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

Feeding Baby Cow’s Milk

Feeding Baby Cow’s Milk

baby

Why do experts recommend waiting to introduce cow’s milk until a child is 12 months old?

Source: Cow’s milk: When and how to introduce it 

Our grandson just turned 1 year old! A baby’s first year of life is marked by so many growth and development milestones but yet it seems in the blink of an eye they are standing, cruising and then walking.

Obviously this is a grandmother’s perspective as new moms know it seems like forever before a newborn sleeps through the night and then forever till he sits up, crawls, holds his own bottle and begins to eat some “real” food!

At the one year mark our baby can now begin to drink cow’s milk or milk other than breast milk or formula which will make some trips away from home a slight bit easier. Prior to one year an infant’s digestive system is not ready for the high concentration of protein and minerals in regular milk. In addition cow’s milk is deficient in iron, vitamin C and other nutrients nor does it have the healthy fats for your growing infant.

horizon_milk

When your baby is mature enough milk becomes a staple in his diet with all of its calcium and vitamin D. Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth as well as regulate blood clotting and muscle control. Protein is also found in milk along with energy providing carbohydrates.

The big question is usually how much milk should your child be drinking. Here are the AAP recommendations.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), most kids will get enough calcium and vitamin D if they drink 16 to 20 ounces (2 to 2 1/2 cups) of cow’s milk a day. Offer 1-year-olds whole milk (unless they’re at high risk for obesity).

Don’t offer more than 3 cups of milk a day or your child may not have room for the other foods she needs to round out her diet. If your toddler’s still thirsty, offer water.

Happy Birthday to your 1 year-old!

Rainbow Cake

1st Birthday

It is exciting times… toddling to 2!

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?

 

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

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!

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Weekend Picks from Parenting in the Loop

Summer is full of celebrations it seems, especially when the weather is warm.

We all find it a bit easier to be playful and somewhat carefree when the the sun shines and the days are longer.

So here are my picks for some weekend reads.

Enjoy!

Friends and family get together during the summer and our children are meeting all sorts of “relatives” that they may or may not know. Take a cue from them how affectionate they want to be to these “strangers”.

Weekend VisitsAs we head into the vacation season and into visits with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, there’s one awkward situation that will arise in many families that most parents will be unprepared to deal with: relatives who expect hugs and kisses from little ones — even when those little ones don’t want to show them affection. To spare a relative’s feelings, many of us will urge a small child to endure or even return this unwanted physical contact. But should we? What messages are we sending to our kids about their body boundaries when we do this?

Source: Why Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug a Relative | POPSUGAR Moms

Trying to teach your child coding and introducing them to STEM activities is easier than you think.

kids-activities-to-learn-computer-coding-without-computers

Computer coding is essentially a language that computer uses. When we think about helping kids learn computer coding, we automatically think we need a computer first. But in fact, there are many ways to learn computer coding without a computer, as many thinking and coding approach can be learned in many different activities off-screen. Today we share some off-screen activities that teach kids computer coding.

Source: 11 Kids Activities to Learn Coding without a Computer | iGameMom

Father’s Day is here and DIY gifts are great for the little ones to give to Dad. Here are some suggestions Cool Mom Picks.

diy-fathers-day-gifts-photo-gift-tags-bloomdesigns_zpsuxzfqyxd

24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables
Posted on June 17, 2016
DIY Father’s Day gifts are always so special, especially from the youngest kids. (Once we hit voting age or so, those handprint mugs just don’t really cut it in the same way, huh.) So for our next installment of our 2016 Father’s Day Gift

Source: 24 wonderful DIY Father’s Day gifts, crafts + printables

Do You Have An “Easy” Baby?

Do You Have An “Easy” Baby?

Cuddly Baby

Every child is a different assignment — and we can all pay lip service to that cheerfully enough. But the hard thing to believe is how different the assignments can be. Within the range of developmentally normal children, some parents have a much, much harder job than others: more drudge work, less gratification, more public shaming. It sometimes feels like the great undiscussed secret of pediatrics — and of parenting. Babies and children are different, assignments are different, and we spend a lot of time patting ourselves on the back — as parents and as pediatricians — when the easy babies and toddlers behave like themselves, and a lot of time agonizing and assigning blame when the more difficult kids run true to form. We talk a lot about temperament in my line of work. We look at where a child — or an adult — falls along a set of axes. High activity to low activity. Adapts easily to adapts with difficulty. Intensity, mood, attention span. And while no one would argue that these are fixed and immutable traits, it’s also true that — again, as every parent and teacher knows all too well — you can’t possibly make child A into child B. You work with the temperament you’re given — it’s the assignment. And some assignments are harder than others.

Source: Some Babies Are Just Easier Than Others – The New York Times

How do you know if you have an easy baby? Here are some things you might say…

  • “He rarely cries”…
  • “He sleeps well”…
  • “He eats well”…

Babies are people and they come in different sizes and temperaments . Temperament sometimes defines how “easy” or “difficult” your child seems to be. Your temperament also determines how you respond to your child. It really makes total sense.

On one of the popular baby sites at the end of every post, there is a statement that all babies are individuals and develop and respond to their environments differently. Developmental timelines are guidelines for monitoring your child’s growth and development each baby will differ, some more than others and that is usually expected and okay.

As most parents can attest every child is very different and there are so many variables that go into making this statement true.

So when your child has a meltdown in the middle of Target and people are staring at you try to understand that they may have had an “easy” child and it really was not a reflection of how “great” and “skillful” a parent they were. Parents young and old are quick to judge those with “difficult” children.

Grandparents who indulge are not the reason grandkids are “difficult”, parents who are strict or lenient are not the reason their young children behave better at times. It is related to temperament and combining an understanding of each child and their individual needs that help a child modulate their behavior when necessary as they grow and develop.

If you have an “easy assignment” as a parent…be empathic with those parents and grandparents who are dealing with a more difficult assignment. Your next child or grandchild could be more challenging.

Mom 2.0 Again…Dana Point, California

Greetings from MOM 2.0!

A great place to be right now listening to the surf and watching the ebb and flow of the tide!

The sea is so relaxing and it has always been my happy place!

Mom 2.0 The Ritz Carlton, Dana Point CaliforniaI am one lucky grandmother to be here at Mom 2.0! This year it is here at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point, California. The venue is spectacular and only adds to the excitement of being at this fabulous conference.

It was somewhat touch and go getting to Laguna from Chicago yesterday due to family responsibilities but it was wonderful to finally finally lay my head on on my pillow here at the hotel after a marathon day which began at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in Chicago and ended at 11:30 p.m. here near Laguna Beach.

For the next couple of days I will be surrounded by some very interesting mothers grandmothers, dads and so many other wonderful people who will continue to inspire me.

Join me for Mom 2.0 here in California!