Kids Notice How we React to the Little Things

How I wish that I could be gauged on how I rise to the big occasion; how cool and calm I am in a time of crisis—unfortunately, my kids don’t always remember how I saved the day in those rare amazing times, it is my everyday personality—the way I cope (or don’t) and react (or don’t) to those ordinary details upon which life is built. Our children are always watching and they will forgive us blundering up some of the big things if we are true and steady in the very day… I know that there are some parents who … Continue reading

Think about How You Would React

As single parents, we may be tempted to get wrapped up in the world we are trying to create (or re-create). Many of us feel compelled to stay focused and dedicated to work, keeping our homes and families in order, and trying to minimize chaos. It can be hard to see things from our child’s perspective—especially when it comes to issues with the child’s other parent or other touchy topics. I think it can be helpful to try to step outside of ourselves and see things from our child’s perspective. Instead of always thinking about how things make US feel—it … Continue reading

Can we Make Our Children be More Rational?

I admit that I have been accused of being overly rational; of course, I also know that I can be as moody and irrational as the next person, but overall rationality tends to be my guide. As a parent, however, I have learned that there is little sense in my clinging to rationality or expecting my children to be rational. I used to think that if I just exposed them to a more rational way of looking at things they would see things my way. Instead, I learned to enter the land of irrationality more often… I think that we … Continue reading

Wasting Energy on Negative Reactions

As parents, we have to say “no”—we have to set limits and boundaries and let our children know what can and cannot be done. This does NOT mean that we have to be negative. It may seem a little strange, but I do believe that we can set strong limits and boundaries with our kids and still be positive. In fact, I think it takes a lot of extra energy to be negative and when we react negatively to things going on with our children and our families, we are not only wasting energy, but also teaching our children how … Continue reading

Capturing Responses and Individual Reactions

This is part three in a six part series about capturing the complete personalities and uniqueness of the individuals who adorn our scrapbook pages. This article focuses on capturing the reactions and the responses from each individual. Please keep in mind that not only does this work on your children, but also on you, your significant other and friends and family members. It is a rarity that you actually have the opportunity to capture a true reaction to a situation with your camera. It is about being there at the right time and right place and snapping picture after picture. … Continue reading

Watch out for Premature Judgment

I confess that it is in my nature to be quick-to-judge. Not just as parent, but in other aspects of my life as well. Even though I have spent a lifetime working on this challenging personal reality, I still come up against the quick and premature judgment when I am dealing with my children all the time. Learning how to take a step back and gather the facts before passing judgment can be an incredibly important element in any parent’s tool box. Parenting is such a gut-reaction and emotional endeavor for so many of us—it can be tough to be … Continue reading

Working on Being Non-Defensive

I tried to come up with a swanky, mellow title for this article but I decided to just come right out and say it instead—defensiveness is not solely an issue for single parents, but we can have a tendency to feel like we have a lot to protect. Instead of being open to ideas and suggestions from others, or even entertain other people’s point of view—we might react with defensiveness if we feel like it is critical of our lives, choices, and families. Working on being less defensive can help us move on from tough times, and also heal from … Continue reading

Are You Reacting Like a Grown-Up?

We talk about response and reaction here as parents—particularly how to respond to our children’s most challenging behaviors. Recently, a mom confessed to me that she had to learn how to have strong enough boundaries and respond to her child “like an adult”—to her, this meant not responding in kind to her child’s emotions: yelling back when he yelled, being petty or pouting when he acted that way to her. I think she is right in that it comes down to boundaries. Our relationships with our children can be so close and intense that we can have a hard time … Continue reading

Watch Out for Overreacting

I know that the tendency to overreact in the parenting department is not the sole property of the single parent, but I also think that with only one of at the head of the household, we do not have someone else to balance us out or help us get calm about things before we unleash on our children. Not to mention that stress and exhaustion can make it tough to see things clearly and with any sort of distance or perspective. As single parents, therefore, I do think we need to be careful to get our bearings before we respond … Continue reading

We Don’t Have to React to Our Kid’s Opinions

I currently live in a land of opinions and opinionated teenagers. If there is one thing you can say about teenagers it is that they are very open with their developing ideas and opinions on things. While my kids used to say things like “We think this, don’t we mom?” when they were pleasing little grade-schoolers, now they are much more likely to share opinions and ideas that are in complete opposition of my own opinions and belief systems. Sometimes, of course, they are trying to get a “rise” out of me, but other times they are just working out … Continue reading