Showing posts with label Toddler. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toddler. Show all posts

Friday, October 6, 2017

I disapprove of childcare at church

I almost lost my cool when a man sitting 1 pew behind TOUCHED me to say that childcare was available - just because my 9 month old was babbling a little during service.

Courtesy of Gennadij


CHILDCARE. More and more churches are including them in their ministry - the larger the church, the more likely they are to exist these days.  While I agree that it might be good for infants to be temporarily taken out from the sanctuary when they become overly distracting, I don't think taking them to a childcare room for the whole service is helpful in the long run. 


1.  If your child never sits with grown ups, how will they ever learn to behave as one?
           They attend school most of the week with tons of peer pressure & very few adult role models. We then like to allow kids as old as preteens and such to go off to "Children's" or "Youth Church" while we fellowship during the weekend (This is not to be confused with a breakout session for kids during Sunday School, where everyone afterwards congregates together for the main Word).  When are they actually seeing how you, their parent is behaving?  When are you taking the time to show them how to be an adult? Do you really think they are listening when you "instruct" them?  No, they are more interested in watching behaviors- as most humans learn by experience or my mimicking. Stay-at-home-moms may see this clearly when their perfectly behaved child goes off to school for the first year, and comes back like a totally different child; complete with new unattractive learned behaviors.  If all they are around are other children, they will never learn to behave as an adult.  You need that balance - time spent with children and with adults, so they can learn to reason when to use certain behaviors, and when its inappropriate.  Church is a great way to begin that. Take a quiet toy/tablet for your child if they are super young and need to have their attention caught.  Just show them the importance of being quiet in certain settings, and that you love them enough to keep them by your side as much as possible; which brings me to the next point.


Courtesy Of Honey Onshawee

2. It's YOUR responsibility to rear this child.  Having them in daycare during the week while you work is an evil most working-class parents simply cannot avoid.  But having them there while you praise God is totally avoidable! People have asked me how my son is so behaved during the adult church services and at the movies (See my post on how my son has been movie-going without disturbing others since he was a couple months old), and I answer that it's learned behavior.  According to Galations 5:22, two of the fruits of the spirit is longsuffering and faith. I utilized the patience it needed to guide his behavior through the Screeching phase. It wasn't easy, and even my husband had doubt, but my faith saw us through.   We as parents talk about how smart our babies are, but then stifle their abilities by underestimating them.  My son as an infant may not have understood the words I was using , but he fully understood the tone.  I regularly spoke to him with joy and gentleness when he displayed good behavior, and used a more stern tone when his behavior went south.  He sensed something was different with me - because instead of always handing him off to someone else, HE'D BEEN AROUND ME LONG ENOUGH TO DISCERN MY MOODS. 
        Don't get me wrong, I'd never yell at an infant.. so I kept the same volume, but only changed the seriousness of my tone.  You know your child notices, because they stop temporarily to look at you after your tone changes.  They scan your face to interpret what's going on. Most try the disruptive behavior again shortly after... That's when you reinforce your serious tone again (and facial expression) to show them you're disappointed.  When your child is with you long enough to desire love, respect, and affection from you, you'd be surprised what they do to earn it.  Even at an infant age.    


Don't worry about those families that may judge you for starting the process of integration earlier than they'd do it. Those are the ones, like the man touching me at my church, that are ADULTS TALKING while the pastor is giving the message - which can be even more distracting.  Most speakers know that babies may coo or babble; and the good ones don't allow it to disturb their train of thought.  You'll find that you can share more "family" time with your child, if you trust in God to give you the perseverance, love, and faith needed to begin the journey of teaching your child about God, and the patience that it may require to trust in Him.

READ ANOTHER RELATED ARTICLE HERE

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Maxi Cosi Pria 85 - Two Years Later

Most people review products as soon as they get them.  I prefer to see those reviews where the product has been tested through time.  Here's one of those!


I was in the market for a convertible car seat and had no idea where to start. My baby was outgrowing his Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat, and I needed to find a great alternative that also appealed to my aesthetic nature.  I looked at several different brands, from Chicco to Britax to Evenflo.  I had it narrowed down between the Chicco NextFit and the MaxiCosi Pria 85, and ultimately went with the latter because it looked relatively easy to install in the car. Below are a few things I liked and disliked about it.

The Pros:

  • The Color choices. They have Black, Pink and Blue. I immediately liked that the black color I chose worked well with the dรฉcor of my car interior.

  • Material. The fabric was firmly pulled around the frame of the carseat to allow for easy vacuuming without parts of the fabric being sucked into the vacuum. With some other brands, you'd have to take it out of the car to dry clean. The material also keeps your child from overheating too much- they call  the technology used for the fabric and the padding CosiComfort, which can be removed for spot cleaning as well.

  • It's Safety. I'd read many reviews before I decided to purchase, and even more recently, people are expressing how the seat kept their little ones safe through an accident.  I myself can vouch for it as well - being in a side impact car accident where my son had not even one complaint of whiplash.  The doctors looked over him for good measure and gave the green light. They have AirProtect, the technology used in the side head structures, that protected my son's head and neck during the impact. If you have no other reason to purchase this car seat, this would be enough.

  • It's weight range. There are other car seats out there that offer a true convertible experience, transitioning from convertible stage to the booster seat stage.  But with this seat, you need not worry about losing or damaging pieces that allow for the transformation from one car seat type to the other. Instead, you can have a baby 15 pounds all the way up to 85 pounds in this seat without needing to make any additional changes. There are not too many convertible seats that allow for such a high max weight. You can get your money's worth before you child outgrows it.
  •  Sturdiness. The build of it withstands when my son is a bit rambunctious and decides to use it as a jungle gym when he's not riding.
  • Removable Material.  This is vital if you wish to keep your little one's chair clean.  Mine gets everything known to man in the chair: popcorn kernels, cookie and bread crumbs, as well as a few "unknown" substances, most likely jelly.  I simply take the cover off- the first time was the hardest to do - and wash. 

Cons
Weight. When you do need to transfer the seat to maybe another car, it's quite heavy. But I'm okay to sacrifice it being lightweight if I can get stability and sturdiness.

 Few colors.
 While some like they have Black, Blue, and Pink, I'd like to have seen a few more options, like chocolate or beige, so that it can match the interior of other cars.



After two years, I still don't see many negatives to owning this type of car seat.  It's relatively easy to install, and quite safe.  If you are still on the fence, read the reviews from other parents and decide for yourself!
The "dirty" truth of this carseat!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Why is my Little One Saying, "What the Hxxx??"


In these days of the Hell Challenge, I started wondering where kids learn it from


When I was in first grade, I remember quite vividly being outside during morning recess with my "boyfriend" (yes, kids are talking about these things at this age) running around and enjoying life.  I remember someone coming up to us and asking what I thought was a ridiculous question.  My reply was "Hell naw!"  And boy, virtually everyone on the nearby monkey bars within listening range took over from there…."Awwwwwwwwww!  She said a curse word!"  Of course some practically fell over themselves trying to get to the nearest teacher.  And of course, my freedom was taken from me- or at least my recess freedom.  I had to stand on the wall for the remaining recess periods the duration of the day.  I remember how puzzled I felt.  My parents, who both had leadership roles at our church, had told me that hell was where you were going if you were not saved. I'd heard my mom say the phrase many times before so I figured there should be no problem in saying it.  So why was I missing my recess? Were these people such heathens that they couldn't stand to even hear the word describing where they might be going?  These thoughts swirled around my mind all day until the teacher told me that I could participate in the final free-time activity if I'd apologized.  I stood and gave a very enthusiastic answer:  NO.  I felt I was indeed the victim.  The teacher, sensing that I was not feeling apologetic about the matter decided to call my mother.  "I guess I'll be letting your mom know then," she said confidently.  My mom was very active in the school PTA group so the teacher knew I'd change my act once my mom got involved. Surely, she'd knock some sense into me.  Imagine her mouth dropping when my mom said "We don't believe, or teach her that hell is a curse word. It is simply where the unsaved is going."  The teacher gathered her jaw from the floor and tried to regain composure and control, "Well, we do not approve of that phrase in school."  

My mom told me just not to say it around school anymore.  I always had better sense than to say, What the Hell around my mom, so I never had an issue with that.  I understand that the phrase might have a different connotation, so I didn't dare use it until I became an adult.  But my 3 year old son has decided that saying, 'what the hell' is his new choice phrase. Where he learned it from? I cannot pinpoint a direct source. But since he's started using it, my ears have been sensitized, and I now notice that so many places use variations of the phrase. Some had me a bit surprised.

  • Grandparents - this one isn't surprising.  My parents have always said it.  I've asked them to refrain until my son matures, but understandingly it's been rough for them to reverse 40-50 years of saying a phrase. 
  • Disney - Now this was surprising.  While watching his favorite movies, Cars 2 and Toy Story 3, I heard the phrase, "What the…?" multiple times.  I believe Mater says it multiple times, but I know he says it when the computer is changing his disguise to a 'monster' truck, and on Toy Story 3, the janitor of Sunnyside says it while in the bathroom cleaning.  Immediately, my son repeats it.  They seem to like phrases that express emotions at this age, and oftentimes learn those words or phrases first.  I've even heard the phrase used during a Disney Jr. cartoon. 
  • Other kids at daycare or school - As kids learn from adults, they widely use what they've learned with or against their peers in this setting.  Chances are that your child will pick up one or more of those bad habits.
  • Your daily news channel - While watching the latest "Breaking News" an analyst used the full-out phrase, What the hell.  And who was right there with me to instantly repeat it?? Yep, my son. What the hell?!  



What do we do now?  Well I spend a good 1-2 minutes directly after hearing my son repeat the phrase trying to explain that it's not what we should say.  Although sometimes he still says it, he remembers quickly after that it shouldn't be said, "Oh, sorry mommy."  At other times when he's more alert, he will scold whomever said it in the same fashion I use with him:  "No Mater, No Grandma, we don't say, 'what the'…You can say, What?! Instead. " It works for now.  It's hard trying to tell your 2-3 year of child that using the word hell isn't appropriate for some people, when it's widely used around you.  

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Toddler's 1st Visit to Disney World

What's it like?
A guest post from one of our moms sharing her experience

(Trying to Decide where to stay in DisneyWorld?  Read a RESORT REVIEW to help)

As we are planning our upcoming trip to Disney, I thought it would be great to share our son's first trip to Walt Disney World with Ele Millenia's readers.  We absolutely love Disney.  It brings to life the characters of the cartoons, movies, and shows that we've watched.  Imagine having your favorite movie, and then somehow being able to immerse yourself in that environment, effectively becoming a part of the movie yourself- or at least having that feeling. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Usually, I'm not the extrovert, and prefer to be behind the scenes showcasing someone else, but here I can feel like I'm also a star of the show.  I grew up during the era of powerhouse Disney movie releases like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid, so of course being able to share those memories with my children is something I'd look forward to.


My husband is not a big fan of amusement parks (we're trying to wear him down), so for most of our trips, I'd have to go without him.  For my son's first trip, though we all went with my parents since they were excited to go themselves to see my son's first reaction---well, at least my mom was excited.  My dad feels like my husband on the matter.  He and my husband spent a lot of time at the resort while us women took our children out to the theme parks, and we'd meet back at the resort for lunch and dinner.
The boys in our family were 1 & 2 at the time we visited for Christmas, and I appeared to be more excited than my son, but I expected it because he was always quite reserved.  As we drove through the gate of Disney World, he showed signs of excitement, and then became more alive as we got settled into the resort and interacted-alongside other families-with the snow generated from the machines in the lobby.  He was happily jumping around the lobby and having a blast.  This carried over to Disney Springs, where we ate dinner and bought a few Disney products.  He happily ate his food and had smiles on his face the whole time.  By the time we saw the new Star Wars movie at the AMC Theatre within the Springs, we was fast asleep.  TIP: I recommend having a travel stroller with you on the trip so you can tuck your toddler in for sleeping while you walk. You can rent one from the parks, but it's based upon availability.  If you flew, chances are that you'd benefit from a stroller while in the airport as well, so you might was well save money by bringing your own.  Your toddler will appreciate having something recognizable during a period of heightened stimulation due to all the new experiences.

The next day we visited Magic Kingdom. Without the men.  But who knew we'd forget they weren't there?  TIP: If you're a single mom or your husband refuses to go, find a girlfriend, or family member and go!  It will be just as fun. I am actually even thinking of going alone with my son once he gets
older.  Again, I advise you bring your stroller, as my son was got a little scared of the sheer number of people at first, and used the stroller as his safety zone; refusing to leave it until we saw Mickey & friends at Cinderella's castle during the park welcoming show.  He then was more than willing to get out when we headed over to Fantasyland to ride on the Winnie the Pooh attraction.  Although he was too small for the Seven Dwarf's Mine train ride, we rode many other rides without him refusing:  It's a Small World, the little Mermaid, the Barnstormer, and the steam boat ride, which put us at Liberty Square  just in time for the Very Merry Christmas parade. By this time it was time for lunch and my son was starting to revert back to his stroller.  I knew that was a signal that he was tired.  TIP: when you see signs of your child getting tired, that's the best time to leave the park and head to the resort for a nap.  We left to find the rest of our party, ate, walked about the resort grounds for a spell, and then went inside to sleep.   I find that planning to leave at lunch and return to the park after dinner works best for our family.  We went during the busy season, and the parks stay open until 11pm (or later during extra magic hours), so returning at 6pm was okay for us if the parks didn't close until 1am. Once we return to the park, we're refreshed and ready to re-commence.  We did this for the rest of our time there- and limited our total stay to just 4 days to avoid burn out from either the adults or the children.  I would recommend that you not visit the park each day of your visit unless your situation calls for it.  The extra day or two of down time allows you to experience Disney Springs and the amenities the resort you're staying at offers, like pools, cycling, arcades, golf, spas, etc.

Characters: My son was amazed when he saw the characters, but as they approached, he retreated!  He would run the other way with sheer terror on his face... I mean, who KNEW Doc McStuffins and Mickey would be SO BIG?!  He preferred to sit down and just watch the characters from afar, and I was fine with waiting until he felt more comfortable. As he became more familiar, I would remain quite close to him as we approached a character, informing them that it was his first time and he was shy so that they weren't too assertive.  It worked out well, and soon he was on his way to initiating contact with them.  I wouldn't worry if it takes a few visits for your child to become comfortable.

Dining? Easy breezy.  Staying on property provides you with so many options you won't need to leave Disney World at all.  And that is their plan.  Their quick service is similar to a fast food or casual restaurant and allows for families to eat and get back to their fun. The table service options were great ways to see characters while you dined, and choose from plated or buffet styles.  With children under 3, they are allowed to eat off of your plate to save you some extra money.  If they require special plates of their own, ask the server to simply bring out a separate plate that you can use to share your food and also be able to give them their independence. At this age, they get pleasure from being able to do things on their own. TIP:  Bring their sippy cup if they have not yet mastered the use of straws or drinking.



One thing to remember is that while we adults may seem more excited to get to Disney World the first time, your child most likely will be the one most excited for subsequent visits.  They have to have time as little ones to digest what they are experiencing and fully decide if they enjoyed it.  Once they become more comfortable with the excitement, they will display their feelings more. This is speaking for your first child.  Your 2nd and third has the preceding children's emotions to use as a reference for how they should feel/behave.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Katsande



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Preschool Tours

You've narrowed down your list of preschool choices with great academic records and now it's time to tour. Beyond the usual questions, there are other questions you should be asking, and behaviors you should be noticing.  Here are a few major things to look for during your tour


Displays of the student's art work is a great sign 
  1. Does the school official actually interact with the children? Does he or she greet the child by name or just gives general, "Hi"?  Schools often have set tour dates so they can put their best foot forward.  I like to schedule my tour on another day so I can get a better feel of the culture and if the administrators don't know the children's names, you'll know that they haven't been there long, the children are all new, or they haven't cared to learn the children's names. 
  2. Do the children like their officials? Do you catch them approaching teachers or admins on their own? Hug or side chat?
  3. What is the willingness of the admin tour guide to take you to additional parts of the school...or when you ask, do they make excuses?
  4. Do you see bullying on the playground? Take time to observe the children in their free-play setting. I do it without the kids noticing too much but with school permission. This is when you can see the kids' interactions and how issues are handled by staff/faculty. You can also ask what they're policy is. Saying they have no bullying means they're oblivious and don't care to even know...which could be dangerous for your child.
  5.  Ask teachers and other staff if they'd bring their own kids to the school. Some parents will volunteer this information and that's good but then ask if they still are enrolled and why not
  6. How do they interact with your child? If your toddler seems apprehensive during the tour, does the tour official reach out to help put your babe at ease, do they seem annoyed by your child's reservations, or do they simply just ignore them? This can be indicative of their future (or worse) behavior when you are not around.
  7. Does the teacher for the class your child would be enrolled in come to greet you during the tour? If not, is there a valid explanation why not? If they don't come greet you or even wave hello, and no one seems to show that it's important, it could be a sign that the school is not into establishing a parent-teacher partnership
  8. Ask what the average tenure of the teachers and administrators there is.  Are they there long enough to really be invested in the children to be able to notice their strengths and weaknesses? Is it long enough to get engaged in the school culture and the mission?
Dialogue: What do you look for in your tour? If you've never toured, what questions would you have for other parents?…email me or leave your comments below  
READ ANOTHER RELATED ARTICLE HERE
…Until Next Time

Monday, February 6, 2017

Child Care: When to remove your child

Everyone has had the question of whether or not the daycare your child attends is right.  Here are some signs of when to end your provider's services

Read another related post Here


  1. Your child is being bullied.
    1. Note that even toddlers are capable of bullying if they live in an environment that fosters it.  If you make a unscheduled visit to the provider while your child is there and you notice some disturbing behaviors: multiple children yelling and spitting into your child's face, while repeatedly stomping on his/her feet, then that is something you want to bring up to the administration.  Pushing and shoving that isn't enjoyed by both parties should also be shared with an administrator.  I've seen where a child is being violently pushed until he falls, and then straddled while the attacker starts punching him….. 2yr olds!!!!
    2. When you’ve informed the provider/center administration of what's happening, and nothing is done, this is time to leave.  You don't want this affecting your child's growth or personality.  Some of the bullied kids become forever victims, and some take on the bullying behaviors and become a bully themselves.   Report the incidents and lack of the action to whatever governing body you have in your state (state child and family services, etc.) as per their guidelines. 
  2. Your child is being neglected 
  1. Provide the facility with different diapers than what you drop your child off wearing (I gave 4 Pull-Ups brand diapers to the daycare, and dropped him off wearing Huggies Little Movers). I repeatedly noticed that when I returned 10-11 hours later, he was wearing that same Huggies Little Movers diaper he was dropped off with.  The diaper was soaked each time.  If you see this, then you can bet that they have left your child neglected for the duration of his time there.  Inform the administration in this case and monitor their action.  Some of the unprofessional centers may deny wrongdoing and may insist that they changed your child.  If you have a special mark written on the outside of the morning drop-off diaper, then you'll know that indeed your child wasn't changed when you come back to see that same marked diaper on your child.  Changing a diaper is not difficult, so if the facility is failing to do this regularly, what else are they failing to do?
  1. Your child is being abused by certain teachers
  1. Learn to understand the difference between whether or not your child is just complaining about being dropped off or genuinely scared to death.  Once you see
    your child is truly scared, pinpoint the issue, report and get out of there.  
  1. Your child has scars and scrapes and/or bite marks on their body, but no incident reports have been filed
    1. When you pick up your child, make it a priority to check them out.  If you notice something unusual, ask the provider.  If they don't know and say they had a shift change, ask to see the incident report.  If there has not been one filed every time you see a new injury, that is a RED FLAG. Get your child out of there and report the provider. You don't want another child to experience a serious injury and nothing be done about it.
  2. The child care provider acts like they are your child's parents.
  1. While I understand there are parents that improperly think they are the child care provider's employer, a lot of providers think they have more authority in making decision for your child.  If you seem to have a never-ending battle with a provider/administrator on whether or not they should have dairy; that's a problem. Even more so if they decide to give your child pork when you specifically requested in writing for them not to do so for religious reasons.
  1. There is no academic curriculum and you want more than just a babysitter
    1. If your child is there for an extended period of time, you may want to know that your child is in an environment that conducive to learning.   If so, and your provider is unwilling or unable to provide this, it's time to roll out.  No hard feelings.  But you're looking for a different experience. Write a letter if you'd like gently letting them know, but also that you appreciate their services rendered. 

Ultimately, it's always your choice on when to leave or not, and you don't want to leave for just any silly reason.  But you don't want to ignore signs that your child should be somewhere better suited to your caregiving needs.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Situational Depression: Managing it with a Toddler

They say you should end your year with a bang.  My year ended with a bang so loud, my ears were still ringing months later.  December began with my toddler son and I being injured in a car accident, where my fight with the at-fault driver's insurance  commenced.  My thoughts were to focus upon getting the injuries my son and I had sustained healed so that I could promptly return to work.  The day I returned to work, my aunt died; with whom I was close to.  I was granted a few days of bereavement time from work so that I could travel down south and help handle her affairs and say goodbye.  I was now not only in physical pain from my accident, my heart bled with emotional pain as well.   

Then, in the least sensitive way possible, I was fired from my job.  Still at my aunts in another state, I happened to check my messages on the second day of my bereavement, and saw that the HR rep had called me 3x and emailed me as well since the day before, asking me to respond back to her ASAP.  I figured it wouldn't be good news, but I took the time from being with my family to call.  "You have taken 3 days off for your accident, and then now this.  It seems you are just looking for ways to be off work." I felt something snap inside me: who LOOKS to be injured in an auto accident and then LOOKS for a loved one to die???

 I realized that I wouldn't want to work for such an insensitive employer anyway, but the damage had been done and the heartless company that boasts during their hiring process about its work-life balance opportunities had seemingly won. When we returned home, I barely could get out of bed, let alone live up to my reputation as what my son calls 'supee mom'.  There was nothing super about me anymore, I thoughtThere I was; absent from my mom duties as I succumbed to the painIt reminds me of the cough syrup commercials where the parents are "calling in" sick to their little ones.  TV Commercial Spot - Cold & Flu Relief - Moms Don't Take Sick Days . How do you take days off from being mom?? 


Your little one doesn't understand why you can't play "tea party", or "dinosaurs eating racecars" with them.  But this illness is not so superficial that it can always be controlled or ignored.  Most times depression becomes your puppet master, effectively pulling your strings no matter how hard you fight against it. 
I knew I couldn't afford to be in this emotional predicament for too long.  I thought to myself that my son being too young to fully grasp the gravity of what I was dealing with could possibly work in my favor - maybe.   It was time to make a plan.  I was going to be steadfast in my resolve to not let this keep me down for too long.  It wasn't something that happened over night, but I saw steady progress working my plan until I felt more like myself again. I want to share with you a few of those steps I took to regain control:

  1. Faith Renewal
    1. Christians often talk of this, so it seems clichรฉ, but it really can be an important step in in your healing.  My faith in God had waivered, so establishing that foundation of sowing my seed of faith helped me understand that things may happen that are not to our liking- but that they may occur to build our character, or to help someone else seeing what you went through.  Re-committing my faith also restored my hope that joy would come "in the morning".   You don't have to be deeply religious to achieve this, just committed.
  2. Meditation
    1. Once my hope emerged, I meditated for clarity and serenity.  I wanted to interact with my son as I had done prior to the incidents, but the thought of possibly snapping at him out of pain scared me.  I took time daily to clear my mind from my frustrations and to just think about things that put me at peace: Being at a beach or shore; laying at the water's edge or floating peacefully out on the water itself, clearing my mind of worries and just focusing upon the peace I had in that moment. Since I couldn't head to a beach or lake, I decided to imagine my being there during my meditation.  To avoid interruptions, I found the best time to do this was when my son was sleep.
b. Not only can this restore peace, this was also when I realized that I was never really depressed about my job- for anyone can get another job.  Was I sad about it? Yeah, but hell, I was interviewing again within a couple weeks.  No, my primary source of pain was the loss of my aunt, for no one could replace her. The other incidents were merely supporting actors- highly effective in supporting the role of the antagonist, but not important enough for me to sob over its effects in the future. With now knowing the source of your depression, you don't have to waste time focusing on something that isn't really as important as initially thought.  If you don't have situational depression, forget discovering the source, and instead try to focus on simple things that give you joy:  snowflakes, sun rays, etc. Meditate on these things.  I felt motivated after meditating, so I practiced it often, making effort to achieve that feeling I'd had while out by the water each session. 
  1. Professional Help
    1. Don't do this alone!  Forget stigmas if you find you can't shake your symptoms. If you are struggling with the judgment you might receive from others, only tell those you trust!  A pro can help you pinpoint your feelings, find the closure you need, help you establish a direction, and/or provide you with medication (or herbal remedies) to help you with the symptoms. 

  1. Be patient and tailor your recovery plan to you!
    1. You won't be "cured" after a couple rounds of meditation if you are depressed. But I made it a point to focus on my son with whatever pockets of positive energy I acheived from meditation, counseling and/or my faith.  I did this so that he didn't feel that my love for him had changed.  Everyone is different and only you know what your children need from you.  While some need your conversation, my son needed my presence and my touch.  So I customized my plan to incorporate my son's needs. On those bad days for me, I pulled from our movie collection and spent time indoors with him watching them- he was happy because he could snuggle up with his mom and watch Disney.  I meanwhile was able to lie around when my body refused to move, but yet finding comfort in his happiness. 
    2. I wanted to take my son out to the park or football games again, so I began setting goals, despite my unreadiness to fully immerse myself in a large body of people just yet. Still, take a little time to do a few things you used to do regularly: shopping (even if you start out with just groceries), dining out, theatre arts, movie theatres, sporting events, races, etc.  Start slow: you may not be able to stay long or go often, but it's part of the process of establishing normalcy.  When you feel strong enough to get out there, do it!  Incorporate your toddler for those short outings.  The last thing you need is to be dealing with the big personality and strong will of a toddler out in public where you're stuck for hours. Taking him to my grocer to pick up a couple of things worked just fine. By the time he got comfortable enough to start changing his behavior, we were leaving the store. I soon found that it became gradually easier to spend more time doing what I used to do.  I soon took him to the park, and found that being there for about 80 minutes was great for both of us- until it was time to leave.   (TIP: don't forget to take snacks to help coax your child away from the slide/swings and into the car).

  1. Secure your mask first before securing your child's
    1. I always cringe when I hear the flight attendants saying that before flight take-off. It seems counter-intuitive for loving parents to put themselves in front of their child.  But focusing upon improving your health should come first if you hope to relieve yourself of the burden anytime soon.  Get yourself better first, then you can fully focus upon strengthening your relationship with your children.  Asking my parents and my cousins to watch my son worked for myself and my son - I had the time to deal with an episode, and my son got the attention he needed from a loving family environment. 


I'm not going to lie, you may find it difficult to begin and work your plan, but it gets better with time, and working with a professional and/or putting your faith in God helps lighten those burdens you carry.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Why Pottying finally Clicked - for me and my son

I started trying to potty train my son at 2.5 years of age.  I waited until then because he showed no sign of wanting to potty prior to that, and I started getting a bit spooked once he turned 2.5, so I figured why not.  Fast forward a year later, and he's finally going the whole day and most nights dry in his "big boy" undies.  I don't want you going through what I went through, so I wanted to share a few tips that made pottying sync quickly.



Tip #5
This one's simple. Try not to call the pull-ups diapers. You may even be better to call them underwear.  I know a lot of parents know this already, but for those that could possibly slip-up, remember this.  It seemed to be a big catalyst in the change in his behavior once I realized that and fashioned his favorite character underwear over the pull-up as a disguise, calling it underwear.  I made sure I reiterated how they should never be wet.

Tip #4 
Give them a reason to pull down their pants. Some children are excited about flushing the toilet, but mine wasn't.  A lot of people say to let them aim for cheerios, but I couldn't even get that far. He'd run from the toilet. He liked raisins, and that was a breakthrough for me. He soon became quite slick - withholding some of the urine so he could potty multiple times within a few minutes for more raisins.  I also allowed him to wear his favorite pajamas and underwear when he'd gone to the potty and remained dry that day. He enjoyed showing off his Avengers underwear when he pulled his pants down.  


Tip #3
Don't go at it alone.  Everyone at the house should participate in the program, reminding him on a 30-60 minute schedule that it's pottytime.  We made pottytime into a party, expressing excitement as we danced into the bathroom. (We even sang our own pottytime song!)  Initially it was met with fierce opposition, but we wore him down. Everyone was in on it, including the grandparents and daycare teachers. 

Tip #2
Just because you see a couple signs that he may be ready doesn't mean he truly is.  I'd read an article in the Parenting magazine that some of the signs your child was ready to potty were 
1. They look for privacy to complete #2's.
2. Can follow basic directions. A 1yr old can follow directions, but still may not be interested in following a potty directive.
3. Seems interested in the toilet.  My son was interested all right until it was time to sit down on one. Oh the screams of terror even on his own potty.
4. Sit down and get up from potty. He would do it, but had no intention of making a deposit.
5. Poops on a predictable schedule.  My son definitely did that. but would suck it back up when he was placed on the potty - and would wait for long periods of time if needed until the diaper was back on before relieving himself.

I soon realized that the list of "signs" was to be used as a loose guideline, not as gospel, for understanding when your child is ready to potty.

Tip #1
Your child will potty on their own timetable, not yours or anyone else's.  Never mind that I started at 9-10 months (per my mom), my son was simply not ready at that time, and he couldn't care less about how embarrassed it made me, or how much treats he missed out on.  I toiled many days trying to get him engaged in the process; offering bribes, showing my disappointment, etc.  His will didn't budge until he was ready.  Once that happened, I was able to use positive reinforcement to motivate him (praise,sweets, his favorite pj's and underwear) to get him trained. 

You need to be patient and know that it will happen, but just not all on your terms.  When you let go of your frantic demeanor, your child will relax too, and come into their own at the right time for them.