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Not now, Mommy's not feeling good . . .
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. Please be aware that I am not giving medical advice and you should always see your doctor to discuss any symptoms and treatments.
Caffeine is a wonderful "kick me in the butt and get me out the door" drug, but sadly, over time it actually has the opposite effect on us. Caffeine triggers our adrenal glands to go into "Fight or Flight" mode. That's the mental alertness that adrenaline gives us. After awhile the adrenaline slows down in our body, and we feel tired and hungry, esp for something sweet - because our blood sugar levels have dropped. So we reach for more caffeine or something with high sugar, and probably high fat in it. We are in a daily relationship with chemical stimulation. Caffeine and sugar manipulate the same neurochemical channels that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin do.
However, our bodies are not designed to be in constant "Fight or Flight" mode every day. It depletes your adrenal system, and messes with our hormone production, like overworking the soil on a farm. If your adrenal system is worn down, depleted or burned out, your symptoms could include:
|mental dullness||sleep disturbance|
Other things can also tax your adrenals:
Lack of sleep
Of course other problems can also cause adrenal depletion symptoms.
You can determine your adrenal function and hormone function by asking around for a doctor that leans more towards holistic health and they should have available a Salvia Test that you can take. Blood tests are not an effective test, they only show a result if your adrenals are completely burned out. You need to protect yourself from that happening - "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". If they discover that your adrenals are taxed, they could also find that your hormones are a bit off kilter. If they recommend a prescription hormone, be sure it is a bio-identical hormone, and most Compounding Pharmacies can fill the prescription.
There is a lot of information on Adrenal fatigue and recovery, yet not many have heard about any of it. As you read through the following information, just take it in with an open mind. Some will resonate, others will not. You don't need to all it all. Just find some that will work for you in the beginning. Try for a starting point of 50% and then ease yourself up to 70 - 80%. You will notice a difference in a very short period of time and you will thank your Self for it!!
The most common supplement recommendations to help your adrenals to recover are:
Wean yourself off of caffeine by replacing it with:
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) Extract (liquid) - excellent source of energy and helps restore your energy reserves and possesses a significant ability to increase your resistance to stress, fatigue, and disease
Rehmannia Extract (liquid) - supports and protects the adrenal gland, kidney and liver. Anti-inflamatory properties, and can be used by people with high blood pressure
Multi-vitamin and mineral - liquids and isotonics are absorbed the best
B-Complex vitamin supplement -
esp. B-12, B-6 and Pantothenic Acid
Hawthorne is also good, it supports the circulatory system, blood sugar levels and hypertension. Other effective extracts include Echinacea Root, Astragalus Root, and Milk Thistle Seed - which all support the immune system.
Another potential supplement to add is Adrenal Extracts. It is made from beef (look for manufactures with organic beef sources!) and have been used in medicine since the 1930's. Some vegetarian's would choose to skip this supplement choice. The proper procedure is to start with a dosage lower than what is recommended on the label (1/3 of the normal dosage), and then slowly increasing the dosage every two days until one notices the stimulatory effect. Once that effect is noticed then simply reduce the dosage to a level just below the level that will produce stimulation. As the adrenals rebuild, keep reducing the dosage until there comes a time when you no longer need the support.
The adrenal glands are located just on top of the kidneys. The adrenals are an integral part of the endocrine system. You can support the endocrine system through exercise and diet as well.
Exercise increases oxygen. Cardiovascular ones in particular, more fully feeds the oxygen-starved and sleepy brain cells, and increases lymph flow. Without strong lymph flow, waste can build up within the body leading to the accumulation of toxins.
Some examples of exercises that have a complementary beneficial effect for adrenal rejuvenation are:
|Playing with your kids||Stess Management|
|Martial arts||Meditation and visualization|
As an exerciser, you feel more pleasurably awake, alert, and aware. It is important to note not to over-exercise because that will in turn exhaust your adrenals.
Choose healthy foods instead of sugar and processed foods.
Here are some ideas to wet your appetite and support your adrenal function.
It is recommended that a person eat several small meals, instead of one or two large meals each day. The best thing for acheiving sustained energy throughout the day is start your day with your largest sized meal which is a high protein meal - think dinner, instead of breakfast items. Homemade freezer meals are a great way to make this happen. Lunch is a medium sized meal with veggies and fruit, and dinner is a light meal, mostly veggies and only a small serving of protein.
If you must have dessert (like me!), have it in the afternoon instead of after dinner. Go for dark chocolate with the lowest sugar content possible. This will give you a nice daily dose of antioxidants. Check out Ghirardelli Dark Chocolates and organic dark chocolates found in health food stores - yum!!
To further help curb your sweet tooth drink fruit smoothies, eat fruit, and dried fruit. Remember that dried fruit size can be deceiving, the fruit looks smaller, so it's easy to eat twice as much. However, you'll also eat twice as many calories. Read labels and purchase the one's without added sugar/corn syrup and without the Sulfur Dioxide - which can trigger an asthma-like reaction in some people.
Eat plenty of fresh and lightly steamed vegetables and their juices as they contain minerals to prevent fatigue.
Pantothenic acid (100 milligrams a day) is particularly important, as a deficiency may result in adrenal atrophy. Foods rich in pantothenic acid include:
whole grains cauliflower salmon
legumes broccoli sweet potatoes
In restoration of the adrenal gland function one should include potassium rich foods and avoid foods high in sodium. This will help to keep the sodium/potassium balance in the body. In the standard American diet, people consume way too much sodium. Researchers recommend a dietary potassium-to-sodium ratio of greater than 5 to 1. Intake of potassium should be about 3 to 5 grams per day.
Here are the highest potassium-rich foods:
According to the Oriental philosophy, foods which nurture deficient adrenal and kidney energy are as follows:
Black Sesame Seed
As I mentioned before, start off with finding about 50% of the above things that you can bring into your life. I recommend:
Wean yourself off of caffeine by replacing it with:
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) Extract (liquid) - excellent source of
energy and helps restore your energy reserves and possesses a
significant ability to increase your resistance to stress, fatigue,
Take a good Multi-vitamin and mineral - liquids and isotonics are
absorbed the best
B-Complex vitamin supplement -
esp. B-12, B-6 and Pantothenic Acid
A week later add:
Start your day with plenty of sustained energy by eating your
breakfast and having it be your largest-sized meal and a high
protein meal, and be sure to increase your veggie intake over
the course of the day. Find sneaky recipes to add veggies into
your favorite dishes
Choose fruit and dark chocolate for your sugar choices
Choose some nuts and seeds to add diversity to your snacks and
A week later add:
Choose to exercise 2 - 4x per week for a least 15 - 60 minutes each
A week later:
Sit in a quiet and undisturbed space for 3 minutes everyday,
gradually add time on and work up to 15 minutes or more
If symptoms are severe or persistent, please take care of yourself and see your doctor!
Healthy habits are built on inspiration and motivation. It takes dedication and about 30 - 40 days of consistent routines to create a new healthy habit. This where most people find their weaknesses.
Your loving support of your children and your quality of life for yourself and with your family depend on you developing healthy habits. I am here to help you find your inner strengths and be the best you can be for yourself and for your family.
Here's to your health and happy parenting!
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
Gardasil Vaccination ??
In light of another girl dying this month after being vaccinated for HPV, here is a Gardasil article written by Dr. Robert O. Young:
What Causes Human Papilloma Cancer HPV
Life-or-death questions are being raised about Gardasil, a vaccine touted to prevent an infection of human papilloma virus (HPV), which may cause cervical cancer. Merck & Co., Inc., the maker of Gardasil, staunchly defends its multi-billion dollar goldmine, stating on their website, “We are confident in the safety profile of GARDASIL.”
But Dr. Diane Harper, an obstetrician and gynecologist who helped Merck perform Gardasil’s clinical trials and who served on Merck’s advisory board for the vaccine, told CNN in an interview, “Gardasil is not without risks. It’s not a freebie.”
Since the approval of the vaccine by the FDA in 2006, health-care groups have shouted out warnings of danger, and have also said that Merck has energetically mass-marketed Gardasil with disregard both for known current side effects as well as for possible long-term side effects.
Here are some of the established risks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Death. According to the CDC, more than 25 million doses of Gardasil have been distributed in the United States as of June 1, 2009, resulting in 43 deaths. Gardasil is the confirmed cause in 26 of those deaths, 9 are still being investigated, and 8 remain unconfirmed.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Cases of GBS, a peripheral neuropathy that can result in paralysis and death, have been reported to the CDC as a result of Gardasil vaccination.
Juvenile ALS. A fatal condition in which the nervous system is slowly destroyed while consciousness remains unimpaired.
Blood Clots. Clots occurring in the heart, lungs and legs have reportedly been triggered by this toxic acidic Gardasil.
About 40 percent of adverse effects occur on the day of vaccination. Approximately 14,000 reports have been made, with 93 percent considered by the CDC to be “non-serious,” and 7 percent to be “serious.”
What does the reporting of 14,000 incidents of side effects really mean? In an interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock, a nationally recognized neurosurgeon, health practitioner, and editor of The Blaylock Wellness Report, said, “Multiply the number of incidents actually reported by ten and you’ll get an accurate number.”
The effectiveness rate of all currently available vaccines are typically
60 - 85%.
The Gardasil drug only went through five years of clinical studies – much shorter than normal -- while it takes twice that long for HPV to result in cervical cancer.
As to the effectiveness of Gardasil in the first place, Dr. Blaylock said, “The vaccine has never been proven to be effective, and by the time the vaccine would be needed to prevent cancer would be years later and the vaccine will be long gone from the system.
Cervical Cancer is easily detected by annual Pap tests and is cured in early stages and is not a major killer of women.
Gardasil contains substances which may cause sterility in women receiving it and any protection lasts only a few years, so 9 year olds will probably not be sexually active by the time this protection has worn off.
If you have the organism already in your cervix, the vaccine actually increases the cervical cancer rate by 44.7%.”
In the light of such serious side effects, the cost/benefit ratio in terms of both lives and money must be weighed. And some frightening facts are emerging about Gardasil. In an ABC interview, Dr. Harper said, “Although the number of serious adverse events is small and rare, they are real and cannot be overlooked or dismissed without disclosing the possibility to all other possible vaccine recipients.” Dr. Harper then dropped what some consider to be a bombshell: “The rate of serious adverse events is greater than the incidence rate of cervical cancer.”
In other words the drug Gardasil causes the very thing it is trying to prevent.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is currently pondering whether to approve the use of Gardasil on boys in order to protect their partners from cervical cancer. Last week (mid-September 09), the FDA granted approval to allow GlaxoSmithKline’s new HPV vaccine called Cervarix to be sold in the United States. On September 28, 2009, a 14 year old British schoolgirl died after the Cervarix vaccine.
HPV Vaccine Fact: “First, there are more than 100 different types of HPV and at least 15 of them are oncogenic [tending to cause tumors]. The current vaccines target only 2 oncogenic strains: HPV-16 and HPV-18. Second, the relationship between infection at a young age and development of cancer 20 to 40 years later is not known.”–Dr. Charlotte Haug in an editorial appearing in the August 19, 2009 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Robert O. Young, Ph.D., D.Sc.
Founder of 'THE NEW BIOLOGY' ®
article posted by
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
I'm Still Bored!!
When kids say "I'm BORED!",
you can translate that to:
"I'm not as over-stimulated as
I usually am - going all day with one activity after another - and now
I don't know what to do with myself.
No one is entertaining me right now!
What do I do?!"
Every day, kids - as well as us parents, need time to just slow down.
To not "DO".
To have some quiet time . . .
. . . Some non-electronic quiet time!
Here are some ideas to give your kids - and you, some time to
rejuvenate . . . regroup . . . hit the reset button . . .
Silently watch a 3 minute sand timer go from top to bottom
Gaze at a candle for 3 minutes
Listen for sounds for 3 minutes and then name them
Nature walk, add findings to a nature table (inside or outside)
Sit with nature long enough to become part of it -
observe nature in silence, then discuss it later
draw pictures and/or make some notes or do some
creative writing in a personal nature journal - you can create
your own Naturalist Journal or a Field Guide
Cloud watching in silence, then share your observations.
add to your personal nature journal
Sit back to back and breath together in the same rhythm for 3 minutes
then alternate - one person takes a breathe in while the other
breathes out, for 3 minutes
next try toning together the sound of "OM" (the long "O" sound
followed by the "M" sound, drawn out for one out breathe)
repeating together in unison for 3 minutes
Full moon hike:
star gaze, wish upon a star
sing night songs, tell stories of the night
see habits of nocturnal creatures
observe the moon - can you find the bunny?
the old lady knitting/reading in the rocking chair?
the face? the crab? the dog? the frog? the lizard?
learn about the constellations
learn the movement of the stars
learn ancient myths
Observe the cycle of the moon, and make a chart
On a new moon, pick a new project and have it completed by
the full moon
have the older one read to the younger one
read a chapter book together
Toddlers and preschoolers love to . . .
Separate marbles or beads into bowls - adult supervision required
Practice pouring - adult supervision required
Bottom line - allow your kids, and you, to create some time each day to slow down and reconnect with our True Selves, our true inner nature - without electonics.
The happiness of sharing our love and laughter, and discovering and knowing our true inner nature, is where the Fountain of Youth lays. Know yourself and you will know the world. Knowledge is power!
Enjoy your new-found inner balance and reconnection with your Self and your kids!
Still need help? I'm here as your parenting coach. There are many ways I can assist you in finding your inner balance and reconnecting with your Self and your kids! Please see the Classes and Coaching pages for further info!
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
Who hasn't heard those words!!
Here are some great boredom-busters that will give you and your kids some great memories and get you all re-connected and feeling good again!
Have Some Family Time . . .
Use no electricity for the evening:
watch the sunset and do everything to candlelight
play hide and go seek
have contemplative discussions -
how does the dark make you feel?
what are the gifts?
pick a theme, any theme - have fun!
celebrate with a "dress - up" party or a "tea party"
celebrate passages of letting go and passages of new beginnings
Share your family traditions with another family, and in turn -
partake in their family traditions
family photo album/scrapbook - add to and/or review
family stories, family crest, family projects
Festive Feast or Festive Hour:
each member contributes something to meal
recall events from the week
each member says what they are grateful for
play games, work on a family project, do storytelling
Take time to renew your Self, your family:
One-on-One time with parents
Play a coopertive boardgame
Get Creative . . .
Create a rainy day surprise box
Write a new song or story together and then record it on a cassette
player or as MP3 file
basket weaving, loom weaving
beading a necklace or bracelet
Flour dough: 3 parts flour + 1 part salt + 1 part water
Pour quick-dry liquid cement in paper milk container and
after it sets, but before it dries, peel off paper and
then sculpt - quickly
Tell a story and use Playdoh, beeswax or flour dough to create
parts of the story
Get Active . . .
Practice sports interests
Yoga for kids - make your body look and move like an animal and
make that animal's sounds
Go for a nature hike, bring back some of your findings back and
create a nature table - indoors or out.
Play hide and go seek
Get the Nerf guns out and have an epic battle indoors
Get the water guns out in the summer and the snow balls ready in
the winter and have an outdoor epic battle
Declutter together and bless others by donating gently used items
Get Academic . . .
Observe work of someone's career
Assist others in need
Learn sign language together
Learn a foreign language together
have the older one read to the younger one
read a chapter book together
Learn new songs together or join a choir together
Learn and Sing gesture songs (finger plays) together
Pick a theme for the day: opposites, word, sound, color, number,
Make clean-up more fun . . .
Pick up toys to music and / or song
Pick up toys really fast before timer rings
Most of all, open your heart and enjoy the feeling of happiness that comes from being connected as a family.
Allow yourself to exhale, and tell your Self:
"I have such an abundance in my life. I have . . . Enough".
Still need help? I'm here as your parenting coach. There are many ways I can assist you in finding the happiness and abundance in your life and reconnecting you with your Self and your kids! Please see the Classes and Coaching pages for further info!
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
Tips to Reduce Stress and Improve Productivity
Here are some GREAT tips that I found at the Mayo Clinic. I've added my own suggestions in the blue:
To get started, choose one of these strategies, try it for two to four weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.
· 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 find that everything in between becomes more manageable.
· Prioritize your tasks. Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can consume a lot of your day. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important to you.
· Say no to nonessential tasks. Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work. 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.
. Delegate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what you can pass on to someone else.
I am here to tell you - a preschooler can:
mop the kitchen floor with a wet mop (I don't recommend giving them
the water bucket though!),
clean the bathroom sink,
rinse dishes for the dishwasher,
dust with a feather duster,
wipe tables off, and
push a non-electric floor sweeper on the carpet.
Ok, they will not do a perfect job, but, they are willing helpers and the way I see it, any help I can get in removing crumbs off the floor, toothpaste out the sink and dishes ready for the dishwasher, I'm all for it!!
Honestly, a preschooler really can do all that! And if you ask them to consistantly help the family by pitching in, think what kind of help you'll get from your kids as they grow older! They'll have learned a better understanding of what helping the family is all about. And isn't that better than them learning that housekeeping has be done perfectly, or not be done all?!
· Take the time you need to do a quality job. Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.
Waste Not, Want Not. It is so true!!
· 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!
· Evaluate how you're spending your time. Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends. The TV, the computer and/or game systems are big ones for many of us. A great way to set limits for yourself, or others, is to set a timer. When it rings, push yourself away from the electronics, and go do something else . . . Really!
. Limit distractions. Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your phone, pager and e-mail. This is really hard to get when you have young kids. Some ideas are:
Exchange playdates with friends - so each mom gets some "home alone"
time, as you rotate through the group.
Sometimes trusted older neighbors enjoy an occasional "grandma" or
"grandpa" time with kids.
Trusted teens and college kids like to earn money as "au pairs" or
Ask your partner to take the kids to the park or for a walk or bike ride.
· Get plenty of sleep, have a healthy diet and exercise regularly. A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time. Seriously consider how you start your day. If you start it with sugar, you are probably robbing yourself of brain power and energy in the long run. Our American meals are backwards as well. Our bodies and brains function best with the biggest meal of the day in the morning. The second largest meal for lunch, and the smallest meal for dinner.
By starting your day, and your family's day, with a "dinner sized" high protein meal you will find less mood swings, less irritability, more energy and more focused attention to details. Lunch is a great meal for both protein and a veggies. If you love dessert, have it after lunch, instead of after dinner. For dinner have a little protein, but have more veggies than protein. You'll have less indigestion, less sleep disturbances, and you may even lose weight!
· Take a time management course. If your employer offers continuing education, take a time management class. If your workplace doesn't have one, find out if a local community college, university or community education program does.
· Take a break when needed. Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organized. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk. Do some quick stretches at your workstation. Take a day of vacation to rest and re-energize. Kids, and parents, are not at their best when it's always go, go, go. We all need down time.
A simple thing that you can do with your kids is to grab a 3 minute egg timer (the ones that have the sand inside) and lay down on the living room floor with your heads at the inside of the circle. Set the egg timer in the middle of everyone, ask everyone to be quiet and still, and then flip the timer over and watch the sands of time flow from the top to the bottom . . . for 3 minutes . . . absolutely quiet. Ahaaa!! Now don't you feel better!?
If you don't have a 3 minute egg time with sand, use a regular timer and put something pretty or unique in the center, to look at for those 3 minutes.
Kids really love this!! If you begin doing this on a regular basis, you can gradually add a little more time on. Eventually you may find 15 - 20 minutes is really do-able. And you don't have to stare at the center object the whole time. It's just there to get the process started.
· Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks. Work on them a few minutes at a time until you get them all done. This is FlyLady.com's area of expertise! Many of my suggestions that I've shared in this article have been learned from her. She so rocks!
Good Luck and please know that I am here to help you! How can I help you with your time management skills?
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
To read more on this Mayo Clinic article please follow the link below.
When my husband and I were engaged, we decided to get a dog - a baby substitute til we got married. We learned a lot about each other and our parenting styles during this trail period. After we got our cute Black Lab-Mix home from the Humane Society, we soon learned that potty training was going to take a lot longer than expected. We also learned that puppies love to chew - everything. So, it was after he had peed on our couch and our Christmas tree, and chewed up my good (and really cute and comfortable) work shoes, and chewed a hole right through my comforter, blankets and sheets, that we decided we needed some help from an expert! We found a Dog Obedience Trainer and got signed up for her classes.
We arrived with our dog and our sad stories. The trainer looked us square in the eye, and without missing a beat, said - "So, why are giving this puppy the run of the house? Who's house is it? Yours or his? If you don't want him chewing up your shoes, pick them up and put them in the closet. If you don't want him chewing holes in your bedding, why do have the door open for him to just walk in there?" Well, you could have blown us over with a feather! How rude of her to talk to us that way, we were the victims here! She didn't even soften the blow with a sad nod of understanding, let alone the expected "Wow, I'm sorry to hear this dog has given you so much trouble - I'll fix him for you!"
Due to my shock of her response, the only other things I remember hearing that day was that Black Labs have two bricks glued together for a head, they stay puppies longer, and that he was going to take extra work. Oh joy! But at least she admitted that the dog's personality may have something to do his misbehaviors, and that it wasn't all our fault!!
As time progressed, we realized, the expert was right. We had not set any real and consistent boundaries for him and being a puppy, he was just following what felt good - chew and release his bladder. Sure we had said "No chewing on shoes!", but does a puppy know the difference between a shoe and a chew toy? No, but we do, and therefore - as the adults in the house, we had to become responsible and protect the things we wanted protected, remove temptations and set boundaries.
And thus, we learned. When our human babies came along, we understood babyproofing and that if a child got into, say, a full bottle of shampoo and poured it all over the floor, who's responsibility was it? It was our responsibility to put the bottle out of their reach in the first place. (True story by the way! Uhg!! What a horrible mess!!)
If they peed in their pants at the age of 3 because they played too long before heading to the bathroom, who's responsibility was it? It was our responsibility to pay attention to the time between bathroom trips and intervene the playtime by giving them the choice of either walking to the potty or being carried to the potty.
If they wake up really tired after being up too late at the age of 10, who's responsibility is it? It is our responsibility to hold the boundary of bedtime.
If they don't finish a project on time to be in the 6th grade Science Fair, who's responsibility is it? It's our responsibility to hold the boundaries of time management.
As time goes by, a child ages and kids become more responsible for their time management and for more adult duties and decisions, and sometimes a child needs to fail and face natural consequences (but not unsafe consequences) in order to learn.
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.
Setting up new habits for adults, or helping your kids set up new habits -takes an average of 45 days, and often times it's more like 90 days. It depends on how consistent you are and how firm you are on your personal boundaries around that new habit. It also depends on how motivated you are.
Your children are worth every ounce of your energy you put towards them for their safety and well-being, as well as the consistent boundaries, consequences, and responsibilities you set. You have my support anytime you need an expert to look you square in the eye and say "A parent's job is keep them safe and to guide them by consistently holding boundaries and role modeling how to be responsible."
How can I help you in setting up your new habit of Responsible Parenting?
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
(This article is dedicated to our beloved Buddy, 1993 - 2005)
Parenting can be challenging one minute and the best thing ever, just moments later. And as parents, we share some of our stories with other parents, and we all smile knowingly. But what we don't typically share, are things that we think other families don't do.
There are so many American taboo topics for parents - extended nursing, sleep sharing, home remedies, etc. But then, sometimes you decide to take a chance and you whisper, "well, we've been doing this family bed thing because it makes nursing so much easier at night . . . ", and suddenly you find some of the women in the group, whispering back - "me too!"
Society is changing. Slowly there has been movement, and now perhaps even a wave. Parenting is heading in the "green" direction. Parents are seeing that they are part of a whole new eco-system.
It's now not just a family alone, off on the fringes of society, doing things a bit differently than the mainstream as represented in the media. It's not just them and their closest friends and/or family either. There are now so many smart and savvy, successful and passionate, proactive and progressive parents out there that support for these families is popping up everywhere.
Mothering - Natural Family Living Magazine reaches nearly 300,000 people each issue. There are websites after websites selling natural living products for all ages and needs, and mainstream grocery and discount stores have added more and more isle space for healthy living products.
Food allergies and behavior issues are being discussed in many doctors offices. Britain is removing artificial colors from it's food supply. Prince Charles is a champion of healthy food and for stopping the "over-industrializing" of children. The European standard of nursing til the ages of 3 - 4 is being introduced to the US mainstream slowly, but surely.
We now know that traditional cotton farming uses tons of pesticides that are then in the soil for the next crop rotation - which are peanuts. Many now choose to purchase organic peanut butter for their kids, plus that fact that it is not linked with salmonella. We are beginning to understand that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The newest movement within this new wave, this new eco-system, are parents who are looking beyond the mainstream status quos of parenting, that have been there for generations. Some look to modern research to find answers, some look to the ways of gentler societies. Either way, parents are seeing the full cause and effect cycle.
What we say and what we do as parents absolutely shapes our children's lives and generations to follow. Here too, they are realizing that the whole is greater than
the sum of its parts.
Parents are asking themselves - is our parent's way and our grandparent's way of parenting truly serving us?? Is it really making our kids happy with themselves?? Is it bringing peace and unconditional love to them??
Do we really want to continue creating generation after generation of
· broken hearts,
· emotional dishonesty,
· love based on conditional behaviors,
· false self-images,
· looking to the outside for approval, etc?
Parents can choose to do nothing, and nothing will change.
Parents can choose to continue doing what they've been doing over and over again, and they will get the same results they've been getting over and over again.
Or parents can choose to take a different action . . . a proactive action. And parents are!! It's all part of this new eco-system full of progressive parents.
We have the ability to cognitively evolve from the intellectualizing of our understanding of proactive parenting, to the "aha!", the really "getting it" in our body - a way of knowing things in our gut and therefore propelling us into positive action.
We also have the ability to emotionally evolve and move from being emotionally separate from ourselves to being connected to and in alignment with our True Self and our True Parent.
· What if we embraced modern research findings?
· What if we embraced gentler societies wisdom?
· What if we allowed ourselves to give unconditional love?
· What if we allowed ourselves to receive unconditional love?
· What if we allowed ourselves to wake up, to evolve?
· What if we wake up and take responsibility for our emotions and our parenting decisions and actions?
· What if we learned how to use our gut feelings and those soft whispers - our intuition, to guide us in stressful times?
· What if we allow ourselves to bring out our True Parent within, and not just stay with the old status quo of our upbringing and our parent's upbringing?
· What kind of world will our children's children then have?
No matter how old your children are, it's not too late!
· Children ARE resilient and ARE forgiving.
· We can change those negative under-currents.
· Self-esteem can be brought back up.
· Emotions can be re-connected to.
· Outside media influences can be reduced.
· You can take back your family.
· We can bring you and your children out of the old darkness of past generations, and into the new light dawning.
· Our children's True Self is still intact.
· Our children are not broken, our children are not inherently defective.
You can FORGIVE YOURSELF for not knowing a better way.
· You can FORGIVE YOURSELF for not taking action sooner.
· You CAN release the guilt and the shame.
· Your True Self is still intact.
· You are not broken, you are not inherently defective.
· You can turn over a new leaf, ONE BABY STEP AT A TIME.
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 back to whispering to our friends, feeling like we are the lone ones, sitting on the fringe of society again, 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 and group teleclasses provides 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. Please visit the Classes and the Coaching pages for more info!
- Sharon O'Sullivan
My kitchen floor is the bain of my existence. It's made of some kind of old, porous material that seems to just absorb dirt and stains. It never comes completely clean, no matter what I do. So, when I decide to really try to make it look clean (meaning, a lighter shade of gray), I really have to work at it. Then a day or so goes by, and it looks terrible again. A week goes by and my memory of last week's scrubbing gets me angry and testy, and so I skip mopping it. And the next week, I may skip again. Leaving a much tougher job when I finally decide to face up to the task of mopping/scrubbing it again.
Sometimes parenting can become this same pattern. We try avoiding a messy problem until we can't take it any longer, then tackle it by putting all our energy into it, just to feel zapped by the experience, and unrewarded for all our hard work - thus not wanting to deal with it again for a long while.
Sometimes we can be this way with ourselves as well. I'm typically more consistent as a parent than I am with myself. I tend to let time get away from me, by doing "just one more thing" - which can then typically lead to just "one more thing", and then I'm racing to get out the door on time or end up staying up at night later than I intended. I tend to cover every flat surface in the house with stuff by telling myself, "well, the table just has a few things on it, I'll clean that up later", then we all add some more stuff, and then some more stuff, and then I've got a bigger mess than I planned for a few days later. FlyLady calls this dilemma being a "Sidetracked Home Executive".
By staying with my thinking that something is not dirty enough to clean yet, even though I logically know that I'll spend less time cleaning in the long run by adapting the "Do It Now" principle, I will stay stuck in my rut. Because, I still have my "stinkin' thinkin'" that keeps me in my rut. FlyLady addresses this stickin' thinkin' by mentoring and coaching her Flybabies via an online yahoo group with lots of reminders, testimonials and "God Breezes" that she shares with everyone everyday. She encourages everyone to start right they are, with one baby step at a time - you are never behind. She doesn't accept excuses. She simply asks for 15 minutes a day to declutter the accumulated stuff from our homes and some time-saving routines each day. She has an online store that sells her book and products that help us achieve faster and easier success. She wants us to have the peace she now has because of her daily routines and decluttering. And without FlyLady's mentoring and coaching, I never would have understood why I do the things I do, how I can change them, and she "holds my hand" as I take each baby step and reframe my thought process for continued success.
I feel the same way about parenting. By creating consistent boundaries and consequences for our children, we can nip messy problems in the bud and use a lot less energy, feel good about the experience, and see the rewards of our hard work. I know that we can all get in a parenting rut, and I believe that a good parenting mentor and coach is the best way to help us recognize our rut. A good parenting mentor and coach helps us with our rut - no matter how long we've been there or how bad the mess is. A good parenting mentor and coach helps us with our stinkin' thinkin', and helps us start to make the baby steps towards a peaceful and blessed family. A good coach takes you from where you are at, regardless of where you've been or where you are at now, and brings you forward - to find that peace and happiness faster, easier and more successfully than that possible by one's self. It's this support, step by step action plans and accountability that works time and time again. And when one stumbles, a good coach is there to help you back up, and learn your lessons so you don't have to keep repeating them - perhaps at a higher price the next time.
What is the rut you and your family are in that, doesn't seem too big today - but left unchanged, gets more and more fuel added to it over time, till it's a hotspot that bursts into flames??
Is it hard to get them to come to dinner without an electronic device attached to their hands or ear?
Is it hard to make them get their homework done and they fight doing it tooth and nail?
What about their bedrooms and/or play areas? On Saturday mornings do you end up yelling at them to make them clean for 2 hours before playing with friends?
Is there constant tension that everyone can feel, but no one talks about?
Is there disrespect happening in every discussion?
What is your stinkin' thinkin' that continues this rut? What is your children's stinkin' thinkin' that continues this rut? Do you want to continue in this same stinkin' thinkin' and rut?? Do you want your children to continue on with this stinkin' thinkin' and rut as they grow and develop their own habits, decisions and beliefs? Do you recognize that this is effecting you and your children?
I can help you and your children with your family's stinkin' thinkin' and ruts. 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.
With an action plan that we design together, we will:
Staying in the old stinkin' thinkin' and ruts do not help your family, and problems can grow into bigger problems quickly as children grow and are more influenced by their peers and media.
By not addressing this now, what is the overall cost to you?
To your children?
To your desire for peace?
To your visions of the future?
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.
Signing up for parenting coaching is easy! Simply fill out the form on the Contact Me page. Please also feel free to ask any questions you may have.
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!
- Sharon O'Sullivan
My oldest son recently had a day full of pushing his luck. All day long he was asking for exceptions to many of the family rules we have. He asked what he would be grounded from and for how long if he didn't do his cleaning chores and pick up after himself. I replied with a steep consequence. He decided to clean, but with grumbling. He kept asking to watch tv during the day, even though our family rules say no tv or computer until after 6pm, so that he has plenty of outdoor time. He also kept asking to play computer games during the day and without reading his book for 30 minutes first. He really pushed this one. He read 3 pages and asked to play on the computer. I said no. He read 2 more pages, and asked again. Still no. He read 3 more pages and asked again. Still I said no and his dad reminded him that if he had used the time to read instead of keep asking, he would have been done by now. Finally he was done with his reading, and luckily for him it had just turned 6pm, and he got his 30 minutes of computer game time. During dinner that night, I told him how much I loved him and that I held onto our family rules that day because that is how much I love him. He smiled, rather sheepishly, and said, "I love you too".
But let me tell you, that day wasn't easy. Yes, his pushing was developmentally appropriate and I saw it for it what it was and responded back with gentle and firm boundary holding. But a big part of me wanted to go down the road of least resistance and just say," Ok, fine, go flip the tv on and go play computer games, I don't care".
Instead, I reminded myself of an analogy that one of my mentors 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 naturally push their boundaries like the river does. And a kid believes that their parents are prepared and know exactly what they are doing in response to that pushing (if they only knew! LOL!).
So, when kids do overflow their boundaries, the kids get a taste of "nothing can stop me now" and with that, there is also the feeling of being out of sorts - they feel a slight sense of insecurity and uneasiness of their place in the wide wild world, as if we may forget them, way off in out-of-bounds land and leave them behind - not loving them as much as they thought we did.
As parents, when we try to reestablish the boundaries, we then are met with more resistance which is part of the individuating / pushing away of "wanting to get my own way" and part of the fear of "getting 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, such as a toddler or preschooler who's nap time has arrived (they are rubbing their eyes, twiddling/stroking your or their clothes, hair or skin, playing quietly, etc.) but is resisting 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 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 river is going to be overflowing all over the place, and it'll take days for that little river to accept the riverbanks without trying to rise over them!
Same with potty training, 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. Be observant and know how long it takes for your child's bladder to fill and set a timer for 5 minutes less. 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. 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.
For older kids, 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.
Another one for older kids, especially if they are receiving an allowance and the issue is a household task. 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, 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.
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.
Boundaries are there for a reason. Children need to learn to listen to mom and dad. We have a lot of great and wise things to say and teach. Our number one jobs are to keep them safe and love them unconditionally. We teach them to listen to us when they are little so they stay safe and they hold our hands when crossing the street and in a parking lot. We teach them to listen to us so when they are in school they learn good study skills, can get along with others, and stay away from strangers in parks looking for lost dogs and in cars offering them rides. We teach them to listen to us so when they are teens they plan for their futures, learn how to love and let go, and stay safe while out with friends and on dates, and out of cars with drunk drivers.
If you find yourself looking for support on providing choices, boundaries and consistent parenting, you are not alone. It takes outside support to make these changes and really make them stick. Personal parent coaching and group teleclasses provides you with this 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 gain clarity and to achieve your goals with accountability. Your happiness and the happiness of your children starts now. Please visit the Classes and the Coaching pages for more info and how to sign up!
- Sharon O'Sullivan, MA
What's a parent to do when it seems no discipline will stop the bad behaviors??
My kids used to be hyper. But they are not now - and we don't use medicines. No need to. But I get ahead of myself . . .
My oldest started being hyper around the age of 2, and sometimes it seemed as if he could truly climb walls. We noticed that sometimes it peaked after eating certain foods, but with the chemistry lab type ingredient labels now days - it was totally unclear what he could be reacting to. He wasn't a good sleeper either. He tossed and turned, and seemed to easily awake at any given time. He also did teeth grinding. He talked non-stop, and loud! And then there was the constant picking on his brother who is two years younger. That poor baby had his older brother laying on top of him, tipping him over, giving him a push, trip, slap or pinch, or anything else his impulses told him to do. I just assumed it was because they were so close in age and the oldest was jealous. "Boys will be boys". I also hoped that it wasn't ADHD. And then there was this little laugh that he had sometimes, especially at times when it seemed like no amount of discipline helped. Life continued as a constant row of "No, No, NO!" "Stop!" "Get off your brother!" "Stop hurting your brother!" As the younger one got to be around the age of 2, then the two of them would go at each other non-stop. They were in a wrestling match most all the time. Sometimes it was fun, other times it wasn't, and I was the on-demand referee. It was so loud in the house, our dog decided to become an outdoor dog!
Luckily for everyone, when my oldest was 4, I read an article in my Mothering magazine (www.mothering.com) about ADHD, food allergies and the Feingold Association. I was sure there was something to this. I immediately jumped online, went to www.feingold.org and read their website front to back! I was amazed how many food additives have crept into our foods and that we Americans have just taken it for granted that everything the food industry sells us is safe and written on the labels.
Artificial flavors, and certain preservatives:
TBHQ (used esp. in frying oils, and is often a hidden ingredient in oils listed on labels),
BHT and BHA (used esp. in nuts 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! As a conscientious mom, that blew me out of the water. I have been giving my beloved children petroleum!! and didn't even know it!! How can the food industry sleep at night?!
I was convinced this was the issue and ordered my membership materials that day. The day I got the researched Food Shopping List. This Food List is free of TBHQ, BHA, BHT (listed OR hidden), artificial colors and artificial flavors. I created a shopping list of my meals for the next week using only the products on the list. This took time, but I just had to give it my all. It also took extra time to shop, but since I was mostly just having to change name brands, it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be.
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 Food List. Again, this took some time, but I knew it was what had to be done. The Food Bank loved me that week!
Then I took a tip from www.FlyLady.net and I went to the main grocery store I used and wrote out what products were in what aisles. I then took the Feingold Food Shopping List to my computer and typed in all the products that we would eat, as they sat in each aisle. Within the time of my children's afternoon naptime (or perhaps 2 naps), I had completed my new and improved grocery list.
Shopping went so much faster now. Any food allergy questions that I had were immediately answered on the member's online bulletin board. I got recipes galore and at every meal I always felt so thankful and grateful for finding the Feingold Program. It saved our family. It saved us from ADHD . . . and all the pharmaceutical experimenting!
If an infraction occurs, ie - consuming offending foods, drinks as well as products that come in contact with the skin - we end up with 5 days of reactions: behaviors that we thought we had seen last of come straight back. Kids can have reactions that start about an hour after consuming the food - like my kids, or kids may not have a reaction start til a day later. Makes that detective work harder, but not impossible! Some kids react more at the beginning - like my kids, others react more towards the end. Some kids react more dramatically than others and some kids have more sensitivities than others. About 4 - 6 days of reactions is the most common timeframe. Kids are not alone in having food allergies. Adults can suffer as well.
On more than one occasion we've had infractions. One time, right after we had just started, we were visiting my parents and I had forgotten the Feingold's Fast Food list. We decided to stop at McDonalds, and since I had no idea what was ok to order and what was not, we got fried fish and french fries. I didn't know this then, but their frying oil is preserved with TBHQ (as are most restaurant frying oils). The boys went from little gentlemen to a week's worth of hell on wheels right in front of my parent's eyes. They stopped asking me if I was sure they had food allergies after that week.
About a year after we started, after a restaurant dessert had tempted us, we ended up with a reaction. My oldest, went through his laundry list of poor impulse control, poor sleep and bad behaviors, and was finally on day 4 of his reaction - which meant that he was in and out of the reaction by that point. I mentioned to him that I noticed that it looked like he was doing better and wondered how he felt inside. He replied, "GGGggggrrrrrrrr" in a very angry tone. Here he was, feeling still so angry inside, but able to control his impulses today. How angry did he feel for the past 3 days while at the heights of his reaction? How terrible to be constantly yelled at to control your impulses when you simply cannot. I was shocked, again, at how the food choices - that I have control over - affect him. How awful of a life it would have been for him, to be angry all the time just because of the food he ate, that I served him!! At that moment, I recommitted myself to the Feingold Program 100%.
As an interesting side note, the medicines that are given to kids and adults with ADHD have artificial colors in them. Nothing like feeding fire to the fire!
Since starting the Feingold Program, we have also discovered that our children have other food allergies as well. Sodium Nitrate (found in bacon, lunch meats, etc) also makes them angry for a couple of days. Apples, which have a naturally occurring insect repellent in them called salicylates, have to be limited to one serving a day. 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 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.
In every group that we are involved in, I find kids that are either already using the Feingold Program or need to have their families learn about the Feingold Program. Food allergies have grown so common place, that based on my dealings with kids groups (and I'm in several), I would safely say that close to half of the kids in any group would benefit from researching food allergens and sensitivities, and the 100% commitment to follow through. So, if you find yourself resonating with our family's story, trust me, you are not alone!
I ask you, look at your children, look at yourself, your honey . . . Does any of this resonate? Does it seem that no discipline seems to help?? Sleep problems? Teeth grinding? School problems? Hyper? Non-stop talking? Suspect food allergies?
Your answers and miracle may start by clicking on this link: www.feingold.org
And you also have my support!
Saying "No" and then following through -
When my kids were little, I found myself saying "No" to my kids requests and then after hearing their whines . . . I mean, explanations . . . of why they wanted it, I often "gave in" and gave them what they wanted.
I began to realize that in my inconsistencies, that I was teaching them something that I did not want to teach. So, I looked closer at myself and realized that I was saying "No" because I didn't want to be disturbed - for the 100th time. And by quickly saying "No", I thought it was a way to get what I wanted . . . even though I never got it. They continued to "disturb" my thoughts or actions by trying to convince me that they should have what they want. By this time, I was actually, finally, paying attention - and, well . . . a lot of the time, they made sense. And so they ended up getting what they wanted after all.
I decided that I better break this cycle before my "No" meant nothing at all. I broke this habit by biting my tongue and not saying "No" right off the bat.
I do this by first taking a breath. Then saying "Let me think about it" or "Why do you want this?" I give them their time to explain to me how they see things. I may ask questions or may suggest things that they haven't taken into consideration themselves. I then take all things into consideration and deliver a ruling. Sometimes it takes me less than a minute, other times it takes me 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!