Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Surving the holidays with toddlers.



How can you reduce stress for you and your little ones.

I'm not going to get into a long winded speech about why holiday are stressful on little ones, I'm just cutting to good stuff. What can we do about it?

1. Outings. Make only 1 or 2 stops in a day. Do not go all day to the mall, stop off at shoppers, pick something up from the post office and then squeeze in grabbing milk at walmart. It isn’t' fair the little ones your dragging with you. Plan better. Plan your week and only tackle about 2 stops before naps and 2 stops after. MAX

2. Keep 'em busy. Create tasks/crafts/bags that are toddler friendly. Have a basket above your fridge filled with new books, toys and busy bags for toddlers to play with. Stuff they haven't seen before when your busy on the phone or a unexpected guest stops by and needs your attention.

3. The tree. Allow your toddlers to help put up decorations. Let them decorate the half the tree they can reach. Blocking your tree off just has your babies more curious and find ways to get at the tree to pull it apart. Instead take the time to 'teach' them how to be gentle and how to put the ornaments on the tree. Make sure the stuff they can touch are baby friendly.

4. Gear shifting. Introduce simple songs to help with transitions. A 'clean up' song or a 'goodbye' song can be enough of a trigger to help relieve the stress of being taken to and from places abruptly. We all like to know, 'what's next' so make sure your telling your toddler the agenda.

5. Errands. Have a holiday schedule for yourself and your children. Knowing what to expect in the day will dramatically reduce stress. We have a fridge schedule, that tells us if we are going out to a
playdate/preschool/party that day. If we are baking cookies, doing crafts or driving to see Christmas lights. Let them know what to expect in the day.

6. Parties. We are not the same some of us love lots of company, some of us can only handle 2-3 people at a time. If your attending a Christmas party, remember to read your toddlers signals, they may be getting tired, hungry or overstimulated. Cases of biting and hitting increase around the holidays for some of these reasons. Keep your party short, be prepared to go home early or have good sitters in place if you know your toddler won't last. When something does happen, pick up the baby and give them a hug, ask them if they are tired or hungry. Guess on how they may be feeling and think about leaving for home.

7. Food. Ahhh... the cookie season. Increased wheat and sugar during this time of year can spike your children's sugar levels and disallow logical thinking skills. Try to hold off on giving too many treats in the day. Or buy special treats like raspberries and mango (expensive this time of year, but worth it) Cut their sugars with water/fresh veggies/protein. Keep out water all day long on the counter in their sippies. Get rid of juice for the month. Take your treats you get from friends and family and regift or put them away, so you have control on when they get them. Don't give any sugar treats an hour before bed. Best time of day is mid day when you are out and about.

8. Breathe. Start with yoga in the morning. A great utube video you can look up is called, "Cosmic Kids" It's fun yoga for kids. Talk to them and let them try it out with you. Funny to watch toddlers do this. It teaches them you value meditation, relaxation, breathing. It shows them how to take care of yourself first, so you can tackle the day.

9. Santa. If you know your little one may be shy or nervous with the big guy. Opt to NOT have them sit on Santa's lap, but allow them to see and talk with him from afar. The lines can be stressful and nerve racking as well for kids, making the hype increase as they wait. Highstreet in Abbotsford texts you when it's your turn and you get a private meet with Santa. No lines, and no loud distractions or crying when you visit.

10. Presents. Keep it simple. Toddlers don't need a lot of extra 'things' to play with. Keep it down to 2 toys, some clothes and ask grandparents to give the gift of money for soccer/swimming/signing/gym time etc. Keep sugar out of the stockings. Add a few toys and some slippers, an orange and raisin boxes.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Abraham Lincoln said,"We are as happy as we decide to be."

How can I do it? My entire goal in life is to be happy. I chose this, I know this I want this.

Now, how can I get through my entire day and stay happy?

How can I NOT allow the kids/dog/neighbour/bus driver etc to affect my mood?

I am the deciding factor of my mood, my day. In fact with my actions and behaviour I know I can actually affect others around me and change any of their bad influences and moods.

So who is stronger me or them?


I wake up everyday and I EXPECT to have a great day. So when the babies start whining, fighting, destroying the house etc. How can I nip this in the but? When the hubby comes home moody, or the neighbour once again barks about something I have no control over, how can I brush it all off? How can I let that stupid driver who just cut me off get away with it? Do we have the skills to move forward, think positive and carry on?

TIP NUMBER 1:

1. We must remember we cannot change others and how they act. We can only change our reaction to them.

2. We can choose to ignore their negativity. If my 4 year old is in a mood, I could just turn the music up and start dancing, couldn't I? I could give him a hug and say, "wow, sounds like your having a hard day. I hope it gets better, know that I love you." I could start singing badly and out of tune, I could act silly. I could carry on with my day and ignore it.

3. I could reply with a smile. Show them they have NO power over you. Don't allow your neighbour, your bus driver, store clerk, your tiny children to have more power than you by letting them affect your mood. YOU have the power to SMILE and be polite and walk away if you can.

4. If it is someone close to you, be honest and tell them that their attitude is unacceptable and you want none of it in your life. I have told my grandmother, mother, father and other important people in my life that their negative behaviour or complaining was not helpful and I wasn't in a good place to hear it right now. I asked them to stop and changed the subject. I use to fight with my ex a lot AFTER we broke up. He would call and try to fight with me. I finally got smart and said if your angry, call me back when you feel better and I dont' mind talking then. I would warn him if he didn't stop attacking, I would hang up. And then I DID! He got so use to me, that when I would warn him, he would quickly say sorry and move on to the subject at hand. It took months to teach him.

5. And most important of all - never reciprocate negativity. Rise above it and kill them with kindness. My mother always said this, "Kill them with kindness." She said, "You can catch more bees with honey my dear." And she was right. In the checkout line if I see a grumpy cashier. I get ready with my armour, I put on my smiles and I say, "Good morning, what's the good news?" It throws them off at first, they usually say nothing, but it's funny because more often than not, they think it over and begin 'searching' their database for 'good news' and they FIND it!  I have a few examples of this actually. One time, this really grumpy person said, "NOTHING. There's nothing good going on with me."  I said, "Oh I'm sure you can find something good. I just got a chq in the mail I wasn't expecting, that was cool." Then they think on it, and this guy said, "Well actually I'm learning French right now and I like it." We began talking about Montreal and french and traveling and by the time I left with my Subway sandwhich in hand, he was actually smiling.


Remember YOU have the power over your day. If others are 'getting' to you...
TRY

-changing subjects
-asking about good news
-changing scenery... when my boys are grumpy, we take a nap or better, we go for a walk - works everytime
-introduce new ideas/books/videos
-watch a funny comedy
-read a funny book
-DON'T watch the news or read newspapers
-go for a drive
-get some ice cream
-start to dream - clip out pictures or search Pinterest or internet for pictures of what you want and print them out! Pin them up, stare at them and dream, smile while you do it
-call a friend you know is ALWAYS happy and in a good mood


You can shape your day. You are the attitude that will shape the storms in your life.

Happy Living!


www.stickyhands.ca


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Unschooling means school is everyday.

Every wonder what to do with an old McDonald's container? Try making a fairy house.

Geran and Nash love the Tinkerbell movies and so today Geran wanted to make a fairy house.

We took an old McDonald's container and taped up the bottom to make it strong.
With some hot glue and many sticks/nuts etc we glued them onto the house. We used leaves for the roof and made sure it could still open and close.

There was already a door and window in place to pop out of the box, so easy peezy.

Geran made a bed out of an old jewelery box, felt and cotton pillows. Too fun!

Here is my Sunday:



It can open and close.

 The inside. We are currently using Popsicle sticks to make table and chair. We are going to add onto the walls etc... we may make the box bigger one day by taking off a wall and taping it to another McD box. We'll see.



 His MnM treasures for Tinkerbell he said.




Love that the container already had a door and window to punch out. We just glued on some sticks and nuts.


A bowl for Tinkers treats.




We put it under the hedge so the weather wouldn't destroy it as quickly. Geran added a 'rain-barrel' and a lamp which is hung up and you can't see it in this picture. He made the path as well.

At 4 years old he's been doing this for 1.5 hours. Can't believe he held his attention for that long.

www.stickyhands.ca

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Picky Lil' Eaters -Their problem, not yours.

Tips on Picky Eaters:

Avoid becoming a short order cook. Many parents make multiple meals during dinner time trying to please everyone. Stop today! It's better to teach children to make their own sandwiches above the age of 4. They will feel far more capable and you avoid a power struggle.

Offer Choices. When they complain simply state, "You can eat what is on the table, or fix your own sandwich. What is your choice?"

Invite Solutions. Invite children to use their thinking and problem solving skills. If they complain about the food then ask, "What do you need to do about that?" Invite them to use their power in positive ways instead of engaging in power struggles. Children love to feel capable.

Share Tasks. Prevent problems by having them be part of the planning and cooking. Use the small grocery cart for them to push and gather food on the list. When they want something that isnt' on the list simply say, "That isn't on the list." Say nothing more, don't engage into a big fight, just move on and keep shopping.

Let children help. Decide together what night they may want to cook with you. They are more likely to eat what they helped cook and be more cooperative when they are involved in the planning and executing.

Respond without rescuing. Simply avoid the cry for attention that become bonfires when you feed into them. Use active listening, "I guess you don't like that" and avoid the debate! Allow your children to handle the problem. It is their problem after all. You did your job. You made a healthy plate and put it on the table. Your job is done. Their job is to choose to eat it. You can't make them do that. "You don't have to eat it. I'm sure you can make it until your next meal."

Ease your anxiety about nutrition. Give your child a good multivitamin or whole food supplement. Then relax, she'll eat when she's hungry.

Good Luck!

For great presentation and food ideas check out this link! When you make the food colourful and fun, they are more likely to eat it.
http://www.pinterest.com/kc1622/toddler-food/

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Positive Time outs vs Punitive Time outs

Time Outs – Rethink it.

You hear many parents say it and think it, “I've had enough – go to time out and think about what you've done!” Under the age of 3, this doesn't have the same effect as you may think it does. Often resulting in toddlers sitting a corner, giggling, playing or continuing the behaviour that sent them there in the first place. You can teach a dog to sit, stay and roll over. You can teach your toddler to sit there and say things like “I'm sorry.” but the understanding of what they are doing and saying are just not at a developmentally capable at this age. 

Time outs can be a super effective tool when done correctly. When used to help a child (and a parent) calm down, the time out will be effective in this way. When we are frustrated and upset we are physically unable to access the part of the brain that allow use to think clearly. We must calm down first before we are able to think logically.
Time-outs should not be used with children under the age of 3 and half – 4. Until children reach the age of reason (2 and a half – 5 years old) and sometimes later, supervision and distractions are the best tools to use. Even when a child reach the beginning stages of reason, they do not have the maturity and judgment to make logical decisions. 

Parents know they cannot allow their children to play near a busy street, unsupervised, even when they think their children “know” better than to run into the street. They don't leave their young children at a park and expect them to logically reason their way home.
Young children need constant supervision. Sometimes removal, kindly and firmly, from what they can't do and guidance to an activity of what they can do is best. Show them what they can do and engage with them. If they pull kitty's tail or hit the hamster too hard, take their hand and gently pet the animal. Repeat what they can do. “Oh, we are 'GENTLE' to kitty. Show kitty gentle. This is how we pet kitty! Repeat, repeat, repeat. You have a very curious explorer to raise now, it's time to teach and repeat.

You may think they know what you want from them. You may think they are learning the skills, but remember young children can read your energy of your feelings and understand you want them to 'do something.' They may even guess at what it is you want such as, “saying sorry.” But they do not understand the logic of your arguments in the way you think they do. It is usually wiser to remove them from the situation, distract them, engage with them, feed them, change them, hug them etc. 

Punitive time outs at this age increases the probability that young children will develop a sense of self doubt and shame instead of a sense of autonomy. Which is what they are desperately seeking to do. Autonomy or independence is the skill they are now working on. They learned to walk and you encouraged them, giving them opportunities to learn this new skill. Parents now need to find a way to encourage independence.
Children do better when they feel better. Young children benefit from cooling off, especially if you go with them! One mother learned to use positive time outs successfully with an 18m old. She would say, “Would you like to lie on your comfy pillow for a while?” Sometimes he would toddle off to his pillow and lie down until he felt better. Other times he hesitated and she would ask, “Would you like me to go with you?” The concept of positive time out- a place for cooling off, was understood. It wasn't used as a punishment for a behaviour but a safe place to calm down.

Your attitude is the key to positive vs punitive time outs. They should NOT be used as punishment but as a way to help children feel better and calm down. Children do not have the capability to logically think about their actions and consequences the way adults do. (even some adults can't do it very well) This reasoning required for this is just not developmentally possible between birth and 3.

Parenting tools will not work all the time. Be sure you have more than just time-out in your pocket. Different people need different things to feel better. Some need baths, stuffies, going outside, hugs, feet massage, watching a show, going for a walk etc. You know what you need to calm down, shouldn't you help your child find out what works for them?

Think about what is age appropriate developmentally. At a restaurant for instance it is unreasonable to ask young children to sit for long periods of time, but it is not ok to disturb others. You may have to get up and take the children for walks outside a restaurant once in a while for a movement break. As your teaching 'restaurant etiquette' it will take more than just one or two visits. Try to keep these visits short. This kind of 'outside time or positive time outs' are very effective. They key is to help them develop skills with kindness and love.

Happy Parenting!~

Friday, September 20, 2013

How to teach self learning to children.

How to be a Mentor

Your child's best example of a successful thinker and self learner is you! Your life doesn't have to be perfect, so set an example of resilience and perseverance when mistakes happen.
Focus on habits of the mind that you most want your hcild to acquire and make them a priority. He will absorb the lesson of what you DO better than what you say.
Talk it out – discuss what you're doing and why. Wonder out loud. Consider alternatives out loud. Express frustration, but follow it up with how you will deal with the problem. The second part is probably more important than the first. Many of us talk about how we feel frustrated or angry but not discussing what to then do about it, which is why many of our toddlers don't know what to do with their angry and frustration.
Model useful attitudes towards projects, mistakes, goals and life. Take time to express delight and curiosity. “hmm, I wonder how that works, I wonder what that does? I want to know more about that, I think I'll get a book out at the library.” Think out loud! Slow Down! If you must do errands with your little ones, take more time and allow adventuring, learning, make it a teaching opportunity, not a rush and come home thing. Ask questions before you go. “What did you want to know about where we are going today?” “What kind of things can you bring along? Did you want some pen and paper so you can remember your questions, ideas and drawings?”
Let your daily life reflect your deepest interests, your passions, and your purpose towards goals. Talk about your passions in front your children. Get excited and share your excitement and your accomplishments. Celebrate by going out for dinner as a family and talking about how you are proud of mommy, daddy or the kids.
Everything you want for your child, could be something you want for yourself. For example I would love my children to want Playful learning, Curiosity, Expressing emotion and talents, Valuing intelligence and Community. So if I want that for them, then I must live that myself. This lesson is best and doesn't come from a text book, but from our lives. They will learn this more than anything else I try to teach them on paper because they will live it and see my living it.

THINGS you MIGHT do...

  1. Wonder out loud
  2. Express delight and interests
  3. Devote time to your interests. Invest in yourself!
  4. Share your passions with others
  5. Ask questions and make meaningful suggestions
  6. Voice disappointment, but follow up by voicing determination for yourself
  7. Reflect on your own accomplishment and share them
  8. Ask for help and offer help to others
  9. Follow through with what you say your going to do.
  10. Love yourself, this will teach your children to love themselves as well.

Y ou can help your child identify questions by helping him rephrase his wonderings, uncertainties and confusions as queries. If he wonders out loud, says he doesn't know something, or has a problem with a friend, you can help him re-frame his uncertainties and investigate. He can solve his problems with a little help, not a lot. Trust in his abilities even as a toddler/preschooler. They are smarter than you realize.
Maintain an ongoing list of questions on a large wall poster. Gently remind your child about his ideas and intentions he may have written before. Ask if he's satisfied with his results or if he want to investigate further. Encourage life long learning.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Week 9 - Get Outside!


Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #9 – Spending Time Outside.
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about spending time outside. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of practicing yoga.

I had to laugh of the irony of this post this week because we went camping this week. We lived outside all week. It was awesome! I loved teaching my boys about nature, fire, sparks, marshmallows, hiking, stars, bats. It was a great week. I can't say enough about how important it is to unplug and get outside! The memories you create are priceless.

My children were fascinated with everything. They are 4 and 2 years old, so everything was new. My 4 year old worried a bit about bears and my 2 year old always wanted to know when it was snack time. Both loved playing cars in the dirt and going for walks. My 2 year old was running everywhere and came home with tons of scraps and scratches on his legs. Well loved camping wounds. He also got the brunt of the mosquito bites. I had brought camping story books and my 4 year old loved to compare this trip to Curious George's story and Bearinstein Bear book stories. I thought I'd have to worry about 'homeschooling' but there was so much 'natural learning' that it wasn't even a thought. My 4 year old read the signs about pool hours and where the bathrooms were. They learned about dangerous berries and 'pokie bushes.' They learned about fire safety and how to put out a fire. The 2 year was potty training, so naked a lot. Peeing in the bush is the extra benefits of having boys.

I've added some pictures here. The boys kept asking me to take pictures of them, telling me how 'cute they were.' The 4 year old really liked learning about sparks and how to write your name in the sky with a stick with sparks on the end of it. The 2 year old was fascinated with the bats daddy was showing him. The 4 year old was a bit worried the bats might want to eat him, but we explained they ate the mosquito instead. We had to read our Magic School Bus Bat book.

Overall, I wish I was still there. They were happy to be home too though.

Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca

 Realizing a little dirt in the pancakes is not a big deal.
 Daddy's cook too!
 Finding sweet hiking spots.
 Colouring, cars and characters are the new tv.
 Dirt bike riding.
 Geran won that Diago at a children's festival they had at the camp.
 Learning about fire safety.
Beach time and sinking in the mud. Science!


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Some of My Favourite Things - Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares some of her favourite things to do outside with her kids.
Get Outside – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 9  Katrina from Kalem Photography has made quite a few changes since this challenge began and wonders if you have.
Nature Promotes Parental Sanity – Amber from Strocel.com declares getting outside a fantastic coping mechanisms for difficult parenting days.
Week #9- Spending Time Outside – Jennifer from the Children’s Directory let the expert lead the way.
Amy from The Connection We Share takes a break from work to go fly a kite.
Week 9 - Get Outside - Amanda from Sticky Hands spends the week camping.
Week 9 – Spending Time Outside -Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat learns that her agenda isn’t always the same as her twins. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Rant - For the children

Do people value choices? Do parents value choices? How do we show our children this?
Wear that, pick up that, put that away, study this, go to this school, be in this dance class, be polite, be quiet, sit in your chair, you can't take that toy with you, don't play with the game this way, that's not the rules! The list goes on and on... this one is especially overused...

DON'T TALK BACK! (this one baffles my mind?) It's like saying, don't have an opinion, don't tell me how you are feeling, don't express how angry you are, don't show me your emotions, don't question anybody, just follow along like a sheep.

Frankly if my child says, NO! I don't want to! Of course my face feels red, my heart begins to pound, fear creeps in, and thoughts like, "Oh no, now what? He's not going to listen to me, he's not going to do what I want him to do? I no longer have a robot, I have a person. What now????"
What now indeed? You now have a 3 year old. Or 4,5,6 and so on... your baby is growing up. Isn't that awesome?? Shouldn't this be the point where we go, wow, cool, your starting to develop your own opinions, thoughts, ideas... Your starting to realize you may have choices! you have a different way to do something! You have the ability to say no. Why can't we respect this no?

Ok, so let's get more specific, cause at this point your all freaking out and thinking, but what if it's NOT safe? not allowed? not socially accepted? not this time of day? not ok to play with? not ok to eat? What if he CAN'T do it and will fail, fall or get hurt? What if, what if...

I think that we need to sit down at this point of "I don't want to. and LISTEN to him/her! Actually LISTEN. This is where you start to ASK QUESTIONS! (and not just why? they don't quite get why yet.)

Also, try to RELATE to them. Try to guess what they may be feeling and why. VALIDATE this! Don't we want to be heard, validated and understood when we say NO!???

To give an EXAMPLE:

Clean your room! "NO, I don't want to!"

Parent: "I hear that you don't want to clean your room. How are you feeling?"
(maybe they can answer, maybe not) wait it out.
Child: "I"m mad!"
Parent: "Oh you look angry, your fists are tight, does your face feel hot? Is your tummy hurting?" (Try to guess how their body is feeling. This will help them connect their physical body to their feelings and words.)
Child: "I just don't want to clean it!"
Parent: "Your enjoying playing with your trains right now, aren't you?" (Try to guess why they don't want to do it. Maybe they are busy with friends, or in the middle of something else.)
Child:  "Yeah! I love my trains, I don't want to clean it up."
(Remember they could just feel overwhelmed and not know what to clean, or how to start or they don't want to clean up what they are playing with. Think about what is important for the right now and for you and your child's relationship. It is super important to clean up RIGHT NOW? or can it wait, can you put a timer on? Decide TOGETHER on a good amount of time. You want to invite cooperation.
Parent: "Ok, you like your train, but look at your cars, stuffies and leggo, your not playing with them right now. Why don't we put those away in the bins and I can help you. You can leave your train right where it is. You don't have to clean up your train right now. What did you want to start with? The cars? The leggo?"
(Begin to give choices, ask for them to come with ideas, or the order on doing something. Ask if they need your help or if they are old enough to try to do it independently? Use that word, they like to think of themselves as very independent! Use it as a praise in other areas of your day.
Child: "Can you help me? I'll put the cars away and you can do the leggo?"

Ok, I know this is just one example and there are LOTS of other situations that occur that may not be an easy fix, but this is a start.

I want you to start thinking of your children as little people with choices, ideas and desires. Let them be deciding factors in their own lives. Maybe they like their room messier than yours, it's OK!

Start to ask more questions. What do we need when we go outside? What do we need on our feet? It's raining what else can we bring? What do we need to bring to school? a restaurant? a car ride? grandma's house? Can you show me? can you find it? Can you tell me how you feel?
What are you thinking? (a great one to use instead of why?) Many children will answer 'because' to the question of why. But when you ask what are you thinking, they may have to dig deeper and they may actually tell you! When my two year old threw a shoe at this younger brother, I asked him, "What were you thinking?" He said, "I was thinking about getting rid of the baby." It was so honest, he was feeling left out, he wanted some attention, he was feeling like he didn't like this little baby around anymore. I couldn't get angry, I did start planning some one on one time with him, however. Which worked and now, 2 years later, they LOVE each other to death.

They are little people in desperate need to be taught, understood, related with, loved and heard. Remember we didn't have children to have robots who do exactly what we say all the time. We had children to teach, and allow them to discover, explore, ask questions and even yes say no.

Good Luck!

Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca

Friday, August 30, 2013

Week 8 - Unplug your screen and plug in to your kids

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #8 - Unplug
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about unplugging. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of spending time outside.

This week we were told to unplug. To be honest, I didn't see it as much of a problem. I don't have cable, I don't let the kids watch more than hour of their show a day. (We have learning DVD's) My weakness is facebook, as it is often my only social outlet at home. But the weekends are so busy, I don't plug in much. We had a BBQ that latest most of Saturday, so no plug in at all. Sunday we were playing, parks etc. Monday we were at the zoo all day, so no plug in at all. I didn't even get more than 1 text that day. Tuesday was about getting back to work a bit. So I needed to call and advertise for my classes. The thing is, I do this when they nap, so in the mornings, it's breakfast, homeschooling time and not much computer time for me. I usually get about 30 minutes on facebook in morning. Then I work mid afternoon, then more kid time.

I made more of an effort to ignore my phone when we were out. I found we had such an amazing time at the park. I was able to show them how to make helicopters out of things in nature. We collected broken nut shells and talked about how they would be perfect baskets for ferries. It was loads of fun. We played a lot of pretend play and spent almost two hours at the park. So great!

All week was fun. I think I will make an extra effort to have less facebook time and less texting when my kids are around. It really helps to focus on them. I found myself getting down to their eye level more. I was creating more crafts and slowed down a bit. I think the less screen time the more face time I get with my kids!

Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca


Unplugging the easy way - Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting enjoyed four whole days of unplugged time this week.
Unplugged – Amy from The Connection We Share creates some rules for herself to keep her unplugging on track.
Unplugged – Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 8 - Katrina from Kalem Photography knows her family has been enjoying her being less connected to technology.
Week 8 - Unplug your screen and plug in to your kids - Amanda from Sticky Hands thinks the less screen time the more face time with her kids!
Week 8: Turning off and Tuning in -Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat tries to turn the TV off. 
 Unplugging from Technology - Ricky from Daddy Blogger almost missed the carnival this week because he was unplugged.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Week 7 - Watch Your Language!

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #7-Watch Your Language
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about using positive language with others. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of unplugging.

Watch your language and I don't mean your teenagers, I mean yours! The parent!

So much of what we say affect our children. In the first 5 years, everything we do and say will affect your child's personality. It's amazing how much our 'little ones' sound JUST like us when they are angry and vocal. We laugh and we may even feel a bit embarrassed, but it is more serious than that. What we say to them, around them, at them, will indeed affect them for the rest of their life, whether we believe it or not. The scientific research has been done again and again.

I try to be as careful as I can around my boys when I talk. The thing is, when I read this assignment this week, I realized that I tend to not be as careful around my husband. I tend to let the negative verbal diarrhea fly once the kids are in bed. What an awful way to spend an evening. Complaining and letting your frustrations vent at night with your husband is not the way to grow a relationship. This week I have been more aware and consciously working at being more positive around my husband. If I want to vent, pout or get out my aggressions, I write them down in a book and I don't share it. I only want to share what I want to get back in my life and that is a positive warm feeling.

You get back what  you think about most of the time! Positive language comes from positive thinking. You must first feed your brain positive books, shows, information and people. You need to focus on things that make you feel happy. Think of positive experiences you have had or want to have. Then follow those with positive thoughts and positive words. Start saying out loud things you love and things you want to happen.

Happy Parenting!

Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Tips for making the Positive Comments outweigh the negative in your child’s day - Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares a startling stat and asks for your help in changing the numbers.
How to talk to your kids – Amy from The Connection We Share discovers the power of using positive language with your kids.
Watch Your Words - Amber from Strocel.com feels better about her parenting when she’s using more positive language.
The Power of Words - Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 7 - Katrina from Kalem Photography is trying to figure out positive phrasing for some things she’d like her 2 year old to stop doing.  
Week 7 - Watch Your Language!– Amanda from Sticky Hands suggests we start saying out loud things you love and things you want to happen.

Language and Distractions- Peaceful Parenting Challenge: Week 7 -Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat is a bit distracted.

Watch Your Language! -Lolly from My Journey Home is attempting to communicate positively with her teen.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Week 6 - Positive Self Talk

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #6 – Developing Positive Self-Talk
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Developing Positive Self-Talk. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Watching Our Language.


Since starting a program called G.I.N. (Global Information Network) last year my whole life has changed. A big part of what I have learned through this is that your thoughts have power. More power than anything you do. Your thoughts create your reality. I practice this everyday and have for a long time. Postive affirmation is only a small part of this. We must feed our minds with positive thoughts on a daily basis. We must read positive books, listen to positive music, watch positive programs, talk with positive people. We must immerse ourselves in it.

If you want to change things in your life, you must just do that... change things in your life. Choose it everyday.

For more information on GIN https://www.globalinformationnetwork.com/

I read quite often. When I feel overwhelmed and unable to handle a situation I run to my books. I don't walk, I run. I hide in my bathroom or bedroom and I leave my little ones knocking at the door. I sit and I quickly leaf through books that will change my thoughts. I read "Ask and It is Given" by Jerry Hicks, "Positive Discipline for under 3" by Jane Nelsen, "Positive Discipline A-Z" by Jane Nelsen and I listen to audio's found under the GIN website. Even 15 minutes of reading change literally change my entire day. I must feed my mind when my mind is loosing the emotional battle.

When you are emotionally charged you cannot access your logical reasoning skills. We must first relax, calm down and breathe. Then we are able to positively out think our bad mood.

I founds this week to be a great reminder of what I practice daily. I find that I need to use more positive self talk out loud. It is a powerful thing when you can say, "I can do this, I am having a hard time, but I can do this." especially if you can do this in front of your most important audience, your children.

The other day Geran, my 4 year old, was struggling with learning to do up his buttons. I heard him and I went over and ask how he felt and if he needed any help and this is what he said word for word... no prompting from me, "It's hard, but I know I can do it, thanks anyway mom."

I was floored! My talk all this year has been a positive influence on my son. I was so proud of him and I was proud of myself. This memory keeps me from blowing my lid in front of the kids. I must remain calm, positive, kind and firm. They learn everything from me right now. I am the teacher, their definition of humanity. This is very important at least for the first 5 years as they are learning who they are within that time.

I will be working on writing more affirmations on my own so I can run and read my own words. I find power behind that as well.

Happy Parenting.

Amanda

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Affirmations– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting turns anger into Peaceful Parenting Affirmations for herself.
Week #6- developing Positive Self Talk– Jennifer from Children’s Directory says yes every day for a year.
Positive Self Talk – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 6 - Katrina from Kalem Photography has been developing positive self-talk for about 30 years.
Positive Self-Talk – Ricky from Daddy Blogger is feeling more comfortable with this week’s challenge.
Week 6 - Positive Self Talk– Amanda from Sticky Hands practices positive self-talk out loud for the benefit of her most important audience.
Peaceful Parenting: Week 6 -  I am NOT an Independent Woman ... and that is okay.- Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat reminds herself it’s ok to ask for help.
Positive Transitions - Lolly from My Journey Home is back to a stressful job after maternity leave.
I am a good mother – Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting praises herself when she doesn’t lose it.




Thursday, August 8, 2013

Week 5 - Remain present.

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #4 – Practicing Presence
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Practicing Presence.. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Developing Positive Self-Talk.

I found this week to be quite easy. Maybe because I practice this a lot. I often will stop what I am doing be it dishes, laundry, watching a show, reading a book when my children ask me a question. I try to remember to scoot down to their eye level and make sure they are aware that I am fully present and listening. I find this to be so effective for our bonding and our communication.

My boys are also very confident to say, "Mommy, can you shut off your tv I have a question." From a 4 year old, I love this kind of self assurance. My husband also likes to look me in the eye, making me aware and present.

I think my family communicate very well together. I stop what I am doing to listen and respond to my children throughout the day. Even if I have a friend over, I ask them to hold on a sec and I turn and face my child and make sure I listen. It beats listening to whining and I find if I address their issues and concerns right away, they are easily solved and they move on quickly to the next thing and I am able to continue what I was doing.

As for listening to any meditation tapes, I didn't find or make the time to do that. But we did try kid yoga together, which my 4 year old enjoys and is getting good at, but my 2 year old thinks when I do downward dog, it's time to for him to play mom is a horsie ride!

Til next week.

-Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca


Sweet Sleepy Time– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes that by focusing on all the things that she 'could' be doing she was missing out on what she 'was' doing.
Week 5 Practicing Presence – Jennifer from Children’s Directory finds it’s easier to practice presence when there is no Wi-Fi available.
Being Present – Peaceful Parenting Challenge – Week 5  - Katrina from Kalem Photography learns to listen not only with her ears but also with her heart.
Practicing Presence – Ricky from Daddy Blogger has a wonderful time waiting for the ferry.
Week 5 - Remain present – Amanda from Sticky Hands has got this presence thing nailed.
KICK THE PANTS! - WEEK 5-- LISTEN UP WILL YOU? - Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat finds it ironic that she’s learned all this before.
Being present can bring great gifts– Lolly from My Journey Home feels she still has some work to do.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

Week 4 - Slow Down

Lucky for me slowing down was expected as I was going away on vacation for 5 days up to Sorrento to stay with my mom. I brought a friend to help with the boys as well. It was lovely, lying around the in pool. Enjoying watching my boys play with sprinker, trucks and each other. The love was overpouring.
Each time I felt anxiety or stress, I just remembered to breathe. I even did some yoga while I was away. It was so wonderful. I was truely blessed. My blog this week, is make sure you slow down and enjoy your time with your family, they grow so fast.
The boys are happy to be back home and I must remember to slow life down and enjoy the little things.

My favourite moment was when my 4 year old was playing with his toys and he said, "I'm your big brother and I will take care of you. Mom and daddy take care of each other but I will always take care of you forever."
What a window into his little mind and the love he has for his younger brother. Bless them and their little hearts too.

Another very cool moment was when we watched a mama and papa Robin feed their babies and then watched as the babies left the nest and learned to fly. Wow, I love BC!

Well, slow down and enjoy the bubbles, trees, birds, etc. Take a look at life through a child's view, you'll find more time for appreciation.

-Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca

Friday, July 26, 2013

Why bother signing to your baby? What's the big deal?

Sign language and babies. Many wonder why even bother. Now you can raise your baby just fine without sign language. But here are some great benefits you may not have thought of before.

Besides reducing TONS of frustration for both you and your baby by knowing what your baby wants and needs, signing has many other benefits.

For instance:
  • Signs pull language from adults. Babies learn words from listening to adults. When a baby uses a sign (ex: BIRD) upon seeing a bird, the adult responds with lots of language (“Yes! That’s a birdie! We call that a robin. See, there’s another bird. Oh, the bird flew away.”) The more signs a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. This will increase your baby's vocabulary and language development.
  • Signs enable babies to pick the topic. Babies learn words from listening to adults. When a baby uses a sign, it starts a conversation about something the baby is interested in, thereby making it more likely the baby will listen to and learn from what the adult says. The more sign a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. Your baby is now learning their thoughts and words have worth. In this way, their self confidence increases as well as their self esteem. In the future they are likely to be in healthy relationships where feelings, thoughts and needs are valued.
  • Signs excite babies about communicating and motivates them to move on to an even better system. The more signs a baby is able to use successfully to communicate, the more motivated he/she is to get better at communicating—that is, to move on to words. Signing increase their ability to say words earlier.
  • Signs increase a baby’s interest in books. Babies learn new vocabulary from reading books with parents. Because signs enable babies to be active participants in book-reading (naming pictures with signs), babies are drawn more strongly to books, thereby exposing them to more new vocabulary items. The more signs a baby knows, the more likely this is to happen. This increases their literacy skills.
  • Signing in a class setting is very beneficial. You can get words off the internet, but a class is a different dynamic all together. You have other babies signing and other adults signing in the class, increasing your babies chances of signing. We all know every baby signs GoodBye. WHY? Because EVERYBODY knows and uses this universal sign. The clerk at the grocery store, the grandparent, your neighbour etc. Babies is exposed to many parents and many other signing babies in a class. In a class setting, the music and books and movement draw babies in and keep their attention. The more they see a sign, the more likely they are to do that sign.
  • In my own experience, parents who attended classes had babies who had at least twice the number of signs than those who just did it at home on their own. There are reasons for this. In a class, you often can ask and get questions answered specifically for your child. You get weekly tips, ideas and are taught the best ways to implement signs into your daily life. Signing tips can make the difference between a baby who is eager to sign and one who is not interested. Not to mention the obvious benefits of classes - socialization for both babies and parents. In a social setting a baby who is hitting, or hungry has not only one parent, but many parents signing GENTLE or EAT and validating their feelings and needs. These babies feel heard and understood. Signing is a wonderful way to help your baby learn about their world. Give them a voice today! 
  • TEACH YOUR BABY TO TALK -  BEFORE THEY CAN TALK!
Signing Classes available in Abbotsford
www.stickyhands.ca
FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/BabySignsStickyHandsAbbotsfordFraserValley
TWITTER: @AmandaMinchau

Week 3 - Mindfullness

 
Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #3- Practicing Mindfulness
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about Practicing Mindfulness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Slowing Down.

This talk of mindfulness reminds me of redirecting my negative thinking into positive thinking. I have come to realize in this crazy week the power of my thoughts. When things began to go 'wrong' I reacted to my reality that I was looking at. I allowed outside circumstances to affect me. It was only after the truck broke down 3 times and no one was helping me, it was when the stroller broke and I was lifting my 100lbs limping home, it was only when I realized we had no more money in the bank to realize a dream or a want, that I finally broke down and cried out to the universe, “What are you doing to me?”

Ok, it wasn't all that dramatic, but it FELT that way. I felt frustrated, alone and unhappy and then I had had enough. The 4th day of this frustration had to GO! I began my 'list.' I realized that I needed to change my thoughts. It was my reaction to my perceived reality that was causing all this. I know that my thoughts have power and I was giving up my power. I began to reach out, talk to friends, meditate, breath and calm down. I began to focus, as hard as it was, on positive thoughts.

I began by writing a list, (I'll include the copy of the list here.) and I posted on Facebook. I pushed out into the world positive thoughts and I read these thoughts every day and throughout the day. And let me tell you how fast the law of attraction works, my bad days turned into great days within that same day of posting; to the point of carrying over to the next day and the next. Within this time I was able to buy a new van, sell a laser for money in the bank, and fix my broken stroller. But the most important thing was that I FELT fabulous. I started to feel better before the good things happened. It was MY POWER and my thoughts that changed my reality to what I WANTED!

Being mindful isn't just being aware of what we all are thinking. It is being fully aware of our feelings and thoughts and then ALTERING these to suit our needs, wants and desire. We can be, do, and have anything we want. We just need to focus on it and feel good about it as we are thinking about it.

Change your channel today to a positive thought, a positive feeling and change your life!

-Amanda
www.stickyhands.ca

 
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
No Need To Schedule Mindfulness– Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting discovers mindfulness isn’t something she needs to make time for.
Living in the Present Moment – Amber from strocel.com shares how she has been practicing presence.
Practicing Mindfulness Ricky at Daddy Blogger takes his wife on a date to The Dark Table restaurant in Kitsilano to practice mindfulness.
Being Mindful - Peaceful Parenting Challenge - Week 3 - Katrina from Kalem Photography finds her way back to a good old habit.
Week #3- Practicing Mindfulness – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory discovers how sometimes we get so caught up in all the garbage that life dumps on us that we forget
the little things that makes it all worth it.
Week 3 - Mindfullness-Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language harnesses her power to attract more positive.
Lesson Already Learned – Verena from Memory Maker Events realizes she’s already learned mindfulness.
Mindfulness of Self - Week 3: Peaceful Parenting - Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat finds mindfulness exhausting.
Have a full mind?  Try being mindful! – Lolly from My Journey Home challenges herself to live in the moment and stop looking forward.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week 2 -Breathe

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #2- Mindful Breathing.
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about creating awareness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Practicing Mindfulness.

Wow. Week 2 and epic fail~ 

When I have time to breathe I fill it with showering, cleaning, homeschooling, birthdays, events, planning, blogging, eating, or sleeping. I can't believe I can't find 3 minutes to sit alone and breath. Only when I pee do I find alone time. I actually tried using a timer and I couldn't get an uninterrupted 3 minutes. It's ridiculous. I fill my time with what? I think a better challenge for me would have been to write down what I do every 15 mintues, but I have no time for that!Giggling.

I think this is one weak area I need to work on for sure! I didn't even take the time to read articles on breathing. I planned on yoga in the morning and my busy kids and life go quickly in the way.

My first attempt was in the morning. But my husband said the kids were up asking him to play and it broke his heart he had to go to work, so I should come out and play with them. So out I went, not even up for 3 minutes, pee'd, brush hair, teeth. I don't think I've even had time to shower in the last 2 days... nope.

The only "me time" I get is after the kids go to bed at 8pm. I usually fill this time with a TV show, chatting with family and friends to build social time. I need to breath somewhere! I'm so exhausted at that time, that breathing deep felt like a job.

I wonder why I do not make this a priority. Maybe I can try again next week. I need to be able to show my children the importance of relaxing or I'm going to have high anxiety stressed out kids!

Looking forward to reading this months later when I am a breathing, relaxing guru... I can only hope.

Amanda

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Teaching My Spirited Son About Deep Breathing – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares some ways to teach kids about deep breathing.
Deep Breathing Challenge Ricky at Daddy Blogger has been practicing and will be putting his deep breathing to the test on his family trip.
Just Breathe - Peaceful Parenting Challenge - Week 2 - Katrina from Kalem Photography goes up against her incessant need to be busy.
Remember to Breathe – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory discovers how breathing can work with parents-in-laws, friends, partners, co-workers and annoying neighbours as well as children.
Week 2 & Epic Fail -Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language discovers how challenging it is to find a few minutes to herself.
Breathing On – Verena from Memory Maker Events talks the difference mindful breathing made in her busy days.
Week #2 Peaceful Parenting Challenge - Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting models deep breathing for her sons.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Melting down toddler.

Proud mommy moment! Got time for a short story?

Geran (just turned 4) is MELTING down all morning over little things. He's having a hard day as well have had in the past.

I've been able to keep it together for most of the day, but I'm wearing down. I got the 2 year old to sleep and then I was attempting to get Geran to bed for a nap or lay down. He is having none of it. Literally crying on the couch, begging for a t.v show. We had a couple shows already, so I had shut it off and I already said no, so I'm screwed, I can't go back on my word or all is lost.

My journey begins...

I sympathize, "Oh, you must be sad, you're very tired? What do you need.?"
I get the answer, "NOTHING!" and then "TV!"
I tried reasoning... "Geran your very tired, you're crying a lot, a nap will make you feel better."
um no. he's still melting.
I tried playing... "Lets be cars and drive to bed together."
"I don't WANT to be a car!"

I tried hugging... "Don't!!" was my answer.
I tried choices.. "You can either go to bed in my room or your bunk bed, which one do you want?"
"I want the couch!"
Ok, sleep there... "NOOOOOOooooO!" was the answer and more crying.

At this point, I'm thinking I'm just going to pick him up and take him to my bed. (shut up and act thing) But I can picture him screaming and kicking and freaking out down the hall as I do this. I want a better way. I decide to do nothing for a minute, cause I'm getting desperate. I started thinking about all the things I NEED (want) to get done. I leave and start to clean, he follows me, crying etc.
I text my husband... (call a friend right?) ... he's busy at work. Ok, I get that.
Now what?

I bribe! That's gotta work! He LOVES chocolate.
I bring out the mnm's... "If you choose to go to my bed, you can 3 mnm's, if you choose to go to your bed you can have 4 mnm's."
"I DON"T LIKE CHOCOLATE!"
SIGH. Of course you don't.

I then get smart. Really smart. I think, who cares, why am breaking my spirit trying all this crap, forget it. He's cranky and now I'm getting cranky. So I leave. I go to my own room.
I say, "Well I'm tired and cranky, I'm going for a time out, see ya."
 I walk to my room and pick up my positive discipline for preschoolers. (Looking for answers) and sit in my room and read.

Less than 4 minutes later, a small knock on the door, followed with a very quiet, "mommy?"
"Yes? Come in."
Geran with his 'blankie' in hand, "Can I have a snack in my bed?"
"Sure, let's get some cherrios. Did you want me to carry you or can you walk there?"

"Carry me like a baby mommy."

"Ok, my love."

Wow.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week 1 -Triggers and Emotions

Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #1 Creating Awareness.
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about creating awareness. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of Mindful Breathing.

Here is the first week's challenge:

Week #1: Creating Awareness
Exercise: What are your triggers? Write in your journal when you notice yourself getting frustrated, upset, and angry and becoming reactive. Just notice these emotions, these reactions and make note of them. Don’t try to change them just yet. At the end of the week complete the identifying your triggers exercise, Journal your experience of becoming more familiar with your triggers; how do they affect you? Was it helpful to identify them? What have you learned from this week’s exercise?

MY WEEK 1

I look back on my week and I pretty much knew what I knew before the week began. My triggers are often when my children are hurting each other or myself. I am usually tired, hungry or overwhelmed thinking about things I think I must get done. My children react to my negative emotions immediately. If I am upset or angry or frustrated, they are the first to call me on it. "Mommy, are you sad? Do you need a hug. Mommy, no crying." Sometimes they react by acting out worse or fighting with each other.

I'm potty training my 2 year old and I get upset when he pees on the floor or poops and brings it to me in his hand. Yup, that happened.

Triggers : 
Messes frustrate me. My 2 year old tends to spill, drip and dump everything all day long. It's hard. I walk around cleaning up after a tiny tornado. More often I get him to clean it up, but it's never ending. I realize it is a faze. I keep telling myself they all go through it, just as his older 4 year old brother did. I know it gets better. I know it's a faze, but it can be difficult to keep calm. This usually happens when I am in a hurry, or I am trying to clean up the house. Do they feel ignored? Are they acting out for attention? I know about misguided behavior, but I still feel what I feel inside. It's my responsibility to teach them how to handle their emotions by showing them what to do when upset. We know that children learn best by copying what they see.

I get upset when they are kicking me or each other. This is a fast angry trigger. I find I react by almost shouting, "HEY!" A friend of mine mentioned using a low tone instead, so I have been trying this. It has worked so far and it's better than giving into the impulse to yell. It is hard to be calm, repetitive, kind and firm all the time.

Other triggers are my phone battery dying (all the time), computer breaking or glitching when I am working. At the end of a long day when the boys won't go to bed well, I find I definitely feel like I'll loose my marbles. This is usually due to my lack of consistency. Often I ask my husband for help in this case.

My Audience: 
My kids and sometimes my husband, but mostly myself. It's important to know who's watching you. What are they learning from your actions. I try to remember this the most and I am usually more successful at being a consistent, calm parent when I remember who is watching = my children.

My response: 
Mostly my anger is a physical response. I feel hot, tense and want to throw or smash something when I felt angry. I grit my teeth, growl or go into another room. I scream in a pillow or tense up my entire body. I try to take deep breathes and came out of the room within a few minutes. Anger and frustration with irritability were my main emotions when triggers happened. 

When I am angry I growl, breath deep, whistle uncomfortably (which I thought was super weird and didn't know I did that), walk out of the room, hide in the bathroom for a few minutes, stomp, clean the house roughly, turn on music and try singing. These have been my coping mechanisms. I am not entirely sure if the way I act when I am angry teaches them the right things or not. They are coping skills I do to avoid yelling and throwing things.

I notice my boys are starting growl when they get mad and they cross their arms and say, I'm angry!" I don't mind this, as I know it is much better than hitting or yelling. If the say, "I don't like mommy!" I usually say to them, "You can say your angry at mommy, but not that you don't like her." They usually repeat it, "I'm angry at mommy." I tell them it's ok to be mad at me and I still love them. On good days I explain that mommy is frustrated and needs a break. I talk about my emotions a lot. I ask for their help. They usually want to help and are quick to 'try to make it ok.'

My frustrations and anger do not last long, sometimes minutes. But it feels like a long time. I have a good husband and often I take a time out or leave the house for 'coffee drive through' and when I return I feel loads better. I want the kids to hear me when I ask my husband for help. I think it's good to know when to ask for others to step in.

I think I know my triggers pretty well. I don't always know how to deal with my anger when I am home alone with the kids. I give them lots of love and attention, so I don't feel too bad when I do get angry and upset. I am allowed to have these emotions. I wonder what next weeks challenge will be. This one was hard. Having to write down these feelings felt a bit embarrassing, even though I know they are normal. I also felt the emotion so much greater when I wrote it on paper.

Until next week.

Amanda - Baby Sign Language Instructor
amanda@stickyhands.ca
www.stickyhands.ca
778-808-4476
Facebook and Twitter
FB direct link: https://www.facebook.com/BabySignsStickyHandsAbbotsfordFraserValley


Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Balancing being a stay-at-home-mom & working from home – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting realizes her home base business and mommy duties don’t mix well.
My Top Card - Amber from Strocel.com shares her experience attending the Peaceful Parenting Mini Retreat.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 - Katrina from Kalem Photography explores her expectations on herself and asking for help.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1: Awareness – Jennifer from The Children’s Directory talks about her frustrations over getting out the door and dinner time.
Emotional Highs and Lows of Parenting – Verena from Memory Maker Events talks about the emotional highs and lows of parenting.
Peaceful Parenting Challenge Week 1 - Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat is reminded about checking her “stuff” at the door before dealing with her twins.
The Two Faced Mom in search of peace - Loly from My Journey Home chats about expectations.
Week #1 Suddenly aware of all this anger… - Michelle from My Peaceful Parenting becomes aware of her anger.
Week 1 Triggers and Emotions -Amanda from Family and Baby Sign Language describes her physical response to intense emotions.
Ricky at Daddy Blogger reflects on how peaceful the first year of his daughter’s life was and wonders where all that peace has gone.