Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What to do when your baby has Colic

(colicnomore.com)

Four of my babies had colic so I've garnered some wisdom over the years about what to do.  Here are some do's and don't's I've learned:

  • DO:  Take your child to the doctor.  He/she may have physical issues that are causing discomfort.  My babies had acid reflux.  This is VERY common.  The medicine for it doesn't hurt babies, so even if your babies aren't spitting up a lot (mine didn't), it's worth a try.  See if your doctor will let you do a trial run with the medicine.
  • DON'T:  Try and handle it all by yourself all the time.  Get help.  Family members and friends can help you take breaks from the constant crying.
  • DO:  Let your husband help.  A lot.  Ask for it.  Don't wait for him to offer.  And don't criticize his efforts.  Let him do it his way.  It's important not to criticize him if you want his help in the future.
  • DON'T:  Let yourself reach the breaking point.  If you feel yourself getting angry, call someone right away.  If no one is available, put the baby in a safe place, like his crib, and let him cry, while you get a short break.  Turn on the television or put in soothing music to help you calm down, or take a short bath.  Praying helps too.
  • DO:  Try many different tactics.  Baby slings are great and help you get more done.
  • DON'T:  Feel like you have to hold the baby 24 hours/day.  If you need to let them cry for a bit while you eat your dinner, it's okay.
  • DO: Try gas medicine for babies.  Many times that helps. 
  • DO: Try baby massage to get gas bubbles moving.  Try lots of things: baths, swaddling, burping, rocking, singing, stroking their forehead, driving in the car, vibrating chair, swing, or gently walking and bouncing (never shaking).
  • DO:  Plan ahead.  If you know there is a fussy time, get dinner made and a nap in for yourself before it happens.  Make extra portions of dinner to freeze for later.  Crockpots are a lifesaver.
  • DON'T:  Be afraid to hire a babysitter to give yourself a break.  Also accept meals from friends who offer.
  • DO:  Go on dates with your husband.  Colic is hard on a relationship.  You need to give each other some time.
  • DO: Buy earplugs.  Trust me if you are holding a crying baby a lot, this will save your sanity.  You can still feel good about comforting the baby, but it won't grate on your nerves so much.
  • DON'T:  Listen to criticism from other people.  Grandmothers used to stop me at the store and tell me to feed my baby more so he wouldn't cry.  I just ignored what they said, told them my baby had colic, and kept shopping. Nobody knows what your personal struggle is, so they do not have the right to criticize.  Don't worry about what other people think, and don't let them tell you it's your fault.  It's not.  Colicky babies just cry a lot, and you are doing your best, so don't listen to their negativity.
  • DO:  Know that it will end sooner than you think.  I promise.  Usually at around 2 1/2 months and sometimes sooner.  It won't last forever!
Hope these tips help!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

How Much Should You Pay Your Babysitter? And How to Find a Great One!


I was inspired by this great article on Yahoo to write a post on babysitting.  When my kids were younger I paid $2/per child per hour.  When I had five kids that was $10 per hour!  According to the article, that's not enough these days.  $13.44 is the going rate now.  Quite a lot, but I think it's worth it, when you find the right person, to pay enough to keep them interested.  How do you find the right person?  Networking!  You need to talk to your friends and parents of the teenagers you know.  Ask them these questions:

1. Does your daughter like children?
2. Is she too busy with extra curricular activities?
3. Will she play with the kids?
4. Will she help the children clean up after themselves?

When you ask these questions to parents of teens, they will pass along to their teen that these are the things you care about, and they can decide if they are up to the challenge.  This will help them fulfill your expectations.  You also need to tell them your expectations before you leave.  Lists are always helpful.

Another way to find great babysitters is to be involved in helping the youth while volunteering at a church or school.  You can scope out teens' personalities as you work with them.  Once you find a great babysitter, be sure you pay them enough so they'll want to keep coming back.  Always praise the things you see that they've done well.  This will make them want to do it again the next time, and usually it will inspire them to work even harder!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

How to Help a Child who is Being Bullied

(www.mhpbooks.com)

This is a tough topic.  We all feel sorry for the victims of bullies...and yet, the bullies themselves often come from terrible home situations which fuel their behavior.  When my son was being bullied by a boy he sat by at school here are the steps I took which seemed to work well.

1.  Find out the full story.  If your child hints at being bullied, stop what you are doing and take the time to get the whole story.  Find out if he is doing things to exacerbate the problem and aggrevate the bully's behavior.  You need to get the whole picture in order to fix what is wrong.

2. Once you understand the situation, talk with your child's teacher.  Teachers are usually committed to stop bullying, so they will be your ally.  They can talk with the bully and his parents if necessary.  It is never a child's responsibility to stop a bully problem.  Only adults are equipped to stop a bully.  Teachers need to be aware of what is happening, so they can foresee and prevent potential problems from happening.

3. Remove the child from the situation as best as possible.  If he sits by the bully, have him move to the opposite end of the classroom.  Teach your children to walk away from bullies and find a teacher.  If cyber-bullying is the problem, help your children block the offenders from their phones and email, and teach them to stay away from sites the bullies go on.

4. Give your child skills.  If they encounter a bully, help them know to remove themselves from the situation and report it to a teacher or parent right away.  Help them not to do things that will not exacerbate the problem, such as needling the bully about a sore subject.  Tell your child not to say mean things back to the bully, as it may escalate the problem.  If they see others being bullied, they should tell a teacher right away.

5.  Help them understand that it is not their fault.  No child deserves to be bullied. Help them understand that it is not their character that invites bullying.  Teach them that bullies usually have hard home lives and that they haven't learned to get their needs met appropriately.  Tell your children to be kind, but to stay away from the bullying behavior.

6.  Help your children have confidence and self-esteem through love at home and developing their talents.  This way, mean words won't bother them so much.  Help them know that mean things people say are never true, and that they can ignore and not believe the words a bully uses.  This is a skill they will need to have for life...so it is important to teach and re-teach this principle.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blog Tour


Lindsay Weldon reviewed my book on her blog today!  Check it out here!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Talking about Tough Topics with Your Children


This is the best article I've ever read about how to parent well.  I LOVED it.  I wish everyone in the world could read it.  Click the caption to go there.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Courage

I feel like Mothers show courage like this every day....every hour.  You are amazing!

Friday, March 6, 2015

How to See the Good in Your Children

(hopeandhealingcenter.org)

I thought I'd expand on yesterday's post and list ways I've found to see the good in my children.  This is important because it affects the way you treat them.  And children can sense when all you notice is their faults.  They will act out more when this happens and the relationship will be strained.  Remember if they don't feel acceptance from you they will seek it in their peers, and that can be dangerous.  So here are ways you can see the good in them.

1.  Remember that their judgment isn't fully developed.  Expect mistakes, and keep teaching.  Don't criticize.

2.  Try to see what they can become instead of what they are right now, especially if you are having trouble liking them at the moment.

3. Try not to look at them through the lens of fear, but through the lens of love and patience.  You can pray for help with this.  It works.  You can also pray to see them through God's eyes.  This helps you see their potential rather than their failings.

4. Spending time doing things together builds a bond and helps you see the good in your children.

5. Compliment them for the good things they do.  Write down the things you love about them each night in a journal.  This works as well as keeping a gratitude journal for keeping a positive perspective.  Give them a kiss and hug each night and tell them you love them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Love

(Author Debbie Macomber's facebook page)


I love this!  See the good in your children and your husband.  That's the recipe for a happy family!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Easter on a Budget!


I loved these low cost ideas to make the Easter table special for the kids!  Click the caption to go there.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's Finally Here!


It's finally here!  My new humor book is now available on Amazon!  I'm so excitied!  Click here to get your copy!