Monday, June 9, 2014

4 Ways to Help Children Grieve

By Marcia Hall, as seen on

Sorrow is a normal emotion for any child to experience. Often when loss occurs in a child’s life, like the death of a loved one or pet, parents and caregivers avoid the subject or try to make light of the topic. Sometimes they will even give the child gifts or do something to distract him from the emotion he is showing. While this can make the adults caring for the child feel better, it does not truly help the child in any way. Your child needs to be allowed to move though the grieving process. When he is younger it is your job to guide him along this path. Below are four ways you can help your child move through the stages of grief and come out on the other side healthier, happier and ready for the many sad events life has to hold. 

  • Show emotion yourself. 
  • Avoid distracting him from his emotion.
  • Ask him how he feels; don’t tell him how to feel. 
  • Be with him and be understanding through all stages of grief. 
To read this full article please visit to

Friday, May 16, 2014

How to Handle it when Your Child Won’t Sleep in the Dark

Every child has their own unique sensitivities. One child may act shy when introduced to new people, while another child may dislike getting dirty. If your child is sensitive to darkness, you can rest assured that she is not alone.
Sensitivity to darkness is often thought of as a fear, and can easily become a fear when children’s emotions about being in and sleeping in the dark are not taken seriously. This issue can stem from many things. Educators commonly note that children who have an apprehension of the dark tend to be very creative, free thinkers. It may be that this creative thinking starts working overtime when darkness hits, causing the child to imagine the worst. There are a few things you can do to help calm the tension.
  • Accept it. 
  • Validate her concern. 
  • Reassure her. 
  • Keep the room clutter free. 
  • Use light.
To view this full article, please visit

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Solutions to Typical Issues Moms Have While Potty Training

Potty training is easily one of the most talked about events in the life of a toddler, yet it is often cause for great concern and stress among parents. Despite the hundreds of books and videos telling you the “simple” way to potty train your child, the majority of children learn to use the toilet without much difficulty when they are truly ready to train. However, some parents and toddlers find overcoming this milestone to be quite challenging. If you find yourself or your child in that group, here are a few typical issues that you might be facing and some workable solutions to them.
  • My child does not seem to care if his diaper or pants are wet.
  • My child is afraid to use the toilet especially outside of the home. 
  • My child just can’t make it all the way to the potty. 
  • My child just won’t poop on the toilet. 
  • My child is completely potty trained while he is awake, but still pees while he is asleep.
  • My child seems to have to go every 20 minutes when we are out or in the car. 
To visit my solutions to these potty training issues, please visit

Monday, May 12, 2014

3 Effective Uses of an Allowance

For many families, using an allowance to encourage children to do chores is an effective means of both teaching responsibility and money management. For other families, linking chores to an allowance means that the children only learn to help out around the house in exchange for payment. It is important for parents to sit down and talk about what they hope their children learn from the experience of getting an allowance. Here are three common methods you may wish to consider implementing:
  • The “You’re Part of the Family” Strategy
  • The “Must Work for Your Pay” Technique
  • The “Request as Needed” Method
To view this article in full, please visit

Friday, May 9, 2014

6 Steps to Fostering Remorse in Children

Arguments and fights on the playground or with other children are an inevitable part of childhood, however, that doesn't make it any easier for parents or caregivers to know how to respond when their child comes home from school with stories of disagreements. It can be even harder when you find out that your child is often the one doing some of the hurting. Here are some steps you can use to help when that happens.

  • Remember that children are frequently testing what effect their words have on others during the school years. 
  • Avoid accusing your child of being mean. 
  • Ask questions instead of making statements. When discussing the situation with your child, it is best to not assume anything or make statements about those assumptions. 
  • Encourage the child to mend the relationship instead of simply telling the person she’s sorry. 
  • Don’t require your child to make the relationship better or punish her if she does not do it. 
  • Encourage your child when she makes an effort to mend the relationship, even if it is not accepted by the other child immediately. 
To view this entire article, please visit

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What To Do When You Think There Is More To The Story

By Marcia Hall, as seen on
Understanding why children react the way they do can be as problematic as understanding the mysteries of the universe at times. One moment your child is engrossed and pleased with a particular activity, the next she hates it and acts like she’s being tortured the minute you try to get her involved.
Children change their minds at the drop of a hat and have meltdowns due to a number of different reasons. However, if your child has suddenly stopped liking something that she previously has loved, there might be more to the story. Getting to the bottom of it might take time and there will likely be a lot of frustration. Here are the “Do’s and Don’ts” of helping your child process her feelings and understanding her behavior.
Don’t assume you know the story. There is always more to the story than it seems on the surface. It is very easy to look at a situation your child is faced with and come to your own conclusion. Try to control your urge to make a judgment call until you hear the entire story.
Don’t accuse or blame your child of doing something wrong.
Don’t assume your child is innocent in the situation. 
Don’t step in to “fix” the problem. 
Do allow the child to be upset.
Do really listen. 
Do ask questions in a non-judgmental way. 
Do help her resolve the problem with as little interference as possible. 
To view this entire article, please visit

Monday, May 5, 2014

6 Embarrassing Topics Your Child Might Bring up in Public and What to Do When He Does

By Marcia Hall, as seen on
Kids say the darnedest things, right? From mispronouncing words to commenting on a taboo topic in a crowded room, kids have a knack for embarrassing the grownups around them. While older kids sometimes do this for attention or simply to test the waters, one thing is universally true: Your response to their comments can either cause emotional pain or it can help them learn. With that said, here are six of the most common embarrassing topics of conversation and some suggestions on how to manage them.
  • Asking a person who has a round belly if she is pregnant. 
  • Comparing breast sizes. 
  • Needing help in the bathroom.
  • Discussing the difference in skin color.  
  • Discussing ladies “time of the month.” 
  • Mispronouncing one word for the other, like penis for peanut. 
To view what your response to these topics should be, please visit 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Top 10 Rules Families Should Live By

By Marcia Hall, as seen on
Parents often institute rules for children out of a necessity to instill order and balance in the household; however, these rules are often not clearly defined and explained. Furthermore, they are usually for the children only. The healthiest rules you can give children are the ones that parents and caregivers should be following as well. By making a list of family rules you are setting a pleasant tone in the household and uniting the family.
  • Consider other people’s feelings
  • Solve problems with your words 
  • Find a kind way to say what you need to say 
  • Work to heal relationships that have been hurt 
  • Work hard and do your best
  • Be honest and tell the truth 
  • Show forgiveness and grace 
  • Treat your property with care 
  • Treat other people’s property with respect
  • Work together
To view this full article, please visit

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Help a Preschooler Who Chews on Everything

By Marcia Hall, as seen on
Children, like adults, develop habits and quirks that are unique to them. These habits are often most recognized when the person or child feels stress or anxiety. While there are many ways to help relieve and reduce the stress a child feels, it is not really possible to eliminate it all together. Not all of these habits are harmful, but some of them can cause problems as your child grows. While chewing on things can be harmless in some instances, it can also cause many problems. When children chew on hair, clothes or objects, it can spread germs, ruin clothes and make other people uncomfortable. Here are a few things you can do to help find healthy outlets for your child when he chews.
  • Recognize and educate those around your child that the chewing is simply his way of trying to relax in a situation where he is uncomfortable. 
  • Avoid making the child feel bad about his habit
  • Help him by finding an object that he can chew on that will not hurt his teeth or ruin clothes. 
  • Be sure to make time daily with your child where he is free to share some of the emotions he is feeling. 

To view the rest of this article, please visit

Monday, April 28, 2014

Minimizing Mommy Guilt

By Marcia Brown, seen on
Take a look at any parenting magazine and you will see idealistic pictures of the “perfect” family. There are literally thousands of books and websites dedicated to helping parents with everything from arts and crafts to finding the right disciplinary style. You probably even know a mom or two that seem to always have it all together. With all these examples of perfection, it’s easy to find yourself suffering from a bad case of “mommy guilt”. Here are a few ways to minimize that.
  • Recognize that no one is THAT perfect. 
  • Accept your failings.
  • Work on your strengths. 
  • Find ways to fill in the holes.
  • Make small changes.
  • Forgive yourself. 
Visit to view the rest of this article.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

My Latest Attempt at Sanity

I am a mom of 2 children (2 and 5) and care for another 1 year old in my home several days a week.  We recently spoiled our children with their birthdays and before that, Christmas. By we I mean my family and friends. OK my husband and I did too. I thought we had too many toys before the holidays and now the amount we have accumulated is simply out of control.  I regularly go though them and get rid of toys that the kids don't really play with or are broken. When I look at what is left, I remember buying it for them and just knowing they would love it. Or watching them open the toys as a gift from someone else and I simply don't want to give it away any more than my kids do.  I know eventually we will be free of all these toys with a billions of pieces or sounds that could drive even the sanest person to run screaming from the house. I know some day I will be able to walk though my living room with out feeling like I am walking though a landmine. When that day comes I am told I will miss all the toys but for today, I have resolved that it is where we are in life. 

If there is one thing I am good at, it is organizing.  Over the years I have made many attempts to organize the toys spending hours on the floor with a pile of toys.  2 days later, the toys are all messed up again.  Though my kids have a firm grasp on how to clean up, they struggle with putting a toy away before taking another one out.  It does not help that often they will take pieces of several different toys to create a whole new toy.  This is something that I find adorable and wish to encourage so most days we let the living room go until just before bed time.  Unfortunately with the amount of toys we now possess, this chore takes the whole family too long.  

In my endeavor to find and organizational plan that will actually work with my kids and our life, I have come up with this.  And I don't mind sounding like an organizational geek when I say I am pretty darn excited about it.  

As you can see from the picture I purchased about 20 simple bankers boxes for about $25, not bad.  I have organized the toys (yet again) into collections.  There are horses, Lego friends, zoobles, etc for my older daughter and 6 different "Toddler Boxes" for the 2 little ones in the house.  At the start of each week, we put away the toys we have been playing with for the week in the bankers boxes and then the girls get to pick out a new box for the week.  What is in that box remains their focus for the week.  We also have some craft boxes with paint, play-doe, etc that we can choose to play with but they all get put away before taking out the next box.  

Of course there are toys that don't go in the boxes that the girls play with constantly.  In our house stuffed animals are like best friends so those stay out as well as simple art supplies like paper and markers.  These are used pretty much daily.  

As you can see from the picture, they are not the prettiest boxes and I am sure I could make them more appealing to look at but for us they work.  I am able to stay sane in my own house and though it is far from magazine ready, I think it balances our style with our crazy life quite well.

Thanks for taking a look.