Putting Your Preschooler to Work

Nothing makes preschoolers happier than helping their parents.  Studies show that young children are wired to get pleasure from pleasing their mom or dad.  So, instead of ignoring your four-year-old when he offers to help you make the beds, fold laundry or put away groceries, allow him to exercise his independence by lending a hand. In some cases, a preschooler’s attempt at helping is more of a hindrance to parents; however, with a little patience you can turn these heartfelt efforts into teachable moments. When my now 8-year-old daughter was a preschooler nothing delighted her more than being able to … Continue reading

Consistency is Key

“Life is hard enough for kids without having parents who are constantly changing the rules.” I wish I could remember which so-called parenting “expert” drove that bit of advice into my head. Regardless, it’s in there; squeezed in between the importance of providing a child with an established routine to alleviate any chaos, fostering a sense of security and checking underneath piles of mashed potatoes for hidden broccoli, carrots, peas or other items that kids would rather chuck than consume. When it comes to kids and consistency, it’s not just about setting and enforcing a decent bedtime, making sure teeth … Continue reading

The Little Things

My daughter’s teacher has the following quote taped on the front of her desk:  “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” Despite seeing the laminated saying each time I walked my daughter to class, it took me a good two months to fully grasp the meaning of that single sentence. As busy parents trying to keep our heads above the choppy waters of life, it’s easy to dismiss the little things our children do every.single.day.  What’s more, it’s even easier to ignore the many opportunities we have to strengthen … Continue reading

Seasonal Parent-Child Bonding on the Cheap

A winter storm watch has been issued for my neck of the woods.  Meteorologists are predicting nearly eight inches of the white stuff will fall in less than 24 hours.  As a parent, who was born and raised in Hawaii, and despises the snow and cold, I am really not looking forward to dealing with icy roads and below freezing temperatures.  Still, my kid is a Wisconsinite, so I have to do what any good mother would do—suck it up. Sacrifice; it’s the hallmark of good parenting, right? Winter presents a unique challenge for many parents.  Some days, Mother Nature’s … Continue reading

Bonding with Your Baby with a Disability

Attachment is a lasting bond that develops early in a child’s life. Attachment can occur between the mother and child as well as with others: dad and child, grandparents and child, even foster parents can enhance a child’s life through attachment. Attachment is more than just an emotional bond, it is a critical component to the healthy development of the child. Children who experience attachment and feel the love of a caregiver have a better chance of growing into adults who are capable of sustaining lasting, close relationships. Some parents find it difficult to bond with a child who has … Continue reading

What Type Of Newborn Mother Are You?

Whether you’re a veteran mom or about to give birth to your first child, you probably have opinions about life with a newborn. My husband worked in a church last year, so we built close relationships with many people. Everyone in the church felt a close connection to us, even if we didn’t know them very well. It was wonderful. We found out I was expecting a baby in the fall, and as the due date approached, I got an increasing amount of comments from people that made me very nervous. They were comments like, “What hospital are you delivering … Continue reading

Adoption is Great for Dads AND Moms

  It’s been said that in couples, it’s often the woman who drives the adoption process. Perhaps the women have more need to raise children, perhaps they feel worse about being infertile, perhaps they want to have the childrearing experience so many of their friends have. Or it may just be that they know more about adoption, perhaps because women seem to talk amongst themselves about their personal lives and children more than male coworkers and acquaintances do. Some women have found that their husbands were initially reluctant about adopting. I’m sure sometimes it happens the other way around too, … Continue reading

Why does it Bother Me when the Ex Refers to the Kids as Ours or His?

We all have our triggers. I find that even though years have passed (or maybe because years have passed) and I have put my divorce and my former life comfortably behind me, I still have some triggers when it comes to my children’s other parent. One of the things that irk me is when he refers to “his” kids or calls them “our” kids. Isn’t that a silly and obvious thing to be getting all worked up about? Alright, so I don’t really get “all worked up” about it, it is more like the grating of fingernails on a chalkboard. … Continue reading

What Kind of Relationship do You Want to Have with Your Kids in the Long Run?

We can get so caught up in the minutia of every day—those details of feeding, cleaning, discipline and communicating—that we forget to keep at least one eye on the long term. The choices we make today, and the way we parent and interact with our children right now will have a lasting influence on the type of relationship we have with them in the long term. While we really need to parent our children as they are today, it can be helpful to put some thought into what we would like our relationship with our child to look like 5, … Continue reading

Ask a Baby Blogger: C-Sections and Bonding After Birth

Question: Do mothers who have c-sections not bond as well with their babies? This is not a question someone e-mailed me, but rather something that was being discussed in the forums. It’s a very sensitive issue and frankly, I think there has been made much ado about nothing. Bonding is NOT a one time event. It is not this little narrow window of opportunity that once is lost, is gone forever. It is a process and to be honest, I think a lot of people don’t understand what exactly is meant by bonding when they talk about it. What is … Continue reading