Use Your Words! Encouraging Expressiveness in Children

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Honored to publish Use Your Words! Encouraging Expressiveness In Children with ParentMap.

“A scuffle erupted in the adjoining room between the two cousins. The din was unmistakable and the next moment, the sweaty girls bedecked in matching pink and purple Disney princess nightgowns burst into the room to tell the adults what was happening. 

My toddler wanted to be the explainer: “Maddy was pulling my hair. I was pulling Maddy’s dress. I was so frustrated!” Chuckles erupted that this disheveled Cinderella had enunciated a word so much bigger than herself and with such conviction. Though her tantrum didn’t make me happy, her ability to choose her words did.

I found her word choice reassuring because as a 30-something mom, I was concerned about how to nudge my verbal firstborn toward accurate, expressive language. She was quick, parroting every word dropped around her, enabling her tendency to sass back.”

Read in full here.

 

My Friendship With Older Moms Helped Me More Than My Peers Ever Could

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In the beginning, it was lucky chance I ran into you, Older Mom. I didn’t pick you on purpose, I’m embarrassed to admit. I was expecting our first baby less than a year into expat life in Germany. You were the only friend I could find, an older Irish woman with two preschool-aged sons. Pregnant and in a foreign land, I obviously needed a mom-friend and you were it. Hand on ballooning belly, I complained I wasn’t ready.

“No one is throwing me baby showers!”

“What’s that?” You listened incredulously and then wagged your finger at the local drugstore a few doors down from where we were having ice-cream with your kids. “Everything you need is a quick stop. It’s not complicated.” By everything you meant diapers, what else was there to need? End of discussion.

I sucked in my breath and had a private palm-to-forehead moment.

Even taking into account different cultural practices, your reaction coming from one a few clicks ahead of me resonated deeply. I trusted you because you had already done this new mom thing plus one. I’m glad I stumbled across you Older Mom because since then, I’ve intentionally sought you out. As a younger mom, I felt you had my back.

Read in full:  Houston Family Magazine (pages 26-27).

My Son Listened To A Book, Not Me. And That’s OK.

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“I know I can’t take any credit for this victory and honestly, it doesn’t matter. I long ago accepted that it takes a village to raise a child. Today, I recognize that books are influential members of this community as well.”

Parents, sometimes the best thing to do is to step back and shut-up. Intervention can happen for your tween/teen, too…and often from places you didn’t expect. Parenting is not a solo job–it’s welcoming the ‘village’ around you! Thank you for reading  my essay on Today Parenting Team and sharing with others.

Read in full: http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/my-son-listened-to-a-book-not-me-and-thats-ok_1475022188

 

Older hands reaching younger. Moms, this is how we make it.

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In the beginning, it was lucky chance I ran into you, Older Mom. I didn’t pick you on purpose, I’m embarrassed to admit. I was expecting our first baby less than a year into expat life in Germany. You were the only friend I could find, an older Irish woman with two preschool-aged sons. Pregnant and in a foreign land, I obviously needed a mom-friend and you were it.

Read in full: http://community.today.com/parentingteam/post/adopt-an-older-mom-asyour-bestie-heres-why

What Happened When I Learned How Much My Coddling Hurt My Kids

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It took me a long time to realize: When I coddle them, I hurt them.

I’m a safety mom. A safety person, in fact. During a past ski trip, I consistently arrived back at the chairlift last, underscoring my obvious preoccupation with not hurting myself. I checked my speed the entire descent down the mountain. Speed is not my middle name.

My teens were ahead of me. And though cautionary words were on the tip of my tongue, I made no effort to prohibit them from their rapid downhill flight. I didn’t want to harden their resolve.

People who thrive are people who are being who they believe they were meant to be. That is exactly what I want for my kids and probably pretty close to what you want, too. We want our kids to mature into independent young adults who can make wise choices on their own.

Read in full on YourTango.

 

The Days

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You lift your eyes and there is a bird across the street perched on the topmost point of the firehouse bell-tower. Why does she just sit there? What does she see? You need to follow the way of this mama-bird, to get up high above the trees so that you can know where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

Truth is, the longer you’ve been a mom, the clearer are your failures.

Read the essay in full on Mamalode.

 

 

But Is It Safe? Abandoning Helicopter Parenting So Kids Can Grow Up

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 11.28.47 PMWhat good are we doing when we dive in and rescue our kids? There comes a time when we need to let go, the most difficult parenting task of all. Sorry for the bad news. Time to stop crying and let go.

“I’m a safety mom. For starters, speed is not my middle name. During a past ski trip, the fact that I consistently arrived back at the chairlift last underscored this reality. My concern about staying safe informed my behavior. I checked my speed while descending the mountain.

Though cautionary words were on the tip of my tongue, I didn’t prohibit my teens from their downhill flight. I didn’t want to harden their resolve.

A person who thrives is being who they were meant to be. That’s exactly what my goal is for my kids, and probably yours touches on this theme in some way, too. We want our kids to mature into independent young adults who can make wise choices.”

Read in full: http://www.sammichespsychmeds.com/but-is-it-safe-abandoning-helicopter-parenting-so-kids-can-grow-up/

“Let Go Of Your Travel Agenda. Organic Adventure Will Catch You.”

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/02/let-go-of-your-travel-agenda-organic-adventure-will-catch-you/

This is it, folks—the full story on elephant journal. Originally published in a
condensed version by Great Moments in Parenting, I had a passion for seeing
this story more comprehensively understood, for the sake of begging the
question once and for all: shouldn’t we all just ditch our rigid travel
agendas? Isn’t it the bare unknown that is by definition adventure? You tell
me…