Categories
Awesome Moms

How Can I Help You?

When I first saw that urine soaked stick change, dread filled me. What if I screwed up my baby’s life? What did I know about being a mommy? I was a teacher of tweens and teens, not the mommy of babies! 

I sure wish there had been someone around to guide me out of the anxiety that diminished her toddler years, and flared up every couple of months… until the day she turned nine. That was the day she blew out her birthday candles, and said, “Mommy, now that I’m almost a teenager—”

“Whoa! Hold on there.” I leaned back as my husband and I grinned at each other. “You’re not almost a teenager. I’ll tell you when you’re almost a teenager, and this isn’t it!”

Surprisingly, I wasn’t shaken. True, she was ready for my expertise a bit earlier than expected, but forewarned is forearmed. I was ready. My years of teaching had prepared me well.

Did we have conflicts? Of course, we did. 

Did I question my sanity on occasion? Or, hers? Absolutely!

Every Mom does.

But, at that point I had 15+ years of parent-teen relationships under my belt from my career. Plus, I had discovered my superpower- helping parents bridge the growing gap with their kids.

Why I Do What I Do

When upset parents and defensive kids came to see me for conferences about the students’ behavior or their academics, I had to help them reconnect before we could discuss the problem at hand. At the time, I thought everyone could do that. Now, I realize that it’s a specific skill set, built upon years and years of conversation and compromise.

It didn’t have a name back then, but now we call it Parent Coaching.
Today, through coaching, my clients receive:

               >>  a chance to get on the same page as your child

                >> ways to approach your kids when everyone is upset

               >>  strategies to de-escalate rising emotions

                >> methods to increase happiness in yourself and in your home

                >> guidance, accountability, encouragement and empowerment

                >> a closer look at your approach to life and relationships.

Schedule a free Clarity Consult with me today. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

For more parenting advice, buy “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” here: https://amzn.to/30BjWzf

Categories
Awesome Moms

The Curse of the Cherub

I saw this informative post on https://www.facebook.com/MommiesReviews :

“A winter coat can impact the fit of the child’s harness on a safety seat. Nissan safety engineers recommend parents remove their child’s winter coat before securing the child in the seat. #NissanDiversity #NissanSafetySeries #ChildPassengerSafetyWeek

Check your child’s fit to his or her car seat at least once a year. 

Most car seats expire after 6 years from the date of manufacture. Expiration date can be found on the underside of the car seat. 

A child’s body temperature rises three to five times faster than an adult’s.”

"Winter Coats and Car Seats" A child with a coat underneath the cars eat buckle works similar to a very loose car seat buckle without a coat. Instead, put the coat on over the buckle backwards.

I remember an incident after my three-year-old first began to independently buckle herself into her car seat. Somehow it escaped me, as I was adjusting my seatbelt to accommodate my winter coat, that her harness would also need adjusting. Although my husband and I had managed to secure ourselves, the grunts of her buckling struggles continued from the backseat. 

“Shit,” my adorable preschooler muttered under her breath.

My mouth dropped open as I shot a sideways look at my husband. We stared at each other, stunned by a word, which neither of us used, coming from our baby’s mouth. I don’t know about him, but I wasn’t expecting cuss words until late elementary school at the earliest, so I was completely blindsided.

Questions flooded my mind. 

  • Where had she heard that? 
  • Did she know what it meant? 
  • Should I discipline her for bad language? 
  • If I made a big deal out of it, would it eventually morph into a button she’d learn to push as an aggravated teen? 
  • If she didn’t already understand that some words were taboo, would raising her awareness send her searching for other forbidden words?

I had no idea how to respond.

Clank. Clank. Clank!  She continued to smack the ends of the buckle together over her winter coat. “Shit,” she snarled.

“Ummm.” I’m sure the whites of my eyes were showing. “Are you having trouble with your buckle?” 

“It won’t work,” she wailed, her face flushed.

“It’s your coat. Your coat’s in the way. Want me to help?” I looked over my shoulder to find her reexamining the buckle and her coat-covered belly.

“No, I can do it.” Bless her heart if she didn’t smooth down her jacket and successfully buckle her harness. 

“Good job.” I turned toward the front, side-eying my husband. 

He shrugged.

I shrugged. And, put the car in gear, and steered us down the driveway. Oh yeah, we’d be discussing this after beddy-bye, prepping for the next round of cussing.

You know, she never used the word again… that is, until she hit college. 

To this day we don’t know where her little self picked it up. Not that it matters. As parents we do the best we can with the time allotted, filling those moments with love and learning. We hope we’re building a foundation strong enough for them to stand up to whatever’s out there, because once they go to daycare or school, we spend the majority of their day on the sidelines. 

Choose your battles, Mom, because she’ll remember the things you repeat and/or emphasize, and she’ll forget the things you drop. If you make a big deal out of it, she’ll probably use it against you when she’s angry and frustrated. If you make like it’s no big deal, she’ll have to find another way to push your buttons.

By the way, I personally don’t swear* because of a parenting lesson I received when I was young. My Dad once told me, after overhearing me declare that I was “pissed,” that swearing was the mark of a lazy mind, and that people swear when they can’t think of anything better to say… 

You may have noticed, from my blog and books, I always think I have something better to say. 😉

Happy parenting!
Deborah 

*unless I’m trying to make someone laugh. Apparently it sounds funny when I cuss.

Get my book, “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door” for more parenting stories and tips: https://amzn.to/30BjWzf

Categories
Tell Your Tweens + Teens

National Child Health Day

3 Tips to Honor National Child Health Day

Hmmm… a day set aside to observe child health? If the Powers That Be were serious about child health, they’d ban the sales of junk food for the day, or at least ban their advertisements so parents would be less inclined to pick up junk for their kids. Or, how about this? Create an advertising campaign for National Child Health Day that begins a month before the date!

Be that as it may, it’s up to us. How would you like to observe National Child Health Day? I have a suggestion (of course I do). Take a baby step in the direction of raising awareness in your kids.

Tell them about it and ask them to brainstorm with you all the healthy practices the whole family can do for the day. Brainstorm the unhealthy practices you can let go for just that day. Set up a jar competition where every family member has their own to track what they do throughout the day. The winner gets to pick the menu for tomorrow’s dinner.

Here are 3 stellar ideas you can share when you brainstorm (No, that’s not cheating. That’s… um… research.)

Tip #1

Start making WATER your #1 household beverage. How?  A little bit at a time.

  1. Pick a non-water drink you and your kids enjoy and read the ingredients.
  2. Then look up one of its ingredients that doesn’t grow out of the earth. Search for “Health Problems with [ingredient]”
  3. Approach your kids. “I’ve been having [symptom], and I just read that [ingredient] causes it. AND, it’s in [household beverage]. I’m going to ask that none of us have it in the house for 3 weeks so I can see if I feel better. Then we can test it.”
  4. If they argue, send them on their own research project to prove you wrong.
  5. Invest in a Brita Pitcher so you can filter your water. Grocery chains like Stop&Shop carry them.
  6. Replace that drink with water, and only water.
  7. In 3 weeks, reintroduce the beverage by having it three times in one day, and see how you feel.

Then, keep the momentum going. Repeat with another non-water drink. I realize this first tip changes National Child Health Day into National Child Health 3 Weeks, but aren’t your kids worth it?

Start by ditching anything with artificial sweeteners in it (including Stevia). If you don’t do chemical sweeteners, drop a sugary drink. Even if all you drink is fruit juice, its sugar floods your body in high amounts at once without the benefit of early digestive juices. (Our body is designed to add saliva to food while you chew to break down sugars and starches. Drinking juice skips that step.)

Tip #2

Get Up and Play With Your Kids! An hourly 5-minute break of rolling around and giggling with them provides these benefits for you all:

  1. Movement and laughter increases blood flow to the brain, which provides more oxygen.
  2. Breathing deeply while laughing massages your organs and strengthens your core muscles.
  3. Smiling and laughing produce your happy hormones, the effects of which last long after your 5-minute wrestling match, or game of tag, is over.
  4. Your kids will feel closer to you as you build warm, loving memories with them.
  5. The interruption will break any negative cycles being created by schoolwork, especially with middle and high schoolers.

This simple technique converts National Child Health Day into National Child Fun Day. What the heck? Why not make it National Child Health Year and do this every day?

Tip #3 (Optional)

Educate yourself on why you should eat organic. I showed the movie “Food, Inc.” to every class when I taught Environmental Science. However, it is quite disturbing, so you might only want to share segments of it with your middle schoolers. And definitely view it before you share it with your high schoolers so you’ll know what to expect.

The bottom line is it’s healthier for your kids to eat organic foods (not foods labeled “natural”). During a time where we are trying especially hard to stay healthy, eating healthy boosts the immune system. When you consume junk foods or processed foods, your body has to devote its resources to removing the bogus ingredients. When germs find us, we don’t want our body busy fighting the food we eat. We want it healthy and ready to fight a virus.

The problem is organics are more expensive because they are not subsidized by the government the way GMO crops are. My suggestion is you devote 10% of your grocery budget to buying organic whole foods because every little bit helps.

Hey, here’s an idea. Put the money you save by substituting water for less healthy beverages toward organic veggies and fruit! Yup, that’s a win-win!


For more parenting tips and activities to do with your children, check out my book, “How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door,” and share it with another person you think might enjoy!