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

Breaking the Good Mom Myth

Alyson Schafer, psychotherapist and parenting expert, discusses the Good Mom Myth and how we can break it and learn what we really need to do as moms.

Alyson is author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth and Honey I Wrecked the Kids as well as the host of a popular parenting show in Canada.  Check out her site at http://www.alyson.ca/

We found very good advice in Breaking the Good Mom Myth and recommend this book to mothers!  You can find her on Facebook and Twitter too!

(Note: this is a re-run of a former podcast)

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!

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

Decision Making Skills

One of the best skills you can teach your child is to problem solve for them self.  Whether they are 4 or 14, this skill will become one they use throughout their life. Julie Nelson shares 5 steps to help kids learn how to make decisions along with practical examples to help you see how to put these steps into practice.

Step 1: Define the problem. Context changes perception for each person. Be sure that both people agree or moving forward will be going in the wrong direction.

Step 2: Generate possible solutions. Let the child do this as much as possible so they feel empowered. Don’t shoot them down right way. Let them feel safe with their ideas. Offer some of your own. If they say, “I don’t know,” tell them that you’ll give you both time to think about it and come back.

Step 3 Evaluate possible solutions. “That doesn’t work for me” is a good way to phrase a bad idea. Make sure this ends up being a win-win for both of you.

Step 4: Implement the decision. Try it out. See how it works. Step 5: Evaluate. Get back together and see how the solution worked or is working.

Step 5: Evaluate. Get back together and see how the solution worked or is working.

Check out Julie’s website at http://aspoonfulofparenting.com/ where she shares many more tips. And check out her book Parenting with Spiritual Power.

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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A Better Way to Say Sorry

Long-time listener Tristen shared a post with us about a better way for kids (and parents) to say sorry.  We chat with Tristen and discuss how this 4-step process has changed the way her children interact for the better.

The Steps include:

1) I’m sorry for…: Be specific. Show the person you’re apologizing to that you really understand what they are upset about.

Wrong: I’m sorry for being mean.
Right: I’m sorry for saying that nobody wants to be your friend.

2) This is wrong because…:This might take some more thinking, but this is one of the most important parts. Until you understand why it was wrong or how it hurt someone’s feelings, it’s unlikely you will change. This is also important to show the person you hurt that you really understand how they feel

Wrong: This is wrong because I got in trouble.
Right: This is wrong because it hurt your feelings and made you feel bad about yourself.

3) In the future, I will…:

Wrong: In the future, I will not say that.
Right: In the future, I will keep unkind words in my head.

4) Will you forgive me? Don’t assume that they will—ask for forgiveness

To read the original post, go to http://www.cuppacocoa.com/a-better-way-to-say-sorry/.  We reached out to the author of the post but she hasn’t gotten back to us yet.  Thanks for the great information!  We love that you shared!

Getting Boys to Read

Mike McQueen, author of Getting Boys to Read, discusses his new book and tips on how to get your boys interested in reading.  Do you know a boy who struggles with reading?  Mike has great tips that come from his own personal experience as a struggling reader turned teacher-librarian.  He knows what boys struggle with and how parents and teachers can help.  This book is filled with practical tips as well as interviews with authors.  With 114 tips, there is sure to be something that will help inspire you and get the boy in your life reading.

The book is divided into 7 main ideas:

  1. Create the right environment.
  2. Strengthen your relationship.
  3. Connect reading with his interests and needs.
  4. Lure him with the best materials.
  5. Make reading interactive.
  6. Make reading fun.
  7. Try different techniques.

Some of my favorite tips included in the book include:

  • read aloud daily
  • recruit male role models
  • set up a book club for boys (we podcasted about this 4 years ago–listen here)
  • never criticize what he reads
  • use Amazon’s related titles
  • take him to the library
  • allow him to read comic books
  • introduce him to non-fiction

We discuss these and SO many more ideas.  For even more great ideas, check out the Getting Boys to Read website.

Grandma Version of Me

Julie Nelson, author of Parenting with Spiritual Power, discusses how the voice of a trusted grandmother figure can help you in your parenting.  Grandparents say that if they had known how great grandparenting would be, they would have skipped right to it.  Why is that and how can we use the wisdom grandparents have to make our parenting more enjoyable and impactful. The “grandma version” of ourselves is wise and witty and helps us to achieve the balance we need to survive the years until we do indeed become grandparents.

Head to Heart: How To Get Started

We chat with Head to Heart founder, Johnny Covey about how to get yourself and your kids out of the fright and flight (head) and into action (heart) to face fears, solve problems and find success in your daily life and peace in your children’s lives.

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Head to Heart is a framework that allows you to Choose to Change and Create. We all have had experiences that keep us from Creating what we want. Johnny spent 12 years searching for the answer to the question Why don’t I choose to do what I know? He read hundreds of books, attended conferences all over the country and invested over 10,000 hours to get the answer: The Head to Heart framework. Yes, he is related to that other well-known Covey so this figuring out thing is in his genes!  His great uncle Steven R. Covey taught about being proactive, Choosing your response. The Head to Heart framework allows anyone, regardless of their previous Experiences to Choose their response. It is so digestible that anyone can understand it, so doable that they will actually use it, so duplicable that they can teach it right away.

When we are using our Head we hold back, worried about what others think about us. In our Heart we are able to be ourselves and fully express ourselves. We Create rather than Control.

This session is the How To Get Started.  We will have future episodes where we discuss our results and what we found as we use this process in our lives.

Keeping Kids Safe on Social Media

Nancy shares her family’s scary social media experience and discusses tips to help kids navigate social media with clinical social worker, Kim Kettle.  Learn how a mom who set up incredibly distinct rules for using technology found a predator taking aim at her child and how you can keep your child safe while teaching them how to have good social media skills.  Your child is all alone in the social media landscape and you have to step up and be their guide and their support in this lonely space.

Kim’s Reasons WHY parents need to Help Kids with Social Media

  1. Ensure kindness
  2. Be aware of who they are communicating with
  3. Be aware of sites they are visiting
  4. Help them develop good judgment

Other Resources:

 

Missing a Childhood

Could you be missing your child’s childhood?  Modern parents struggle with something that parents of previous generations never did–the persistence of the cell phone/smart phone/internet.  Even 10 years ago, the use of these devices was not so everpresent in our lives.  By being plugged in, we can actually miss our children’s childhood.  We discuss what we can do to ensure we don’t miss our children’s lives while still living in the modern age.

For more information, see this blog:  http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/05/07/how-to-miss-a-childhood/

“I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important.”

Stopping Entitlement

Lindsay shares her feelings about entitlement and how to raise children who don’t feel like the are entitled to everything.  Learn easy ways to help your child learn to value what she is given and work for what he wants.

For more information and ideas, read this article: http://wearethatfamily.com/2013/12/5-signs-kids-are-struggling-with-entitlement/

 

Tips to Deal with Bullies

With some tips, your kids can learn to handle bullying (the garden variety).  We discuss what works in the elementary, middle and high school years.  Check out more tips on the website http://www.stopbullying.gov/.

  1. Be a Role Model—Don’t Be a Bully.  Show them how to treat others with respect and kindness
  2. Use situations to teach—if you see something in a show or in life that is wrong or right, point it out
  3. Role Play with your kids to help them respond under stress
  4. IF they get bullied, replay the situation and try out different responses
    1. Can your child say STOP and look the bully in the eye?
    2. Can your child deflect with humor?
    3. Is your child too shy and needs to walk away?
  5. Don’t downplay their feelings (empathize with them but don’t make them a victim)
  6. Teach your child how to stay safe:
    1. Stay away from places where bullying happens
    2. Hang where there are adults.  Most bullying happens when adults are not aroud
    3. Talk to someone so you don’t feel alone
    4. Read Wimpy Kid
  7. Teach your children to embrace their own uniqueness and not want to be just like everyone else
  8. Stand up for others and be kind to a kid being bullied.  Show them someone cares

Preparing Daughters To Go It Alone

We were raised to think you need to be with someone to be complete.  We discuss raising our daughters so they can go it alone in their lives–so they feel complete without having someone else.  This frees them to be everything they can be whether or not they have a relationship with a significant other.

Article by Laura Wellington http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-wellington-/and-she-lived-happily-eve_b_3601844.html

What New Moms REALLY Need

Shelly has been writing down the things that new moms REALLY need to share with her daughters.  We discuss what she found out and how you can really help the new moms you know (since you probably forgot what it is really like).

2013-08-14 19.20.26Here is what we recently found at Costco.  Can you believe it?  11 pounds of Nutella.  Of course we did not buy it but jsut the thought made me happy.  And I think there are a few new moms who could use some Nutella during those LONG nights when you think you will never sleep again.  Ladies–if anyone deserves 11 pounds of Nutella, it is you!