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.

Do You Have Mumnesia?

80% of women say that they experience symptoms of “mumnesia,” often characterized by forgetfulness, attention deficit, and an impairment in spatial memory (remembering where things are located). Maybe you’ve heard of it called “preg head” or “pregnancy” or “baby brain.” Take this short quiz and guess whether these examples are facts or myths. (Or, recall if you experienced these symptoms during your pregnancy!)

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.

My Child Has An Imaginary Friend…Should I Be Worried?

“Will your husband be here for dinner tonight? I’d like to meet him.”
“No, he’s working in Nashville. But you met him at our wedding!”
“Oh, I don’t remember that.”
“Yeah, you were there, but my mom was sick and couldn’t come. We had yummy green cake and a dance party, too.”

That is the conversation I had with one of my nieces last Thanksgiving. She had an imaginary husband for a few months and I enjoyed hearing her tales about him. I learned that he fixes motorcycles, works a lot, misses out on every family dinner, and is quite funny. It’s cute and honest while she’s three and designs crafty stories about him. But beyond the adorableness, should I be worried that she is creating imaginary friends?

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.

Intentional Date Nights With Your Kids!

Have you ever considered dating your kids? Just like you go on a date with your spouse to spend one-on-one time together, you can (and I propose, you should) do the same with your children! A study from the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that kids who spend more time with their parents are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; are less likely to engage in risky, delinquent, or illegal behaviors; and achieve better math scores.

I am so inspired at how my sister-in-law, Shannon, makes this a priority. As a Mama to three young girls, she has come up with a crafty and creative way to intentionally “date” each of her daughters every month.

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.

Holidays in Reverse

As parents, we all desire for our children to be kind, honest, motivated, generous, and joyful. But it seems like culture imposes selfishness, discontent, materialism, and a “need” for the latest trends. How can you combat those tendencies in your children? Can you step aside from the status quo? Would you evidence your beliefs through your actions and words? I challenge you to begin this movement by implementing holidays in reverse.

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.”

How to Prep for a Babysitter

When I was a teenager, it seemed like every Friday night I was babysitting, and I often squeezed in one night during the week as well. Honestly though, I loved it! There is something special about bonding with kids who looked up to me; I was their role model and special treat. I let them stay up 5 minutes late or read one extra book. I brought along a special “toy box” of trinkets to reward their good behavior. I would play imaginative games and elaborate scavenger hunts. Oh, the sweet memories I have!

But, aside from the fun and games (literally), I had great relationships with the parents as well. From my experience with multiple families, there are a few things you can do as a parent to help prep for you babysitter.