Three Signs That You Should Worry and Seek Help

All kids can be irritable, want to be secretive, mope around, sleep through the day, and appear alien-like. But when should you worry really worry Here are a few red flags that tell you it's time to pick up the phone 1. There is a sudden marked change in your child's normal behavior that lasts longer than a few weeks. The behavior has become intense, persistent, or both and it troubles you. It might be anger marked anxiety blatant defiance crying and sadness retreating from you or the family...

Step Eight Incorporate Stress Reducers in Your Daily Life

Child development experts warn us that stress is mounting for our kids. They need to learn ways to relax just as much as you do, so why not learn together Stress is an inevitable part of life for us all, but all of us kids included can learn to use some of the techniques that adults use to cope with pressure. And how great if you learn to use these as a family. Not only will balance be restored and stress reduced, but your child will learn techniques he can use to beat stress for the rest of...

Find some common ground Marilyn

Rouse, a mom from Springfield, Connecticut, was very distraught about her thirteen-year-old daughter, Tiffany, who was clinically depressed and severely anorexic. Marilyn swore she wouldn't give up, but didn't have a clue about how to get her daughter to open up. One day she followed her daughter on a walk to a nearby park and then sat. The mom pulled out a copy of USA Today she'd brought with her and read out loud a few interesting articles in the Life section. Her daughter never commented,...

Five Steps to Boosting Your Sensitivity

Step One Match Your Expectations to Your Child's True Self. To make sure that the expectations you set for your child are ones that stretch her potential without unintentionally zapping her self-worth, ask yourself this Are my expectations 1. Developmentally appropriate. Is my child developmentally ready for the tasks I'm requiring, or am I pushing him beyond the limits of his internal timetable Learn what's appropriate for your child's age, but still keep in mind that developmental guidelines...

Real Moms Resource Guide

The Book of New Family Traditions How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everydays, by Meg Cox and Sarah McMenemy (Jackson, Tenn. Running Press, 2003). Overcoat Day. Welcome Summer Party. Monthly Pizza Blast. Bus Stop Party. This book shows you the simple steps that help families fully cherish all those special moments and milestones, help heal the wounds of trauma and loss, and create the kind of celebrations that lead to everlasting happy memories. Family Traditions 289 Things to Do...

Nine Steps to Squelching Bad Behaviors Firmly and Fairly

Think through what you stand for and what you won't tolerate in your kids. Pick your battles and stick to what you think matters most, then let your child know what that is. Keep in mind that your expectations will vary as your child matures, so don't be afraid to change and bend your rules. Step Two Deal with One Behavior at a Time. Suppose your child is repeatedly displaying the same misbehavior. Zero in on it. Granted, your child may be displaying a number of...

Four Steps to Listening with Full Presence

The very next time your child wants or needs you, put down that cell phone. Turn off the TV. Get off the computer. Let the pasta boil, and give your full attention. Turn and face him. Get eye to eye and at his level. Nod every once in a while. Smile if appropriate and even lean in slightly. Don't interrupt or offer any opinion just listen Your silence can be affirming, and besides, the last thing kids want to hear all the time is our advice. Step Two Offer...

She Knew She Needed to Be a Parent Not Her Kids Best Friend

Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have Genevieve's mother was really strict. What she remembers most about growing up was when all the rest of her friends could stay out late, pierce their ears, and wear mascara, she had to be home by nine and wait until she left home for college to wear makeup. It had seemed as though her mom wasn't like the rest of the mothers, who were more tuned in to their daughter's wants and desires and let them do what they wanted. So when...

Step One Choose One to Three Positive Qualities to Strengthen

Look at your list of your child's strengths and positive traits. Choose one or two attributes you want your child to recognize about herself right away. Make sure the strengths are really present in your child and not ones you just wish were true about her. Jot down the terms you'll use you point out the strengths to your child. Use the same term every time you praise the quality. Step Two Find Opportunities to Acknowledge the Strength Frequently. At the beginning you can give one strength...

Is This Real Moms Secret Part of Your Parenting

Let's get something straight relationships are always tough. And any mom with more than one child will admit that some kids are just easier to raise than others. But that's not what this is about mothering is going to be tough, especially when one of our children is more challenging. Mothering is a life sentence, and of course we love our children and hurt when they're hurting. So let's dig a little deeper,- let's explore what could be causing the pain or the rift in your relationship,- and...

What Real Moms Can Learn from This Story

My radio producer friend, Sara, taught me how important it is to hang in there no matter how bad things seem to be going with our kids. Being a mother is not for the faint of heart. As much as we'd wish, there will be times when our relationship with our children may take a dip, suffer, or even shut down. When confronted with a daunting obstacle like this, some mothers panic. They try to find convenient alternatives, comb the books, seek out experts, and if things don't work immediately, they...

She Accepted Her Child as He

As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible, and At the end of his first week of kindergarten, my five-year-old son, Adam, came home very excited and declared to us all that he'd just met the greatest new kid. His name is Max Englund, and he's my new best friend, he exclaimed. Can he please come over, Mom he pleaded. Pleeease How great you found a new friend, Adam. Curious as to what he found so appealing about this boy, I asked, What do you like about him He's just so fun to be...

In Control

Becoming a mom has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done, and at times my kids made me feel as though my life was out of control. To help myself stay balanced, I decided to focus on just two simple things I could do each day that would make me feel in control and at the same time happy. The two things I chose were making my bed and drinking water. Throughout the day I'd remind herself that I was really in control of my life because my bed was made and I was drinking water. This...

Real Moms Secret A Mother Who Takes Care of Herself Holds Together Her Happy Family

Moms who take care of themselves first . . . K. E. Nault, When You're About to Go off the Deep End, Don't Take Your Kids with You (West Vancouver, British Columbia Stepping Stones for Life, 2005), quoted in L. Mitges, Put Yourself First How to Save Yourself and Your Kids, Calgary Herald, May 9, 2005, p. E3. Real Mom Alert (parents who usually are fatigued are less capable in handling their families) S. Elek, D. Hudson, and M. Fleck, Couples' Experiences with Fatigue During the Transition to...

Making a Promise to Yourself

How did the story of Sara and Greg affect you Did anything inspire you to strengthen or rekindle your relationship with your child What benefit will your staying involved and never giving up have for your son or daughter 2. How would you apply the four steps to restoring a loving relationship with your child Review all the boxes, guides, tips, and stories in this chapter. 3. Go to A Mother's Promise on page 57 and write in the one thing you'll do differently over the next 21 days to improve and...

Real Moms Secret A Mother Who Applauds Effort Nurtures Perseverance

Burke, quoted in J. Canfield, M. V. Hansen, P. Hansen, and I. Dunlap (eds.), Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul 101 Stories of Courage, Hope and Laughter (Deerfield Beach, Fla. Health Communications, 1998), p. 251. Real Mom Alert (the importance of affirming effort) H. W. Stevenson and J. W. Stigler, The Learning Gap (New York Simon & Schuster, 1992). Parents typically say eighteen negative comments for every affirming one to their children National Parent-Teacher...

Mother Who Takes Care of Herself Holds Together Her Happy Family

What Real Mothers Know The Best Thing for Your Family Is a Happy, Healthy You What Really Matters for Mothering Stay Balanced The Real Benefit for Kids Happiness, Optimism, and Security The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches Real moms know that they can't lose sight of their own needs. Taking care of those needs is what helps them feel rejuvenated so they have the strength to nurture and guide their children. So they give themselves permission to take time for themselves. Think about it what your...

What the Kids Tell Us

Suppose your children were asked what one thing they really wish they could change about your family. That very question was asked of eighty-four thousand students in grades six through twelve who recently completed a USA Weekend survey. What do you think most of the kids said (Chances are it's the same thing your own kids would say, so think hard.) It turns out that almost two-thirds of kids surveyed said they wished they could spend more time with their parents. In fact, more than two in five...

Mother Who Applauds Effort Nurtures Perseverance

What Real Mothers Know It's Not Just Winning But Never Giving Up What Really Matters for Mothering Be Affirmative The Real Benefit for Kids Internal Motivation and Stick-to-Itiveness The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches Real moms can make an immense difference in their children's work ethic by emphasizing that it's not good enough just to start you have to finish. After all, one of the most important traits our kids must develop is the inner strength and stamina to hang tough through trying times....

Mother Who Encourages Independence Cultivates Self Reliance

What Real Mothers Know Let Go of Rescuing Your Kids Every Time, So They Can Thrive Without You What Really Matters for Mothering Plan for the Future The Real Benefit for Kids Self-Reliance and Resourcefulness The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches No mother wants her child to suffer heartaches and disappointments. Our basic maternal instinct is to try to protect our kids from frustrations and solve their problems for them. But real moms know that doing so would prevent their children from developing...

Mother Who Listens Shows Her Children They Matter

What Real Mothers Know Give Your Children Complete Attention and They'll Carry You with Them Forever What Really Matters Most for Mothering Pay Attention The Real Benefit for Kids A Feeling of Significance and Self-Acceptance The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches A child whose mother knows the secret of attentive listening is truly blessed. When a mother stops what she's doing to focus totally on her child, she's conveying her love and acceptance. This isn't about doing more, but about doing less....

Mother Who Loves Teaches Worth

What Real Mothers Know If Your Children Have Unconditional Love, They'll Be More Likely to Thrive What Really Matters Most for Mothering Be Loving with No Strings Attached The Real Benefit for Kids Authentic Self-Esteem The Lesson a Real Mom Teaches Of course mothers love their children, but unconditional love goes deeper and is far more complicated. This is about our complete, unequivocal acceptance of our children's true selves including all their little quirks, bad decisions, tantrums,...

Mother Who Supports Her Childrens Strengths Builds Their Confidence

What Real Mothers Know Let Your Parenting Fit Your Child's Personality What Really Matters for Mothering Know Your Child's Unique Temperament The Real Benefit for Kids Confidence About Identity and Strengths The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches The more you understand who this child of yours really is her passions, her temperament, her learning style, her interests the more effective you'll be in your mothering. It is such a simple secret, but one that can have a dramatic impact on how your child...

Can Our Kids Make It on Their

These parents are trying to create a really terrific statue of a child rather than a child. Mel Levine, Ready or Not, Here Life Comes Scores of anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists are currently studying our college grads (or yesterday's hurried children) to see just how well they do out there in the real world. It's far from reassuring. It appears that all too many of our expensively well educated, enormously pampered, and extremely loved sons and daughters are having trouble...

How much are you a part of her world and how much do you let her know you are interested in

Her life When is the last time you plugged into her world or walked onto her turf For instance, when did you last sit and watch her favorite TV show with her (You don't have to say a thing just appear interested.) Have you ever asked her why she likes a certain CD or movie so much Have you gone to her games or school events If you don't know about your child's life and had a difficult time answering some of these questions, what is an easy way you could get to know your child better What is one...

Real Moms Secret A Mother Who Laughs Teaches

Real Mom Alert (almost two-thirds of kids want more time with parents) survey of eighty-four thousand students in grades 6-12, conducted in fall 2000 on the USA Today Web site or through survey partner Cable in the Classroom,- results interpreted by W. Damon, The Gap Generation, USA Weekend, Apr. 27-29, 2001, p. 9. Real Mom Wisdom (observing family rituals increases family closeness and children's social development) D. Eaker and L. Walkers, Adolescent Satisfaction in Family Rituals and...

ReaL moms secret

A Mother Who Accepts Her Children's Shortcomings Nurtures Resilience What Real Mothers Know Support Your Children's Natural Abilities and Don't Stress Their Weaknesses What Really Matters for Mothering Be Accepting The Real Benefit for Kids Optimism and a Bounce-Back Attitude The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches Probably the one thing every woman wants most is a healthy child. We pray our kids will be blessed with good health, but we also desperately hope life will bring them happiness....

She Learned to Show Her Unconditional Love

I do not love him because he is good. I love him because he is Everyone assumed that thirteen-year-old Michael Wong was going to be a big success. That kid is going to make it You just know he's going to make his parents proud someday. Keep an eye on that boy we'll be reading about him a few years from now. That was the verdict a small community in Northern California had bestowed proudly on one of its young citizens, this bright and popular ninth grade boy who was always at the top of his...

The Rubber Band Testi real mom wisdom

Hold it firmly at both ends with two hands. Now consider your own list of expectations for your child. For everything that doesn't appear to be a good fit (such as your expecting him to be a great defensive cornerback, and he's more into playing chess), pull the band more tightly. For everything that seems more natural (for example, your daughter loves to sing, so you bought her a guitar), let the band relax a little. Think of every expectation you're placing...

Why You Should Stay Involved What the Research Shows

Swedish psychologists Mary Margaret Kerr and Hakan Stattin studied over a thousand fourteen-year-olds and their parents. What they found was that the more the parents knew about what their kids did, the better adjusted the kids they were less delinquent, had fewer school problems, less depression, more positive expectations of life, more positive peers, and better relations with parents. The researchers discovered that it was those spontaneous little disclosures-those unplanned little nuggets...

What Grade Would Your Kids Give

A 2005 nationwide sample of one thousand teens ages twelve to nineteen were asked to assign letter grades to adults in twenty-four categories. Focus groups of teens then met in Washington, Los Angeles, and Chicago to explain the grades. More than 35 percent of teens surveyed gave poor grades (D's or F's) to adults for failing to listen and understand teens. How would your child grade your listening ability You seem unhappy. This simple act helps your child know you are giving her your full...

Relationship Strong

Every so often, make her favorite meal, bake a batch of cookies and leave them waiting for him when he comes home, mark the calendar prominently with her school event, leave a positive note on his pillow or in his lunchbox, frame a favorite picture of her friend or pet and put it in her room. Let your child know you love him, but don't expect him to show his appreciation at first. Kids who are hurting usually can't give back because they're trying to handle their own pain. Give...

Eight Steps to Begin Taking Better Care of

Step One Check Out That Daily Schedule. Are you feeling like a human to-do list Are you always going-going-going Before you can really make a change and create more balance in your life, you must first have an accurate idea of your typical week. So look at that Palm Pilot or Daytimer or calendar and see what is really going on in your life. And if you're not writing down everything you do, start doing it now. Step Two Cut Just One Thing. Cutting out just one of your weekly activities may make a...

Being Sensitive to Your Childs Real Needs

Sue Summit of Minneapolis noticed something amiss one blistering January morning when William, her first-grader, declined to get on the school bus. Worried that something had happened at school, she queried her child as to what might have happened. A bully A bad grade William assured her that none of those were the cause, and simply told her the real reason I haven't had enough playtime. A bit of soul searching and a review of her seven-year-old's schedule were enough to tell Sue her kid was...

From the Sacrificial Mom to the Child Who Can Thrive Without

I was sitting in front of my computer with a phone pressed to my ear, ready to do an online chat for pregnancy.org. For about an hour each month I serve as a parent expert to several mother Web sites and answer an array of questions from mothers all over the country about child development. Julie Snyder, the site's chat master, was on the other end of the line to help me through the process and make sure I could get into the chat room. Apparently she coordinates about twelve different chats...

Your Kids Efforts Even When Youre Not There

You had a late meeting. Your child fell asleep. Or you just plain forgot to affirm your kid's efforts today. Well, there are no more excuses or guilt. Here are a few simple ways to acknowledge your children's efforts even when you're miles away or they're asleep. 1. Lunch bag memo. Write a little note on a paper napkin and put it in her lunch bag Selena, good luck today at your game. Remember, it's not if you win that matters, it's how you play the game. See you at...

The Twelve Qualities Your Child Needs for a Life Thats Happily Ever After

Look at your child and try to picture him or her in twenty-five years as a grown-up. What do you see Does your son or daughter have these twelve essential qualities 1. Is he happy, optimistic, and secure Does he have authentic self-esteem 2. Is she in a healthy, loving relationship Does she have good friends and loyal allies 3. Does he have a strong moral compass Does he have good values and strong character 4. Does she have empathy and compassion for all people Is she kind, unselfish, and...

Creating Your Own Custom Mothering Plan

What I promise to give you in this book is a way to create your own individual, custom-made, best-possible, state-of-the-art plan, called A Mother's Promise, for raising good kids. This Mother's Promise is based not only on what academic and clinical research has proven but also on what hundreds of real moms say matters most and really works. Best yet, if you follow the promise you make to yourself and your children your very own personalized mothering plan you get off the Sacrificial...

She Realized Her Family Needed Time for

We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false, which was not accompanied by at least one laugh. From the moment her pregnancy test came back positive, Ruth Ginsberg sprang into action. Of course, she was overjoyed she and her husband had been trying for four years, but she was also fraught with anxiety. She had devoured dozens of books about how to be the perfect mother, had interviewed everyone she knew about it, and searched...

Mother Who Laughs Teaches

What Real Mothers Know Take Time to Enjoy Your Family Life What Really Matters for Mothering Be Lighthearted The Real Benefit for Kids Happiness and Joy The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches Real moms know that a big part of creating a happy family is lightheartedness and genuineness those simple, joyous, fun moments of just plain laughing and enjoying each other. Sometimes you can plan such moments, but more often they happen spontaneously, and you just have to tune in and go with the flow. And the...

Seven Simple Ways to Keep Your Kids Talking So You Can Listen More

Some kids (particularly boys) are more responsive to talking when they are doing something active. So find active things your child likes to do (fishing, kicking around a soccer ball, building with Legos, shooting baskets), and talk together. 2. Talk about your child's interests. Try tailoring the conversation around your child's interests her CD collection, his baseball cards, her Strawberry Shortcake doll, his Power Ranger collection. It might be a great entr e to...

Your Childs Strengths

Take a photograph of your child's special strengths in action. If your child is athletic, a good friend, and reliable, the photos might be of your child hitting a baseball, playing with friends, and taking care of her pets. Frame the snapshots and put them around your child's room, on the refrigerator, or right in the middle of your coffee table. Just be sure you describe her strength when you explain why you framed the photograph. Even if you forget to remind her of the talent...

Giving Your Child Wait Time i real mom wisdom

Mary Budd Rowe, a noted educator, discovered that children need wait time-more time to think about what they hear-before speaking. So whenever you ask a question or give a request, remember to wait at least three seconds for your child to think about what she heard. She will absorb more information, be more likely to respond, and probably give you a fuller answer. That also means, Mom, that during those three seconds you need to wait patiently and continue to give your kid your full presence....

Real Moms Secret A Mother Who Takes Time for Her Children Helps Them Build Strong Relationships

Real Mom Alert (study of over a thousand fourteen-year-olds and their parents) M. Kerr and H. Stattin, What Parents Know, How They Know It, and Several Forms of Adolescent Adjustment Further Support for a Reinterpretation of Monitoring, Developmental Psychology, 2000, 36, 366-380, described in J. Garbarino and C. Bedard, Parents Under Siege Why You Are the Solution, Not the Problem, in Your Child's Life (New York Free Press, 2001), pp. 106-108. Real Mom Alert quotation L. Steinberg, The 10...

Four Steps to Restoring a Healthy and Loving Relationship with Your Child

Here are a few ideas to help you get started in making a healthy and loving relationship become a reality. Your goal is to reestablish a relationship with your child. Eventually you can dream of spending a happy weekend together. At the present you want to reopen your relationship and get him to open up for a minute or two longer. So think brief no lectures get real. Step One Find the Best Time to Approach Your Child. When is the one time your child is a bit more receptive Preadolescents and...

Ongoing Parental Involvement Is Key to Your Childs Healthy Development

Laurence Steinberg is one of the country's most distinguished psychologists, a professor of psychology at Temple University, and author of The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting. He says, The strongest and most consistent predictor of children's mental health, adjustment, happiness, and well-being is the level of involvement of their parents in their life. Children with involved parents do better in school, feel better about themselves, are less likely to develop emotional problems, and are...

Physical Appearance

Next, consider your child's existing limitations. Some things you can change, but some are what I call givens. They're part of the Russian roulette of the gene pool that shyer, quiet disposition the short, gawky physique. Sure, you can help your shyer, introverted kid feel more comfortable in a group, but chances are slim she'll become Miss Social Butterfly you can help your tense and anxious child learn to relax, but chances are that he'll never turn into the laid-back kid you hoped for you...

She Gave Her Child Complete Presence

The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom. Most teachers would admit that there are some students whom they'll never forget. Six-year-old Ricky Anderson was one of those students I still think of fondly years after he left my class. In fact, this child is so special that I can remember the exact moment when I first laid eyes on him. It was the first day of school in my second year of teaching. My classroom was at the end of a short hallway, and that's where I stood waiting to greet my...

What Is a Real Mom These Days

I don't know what's happened to motherhood, but something is very different about it from the days I was a young mother I watch my daughter and her friends, and they do so much for their kids. They're exhausted from trying to keep up. It's like they're keeping score with each other. I keep telling her, Enjoy your kids. They don't need all this stuff. They'll turn out fine not because of all this stuff, but because of who you are. She just tells me I'm out of touch, but deep down I think she's...

The Importance of Acknowledging Your Childs Efforts Not Just the End Product

Harold Stevenson, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, conducted several intensive cross-national studies to answer a question many Americans ask, Why do Asian students do better academically than American students After hundreds of hours observing students in the United States, China, Taiwan, and Japan and interviewing their teachers, the researchers reached a conclusion a critical key lies in what parents affirm about their children's learning. Asian parents strongly...

Mother Who Teaches Values Inspires Character

What Real Mothers Know Understand Your Family's Values So Your Children Can Live Them What Really Matters for Mothering Be Intentional The Real Benefit for Kids Empathy, Strong Character, and a Moral Compass The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches There's something about being a mom that makes us want to do everything possible for our kids. Well, why not Don't we hope that our children will have every opportunity for happiness and success That's why we're so brilliant at packing in all those special...

She Never Gave Up

The best thing to spend on children is your time. Greg Mattlin's parents were divorced when he was fourteen years old. His mother, Sara, worked as producer for a talk radio show in the Midwest. I want to tell their story myself because Sara told it to me personally, and it touched me so deeply. Regardless of where we live, how many kids we have, or whether we're a married mom, single mom, stepparent, or foster mom, all we parents share one common wish a happy, loving family. Deep down, we also...

Chapter Three Why Being a Sacrificial Mom Is Bad for Your Kids

U.S. surgeon general warns that 13 percent of kids nine to seventeen suffer from anxiety disorders C. Kalb, Troubled Souls, Newsweek, Sept. 22, 2003, p. 69. 43 percent of teens feel stress every day survey conducted in 2003 by Liberty Mutual and Students Against Destructive Decisions Drunk Driving cited in P. J. Kiger, 'What's Wrong with This Picture ' Ladies Home Journal Special Report (Part Four) The Stressed-Out American Family, Ladies Home Journal, June 2004, pp. 126-133. 46 percent of...

Bernadette Defontes

Introduction What Is a Real Mom 1 Part One how Can a ReaL Mom Give Her ChiLdren Love That Lasts for Always 17 Chapter One From the Sacrificial Mom to the Child Who Can Thrive Without You 19 Chapter Two What Is a Real Mom These Days 23 Chapter Three Why Being a Sacrificial Mom Chapter Four Can Our Kids Make It on Their Own 45 Real Mom's Secret 1 A Mother Who Loves Real Mom's Secret 2 A Mother Who Is Firm and Fair Gives Her Children a Moral Code to Live By 77 Real Mom's Secret 3 A Mother Who...