Responsive parenting

Purple crying: when you can’t make your baby stop crying

baby won't stop crying

Your new baby is a few months old now. You had finally gotten settled into a routine, and then something changed. Suddenly, your little bundle of joy is crying all evening, every single night. What happened? Is this the dreaded colic you’ve heard of?

And let’s be honest, there’s a good chance that your hormones have not shifted back to normal yet, and your emotions are still all over the map. So having a baby cry and scream at you for hours on end can make you frazzled and send you totally over the edge!

RELATED: Dealing with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety

I remember this stage with all three of my babies, but I especially remember it with my oldest. My husband and I had no idea what to do. Was this colic? Were we doing something wrong? Were we bad parents?

It turns out, the answer to all three of these questions was a resounding “no.” And by the third child, I had a huge realization that completely changed my outlook on this stage and made it SO much easier! Of course, I’ll share some tips with you on how you might be able to comfort your baby during this stage, but ultimately I want to tell you the perspective shift I had so that it can hopefully help you the way it did me.

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Positive parenting vs. spanking: The research

If you’re a a late Gen X or Millennial parent, you’ve probably noticed that parenting advice and styles seem a lot different from when we were kids.

Or perhaps it’s just that parenting advice is a lot more available now than it was when our parents had us (thank you, interwebs!).

Either way, times have changed, and there’s a lot of emphasis on positive parenting, gentle parenting, responsive parenting, or whatever you want to call it.

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How mindfulness can make you a better parent

mindful parenting

Mindfulness can make or break a whole afternoon with your child! How can this concept teach you to use responsive parenting instead of reactive parenting?

Case in point: A week or so ago, I unexpectedly ended up being the one to pick up General Leia from school. When she saw me, the first words out of her mouth were, “Can we go over to Nana’s and Poppa’s to do my art project?”

I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for a “Hooray! I’m so happy to see you, Mother dearest!”

But I told her cheerfully, “Sorry, we can’t play go to Nanna’s and Poppa’s house tonight. We have to go get your brother and sister and then go home.” This started a whole dramatic ordeal in which Leia’s world was ended and she cried as I walked past the other moms picking up their own cherubs from school. Awesome.

My instincts in that moment were not MOTY material. Ungrateful little kid, you could at least pretend you liked me. Honestly, I wanted to be snarky with her, because my feelings were hurt.

But I thought about where she was coming from, how I wasn’t who she expected that afternoon. Perhaps she had been thinking about doing that art project all day, and then there I was instead, blocking her from painting and creating. So I tried to stay positive, and after a bit we somehow made going to the pharmacy to pick up a neti-pot into a little adventure (you get adventure where you can!).

Of course, I don’t always do that well when my kids are in a bad mood. It’s hard to do!

But what if, instead of reacting according to our instinctive, negative emotions, we stopped and evaluated our thoughts first? 

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The only three family rules you need

With children, you never know what they’re going to do on any given day. No wonder you need some great family rules!

Case in point: A few days ago, my husband and I came home from a trip with some chocolates that I’m really looking forward to. Even though we don’t do a lot of sweets for the kids, we also got them a few chocolate covered pretzels and let them have a piece the night we got back into town. So my kids knew there was chocolate on the counter.

I came to the kitchen yesterday to see that Bella Bean, my three year old (and scrounger), was about to get into the candy. I moved it to the top of the fridge (where they couldn’t reach even with a stool) and then put all three kids to bed.

The next morning, we got up and I started getting dressed. I noticed a suspicious quiet (you know what I’m talking about, parents of toddlers). (more…)

What to expect with a new baby – 8 tips

new baby

When you have a new baby, everything is so new, and it’s a steep learning curve. And the stakes feel insanely high.

Plus, you’re exhausted. The first month or two with a baby is hard. But with a few newborn tips and some support, you can do it!

So what’s normal for your little one, and what is actually something to be concerned about? Continue reading to learn more about what to expect with your newborn baby. (more…)

11 steps to calm tantrums

temper tantrum

We’ve all had that moment out in public where your child freaks out and it feels like everyone is looking. It’s like everyone stops and stares at his huge tantrum.

Or maybe you’re running late for an appointment, and of course your three-year old picks that day to lose his mind about not getting to wear snow boots in July.

It can be so stressful when your young child falls apart, especially whether you are in public or you just don’t have time to handle a meltdown.

Are you desperate for effective parenting strategies to calm toddler tantrums? Or perhaps your preschooler (or older!) is having frequent meltdowns and you need help dealing?

After all, the mindset of just. make. it. stop. isn’t enough. You want to help your child grow through these experiences, and heck, maybe for you to have some personal growth too. Here are some gentle parenting strategies to help you do just that.  (more…)