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Parenting Tips |

Positive parenting and learning new parenting skills help us to raise healthy adults. This blog is a community effort in sharing tips and ideas.

Updated: 2010-02-04T21:50:44.668-08:00


How To Get A Toddler To Sleep In His Own Room


This is fantastic advice for parents that are wanting to learn how to get your toddler to sleep in his or her own bed. clipped from www.positivityblog.comSo here are the things I’ve done the last two nights that help me stay calm and leave me feeling hopeful:I use the time to focus on my posture and breathe deeply. When I get going with my day I sometimes forget these two important things. Focusing on improving my physical self takes the pressure off my stressed mental self, thus easing the situation a bit.On our pediatrician’s suggestion, we’re getting The Fireball accustom to falling asleep without us. This currently involves 30 minutes of repeated walks down the hall to get her back in bed. No eye contact and no talking are allowed, though I sometimes plant a quick kiss on the top of her head. I keep looking for Super Nanny cameras taping my every move, wondering if I’m truly doing it right or if the kiss is a sign of weakness and I’m in need of some professional intervention.Positive Parenting During Stressful Times  [...]

Communication - The Number One Priority in Successful Parenting


What is communication, anyway? There are many definitions that can be found online and most of them list some variation of the following in the exact Unabridged (v 1.1)1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.When doing a lecture in front of a room, I would think definition number 1 would be helpful. When dealing with children, definition number 2 is much more important.Allow me to explain: Recently, my daughter called me with some frustration about how her 5 year old was doing in kindergarten. Apparently, there had been some conversations with the teacher about this child in the first few weeks of the school year, and along with the phone calls, there had been an onslaught of sad face stickers that had been coming home in the way of reports.The initial reaction from my daughter and her husband, was to find a way to communicate to this child that in order to stop getting these sad face stickers, he needed to find a way to behave himself.My reaction was much different because I, as a grandparent, was emotionally involved in the situation and yet, not so close that I didn't have a different perspective on what was happening.It was very clear to me that this method of motivating (controlling) this child was not working and was not going to work - no matter how many sad faces came home from this teacher. In fact, the reason the "problem" was getting worse and not better was because this form of "communication" was not working with him.The reason it was not working with him was because of the message that he felt was being communicated via this strategy (tactic) and that was, "you are so bad, that it is making me sad. And because I am sad, I am going to send these stickers home about you and then, I am going to call your parents to make sure they are sad also."This teacher was so enamored with this form of motivating the children that we endly met with the principal regarding the situation. When I asked the principal if this methodology was standard in the public school systems, or the school district and what was the basis of this form of communication (feedback), she said, "no - the teachers are at liberty to use their own form of motivation and that the methods do work for some children." (I personally cannot imagine that but I guess I can take her word for it - or not.)It was beyond the scope of that meeting to have a lengthy conversation about how effective these stickers are, in the school this principal was in charge of, let alone the district, the nation or the whole universe of which they may be in use. (Do you think there needs to be some education reform?)Anyway, the child was moved out of that classroom within 48 hours, so it became a moot point.My appeal to you and the reason for this post (if you are still here - I know this is not a feel good kind of post, no matter how I try to pose it)...Please do not take anyone's word for what is best for your child - regardless of those people's so-called authority status.There are methods that fit for you and your child and there are methods that don't. Do what is necessary to make that child know they are being "heard" by opening up a line of communication with them and really listening to their take on what is happening in their world.As the definition above indicates, there are many definitions for the word, "communication". Please use the second one, which indicates "interchange" and include the child's thoughts and feelings in that interchange.Find out from them what is happening (they are the best source of information) - by asking them, what is really going on!This will go along way in having the lines of communication open during your relationship with your child, as they grow, and you will be really grateful you did, as they approach their teenage years.[...]

Great Advice for Raising Children To Have High Self Esteem


Esther Hicks says:
Relative to our children or any children with whom we would interact, our one dominant intention would be to give them a conscious understanding of how powerful and important and valuable and perfect they are.

Every word that would come out of our mouths would be a word that would be offered with the desire to help this individual know that they are powerful. It would be a word of empowerment. We would set the Tone for upliftment and understand that everything will gravitate to that Tone if we would maintain it consistently.

This would appear to be about the best advice any parent could get for nurturing their children to become adults with a healthy opinion of themselves.

One of the biggest issues many adults have today is the fact they were raised to believe, "you shouldn't think too highly of yourself, because if you do, others will think your are arrogant."

Malarkey. :-)

Arrogance comes from having low self-esteem and trying to over-compensate for it.

May all children feel worthy and feel good about themselves. They will be much happier for it.

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kid Do


I had seen this video a few months ago and I have had many conversations (offline) about the topic. As a mother of 2 and grandmother of 4, I am still very much in touch with what is happening with children these days. Everything from the public educational system and how testing is effecting the kids (a post for another time) - to all the precautions new parents are being urged to take, in keeping their kids safe. I happened across a new product yesterday that "saves little fingers from slamming doors" (as the ad reads) and that caused me to remember this video by Gever Tulley: 5 dangerous things you should let your kids do. I agree that allowing kids to explore will actually make them safer. My 2 younger grandchildren attend Montessori. I attended "Grandfriends Day" last year for the first time, as it was the 4 year old's first year. The day was filled with mostly observing the kids, in their classroom. I noticed many of the kids - my granddaughter included - were very attracted to taking their turn at using these little trays. They were like little child-size cafeteria trays and each tray had glass pitchers of various sizes, shapes and colors. Each tray (there was about a dozen different ones on shelving built very low to the floow) had the same type of setup: a glass pitcher, a glass bowl, a small glass vial with soap in it and a small child-size sponge. The children would fill the pitcher up with water, add a drop of soap and either pour the water back and forth between the glass containers on their tray or take the sponge and methodically soak up the water from one container and squeeze it into the other. It struck me immediately that these containers were all made of glass rather than plastic, the children were carrying the trays back and forth from the shelving, where the trays usually lived, to the table area where the kids did their work and at any given moment, there could be a glass container crashing to the floor - especially at the angle some of these trays were being carried at. :-) At one point, a child did have one of the glass vials that held the soap slide off the tray she was carrying, which caused it to crash to the floor and break in numerous pieces. The child immediately started crying, a teacher came over to soothe her and explain, "all was ok" and another teacher cleaned up the mess. No harm done. Later, during refreshments and a question and an answer period in another room where the kids were not present, I asked the school staff what the thinking was, regarding using glass vs plastic for these materials - especially, since the age group. It was explained to me that using plastic did not have the same cause and effect. In other words, carrying a tray with plastic would not give the child the same opportunity to feel weight and learn balance, as it does with glass. And holding a pitcher in your hands made of glass is much different than plastic, etc. When I was raising my kids, I had many friends that were also in the stage of raising their children. I saw that the ones that sheltered their children, making most, if not of their decisions for them - what to eat, when to eat, what time to get up, what time to go to bed, how much TV to watch... had very stressful teenage and young adult relationship with their kids. It seemed to me that the parents had made most of the decisions for their kids and now, all of a sudden, they were wanting them to "act like adults". It seemed to be a bit "abrupt" for the kids to suddenly have to make the same decisions they had never been allowed to make, all those prior years. I, on the other hand, had taken the opportunity, as much as possible, to allow my kids to make their own decisions. While my friends were still trying to get their 14 year old up in the morning, I was not having that issue. At the first conversation regarding staying up to watch a TV program on a school nite, I had said, "Let's let you decide how late to stay up. Just recognize you have school to[...]

Whose Feelings Are You Trying to Protect?


It is important to allow children to feel their feelings - without us being more concerned about our own (inadvertently, of course).

For example, if a child is crying because one of their playmates took one of their toys from them or they are having difficulty accomplishing a task, it is common to say something along the lines of, "That's all right. It's not a big deal."

For the child to be crying, obviously, it is a big deal to them, in the moment.

Telling them it's not a big deal inadvertently discounts their feelings and in essence, sets up a pattern for them to squelch their feelings as they grow older.


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In the example, I have given, there is not one cut and dry answer to this because it depends on the child in the moment and how upset they are, if this is a pattern of having this happen to them and if there are other factors, such as the child is tired and needing a nap.

So, everything is situational. The important thing to understand is: Whose feelings are more important in that moment. In other words, if it pains you to see your child crying (and most likely it may to some degree or another), what is your true motivation for wanting the child to stop crying? Is it to make him/her feel better? Or to make YOU feel better? :)

This article gives some great examples and tips.

The one things I really liked about it is the example given at the end of the article that can serve as a template for holding a space for the child to begin to take ownership and work a process to help themselves feel better.

What do you take away from this article?

What things have you used successfully in situations like this?

Do kids opinions count?


A couple of weeks ago I had (2) of my grandkids who are aged 1-1/2, and 3- 1/2 spend a number of days and with my wife and I. My wife asked the oldest what she was learning in school. And she was starting her A, B, C's. Which got me thinking. There are many things we learn during our school days. And one thing which isn't taught is parenting.From my observation most learning about parenting is like a self study course. Unless you go out and attend a parenting class, or buy parenting books, most people learn their parenting skills from their parents, other family members, grandparents, and neighbors. I find that humorous in one aspect, and sad in another way. Especially since the early years are what basically shapes us for the rest of our lives. And who we are going to be, and so on.Here's why I say this. From many articles and books I have read, many of our "issues" we deal with as adults have their roots stemming from an early childhood incident. Usually before the age of seven. So just because we have made it to an adult age, doesn't necessarily mean we are good parents, mentors or role models for our kids.Let me share a quick example of what I am talking about. My wife and I were invited to watch one of our young family members participate in a holiday pageant at their church. The pulpit area was jammed with kids, all surrounding a number of high ranking church members. The church leader was sitting in the middle, and he was asking the kids (who were between 2-5 years old), what their favorite Christmas song was.Many of the kids, shouted out things like "Frosty the Snowman", "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "Here Comes Santa Clause" etc. Then the leader interrupted and asked one child his favorite Christmas song. The small child replied "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." The leader said "that was a good pick, but what about "O Come, All Ye Faithful?" He turned to another child seated at this feet, and asked her for her favorite Christmas song. And she replied "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth" Whereby he once again questioned the child and asked "what about Silent Night?" Huh????This question and answer thing went on for a couple more minutes. At first it was funny, but by the 4th kid it hit me. The leader was trying to coach the kids into changing their answers. The more kids he asked, it appeared that he was becoming more and more aggravated. And shortly thereafter the kids started to lose interest in this game.It became apparent to me that the kids reactions boiled down to simple human nature. Simply , words, nobody wants to be told they are wrong. Especially when they don't know the goal, or the even the rules of the game.I could speculate and make up a dozen or more different scenarios as to why the leader was trying to have the kids answer differently with a more traditional Christmas song. My observation is the leader asked a question. And because the kids weren't answering the question to his liking. He was making them wrong, and telling the children that they weren't doing it right. I could also see that some of the kids were getting confused, and irritated when they were told to change their answer so that it suited him.Is it any wonder that one of the biggest challenges many people face is low self esteem? Not trusting themselves. Thinking they are not good enough. I don't believe the leader was doing it intentionally. And I don't believe parents want to consciously hurt their kids either. Yet studies, and research have shown that an innocent experience like I have described above, can actually be the root cause of bigger issues as children mature into adulthood.Some people have a default thought process which goes like this, "My parents raised me this way, and I turned out ok. So I'll just raise my kids the same way."Without giving any thought to the child's best interest. All kids are the same...right? That's like saying that all cars are the same. Wo[...]

Empowering - not Overpowering Works Best


Yesterday, I posted a tip for dealing with Power Struggles and this morning, I found another resource for advice that I think is fantastic!

The thing that I love about the parenting article by Karan Sims is: she talks about empowering instead of overpowering the child.

That is a much better position for raising healthy adults as we are teaching them early on to be confident in making choices and modeling how to be centered regardless of what others may think.

In addition to that, there cannot be a power struggle unless two people are involved in a push-me pull-me. In other words, it takes two to tango!

Thanks Karan for your great article and the tips you suggest! Out of the variety offered, I am sure one or more can work beautifully to enhance the relationship between the adult and the child!

Any readers have success stories that you can share on this topic? I would love to hear it and I am sure others would get great value from your examples!

How to Avoid a Power Struggle with your Child


The very best way to avoid a power struggle with a child is to use "visioning". What is visioning?

Visioning is the same process that is used prior to going into any activity whereby you want to excel! In other words, let's say you are going to be presenting an idea at a business meeting and you want the idea to be accepted well by the other participants of the meeting. (Before you think I have gone off my rocker because all of a sudden, I am speaking about business meetings and not kids... bear with me - I'm going somewhere with this!)

If you were wanting to make sure your ideas in a business meeting were accepted well by the other folks in the meeting, any knowledgeable business coach would advise you to envision, in advance, what it is you want to have happen in the presentation. You might say to yourself a few times in advance of the meeting, "During this meeting, I want to be clear in my ideas, clear in my presentation of my ideas, have the idea accepted well and regardless of what happens, I want to feel great!"

[By the way, this concept in taught in a much bigger way in many business books(image) I would recommend.]

Now, back to you and "presenting" ideas to kids, as that is what this blog is about! ;-)

Let's say you are getting ready to put your child to bed. And you have noticed in the last few weeks that he/she has been a bit cranky and now, there is a pattern of struggle that has set itself up every evening over this issue.

Imagine, in advance, and you might even say this to yourself over and over, in anticipation: "Tonite, when it is time to put (name) to bed, I am going to feel centered, I am going to be clear in my suggestion that now is the time to get some sleep for another fun day tomorrow, I am going to have this segment of the evening go smoothly and regardless of what happens, I am going to feel great!"

And then, fully expect that it will go well and as you have "rehearsed" in your mind!

Now, in the event it does not, it only means there needs to be a bit more practice on your part in having this new pattern be your reality. In other words, your expectation, and thus, your success with having this segment of the evening go well will be the norm, with practice.

Try this and let me know how you make out with it! :-)

Welcome to the Simply Unique Baby Gifts Blog!


It is our intention that you get great value from this blog and the information we provide gives you help in enjoying your child even more!

We will be providing you with information regarding "positive" parenting and other helpful and timely tips for parents!

Look for the first (real) post soon! :)