Monday, March 6, 2017

E is for Encouraging

How many of you were cheerleaders in your school days? The sole purpose of having cheerleaders on the sidelines is to bring attention to the home team- when they have a good play or score a point. That type of attention is encouraging. It gives the team (and the fans in the stands) energy and focuses them on the good things happening during the game. Sometimes, the cheering also provides a little team spirit when the scoreboard is not in their favor as well.

Encouragement is a powerful parenting tool. 

It lets your child know that you are FOR them. That you want the very best for them and that you notice when they do the right thing or make the right choice. Encouragement can also be used when you child has had a not-so-good day, too. It can remind them that you love them no matter what and that tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to shine. defines encouraging like this:
1. To inspire with courage, spirit or confidence
2. To stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.

As a mom, many of the words we say to our kids have a negative tone:


Don't touch that.

Put that down.

You can't play with that in the house.

Stop teasing your sister.

Not today.
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Many times we don't even realize how many negative words we use in a day. It's important to pay attention to the words we use and to make sure we have plenty of positive interactions with our children as well.

Use encouraging words like:

You were kind to share that toy with your brother.

I'm proud of you.

You make mommy smile.

I love it when you use your words.

Look at the way you cleaned up those toys. You're a big helper.

Keep up the good work!

This week, try to pay attention to the words you use and challenge yourself to say five positive things for every negative thing you say to your child. You will notice a difference in your attitude and theirs as well!

Till next time,


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

D is for Deep Breath

It might seem funny to dedicate one of our ABC's of Motherhood posts to deep breathing but girls, let me tell you, it's an important skill!

Deep breathing is a great relaxation tool for you as a mom and for your kids as well. Many times you aren't aware but when you are stressed, afraid or tense, your breathing changes. It becomes more rapid and shallow. Deep breathing allows you to relax instantly and clear your mind of negative thoughts and emotions. It also allows for a pause in the midst of a chaotic situation, like a toddler tantrum or meltdown, in order to not escalate the situation.

Deep breathing increases the levels of "happy" chemicals or neuro transmitters in your brain so it can actually improve your mood! My family jokes often about the saying "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy" and while it is funny, there is also truth to it. Our kids pick up on our stress and our bad moods and react in kind. If we can control our stress levels, it will have positive ripple effects on the whole household. Deep breathing is one way we can accomplish this.

So, how do you practice deep breathing? Here are three easy steps:

  1. Inhale deeply through your nose, until you can see and feel your belly expand (about the count of 5).
  2. Hold and count to 3.
  3. Exhale through your mouth, counting to 5.
Then repeat as many times as needed until you feel your heart rate return to normal, your breathing slow on it's own and you feel calmer. 

I promise, it works! You can also teach your kids, as young as two, to deep breathe and help them learn to calm themselves at a young age.

To catch up on our other ABC's of Motherhood posts, follow the links below.

Till next time,