Archive for the 'Parent Education' Category

“I have no problem spanking you in front of all these people…”

This is what I actually said to my six year old son yesterday.  It’s true.  I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but, I haven’t been able to stop saying things like this for the last two or three weeks..  He is driving me crazy - he knows it and he is loving every minute of it. What the f*!# do I do?

I spent a good two hours on the phone with one of my closest friends a couple of nights ago.  She doesn’t have a six year old yet, but she has three kids and I value her opinion and respect her capacity to keep cool with three kids all under the age of five.  I get exhausted just watching her. But, she has utter control over those babies.  Complete.  Meanwhile, my son is pulling my daughter’s pants down and hitting her in the head (he calls this love tapping) with a plastic butterfly net and my voice seems like nothing but white noise to him (I probably just sound like a fly in his ear at this point)… Most of the time he is golden.  But there is always a large chunk of our day that requires huge discipline.  He doesn’t respond to anything other than physical discipline during those times.  No, I don’t mean I hit or spank him - what I mean is that if, for example, I am telling him to “stop” spinning in the chair that (after two times of stating verbally that I need him to quit) I have to go over and physically take him off the chair and remove him from the situation.  This was the same thing I had to do when he was 3(!) and I just don’t feel like I should have to do it with a six year old. 

Anyway, I am trying out some new books and think that I need to have a consistant system to my discipline with him.  I need something that works for a 6year old - something that will help him understand he is in control of himself (and only himself - that is another issue: he seems to think his sister is his toy or possession) and something to help him realize that he is at his best (and having more fun) when he is listening and working well with others. 

There is a series of books that started with the Love and Logic principle.  It was written by Jim Fay.  I have looked through the website and so far I am impressed with the ideology of it.  It seems realistic and unlike a lot of other parenting guides (don’t you find that a lot of them are a little hokey and drippy? maybe it’s just me..).  I think it will be geared toward my need for compassion and my son’s inherent and strong logical side (I tend to be a little too “wordy” and give too much info - he needs directness and exactness). 

I’ll let you know how it is going along the way…

Posted in Parenting, Child Development, Parent Education, Daily Living | No Comments »

Communicating with your child..

I have a friend, her name is Joy, who is always a wonderful person to bounce parenting problems and solutions off of. She is very concientious about her methodology and her tactics when it comes to disciplining her two daughters (one of which my son has been madly in love with for the last two years). She has been reading a book “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” - it is a kit to engage parents in a relationship that their children will understand and in a relationship that they can be themselves in.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk is an excellent communication tool kit based on a series of workshops developed by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Faber and Mazlish (coauthors of Siblings Without Rivalry) provide a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house. The “Reminder” pages, helpful cartoon illustrations, and excellent exercises will improve your ability as a parent to talk and problem-solve with your children. The book can be used alone or in parenting groups, and the solid tools provided are appropriate for kids of all ages. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Los Angeles Times
“Designed to bring adults to the level of children, and children to the level of adults, so that this happy meeting ground can truly make for harmony in the home.”

If your children are anything like mine and Joy’s and they thrive on decision making and being the leader of the house then it sounds like this book will help bring a sense of balance.

Posted in Parenting, Behavior Issues, Communication, Parent Education | No Comments »

World Travelin’ Snacks

I have always loved that my kids are fairly experimental with their eating habits. My 19-month-old loves Indian food (her favorite is Sag or Vegetable Korma) and my six year old is a glutton for any kind of sushi or asian food.

This has lead me to wonder what else they may try and like. I discovered a great little gem of a website that tallies up snack ideas from children all over the world. Of course, the largest amount of entries are from the U.S. but there are plenty of interesting small recipes from all over. My personal favorite, and one we are sure to try, is from a teacher in France:

A favorite of all my students on food days is the chocolate sandwich. Take two pieces of bread (French, bien sur!) and put a plain chocolate bar in between. Voila! A typical French child’s favorite afterschool snack.

Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is living!

Posted in Nutrition, Parent Education, Cooking | No Comments »

Raising a Sharp Toothed Carnivore

When my son turned three and after a year of studying anything dinosaur related, he very exuberantly said to me that since he did indeed have sharp teeth that he wasn’t meant to be a vegetarian. The conversation actually went something like this:

Joseph: “Mommy, see my two sharp pointy teeth?”

Me: “Yes, honey, I do”

Joseph: “We can tell carnivore dinosaurs apart from vegetarian ones because they have sharp teeth, right?”

Me: “Yup”

Joseph: “Well, see, if you don’t let me eat meat I will go extinct”

I have been a vegetarian for fourteen years. At first it was adamantly for ethical reasons, now it is a combination of health and the former. I always had this daydream that I would have a lovely vegetarian kitchen with a husband and children who loved my cooking and felt like they were better off for it. Not so. Joseph comes up with repeated scientific facts as to why it is not only lame, but utterly detrimental to his existence for him to not have a slab of meat on a daily basis. My husband — well, he is polite and tolerant and respects my choice in our home. Occasionally, though, he and Joseph will go for a “walk” and come home looking as if they have just been to their first nudie show together, smelling of cheeseburgers. It should be said, at this point, that I have always (when out of the house) let him decide whether or not he wants meat for a meal. I stand my ground when it comes to fast food (thanks to my mom he has developed a penchant for McDonald’s — it is something he knows, by now, that I will not partake in). However, when we go out to the occasional restaurant, despite my alluring descriptions of the mac n’ cheese and steamed broccoli, he always winds up with the grilled chicken or hot dog.

My thwarted attempts aside, I wanted to mention some positive resources for vegetarian mothers. There are some really important books you should read if you are a vegetarian with kids (whether or not they subscribe to your eating philosophy). Vegetarian Baby by Sharon Yntema was my food bible with both of my children. And Super Baby Foods by Ruth Yaron is another with very pro-vegetarian tips and cooking methods. It is important to educate yourself about how to keep a nutritional balance in their diet, vegetarian or not, just as you would for yourself. For me, it was also important to realize that I can live by example but I cannot impose my ideals too too much or else it will be all for naught. Despite his resistance, I feel confidant that one day, even if he isn’t a pacifist animal loving vegetarian like me, that he will at least have the reverence and respect for those that are.

Posted in Nutrition, Parent Education, Healthy Living | 1 Comment »