Tag Archives: parent

Quotes about Moms

9 Apr

For the life of me I can’t remember where I got these great quotes about mothers!  As soon as I recall the source I’ll let you know.  If you’re a mom, or have a mom, or have ever met a mom, you’ll love these!  My personal faves are the hilarious #10, 15, and 59, while number 20 made me choke back tears…

  1. There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one ~ Jill Churchill
  2. Mothers are all slightly insane. ~ J.D. Salinger
  3. My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. ~ George Washington
  4. Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~ Elizabeth Stone
  5. The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. ~ Honoré de Balzac
  6. There was never a great man who had not a great mother. ~ Olive Schreiner
  7. In the man whose childhood has known caresses, there is always a fiber of memory that can be touched to gentle issues. ~ George Eliot
  8. Mothers have as powerful an influence over the welfare of future generations as all other earthly causes combined. ~ John S C Abbott
  9. There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother. ~ Sarah Josepha Hale Continue reading

Warrior Mother Alert!

12 Jul

A few weeks ago, I came across this statement by Bob Mayer on the Writer’s Digest website:

“We build our greatest defenses around our greatest weaknesses in all aspects of our lives, and that includes writing.”

Did that ever speak to me!

I think about my life in its entirety: wife, daughter, mom, writer, friend, Christian, homeowner, Texan.  What do I encircle with my strongest personal weaponry—vigilance, time, intentional action, even worry?

My kids!

Are they then my greatest weaknesses?

In matters of the heart, undoubtedly.  They’re the only two people on the planet for whom I’d sacrifice my life.  Like King Asa in the Bible, I pray without ceasing for them, hoping to fortify them on their daily journeys.  As a practical matter, I’m certain I hover.  The expansive love I have for them knows no limits.

So, yes. Paige and Chip are my big weaknesses. On their behalf, I plumb the depths of my psyche to find my greatest strength.

I’d wager most moms could say the same.

Might Be Losing My Marbles

4 Apr

The other day, my oldest came home from school, and shared a trinket that she had earned with her sister.  She told us she had earned so many coins at school (for good behavior), that she was able to pick out two treasures, and thought of her sister.  My husband and I praised her for her good behavior and the thoughtfulness to think of her sister.

Then, we got to brain storming.  We haven’t had “structured” discipline in our home for a while.  It all started to slip away when I was pregnant with our third baby, and quite frankly, I was exhausted.  By the time he came, the girls were literally walking all over me.  I just did not have the energy to do anything about it.

Now, I do.  In the past, we have done behavior charts.  The kids have good behavior and complete certain simple “chores” or tasks, and they get to put a sticker by the picture of what they’ve done.  If they have so many stickers at the end of the week, they get some type of reward.  (We don’t go to a tremendous amount of trouble or money with the rewards, it’s usually something simple but meaningful, like an extra story of their choice before bedtime.)

The chart worked beautifully with the oldest; not so much at all with our second.  She was not at all impressed by the stickers or motivated in the least to do anything cooperative.  In fact, I pretty much had to threaten time out to get her to do anything!

Once my daughter mentioned the coins, it was like a light bulb went off.  My daughter said she is so good and has so many coins, she does not know what to do with them all!  My husband then scoffed and said, “I sure wish some of that good behavior would carry over to home!”

As a direct result, we have decided to implement a marble jar.  A friend of mine did this before and it worked well with her boys.  I bought small inexpensive jars for each of the girls and let them write their names and decorate them.

Before we even bought the jars, we literally only had to say the word, “marbles” and the girls whipped into shape!

The idea is simple.  Positive behavior is rewarded with a marble.  Negative behavior loses a marble.  Once the marbles reach a “fill line” the girls will have earned a privilege.  If one gets to the fill line before the other, they may get a special outing, separate from the other.  If they both reach it at the same time, we can do something fun as a family (maybe a movie)!  The idea is to get the girls to start thinking about actions and reactions and trying to reinforce good or positive behaviors.

I’ll post in a few weeks and update on how it works!

Loving Guidance

30 Mar

This week, love has been coming up over and over again as a theme for me.  Some mothers and I were discussing Loving Guidance as a form of discipline at a meeting.  I had completely forgotten that I keep this simple guide posted on my fridge.  (Since we moved, we have a fridge that doesn’t allow magnets to stick, so I’ve had to stick everything to the side of it.  Now, I don’t see everything daily.  It’s obviously time to move this to a new location!)

I got this from a friend of mine, several years back, and I want to share it because it’s been so helpful to me, especially while raising toddlers and preschoolers.

What is Loving Guidance?

Look at the child.

Offer choices- small ones for small people

Very quick distractions are helpful

Include your child

Need freedom within limits

Get your home safety-proofed

Get to the cause of temper tantrums or misbehavior

Unconditional love and focused attention

Interesting opportunities for activity to limit TV viewing

Don’t ask- state what you mean

Attempt to child size their life to make it easier to “do myself”

Nursing- your child needs you to receive him with joy and enthusiasm most of the time

Constant safety supervision

Expectations & Environment- Are they realistic?

I really like it, because it’s so simple.  It only takes a few seconds to review it daily, weekly, or even monthly!

The Parenting Center

19 Jan

The Parenting Center offers classes around the metroplex on topics such as positive discipline, controlling anger, and how to handle parenting issues from preschool to the teen years.

They also offer a free parenting advice hotline from 12-3 pm Monday through Friday.  Call 817/332-6399.

For a complete schedule of classes and more information about The Parenting Center, click here.

Holiday Bribery – Roundtable Discussion

13 Dec

Even though we do the whole “Santa thing” in our house, I really don’t like bribing my kids with presents in order to ensure their good behavior.  (I’m not saying that I’ve NEVER bribed my kids – I wish!  I remember months of my daughter demanding – and receiving – a lollipop every time she pooped on the potty.  I don’t care, it worked.)

For some reason, I just don’t like the idea of saying, “Hey, you need to behave or Santa won’t bring you any presents.”  Something about that rubs me the wrong way.  You shouldn’t refrain from hitting your brother just because you want a new bike!  So I basically try…and try…and try…to encourage good behavior simply because it’s the right thing to do.

And now, as many of you know, the world has been introduced to the Elf on the Shelf –  Santa’s little minion who hides around your house, spies on your kids, and then flies back to the North Pole every night to give behavior reports.  Good old-fashioned creepy Christmas fun!

So the kids are supposed to behave because the elf is taking notes, Santa is making a list, and they hope to get presents on Christmas morning.  While this may influence kids’ behavior in December, what about the rest of the year?

How do you handle your “holiday bribery”?  Do you push the Santa idea to keep your kids in line?  We’d love to hear from you!

Nighttime Parenting

9 Dec

I started to write this blog as sleep has evaded me for several nights in a row.  I’m not sick.  I don’t have insomnia.  I have a baby.  What is that old saying, “sleep like a baby”?!!  I don’t know about anyone else, but none of my kids have been good sleepers from the get go.  I don’t want to “sleep like [my] baby,” he’s completely restless, kicks all night, and wakes frequently to nurse!

Lack of sleep can make you do very strange things; crazy even.  I walk into a room and stand there, staring at a fixed object, knowing I had a purpose for entering, I just….can’t…figure…..out…..what….it….was!!  I go through my day in a hypnotic state.  Don’t even ask me to remember a date, not a birthday, not an anniversary!  My short term memory is a thing of the past! (I am SO glad I went straight to graduate school after college, I joke that I might not even be able to attain a Master’s Degree again at this point!)

I thought that bed sharing would be a great solution, but it hasn’t been for me.  My husband can’t sleep with a baby in the bed.  He says the baby snores too loudly and is too restless.  So, when I share a bed with the baby, we all play musical beds.  The girls bunk up, my husband is alone in our bed, and the baby and I share one of my daughter’s beds. (And this is only the most recent compromise….I’ve been all over the place, my daughter’s bottom bunk, a mattress on the floor in the baby’s room).

I find that for me, there have been several positive things about bed sharing.  I get to sleep (even if in short little spurts), when I otherwise wouldn’t.  When the baby is sick, cutting a tooth, or growing, I can nurse every thirty minutes if needed and not have to get up.  The downside for me has been the baby’s restless nature.  He wakes frequently, although does not always want to nurse.  He goes right back to sleep, but I am left lying awake for hours.  He kicks and flails his arms.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve woken in the wee hours of the night after receiving a sucker punch to the face! Talk about a rude awakening!

So, back to the crib the baby goes.  I recently had a visit with the pediatrician who advised the two main ways to get baby into the crib: something similar to the No Cry Sleep Solutions, in which the parent makes sure the baby is fed and not in need of anything, then touches the baby in the crib.  Day by day, the parent gets farther and farther away from the baby, and then eventually moves out the door.  The second way is the Ferber Method (invented by Dr. Richard Ferber) which in a nutshell is allowing the baby to self soothe by crying him/herself to sleep.

I literally get negative physical symptoms when my baby cries and therefore cannot even think about attempting the Ferber Method.  So, we’re in the midst of the other.  So far, with the support of my husband, it has not been too bad.  The first night we tried, my husband and I stood in front of the crib and patted the baby; we just didn’t pick him up.  He fussed, but didn’t cry.  He did wake up every thirty minutes to an hour though.  By two in the morning I was begging my husband to just let me bring the baby into our bed.  Fortunately, my husband was solid and encouraged me, and after the disagreement I relented and we continued on our mission.

Each night it has gotten a little easier and we are all sleeping a little better (I think).  It’s bittersweet.  While I’m sad I don’t have my little snuggle bug to cuddle with all night, the fact that I am getting a few hours of sleep consecutive is making me a better mother to all of my children during the day!  My husband is happy.  I am happy.  And the baby is perfectly fine and happy too!  The fog in my head is beginning to clear.

The baby still gets up to nurse during the night, just not as often.  I continue to enjoy that special time with him, and we get plenty of snuggles in!  He has more space to toss, turn, and stretch out as he needs to.  Nighttime parenting can easily be more difficult than daytime parenting.  I’m just glad I have the support I needed in the form of other mothers who nurse their babies and have gone through similar struggles (La Leche League meetings or playgroups are a great way to meet some of these moms) a pediatrician who reminded me that choosing to sleep separate from my baby does not make me a bad mother, and a husband who can tolerate me even in the early morning hours, when I’ve had no sleep, and become completely maniacal!

For more on the No Cry Sleep Solution, please see: http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/books/0071381392.php

I find that Dr. Sears has a lot of helpful information about nighttime parenting issues on his website too: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp

And La Leche League has a wealth of information on the subject as well: http://www.llli.org/NB/NBsleep.html

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