Let’s Talk about Halloween Candy

When I was a child, we didn't do trick-or-treating, but we did go to our church's harvest festival each year, which means we children did end up with piles of candy. Each year my parents put all of that candy up where we couldn't get it and let us eat it for only one half hour each Saturday over the next couple of weeks, until it was gone. This was a terrible idea. Not only did it reinforce that nothing was really ever ours, it also meant that every Saturday for a month we would cram ourselves … [Read more...]


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“Would you like me to hold you while you cry?”

I knew the moment I saw Sally's face that there was going to be a problem. Her face was crumpling, and I knew tears wouldn't be far behind. Sally had just finished her dance class. Her teacher had just given her and her classmates each a certificate of participation, but one girl, who had fulfilled all the requirements and was ready to move up to the next class, got a ribbon. And Sally didn't. And in Sally's four-year-old mind, this was a disaster.The tears flowed freely as we walked out to … [Read more...]


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A Sibling Tussle: Empathy and Problem Solving

So. I've given you all an intense couple of days. Today we take a break for something more fun. I want to share a humorous exchange that recently took place between my children Sally (age 4) and Bobby (age 1). It involved a tussle over a package of princess gummies and two children who really do care about each other---but aren't about to give up their property without a fuss.First, a moment of background. Every time we go to the grocery I let Sally pick out something for herself. The … [Read more...]


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Bottling Up Your Emotions, Children Edition

Have a look at this FAQ from a quiverfull blogger: How do you deal with (1) whining/complaining, (2) arguing with parental directions, (3) poor attitudes (sulking, etc.) in response to chores, food, parental decisions, etc., (4) tantrums.All of the above are a lot easier to avoid, than to deal with. We do not permit whining, complaining, arguing, sulking, tantrums, sibling fighting, rudeness, etc. We avoid them by teaching why such attitudes and behaviors are wrong, and then punishing them … [Read more...]


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Sally’s Scissors and How We Teach Lessons

I have been really surprised by the response to the post I put up this morning about Sally's scissors. In that post I told what was for me an important moment of self-discovery, and I used that moment to draw out a more important point, and yet the majority of the commenters there responded by telling me that there's nothing wrong with taking away a child's scissors, that I shouldn't feel bad about acting out in anger toward Sally because everyone's human, and even that Sally was likely just … [Read more...]


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“You Took My Scissors Away and Made Me Sad”

Sally has a little box with scissors and glue, and she loves cutting and pasting. She makes beautiful pictures cutting up colored paper and then gluing it together. And then, yesterday, she cut up the couch. I'll be honest: I was a bit angry. Now, I know kids are kids and these things happen, and I value my relationship with my daughter more than I do the couch, but I was still more than a little upset with her for cutting up my couch. Ouch.Anyway, I took her scissors away. I told her that … [Read more...]


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“Mommy, You Have Two Options”

When Sally wants something that is not an option at the moment---say, going out for ice cream---the first thing I do is explain why it's not an option. I explain that we had already made other plans, or that we don't have money in the budget to go for ice cream every day, or that we need to make sure we're eating a healthy diet and ice cream should be a special treat not something we eat constantly, etc.Sometimes, however, that's not enough. Sally doesn't always understand the concept of … [Read more...]


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