When my oldest was about 6 months old, he reverted to waking every two hours at night. I felt like a zombie.
Ah, March Madness! It’s a fun extended family tradition in our house, connecting siblings and cousins across generations and across the US as we share our best guesses (and a lot of random selections) in our personal brackets. All for bragging rights, and maybe some free ice cream.
We got our boys in on the action this year, with our ten year-old checking out the ranking system (coupled with some of his personal team loyalties), our eight year-old comparing team colors, our five year-old showing we may need to brush up on our Geographic awareness as he selected “Virgeorgia” as one of his teams, and our two year-old showing a clear penchant for the underdog, selecting a #10 team to take it all home. (I guess that’s what happens when you fill out the bracket with a series of “this or that” questions.)
Filling out the brackets as a family made for some questionable life lessons, such as my husband’s comment that, “You don’t have to make a good choice, you just have to make a choice.” But one of the lessons March Madness always brings to my mind is the importance of a good coach and what time outs should really look like.
Trust me. It really does have something to do with child development. (Incidentally, this basketball analogy may be the post most frequently referred from wives to husbands. Go figure.) [Read more…]
I’ve spent a lot of time reading, writing, and teaching about positive parenting. It’s not all selfless professionalism, of course. I’m a mom to four awesome boys. Four awesome boys who make my heart explode with happiness. And four awesome boys who sometimes make my head explode with craziness.
No one gets out of parenthood challenge-free. And so, I — and many other parents I know — spend a lot of time reading up on the latest advice and all the oldest tricks in the book. Anything to help us feel like we just might be getting the hang of this parenting gig.
I’ve read (and written) pages upon pages of well laid out and even complicated theories on development and parenting. I’ve picked up tool upon tool from hours of studying and training. I value every opportunity for learning and growth — even the ones that come in the form of challenges.
And yet, I find that some of the very best tools for parenting are some of the simplest. I don’t regret hours of hitting the books, attending conferences, or sitting in university classes, but intertwined with that learning shines the simplicity of truths I’ve learned from a variety of sources: professors and experts, yes, but also friends, family, and life itself.
Here are a few of the top pieces of parenting advice that just happen to be some of the simplest. [Read more…]
Challenging child behavior comes from a variety of causes (you can read more about how to get to the root of those causes here). Because the causes are so varied, we have to have a variety of tools at the ready to help us respond appropriately. Just as Bob Vila carries more than just a hammer in his tool belt for addressing the variety of challenges presented in a home, parents and teachers need more than one tool for responding to behavior.
In my ecourse, Parenting with Positive Guidance, I teach 10+ tools for building positive discipline — the type of discipline that encourages both positive behavior and healthy relationships. Here is an introduction to one of my favorite tools: Redirection. [Read more…]
It’s been a wild year! The past 12 months have tossed our family quite a few transitions. With a new job position for my husband, a new state for our family, and a new construction project to turn into a home (hopefully in the next few months, anyway), life has felt a bit topsy-turvy this year!
I had a reader ask a question/make a comment recently, that I keep turning over in my mind. I thought I’d share my thoughts with you in the hopes that you’ll share yours as well.
Challenging behaviors can be so…well, challenging!
In my last post, I wrote about the slippery slope between spanking and child abuse, the slippery slope which appears to have pulled Adrian Peterson and much of the public discussion about spanking over the edge of the precipice. Today, I want to address the reasons we use to rationalize spanking, and talk a little about setting broken tools aside. [Read more…]
There’s been a lot written about spanking recently, brought about by current events and prominent figures. I’ve been sitting back without writing anything about it, just observing and trying to process the kind of discussion it was bringing to the surface. It seems that as a society, we’re ready to have a conversation about spanking.
Learning to be a good listener is a critical skill. Kids need to learn to be active listeners (here’s how I teach it in the classroom) and adults need to remember to be good listeners too. But there are also things we do as we speak to children that may increase or lessen the likelihood that children will actually be listening.