Tag Archives: parenting

Quiet Time for Kids: Nap Alternatives Tips

My oldest has reached that dreaded age. The no nap age. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal, but with a young one that needs to nap everyday it can be difficult to keep one happy and quiet while the other falls asleep and stays asleep. We have resorted to several different techniques for keeping the big kids quiet while the younger kids sleep.

Quiet time for kids tips:

  1. Finding separate spaces for each kid. If our youngest is asleep in our room or his room then older siblings must be in a separate room in order to avoid noise travel.
  2. Quiet toys/activities. Coloring, reading, puzzles, card games, board games.
  3. Try not to force the quiet time. If they make a little noise its alright. By setting too many limits it can make it difficult for kids to cooperate.
  4. Try playing something quiet with them in order to give them a little more one-on-one time and to help them transition to being quieter and calmer.
  5. make sure to keep it part of a normal routine. If it doesn’t happen at the exact same time everyday that is fine. Children are creatures of habit, so as long as things happen in the same order everyday they will grow used to it. So try to keep quiet time and the same point in your day, after lunch, or before dinner.

If you keep things simple and flexible it will be much easier for you and your kids to adjust to the new routine.

Positive Parenting: Taming the Tantrum

We have all been there. Our kid is throwing a tantrum, they are screaming at the top of their lungs, they are telling us no. They do not want to cooperate, they do not want to listen. They have made up their mind, so now what do you do? You feel defeated, you feel angry, and you feel embarrassed. All of these emotions and more are completely normal. Both the parent and the child are in the midst of an emotional battle, mostly amongst their own emotions. Mom is warring with her inner mom, and child is warring with their own emotions. It’s a very difficult situation.

It can be made infinitely worse by being somewhere public. It is human nature to want to appear like we all have it together. Well, guess what, we don’t, and that’s ok. Everyone may be watching and judging, but guess what? I can guarantee they have all been there, and if they haven’t they are lying.

So what do we do when we are at our wit’s end. Honestly, there is no cure-all. Kids have tantrums, parents argue with them during tantrums, parents get upset, kids get upset. But does the world end? Nope. Child development experts tell us that children have tantrums because they cannot control their emotions or rule their world quite yet. Which makes sense, if you couldn’t make yourself calm down, and you were in a situation in which you felt helpless you would freak out too. Keeping this in mind there are some ways to make it easier to help your child help themselves doing a tantrum.

  1. Validate what they are feeling in the moment. If your kid is screaming because they want to keep playing and not sit down to eat lunch even you can understand that. Imagine the alarm just went off and you don’t want to get up for work. Similar feeling. So get down to their level, look them in the eye and validate that feeling, “I know you want to keep playing because its more fun than eating lunch.”
  2. Compromise, and give them an alternative. “You can finish playing when we finish eating lunch, your toys will wait for you.”
  3. Connect with them. Sometimes when a child misbehaves they are really looking for a physical connection. Giving them that connection can help ground their emotions and lets them know its ok to feel the way they do. A simple way to gain a physical connection every day is a hug.
  4. Choices!! This is a toddler’s bread and butter. Choices help them feel like they have some control over their life. So give them two or three options that work in the moment that you approve of. They still end up doing what you want, but by their own choice.

Parenting Ain’t Easy: Stomach Flu

It has been one of those weeks. Vomit, diarrhea, dehydration, and whiny kids. The stomach flu is not a pleasant experience for anyone, but it can be especially hard when you have little kids. Sometimes it hits fast, other times it is a long and arduous battle and only the parents are on the front-lines. When you are on the front-lines and feel like you have no comrades in arms remember that parents every where are waving that sign in the air, they are signaling to you the “I have been there!” sign. When you need a little help try to remember these helpful ideas.

  1. Stay calm: keep things a little quiet. Put on some cartoons, lay out a few books and quiet toys.
  2. BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. Keep it bland and simple. If they can keep these items down then try moving up, if the puking comes back, revert to BRAT once more.
  3. The bucket! Keep a bucket nearby for your little ones in case they need it.
  4. Towels: these are easy to wash and can be laid out on the floor near their beds, the ouch, etc. If they puke here it can be easily picked up and wash. Much simpler than cleaning the rugs or floor.
  5. Ginger ale, flat cola, pedialyte, water. Keep them hydrated but keep it simple. Small amounts all day long. Little sips.
  6. lots of rest. FOR EVERYONE. As they say on airplanes, take care of yourself first. You cannot care for anyone if you aren’t well. So try to make sure to keep yourself fed, hydrated, and rested.

It might take a few days but every one will be better soon and all of you will be stronger at the end.