10 Dr. Seuss Books you’ve Never Heard of, by Crystal Ponti

Dr. Seuss is one of the most beloved children’s writers of all time. During his career, he wrote more than 60 playful and exuberant books – each with a deeper message about life, love, and humanity.

His most memorable titles, like “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Cat in the Hat”, are mainstays on children’s bookshelves. But he also penned many books that never quite made it into the spotlight.

Here are 10 Dr. Seuss books you might not have heard of (and if you have, you must be a super fan):

andtothinkisawthatonmulberrystreet

“And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (1937)

The very first book Dr. Seuss ever published under his pen name, this lively tale about Marco and his vivid imagination predates his bestselling titles, but is still among his best. Travel down Mulberry Street, the most interesting place in town – a place where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Marco spins a wonderful story for his father, turning everyday sights into wild highlights of his journey home from school.

icanlick30tigers

“I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!” (1969)

Follow the Cat in the Hat’s son, daughter, and great-great-grandfather on three magnificent adventures, as told by Cat in the Hat himself. From battles with tigers to the unexpected consequences of a runaway imagination, this is the only book where children can thunk a Glunk and wrestle with King Looie Katz. The illustrations are a unique combination of gouache and brush strokes rather than the usual pen and ink, adding even more uniqueness to a timeless rarity.

wouldyouratherbeabullfrog

“Would You Rather Be a Bullfrog?” (1975)

“Would you rather be a clarinet, a trombone, or a drum? (How would you like to have someone going boom-boom on your tum?)” In traditional form, Dr. Seuss asks young readers fun, rhyming questions to make them think, ponder, and laugh. The book helps children understand there are so many things they can be, and that they have plenty of time to figure out who they are and where life might take them.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.parent.co/10-dr-seuss-books-youve-never-heard-of/?utm_source=newsletter_256&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pcodaily&utm_source=Parent+Co.+Daily&utm_campaign=83f735ef56-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_04_03&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3f341b94dd-83f735ef56-132097649

 

10 Simple Ways to Build an Unbreakable Bond With Your Child, by Angela Pruess

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Our connection to our children means everything.

It means the difference between a confident child and an insecure one. It means the difference between a cooperative child and a defiant one. Our early attachments and ongoing connection to our children fostered through love, nurturance, and guidance is a strong predictor of our child’s success in many areas of life.

We’ve heard a lot about attachment, so the concept and importance of bonding with our baby seems obvious. Just because your little one has grown to become a lot bigger, smellier, and sassier doesn’t mean your bond and connection with them is any less vital to their development. In fact, it continues to be of the utmost importance throughout childhood.

Life with kids is busy. It’s not uncommon at the end of the day to find yourself wondering whether you even sat face to face with your child. Here’s the good news: You’re likely already engaging with your child in activities that promote a strong parent-child relationship.

Reading

We all know reading with children is a simple way to improve their language and reading skills. But research also shows that reading with children actually stimulates patterns of brain development responsible for connection and bonding.

This makes sense when we consider that story time usually involves cuddling, eye contact, and shared emotion. If you make reading together a priority in your home, you are without a doubt connecting with your child.

Art

Engaging in art or craft activities with children is an awesome way to provide not only a fun and enjoyable experience, but a therapeutic one as well. No matter their age, you’ll be hard pressed to find a child who can’t find an art medium that interests him.

When engaged in a creative process with children, we provide an outlet for them to express their thoughts and feelings. This is especially true with younger children, who aren’t yet able to verbalize their complex emotions. When your child has access to acreative outlet, odds are that interactions between the two of you will be more positive.

Music

Whether listening to them play an instrument or dancing to the “Trolls” soundtrack together, music offers lots of benefits for both parent and child, including bringing our awareness into our bodies and into the current moment. Your kids will be practicing mindfulness without even knowing it!

It’s pretty difficult to focus on a mistake at school yesterday or the test coming up tomorrow when we’re busy processing auditory input as well as coordinating our motor skills.

Nature

Feeling stressed? Stress is often a huge barrier to parents engaging with their children. Spending time with your child out in nature will go a long way to increase emotional health and physical well-being for both parties.

Research tells us that exposure to nature reduces our blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, as well as the production of stress hormones. Nature is no joke. Even if you don’t have time to go for a hike, simply water a plant together. These studies show similar effects can be derived from even small amounts of nature.

Play

Play is the language of children, so it only makes sense that we should try to connect with them though something that comes so naturally. When parents enter their child’s world and follow their lead in play, they open up the possibility for many positive outcomes, including taking on a different relationship role and seeing our children from a new perspective.

(To read more of this post, please follow the link below…)

http://www.parent.co/10-simple-ways-to-build-an-unbreakable-bond-with-your-child/

7 Ways to Build Stronger Connections with Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy), by Kathryn Trudeau

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Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of No Regrets Parenting, reminds us that there are only a mere 940 Saturdays from your child’s birth day until the day he or she turns 18 years old. Nine hundred and forty. That’s it. The statistic is enough to make you start planning family outings and picnics from now until 2026.

But… I have a complaint. Nine hundred and forty days is not nearly enough to bond and create enough memories to last a lifetime. As parents, we are blessed with 6,570 days from birth until the age of 18, why not take advantage of each and every one of those days? Sure, the weekdays are busy, crazy, messy, and loud, but that’s no reason to relegate all the bonding to just Saturdays.

Here are seven ways to build stronger connections with your kids, even when you’re crazy busy:

Reading together.

Studies consistently show that reading to children promotes healthy brain development and improves literacy skills. Reading, however, can be as much of a bonding experience as a learning experience.

Try to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to read together. Even reading a short bedtime story can do wonders for reconnecting with your child during a busy workweek. Have a pre-teen or teen? Let them choose a chapter book and read it together, even if it’s just a few pages per night.

Connect at bedtime.

With babies and young toddlers, parents often fuss over finding the perfect bedtime routine to get baby to sleep, but bedtime is just as important for older children too. Bedtime is a great opportunity to reconnect with your kids, especially after a busy day.

As you tuck your child into bed, give him or her an extra hug or cuddle. Hum a lullaby that reminds your child of when he or she was a baby. Listen if your child has any last minute stories or questions.

It’s all too easy to rush bedtime in order to have a few minutes of peace to ourselves – believe me, I know. But some of the best moments of the day are hidden in the soft, sweet moments between awake and slumber.

Touch.

Both parent-instincts and science tell us that loving touch is important. From building self-esteem and boosting brain development, gentle caressing or loving touches can also help build connections with our kids. Touch is extremely easy to sneak into busy schedules.

  • Exchange a secret handshake as you pass each other in the hallway.
  • A hug first thing in the morning, before departing each other, upon reuniting, before bed.
  • A kiss on the forehead as you serve dinner
  • Cuddling together on the couch as you unwind with a show at night (or… a book).
  • A pat on the back for a job well done.

To read more of this article, please follow the link below…

7 Ways to build Stronger Connections With Your Kids (Even When You’re Busy)

Five things pediatricians want dads to know about how important they are to their kids, by Megan Daley

 

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Pediatricians have a message for fathers: You’re more important to your child’s health and well-being than you — and we — might have realized.

After assessing more than a decade’s worth of psychological and sociological research, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a new report about fatherhood and the things doctors can do to help the nation’s 70 million dads reach their full parenting potential.

Fathers aren’t just back-ups for moms. Their presence in their children’s lives is beneficial in and of itself.

For instance, a 2012 study in the journal Development and Psychopathology looked at pairs of sisters who had differing levels of father involvement. Researchers found that the chances of teen pregnancy and other early sexual experiences were lower for daughters who spent more quality time with their dads.

A review of multiple studies found that kids who grew up spending time with their fathers were less likely to have behavioral and psychological problems. They were also more likely to be independent, intelligent and have improved social awareness.

See the most-read stories in Science this hour »

“The role of fathers, and fatherhood, is in the process of changing,” said Raymond Levy, a clinical psychologist and executive director of the Fatherhood Project at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Traditional roles are merging, with moms spending more time in the workplace and dads spending more at home.

The new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics takes an expansive view of fatherhood. It defines fathers not merely as men who sire children, but as the male adults who are most invested in the care of a child. That can include a biological or adoptive dad, a stepfather or a grandfather.

Here’s further proof that modern dads don’t necessarily resemble Jim Anderson, the insurance salesman patriarch of the TV series “Father Knows Best” — today, fathers account for 16% of America’s single parents, a number that totals 1.9 million. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that nearly 200,000 married fathers are stay-at-home dads.

The authors of the new report considered the special needs of specific groups of fathers, including those in same-sex relationships, those coping with military deployment and those who have spent time in prison.

“We’ve looked more broadly at our totally diverse groups of fathers,” said lead author Dr. Michael Yogman, a practicing pediatrician who studies father-child relationships at Harvard Medical School. “We’ve realized it’s really important to encourage fathers to be involved.”

Here are five things dads can do to take their parenting to the next level.

Be a role model

Children look up to their fathers and have a tendency to imitate their behaviors. That’s why pediatricians want dads to be conscious of how the actions they take — whether it’s lighting a cigarette or buckling a seat belt — will influence their children as they grow and learn to make decisions on their own.

Fathers should get involved with their kids right from the beginning, by playing with them or just talking to them. That lets them see their dads as supportive companions and teachers.

“The old expectation that men were inadequate mothers, and that they had to do everything just like mothers did with young children, was unfair,” Yogman said.

He encourages fathers to find their own relationship with their children and figure out what works best for them.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-fathers-pediatricians-20160613-snap-story.html

Not Purrfect, but a whole lot of feline fun…. By Sarah Wilson

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Not Purrfect

So I was quite looking forward to blogging about our little feline themed party that we had for our four year old over the weekend. And then I came across this in my facebook feed. http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/paulhenry/have-childrens-birthday-parties-have-become-too-extravagant-2016061712#axzz4CAW2RpSN

Yep, I really like the author and blogger who was featured on the news, and yes…she really does have a point. Perhaps parties have gotten out of control. I would agree that no one needs to spend loads of hard earned cash on their child’s birthday party. After all, kids really do like simple things. But this was a bit of a downer. It seems like it’s in vogue to criticize anyone who wants to put their heart and soul into a kid’s celebration. But my take on it is simply this: if people want to spend time on creating a celebration then let them go for it. And if they don’t want to…

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21 April Fools’ Pranks to Play on Your Kids, by Leah Rocketto

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Does your little one like to make jokes, especially at your expense? If so, it may be time for some friendly payback. From freezing their breakfasts to shrinking their shoes, there are plenty of ways to prank your tot that won’t end it tears. So celebrate April Fools’ Day with these tricks that keep your kids giggling all day long.

1.  TV No More

Take all the batteries out of the remote right before your kid tries to watch their favorite shows. Then act surprised when they ask you what happened!

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.popsugar.com/moms/Kid-Friendly-April-Fools-Day-Pranks-34455775#photo-34455775

An Introduction to Attachment Play By Marion Badenoch Rose

 When you dreamt of becoming a parent, did you imagine going on picnics with your child/ren, laughing in the sunshine, snuggling up to them, reading stories, and gazing into their eyes?
I imagine you didn’t visualise power struggles when they wouldn’t put their shoes on or brush their teeth, or feeling incredibly frustrated when they didn’t listen to you, jump up and down on the bed before sleep, or refuse to eat any vegetables?
Often the spark and joy of being a parent can leave us, and at moments we may feel intense frustration, anger, powerlessness, and despair.
All because our toddler won’t get into the car seat, or bites or hits us or another child, or asks incessant questions.
Is this you?
You’ve done all this incredibly gentle, compassionate, loving parenting when they were babies, and when they got older and don’t cooperate, you sometimes don’t know what to do?
You don’t want to get harsh, or threaten, or punish, or give rewards, or disconnect with your child, but how on earth can you help her to WANT to cooperate?

And what about those times when she doesn’t seem to want to be with Dad, and tells him to go away, or there’s a dentist visit looming, or suddenly she’s afraid of dogs, or is reluctant to start school.
It’s at times like these that we can be at our wits end.
How do we help our child, without just giving up and feeling hopeless that we’ll ever get out the door/ get them to sleep/ help them go to the dentist?
OR, perhaps you find yourself feeling so deeply frustrated that you use your bigger power over him, and force him into the car seat, or forcibly brush his teeth, or speak harshly when he doesn’t put his shoes on, and then you feel deeply uncomfortable afterwards, because this just wasn’t how you wanted to be when you became a parent?
Enter, Stage Left, attachment play.
Attachment play is an incredible resource, created by Aletha Solter, Ph.D., in her book of the same name, (www.attachmentplay.com).
Attachment play actually works at the ROOT CAUSE of why children do all those things that we find most challenging – the not cooperating, the running around, the swearing, the biting, the apparently not listening, the doing-something-they-know-we-don’t-want-them-to-do, the jumping on the bed before sleep, etc. etc. etc!

SO, WHY DO THEY DO ALL THOSE CHALLENGING THINGS?
Is it like the behaviourists said, in the 1950’s?
Is it because children are inherently ‘bad’ and need to ‘learn’ how to be cooperative, compassionate, connected human beings?
Do they need to be told, over and over again, that hitting hurts, or that we don’t want them to play with the lamp, and that we really do need to go to the shops so we can get some food?
When they do those things, are they doing it deliberately, to ‘wind us up’ or ‘make us feel mad?’
I know that sometimes, those are the thoughts that can come up for us when we are incredibly frustrated,because those are often the paradigms that we were brought up with, and at times of stress our conditioning can return.
In comparison, attachment play is based on a very different set of beliefs about children, and all human beings.

From an attachment play perspective, which comes from Aware Parenting (www.awareparenting.com), when children do things that we find most challenging, it is usually because of one of three reasons:
  1. They have unmet needs (in particular, for connection and choice);
  2. They have a need for information;
  3. They have pent up uncomfortable feelings which need to be released.
As adults, we tend to think that the main cause for challenging behaviour is number two.
If our son keeps pulling the cat’s tail, or our daughter keeps being rough with her baby sister, we may find ourselves saying, “gentle, gentle” over and over again, and being surprised that they are STILL not being gentle, and may actually be getting rougher over time!
And that’s when we might feel perplexed or flummoxed, and be thinking;
“Why DOES she keep doing it?”
And that’s when we might start getting frustrated, and trying to make her stop, or getting fed up and just giving up and letting it continue.
But IF we remember the other two reasons, we can solve the issue at the ROOT CAUSE.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE THE ISSUE AT THE ROOT CAUSE?
We can use attachment play to meet unmet needs AND help our child release uncomfortable feelings.
How do we do that?

ROOT CAUSE ONE –  MEETING UNMET NEEDS

One of the most magical things that we can do is to give them what I call Present Time, and which Aletha Solter calls non directive child-centred play.
 
PRESENT TIME
What is it?
It’s a set period of time, where we offer deep presence and connection with our child.
At this point, you might be saying, “But I already give my child lots of connection.”
And I know you do, but there is something magical that happens with Present Time.
 
Why is that?
Because it is set up to meet a child’s need for connection and choice, which are two of their main core needs.
(Remember that one of the three main reasons for challenging behaviours is unmet needs!?)
And because it meets those needs, it can dramatically reduce those challenging behaviours.

What precisely do we do?
  1. We check in with ourselves first and see if we really can give our child connection and choice. (Ideally, we give ourselves PT first, so that we’ve done something that we choose to do);
  2. We tell our child what it is. (parents often give it their own name, like “Sam’s time”);
  3. We set up the parameters. (eg. no hurting anyone, no screens, no sweets)
  4. We set the timer. (This is part of the magic. It means that we know that we are only being fully present for that length of time, which makes it easier for us.)
  5. We give them choice about what happens;
  6. We follow their lead, we offer our full presence, our exuberant love, our adoration, and our full engagement;
  7. We let them know when the time is coming to an end;
  8. We stay present with them when the timer finishes, and either help them with what happens next, or if they feel upset, we stay with them and give them empathy for their feelings, eg. “You feel really upset that PT has finished, sweetheart? I’m here, and I’m listening.”
 
When can we use it?
The beauty of Present Time is that we can use it preventatively, strategically, and in the moment, when things get challenging.
For example:
If your child is showing some challenging behaviours in general, you could offer Present Time every day, for 20 or 30 minutes, and notice whether this changes the challenging behaviour;
If your child has something new coming up, like a new sibling arriving, then daily Present Time can help him have reassurance that he’s still loved and cared about, and keeps his connection cup more full.
If there are separations, such as for daycare or playgroup or nursery school or kindergarten or school, the doing some Present Time before and afterwards can help with the separation and reconnection. Even 5 or 10 minutes of PT can make a real difference.
If your child is starting to get a bit antsy, or showing the signs that you’ve noticed lead to biting/hitting/doing things you don’t enjoy, you could put in some Present Time right then. Again, even 5 or 10 minutes can make a big difference.
 
Why does it work?
The power of Present Time is that, as a concise yet deep connection, it helps our child feel connected with us. 
It’s when they feel disconnected, that challenging behaviours often occur – because a sense of disconnection feels really uncomfortable and agitating for a child.

It also helps give them a deep sense of choice.
Remember that it’s a lack of sense of choice, as well as feelings of powerlessness, that feel incredibly uncomfortable for children (and adults), and is often the cause of those challenging behaviours.
It’s that double-whammy of connection and choice which creates the magic.
And there are often wonderful side-effects too!
Many parents come to me saying, “I did it to help my child, but I found that I fell in love with my child all over again, and I love it!”
Other parents say, “At the end of the day, I know that I have given my child Present Time, and that helps me celebrate myself and what I’ve done.”
 
Present Time also helps children feel closer to us, which helps them express other feelings to us more too.
You may find that your child more easily cries or has a tantrum when you start doing more Present Time.
It’s just like us – when we feel closer to someone, we often want to tell them about our deeper feelings and experiences.
So, if after Present Time your child cries when there is none of her favourite cereal left, you might choose to simply be with her and listen to her feelings and tell her that you are there with her, listening to her, loving her.
Her feelings are unlikely to be about the cereal, and more likely to be about something else that she wants to share her feelings about with you.
What if you want to learn more about Present Time?
I have a free 4 day online course called Powerful Present Time Practice.

You can sign up for it here:
To recap, Present Time is a practice, a preventative, and a problem-solver!
So, that was all about meeting unmet needs.
ALL of the types of attachment play meet children’s needs for connection, but they ALSO do what we talked about above – they help children release pent-up feelings that are often the cause of challenging behaviours.

 
ROOT CAUSE TWO – RELEASING PENT-UP FEELINGS
What pent-up feelings do children have?
Well, even if we are the most aware, conscious parents, and we do everything we can to meet our child’s needs, ALL children feel uncomfortable feelings.
They might feel overwhelmed, scared, sad, confused, powerless, disappointed, or frustrated. 
As adults, we often talk about our feelings.
But children need to express their feelings, and have those feelings heard, in order for those feelings to be released from their bodies.
How does that happen?
Well, with light fears, powerlessness, confusion and frustration, the feelings are released through laughter.
Laughter and play release feelings.
 

Have you noticed that yourself? That you might laugh in a social situation where you feel a bit uncomfortable?
Or that when you laugh a lot at a comedian, it’s about something that you fear, or feel worried about?
(I’ve been loving James Corden, especially one show where he and another talk show host play “Send to All” –  They post a rude text message on each other’s phones, to all their contacts, and then read the replies. I found myself laughing a lot. Obviously, sending a text to someone I didn’t mean to is a bit of a concern for me!)
Children are exactly the same!
Laughter is an incredibly powerful release mechanism!
 

And also a misunderstood one.
Has your child ever laughed when you got frustrated or angry, and you thought they were ‘winding you up’ or ‘laughing at you’? And if so, did you then feel even more frustrated or angry?
 

How would it be to learn that they were actually afraid, and releasing that fear through laughter?
Would knowing that help you think differently, feel differently, and respond differently?

Laughter and play are things that we can again use strategically, preventatively, and in the moment when things start getting challenging.
How wonderful is that, to know that with attachment play, we can prevent, and respond to, challenging behaviours, effectively and compassionately, without resorting to punishments or awards!?
 

What are the other release mechanisms? Shaking, sweating, crying, tantrumming, and yawning all release different feelings from the body.
What exactly is attachment play, and how can we use it to prevent and respond to challenging behaviours?
There are nine types of attachment play, and each type can be used for numerous challenges.
Obviously I don’t have space here to go into all 9 types in depth, but if you want to go deeper, you can find out about Aletha Solter’s book Attachment Play at http://www.attachmentplay.com/
and my online course based on the book, which is at http://www.attachmentplaycourses.com/join-in
What I’m going to do here is talk about a few things that parents often come to me wanting help with, and let you know what type of attachment play I would suggest.
With ALL types of parenting challenges, I would ALWAYS suggest putting in regular Present Time.
Even 20 or 30 minutes of regular PT can make a huge difference to a child’s sense of connection and choice and can really make a difference!
******
Challenge: Hitting
Your child hits, bites, or is rough with you, their sibling, other children, or the pet.
(Even though you have always brought him up with the most gentle of parenting, responding to his needs, and he hasn’t experienced roughness himself.)
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, frustration, agitation, and fear.
(You might be thinking; “But he doesn’t look scared.” But if you reflect back on a time where you got harsh or angry with your partner, child or friend – underneath the loudness, were you feeling scared or frustrated or powerless or sad?)

Solution: Power-Reversal Games
What are power-reversal games? These are where you play being the less powerful, less competent, more scared one, and you let your child play the more powerful, more competent, scary one.

There are SO many ways that you can play this.
~ They can chase you round the house, and you can keep running away, pretending to be scared, and then letting them catch you, falling over in a big pile, and being mock-surprised at how fast they are;
~ They can be on a swing, and you are in front of them, and each time they come towards you, you pretend that they have knocked you backwards and you go flying backwards in mock surprise about how strong they are;
~ You can have a pillow fight, and each time they hit you with the pillow, you pretend to go flying and again be mock surprised or scared.

Like all attachment play, you are probably doing these kinds of things lots anyway.
The difference with attachment play is now that you know what it is doing, and can use it strategically to help your child.

As with all challenges, I’d always suggest extra Present Time, which increases feelings of connection and choice and reassurance.
Tip: Go with the giggles
If your child is laughing, then keep doing what you are doing!
IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not recommend tickling.
Even though a child may laugh when he is being tickled, the sensations are often overwhelming and can actually lead to more powerlessness.
If you were ticked as a child or teen, you will probably remember that for yourself!
******
Challenge: Feelings around separation 1 – being with Dad
Your child has feelings around being with Dad.
Cause: Feelings of sadness or loss if he goes out to work or is away a lot, or other pent-up feelings that don’t get to be expressed with Mum.
Solution 1: Power-Reversal Games.
Similar to above, only in this case, Dad pretends to be the one who doesn’t get to choose the level of closeness.
He could say, “PLEEEEEEEEEEASE let me play with you? Please? Can I look at you? Could I even just touch your toe? How about your ear?” And in a mock-silly voice, try out all these silly ways of connecting, and perhaps mock-crying about not getting to do any of these things.
Solution 2: Separation Games.
(see next section)
******
Challenge: Feelings around separation 2 – being with other people
Your child has big feelings about going to daycare, pre-school, kinder, nursery school or school.
Cause: Past feelings of loss or past separations that are coming up now, or fear, or powerlessness.
Solution: Separation Games
Separation games play with the edge of connecting, separating and reconnecting.
With babies, peek-a-boo is one of the earliest forms.
As children get older, we can play forms of peek-a-boo, like the “where is he” game – such as when he is on your back and you wonder where he is, and then you suddenly see him and say, “Oh THERE you are!” with joy and delight!
Hide-and-seek type games are also separation games. With younger children, they will need to hide with someone, otherwise there’s too much separation. Every time you get found, or find them, you could jump in the air with mock surprise.
Again, follow the fun!

******
Challenging behaviour: Not cooperating
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, frustration, and other pent-up feelings that create disconnection
Solution: Nonsense Games, Power-Reversal Games, Present Time.

Nonsense games are all about feelings of competence.
Feelings around ‘rules’, ‘not getting it right’, and ‘not being able to do things’ can all cause a lack of cooperation, such as not doing school work.
When we play a goofy game of being the one who is incompetent, silly and goofy, our child can laugh and release their feelings around these things.
The “No puppies on the couch” is a lovely example of a combination between nonsense play and power-reversal games.

In this game, they pretend to be puppies, and we pretend that there are to be “no puppies on the couch!”
We say something like, “I’m going to turn away, and when I turn around again, I HOPE I am not going to see any puppies on the couch!” with a huge smile on our face and in a mock silly voice.
(Younger children may need some help to understand that we are actually happy for them to be on the couch!)
Then we turn away, and when we turn back, we pretend to be shocked and horrified that they are on the couch, “Noooooo! I said no puppies on the couch!” in a silly, over-the-top, voice!
Tip: Change the games to suit your child, and create your own versions together
******
 
Challenging behaviour: Not cooperating with teeth or hair brushing
 
Cause: Feelings of powerlessness, disconnection, or general pent-up feelings
 
Solution: Nonsense Play

There are lots of different versions of these games that you can use!
You can play the “Silly Toothbrush” game, where you pretend that you don’t know where their teeth are, and you say something like, “Oh I know where your teeth are!” and try to brush their arm, and they keep trying to show you where their teeth are and you keep on getting confused about where their teeth are.
You can do the same with brushing hair.
******
Challenging behaviour: Gun play and swearing
 
Causes: Feelings of fear, confusion, discomfort.
Most often, children have seen other children playing with guns or swords or swearing and they need to understand what was going on, and release feelings about being the recipient.
Solution: Nonsense Play and Power-Reversal games.

We can again combine these two types of play, for example:
they pretend to shoot us and we pretend to be scared, or we pretend to die all over them whilst kissing them,
or we pretend that the gun is broken and is just making us love them more (this is from the Love Gun Game by Lawrence Cohen).
With swearing, we can pretend to be shocked every time she says the word, and jump in the air, or fall over.
We can run around the garden or trampoline together, saying the words over and over again (as long as you aren’t worried about what the neighbours will think!)
There is deep power in CONNECTING with our child when she is trying to understand something and release feelings about it.
Home then becomes this safe and healing zone where your child can bring her challenges because she knows that you will help her with them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember the cause of these challenging behaviours?
The cause IS NOT because they need to learn to be warm and compassionate, nor is it because they are deliberately trying to be annoying.
It’s because they need connection, they need to understand what happens to them, and they need to release uncomfortable feelings and heal from painful experiences.
If we try to stop the behaviours, such as hitting or biting or swearing or gun play, without dealing with the actual cause, then we are likely to find that those behaviours keep happening, or other more challenging behaviours occur.
******
Challenge: Upcoming dentist or doctor visit, or previous trauma around medical procedures, including during and after birth.
 
Causes: Feelings of fear, powerlessness and confusion
 
Solution: Role Play, Power-Reversal games and Nonsense Play

Again, we ask them to play the dentist or the doctor, and we do mock silly things, like show them our hand and say it is our teeth, or if they give us medicine, we pretend to be disgusted and vomit it all up, and other silly things.
Tip: Again, watch your child. If she is close to tears, stop the attachment play and listen to the feelings.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your child is already crying, it is important NOT to try to get her to laugh.Tears are releasing other feelings than those released by laughter, and she needs you to be present and listen to hear tears, not to distract her from the feelings.
******
Attachment play can be used to prevent, or respond to, pretty much every challenging behaviour in children, from not eating vegetables, to not doing homework, to jumping on the bed before bedtime, to not getting in the car seat, and so on and so on!
These examples are just a small proportion of the game types and game examples.
And the beautiful thing is, once you understand the philosophy, you and your child can make up your own, tailor-made attachment play games.
If you want to find out more, I recommend reading Aletha Solter’s book Attachment Play (www.attachmentplay.com)

(this is a picture of me and my son on the cover!)
And my four week online course, the Attachment Play Course, is at http://www.attachmentplaycourses.com/join-in

And the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing about attachment play is that it brings back the connection, joy, fun, laughter and wonderment of family life, which is probably what you envisioned when you thought of becoming a parent!

Here’s to more fun, more connection, and more cooperation!!

Marion Rose
Ph.D. Dip.Couns. Dip.Psych. Level Two Aware Parenting Instructor
I’m a Mum of two (they are now 14 and 9), and they have two siblings, twins who are 4.
I’ve been researching, studying and generally fascinated in learning about babies and children and how our early experiences affect our lives, for 28 years now.
I’ve trained in lots of things over the years, like  developmental psychology, Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy, HypnoBirthing, Private Subconscious-mind Healing, Calm Birth, Aware Parenting, NVC and Field Training.
I’m a Level Two Aware Parenting Instructor and you can find out more about my gazillions of online courses at http://www.marionrose.net

Pictures © copyright Marion Rose 2016

Leap into Leap Day: 29 things to do with kids on Feb. 29. By Lexi Dwyer

LEAP

As the saying goes, “Leap year comes one year in four, and February has one day more.” These fun, festive ideas will help you and your kids make the most of this quadrennial event.

1. Play leapfrog. Not only is it topical, it’s also a great way to burn off energy when you’re stuck inside. Try the “Leapfrog, Leapfrog, Snake, Snake” variation, where the partners also take turns crawling through each other’s legs. Got at least four kids? Set up a race.

2. Declutter and do good. You’ve got an extra day, why not put it to good use? When organizing with kids, the key is to find a fun project that won’t take too long. Nicole Abramovici of Genius Organizing suggests enlisting your kids to help you clean your closet. “If they’re old enough, ask their opinion about what to toss. You can even have a fashion show—kids often have a great perspective and will think of unique looks and unexpected pairings.” When you’re finished, you and your child should bring the giveaway pile to a worthy recipient, like a local charity shop or homeless shelter.

3. Get out of town. Leap Day is a Monday, so if you can pull the kids from school for a long-weekend getaway, it’s worth searching online for special Leap-Day-related hotel and airline travel deals. For example, at the ART Hotel in Denver, room rates are 29% off on February 29. The Vanderbilt Grace in Newport, Rhode Island, is offering three-night stays for the price of two. And Leap-Day babies, take note: Half Moon Resort in Jamaica is offering celebrants a 29-cent room rate for February 29 (proof of birthdate is required).

4. Answer the “Why do we have Leap Day?” question. This story, originally published in Highlights magazine, explains the origins of Leap Day in concrete, kid-friendly terms.

5. Make a time capsule. Have your child create a time capsule to open on the next Leap Day. He or she can write a letter, set goals for the next few years and add a current photo or art project. Be sure to seal it securely and label it “Do not open until Leap Day 2020!”

Star

6. Stargaze. You’re already talking about Earth’s orbit and its effect on the calendar, so why not dust off the telescope? Due to Leap Day, there will be no last-quarter moon in North America this month (see the full explanation at Space.com). But Leap-Night observers will see a faint glow called the zodiacal light, which extends upwards from the horizon in a cone shape.

Happy b

Happy Birthday, Leap Year Babies!

7. Bake cupcakes in honor of those celebrating Leap Day birthdays. As if you really need an excuse to whip up a batch of treats. Bonus points if you decorate them with frogs or the number “29.”

8. Figure out everyone’s ages in leap years. Kids are sure to laugh when they realize their parents are tweens.

(To read more of this article, please follow the link below…)

http://www.today.com/about/leap-leap-day-29-things-do-kids-feb-29-t74266

 

16 funny, poignant, personal resolutions for 2016 from moms and dads, by Laura T. Coffey

Jan 1

Let’s face it: Parenting is a LOT of work every day, week and month of the year, and most moms and dads make adjustments on the fly all the time. Still, there’s nothing like the start of a new year for taking stock of how things are going on the home front.

TODAY Parenting Team logoTODAY

As part of our “Parenting Resolutions” challenge, TODAY Parenting Team contributors opened up about their hopes and dreams for the year ahead. Many of their resolutions are hilarious, many are touching — and all are real and relatable. We’ve compiled a whole bunch of them here.

What goals do you have for your family in 2016? Please join in this ongoing conversation by becoming a member of our TODAY Parenting Team, and stay connected to TODAY Parents updates on our Facebook page. We always want to hear from you!

1. I want my kids to speak nicely and stop saying bad words. (GIT Mom)

Mom blogger GIT Mom and her family

No more potty mouths for these little angels in 2016!

“As our family has officially reached tween-dom and my 11-year old’s world and eyes have been opened up to YouTube and other nasty real world influences, he’s been educating his 8- and 4-year old brothers on the finer points of cursing. Combine the joy of blurting out a first dirty word, with the idolization of an older brother, and these boys are enjoying a master class in Grade A hoodlum. … So, for 2016, I resolve to stop permitting our kids to say all of the following swear words: Dumb; Stupid; I hate you; F#$k; Sh*#. …

“I really believe we can quickly fix our kids’ communication skills. They’ll each get three warnings before they lose their electronic devices for the day. Because of their e-addictions, I know that giving them age-appropriate behavior targets will quickly teach them how to build skills and habits that’ll serve them well into adulthood, while at the same time cushioning my eardrums.”

2. I want to cut back on the amount of TV my kids watch. (Shana Sutton / Technotini.com)

Reward chart for kids. Courtesy of Shana S.

This reward chart could be a key to cutting down kids’ TV time.

“My parenting/family New Year’s resolution for 2016 is pretty simple — cut back on the amount of TV my kids (ages 4 and 5 1/2) watch to just an hour a day … although honestly, I’d be happy if they would just stop confusing the TV ‘on’ switch for a light switch. It’s gotten to the point where they cannot walk past the TV without turning it on! … Since I want to accomplish two things: 1) stop the automatic TV power-on and 2) encourage them to use their imagination and play with their toys, I decided to go with the reward chart route. In the right-hand column I wrote the four basic tasks my kids need to be doing instead of watching TV such as: read a book, color, play with LEGOs, or play with dolls. Then I wrote ‘Did Not Turn on TV without Permission.’ Every time they do one of the aforementioned activities, I’ll give them a smiley face. Once they receive 5 smiley faces, they can have 1 hour of TV.”

3. I want to laugh more with my kids. (Oh, Honestly!)

“I want to stop thinking I need to be so grown-up all the time. I want to ignore the people who might look at me and roll their eyes, and ignore the people who don’t share my particular style of humor, and I want to laugh. Little giggles; big guffaws; the silent ones that are accompanied by tears rolling down your cheeks; the ones that catch you by surprise and shoot snot out your nose. However it happens, I want to LAUGH!”

 

(To read more of this article, follow the link below…)

http://www.today.com/parents/16-funny-poignant-personal-resolutions-2016-real-parents-t63771

Witty, Wise and Funny Kids… “from the mouths of babes”…

Kids' Quotes

I keep a notebook in which I write down interesting things our kids have said.  I don’t always get to it in time to record everything, but I try my best to write things down as soon as I can, while they’re still fresh in my mind.  Later (sometimes even a year or two later) I type up the quotations and put them in the appropriate child’s scrapbook or share them with grandparents or other family members.  These “kid sayings”, as we’ve labelled them, have brought us a lot of joy over the years, not least to our children who, as they grow older, love hearing the funny, quirky and sometimes even very wise and insightful things they said when they were “little”.  They even ask us, when we’ve forgotten about it, to read stuff out to them from the “kids’ sayings” book.

In the future, I imagine, having a book like this will be interesting… it can be brought out at 21st birthdays, weddings and other family occasions and, in years to come, their grandchildren may even read “kids sayings” spoken by their grandparents.  As well as this, I believe writing down these quotations from our kids’ “forever years” cherishes these special times and the children they are, as well as the people they are growing up to be (and yes, some of these quotations are less than angelic!).  I also find it a good way of “slowing down” and appreciating the kids.

I’m going to share some quotations from the past year or so here.  I’d love to hear whether anyone else writes down things their children say or makes videos or records their “forever years” in any other special way.  And I’d love to hear what things other parents felt were worthy of jotting down.  🙂

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Big brother (9) to little brother (5) who had put his school shoes on the wrong feet:  Don’t wear them like that, or you’ll walk round and round in circles.

Little brother (5) looking at big brother (9)’s sports photo in which he had blinked at the wrong moment:  Wow, that looks really hard, especially if you have to do it with your your eyes shut like that!

Dad to 3 year old daughter: Why have you got bare feet?  Daughter: Because I’m not wearing any socks.

7 year old boy: Dad… [little sister age 3] said that when she was a baby she used to juggle elephants, is that true?  Dad (teasing): Yes, she was quite good at it.  Little Sister (modestly):  They were just little elephants.

3 year old girl:  All the girls in the world are ballerina princesses and all the boys are clowns.

3 year old girl with blue eyes to mother with brown eyes:  Maybe Jesus will help you to have blue eyes like me.

7 year old boy (not long after the Olympic games): So we have golden syrup, but why not silver syrup or bronze syrup?

5 year old boy while baking:  Do we keep the tablespoon in the garage?  Mum: No, why would we do that?  5 year old boy: Well a table spoon must be really big, like the size of a table.

7 year old boy at scouts, after being asked how to look after his hair (in order to get “health” badge):  You’ve got to brush it and check that no nits are in it.

7 year old boy:  Mum, I love you because you feed us and let us sleep inside.

7 year old boy:  Humans usually do stupid things when they get together in big groups.  Dad told me that.

7 year old boy:  Mum, I love you, because you’re good at keeping things alive, like us and the rabbit.

5 year old boy:  Mum, is our car a Hot Wheels car?  Mum:  What do you mean?  Boy: When you tip our car upside down, has it got “Hot Wheels” written on the bottom?

7 year old boy’s loving compliment to parents:  Mum, your skin is like wobbly jelly and Dad’s is like old, crusty pie.

3 year old girl with three older brothers:  When’s my penis going to grow in?

5 year old boy:  Dad, when are you going to shave off your fur?

9 year old boy on returning to school after the summer holidays:  I really like school, but I have to pretend to my friends that I don’t, because if you say you like school everyone thinks you’re a geek.

5 year old boy:  Boy nipples are just for decoration.  (And later): Boy nipples never grow up.

Mum to 4 year old daughter:  Are you going to finish your sandwich?  Daughter: No, I’m wasting it.

4 year old daughter after dog had been taken to the vet to be spayed: Will she be a different colour when she comes out?

4 year old daughter in pool:   I can touch the bottom now.  God stretched me!

Mum to 6 year old boy at 11pm:  Why aren’t you in your bed with the light off?  Why have you thrown toys all over the floor?  Boy: PARTY!

Brother and sister were playing with toy plastic animals the day after we had watched “Star Wars”.  Suddenly the boy said, very, very seriously: The zebra’s gone over to the dark side.

4 year old girl about her teddy:  I love her so much, I’ll keep her even when I’m really old, like 10 or 11.

7 year old boy: It’s weird how you can move your bottom jaw round a lot, but you can only move your top jaw if you move your whole head.

At garden shop, son (7): What’s that flower called, Mum?  Mum: An orchid.  Son:  An awkward?  Mum: No, an orchid. Son:  But it’s leaning over and it looks a bit awkward.  Are you sure you’ve got it right? 

4 year old girl:  It’s not nice to be mean to someone.  But if someone kicks you, you can kick them back and scare them with a rhinoceros mask.

6 year old son to Dad who was hammering when he was trying to watch TV:  Dad, turn that hammer down!

4 year old girl:  Mum, if I smash the TV will people come out of it?

4 year old girl giving Mum a goodnight hug around the neck:  Now you’re wearing a necklace made out of my arms.

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