The Latest Posts

Uncategorized

Understanding Adult And Child Episodes Of Flipping Out


In my last section on parenting kids, seriously, I explained the left and right brain. Now I will explain the upstairs and downstairs brain.

The downstairs brain controls: emotions, bodily sensations and actions i.e., anger, breathing, blinking, fear, fight or flight

The upstairs brain controls: thinking, planning, imagining, processing, self understanding, control over your body, morals

The brain works best when it is balanced – or ‘integrated’. To vertically integrate the two, we want to work from bottom to top. We want to be able to take the natural, nature instincts from the bottom, and evaluate and control them with the upstairs brain; To think about our emotions and physical feelings from the downstairs and make the right decisions with the upstairs.

With in mind, there are two type of tantrums: upstairs brain tantrums and down stairs brain tantrums. But remember, its not just kids who have tantrums – adults flip their lid too.

Learn more about how these two types of episodes vary inside your brain, and how best to handle them, on my page!

When we handle our own and our kid’s emotions, feelings and actions correctly, we help curb future meantal health struggles and increase emotional intelligence.

https://thejudgementalmom.com/kids-seriously/3/

Uncategorized

A New Way To See Change


Imagine a forest you must travel every day to get to your destination.

After days and weeks and months of taking the same path you always have,
there is a trail worn in and the path is easy to see and travel on. It also
happens to seem like the quickest way there because it’s now been the road most
traveled on.

Every time you take this way though, you have to go through a swamp.
The swamp is not easy and there’s bugs and creatures in it you don’t like but
you take it anyway because that’s just the path you take to get where you’re
going.

Then one day you’ve had enough. You decide to try another way, and instead
of taking the frequently tread, common path, you decide to make your way through
the tall grass where there is no trail. It takes longer at first, you have to
break down the grass and push sticks and logs and large plants out of your way.

Once you finally reach your destination, it’s taken twice as long as the other
path – but there was no swamp this time. No bugs and creatures and animals of
threat lurking. So you take the path the next time and the next time and the
next time.

Soon, the path begins to wear itself in, and it no longer takes twice as long as the other, but the same about of time. And as this new path wears into the ground and becomes the new “common path”, the old path with the swamp grows over. It’s no longer traveled on, and you can’t even see it anymore. 

That’s how change works. In your mind when changing your ways, habits and automatic thoughts; And in life when looking at things metaphorically. It’s hard at first, but perseverance and repetition will lead you to where you want to go.

 

A section I wrote from my site page, Parenting Kids, Seriously.

https://thejudgementalmom.com/kids-seriously/2/

Uncategorized

It’s A Sh*tting Rainbows Kind Of Day


Who has time for self-care. When you work full time and are a mom full time and a wife full time. When you come home from work and have an hour to spend with your son, and have supper, and let him have a bath (because he wants the bath) and get him ready for bed and for you to shower and then go to bed.

It’s a day that you remember that you are the glue that holds everything together. And that with out the small family that surrounds you, you have no one. And that you have no one else to help you but yourself.

Its a day where you’re fighting yourself to make it through work. Fighting the frustaration at work. Fighting the frustrations at home with your loved one. Fighting to keep it together for your child. Fighting to keep an income in and keep the bills paid.

Its a day where you rememeber all the hard times you’ve gone through with and without your family. And how far you have came.

Its a day that you realize nothing gets easier the older you get. That the more responsible you are, the more responsibilities you have. That farther you have to fall.

Its a day where you know you have to keep telling yourself that “this day is so fast, this day is so easy, I’m in such a good mood”. Even though its all lies youre just trying to make yourself believe to make it a little easier.

Its a day you rememeber that you’re not the only one fighting this fight, but knowing that doesn’t really make a difference, if anything it makes this world a darker place.

So you think of your child and the smile their face brings. And remember the light that they are cause you know deep down that somedays they are your only reason to keep going.

Yeah, I’m shitting rainbows today. I even put on my socks that say so.

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Questions, Concerns and Responses

Big Emotions With My 2 Year Old


Question:

I need some advice on how to teach a very emotional 2 year old about emotions, feelings, and calm mindfulness? I am in no way trying to stop her feelings or emotions. I just need help teaching what each emotion means and just helping her understand what feelings are. I could really use some resources or tools to help us!

The Judgemental Mom’s Response:

Start with helping identify her emotions. Talk to her about why she is feeling the way she is and what she “wishes”. Until she is older and commication is more established, I would say back to her what she says for both her sake and yours – to acknowledge you understand how she is feeling and why.

Try not to invalidate her feelings with statements like:
• “you’re okay”
• “it’s not that bad”
• “you just ate, you can’t be hungry”

These statements often don’t have the intention of disregarding their feelings, but this is how they are interpreted by our littles as they take things very literally.

You can respond instead by just acknowledging her feeling:
• “you’re still hungry after all that food”,
• “you sound really hurt”
• “You are frustrated because you still want to play”

You can help her connect with you in these moments and trust you by validating her feelings and letting her know that they have a big importance to her -regardless how miniscule the reason behind her feelings are to an adult.

Some connecting statements in example:
• It must be so FRUSTRATING when you want to finish your show but we have to get going
• I know it’s really DISAPPOINTING for you that you couldn’t have that toy from the store. I WISH that you can have that toy for your birthday!
• I bet when your brother took your book it made you so ANGRY. If someone just took something from me like I would be so mad!

The point in these examples is not encouraging the child’s tough emotions, but connecting WITH the child about their tough emotions.

At this age, your daughter may have a hard time understanding the different emotions. You could start simple, with 4 or 5 main emotions with a picture on the wall to help her find which one she identifies with (shown below).

Even letting them look in the mirror during their upset can be helpful so THEY can see how THEY look. Once you have talked about what happened, help her find how to do something differently or alternatively when possible.

To help her find her stopping point, consider these statements:
• How about you leave your game/show right here, so it will be waiting for you when we get back
• Let’s take a picture of that toy you really want so maybe I can get it for your birthday
• Your brother is still learning about waiting his turn for things. Let’s make sure your spot is saved in the book so when you get it back you can keep reading

Now is also a good age to start reading books about emotions together. Pick a calm time to learn about them though, as littles won’t absorb much in the heat of a feeling.

Some safe ways to express tough emotions:
• Stomping her feet
• Hitting the carpet
• Hitting a pillow
• If she wants to yell, show her how to yell what she’s feeling i.e., “I’m so ANGRY!!” and scream as hard as she can into a pillow.

You may find it beneficial to also begin teaching your daughter breathing exercises. A wonderful tool for guided breathing and meditation for both adults and kids is an app called Relax Melodies, found on the Play Store

Reccomended books about kids and their emotions for parents:

• The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel
• How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Reccomended books about emotions for preschoolers:

• The Feelings Book by Todo Parr
• Happy Hippo Angry Duck by Sandra Boyington
• Moody Monster Manor by Jenn Simon (Scholastic book)
• Baby Faces by Kate Merrit
• When Sophie Gets Angry – Really Really Angry by Molly Bang

For more helpful information regarding children’s big emotions, selecting your response with your children, and guiding them to talk about their struggles, visit https://thejudgementalmom.com/kids-seriously/5/

Parenting Questions, Concerns and Responses

Should We Get A Play Kitchen?


Question:

My son is very very interested in pretend cooking. He’s 19 months old. I am leaning towards getting a play kitchen. But at the same time I am aware that I don’t want to invest in another toy that takes up space and isn’t open ended. Any other ideas to offer the same experience without actually buying a play kitchen?

The Judgemental Mom’s Response:

Let him cook with you.
Show him how to take a piece of bread of out of the bag and put it in the toaster and push it down.
Let him try to butter his toast/crackers, what-have-you. Get him in on baking and mixing – get the the ingredients ready in their own dishes before hand so that when you start you just instruct your LO what to put in first and when to stir. If you’re making muffins or something, let him fill up the muffin tray with the batter he made. Let him help you put away some groceries. If you’re making a can of soup you can show him how to open the can, pour it into the pot, fill the can with water , add it to the pot, stir, then put it on the stove (I would do the stove stuff of course until they’re more familiar).
That sort of thing.

But if this is what you already do, do you have any extra cabinet or drawer space you could make available to him? Something that he could use as a pretend kitchen area for him when he wants to? We happened to have extra space in our kitchen for this, so we dedicated a lower cupboard and two drawers to our little one that he pretends is a fridge and stove. Then we put his table and chairs in there as well so that he could use them as “counter space” when he was in the kitchen-play mood.

If you want to get creative with it, you could even draw and cut out some appliance accents and tape them to the cabinet for added kitchen theme. Like making pretend knobs or fridge handles to put on the draws and cabinet doors. You could even print off pictures of some things and tape them the wall. Utilize a small carboard box and make it into a microwave. All the fancy toys out there do not always satisfy a child’s imagination and creativity! Often it is more fun for them when they get to use the real items in their pretend play.

Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Forgetting Ourself


It’s hard, sometimes, to be a gentle parent. Especially when we didn’t grow up with gentle parents. Even then, parenting can be hard. Really hard; and all of us parents know that – just some of us have more emotional skills than others. That doesn’t make those parents better or worse than the others.

Sometimes when our children are not following our agenda, and on our time, they push back. As gentle parents, it’s our job to acknowledge why they’re pushing back, and validate their feelings. But things still can be frustrating for us. Especially if we ran out of time to take our time.

So in these moments it’s important to validate our own feelings.

We have to remember to be as gentle with ourselves as we are trying to be with our children.

Sometimes we need to tell ourself, “okay I’m feeling frustrated”, “I’m disappointed with myself because I didn’t plan enough time”, “I’m nervous I’m going to get in trouble for being late for work”, “I’m anxious that it makes me look bad when I have poor timing”, “i’m upset that things are not going smoothly”, etc.

Children learn gentleness best by their parents and others being gentle with them; but also by watching others be gentle with themselves. This is important, too, because we can’t always be there when our children are having a hard time. Sometimes they’re in school, daycare, at a friend’s, at their other parents place, grandparents place, etc. In these moments, they can begin to practice treating themselves how they have watched others treat themselves.

More so, we just need to cut ourself some slack. We set high enough standards for ourselves when trying to better our children and our future Generations.

Breath in, breathe out. We’re only human. It is okay if life feels a little heavy sometimes.


Related Posts

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Yourself, Seriously

Ways For Kids to Burn Off Energy Indoors


Sometimes being outside isn’t always an option, so kids get pent up energy – resulting in them finding ways to burn off the energy that are often frowned upon or unsafe. While some parents resort to tv, it only temporarily suspends the energy but doesn’t solve the problem itself – that children’s muscles are seeking stimulation for both sensory and growth purposes.


The answer?


What’s called “maximum effort activities”. See below for a list of easy, at-home activities that will burn off some steam.

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

8 Benefits of Classical Music


Did you know classical music is soothing for all ages? Both parents and children finding themselves stressed out can try dim lighting and soft classical music – piano is optimum.

Research shows classical music can actually raise dopamine levels too – helping with depressive moods, trouble focusing, over stimulation, and chaotic thoughts.

• Positive auditory sensory stimulation
• Calming
• Clears chaotic thoughts
• Inspiration
• Healing and nurturing to the mental and emotional spirit
• Improves sleep
• Improves focus
• Lowers blood pressure

Reccomendations

Some of my favorites are Claire du Lune and Reverie by debussy, feure de leis by Beethoven, Nocturne by Chopin, BWV 988 by Bach, and Piano Concerto 21 by Mozart.

Parenting kids, Seriously

“Misbehaviour” Could Actually Be a Sign of This…


Children are simple yet complex human beings.  They may be able to talk, ask for food, or ask to go outside, but they still lack the ability to communicate things and feelings they don’t understand. Heck even some adults have this problem! 

When kids (babies, toddlers, preschoolers) can’t communicate what they don’t understand, their body dictates for them on their behalf.

Problem is, they can never understand if we don’t understand either. And then what happens? They grow up to be adults who struggle when their body signals to them urging for “more of this” and “less of that”.

Regardless, all parents should learn about sensory processing so they can better understand their children’s behaviours – or as some would call, misbehaviors. And of course, all parents should contact their doctor if they have any concerns about their child rather than diagnosing them theirselves as they could be missing something bigger.

So let’s talk about SPD.

Anyone can have Sensory Processing Disorder. The name can sound scary as many fear a title that ends with “disorder”. But SPD can be very deceiving, as parents typically see the symptoms as an issue with the child’s behaviour and discipline – and not as symptoms of sensory input and output struggles.

Any child, any human being actually, processes sensory input and output. Kids and babies are especially sensitive to this because, well, everything is developing still.
They don’t necessarily have to have a disorder, per se, to be reacting to their sensory input and output. However, any child that’s more sensitive than others and are more active than others will show signs of under or over stimulation more easily than the rest.

The reality is that any child will start getting restless or irritated from under or over stimulation in one or all of the 8 (not 5) areas of their sensory inputs. Any child can have sensory processing struggles without it being a disorder. Its the degree and frequency of the struggles that determines that its an actual disorder.

The eight areas of sensory input:

• Visual
• Auditory
• Tactile
• Olfactory
• Gustatory
• Vestibular
• Proprioception
• Interoception

For more information about identifying sensory under and over stimulation, I highly recommend the book, “Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Signals” and  “Understanding Your Baby’s Sensory Signals”, both by Angie Voss, OTR.

Just do it yourself

DIY Letter Learning Box


DIY letter box for preschoolers! It is great for both engaging the tactile sensory input as well as the brain while absorbing the LOOK and FEEL of a letter ! We just drew each letter on a piece a paper and put it beside our son as he worked away, focusing hard.

All you need from a dollar store is:

  • A small box
  • Some paint
  • Some sand

Paint the bottom of the box so it stands out through the sand when a letter is traced. Once dry, put a thin layer of sand in!

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

Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day


Many parents that grew up in an athoritarian, strict, cold environment remember how difficult it was on them as kids, and chose to parent differently with their own kids.

Those parents face many hard situations feeling alone, as they try to teach their children understanding, empathy, compassion, and patience in situations when big emotions are being felt because they lack some of these skills themselves.

If you’re not sure if this is you, you can read up here on what it’s like to have unknown, unresolved issues from your childhood.

It’s hard to parent differently, because we only know what we have been taught. So I’m just here to remind you today, that you’re not alone with this battle to do better than what you know, and that your efforts alone are doing great work for your babies and future generations.

Don’t listen to those voices telling you “its not working”, or “you’re spoiling your kids”, or “you need to be harder on them”.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. 💕💕

Parenting kids, Seriously, Parenting Questions, Concerns and Responses, Parenting Yourself, Seriously, Voice boxing it

Parenting Regimen and Origin


Hello everyone! I have created a short survey/questionnaire so I can learn more about other parents. It is completely anonymous and I would greatly appreciate all responses.

Thank you!

Voice boxing it

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Me


Here’s a little about myself today

Because some passersby’ers see my name and head for the woods – but I’m not planning on changing it anytime soon.

Full time tradeswoman, mom and wife, I consider myself an advocate for children, mental well-being, and drive for change
💪 👩‍🔧👨‍👨‍👧

Coming from a broken home and a hurtful raising left me struggling for the rest of my life, continuously in and out of doctors, hospitals, therapists and pharmacies.
💔

I just wanted to be and feel normal
🤞

Who knew that becoming a parent would help all that?
🤰💕

My fear of ever letting my child feel the way I did growing up drove me into the books, research, and parenting community.
🙅‍♀️🔎👩‍💻📚🤓

Absorbing everything like a sponge, from development, children psychology, and child-rearing, to judgement, PPD, and establishing boundaries.
📔📕📗📘📙📓

Despite my blog name, I’m not here to judge but to share my knowledge of poor parenting from first hand experiences, and educate others on new ways to approach things.
💡👩‍🏫📈😁💕