Let’s Talk: Navigating Growing Bodies with Your Kids!

Let’s Talk: Navigating Growing Bodies with Your Kids!

 

Hey there, parents! So, your little ones aren’t so little anymore, huh? As they grow, their bodies change, and it’s our job to help them understand and embrace these transformations. Buckle up because we are about to dive into the wild world of navigating conversations about growing bodies with your kiddos!

Start Early:

Let’s get this party started early! We’re talking about introducing the birds and the bees (well, maybe just the bees for now) from a young age. Teach your munchkins about their bodies using simple language and throw in some fun facts about how their bodies work. Trust us, it’s never too early to start the conversation!

Understanding Puberty:

Ah, puberty – the rollercoaster ride we all remember (or maybe wish we could forget). It’s time to talk about those awkward, yet totally normal changes that come with growing up. From hair where there wasn’t any before to voices going from squeaky to suave, we’ve got your back. And hey, don’t forget to chat about emotions too – because those hormones can be a wild ride!

Respecting Boundaries and Consent:

Let’s teach our mini-humans about personal space and the all-important concept of consent. It’s not just about “yes” and “no” – it’s about making sure everyone feels comfortable and respected. So, let’s empower our kids to speak up if something feels off and remind them that it’s cool to set boundaries.

Gender and Sexuality:

Yep, it’s time to talk about gender and sexuality. No need to tiptoe around it – let’s have an open and honest conversation. Kids are sponges, and they’re ready to soak up knowledge about the beautiful spectrum of gender identities and sexual orientations. Get ready for some eye-opening discussions!

Creating a Safe Space:

Last but definitely not least, let’s create a cozy, judgment-free zone where our kiddos feel safe to ask questions and share their thoughts. Keep those lines of communication wide open and let your kids know that you’re here for them – no matter what.

Conclusion:

Phew, what a journey! Navigating conversations about growing bodies with our kids can be a wild ride, but with a little humor, empathy, and a whole lot of love, we’ve got this. So, let’s start early, understand puberty, respect boundaries and consent, talk about gender and sexuality, and most importantly, create a safe space for open dialogue. Together, we’ll help our kids embrace their amazing bodies and navigate this crazy thing called life!

Routines and Schedules

Routines and Schedules

It is times like this that I want to go back to my past self and give myself a high five!! The routines we put in place when our son was 3 years old or younger are still in place with some minor changes through the years and they are still working well 9 years later!! Bliss, I tell you!

Schedule Versus Routine

A routine is a series of things we do before or after an event.

A schedule is based on set times when certain events occur.

Schedules and Routines both have their place.

I find that set schedules do not work as well with infants but having a variety of routines in place does work well.

We used to have a screen time schedule here which worked like a charm! Our son watched a show at about 8 am, 11 am (when he is home), and 4 pm. We did have to be a bit flexible but we put in this place because he would focus hugely on watching his programs. “Can I watch a show” (over and over).

Once the set times were in place, the constant asking for a show came to a complete stop. My response was “yes you can at __ time”.  After staying consistent with this for a while he really took to it.

As he has grown we have been able to be way more flexible. He knows his time limits and he works with them.

What are the benefits of routines and schedules??

When children know what to expect, they feel more secure and are more willing to follow through with tasks.

I often have parents ask why their child is so well-behaved at daycare or school and not as much at home. The first thing is that children will unload their feelings at home where they feel safe. The second thing is that there is a great deal of structure with routines and schedules so the children know what to expect.

I often recommend that parents maintain similar schedules and routines at home.

You may find that you continue certain routines from your childhood. It is really cool how routines and schedules can really help children feel safe, secure, and be willing to do the steps without even realizing it.

I have to admit that our morning routine is my favourite.

Morning routine:

  1. Come in and give mom a hug
  2. Bathroom
  3. Snuggles with Mom and/or Dad
  4. Get Dressed
  5. Start watching You-Tube (Pause when breakfast is ready)
  6. Eat Breakfast
  7. Brush Teeth
  8. Put on socks
  9. Finishing watching You-Tube while getting the outdoor gear on
  10. Out the Door

It typically is very smooth and we have been doing a routine similar to this since he was 3!

There are a few things that you can do to help your child get familiar with a routine.

  1. Be consistent
  2. Use visuals (written list for older children and list using pictures for younger children)
  3. Use verbal reminders
  4. Use a timer to remind your child when they have to move to the next step

You can use routines throughout your day! Have fun fitting in the routines and do not forget to make them a little fun for your child as well!!

If you would like some help figuring out how routines and schedules can help your family, please feel free to book a free 15-minute consult to ask how I can help. You can book the free call by clicking on the following link 15-minute free call

Below is the video I did about routines and schedules. Feel free to listen…

Why am I so tired??

Why am I so tired??

If you are a parent who is tired and wondering why, you are reading the right post!

September is a month that marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall, and for many people, it is the most exhausting time of the year.

There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, ranging from the back-to-school season to the changing weather patterns and shorter days.

The following are some of the reasons why September can be so exhausting and some tips on how to get through it…

Reason 1: Back-to-School Season

For children, this means getting back into the routine of waking up early, attending classes, and completing homework and assignments.

 

For parents, it means adjusting to the new school schedule and managing the logistics of drop-offs, pick-ups, and extracurricular activities.Even for those who are not directly involved in the back-to-school season, the increased traffic, crowds, and general busyness can be draining. 

Reason 2: Changing Weather

The transition from summer to fall can be a difficult one, particularly in regions where the weather can be unpredictable.

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and the weather can be rainy and windy. This can lead to feelings of fatigue and lethargy, as well as an increased susceptibility to colds and other illnesses.

 

Reason 3: Increased Work Demands

For many people, this is a time of year when work begins to ramp up after the summer lull, with new projects and deadlines to meet.

Reason 4: Social Events

After summer, people often feel disconnected from others so the social calendars begin to fill up.
 

There may also be social events to attend, such as weddings, reunions, or other gatherings, which can take up time and energy.

 

 

How do you deal with this time of year???

Here are a few tips to help you manage the stress and fatigue of September:

 

1. Get plenty of rest:

With the changing weather patterns and increased activity, it is important to ensure that you are getting enough rest. Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and try to establish a consistent sleep routine.

2. Stay active:

Exercise is a great way to boost your energy levels and reduce stress. Even a short walk or jog can help you feel more alert and focused. If you are not already active, consider starting a new exercise routine or joining a fitness class.

3. Eat well:

A healthy diet can help you maintain your energy levels throughout the day. Avoid sugary or processed foods, which can cause energy crashes, and focus on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

4. Manage your time:

With so much going on in September, it is important to manage your time effectively. Set priorities, establish a schedule, and delegate tasks where possible.

5. Take breaks:

It is important to take breaks throughout the day to recharge your batteries. Even a short walk or a few minutes of meditation can help you feel more refreshed and focused.

September can be a challenging month for many people. By taking steps to manage your stress and fatigue, such as getting plenty of rest, staying active, eating well, managing your time, and taking breaks, you can make it through this busy time of year with your energy and enthusiasm intact.

As always, Be the Parent you want to be and the parent your child needs! 

 

Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be

Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be

 

 

As parents, we all want our children to grow up to be compassionate, kind, and responsible individuals. But have you ever stopped to think about the role you play in shaping their behaviour?

 

The Power of Mirror Neurons:

 

Did you know that children are like little sponges, absorbing everything around them? Research has shown that children mimic the emotions and behaviours of those closest to them. This phenomenon, known as mirror neurons, highlights the importance of modeling the behaviours and attitudes we wish to see in our children. If we want our little ones to be empathetic, respectful, and kind, it starts with us embodying those qualities ourselves.

 

Addressing Our Own Behaviour:

 

When we notice a behaviour in our child that we’re not particularly fond of, our immediate reaction might be to focus solely on correcting them. However, it is crucial to first reflect on whether this behaviour is inadvertently coming from us or another loved one. Perhaps, without realizing it, we have been demonstrating that behaviour ourselves. Addressing our own actions and emotions may be necessary before expecting our child to change.

 

Influencing Others:

 

It’s important to acknowledge that we can’t always change the behaviour of others, but we can certainly influence it. If you notice a behaviour in someone else that you don’t appreciate, talking to them calmly and expressing your concerns might eventually lead to positive change. Explaining to your child what you don’t like about someone else’s behaviour can also serve as a valuable teaching moment, helping them understand the importance of certain qualities and behaviours.

 

Apologizing and Embracing Mistakes:

 

Nobody is perfect, including parents. In fact, it is through our mistakes that we can teach our children valuable life lessons. As parents, we must be willing to label our mistakes and apologize to our children when necessary. By doing so, we demonstrate a crucial lesson in handling mistakes – taking responsibility, offering an apology, and showing our children how to own up to their own errors. Remember, children learn from our mistakes and how we deal with them.

 

Reflecting on Our Own Behaviour:

 

At times, we may notice unexpected behaviours in our children that leave us puzzled. However, it’s essential to reflect on our own behaviours and emotions to uncover potential triggers. Are we inadvertently exhibiting those behaviours in certain situations or with certain people? By examining our own actions, we can provide explanations for our children’s behaviour and work towards a solution together.

 

Conclusion:

 

In the journey of parenthood, we are the architects of our children’s character. To raise empathetic, responsible, and kind individuals, we must embody those qualities ourselves and be the person we want our child to be. Leading by example, addressing our own behaviour, fostering communication, and embracing our mistakes can guide our children towards leading fulfilling lives. Remember, by being the person you want your child to be, you are not only shaping their future but also making life easier and more enjoyable for the entire family.

How Actions Speak Louder Than Words

How Actions Speak Louder Than Words

parenting foundations

 

(At first, he was saying he wanted to try the water but never went in, turns out he did not want to get wet and have to go back in the car. That makes sense.)

The way your child is acting is a very large indicator of how things are going in their world. They may even be telling you that everything is okay but their actions will tell you otherwise.

 

 

Are you thinking… How do actions speak louder than words??

 

Let’s take a moment to observe your child’s fascinating world. You’ll quickly realize that they possess a unique language of their own, and it’s not just spoken words. No, their actions and behaviour have the power to communicate volumes.

Picture a toddler throwing an epic tantrum. It may seem like chaos, but beneath the surface, they’re conveying a message. They’re saying, ‘Help me!’ ‘I’m done!’ ‘I don’t like not getting my way.’ ‘It’s frustrating not being able to do what you can do.’ And my personal favourite, ‘Why don’t you understand what I’m trying to tell you?’

Now, imagine laying an infant down on the floor, and they begin to cry. At first, you might assume it’s because they dislike tummy time or simply want to be held. But there’s more to it. They could be hungry, tired, or confused about their surroundings.

Here’s a game-changer: if you lower yourself to their level, make eye contact, or speak in a soothing tone, the crying might cease before you even pick them up. You don’t have to stay glued to the floor forever, but it’s worth a try to make them feel more at ease. Sing or talk to them from a distance—it can work wonders.

Even older children, though equipped with a large vocabulary of words, often struggle to express their true emotions effectively. That’s where their behaviour becomes a crystal-clear indicator of their inner world.

Just think about our not-so-little guy, who is 11 years old. When he’s bouncing off the walls or struggling to follow simple requests, it’s a telltale sign. It could mean he’s bursting with excitement, harbouring worries, overflowing with energy, or simply having a blast.

So, let’s be clear: children communicate through their actions and behaviour. Now, you might be wondering, ‘That’s great, but what can I do about it?’

 

Hold on tight—I’ve got some tips to help your child improve their communication through action:

 

1. Pair Actions with Words:

Empower them with the right words. Picture this: your infant is crying, and you know they’re hungry. Instead of merely comforting them, say, ‘I think you’re hungry.’ It may sound silly, but trust me, it’s incredibly helpful. This technique is especially effective for toddlers and preschool-aged children.

2. Respond to their Actions:

Give them the chance to express their needs. Believe it or not, children as young as eight months can use gestures, although it’s typically around ten months when they start gesturing for what they want. When you acknowledge their gestures and show them that you understand, they’ll continue to use this form of communication.

3. Teach Them Sign Language:

When your child resorts to gestures, you can introduce simple baby sign language. The key is to combine signs with words, enabling them to communicate using both methods.

4. Visualize it:

Use visuals to enhance communication. Prepare a set of pictures that your child can use to express their needs. Around 16 months, they can start using this technique. Ask them to ‘show you’ what they want, and although they may begin around 12 months, they’ll become even better at it by 16 months.

 

Now, let’s decode some actions and unravel their hidden meanings:

 

Rooting:

When a child shows an action towards a breast, it usually means hunger—the most common reason. However, it can also indicate tiredness or boredom.

Crying:

Ah, the myriad cries! You’ll become an expert at deciphering them.

Hitting:

When your child resorts to hitting, it can often signify frustration or anger. However, don’t be quick to judge. Sometimes, it can also be a sign of extreme excitement. Understanding the underlying reason behind the hitting will help you respond appropriately.

 

Biting:

Ah, the teethers! Biting is commonly associated with teething discomfort and pain in infants. However, with toddlers and preschool-aged children, it can serve as a way to express frustration, anger, or even excitement. If you’re dealing with biting behaviour, I recommend checking out our previous blog post dedicated to tackling this issue. [Insert link to the previous blog post]

Twirling Hair:

When your child twirls their hair, it’s often a way for them to seek comfort during anxious moments. This behaviour can indicate that they’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain. Providing reassurance and a calm environment can go a long way in helping them manage their anxiety.

 

Now, I would love to hear from you! Have you noticed any other behaviours from your child that you’ve deciphered? Share them in the comments section below this post. Let’s continue unravelling the fascinating world of children’s communication through actions and behaviour.

Would you like to have help deciphering your child’s behaviour? Brenda from Parenting FOundations can help you with a mini-consultation which includes a 60-minute call on Zoom and 2 follow-up emails. Book your consult here.