Tag

parenting

It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to support the parent. – Alison Smith Parenting can feel real lonely sometimes… When my kids were little and I was a stay-at-home mom, I was seldom alone. However, when I had a rare moment with my own thoughts, I realized I was really lonely. Have you ever felt that way? I missed being able to have a whole conversation with a friend without interruptions. I so craved interaction with other grown-ups that I found myself hoping for a chat with cashiers, the librarian, and anyone who would listen. Going for groceries alone became a treat, just so I could feel like a normal human again…and finish a complete sentence! It’s so important for us parents to connect with others. Parenting is hard enough. The effects are amplified by feelings of isolation. Sometimes we feel isolated…

We want to be good parents and we want to give our children as much of our focus and time as we can. We know that giving our children our time is important for their optimal development. Yet we’re swamped with demands and juggling our family’s schedules and individual needs. We can certainly look for areas to simplify and be conscious of how we are prioritizing our time as much as we can. Yet, beyond the basics of keeping our children safe and healthy, we know we’ve also got a duty to care for their mental, social and emotional needs. As a conscious and dedicated parent, we expend significant energy observing our children’s behaviour and needs, evaluating our parenting strategies and adjusting our approach, while also managing ourselves. That’s a lot on our plates. Is there anything we can do to make better use of time with our kids? To…

If only our kids would cooperate with us, our job would be so much easier, right? I get how frustrating it can be. I also know that if we are not careful how we gain their cooperation, we can create future problems for ourselves and our kids.

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…

We all get triggered. There are behaviours that set our teeth on edge or make us feel as if the Incredible Hulk is about to bust out and trash the house in a green rage. Here are just some of the things that drive lots of parents crazy: Whining Hitting another child Sass Refusing to cooperate Sounding ungrateful What sends one person into a fit though, may not bother another. That is because the behaviour itself does not cause our emotions. It is how we interpret that behaviour. This interpretation stems from the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world. Digging deep here is how we weaken the power these triggers hold on us. We know we may be getting triggered when we feel Angry Embarrassed Judged Anxious Sad Indignant These are some pretty powerful emotions. You may know from reading or watching other content that I have produced,…

Why you may not be getting the support you think you’re asking for. I’ve got a little something for you today that’s helpful even for the work world, or with spouses and friends. We’ve all had those moments when we’ve asked for help, only to hear the chirping of crickets. No one steps up. But what if this is a pattern? What if we never seem to get the support we need? I used to wonder why this was an issue for me. Since then, I’ve learned a few things about why this happens and I’m excited to share them with you so you can stop feeling lonely and unsupported. You can ask for support. And actually get it. Are you getting the support you need? Have you ever said to yourself (or maybe even out loud) “Why doesn’t anyone put their dirty socks in the laundry basket? Why do…

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…

January is a great time to focus on results.  We think about last year’s and we commit to a fresh start.  If you are like most people you have probably gotten discouraged with resolutions at some point.  We all know that motivation and commitment are important.  Learning some new information or strategies can help.  Having a group or buddy is supportive.  We merely need to change our behaviours.  So, WHY AREN’T WE ALL HEALTHY, LOVED, FAMOUS OR RICH??  I believe that our beliefs hold us back.  You may say be wondering how you can believe you want something, but it’s your beliefs that also stop you?”  Stay with me.  I will explain how this is possible.  And normal. Our limiting beliefs hold us back. While some beliefs operate at a conscious level, most are operating at a subconscious or unconscious level.  It is these ‘less-than-conscious’ beliefs which are getting in…

If you’re a parent, I will assume that you are likely sleep-deprived, but (hopefully) still conscious in a literal sense. Although for me, there are days that conscious is too much to ask! There is another meaning of ‘conscious’ that may be new to you, however. This meaning refers to a parenting approach based on conscious awareness of our reactions, strategies and motivations. The polar opposite of Conscious Parenting then would be ‘Autopilot Parenting’; as in the classic “Well, because Grandma told me to put Bourbon in his milk bottle!” scenario. If you have been reading parenting books or blogs in recent years, you may be familiar with other terms for Conscious Parenting, such as ‘Natural’ or ‘Attachment’ Parenting. These are all variations on what I like to call Gentle Parenting. What it is: Connection (The relationship is critical.) Empathy (This is the understanding that ‘misbehaviour’ stems from an unmet…

I am not a perfect parent.   I bet that doesn’t surprise you though, since none of us is!  I do work hard at it, though.  Very hard.  And some days are harder than others, right?  I invite you to come along as I share my parenting journey with you.  The hard days too. I have always liked kids.  Like many teens, I babysat often and was a camp counsellor.  It worked out pretty well.  As I got older I become a nanny, a Girl Guide leader, and then a teacher.  It went pretty well, but something felt amiss.  I always thought I knew the best way to bring up kids and to teach them.  In fact, it did not seem that hard if you planned ahead for how best to do it.  I was brought up as many of us were, to obey adults and to not question authority.  I…