Labels. Matter.

My kid is CRAZY and STUBBORN will you watch him for the day? How does this make you feel... NOPE, run.


My kid is DECISIVE and has some serious LEADERSHIP potential, can you watch him for today? Yeah, I could do that.

Let's play a game, take out a paper and write down all the negative labels you might use for your "spirited" child. And then write a way to reframe a label positively next to it. I'll get us started.

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He's ALWAYS a bear when...

What is a common trigger you need help preventing?

Some kids wake up HAPPY (Maelie) and some kids struggle to wake up (Charlie). I KNOW this about Charlie... mornings are hard. If we have to go somewhere he can't be rushed. He really needs time to eat, get dressed and go through those transitions. Okay, so I learned this about my son.

Do I "keep on keeping on" and "survive" this stage, it will pass? Or do I adjust things in his environment to make it more successful for him?! ding ding ding. We have a winner.

One thing I've been doing when I wake up and get Maelie breakfast... is make Charlie breakfast and then put it outside of his door before I carry on with my morning routine. So right when he opens his door in the morning, he has breakfast. He comes and finds me with his colored plate, and says with a huge smile, "Mom!!! I got a green one, my samwich."

It sets an entirely different tone for the ENTIRE day.

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Lauren PaceComment
"It's okay to cry"

Crying stimulates endorphins, our feel-good hormone. And also, bottled up emotions turn into tantrums.


A few tears here and there all day long... or a VOLCANIC eruption at the dinner table. Your choice.

A lot of times it's our go-to reaction to say,

don't cry, you don't need to cry, you're fine, stop crying...

instead, try, it's okay to cry. Let it all out. You can take a break and cry when you're ready you can come back and join us.

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Transitioning through Big Changes

New child - deployed parent - busy season for working parents.

Changes happen... and whoever is left with the kids is probably overwhelmed.

Without realizing it... sometimes we are paying more attention to the negative behaviors... and not focusing on the behaviors we want.

"Be nice to your sister" "Bring me a diaper please" *takes pictures of the baby* "Be soft!" "Quiet voice!" Pretty soon we pay so much attention to these behaviors, that this is what our child WANTS to do, for connection with us.

NONE of those phrases were mean. But none of them were focusing on him. They were all about sister. Absolutely, we want him to be helpful and kind, and quiet. BUT, we need to pad all of those directions with POSITIVE, WARM interactions. Look him in the eye, "you are a good helper, thank you" "Wow bud, look at the tower" "Charlie I love you" *take picture of baby, take picture of Charlie*

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Gross Motor and Activities in the Winter

I’m gonna be honest with you and say, I HATE SNOW. Snow clothes and all that jazz, I’m over it REAL fast. So I’m not the mom out there building igloos and slides. If you’re that mom, I have lots of snow… come on over and step in for me???

What’s challenging is not giving into the tv, electronics, video games, ipads etc. all winter long. It’d be really easy to replace that outside time with these things, but guess what. I have a plethora of solutions for you.

#1. Indoor Gross Motor Toys

I’ll show you a peek at a few others we have. But my climbing, bouncing boy… he has a huge amount of energy. He wants to jump and climb, wrestle… kick things. And if I don’t give him a safe place to do that… guess what… he’s jumping, climbing and kicking me and his sister. NOT an option. Today I’m going to talk about my Lily and River climber. It’s AMAZING.

I’m all about open ended toys. This is that. There’s not one way to use it. The slide can be at a million levels. It can also be a playdough table, a place to play cars, a ramp… and then flip it over it’s a rock climbing wall or a ramp with obstacles. I didn’t discover this on my own. I put the toy out… and then just let Charlie do WHATEVER the heck he wanted with it. I love that it can be a climber, or it can turn into a fort, a ladder for his stuffed puppy to climb. It’s AMAZING.

Highly highly recommend this toy as an indoor playground, climber, slide… and so much more.

I have a 15% off code, so don’t forget to use xolauren when you checkout!

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Conflict with Peers/Cousins/Others

This week we are going to be talking about conflict with peers, friends, cousins etc.

First and foremost, this is my philosophy.

If a kid misspells a word, do we warn them, put them in timeout or turn their card to red. NO. Because they haven't learned the correct way. Same thing with behavior, if you have not taken time to teach it. That's step one. NOT timeouts or consequences. But this is a foreign idea and it is HARD. So I'm gonna support you!!!

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Lauren PaceComment
Listening: Help our Children LISTEN without force

Do your kids ever fight cleaning up their toys? Run away in the store? Jump on the couch or hit their friends over and over? When will it click? When will they just listen?

We will talk about strategies to teach children to choose to listen and prevent negative responses, followed by effective consequences when not listening is NOT an option.

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DIY "figurines" | Christ-Centered Environment

All you do is print out pictures of the things you want them to have more exposure and play with... and use packing tape to add them to their blocks or other toys. I started with pictures of his family- his grandma, my mom, the temple and a church-house. Charlie has a really hard time going to nursery. So I figured if we added the church to his play, then maybe talking about it and seeing it, driving his family to it with his wood cars would help the transition go smoother.

We pulled up to church the following Sunday. And Charlie points and says "church, church!" FIRST VICTORY. He was stoked and he labeled it correctly.

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XoPlaytime: Pumpkins!

#XOPLAYTIME is a compilation of 20+ activities every other week that...

- use the imagination

- push all the areas of development

- keep their attention

- use multiple senses

- support autonomy and independence

Revolving them around a new theme every other week allows them to become more interested in activities they may not usually participate in and gives a deeper understanding of so many different topics.

Don't feel like you need to go look up 20 unique activities twice a month. Just sign up for the subscription and do a handful of them a month. (code xolauren to get $2 off).

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