25 Rules for Mothers of Sons

We discuss the article 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons by Tabitha Studer which made it into several newspapers so we decided to join in the conversation.  We love the list and think every mom of boys ought to read it and think about their role as mother to a boy (since they are a species we don’t always understand).

Note: Shelly’s son is graduating this week and is speaking at Graduation!  She is a great mom! Congrats Shelly

Chickadees on Sticks

My mom was one of those women who did not sweat, she glowed. And she never seemed to do that even in 114-degree heat in Las Vegas. So, she never really pushed me into athletics. It wasn’t the lady-like thing and I wasn’t naturally driven to sports. The idea of running appealed to me about as much as getting my teeth drilled at the dentist’s office. I did play a few team sports with my church and I did take a few dance classes (very lady-like). But most of my extracurricular activities were focused on music or theater. I never really saw myself as the athletic type

I didn’t want the same for my daughter. I wanted her to experience the world in all its glory. I wanted her to be an active verb, as George Bernard Shaw said. I especially wanted my daughter to feel the empowerment of her body in action.

Lessons at Sundance have been an integral part of my daughter’s active life. She sees herself as someone who has physical prowess and power. She is active all year around. She participates in a sport that takes guts as well as physical training. She feels her body responding to the challenge. She is an active verb.

But it has done more than get her active—it gets her out of her comfort zone. She feels the aggressive stance needed for skiing and that translates into her everyday life. She can face challenges the way she faces skiing down a black diamond.

It also gives her a chance to bond with other girls who are skiing. She and her best friend take lessons during ski season and it has been a great experience to ski together. Sometimes, I take a group of girls to ski together and they have such a fun time bonding and enjoying the challenge. There is no caddy conversation, no back-biting. The time is filled with encouragement for each other and challenge for each person.

I am lucky enough to be able to take my daughter out of school and have her in ski school during the Sundance Ladies Day that I participate in. Ski lessons are a very educational experience and worth the days she misses at school. We make sure she keeps up with her assignments and tests. But this makes her a more well-rounded person.

Last week, the girls spontaneously made up a song about their wonderful day skiing powder. Take a listen. They are amazingly cute. They are chickadees on sticks!

 

Cousins

In our society, we underestimate the power cousins have in our children’s life.  The power could come from their presence or their absence.  If you are lucky enough to have great cousin relationships for your children, there are some amazing benefits.  If your children do not have a close relationship with their cousins, we discuss how to create one and why it could be critical for your children in the future.

What Parents Fear and Need

Claire Lerner, Senior Parenting Strategist, shares the findings of a Zero to Three survey that yielded new insights about the challenges parents face, what they do and do not understand about early childhood development, and what they want and need to be the best parents possible.

One of the most interesting findings in the report is the changing role of the father and how they want to participate more but are not always allowed to by their partners.

Additionally, parents underestimate their child’s development.  Clair discusses things that parents could do better to help their child’s development.

Check out the survey at www.zerotothree.org/parent-survey for more in-depth information on the survey results including videos of parents discussing their concerns and hopes. 

Imaginary Friends

New research shows that imaginary friends continue longer into childhood than previously thought. Claire Lerner, Senior Parenting Strategist at Zero to Three, discusses why older children may have imaginary friends.  She also discusses what an imaginary friend can do for your child and how you should react when your child tells you that she has an imaginary friend.

Privates are Private

Tricia and Nancy discuss what to do if your child is showing his privates.  How do you handle it and what can you do to help your child understand that Privates are Private?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Don’t freak and if you do, don’t show it.
  2. Figure out what is going on.
  3. Very young kids can seem immodest and may display curiosity about other people’s bodies and bodily functions.  These can include touching women’s breasts, wanting to watch when grownups go to the bathroom, wanting to be naked (even if others are not) and showing or touching private parts while in public. They are curious about their own bodies.
  4. When you are ready and they are ready, ask open-ended questions (and they are old enough to answer)
  • What were you doing?
  • How did you get the idea?
  • How did you learn about this?
  • How did you feel about doing it?
  1. Have a general discussion about what is private and what to do if someone invades your privacy.

Some causes for concern:

  1. Actions beyond their developmental stage (or language)
  2. Actions with threat or aggression
  3. Actions between kids of very different ages

Our Past Show for kids who are a bit older: http://www.themompodcast.com/2010/10/24/when-to-discuss-the-birds-and-bees/

LINK: More Info on Sexual Development and Behavior

 

Changing the Community

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 6.22.24 AMMindy Gleason, a mother not afraid to open her mouth and speak for change, discusses how she is making a difference for children in her community and how you can find the courage to make a change in your neighborhood or city.

Mindy is the mother of two amazing girls.  Her oldest, Presley, has a rare disease causing her to be in a wheelchair and on a ventilator.  Presley is incredibly social and loves to be with her friends. Because of her issues, Presley has a hard time finding parks where she can play.   She is always stopped by wood chips and park barriers.

Mindy was inspired to approach the City of Orem and ask for changes at a local park, but the park idea has gone much further.  Now the City of Orem is building an All-Abilities park where children of all abilities can play together.  Listen to Mindy’s story of triumph and her advice on how to make something happen in your community

static1.squarespace.comLearn more about the All-Together Playground and how you can donate to this amazing cause.

Embrace Life

Mindy Gleason, mother extraordinaire and proponent of a positive outlook, describes how she met the challenges in the darkest part of her motherhood journey and rose above the pain to embrace life and learn wisdom we can all use in our daily lives.

Mindy is the mom of two amazing girls.  Her daughter, Presley, is an inspiration to people all across the globe.  Take a look at their amazing journey over these past 6 years and where they are now.  We can all learn to allow our children to soar from the flight that Mindy and Presley have taken.

And remember to share this show and the links to the Vote for Presley campaign so she can win a bike for her special needs.

Toddlers Establishing Independence

ShellyHenryShelly and Clarie Lerner (our favorite guest from Zero to Three) discuss why Henry is acting up in Australia and how Shelly can reframe the situation to see that Henry is not being defiant.  It isn’t really a Terrible Two thing either.  This is a time with toddlers begin to explore their independence.

Also, Claire and Shelly discuss how the move to Australia could trigger other feelings in Henry.  They also discuss how Shelly’s other kids are adjusting and why Shelly’s oldest child in Australia is experiencing the same feelings that her youngest is experiencing.

Check out more about Claire at Zero to Three.

Read more about Shelly’s adventures in Australia at Seven On Sabbatical.

Note: This show is much longer than our regular shows but packed with amazing information.  We will take next week off for Thanksgiving.  Please give thanks for all the great people in your life!

Understanding Your Child’s CoreSelf

We think our job is a parent is to raise a child who is a success and that we have the experience to see what their potential is and how to mold them into the best adult possible. We feel that we need to create the right situations and encourage or kids to be the best they can be and anything less is not good enough. And most kids want to please us so we can really influence our kids. BUT IS THAT REALLY SUCCESS as a parent?

Author Nancy Rose writes that there are two parts to parenting from Acceptance:

  • Who your child is and the parts you cannot change (She calls this the CoreSelf)
  • What your child does and the things you can and must influence (your child’s behavior)

Tricia and Nancy discuss how understanding your child’s CoreSelf can lead you to be a better parent to the child you have instead of the potential child you want. Check out the CoreSelf list for yourself at Nancy Rose’s website (you sign up for her email and the link is sent to you–just know you don’t get spammed or get too much email–I haven’t gotten any additional ones).

Quotes from today’s show:

Try to see your child as a seed that came in a packet without a label.  Your job is to provide the right environment and nutrients and to pull the weeds.  You can’t decide what kind of flower you’ll get or in which season it will bloom. – Anonymous

Acceptance is like the fertile soil that permits a tiny seed to develop into the lovely flower it is capable of becoming. The soil only enables the seed to become the flower. It releases the capacity of the seed to grow, but the capacity is entirely within the seed. As with the seed, a child contains entirely within his organism the capacity to develop. Acceptance is like the soil-it merely enables the child to actualize his potential.–Thomas Gordon

Check out our Second Podcast featuring Nancy Rose:  Raise the Child You Got Not the One you Want.

Parenting the Introverted Child

She was told her son had autism but today, he is in the top 4% of students across the country.  Pilar’s son is brilliant, but he is introverted so he never spoke up in class and had a hard time socializing with kids.  In our extrovert-oriented society, her son’s skills were not immediately valued.  Now that he has won national prizes for a documentary and an app that he created, people are beginning to see her son’s talents shine (even if he is still the quietest kid in the class.  Learn how to parent an introverted child and how to help them find their mojo.

Pilar recommends reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

And Check out the TED Talk on Introverts

Traumatic Brain Injuries on the Rise

According to the CDC, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in children increased 60% in the past decade.  We talk with Alexis Carroll, mother of a young man seriously injured in a skateboarding accident about how the decision to take off his helmet changed both their lives. This is a cautionary tale for every mother with tips to help you keep your child safe when riding, boarding, scootering, or skating.

Check out the local news story on Alex and Alexis: http://m.ksl.com/index/story/sid/34279985

Check out the Facebook Page for Alex’s progress: https://www.facebook.com/AlexUpdates

Empowering Kids to Deal with a Hyper-sexualized World

As never before, our society focuses on a person’s looks and sexuality.  From seemingly innocent ways to devastatingly manipulative ways, children are exposed to sexuality at younger and younger ages and in much more in-your-face ways.  How do we equip our children to deal with everything coming at them? Dina Alexander, President of Educate and Empower Kids, explains what we need to do as parents and where we can get the resources we need to raise future adults who have a healthy understanding of sexuality and the amazing blessing it can be when approached appropriately.

Check out educateempowerkids.org/ for more resources.  Check out the 30 Days of Sex Talks books on Amazon.com

Free Range Vs Helicopter

The news has been filled with stories of children being picked up by the police for walking to the park to play with parents investigated for neglect. This got us thinking about whether the world is such an unsafe place that we need to hover over our children or raise them in glass cages or if we are doing more damage by not allowing them to experience independence.  Should we be the ones to call 911 when we see children alone or can we be the block mom and assess the situation before we get hysterical?  We discuss our fears and the facts of today’s world.

Thanksgiving and Christmas: Expressing Gratitude and Love

20141111_090326 We discuss ways to teach children gratitude and love this holiday season through small acts.  Starting in November and going in to December, these tips help teach kids how to focus on gratitude and family instead of on what your kids are “getting this Christmas.”

Starting in November:

  1. Start a Wall of Thanks or a Thankfulness Chain.  You can leave the Wall of Thanks up during after Thanksgiving and add to it as you go into the holidays.  Or, you can create a chain of thoughts of things you are thankful for.  This chain could be added to your Christmas Tree.  Let kids write as many things they are thankful for.
  2. Plan some acts of service for others.  Make it something your kids can participate in.  Maybe your elderly neighbors need some help with their leaves or there is a place for the homeless where you can bring some gently used clothes. Starting in November gives you a chance to start the holiday season off right.
  3. Contact a local shelter or crisis center and ask what they might need for kids and if they accept gently used items.  Help you kids decide which toys or stuffed animals they can part with.  Help them clean the toys and prepare them for drop off.

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School Social Skills

We expect our children to practice their handwriting, their piano, and their jump shot to get good at them but we don’t often think that they have to learn and practice social skills to be successful at school.  One blogger starts the conversation on what social skills we need to teach our kids and we continue the conversation.

Here is her list to get the conversation started:

  1. Make eye contact, smile and say hi.
  2. Learn to converse: don’t monopolize, ask questions, pay attention, listen (be a reporter).
  3. Learn people’s names.
  4. Include everyone.
  5. Be kind.

What do you think and what ways have you found to teach these skills to your children?

Cross Country Move

Back after a summer of craziness, cancer and a cross-country move!  Stacey shares tips on how to make the best of moving kids–especially kids in school–to a new place. How can you prepare your family to make the move successfully?  Listen and learn from a woman with nine-yes-nine children ranging in age from college to kindergarten.

Here are some tips for moving with kids/teens:

  1. Do lots of research. Uprooting kids (especially teens) is very traumatic for them, so make SURE it’s the best move for your family.
  2. Once you decide, don’t look back. Remember your old home fondly, but look forward with hope, speak with optimism.
  3. Find out what your new area is famous for (best fish, biggest clock tower? Special museums? Pumpkin patch, theater, etc.) and explore that with your family.
  4. Go onto a family history website to find out if you have ancestors who may have lived anywhere near your new place. Visit wherever they came from and feel connected.
  5. Keep family traditions going (bedtime stories, birthday dinners, holiday rituals) Keep some furniture and decor the same to provide a bridge during the transition time.
  6. Find a local congregation of your church and get connected there.
  7. Volunteer at schools, network in the community. Don’t wait for an invitation.
  8. Take treats to your new neighbors with a card introducing your family. It will break the ice and let them know you’re open for friendship.
  9. Communicate daily with your kids. Through notes on pillows, texts, emails, phone calls or talks in the car. Just communicate. They will be going through some of the hardest days of their lives. Keep a pulse on how they are doing. Tell them when you feel homesick too. Be a friend and a support. Let them talk safely about their loss of old friends, old school, etc.
  10. Stay connected with family and friends through Facebook, email, etc. but never say negative things about your new home. Your kids will take their cues from you. If you transition well, chances are, they will too. Soon, you’ll realize that home is simply where the heart is. 🙂

Disneyland Tips

Hadley and Nancy discuss Hadley’s recent trip to Disneyland and how to make the most of a trip to Disneyland–even if you are not a fan of theme parks or Disneyland.

  1. Know what kind of Disney Family you are (Full On Disney or Casual Disney—do you need your Mickey Fix or Princesses or just some rides—a Cars/traditional family—older/younger kids? Fireworks and Parades shows or No Shows)
  2. Pick your time of year wisely—Disneyland is small so people don’t spread out like in DisneyWorld.  You can check touringplans.com to get an idea of the crowds.
  3. You don’t have to stay on property (we like hotels that have separate kids rooms) Desert Palms also the Marriott is good.
  4. Skip Park Hopper and focus on one park per day but use Fast Passes (there are some new wrinkles you will want to know about so check these out online)
  5. Think about what you will ride before you go and plan out your day (use apps and touringplans.com or RideMax)
  6. Get the Disney PhotoPass+ DVD before you go for $69 and all your photos are taken for you and are yours
  7. Skip the Disney Dining Package (bring your food/eat off hours)
  8. If you have School Aged Kids, look into Disney Youth Education Programs  This was one of our Best experiences in a Disney Park.

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