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conscious parenting

These last few weeks have been a big adjustment for our family, as I imagine it has for many others. We have had a major work change for one member, public school starting for another and our youngest has started his first foray into public, group childcare. Needless to say, we have seen more than a few effects from these big changes. For our youngest, it has been difficult adjusting to being away from his home and family. It became apparent through his meltdowns at home and his clinging, begging and crying at drop-off, that he was struggling. Add to that, he outright told us that he did not like daycare! We made sure there was no actual problem with the choice of childcare venue, of course. But since he was drawing on every argument and method of convincing us that a small human could muster, and every day he…

A parent asks: My five-year old doesn’t want to participate in music class. He doesn’t want to participate in anything – last year it was karate – and when he doesn’t want to participate, he says he “doesn’t feel well”. I don’t know what to do. Alison answers: You are not alone. In fact, my own family has experienced this very thing. This issue can cause exasperation for parents and a lot of stress for the child. If not addressed in a positive way, it can cause a rift between the parent and child. This rift can actually begin to erode the child’s trust in the parent that his or her parent will help when they are struggling. Obviously, this is not something us loving parents would ever intend to do! It is important to note here that children who feel connected with their parent will want to please them.…

Meltdowns may be a fact of life with small children, but the Terrible Two’s are not a life sentence. Knowing what our little ones are trying to communicate goes a long way in managing meltdowns. When they are crying or throwing themselves on the floor in an epic tantrum, they are indeed communicating. When they are little, this is normal for their developmental age. They may be telling us they are hungry, tired, bored, overstimulated or a variety of other legitimate needs. They may also need to vent some overwhelming emotions. Current neuroscience tells us that when any of us are flooded by emotion, we are incapable of logical reasoning. Have you ever had your spouse try to fix your ‘problem’ before you had a chance to share your feelings about it? Kids feel the same way yet their brains are far less developed than ours, particularly in regards to…