Love Courageously Challenge Results - Day 28

Friday, February 27, 2015 No comments

For the past 27 days, we've talked about what courageous love is and how to give it even through difficult circumstances.

Now that we are at the end of our challenge, think on the following questions and record your answers in your journals.

What did loving courageously do for you and your family this month?

Did you notice that loving courageously caused more or less misbehavior? 

How did loving courageously affect your connection to your family?

How did loving courageously affect the atmosphere of your home?


Do you want to continue to love courageously? What kind of support do you need in order to make that happen?



Loving Courageously Through Sensory Challenges (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 27)

Thursday, February 26, 2015 No comments


I'm honored to welcome Dayna to my website today to talk about loving courageously through sensory challenges. Dayna is the author at Lemon Lime Adventures and owner of Project Sensory.

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When you become a parent, you see images of happy families everywhere. You see mothers hugging their children and children smiling. You can't help but notice the happy families in the park, the children laughing at restaurants and you start to form an image of what your family will look like. However sometimes things don't turn out picture perfect. In fact, sometimes parenting can throw you for a loop and you have to learn how to love courageously through special needs such as sensory challenges.

All parenting has its struggles, that is for sure. This series is a great example of struggles that parents face everyday in their quest to love unconditionally. Today I would like to share a few ways that we have learned to love unconditionally through our son's sensory challenges.

What are Sensory Challenges?

While all children have some sensory preferences and dislikes, some children have more difficulty processing the world around them. In this case, their brains and sensory systems have a hard time integrating all of the input they are receiving and making sense of that input. This can result in a variety of sensory challenges and even a child who is diagnosed with sensory processing disorder.
Every day things that most children and parents take for granted can become a struggle. Getting out the door with socks that feel "right", finding a food your child will actually eat, having a child who constantly pushes and jumps... these are just a few of the challenges that your child might face.

Love Courageously Though Sensory Challenges

Educate Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community | When you are starting on your journey to parent a child with sensory challenges, you might find that you feel lost and you feel like a terrible parent. Its important to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can on both positive parenting strategies and sensory processing needs.

Recognize Sensory Needs | This is the tricky part. Its important to remember that children everywhere have needs and wants that are the root cause of their misbehavior and their frustrations. When your child has sensory challenges it can be very hard to determine the what is sensory and what is misbehavior. Learning to recognize your child's triggers (such as loud spaces, new people, certain textures, etc) can help you and your child feel more connected and positive.

Be Consistent | As with any good positive parenting routine, you want to start with consistency and clear expectations. A child with sensory challenges may have difficulty flying by the seat of their pants or making changes on a whim. They might even have meltdowns that are a result of unclear expectations.

Acceptance | As you learn more and more about your child's sensory needs, you will learn that many of their behaviors and attitudes come with the territory. This doesn't mean you are making excuses for them or allowing them to get away with things. Instead, you are learning to accept the things your child struggles with and what they are successful at. It will allow you to let go of some of the behaviors that bother you the most. A good example, is "look at me". While you might have grown up learning that this is the only acceptable form of respect from a child, you might have to accept and adjust your expectations if your child is unable to hold appropriate eye contact.

Let it Go | Parenting a child with sensory challenges might mean you get yelled at, deal with meltdowns frequently, and feel like a rotten parent. One of the best things I have learned to do while parenting my child with big emotions is to let it go, not take it personally and realize that my child is having a hard time not giving me one. It is important to let go of the blame, the guilt and the frustrations so that you are able to show your child the love they deserve (even on the hard days).

Today's Challenge : Do you know your child's sensory triggers? Can you recognize them and help your child cope through these challenges? Over the next few days, take quick notes on your child's meltdowns or frustrations. What happened before, during and after? Do you notice any patterns that you can try to adjust so that you and your child are happier and able to love courageously together?


 Headshot-family-150x150Dayna is a National Board Certified teacher, with over 12 years of experience in early childhood education, who now homeschools her 3 children, one of which struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder. She is the author at Lemon Lime Adventures and owner of Project Sensory, where she is dedicated to sharing real life stories with parents and educators about the pretty and the not so pretty days involved in raising children. You can connect with Dayna over on Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, and G+!




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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.

Loving Courageously Through Back Talk (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 26)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 No comments

Today, I am pleased to welcome Ariadne Brill of Positive Parenting Connection to my blog. Ariadne is speaking to us about loving courageously through back talk.

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For many parents, "back talk" can be a big button pushing moment. When you have made a nice request and receive "back talk" like whatever, no way and you can’t make me in return it can feel extra hard to respond calmly and kindly. Being a loving presence when a child back talks may seem wrong, but really it is what a child needs in that moment: loving guidance.
One of the principles behind positive parenting is the idea that behavior is communication. Back talk or any time when behavior and communication is off, is a good clue that our children are trying to tell us something. They just happen to be having a hard time doing so, with words we wish to hear.
While back talk may be a trigger for reacting to our children, back talk really can be an opportunity to step back. We can use this moment of miscommunication as an opportunity to offer guidance, model respectful language and give unconditional love.
Offering guidance and love when a child uses back talk isn't an excuse to allow disrespectful exchanges. Instead it is an opportunity to help your child learn to express himself in a clear yet respectful manner.
"I hear you are upset" is a loving and kind alternative to "don't you talk to me that way young lady!"
"I'd like to hear your side of the story. I find it hard to do so if you if you say whateves and i dont care. Let’s start over."  is a loving way to make your values clear and still invite communication.
When we change our own responses to back talk we are actively modeling the type of language we wish to hear. We also reassure our children that we are confident in their abilities to be respectful and that our parenting boundaries can be kind and clear at the same time.
How does this work in practice?
Lets say your child offers you some back talk like this: "I'm not setting the table and you cant make me!"
A loving yet confident response can be: "I hear you don't want to set the table, you are right that I cant make you. I also trust you to complete your job, even if it’s not what you really want to do right now. There are still about 10 minutes before dinner is served, you can play for five minutes and then help, or help and then play until dinner is ready."
Back talk can be a sign a child needs more choice, more power, encouragement or more loving guidance. Sometimes it can also just be a reflection of how they are being treated.
"Go to your room. Pick up those toys. Get moving! How many times...." Sound familiar?
Whenever I let stress seep into my life, communication might get rushed with my children and I’ll  hear more of those unhelpful phrases coming out. The minute I Infuse my interactions with more kindness and connectedness, I see my children begin doing the same!
So, to erase "you cant make me," "no way," "whatever," and "you go do it" I encourage you to look at back talk as an invitation for more connection with your child. Validate their feelings “I hear you wish you didn’t have to...” and “You don’t think you can do this? Did I get that right?”  Then see it as a chance to model respectful requests. "I cant make you AND i value your help. What do you say we work together?"
Back talk is not effective or polite, so the best way to help our children to communicate in a better way, is to show them how, with loving, kind words.  


Peace & Be Well,
Ariadne
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Ariadne Brill is the mother to three children. She has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and continues to advance her studies in child development, psychology and family counseling. Ariadne is also the founder of the Positive Parenting Connection and the author of Twelve Alternatives to Time Out: Connected Discipline Tools for Raising Cooperative Children.
Website


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Join me tomorrow for Loving Courageously Through Sensory Challenges.




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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.

March Mission: Provide Clean Water

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 No comments
Each month, Positive Parents will feature a charity. If you want to be part of the helpers, donate or share the posts each month. Together, we can make a difference.


There are always scary things in the news, but we can be the helpers. 

Due to a nasty winter storm, I've been without water for 3 days. It's annoying to not be able to wash clothes or take a hot shower at home, but I realize it's annoying to me because I'm privileged to usually have running water.

Many of us have no idea what it's like to be thirsty. We have plenty of water to drink -- even the water in our toilets is clean!

But many people around the world don’t have that luxury. Every day, 1,400 kids die from water-related illnesses before they reach their fifth birthday. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections and BioSand Filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.

I started this fundraising campaign to help charity: water build these types of projects around the world, and I'm looking for anyone who can help me.

Please donate to my campaign -- anything you can give is a huge help.

100% of the money will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, charity: water will send us photos and GPS coordinates so we can see the exact community we helped.

See our Helping Hands Campaign to learn more.



Loving Courageously Through Depression (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 25)



I'm so happy to have Andy Smithson from TRU Parenting today as my guest. He's written a beautiful article for our 'love courageously' series. 

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When experiencing the abyss of depression, people rarely feel “courageous” and yet, courage is likely your most defining characteristic. When I meet with parents that suffer with depression they often tell me, “I don’t feel courageous. I feel scared, anxious and sad.” When they tell me this I ask a question that often catches them off guard. I say, “Did you do anything for your children today?” To which most reply, “Well, yes. I had to keep being a mom. I made them breakfast and helped my son with his homework tonight, but I didn’t want to do any of those things.” “That is exactly what makes you courageous!” I say.
I love the quote, “Fear is wetting your pants. Courage is going to battle with wet pants.” (Anonymous). That’s what you do each day. Not wet your pants, but show courage by doing the very thing that you are afraid of. Courage is not courage without fear or a deterrent. If it’s easy, it’s not courage. Even though you may not feel like it, courage defines you. It is both your primary characteristic, and your lifeline.
The more you recognize your own courage, the simpler it becomes to continue to love courageously, even when you feel like giving up. The other wonderful thing about loving courageously and recognizing your own courage is that it not only gives you the strength to continue during the hardest times, but it also lifts you out of the depths of despair. It puts healthy patterns and cycles in place that reinforce our own positive moods and encourage others to do the things that help us to recover as well.


The following are a few tips for loving courageously through depression and emerging from the gloom.
  1. Remember your courage. Write the phrase “I am courageous” somewhere where you can read it often. Remind yourself regularly that your courage rather than your sadness and fear is what defines you. Realize that our greatest blessings come after we apply our will to something, not before.
  2. Get up, No. Matter. What. This can be hard for many people that suffer with severe depression, but it is important to recognize that staying in bed all day actually makes depression worse rather than better. Have a daily wake time and stick to it.
  3. Make a “love courageously” action plan. Identify, right now, at least one thing you will do to show your kids you love them, regardless of how you feel. Write it down and do it whether you feel like it or not. When we are depressed it is more difficult to think of ways to show genuine love and appreciation, so decide before hand what you will do.
  4. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy food. Get enough sleep. Exercise. Exercise has been shown to be one of the greatest things we can do for our mood and mental and emotional health. It’s helpful to remember the benefits you have received in the past from exercise and self care to help motivate you when it becomes hard. Identify ways to relax and calm yourself. It can be helpful to use relaxation and meditation practices to manage irritation, anxiety, and anger and improve your overall mood. Remember the benefits come on the back side of action rather than the front.
  5. Keep them close. Hug them, for them and for you. Cuddle, hold hands and just be close. Find opportunities for quiet, calm snuggles. There is plenty of research that suggests that the Oxytocin produced through human touch can be one of the most effective ways to improve mood and build relationships, even during times of struggle.
  6. Help them help you. Discuss needs and roles with your spouse and/or kids ahead of time and illicit their help. If depression is an ongoing struggle for you, it can be helpful to talk with your family about it at good times and help them understand and know ways they can help you through your most difficult moments. Finally, seek professional help if needed. Let those you love most help you get the help you need.

So remember, depression is not an obstacle to loving your children and family courageously. It is an opportunity to do so. You have already proven your sincere bravery. You have proven it in the lunches you packed, the cleaning you’ve done, the hugs, the smiles and the moments. There is no question of your courage, there is only the question of “will I continue?” Will I invite my children to join me in my journey to weather the storms of depression by loving each other courageously through it all?


Andy Smithson is a Husband, Father, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Author, Speaker and Parent Coach. He lives in Southern Idaho along the scenic Snake river with his wife and five children. He helps parents change negative patterns and establish/build positive patterns of successful, healthy personal, parenting and families using the simple principles of TRU (Teach intentionally, build the Relationship and Upgrade Yourself). You can find his writing at www.truparenting.net or connect with him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/truparenting or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theandysmithson.  



Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously Through Back Talk.






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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.


Loving Courageously Through Stress (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 24)

Monday, February 23, 2015 No comments

Stress can uproot us - make us act in ways that we don't like to act, feel things we don't want to feel. But we don't just have to accept that today's world is a stressful, busy place and we just need to adapt! We can own our lives, our attitudes, our actions in a mature and responsible way so that our children learn to do the same. Yeah, parenting is hard. It makes us grow up. It's not the kids that are hard - it's the changes we have to make within ourselves to be our best for them that's hard.

Here are two articles to read about stress. Come back for your challenge when you're done.

Stress Management

The Epidemic of Stressed Parents Raising Stressed Kids: From Generation X to Generation Stress


Learn stress management skills. 
Keep going, courageous parent!







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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.


Loving Courageously Through Bad Moods (Yours!) (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 23)


Not getting enough sleep is almost sure to cause me a bad mood. Yesterday, we talked about loving courageously through our kids' bad attitudes and bad moods, but let's face it, we're human, too. Sometimes we just don't feel like showing up today. Sometimes we feel like sulking.

But we know those moods don't serve anyone in our homes. We know we need to shift out of our bad moods and show up anyway because we set the tones for our households.

Read these articles on shifting your mood and then come back for today's challenge:

10 Ways to Let Go and Overcome a Bad Mood

Gratitude Can Shift Your Mood

Loving Courageously through your sour mood:

1. Do what you can to shift your mood. Kick the negative thoughts that are circling in your mind and intentionally look for something good to focus on.

2. Say out loud 10 things you are grateful for. When you begin to count your blessings, often your spirits lift.

3. Tell your child why you're in the mood. Chances are your kid has noticed, and this is a good way to teach emotional intelligence and let your child know your mood is not their fault. "I am feeling stressed today about something. I'm in a sour mood but it's not your fault, and I'm working to make it better."

4. Hold your tongue. Try with you might to not take your sour mood out on your child. Repeat your mantra over and over and over if you have to. "I choose love. I choose love." Look down at your bracelet and remember your promise.

5. Do something physical. Get outside if you can and breathe the fresh air. Being in nature is good for mood-shifting. If it's too cold or yucky out, do something that improves your mood, like dancing or yoga.

Bad moods are a part of human life, but we don't have to stay stuck in them. In your journal, write 3 ways to shift from a bad mood.


Join me tomorrow for Loving Courageously Through Stress.




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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.



Loving Courageously Through Bad Attitudes (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 22)

Sunday, February 22, 2015 No comments
 A quote from The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting Second Edition:
So often, children are punished for being human. Children are not allowed to have grumpy moods or bad days. We expect them to be in complete control of their emotional reactions at all times, yet how many of us can do this? Have you never yelled or slammed a door in anger? Have you never snapped at your child or spouse after a stressful day? Have you never given a hateful glare or complained about everyday frustrations? If you have never done those things, then you are certainly entitled to expect your child to be a perfect human, but for the rest of us, for all of us who sometimes slip up, we need to offer the same understanding and grace we hope is afforded to us. We all have hard days. Bad days don't make us bad people. None of us are perfect, and we shouldn't hold our children to a standard of perfection that we ourselves cannot attain.

This is not to say, of course, that you do not correct a disrespectful remark or a sour mood that is disrupting the peace of the home. It is our job to teach our children what is appropriate. Teach them that it's not okay to project a bad mood on those around them. Teach them how to handle frustration, anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment. Teach them that it's not acceptable to be rude to people. High standards are good. Hold them to a high standard! But please, hold yourself to one, too. Don't project your bad moods. Learn how to handle your frustration, anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment. Don't be rude to them. Set the example. We all need high standards, and do you know what else we all need?

A little grace.

You know better, but sometimes you have a bad day and you say something that isn't nice, or you slam a door, or you yell at your kids. We aren't robots. Sometimes life is just plain hard, and we need a break, not a lecture. We need a hug, not a scornful look. We know we did wrong, but we're having a hard time. We need someone who understands. We need someone who still believes in us. We just need grace.

The same goes for our children.


Sometimes, our human children will have human emotions. Like we do. And sometimes that comes in the form of a bad attitude or even disrespect.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." - John 8:7

I'm not insinuating that we don't correct bad attitudes and disrespect. I'm suggesting that we don't throw stones.

More days than I care to admit, I've had a bad attitude. I could name a dozen reasons, lay blame on stress or work or kids, but the truth is that I just didn't have myself under control. I wasn't managing my emotions or behavior well. It wasn't anyone's fault but my own. There have also been times when I've spoken to my children disrespectfully. 

If you don't have bad attitudes or speak disrespectfully sometimes, I would love to know your secret. So far, I haven't met any perfect people. That's why I don't expect my children to be perfect, either. If I did, I'd be a hypocrite.

So, what do I do when my kids have a bad attitude? Do I stand by and do nothing when they're disrespectful? I do different things, depending on the situation, but I always address it. 

Here are my ways of loving courageously through bad attitudes:

1. Sometimes, I just use humor. "Check yo-self before you wreck yo-self!" For Pete's sake, sometimes we just need to lighten up and have a good laugh. Not everything is about ME. Not every bad mood is some kind of devious master plan to bring me down. I mean, I woke up in a bad mood just yesterday. Too much working, not enough sleep. It happens.

2. Sometimes, I offer a hug and a chat. "Looks like you're having a rough day, love. Need a hug? Would you like to talk about it?" I like it when my husband does that for me when I'm all grumpy. I need that, you know? I need a hug and a chat. If he told me to stay in my room until I could have a better attitude, I don't think I'd like him very much.

3. Sometimes, I remedy the cause of the bad attitude. Once, when mine were much younger, I noticed Spongebob was the little yellow culprit behind my son's sudden love of calling everything "stupid" and being generally....Spongebob-like. So, I stopped letting him watch Spongebob. I explained how the attitudes characters have on cartoons don't have any real affect because they're cartoons, but in real life, attitudes do have an affect. So do words. I've also noticed my oldest gets the grumps with too much screen time and my youngest is never really grumpy, but he does get a bit wild when I've been overly distracted and haven't filled his cup. So, I make adjustments and things get better.


4. They each have a social-emotional notebook they keep as part of our homeschool curriculum. In it, there are pages where they graph their moods and energy, pages that talk about feelings, and pages that show them how to manage their emotions. We go over these things regularly. 

5. They see me go to into what I call my "mind palace", surrounded by journals and coffee, and shift my mood. I model that for them. I'll say, "Dudes, I have a case of the grumpies and I'm going to take 10, okay?" They need to know we all have these feelings and, more importantly, we all have a choice on how to act with these feelings. 

I know this takes courage, gentle parents. Your inclination is to come back at that bad attitude with a bigger and badder one. Show them who's boss! You want to squash that disrespect with your iron fist because, by golly, how dare they after all you do for them? That's a lose-lose situation. Love wins.

"People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes." - Pauline Phillips 



Today's Challenge: Do you fight fire with fire? How do you typically react to bad attitudes and disrespect? Will you commit to loving courageously the next time you're faced with it?




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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.


Loving Courageously When There's Danger (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 21)

Saturday, February 21, 2015 No comments

1. Toddlers are biologically programmed to PLAY and to EXPLORE. Both are crucial in toddlerhood. Don't squelch your little one's curiosity, but instead provide a safe place for her to explore and begin teaching her what is off-limits through language, play, and empathetic limit-setting.

2. Don't mistake independence for defiance. Some toddlers are more strong-willed and independent than others.

3. Develop a habit of seeing through your toddler's eyes. From your perspective, you're using your stern voice and redirecting him when he goes for the outlet. From his perspective, he's learning cause and effect. "Every time I go near this thing, mommy changes her voice, jumps up, and scoops me away! How fun!" So, his smile as he heads toward the outlet again isn't defiance, it's a game. "You silly boy! You like for me to chase you! Outlets are dangerous, OUCH! You'd better run that way, I'm going to get you!!" Giggles!

3. Save your "danger voice" for the biggies. The average toddler hears the word "no" an astonishing 400 times a day, according to experts. If you use a big voice or yell out often, or use "no" a lot, this will soon lose effect. Your child may not be able to tell the difference between "NO! Stove hot!" and "NO! No cookie!" All she hears is "NO!" and if she hears it often, it doesn't signal danger. Consider using "no" infrequently (Check out How to Say No Without Saying No), and use different words for actual danger, such as "DANGER!" or "STOP!" which are more likely to catch your child's attention.

Loving Courageously When There's Danger:

1. Please understand it is your responsibility to keep your child away from dangers such as hot stoves and streets; it is not your young child's responsibility to know what is dangerous.

2. Refrain from smacking hands to keep them from touching things. Young children have tender hands and it stings much more than you might think. He is more likely to associate the sting on his hand with "mommy" than with the hot stove.

3. This is a time when it is perfectly okay to raise your voice to get attention. Again, this is why it is good to not get in a habit of raising your voice over small things. If you yell all the time, a raised voice is just typical and doesn't say "warning!" to them.

4. Make your home child-friendly. Too often, we expect toddlers to deny their sense of curiosity and leave things alone when we say so, but remember that the part of their brain that houses logic and reasoning and still developing. So, going to the outlet or the kitchen cupboards isn't naughty. They are exploring, and it's our job to make sure they can explore safely.

5. Patiently teach your child about the dangers in his environment through play or books. As she gets older, she'll trust you when you teach her about the dangers of the outside world.

Today's challenge: Look for creative and gentle ways to teach your child about dangers in and out of the home.


Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously Through Bad Attitudes."





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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

If you'd like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). 

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.



Loving Courageously Through Lying (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 20)

Thursday, February 19, 2015 No comments

Lying is a normal part of development, yet we have so many fears and worries that our children will turn into compulsive liars if we don't come down hard and heavy on the first lie that escapes their lips. However, punishment, or the threat of punishment, only makes kids better and more frequent liars.

Read this article I wrote for Creative Child Magazine about young children telling lies, and then come on back for today's challenge.

Loving courageously through lying:

1. Avoid calling your child a liar. This is a negative label that you don't want him believing about himself. Simply state what you know to be true. "I know you wish you'd have brushed your teeth, but your toothbrush is still dry. Please go back and do it."

2. Acknowledge and appreciate honesty. "It took a lot of courage for you to tell me the truth. Thank you. It means a lot to me."

If lying is a trigger for you, write why you think that is. What happened when you lied as a child? What fears do you have when your child tells a lie? Are those fears rational?


Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously When There's Danger."





**************************************************

Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

If you'd like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). 

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.



Loving Courageously Through Dawdling (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 19)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 No comments


You need to be out the door in 5 minutes, and your child is still in his underwear.

Bedtime was 15 minutes ago, and someone still hasn't brushed her teeth or got her PJs on.

Dawdling is frustrating. Kids don't move at the crazed and rushed adult pace that we've grown accustomed to. Young children also don't understand the concept of time and what "15 minutes" really means.

Here are some tips to reduce dawdling.

1. Start earlier! If you know you have a dawdler, rather than spend every morning or evening gritting your teeth in frustration, make a simple adjustment to your start time. Get up a bit earlier. Start the bedtime routine 30 minutes earlier.

2. Plan ahead. If mornings are usually a nightmare, do as much as you can the night before. Lay out clothes, pack lunches, gather backpacks, etc.

3. Give your a choice between 2 or 3 things. If she spends 45 minutes trying to figure out what to wear, lay out 2 or 3 options for her. Offer 2 breakfast or bedtime snack choices. If she doesn't like your options, she's likely to pick faster tomorrow.

4. Use a timer. If they take ages to get ready for bedtime, set the timer for a set amount of minutes. They need to be in bed and ready when the timer goes off or else they may miss story time.

5. Create a visual chart. These are really helpful for young children. It takes the nagging out of the routine because they can clearly see what happens next. Give them "completed" pockets or a chart to tick off for a sense of accomplishment.

Loving Courageously Through Dawdling:

1. Take the time to connect. Carve out 2 or 3 minutes during the rush to offer a hug and words of encouragement.

2. Let natural consequences unfold but be kind and empathetic about it. If they didn't make it on time for the story, don't give in and read the story but refrain from a superior "that's what you get" attitude which will take away from the lesson. "I'm really sorry we don't have time for a story. I was looking forward to it, too. I hope we have time tomorrow night. I love you."


What changes can you make in your routine to lessen dawdling and frustration?


Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously Through Lying."






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Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

If you'd like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). 

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.




Loving Courageously When They Don't Listen (Love Courageously Challenge - Day 18)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 2 comments

Not listening is one of the top 5 behaviors that cause parents to lose their cool.

Head on over to Creative Child and read what I wrote for them about this topic.

To love courageously when your child doesn't listen:

1. Use a firm and respectful tone at a conversational distance. Barking commands from across the room, or across the house, is much less effective than walking over, getting their attention by engaging eye contact, and then speaking. 

2. Use "I want" statements rather than "will you' statements. "Will you pick up your toys now" leaves an option for "no." It's a question, not a request. "I want you to pick up your toys now" says that this is not negotiable. 

3. Ask once then take action. Few things are more annoying than asking a child to do something several times and not getting a response. So, don't ask them several times. State your request in a kind and respectful tone once, make it short and clear, and ensure you have eye contact or at least listening ears by asking her if she heard what you requested. If she doesn't do what you told her to do, then take action. This means if you told her to put her clothes away, go over to her, make eye contact, and say, "It's time to put your clothes away." Guide her toward the laundry pile and ensure she gets it done before you leave her room. Yes, I know this takes a lot of effort, and I realize you want her to do it the first time without you having to monitor her, but which is more effective? If you ask once then act, she will very soon learn that you expect her to listen the first time. If it continues to be a problem, go back to the first thing , the relationship. If you keep asking to the point that you lose your cool and yell, then she begins to understand she doesn't really have to do anything until you start screaming. So, by putting a little more effort in at the beginning, you will save yourself a lot of frustrating moments in the future. 


If you find yourself in a situation this month where your child just isn't listening to you, practice patience first, then see what a difference it makes to use the 3 suggestions above. 


Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously Through Dawdling."







**************************************************

Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

If you'd like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). 

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.



Courageous Love is Not Self-Seeking (Love Courageously Challenge Day 17)

Monday, February 16, 2015 2 comments

The Bible gives us a beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I think there is so much we parents can take from this verse and apply to the way we love our children. Love isn't easily angered. Love does not dishonor others. Love keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres!

I believe many of today's parenting practices are self-seeking. We are concerned, above all, with getting our needs met, and we are taught to train children to ensure that happens.

We "discipline" them to make them mind with little to no regard as to what the child is communicating through the behavior he or she is exhibiting. They have a need in that moment of wrongful behavior - a need to be taught, a need to be understood, a need to connect. Yet, we have a need to make them obey, and we put our needs first. Many conventional discipline methods have one goal - to make things easier for the parent.

We don't want our children to be much of an inconvenience in our lives.

Courageous love asks us to take the needs of our children to heart.

This is not to say that our needs as parents do not matter or that that they come last, but quite frankly that we are not selfish parents.

So, I ask you this today (and I'm pondering this in my own heart as well), are you self-seeking or are you in tune with the needs of your children? When you discipline your children, are you working to get everyone's needs met or are you only working to satisfy your own?

Today's challenge: Look for what your child's behavior is saying about his/her internal state and seek meet your child's needs. You can write the above questions in your journal and reflect on your feelings about your answers.

Join me tomorrow for "Loving Courageously When They Don't Listen."






**************************************************

Read the post that inspired the Love Courageously challenge.

If you'd like a wearable daily reminder, pick up a Love Courageously reminder band in my shop (available in the US only, free shipping). 

The "I CHOOSE LOVE" bracelets you requested have been ordered! You can preorder yours now in red or purple, debossed with white lettering (available in the US only, free shipping).

Order my bestselling book for more ways to embrace love.