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How My Emotional Dysregulation Almost Ruined Bedtime

Last night was a bit rough at my house. We are in the middle of potty training my son. He's started to become more independent with taking off his pants and putting them back on, so we've been allowing him to experiment and own his learning. He does a lot of pants off, pants on, pants off, pants on. Tonight, we weren't watching closely enough and he put his shorts back on, but not a pull-up.

A bit later, we looked around and his pants were wet, as were the floors throughout the living room and hall. Oops!

I threw him in the tub while my husband cleaned, and it was time for bedtime. In retrospect, my husband and I needed to be more calm as we handled the mess. We didn't scold him or express disapproval towards him, but we were flustered.

We didn't regulate our own emotions well, and that didn't allow our son to co-regulate in a healthy manner.

Co-regulation occurs when parents provide warm interactions in combination with modeling and coaching that help toddlers “understand,...

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What My Toddler's Diarrhea Taught Me About Teaching

parenting teacher burnout Aug 07, 2021
This morning I was making my son's lunch and he was playing in our sun room.

He came running around the corner, grabbed the broom, and took off. I smiled because he's so adorable and has a love of cleaning.

I got everything in his lunchbox and called for him to come to me so we could do his hair. He yelled, "hold on mommy. I clean" and I headed around the corner to scoop him up and haul him to the bathroom.

I came around the corner and there was diarrhea from one corner of the room to the other, and he was trying to sweep it up with the broom. 🧹 
Lucky for me I was still barefoot and slipped right in it. 🤦🏻‍♀️

First, if you've been following me long enough, you know I don't do smells. Right after I saw it, the smell hit me right in the face, and I started heaving. Of course, my son with all his empathy starts saying on repeat "U ok mommy? Mommy? You ok?"

I yelled for my husband and I swear it took him 5 minutes to arrive, which in this situation was a really...
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Your Intuition is Rarely Wrong

Hey Caregiver!
Listen to your intuition: A case story from my life
Recently I moved to a new town and my son started at a new daycare. We went from a large metropolitan area to a small town. The differences in the daycare we came from and the ones we looked at here were drastic. The ones here are cheaper (yay for a raise!), their facilities weren't as kid-friendly, and their curriculums not as strong. However, I figured as long as my son was happy and safe, that's all I cared about. I've never been big into the ABCs and 123s for littles. Kids learn best through play and I'm all about it!
One local daycare had been recommended, and most of the reviews were good, so we decided to enroll. I had concerns about the playground and there weren't many toys (like 3), but I told myself they were probably just cleaning them (In hindsight I should have asked.)
Fast forward three weeks and my son was hysterical the minute we turned onto the street to go to...
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Emotional Safety and Media for Toddlers

I was reminded today about how much influence something as simple as a nursery rhyme has on emotional development. My son loves listening to music on Spotify and watching their accompanying videos on YouTube. We have playlists for Blippi, CoComelon, Bluey, and more!
I recently noticed that my son has learned full verses for some of the songs we listen to and watch depictions of on TV. I only found this out by overhearing him sing them while he was playing or in the backseat. This week we've heard Jingle Bells (like what?? He hasn't heard that since December), Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Three Little Kittens (the ones with the mittens).

He's recently started internalizing some of the messages....
and here's how I learned that:

Today we had the music playing and I was cleaning the house. My son loves to clean and joins me with his Melissa & Doug cleaning set. Best gift ever from his Aunt Teri. We finished up cleaning and I started making...
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Helping Children Adjust to Holidays During the Pandemic

Have you ever shown up to a party or wedding and felt under or over dressed? Have you turned up at a friend's house for game night and realized your partner forgot to tell you it was potluck and you're empty-handed? What about when you've gone to a restaurant and realized after arriving that there's a dress code or that you need to tip and you didn't bring cash? Think about a time where you've been embarrassed or frustrated because you didn't meet an expectation you didn't know about beforehand?  

What happened?

How did it feel?

What would you have preferred happened?

All of these experiences of discomfort could have been avoided if you had known the expectations in advance, right?

Setting expectations is an integral part of helping children meet expectations and manage their feelings.

This year families will be experiencing holidays in different ways due to the pandemic. Many families will not be seeing grandparents or extended family due to the risk of exposure to...

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Talking to Young Kids about the Presidential Election Results

boundaries parenting Nov 04, 2020

When I was a kid I remember looking forward to elections. I loved seeing the signs outside and the watching the debates. And my favorite thing was that I got to vote at school. I vividly remember voting during the 1996 Clinton-Dole election. We got to color our ballots and everything! Then there was a super secret voting booth (probably a refrigerator box) where we cast our ballots. 

That's what I remember about elections growing up. 

Wow how things have changed...

You can't remove children from a world with troubling issues, but you CAN cultivate a sense of safety and security.

Young children should not bear the burden of worrying about how the results of the Presidential election threaten their safety and security. 

In a perfect world, children would not have access to information that makes them feel unsafe and insecure. They would be buffered and surrounded with fluffy clouds and rainbows. But we don't live in a perfect world....

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Personal Boundaries and Parenting: Getting Rid of Guilt

If you talk to anyone that knows me on a personal level really well, they will tell you I am all. about. boundaries (insert that clapping emoji for emphasis).

I lived a good chunk of my life without boundaries and when I discovered the power boundaries had to help me shape interactions and develop relationships in the way I wanted, I dove in head first. 

In case you haven't had the same experience with boundaries that I have, let's talk really quick about what they are and how they benefit us as individuals. 

Boundaries are limits on what we deem acceptable and welcomed in a variety of different areas of our lives. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of boundaries, a great place to start is a book called Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. I highly recommend it for literally everyone. You can grab your copy here through my affiliate link (which supports the creation of content like this). 

In this post, I want to focus in on personal boundaries. Personal...

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