Tag Archives: children

Activities in the Area

Pewaukee Public Library 

210 Main Street Pewaukee WI 53072

Saturday Crafternoons! 

Stop by the Children’s program room in the library and make a fun craft with Mrs. Z! 

Saturday, December 21st
1:00 to 4:00 pm (drop in)

Kindergarden and up. 

Cost: Free

Messy Mondays

Join us for a drop in art class for children ages 2 to 6 years. This program will allow children and their caregivers to experiment with a variety of art materials including paint, finger paint, modeling clay, scissors, glue, and more! 

2nd and 4th Mondays, October to mid-May
9:30 am – Noon
Children’s Programming Room 

January Messy Monday: January 13th and January 27th

Cost: Free

Brookfield Public Library 

1900 N Calhoun Road Brookfield, WI 53005

Tiny Tots Storytime

for Birth to 23 months

9:30 am or 10:30 am

Cost: Free

Story Adventures

For ages 3 – 6 (with parent). Registration requested.
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Cost: Free

The Big Back Yard

indoor playground are children ages 0–8

2857 S. 160th Street New Berlin, WI 53151

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate – StumbleUpon

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate – StumbleUpon.

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to Cooperate

Six Communication Tricks That Will Get Your Kids to CooperateSEXPAND

As the parent of a preschooler, I often notice myself feeling frustrated and asking myself, “Why won’t she cooperate?!” If you have a young child at home, I know you understand. There are times when I’m tired or hungry or in a rush and I just want my daughter to do exactly as I say instantly without questioning, avoiding, or delaying.P

What I’ve noticed is that as soon as I get attached to things going a certain way, my daughter has different ideas. I can understand why. Nobody likes to be forced to do anything. Not even young kids. Or maybe especially not young kids. I mean, toddlers and preschoolers are just developing their will and learning to act independently of us. So, of course they’re going to push back when we thrust our will upon them.P

As a preschool teacher and now as a mom, I’ve discovered that there are certain things I can do that greatly increase the chances that kids will cooperate with me. Here are six secrets to getting kids to cooperate that have worked like a charm for me:P

Invite, Don’t DemandP

We all want our children to “ask nicely,” but the truth is, that’s easier said than done. My question is, where do you think they learned to be demanding and inflexible? Oh yeah, from us! If we want our kids to cooperate, then we’ve got to be the bigger, more mature ones and lead by example. Contrary to popular belief, asking nicely, inviting, and working together to find a solution to a problem doesn’t teach children to be more defiant or disobedient, instead, by doing these things you’re laying a foundation of trust and teamwork that your kids will soon learn to rely on.P

Use this quick test to figure out whether your request is actually a demand. Ask yourself, “Would it be OK if they answered ‘no’ to this request?” If not, then you’re not actually inviting or asking, you’re demanding or requiring a specific behavior. That’s OK some of the time, especially if safety is an issue, but remember, the more demands you make on your kids, the less true, internally motivated cooperation you’re likely to get.P

That’s not to say you shouldn’t have expectations of your children. It’s just that when those expectations aren’t met, it’s helpful to see that as an opportunity to problem solve together, rather than an excuse to punish them into submission.P

Turn it Into a GameP

Kids love to play. When you can make something fun, they’re far more likely to get on board. This does require some creativity and spontaneity on your part. When your child refuses to leave the park, can you find a way to make getting to the car more fun? Maybe you’ll pretend you’re firefighters and you have to jump into the firetruck to go put out the fire. Or perhaps you’ll race, or hop like a bunny, or offer a ride on your shoulders. Making things more fun isn’t just a great way to gain your child’s cooperation, it’s also a way to enjoy your time with them more. I mean, which would you prefer, a power struggle where you force your child kicking and screaming into his care seat or a fun game in which he climbs in willingly?P

If you’re not sure what kind of a game will work best, tune in to your child’s interests. If she loves princesses, then you’ll be her knight in shining armor or her trusty steed. If he’s into trucks, you can ask if he wants to be fork-lifted into the car. Or maybe you’ve just read a story about a friendly fish, so try acting it out! If you just can’t seem to come up with an idea, ask your child what to play. Most kids are more than ready with a suggestion for a fun game or activity that you can alter slightly to fit your agenda.P

Stop Repeating YourselfP

This is a mistake we all make, especially when we’re not getting the results we want. Trust me that repeating yourself is the last thing you want to do if you’re trying to foster cooperation. Your child heard you the first time, and by repeating yourself, you’re simply training her to stop listening and wait for you to get frustrated before she acts.P

Children are discovering all sorts of things about the world around them, including vast amounts of information about social/emotional dynamics. When they throw you off your game or induce you to get frustrated or upset, they’re gathering very interesting data about how to get what they want and what might cause you to reconsider your position. Don’t fall prey to their cunning.P

When you can keep your cool and maintain clear boundaries, your kids will still test you, but after they’ve tested all their theories about how to get around your rule with no success, they will find other areas far more interesting and emotionally rich.P

Be ForgetfulP

But what about when you’ve asked once and they’re not responding? Instead of asking again, take a different tack. Be forgetful and invite them to remind you what you said a moment ago. “Wait, I forget, didn’t I just ask you to do something? What was that? I think we were getting ready to go somewhere, but can you please remind me where?”P

This allows the kids to be the smarter ones and if there’s one thing children love, it’s being smarter and more capable than adults.P

Let Them Be In ChargeP

That’s why you’ll get a lot more cooperation when you allow them to be in charge. No need to constantly corral them, just put one child in charge of getting everyone ready and out the door and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will happen. This works especially well with my daughter when I underestimate her abilities and she gets to prove how smart and capable she is. “You don’t know how to do that all by yourself, do you?” And then when she has her shoes on and is climbing into her car seat, “Wow, you knew exactly what to do to get ready to go and you didknow how to do it!”P

Cooperate With ThemP

There are times when even the most cooperative child just needs some extra help. This could be because they’re tired, sick, hungry, or just feeling sad and disconnected. So if nothing else seems to work, offer to help. During times like this, we like to play a game in which my daughter pretends to be a baby and I have to do everything for her. After just a few moments of this game, she is far more willing to do what I’ve asked or help me with something. That’s because she knows that when she really needs some extra support, I’m there to willingly and happily provide her with the support she needs.P

Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child

Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child

Have a strong-willed child? You’re lucky! Strong willed children can be a challenge to parent when they’re young, but if sensitively parented, they become terrific teens and young adults. Self-motivated and inner-directed, they go after what they want and are almost impervious to peer pressure. As long as parents resist the impulse to “break their will,” strong-willed kids often become leaders.

What exactly is a strong-willed, or spirited, child? Some parents call them “difficult” or “stubborn,” but we could also see them as people of integrity who aren’t easily swayed from their own viewpoints. They want desperately to be right, and sometimes will put that desire above everything else. When their heart is set on something, their brains seem to have a hard time switching gears. They have big, passionate feelings and live at full throttle.

Often, these kids are prone to power-struggles with their parents. However, it takes two to have a power struggle. You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited! If you can take a deep breath when your buttons get pushed, and remind yourself that you can let your child save face and still get what you want, you can learn to sidestep those power struggles.

Research shows that parents who pay attention can avoid power struggles, even with strong-willed kids, by empathizing as they set limits, giving choices, and clearly offering respect. Adopting a policy of looking for win/win solutions rather than just laying down the law keeps strong-willed children from becoming explosive and teaches them essential skills of negotiation and compromise.

Strong-willed kids feel their integrity is compromised if they’re forced to submit to a parent’s will. And, really, you don’t WANT to raise an obedient child. Morality is doing what’s right, no matter what you’re told. Obedience is doing what you’re told, no matter what’s right.

Of course you want your child to do what you say. But not because he is obedient, meaning he always does what someone bigger tells him. No, you want him to do what you say because he trusts YOU, because you are the parent and have his best interests at heart. You want to raise a child who has self-discipline, takes responsibility, and is considerate — and most important, has the discernment to figure out when to trust and be influenced by someone else.

Breaking a child’s will leaves him open to the influence of others that often will not serve him. What’s more, it’s a betrayal of the spiritual contract we make as parents to nurture our child’s unique gifts.

That said, strong-willed kids can be a handful — high energy, challenging, persistent. How do we protect those fabulous qualities and encourage their cooperation?

Ten Tips for Positive Parenting Your Strong-Willed, Spirited Child

1. Avoid power struggles by using routines and rules. That way, you aren’t bossing them around, it’s just that “The rule is we use the potty after every meal and snack,” or “The schedule is that lights-out is at 8pm. If you hurry, we’ll have time for two books,” or “In our house, we finish homework before computer, TV, or telephone time.” The parent stops being the bad guy.

2. Your strong-willed child wants mastery more than anything. Let her take charge of as many of her own activities as possible. Don’t nag at her to brush her teeth, ask “What else do you need to do before we leave?” If she looks blank, tick off the short list: “Every morning we eat, brush teeth, use the toilet, and pack the backpack. I saw you pack your backpack, great job! Now, what do you still need to do before we leave?” Kids who feel more independent and in charge of themselves will have less need to rebel and be oppositional. Not to mention they take responsibility early.

3. Give your strong-willed child choices. If you give orders, he will almost certainly bristle. If you offer a choice, he feels like the master of his own destiny. Of course, only offer choices you can live with and don’t let yourself get resentful by handing away your power. If going to the store is non-negotiable and he wants to keep playing, an appropriate choice is: “Do you want to leave now or in ten minutes?”

4. Give her authority over her own body. “I hear that you don’t want to wear your jacket today. I think it is cold and I am definitely wearing a jacket. Of course, you are in charge of your own body, as long as you stay safe and healthy, so you get to decide whether to wear a jacket. But I’m afraid that you will be cold once we are outside, and I won’t want to come back to the house. How about I put your jacket in the backpack, and then we’ll have it if you change your mind?” She’s not going to get pneumonia, unless you push her into it by acting like you’ve won if she asks for the jacket. And once she won’t lose face by wearing her jacket, she’ll be begging for it once she gets cold. It’s just hard for her to imagine feeling cold when she’s so warm right now in the house, and a jacket seems like such a hassle. She’s sure she’s right — her own body is telling her so — so naturally she resists you. You don’t want to undermine that self-confidence, just teach her that there’s no shame in letting new information change your mind.

5. Don’t push him into opposing you. Force always creates “push-back” — with humans of all ages. If you take a hard and fast position, you can easily push your child into defying you, just to prove a point. You’ll know when it’s a power struggle and you’re invested in winning. Just stop, take a breath, and remind yourself that winning a battle with your child always sets you up to lose what’s most important: the relationship. When in doubt say “Ok, you can decide this for yourself.” If he can’t, then say what part of it he can decide, or find another way for him to meet his need for autonomy without compromising his health or safety.

6. Side step power struggles by letting your child save face. You don’t have to prove you’re right. You can, and should, set reasonable expectations and enforce them. But under no circumstances should you try to break your child’s will or force him to acquiesce to your views. He has to do what you want, but he’s allowed to have his own opinions and feelings about it.

7. Listen to her. You, as the adult, might reasonably presume you know best. But your strong-willed child has a strong will partly as a result of her integrity. She has a viewpoint that is making her hold fast to her position, and she is trying to protect something that seems important to her. Only by listening calmly to her and reflecting her words will you come to understand what’s making her oppose you. A non-judgmental “I hear that you don’t want to take a bath. Can you tell me more about why?” might just elicit the information that she’s afraid she’ll go down the drain, like Alice in the song. It may not seem like a good reason to you, but she has a reason. And you won’t find it out if you get into a clash and order her into the tub.

8. See it from his point of view. For instance, he may be angry because you promised to wash his superman cape and then forgot. To you, he is being stubborn. To him, he is justifiably upset, and you are being hypocritical, because he is not allowed to break his promises to you. How do you clear this up and move on? You apologize profusely for breaking your promise, you reassure him that you try very hard to keep your promises, and you go, together, to wash the cape. You might even teach him how to wash his own clothes! Just consider how would you want to be treated, and treat him accordingly.

9. Discipline through the relationship, never through punishment. Kids don’t learn when they’re in the middle of a fight. Like all of us, that’s when adrenaline is pumping and learning shuts off. Kids behave because they want to please us. The more you fight with and punish your child, the more you undermine her desire to please you. If she’s upset, help her express her hurt, fear or disappointment, so they evaporate. Then she’ll be ready to listen to you when you remind her that in your house, everyone speaks kindly to each other.

10. Offer him respect and empathy. Most strong-willed children are fighting for respect. If you offer it to them, they don’t need to fight to protect their position. And, like the rest of us, it helps a lot if they feel understood. If you see his point of view and think he’s wrong — for instance, he wants to wear the superman cape to synagogue and you think that’s inappropriate — you can still offer him empathy and meet him part way while you set the limit. “You love this cape and wish you could wear it, don’t you? But when we go to Temple we dress up, and we can’t wear the cape. I know you’ll miss wearing it. How about we take it with us so you can wear it on our way home?”

ef=’http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1c4uvP/:PfCZ5T!1:mSa4zb3A/www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/Parenting-Strong-Willed-Child/’>Dr. Laura Markham > Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child – StumbleUpon

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay



21 Herbs Every Mother Should Plant

1) ALOE VERA–Easy to grow inside on a windowsill.

* Soothes burns and accelerates wound healing. Base for a wound poultice.
*Juice can be taken internally or used to make eye drops for ocular infections.
2) BLACKBERRY– plant if where it will have room to spread.
* good for anemia
*Leaves are good for sore throat, colds, fevers, mild diarrhea, also for vaginal discharge.
*Root bark is excellent for watery or bloody diarrhea and dysentery.
3) BRIGHAM TEA–Is found in many Western states, but not likely to grow in the garden or for sale. No other American plant is as useful an antihistamine as this one!
*Useful for allergies, mild bladder infections, and highly nutritious beverage (higher levels of calcium than any other plant)

4) BURDOCK–Seed should be collected after the burrs are dry.
*Stimulates both liver and kidneys, useful for acne, psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, sciatica, lumbago, and gout.
*Anti-microbial and accelerates cell division, shortens would healing, anti-inflammatory and decreases pain. Great for topical treatment for wounds, burns, and bruises.
*Infused oil is good for earache.
*Poultice of flowers is good for shingles.
6) CAYENNE–premier crisis herb.
*Blood pressure issues (low or high), strengthens heart and circulation.
*Excellent for stopping internal bleeding and wounds.
*Can be used topically in a salve.
*Muscle spasms, sciatica, soothing effect on mind and body, restless, insomnia, gastrointestinal.
8) COMFREY–king among herbs.
*Soothing to irritated mucus membranes whether it be the digestive system, the urinary system or the respiratory system, healing fractures.
9) CONE FLOWER (Echinacea purpurea)–is a prairie plant but can be grown in gardens and is a popular ornamental. Those in the West, Black Eyed Susan and Cone Floer are suitable substitutes. Principally root is medicinal.
*Colds, flus, anti-bacterial, sepsis cases. Rattlesnake or hobo spider bites.
10) DANDELION–probably the best known weed on Earth.
*Tonic for both kidneys and liver. All parts are edible and make a delightful and nutrient rich addition to salads.
*Diuretic, high levels of potassium (something you need if you are peeing a lot)., mild bladder infections, jaundice cases.
*Leaves and flowers are an excellent medicine for colds and fevers. Flowers are milder and better for children; leaves are good for adults. Hot tea is also useful for seasonal allergies and sinus troubles.
*Can be employed in salves for skin irritations and rashes, wound healing.
*Berries are nice for jams and juices and also medicinal.

12) GARLIC–culinary favorite, but remarkable medicines.
*Strongly antibacterial and stimulates the immune system. Good expectorants, helpful for arthritis and blood pressure. Can rid body of parasites.
13) GUMWEED–antispasmodic and can relax muscles spasms.
*Excellent expectorant, treats asthma, bronchitis, lung issues, strongly anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and accelerates would healing–makes great poultice.
14) LEMON BALM–member of mint family, very adept at calming troubled tummies and other intestinal aggravations
*Calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system and useful for anxiety, depression, irritability or bedtime tea.
*Very warming and will induce a good sweat to ward off early colds and fevers. A salve can help kill the cold sores.
*Powerful antispasmodic and excellent for relieving bronchial spasms of asthma, bronchitis or other lung complaints.
*Good expectorant, effective for inducing vomiting in higher doses. (consult poison control). It is a deadly poison, but can help people wean themselves from smoking addictions.
16) MALLOW–Soothing effects on inflamed or irritated mucus membranes.
*Irritation is in gut, the lungs or the bladder, mallow will soothe it. Useful as a poultice for inflammations and ulcers.
*Helpful in reversing early stages of gangrene.

17) NETTLE–stinging is well known by hikers. Young leaves don’t sting and are nice to eat. Nettle leaf is packed with important nutrients.
**Nutritional boost through a tea. Leaf is diuretic and is useful in cases of urinary tract infections and stones. Astringent so is beneficial in cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
*Leaf is also helpful in easing the pain of arthritis either as a tear internally or by applying the sting to the inflamed joint.
18) PARSLEY–excellent for stomach upset.
*Very soothing to gut and reverses sour stomach and bellyache.
*Beneficial for clearing lung congestion, diuretic, good for bladder and kidney infections, foot is good for clearing kidney stones.
19) PEPPERMINT–king of the mints.
*Warming, stimulating actions; useful for stomach upset, congestion of the lungs. Combines well with yarrow, elder, Brigham tea to treat colds and flu.
*Wakes up the tissues and improves absorption and assimilation of other herbs. Great beverage.
20) PLANTAIN–Common lawn weed. Should never be prepared hot. Medicinal elements are destroyed by heat. Use cold infusion only or use a juicer to extract the juice and freeze in ice cube tray for winter. Can also dry the leaves for later use; put some of powdered herbs in a bit of water.
*Excellent topically for insect stings and bites. Excellent for snake bite.
*Will also draw infection from wounds and will even draw out foreign bodies if you add a pinch of cayenne.
*Useful for blood poisoning from serious infections, good diuretic and useful for urinary tract infections
*Seeds can be used like psyllium for constipation.
*warming and can be used to break fevers when combined in a hot tea with elder and peppermint.
*Good for respiratory illnesses and for menstrual cramps
*Has anti-hemorrhagic properties.
*Yarrow root is an effective analgesic for sore teeth and gums. Chewing the fresh root is fine.
Harness the Power of Herbs

Peace and joy come in learning more about herbs and preparing to use them whether dry, in tinctures, or salves. Plant these herbs and you’ll have medicine right at your doorstep! Plant these herbs and you will not only save lots of money in comparison to health store prices, but will develop in invaluable connection, understanding, and appreciation for the earth and nature’ s power. Learn about and plant these herbs, and you will be less likely to resort to unknown pharmaceutical drugs next time illness strikes. Use these herbs and you may prevent more serious illness from occurring. If you are hot on this trail, check out our Herbal Medicine course to re-learn the ancient wisdom of key herbs and medicinal plants for the most common women’s health issues today and how to use them to improve your own health!

25 Ways to Talk So Children Will Listen

25 Ways to Talk So Children Will Listen

A major part of discipline is learning how to talk with children. The way you talk to your child teaches him how to talk to others. Here are some talking tips we have learned with our children:

1. Connect Before You Direct

Before giving your child directions, squat to your child’s eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get his attention. Teach him how to focus: “Mary, I need your eyes.” “Billy, I need your ears.” Offer the same body language when listening to the child. Be sure not to make your eye contact so intense that your child perceives it as controlling rather than connecting.

2. Address The Child

Open your request with the child’s name, “Lauren, will you please…”

3. Stay Brief

We use the one-sentence rule: Put the main directive in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf. Too much talking is a very common mistake when dialoging about an issue. It gives the child the feeling that you’re not quite sure what it is you want to say. If she can keep you talking she can get you sidetracked.

4. Stay Simple

Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood.

5. Ask Your Child to Repeat the Request Back to You

If he can’t, it’s too long or too complicated.

6. Make an offer the child can’t refuse

You can reason with a two or three-year-old, especially to avoid power struggles. “Get dressed so you can go outside and play.” Offer a reason for your request that is to the child’s advantage, and one that is difficult to refuse. This gives her a reason to move out of her power position and do what you want her to do.

7. Be Positive

Instead of “no running,” try: “Inside we walk, outside you may run.”

8. Begin your Directives With “I want.”

Instead of “Get down,” say “I want you to get down.” Instead of “Let Becky have a turn,” say “I want you to let Becky have a turn now.” This works well with children who want to please but don’t like being ordered. By saying “I want,” you give a reason for compliance rather than just an order.

9. “When…Then.”

“When you get your teeth brushed, then we’ll begin the story.” “When your work is finished, then you can watch TV.” “When,” which implies that you expect obedience, works better than “if,” which suggests that the child has a choice when you don’t mean to give him one.

10. Legs First, Mouth Second

Instead of hollering, “Turn off the TV, it’s time for dinner!” walk into the room where your child is watching TV, join in with your child’s interests for a few minutes, and then, during a commercial break, have your child turn off the TV. Going to your child conveys you’re serious about your request; otherwise children interpret this as a mere preference.

11. Give Choices

“Do you want to put your pajamas on or brush your teeth first?” “Red shirt or blue one?”

12. Speak Developmentally Correctly

The younger the child, the shorter and simpler your directives should be. Consider your child’s level of understanding. For example, a common error parents make is asking a three-year- old, “Why did you do that?” Most adults can’t always answer that question about their behavior. Try instead, “Let’s talk about what you did.”

13. Speak Socially Correctly

Even a two-year-old can learn “please.” Expect your child to be polite. Children shouldn’t feel manners are optional. Speak to your children the way you want them to speak to you.

14. Speak Psychologically Correctly

Threats and judgmental openers are likely to put the child on the defensive. “You” messages make a child clam up. “I” messages are non-accusing. Instead of “You’d better do this…” or “You must…,” try “I would like….” or “I am so pleased when you…” Instead of “You need to clear the table,” say “I need you to clear the table.” Don’t ask a leading question when a negative answer is not an option. “Will you please pick up your coat?” Just say, “Pick up your coat, please.”

15. Write It

Reminders can evolve into nagging so easily, especially for preteens who feel being told things puts them in the slave category. Without saying a word you can communicate anything you need said. Talk with a pad and pencil. Leave humorous notes for your child. Then sit back and watch it happen.

16. Talk The Child Down

The louder your child yells, the softer you respond. Let your child ventilate while you interject timely comments: “I understand” or “Can I help?” Sometimes just having a caring listener available will wind down the tantrum. If you come in at his level, you have two tantrums to deal with. Be the adult for him.

17. Settle The Listener

Before giving your directive, restore emotional equilibrium, otherwise you are wasting your time. Nothing sinks in when a child is an emotional wreck.

18. Replay Your Message

Toddlers need to be told a thousand times. Children under two have difficulty internalizing your directives. Most three- year-olds begin to internalize directives so that what you ask begins to sink in. Do less and less repeating as your child gets older. Preteens regard repetition as nagging.

19. Let Your Child Complete The Thought

Instead of “Don’t leave your mess piled up,” try: “Matthew, think of where you want to store your soccer stuff.” Letting the child fill in the blanks is more likely to create a lasting lesson.

20. Use Rhyme Rules

“If you hit, you must sit.” Get your child to repeat them.

21. Give Likable Alternatives

You can’t go by yourself to the park; but you can play in the neighbor’s yard.

22. Give Advance Notice

“We are leaving soon. Say bye-bye to the toys, bye-bye to the girls…”

23. Open Up a Closed Child

Carefully chosen phrases open up closed little minds and mouths. Stick to topics that you know your child gets excited about. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no. Stick to specifics. Instead of “Did you have a good day at school today?” try “What is the most fun thing you did today?”

24. Use “When You…I Feel…Because…”

When you run away from mommy in the store I feel worried because you might get lost.

25. Close The Discussion

If a matter is really closed to discussion, say so. “I’m not changing my mind about this. Sorry.” You’ll save wear and tear on both you and your child. Reserve your “I mean business” tone of voice for when you do.

Parent Cafe

What are Parent Café’s?

FUN….….FREE..….supportive …… Educational…… PARENT-LED             get-togethers where parents can talk openly with one another about the struggles of parenting and ways to strengthen their families.  Over the course of three evenings (you don’t have to come to all three), parents discuss three separate themes:

  1. Taking care of yourself
  2. Raising strong children
  3. Building strong relationships with your children

Why should you come to a Parent Café?

  • Get ideas for managing the challenges of parenting
  • Build friendships and get support from other parents – while getting a little break!
  • Grow into a stronger and more flexible parent/caregiver
  • Get some time to reflect on your family, and how important you are, as a parent!

At the end of the Café’s parents have described feeling:  “great, “  “refreshed,”  “positive,”  “gratitude,”  “pride,”  “trust,”  “thankful,” “excited,”  “validated,” “challenged,” and “enlightened”

Who can attend Parent Café’s?

Anyone in a parenting role! Moms, dads, relative caregivers, foster parents, etc. are welcome! It doesn’t matter if your kids are toddlers or teenagers, whether you’re a new or a seasoned parent – Cafés are for all parents.

Can I attend more than one Café?

You can come to as many as you like! They are organized as a series of three, each focused on a specific theme – but each Parent Café is so unique that you can attend two Café’s on the same theme – but there will be different people, different questions to discuss and different conversations which emerge.

Where will the Parent Café’s take place?

Locations will shift around the city, so that people from all parts of Milwaukee can attend Café’s. The Café’s will remain at one location for three rounds, and will then shift locations for the next three rounds.

What about childcare and meals?

Childcare is provided. Children must be registered to ensure enough childcare providers and food!

The Café’s always start with a meal (free!). Parents and kids eat separately, giving parents a break and time to connect with other adults.

 Who is sponsoring the Parent Café’s?

Parent Café’s are being brought to Milwaukee through the Greater Milwaukee Parent Café Collaborative, a joint effort between several State, non-profit and private agencies.

How do I sign up?

Register for the Café and for child care at:  faptpreg@uwm.edu or (414) 964-7397

How can I get more information?

Call Jessica at:  (414) 964-7399

Identifying Irrational Thoughts | Psych Central

Problematic thought styles include:

Catastrophizing. Seeing only the worst possible outcome in everything. For example, your child might think that because he failed his algebra test he will get an F for the semester, everyone will know he’s stupid, the teacher will hate him, you will ground him, and moreover, he’ll never get into college, and on and on. No matter what soothing words or solutions you try to apply, he’ll insist that there’s no remedy.

Minimization. Another side of catastrophizing, this involves minimizing your own good qualities, or refusing to see the good (or bad) qualities of other people or situations. People who minimize may be accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, or of wearing blinders that allow them to see only the worst. If a person fails to meet the minimizer’s high expectations in one way–for example, by being dishonest on a single occasion–the minimizer will suddenly write the person off forever, refusing to see any good characteristics that may exist.

Grandiosity. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance or ability. For example, your child may fancy herself the all-time expert at soccer, and act as though everyone else should see and worship her fabulous skill as well. She may think she can run the classroom better than her “stupid” teacher, or feel that she should be equal in power to her parents or other adults.

Personalization. A particularly unfortunate type of grandiosity that presumes you are the center of the universe, causing events for good or ill that truly have little or nothing to do with you. A child might believe his mean thoughts made his mother ill, for example.

Magical thinking. Most common in children and adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but seen in people with bipolar disorders as well. Magical thinkers come to believe that by doing some sort of ritual they can avoid harm to themselves or others. The ritual may or may not be connected with the perceived harm, and sufferers tend to keep their rituals secret. Children are not always sure what harm the ritual is fending off; they may simply report knowing that “something bad will happen” if they don’t touch each slat of the fence or make sure their footsteps end on an even number. Others may come to feel that ritual behavior will bring about some positive event.

Leaps in logic. Making seemingly logic-based statements, even though the process that led to the idea was missing obvious steps. Jumping to conclusions, often negative ones. One type of logical leap is assuming that you know what someone else is thinking. For instance, a teenager might assume that everyone at school hates her, or that anyone who is whispering is talking about her. Another common error is assuming that other people will naturally know what you are thinking, leading to great misunderstandings when they don’t seem to grasp what you’re talking about or doing.

“All or nothing” thinking. Being unable to see shades of gray in everyday life can lead to major misperceptions and even despair. A person who thinks only in black-and-white terms can’t comprehend small successes. He’s either an abject failure or a complete success, never simply on his way to doing better.

Paranoia. In its extreme forms, paranoia slides into the realm of delusion. Many bipolar people experience less severe forms of paranoia because of personalizing events, catastrophizing, or making leaps in logic. A teen with mildly paranoid thoughts might feel that everyone at school is watching and judging him, when in fact he’s barely on their radar screen.

Delusional thinking. Most of the other thought styles mentioned above are mildly delusional. Seriously delusional thinking has even less basis in reality, and can include holding persistently strange beliefs. For example, a child may insist that he was kidnapped by aliens, and really believe that it is true.

Not only are these thought styles in error, they’re intensely uncomfortable to the person who uses them–or should we say suffers from them, because no one would deliberately choose to have these anxiety-producing thoughts. When these thoughts emerge in words and deeds, the damage can be even worse. Expressing such ideas alienates friends and family, and can lead to teasing, ostracism, and severe misunderstandings.

Young children in particular don’t have much of a frame of reference when it comes to thinking styles. They may well assume that everyone thinks this way! Older children and teens are usually more self-aware. Unless they’re in an acute depressed, hypomanic, mixed, or manic episode, they may try hard to keep their “weird” thoughts under wraps. That’s an exhausting use of mental energy, and makes the sufferer feel terribly alienated.

via Identifying Irrational Thoughts | Psych Central.

The Importance of Time Away From Your Kids

I know I’m usually sharing all sorts of ideas for activities with kids or ways to handle conflict lovingly, but today I want to talk about the importance of taking time AWAY from your kids.

We all need alone time but I hear from a lot of parents that they feel guilty when they take time away from their kids.  Let me allay your fears.  Yes, you are your child’s biggest influence and the people they most need to connect with, AND it’s absolutely healthy and good for them to develop relationships with other adults.

If you have a nanny, babysitter, aunt, uncle, or grandparent who loves your children, please give them the opportunity to have a closer relationship with your kids by going away for the weekend, having a date night, or going to a yoga class.  It’s good for you and it’s also really good for your kids.

When young people have the opportunity to develop strong bonds with people other than their parents, they become more well rounded, better able to adapt, and they’re exposed to new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things.  This all provides variety and learning that you can’t give to your kids otherwise.

A study recently came out showing that children who had two parents who participated in their upbringing, specifically, kids who had a relationship with their fathers as well as with their mothers had higher IQ’s than kids who only had a mother in their lives.  In fact, researchers could tell who had had a father’s influence during childhood when they looked at the IQ scores of people in their 20’s!

What can we infer from this study?  Well, I for one, think that if two parents are better than one parent, then even more caring adult influences are likely to benefit your child too.

Maybe I’m biased, because after my parents divorced and remarried, I ended up with four loving parents who cared for me, connected with me, and shared their world-views with me.  I even spent a couple of school years going over to my grandparents’ house after school, so I had the opportunity to develop a strong bond with my grandma and grandpa.

As a kid, I loved getting new perspectives and ideas from the adults in my life and I often tried to emulate the best qualities I could find in each of them.  As a result, I think I turned out to be a pretty great, well adjusted, and compassionate person.  I also got the idea that I was a pretty lovable and likable person, because I had a bunch of wonderfully supportive adults who enjoyed my company.

OK, now that I’ve convinced you that it benefits your child to spend time away from you, what about the benefits to you?!  When you get time away you’re able to look at things from a new perspective.  You might get some new insights into a recurring dynamic at home, or you might just relax and enjoy yourself, allowing yourself to let go and stop being responsible for another human being for a moment.  Ahhhh, that feels pretty good.

The other thing that happens when you take time and space from your kids, whether it’s a weekend away or a few hours every afternoon, is you actually miss them!  And that’s a VERY good thing for you and for your kids.  When you get the space you need and you find yourself longing for reconnection with your kids, I guarantee the quality of your interactions when you reconnect will be much better.

On the other hand, if you’d rather force yourself to spend all of your free time with your kids, feel guilty for even wanting some space, and then build castles of anger and resentment, I guess that’s a valid choice.  It just seems like a lot less fun for everyone.

So, this week’s challenge is to foster your child’s relationship with another adult by taking time for yourself.  Try really pampering yourself and see how much you can enjoy it.  Really let go of any residual guilt you may have felt in the past and relish your alone time this week.

via The Importance of Time Away From Your Kids – Awake Parent.

Overcoming Mother’s Guilt

Tips for Finding Time for You

If you’re home full-time with your kids but need some “me time,” pursuing a hobby as Laura did is a great option. Jones offers the following additional suggestions for stay-at-home mothers who are struggling with guilt:

Taking time for yourself, away from your children.

Developing an interest or a passion such as a hobby or volunteer work that’s totally unrelated to your children.

Rewarding yourself for a job well done.

Having a support system that gives you important adult interaction when you need it.

Jones reminds us that motherhood is a continual state of transition. Each stage our children encounter brings us to another level of being. We must use the cycles of change for personal growth. “Children admire mothers who pursue a passion or commitment outside of parenting. It makes them proud and helps set them free to express their best selves, too. The older your children become, the more important it is to continually reclaim yourself. Getting lost in your children’s lives serves no one. Model the self-care and independence you are trying to teach them. Mothers are people with needs, too. When we fulfill those needs, we become more fun and loving mothers—without the guilt.”

Mothering gets better and better as we become more confident with the choices we make. We must tell ourselves that we’re doing the best we can in every circumstance and allow ourselves the freedom to let go of guilty feelings.

Jones adds, “Lighten up on yourself. Mothers are only one influence on a child’s life. Fathers, grandparents, teachers, friends, babysitters, coaches—can affect a child’s well being, too. Allow your child to benefit from quality time spent with others who care about them. Motherhood is an ongoing state of letting go—loosening the reins and surrendering. Your children will know that you will always do the best you can. Besides, isn’t this a good lesson for them? Do the best you can and that will be enough.”

via Overcoming Mother’s Guilt | Being a Working Mom (3 of 3) | BabyZone.

Overcoming Mother’s Guilt | Being a Working Mom

Steps to Feeling Secure

To ease the guilt of working mothers, Jones recommends:

Finding a nurturing daycare arrangement that will allow for last-minute emergency care when necessary.

Developing a support system that includes people who understand your working situation and your desire to do the best job you can with your children.

Focusing on the positive things that you bring to your family.

Recognizing that you are an individual with interests and passions beyond your role as a mother.

Laura, a mother of two, decided to keep her job because her family needed the money, but her desire was to be an at-home mother. “I really wanted to spend more time with my children. My job was very stressful, and I was desperate for a break from it. Everyone kept telling me that I’d get bored staying at home, so I decided to pursue a hobby which gave me an identity aside from being a mother. It turned out to be something that I really enjoy doing.”

via Overcoming Mother’s Guilt