Blog Book Tour: Bloggers Wanted!

Are any of you bloggers? I’m looking for a few more people to get a free copy of my book in exchange for a review on their site. My publisher, Cedar Fort, is hosting a book blog tour from April 10 – April 25. Bloggers with over 1000 subscribers will get free a hard copy mailed to them; anyone with less that that will be sent a PDF copy. If you are interested, click below to select a date! Thanks!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BG8JC5V

Stop, Redirect, Reinforce

Hello, overreaction! I constantly find myself exhausted, in the middle of a battle, thinking that I never should have engaged. When I remember one of the most basic parenting strategies, I can usually avoid power struggle catastrophes that leave everyone unhappy and battle-sore.

It’s called STOP, REDIRECT, REINFORCE. This is ground-level strategy for babies and toddlers who don’t understand cause and effect consequences, but can also come in handy with older kids and teenagers. This is not for big misbehavior that seriously harms people, but works great for 90% of all run-of-the-mill, junkie kid behavior.

STOP the inappropriate behavior
REDIRECT the child to good behavior
REINFORCE the good behavior

It might look like this:
Your toddler is handling your newborn a bit aggressively
STOP “We need to be gentle.”
REDIRECT (show how to touch nicely) “Can you rub her feet like this?”
REINFORCE: (smile!) “Good job! She likes it!”

Your future little league champ is throwing rocks on the playground
STOP “No throwing rocks. That can hurt people.”
REDIRECT “Here’s your football. Toss it to me!”
REINFORCE “What a throw! That’s lots safer.”

Your teen is watching an inappropriate show
STOP (push pause) “Hey. I’m not feeling so great about that show in the house.”
REDIRECT “Let’s see what else is on.”
REINFORCE “Thanks, hon. Want some popcorn?”

It doesn’t always work, but you’d be surprised how often it does! Next time your littles are pulling the dogs tail, jumping on grandma’s couch, or sneaking cookies before dinner, try the STOP, REDIRECT, REINFORCE strategy. You may just get the behavior you want…and avoid going into battle.

Oh My Lie

What is the likelihood your kids will tell the truth when they know you are going to blow your top or spank them when they do? Next time you ask “Who broke…?” “Who spilled…?” “Who took…?” ask yourself a question: “Could any self-preserving person dare to answer me honestly?” Pain versus honesty is a hard choice for little kiddos to reason through. But…it they know that you will be calm, rational, and reasonable, I really think that children WANT to be honest and come clean when they’ve done something wrong. When we don’t constantly freak out when they misbehave, we help kids learn to deal with mistakes, accept consequences, and move on. Is childhood lying more complicated than this? Of course. But the first thing to try is to manage our own reactions, so they can dare to be honest.

Playdough Pictionary

I love Playdough Pictionary! Use regular Pictionary cards or simply write 5 words on scrap paper. Divide family into teams. Pick a card, show to one person on the other side, then try to sculpt out your word for your team to guess before the other team. (If you write your own words, the word-maker may need to sit out). Have fun!

Slowly

SLOWLY
For Valerie
I will walk slowly for awhile,
Although I wish for quicker stride.
My spirit wants to dance and run;
My body holds that hope inside.
But as I linger down the path,
Perhaps it’s only I who sees
The subtle-colored flowers
And sunlight-filtered trees.
I will be gentle for awhile;
It seems my heart grows larger now.
And people never understood
Are loved as only pain shows how.
As mercy grows and judgement ends,
My heart is learning to receive.
I’m finding strength to look inside
And feel that gentleness for me.
I will be silent for awhile,
In case the angels find me home.
I heard that in Gethsemane
They didn’t leave the Lord alone.
For though my suffering pales to His,
I know our Father is the same.
So I will wait for them to come,
As I walk slowly with my pain.

Car Soap Bubbles

Need to be amazing on the go today? Grab a bottle of bubbles on your way out the door! Your air conditioner or heater makes the best bubble blower. Put the bubble solution in your cup holder, dip the wand, hold it near the vent, and watch the backseat fill up with fun!

As I started parenting different age groups, I felt bad about having to bring the little kids in the car so much as I chauffeured older kids to school and other activities, not to mention routine errands. It seemed like we didn’t get as much time at home as I was able to spend with the older ones. I decided to try and make car trips as much fun as possible. Bubbles saved me many times, especially on long car trips. Who can be grumpy when bubbles are flying? Please, only blow bubbles at stop lights, when you are in the passenger side, or when an older child is riding shotgun. I don’t want to hear that conversation when you rear end another car (“Sorry officer. I was just blowing bubbles…”).

Have fun being amazing on the go!

Here’s my favorite bubbles by far.

When Mommy’s Home with Me is Published!

 

when-mommys-home-with-me

Book info:

“When Mommy’s Home with Me” written by Alison Moulton, illustrated by Kinsey Beckett.
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc. (February 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1462120091
ISBN-13: 978-1462120093
Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
$14.99

Purchase at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Cedar Fort

 

 

RC Obstacle Course

10 minutes/elementary/

Most of us have an RC vehicle lying around from some past Christmas or birthday. It seems like they get played with for a few days and then it gets a little old. Jazz it up today by making an RC obstacle course with your littles! You could build fancy structures to go around with Lincoln Logs or blocks…or just raid the plastic container drawer like we did. Time each other to see how long it takes everyone to make it around the obstacles. Have fun!