Ask Auntie Artichoke

Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

Ask Auntie Artichoke - Expert on Parenting and Family Relationships

5 Ways To Nurture With Nature—(EXPERT)

Nature Nurtures The Spirit & Builds The Body

Children who have the opportunity to play in nature have a heightened awareness of the world. Being in nature helps them to recognize the cycles of life and the interdependence of plants, animals and humans.

They also have more advanced coordination, balance and agility. When they are involved in physical play, they develop their lungs and muscles which means they are sick less often. Being in nature creates a resilient spirit and a bounce-back attitude.

4 Ways to Connect & Communicate With Your Toddler(EXPERT)

4 Ways to Connect & Communicate With Your Toddler

 

Do you talk to your kids or with them?  Do you listen to them and do you actually hear what they are trying to tell you? Does your body language (non-verbal) match what your words (verbal) are communicating?  Connecting and bonding with your children will be one of the most valuable gifts and legacies that you can share with them.

If you are like most parents and caring adults, your main objective is to raise competent, well-adjusted children who become self-reliant and emotionally healthy adults. I would like to invite you to read, ponder and think how you can apply these four parts of communicating with young children today

1.     Connect with them by saying their name

Before giving directions or asking them to do a task, make sure they are even on the same wave-length as you are. Squat down so you are looking at them and can engage their eyes on you instead of their toys.  You may need to announce; “Emmie, I need your ears to hear what I am going to say.”  “Jeffrey, I need your eyes to see what I want you to see.”  As parents we also found it helpful to touch their upper arm when we needed their full attention.  In return, they knew that when they touched our upper arm, they had something important to say.

2.     Say what you want in short sentences, not long lectures

Be very specific in what you want.  The more parents ramble and justify their position the more the kids become overwhelmed, confused and eager to say no. “I want the toys in the box now.” If it seems like they are going to argue, just repeat “Toys-box-now.”  If your child can’t repeat back what you want done, it was too long and confusing.

3.     When-then not If

This is the difference between a reward and a bribe. When is a measurable goal; “when you put your shoes on, then we will leave for the store and the park.”  You both know if the shoes are on or off and that it is his job, there is nothing to debate, argue or throw a tantrum over.  When and then implies that you expect obedience and compliance with the request.

Encouraging words and phrases will help your child to become an independent self-reliant person. This article has tips of building self-confidence and esteem.See http://www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for more information.

However, you start a sentence with “If” then there is room for negotiation, whining and begging. Saying “if you put your shoes on we can go to the park after shopping” implies that he has a choice.

It is important that children know that they have some choices in life, but not everything is a choice or worthy of a decision.  Sometimes, they just do what we say because we are the parent and make decisions that are in their best interest and best for the family.

Which leads us to the last and most important part of being a parent, helping the children we love and care for to be independent self-reliant individuals?

4.     Help them to help themselves.

Of course it is easier and faster for us, as adults, to do things ourselves.  We can zip the zipper and be on our way much quicker than we can take the time to show her one more time how to fit the zipper tab over the two sides.  But this is a disservice and a discouragement to the child.

When we encourage them to learn new tasks and celebrate their capabilities that support transfers to every aspect of life.  The accomplishment of a small thing today will lead to more successes every day. As they see us model making mistakes and self-correcting or adjusting our goals in life, they see that it is okay to not be perfect.  The joy of knowing that you are loved unconditionally builds a foundation of confidence and self-esteem.

The more you do for your children the less time you have to do things with them.  Connect and communicate your love, support and joy by building pleasant memories and strong life skills.

Self-Awareness Quiz

  • Have you heard yourself saying to your toddler; “Here, just let me do it. It will be faster?”
  • If your toddler wants to help, will you allow him to assist you?
  • Are you aware of the natural stages of growth in small children?
  • Would you like to learn more about tips and techniques to bond with your child?
  • If so, then claim your free report at http://www.askauntieartichoke.com

 

Judy Helm Wright aka “Auntie Artichoke” is an expert parent educator and speaker.  If your organization would be interested in hiring Judy as a keynote speaker, please call 406-549-9813 or see http://www.judyhwright.com

If you found this article interesting, you will want to check out the new series of Raising Smart & Kind Kids- Babies, Toddlers and Pre-school.   They are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at http://www.ArtichokePress.com

Natural and Logical Consequences (EXPERT)

Natural and logical choices are an important part of discipline, not only with our children but ourselves as well. When we forget to pay the light bill, the electricity is shut off. That naturally follows the action. What if there is not a natural consequence to an inappropriate choice? Then we create on that is tied in some way to the learning lesson. If a child does not pick up his toys as asked, then the toys are taken away for a period of time.

3 Ideas For Better Parenting Without Guilt

You don’t have to be a perfect parent (as if there ever was one–except my mother-in-law) but you do need to be a present parent. Just being there every single day and being mindful of your children is good enough. Help them to know they are loved unconditionally and teach them values and appropriate behavior and you are doing your job. Guilt free parenting is easier to achieve than you may think. Read these three simple ideas and then do the self-awareness quiz at the end. You will be glad you did.