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Planning Parenthood

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This week I struggled with writer’s block. So, I spontaneously asked my daughter, “Alicia, what should Mom blog about? She suggested that I write about planning to be a parent.

Are you in a season of planning parenthood? I tell you the truth. I discovered planning my family was more challenging than first thought.

Conception–  at age 35 I married Randy and I “planned” to have a honeymoon baby. Well, one month went by; no baby. Another month went by; no baby. When I spoke to friends, they informed me it could take up to a year to conceive. What? I surrendered it to the Lord and we conceived the next month. We welcomed our son Austin the following July.

Healthy pregnancy – at 36 I “planned” to have our second child. We conceived and unfortunately we lost our fetus at five weeks. Again, I surrendered our second child to God. We conceived again. Yet, during my first trimester, my OBGYN discovered cancer. You can read more about it at My Miracle. Praise God we welcomed our daughter Alicia the following September.

Give birth to a healthy baby – I “planned” to have healthy babies. Because I was over the age of 35, the doctors tested for potential genetic issues such as Spina Bifida,  Downs Syndrome, etc. I’ll be honest, these tests spurred a sense of fear in me. But I know fear doesn’t come from God. It is a tactic of the enemy. Again, I gave it to Him and thankfully we have two healthy children.

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Recover quickly – I “planned” to quickly recover from delivering my babies. It turns out, it took longer than expected to recover from my second delivery. I experienced more abdominal pain after my C – Section and I was exhausted raising a toddler and newborn.

Raise your child(ren) into adulthood – I remember thinking how fun it would be to have a baby…Their cute little toes and hand, smell so good, outfits are adorable, chubby cheeks, etc. BUT, I realized I was a Mom the first time I stayed up late one night nursing my sick infant back to health. It was difficult trying to sooth him while he struggles with fever, vomit and diarrhea at 2:00am. Walking my kids through life’s ups and down is challenging and yet so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anthying.

In sum, we make plans, but they don’t always come to fruition. However, we can believe that God works all things out for good.

And we know that in all things God works for

the good of those who love him, who have been called

according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 

Feel free to share your parenting planning with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Tumbleweeds

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Christmas 1978 (Me, Mom and my brother Greg)

As Christmas approaches, I’m so excited to participate in the  Christmas Blog Tour hosted by Blogs by Christian Women (BCW). If you’d like to follow along, the next stop on our tour is at Niki Roberts blog on 12/7.

Blessings, Rebecca

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Family traditions were important to my Mother. She was one of nine children who grew up in a family steeped in rituals. She hoped to create her own family traditions which she did despite my parents divorce when I was six-years-old.

At times, she held two jobs or sold catalog products to make ends meet. We had a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs. For that  I am forever grateful.

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My Mom, Georgia

The first year was especially tough. I remember going to the grocery store to purchase groceries with food stamps. I pondered in my heart why we didn’t use cash like other families.

Next to Easter, my Mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas. She loved the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus and wrapping presents.

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We lived in an apartment complex. One day, while walking past my neighbor’s door, their tree lights shimmered and the scent of fresh pine filled the air. I ran home, “When can we get a tree, Mom?”

“Next weekend,” she said.

I was so excited that I could barely contain myself.

That Saturday, we jumped in our Plymouth Belvedere and drove to nearby railroad tracks. We hopped out and started walking, “Where are we going?”

“We’re hunting for a Christmas tree sweetheart.” She grabbed a scraggly bush, “Here’s one. Help me find two more Becky.”

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I asked her, “What’s that in your hand?”

“It’s a tumbleweed,” she replied.

Suddenly, a gust of wind blew several more past me and I ran as fast as I could to catch them.

When we arrived home, she stacked one on top of the other and spray painted them gold. Sparkly!

“There, all done,” she said.

Afterwards, we popped some corn and carefully placed each kernel on a string. Before long, we had our first handmade decoration.

That night, as I laid in bed , I heard her sobbing. I crept into her room, “What’s the matter Mama?”

“Nothing Honey. I’m just a little sad; that’s all. You see, I want to get you and your brother some Christmas gifts this year, but I don’t have a lot of money.”

“It’s okay Mom. We don’t need anything. Please don’t cry.”

Two weeks later, Christmas arrived. To my surprise, there were beautifully wrapped boxes under our tree. “Eeee! Did Santa bring us all these presents,” I squealed.

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“Yes, he did,” she beamed.

I gingerly opened the first one, savoring each tare of the pretty paper,  “I’ve always wanted this record!” Next, came a Shirley Temple color book and sharp new crayons. Then, a pair of rainbow colored socks. Finally, a tin of delicious Almond Roca candy.

I later discovered she worked overtime to purchase our gifts. That Christmas, my Mom taught me a valuable lesson of sacraficial love.

A few years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a similar situation unable to buy a Christmas tree for our two young children.

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Randy, Rebecca, Austin and Alicia Christmas 2010

Two weeks before Christmas a friend from church, asked, “Did you get your Christmas tree yet?”

Sheepishly, I said, “Not yet. We can’t afford one.”

The following day, Lynda showed up at our home with a brand new six foot artificial tree. “Now, you’ll always have a tree for your kids.”

My voice cracked, “I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much.”

Christmas arrived and our children ran to see our tree just like I did when I was a child. They looked at their presents and were astonished,  “Wow! Did Santa give us all these gifts?”

“Yes, he did,” I said beaming.

Christmas is a very special holiday season. I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions. Feel free to comment below.

Harvest Family Tradition

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Holiday traditions are fun and important. In fact, Marriage and Family research shows, that  “Traditions are the cement that keeps the family together . . . and help you withstand the storms that come.”

One of our harvest time family traditions is to visit a pumpkin patch, pick a pumpkin, and bring it home to carve it.

It’s fun to go to a farm and look for the perfect pumpkin. I wonder, Will it be big, medium or small? Will it be green, white or orange in color? Will we free hand our design and rough cut it with a table knife or will we use special stencils and delicate carving tools?

It delights my heart, as a parent, to watch my children squeal with delight as they make many choices such as where to place our pumpkin. Do we put it on the porch or do we perch it on the windowsill?

When our kids were younger, we hosted annual pumpkin carving contests in our backyard. We’d invite friends and family to join us, and it was a blast to see how everyone’s pumpkin came out.

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We’d set up tables with newspaper to catch all the leftover pulp, and place pumpkin carving utensils/stencils out.

Our family also collects pumpkin seeds, sprinkles salt, and bakes them at 300F for approximately 45 minutes or until brown. Yum!

Here’s a picture of this year’s blank canvas. I can’t wait to see to see how it turns out! Each year offers something new and exciting.pumpkin

What is your family tradition during the harvest season? Does your children’s school or church group host an annual harvest festival? Do you go on any special field trips? I’d love to hear your thoughts/suggestions. Feel free to comment below.

Tough Times

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This past week has been tough! My life seemed like a roller coaster with its ups and downs; twists and turns. First, we were blessed with a new place to live. The kids were excited to unpack their boxes, and I was thrilled to move in before winter hit.

Yesterday, we explored our new surroundings, and hiked to Eagles Landing observation deck. I marveled at the amazing vista of Scotts Valley, California!

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Second, my friend Dianna Cornell passed away of kidney complications. I miss her smile, hugs and encouraging words. She was an awesome friend, and taught me how to blog using WordPress. I featured her Guest Blog on February 23, 2015.

Dianna loved the Lord. The good new is she’s now present with Him and pain-free. Although, it is a sad time for her family and friends, it’s also a hopeful time in that one day we will see her again in Heaven.

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During this topsy turvy time, I’ve learned four things that have helped me cope.

  1. Focus on God – I find that when I start my days reading my Bible and praying to God, it always goes smoother. His peace helps me through my hectic day.
  2. Prioritize Activities – I know I can’t possibly do everything all the time. So, I write what needs to be done down and determine what needs to be done first. Once I complete it I cross it off my “To Do” list and move on to the next task.
  3. Persevere – When I feel overwhelmed, I remember to press through and keep going. Otherwise, if I stop or slow down, work piles up and I feel worse. So, I do what I can without compromising my sanity or healthy.
  4. Ask for Help – I’m extremely independent. So, this is next item is definitely a learned behavior for me. If I need assistance, I now ask my husband, son, daughter, other family or friends for help. They are always eager to help in time of need.

My hope is these simple steps can help you during a stressful season of life. I’d love to hear how you have successfully navigated through tough times. Fee free to share your insight with us.

Guest Blog by Lynyetta G. Willis, PhD

Lynyetta G. Willis, PhD, is the author of My Forgotten Self, to be released this November. As a psychologist, teacher, speaker, and author, Dr. Willis has woven spirituality into her healing work with individuals and families for over fifteen years. Dr. Willis lives with her husband and their two children in Georgia. Please welcome Dr. Willis!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Eight Questions to Ask Yourself before You Begin Nurturing Your Child’s Spiritual Identity

Children rely upon the adults in their lives to guide and encourage them. As a result, we have a huge impact on how children view themselves and the world around them. However, it is difficult to teach what we do not know. As a psychologist who specializes in spiritual and religious identity development, when my first child was born, I struggled to find ways to transform my knowledge into a form I could use to consciously nurture my child’s spiritual identity. I soon realized that I needed to consciously explore my spiritual identity and develop ways to consciously model the aspects of my spiritual identity I wanted to pass onto my child.

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The following eight questions were crucial to guiding my initial steps toward nurturing my child’s spiritual identity:

  1. Who am I as a spiritual being and how does this belief impact how I show up in the world and in the life of my child?
  2. How was I introduced to spiritual beliefs—what about this introductory process worked and what didn’t?
  3. How can I use the wisdom gained through my spiritual development process to help and not hinder my child’s spiritual development?
  4. How do I teach my child about concepts I believe are important but difficult to explain (e.g. faith, connection to an internal divine source, the power of love)?
  5. How do I live a life guided by spirit and not just religion; a life that models the importance of “being” in the moment and not just “doing” for the next moment?
  6. How do I guide my child to understand that she can live a life driven by love or her divine purpose, as opposed to a life driven by fear?
  7. What are my emotional wounds and fears, and how can I manage them so they do not limit my child’s growth?
  8. At least once a day, how can I model what it means to consciously live through this spiritual identity?

For many of us, answers to these or similar questions may not come quickly. We may need to unlearn limiting beliefs or heal from emotional wounds that keep us stuck and distracted. As adults, we must first remember our spiritual identity before we can fully empower our children to stay in alignment with theirs.

Sharing is Caring

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Thank you for sharing. It shows me you are caring are the lyrics to a song we sing in pre-school. Yet, it’s my observation kids’ least favorite activity is sharing toys. It’s my experience that children will inevitably want the same toy to play with at the same exact time. The rule at our school is to ask your friend, “Can I be next?” Then the other child will respond, “Yes,” play for awhile and hand over the item. However, there are times when a child will respond, “No!”

Why is it so hard to share? Like when you are savouring a delicious meal and your spouse asks, “Can I have a bite?” Of course you give them some, but deep down you may be thinking, “No!”

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Sharing appears to be a learned behavior varying from culture to culture. Some people share everything with others such as their money, time, house, car, clothes, food, etc.

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I believe the ultimate act of sharing is when God gave His one and only begotten son, Jesus, to be a randsome for the world’s sin. Often, I look at my thirteen-year-old son,  and am reminded of His loving sacrifice.

How do you share or teach your children to share? Or has anyone shared something special with you? Please tell us below.

Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries

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JUNE HUNT is Founder and CSO (Chief Servant Officer) of Hope for the Heart, a worldwide biblical counseling ministry started in 1986. The ministry provides biblical hope and practical help in 27 languages and over 60 countries. She also hosts the award-winning radio program Hope In The Night. . Her numerous books include Seeing Yourself Through God’s EyesHealing the Hurting Heart, and Bonding with Your Teen through Boundaries.

Combined, the broadcasts air on nearly 900 outlets worldwide. One of the world’s leading biblical counselors, June is also an accomplished musician, popular speaker and top-selling author dedicated to presenting God’s Truth for Today’s Problems.

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Review

As a mother of a tween and a teen, I was riveted by all the sound biblical/parental advice given in June Hunt and PeggySue Wells’ book Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries! I struggled to put it down. I am excited to share my thoughts on it as well as offer you a chance to win your own FREE copy of Hunt’s book at the end of this post!

The first part of their book is devoted to explaining what are healthy boundaries and their benefits. In the second half, Hunt and Wells discuss tough topics such as lying, anger, cheating, cliques, wardrobe, disrespectfulness, gossip, tattling, whining, homework hassles, peer pressure, substance abuse, stealing, tardiness, etc. Each issue is thoroughly reviewed with an example and prudent tips are given on how to handle each situation.

Each page spoke to me as a Mom, because I’ve faced and may face trials in our family. Hunt and teach us how to draw and maintain boundary lines in order to build strong relationships with our precious children. While reading the chapter on back talk, my daughter said something sassy and rolled her eyes at me as if on queue. I put my book down, and tried implementing their simple recipe for respectful communication…and it worked!. Now, I have the tool to maintain the behavior until it becomes part of her character.

One of my favorite chapters is about bullying. As a society, it’s become epidemic as evidenced on many talk shows, social media, news and self-defense classes offered. Hunt and Wells give practical advice on how to look for signs of bullying, and what to do if your child is being bullied or is a bully.

Like you, I want to raise my son and daughter with strong godly character. Using sound tools such Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries helped me to be a better parent. So, if you too are looking for practical tips with spiritual insight, I highly recommend Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries!

Disclaimer: No compensation was received for this book review; just passing on a Good Read.

Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to read Bonding with Your Child through Boundaries as we’re giving away a FREE copy. I’d love to hear from other Moms and Dads seeking to raise their children with godly character. Simply comment below on what boundaries you set and how do you implement/maintain them? Your name will then be placed in a drawing.

On September 14, 2015, we will randomly select a winner. The winner must supply his/her mailing address to us no later than September 21. One Free copy will then be shipped directly to the winner’s address provided.

Guest Blog by Eileen Turay

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I’d like to introduce Eileen Turay. She has a Masters of Science in Counseling with a school specialization. She’s worked with children with Autism for a few years using ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), and taught at both preschool and elementary levels. She’s married, has a three-year-old daughter, two dogs, and they live in South Florida.

She shares some great free and cheap ideas to do with children. Please welcome Eileen Turay!

Blessings, Rebecca

Our top 8 fave FREE and CHEAP things to do with Kids

Since I currently work full time, I am always looking for new fun things for Olivia and I to do on the weekends. Though going to get Bagels and Starbucks are among our top two faves, they get old quickly; so, I thought I would make a list of some of our favorite inexpensive and free things that Olivia and I like to do together.

1. Make breakfast together. Pancakes are not only pretty simple to make, they are easy for a three-year-old to help make. Liv loves nothing more than to stir up the batter. I know, it can get messy, but it is worth it. When she feels helpful, it makes us both happy. Then we sit on the couch in our jammies and yell at the dogs together for trying to eat our food.

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Eating breakfast together. parenting fun

 2. Go to a new park. HYPE IT UP! When I ask if Olivia wants to go to the park, I never know what she is going to say; but if I ask her if she wants to try a BRAND NEW AMAZING SUPER AWESOME park, she is IN! Google parks in a 30 mile radius from your house. If you see graffiti, gang signs, and broken glass you may want to try another one… but that’s the fun in the adventure right?

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Fun at the Park

3. Festivals. Greek, music, dog, school, asparagus (yep.. that’s a real one in Stockton, CA lol) Look them up and go!! You may have to argue with your child a bit about why $5 a ticket for the bounce house is not happening… but you can probably distract her with a sweet swag bag compliments of the local Bank Branch booth.

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Fun and Free Festivals

 4. FORTS. I cannot stress how amazing forts are. From ages 2-34 (my husband as proof), forts can be lots of fun. You have to be willing to just say goodbye to any chance of having decent couch cushions ever again; but honestly, if you have a three-year-old, you’ve already had the sofa funeral.

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Fort Fun. Making a Mess

5. Anything wet. If you have the space for it, a tiny pool or water table. If you live in an apartment like us, find the nearest spray ground/beach/lake/pool. This one is a given. Olivia almost always says she doesn’t want to go; then she always has a blast. Here is the trick: you need to get wet too. I don’t know why I am sharing this or why it is such a stand out memory to me: but as a child, my mom never wanted to swim with us. We swam at my grandparents’ pool all the time and she NEVER got into a bathing suit to swim with us. Dad? always down… but mom was never a fan of water/swimming. I STILL remember like yesterday when one of the other adults pushed her into the pool one time with all of us with all her clothes on. I know she was mad at first but she ended up laughing. I thought it was the MOST FUN swim day we ever had as kids. It is such a simple thing, but your kid does NOT care what you look like in a bathing suit. She just wants you to be part of the fun. So be a part of it. She will remember. I still do.

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Free and Fun Things to do, Water Fountain 

6. Picnics. Eating a PBJ in your house=lame. Eating a PBJ on a blanket or picnic table anywhere else=awesome. For some reason, doing things like eating sandwiches at novel locations always seems to be a good time.

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Fun, Free Picnic.

 

7. Crafting. We live in FL so we are not short of Coconuts to paint. If you live somewhere where pinecones or large rocks inhabit, paint those. If big leaves are all you have to work with, use those. Its innate in children to pick up/collect/borderline hoard things they find in nature every day. If I had a rock for every time Olivia collected a stick…. oh yah, I do… and there are a lot. If you don’t want to buy paint, use what you have. Glue and ripped paper is a great time 🙂

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8. READ. People are amazed at Olivia’s vocabulary everywhere we go. I can honestly say that her intelligence is highly attributed to the amount of books we read together. We have read to her at night time since she was a tiny baby. She barely sat still for the longest time. At some point, however, she began to go from “fidgety toddler who barely made it through one story” to “mommy you skipped a page” (I swear I didn’t mean to… ok I did… but now she catches me so I had to stop). If you don’t always remember to read to your child, it’s ok! If you don’t have the time to do it at night, make it. I promise you, the bonding that comes from routine reading time is immeasurable. It is one of our favorite things to do.

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Reading to your Kids

 Spend time not money.

Visit our website at www.livandleen.com for more parenting tips and tricks, and learn from my mistakes before you make your own.

A special thanks to Rebecca for letting us into your community. It’s always better when we Liv and Leen totegher J

Eileen Turay

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Here are some other ideas for fun stuff to do with your kids:  Fun Stuff

PS. Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure is now available in paperback!

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Guest Blog from Catherine McMullen

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Catherin hales from Davison, Michigan. She’s worked in early childhood education for 16 years; the last 9 at  Head Start agency. She worked her way up from a Lead Teacher to a Home Visitor and now an Education Coordinator. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She has a three -year-old Boston Terrier named Jagger. She is also an avid runner! She’s included some helpful parenting links for you at the end of her blog. Please welcome Catherine McMullen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Parent/Child insight-Catherine McMullen

First I think it is important to note that parental insight differs, sometimes greatly from child insight. Naturally parents see or internalize situations from a different perspective than children. So, that makes it easy to understand why these two parties are usually at opposite ends. However, closing this gap as much as we can will strengthen the parent-child relationship, further supporting a positive bond between the two.

This subject was a topic of conversation for me this past weekend. Over a lunch with a good friend of mine who also works in the field of education with me. We discussed a recent child’s birthday party that I attended.

I recalled how much fun it was. I mean the parent’s had it on a sunny and hot Saturday in July. It was perfect! It was so beautiful outside. They had the pool open and clean, filled with toys and kids! We grilled out with yummy food. Everybody seemed happy visiting and socializing. I remember thinking, Wow this mom and dad really put a lot of thought, energy, and work into making this a great day.  This is an act of love for sure. The birthday boy was turning nine He had a blast playing with his friends in his pool! He seemed to be having a great day, a spectacular birthday party filled with love and excitement.

Keep this in mind: when I first arrived a young boy who was already in the pool sprayed unsuspecting victims with a squirt gun. This is unsurprising child play, right?!! Yes, but to those who did not want to get wet, it was not seen as fun nor welcoming.

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So back to the party. It was now toward the end of my venture at this wild and crazy party. I was standing outside of the pool area preparing to say, “Goodbye” When out of the pool came that little trigger happy boy. He was tattling on the birthday boy. It seemed has if he was having a change of heart about that fun pool play. Now, I am not exact on what he tattled or what the birthday boy may or may not have done. It doesn’t matter.

This is where parental insight needs to try all it’s might and match the child’s insight.

The mom, like many, walked over to the pool. I’m sure had a discussion with him about the accusations, and met with opposition. Not surprising! He’s a 9 year-old boy, who was surrounded by friends and fun.

I am not sure how he displayed his opposition. That doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is to know and keep in the forefront of our minds that parental reaction or “insight” into a situation, is so much more advanced. We, as adults, have the luxury of being able to use our developed brain and think through problems and situations before we respond.

This doesn’t happen enough.

Instead of taking the time to fully and appropriately understand the birthday boy’s perspective on the situation, his mom engaged in the infamous power struggle. She pulled him out of the water, forcefully pushed him to sit in an outlying lawn chair, and continued to yell her frustrations at him.

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This is a classic example of how the gap between parent and child insight can directly lead to the malfuncion and deterioration of discipline and other strategies are used. This is what my point was while discussing this over lunch. The differing of insights on this particular situation allowed for an ineffective discipline method.

The child’s brain is not as mature as adult’s. They are emotional creatures meaning, and tend to be run by their feelings. They cannot easily detach as we can from an emotional situation and gain logical perspective. We, as adults, are more able to know if we are heading into a power struggle we can make choices to step away from the situation to gain some distance to allow our rational thinking to kick in.

In my line of work I see many parents unable to do this or simply not taking the time to process situations this way to gain the proper insight. Which leads to ineffective strategies and frustrations on all parenting fronts.

So, she saw this as removing him from a situation where he was misbehaving (or was he defending himself?) by taking him to a secluded place to get her point across.

However, a further differing insight of this situation was, she pulled him out of the pool in front of all his friends, grabbed his arm pushing him across the yard further humiliating him for everybody to see, and then continued to disrespect him by yelling her words at him.

I’m sure in the heat of the moment, she didn’t see it at all this way. In her mind, she’s solving a problem. But,in the birthday boy’s mind, further problems were being made.

These different perspectives are not conducive for parent-child relationships. Children do not learn anything from this situation, because they stay in the emotional part of their brain, which does not allow for proper and successful processing to further allow meaningful learning from the situation.

This shows us how important it is for us as adults to detach from emotional power struggles with children, in order to close the gap between the two insights to progress in positive and meaningful relationships.

http://consciousdiscipline.com/about/conscious-discipline-for-parents.asp

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/parent-child-relationships.pdf

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Just a friendly reminder if you enjoy our blogs, please click on Top 25 Mommy Blog icon…thank you!

Guest Blog by Leilani White

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I met Leilani as a fellow Mommy blogger. I asked her to share her parental insight with us, and she writes about being a mom and stepmom.

Unfortunately, movies and television often portray Stepmothers as not so nice. Let’s turn that perception around, because there are a lot of awesome Stepparents who are loving and caring. Please welcome Leilani White!

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How many out there are stepparents? I’m a mother of 4. Trinity is 15, Leonard III is 11, Alana is 5, and LaRae is 3. They definitely keep me on my toes (especially the 5 year old), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m a stepmother to the older two, but I’ve always worked very hard at making sure all four kids feel equally loved, nurtured, and pushed to excel in their strengths.  

The job of a stepparent is a very thankless job, and not everyone is cut out for the task. Being a stepchild myself, I believe that there are two kinds of stepparents out there: the kinds that treat the kids as if they’re their own, and the kind that don’t.

Growing up, I had a stepdad who always provided for me, but he never took any real interest in me, or anything that I took interest in. So when I met my husband and eventually met his kids, I made sure that I didn’t push myself on them. I gave them the respect they deserved, and they gave me the same in return. That was seven years ago, and now I have a total of four kids.  

I make sure that each child knows independently that I love them and why I love them. I point out little differences that set them apart from my other kids, so that they know they’re unique, and I love and admire their uniqueness. I acknowledge their strengths, and help them grow from their weaknesses. 

Whether you’re a stepparent or not, it’s important to make children know that they’re loved and that you’re always in their corner. It’s never to early to teach them what unconditional love is. Children need stability, a firm foundation to build on, and love poured into them. It takes a special person to be an awesome stepparent, and even though I’ve been one for seven years, I’m still learning new things everyday. There have been plenty of times that I’ve had to apologize for not handling something the right way, even with my own kids. But they all know that I love them to the end, and they know that they’re all an intricate tool that makes our family run smoothly. It’s definitely a full time job, but the love I have for all my kids in the end, make it all worth it. 

Leilani White

www.lyfeshowsup.com

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