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The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties, Guest Post by Larry Cohen

  I am thrilled today to be hosting a guest post from one of my heros, Lawrence J. Cohen, PhD, author of Playful Parenting. Today's article is adapted from his new book, The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parenting Approach to Childhood Anxieties and Fears. Enjoy!   I needed an idea for my eighth-grade science experiment. My mother was the director of a nursery school, and every spring the children hatched chickens as a project. I cared for the eggs and the baby chicks on nights and weekends. My sister Jeanie was studying to be a psychologist at the time (I guess... read more

Will YOU Like Your Adult Child?

If I've been a bit incommunicado lately it's because I was busy reaping some delicious fruits of parenting for peace: enjoying my adult children! Raucous midnight rounds of "Wise & Otherwise," updates on their interesting lives, great food & rich conversation around the dinner table -- holidays to savor!                                   A few days after we had that gorgeous portrait snapped in the forest wilderness where I live, my son Ian posted to Facebook a photo of him and his sister in matching yellow raincoats from oh, about 18 years earlier.   It reminded... read more

Fathering in America

  Have you seen this picture in this blog post?  In short, it is a picture of a father wearing his 6 month old daughter in a carrier while fixing his older daughter's hair.  I just came across it today for the first time.  It immediately caught my heart because I love viewing babywearing pictures as much as others like viewing pictures of beautiful sunsets or gorgeous scenery.   The headline stated that it was “controversial” and stirred emotion in many people.  That seemed kind of weird to me because, after all, it’s just someone brushing a kid’s hair.  I do it... read more

Mothering Beyond Baby-wearing (and Cloth Diapers and Breastfeeding and...)

There is a common phenomena among the crunchy in our midst.  It is the self labeling of parenting practices.     You've seen it, haven't you?   "I'm a cloth diapering, gentle parenting, long-term breastfeeding, baby-wearing, home-birthing natural mama!"   It's the tag line/self description on many a blog, e-mail, and profile.  Funny thing is, even though I have done all those things, I don't care for the label.  Much less a self imposed one.     Wondering why?  It isn't because I buck against all labels.  It is because those things are fleeting.    My... read more

Sitting With My Child's Anger

               How mindfulness can help children and parents deal with their anger.   My son sat at the table, body noticeably calmer than it had just been, but eyes still darting from my husband's face to mine. Recently emerging from his room, he was coming down off of the rage that had gripped him once again. The anger that had led him to scream in our faces, kick the chair, and run away to his quiet place. What prompted it? I could tell you a hundred different scenarios and they would all be true at one time or another. But, in his words, my seven-year-old said,... read more

What Marketers Don't Understand About Motherhood

                  Dear Marketing Geniuses,   We don’t watch a lot of television in our house, but I guess the little that we do watch is geared towards women of a certain age because all of the commercials are targeted towards moms.     You paint such a lovely picture of motherhood.  The mom is always well-rested.  She’s usually quite attractive and dressed in something that very easily could have come off of the racks at J Crew.  She’s never sick of cleaning.  We can tell because she smiles wistfully at the shine her new cleaning product produces on... read more

Fake It Until You Make It

How Pretending I Was a Better Parent Helped Me Be a Better Parent   I'm going to put myself out there and admit something that I typically do not admit in print. Vulnerability isn't comfortable for me (understatement), but I am guessing that most of you have felt the way I do at some point in your parenting career. I am tired. I am often overwhelmed. I lose my cool more times than I care to admit with my children. At four and six, my boys have an energy that I cannot keep up with from time to time. The amount of fighting in the house can go from zero to full blown... read more

Raising a Sensitive Son

  While I sat in my comfy chair writing last week’s post as my little boy slept and my older son was trying to fall asleep, Everest stumbled out of bed to tell me he felt scared. This was hardly a new communication; he’s felt scared more nights than I can count since he turned five (he’s now eight). But because I happened to be writing about teaching your kids how to respond to fear, I decided to apply the lesson in the moment: “Everest, do you remember how we’ve been talking to Asher about his Monkey Brain and how he can boss it back? Well, let’s see if you... read more

I Was a Spanking Mother

Yes, I spanked my son. It was almost twenty years ago but I still remember it vividly. Ian was six or seven and was stubbornly, defiantly ignoring me right to my face. (About what? Now that I cannot recall!) Something primitive inside me uncoiled and I was suddenly spanking him. I regretted it immediately and ever since -- not just for the obvious reason of having been violent with him, but also for the sliver of his respect I lost in that moment.   We lose the admiration of our children when we “lose it.” It’s a mammalian thing: all animal behaviorists know... read more

Instead of Hitting

Issue 127 By Peggy O'Mara  At a meeting I attended recently, I mentioned an article we wanted to solicit entitled “Instead of Hitting.” One woman asked what the title meant. Another said, “But doesn’t the Bible tell us to hit our kids?” Later in the conversation, when I questioned the wisdom of time-outs, people were even more confused. Well, if we don’t hit or punish—I could hear them all wonder silently—then what are we supposed to do? These are legitimate concerns. When I was a new mom 30 years ago, I had these same questions. I started out hitting my kids. I... read more

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