Parents being too self-critical

I’ve spoken to a number of parents who are working hard to be the best parents they can be. Yet they are very critical of themselves. Unfortunately this criticism sometimes stems from their own parents or other parents disagreeing with their parenting approaches.

It may help to remember that there are no perfect parents. Give yourself credit for being committed to doing the best you can in the difficult job of raising your kids. Acknowledge all the times when you know you’ve gotten it right.

When you make a parenting mistake, don’t be afraid to apologize to your children. Let them know how you plan to handle situations like this differently in the future. Your children will appreciate your honesty while learning how to make amends for mistakes.

Parenting is hard work! Do something for yourself in appreciation for how hard you’ve worked to create the family you have.

Limiting screen time for kids this summer

Do you feel your kids are spending too much time watching TV, playing video games and being on the computer? Do ever find it challenging to get them to turn off the TV or computer and go outside to play? If so, join the crowd!

How much time are kids really spending with media?

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report in January 2010 showing the average amount of time kids 8 - 18 are spending with media. These are the numbers for a typical day:
  • TV (4 hours, 29 minutes)
  • Music/audio (2 hours, 31 minutes)
  • Computer (1 hour, 29 minutes)
  • Video Games (1 hour, 13 minutes)
  • Print (38 minutes)
  • Movies (25 minutes)
This adds up to 10 hours and 45 minutes of media exposure. When using more than one media concurrently is taken into account, the media time is 7 hours and 38 minutes.

(read the rest of the article at Priceless Parenting)

Asking for help

Like many moms I know, I'm reluctant to ask for help. I feel like I should be able to balance everything ... and do it with a smile!

However, one recent day I was overwhelmed and I knew it. Within an hour I needed to have dinner made, served, eaten, clothes changed and my son ready to go in the car to drive to his band concert. When I realized I wasn't going to be able to get everything done while still maintaining my sanity, I declared "I need help!"

My husband and daughter immediately responded that they would take care of making dinner. What a relief! Belonging to a loving family who supports each other is the greatest gift of all.

When a little princess gets cancer

When Isabel was 3-years-old her parents attended one of my parenting classes. We discussed all the typical parenting challenges from tantrums to sibling fighting. Little did we know the heart wrenching parenting issues that lay ahead.

A year ago, shortly after turning 4-years-old, Isabel's knees started hurting. The first doctor thought it was a bruised knee. When the pain worsened, they took her to Children's Hospital where they learned she has Burkitts Leukemia.

She was immediately started on the first of nine rounds of chemotherapy. She spent 5-6 days in the hospital receiving each round of chemo plus had many pills to take at home. When her mom was at wits end trying to get Isabel to swallow one of her pills, she called me to see if I had any ideas. Yikes ... far outside my parenting expertise ... but perhaps she might swallow it along with some of my homemade plum jelly. I could offer jelly and emotional support. The jelly didn't work.

I got to know Isabel and her family over the 6 months of her treatment. Isabel's mom was at the hospital with her every step of the way. Her strength and ability to stay positive was truly inspirational.

Saturday Isabel celebrated her 5th birthday with a princess birthday party theme. She loves the magical world of princesses and was very bothered by her hair falling out because of the chemo. All the princesses had long, pretty hair so how could she be a princess? Her hair is now growing back but with or without hair, she has always been a beautiful princess.

From babies to graduating seniors

Last night my daughter graduated from high school. I felt so proud and happy realizing what a wonderful person she's blossomed into. I also felt sad knowing this is a turning point. She will leave for college in August and our family will never be the same.

She's been an awesome teen and a lot of fun to be around. One day a couple months ago I came home to the delicious smell of homemade bread she had just made. I told her this was why she couldn't leave for college!

However, it will soon be time for her to leave. How did so much time go by so quickly? I remember when she was born my parents told me to enjoy every minute because she'll grow up too fast. They were right! Although the days are sometimes long, the years go by fast.

Wherever you are in raising your children take time today to have fun with them. You will never regret the happy times you've spent with your children.

Sensory integration problems

Children's behavior is shaped by how they experience the world through their senses. If your child reacts atypically to things like noise, touch and smells, he may be sensing these things in a very different way from most people.

The book Raising A Sensory Smart Child provides information about sensory integration problems and provides many practical ways to handle them. Veronica Zysk, Managing Editor of Autism Asperger's Digest magazine wrote this about the book:

"As our world gets faster, louder, more crowded and stress-laden, it's not just kids with disabilities who experience sensory challenges. It's all kids (and adults!) - some a little, some a lot. Yet most people never stop to think about sensory issues and the extent to which they interfer with learning, functioning, with daily living.

Lindsey Biel and Nancy Peske have done a bang-up job explaining the complexities and far-reaching effects of sensory challenges. I've read numerous books on sensory issues. What makes this book stand out is the clear, conversational tone coupled with page after page of practical, helpful information. The authors go way beyond "education" and give you the real life tools you need to make the world a friendlier place for individuals with sensory issues."

Toddler dangers - window blinds

Tragically, window blinds kill one young child every two weeks. Michele and Larry Frank lost their precious 18-month-old daughter, Jaclyn, when she was strangled by window blind cords at a home daycare.

Since Jaclyn died on December 1, 2005, her parents have been working hard to help other families avoid this same tragedy. The front page of the Jaclyn Frank Organization site states "We will not rest until it is a law nationwide to have window blinds illegal to use in daycares."

In 2007 a bill called the Jaclyn Frank Act was passed in Washington State. It requires removal of window blind cords within reach of small children in childcare centers and homes that provide daycare.

I'm grateful to Michele and Larry Frank for their dedication in working to prevent other families from suffering a tragedy like theirs.

Join the conversation!

Would you like to be able to ask other parents for ideas on handling certain parenting challenges? Are you willing to share your parenting wisdom? If so, please join the Priceless Parenting discussion group!

Preschool Teachers and Child Care Providers:

You play a critical role in raising children and deal with challenging behavior on a daily basis. If you'd like to post questions to other professionals and are willing to share your knowledge, please sign up for the discussion forum's subgroup for preschool teachers and child care providers.

How does it work?

The forum is hosted on BigTent so when you register you'll get a BigTent account. It does not cost anything to join.

BigTent has a rich set of features including:
  • Posting questions, answering questions, searching through questions
  • Ability to control how you hear about new messages - web only, email - messages or daily digest
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I hope you will join the conversation!

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