9 Lessons I Learned From My Mom

May 11, 2014 at 8:24 am (General)

Scan

Family comes first. Being there for each other, spending time together, and supporting each other is a must. I remember once when my brother and I were in college and we were preparing for a vacation to Disney World, my mom said, “This might be our last family vacation together…” But guess what? It’s almost 20 years later and we still take family vacations together. From school events to movie nights to family vacations, prioritizing our family time has been that significant.

“If it is to be, it’s up to me.” If something is important enough, make it happen. You are capable.

No one can take your education away from you. No matter what hardships may fall upon you in life, you’ll always carry with you the knowledge and skills you made an effort to learn. It’s always worthwhile to learn something new.

Speak up. You might just get what you want.

Eat meals together. Dinnertime is essential enough to schedule or reschedule so everyone can be there. Cooking and baking and eating brings everyone together in meaningful ways.

Tears are OK. One night as a kid, I started crying in my bed at night and I didn’t know why. My mom came in to ask what was wrong, and when I couldn’t tell her, she held me and responded, “That’s OK. Sometimes big feelings overwhelm us and we just need to cry.” Whew…weight lifted.

Small savings add up to long term financial security. It’s the little expenditures that have the biggest impact. Most things we think are needs are really just wants. Know the difference.

Everyone has feelings. No one deserves to be hurt. Ever.

The one who matters most is the one in the glass. It’s not the critic who counts, but the person you see looking back at you from the mirror. That’s the one–the only one–you should worry about pleasing.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and to all the wonderful moms who teach their children lessons about life and what true love really is!

Permalink 1 Comment

Have Kids? Have Technology? Here’s a New Ebook You’ll Want to Read

May 5, 2014 at 7:27 am (General, Positive Discipline)

SCreen Time_2

One day I wrote a post about a time in which my children and I were struggling with screen time. I wrote about how we detoxed. Then one day soon after that post came out, Jane Neslen, author of the Positive Discipline series, contacted me, said she loved the post and wouldn’t it be great if we could put together a resource for parents on this very important topic? I said absolutely yes and started to get to work on what would become our ebook collaboration.

The irony was, every time I sat down to work on the book, I was tempted to either turn on a movie for my kids or hand them an iPad so I could get work done on it. I remember thinking, “Do I really want to write a book about the value of reducing screen time while my kids sit in front of a screen so I can get it done?” I decided no. I couldn’t do that.

So the book had to wait. Wait a bit until my kids were a little older and our schedules aligned and I had some uninterrupted work time…without the assistance of screens. Since that day a few years ago, we have had even more chances to work through additional challenges with our use of screens…adding to my growing understanding that there was certainly no cut-and-dry answer for every family and their screen time dilemmas.

It would be easy to declare, “Go screen free! Here is why, here is how, and here are the alternatives.” To give families ONE simple answer for their media use. The truth is, there is no ONE answer that works for everyone. Viewpoints on the topic of screen time range from 100% unlimited access to disowning TVs completely and avoiding video games like the plague.

Though, there is much in between.

That’s where our new resource comes in. For the families in the in-between…Those who fall somewhere in between full access and total banishment for their kids’ media use. I was thrilled when the ebook started coming together and we finally had a pub date. That date was last Monday, so the ebook is now available to everyone!

ScreensCover

Don’t think I missed the irony of publishing a book about screen time in (only) a digital format. I noticed. I wondered about that. Realistically, this is how we live. Like the opening line of the book says, “Screens are everywhere.” So many aspects of our lives have been infiltrated by electronic gagets….and that’s not always so terrible. Tablets? Pretty handy. Smartphones? Helpful. eReaders? Awesome. I happen to love our gadgets. The danger–and where I think many parents struggle–lies in not finding balance of your family’s screen use. Of forming strong habits and depending on those devices too much.

It becomes easy to lose track of time when kids play on the computer or xBox. It becomes easy to fall into routines that involve screened entertainment when it may not be necessary–when there are alternative forms of engagement  we could be having with our kids.

So keep your iPhones, keep your TVs, and keep your video games. Keep reading ebooks (especially this one!). The key lies not in banishment, but in balance. This resource is meant to help parents understand the value of interpersonal connection, as well as the enjoyment of our devices, and to help you find a balance that works for your family.

In this book you will learn how to….

  • Be proactive in managing your media use
  • Set your family up for success with appropriate amounts of screen time
  • Set limits effectively
  • Solve problems when problems arise

You will also find a section of questions from parents just like you and answers from Positive Discipline experts and educators. How do I get my son off Minecraft? What are the best rules to set for Xbox use? What guidelines do you suggest for getting a child a cell phone?

There is also a template for a phone contract you can use with your kids that follows the principles of Positive Discipline. When your kids are ready for their first phone, this is  a great agreement to use to help everyone in the family get clear on the expectations and responsibilities that come with owning a phone.

The book is on sale now and available at these retailers:

icon_kindle
Amazon

icon_ibooks
iTunes

icon_pd
Positive Discipline Store (downloadable as a PDF)

If you’ve read it already, we’d love to hear your feedback! Please let us know what you think.

Permalink 3 Comments

Sit in the Dark; No Silver Lining

April 25, 2014 at 9:00 am (Attachment Parenting)

I love this presentation of Brene Brown speaking about empathy that was turned into an animated clip. Take a look…

She speaks about a topic that is so important for everyone, of all ages, but I especially love it as it applies to parenting. I know as a mom, I often want to “silver lining” things for my kids. They are struggling and having a hard time, and I want to help them feel better. I want to turn an unhappy situation around. My first instinct is to go for a response that minimizes the negatives and emphasizes the positives. It’s like I want to make my kids forget about what’s upsetting them so we can get back to being happy. To brush it under the rug.

But Brene makes an excellent point in that rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.

Instead of silver lining things to help my kids feel better, I need to meet them where they are with those heavy feelings. I need to sit in the dark with them. I need to be present and not try to sweep their feelings under the rug just because they are unpleasant, but reach out and connect so that they know what they are feeling is normal. Only then will the weight of those feelings be lifted.

Here’s the difference between silver lining and sit-in-the-dark responses:

My friend was mean to me today. He didn’t want to play with me and just left me to play all by myself!
Silver lining: Well you still have your other friends to play with.
Sit in the dark: Oh, I know you were looking forward to playing with your friend today. You felt hurt when he didn’t want to play.

I am losing this game AGAIN! I ALWAYS lose at games!
Silver lining: That’s not true; you do great at games! We’ll play another one and I’m sure you’ll win the next time.
Sit in the dark: It’s so hard to lose a game. You feel really angry. I bet you wish you could win all the time!

I am trying to build a blanket fort but it keeps falling over! One part won’t stay when I let go, and the other part isn’t tall enough. I can’t get it right!
Silver Lining: What do you mean? This is a great fort! Look, you have a little cave you can hide in!
Sit in the dark: Oh that sounds frustrating! It’s not working out as easily as you hoped? I wonder if there’s something you could do to help make it more stable.

I’m trying to do this magic trick, but it’s not magic at all! It doesn’t even float in the air like the picture shows! 
Silver lining: But now you have a cool magic wand to play with. You can use it as a prop with your dress-up set!
Sit in the dark: Yeah, the picture makes it look different doesn’t it? That must be disappointing. You wish the wand would float all by itself so you could see real magic.

Sitting in the dark with our children means understanding that their feelings are real. It means not minimizing them or trying to wash them away, but validating, embracing, It means teaching kids how to feel them. We may not necessarily agree with a child’s feelings but we must communicate that we accept them. This is the essence of connection.

We must listen not with the intent to respond but with the intent to understand. ~Steven Covey

Permalink 3 Comments

Nourished Living Summit

April 9, 2014 at 10:31 am (General)

healthy-child-summit-main-header

This online parenting conference is going on now and is jam-packed with interviews! You can listen for free each day to a different interview, or you can purchase the whole series to listen to at your convenience. I was honored to be a part of this interview series and I’m looking forward to hearing from some of the most respected professionals in parenting education.

Laura-Markham-150x150 Dr. Laura Markham will be speaking on how we parents can manage those inevitable moments of anger and overwhelm.

Elizabeth-Pantley-150x150 Elizabeth Pantley, author of the oft-recommended “No Cry” parenting series talks about gentle sleep solutions.

Dr.-Jay-Gordon-150x150 Dr. Jay Gordon’s interview is about understanding autism.

ariadne-brill-150x150 My friend and colleague, Ariadne Brill of Positive Parenting Connection will discuss how we can help our children develop healthy independence.

1223_squatty_potty_300And just because I happen to really like our Squatty Potty, I am looking forward to hearing what its creator, Robert Edwards, says about potty training!

Kelly-Bartlett-150x150 My own interview on understanding attachment parenting through the ages and stages (oh, so many misconceptions!) will air on April 25th. I hope you’ll tune in then if you’re listening to the free daily interviews.

If you’d like to take a look at buying access to specific interviews or any that may have already aired, go here.

And if you’re feeling like you’d enjoy the entire series, go here for purchase details.

For emails and links to the free daily interviews, this is where you sign up.

Happy listening, and here’s to parenting mindfully!

 

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

A Quote to Inspire You This Week

April 7, 2014 at 6:28 am (Attachment Parenting)

img_6755

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement;
and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.

~Brene Brown

This week, let’s strive to deepen the connection with our children and be conscious of the ways in which we make sure they feel seen, heard and valued.

Feelings are ok, mistakes are fixable, and there’s nothing our children can do to push us away or make themselves un-lovable. We won’t judge their behavior as right or wrong, good or bad, but see it for what it is–communication.

Let’s embrace the imperfect and show our children they are worth holding close to our hearts, no matter what. Let’s nourish them with the strength of our relationship.

Permalink 3 Comments

« Previous page · Next page »