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story time!

story time!

Naomi in Elmo chair

Naomi in Elmo chair

 
Parenting/Development
Walking The Tightrope Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A friend of mine told me that her daughter recently walked out of a bathroom and remarked casually, “Every time I look in the mirror I’m surprised that I’m pretty.”

Nonplussed, my friend pressed the issue and learned that her daughter considers herself unattractive – not because of anything that anyone has said, it’s simply how she sees herself.

Now, my friend and her husband are excellent parents and raise all their children thoughtfully and deliberately, and made the choice a long time ago that they would not dwell on appearances when speaking with their children, especially their daughters. So a compliment from them might sound something like this: “Hey, your outfit looks very pulled together today! I can see that you spent a long time working on it.”


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A 'Yes' Day Print E-mail
Friday, 17 February 2012

Thursday morning Maddie and Cora were both fighting over some toy or some such before school; Maddie had something and Cora was trying desperately to do the right thing and thus kept saying, “Please, Maddie, PLEASE may I have it?” And Maddie pulled one of her specialties – prevaricating – and kept up a constant stream of “Well, let me think . .” and “Well, it’s just that . . .” until I was about to pop a vein.

Finally, I abruptly said, “Right. Ok, I officially declare today a ‘yes’ day. That means that any time someone asks you for something or asks you to do something you have to say ‘yes’. OK?”

The girls looked at me warily, turning the edict over in their minds for loopholes or potential land mines. “You, mean, ANYTHING we ask of you, you have to agree to?” Maddie asked hopefully.


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Are You A Complainer Or A Solver? Print E-mail
Friday, 10 February 2012

Our family uses the discipline method set forth by Turansky and Miller; their seminal book, Parenting Is Heart Work, is the book that set us off on our original path as Brian and I tried to figure out how to raise these girls. My two hands-on favorites, though, are Good and Angry and Home Improvement, two nuts-and-bolts, Biblically-based books that have given us concrete ideas for helping to shape Maddie and Cora’s hearts for the long run.

Recently a friend of mine gave me one of their newest books, Parenting Shifts: 50 Heart- Based Strategies to Keep You Growing In Your Parenting and I have to tell you, it’s a handy little book to have around. It’s a slim volume with fifty (FIFTY!) different chapters. Each chapter is self-contained, only a few pages long, and targets one specific area of parenting. So you get chapters about complaining, or resisting discipline, or ignoring you, and so on. I love that I can pick this book up when we hit a new (and painful) growth spurt in one of the girls and I can study up really quickly in my Cliffs Notes version of how to be a good parent in whatever area we’re currently experiencing difficulty.


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Learning To Stay Back Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 January 2011

Maddie’s going through a tough time right now – a sort of emotional growing pain, if you will. And it’s been hard for me to stand back and let it happen, when my instinct is to rush in and fix things. I know, though, that this is something she has to work through on her own – some lessons, I know well, can only be learned the hard way.


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Stop Trying To Fix It Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 December 2010

Maddie’s worrying has gotten worse, and it has us, well, worried. Right now, several weeks spent on Fire Safety combined with nearly daily fire drills has gotten Maddie rather freaked out about the possibility of fire, both at school and at home, to the point that she worries when she hears the house heater come on, and frets the entire day if we’ve got a fire in the fireplace.

I was talking about this recently with someone I know who is a children’s therapist, and she asked me what we do in these situations. “Well, Maddie will usually ask question after question about the situation – how do you start a fire in the fireplace? How do you know it will stay in the fireplace? What happens if it doesn’t stay in the fireplace? How can you be sure? – and we try to answer each one, calmly dissipate her fears, and de-mystify the worry by breaking it down logically,” I said a bit smugly.

Apparently, that was the wrong answer.


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