Tag Archives: parenthood

4 Books That Changed The Way I Parent

Last spring I was knee deep in the trenches with a toddler and a baby. It was a beautiful mess. Emphasis on the messy part. My days of fairy tale play and feedings seemed to run together.

Now, I love this little #MomLife of mine, but sometimes a girl just needs a boost. So I spent one afternoon chatting with a mom of four about the changes that have transpired since baby #2. Because lets face it, every time we add a new member to the family its a huge shift for everyone involved.

In the nearly four years since becoming a mom I had read several blog posts and magazine articles sounding parenthood, but I have never once pick up a book on the subject. Then my friend recommended a book called, “It’s OK Not To Share.” It all started there, with this one book and has taken me down a path of parental growth and understanding.

Now, four books laters, I am a completely different parent.

4 Books That Changed The Way I Parent

1. “It’s OK Not To Share… and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids” By: Heather Schumaker 

If I am being completely honest, the title sounded a bit too “hippy-ish” for my taste and I was more than sure it wouldn’t be a good fit, but I decided to check it out anyway. Now, I cannot stop raving about it to anyone who will listen! Many of the thoughts and sentiments expressed are derived from a preschool with over four decades of experience. Heather describes in great detail everything from the importance of free play, communication, emotions, understanding, creativity, and of course how to share. Honestly, the communication and understanding between adult and child is what blew me away!

(Side note: She has a second book out called, “It’s OK To Go Up The Slide” for the elementary level. I can’t wait to read it!)

2. “Peaceful Parenting, Happy Kids” By: Dr. Laura Markham

My number one take away from this book was that I needed to improve myself in order to improve my children. As parents, sometimes its hard to swallow our own pride and say maybe I am part of the problem. Once I got on board, I learned how to keep my cool in stressful situations. Thus, teaching my children how to communicate those unhappy feelings in a healthy way.

3. “Balanced and Barefoot” By: Angela J. Hanscom 

As parents we understand the value of playing outside, but this books takes it to a whole new level. The author describes the differences between the playgrounds and indoor play spaces of today versus decades ago and how that has affected our children over time. How their core strength and endurance has changed. Why running barefoot is important to your child’s development and so much more!

4. “Raising Your Spirit Child” By: Mary Sheedy Kurcinka

If you have a spirited child I encourage you to get a copy of this book ASAP! My husband and I are currently reading this together and it makes so much sense! Trust me when I say, you will know 5-10 pages in, if this is the book for you! The book talks about all those little quirks that make your spirited child unique. Things like getting dressed, mealtime, bed time, success in school, and much more! The author explains how to work with your child’s energy, intensity, meltdowns, and battles.

As a parent, I have learned it’s not all about my children’s development, but about our growth and development together. This experience is about me, just as much as it is them. As the old saying goes, I need to practice what I preach. 

What are your go-to parenting books?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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Screen Time Balance

As parents, we have so much on our plates. There are so many things to worry about. We work hard to make sure our children become well-rounded individuals. This post isn’t about how to be the best parent. It’s simple about how we learn, grow, and change as parents. Well… to be more specific, how I changed to achieve a parenting goal.

Screen time. It’s at the forefront of our culture. It’s what we use to connect ourselves to the rest of the world on a daily basis. It’s available to us at one click of a button 24/7, 7 days a week. Screen time has also been making headlines in recent years. With experts discussing the appropriate amount of time in front of a screen with regards to children.

As an educator, I realized creating a balance was so important. Before I had my daughter I thought a lot about creating the perfect balance for her. Then I had her and creating that balance wasn’t so easy. Part of me wants to blame living in a small apartment, but truthfully, that’s not the case. In truth, I loved my shows and hated to give them up. Plus, having the T.V. on when I was home, whether I was watching it or not, had always been my normal.

Now, this doesn’t mean we stayed home all day, everyday in front of the T.V. Quite the contrary, we left our apartment 3 to 4 mornings a week from the time she was 6 weeks old. We took family walks almost every evening. We talked, read, and played together everyday, but the T.V. was always there – in the background. It made the room feel louder and busier, as if we never slowed down.

As we were preparing for our move, our daughter was approaching 22 months and I noticed she began taking more of an interest in all things technology. It was at this point, that I vowed to create a better screen time balance. We doubled our square footage, there was space for a playroom, and we finally had our own back yard.

Even with those additions, it was still a bit of a transition for all of us, but it has proven to be so beneficial. I feel like our interactions with one another are more focused because there is nothing in the background to distract us. Our family time feels more calm, rather than rushed and chaotic. We are more focused on the everyday life with each other – including love, conversations, reading, and imaginary play.

Screen Time Balance:

  • Our T.V. doesn’t go on until 4:00pm
  • T.V. is off for dinner time
  • Evening walks as a family – weather permitting
  • Play in playroom
  • Color and draw
  • Play outside
  • She only plays on computers while at the library
  • All tablets are only played with 1-2 times a week for an hour a piece

Please remember, it took me 22 months to get to this point. We are continuously growing and changing through this process called parenthood. There is no right or wrong way – there is simply what works best for you and your family.

Have you achieved the perfect screen time balance? It this something you’re still working on? Either way, remember, your doing the best job you can! You are a good parent!

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

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