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.

Dealing with the Unexpected

Dealing with the Unexpected

Children (like most humans) are creatures of habit. When something unexpected happens it can throw things upside down in their little world.

Children, especially young children, will struggle to discuss the changes that happened but you will know they are affected by it through their behaviour.

 

The following are some common things that happen when the unexpected happens:

1. Increased Tantrums

2. Non-compliance/Defiance

3. Increased Emotion (tears and whining)

4. Interrupted Sleep

5. Decreased/Increased Appetite

 

Your child is being affected by the unexpected event, Now What???

First, let’s talk about a situation that we went through about a year and a half ago…

Unexpectedly, my husband and father of our then 5-year-old ended up in the hospital for just under a week. This event rocked us all to the core. I wanted to curl up and separate from the world; however, this adorable little 5-year-old had a different plan.

The little guy kept asking the same questions over and over again. He would replay the situation with his words. He would tell anyone that would listen (sometimes that meant he was telling strangers details). This was hard for me to process; however, I knew the importance of letting him talk so I did. We never shut him down. He slowly stopped talking about it on his own.

He asked to stick with his routine. I thought it was best to keep him home from school the day after his dad ended up in the hospital. He wanted to go to school. I then sent him to school. Children thrive on the expected! He was comfortable going to school and wanted to be there. So off to school he went. He also wanted to go to Beavers that night so he did.

He needed to see that Daddy was okay so we went to the hospital to see him but did not stay long. We kept the visit short and sweet.

Then he asked for answers. He needed to know why things happened the way they did so I explained things in terms I knew he would understand. I did not shelter him from the experience. Instead, I involved him and kept things as age appropriate as possible.

We often try to protect our kids. In protecting them we do not give them the information they need. This can be harmful.  Children will start to use their imaginations to come up with reasons that things happen. It is best to keep them in the loop. This really helped our little man.

In time, he was able to move on from the situation. He actually moved on much quicker then the adults did.

 

Steps to Take when the Unexpected Happens:

1. Keep to the regular routine as much as possible

2. Let your child talk (no shutting them down)

3. Do not take any outbursts personally

4. Keep things age appropriate

 

In summary, do not underestimate your child’s ability to handle the situation. Your child will thrive if you keep things age appropriate and as close to their routine as possible. If you have any further comments, please feel free to comment in the comments section under this post.

Have I ruined my child’s sleep?

Have I ruined my child’s sleep?

 

I will often get asked if a child’s sleep is now ruined because a parent had to sleep with the child or had to offer more support.

There are times when my little man puts things into a perspective way better than I can. Last night he was struggling with going to sleep, Thank You Day Light Savings! When he really struggles my husband or I will lay with him.

As we were laying there I was holding him (a great big snuggle and a hug). We were listening to a guided meditation about a Koala Bear that was not able to go to sleep (here is a link to it). The meditation was talking about how the bear was not able to lay still in his bed. My little man said to me “someone needs to hold that bear down”. I laughed to myself.

Then I realized that my little man understood what I was doing. I was holding him down to help him sleep. After he made that comment I was even happier about the fact that I was able to assist him and he knew exactly what I was there for.

A short time after our snuggle our little man was able to go to sleep. Does this mean I will have to do this every night? No, it does not. After children have mastered the skill of falling to sleep with minimal assistance they often do not want you there.

There will be a time, or two thousand, that they require extra support. There is no harm to offer the support. Some children may need you to slowly remove the support and others will adapt quickly without issue.

The point of this post is to remind you to do what you feel is right for your child. Slowly but surely you will get them to be doing exactly what is best for them.

Take care and as always, Be the Parent you want to Be!!

Bored much??

Bored much??

Before you whisk your little one off to have a nap stop to see if she is bored. Yes, you read that correctly!! Babies can get bored.

Let’s put this into perspective. Our little ones are little humans and all humans (big or small) can get bored. Yes, you try to provide entertainment for your child but your child can get bored of you 🙂

What are the signs that your child is bored?

Often a bored child will rub their eyes, look away from you, start to fuss or full on cry! These are also the signs that a child is tired.

Now what?

Before you try a nap or bedtime try switching the activity you are doing. So if your little one is laying on the floor try putting your little one in an Exercauser or Jumper. You can also try placing your child on their stomach or back. Then if all else fails to work take your little one into a different room.

The different room can act as a change of scenery. I do not know about you but I know that if I am looking at the same thing for a long period of time I do get really bored!

A great example of this comes flashing back when I talk about this. Our little man would have been about 3 to 4 months old. I was at home with him and our then 16-year-old. Well, little man was not a happy man and I could not get him to settle. His big brother was doing homework and he stepped away from his work to come help. He simply took him from me and went walking around the house. When he went in the pantry little man stopped the crying right away and he was looking all over the place.

If your child has not been awake long enough change up the activity to see if she is bored before trying to put her down for a nap or bedtime.