3 Magic Little Words

3 Magic Little Words

Do you ever feel like there is so much going on that you do not know where to start or that you will never get things accomplished? This can be the start of major overwhelm! And guess what???….

THIS IS A NORMAL FEELING!

Many people go through this and it can be extremely stressful. As parents, this feeling can happen often. This is true for stay-at-home moms/dads, work-from-home moms/dads, working moms/dads, foster parents, step-parents, etc.

It even happens to me!! Yes, you heard that correctly. I am normal (at least I believe I am 😛 ).

Now that the cat is out of the bag, what can we do about it??

Perspective is important! Rethink the way you think. …huh????

When I find myself saying “I have to……”. The list becomes so long that no one will be able to accomplish it. Then replace “I have to” with…

“I GET TO”

Yes, that is correct. I will say “I get to prepare lunch”, or “I get to play with the little man”. You get the point. This word change helps immensely. Even at 3 am when our little man needs to be tucked back into bed.

So if you are in the midst of sleep-teaching your child, trying to figure out your child’s behavior, overwhelmed at work, and have a to-do list that is getting bigger by the moment please remember to breathe and say “I get to”.

This simple word shift can cause you to have a different perspective about the task at hand. When we are able to look at things in a more positive light the overwhelm reduces and we often feel better able to cope. I hope you are able to have a wonderful day and change your perspective if needed.

All the best!

 

White Noise or Not?

White Noise or Not?

There seems to be this constant issue where something is good for a bit; then, bang now it is bad.  I have also seen when bad things are now good (do not introduce certain foods until 1, now do it as soon as you introduce solids).  Let the confusion about what to do with a baby happen again: Should you use or not use a white noise machine or device?

If something is too loud it can affect a child’s hearing.  Now do I think you should run into your child’s room and remove the white noise device you are using, NO!  I do think you should make sure it is not on a loud setting and it is placed away from your child’s crib, bassinet, or bed.

What is the purpose of white noise anyways?  In my opinion, the purpose of white noise is to reduce the effect everyday noises have on a child’s ability to remain asleep.  The steady quiet hum in the background appears to reduce the number of times my child is startled awake.  I have put a fan on in my little man’s room since he was just over 6 months.  This has reduced the amount of tip-toeing the other people in the house have had to partake in.

Here are some of the tips/points to consider if you choose to use white noise:

  1. It should be on a low setting.
  2. The device should not be right beside your child.
  3. Constant is better than intermittent.  Some children will wake up if the white noise shuts off.
  4. If your child really likes the background noise you may find yourself having to pack a white noise machine or similar device when you travel.

Ultimately, the final decision is up to you as a parent.  If you are concerned, do not hesitate to remove the device or talk to your child’s doctor.  I hope this post has reduced your questions or sense of uncertainty around using white noise as a tool in your home.

Happy sleeping, everyone!!

 

 

 

Put a lid on it..

Put a lid on it..

 

How can we help our little ones regulate their emotion?

 

The amount of energy that comes out of the bodies of little children can be absolutely amazing and overwhelming at the same time. There are many times when we end up saying..”would you just stop” when your child is getting angry, whining, or not getting their way. This is similar to putting a lid on a boiling pot.

A child that is asked to stop and is not given the chance to let get of the pent-up feelings and energy is a recipe for an explosion (otherwise known as a tantrum). Does this mean that we should not say “stop”? In a perfect world that would be the case.

Since this world is far from perfect let us be real about this for a few minutes. There will be times when you will have to quickly deal with a situation and then move on. This will happen when you are shopping, at a restaurant, running errands, or just do not have the patience. Therefore; in this case, you will be putting a lid on your child’s emotions.

We all know that putting a lid on a boiling pot is a temporary fix. If the pot is still on the heat it will boil over. When your child is just suppressing the emotion the explosion will happen over the next thing that causes frustration, anger or upset.

If you are feeling overwhelmed as a parent just imagine what could be happening inside that little human’s body. So what can you do…

 
Connect

The first step is to connect with your little one. Stop what you are doing and really pay attention to your child. This can take just a few seconds. Make eye contact and use a calm voice when chatting with your child. Getting down to your child’s level or bringing the child to your level will have a huge impact.

Empathize

The next step is to empathize. “I see that you are angry (insert proper emotion here), it is hard to be ____”.

Be Present

Offer a hug or just sit with your child.

Help or Give Space

Then offer to help them if they need help. If they are just having a moment, let the moment happen. Your little one may need to just express the emotion. Yes, I am saying let the tantrum happen.

I often compare a tantrum with an adult dropping an “f bomb”. It feels really good to verbalize the frustration. Our children struggle with verbally expressing themselves. They will use their behavior to express themselves until closer to age 8 (even then talking can be tough). Once the tantrum is done they can move on and feel really good about it.

Move on?? Don’t consequence??

This is when I hear lots of people say “is that not going to spoil a child, there needs to be a consequence”. Stay firm on your expectation but there does not need to be a consequence (being firm is consequence enough). The lesson in this process is that your child can express themselves; however, you still hold firm to your expectation. Your child will earn that you will not change your mind and they are still expected to follow through with your request.

My new BFF..

My new BFF..

Time!!!

 

Throughout the past few years as a parent, I have learned to embrace time and all that it can help me with. Do not get me wrong there have many days where I feel that time is against me; however, for the most part, Time and I are BFFs.

How do I use the time to my advantage as a parent?

1. I am constantly keeping in mind the amount of time my child (or your child 🙂 ) is awake for. By adjusting your child’s wake time it can assist with night wakings, difficulties with your child going to sleep, and short naps. Here is a link to a Wake Times Chart.

2. Setting a timer as a reminder for me or our little man. I felt like I was a broken record at times when our young man was a Toddler or Preschool Aged Child. “It’s time to….” I began setting a timer and stating “when the timer goes off please go to the bathroom”. He would not fight with the timer.

3. Making cleaning up fun! I would set a stopwatch on my phone and time how fast our young man could pick up his toys. He loved this game so much that now he sets his own watch to try to beat the clock!

4. Give me extra time to get out the door. I will start the process of leaving the house 10 minutes before I have to as it seems to be a law that someone will have to use the bathroom on the way out the door. It is not always the youngest member of the family!

5. I keep in mind that it can take 3 to 4 weeks for a behavior to really change and often I will not see the complete change until the 6 to the 8-week mark. This allows me to cut myself some slack.

6. Our young man has specific times a day that he gets to watch a television show. He watches 2 to 3 shows a day at 8:00 am, 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Why did I do this? Simple, to stop the “I want to watch a show”!! My answer now is “you certainly can at (insert proper time)”. When I do not have to say No as often the whining reduces.

7. Using a clock to assist with our young man knowing what time he can get up. He had a Gro-Clock for a long time. I put the brightness on zero and then the clock only came on when it was time to get up. Now that he understands time, he has an alarm clock. The alarm clock has red lights for the numbers (Red light does not interrupt the production of melatonin).

Do you have any additional way you use the time to your advantage? I would love to hear about them. Please place your answers in the comment section below this post.

Safety: Everyday Items

Safety: Everyday Items

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Here is a quick video to demonstrate how you can use some household items to improve the safety around your house.