discipline

Shopping with Kids: Supporting a Growth Mindset Among the Shiny Objects

Knowing her grandparents will soon be asking for gift ideas for our daughter, my husband and I decided to take our five year old window shopping today. As usual and as I’ve written about before, we began with the caveat that although we wouldn’t buy anything, we’d take pictures of what she likes so that …

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Preparing for the Inevitable: The Importance of Trusting Play

“Mommy, let’s pretend this isn’t a train tunnel.” “Okay, what is it?” “It’s a tomb.” Well, hello, conversation stopper. She paused for effect, which is a good thing, because I certainly didn’t expect that. After a moment to process and very consciously trust that children’s play serves an important purpose for them, I mentally cringed …

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Telling Our Kids What TO Do: Three Ways to Build a Child’s Self-Confidence

At one of the schools I have the pleasure of visiting regularly, this week’s craft table featured what the teacher appropriately called the “paper guillotine,” along with some glue and paper. At one point, an unsuspecting adult walked over and saw the setup. She inquired, only half-jokingly, “Oh, is this the table where you slice …

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Conquering Fears

When my daughter was younger and before I better understood highly sensitive children (afflinks), we drove past Seattle’s Fremont Troll and it scared the heck out of her. She dubbed it the second scariest thing in the universe, coming in on her list only behind the scary mice from the Nutcracker ballet. Now, this was a tricky …

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How I Clean My House–and Six Fun Strategies that Engage My Child’s Help

I was in the kitchen making homemade almond butter (yum!). My five-year-old walked in with her cup of water and announced, “Mommy, let’s pretend you’re working in a bakery!” That sounds about right, considering how much time I spend cooking. She added, “I’ve brought my cup of water for any of your customers who want …

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When Bad Things Happen to Good (Little) People: Building Emotional Intelligence

I was just waking up and remembered that I needed to move some food from the night before from the refrigerator to the freezer. Upon opening the fridge, I noticed that the lid on the food wasn’t secure, so I tried to push it down. In doing so, my Superheroine-Like Muscles (that must be it, …

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Observing the Experts (Who Are Rarely Adults, With This Exception)

  For the past week, I’ve attended a multi-age outdoor school led by Teacher Tom, who’s hailed by parenting experts as one of the “world’s leading practitioners of ‘democratic play-based’ education.”* If you haven’t followed his blog or bought his book, you should, and if you can attend his class, even better. Although I exceed the age limit …

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Finding the Patience for Positive Parenting, Part Two: Tricky Moments

We were every cliché: she spilled her milk all over the table and was using her fingers to spread it into a big and messy design; I was already waaaay late making dinner. I was feeling anxious and frustrated, and struggling to be mindful of the positive parenting ideas from part one of this article. (Yep, I’m …

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Finding the Patience for Positive Parenting, Part One: The Big Picture

We’ve all had that class—the one we were required to take to fill some requirement, but had absolutely no interest in taking. For me, it was a summer class during grad school. It was called “Miscommunication,” and I agreed–it must’ve been some incredible misunderstanding that I wasn’t at the beach. However, as much as it …

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