Posts in Child Development
Pestering the Dogs, what's the missing skill there?

When Charlie was torturing the dogs for fun -- it was getting a little bit rough. Me constantly getting after him. The dogs constantly running/hiding. And him LOVING every second. 

Why? Why was he doing this behavior? Because he enjoys torturing animals??? NO. Because he likes to hurt dogs? No. It's because he was CURIOUS, and their reaction was new, different and exciting. 

So, no matter how many times I said no. Or put the dogs outside. Or moved him to a different room, the next time he had the opportunity, he took it.

What did he need support with -- to get the same function met without being inappropriate with the dogs?.

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Sibling Rivalry

So, I changed my response. Instead of being the referee. I was the coach. I went in thinking — they both think they are right, how can we problem solve. Instead of deciding who was right or wrong. 

I know they are young but they get along soooo well. He looks out for her & helps her. Sibling rivalry is real & being the coach instead of the referee is just one thing I talk about in my course on it. 

Wouldn’t you love to be a problem solving family instead of a rattle telling family?

Check out this online course on my website.

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Function: Hungry, Solution: PREVENT

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. 

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Family Dates Look Different: Xbox or Kayaking

Time with dad. When I was growing up, time with dad looked different. He had a home office & so we saw him all throughout the day. When we had kids I extended bed time so they would see their dad who worked long hours. And realized that time with dad was going to be different. It honestly was hard for me. I almost cried when a sleep trainer told me that I needed to put my kid to bed at 7 😭😭 I’m like they won’t know their dad.

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Marriage/Family Therapist Applying Xo Parenting Strategies

Sometimes it’s hard to get on the same parenting page. We all have different triggers, backgrounds and were raised by totally different parents. Because we come in with our own views of behavior and how we will discipline our kids… and because have our own temperaments in the mix… we aren’t always on the same page with positive parenting.

This is why I LOVE when couples come to my workshops or take my classes together.

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Picky Eaters and Food Throwers

Babies and toddlers throwing food off their high chair. I get this question a lot. What do I do?? First, THIS IS TOTALLY NORMAL. Second, yes it might be a game for your reaction, yes it might be because their done… it also could just be them being really up high and seeing what happens when their food hits the ground, wall or dogs.

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Spirited Children aka Fireworks

Being different isn't always a bad thing. In fact in this ever-changing evil world... we NEED strong-willed children that will stand up for their values.

Yet when they're the kid running up on the stand at church... or wearing PJ's to school because they refuse every other outfit... this strong-willed characteristic is frustrating.

We can offer independence, responsibilities, choices within the boundaries to foster this autonomy without losing all authority.

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Xo Playtime: Construction

"Mom, I go help dad. Got mine tools"

Every two-ish weeks we rotate toys. #xoplaytime

This means that I switch out baskets of a few doctors supplies -- to baskets of a few tools. I always have some sort of block. And the art center is always there. But, it doesn't take much to change the entire tone of the playroom. All of a sudden he's going from wrapping his babies in leftover gauze, to going out to the shop and hammering stuff with dad. You don't even really need to invest in tools just start saving the hex screws and wrenches from the ikea/amazon furniture.

Having different materials invites Charlie to change the focus of his play and explore pretending in a new way. Gosh, play is fun and I love being his mom.

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Being a mother is a thankless job, BUT...

Being a mother is a thankless job.

Which can sometimes cause burn out, feeling inadequate and like you need 6 of you cuz you can’t possibly be stretched any further.


But you are enough.

You are actually the most important human in the world to your kids.

If they whine/cry to you it’s because they feel safe expressing their emotions with you.

If they come to you with tattle tale after tattle tale, it’s because they trust you to fix their problems.

If they end up in your room night after night, it’s because they want to be close to you.

If they are jealous of their siblings, it’s because they want all of your love.

♥︎ Even though this is a thankless job,

Your kids are thanking you every time they trust you as the one to cry to, every time they trust you as the one they snuggle in their bed, everything they call you to tell you about something so insignificant.

They know YOU will always listen.

They know YOU always know what to do.

They know YOU love them no matter what.

This day was created so we could all say thank you.

And even though it can be hard if you lost your mom, have infertility, don’t want to become a mother... there’s always a mother somewhere to celebrate.

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Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of STOP WHINING!!!! moments. But I realize too that it’s a lose lose if I get to that point.


For little annoying behaviors like whining. We don’t ignore them, give them what they want then come back to a green arrow moment later. We do the teaching right then.


You can ask nicely. Say, “I want the dinosaur show please” *repeat* “ok now you do it” *does on own*

This is the only way whining will commence. There has to be consistent teaching of what they SHOULD do. Not just what they shouldn’t.

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