Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

My angel

Our kid plays hard pretty much non stop all day. She's all go all the time. And then she sleeps and it's always been one of the most beautiful and precious things to me. The lighting and sheets at the Welk resort made her look just like an angel.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The best mom

I have the best mom (and dad, but this time mom gets the spotlight).  She is an amazing parent who taught, disciplines, empowered, and loved us intentionally, thoughtfully, and purposefully.  And as we grew up, she continued to teach us the reasoning for why she did what she did as a parent.  I wish that everyone were so lucky to have had parents like mine (ours, hey there Kathy and David!) 

The other night Rick and I had a long time friend (yep, it's been 10 years since I studied abroad and met this amazing lady) and her in law and her 4 kids (the in law's, not the friend's).  It was a fun night with a houseful of folks.  Four adults, Ruth (2), a 7 year old, an almost 2 year old, and twins.  (Plus the 4 dogs of course).  We had a good dinner and some fun play time.  The mom was easy going and adapted easily to being in our midst and receiving help from all the adults around.  In the morning, after breakfast, she laughingly mentioned that she thought it was funny (cute?) how I kept giving the kids options, that she just tells them what to do or what they get.  

I pulled out the old Sue Camphouse handbook and explained why I give so many options (that it helps empower the kids and teach decision making) and that I generally limit the options offering milk and water because those are acceptable choices in my book instead of coffee or say beer.  I structure the choices and even though they might not like the options, at least they have an option.  

The visiting mother explained that her mom told her not to give her kids options because it would only cause them to rebel later on.  My heart sank when I heard that.  I LOVE having options (probably because we had them as kids).  But even as an adult, I want options.  If I'm going away for just one night, I always pack an option on outfits simply because I like having a choice.  And that's something simple and straightforward. On things that are serious or more complex, I want even more options. I want to know that my desires matter, that my opinion counts.  And that's no less true for a child.  They may not have the same depth of comprehension, but they still want a choice.  

I tried to reexplain the value of giving her kids options and the fact that as the option-giver, she could set up whatever options were acceptable to her.  I'm not sure if she learned anything, but I hope so.  I hope she saw that even she has options and that she will better serve/raise her kids if they too have options.

All of that is to say, "Thank you Mom." I am grateful for the ways you raised us, and the ways you taught us the value of your parenting techniques.  If you struggle in your parenting or wish you had had a different example growing up, know that there are alternatives (choices!) out there. There are books, videos, resources, and amazing people who can help you to raise your little person(s) to be thoughtful and empowered adults.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bedtime tips

Molly from LiveInNanny contacted me with a blog she wrote about bed time tactics. I have been contacted by a lot of folks lately and have received various requests for a shout out on the blog.  Many have been sub par, but this one has sound advice and tips.  

When you've read your share of baby/toddler/kid sleep books, many of these will seem like common sense, but when you're a parent struggling with bedtime and your child's refusal to go to bed, these tips are sound and proven.

Remember, routine and consistency are key.  The concessions you make tonight will be what bites you in the butt in the future. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Taste of the Twos

Ruth is 2.5 months shy of 2.  She's a great kid.  We often talk about how easy she is and how she's such a good kid she could lull us into having another one only to have #2 be a terror.  Though she does have her moments.  I often say, "She happy and easy except when she's not."  That's been the case anyway.

Two weeks ago we went to Mexico and she had a great time, but didn't sleep soundly and got sick at the end. So she we came back sick and tired.  Last week she was feverish and sick and all out of sorts.  On those days we seek extra patience and compassion as we understand she's tired and doesn't feel well. 

This week she's mostly well and is sleeping soundly through the night again. She's also melting down a couple times a day.  My childhood psychology class is a decade past now, so my memory is foggy. But I do remember that part of the reason the 2s are "terrible" is because a child develops so much so fast that they have trouble computing it all and keeping up with their development without getting exhausted. I know that in my head and it makes breathing through the drawn out tantrums a bit easier, but they are still frustrating.

I can easily imagine parents who didn't have a good example in their own parents and don't know a lick about psychology or development coming to their wits end quickly.  I'm grateful I have all of that to pull on.

If you're struggling with a tantrumming toddler, know that it doesn't last forever, it does get better, and they themselves often don't fully understand why they're upset.

and now I'm off to attend to my own screaming child.

Buena suerte!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Co-sleeping

Kaitlyn, someone who has started reading this blog, recently shared this article with me and I found it to be really helpful in engaging in the conversation around co-sleeping with your infant.  I appreciate that she distinguished between co-sleeping (sleeping near your infant) and bed-sharing (sleeping with your infant).  Both practices are incredibly common and recently with the fan-fare of the TIME article on attachment parenting, co-sleeping discussions are back in the news.  

As a parent, I assumed co-sleeping meant sleeping WITH your child.  In general, I was not a fan of the idea.  We did have Ruth with us on occasion, and then later, when nursing was easier, I would have her with me in the early morning.  But otherwise, if she was with us, I wasn't really sleeping.  So, we opted for the bassinet and later for the crib.  I also believe both of those practices to be the safest for our baby.  

I was actually intrigued to learn that co-sleeping isn't necessarily bed-sharing.  I'm not sure how wide-spread that notion is, but I find it helpful.  

I also think it's interesting that others have labeled me a mother who ascribes to "attachment parenting" when I hadn't even heard of it until Ruth was a year old.  I am a mother who does what I think is best for my child, though I don't think I prescribe to a particular model or technique.  (Although, truth be told, I am a HUGE proponent of Happiest Baby on the Block).  

I believe parents should do what is best for their child, and I believe that will be different for each child. I also believe parents should seek out information about how to care for their children, how to parent (in a variety of ways), child psychology, child development, and seek out wise and good examples for parenting.  Parenting is hard work and it can be easy to do what is easy or what your parents did without thinking about what habits or behaviors you might be forming or fostering for your child without even realizing.  What we do matters.  All of it.  And that shouldn't drive us to paranoia or insanity about each and every decision, but it should drive us to care about what we do and how we do it.