Thursday, July 30, 2015

Oh, Baby!

Sweet News To Share...WE HAD A BABY!!!

Weight: 6 pounds 9 ounces
Length: 20 inches long
Born July 25, 2015 at 1:25pm
xo Our Family of Five xo

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Don't Play the Blame Game

"You broke my goggles!"

"You made me lose my turn!"

"You ruined my picture!"

"You're mean!"

You, you, you!!! When the kids get mad, "you" statements of blame fly freely at our house.

In heated moments like this, no skill is involved, just a lot of finger pointing and tempers flaring. Matters don't get resolved as much as decibel levels rise and I am called in to play referee. To say it is exhausting would be an understatement.

If we are going to get better at arguing, we HAVE got to learn a new approach!!

To start, you, you, and you will have to go - goodbye! - and in it's place, one little power word needs to be remembered.

I'll let the kids at Mosaic Project tell you all about it.

Remember, when you teach kids to use I Statements, you teach them to "take their power back".
Power up, sounds good to me - Happy Friday!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

For Arguments Sake...Power Up!

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

"You didn't argue enough as a child!"

That's what my husband has said to me on more than one occasion and you know what, he is right.  When a discussion starts to get heated or as he likes to say "good" or "interesting" I often back down or suddenly fall silent.

I've never been one that was quick or clever with my words but then again, I've always associated arguing with fighting and when you are a people pleaser, that trait goes right out the window.

It wasn't until I met David and then met his family that I came to see another side to arguments.

Over the years, I've watched them get loud with opinions, take challenges and remain so clever that I can't tell you how comical it all gets. That there is still smiles or laughter in the end, totally fascinates me!

Fifteen years later, I'm still learning but it's my hope that Ethan and Reese will pick up on these skills quicker and learn to argue with the best of them.

To be persuasive, compelling and funny - SURE, maybe even win a few arguments - but even more, to express themselves, their inner "I" and to know there's power in a good clean fight. 

More thoughts on why you should teach your children to argue...HERE

Power up!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

No, Nope, Nada, No Thanks

"It's a real skill to become comfortable with other people being uncomfortable."
- Caroline Kelso/Made Vibrant

I read the following quote from an email newsletter by fellow blogger, Caroline Kelso of Made Vibrant. Caroline was writing about the struggle she felt to make other people happy and the responsibility she felt to people. Her thoughts echoed some of the same fears that Ethan and Reese have expressed to me about saying NO.

Saying NO is a real skill especially when others may not be happy with your response. But I've come to learn that a person's reaction is more a reflection of them in that moment than of you and your NO. And their discomfort, be it unhappiness, disappointment or frustration is for them to manage and not for you to solve.

Having said that, I do believe there are some graces to saying NO. I searched around the internet and found various discussions that address NO's on the kid level and on adult level....There's always something to learn, take a read.

Let Your Kids Say NO. Teaching Assertive Language Skills with Lori Petro

Teaching Children Refusal Skills by Leah Davies, M. Ed.

Three Nice Ways to Say No

Zen Habits : 7 Simple Ways to Say No

How do you say NO? Share in the comments, please, inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, July 13, 2015

NO is a good word

When the kids were little tikes, they would often disagree about the games they wanted to play together. They would easily get into arguments. When one of them would come to me, frustrated, I'd tell them NO was ok.

Everyone has the right to say NO.

Someone would always balk at this because they weren't getting their way but then I would remind them that it works both ways. You have the right to say NO, too.

We would talk about ways to handle being on the receiving end of NO but my end goal was for them to realize that hearing NO didn't have to be traumatic. It was just part of the conversation. The challenge was to keep the conversation going and not to get stuck in the NO, emotionally. 

Now as the kids have gotten older, saying NO for them has gotten harder and a bit more complicated. For the record, they have no issue expressing NO's when I asked them to do something but, with friends and family, NO has gotten tangled with other emotions, not hurting someone's feelings, fears that someone will get mad in return and no longer be their friend or just a struggle with good and bad choices and the voice inside their head (that sounds an awful lot like their mother's) reminding them about kindness and being helpful.

On more than one occasion, both kids have confided in me the difficulty of wanting to say NO in a situation but not knowing how to for fear of any of the above reasons.

I know how they feel. It took me a long time to learn that it was ok to say NO and to notice my patterns for people pleasing. I stressed myself out royally for many years letting other people's expectations and emotions dictate my own.

For this reason, it's been real important to let my kids know that saying NO isn't a bad thing and if we think it is, we need to investigate and get curious about those feelings.

Saying NO is about establishing personal boundaries. Saying NO is about respecting and valuing your time and space. Saying NO is about saying YES to ourselves and remembering that our feelings are just as important as anyone's else's.

So how do you say NO?

That's what we're going to explore this week because how you say NO and express yourself can make all the difference in how a situation unfolds.

Happy Monday:-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July Art Inspriation

Inspired by video games, July's fridge art was easy-peasy to make for the kids.
They picked out some of the favorite gaming characters and we made a collage around the words POWER UP.

Granted, the little words, "no", "why", "I" and "ok" and the focus on language is still a little fuzzy for the kids but that's ok. We've got the month (or least till our little baby boy arrives) to chat and understand them more.

Wish me a LITTLE luck:-)


Sunday, July 5, 2015

New Month, New Rule

OK, so this is the plan...this month we are focusing on language, particularly little words that make a big impact.

NO - WHY - I - OK, are these words a regular part of your vocabulary? They should be. Would you believe they are shots of wellness that can serve to keep you in check emotionally, physically and mentally with your everyday life?

This July we'll explore why we all need to say NO more, ask WHY, express our "I" selves and remember that no matter what, everything will be OK.

Okay? Okay.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Last, last thoughts on water (and coffee)

Remember when I wrote about the creamer incident? How I found myself not handling the "small stuff" well and needing to be more like water?

Well, I found an artist on Bored Panda, Giulia Bernardelli who PURPOSELY spills her coffee (and more) to see what ART she can create.


The end result is so lovely and magical that all I can say is thank you!! I may never look at a spill the same way again.

Check out more HERE

New rule coming to you on Monday...Happy Friday and Happy Fourth!!