The most important parenting skill is to manage yourself. Intervene before your own feelings get out of hand. Take care of yourself so you aren't venting on your kids. Stay calm, so you can access your own innate wisdom and generosity.
Go through each child's room with them and create a "give-away" box of gently used items to pass on to kids who need them. Don't force kids to share before they're ready. And don't force your kids to give things up "because others are needy." Giving shouldn't be painful.
Disrupted schedules, traveling with little ones, the crash and burn from all the excitement -- Holidays can easily be a recipe for tears and tantrums. How can parents manage life in December to maximize the joy and minimize the tears? Here, our top ten tips for creating a season of meaning and wonderful memories for yourself and your kids.
It's the thought that counts, and the love that goes into it. No need to spend a fortune on gifts, your kids will love making them for grandparents, cousins and teachers, and the recipients will treasure them. Remember that your goal is to have fun with your child and give a token of affection.
Want more family togetherness and deeper meaning this holiday season? First, just say no to everything that feels obligatory. Then pick a few traditions -- not a whole list. You'll find they gain meaning as you revisit them every year, regardless of whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, or Solstice.
I often hear from women concerning their husband's kids from a prior relationship. They notice that Dads who don't live with their kids find it challenging to stay connected, and describe the difficulties of integrating these kids into the family when they come to visit.
Wouldn't it be terrific if you found yourself on January 1, rested, refreshed, and contented with your life? Does this fantasy seem alluring, but impossible? It isn't. More and more parents are saying no to the Holiday Frenzy and inviting connection, joy and reflection into their homes in December.
Strong willed children can be a challenge to parent when they're young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults. They're self-motivated and directed, they go after what they want, and they are fairly impervious to peer pressure.
Children, like the rest of us, handle change best if it is expected and occurs in the context of a familiar routine. A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and to develop a sense of mastery in handling their lives. As this sense of mastery is strengthened, they can tackle larger changes.
"New motherhood is more difficult than any type of hazing I've ever heard about," my friend Holly commented the other night on the telephone. She's right. There is a certain amount of shock, determination, and honor in becoming a mother. There is endless laundry, exercises of trust and judgment...
Why are some women better mothers than others? Turns out that some women have more "love" hormones than others.
Children love ritual. Repetition, the comfort of belonging, the sense of wonder, magic, and celebration -- all create a bonding experience that nurtures both kids and parents, and holds families together.
All babies cry. Most babies cry a lot. Some babies are more easily comforted, others can routinely work themselves into a frenzy. Of course it sends your heart racing. That's Mother Nature's way of insuring that the human race survives.
I buy the idea that babies need another month or two in a womb-like environment to mature. But what do I do to create a this environment for my baby? Here are techniques to use when your baby cries, but they are also preventive tools to keep your infant from getting over-stimulated all day long:
Forget Baby Einstein. The single best way to increase your child's IQ is to read to her. Does she read every evening, not because it's assigned, but just for fun? Some kids do, and those are the ones who do better academically every step of the way.
My joy for my babes has always been fairly transparent. Put my three-year-old in front of me in a shining moment of cuteness or kindness or cleverness and I'm begging, groveling even, for hugs and kisses.
It's a shock when your previously sweet little girl starts tantrumming again. Twelve-year-old girls can be moody, over-dramatizing, self-centered, focused almost solely on friends, close-mouthed, surly, back-talking and condescending to parents. They can, of course, also be mature, affectionate and delightful, but at their worst...
Everyone knows that stress is bad for us, but why? Did you know that stress causes spikes in cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands? That's okay if you're grabbing your kid away from the side of the pool, but chronic high cortisol levels are bad for your body.
So she's off to school every morning now, like a big kid. But instead of the exuberance you expected, you find many days -- especially Monday -- starting with tears, or maybe a tummy-ache. Don't worry, it's not unusual for kids to need a little extra help adjusting to the start of school. What can you do?
Is your child's whining driving you crazy? Here, five parent-proven secrets for minimizing whining. Meet her basic needs. She may not tantrum as much as now as when she was a toddler, but she will certainly whine if you force her to endure that shopping trip while she's hungry and tired.