How to Improve Your Mother’s Intuition

Can you improve your mother’s intuition? In her new Momscape article, Dyan Eybergen, author of Out of the Mouths of Babes, gives us tips on doing just that. She begins:

Most parents know instinctively that their child is a unique blend of character traits, personality and temperament; that no two children are alike. Most parents respond to their child’s distinctiveness through intuition during the first few years of their baby’s life by interpreting their baby’s cries and responding appropriately. But with regards to parenting their child past the toddler stage, many parents fail to continue to “listen to their gut” and go in search of quick-fix methods that promise solutions to parenting challenges. As a consequence, the parent’s ability to tap into their intuition becomes compromised and the child’s uniqueness is lost to the one-size-fits-all approach to parenting.

Contemporary parenting solutions are not all bad, it just that they often do not take into consideration an individual child’s needs, personality or family’s dynamic. So often, the child is being raised in ways that go against the child’s natural disposition. As a result, there is often parent-child conflict, stressed out moms and dads and anxious kids.

Here are some ways you can improve the quality of knowing and understanding your child which will help you return to parenting him/her from a place of intuition:

·        Always keep the lines of communication open. Make an effort to know your child: his/her friends names; favourite colour, movie, bands, food; how your child feels about certain issues like smoking/drinking, recycling, pollution, bullying; etc.

·        Keep a journal: record the things your child says and does; what he/she is most interested in and how he/she reacts to certain situations or responds to you. Look for patterns or changes in your child’s behaviour: How does he/she process his/her emotions? Which parenting approaches work? Which approaches exacerbate a situation? Where does your child excel, what comes easy to him/her? Where does your child struggle? Write down anything that would be helpful in discovering the true nature of your child’s personality so you can begin to utilize parenting strategies that compliment who he/she is.

·        Write about the day your child was born and list everything you remember about him/her in the first few weeks of life. Do any of those words you use to describe your infant still ring true for them today? Was your baby quiet and remains quiet or shy as a nine-year-old? Or did he/she come out of the womb crying with fierce determination and is a feisty indomitable 12 year-old now?

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Ten Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear

I’ve just published a new article from Sandra Gordon, author of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products: Ten Ways to Save Big on Baby Gear
Start reading below:

Baby products are an 8.9 billion dollar industry in this country. There’s a lot to choose from—and a lot of stuff you can live without. A typical middle-income family with one child in the U.S. will spend an average of $13,590 on baby’s first year alone. But you get better value, and still buy high-quality, safe products without spending a bundle.

The trick is to do your homework and research products before you shop online or step foot in the baby products super store. Also:

1. Get more mileage out of your baby registry. Friends and relatives want to give you gifts, so take advantage. But before you add a product to your registry, make sure it’s right for you and your lifestyle. Test-drive products in the store and take your baby registry as seriously as if you were paying the tab yourself. Register for big-ticket items like a stroller, car seat and crib. Who knows? Friends and relatives may go in as a group and buy them for you. And register for everyday items like diapers in all sizes except for newborn, and baby wipes. You’ll need those items for years to come. Babies will outgrow newborn diapers in a flash, so it doesn’t pay to register for that size. And don’t register for clothes. You’ll get those anyway as baby gifts.

2. Take advantage of freebies and coupons. One of the best ways to save is to shop with coupons when products go on sale, then stock up. That’s a good way to save money on baby food, diapers and baby wipes, for example. On another note, hold onto those 20 percent Bed Bath and Beyond (BBB) coupons. BBB recently bought BuyBuy Baby so you can now use BBB coupons at Buybaby Baby, too. On a $250 stroller, you’ll save $50.

3. Compare prices online. Once you know what you want, you can go online and try to find the best price. But watch shipping charges. For heavier items, it might make sense to go to the store instead.

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Related Momscape Resources:

Save Money on Baby: Finding Discounted and Free Baby Products
Links to baby freebies, free baby magazines, savings on diapers and formula, discount baby furniture and gear and baby-related coupon codes.

Baby Gear Coupon Codes:
Coupon Codes: Babies R Us
Coupon Codes: Baby Universe

Coupon Codes; Giggle Baby Gear
Coupon Codes: Leaps and Bounds
Coupon Codes: One Step Ahead

New Book Recommendation: The Help

I just finished listening to a most wonderful audiobook: The Help, a debut novel by Kathryn Stockett.

The writing is superb, and the audio production is nothing short of exquisite. (I downloaded mine from audible.) I’ve been listening to the book each morning on my daily hikes deep in the woods, and I have found myself alternately weeping and snorting and cheering. My Labrador would keep turning back to make sure I was alright.

Now I am so sad it’s over.

The Help would make an excellent book club read, too. When you finish, I think you’ll find yourself wanting to talk about it with friends.

Learn more about The Help >
Look for Audible Coupons >

How much can you influence your child’s choice of friends?

“You’re Not Allowed to Play with Him Anymore.”
by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman

Article Summary: While you may lose the ability to control your children’s choice of friends by the age of eight or nine, you do not lose your ability to influence these choices. Here are some helpful ways to talk to your kids about their choice of friends, from Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, authors of Teaching the Attraction Principle to Children.

“You’re not allowed to play with I’m anymore.”

“I don’t want you going over to his house again.”

“You’ll have to find different friends.”

“She’s not a good friend to have.”

“You can’t associate with him in the future.”

The statements above are examples of Parent Talk designed to control your children’s choice of friends. While this degree of control may be possible up to the age of eight or nine, your control stops there. After fourth grade you lose the power to choose your children’s friends. Why? Because at this time in your their life it is no longer possible to enforce your desires concerning this issue. If you can’t enforce a command it makes little sense to send it.

While you lose your ability to control your children’s choice of friends at that age, you do not lose your ability to influence whom they choose as friends. If you accept the fact that your child is choosing her own friends, which she actually is, and assume that posture as you talk with her, you can have a positive impact on her thinking and her choices by using well constructed Parent Talk.

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The Power of Playing with Your Kids

Playing Your Kids’ Way

Article Summary: Kids are often more receptive to learning in casual environments. Here, Dr. Erik Fisher, author of The Art of Empowered Parenting, discusses the power of playing your kids’ way.

I love to watch kids play, and I love to play with kids. I feel lucky enough to be able to do both every day. As a psychologist and a father, I love what I do and feel blessed to see kids show me who they are, what they feel, and what they are learning through the manner in which they approach play.

Kids, through their innocence, bring so much to their play experiences. Sometimes their actions are an expression of their inner selves and sometimes their actions are an expression of what they have seen in their environment. What I often observe in my work with families is that parents want to correct, steer, punish or even ignore what their child may be offering through the language of play. What I want to help parents and caretakers to do is to observe and participate with children during play.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been playing with kids wondering where we were going and then seemingly out of nowhere came a theme. For example, when watching a child draw, do they draw people? Houses? Trees? Landscapes? How are the people interacting? Are they holding hands? Playing? Fighting? Ask questions of your kids. See if they will tell you a story about their drawing. See if you can find recurring themes in their drawings. If there are conflicts or issues that arise through their drawings, see if you can help them find solutions.

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