Tag Archives: parenting

Parenting differences.

I’m a fairly carefree parent. I do discipline my little ones but I’m certainly not as ‘strict’ as I’ve been told I should be.

I often get ‘looks’ and ‘opinions’ on how I am with my children. They are not ‘brats, however I also know that they are not ‘angles’.

In the past year I’ve had a few mothers distance themselves from us. I’m pretty sure it’s either because I’ve offended them, or my children have. I know this as when we have ‘bumped’ into each other and I’ve suggested a catch up or play date, the conversation either changes or there becomes a strange and uncomfortable silence.

We all parent differently and we all do what works for us.

We all have different needs and expectations within our family’s. I know I don’t judge others by their parenting skills, it’s what works for them, so why should they judge me?

I posted another related article a few weeks ago about ‘if my child is being an ‘A Hole’ please tell me.’ I think this post coincides with that.

We all have differences, don’t judge, don’t distance but please speak up. I find it more offensive to pull away than to tell me the truth. I know I may not appreciate your opinion, however at least I will know where I stand with you and why those awkward conversations and silences hsppen.

Dealing With Parenting Differences Among Friends, Family And Kind Strangers

Tips on raising resilient boys to help them thrive. By Maggie Dent.

Tips on raising resilient boys to help them thrive.
By Maggie Dent.

Maggie Dent is an expert in helping Australian parents raise resilient, strong and loving men. Her passion for helping boys comes from alarming statistics, revealing they’re more likely to take greater physical risks, get injured in accidents and sport, and face bigger mental health risks as they grow into men.

When Maggie holds parenting lectures, the room is full of mostly women – mums wanting the best advice on parenting their sons.

Help boys feel secure.
Boys may be expected to be tougher than girls, but in reality, all children can feel berated and vulnerable in certain situations.

Tip: Give your boy small cues to remind them they’re loved. For example, a little tickle, wink or high-five.

Modify language.
Boys develop language skills a lot later than girls.This is because the right hemisphere of the brain develops more so than the left. When boys become frustrated, they can sometimes default to anger since they don’t have the words to express how they’re feeling.

Tip: Use hand gestures as well as speech to explain what you need or want them to do. Boys also respond to visual signs more than verbal, so avoid calling out to them from another room.

Build bridges of connection.
Building little love bridges, or moments of connection, makes boys feel like they matter. Boys need to see constant loving action as well as verbal affirmations of love.

When boys are naughty it can feel like they’re intentionally being disrespectful, rude or forgetful. Reframe that idea, and know that at times, they really can only focus on one thing, and that they’re not good with change. If we understand how our sons process information, and accept they are genuinely more forgetful than girls, more allowances can be made and frustration can be kept at bay.

Tip: Try to avoid enquiring about school immediately after the day has finished — they’re exhausted and need time. Allow them to come to you when they’re ready to talk, and create moments of loving connection that they can hold on to.

Curb physicality and roughness.
Men are biologically wired to be physical. They have a larger amygdala and more testosterone, so their type of play can be quite rough.
Tip: Keep it safe by setting simple guidelines: try avoid hurting yourself, others, and damaging things.

Expect testosterone surges.
Boys have testosterone surges around the ages of 4, 10 and 14. Be mindful that this can mean excess energy for them.

Tip: Keep boys physically active in large spaces outside the home. Also, set them exciting, challenging tasks that require concentration – they’ll be much calmer afterwards.

Six motherhood truths for those days when you want to quit.

Written by Rachel from Finding Joy.

Six motherhood truths for those days when you want to quit.

It’s overwhelming at times isn’t it?

Those days, those days longing to be a parent, they’re long gone and now, now you’ve found yourself here. In the midst of motherhood. At times feeling like you are drowning in things that once looked exciting, cute, and fun. Sure there are the fun moments, the moments that look like the Pampers commercial that you helped pay for with your years of purchasing diapers, but often, often motherhood, and motherhood in the midst, is a great deal of surviving through the day.

And sometimes we forget that those feelings of surviving are in fact moments of thriving.

Moments of discovering yourself, of getting stronger, and honestly, changing the world just a teeny bit day by day. So today, today I’m sharing with you six truths to remember on those days when you feel like throwing in the motherhood towel for a moment.

Here are six things you must remember during those motherhood days.

1. Throw the idea of failing out. (read Dear Mom Who Feels Like She is Failing)

So you had a bad day – that doesn’t mean you failed. It is a day. Or maybe a week. Or a season. But seriously, there is not all bad in everything. It’s perspective, truly. Maybe your birthday party was just ordinary with not one hand made item – not failing. You bought the juice boxes with the high fructose corn syrup and brought them to soccer – not failing. You forgot to sign them up for dance – not failing. Your child was the one screaming at the checkout line because you wouldn’t purchase the $3.99 Little Pet Shop that was placed at convenient preschool level – not failing. Normal, really.

Yet, you and I, we live in a world where all of these externals could so easily grade us as mothers. Seriously, now, sweet mom, do those things really matter? No. The grade of motherhood isn’t based on external perfection. True failure happens when one quits. You’re up now. Reading these words. And as you read them you, the mother, are a warrior – a silent diaper changing nose wiping picking up books folding socks driving to soccer making dinner with nothing in the pantry warrior. That’s not failing. That’s fighting.

2. Even if you’re not thanked what you are doing matters.

This. Again. You may not be thanked. You may feel that what you are doing doesn’t matter. You may feel that you are not valued. You may feel like those kids of yours hate you. You may feel like you’re in the midst of the most thankless job around. But, here’s the deal – what you do every single day matters even though often it feels like not much. So I’m telling you today – thank you. Thank you for getting up at night. Thank you for helping with math homework. Thank you for counting to ten when you wanted to scream. Thank you for saying I’m sorry after you got too mad. Thank you. I stand up and I applaud you and all the other mothers that read this site applaud you. You are amazing.

3. You will never be the same.

It is impossible to make it through motherhood without being the same. Impossible. Motherhood means giving of the heart and investing in the heart of others and in that process a beautiful metamorphosis takes place. You’re still you – with all of your beautiful gifts and dreams and desires and talents – but now you’ve adapted to take those gifts and to combine them with the beauty of motherhood. Yes, the beauty. Even though often it doesn’t feel beautiful. It still is. One painting, one hug, one chocolate chip cookie batch, one buckling up in the carseat, after another day.

Don’t lose the beautiful premotherhood part of you. Continue to cultivate it and let your children see you thrive as well. So you love art? Paint. Gardening? Garden. Reading books? Read. Running? Run. Teach them your skills, tell them about what you love, and explore life together. Motherhood isn’t about losing self instead it’s about growing self and sharing self with those children blessed to call you mom.

4. The ordinary moments are the most beautiful. (read Seeing Motherhood: Why the Little Things Matter)

Little things matter. If there was one thing I’d want to tattoo on my arm as a reminder to me it would be those words. Or, lol, maybe I should just get a shirt or a coffee mug instead. But, here’s the deal, sweet mother who needs a reminder today about the value of motherhood – the little moments matter. And often the most. Do you know what I remember about my mother? I remember a time where we sat in the kitchen after cutting corn off the ears because we were freezing it and she looked at my dad and smiled and loaded us all in the car and we went to Dairy Queen. And then once there, when I got ready to order my standard cherry dilly bar she looked at me and told me to get whatever I wanted. I remember – that peanut buster parfait was my favorite one ever. She probably doesn’t. But, I do. It was a little thing. A little moment. That has stuck with me all these years. As does the time she put a note in my second grade red Tupperware lunch box with the individual boxes that now would be incredibly cool even though I always wanted one of those tin ones. The note said I love you Rachel. Have a good day. And I remember it.

So savor those little things. They matter. The little notes. The hugs. The times spent resting in the grass looking at the clouds. The times in the car where you listen to their music and try to appreciate what they love. They matter.

5. Everyone’s motherhood story is different and yet all equally important.

Your story is different from my story which is different from my neighbor Maria’s story which is different from the mom at your preschool’s story and on and on. And that is beautiful. And important. Embrace each other’s stories – don’t compare – but instead learn to celebrate. Maybe you are a horrible cook but fabulous at gardening. Trade. Bless each other. You provide the veggies and she the meal. That’s doing life together. We can’t do everything perfectly. And honestly? Perfection would get old. There is beauty in imperfection.

Motherhood in reality is living in imperfection. There are spills, fights, lost homework, meals that are totally disliked, days where a shower seems like a gift, deadlines, and more. But there are also hugs, I love you’s, moments where you watch them sleep and just breathe, and times of bliss. Mine will look different than yours. But they’re both beautiful. Celebrate each other’s story. Don’t compete.

6. Moms are heroes. Real, everyday heroes.

A hero, according to Merriam-Webster, is one who shows great courage. When you stepped into motherhood you demonstrated great courage. No longer was your life centered on you, but now, your life is a beautiful example of giving. Of fighting for your children. I know you fight dear mother. Some of you fight for their health, for their hearts, for their time, for them to go to bed, but whatever you do you fight. And that matters. That’s part of being a hero.

You’re a hero when you get up when you’re exhausted. You’re a hero when you give of your food for them because they’re still hungry. You’re a hero when you try to do those pinterest crafts (for real). You’re a hero when you forget your agenda and sit on the couch and read. You’re a hero when you fold those clothes after they’re all dumped out again. You’re a hero when you want to quit and you keep fighting. You’re a hero. And when you feel otherwise, take a moment, and look at all you do in one day. And then remind yourself that you, as a mother, you are truly amazing.

Six truths.

For moms. In whatever stage of motherhood you find yourself today.

Onward, brave mother. Onward.


Stress free toddler!

Being a parent is the hardest job I’ve ever had, however by far the most rewarding.

All the academic qualifications can never prepare you for being a parent. A new adventure and or challenges on a daily or sometimes hourly basis.

Hold tight though, they are only little once and these ‘testing’ times will pass and perhaps we will look back and wonder why we thought they were so hard?


Taming the toddler!

Taming the toddler!

Dressing my 2 year old of late feels like I’m wrestling a crocodile – not that I’ve wrestled a croc but it seems that since he started preschool, a whole new world has begun!

Simple tasks like dressing him is full on with him running around being cheeky and making it more of a game, I get one leg of his pants in then he runs off expecting me to chase him with the only contained leg falling out, back to square one.

Although this is cute and can be a fun game, I’m 6 months pregnant and get out of breath easily and also can’t move as quick as I normally can nor can I manoeuvre myself as well with my tummy! The simple task of dressing that once took 5 minutes now can take up to 20.

He only goes to preschool 1 day per week and has only been a handful of times. This is also his first time in any day care / preschool facility as I’m a stay at home mum and whilst I was working he had a nanny one day per week whom would come to our home and care for him there, therefore he was still in his comfort zone.

So since starting preschool – which I do believe is good for him and will get better, the drop offs are very hard with tears and tantrums from my lil guy and him shouting ‘me no likey preschool’. ‘I go home now’ and ‘peese mummy no go’. Breaks my heart every time! Perhaps I’m just a clingy mum or not tough enough? However I am re assured by the centre director and other staff that he does calm down and settle after approx 15 minutes of me leaving.

I also know that it’s not the preschools fault that he is behaving this way, he is only 2 and being put in a new environment can be challenging for anyone.

On pick up I get the best reception from him with a huge smile then him running towards me followed by huge hugs having both his innocent little arms tightly wrapped around my neck and have him almost climbing up on top of me to get closer then followed by a big kiss. Makes my whole day to get that love from him as I certainly do miss him.

That evening and next day though can be tiring as he becomes extremely clingy and needing with him following me everywhere I go and holding my hand even walking around our home.

This I love, but bed time becomes another challenge with him no wanting to go to bed alone and insisting that I stay in his bedroom with him. If i try to leave I get tears and heartbreak. I think to myself, be tough and just make him stay alone to sleep but then my softer side says, why not sit with him, he is two and he won’t want me to ‘hold him’ for too many more years. Yes he says in the sweetest little voice ‘peese mummy old me’ which means he would like my hand to rest on his heart whilst he falls asleep – bless him.

He has also learnt lots of new sentences, including him putting his finger across his lips and saying ‘shhh, stop it, sit down’ something I’m guessing his teachers must say? And another one ‘umm I dont think so’. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad his vocabulary is expanding and he is learning better sentences however not sure I like those particular sentences coming from my ‘just turned 2 little guy?.

Another wonderful side effect from day care is the lashing out. He has certainly been asserting himself, mainly with other boys and generally it’s a jealous thing, like them playing with his toys or even being too close to me. He has never been an aggressive or rough child but the past 2 weeks have shown me that he can be quite rough with pushing and throwing things.

From studying my counselling course I’ve learnt that it’s very normal for a toddler or child to lash out or behave aggressively when they have a major change in their young lives as they are stamping out their emotions, asserting themselves and also trying to work out how and where they fit into the change.

It’s almost like they are pushing boundaries to see how far they can get, asserting themselves and making their own path. This does settle down but it’s a big adjustment for them.

Should you try to tame a toddler?

My theory is to allow them to show their personality but set boundaries. I’m not going to raise a brat or disrespectful child. My little man already has boundaries and though I do discipline him I also explain why I’m disciplining him and try to help him understand what he has done wrong and how not to do it again.

I’m not huge on smacking but I do believe in time out. I sit my little guy on his bed, get down to his eye level, ask him to look at me whilst I’m talking to him and speak to him in an assertive but compassionate voice. I don’t like to raise my voice but he does recognise the difference in the tone in my voice and that he is in trouble. He then sits on his bed with the door closed for 2 minutes. I then go back to his room and explain again what he has done wrong and generally find that he is remorseful.

I’ve heard that 3 year olds are worse than 2 year olds? Gosh! I love my little guy more than the world but he certainly tests me and keeps me on my toes at times, here is for hoping 3 isn’t worse!

How do you tame your toddler?

What are your experiences?

Is it just us or is parenting an emotional rollercoaster?

Every day brings its highs and lows and unexpected loopty-loops.

There are moments of absolute joy that lift us up and take our breath away. And then there are trying moments such as those when the little one decides to draw all over your nice white walls with black permanent marker that bring us down and also take our breath away.

Yet through it all, there’s something in us that forgives our little ones need for attention and we forget, open our arms, scoop them up and love them all over again!

The uncomplicated love of a parent.