I don't know about you,
but I think I lost my rose-colored glasses,
or they don't work anymore.
Like there's something missing to the
whole "create the life you want" thing.
And this week,
The missing piece.
You can work to create the life you want.
And life can still be hard.
People lose their jobs,
People live through genocide,
and child abuse.
We live in a racist world.
We lock our keys in the car.
Forget to pay a bill.
Our kids don't get enough sleep.
They can't stand what we make for dinner.
People are starving on the planet.
This is life, people.
It's not a Facebook post.
It's real life.
And it can get real messy.
Oppression is real.
You are real.
You've got a kaleidoscope
of life experiences
that makes you, you.
So honor you, all of you.
For that's the missing piece.
To know, and to teach your kids,
that part of life is it's messiness.
The injustices and the pain.
We don't have to weigh them down,
with the weight of the world.
But "that's not fair" is absolutely correct.
And it's how we handle the injustices
in life that count,
and the process it can take to find your peace.
In our children's world,
they feel it.
They're working with these lessons
on a small (and sometimes big) scale everyday.
That life isn't always fair.
So how can we teach them to honor that?
And what are the lessons they can learn
from the hard times?
What can they do when things in life aren't fair
to make it a little more right?
How can they find their peace?
(Remember it's best to do this type
of teaching about injustices
and fairness when things have returned
to a calm "normal."
No point in telling a hysterical
child who can't find her favorite toy,
all that she's learning from this moment,
or it's all about her perspective.)
The missing piece is life can be hard,
and is hard,
we can still work to create the life we want.
This is the life that takes courage.
Courage to get through.
And courage to try again.
The life that doesn't come
with rose colored glasses,
but is beautiful and amazing nonetheless.
What's your view about the hard stuff in life?
And how will you model and teach that to your children?
You got this,
even when it's hard.
Have a wonderful week.
All the best,
p.s. This is the kind of work we do in Parenting for the Next Generation--- work with the hard stuff in life, like temper tantrums and power struggle---- so you & your children come out stronger on the other side! Early bird registration is ending this week. Classes begin October 17th. Join us to unlock your parenting POWER and create a foundation you LOVE!
Click here for more info and to register.
Even more than kids's temper tantrums,
I can't stand when parents get
all in a tizzy in response to their
And I really can't stand
when that parent is me.
We all have moments of
a negative cycle or
a power struggle
with our kids,
Or having a parental temper tantrum.
This is a great tool to avoid all that.
We all have moments of
a negative cycle or
a power struggle
with our kids,
Or having a parental temper tantrum.
This is a great tool to avoid all that.
Stay in your place of positive power,
and calm + confident leadership
to bypass all the craziness,
and get things done
in a positive way
in your home.
This is a huge one, parents.
It's way too easy to get swirled into our children's behavior,
and engage in reactive power struggles
that never, ever have a positive outcome.
Here's what Positive Discipline says you can do instead:
1) Plan what you will do and notify in advance (Kindly without any meanness, but in a way so your children know you're going to stand by what you're saying because it's in the best interest of the family.)
"I will help with homework right after school or right after dinner, but not at the the last minute."
"When the toys are put away, then we'll leave for the park."
2) Follow through on your plan with kindness and firmness.
My 2 cents on using this tool:
* Accept that tears and upset may be part of the process- so schedule when you have the time and energy to be neutral, present, and affirm hard emotions without getting all reactive.
* When (and only when) everyone is calm, you can talk about what everyone could do differently next time. Your child may want to ask for the way they want to be reminded. You may want to set a limit on how many times you'll remind. This is time to talk it in a respectful, kind, "we're all this together" sort of way. Because you are in this together! Think coaching session or inspiring business meeting. Listen, share, and develop a plan that works best for your fam.
* The point in using this tool is to step proudly into your leadership role, and do what you need to do in the best interest of the family-- without threatening or bribing and without engaging in those nasty power struggles. No mean dictator allowed. We may fall back on that way of parenting, but it doesn't fly for kids today nor for what we now about the human brain. Think Mandela or Gandi, not Hitler--- and I'm serious when I say that.
* Waiting is often the name of the game here. You may need to use this tool a few times to create a new pattern for your children, and testing may be part of the process. It's like your children are waiting for you to threaten, yell, bribe and then give in. So don't threaten yell, bribe, or give in. Be strong in what you have decided. Wait patiently, as needed. The goal is to have your children join in to your calm + confident lead.
Questions? Ideas to share? Did you try this tool and it went amazingly or failed miserably?
Head over here and share a-way.
You got this,
p.s. This is a Positive Discipline tool from their 52 Parenting Tool Cards, with my 2 cents added in at the end. Get your deck here.
Have you ever slept with a text book
under your pillow the night before an exam?
Learning by osmosis.
Let's talk about parenting by osmosis.
It's kind of the same,
but kind of different
--- and much more effective.
It goes like this.
I have some mama friends
who are so CLEAR + ASSERTIVE
with their children.
They send that message of LOVE
with JUST DO IT.
And their children,
just do it.
No power struggles.
When I'm around them,
I consciously soak up
the way these moms are.
So I can access it
in my own way,
when I need it.
Their simple power
imprints on my life.
I take their strengths,
and make them my own.
and grow for the better.
THIS is what parenting,
are all about.
It's the way we're designed to
as parents and as people
--- from one another.
Individual strengths maximized
for the collective good of parents,
in your community
and in your life,
--- Look for the people
you can learn from
your children's teachers,
the mama at the grocery store.
Parents who've got it
going on in simple,
yet profound ways.
your conscious mind
to soak up
+ positively imprint
So you grow,
from the power of
Parenting by Osmosis.
It's what parenting,
and life are all about.
You got this.
All the best,
p.s. Parents in my classes and coaching programs often tell me they hear
my voice in their head when they're speaking to their children (makes me teary every time).
We're in this together. The power of parenting and our community! Want to get my voice in your head this Fall? :) Click here to get in on a Fall coaching session. And regular registration will open up soon to join my online program beginning in October.
Then you're in the right place!
This positive parenting community
is the most conscious, supportive
parenting community in the world.
We want the best for ourselves,
and our children.
We bring out the best in one another.
We believe in the power of parenting.
We want to change the way
we were raised.
But keep going.
For as much as you struggle,
you are that strong.
What's missing in the world today
is proper support for parents.
To accentuate all your strengths
and your inner wisdom.
So your challenges
help you grow,
not take you down.
And you have the skills
to transform your
real-life parenting challenges
(which makes life as
so much easier.)
Parenting for the Next
begins October 17th!
Get on the wait list
to hear when registration open
and any early bird specials begin.
These are positive parenting tools
you will use
for the next 18 + years.
And community support
to help you thrive in parenting,
and in life.
Unlock your parenting POWER
and Create a foundation for your family
Click here for more info.
Here's to Stellar You
this Fall- and beyond!
By now we're all Back to School.
I've started to get a few emails from parents
asking for support about school transitions.
Here's some Back to School Foundation ideas
for smooth sailing all year long.
(If you homeschool,
or have little ones still at home,
these foundations are for you too.)
Let's start with a little quiz!
(Hey, if the kids have to do it...)
What is the #1 most important requirement
for your child to be able to excel
academically and socially at school this year?
Children need to feel good about themselves at school.
(Or at home, if you homeschool).
Children should, for the most part,
be relaxed at school.
They should feel like they can be themselves,
and that their teachers likes them.
Now let's be honest.
Life is stressful,
and school can be too at times.
But if your child truly protests about going to school,
seems upset or nervous when they're there,
is being bullied,
or if you observe that the teacher is not emotionally-attuned to them
--- your child will have a hard time learning.
And any academic learning that does happen may be at a cost
to their emotionally well-being and learning.
Children deserve to feel good at school.
What to do if your child is stressed about school?
* Talk to the teacher, right away.
* Seek out the guidance counselor.
* If neither of these people are helpful,
look for the person at school who your child feels
most connected to--- and talk to them.
* Seeking out a counselor,
who is up-to-date on the latest brain science.
* Contact me to learn more about my Back to School Support Packages.
Growing bodies and brains need high-quality food.
This is another non-negotiable.
I worry when children eat boxed cereal for breakfast,
eat all their snack food at school,
and only take two bites out of their sandwich
or other main entree for lunch.
Then they come from school,
or are in aftercare,
and have goldfish and those fruit juicy snacks
for an after school snack.
Now it's 5 or 6 pm,
and these kids haven't had a real meal all day.
Growing bodies and brains need high-quality food.
What can you do?
* Serve breakfast for dinner.
Left-over dinner from the night before is easiest.
Chicken, fish, hot dogs with broccoli and rice or quiona
are common breakfasts in our house.
Other families serve breakfast burritos.
I know it can be busy in the morning,
and your child may not have the palate
for left-over dinner first thing in the am.
* If that is the case, think high protein
however you can get it.
Growing brains need protein.
* Ask the teacher or lunchroom person
to do a check-in with your child
about their lunch.
These adults can offer Encouragement
to try, eat, or finish their main lunch entree.
* Saving snack food for after your child
eats the the main entree
is another idea.
* Serve a high-protein, meal-like after school snack.
Do what works best for your family.
If the family sit down dinner
when everyone gets home
is important in your family,
But do feed your child substantial nourishment
right after school, if you know
they're not eating much of their lunch at school.
Quality Time with you
I know life can get crazy hectic.
But quality time with you is
Families are way over-scheduled these days.
But quality time with you is even more important
than extra-curricular activities.
Quality Time with you is essential
to your child's academic and social success,
as well as their emotional health.
So schedule in 10 minutes of child-led
quality time activities everyday
(or 30 minutes weekly for older children)
to fill up your children's emotional cups.
This is a top priority,
and can be hard to make happen.
Click here for a Positive Discipline
article about Quality Time with kids,
and this one about Spending Quality Time
There's my Top 3 Back to School Foundations for a happy and healthy school year.
What are your top Back to School Foundations?
Leave a comment below.
0% of parents
have no struggles.
in some way.
So as you're working with
your parenting challenges,
remember you're not alone.
We're all learning and growing together.
If we know every parent struggles,
and struggling helps us grow,
here's some pointers to maximize
the positive from your struggles.
So your challenges bring you UP,
Step #1: Say, "this is hard or challenging,"
either to yourself or to someone who's supportive to you.
We gotta own it to grow from it.
Getting weighed down by parenting guilt, shame, or denial
might be part of your process, but don't get stuck there.
Admitting and acknowledging
that life is hard right now
gives you the traction to change it.
Step #2: Get feeling specific.
"This is hard/challenging because I feel ______ when
my child does this ______."
For an extensive list of feelings, click here
and scroll down to the second page.
When you identify the feeling word with your lived experience,
you brain releases feel-good hormones.
It's like saying to yourself, "Yeah, I see you"
Honoring what you're feeling,
---It's tres importante,
and your jump start to change.
Step #3: When do you feel like a good parent?
Bring your attention to when you feel like a good parent.
When are the times your child cooperates with you?
Is it in the morning, or on the weekend?
After you've had quality together time?
When your little one has had time outside or
is getting ready to go somewhere she/he wants to go?
And maybe right now,
your child isn't cooperating with you at all.
Now notice what you are saying or doing
when you feel like a good parent?
Are you speaking calmly or assertively?
Have you gotten down on your child's level,
and are making eye contact?
Are you using humor or play?
If you can't think of a time
when you feel like a good parent,
be on the look-out for that good parent feeling,
Notice when it's happening and what you're doing,
even if it's just a few seconds of good parent feelin'.
Or if parenting is just feeling negative these days,
honor that too.
4) Bring the good parent feelings to your current challenge.
When you're stressed as a parent, the stress can take over.
And all your actions and reactions to discipline (teach) your children
came from this place of s-t-r-e-s-s.
One way to interrupt the stress cycle is to consciously work to
bring the tone of voice, body language and posture, things you'd say,
and other communication strategies of your feeling good parenting self
to your current challenge.
This may seem counter-intuitive to the "old way."
If my child is misbehaving, why should I be nice?
Won't I be faking it?
Well, here's the deal:
If you or your children are struggling,
you need even more kindness, understanding, and positivity
to get you through.
This doesn't mean you're a push-over,
or not being true to yourself.
It does mean you're utilizing your most effective
parenting strategies when you or your children
need them most.
The "burn to learn" thinking is from the past
And doesn't that make most sense?
Burn to learn,
and making you or your children feel bad
isn't the way to motivate either of you
to positive behavior.
Say it's hard and truly acknowledge this challenge.
Put a feeling word to your current struggle.
Then notice deeply when you feel like a good parent.
And bring those good parent feelings, actions & thoughts to your current situation.
For every parent struggles.
You're not alone.
We're here to support one another.
To learn and grow together.
You got this.
Real Life Parenting.
Every week in my positive parenting Facebook group, we share a Real Life Parenting scenario from our group for new ideas + support. Here's our first Real Life Parenting Scenario.
"How do I make the most out of time with my child? Between my job outside of the home and taking care of the house, we spend about 3 maybe 4 hours of time together a day, but part of that he has to share me because I spend cooking and cleaning.
My son is two, and an only child so there is a light guilty feeling when ever I am not.. Entertaining him. I feel terrible when he is upset, because I worry that he is lonely. Being 2, he can't identify those feelings and express them. I often find myself wondering how much better of a relationship we would have if I didn't work. However, I read once and agree with that if I didn't work, perhaps I would not appreciate our time together as much.
I wish I could spend every second with my lo, but I know he also appreciates some space from a hovering parent. Where do I draw the line? It brings me to tears watching him wish I didn't leave him, but my job is important to me too. Help!"
I feel ya. The work-home balance can be so challenging.
If I could send someone to help every family in my community with cooking and cleaning, I would. The demands of modern parenting are crazy, and often unrealistic.
I love what you said: motherhood (and life), are all about appreciating what we DO have.
For life keeps going, and our children keep growing, whether we are enjoying- or not.
Too many moms spend our days wrought with mommy guilt.
To chill and enjoy what we do have is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, and our family.
Here's some suggestions to maximize your already existing positive outlook:
Create a positive saying to remind yourself of what's most important.
It's awesome that you want to make the most of the time you have with your little guy.
You already know what's most important to you. Let this positivity guide you.
You can maximize your positivity by creating a positive saying that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. Something like:
"I'm a wonderful mom."
Or "I love my son and my work."
"My life is in balance.
Or maybe just "relax and enjoy."
A positive saying like this may feel cheesy at first, but if we think about how often we're repeating negative sayings of self-doubt or self-criticism to ourselves throughout the day, a positive saying or affirmation can be one of our most powerful tools.
Positive sayings are particularly helpful to help you bridge between work and home. You can repeat your positive saying on the commute home, and as you're getting settled in at home in the afternoon to help you stay connected to what's most important to you.
* Give yourself permission to do less.
If reading that statement feels like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders, wonderful and go with it. Truly, we can't do it all. Make your life easier.
Here's some possible ideas:
* Hire a mommy's helper to clean.
* Use the crock pot for dinner.
*If you do your own cooking, eat more prepared and packaged food
* Do the minimum amount of housework that keeps you feeling sane and at ease at home. If you value neatness and tidiness, and need a clean house to feel relaxed, that's wonderful too- then clean away. But if "lived in" doesn't really bother you, I hereby give you permission to prioritize time with your son over cleaning.
We can't do it all, so do what is most important to you. And let the rest slide like water off a duck's back.
* Power Time: Quality over Quantity
We fill our children's emotional cups through quality time together in which we feel connected to our children, and our children feel connected to us--- and this is the foundation for all of our children's future growth, health, and learning.
15 to 30 minutes daily of child-led, sitting on the floor connection time fills up your little ones emotional cup. It could be easy to dwell on the time you're not with your son, or everything that needs to be done while you are with him. Think 30 power minutes of quality connected time with your little guy everyday to meet his needs. For more info about the power of Special Time, this article may be helpful.
* Kitchen Time: Do it together.
Doing dishes and cooking together, either with your little guy helping you, or bringing his pretend play into the kitchen is a wonderful way to have together time, introduce life skills, and foster creative play. Children at this age usually love to help.
You can introduce kitchen together time on a weekday when everyone is more relaxed, and then continue it throughout the work week.
Some ideas include:
* Empty out a cupboard and filling it will all child-safe kitchenware
* Give him a small bowl of water to wash dishes, or having him help on a chair while you wash
* Buy or make pretend play food
* Together and Apart: Repeat.
It's always a balance as a parent of fostering both connection and independence within our children. Very often parents today feel they have to be with their children all the time, entertaining them, making sure they are happy. Or parents don't really know how to facilitate, or understand the value of, independent play, even for very small children.
On the other hand, we don't want our children feeling isolated from us emotionally or physically. In particular, media often becomes our babysitter so we can get done what we need to around the house.
Here's a general rule of thumb: for every 30 minutes of child-led "together time," think 5-10 minutes of independent play.
What does this look like?
* For example, do a puzzle together, then your little guy plays his favorite toy on the floor for a few moments while you take a moment for yourself, or to get something done around the house.
* Or while you're prepping dinner, your son is right next to you pretending to cook, and you are talking to him about what he's doing or you're doing. Then, he plays in his kitchen cupboard while you finish dinner.
The amount of times and the nature of the activities and the time together and apart depend upon your child's personality, and also what he needs that day (like if he is sick or over-tired he might want you to be closer).
The Circle of Security explains how to strengthen the parent child bond, and meet children's needs for connection and independence. You can watch this short video here for more info.
* Trust Your Intuition
And most importantly: trust your intuition. When you focus on first meeting your own needs, both emotionally and physically as a parent, you are in the optimal place to access your wisdom as a parent.
You know what is best for you, and your little guy. Trust in you, try out any of the ideas shared above or in our positive parenting group, and remember you have a supportive community behind you.
Thank you for sharing this Real Life Parenting Challenge that so many parents face today. And thanks for the amazing work you're doing everyday to raise the next generation!
All the best,
p.s. Join the Parenting for the Next Generation Facebook Group to share your Real Life Parenting Challenge. For more information about working with Megan to access your wisdom and the latest brain science tools in parenting, click here.
Children are great imitators. We may notice this most often when our children repeat back our negative behaviors, reactions, or things we say, including swearing. We may never even realize we respond a certain way, until we see the response in our children.
Our modeling is the #1 way children learn. In parenting it's "what we do, not what we say" that counts. It is our actions that teach our little ones.
Also, have you ever noticed how when you're having a bad day, your children also seem to be having a bad day as well? Part of this phenomenon has to do with the negative lens or intent we are seeing the world with when we're having a bad day. And this is also mirror neurons at work.
Overview of Mirror Neurons:
The concept of mirror neurons was developed from studies with monkeys.
Scientists discovered that the same neurons in a monkey's brain fired when the monkey picked up an object and when the monkey watched another monkey pick up the object. The monkey's brain is having nearly the same experience whether it does something, or is watches someone else do it.
Huge right? Scientists are studying mirror neurons in people, and the way we understand mirror neurons is every changing as on-going research explains how mirror neurons help us "survive and thrive in a complex world."
In order for your brain to adopt another's action as your own, you must be able to understand another's persons point of view. Neuroscientists believe mirror neurons can help us understand consciousness, empathy, and interconnectedness-- as well as the power and responsibility of not only our actions, but the intentions behind our actions. Mirror neurons also prove that feeling, not logical thought is the basis of our interactions with others.
While some scientists state that mirror neurons only are responsible for reflecting back actions, other scientists say mirror neurons are also responsible for how we reflect back one another's feelings and thoughts.
Mirror Neurons in Parenting
Some research has shown that our children are wired to reflect back our emotional and mental states. Dan Siegel has said that are children are more like sponges, soaking up our thoughts and feelings. One scientific article said that children are literal mind-readers. Children's ability to attune in this way to their parents and caregivers ensures their safety, and the survival of the human race.
Parenting is nearly all conscious and unconscious behavioral responses rooted in thoughts, feeling, and intentions that form the basis of our daily lives, interactions, and the foundation of our children's inner worlds. The
In this video, Dan Siegel explains how people have an ability to understand a pattern of repeated actions, the implications for the actions, and ultimately the intention behind the actions. All this occurs, for most us, automatically and is the inner workings of the brain that explain human behavior.
From this pattern of understanding other's behavior, the intentions behind the behavior, and the broader implications of this behavior, the brain then creates a neural map of this pattern. This neural map is the basis for how children learn both how to be compassionate, caring, thoughtful individuals or how we teach children to be mean, uncaring, and violent.
Children's behavior and character (and our very own behavior and characters) is all based on the intentions and actions from caregivers, and from the previous generation of parent-child interactions.
When mirror neurons in parenting are positive and pro-social, humanity- and the individual child- is on track to have a happy and healthy life from the inside out. And when mirror neurons teach children violent, anti-social, or negative behavior, it's truly sad and threatens the survival of the human species. The good news is that even the adult brain can change throughout the life span, and we can always rework and rewire negative patterns originating in our childhood. This creation of positive patterns for ourselves and our children is the hope for humanity, and the essence of my positive parenting programs.
Do you recognize this cycle?
You say no.
Your child whines, cries, or protests
in some way.
After some tears or a tantrum,
you give in and end up saying yes
These instances can be a red-flag
to "just say yes"
from the get-go.
Keep an eye out this week,
when are you likely to say no,
but then give in.
See if it's something
you could "just say yes" to
from the beginning.
with a big old yes!
This will conserve your energy
and hopefully help increase
cooperation for when parenting
follow-through is truly needed.
And this week,
if you feel like
you're giving in too much,
we'll talk about
some of the most effective ways
to engage cooperation
and follow through
in next week's tool.
wishing you clarity
in your mind and heart
to avoid the cycle of
Saying "no," ------>
your children protesting
-----> then you give in."
If it feels right,
liberate yourself with a big ol' YES
from the get-go!
Let us know
over in the FB community.
Have a wonderful week,
p.s. Looking for more simple tools to make life easier--- and to have more summer fun with your family? Join Summer Magic 2016! The FREE online event begins June 27th. Sign up here to join us!
Do you know what my #1 goal is in positive parenting?
To help you feel more like you.
So you feel even stronger
in the essence of you.
Parenting is not about saying
or doing "the right thing"
-- or waiting
for life to be perfect.
This is about you
in your power.
So you have the strength
to work with your challenges.
And the strength
to fully embrace
your unique gifts + blessings.
My wish for you
is that you feel
a strong connection
to your strength,
And that this connection
with the highest part of you,
your best self,
grows and grows within you
til it glows like the sun.
Wishing you a golden week of you,
as we kick off the summer season!
Hi friends, I write from the heart to tell my life story, and the story of those in my neighborhood called life. Research shows that our children's emotional & mental health is contingent upon us parents being able to tell our life story, or "coherent narrative." This is my coherent narrative, my life story in the making, with some of what I love in life too. My goal is to share my life in a way that is real, uplifting & positive- sometimes serious, sometimes fun. In my practice, I inspire parents to empowerment through reclaiming our life stories and learning respectful discipline. My work is my offering to our children- our future. Wishing you all a happy family!