Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Black Friday Parenting eBook Sale

Hoorah! It's a Black Friday Parenting eBook Sale!

Get The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting for just $3.
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The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting Second Edition is an award-winning international best-seller.  It won the 2015 Book of the Year award from Creative Child Magazine and the Top Choice Award 2015 from Baby Maternity Magazine. Here's what people are saying:

This book was perfect. It was interesting and practical. If I wasn't a parent to a newborn and toddler, and a bonus dad to four teens, I would have time to read parenting books :)) My wife suggested I read this so I understand the heart of positive parenting, surprisingly I really got into it. I'm glad I made the time because this stuff changes lives.- Wesley S.

I love this book! Really looking at every situation and understanding the deeper issue is so eye opening. Building your relationship on love is the best thing you can do, in my opinion. And Rebecca Eanes has done a fantastic job of giving you tips with everyday scenarios and what might be the deeper issue and how to address it. I wish every parent would read this book!! - Jason G.

I really wanted to make the shift to positive parenting and Rebecca Eanes wrote an excellent book on the subject. My book is already dog-eared and highlighted as I Iove to go back and remind myself of tips after I get the kids to bed. Some of the suggestions are laid out with examples which is so helpful. I found myself reading outloud to my husband at times when we needed a direction shift. If you are interested in putting a focus on positive parenting then this is the beginner's book for you! I plan on getting the other book that she has written on the subject as well. - Amazon reviewer

Get Positive Parenting in Action for just $2
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Positive Parenting in Action walks parents through more than 40 scenarios to show how positive parenting is put into action! We address tantrums, aggression, lying, mealtime battles, sleep issues, and much more. It has also been an international best-seller! Here's what people are saying:

With a two month old, 2 and a half year old, and a 7 year old, I found helpful advice for all areas of parenting struggles that we face. This book provided the gift of letting go of the past and being hopeful for the future armed with this information and clear cut advice. EMPATHY is recommended to be at the forefront of every action and reaction, and this philosophy is a true middle ground between being permissive and being too strict and caught up with punishment and nagging. I feel like I was already doing most of this stuff but it was a very helpful refresher and cleared up a few things I was unsure or doubting myself on. I'm truly excited for tomorrow and all the rest after a tough parenting day and am thankful for these wise words. - Ali

This helped me tackle several issues with my almost-5-year-old. Great and easy read! Highly recommend if you are new to positive parenting. - Laura

This e-book offers great examples of how to overcome common parenting challenges. very practical and easy to begin implementing. also provides developmental info that is invaluable to parents. - Amazon reviewer

Or download them both together for $5. Buy Now Pin It Now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Ultimate Guide to Tantrums

Photo credit: Creative Child Magazine

Tantrums. They’re one of the most talked about behaviors in the parenting world. They’re even one of the top behaviors that cause parents to lose their cool with their kids. No doubt, tantrums give parents a hard time. The truth is, though, that during a tantrum, your child is having a hard time. Tantrums aren’t always a matter of defiance, especially in young children. There’s a logical, scientific, brain-based reason why your child is throwing a fit, and armed with this knowledge, you can handle tantrums more effectively.

As parents, we are usually given these 2 pieces of advice about tantrums.
  1. Ignore the child.
  2. NEVER give in.
We are told that if we engage with a child in any way during a tantrum, we are basically reinforcing the bad behavior. We believe if we ignore it, the behavior will stop, and because we are led to believe that a tantruming child is a manipulative child, we know we must never, at any cost, give in to their demands.

Unfortunately, this advice has us only looking at the behavior, not at the often-hurting child behind it. It drives us to push away our children rather than bringing them closer and offering comfort in times of need. Tantrums are a strong emotional reaction to a stimulus. When the information coming in trips an alarm and gets sent to our more primitive limbic system rather than our cortex (the higher brain which houses logic and reasoning), a tantrum can result. It actually takes a lot of maturity and self-control to not tantrum, because when that alarm gets tripped, our bodies get flooded with hormones that make us want to fight or run.

Yes, sometimes kids have a tantrum just to get their way. Tina Bryson, PhD calls this an upstairs tantrum. The child is in control (not acting from the lower brain), and pitching a fit to try and get her way. This is embarrassingly similar to our parental tantrums, isn't it? "My kid won't do anything I say until I start screaming!" So, we pitch a fit to get our kid to act. Then, we get really mad when our kid pitches a fit to get us to act.

But the truth is that doesn't mean that you are manipulative or mean or bad. It doesn't mean your kid is either. It simply means that, at that particular moment, both of you are out of resources. You have no idea how to get your need met in that moment other than to tantrum.

In either case, ignoring a child isn’t going to be effective. If it even appears to work, it’s likely she’s just learned to stuff her feelings down and not show them to you, which has no place in a healthy relationship.

The advice to never give in also isn’t helpful. It’s a blanket statement that doesn’t take into account the many different scenarios and personalities in play. If the child wants the blue cup and you bristle, refusing to give the blue cup just so you “don’t give in,” ask yourself if giving the blue cup is really going to ruin your kid. I don’t like the term “pick your battles” but there isn’t much point in making mountains out of molehills. There are enough mountains to climb as is.

So, what’s a parent to do when a child has a tantrum? I’ve asked my parenting expert and educator friends to send me their best tantrum resources, and I’ve compiled them for you in one place, the Ultimate Guide to Tantrums.

For Brain Science:
Upstairs and Downstairs Tantrums by Tina Payne-Bryson, PhD
Why We Should NOT Ignore a Tantrum by Tina Payne-Bryson, PhD
Why Kids Have Temper Tantrums by Dirt & Boogers
The End of All Tantrums by Nathan McTague

Preventing Tantrums:
4 Surefire Ways to Prevent Tantrums by Dirt & Boogers
How to Stop Tantrums Now and Prevent Them Later by TRU Parenting
5 Keys to Setting Limits that Minimize Tantrums and Meltdowns by Parenting Beyond Punishment

Tips for Handling Tantrums:
Toddlers, Tantrums, and Time-Ins, Oh My! By L.R. Knost
How to Manage Toddler Tantrums by Nicole Schwarz
A Brain-Based Way to Stop Your Child’s Tantrum by Nicole Schwarz
Getting Rid of Car Seat Tantrums by Creative with Kids
Tantrums: Emotional Regulation or Pure Manipulation? by Not Just Cute
How to Turn a Temper Tantrum into a Teachable Moment by The (Reformed) Idealist Mom
Stop Tantrums: 33 Phrases to Use with Toddlers by Andrea Nair
Tantrum Tamers: 32 Phrases to Use with 3 and 4 Year Olds by Andrea Nair

There’s an App for That!
Who can remember all of that great information in the moment every single time? Now there’s an incredible app! The Taming Tantrums app was developed a positive parenting expert and is helpful for more than just tantrums. It’s available for iPhone and Android.

My Tantrum Tips:

I know you don’t have time to read all of those at once, so here are my tips for dealing with tantrums:

1. Never withdraw your love and attention.
You don't have to necessarily give the child more attention, but don't ignore his very existence. That hurts. Acknowledge his distress and empathize with it, even if you have to do it from a distance. Some children want held, some want left alone, all want to feel loved and understood.

2. Teach her to recognize and label emotions.
There are a lot of ways to do this besides just naming them as they happen. There are free printables online, books, and other resources to teach emotional intelligence. Also, help them see and acknowledge what triggers them. "You get really upset when it's time to leave Grandma's. Let's work on ways to help you feel better about that."

3. Teach specific ways to deal with emotions.
My son used to love to pop a balloon when he was angry. He was two years old at the time. All kids (and adults) have different ways of calming themselves. Some like music. Others reading. Still others need to do something physical like clap their hands or rip paper. If they have an appropriate outlet for releasing their frustration, over time they'll learn to seek that outlet first.

4. Don’t punish. Teach.
Talk about whatever caused the tantrum after it's over and talk about ways to improve or handle the situation better. Teaching skills is always more effective than punishment. Just be sure to wait until the tantrum is over because when they’re operating from that lower brain, they aren’t going to take in the lesson.

5. Control yourself.
Tantrums can trigger our own strong emotional reaction. Put your own oxygen mask on first. We can’t teach kids how to do better if we can’t do better ourselves.

6. Give a little grace.
We are all human beings here. That doesn't excuse poor behavior, but if you've ever lost it on your kid, you can empathize with that strong feeling that makes us all behave poorly from time to time. Learn better. Teach them better. Give a little grace when it's needed.

There are loads of articles on the web about tantrums, all with contradicting advice, and many of them will tell you it’s best to ignore the child. It can be difficult to know what you should really do.

A good guiding question: How would you want to be treated?

I encourage you to tune in and listen to what your own heart tells you to do.

**This article was originally published at Creative Child Magazine.

For more of my Positive Parenting articles featured in Creative Child Magazine, click here.

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8 Actions to Chase Away the Mama Blues

Photo Credit: Creative Child Magazine

Motherhood is beautiful and joyful. It’s also exhausting and monotonous. Taking care of the ever-present needs of little ones often leaves little time for taking care of our own which can leave us feeling drained, dreary, and down in the dumps. If you’re feeling a little blue, try these tips to turn that frown upside down.

1. Check your focus.
My boys are all about Star Wars lately, and when I heard Qui-Gon Jinn say, “Your focus determines your reality,” I wrote it down. This is not just Jedi wisdom. Mamas need to understand that whatever we direct our thoughts and energy toward will determine what we live each day.
Are you focusing on your child’s flaws or her strengths? Are you paying more attention to his negative behavior or are you seeing his heart? Are you thinking more about the drudgery of every day, or are you looking for miracle moments? A simple shift in focus can pull you out of that dump.

2. Start off on the right foot.
If you can rise and shine before the kids get up, good for you! That’s certainly helpful, but it isn’t necessary for a positive start to the day. Whenever and however you wake up, remember L.E.A.P. This stands for lights, exercise, air, and protein. First thing, turn on a lot of lights or open the blinds. Next, get a bit of exercise. Stretch and move around to get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing through.

Also try to get some fresh air. Step outside, look up at the sky, and take a few deep breaths. Hello world! Finally, grab a bit of protein. Your body is ready to convert that into energy for your day, so don’t skip breakfast.

3. Reframe the negatives into positives.
Give thanks for the things that irritate you! “I’m grateful for these dishes. My children have eaten.” “I’m thankful for a hectic morning. We are alive and able to move around.” “I’m grateful for this huge, ginormous Lego pile scattered all across the living room floor, one of which I just stepped on because it means childhood is happening here.”

4. Pump up the jam.
Play upbeat music first thing in the morning while you make breakfast or get dressed. Studies show music actually improves your mood and has a lot of other benefits, likes lowering stress and anxiety. For added benefit, shake your booty. One study showed that dancing improves mental health.

5. Get curious.
Curiosity is a stepping stone to mindfulness, and mindfulness improves mental health. Ask yourself questions like “what am I noticing about my feelings today?” or “I wonder what is going on inside my child to cause her to behave that way?” or “what small step can I take toward that goal?”
By being curious rather than judgmental, notice how the energy shifts. Approach life with a child-like sense of wonder. See things in a new perspective, notice things you haven’t noticed before, and ask a lot of questions.

For more of my Positive Parenting articles featured in Creative Child Magazine, click here.

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