Tag - parenting tips

Pouring Into Our Children

If you’ve read any of my Love Languages blog posts you know that we all give and receive love in unique ways. Our children are no different. While you may feel loved and love by giving hugs (physical touch), your child may feel cared about more with kind words.

It’s important to pour into our children on a daily basis. While some days are easier than others the end result of them knowing you are on their side even when it feels like no one else is, is totally worth it.

Lately I’ve been reading “Love and Logic“, by Foster Cline, while it’s not a new book by any means it has some pretty relevant parenting tips. The more I read and hear people speak on the topic of parenting, the more I realize we only have these children in our care for 18 years. Then, most of them are out on their own, becoming their own people, and hopefully including us in their “grown-up” lives.

There are so many ways to let our children know we love them and support them, while also allowing them to learn life lessons and grow.

Here are a few ways (with love language guidance) you can show your children how much you care:

Words of Affirmation

Handwritten notes may come to mind as a way to express how we feel with words. To make notes a little more fun try to place them in areas that will surprise your children, tuck a sweet note in their shoe, or leave a thoughtful card in their backpack.

Physical Touch

Warm hugs can make any child melt if done at the right time and place. Be mindful of when you think your child may need a little extra TLC. Physical touch can be holding a hand, rubbing their back, or even playing with their hair.

Acts of Service

While it’s true a lot of parents are always showing their love through “acts of service”, folding laundry, picking up toys, but these things may go unnoticed, so try to think out of the box. What tasks do your children do for themselves that they might enjoy not doing once and a while? If your child packs their lunch, but doesn’t love it, why not make them an extra special one?! Bring the trash cans back to the house without them noticing, an act of service can be a delightful surprise. {This is not to say we should take over chores for our kids, but occasionally it can be seen by them as an act of love.}

Quality Time

Spending time doing homework or running errands with your child is time, but doesn’t quite quite qualify as “quality time”. Sorry parents!! If your child enjoys surprises, by all means, choose an activity that you can do together and surprise them after school or on a weekend. On the other hand, if your child is more of a planner, sit down with them and plan something fun to do together, this will double the quality time in both planning and doing.

 

Gifts

If you’ve read my blog post on gifts you’ll know the present doesn’t have to be extravagant, just thoughtful. It’s a really great idea to write down things that you’ve heard your child mention they really like, for example, if they say they really like pink roses, take note for a future day. If they are frustrated because their favorite markers are running low on ink, grab them a new pack and surprise them.

 

The only way we can truly pour into our children, no matter what Love Language they may have, is to invest in them. Your child doesn’t need to be your whole world, in fact they really shouldn’t be, {that’s another blog post}, however, just as with any relationship, you have to put time, effort, and care into it for it to flourish.

 

For those of you who read my blog, but aren’t parents or around children on a daily basis, can I encourage you to reach out to youth? You may not realize it, but you have so much to offer the next generations. Volunteer, find a neighbor, there are so many children who would benefit from your time, trust me.

What are you going to do to pour into your child(ren)??

Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them

I love exploring personalities and learning more about myself, my family, and friends and why we are the way we are. I feel like getting to know others is so valuable in understanding them, and so important for building relationships. One of my favorite tools is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

This tool helps you figure out how you and others love to be loved. If you ask me that’s pretty valuable. If you think so too, {I hope if you don’t you’ll think about why it might be a good idea to “step into someone else’s shoes”}, then I encourage you to check out The 5 Love Languages, there is a great website, books, and online resources available.

If you’d like to take the online test, head to The 5 Love Languages Website click “Learn Your Love Language” then select “Myself” or “My child” depending on whose love language you are trying to figure out.

*Note that the site starts quizzes at ages 5, which is in my opinion an appropriate age to start figuring out your child’s love language, if you are trying before this age you may have some difficulty answering the questions, but it won’t hurt to try, just know as they get older you want to retest as some answers may be swayed by maturity and not having certain life experiences.

The five Love Languages, in no specific order are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. It’s said to be true that more often than not we love others the way we like to be loved. So if you highly value physical touch for example then you are more likely to give others hugs and kisses when you want to show them love and similarly with other love languages.

 

 

On my blog I’ll be starting a series exploring ways you can show love to others using their love languages, because we know it’s easy to love the way we like to be shown love. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into other love languages and have some easy ways to show love.

 

An Introduction to Something New – Highly Sensitive Person

If you’ve never heard of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you may think I’m just talking about people who cry at commercials or don’t know how to take a joke, well believe it or not being a HSP isn’t about that.

According to Dr. Elaine Aron, the authority on HSP, at least 15-20% of animal species including humans are highly sensitive. In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, she takes a researched, in-depth look at highly sensitive people.

Just as no two people are alike, no two highly sensitive people are alike.

 

This quick test taken from The Highly Sensitive Person website:


Is this you?

Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

To take the self-test or read more about HSP check out: hsperson.com


 

**Before I continue about what my experiences have been please note I am continually learning more about HSP through Dr. Aron, online groups, and daily life. I am certainly not a medical professional or an expert on HSP.

 

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I stumbled upon HSP while looking for some tips that would help one of our daughters with some mild anxiety, little did I know, this discovery would make the past several years so much clearer as a parent and help me understand myself as well.

On my blog and social media channels I’ll be sharing my experiences with HSP both as an individual who is highly sensitive and as a mom raising two highly sensitive children. I hope that you will join me and share your own experiences as well.

 

Whether it’s someone you love who is highly sensitive or you yourself are highly sensitive or even if you’re just trying to understand others in this world, I encourage you to check out the many resources available, here are a few of my favorites:

 

Any Highly Sensitive Person books, specifically for parents – The Highly Sensitive Child

Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids

Happy Sensitive Kids

and also search Highly Sensitive groups on Facebook as well.

 

How about you? Are you familiar with HSP? Are you or someone you know an HSP???

NEW Pampers Easy Ups Toddler Unboxing

“This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers Easy Ups. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.”

 

 

Messes, accidents, and sometimes arguments!

Bet you wouldn’t guess I was describing the process of going from diapers to underwear for some families.  Transitioning into underwear is a big deal for every toddler and it’s a big deal for parents too. Let’s face it, the potty training journey can be a long one, so why not let Pampers make it a little easier.

 

We love Pampers and I’m always amazed at the innovative ways they improve their products to help families. The New Pampers Easy Ups are no exception. They fit like underwear with their 360 degree stretchy waistband, feel like underwear, look like underwear {with some really cool character graphics} and give your child the same great leak protection.

 

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Our friends who also love Pampers as much as we do got a fun surprise. Check out Julia and her big sister Ava:

 

 

With some great encouragement from her big sister Julia was excited to check out and try on her new big girl underwear. We are so excited for Julia and her family who are beginning this potty training journey.

 

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If you’re ready to start underwear training with your toddler, check out New Pampers Easy Ups. Pampers Easy Ups are available in sizes 2T all the way up to 5T.

 

Here’s a great coupon to get you started:

Warm up your printer for $2 off 1 pack of New Pampers Easy Ups Training Pants. Don’t forget you can also clip the Pampers Easy Ups coupon at: http://www.coupons.com/brands/pampers-coupons/

 

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, I’m giving away a package of Pampers Easy Ups of your choice {for a boy or girl} and because underwear training is such hard work, you deserve to treat yourself so how about a $50 Amex Card too?!?!

Here’s how to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit www.pampers.com to learn more about Pampers products, join the Pampers Rewards program, and find ideas and information to help your child get the most out of love, sleep, and play.

Tips for Parenting a Fearful Child

There are many reasons that children are fearful. Some reasons are based on their age, some reasons are a reaction to an event, some reasons are learned, and some are just a part of that child’s personality.

God gives us the exact child(ren) that we are supposed to parent. He knows us and He knows that child and He doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember when my children were full of worry and had fears about bugs, animals, the day ahead of them, I asked their pediatrician if their fears were normal. Each time I asked he assured that it was okay and normal for them to feel the way they did.

Some part of me however felt like I needed to fix them, to take away their fears, and I found myself praying that I could find a solution to calm their anxiety.

God had a solution for me, it wasn’t what I expected though.

God reminded me that He made my children JUST THE WAY THEY ARE for a purpose. I don’t need to “fix” my kids, I don’t need to do anything other than pray for them, thank God for their strengths and realize what I might consider weakness God will bring blessings to His name through every part of them if they allow Him to.

My biggest piece of advice to parents of fearful children would be to remember God is in control and your child His child is exactly as they are meant to be.

There are ways to not change, but helping your kiddos through tough situations. Tools that can be helpful for them and you to use to calm down or remind them also to trust in God include:

Prayer – Help them create a prayer or elements of a prayer that they can say when they are worried or scared.

Communicate – Often times your fearful child may not want to talk when they are afraid, but remind them that you are available to listen and help if they feel comfortable in that moment.

Read – Grab your Bible and find verses on fear and print them out on an index card and post them where your child (and you) will see them.

Online websites, and books have a wealth of knowledge to help you parent and help your child. I especially like God is Always Good, this book is perfect for children ages 4-8 and helps to comfort children through showing different situations where they may be scared as well. I love that each situation also has a corresponding Bible verse that you can remind your child of.

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This is a really sweet book, and I really enjoyed reading it to my girls, but also the communication and questions that came up as we were reading were invaluable. Kids can even read to each other!

 

Tips for Parenting Fearful Children

{Read a few pages HERE and Buy your copy HERE}

 

Also enter here to win your copy:

 

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As a Tommy Mommy I received a copy of this book. I am not compensated and all opinions expressed in this post are, as usual, my own.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy

Lil’ C, who in my opinion is MUCH too young to be losing baby teeth {4 years 5 months}, lost her first baby tooth today. My heart dropped a couple of months ago when the dental hygienist said she had two wiggly teeth. My baby, growing up, and this is one of the major physical milestones. I couldn’t believe it.

 

Lil C Lost Tooth

 

Even though Miss A has lost several teeth hers didn’t come out quite so soon. Then again do we ever really feel comfortable with our kids growing up?!?

For the first lost tooth in our house we celebrate, the Tooth Fairy brings a small gift instead of money, because it’s a big deal you know?!

 

The big questions is: To Fairy or not to Fairy.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy - Teaching your child about holidays

 

While Miss A knew the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real we haven’t told Lil’ C about her true identity yet mostly because we didn’t realize she would lose a tooth this soon, plus we want to make sure she can keep that secret from other kiddos whose parents want them to believe.

 

We have several friends on both sides of the fairy fence. Some friends get really creative, some do not celebrate at all, some celebrate but in a unique way, and then some fall in the middle like we do with playing make-believe but the kids know in the end it’s us helping them celebrate in what we feel a fun way.

If you haven’t decided how you want to approach this with your kiddos, here’s our point of view only and be sure to take all into consideration.

We often play make believe and dress up in our home, and by often I mean on a 20-minute cycle, these girls ADORE dress up! So when deciding if we wanted to do the tooth fairy it really fell into that category.

When it comes to other holidays  like Christmas, we tell the girls about how Saint Nick was a real man and we focus on that story of the spirit of giving. At Christmas they get a few meaningful gifts from us, but we ultimately celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ Birthday, same with Easter, we don’t do Easter baskets or bunny, but we do have a few fun faith-based activities coming next Spring to celebrate and honor what Easter means for us.

When do the girls REALLY get to celebrate??? Lots of times, including missing teeth, we celebrate them on their birthdays’ that’s totally their day, we also celebrate milestones like first day/last days of school, and have impromptu glow stick parties and dates with our kiddos, trust me, these girls {and their parents} know how to make some awesome memories.

So if you ever feel that telling your kiddos the truth about the Tooth Fairy and other holidays will spoil the fun for them, it really doesn’t have to. And if you don’t tell your kiddos that’s fine too. There are so many great ways to celebrate special occasions and the day-to-day as well.  Let’s make our family time together the best it can be!!

 

Consider sharing how you and your family celebrate to give other new families, or families trying to decide their traditions ideas.