Sometimes it’s hard to image traveling with baby and all the things that you’ll need. Truly this is the best time to travel, when baby is young!
Check out Kimberley’s parenting book, www.TheGoToMomsGuide.com.
At the end of the day, what parents really want is to feel a real, deep and lasting emotional bond with their kids.
There are seven simple ways that you can work toward building a deep, emotional bond with your kids from playtime to down time, read on for how you can get connected right now.
1. Make time for playtime. One of the best ways that parents can connect with their children is through play. Not only does play release energy and provide opportunities to be involved in a child’s world, it is also how children process their inner feelings and work out their little-kid real-life issues. Parents who take the time to play with their children strengthen their understanding of their children’s emotional world. True emotional connections are made when parents get down on the floor and play with their kids. Drink imaginary tea, build the Lego castle and piece together those puzzles. Your bond with your child will be all the better for it.
2. Plug in … emotionally. Children can experience a wide range of emotions each day from happy to sad, frustrated to triumphant — what may seem to us a trivial moment can be a big deal for them. Parents have to make the effort to “plug in” to what their children are feeling, and that understanding what they are feeling and why can create a
3. Build in a few extra minutes to your day. Whether you are rushing out the door for school in the morning, loading up for big brother’s baseball practice, or just heading out to run errands, building in a few minutes can make transitions much less painful for both you and your children and can provide crucial opportunities for bonding.
If you can make it into the car you have an opportunity to spend those extra 10 or 15 minutes really talking with your kids. Dissect their days, talk through any emotions or feelings they may be experiencing. Or, use the time as an opportunity to turn up some tunes and sing out loud together — letting go and being silly with your kids is a great way to bond emotionally.
4. Fess up when you slip up. Nobody’s perfect. As parents it’s a given that we will make mistakes as we learn and grow alongside of our kids. But it’s important to remember that in addition to teaching our children, we are also serving as their constant role models. And that includes admitting when you’re wrong and saying that you’re sorry.
When “fessing up,” be specific, identify the behaviors for which you are apologizing, and share the feelings you were experiencing at the time and how you felt afterwards. Your mistakes and shortcomings can serve as a wonderful opportunity for you to be a good role model.
5. Let your kids be themselves. Have you ever stopped to consider how your children’s individual temperaments affect the way you connect with one another? You have to respect your children for who they are — and that includes honoring the ways they are different from one another and different from you. As hard as it can sometimes be to let go, giving your children the freedom to be themselves can help them to grow and develop as people, and it will also strengthen the connection and bond between you. When we honor our children, they in turn honor us. Children who are respected and emotion coached can be incredibly resourceful.
6. Replace your anger with empathy. When tantrums take over and tempers flare, it can be a constant challenge to keep your cool. Pick your battles and know that nothing is so important that it warrants extreme anger and coerciveness with your child. Being honest with your child is more effective than hauling off on her. Children who are raised in homes where empathy is the norm are usually empathetic to their parents, and this creates a happier environment for everyone.
7. Take time for yourself on a regular basis. On special holidays like Mother’s Day, moms will often be treated to breakfast in bed, a day at the spa, or maybe even a little free time to do something for themselves. It doesn’t always have to be a big event — tacking on 30 extra minutes to an errand to grab a latte or flip through magazines at the bookstore can work wonders for restoring your sanity and recharging your batteries. If we don’t take time for ourselves, we will eventually lash out at our loved ones, and that will prevent you from having the connection and bond with your children that you long for.
Copyright 2010, K.Blaine, from her book, www.TheGoToMomsGuide.com.
Have you ever met an adult that was not potty trained? I haven’t. Don’t worry that if you take a laid back approach you’ll still be changing diapers in elementary school. Bladder control is a physiological function and not something that can be controlled with behavioral remedies. Rewarding children with stickers, charts and toys doesn’t speed up the process. The more firm or hands-on you are with your child, the more control issues may arise. You didn’t reward your child for walking for the first time so why would you reward him for bladder control? It takes the average child at least 12 months to master this task. Girls typically begin to use the potty at 2 1/2 years old and boys around their 3rd birthday.
For more tips, check out Kimberley’s book, The Go-To Mom’s Guide.
By Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish
Does assigning fifty math problems accomplish any more than assigning five? Is memorizing word lists the best way to increase vocabulary, “especially when it takes away from reading time? And what is the real purpose behind those devilish dioramas?”
The time our children spend doing homework has skyrocketed in recent years. Parents spend countless hours cajoling their kids to complete such assignments, “often without considering whether or not they serve any worthwhile purpose. Even many teachers are in the dark: Only one of the hundreds the authors interviewed and surveyed had ever taken a course specifically on homework during training.
The truth, according to Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, is that there is almost no evidence that homework helps elementary school students achieve academic success and little evidence that it helps older students. Yet the nightly burden is taking a serious toll on America’s families. It robs children of the sleep, play, and exercise time they need for proper physical, emotional, and neurological development. And it is a hidden cause of the childhood obesity epidemic, creating a nation of “homework potatoes.”
In The Case Against Homework, Bennett and Kalish draw on academic research, interviews with educators, parents, and kids, and their own experience as parents and successful homework reformers to offer detailed advice to frustrated parents. You’ll find out which assignments advance learning and which are time-wasters, how to set priorities when your child comes home with an overstuffed backpack, how to talk and write to teachers and school administrators in persuasive, nonconfrontational ways, and how to rally other parents to help restore balance in your children’s lives.
Empowering, practical, and rigorously researched, The Case Against Homework, shows how too much work is having a negative effect on our children’s achievement and development and gives us the tools and tactics we need to advocate for change.
www.StopHomework.com is the blog of Sara Bennett, co-author of The Case Against Homework: How Homework Is Hurting Our Children and What We Can Do About It. Stop Homework provides up-to-the-minute homework news and opinion articles, guest editorials, suggestions for advocating change in homework policy, and discussion forums for parents, educators, psychologists, and students.
Visit Amazon.com to review or purchase, The Case Against Homework.