Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

It has been a long month and now Thanksgiving is only a few days away.

We have one weekend to prepare for the get together that could raise our blood pressure even more this year than all the others put together.

Because of this year’s presidential election, some of us have serious friend and family disagreements that could cause some unwanted Thanksgiving indigestion.

Here are some tips on how to “argue without rancor”.

Weekend heated discussionsAnd it’s clear that American Thanksgiving gatherings are sure to be interesting affairs this year, as families split between Trump and Clinton supporters try to sit down to dinner without maiming one another — if they show up at all. So this may be a good time to explore what psychologists and philosophers say are the most effective ways to argue. And by “argue” they do not mean “quarrel,” but communicate without rancor or faulty reasoning with someone who has an opposing viewpoint, with the hope of broadening one’s understanding of people and ideas. Here are a few suggestions:

Source: How to Argue Fairly and Without Rancor (Hello, Thanksgiving!) – The New York Times

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and a Thanksgiving full of gratitude.

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Let them eat cake…and a Rainbow!

Rainbow Cake

Grandchildren are truly a gift and I love them dearly.

My grandson is just a one year old and he already has a taste for some sophisticated foods thanks to his parents and their efforts to introduce him to a varied selection of fruits, vegetables and proteins.

For an eight year old, my granddaughter also has a sophisticated palate . She has been sampling various foods from early on but was found to have severe peanut and food allergies at age one so a great amount of vigilance has to be taken especially when we are eating in restaurants. Store bought baked goods are particularly problematic for her as cross contamination is clearly an issue of concern.

So this weekend when both of my dearest were together it was an appropriate time to celebrate with a Rainbow. I have been in love with this cake since I first saw it about 4 years ago and I actually put one together for my granddaughter’s 3rd birthday! It is a spectacular picture when you initially cut into it and view the vivid colors. It is a smile built into a confection.

One of the best and most fun parts is to let the kids “doodle” on the icing to make this cake a personal piece of artwork as well as a dessert…it becomes a vision to behold and the kids love the excitement of getting the first colorful piece on their plate. What a sense of accomplishment they have enjoying some of their own efforts.

Baking this beauty is a labor of love as it takes patience, pans of colored cake batter, tons of softened butter and egg whites galore. It seems to magically come together layer upon layer…as you remember the acronym Roy G Biv ….Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo Violet. Although the actual cake has 6 layers by combining the blue and indigo into one layer.

1st Birthday

 We celebrate our two grandchildren

and

the joy they bring to our loves…

the same joy we feel

when we see a RAINBOW across the sky

Rainbow Doodle Birthday Cake

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Pick from Parenting in the Loop

 

Fall weekend

Fall is upon us as is the school schedule along with holiday celebrations like Halloween  are not far off. The weekend fills up fast with Fall activities like apple picking, pumpkin patch visits, football games and raking leaves.

Fall is my second favorite season only to Spring which brings more light back into my windows on the world. I love the seasonal changes but the darkness and gloom of the midwest winters sometimes take a toll on my energy level.

My Fall weekends are precious especially if they are sunny ones that are accompanied by the gold and reds of the trees telling their final stories before the slumber of winter.

Along around mid-September If you are like me your work schedule revs up and if you work from home the distractions are innumerable. Some of you are trying to do chores and run a business from your home with a baby or a toddler in tow. If that is the case then this post is definitely for you.

I am so excited about this piece! I’ve wanted for so long to find someone like Jamie Krenn to address these issues and questions for those of us who work at home, because no matter what type of parent you are- it is overwhelming to mix anything with caring for small children. We all need to know about what this wonderful, resourceful woman has to say about how to juggle the schedule of emotions within parenthood and work. Join Jamie Krenn at CoHatchery in Park Slope for a workshop this Friday, August 26th, from 4:30-6pm about working from home, more productively. Here’s a helpful Q&A, enjoy!

~Rebecca Conroy, Editor of A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Source: A Work-from-Home Workshop Not to be Missed! | A Child Grows in Brooklyn

Chicago may be rainy this weekend but that just might offer some time to change out summer clothes for the cozy layers that cooler weather requires or maybe even sink into the sofa with a good book.

Whatever you do enjoy your time with family and friends this weekend.

Benefits of Grandparents Babysitting

Benefits of Grandparents As Babysitters

Babysitting benefits are no surprise to me as a grandmother. Grateful is the word I use to describe how I feel when I am with my grandchildren whether babysitting or just visiting. They are the light in my life and I am proud to admit that.

It amazes me when I hear grandmothers say…”I have my own life”…and I don’t want to be a babysitter almost as if babysitting their own grandchildren is demeaning and takes away from “their own life”.

My grandchildren are a unique part of this stage of my life and I am both happy and proud to grandparent. It has been a blessing to see our family grow to include another generation.

GrandparentsWhen you’re a grandma, there aren’t many things better than spending time with your grandchildren. And, according to research, babysitting your grandchildren doesn’t just add joy to your life — it can also help keep you sharp as a tack in your golden years.

This blog’s name reflects the fact that parenting is indeed a “loop” handed down from generation to generation in a family.  Grandparents are a significant part of that “loop”. Sharing among generations to me is one of the important parts of being a family.

Now, a study has shown an added benefit to “babysitting”…you can actually stay more mentally sharp in these “Golden Years”. Grandchildren for me put the “gold” in these years.

So bring me the grandkids ..I cherish my time with them!

Source: Grandmothers and Dementia – Benefits of Grandparents Babysitting

The Mystery of Parenting Unraveled

The Mystery of Parenting Unraveled…

Mastery of life is not a precondition to becoming a parent. We assume the responsibility of teaching someone else how to do what we have not yet figured out. We teach, even as we learn through and with our children.

Source: Abby’s Road: The 1st rule of parenting is there are no rules – The Forecaster

parentingOften as parents and even as grandparents we literally muddle through the challenges of raising children and grandchildren

Why?

Because aren’t we all a work in progress…always learning new things and new ways of becoming better versions of ourselves?

So why do we have so many rules and tips on parenting floating around the web?

It is always helpful to have lists and guides in the form of rules and tips when we are insecure. Raising a child is one of those skills which can make even the best of child experts unsure of themselves and their skills.

Remembering there really are no hard and fast rules to raising a child is a place to start when you first bring your little helpless baby home. Preparing is helpful to keep your own sanity intact but so is listening to your gut.

Being present in your child’s life is unspeakably important as is teaching them kindness and empathy.

But knowing that every child and parent dyad is unique and respecting differences will help you sustain yourselves as you parent over the years to come.

 

Parents, Are You Sick of Parenting Tips Yet?

Parents  Are You Sick of Parenting Tips Yet?

At any given moment, I have a pile of parenting information on my desk, nightstand, and kitchen table.

I have my favorite tipsters and I also have my favorite tip.

parents

Make your primary goal as parents

to help your child develop empathy and

kindness in their hearts

 rather

than focusing on controlling his/her behavior.

Raising a child does not come down to following a list of tips. Parenting and grand-parenting really stems from the heart. It has to do with treating children with respect and empathy which is sometimes easier imagined than accomplished. Children imitate their parents and we often hear our own words come out of their mouths sometimes to our embarrassment.

If your goal is to have a well-behaved child with core qualities of kindness and empathy, you will need to encourage him to appropriately express his thoughts and emotions while listening and using these moments to treat him with empathy and kindness.

What do you think? How do you encourage your child to express himself?

 

Weekend Picks from ParentingintheLoop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Here are my favorites for this week. I cannot believe that in two weeks it will be

Labor Day Weekend. Where did the summer go?weekend picks

I Am “The Good Wife” circa 1955 in Spirit | Today’s Grandmum

What a fascinating funny article that first appeared in 1955 when I was a child! Was this really what was expected of women in those days? Here is what I remember as a little girl from that era.

The Best Way to Put Baby to Sleep

If you want a restful night’s sleep and you have a baby you might find this helpful. Everyone’s baby is different but there are some things that can definitely help a baby to self soothe and actually become a good sleeper. A rested baby will help make your weekend more restful.

Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician who is the director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, told me that she would focus here on what she termed “sleep onset associations.” That is, on helping the children learn how to fall asleep independently at bedtime, which should then generalize to an ability to fall asleep when they wake in the night. So it’s lovely to use the song at bedtime as a going-to-bed routine, but it’s important that the actual moment of going to sleep should be after the bottle (and ideally, after brushing teeth after the bottle) and after the song. It may be that the baby who wakes and cannot soothe himself is actually falling asleep with the aid of the bottle and the song, and then finds himself without those props in the middle of the night. “What they want to do is clearly demarcate the soothing intervention on the part of the parents, the song and the bottle from the actual act of falling asleep,” Dr. Owens said. That probably means moving the routines a little earlier, so that after the song is done, the babies get to fall asleep by themselves. And that, in turn, probably means some difficult nights. You can separate the twins for this transition period if you want, or keep them together; whatever you think would make it easier. Co-sleeping — unless it’s something you believe in and want to practice over the long term — may just leave you with another sleep problem to solve down the line. But you want to get through this to a new equilibrium where you can all enjoy the song and the bedtime ritual. “Learning to self-soothe in regard to sleep is a real developmental skill,” Dr. Owens said. “It can be taught, and it’s an important milestone in self-regulation.” Do you have a health question? Submit your question to Ask Well.

Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Should you salt your child’s food?

A really good question since your child will be eating salt in various foods for a very long time. How young can a child start eating table salt on his food? Admittedly, I do not add salt to anything I make for my almost year old grandson and although the veggies, meats and starches taste very good unsalted they just might have a bit more of an enticing flavor with some added salt. I was happy to see this post in the NYT which helped me with my dilemma.

Is it safe to add salt to a 5-year-old’s food? Reader Question • 175 votes A Yes, in moderation. High salt intake is linked with an increased risk of high blood pressure, and the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that children limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day (a teaspoon of salt contains about 2,300 milligrams of sodium). But kids typically get far more than that, usually from restaurant fare and processed foods, which account for 77 percent of the sodium in Americans’ diets. “

Source: Should You Salt a Child’s Food? – The New York Times

Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy some moments of gratitude.

Already August and Back to School

August and Back to School…Already?

back to school

I don’t know about you all but my summer has flown by with many changes happening at a whirlwind pace in my home.

Change is never easy and some are much more emotionally draining than others. Because of the turmoil in which I found myself posts on this blog have been few and far between.

As most of you know I am very close to my granddaughter who is now 8 years old. I welcomed her into the world 8 years ago this month. She was the inspiration of Parenting in the Loop. She and I have a very special relationship for which I am ever grateful. What a breath of fresh air she is and it has been God’s blessing for me to be able to watch and share in her life. As my first grandchild, she introduced me to the joy of being a grandparent. Words do not measure up to the feelings of this stage of my life.

Last year, my younger daughter had a little boy. He will be one in a few short days and I have recently shared an extended visit with him which has been joyful.

The huge change that has taken place in the last week is that my older daughter and granddaughter have relocated to California and my younger daughter, grandson and husband have relocated to Chicago and are staying with us while they settle into their new home away from the Rhode Island that they love.

Sending my daughter and granddaughter off to California was an emotional rollercoaster  for me. She and I talked about moving and watched the Disney film “Inside Out” several times, which helped us share our happy and sad feelings in a very real way. My granddaughter surprised me with the ease that she was able to relate to the movie and express her own feelings concerning her move to California. She understood that she would be sad as would I but that we would have “The Invisible String” keeping us attached even though we would be a 4 hour plane flight away from each other.

When a child moves, changing schools is usually an anxiety producing experience. Leaving family is one thing but leaving friends and their school along with the familiar teachers and staff can really play havoc with a child’s adjustment to their new environment.

My granddaughter’s new school will be similar to the one she leaves behind. It is a small Catholic school with uniforms so fitting in with the fashion code will not be an enormous issue. But there will be back packs, lunch boxes and various sundries to choose which will help her individual personality showcase itself.

We love “Cool Mom Picks “Back to School Guide 2016 and rely on it for quality and consistently great choices for these “BTS” necessities. I am always amazed at the wonderful changes in lunch boxes that encourage parents and kids to pack some really healthy and interesting lunches and snacks.

I loved helping my daughter with lunch decisions and back to school choices for my granddaughter over the last couple of years. Because she has a nut allergy food choices are VERY important. We enjoyed Planet Lunchbox which kept everything fresh and reduced our carbon footprint. Momables from Laura Fuentes provided seemingly endless variety to my granddaughter’s lunch choices and rotation.

 

Back to SchoolWe’ve found 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags for kids — whether you love packing them every day or not.

Source: 34 of the coolest lunch boxes and bags | Back to School Guide 2016 | Cool Mom Picks

Childproofing away from home

 

Childproofing When You Are Away From Home

childproofingSmall children are at risk for accidents especially at home since that is where they spend  the most time. There are all kinds of services and ways to go about making a child’s environment safe and providing a play area that is welcoming and worry free.

What about when you go away to a relative’s home or to a hotel, that safe environment is sometimes more challenging to acquire.

I just came across this video which is so helpful for those parents traveling during these summer months or actually anytime. Here is Childproofing 101!

Here’s to a safe summer for everyone including your littlest travelers who are curious and ready to explore everything that is new and different!

Here’s how to spot potential dangers when away from home and what to pack in your safety kit.

Source: Childproofing away from home | Video | BabyCenter

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

 

Parenting in the Loop Weekend Pics

Mindful Parenting

The Fourth of July Weekend is upon us. So how about some outdoor play. The New York Times has this wonderful suggestion from its pages with a great reference to “Mindful Parenting” by my friend Kristin Race.

Why be intentional about this most relaxed of times? Summer goes by so fast. One minute, it’s June, and we have all the time in the world for ice cream, drive-in movies and bike rides. The next, it’s August, and too often, we’re left wondering where it went. We want to avoid regrets over missed opportunities. Every week, we’ll offer research-based suggestions for ways to set this season apart from the rest of the year.

“Kids who are used to more structured activities may not know how to create these things on their own,” said Kristen Race, a psychologist and the author of “Mindful Parenting.”

Source: The ‘Intentional Summer’ Challenge: Play an Outdoor Game – The New York Times

weekend summer fun

 

Questions about sunscreen for kids of all ages ….check out this link to help you decide what is best for your kiddos.

The skin is the largest organ of the body, proportionally larger in the smallest children, and protecting it properly needs our care and attention.
Source: Sunscreen and Bug Spray: Children’s Summer Skin Care – The New York Times

 

sleeping Colin

Getting enough sleep these days as parents? Probably not!

What are your baby’s sleep onset associations? Check out this post from the NYT and set yourself up for success when getting your baby to sleep on his own. Why not start this weekend?

Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician who is the director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, told me that she would focus here on what she termed “sleep onset associations.” That is, on helping the children learn how to fall asleep independently at bedtime, which should then generalize to an ability to fall asleep when they wake in the night. So it’s lovely to use the song at bedtime as a going-to-bed routine, but it’s important that the actual moment of going to sleep should be after the bottle (and ideally, after brushing teeth after the bottle) and after the song.
Source: Ask Well: The Best Way to Put Babies to Sleep – The New York Times

Nothing like a three day weekend to mark the beginning of summer.

Make it a safe one!