CreativeChild RSS Feed Is Your Child’s Heart in Safe-Keeping? <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Has parenting become a competitive sport? Are we now more concerned with having the best-behaved, best sleeping, fastest reading, most accomplished, and most obedient child, or are we concerned with one of a parent&rsquo;s most important duties &ndash; keeping their child&rsquo;s heart safe? In circles and groups around the country, parents are showing great concern for having accomplished and obedient children. They read books and scour articles and ask their doctors and friends &ndash; how can I get my child to do what I want, when I want? <em>How can I make them as inconvenient as possible?</em></span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>The crucial question that is too often going unasked is this: &ldquo;Is my child&rsquo;s heart safe with me?&rdquo;</strong></span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Why is it important to keep a child&rsquo;s heart safe? Because a safe heart is open to attachment, and attachment is the key that makes the relationship strong and the child open to your influence and instruction. A safe heart is resilient. A safe heart has a layer of protection against the world&rsquo;s cruelty. A safe heart allows a child to grow into who he or she was meant to be. Without it, they harden. They rebel. They suffer. And so one of our first and foremost tasks as parents other than keeping our child physically safe is to hold their heart in safe-keeping. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">But how?</span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The best way to keep a child&rsquo;s heart safe is to always try to &ldquo;do no harm.&rdquo; According to Dr. Gordon Neufeld, the three most wounding interactions to children are 1) separation, 2) shame, and 3) alarm (feeling unsafe). Drawing from my own experiences, I will share here ways I believe we can avoid these three wounding interactions. Please note that the following is not necessarily the view of Dr. Neufeld but my own.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. Separation &ndash; Certainly physical separation can be wounding to some children. When we must physically separate, it&rsquo;s important to help a child form an attachment to whomever we are leaving them with. A child must feel safe in that person&rsquo;s care. Therefore, give your child an introduction to their new teacher, babysitter, or caregiver in advance and allow time for your child to form a bond. It can also be helpful to leave them with something of yours that makes you feel close you are away &ndash; such as a t-shirt with your perfume or photograph. </span></p> Tue, 08 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 Why Overpraise Sets Our Kids Up For Failure Not Success <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Research has shown that how you praise your children has powerful repercussions on their development. Columbia University researchers, Claudia Mueller and Carol Dweck, found that children who were praised for their intelligence, as compared to their effort, persisted less, showed less enjoyment, and attributed their failure to a lack of ability, something they couldn&rsquo;t control. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">On the other hand, children who were praised for their effort instead of the outcome, showed more interest in learning, demonstrated greater persistence and more enjoyment, and attributed their failure to lack of effort, something they could control. They worked harder, sought new challenges and ultimately performed better in subsequent achievement activities. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Furthermore, research has also found that students who were lavished with praise were more cautious in their responses to questions, had less confidence in their answers, and were less willing to share their ideas. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">So when and why does praise go wrong? And what are some alternative ways to support our kids? Positive encouragement isn&rsquo;t a bad thing after all. In order to figure out what works and what doesn&rsquo;t, let&rsquo;s first start with the purpose of praise. The sole purpose in praising our children is to reinforce positive behaviors that produce positive outcomes. </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Generic and over-inflated praise like,<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Great job,&rdquo; or &ldquo;You&rsquo;re amazing,&rdquo; fail to do this. Such empty praise provides no directional guidance and only works to debilitate. When it comes to praising our children, how we encourage matters a great deal. Here are some tips. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>1. Avoid labels. </strong>Labels like genius, the next Picasso, pro-athlete, or a natural-born star don&rsquo;t describe our kids so much as it fulfills some type of fantasy parents may harbor for their child. This type of labeling creates undue pressure and may even breed lazy perfectionists and discourage kids from performing on a less than perfectly. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>2. Focus on praise kids have control over.</strong> Praise is much more effective when you make comments about their effort, attitude, sense of responsibility, commitment, discipline, focus, decision-making abilities, compassion, generosity and respect, than on unalterable qualities such as intelligence, physical attractiveness, or athletic or artistic gifts. </span></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 The AAP Takes a Stance Against Spanking <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The spanking debate rages on, except it&rsquo;s not much of a debate anymore. The research is clear &ndash; spanking is harmful to child development. The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a stand against corporal punishment, summarizing new evidence published in the last 20 years. It should be noted that the AAP defines corporal punishment as the &ldquo;non-injurious, open handed hitting with the intention of modifying child behavior.&rdquo; This definition makes it clear that we aren&rsquo;t just talking about extreme cases of child abuse here, but the common practice of spanking as a form of discipline, and the AAP warns that it is harmful and is calling for its abolition.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><br /> Children who experience corporal punishment have been proven to be more aggressive and have an increased risk of mental health disorders and cognitive problems. Strikingly, even when warm parenting practices occurred alongside spanking, adolescent conduct disorder and depression remained, meaning that being a kind and loving parent when not administering a spanking didn&rsquo;t save the child from its consequences. Some studies have noted a relationship between physical punishment and chronically high cortisol levels which could lead to lifelong negative health effects. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Spanking may seem to work in the moment because it temporarily interrupts the bad behavior, but what&rsquo;s happening in the child&rsquo;s body and brain because of that spanking is significant and puts the child at substantial risk. In addition, spanking has been shown ineffective in the long term, so it&rsquo;s really not worth the risk to a child&rsquo;s mental and physical health. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Unfortunately, some parents still confuse the absence of spanking with an absence of discipline, claiming that by &ldquo;sparing the rod,&rdquo; children are allowed to get away with all sorts of bad conduct. In addition, there&rsquo;s the argument that &ldquo;I was spanked and turned out fine,&rdquo; although it&rsquo;s impossible to know the impact those spankings had on one&rsquo;s developing brain and body and how that person might have &ldquo;turned out&rdquo; in the absence of such trauma. These perspectives keep parents locked in a negative cycle that is hard to break free from without proper guidance for effective discipline.</span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In the Policy Statement issued by the AAP, they include yelling at and shaming children in their list of aversive disciplinary strategies along with corporal punishment. Yelling and shaming are also common strategies, with shaming techniques trending in a world of viral videos and short bursts of fame. So, what are the effective discipline strategies recommended?</span></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 How to Survive a Parent Sick Day <p class="p1"><span class="s1">We do what we can to avoid it, but at some point, the inevitable will happen. Mom or dad will get sick. Enjoying a quiet, restful day in bed is not an option for most parents. What&rsquo;s a parent to do? Here are some tips to help you survive a &ldquo;Parent Sick Day&rdquo;:</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Call in the Reinforcements</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">In some cases, the working parent may be able to stay home and help with the kids, but often this is not a feasible option. &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t be too proud to call in reinforcements if necessary!&rdquo; says Becky Baldridge. Ask friends and family to take the kids to school or help cook dinner. Most friends are willing to help, especially if you offer to return the favor in the future.</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">##ad##</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Simplify Meals</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> For a sick parent, feeding the family can be a huge challenge. Keep it simple by ordering take out, raiding the freezer, or letting the kids eat cereal for dinner. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve had my husband order, pay for, and have pizza delivered from work, because when I&rsquo;m sick preparing meals is impossible.&rdquo; says Rodganna Avery, mom of three.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Let go of &ldquo;Normal&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Many families limit the amount of screen time their children are allowed each day, but when mom or dad is sick it&rsquo;s okay to relax the rules. &ldquo;I let them watch TV all day and I lay on the couch and sleep. I feel better the next day because I get rest.&rdquo; says LouAnn Cunningham. Allowing extra TV or video game time helps to entertain the kids so the parent can rest. Mother of six, Chrissy Roussel says &ldquo;When you are sick, just focus on making sure they&rsquo;re fed and changed. Let go of the &lsquo;normal&rsquo; parenting rules for a few days&rdquo;. It won&rsquo;t hurt the kids to have one or two days of extra screen time, and they will probably enjoy it as well.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> More Entertainment</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> What do you do when TV time gets old? Build a fort, get out craft supplies, or play with blocks. &ldquo;I have a secret stash of toys that I only bring out when I&rsquo;m sick.&rdquo; says Jessi Cole, mom of three &ldquo;Since they are rarely out, my kids think it&rsquo;s a huge treat.&rdquo; Try having the kids read a book aloud or put on a puppet show for you while you rest. When parents are sick, anything goes, the goal is to keep the kids entertained, but as quiet as possible throughout the day.</span></p> Fri, 04 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 GUND The Most Huggable For Over 120 Years <p>There's nothing like that special bond between a child and their first plush toys. For more than 120 years, GUND has been a premier plush company recognized for quality, on-trend, innovative products that appeal to the next generation of customers. Whether it&rsquo;s a classic teddy bear, or a contemporary nursery trend, everyone is sure to fall in love with the GUND collection.</p> <p><br /> GUND is proud of its legacy of excellence and will continue to produce high-quality, unique products that evoke feelings of tenderness, warmth, and comfort that people love and cherish for a lifetime. Award-winning GUND, Baby GUND and license products &ndash; including Tillywig, TOBY Awards, TOTY nominations, and more &ndash; are loved by all ages, from infants enchanted by Flappy the Elephant to teen and adult fans of the adorable internet sensation, Pusheen, and are perfect for both play and collecting.</p> <p><br /> <strong>Come see the brand-new GUND showroom at AmericasMart Atlanta, now located on the 14th floor in suite #1433</strong>. Browse classic favorites and see what&rsquo;s new for 2019! For more information, visit <span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></span> or call 800-448-4863.<br /> <br /> <strong>VISIT #1433 AT THE ATLANTA GIFT SHOW</strong><br /> <br /> <br /><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="" target="_blank"></a></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 01 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 New Year’s Eve Party Ideas for Kids <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Can you believe that New Year&rsquo;s Eve is just around the corner? I know you&rsquo;re short on time with all the hectic holiday activities, so I&rsquo;m here to make your New Year&rsquo;s Eve party planning a breeze! I&rsquo;ve gathered up some great games, foods, and activities to make this New Year&rsquo;s Eve one your kids will remember. </span></p> <p>##ad##</p> <p><strong>Foods</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> New Year&rsquo;s clock cookies &ndash; Check out </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">this cute and festive cookie</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">. These won&rsquo;t take a lot of time to make but are sure to grab the attention of your guests, big and small!</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="2"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Party popcorn &ndash; I found </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">this recipe at Bombshell Bling</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and it looks delicious. I mean, kids love popcorn already, but add mini Reese Cups, mini marshmallows and other goodies and wow! </span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="3"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Edible party horns &ndash; I adore </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">these yummy treats from Cooking with My Kid</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You&rsquo;ll just need sugar cones, melted chocolate, and sprinkles. I imagine that these will be very popular with the little ones.</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="4"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Countdown cupcakes &ndash; </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">These New Year&rsquo;s Eve countdown cupcakes from Somewhat Simple</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are the perfect party snack. You just bake cupcakes as normal and draw on the Oreo icing with a food-safe pen. Voila! </span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="5"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Skillet pizza dip countdown clock. This </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">delicious recipe is found at Hungry Happenings</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and it&rsquo;s making me hungry right now! </span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Activities</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <ol> <li><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Create a New Year&rsquo;s Eve capsule</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This is a fun activity that can be a new tradition for your family. The capsule is a way to preserve the best memories of the year plus your quickly-growing child&rsquo;s likes, achievements, and interests. </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Include this reflections questionnaire</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Find all of the instructions for the time capsule </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">here</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="2"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> New Year&rsquo;s countdown balloons &ndash; Try </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">this balloon-popping activity</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> this year. Fill five balloons with an activity to do each hour and the sixth balloon with confetti. Beginning at 6 pm, pop one balloon for hour to keep your kids entertained while you&rsquo;re waiting on that ball to drop. Activity ideas include watching a movie, playing a game like Bingo, having a dance party, or making one of the foods above together!</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="3"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Paper plate clock craft &ndash; </span><strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">This craft from Buggy and Buddy</a></span></strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a really cute activity for little kids. The site includes several options that your kiddo can choose from, so it can be more involved for older kids or really simple for tiny tots.</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="4"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Create a party hat &ndash; Download, print, and color your own festive party hat from Happiness is Homemade. Get your hat </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">here</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></li> </ol> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ol start="5"> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Make a new year wishing wand &ndash; </span><span style="color: #0000ff;"><strong><a style="color: #0000ff;" href="">Check out this super cute craft by Fun Family Crafts</a></strong></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. You&rsquo;ll need cardstock, contact paper, sequins, and a pencil. Have your child write their wishes for the new year around the border of the star.</span></li> </ol> Mon, 31 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Holiday Party Games the Whole Family Will Love <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The holidays are here! If you&rsquo;re planning a holiday party for your friends or your childrens&rsquo; friends, I&rsquo;ve done some of the work for you! Here are 15 fun holiday party games all of your guests are sure to enjoy. Have fun and happy holidays to you and your family!</span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">1. Bowling is a fun activity for kids of all ages, and this wintertime spin will be a hit at your holiday party. Snowman bowling can be done in many different ways, depending upon the age levels of your guests. For tiny tots, <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">try this version using toilet paper rolls and a plastic ball found at From ABCs to ACTs</span></a></span></strong>. Alternatively, <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">white paper cups with snowman faces</span></a></span></strong> stacked into a pyramid will fancy your toddlers to big kids.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">2. <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">This fun jingle bell toss game from Playground Parkbench</span></a></span></strong> is sure to be a hit and costs less than $10 in craft supplies. Coming together in less than 5 minutes, it&rsquo;s not a time-consuming undertaking either. And the best part? No messy clean-up! Win-win!</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">3. Who loved playing musical chairs as a child? Why not put a holiday spin on this childhood favorite? You could simply use Christmas music as you play the standard version of the game, but I like the idea from <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">Birthday in a Box.</span></a></span></strong> They suggest placing a large box on the floor that children can crawl through and label it &ldquo;the North Pole.&rdquo; When the music stops, the child in the box is out &ndash; or the child in the box wins a small prize! </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">4. Need to expend some of the kids&rsquo; energy? How about a snowball relay? Divide the kids into two teams. Place a large container of snowballs (cotton balls) about 10 feet in front of the kids and give each one a straw. You&rsquo;ll need two other smaller containers for team boxes. The objective is simple. On &ldquo;go,&rdquo; the first two players run to the container of cotton balls and use their straw to suck up a cotton ball to take back to the team box. If the player drops the cotton ball on the way to the box, he or she must pick up using only the straw. No hands! When the player releases the cotton ball into the team box, the next player goes. The first team to finish wins!</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">5. Pin the tail on the donkey is a classic party game that kids love. For a holiday spin, <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">here is a free printable for Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph.</span></a> </span></strong></span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">6. Bingo is a fun game for young and old alike. <strong><span style="color: #0000ff;"><a style="color: #0000ff;" href=""><span class="s2">Here are 11 free printable Christmas Bingo games</span></a></span></strong> to choose from for your next holiday party!&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">7. Want to get a bit messy? Try shaving cream skating. Lay a large piece of plastic on the floor and spread shaving cream over it. Let the kids take off their socks and shoes and &ldquo;skate&rdquo; on the shaving cream. For an added twist, play Christmas music. When the music stops, the skaters must freeze! It&rsquo;s a fun sensory experience the kids will be raving about!</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">8. Entertain your guests from big to small with the penguin race! Divide everyone into two teams. Each player must put a ball between their knees and waddle to the designated line, then waddle back and tag the next in line &ndash; relay style! If they drop the ball, they have to go back to the starting line and try again. The first team to finish wins the race!</span></p> Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Why Saying “You’re Grounded” Doesn’t Work <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&ldquo;You&rsquo;re grounded!&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&ldquo;Go to your room!&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">&ldquo;No electronics for a week!&rdquo;</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Parenting is hard work. When our children break the rules or make poor choices, it can be difficult to know the right way to discipline, so parents often resort to punishments like time-out, grounding, and taking away privileges. The problem is that research shows these punishments don&rsquo;t work &ndash; at least, not like we want them to. We may temporarily gain the upper hand and appear to be in control. The best that punishment has to offer is making our kids &ldquo;come into line&rdquo; in order to <em>avoid </em>pain, shame, isolation, or unpleasantness, or in order to <em>regain </em>our love and affection. The true lesson, however, is lost. Punishment puts the focus, in their minds, on how unfairly they were treated and the resentment they feel &ndash; not on remorse or plans for better behavior. So, they appear obedient for the time-being, but underneath the surface is a hardened heart and a whole host of negative emotions which will eventually drive more bad behavior.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The real lessons we want to teach our children are how to control their own behavior, make wiser choices, think of others, and take responsibility for their actions. These lessons aren&rsquo;t learned by sitting in a room or losing their iPhone. They are learned through a heart-to-heart connection with a trusted parent in conversations, modeling, problem-solving, and repair. And yet, so many parents are resistant to skipping the punishment and moving directly into connecting and problem-solving because they feel that they&rsquo;re not truly disciplining if they don&rsquo;t impose some kind of punishment in the moment. True discipline, though, is teaching, and children learn best when they feel heard, understood, and connected. </span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Of course, I&rsquo;m not suggesting that we offer a hug, pat them on the back, and send them on their way when they do something wrong. I believe accountability is important. In fact, positive discipline is very involved parenting. It requires a lot thought, self-control, investigation, time, and energy to come up with a solution that really helps your child <em>be and do </em>better. Punishing is easy, but teaching and finding solutions take work! However, it&rsquo;s rewarding work because you end up helping your child heal emotional wounds, learn to work through emotions and problems, repair relationships and take responsibility, and you get to keep a positive, trusting relationship with her. None of that happens when you simply say, &ldquo;You&rsquo;re grounded.&rdquo;</span></p> Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 10 Things Parents of Confident Children Know to be True <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Confidence is not so much about what you feel, as it is about learned behavior from life experiences and perspectives. After a while, what you&rsquo;ve got are healthy habits that become second nature in spite of how you feel. </span></p> <p class="p2">##ad##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Confident kids don&rsquo;t take more risks, for instance, because they are afraid or believe in some innate ability. Rather, they have learned through past experience that the more they try, their odds for success increase. Confident kids also aren&rsquo;t naturally more comfortable in their own skin because they believe everyone likes them, but they understand you can&rsquo;t make everyone like you and the best you can do is to be yourself. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">In this way, raising a confident child is a lot like connecting the dots on one of those worksheets our kids color on. Drawing a line from one number to the next may not always look like much at first, but after a while, what you&rsquo;ve got is a silhouette of what we understand confidence to look like. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Much of these connections, perspectives and habits confident kids form, happen when parents provide enough love, support and space for their kids to grow in. </span></p> <p class="p2">##adbig##</p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Here are 10 things parents of confident children know to be true. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>1.They understand what it takes to maintain a good relationship with their child. </strong>Parents who have good relationships with their child take the time to get to know their kid as a person. They spend time doing activities their child enjoys and they talk to them about their likes and dislikes, aspirations and what makes them tick. As a result, parents who get to know their kid not only love their child, but end up liking him too and enjoy spending time with him. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s1">Parents who maintain good relationships with their child also speak to them respectfully. Many parents forget that children are just like normal people in this way. How you speak to your child is just as important as what you say to your child. When a child feels respected, he is more willing to share what&rsquo;s on his mind and what&rsquo;s going on his life. Children who have good relationships with their parents step out into the world knowing what it takes to form good relationships with other people. </span></p> <p class="p4"><span class="s1"><strong>2. They know they can&rsquo;t always be their child&rsquo;s savior. </strong>As painful as it is to watch your child disappointed or rejected, parents of confident children understand that kids need to stand on their own two feet. They don&rsquo;t run to their rescue each time they fall. They let their kids attempt new endeavors, dust themselves off and encourage their kids to try again. In time, these kids learn that not only is failure the best way to learn, but the odds of success increase the more they try. Kids who seem bold aren&rsquo;t without fear. They have simply made the calculation that the benefits of taking a risk outweigh the cons. Nor will parents of confident children make excuses for their child when they&rsquo;ve made a misstep. Instead, they let their child endure the consequences for forgetting his homework or being late, so he can be accountable next time. </span></p> Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800 The Importance of Finding Your Tribe <p class="p1"><span class="s1">When my first child was born thirteen years ago I was thrilled to be a mom and so in love with my son. This was the moment I had been looking forward to for months. My husband and I had decided that I would become a stay-at-home mom and I was looking forward to all the time I could spend with my son. After a few months of adjusting to becoming a mom, I started to feel lonely. I had given up my job and while I was still head over heels in love with my son, something vital felt missing. I realized quickly that it was adult interaction. Whether you are a working mom or stay at home, have one child or five children, whether you are struggling through the exhausting days and sleepless nights of babies and toddlers or the busy schedules of school age kids, you need a tribe. Many moms define their tribe as other women who understand where they are in life without having to explain a single thing. They get you, they accept you, and they cheer you on as you struggle your way through it. If you are feeling lonely and are seeking a friend, or two, to laugh and cry with through your current stage of motherhood, I encourage you to find your tribe. Are you unsure of how to find your tribe?? Here are a few places to start.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Be open and accepting</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> The first step to finding authentic people that you can relate to and build lasting relationships with is to be your authentic self. When you are an open, honest, and accepting person, you will encourage others to behave the same. Be yourself, listen to what others have to say, accept others for who they are, and relationships will happen organically.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>It can be uncomfortable, scary even, to put yourself out there but the relationships far outweigh the risk when you find true friends. </span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">Common interests</span></p> <p class="p2"><span class="s1">There are times where finding people to start friendships with can be challenging. Especially when you have a big life change like a move, becoming a parent, or changing jobs. Take inventory of what you love to do or what groups are already existing that you could join. For example, if you love running, join a running club. If you love to read join or start a book club. If you are a mom, join a playgroup or a mother&rsquo;s group at a local church. Does the PTO at your school need help? Would you consider being a soccer coach or Boy Scout leader? All of these examples are great ways to get involved in your community and make friends along the way. After the birth of our triplets, I joined an online group of triplet moms. Four years later, I am surprised to say that they are some of my closest friends and one of my biggest support systems.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Give support and ask for it</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> One of the main things that makes a tribe so important is the support given and received during the times when it is needed most. When my daughter was hospitalized for several weeks, my mother&rsquo;s group supplied meals, gave my other kids rides to and from school, helped with childcare, sent flowers and cards, and basically kept my family going when my husband and I couldn&rsquo;t have done it on our own. They would not have known how to help if I hadn&rsquo;t reached out to them and asked. Asking for help can be hard for people who are used to managing the family and are good at it too, but remember that during difficult times friends want to help. Just ask. Conversely,<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp; </span>it can be such a blessing to help others when they need it. Giving a ride to school, making a little extra food to share, sending a text, or talking with a friend when they need a listening ear doesn&rsquo;t take much extra effort while going a long way to build your tribe. </span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1"> Finding your tribe can mean pushing yourself to step outside your comfort zone and reach out to others. While it is difficult to do at first, once you find a group of friends that understand and support you, it is well worth the time and effort put in to build and strengthen those relationships.</span></p> <p class="p3">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:00:00 -0800