Responsive parenting

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. 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…)

Use play to reconnect with your child

preschooler meltdown



You know those days when your precious little cherub is just driving you nuts? When you are about to lose it, and in your defense, she really isn’t at her best either?

Yesterday was one of those days. I was at home with the three kids (five, three, and one and a half), and the oldest had gotten really whiny. She was wanting some screen time and it just wasn’t in the schedule at the time.

“But Momma, I’m missing my game time…”

“Please let me play?”

I tell her it’s not time right now.

“Just please let me play?”

I say, “I’ve already told you no.”

“I just can’t think of anything else to do.”

Getting irritated, I say, “You can either play or help me put up laundry.”

Ensue crying. “I don’t want to do either of those things.  I only want to play my game!”

And so it went on.  My patience was wearing super thin.

It was just after Halloween, and both my little girls had chosen to be witches (they were adorable, by the way). Bella Bean, my three-year old, had put on her witch costume while all this whining was going down, and kept walking into the middle of the swath of folded laundry surrounding me as I was trying to get it all put away (also a pet peeve of mine). Suddenly, I had an idea to try to help everyone get it back together. (more…)

How your child can help with meal prep (tasks by age)

preschooler knife skills

Letting kids help you in the kitchen can be hard, it’s true. But even though allowing littles to “help” you in the kitchen can be difficult physically and mentally, but the end result is worth it!

Here’s ideas for what your about what your kids can actually do for meal prep by age.

Meal prep tasks for young toddlers

I let each of my kids get involved in meal prep around 18 months old.  They only do really simple things, and I have to be right on top of them, but I want them to get the idea that cooking is fun!

Budrow stirring up ingredients for a casserole.

I have found that when they’re this tiny, they’re too short to reach the counter, even with a stool!  Plus, they’re still pretty squirmy.  Putting them in their high chair/booster seat solves the problem by letting them reach either the table or their little tray.

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