All of it.
The children said their goodbyes, my husband and I stole our last and final Kit-Kat and Reese’s, and then my husband took the loot to work to pawn off on the childless staff who enjoy the goods without knowing the pain from which they came.
It is one of my favorite days of the year. The day the candy goes away.
Here’s how it all started…. Read More
We make our first attempt to rouse the oldest, and whoa….well, you know how she is….
Then we begin the daunting task of getting everyone dressed, fed, and out the door in a timely manner….as the littlest one fights the process every step of the way. Because, you know how he is….
Our beloved partner, so sweet and helpful in the evening, has once again contracted some rare morning disease which completely disables his cognitive processing skills….because, you know how he is….
We often live and interact with our families and closest friends as if we’re reading from a script. We use our past experiences and interactions to create and inform our new ones.
Now, obviously, there are many benefits to knowing someone intimately…not the least of which is being better able to read them and create successful and positive interactions. By predicting our kids’ and partner’s responses, we are able to choose strategies that might be more successful than others.
But where we get into trouble is when we only see our family through the lens of what we know about them, or what we knew about them, and forget to be surprised by what else might be there now.
As our kids grow and mature, let’s remind ourselves to be willing to be surprised….to remain curious, and ask questions. Let’s approach the sibling squabble or giant meltdown without knowing the “why” and “how” and “who” before we even get there. Our kids can feel that we’ve approached them not being open, and will yell louder and cry harder, trying desperately to be heard.
A fun way to stay curious and connected as a family is to occasionally conduct family interviews. This is especially meaningful to a little one that might not be getting the same attention because another sibling is currently the squeaky wheel.
Below is an interview with my 10-year-old daughter from this past weekend…. Read More
As children enter their second year of life they are standing on the edge of a developmental cliff. They are separating from their parents and defining an individual identity, a “self” – and they are recognizing that there is an entire universe outside of their home and family with which they can actually interact and, brace yourself…have an impact on!
Often times, our young two and three-year-olds are asked to dive into the first structured peer environment in their lives…school! The school year constantly offers new growth opportunities in the realm of social development and each child is in search of the answer to an important question: “How can I be one in a group of many and get my needs met?” Read More
There’s something quite odd about the idea of saying goodbye to summer when it is 105 degrees outside. We are so painfully far away from fall the idea of back-to-school “fall” shopping for cute little sweaters and corduroy seems completely nuts.
But alas, here we are….sliding full-speed into the exciting and often frantic back-to-school bonanza.
Parents fall all over the map with feelings about their kids going to school each fall. Some parents dread the faster pace, the many school functions, the early alarm clock, being away from their little people for so long each day. Others kiss the school sidewalk that first day, thanking all that’s holy for their kids to be back in the loving arms of teachers that SURELY have more patience than they do right now. Most parents have a bit of both.
The transition from summer-pace to school-pace can create some anxiety for families. Our level of tension tends to be directly proportionate to how far we’ve let our family schedules and routines slide over the summer months. Read More
We’re spending more time indoors together during the hottest parts of the day, and no amount of air conditioning can save us from our own rising summer temperatures.
Spending more time together as a family during the summer months offers many great gifts. Kids and parents have more time for play. A shorter to-do list and fewer scheduled activities give us all a chance to breathe a bit and enjoy a slower week together.
But spending more time together as a family also brings some new challenges as parents. Sibling strife often heats up, meltdowns spike as schedules loosen, and parents’ fuses can get a bit shorter.
You may find yourself blowing your top or losing your cool more often than you’d like to. We often start the day with great intentions and end the day with tension and regret. You’re not alone!
Parents generally spend more hours per day parenting in summer months than they do the rest of the year. It is no surprise then that we experience some challenges – both old ones we thought we had nailed or new ones we never saw coming.
The good news is that these challenges are the best way to grow as a parent. When everything is running smoothly we don’t spend much time on our parenting or our connections with our kids. When things get rocky is when we read that parenting book, reach out for support, or explore new ways to connect. Challenge and tension create a landscape for change and growth.
Once you’ve decided to try some new tools or gather new insight the first step is having a strategy for cooling down when you get angry and frustrated.
Our great techniques and skillfully crafted language, no matter how genius, are useless if we use them with anger and resentment. When a big grown-up parent is angry with a little kid, all that kid sees and feels is the anger in the room. So, the first step is to cool down so your child can hear you.
Here are a few quick ideas to break the tension and diffuse the situation…. Read More