Parenting kids, Seriously, Voice boxing it

The Signs Your Child Is Feeling Out Of Touch With You


There are 4 main signs your child can be expressing when they are feeling out of touch, and 4 main signs that you may be doing as a prarent that can be contributing to the way your child feels – it can be any one of these signs for child and parent; it doesn’t need to be all the signs.

• They’re more irritable
• They’re more aggressive/rough
• They’re listening less than usual
• They’re more clingy or doing things to get your attention
• You’ve noticed you’ve had to tell them ‘not right now’ more frequently
• You’ve been more focused on your own checklist lately i.e., cleaning, organizing, phone calls
• You’ve been on your phone multiple times when they are trying to get your attention
• You have had less one on one time with your child lately

The signs expressed by kids of any age when they’re feeling out of touch also copy the signs of many other things that can being on; such as

• Growth spurts
• Sleeping regressions
• Lack of sleep
• Hungry
• Teething
• Illness/injury

It is important when kids are expressing any behaviour out of norm that you reflect on what’s been going on in their life AS WELL AS yours.

If kids are feeling as if their emotional and attachment needs are not being met, less fullfilled than usual, or that their weekly schedule is going off track – most do not understand how to verbalize this, or feel comfortable doing so.

So what can we as parents do? Even though we may feel like we aren’t doing anything different, your child feels differently. It is important not to decline their feelings or their reality, and to make them feel heard.

• Help them name their emotions they are feeling – so that both your child and you understand
• Try to make room in your day for more one on one time
• Challenge yourself to an hour without your phone – put it down and out of sight. Interact and play with your child, be more hands on, and share some cuddles
• Get your child more involved with YOUR world. Have them help you in the kitchen i.e., measuring, mixing, getting ingredients, setting the table. Have them help you clean and organize, or help outside with gardening or yard clean up. The goal isn’t to get them doing CHORES, but for you to do these things TOGETHER. If you have an older child whom isn’t interested in a chore-related activity – offer to do a trade: you do an activity of ‘your world’ together, and then you do an activity of ‘their world’ together

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

It’s Not Hard To Better Yourself; It’s Hard To Watch Others Not


One of the hardest parts I found of becoming a mother, was bettering myself. Not the act of bettering myself, but watching others who are parents, not.

Becoming a parent, it was easy for me to reflect on my childhood and to know that some things when I grew up were very wrong, and that I wanted to do a lot better for my child. I know many parents feel and think they are doing their best, but I also feel that there is an immense amount of support for struggling parents freaking out during hard times and not enough support for the children also going through the hard times.

As a society, we continue to see more and more emerging education in cases of mental health struggles. Three-quarters of the population struggle with their mental health at one time or another. I truly believe it has to do with the way previous generations raised their children, and the emotional neglect begins to surface when those children have grown and became self-sufficient adults.

I am so thankful that the world is growing in terms of mental health education and help, otherwise I would be one of the many people struggling to get by everyday. But I see so many other parents that don’t reflect on their struggles as a child, and learn from them to better parent their own children, and honestly, that leaves me fairly judgemental. There’s so much ignorance.

The problem is that if we don’t face our childhood, we risk repeating the same mistakes generations before us made when parenting – the number one mistake being emotional neglect.

You see Facebook posts, Instagram posts, memes and jokes about “Mommy needs a glass of wine”, “my kid won’t leave me alone”, complaining about how difficult their children are being, or how annoying their kids can be. In parenting groups, parents post about stressful and nerve breaking moments with their children. How the mom or dad snapped, how they slipped up and hit their child out of frustration, and all the feedback is always in support of the parent. Always reminding them that they are human and make mistakes and that it’s okay that kids are resilient. There is never any guidance how to move forward in a positive way and explain what happened to the child, that it wasn’t okay for mom or dad to act that way, that they are sorry. I do agree that we need to recognize parents emotions and validate them, because I do agree that parenting can be really frustrating at times and definitely push you to the edge. That is not an excuse, however, for poor behavior nor should it condone it in hard times.

The fact that your child just acted like a complete and utter asshole to you is not a get-out-of-jail card to be a complete and utter asshole back.

They are a child, their brain is still developing, and regardless of how mature they may seem, they still need guidance and education about their bodies, feelings and emotions. Just because the way they feel about a situation doesn’t chock up to the way in adult would feel about it does not mean their feelings should be invalidated or belittled. Their world is much different than ours – as is their perception of it and parents need to stop expecting a child to perceive the world through an adults perception.

Another thing I see frequently, are children’s emotions being completely ignored; their bids for attention being completely ignored. Parents sometimes act like children are a burden to them. As if acting like that has no effect on the child whatsoever, or like it could make them stronger in some way, or more independent.

As frustrating as it is for me to see this, and not bark my opinion at them, what I actually see is a broken adult in denial of their own childhood. What also continues to frustrate me, is no matter how many resources are out there, no matter how many mutual friends post information for these parents to learn from, no matter how many times an article is shared that shows up on one of these parents news feeds – they won’t see it, read it, or take it seriously unless they know and are ready to change. So in reality, more than likely, most of the educational information, articles, videos, Etc., that I am dying for certain parents or family members or friends to see and learn from, won’t.

Parenting kids, Seriously

What Your Kids Can Do Instead Of Screen Time


Listen.

Kids under 18 months old shouldn’t be watching TV or having any kind of screen time besides video chatting relatives.

We all know that. Even the WHO state this, except that they say kids shouldn’t have screen time until at least 2 years old. Their brains are doing way too much developing for them to get put in front of a screen that literally achieves nothing and waists stimulating development. There are so many other ways to keep a child entertained on their own for periods of time so you can just do what you gotta do.

Don’t worry, I get that you are tired today. Possibly feeling depressed, sick, or just busy, and that’s okay. But if your child is under 2 and screen time becomes a habit, a once a day, or even multiple times a day, that kind of thing – you gotta re-evaluate.

For one, that equates to zero brain stimulation for your children which is vitally important for children under the age of three. Two, screen time just becomes their baby sitter. They slowly stop caring about using their imaginations and playing and exploring, and in turn will start asking for and expecting screen time everyday.

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There are certain circumstances like health conditions(both child and adult) and pure exhaustion levels, etc., but I’m not talking about those. If my son is sick, that doesn’t slow him down. So in that case, since he was a year old, we’ve curled up with him on the couch when he’s sick and let him watch whatever he wants so his body gets some rest.

What I am talking about, are the parents who get used to the convenience of screen time. The fact that it reduces their need to respond to their child every 30 seconds. Actually, over time your child will go back to ‘bugging you’ and still beg for screen time. It’s really just a temporary solution that only turns into a bad habit, slows down development, and interferes with a kid’s relationship to life.



The main thing is, you need to look after you. It’s very hard to be a good parent if you aren’t a good YOU. It’s easy to stop caring about these ‘little things’ that actually build up over time. When you are struggling on the inside, it’s easy to just let your child do whatever they want, or eat whatever they want, to keep the peace and the effort minimal. Unfortunately, that is something you need to accept inside of yourself and come to terms with before you can truly work on that.

In the mean time, try to meet in the middle. If you’re going to put the TV on, use that time to look after yourself – not go do the dishes.
Make a tea, snuggle on the couch with your little on your lap, maybe close your eyes… whatever. It’s okay to put the screen on because you’re in dire need of self-care. If you need to do this everyday though, then you also need to reach out. Someone needs to give you a hand and alleviate some stress off your shoulders.

12 -18 Month Examples:

  • Put down some old towels and fill one bowl with Rice Crispies – because they’re more likely to try to put things in their mouth at this age – another with some milk, then an additional empty one. Give them some transferring supplies like measuring cups and spoons, and watch them explore.
  • Paper. That’s it. Crumple one piece up. Fold another piece in half. Leave a piece as is. Let them watch you slowly rip a piece of paper. Then let them take over and explore. Some kids still prefer black and white at this age simply because its easier on the eyes and less overwhelming to focus on. In this case you could invest in a pack of multicolored construction paper.
  • A small, cheap, mirror and snack. Dollar stores usually have a variety of mirrors to choose from of the plastic, less fracture-able type. Prop it up on the table or highchair so your kiddo can watch him self eat. More interesting to him than it is to you.
  • Give them some items from around the house. If they’re still gnawing on whatever they can find – give them a spatula ! That rubber feels so good to sink their soon-to-be-teeth into!
  • Save an old jar or peanut butter container. Take some raw rice, mix some food coloring with it and make different colors. Then put in a container with some other various larger items for your kiddo to check out. Like I Spy in a container.

18 – 24 Month Examples:

  • Back the the bowls and cups again. This time set up a water station. Young kids love experimenting with with the elements. Give them a cooking pot with some water and some containers or cups and a Turkey baster. That will buy you at least 30 minutes. WHO CARES if they makes a mess? Move valuables out of the way and clean things up with a towel. Unless or course they just intentionally dump the water on the floor as some may want to do… in that case move on to something else.
  • An empty bowl, a bowl of flour and a bowl of warm water = some pretty fun sensory play. Again, give them some additional utensils like a measuring cups and spoons and a whisk.
  • Just open the drawers. Move your Tupperware to a lower drawer they can reach and open it . Open the baking drawer – remove unsafe objects and just let them explore and do their thing. You can get them to help you put it all back when they’re done.
  • Coloring – so many different options these days. Now you can even get mess free markers that only show up on the book that comes with them so you don’t have to worry about a mess when you turn your head for 2 seconds

Parenting kids, Seriously

Parents Shouldn’t Take Responsibility For Bad Days



That’s what the old level of hierarchy implies, doesn’t?

Admitting you are wrong and apologizing both fall under the ‘weakness category’ and show children that they can walk all over you. That’s what some seem to think, anyway.

Im all for supporting moms and dads. Reminding them that, “If you’re trying as hard as you can that’s all that matters”. And I get it, because it is hard; We need that when it’s hard.

Parents break down, gets stressed, reach their limits for the day or the hour, they’re human. Sometimes they need to walk away because their child is still crying and they can’t take it anymore. Sometimes, even when its harder on the child, we need to walk away for a minute and collect ourselves so that we can control our emotions and actions when they’re heightened in a situation – instead of worsening the situation by not letting ourselves cool down. Sometimes its all just about damage control.

But what I literally never see or hear about, is people talking about how things can affect children. We are all so scared of offending parents or increasing anxiety, or making them feel bad, that during hard times everyone’s says “do the best you can and you’re doing fine, children are resilient.”

Rarely anyone speaks out on the behalf of the children who are equally having a hard time. Rarely anyone steps up to advocate for the ones that can’t do that themselves.

I’m not talking about slacking on the dishes or letting the kids watch tv all day because the parents are too exhausted to entertain. This is about when limits are pushed and parents start yelling, or ignoring, or not listening to their kids. When kids are putting up a fuss at bedtime or having a tantrum and the parent hits their last nerve and starts getting rough and trying to force their children to do what they want.

People don’t talk about how to come back to that bad day and make up for it. Take responsibility for how they felt or reacted and make it a teaching opportunity for the child and the parent. How to learn the triggers within the parent. How the first 2-5 years of life is the most vital time for brain development and literally everything a parent does – everyway they handle a situation, or their child’s distresss – determines what pathways in the child’s brain are formed. What neurons fire and when and to where. The entire blueprint for the child’s mind is being built, they aren’t just born with it. There’s a phrase called ‘neurons that fire together, wire together’, which is a brief discription on why certain things make you feel a certain way when you can’t explain why.

This isn’t meant to mom shame or parent shame or make anyone feel bad in the slightest; but to bring awareness. To bring understanding, to learn new ways and expectations, and develop better recovery modes.

Depending on the age of child, the responses will all be different of course. So it’s up to the parent to gauge post-situation damage control.

Somethings I really want to remind parents of though, is that it is okay and needed to apologize for their own behvaiour. They need to take responsibility that they didn’t handle things well, not shrug it off and forget about it because they’re the parent and they have dominence over the child. And honest apologies do not make one weak, but stronger.

Respectful parenting is treating your children how you would want to be treated. Just because they are small, does not negate that they deserve respect and explanations.

Parents should also admit how they’re feeling. Not hide it to show superiority and seem inferior. They need to admit to their children when they are feeling frustrated, mad, sad, scared, nervous, worried, happy, relieved, etc. That they are human and just like kids, they temporarily lose their calmness due to hightened emotions in difficult situations. This doesn’t excuse their behaviour or their children’s when they act out, but instead teaches them how to take responsibility, how an apology feels appreciated when its meant. It makes children feel equal, not lesser than, and help them build and define their own sense of self, regardless of their age.

It seems like some rely on the resilience of children to dismiss their own bad behaviour as adults. Children are wired to survive, to move on. They may be able to shake things off the next hour or day but their muscle memory in their body and in their brain still retains what happened, and how they reacted; How it made them feel. And that stays with them for the rest of their life.


Parenting kids, Seriously

WTF Is Montessori?


It is a methodology of child rearing and education founded and studied by Maria Montessori. It started with the study of children with special needs, and once it was observed just how well they thrived, it was then studied on all children (not just those with special needs). Again, they all thrived exceedingly well compared to normal upbringing styles, and she went on to teach and watch children while sharing her knowledge with the world.

I’ll break it down into a few simple, commonly used sentences in the Montessori community to explain what it ACTUALLY is;

• Follow the child within safe boundaries. (Metaphorically)

• Have children exposed to open, organized spaces with minimal clutter and toys, or other distractions while introducing practical life activities.

• That way the children learn to follow their natural learning insticts and not the ones generations ‘decided on for them’. I.e., ‘ play with this, stay in this area, you can’t do that yet’