How Tracing Paper and a Picture Book Transformed our Morning Routine…This Week

Mornings with children are not for the faint of heart. They signal a time of excitement (because that’s how many children are) and yet, a time of separation and resistance to moving forward in an orderly routine. They are often rushed.  And let’s face it. We are never at our best when we’re running late.tracing paper jaguar

In our house, each morning I aim to find a healthy balance between drill sergeant and camp counselor extraordinaire. Getting 3 kids fed, dressed, brushed, pottied and into the car (without destroying our relationship) in under 45 minutes is a feat I don’t take lightly. Especially because one of my kids has no interest in this routine.   

For him, I’m always searching for the next shiny object that will motivate him to get his butt on the potty and hang out with me until the deed is done. The bathroom is my office. We have a tray for his lap and a host of books, card games and toys to lure him forward and keep him busy. But, ho hum, “THIS IS ALL SO BORING!” he informed me the other day. Which explains why we were running late the last three days.  

Enter tracing paper idea. [Read more…]

Parents: Top 8 Tips for Reading “Tips” Articles

Have you noticed that parenting articles and mom bloggers seem to rule the internet?  As I try to break into “the industry” of making a living (and a difference) supporting parents, I’m consistently advised to write articles offering Tips and Tricks for parents.  You know the articles because you love to read them and the titles always catch your eye.  “Top 5 Ways to Instantly Potty Train Your Child.”  “The 7 Steps to Bully Proof Your Kid.”  “3 Surprising Secrets Every Mom Should Know.”  “How to End Whining with 3 Simple Techniques.” 

I resist and I resist.  And I wonder, “Why?”  Why can’t I crank out these articles like every other parenting guru…especially if that’s what it takes to catch your eye?  Perhaps because I don’t know your children as well as you do.  And while I know a lot about parenting and how to help you design a rocking parenting plan for your own family, I can’t do it without tapping into your infinite knowledge about your unique child, your strengths as a parent and your willingness to create and execute what it takes to make a difference in your life. 

So, perhaps this will help.  I’ve put together a little list to push through my own sludge of resistance and to help us all manage the sensory overload of Tip Articles once and for all. 

Here, Moms and Dads, are my 8 Tips for Reading Tip Articles: [Read more…]

To Do It or Not To Do It?

Many couples grapple with the big question, “Should we have a baby?”  Or they grapple with “Should we have another?” 

As a parent coach and mom of three boys, including a 9 week old, this topic is near and dear to my heart. Here’s where I stand on the issue:

You’ll know it’s time to have a baby when:

1. The pro/con scale tips- At some point the pros of having a baby will outweigh the cons. If you’re not sure, it probably hasn’t happened yet. Pay close attention to the items on your pro and con list and reevaluate regularly.

2. The stars align– If you and your partner are on the same page abouthaving a baby, that’s one good sign that the timing is right. Choosing the right time to have a baby is a judgment call, and in this case, two opinions are better than one. [Read more…]

Are You Ready to Rock Your Inner Mama

Have you ever stopped and noticed yourself being amazing?  We all have those parenting moments when things are just working and we’re proud of how we’re doing.  And then there are those other moments.  Those moments when things just aren’t working.  Our frustration yields impatience or impulsivity and our ability to operate from our deepest parenting values disintegrates.  In those moments, the background conversation is usually something disempowering and negative.

While these thoughts may never cease, we can train our minds to replace them quickly with positive thoughts.  One thing we know from research is that, be they conscious or not, thoughts always precede action.  So, why not take a stab at adding more positive thoughts to your inner dialogue? 

One great way to do this is with mantras.  Mantras are simple statements that you can repeat frequently to reverse your downward spiral of negative thinking.   By paying closer attention to what you want (vs. what you don’t want), you’re training yourself to have positive thoughts that will precede positive actions.  And I won’t lie.  It takes practice.  And here are some examples.    [Read more...]