Monday, August 3, 2015

I Heart Norwex

So bear with me as I share with you what I'm up to these days!

This past month I became an independent sales consultant for Norwex. This means I am able to sell Norwex products, offer my customers private specials and discounts, hold demo parties either in client's homes or my own and most importantly (and they WHY of why I chose to join Norwex) to help spread Norwex's mission of: "Improving Quality of Life by Radically Reducing Chemicals in Our Homes." 

We are living in a chemical soup, from our food to our air, but interestingly, air pollution and quality is often much worse INDOORS. The products we use, including care products and cleaning products, all produce VOCs into the air we breathe...and depending on how toxic they are, can sometimes linger for weeks to months. These chemicals can cause breathing problems, skin irritations, and other health problems. Almost all of them come with warning labels to use in well-ventilated areas, to not get on skin, etc., etc. How many of us actually read and follow those instructions? I know I didn’t really, because you get used to it or you excuse it away as we don’t see IMMEDIATE problems. But, do we really know the long-term impacts of using these products? (1)

If we want to help our children and ourselves have less risk of health problems from these harmful chemicals we need to look at what we are using in our homes. When it came to cleaning, I used to think ‘the stronger the better' to kill germs...but over the last few years I've become educated on this and have learned healthier ways to clean. But it came at the price of not being super effective and/or of me having to spend a lot of time and effort on making my own cleaning products or scrubbing away at something forever.

That is why this past April, when I visited a dear friend of mine, my life changed. She introduced me to Norwex. When we had our first babies back in 2006, we both began a "greener living" journey to reduce the impact on our new babies and ourselves. But we both had found that it was so stressful and time consuming to have to clean our homes with products that were more expensive than the mainstream cleaners AND that didn't work well at all! So over the years we kind of went back and forth between stuff and now, she seemed to have finally found something that really made a difference.

She did a demo for me with an envirocloth and some descaler in the bathroom and…voila! Within a few minutes water spots and soap scum were gone and all without the use of harsh chemicals. I was intrigued. She gifted me a Window cloth and told me to find a consultant in my area so I could host a party. I was excited to try out the Window cloth...and I actually found it worked so well for more than just cleaning smudges off windows. I cleaned my fridge glass shelves with it in about half the time it would have taken me to do it my regular way. I cleaned mirrors in the bathroom in no time at all. I even cleaned and brought sparkle to my water stained cutlery. I thought, "all this with just a cloth? Imagine what the rest of the Norwex line could do for me?" I had hesitated to book a party, but at the Fredericton Woman's Show I attended, I met Shanie, a local consultant and I took the plunge and booked a party with her.

In the days leading up to the party, I did more research on Norwex and their products. And I got more excited. Although the turnout wasn't ideal (3 of my good friends came, one of them who also became a Norwex consultant after attending my party, and I get to be on her awesome team!), Shanie did a great party and wowed us with all the cool things envirocloths, cleaning paste, mops, bathroom and kitchen cleaners and much more could do! I bought a whole bunch of product and it was like my birthday when it arrived! And because I was the hostess and my party reached the minimum requirement, I got a load of free stuff, which made my loot even more exciting!

I've always tended to love cleaning. It relaxes me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. But it was still annoying because it took time.

Now, even though yes, it takes time, it doesn’t take AS long. It has cut my cleaning time by about half. I've done the math and compared my before and after and I have to say I’m impressed.

For example, I cleaned our new house before moving in from top to bottom with just envirocloths, water and a bit of the Blue Diamond cleaning spray.

Here are some pictures of the fridge left behind by the previous owners! Thick dust on top and sides and back. Plus, there was a grimey, greasy buildup on the floor that was covered in pet hair and goodness knows what else!

For an experiment, t first I applied Vim to half the floor mess and let it soak for about 5 minutes and it did NOTHING. Just as grimey and sticky. Then I applied a few sprays of my diluted Blue Diamond Cleaner and let it sit for 5 minutes, meanwhile I dusted the top and sides. The floor grime came up so easily and smoothly with the wet (with water) envirocloth. The dust on the top and sides came off easily with the wet envirocloth (it got stuck to it and didn't spread or smear).



Mopping my floors with my steam mop used to take me just about 60 minutes...this was my upper and main level hardwood floors. Plus, the mop would always leave streaks. I tolerated these simply because I knew my floors were clean and sanitized...and I thought I HAD no other choice. Sometimes if I had time I would go over the streaks with a dry cloth. But that annoyed me and took more of my time. But now, with my Norwex mop, I mop the floors in 32 minutes and leave NO streaks. In fact, when I walk on the freshly cleaned floors I can FEEL the clean on my feet (I have super sensitive feet that sense the tiniest crumb). They feel smooth and squeaky-clean. That's because all Norwex microfiber products pick up particles that are 1/200th the size of a hair follicle! So yeah, that's clean. 

And what’s even better is that after the microfiber has picked up all that “stuff” it self cleans! Norwex cloths have silver woven into them, which naturally stops the growth of yucky stuff to keep it fresh and clean. So when you reach for it the next time you know you are not going to be spreading and smearing germies everywhere. And you can say goodbye to that awful “wet cloth” smell. Which means less laundry for you!

The other important thing I’ve noticed is that my hands are no longer cracked and dry. Ever since I stopped using those other cleaning products and wipes, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference in the quality of my skin.

{And a story for another post, but Norwex also has a body care product line, which includes body microfiber cloths, bath towels, and they also have a line of products designed to be used by kids but that are just as effective}

I can go on with examples of how cleaning is more effective and safer with Norwex but I it would take me all night to write! So if you want more stories just send me a message :-)

Since welcoming Norwex into my home, my cleaning life has not been the same. At first, I simply enjoyed the products and loved seeing more and more results. But after a while I began to get more excited about the possibility of helping spread the Norwex love to more and more homes. That is how my journey as a consultant began.

Me and my mop, envirowand, blue diamond concentrated cleaner,
and pink, blue, yellow envirocloths <3


And so I want to tell you:

You deserve to not have to spend so much of your free time cleaning. You deserve to have a home that is free from harmful chemicals and substances. You deserve to not have to wear gloves and hold your breath when you're cleaning your toilet! And, you deserve to have your children learn and help you clean knowing that what they are using will do a GOOD job AND not harm them. If you agree, then let me know and I can tell you more about how to make YOUR home a safer haven! I am very excited and passionate about sharing this with you, and I hope you are too! 

Thanks for reading! If you're interested in learning more check out www.norwex.com or send me an email.

<3 Kat


[1] (1998). Wolkoff and colleagues, Risk in Cleaning, The Science of The Total Environment, 215, p. 135-56.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Do Your Kids Get Along?

This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.

One question I get asked A LOT is, "Do your kids get along?" or some variation of that.

If I'm having a conversation with someone, I explain that yes, they get along, mostly. There are times they have arguments and yes, even fights. 

But what I've observed over the years of being a Mama to multiple kiddos is that sibling rivalry and fighting has not been (blessedly) a major concern in our family.

There was that period of a few months after Kitty Girl was born when Sharky Boy had a rough time adjusting. But we were prepared as we had anticipated that (yay for reading and learning how to help support him ahead of time!). It was still really, really hard (especially for me as I was home alone with the kids 90% of the time). We did a lot of tips from Hand in Hand Parenting {and actually they are also tips Dr. Laura suggests in Chapter Two to help connect with your child and to help them release emotional baggage}. These things helped him tremendously and he was able to get through that time and in the end he and her have a really close bond {they actually all do}.

So back to what I was saying, rivalry and fighting, while they do happen occasionally, is not something I sit up worrying about at night {I have plenty on that list already!}.

I think the reason the MomeeeZen kids get along is because I got lucky!

Haha! I would like to analyze and maybe have a therapist tell me why!

All kidding aside, I think, especially after reading Chapter Three, I really do believe it is because we made it very clear and an important part of introducing every new baby that the older kids were NOT being replaced, that we still loved them all and valued them, and wanted to spend time with them.

As Dr. Laura says, "Research shows that if you have a positive relationship with each of your children, they're much more likely to have a positive relationship with each other."

The early months and years of each of my kiddo's lives were very involved. I remember thinking I would never be "free" again! We follow attachment parenting ideas mostly, because we wanted and prioritized building strong bonds and attachments with each of our kids. Back then I had an idea of how important it was...but now that my kids are getting older, I really do SEE the benefits of all that work I (we) put in, and I'm so glad I (we) did! I hope if any new or about-to-be parents are reading this, they feel encouraged to stick it through and hang in there. It will be worth it in the end when you witness the beautiful bonds, games, gestures of kindness and generosity the kids show towards each other. And all this despite my tendency to be a yeller at my breaking point (remember this post!? Happy to say I'm making great progress!)

And if you are looking for change in the way you've been doing things, don't worry, the good news is that it IS possible to build a positive relationship with your child starting NOW. Check out Dr. Laura's website for awesomely helpful info.

See you next week for Chapter Four <3

Friday, July 10, 2015

Because Kids Don't Come With Manuals

This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.


The copy of my Dr. Laura book was sitting  beside my computer and my oldest daughter picked it up and said to me, "Why do you read so much about parents and kids and stuff?"

I didn't really even think about the answer, I just responded, "Because when you have a baby, it doesn't come with a manual...it doesn't come with books or instructions on how to raise it in a healthy, happy way."

She thought for a moment and then went off to do her stuff.

But then I kept thinking about it.

I want her to know that I am an active participant on this parenting journey. That I am putting in an effort and educating myself to do my best.

So I said to her, "I don't want to make the same mistakes my Mom did. I do some things the same as her, but other things I do different or want to do different. And I want to know all I can about being a really great Mama for you all. And when you're a Mama, I'm sure you'll do some things different and some the same. But you will also have to learn how to be a Mama."

{Then she said in a non-chalant voice, "Maybe I won't have kids." And I said, "Maybe. You don't have to decide right now." But darn it, I want to be a grandma so one of them better have kids! Hahaha!}.

I have had to learn so much about raising kids since becoming a Mama. I've had to learn a lot about ME, I've had to look deep down in the crevices of the mind and heart to understand why or why not I do certain things.

And it's hard.

It's hard to uncover stuff that's painful (that perhaps you didn't know was there) about your own childhood, or your own hangups and previous experiences.

Reading Chapter 2 was emotionally hard for me because it brought up a lot of info on why punishment doesn't work, why empathy coaching (raising your kids and setting limits with empathy) is so gosh darn important. It was hard because even though I consider myself (and have been told my therapists I am an empath) I don't know if my feelings and emotions were validated when I was a child like Dr. Laura describes we should do with our children at all ages. And this injured part of me is triggered when my kids do things that require me to not react in knee jerk ways. I love my parents and respect them and really believe they did their best. But my Mother would be the first to tell you she may raise her kids differently if she had another chance. I remember being a very small child and often having growing pains, or headaches or stomach aches, you know "kid pains". And when I would tell my parents about it, they would laugh it off or dismiss it and tell me I was overreacting. I would get so frustrated because I felt they didn't believe me. I guess I learned that having pain and talking about it was a sign of weakness, of less desirable behaviour, of whining and complaining.

And hey, maybe I was whining and complaining...and I bet it was annoying to my parents. But here's the deal, the part they didn't know because I didn't come with a manual...

Dr. Laura explains, that even if your kid is demonstrating a "less desirable" or "annoying" behaviour, parents need to validate, not dismiss. The issue won't go away by dismissing. The child will just learn to try to hide their true emotions or feelings. If a kid is being annoying, get down to their level, make eye contact and deal with it with empathy.

The other section of this chapter talks about how and why punishment does more emotional harm than good. On paper it makes sense, but it's so hard in reality to not want to have consequences when I child does something they shouldn't have. This one I struggle with often. I get frustrated that they don't listen or when they resort to solving their issues with each other by being rude or physically aggressive with each other.

I feel they should be past that.

But....

Once again (and I remember this from when I was a kid), it's a call for connection from them to us. They are lacking in that moment the tools and emotional/mental capability to "think it through." All they need is a good emotional release and a good moment of connection with their parent(s).

I do it to my hubby to this day. If I get mad, I lash out, or give him the cold shoulder, but on the inside I just want to hug and have a good cry.

So, still now, I carry remnants of the baggage from an emotional system that may have developed under non-ideal conditions. Making me act like a toddler during times of stress and strong emotions. Haha.

But I know better and so should do better with my own kids. And I do. I have been working so hard on this, even before reading this awesome book.

I know I've said it before, but Dr. Laura is a wonderful writer and she provides so many examples of how to deal with several situations that come up every family and pointers on how to deal with these with empathy and without punishment, nurturing connection and trust instead.

And so, I continue on my journey and on learning more about myself and the more I learn and love myself, the more I become a better, happier parent <3

Hope you've got your own copy by now! If not, go get one!

xo
Kat

Friday, June 26, 2015

Peace Is A {Sometimes Hard} Choice

This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.



Since becoming a Mama, I've striven to be a peaceful parent...choosing to parent without punishment and definitely without physical discipline.

But one thing that's been really, REALLY hard for me is to choose peace in the way I talk...and well, the volume of my voice. Yep, I'm a yeller. And I really hate that about me. That's why I need to keep reminding myself of my motto: "Keep Calm and Go Zen." But it's hard. One thing I have to remind myself in order to be kind to myself is that I don't yell all the time, only when I've been pushed to my limit multiple times (I have a lot of patience, but I also have a breaking point), when my kids do something super dangerous and I need to get their attention or if the kids are fighting and hitting each other. Most of it consists of me yelling "STOP IT!!!" but other times you can hear me yelling "AAAAHHHHH!!!" out of pure frustration.

I know all the reasons not to yell and I am really open with the kids and talk to them about how I know that's something I'm working on. But it wasn't until I started reading Dr. Laura Markham's book Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings that I realized that I need to be doing more than working on stopping the "yells".

Chapter One of the book was 13 pages long and I had tears in my eyes and so many "duh!" moments within just those 13 pages. I'm not even a novice to this whole peaceful parenting approach. But it's just the way she writes and the way she presents ideas to actually BE a peaceful parent that hit home.
I was reminded (and I realized on a deeper level) just how much of a CHOICE it is to be a peaceful parent. Being super chill and not really feeling anger or frustration is not a trait we necessarily have (though I'm sure some people are--but most of use have to choose to consciously let go of those emotions). And of course, the way we were raised and taught to manage our emotions plays a major role in how we do these things now that we are parents. But in the end, I've really (finally!!) understood that I need to CHOOSE peace in the heat of the moment. And let me tell you, it is NOT easy sometimes...well most times.

Most times I want to yell and grab each child and pull them away from each other and yell some more about why it's so not cool to pinch, scratch or punch their sibling(s). But...that's not very peaceful.

So...I'd like to share with you some of the things I've learned about myself to make this choice easier and some of the very wise tips Dr. Laura shares to successfully become a more peaceful parent, more often.

1. I've become very aware of how I feel physically, mentally and emotionally during a moment when I'm being pushed above and beyond my limit(s). I feel a tightness and heat in my chest, I feel pent up energy suddenly needing to burst out and I get an overwhelming feeling of annoyance. Dr. Laura suggests in order to be a peaceful parent, we the parents, need to regulate our own emotions first. Very true. If we can't regulate our own, how can we expect to teach our kids to do it? Plus in regulating our own emotions we will learn ways to calm down and then when we are calm, we can more easily choose to deal with the situation with gentleness and peace. For me, this looks like this: kids are yelling, running around trying to hit each other or doing some other thing I've told them to stop--I feel and notice the emotions rising, so I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I know they are hitting each other, I hear them yelling and crying, but I can't go to them until I feel myself calming down. So I breathe, breathe and breathe...sometimes it feels like a few seconds, sometimes like an eternity...but I always eventually do calm down and then I find I have a much clearer head and can then proceed to help my children solve the situation in a way that will give the kids the space they need to calm down and to also result in a bonding experience and a lesson learned {Dr. Laura refers to this as"emotion-coaching" and it's what in the end will help kids learn to regulate their own emotions}. Obviously, if they were in danger I wouldn't wait it out. In times of imminent danger, I intervene immediately. If it's an outside danger, I don't get mad or frustrated anyway, so it's not a matter of needing to choose peace then. If it's a danger they are inflicting on themselves or others, I stop them immediately and hope for the best to come out of me in that situation. But 99% of the time, it IS something that can wait 10 seconds for me to take 5 deep breaths. But let me tell you...being able to allow myself and choose (there's that word again!) to take time to calm down did not come easy. Reacting with my ingrained knee-jerk tendencies was a habit I needed to break out of. But I feel so much more free now. It's still a constant choice. It's something I'm going to have to consciously choose forever I think...but it has gotten easier and I am thinking it will continue to get easier.

2. I realized and gave myself permission to see failure as a necessary step towards success. This may seem like a backward or unproductive way to think. But for me, it was a realization that no one, NO ONE, is perfect. We all make mistakes. It's how and what we learn from them that matters. So if I see my failures (the moments when I do yell or do not choose peace) as a lesson in what I can do differently next time, it helps me to not get discouraged or to feel like I won't ever be able to change. When I made that mental switch, a ton of pressure and expectations I had put on myself were released. I'm a constant work-in-progress, I'm constantly, consciously choosing to parent with deliberateness and peace. No one becomes an expert or professional overnight. You have to put in the time, practice and effort to become better, to improve. For me, it looks like this: prioritizing getting in mommy recharge battery time, practicing mindfulness during the day and night (oh the joys of waking children...), choosing joy, dancing alone or with the kids (so fun!), getting outside daily, taking my vitamins and supplements and working out. All these things help me feel good and I'm better able to be deliberate when it comes to my parenting. And I actually enjoy my kids and the daily tedious tasks more when I feel replenished.

3. I've decided I need to NOT care what others will think. Man oh man, tantrums or outbursts or public acts of disobedience are HARD! It's one thing when shit goes down in your own home. But when you're out in public you immediately feel like everyone is watching and JUDGING! And they probably are. Maybe some Mamas are saying to themselves "Poor woman." Or others, "What a terrible mother, why isn't she stopping them?" And you know what, who cares? All I want to care about is how my children see me. To me they are the only ones that I need to come clean with. I want to be a good role model for them. So if I need to just stand back and take the time to calm myself down before "doing something" about my child's public outburst, I am going to do that. It's not because I'm letting them "get away with it" or "ignoring them" it's because I know I will not deal with the situation well and in a positive, peaceful way if I jump in with knee-jerk reactions. I see parents at playgrounds, stores or events being tested and pushed to their limits. I choose not to judge. Instead I send them an invisible hug and hope they will do the same when I'm the one dealing with the toddler tantrum!

I'm delving into this book with gusto and I know I've got lots more to learn. I'll be back next week with my thoughts on Chapter Two.

xo
Kat



Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Book That Helped Me Feel Happy About Parenting Again

For a couple weeks I've been reading and re-reading Susan Stiffelman's new book titled "Parenting with Presence: Practices for Raising Conscious, Confident, Caring Kids."

One day I read something that was a game changer for me. I took the information in, and let it sit, processing it mentally and emotionally before sharing with my hubby.

"I read something yesterday that blew my mind."

"What!? You've waited a whole day to tell me!?"

"Yep, I needed to process it."

It was something so seemingly simple and obvious, but I'd never thought about it the way Susan presented it.

And that is the core and beauty of her new book: It presents simple yet mind blowing stuff that if taken into practice is sure to change the way you view parenting, your children and life.

While reading her entire book, I felt like I was sitting on a comfy sofa in a sunny, warm room with her right in front of me, conversing and listening to me.

Her writing style and the wisdom and advice she shares is as if you were having a one-on-one session with her (well, at least it was for me...I'm a Pisces with a vivid imagination!). But the point I'm trying to make is that unlike some other parenting advice books that talk down to parents, telling them what they should do, Susan offers insights and opportunities to gain self awareness so that we can become better parents (and people) from the inside out.

This is the perfect time to confess that for the past few months I've been feeling burnt out. I've had enough of the battles that happen every day with the kids to do their schoolwork. I'm tired of having to clean up after the 3 year old's messes that she seems not to learn to stop doing. And I'm tired, oh so tired, of having to put my needs last.

After reading this book, me, the mother of 4 who seemingly should have the hang of it by now, got 2 huge (for me) things from this book that have made me feel happy about parenting again (and these are only two of the many insights and aha moments I had while reading):

1. (This is the thing that blew my mind and took me a day to process before telling my hubby).
I tell my kids I love them every day, several times a day. But I don't think I had been making a point to consciously show them. And this made me feel sad. I realized I'm so dependent on multitasking, and actually prefer to escape from certain moments by going on my phone or computer. Susan explains that when you take some time to be totally present with your children, it lets them know you like them, you like spending time with them, and you enjoy listening to what they have to say. She does a way better job at making the point. But what finally dawned on me is that if I express my acceptance and love with my actions and most importantly, my total presence, my kids will be more willing to comply to requests without battles. I've tried it out for the past few days and WOW, it really does work. I know it's hard for some parents to get down and play with the kids. But I'm sure we can all find a way to connect with them. It doesn't have to be the same for everyone, just find something you can do together for a while and give them your FULL presence (no phones, screens, facebook or taking pictures). Think of the last time you had that sort of interaction with someone. It feels good to have that full connection with someone, right? It doesn't happen as often as it should and it leaves us feeling frustrated when we are trying to tell someone something and you know they are distracted on their phone or doing some other task. I know I get bitchy with my hubby if I think he's not listening to me. So I can relate to how the kids feel if I'm seemingly playing with them but actually I'm writing a grocery list or checking my email on the side. Gosh, I even try to do something while breastfeeding my baby, even though he doesn't nurse for long. I finally realized the message this is sending my kids. Don't get me wrong, I know as parents we have things we need to get done. But I get it now: when you have those moments of time with your kids when you really don't need to be doing anything else, give the moment, yourself and them your full presence. It is one of those things that will pay in dividends.

2. Once again, another book has made it very clear that holding on to shame and guilt lead to nothing good (the last book I read to make this message very clear was Brene Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection"). Guilt and shame will likely lead to us not feeling confident with our parenting choices, and this in turn will lead to us not being kind with ourselves. When it comes to setting and sticking to the limits, that our kids need to feel safe and to thrive, we may feel inadequate. Giving in to tantrums or arguing with our kids ends up sending the message that there's no captain manning the ship. Again, Susan does a great job at explaining this in a way to make you go "Ah wow, I never thought of it that way." And so, I have been noticing that I sometimes second guess myself and have doubts and then guilt when I set limits. And I've noticed that, at least for me but I think this would apply to many other parents too, the key to maintaining limits is making sure we stay calm. For example, one evening my son wanted a bedtime snack. He got bread and put it in the toaster all on his own. Then he got the ketchup and mustard out. I requested he use peanut butter instead as it was a healthier choice. He complained and complained and said I wasn't being fair. I stood compassionate but firmly planted. And eventually he relaxed and enjoyed his peanut butter sandwich. If I had not taken the time to stay calm and just be present during his complaining (mini tantrum) I would certainly have given in and relented. But instead, his reaction didn't push my buttons. And in the end I was able to stay at the helm of this sometimes crazy-rocking-boat. If the captain freaks out, all is lost. I'm being a bit dramatic, but kids need to know someone is in charge. As Susan puts it,
"Children don't want to be in charge, it's just that they know somebody has to be, because they understand that life is not safe unless someone competent is behind the wheel (Parenting With Presence, pg. 51)." 
I need to keep reminding myself to see things as: if it's not an emergency, don't freak out. And even in an emergency, freaking out wouldn't help. Things will be clearer and calmer if you just stay present.

Two other things you need to know about this book. The first is that it does have ideas and insights that have to do with mindfulness, ancient eastern wisdom...you know, the sort of stuff in "The Power of Now." For me this is fantastic because I love that stuff...it's right up my alley! I'm only mentioning it so you aren't surprised. If you aren't into that stuff, I still think you should give it a chance because from cover to cover the book is amazing (and I'm seriously not even joking here). If you have ever felt like a bad parent, have a kid who has tantrums, have a kid who pushes your buttons and triggers you, have a kid who loves (or is addicted to) screen time, have a kid who is stressed...or actually, if you have kids period....this book will have at least one thing you can take home that will help you and your relationship with your kids.

The second is that while it's an amazingly well written book that you can read within a few days, it's not an easy read. What I mean here is that you can't just expect to read it and that's it...voila all will be great. No, if you want it to help, you're going to have to be willing to do some soul-searching of your own. But this isn't a negative thing. In fact, the more you know about yourself, the better you'll be able to get to know the kind of parent you are and that can only help in the end. At the end of each chapter there are reflections and questions to ask yourself as well as ways to implement the main points of that chapter into your daily life. I tell you, Susan does not leave you hanging. She's got your back the whole time. And that's why I felt I was in a one-on-one session with her.

Now, because I love this book so much, I'm going to gift one copy to a lucky reader! All you have to do is click on over to Susan's website (here) then come back here and tell me in the comments one thing you'd like to change in your parenting. I will draw a name at random on May 31, 2015. Please make sure you leave a valid email I can use to contact you if you're the winner :-)

And here is a short video in which Susan Stiffelman talks about the 3 takeaway messages from her book.




<3 Thanks for reading >3

P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mamas out there!




Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Bloody Tooth

Once upon a time there was a tooth. A baby tooth. That was inside a 5 year old boy's mouth. One day the boy felt it was very wiggly. He couldn't eat his hotdog! So in his frustration, he smushed it all over his face. That was pretty silly. His Dad told him he could help get the tooth out. His mom told him he would be safe and sound even if his tooth fell out. So at bathtime, the boy decided to let his Dad pull it half out, and he would pull the other half out. Well, he got dental floss and toilet paper. The Dad tied the floss around the wiggly tooth. Then he pulled!!! It was a bit suprising! It got bloody. The boy was a little shocked. But then his Mommy told him to take deep breaths. And then he calmed down. And when he fell asleep and the tooth fairy left him some money.

The End.

{By: Sharky Boy}