Entries by HB

Parenting Tool TEN-

I taught a babysitting course to grade six students this spring. There were three very important rules we went over at the beginning of each class which had to do with basic child safety. The fourth most important thing I taught the soon-to-be-babysitters is how to interact with the kids. I taught them how to use games to encourage kids to do what they need to do.

I use this technique myself with great success, especially with my younger children. Turn rules that need to be followed and tasks that need to get done into a game and everyone is happier!

Parenting Tool EIGHT-

Along with keeping your explanations short and sweet, it is also important to choose small words for small people i.e talk to their vocabulary.

Which of the following is easier to understand?

• Ornithological species of identical plumage tend to congregate in closer proximity
• Birds of a feather flock together

Parenting Tool SEVEN-

Just like the title, I promise to keep this one short and sweet.

How often have you given a long-winded explanation to your child only to find out they only heard the first five words you said?

I use this rule at home, your Childs attention span is seconds for each year of their life. A 2 years old therefore has an attention span of 2s, 3 year old 3s and so on.

Once you realize that you have such a limited window of attention it is no surprise when your children react the way they do to your requests right?

Parenting Tool SIX-

Minding Your Negatives

We’re going to be talking about pink elephants, colourful zebras, and wet towels. You’ll want to get your imagination ready as we discover the power of negative words.

Elephants and Zebras

If I told you to not think about a pink elephant, I bet you that you would have a hard time not thinking about a pink elephant. A pink elephant would immediately pop into your mind. However, if I told you to go ahead and think about an orange and purple striped zebra, your mind would immediately provide you with an image of a very colourful zebra.

Parenting Tool FIVE-

Check Your Favourite Words

What are you favorite parenting words? Do they include “No,” “Stop,” and “Don’t” and other similarly negative words?

There is nothing intrinsically right or wrong with words. In fact all words have their place. But when you overuse them the words lose power and meaning.

Parenting Tool FOUR –

Have you ever gone to bed at the end of the day and thought, “Where did that day go?”

The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Our busy lifestyles and energetic children makes it seem that life is rushing past us at 500 miles per hour. It takes conscious effort to slow down and live in the moment.

Slowing down has a fancy new name – mindfulness. When you slow down enough to examine each fleeting thought that passes through you, what are they? Pick one thought and examine it.

Parenting Tool THREE

I’m always looking for new ways to improve my parenting skills. My goal is to be more thoughtful, kinder, and forgiving. I want to be more in tune with my children and myself as I raise them. I have found that the more reflective I can be, the better I end up parenting. And that brings us to tool number three.

Write down your observations. Or, to make it sound fancier, Journal Your Way Through Parenting. I love writing and journaling because putting pen to paper helps me work things out in a way that nothing else can.

Parenting Tool TWO

One of my most cherished memories of my second born is when the Teacher’s Assistant (TA) at nursery school told me about a conversation she had had with my son who was four years old at the time. The school was about to perform their holiday concert piece and as the kids were lining up to get ready to go on stage, my son was pulled out of line and placed between two boys who weren’t his friends.

My son was not happy. He told the T.A. that he wanted to be with his friends. The T.A. nodded and took him off to the side, out of earshot of the other children. She explained to him that the boys he was now stuck between needed his positive influence in order to keep their troublesome behaviours in check. My four year old son thought about this for a few seconds and then said, “I get that. Thank you for telling me why you did this.”

Parenting Tool ONE

“You’re on your computer again,” I said to my teenager. He sighed and said, “Yes Mom, I’m getting off now.” Wow, that was easy, I thought to myself. I had expected him to put up an argument. What secret Jedi parenting mind trick did I just I stumbled upon?

The parenting tools you will discover with me can be described in one word – Practical. In fact, as you read them you’ll realize that many may seem basic or common sense.
Don’t be fooled, common sense is far too often uncommon.

Some of these tools you may already use – maybe only partially, and some perhaps inconsistently. Read through each tool and think about how you may have used it in the past. If they haven’t worked, find out what you were missing so you can make it better and more effective next time.

Your parenting style must change as your child grows. You have the ability to adjust each tool according to your child’s stage in life. Observe what works and what doesn’t. Keep trying different approaches from the tools in your toolbox until you find the ones that work well and more importantly works consistently for you and your child.

Parenting Toolbox Introduction

Parenting is right up there with brain surgery when it comes to hard jobs. So why is it that brain surgeon’s need years of intense study before they even get to touch a brain and the rest of us folks require only the skill of procreation to reach the status of parent and be thrust into the grind of parenting without a proper internship? That doesn’t seem right nor fair does it?

In my years as a parent, I’ve read many parenting books, blogs, and magazines. I’ve listened to podcasts on parenting and watched parenting experts on TV talk shows. Even though I have 56 cumulative years of parenting as a mother of five, I dare not claim to be a parenting expert. Just when I think I’ve got this parenting thing figured out, one of my kids – and sometimes more than one – will spin everything out of control. I’m left standing there like a deer in the headlights (think Bambi) wondering what to do next.