I'm finally settled into my new 'hood here in Bend and found a location for hosting parenting workshops! I'm offering "Parent-Child Relationship Matters" for the first workshop in my new community. Why this one?
Rules without relationship lead to rebellion
Without a strong relationship with your child, nothing you say or do will really matter. In fact, your relationship with yourself, your spouse, your friends and colleagues, and your relationship with the world also matters. In this workshop, I'll be helping parents identify how relationships in the home, and outside the home, affect their relationship with their child and indirectly affect their child's behavior.
I'll also be teaching parents how to build, maintain, and preserve their relationship with their child even among the most challenging situations we all encounter.
Kids will never do what you say. They'll only do what you do.
I'll be dispelling myths about discipline, punishment and consequences that we all know to "work" and offering alternatives to decreasing problem behaviors while preserving the parent-child relationship.
I'll teach parents the value of letting the child own their problem using intrinsic motivators and strengthening their child's inner moral compass rather than using traditional forms of punishment that cause children to be angry with parents, therefore putting the responsibility on the parents and punishment rather than taking ownership of their choices.
Are you local and wish to attend? Check the services tab to purchase a ticket. If you're not local, I'll post a video of the workshop on my "members only" page for the tribe. Click "join the tribe" to subscribe and access exclusive content.
Looking forward to supporting you and your family. Be well, Chelsea
This week's podcast focused on reading and storytelling. Reading to a young child, and with a young child, should be about building the brain, stretching the imagination and relationship building between parent and child. We should be reading stories that speak to their interests, where they are developmentally, and helps them take on another person's perspective and learn about a life, and world, outside their own.
Our society focuses so much on "early literacy", and teaching a child to read independently, that they miss the value in reading for enjoyment and character development. Reading stories from a variety of perspectives sends the message to the child, "There are lives and worlds that are different than your's" and helps develop empathy and connection to others.
Albert Einstein said, "If you want your child to be brilliant, read them fairy tales. If you want your child to be more brilliant, read them more fairy tales".
Fairy tales, as just one example of a strong selection, are filled with rich, descriptive language, a clear plot with rise and fall of action, and characters with depth and purpose. The best fairy tales transport us to another world and leave us pondering an alternative ending, a moral lesson, or evaluating current happenings in our own life.
Don't shy away from reading lengthy, descriptive books and stories to an infant or young toddler! They love to hear your voice and there's value in sitting in close proximity to a loving caregiver experiencing the words and feelings along with you. In fact, young children don't require pictures. Imagine reading an image-less "Little Red Riding Hood" to a three-year-old and allowing them to create their own image of Red and the wolf.
Books, and stories, have a nostalgic quality to them. There are classic books shared from generation to generation that have their own rhythm and place in the child's life year round, but then there are those special books read seasonally that show the child change is occurring in the world, but we've been here before. The changing of the leaves is often felt before it is seen. Reading "Pippa and Pelle and the Autumn Winds" each year may bring a sense of calm to a child who feels the change, but it's too abstract a concept to fully comprehend without a story to relate to.
What to avoid:
Just like each season we decorate the house, create our nature tables, and cook seasonal foods, our book collection should change as well! Seasonal books excite the child year after year as they make an appearance back on the shelves.
I've created a list of books we love on a members protected page and added a few fun projects to coincide with some of the stories. It's easy to join Whole Heart and access member's only content by clicking "Join the Tribe" on the home page. That minimal membership fee is less than a few trips to Starbucks each month and provides the resources and support you need to be the best parent you can be to your child.
Thank you for your support! Be well,
Yes, I know I'm kind of a freak, but I cringe every time I see a woman carrying a baby in a carseat carrier. I cringe and then I follow her around waiting in vain for her to turn around and say, "Aren't you a baby expert? I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether I should carry my baby or wear her?"
And then in my fantasy we sit down and I get to share the beautiful benefits of babywearing and all is well in the world again.
This hasn't happened yet. But, what's the problem? It's easier to pick the carseat up out of the car and drop it into the both at the restaurant or a shopping cart. In fact, stroller companies have made it easy to just snap-n-go with no need to event interact with your baby! Bingo...that's the problem.
Rather than pick the baby up out of the carseat, kiss them, smell them, say sweet, loving things to them as we slip them into the sling or carrier snuggled close to our body, we pick up the carrier and then baby is out of sight and out of mind until they start crying.
Why is she crying? Because her needs are not being met! She wants mom and wants mom now. She wants love, comfort, your voice, warmth, and cuddles. And the benefits of babywearing go far beyond that developmentally!
Yup, its true. Babies that are worn have higher self-esteem, confidence and independence in toddlerhood and school years. Because their needs for comfort and security are met during infancy without the need to cry and beg for love, they grow to be less needy. Why be needy when you don't need anything?
Worn babies have higher vocabularies, better speech, and improved brain development from being in such close proximity to the mother, or caregiver's, voice throughout the day.
3) Motor Skills
Worn babies are moving side o side squirming to readjust within the sling, or carrier, and are developing head and trunk control simultaneously. They're also crossing the mid line (hands over heart) which develops the corpus collossum in the brain strengthening the connection between the right and left hemispheres.
4) Love Transfer
Attachment parenting is about mutual give and take of love and attention. Having baby chest to chest with the mother or the father is the ultimate in attachment parenting as the baby's physiological system will begin to align with the parent's. They're giving you snuggles and getting snuggled in return.
5) Breastfeeding is easier and stronger
It's a well-known fact that being close to baby increases the mother's milk supply. Women that wear their babies often report a stronger breastfeeding relationship with their little's as they can nurse within the sling and their supply stays strong as baby is close most of the day.
I wore my boys in an ACK Wrap or Happy Baby Wrap when they were little and then as they got bigger I wore a Mia Mily Hipster and wore both boys until they were well over 3 yrs old. I still miss being able to wear them and have looked into slings and hiking carriers for big kids!
Wear your baby!!!
I get asked often about sibling rivalry from podcast listeners and to be honest, I've avoided the topic for a few reasons.
1) My kids fight like animals in a barn as if the loser is headed for the chophouse.
2) There's not much research backing up "techniques" to reduce sibling rivalry.
3) I think its a right of passage
I survived being the middle sister of three and remember some serious knock-down, drag-out, call the "popo" wars between us ladies! I'm surprised child services were never called in for mediation. My oldest sister once pulled my jeans off me just to have something to beat me with. I'm pretty sure it started with me chasing her with a kitchen knife though (so she says).
But, the fact is, I think siblings are meant to drive each other bat-shit mutha frickin' crazy to help develop interpersonal skills. Do you know an only child that turned out, okay? Kidding., but not really, LOL I know a few, but many of them would say they wished they had a sibling, In fact, I've heard some report, "I wish I'd had someone to fight with". The reason being that having someone life a sibling, a cousin, a roommate to fight with occasionally helps you learn what people like or don't like.
When kids fight at the playground, for example, many parents will rush in immediately when they sense a disagreement or discord and remove the child or the toy they're fighting over. This is the opposite of what we want. It's OKAY for kids to disagree and even fight. Now, if it turns physical, by all means, jump in, but otherwise, let the kids work it out. If your kid isn't sharing and calls the other child a "poopy face mcmuffin" or other really solid comeback, that's okay. In fact, if the Poopy Face McMuffin decides to bop your child on the top of the head, there's a lesson there. Your child will have learned that other kids don't like to be called names. It's high likely they also feel ashamed for calling their new friend a name because said friend no longer wishes to play with them and probably made off with the toy they both wanted anyway.
Contrarily, the kids start tugging at the toy and both parents intervene and say something profound like, "Lets all be kind" and robs the children of the opportunity to problem solve, practice self-control, or learn empathy when they have the chance to fight with another kid.
At home, this happens often between siblings because, as life would have it, we're not always around to intervene. Notice how fights always seem to break out went you're in the shower? That's the universe conspiring to help your kids develop the interpersonal skills they need without parental involvement.
So, sit back, have a glass of wine, read a magazine and let you kids duke it out! Ha ha!
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play