Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

  1. Go for a walk with just one child.
  2. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate ) into their lunch box.
  3. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  4. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park ridesas they do.
  5. When their room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  6. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandmaevery now and then.
  7. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  8. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home and a child’s love.
  10. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  11. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall. Our tradition is Pizza Night on Fridays J
  12. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  13. Let your child wear their dress-up clothesto the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  14. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about them.
  15. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  16. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  17. Don’t be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  18. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  19. Make a secret family handshake.
  20. Hang a whiteboard in their room to leave messages for each other.
  21. Start a pillow fight.
  22. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were their age.

You Shouldn’t Pressure Your Child to Eat New Foods, Study Says

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Frustrated by your picky eaters? A new study says pressuring them to try something new (or to eat just three more bites!) doesn’t help.

Your picky eater comes to the table, takes one bite, and announces she’s done. Or declares that she now hates her formerly-favorite dinner. It’s frustrating—and enough to make you resort to pleading, bribery, or demands to eat more. After all, it’s your instinct as a parent to nourish your children. And when it seems like they’re not eating enough, you worry that they won’t grow well (and will never eat anything beyond buttered pasta and chicken nuggets!).

But according to a new study, pressuring kids to eat doesn’t do much good. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that when parents pressured their toddlers at mealtime, it didn’t affect their growth one way or another and had no impact on how picky they were a year later.

“The fact that we did not find a link between pressuring in feeding and future picky eating suggests either that picky eating is not especially changeable, just like it’s hard to eliminate shyness in a shy child, or that reducing picky eating needs a different approach than just pressuring,” says researcher Julie Lumeng, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at University of Michigan.

That’s not to say that pressuring kids to eat is necessarily harmless either. “Pressuring in feeding can be considered controlling or intrusive, and we know from decades of research that controlling and intrusive parenting is not valuable for child well-being,” she says.

Mealtime pressure can also worsen a child’s eating habits over time, warns pediatric dietitian Natalia Stasenko. That’s especially true if there are underlying reasons for a child’s hesitation to eat, such as anxiety or oral motor problems. Even if a child’s finicky habits are more garden-variety, pressure can negatively impact how a child feels about food and eating in general, she says.

What’s more, though this particular study didn’t show that pressure led to more weight gain, those tactics could contribute to a higher obesity risk as your child gets older. That’s because pressuring kids to eat when they don’t want to interferes with their ability to self-regulate (knowing when they’re hungry and when they’re full). Toddlers are typically good regulators, but that natural sense tends to diminish by age 4 or 5, says Stasenko. “The study wasn’t long enough to study the effects of mealtime pressure on the ability to self-regulate and its relationship to obesity,” she notes.

Since it’s natural to be concerned about picky eating and how it might affect your child’s habits in the long term, what can you do? Lumeng says children are more likely to try a new food if they see others eating and enjoying that food—especially if it’s another child like a sibling or classmate. A “one bite rule” may help some children grow to like and accept new foods. Pairing a disliked foods with a liked food (like a new veggie with ranch dressing or ketchup) is a reasonable approach too, she adds.

Remember that experiencing a food without eating it is part of the process too, says Stasenko. “In order to try a new food, kids need to go through multiple levels of experiencing it in a pressure-free way, starting from seeing it multiple times, having a chance to interact with it, seeing other people eat it, touching it, smelling it, tasting it and finally eating it,” she says. “All kids progress through these steps at their own speed.”

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, and mom of two who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition. She is the author of the forthcoming book The 101 Healthiest Foods For Kids. She also collaborated with Cooking Light on Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families. You can follow her on Facebook Twitter Pinterest, and Instagram. In her spare time, she loads and unloads the dishwasher. Then load

Via Parents

 

I Smashed the Legos Today, And Now I’m Filled With Regret

Pete Wilgoren

I warned her.

I really did. I warned her.

And she just stood there. We needed to get ready. We were late. She knew we were late. So I warned her again. I did.

Still, she just stood there.

And I started counting to 30. I gave her 30 seconds to get it together. Time to get ready. Now. We’re late. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8…. You need to get ready to go. Shoes and socks. Now. 9… 10… 11… 12… 13… 14… 15…. And she stood there. And I counted. And she just stood there staring me down defiantly.

And I counted more. 16… 17… 18… 19… 20. Don’t make me get to 30. She just stood there. Don’t do it. Stood there.

Don’t… 21… 22… 23… 24.

We’ve been here before. The morning battles. The not listening. The stare downs.

Stood there. Not this time. 25…

I took one of her small Lego sets, and I smashed it. Just like I threatened. One of the Lego sets she built piece by piece and proudly displayed. Destroyed. And she ran to her room in tears as Lego pieces scattered across the floor. I didn’t wait ’til 30.

I warned her I was going to punish her by getting rid of a Lego set. I warned her. I wanted to send a message. It was the culmination of all the not listenings. All the morning battles. All the frustration. So I sent a message. I did it. It was done. And immediately I thought, “What did I do?!”

She got ready for school in silence as I picked up all the Lego pieces I could find on the floor, from under the table, from behind the piano. I never found them all. We were so late that there wasn’t even time for breakfast anymore. We’d lost so much time on a useless battle over being late, the endless parenting battling over morning routines, I had to bag up some fruit and cereal for her and we headed out the door. In silence.

I dropped her off and headed to work, and I couldn’t shake it. In one instant, I created a memory she will never forget. Never.

I called my wife, and we talked it out as I drove. She listened. She’s always a good listener. And at some point, she said, “They’re little. We only have them for such a short time.” And she was right. I wanted to punish my kid, and I wanted to send a message. And I did. Unfortunately.

When I got off work, it was already dark. I battled the freeway home, and as I approached the exit for home, I passed right by it. I went to a local toy store and scanned the store shelves and spotted the same Lego set — the one with the little rocket ship amusement rides that spin around. I bought it.

I brought it home and walked up to the house. My little gal was already in her pajamas for the night. She saw the Lego set and smiled. I gave it to her and I said, “I didn’t handle the situation this morning properly. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” And she gave me a big hug. She took the Lego box and dumped out the pieces on the floor and immediately started to rebuild. We started to rebuild.

Still, I know I created a memory she’ll never forget — the day Dad shattered her little Lego set — like little scratches on the surface of their childhood. This scratch was all mine. And I can’t take it back but I can do better. And I will.

By Pete Wilgoren

8 Things That Become Annoying After Becoming a Parent

Before becoming a parent, I probably could have come up with a pretty decent list of things that annoyed me. Things like people chewing with their mouths open and slow drivers in the fast lane mostly just the obvious offenders that annoy most other people too. But since become a parent? Well, let’s just say that the list of annoyances has grown exponentially, though most of the things that make the list are things that would’ve been no big deal in the pre-parent days. Here are lists of things that have become annoying since becoming a parent.

1. The UPS guy who rings the doorbell

Pre-kids, the UPS guy ringing my doorbell was a neutral event in my day. Actually, it was probably an enjoyable event in my day; because it meant some fun item or another awaited me in a package. Now I sort of want to punch the UPS guy (or anyone for that matter) who dares to ring my door bell and wake my baby from his nap.

2. The fact that Costco doesn’t open until 10:00 AM

Before parenthood, I rarely tackled errands before 10:00 AM—because, sleeping in on Saturdays. But now? 10:00 AM rolls around and I’ve probably been up for four hours. I mean, seriously? The day is halfway over by 10:00, Costco. The parents of this nation need economy size boxes of baby wipes and 3-packs of milk and we need it before 10:00 AM. Perhaps I should start a petition.

3. The chatty checker at the grocery store

OK, this was a little annoying before kids as well, but after kids it’s on another level. I’m sorry chatty checker, I really don’t want to hear your life story and I definitely don’t want to tell you mine while my kid is making a mess. I don’t even care. Not even a little bit.

4. Any and all lines

Waiting in lines is never a super fun task for anyone, but it had always just been a part of life. But waiting in lines with kids can be downright hellish. And waiting in line behind someone whose club card isn’t working or who can’t find a coupon while my kid is crying doing even get me started.

5.People who get offended by public breastfeeding

Before becoming a parent, I recognized that some people just don’t feel comfortable with breastfeeding in public. Even though I found it silly, it didn’t annoy me really. After becoming a parent, the ridiculousness of taking offense to breastfeeding annoys me to no end. Seriously people, you’ll see more cleavage walking past Victoria’s Secret on your mall walk then you’ll see while someone is feeding their baby. Get over it.

6.People who talk about their pets incessantly like they are their babies

I’ve never been a super huge animal person, but if other people want to compare and treat kids as a pet and talk about them as such who am I to resent them? Well, after having kids, I find the behavior a lot more annoying. And please do not compare your animal to my child. Totally not the same.

7.Phone calls over text

Talking on the phone is not my jam, but if I had information to communicate I had always been more than happy to give a quick phone call. Now, I basically send all phone calls straight to voicemail. I pretty much would like everyone I know to ask them before calling me: “Is this information that could be conveyed via a text message?” If the answer is yes, then please send a text. It will be much more pleasant for both of us to not have to carry on a conversation while my children yell in the background.

8.Glitter

I suppose the reason I never real took issue with glitter before having children is because I didn’t really have to encounter it very often in my daily life. In the adult world, very few things are festooned with glitter for glitter’s sake. Unfortunately I have learned that in the world of children glitter is on EVERYTHING. Literally everything. And subsequently it is all over my house as well. Glitter is most definitely the herpes of craft supplies and I wouldn’t be particularly sad if it no longer existed.

I identify myself on this POST ! Life changed drastically after having kids, I hope you identify also on this post from my blog about Things that become annoying after having kids

 

 

Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

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Here are a few easy tricks to make your child smile.

  1. Go for a walk with just one child.
  2. Slip a note (and an occasional piece of chocolate ) into their lunch box.
  3. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  4. Show as much enthusiasm on amusement-park ridesas they do.
  5. When their room looks like a tsunami swept through it, close the door and get on with your day.
  6. Skype or do FaceTime with Grandmaevery now and then.
  7. If your child has given it a good try, but he’s still miserable and anxious and really, truly wants to quit the team, give him your blessing.
  8. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home and a child’s love.
  10. Give your toddler a chance to fight his own battles in the sandbox or on the playground before you intervene.
  11. Cultivate your own rituals and traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall. Our tradition is Pizza Night on Fridays J
  12. Ask your kid to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  13. Let your child wear their dress-up clothesto the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  14. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about them.
  15. Stay up late to see the full moon. There’s one on October 27.
  16. Print their childhood photos so they have something physical to look at one day.
  17. Don’t be in a hurry to tell your kid to let it go. He needs to vent too.
  18. Crank up the music in the middle of homework and have a dance party.
  19. Make a secret family handshake.
  20. Hang a whiteboard in their room to leave messages for each other.
  21. Start a pillow fight.
  22. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were their age.

9 Things a Pediatrician Wishes You’d Stop Doing

One pediatrician tells us the truth about the things doctors wish parents would stop doing, now.
Parenting doesn’t come with a handbook, so unsuspecting moms and dads are left to figure out a lot on their own. Our go-to sources of advice—friends, the internet, our own parents—might not have the most reliable, up-to-date info. Then when we get to the pediatrician’s office, we’re either too stressed, rushed, or embarrassed to ask our questions. Doctors are great at telling you what to do, but even they might be hesitant to be upfront with parents about what not to do. So we asked Bill Bush, M.D., pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to give us the truth about the things parents should stop doing, now.

1. Stop looking to the internet for medical advice

When you’re freaked out about your child’s symptoms, the first place to turn is usually Dr. Google. And while trusted sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics can have useful info, it’s still impossible to diagnose your kid over the internet. Instead, take your concerns to your doctor. “I’ve been given websites to look up because a parent is pretty sure their child has X, Y, or Z disease,” Dr. Bush says. “I’m always happy to look and get back to them, but a diagnosis is based on our medical evaluation.

2. Stop going to the ER for everything

I’m guilty of this one. Recently my 3-year-old ran head-first into the fridge, and after blood started coming out of his nose and mouth, I rushed him to the ER without waiting for a call back from his doctor. Four hours and a $900 bill later, he was pronounced totally fine. “Except for extreme emergencies, getting a phone call in to your physician’s office gives time for the child to calm and the family to make assessments, and for us to determine if there’s an alternative place we can have you seen,” Dr. Bush says. An urgent care facility or the pediatrician’s office the next day may be better options.

3. Stop requesting antibiotics.

It’s natural to want our kids to get better as soon as possible, but Dr. Bush says antibiotics aren’t always the answer. “There are times when it’s absolutely appropriate to give the antibiotic when they have a bacterial infection, but for the majority of the patients we see with viral illnesses, it’s not,” he says. “Colds and coughs don’t need an antibiotic, they just need time to heal.” Plus, giving antibiotics too often can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are then harder to fight off.

4. Stop refusing vaccinations and demanding alternative vaccine schedules.

Ironically, just as some parents rush to medicine, others are scared by vaccines. Even if parents agree vaccines are a good thing, they’re concerned about giving many at the same time. “Very solid evidence exists that immunizations prevent many deadly and debilitating childhood diseases,” Dr. Bush says. “The FDA requires any new combination of vaccines to prove equal effectiveness as if they were given on separate dates so we’re not overwhelming the immune system.” The problem with delaying vaccines, especially with babies, is children then go unprotected for longer. “When you start spreading them out, you put more kids at risk,” he says.

5. Stop allowing unlimited screen time.

Let’s face it: Screens are a part of our lives now, which the AAP recognized when they relaxed their rules around screen time. But even so, Dr. Bush says to make sure your kids have outdoor play for exercise, and face-to-face interaction for social development. “Life’s about interacting with other people, so encourage children to play with their friends in person instead of texting or playing video games online,” he says.

6. Stop blaming your child’s cold on being outside.

This is one myth that just won’t die. But your kid is not going to catch a cold by going jacket-less for the 10-second walk to the car, so it’s probably not worth fighting that battle. “Viral illnesses such as colds come from the spread of germs—kids touching everything and then they touch their eyes, nose, and mouth,” Dr. Bush says. “We see much more spread of illnesses in the wintertime when kids are all condensed into one small area for the entire school day.”

7. Stop skipping well-child visits.

We all lead busy lives, and when it comes time for what we consider “non-essential” appointments, it’s easy to let them pass by. But Dr. Bush says that’s a mistake. “If we switch from providing sick care to well care, we can do a better job of preventing or managing certain diseases,” he says. This includes hearing and vision problems, heart murmurs, blood pressure elevations, kids who are failing to grow and spines that may be developing scoliosis. Plus, the visits give you and your child a chance to feel more comfortable with your doctor, so you’ll be more likely to discuss any concerns in the future.

8. Stop using Q-tips to clean your child’s ears.

You may think you’re helping your child’s hygiene, but you’re really just pushing wax further into the ears. “Kids will come in sometimes with ear pain or decreased hearing because their ears are just so packed with wax from the Q-tip not bringing it out, but pushing it back,” Dr. Bush says. Instead, allow some water to get into your child’s ears at bath time, because the moisture should help wax naturally work itself out.

9. Stop freaking out about your child’s temperature.

It can be alarming when your child develops a fever, but once they are out of the newborn stage when it may be dangerous, it’s just something else to report to your doctor. “It’s a symptom like a runny nose, cough, or pain, part of the collection of information that helps us make decisions on what’s the appropriate diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Bush says. “It’s very rare that a fever alarms us.”

Via Parents

The Mom sings, The Son Cries

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I think already commented and described about how my son of 2 and a half years old gets so emotional since he was a baby when I sing to him. I cannot understand and explain that feeling, how he feels so emotional when I sing a lullaby to him, is not that I am singing a known song, I make up melodies to him and singing at the time he goes to bed to make him feel more relaxed but there are days when he just tells me NO, and other ones when he probably needs to feel my comfort and closeness and that he listen to me and start feeling so emotional and cries…

Probably is a remarkable demonstration of emotional contagion, the tendency for humans to absorb and reflect the intense emotions of those around them. Emotional contagion is the foundation of human responses that are essential to social functioning such and empathy and is facilitated by the mirror neuron system in the brain.

It is shown in young infants’ tendency to cry when in the vicinity of another crying baby (known as contagious crying), and just as easily to mimic the joy or glee expressed by another person.  Emotional contagion may also be seen in the blank stares of infants of depressed mothers or fathers, reflecting their caregivers’ flat affect.

Parents also imitate their infants’ expressions. Infants begin to show a ‘social smile’ by about six to eight weeks of age, and this in turn also triggers more smiling in parents. This moment-to-moment mimicry and matching of emotional expressions in time is  emotional synchrony like ‘getting in step’ with each other, to dance together in a smooth interaction.

The orientation to each other is important in establishing the optimal conditions for emotional contagion and synchrony. In this case when the singing begins, the emotional expression of the face immediately mimics this concentrated on the facial expression.

I believe the singing plays a very important role in this scenario. In daily interactions, emotional expressions are fleeting. Smiles or frowns might flash across the face, constantly changing with speech and environmental cues. But when singing a slow-paced song, facial expressions are shown as if in slow motion or even as if suspended in time probably intensifying the effects of emotional contagion.

Emotional contagion induced by film characters on-screen and sensitivity to rising and falling melodies in film scores, as well as speech contours are also mechanisms by which films take us on an emotional journey.  If filmed while watching a movie, you might catch yourself mimicking facial expressions of the characters, even though nobody is responding to your smiles in the dark.

I wish I can record this magical moment, but always occurs natural and unexpected. I truly believe and know that happened,  is very common to see babies cry when the mother sings to them.

Swim lessons, if a child starts crying what do you do?

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As a parent there is a long list of things you should do to help your crying child and the swim program that you’re at. We are going to first go through what a parent should do to keep their child from crying or reduce the tear time to a minimum. To prevent children crying at swim lessons:

  • Mentally prepare your child for the swimming experience

When you sign up for swim lessons inform your child that they will be participating in swim lessons. Let them know in clear terms that they will be learn how to go underwater like you do in the bathtub or shower, and will practice moving through the water safely.

  • Sing the songs from swim lessons, and use the same swim specific location language

If you can, get a hold of the swim lesson program’s song sheets or training guide to learn the swim skill language they use at that location. When you are at home, in the car, or playing outside sing those same songs and try to use similar descriptive language to talk about swimming.

  • Visit the pool before swim lessons

Do everything you can to spend some time together at the swimming pool or location that you will have your swim lessons. The best idea is to get in the water with your child and walk them through getting in the water from the side with assistance and blowing bubbles.

  • Constantly offer support and encouragement in the days before the lessons, immediately before the class at the pool, and after a lesson

Parents are the choreographers of their children’s emotional state. You should present a positive welcoming and happy outward demeanor when you are describing swimming and swim lessons. Tell your child how much fun they are going to have at the pool. Remind them about the fun things that you did together at the pool when you went swimming before the lessons.

  • Parents: acknowledge you child’s fear, but don’t suggest WHY they are afraid

We never want to give the child a reason to be scared. Avoid phrases like, “Are you scared because the water is cold?” or “Are you crying because you’re scared of the teacher?” Instead, explain that there is nothing to fear about swimming lessons.

  • Parents: Hand off your child physically to the swim instructor

Parents of crying children, if they are still leaking tears but not outright breaking down in crying fits, and if you feel they are ready to start their lesson, YOU need to physically walk them to the swim instructor and place their hand in the hands of the swim instructor. You need to do this physical and deliberate act. It conveys trust and ownership.

By walking your child to the swim instructor and placing their hand in the swim instructor’s you are physically telling the child some important things:

1) The parent trusts the swim instructor.

2) The swim instructor is an authority the parent believes in.

3) The parent is passing authority over the child to the swim instructor and they are to be listened to.

Parents! DO NOT force the swim instructor to chase down your child and physically pull them off you. You are destroying the implicit trust in the swim instructor in the child’s eyes.
What should parents do when their child starts crying during a swim lesson:

  • Parents: Do not stare worriedly at your child from the observation area. Very important!!!

When the child is in swim lessons sometimes they will realize you are not with them and burst into tears in a flurry of separation anxiety. This is a dramatic case of a parent equally anxious about their child in swimming lessons conveying quite overtly how uncomfortable and scared they are. Because you are the child’s parent they will gravitate to your mood and emotions and respond accordingly.  Break eye contact or do something else.

• If the child is looking at the parent repeatedly reaching out for them the parent should remove themselves from the child’s sight.

Yup, go hide! Most swim lesson facilities have a secret spot where you can see the classes and watch your child, but the child either can’t see you or doesn’t realize that you’re in view.

Remember that the parent is not the focus of the swim lesson, the child is and the swim instructors will better engage the child when the parent is not also a member of the class.

Some reasons a child cry’s at swimming lessons: 

What causes fear of the water?

• Being forced into water activities with no preparation or expectation given in a hostile or unhelpful environment
• Being raised by parents that are themselves afraid of the water and have knowingly or unknowingly communicated this fear to their children
• Having had a traumatic water accident, or witnessing one
Remember, children LEARN to be afraid of the water.

Parents! DO NOT DO THESE THINGS

  • Stop lessons totally because child cried in the beginning.
  • Be scared for your child. All your anxiety to be picked up and amplified by your child. When you are nervous or uncertain, your child will pick up on all the unspoken and subtle body language and between the lines words you’re using to avoid participating.
  • Offer payoffs. “We’ll get ice cream for your good behavior today at swim lessons.” This reinforces a negative association with swimming lessons and the learning process.

Enrolling your child in swim lessons is an excellent choice. It is important to learn how to at least know the basics of how to swim. USA swimming through their Make a Splash arm has produced these interesting facts:

– Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of childhood accidental death
– Ten people drown each day in the U.S.
– Seven out of ten African-American children cannot swim
– Six out of ten Hispanic children cannot swim
– 40% of Caucasian children have low or no swimming ability
– Children from non-swimming households are eight times more likely to be
at-risk of drowning
– Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.
As a prevention measure, swim lessons are a great idea.

 

I Cry For You 

Sometimes I cry for you, little one.

Sometimes I cry because the world is so big and you’re so small, and I worry—Oh, do I worry—about your smallness in this big world.

Sometimes I cry because you’re so big and I’m so small, and the bigger you get to me, the smaller I get to you, and I worry—Lord, how I worry—about my smallness in your big world.

Sometimes I cry because this love is too big and my heart is too small, and a bursting heart feels—strangely, painfully—an awful lot like a breaking one.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the beauty of you.

Sometimes I cry because I’m overwhelmed by the weight of you.

Sometimes I cry because in the process of gaining you, I gave up a version of me, and though I wouldn’t change that even if I could, sometimes I miss me desperately.

Sometimes I cry because your skin is so soft, and your eyes are so bright, and your soul is so new, and your heart is so open, and I’m sad. I’m sad that your innocence will crumble from experiences brutal and necessary, because you are as painfully human as the rest of us.

Sometimes I cry because you need help in ways that I can’t help you, and helplessness as a parent feels—strangely, surprisingly—an awful lot like sheer terror.
Sometimes I cry because as a mother I have no choice but to put on my big-girl panties every day, and both of those things—having no choice and big-girl panties—can be really, really uncomfortable.
Sometimes I cry because I am so unbelievably tired—not sleepy, but tired—that I can’t do anything else.

Sometimes I cry because I hear God in your giggles.
Sometimes I cry because your very existence evokes a joy so profound that smiles and laughter can’t quite reach it.

Sometimes I cry because this blessing is so big and my cup is so small and the overflow has to go somewhere.

Sometimes I cry because all of these things—the love, the worry, the sadness, the beauty, the bursting, the big-girl panties, the blessing—it’s all too much to take. Just too, too much.
So sometimes I cry for you. And for me. And for this big world. And for a thousand other terrible, wonderful, desperate, beautiful reasons that you won’t understand until you’re a parent.

Sometimes I cry for you, little one. Big, cleansing tears.

Beautiful Thinking on this coming Mother’s Day, I hope you enjoyed it as I did. 
 

Changing The Perspective Of My Sons’s Tantrums

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If you’re like me, the parent of a kid susceptible to tantrums occasionally, you know how difficult and emotionally demanding tantrums can be. I didn’t handle his tantrums well sometimes. I feel angry and resentful, and mad at my kid. Every parenting book suggested that kids throw temper tantrums as a way to manipulate their parents to get what they want. I’m sure some kids do but in my son’s case, he simply didn’t know how to control his reactions. I am trying to change my reaction to his tantrums and realized that my job is to teach him how to calm himself. I am trying to stop throwing tantrums about my son’s tantrums and help him to regulate himself.

Here are six things that can help:
1. Stop being angry at my son for his tantrums
Instead of feel offensive and want my son to be different or being angry that he is throwing a tantrum; I am trying to accept that this is who he is and learn to help.
2. I am not ignoring my son, but I am ignoring the tantrum
My son wasn’t trying to get attention by throwing a tantrum. But I noticed that when I did try to speak to him when he was throwing a tantrum, it almost seemed to start the tantrum over, always make sure my son is safe and that others around are as well.
3. I am trying to stop telling him to stop
A child who can’t regulate himself certainly isn’t going to have a miraculous improvement in his actions because his mom is screaming. My son needs me to be a calm person and see how I react.
4. I am teaching him how to calm himself down
I need to teach my son to calm his own tantrums by 1) Not talking to him during the tantrum. 2) Picking up a book that my son likes and reading it to him or I simply find an activity he loves to distract his attention, reading the book to my son would  make him want to join in, and understand that he could pick up a book when he’s feeling out of control and calm himself down.
Now when my son gets upset I offer him to read a book or he takes one on his own. Grown-ups have tools to calm themselves down same as kids.
5. I never talk about the tantrum after he is done
Talking about the tantrum afterward only gave it more weight than it deserved. We move on and move forward trying to focus in something else.
6. I don’t punish my son or take something away from him
A lot of kids who are disposed to do tantrums are anxious kids to begin with, so feeling like they’re going to lose something for a behavior they can’t yet control only adds to the anxiety more anxiety, and to the tantrums more tantrums. My son needs to know I love him no matter what and not feel like he’s a bad kid for freaking out.
The tantrums are random, but now I can track in reverse and see how to manage them but if I can’t, I’m going to tell him I love him anyways.

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