10 Things I Wish People Would Stop Doing Around My Kids

There are a few things I wish other parents would stop doing when it comes to my kids—or at the very least in front of them. With some things, when I clearly know the intent, it’s much easier to let it go, but other times I find myself digging deep to extend grace (if I’m honest there have been times when I’ve dug deep and come up with nothing).

Still, I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to encourage us to look within and to be mindful of the things we are doing and saying, not just when it comes to our own kids. I’m sure I’ve done something to result in an eye-roll from another mom. So while I’m asking you to please stop talking like a sailor in front of my children who happen to be right behind you in the grocery store checkout line, I’m also doing my best to teach my children about our own family values and expectations and that we don’t necessarily have to like or agree with everything someone does to respect them or be kind.

1. Let their kids use social media

Apparently my tween is the only one who doesn’t have Instagram or Snapchat (hey, I don’t even have Snapchat)—which means I’m being totally unreasonable here. I’m OK with that, but is there anyone out there who can give me a (virtual) high-five?

2. (Well-meaning strangers) offer my kids snacks

You thought the tears were bad, now just wait until I say, “No thank you.”

My little one is crying and you wanted to help so you waved your magic wand, I mean lollipop. Actually, you did ask me if she could have it but she was right there listening and watching that gleaming piece of candy move through the air. You thought the tears were bad, now just wait until I say, “No thank you.”

3. Ask me for a favor related to your kid

Perhaps the only thing worse than my child putting me on the spot is another parent putting me on the spot—in front of both our kids.

4. Drop F-bombs

Given I’ve got a 3-year-old who occasionally moonlights as a parrot, I try to be more careful about what I say around her. While I can control what I say, I can’t control what you say (Note: I’m not just talking about the occasional drop but rather a continuous stream of profanity as a part of your regular dialogue.). And there are some words that I don’t want to become a part of her increasingly expansive vocabulary.

5. Be mean

Making cruel, harsh and/or judgmental comments about parents or children or people in general just isn’t cool nor is it funny. When you pick apart the traits (physical or personality) of another person (even if they’re on TV), support negative stereotypes and engage in other forms of word vomit, I’m forced to question the value of our relationship when it comes to my family. Or maybe I question why I came to this restaurant and ask to be seated somewhere else. In our world kindness rules. You can totally, “sit with us.” Just be nice, OK?

6. Tell me how to discipline them

Lucky for you they’re my kids, which means you don’t need to worry yourself with how they should be disciplined.

If you’re coming from a good place and you’d like to share your thoughts in private, then please go right ahead. But I’d rather you not tell me that all parenting dilemmas would be solved if I would spank my kids or ground them or do whatever it is you do. Lucky for you they’re my kids, which means you don’t need to worry yourself with how they should be disciplined. Have you watched the news lately? There are greater fights for you to fight.

7. Make a negative or snarky comment about their appearance

I’m trying to raise girls that are comfortable in their own skin (and hair), and listening to you go on and on about how their hair is so coarse and how it must take forever and be so difficult to comb isn’t helping. We don’t need you to pity us or belittle us. We’re learning to work what God gave us and love it too. You don’t have to love it, but as the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say … “

8. Disrespect boundaries

Nope. If my kid doesn’t want to hug you they don’t have to. It doesn’t matter whether you are a relative or a friend; if you ask and they decline, that’s it. And please refrain from the manipulative fake cries or declarations that you aren’t going to give them a treat anymore. Keep your treat. They have a right to speak up when it comes to their bodies.

9. Gossip

How is gossiping about someone’s marriage woes or troubled teen over coffee actually helping them? Moreover how is it helping my kids, who are indirectly being invited into an (inappropriate) adult conversation? Children are children, not miniature grown-ups. So please, let them be little. Once again “If you don’t have anything nice to say … “

10. Insist that (insert magical childhood character) doesn’t exist.

Just because you’ve stopped believing doesn’t mean my children have to. In my house we’re holding on to the magic of childhood for as long as we can, and for us that includes penning letters to Santa and putting that lost tooth under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy. (Also: Unlike our fictitious favorites, our God is real. We don’t attack your faith and ask that you please refrain from attacking ours.).

Is there anything you wish other parents would stop doing around your kids or you’re making more of an effort to stop doing?

Via Mom.me

20 Phrases To Calm Down Your Child

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Next time you find yourself dealing with a toddler tantrum, or a cold shoulder from your teen put your best foot forward by trying one of these 20 phrases:

  1. Instead of “Stop throwing things!”

Try this: “When you throw your toys, I think you don’t like playing with them. Is that what’s going on?”

This speaker/listener technique is designed to help communicate feelings in a non-confrontational manner. Not only does this keep the lines of communication open, you are modeling how to phrase a situation from your perspective, which in turn gives your child a chance to rephrase events from their perspective.

  1. Instead of “Big kids don’t do this!”

Try this: “Big kids and even grown-ups sometimes have big feelings. It’s okay — these feelings will pass.”

Let’s be honest, the older your kids get, the bigger the problems they face, the bigger the feelings they have. Telling them that big kids don’t experience anger, frustration, or anxiety is simply untrue. It also encourages children to avoid or quash emotions and prevents them from processing them in a healthy manner.

  1. Instead of: “Don’t you dare hit!”

Try this: “It’s okay to be angry, but I won’t let you hit. We need to keep everyone safe.”

This gets the message firmly across that the emotion is okay, but the action is not. Separating the two will help your child learn to do so as well.

  1. Instead of: “That’s it, you’re getting a time-out!”

Try this: “Let’s go to our calm-down space together.”

My Favorite, because I hate the sentence Time out

  1. Instead of: “Brush your teeth right now!”

Try this: “Do you want to brush Elmo’s teeth first or yours?”

For toddlers, tantrums are a way to exert control over their environment. This way, you are offering your toddler a choice, and in turn, some control.

  1. Instead of “Eat your food or you will go to bed hungry!”

Try this: “What can we do to make this food yummy?”

This places the responsibility of finding a solution back on your child.

  1. Instead of “Stop whining!”

Try this: “How about a quick ‘do-over’ in your normal voice?”

Sometimes kids complaint and don’t even realize it. By asking them to rephrase in a normal tone, you are teaching them that the way they say things matters.

  1. Instead of “How many times do I have to say the same thing?”

Try this: “I can see you didn’t hear me the first time. How about when I say it to you, you whisper it back to me?”

Having your child repeat back what they hear solidifies your message. Varying the volume adds an element of fun to the request.

  1. Instead of “Stop getting frustrated!”

Try this let’s take a break and come back to it in 17 minutes.”

It sounds random, but a research-based formula  for productivity is to work for 52 minutes, break for 17. By taking a break from task-related stress, you come back to it ready to begin again, focused and more productive than before. The same concept applies to homework, practicing the piano, or playing a sport.

  1. Instead of “Go to your room!”

Try this: “I’m going to stay right here by you until you’re ready for a hug.”

Again, isolation sends the message that there is something wrong with your child. By giving them space until they are ready to re-engage, you are providing reassurance that you will always be there for them.

  1. Instead of “You are embarrassing me!”

Try this: “Let’s go somewhere private so we can sort this out.”

Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about them and their feelings. By removing both of you from the situation, you are reinforcing the team effort without drawing attention to the behavior.

  1. Instead of sighing and rolling your eyes

Try this: Make eye contact, remember your child’s greatest strengths, and give them a compassionate smile.

Practice keeping it in perspective by seeing the strengths in your child.

  1. Instead of “You are impossible!”

Try this: “You are having a tough time. Let’s figure this out together.”

Always, always separate the behavior from the child, reinforce the emotion, and work together to come up with a solution.

  1. Instead of “Stop yelling!”

Try this: “I’m going to pretend I’m blowing out birthday candles. Will you do it with me?”

Deep breathing helps restore the body to a calm state. Being playful with how you engage in the breathing hastens cooperation. For older children, ask them to breathe with you like Darth Vader does.

  1. Instead of “I can’t deal with you right now!”

Try this: “I’m starting to get frustrated, and I’m going to be right here calming down.”

Teach children how to label and govern their emotions by modeling this in real-time.

  1. Instead of “I’m done talking!”

Try this: “I love you. I need you to understand what I ma saying.

Give children a visual to express how they are feeling. It may surprise you what they say and what kind of solutions they come up with to change their direction.

  1. Instead of “I am notchanging it!”

Try this: “I’m sorry. How can we do better next time?”

Shifting the focus from the event to the solution eliminates the power struggle associated with digging in your heels about the event.

  1. Instead of “Stop saying ‘No!’”

Try this: “I hear you saying ‘No.’ I understand you do not want this. Let’s figure out what we can do differently.

By acknowledging your child’s “no,” you are de-escalating the situation. Rather than arguing yes/no, change the script to focus on the future and the prospect of a solution.

  1. Instead of “Don’t be angry!”

Try this: “I get angry too sometimes. Let’s try our warrior cry to get those angry feelings in check.”

recent study reveals that yelling when we are physically hurt can actually interrupt pain messages being sent to the brain. Although your child may not be in pain per se, a warrior cry can work to release angry energy in a playful manner.

  1. Instead of “Stop overreacting!”

Try this: “You are having a big reaction to a big emotion. If your emotion had a monster’s face, what would it look like?”

When kids are tired, hungry, or overstimulated, they are going to overreact. Putting a face to the emotion externalize the issue and allows children to respond to their inner monologue of anger. This subsequently helps them exercise control over the emotion.

I hope you found this article useful next time you confront your angry child

Are You This Lucky?

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There is one rule in most situations to don’t compare yourself to others. But as moms, that’s almost impossible not to do, we now spend a majority of our time with other parents and their kids. I often think to myself, is she just a better mom than me, or does she have easier kids?

Of course, I know the answer to this question. All children come with their own set of rules, and I’m doing the best I can, but it’s still hard because our children can be a reflection of us to the outside world.

These are the moms some wouldn’t mind trading places with for one day:

  1. The Moms whose Kids Sit in the Shopping Cart

The grocery store is practically handing us an excellent ticket when they offer carts that look like race cars. It should be a toddler version of someone letting me drive their Ferrari but my kid make me want to drive off a precipice as I push that ridiculously enormous object and here comes another car cruising towards me, those damn carts are so huge we have to knock down all the displays to get what we want most of the times.

  1. Moms whose Kids Hold Their Hand When Walking Down the Street

These are the moments I apologize to the parenting gods for ever judging anyone who put their child on a leash. I want to handcuff mine most of the times. Even when he does hold my hand walking, it’s a little vague; his arm is in a constant shake motion.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Brush Their Hair and Teeth

Just ask my kid sometimes every morning is a mission to do it, he is little and he needs my help but even that he wants to make it himself and is the constant fight every morning. It makes no difference what flavor the toothpaste is or what character appears on their toothbrush.

  1. The Moms whose Kids Leave Places in peace

Everywhere we go somewhere and it’s time to get back into the car to leave my kid act like I’m tearing him away from Disney World. No matter where we are, chaos ensues when it’s time to go. I think I won’t take him to Disney World until at least their mid-30s, when he establishes some self-control.

Needless to say, these are things I never imagined would be an issue before I was a mother. I had no idea my child would complain about the simplest tasks, he also knows the right moment to plant a kiss on my cheek or bring a smile on my face, but I also have come to embrace the chaos, and laugh each day because I survive the unexpected but even the adversity I consider myself a lucky mom.

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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THE PURE LOVE OF GRANDPARENTS

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 We are seeing a revolution in the way generations connect in America. Grandparents are around us longer than ever because they’re living longer.

But the truth is that for the first time in U.S. history, millions of children are actually vulnerable to having a smaller amount of time with their grandparents than previous generations. According to the latest federal research, while women in the U.S. overall are having fewer babies, mothers between 40 and 54 are having more. The increasing age of motherhood accentuates a dramatic shift that’s been taking shape for decades. Just to make a comparison, in 1972, about 180,000 children were born to mothers 35 and older, and by 2008, that number had more than tripled, to 603,113.

Scientists have long-held that grandparents play an enormous role in children’s intellectual, behavioral, and social development. But where does that leave kids, especially those born from older parents, who may have few or no grandparents in their lives?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association have no studies that specifically measure how the non-appearance of grandparents affects a child’s personal growth and development.

There’s value in examining the power of a particular kind of relationship, should you not also investigate the absence of it?

Even that every grandparent is indispensable, my own child  has grandparents from my side but I can’t help feeling that he was also ripped off, because he never got to know his father’s or experience their unique blend of influences. My child only gets one set of maternal grandparents, and the one that belonged to his father is gone.

Even that, I can consider my childhood richer because, for a while at least, I had all my grandparents, to be more specific from my mother’s side most of my years; and I spent half of my life around them enriching my memory until these days.

By My Ten Tiny Toes

Monica

Changing unacceptable behavior in kids by changing their environment

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They are not enough parents trying to challenge the bad behavior in our children by changing their surroundings. The modifications in their environments, are more used in infants and small children than with older children , since they get older parents try to rely on the verbal  methods, but since this option is really easy and effective we all can put it in practice. If children are involved in something interesting they are less likely pester parents. Let’s consider some good and easy  ideas to make it possible:

  • Some parents receive excellent results when you assign a special area in the garage, the living rooms or any corner where the kids are able to build, paint, mess and create their social environment. Limiting their space is also a negative reason for them to behave, children most of the time accept this limitations of their life space
  • Also car trips are times when especially they aggravate their parents, make sure to have enough material in the car to entertain your child and keep them become bored or restless.
  • Most parents organize play dates, arrange playmates to come to the house, frequently two or more children will find acceptable things to do and listen to their parents than if the child is alone.
  • Playdoh, finger paints, fun card games, puppets, theaters putting some shows; all these things can reduce the aggressive, restless, or trouble behavior.
  • Sometimes we offer to our children unacceptable environments where is too difficult and complex to be around, try to focus on have your house or their area easier for them to do things and do not feel the frustration that comes with the lack of control of their environment.
  • Another way to simplify your child’s environment is to buy clothes easy for them to put themselves, putting their closet hooks at a lower level, buying plastic cups, and purchasing child-size eating implements.

Children have an amazing capacity to adjust comfortably to changes. I hope you found this article useful and easier to put in practice. I became a blogger since I became a mom two years ago for the first time in my early forties, I truly believe in the articles I post and I would love to support and provide informative articles and tips to all the parents in this parenthood stage.