Making Space for Awareness

Self regulation, Self-care, Tips & Tools
Ever have one of those evenings where you go to bed and wonder where the day went wrong? You know that the kids were not on their best behavior but also have the sinking feeling inside that you weren’t the exactly best role model either. It can be uncomfortable to admit that despite your best efforts you aren’t always the parent you want to be. Most of us have parenting moments like that – where the parent who can listen, or set clear limits, or be patient has disappeared some where and this other human being shows up to take our place. Ick.
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Support for your Parenting: It can make a difference

Connection and love, Self-care, Tips & Tools
When was the last time you had one of those “bad parent days?” Maybe it was an awful fight between siblings, an extremely difficult bedtime routine that ended up with you yelling or hitting your children, or maybe you got so frustrated for another reason that you said something you wish you had never said. You flipped your lid. Then later you felt bad about it. Maybe even awful.
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Time-in for Children: Re-gathering Response-ability

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Growing Responsibility, Mistakes yours and theirs, Self regulation, Tips & Tools
Children (and all of us) do better when they feel better. Our culture tends to want to “teach” children who are misbehaving by having them feel worse “so they’ll learn not to do it again.” We forget that if the child had felt included, important, or weren’t so tired or hungry she likely would have handled the situation well to begin with. Instead of teaching by hurting the goal of a time-in is to help our child learn how to regain their “better” sense of self so that she can come back to the situation and meet the challenge. With practice, children get better at “re-gathering” by themselves. Remember, this kind of “feeling better” is not happiness - it is a sense of being able to respond (be response-able) from a centered place.
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Time In

Connection and love, Self regulation, Tips & Tools
If you are a parent you probably recognize that feeling inside that comes when you’ve really tried your best and NOTHING seems to be working. You are tired, dinner is almost ready, the table needs to be set and the kids are bickering. Or maybe you are in a hurry and everyone knows what he or she is supposed to do but you think are the only one who really cares if you get to Grandma’s even close to the time you promised to be there. Ick. For me it is kind of a frantic, out of control desperateness that starts in my chest and moves outward.
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From “Mis-takes” to Compassion

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Tips & Tools
It turns out that the distinction between “I made a mistake” and “I am a mistake” is a big deal. When we make a mistake, we may feel bad, but we can learn from what we did. When we come to the erroneous conclusion that we are a mistake, that there is something wrong with us as a person or that we are defective, that becomes the main “learning.”
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The compasses and maps of parenting

Science and parenting, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Melanie Miller, M.Ed.

I had the recent opportunity to take my daughter and her friends orienteering. Orienteering is where you use a map, compass and your powers of observation to navigate through a course of pre-set checkpoints. It’s a great way to explore the outdoors, discover new hikes and learn some map and compass skills. At each checkpoint, you study your map, set your compass and begin the trek to next check point, watching for landmarks along the way.

As we moved along the trail, I thought about my own parenting and what might be my parenting compass; …

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Parenting with the Body in Mind

Feelings and emotions, Science and parenting, Self regulation, Self-care, Tips & Tools
We sure hear a lot these days about the brain – and brain science. When we hear the word “brain” most of us think of the soft stuff that is inside our skull. That is, in fact, our “brain.” But it turns out that our body is not just the thing that carries our brain around. Human nervous systems are incredibly complex and there is a lot of information exchanged between the brain and the rest of the body. We can use this information to help ourselves and to help our kids.
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