with kisses until he giggled.

The subsequent times that followed weren’t “cute” anymore. This time I meant business! Every time he hit his sister, he was sent to the naughty corner. I guess after many timeouts, it finally clicked.  Now at 21-months, he runs up to his sister, hits her, then walks to his corner. (Stinker!) Ok, I guess he learned the wrong lesson, but in his defense, he usually hits his sister if she happens to take away the toy he was playing with.

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For over 32 years, le•top has been creating quality clothing for kids and babies.  Now receive the latest updates and interact directly with le•top on our newly launched Facebook page.

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Our family moved to a new community when my daughter was 14 months old. It was tough to be a stay at home mom and figure out how to meet new people. I decided to try a local LeLeche League meeting. My daughter and I had a solid breastfeeding relationship going (and yes, she was a nursing toddler). I just felt drawn to meet other mothers in similar situations. One of the best finds from attending this meeting was hearing about a Wednesday playgroup. I got the information and called the woman who organized the activities.

playground

It was fall season, but the group of moms and toddlers meet every Wednesday morning for two hours with varied activities each week. One week they would do an outdoor adventure, one week they would meet at someone’s home and play with the toys there, and the other two weeks of the month, they would meet at a preschool room of a local church. Such a schedule evolved, as the mothers wanted to avoid spending time at the local McDonalds during those months of poor weather! They meet at local parks during the summer months.

At first, I wondered what a playgroup would be like – would I get to talk with other mothers and visit about parenting ideas? Would my child make new friends and learn different social skills than she got when we were home alone? I soon realized these were high expectations. At the playgroup gatherings those first few months I had to stay pretty close to my daughter as she wanted that more than playing with other children. More than once I wondered if we were getting anything out of it, but the chance to interact with other families made me keep going back each week. Slowly, as my daughter grew up and her confidence blossomed, she was able to play on her own or with others. The mothers could talk a little until a fight broke out about toys, or a child began to do something dangerous.

I began to see it as a new fact of life that seldom were sentences (yet alone conversations) completed without interruptions from children’s needs. The same group continued to meet weekly and time passed into years of attending playgroup. The children watched each other grow up, learned from one another, and the mother’s friendships deepened. As new families would join, we could learn from one another, hear different perspectives on parenting, and see the diversity in children’s behaviors (that was helpful for me – the mother of one!).

One five-year old boy told his mom, “The play is for the kids and the group is for the moms.” He was sure correct on this, as the playgroup gatherings were like a form of therapy and sanity for us all. It’s been seven years now and although schools have forced us apart, our playgroup still comes together for social gatherings several times a year! I’ve been grateful and thankful for this group of families helping me along my parenting journey.

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…submitted by Guest Contributor: Dawn H.

A few weeks before I was preparing to leave town for my annual five-day women’s retreat, my eight-year old daughter told me, “Every mother should have a week-long retreat for each child they have.” Since I am parenting only one child, I deserve only one a year, she told me, but our friends who have four children, that Mom deserves four retreats! Now it was a fun conversation, and I liked her viewpoint, although sometimes, my daughter takes as much energy to parent as a large family! 😉

Tif and Kelly helping each other in one of our creative arts projects - mask-making!

Tif and Kelly helping each other in one of our creative arts projects - mask-making!

I began taking a retreat from my family when my daughter was five years old. I really struggled with the guilt as well as the worry that she would be sad and unhappy during my absence. She had/has a great, close relationship with her Dad, and I knew he’d do fine being the single parent. They went on a vacation together while I was at my retreat, and after she got over being very sad and crying herself to sleep the first night, my husband told me the rest of the week was great for them. It worked best for me not to call them, and I was able to just focus on being present in my new surroundings and activities. I came back from my retreat refreshed, invigorated and in a new frame of mind. It had been a wonderful combination of kundalini yoga, creative art projects, and personal growth work offered by Allyson Rice (The Total Human). I’ve now made it a personal commitment to do at least one of these retreats a year. I also have added in some solo traveling with girlfriends (also sans children) each year in order to balance my needs with the demands of being a mother. At times my daughter still gives me grief about leaving, but I just remind myself that I’m doing the best I can as a mother to set an example that it is okay to nurture myself in order to help nurture others. She may not realize it now, but someday she might be a mother and need similar retreats.

Tif with her mask

Tif with her mask

Now, I also realize that not everyone can afford the time or money to go away each year, but there are so many little things we can do as women (and mothers) to nurture ourselves. I do my best to carve out some time each week (a high expectation) or once a month (more realistic goal for me) to do something just for fun, just for myself…what ever works!

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No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

…submitted by: Tiffany

Sweet Tooth

My 9-year old son loves anything sweet to eat and is always trying to figure out a way to get extras. The other night after dinner, he asked if he could have an ice cream bar. I said yes, assuming it was dessert. About an hour later, he comes back to me again and asks if he can have some milk & cookies. I said “No, you already had dessert.”  That’s when he said:

That wasn’t dessert, that was my evening snack!”

I had to go into  another room before I could laugh.

Editor’s Note:
Please spread the giggles by sharing your funny quotes with us!

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O2Mask…submitted by guest contributor: Dawn H.

I was amazed at how demanding having a child was. I was also amazed at how I felt like I never got anything done! I had been married ten years prior to having my daughter. I was used to getting free time and completing my daily “to do” list most days. When my daughter was born, I joked to friends that she was my “new boss”.  Little did I know how demanding she would be, wanting to be held most of the time, along with nursing often and only happy if I held her. Shortly after I became a new mother, I had a health care practitioner recommend making it a priority to do something for myself at least once a week. I was surprised to hear this – especially since it came from a male. I guess I was overloaded with my body showing adrenal fatigue. I needed some rest and fun in my life. It was sort of like the announcement that the airlines warn you about “in case of loss of oxygen, please secure your mask first, then help others”.  How could I continue to care for my young child (especially when my husband traveled for overnight business often) if I wasn’t balanced myself? I realized I had not done much for myself in those first six months of being a mother.

I tried my best to figure out little ways that I could nurture myself. I started out slow like choosing an activity once a month that I enjoyed. I’d plan a creative outlet with a girlfriend and let my husband care for our daughter. At that time, my main passion was scrapbooking. I could enjoy and relax by getting photos into an album for others to enjoy. I realized after awhile that it was an activity that was still goal-oriented. I was supposed to be doing things for fun, right? If I was worried about finishing something, was that the most fun I could allow myself?Coloring
It’s taken me several years to get past this compulsion. I have managed to try a few new things with less pressure – things like playing in a monthly Bunco group, or doing some sort of art project. I rediscovered coloring books – yes, adults can color – it’s not just for kids! A friend shared with me woman’s coloring books with detailed designs that are just fun to color – a little or a lot at once. No deadlines, no pressure, just creative fun. I’m always looking for more ideas of simple, easy-to-do activities and ways to help nurture myself, so please share things that work for you!

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The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Paperback) by Missy Chase Lapine

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals (Paperback) by Missy Chase Lapine

I was always the picky eater in my family. Looking back, I honestly don’t know how my mom dealt! I never liked anything my parents put in front of me, especially vegetables (well, OK, I would eat Mac ‘n Cheese – but that was about it!). If I had it my way, it would have been cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As I begin to think about having kids of my own, as well as watching friends and family raise their own picky eaters, I’m beginning to wonder how on earth I’m going to deal with a child who won’t eat what I put in front of them: Will I use the “3 bite” rule? Will I make them sit at the table until they finish (or at least try) what I’ve given them? I can’t imagine I’d just fix them something else? What will I do?!?
My friends don’t seem to be having much luck themselves, except, Sarah, who’s doing the hide-the-nutritional-stuff-in-their-food trick. There is actually a cook book out by Jerry Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica, on doing just this. How fantastic! The book is called “Deceptively Delicious” and has an array of kid-friendly recipes that hide the “good for you” in regular food, like Mac ‘n Cheese and Brownies! There is another book I’ve seen called “The Sneaky Chef” with the same idea. For some reason, though, Cauliflower Eggs doesn’t sound that appetizing…
What have been your tricks to get your picky eaters to gobble down your Chef-tastic meals? Have you tried any of these books, and do their recipes really help?! Let us know, and by all means, PLEASE share your Picky Eater Recipes!

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