Parenting with Kindness

Your Positive Change Mentor
for Parents, Families and Youth Athletes

Positive Parenting FAQs

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Q. My teenage daughter has so much moodiness, anger and poor impulsive decisions, that it's upsetting the whole family. Where do we start to get our loving daughter back??

Posted on March 7, 2010 at 5:38 PM Comments comments (0)

A.  Teenagers and their push for independence can be a tough crowd to begin with, then add hormones and PMS.  Ugh!  

 

 

One of the things I would suggest is working with her to take specific vitamins and minerals to help regulate her hormones. 

Hormones can make the brain get completely whack!! And because of the hormones working around the clock in the teenage body, their body's vitamins and minerals can become deficient, which can also make the brain get whack. Here is what I have found works really well for many (I'm not a doctor, I am not giving medical advice. I am only offering my experience. If your daughter is on any prescribed medicine, check with a doctor or better yet a pharmacist for any drug interactions):

Vit B Complex - (taken in the morning after eating, every day)

try for one that has the higher amounts, like around 50 mg - 100 mg of B6 (100 mg is better). If it has B6 at that level, then the rest should also be at a good level. I like liquids. They absorb the best. Mix with some juice if the taste isn't great, but most are pretty good.

Calcium Citrate (800 - 1200 mg each day, divided into two doses)

Magnesium Aspartate or Magnesium Citrate (400 - 800 mg)

Vit E (200 - 400 IU once or twice daily)

Zinc (15 mg once or twice a day - take with Food!) also helps with acne.

Evening Primrose Oil  (1000 mg 2x per day, for last 14 days of cycle, or the full cycle)

If this seems overwhelming, I would recommend at the very least:

Vit B complex, magnesium and the Evening Primrose Oil

They help the most with mood and ability to handle stress.

If all the menstruating females in the house get on this protocol, life will have less peaks and valleys.  Trust me!  :)

 

There are also several other possible problems and solutions. I recommend a trial call. It's only $1 and will get you 20 minutes of phone time with me. We can try to zero in on some specific areas. I also offer private coaching calls and emails. Remember this didn't all happen in one day. It will take time to unfold and find solutions.

It's amazing that, when the right solutions are given at the right time, how things can change!!

 

Here's a link for you to follow to find out more about coaching options

 

 

Here's to family harmony!

 

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. I'm always running late, have too much to do, and my house is always messy. What do I do??

Posted on August 1, 2009 at 6:33 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Here are my three favorite Time Management Tips:

 

Plan each day. Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting the most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute rushes. I love those family calendars that have lines for each member of the family! Also, by having a strong morning routine, evening routine, and daily laundry routine, you'll surprisingly find that everything in between becomes more manageable.

 

Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work. Personally speaking for me, considering my GOALS has been a HUGE help for me to decide what to schedule and what I can let go of doing or not add on.

 

Practice the 10-minute rule. Work on a dreaded task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it. It's amazing what you can get done in only 10 - 15 minutes when you put your mind to it. And by applying the "Just Do It" principle, it takes all that "Guilt" away that builds up when we procrastinate!

 

To see more Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity, click here: 

 

 

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

 

Q. How do I establish boundaries with my kids?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

A. I love the analogy that one of my mentors, Beth Sutton, has told me. Think of you and your family in a boat driving down a river. The river starts to rise and the water overflows the banks. Now your job is getting all the water back into the river. Uhg! Now think of the water rising again and instead of letting the water go over the banks, you build the riverbanks higher and higher, no water goes over the banks, and finally the river is no longer rising and returns to normal. Which way is easier?

 

Yes, building the riverbanks up and keeping the water from overflowing is easier. And so it is with kids. Kids push their boundaries like the river does.

 

As parents, when we try to reestablish the boundaries - put the overflowing water back in the river, we then are met with more resistance which is part of the individuating / pushing away of "wanting to get my own way" and all the whining, protesting and procrastination that goes with it, for days on end. This uphill battle is unsettling for all involved and takes up a lot of everyone's energy. The battles will stop only when the boundaries have been consistently held for days and maybe weeks. Sound familiar?

 

When you see the water beginning to rise, start building those banks up. Start with reminding them what the family rules are. Give them choices and be consistent with your follow-through.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

 

Q. We're having a baby/had a baby and are interested in positive parenting, what resources do you recommend?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 2:02 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  We utilized the Bradley Method for natural childbirth. Healthy Babies. Healthy Mothers. Healthy Families. Without the side effects of drugs given during labor and birth. Bradley classes teach families how to have natural births. The techniques are simple and effective. They are based on information about how the human body works during labor. Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient. www.bradleybirth.com

 

We also utilized the Le Leche League. It's simply the best support for nursing and feeding your baby and toddler. www.llli.org

 

And we love using Attachment Parenting methods. The long-range vision of Attachment Parenting is to raise children who will become adults with a highly developed capacity for empathy and connection. It eliminates violence as a means for raising children, and ultimately helps to prevent violence in society as a whole. www.attachmentparenting.org

 

The best parenting magazine we found is Mothering - Natural Family Living Magazine.  It reaches nearly 300,000 people each issue.  It offers the best support to smart and savvy, successful and passionate, proactive and progressive parents like you. http://mothering.com 

 

The best "getting organized" website I've found is FlyLady.  As FlyLady says:  "Keep in mind that your home did not get this way overnight and it is not going to get clean in a day. We are going to teach you how to take BabySteps and establish little routines for getting rid of your clutter and maintaining your home. This system will work for anyone; it doesn?t matter if you work outside of your home, stay home with children, retired or work at home. You can do this, you have just needed someone to pat you on the back and give you a great big hug to get you started."   http://flylady.com

 

And of course the best website to support you on your positive parenting journey is www.ParentingWithKindness.com   :)

 

 All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do we make potty training easier for everyone?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:38 AM Comments comments (0)

A. With potty training, being consistent is 100% the key to faster success. When a baby is strongly resistant to wearing diapers (around 18 - 24 months typically), switch to training pants during the day (not night time, that comes later) and DO NOT go back to diapers during the day - no matter what your plans for the day are.  If you go back and forth between diapers and training pants, you'll delay the success by perhaps a year or even more.  Be observant and know how long it takes for your child's bladder to fill and set a timer for 5 minutes less. Use a timer religiously, even when out running errands, etc. When the timer goes off, head for the potty together, and soon your child will begin to understand the relationship of the feeling of a full bladder and having to go potty. Accidents will still occasionally happen. Keep a smile on your face and give positive reassurance.

 

Also, while potty training, give them the choice: would they like walk themselves to the potty or be carried to the potty when it's time to head to the bathroom. The choice is never: to go to the potty or not to go to the potty.

 

Even after they have shown you they get it, little ones are so busy that they will wait and wait before they head to the bathroom, then it can be too late. So, keep that timer going, and when it goes off, if they are too busy to stop playing - give them the choice of walking or being carried.

 

Night-time potty training happens after day-time training is successful. When the time comes for that, switch to training pants and DO NOT go back to diapers - no matter what. Put a waterproof mattress pad on the bed. You can even use a large Chux underpad on top of the sheets - tucked into the edges of the bed, over the area of the bed that may get wet. You may again have to be observant to determine when a child is emptying his/her bladder and you may have to use a alarm clock to wake both you and the child to use the bathroom before that inner-clock releases the bladder.

 

Biological obstacles to potty training can be a small bladder (limiting drinks before bedtime can help) or a low-placed bladder (massaging the bladder area in an upward motion before bed can help).

 

Physical obstacles can be dislike of the potty chair (uncomfortable, makes noises, etc), child is not big enough to reach the ground (a stool under the feet helps tremendously), etc.

 

Emotional obstacles can be a fear of falling in the toilet, being flushed down the toilet, that "poopoo" is a part of the child and therefore a part of the child is being "flushed away", etc. Emotional obstacles are sometimes hard to overcome, and behavior modification and rewards can help. Sometimes professional help is needed.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

 

Q. How do I make nap time easier?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (0)

A. A little one who's nap time has arrived can be seen in their non-verbal ques: they are rubbing their eyes; twiddling/stroking your or their clothes, hair or skin; playing quietly; etc., before they make the verbal cues: whining and crying.   Busy little ones may resist heading to the bedroom. Ask them if they would like to be carried to bed or walk on their own to bed. Give them to the slow and even count of 3 to decide. If they can't decide, then tell them you will make the choice for them. The choice is never: a nap or no nap.

 

If you skip a nap or head in late (if they are yawning, you've gone past the sweet spot of getting them to sleep quickly), your little one is going to be even more resistant, and it'll take days for that little one to accept your boundaries without trying to over-rule them!

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. I noticed you homeschool. What curriculum do you use?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  We use Enki Education. It's an education with a unique blend of Waldorf, Montessori and United Nations Schools, grounded in Child Development and the Arts.  www.EnkiEducation.org

Q. How do I make my kids listen to me?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:17 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Start by being consistent. By being inconsistent, you will be teaching them something that you do not want to teach.  It is better to break this cycle before your "No" means nothing at all. You can break this habit by biting your tongue and not saying "No" right off the bat.

 

Do this by first taking a breath. Then say "Let me think about it" or "Why do you want this?" Give them time to explain how they see things. You may ask questions or may suggest things that they haven't taken into consideration themselves. Then take all things into consideration and deliver a ruling. Sometimes it takes less than a minute, other times it takes much longer. Sometimes it's "Yes", and sometimes it's "No". Yes, they still like to test the boundaries sometimes, but that's just part of being a healthy kid!

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. What would you suggest are positive family rules?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:16 AM Comments comments (0)

A. Help them understand why you have chosen the family rules - there is no I in Team! Teach them to respect the family rules and teach them to respect others, including you and themselves, by teaching them good listening skills and dialog skills. This includes having family rules that are enforced:

- no sassing back,

- no talking while someone else is talking,

- use words that are respectful - not demeaning,

- no touching anyone (or animal) in anger,

- and if you can't say something nice, take a break from each other

  and when emotions have cooled, then work on the issue.

 

Consistent role-modeling, dialog, choices and consequences will improve your household's level of respect and peace.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. My child never seems to sit still and is always in trouble. Is it ADHD?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 1:01 AM Comments comments (0)

A. Does it seem that no discipline seems to help?? Sleep problems? Teeth grinding? School problems? Hyper? Non-stop talking?

 

The latest research shows that artificial colors create inattentiveness and hyperactivity in children. The UK is now banning artificial colors in their food supply.

 

Why do artificial colors do this? They are made from petroleum! In fact,

- Artificial colors,

- Artificial flavors,

   and certain preservatives:

- TBHQ (used esp. in frying oils - ex: french fries, and is often a hidden ingredient in oils listed on labels, ex: breads and processed foods),

- BHT and BHA (used esp. in nuts, gum, and bakery goods, and also can be an ingredient not found on labels although could be in nuts and as a preservative for packaging food.)

 

All are made from petroleum!

 

Yep! That's right - crude oil!

 

Petroleum is the number one food allergen kids can have.

 

We discovered this in 2004 - with 2 hyper kids, and we began using the Feingold Program. After eating a 100% clean diet for a week, a very noticeable new calm was in the house. What a miracle! It was as if they had grown up - but in reality, the food that I was giving them no longer contained petroleum. The food I gave them was no longer making them angry and they could now control their impulses. I cleared out my cabinets of everything that was not on the Feingold Food List, and continue 100% compliance to this day.

 

We also discovered that corn syrup (which there are 12 different names for!) makes them hyper for a good few hours or so. Kids (and adults) can react to other types of food additives (ours react to sodium nitrate), and to foods that have gluten (wheat) and casein (dairy) in them. The Feingold Association website is a wonderful resource for helping families with any kind of food allergy. Their researched Food Shopping List shows all these other potential food allergens as well.

 

Your answers and miracle may start by clicking on this link: www.feingold.org

 

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do I get my kids to do their chores?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:58 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  Natural, real life consequences. The choice is to do/ finish the task or if the child does not do it and the parent has to do it, then not only does the child not get paid their allowance, but the child pays the parent for doing it. Other choices for consequences may be no TV, games, friends, or something of the sort. Grounding time varies based on age and gravity of situation.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do I have a better relationship with my teenager?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

A. For teens, give them appropriate and earned freedoms based on their maturity levels. Boundaries need to stay in check around study habits, sports practice, helping the family with household tasks, maintaining good family dialog and listening skills, anger management skills, and being a good role model for younger siblings, among many other areas.

 

Mutual love and respect goes a long way, and being consistent with family rules, choices and consequences are the best paths to a successful relationship.

 

What you saw with their personalities when they were 2 and 3 years old will tell you a lot about how they will be as teens and what choices and consequences will work and what won't for their personalities.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do I help my gifted child?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:27 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  When a parent holds a child responsible for something that is not in their ability to be responsible for, the parent undermines the child's confidence and self-esteem. As an example, pushing over-achieving sport performance, academic performance or artistic performance, beyond their age development is sometimes downright traumatic. A child can make decisions about competition and perfectionism that are very unhealthy and have a whole adulthood carrying around that baggage. 

 

Parents have to be very careful if they have a gifted child. Understanding and adhering to children's emotional, physical and cognitive developmental stages and having a balance of life skills and activities are paramount.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do I help my child avoid gangs, cults and negative people?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A.  A child needs to know where it's boundaries are and that those boundaries are there consistently. We also must give our kids appropriate, developmentally correct, responsibilities for their age, beginning as young as preschool. As kids grow, they become more responsible for their time management and for more adult duties and decisions, and yes, sometimes a child does need to fail and face natural consequences (but not unsafe consequences) in order to learn. By doing this, we are giving them a vital, safe and secure place of belonging in the family, which is paramount in self-esteem and self-worth - which fights the attractiveness of gangs, cults and negative people.

 

We help our children grow into those responsibilities by communicating our boundaries and rules, teaching them how to achieve success, and giving them the tools they need to succeed. Research has proven that a small child needs to be told, in context, over 1,000 times what the boundary or rule is, or how to master the desired task successfully. An elementary aged child up through adulthood needs to be told 100 - 500 times. So, be patient, loving and consistent. You are always your child's first and foremost teacher.

 

When a parent does not hold a child responsible for something that is in their ability to be responsible for, the parent undermines the child's sense of safety, well-being, and sense of place and of belonging in the family. A child needs to know where it's boundaries are and that those boundaries are there consistently. Otherwise the child may feel so swept up in the out of control-ness (kids call that freedom, but there is a difference) that happens while outside the boundaries , that a child can feel incredibly grandiose (nothing can hurt me or stop me), and/or terribly little (no one sees me or hears me, everyone hates me), and eventually can lose his or her sense of Self.

 

A child can become "addicted" to those high adrenaline moments, and/ or the negative hatred of all things. A child can become so off-center over time that they lose the feeling of belonging in their family and will find others that feel that same way. Gangs, cults, and negative cliques of all sorts and all colors, are filled with kids that have lost their way and feed off those adrenaline moments and that negative hatred.

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. My kids listen more to their friends and TV characters than me, what do I do?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:19 AM Comments comments (0)

A. I can help you and your children break out of old thoughts, old habits, old beliefs, old behaviors, and old ways. As a parent mentor and coach, I help you start right where you at, one baby step at a time.

Problems can grow into bigger problems quickly as children grow and are more influenced by their peers and media.

 

As a role model for your children, and by learning your lessons and moving forward, you are showing them how to overcome problems in a positive way. You are laying the best positive foundation as you can, especially as your children grow in their independence.

 

The experience of being coached will add to your bag of parenting tools and you will help mentor and coach your own children through their problems. You will achieve all this at a far faster rate and in a much easier way than just trying to do it all yourself. You will feel good about the experience and you will see the rewards of your hard work, gaining new tools and accountability along the way. And most of all, you will gain joy and peace.

 

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.

Q. How do I become a more effective parent?

Posted on May 8, 2009 at 12:11 AM Comments comments (0)

A. There are over 105,000 parenting books at Amazon.com. Americans love parenting books, but books can only bring us so far in our understanding, and they take time to read, digest and implement. Hands-on experiential, interactive learning opportunities are how humans learn best. But where and how? Suddenly we find ourselves feeling like we are the lone ones, not sure if we'll find acceptance of our fledgling attempts to make changes. What you could really use to feel supported is a community that is going through the same changes right along with you.

 

And that is perhaps how you found your way to this website. Parent coaching and group teleclasses are the perfect way to begin this next step on your journey through parenthood.

 

Building new habits and new ways of thinking takes time and dedication. There will be times of responding to stressful moments in the old ways, but you will know there is a better way and you will know that you'll strive towards that the next time around. Hug and reconnect with your children when you have less than stellar moments with them.

It takes practice, patience and forgiving yourself.

 

It takes outside support to make these changes and make them stick.

Personal parent coaching, group teleclasses, and home study programs provide you with that support. This support enhances your natural strengths, skills, resources, and creativity that you already have. This support will not judge you, and will not guilt or shame you. It provides an objective perspective and a multitude of ways to reconnect with your True Self and your True Parent within. Your happiness and the happiness of your children starts now.

 

I wish for you to know the joy and peace that I have found being a parent. I look forward to helping you find that joy and peace that you so desire!

 

Please visit the Classes and the Coaching pages for more info!

 

All FAQs answers are copyrighted by Sharon O'Sullivan. Contact me for reprint rights.


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Articles

Not now, Mommy's not feeling good . . .

(part 1)

 

Feel worn out? Tired? Got the cold or flu the kids brought home from their friends?

 

The day-in and day-out demands of a parent's life can leave a person feeling not their best, and then it's even harder to be a patient and loving role model and parent. Add onto that, lack of sleep, consuming extra caffeine and sugar for energy, hitting the fast food places and processed frozen dinners too many times a week, all leave our immune systems susceptible to whatever is going around at the time.

 

I have created this multi-part series on some natural helpers from Mother Nature, to help today's parents be the best they can be.

 

Read more here . . .

Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and
more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

-Melodie Beattie

“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,

For babies grow up, I’ve learned, to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.

I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”

 - Author Unknown

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER - by Erma Bombeck

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

 

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

 

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

 

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

 

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner..'

There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.  Look at it and really see it . Live it and never give it back.  STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!