Posts Tagged: Parenting

My Great Parenting Mistakes of 2013

As a general rule, I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The last thing I really need is to put extra pressure on myself.

But with a new year upon us, I know we all look for a fresh start – and often in the “how to be a better parent” department. We want to yell less, be more patient, feed the kids healthier meals, spend less time on our tech gadgets, read to them more… the list goes on and on and on.

That’s why I’ve taken a look back at 2013 and reflected on my biggest parenting fails, to help me decide what I can do to do better next year.

1)      The time I forgot a kid somewhere. Oh, and I mean FORGOT. It was actually so traumatizing for me that I’m even getting a little twitchy as I’m writing this. Sharing details would be impossible. But, out of that I learned a big lesson about forgiveness. Forgiving myself is still a work in progress.

2)      The time I picked up my kid’s birthday cake from the bakery in the middle of the party. You got it – I didn’t bake AND I didn’t remember to get a birthday cake before the party.

3)      The usual every day fails: delinquent tooth fairy, lazy Elf on the Shelf, the time they had sandwiches for dinner three nights in a row, those days I don’t check the weather forecast and send them to school dressed inappropriately for the weather – just to name a few.

That nonsense aside, 2013 saw a lot of parenting wins. I made a great decision regarding my daughter’s schooling, I had meaningful conversations with my kids, shared loads of love and laughs, taught them lessons and dealt with issues that came up in a way that makes me proud.

So how about we all take it easy on ourselves in the parenting department this year? Let’s learn from our mistakes but celebrate our wins.

Have you set any “parenting goals” for 2014? What have you learned in the last year?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Teaching the Birds and the Bees to Little Children

“Mommy. Where do babies come from?”

So… do you have your answer ready?

Here are some choices:

A) A stork drops them off at the door step.

B) They grow in a cabbage patch.

C) They come from a fertilized egg, only it’s not like the eggs we get at the grocery store. This is a very special tiny egg that mommies have inside them. It is fertilized by tiny sperm, which daddies have. That is why every baby is made up of part mommy and part daddy! The fertilized egg grows in a special place in mommy called a uterus. It takes 9 months for the fertilized egg to grow and grow and grow until it’s a baby that is ready to be born.

I hope your answer is (c). Doesn’t that sound as exciting as dinosaurs and volcanoes? Well, it’s about the same for little kids, so don’t get all caught up in your own adult taboos. Just give them the information and try to look like you are not crapping your pants at the same time.

P.S. This will be the first of MANY talks. Next they’ll want to know how that sperm got there. Are you ready for that?

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com.

Bedtime Potty Training: Using the Toilet After Tuck-ins

The Situation

I recently received an email from a distraught mother who complained that every night after tuck-in time, their 3 1/2-year-old daughter would call out, “Mooooomy, I have to go peeeeeeeee” even though she was put on the potty right before tuck-in every night.

The Way I See It

I suspect that this 3 1/2-year-old has discovered a behavior that mom can’t ignore.  She thinks, “If I’m thirsty or I’m hungry, mom might be able to disregard the complaint.” But what kind of parent wouldn’t respond to a toilet-training-tot when they cry out they need to pee?  After all, we don’t want to be inconsistent. We don’t want to take a step back in bedtime potty training. We don’t want them to be wet all night. So we go and put them on the potty again.  No doubt there is a small conversation, an additional tuck-in kiss, maybe even a song.  It’s really a very social experience for the child.

(Note: This late-night bonus socializing is the “usefulness” that sustains the nightly behavior that we need to address in finding our solution: undue attention-seeking.)

The Immediate Solution

Lose the “payoff” or social benefit of these extra night-time potty visits mom is making by teaching the child self-sufficiency.

During the day, take time for training (T.T.F.T.).  Show your child how to pull their own pants up and down, and practice wiping themselves. You might find wet wipes are easier for kids than dry toilet paper.  They can wipe first and then you can be the “checker” until you are satisfied they have the manual dexterity to get the job done properly.

Once they have this skill, you can put night lights in the hall and explain that they don’t need to call you to go to the washroom: “You are so capable! You can go to the toilet and tuck right back in all by yourself!”

You may also opt to simply leave a potty in their room with some wet wipes and hand sanitizer (again, after some T.T.F.T.).

Some children find this new limit exciting and want to test it out. However, after a night or two, most children prefer to void before bed since they no longer have a successful stalling/attention tactic, and they just get on with going to bed.

The Long-Term Strategy

As with all the behavior guidance tips, you’re not going to have long-term success unless we solve the unmet goal of feeling encouraged. Every child needs to feel secure about their worth and place of belonging in their social group (the family or classroom).  That means parents need to bring on the encouragement and connecting time with our children during those times when they are not demanding our undue attention.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com.

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