Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings

A friend asked me a few days ago for recommendations on books for children about being an older brother or sister. It made me realise that while I’d shared books for dealing with a new baby, I hadn’t ever shared a list of books for helping an older child deal with a younger sibling – both in terms of suddenly having to share the love and space, but also in helping them realise that feelings of jealousy and anger are normal, and to equip them in how to deal with those feelings. I hope these books on siblings help your little ones accept their little brothers and sisters.

Some of these we own, some I’m going by the reviews of other readers, but here’s a list of books that can help you.

(*These are affiliate links. If you choose to buy through these links it won’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll be helping to support my work and my family, so thank you for that.)

Books that reinforce love for the older sibling:

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings“Three sibling bears start to worry that they can’t ALL be “the most wonderful baby bears in the whole wide world” as they are regularly told by Mummy and Daddy Bear. As each singles out a personal feature that might mean they are less loved than their siblings, Mummy and Daddy are able to reassure them all, jointly and individually, with “a good answer”. The watercolour illustrations depict gentle, loving bear-family scenes alongside the story.”

The reviews on this story are enough to make me want to buy it. Everyone says that it’s beautiful, that it teaches a valuable lesson and that it’s a favourite.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsI Love You, Alfie Cub is a stunningly illustrated book about a little fox cub, Alfie, whose mama has a new litter of pups – twin girls. Mama Fox explains that the twins will take up a lot of her time and need a lot of love and care. Alfie is kind of excited about having new play mates, but by the end of the first day, they haven’t even grown yet! (I so relate to this. Ameli’s first question about her sister was ‘Can it walk? – at about 2 minutes old!)

Alfie’s Mama is tired, and falls asleep without reading him stories. She doesn’t play with him as much, and she is always busy with the twins. He fears that she has run out of love for him, so he spends the day looking high and low for love. A friendly frog reminds him that he still has love, so he can share his love with his  mother. Alfie has an idea and sets about making a play space for his sisters.

The last few pages of this book make my eyes well up with tears. Seriously, I get so emotional. Alfie realises that his mother loves him, and she reminds him that she will never run out of love for him.

I Love You, Alfie Cub is so incredibly beautiful, it’s one of my favourites, it’s sweet, and it lays the foundation for older siblings to say that just because Mama is a bit busy right now does not mean that she doesn’t love or has replaced them.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings“A little fox is in a big bad mood, and is worried that its mother won’t love it forever. In this beautiful and lyrical picture book, we see a clever and resourceful mother prove to her child that a parents love is limitless – no matter what! In this reassuring and warm picture book, the hugely talented Debi Gliori manages to treat the familiar subject of childhood worries in a very fresh, original and inventive way.”

The story gets rave reviews from everyone who needs reassurance that their parents still love them. This is one of those rhyming stories, gentle and soothing. It reinforces that nothing can take our love away.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsJust Like You Did starts as Tom is just about to have a new baby brother or sister arrive.  Although the new arrival turns out to be a baby boy, Tom isn’t happy, because all the family and friend spend a lot of time looking at the new baby and Tom feels left out.

Tom eventually snaps angrily, but when his parents sit him down and show him pictures of what he was like when he was a baby, and explain that the baby will soon start to grow up and things won’t be difficult for ever, Tom’s happiness is restored.

Just Like You Did is suitable for siblings 2+

Books that address the sibling relationship

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings“This book may help to explore disgruntled feelings between an older and a younger baby sibling who at about 6 months is starting to want to play with their toys and things. It is hard to share everything and resentment can build up inside.”

In this story the older sister gets upset with her little brother getting everything sticky and soggy. She starts doing things to get him messy and in trouble, but there’s a happy ending, with them all cuddled up and cozy together. One of the criticisms of the book, however, is that there isn’t much about sharing, so much as accepting a baby brother – not a bad result really.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsThe ‘big sister’ in this story thinks everything about being a big sister is unfair. As the ‘big girl’, she is expected to play independently, tidily and quietly, to which her response is, “it’s not fair!”. Over the course of the story she begins to realise the advantages of being the older sibling as she’s able to do things the baby can’t.

When the baby grows and learns to talk, he sees all the things his sister can do and he in turn thinks it’s not fair.

I’m not sure about the basic concepts of ‘two unfairs making a fair’ really, but I think this story can have a place at the right time. What it does do,  however, is open up a dialogue to discussing frustration and jealousy, while leading to an eventual bond between the brother and sister.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsAnother book I would buy simply based on the reviews. Many readers comment on how it is clear and direct, and great especially for children on the Autism spectrum. It is of course also good for children who are dealing with a new sibling and having to become accustomed to sharing their parents.

“I Feel Jealous explores the emotion of jealousy from the point of view of a young child. It reassures the reader that jealousy, including being envious of siblings, is quite normal and that talking to someone about feelings helps.”

Ever So Ever So* – Kes Gray

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsAccording to reviews on this book, it will help children who are feeling ‘disgruntled’ about having a younger sibling.

In this story, “mum and dad think that every little squeek and snuffle baby Susan makes is “ever so ever so clever.” Baby Susan hiccups and mums says she is “ever so sweet.” Baby Susan blinks and dad says she is “ever so alert.” ”

This story explores the frustrations an older sibling could feel when a tiny little baby comes home and seems to be get all the attention. It also deals with regression of the older child – big sister Susan copies things the baby does ‘cutely’, but she gets into trouble for.

On the final pages, Susan has an injection from the nurse and cries inconsolably. She is only comforted when her older sister cuddles and kisses and rocks her until she falls asleep, to which her family remark that she is ever such a brave, grown up and good older sister.

Ever So Ever So is told from the older sister’s point of view. It provides a good opportunity to discus jealousy and anger and being left out. One reviewer mentions dad’s involvement with baby in this book, which is great too. This book seems suitable for older siblings ages about 3 – 7.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsTold by a big sister, My Little Brother is about how she finds her little brother a bother and wishes him away. One night he disappears from his crib (into the laundry cupboard with the cat) and she realises that she wouldn’t want to be without him.

 

Readers of this story have said that it showed them the positives of having a younger brother far out weighed the negatives.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings“Someone new is at our house,” begins this loving, reassuring look at brotherhood. Told through the eyes of a new older brother, this simple story lays out all the good things about being an older sibling, and reminds new brothers that they are just as special as ever.

One of the comments on this book is that it shows a bottle feeding baby. Not a big deal to most, but just something to be aware of if you prefer pro-breastfeeding books.

This book is more aimed at brothers with baby siblings, but there’s a Big Sister* version too.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger SiblingsA nice brother to brother book, this story is a little different, with Little Brother Kenny adoring his older brother, even though Jack always falsely accuses him. Kenny’s first word is “Jack” which ‘brings an abrupt end to his brother’s reign’.

Readers call this an ‘endearing story’ that demonstrates the special relationship that can exist between two brothers.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings“Squashed in the middle, invisible in the middle, Martha thinks nobody really notices her … so she runs away to the bottom of the garden. Here she meets Frog who, by showing her round the garden, persuades her that the middle really is the very best place to be.”

Particularly good if your middle child is called Martha, but all middle children can relate to the subtle message as Martha sometimes longs to be the oldest, and sometimes the baby. Martha in the Middle is highly regarded by people with middle children.

Hold That Thought, Milton! – While not technically fitting into this category, I’d like to make special mention of Hold That Thought, Milton! It’s a book about a little boy desperate to tell someone he’s lost something special to him, but everyone is too busy getting ready for his big brother’s wedding, so they all tell him to ‘hold that thought’, until he eventually explodes green slime all over the wedding party. I worked out a code word with my little girl that when she was feeling unheard or unlistened to she could use that word to make me stop and pay attention. We also worked out a list of people she could go to if we weren’t approachable. It hurts my heart to think that this could happen, but life sometimes does.

Books To Help Children Cope With Younger Siblings*I haven’t read all these books about siblings, but the above is written from feedback from Amazon and Little Parachutes.

What The Contents Of My Hoover Say About My Life

I hoover my house almost daily. If I don’t, after just one day, it looks like I never have.

A few days ago, I was cleaning out the bagless hoover, and amid a cloud of dust, I began to giggle to myself as I realised that the contents of my hoover are a direct insight into my life.  Read more here…. 

For a long, long time now, I’ve wanted to start another blog, something that resembles what this blog used to be a few years ago, but it’s taken me almost a year to come up with a name I liked. Well, I’ve done it now… and in walks Not Quite Granola.

I’ve shared a few posts from Diary of a First Child over there, but also some new content. If you’ve enjoyed my attachment/natural/gentle parenting posts, please pop over to Not Quite Granola. I’d love to see you there!

 

Why Wont My Toddler Share?

As parents we have this unique and rather amazing ability to forget things. From pregnancy, through birth and seemingly into childhood (and possibly further) we forget the bits that admittedly, don’t always add anything positive to the story. I’ve seen my parents do it, and while I was of the firm opinion that I would never forget a weight, a height, a date of a first word, first whatever, the truth is, you do. Then you have a second (or subsequent ) child, and somehow, amazingly, you forget.

So when Aviya recently started shouting Mine! for… almost everything…., I was suddenly concerned. When did my sweet little genteel baby become so possessive? What did I do wrong. Were we missing out on something fundamental to her development? Aren’t second children supposed to be better at sharing than their older siblings… oh, wait…. that’s right – Ameli did  go through something like this. In fact, Ameli was 23 months old when we met our current friendship group, and the first few months of our meetings, I thought they must think me a horrible mother because all my child does is grab, and shove and say MINE! 

Then, Ameli being six months older than most of the rest of her group, six months later I started noticing the rest of them had entered this phase and I felt such relief! My child wasn’t turning into a psychopathic monster after all! And then… then I forgot all about it. What is that about?

Anyway. Armed with the wisdom of two and a half years later, and faced with a 23-month old there are a few things I’ve learned along the way, and partly to remind myself and partly to help those of you who are facing this for the n-th time 1 here are a few things to remember about children and sharing and a few gentle ways to help them through this developmental phase:

1) Don’t Force It

Think of children in terms of your best friend. How would s/he feel if you took their Kindle/iPhone/iPad and made them share it with the guy/girl you met in the coffee shop this morning? Your child feels the same about that doll/car/stick/leaf.  It’s worse about things they have a real attachment to, but anything that is your child’s sudden favourite is really important to them.

Instead: Offer an alternative. If it’s something your child really doesn’t want to share, ask them if you can keep it safe until they are alone again. If you’re asking, accept that the answer may be no. Remember that you can’t teach ‘don’t snatch’ by snatching it away from them.

Why Wont My Toddler Share?2) Don’t guilt them

If you don’t want to share, Johnny/Sue won’t want to play with you‘ sounds a whole lot like ‘If you won’t sleep with him, people will say you’re seriously lame and uncool‘ to me. Not the words, obviously, but the sentiment. I don’t want to teach my child that to be socially accepted she has to willing to do whatever is asked of her.  (By the way, there’s a difference between that, and saying ‘if you hit your friends, they won’t want to play with you’. That one is simply true, and logical and pretty much applies in adulthood too. Unless you’re in a boxing club.)

And the truth is, it’s often less about the children than our embarrassment about what people must think.

3) Adjust your expectation

Gosh – I’ve uttered those words to my husband so many times. She’s t-w-o. (not even). Don’t expect six year old behaviour from her. Understand that this is a phase and that it will pass. Your goal isn’t actually – shouldn’t be, anyway – to make her share everything. Your goal is to help her understand why we want to share some things with some people.

Cornell University 2 did a very interesting study on preschoolers and sharing, where children were divided into three groups – one group had to share stickers with a puppet, the next were given a choice between keeping stickers and throwing them away, and the third group had to choose between sharing with the puppet or keeping their sticker.

Interestingly, the children who were given the choice of sharing the sticker or keeping it for themselves, when presented with a new puppet and more stickers to share were the ones who shared the most. Read the full study on toddlers and sharing here. It’s really interesting reading.

In light of my recent amazing introduction to decent tools for positive parentinghere are the steps we take when Aviya either melts down because her big sister dared look in the direction of something that’s hers:

Why Wont My Toddler Share?1) Empathise

“I can see you feel angry/hurt/upset/frightened”

2) Options

“Here are your options: we can put the toy away, or your sister can play with xyz for two minutes while you watch, or you can swap toys and play with each other’s special toys, or you can go play with your own toy somewhere else.” The problem with giving options is that you have to be able to follow through – “should we go home and you can play with your toy alone” given as an option, means you have to be willing to go home right away.  Don’t offer it if it’s not an option, and an immediate viability – “share or she won’t share her toy with you later” means nothing to a two year old with no real concept of the passage of time. 

3) Highlight the benefit of positive behaviour, without being punitive

There’s a definite difference between “look how sad your friend is because you wont share” and “you shared and your friend is really happy”. The one is guilty manipulation and the other is pointing out the consequence of a behaviour.

If they choose not to share, divert attention to the other child for a minute. “Aviya really doesn’t want to share her special toy at the moment. Why don’t we let her play with it for now and you can show me your special toy?” Chances are the introduction of something else that someone else wants might just provide the motivation for the first child to share their toy after all.

Does this take longer than just snatching the toy from your child and giving it to the other child – something I’ve sadly been guilty of! Of course it does. Are the long term effects worth it? Of course.

There’s nothing wrong with a child having a sense of ownership over their items, and I find especially with second child, so many of their things once belonged to an older sibling, that having things specifically ear marked as theirs is very valuable. And after all, if they care about something, they’ll care for it, and we really do want them to have that sense of ownership so that they will learn to care for their things too.

Remember that modelling is really important to children. They will do as they see us do. (And if you want to read them a story about sharing, Mine! is a great place to start.)

And most importantly, it is a phase. It will pass. What matters isn’t what is and isn’t shared, but how their relationship with the other person – especially in the case of a sibling – is affected going forward. 

For more information on Positive Parenting, visit the Essential Parenting Collection sale

  1. that about the sum total of what I remember about mathematics from school days – ‘nth’ term is a formula with ‘n’ in it which enables you to find any term of a sequence
  2.  Psychological Science October 2013vol. 24 no. 10 1971-1979 http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/10/1971

How Much Time Do You Spend Playing?

I received this infographic in an email a couple of months ago and have been pondering it for ages.  I remember reading an article in 2010 about how parents found playing with their children quite boring.  I find that tough, really. I don’t find doing things with my girls boring – in fact, it can be really fun – but unstructured play or going to the park, or just ‘being’? Yes. I find that dreadfully dull, largely because I’m always thinking about what I could or should be doing!

I was reading through the information below and trying to see  where my thoughts and I fit in compared to the rest of Jo Public, and well, it’s a little stark.

It’s reminded me again to say no less, and yes more.

What do you think of these stats?

How Much Time Do You Spend Playing?

Not sure how to play? Just start! Included in the Mindful Nurturing Home Learning Bundle this month are two books with hundreds of play learning activities for children – all easy, simple, fun: (find out more about the bundle here)

How Much Time Do You Spend Playing?

Love Bombing With A Three Year Old

There’s been a distinct disconnect between my almost four year old, Ameli, and myself lately. We just aren’t working well together. We’re not cooperating. I’m shouting at her, she’s shouting at me. She ignores me. She tells me I’m not her best friend anymore. She doesn’t listen to me… and the number of times I’ve said the words ‘you’re  not listening to me’ made me realise that maybe, just maybe, the disconnect is because I’m not listening to her, either.

Love Bombing With A Three Year Old By listening to her, I don’t mean paying attention when she talks, or doing what her three year old demands insist. I mean really, deeply, listening to her, to what her words are not saying.

This post has moved. Read the rest HERE

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

On Tuesday I told you about the Mindful Nurturing eBundle, and what was in it, but I thought I might go through the bundle and tell you more about each of the 22 items. Hopefully a description of what’s in it will show you how fabulous a resource it is!

Click on the Buy Now buttons throughout to buy the whole bundle for US$24.95/£16.49/AUS$25.90.

The total value of these, if you bought them all individually would be US$236/ £155.95/ AUS$245.05.

This whole bundle is for sale between 28 May and 10 June 2013

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

Relaxation Meditation

AUDIO – Amy Phoenix (Presence Parenting), value $50 USD/lifetime access

Relaxation Meditation helps you access inner awareness and resolve, cultivating the space for true, lasting transformation. Relax into parenting as you enhance your relationship with yourself, your child, and life at the same time.

 

Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting

Becky Eanes (Positive Parents), 30 pages, Value $4.99 USD

The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting is an introduction to the philosophy of A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundlepositive parenting. It addresses what positive parenting is, and what it is not (permissive parenting). It discusses how to change your mindset from the traditional paradigm of control and fear to the positive parenting paradigm of connection and love. It gives you teaching tools and discusses the differences between consequences, punishments, and problem-solving. Finally, it goes over enforcing limits without punishments and 10 alternatives to punishments as well as 10 things that are more important than discipline.

This eBook will give you clarity on positive parenting and offer you tools and skills that will strengthen your relationship with your child while teaching values and instilling the self-discipline that will benefit your child for a lifetime. The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting provides several scenarios so you can see how positive parenting principles are applied in everyday situations.

 

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundlePlay Grow Learn

(Childhood 101)55 pages, value $4 USD

Bursting with ideas for playing inside and outside, with activities for moving, talking, cooking, creating, thinking, singing, imagining and constructing, Play Grow Learn is a downloadable e-zine that provides both inspiration and information for parents and educators of children from birth to 5 years. Issue 3 includes over 100 playful activities including play suggestions for toddlers, an outdoor math hunt, ideas for exploring science in the kitchen, woodwork activities perfect for kids, an exclusive full colour set of printable puppets to get you singing with your kids PLUS art projects, book reviews, toy suggestions, playful parenting ideas, tips for making pack away time fun…and more!

Getting Back on Track! – Why We Explode and What We Can Do About It

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

AUDIO – Genevieve Simperingham (Peaceful Parent Institute), value $7.58 USD

Listen to this audio to gain lots of insights into the tendency to meltdown, why it happens, how to see it coming and what to do instead of yelling or otherwise acting from a place of overwhelm and frustration. You’ll gain reassurance that it’s much more common than you thought, that it’s not your fault, but it is your responsibility. You’ll learn that there are psychological triggers going back to childhood at the core of your tendency to lose your cool. And most importantly you’ll gain lots of great tips and strategies from Genevieve and Patty that will make it so much easier to be the peaceful parent that you know that you really can be.

Stress Relief for Parents

AUDIO – Genevieve Simperingham  (Peaceful Parent Institute), value $4.05 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleWhen you’re at your wits end and need to rest and recuperate, this CD is a fantastic resource ~ Grab yourself fifteen minutes or so, choose your track and let Genevieve’s calming voice and supportive words guide you back to your self … back to your centre … back to balance … back to you at your best … back to peaceful parenting!

The track “Bliss” takes the listener through a 15 minute deep body relaxation. Genevieve’s soft Irish lilt backed by the celtic harp offers a soothing balm to their feelings and played at night next to their bed will ease their transition into a deep and restful sleep. Other tracks offer guided exercises that guide and teach the listener to centre and return to a calm balanced state and a warm connection with their child.

 

Creative Play Workshop

EMAIL COURSE – Gina Kimmel & Katherine Lockett (Connecting Family and Seoul and Creative Playhouse), value $25 USD
A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

Mindset for Moms

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleJaimie Martin (Mindset for Moms), value $4.99 USD

Mindset for Moms: From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 Days is a guide for better thinking and increased happiness in parenting and in life. Lessons about positivity that took Jamie years to learn, you can learn in days–30 days, to be exact. She’s consolidated the concepts in this e-book into short entries–perfect for busy moms to read and apply for immediate results.

Moods of Motherhood

Lucy Pearce (Dreaming Aloud), value $9.99 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleA compilation of her best-loved posts on motherhood from her popular blog, Dreaming Aloud, columns from JUNO magazine and many new pieces, never before published. According to one reader, “This book puts the mother, back in motherhood”. “It is no ordinary parenting book” but full of her trademark searing honesty and raw emotions. It will make you laugh, cry and feel deeply accepted – wherever on your mothering journey you may be.

Topics include: pregnancy and birth, happy days, anger and fierceness, sleep, playfulness, grief, love, patience, tenderness, homemaking… it is illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white photographs.

 

42 Rules for Divorcing with Children (Doing it With Dignity and Grace While Raising Happy, Healthy, Well-Adjusted Children)

Melinda Robertsvalue $10.29 USD
A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle42 Rules for Divorcing With Children offers practical ways to manage a healthy divorce, build a better team in two houses, minimize stress and anxiety on all fronts, and construct relationships with open and consistent communication. In this book you will learn:

  1. What putting the children first really means.
  2. How to preserve marital assets for you and your children.
  3. How to set reasonable ground rules for the divorce and going forward.
  4. How to set a respectful communication example so that you can divorce with dignity.

Use this book as objective advice, refer to it often, share it with others, use it as a reality check, and realize that divorce is not linear and that damage is not permanent or irreparable. If you do this well, the other parent will always be in your life. Find a way to make that tolerable for everyone, because no matter where you go or what you do, your children are tethered to both of you in an incredibly delicate and important way. Learn to accommodate each other as a gift to your children while they grow. Share others’ success stories for simple, practical advice and insights. See how taking care of yourself will help you take care of your family and prevent divorce remorse and divided loyalties. Set good examples that will help them make their own relationship choices wisely by drawing on your positive experience. And for you, know that someday, somewhere, you will almost certainly find a partner with whom you can have a mutually respectful, loving, and responsible relationship.

 

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleNurturing Creativity, Guide for Busy Parents

Renee Tougas (Tougas Café), value $3 USD

Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms is a book to help you growcreatively.Nurturing Creativity is about embracing the seasons of motherhood and appreciating where you are while helping you to make creativity a priority in your life.

It will encourage you to let go of perfection, to start small, and to find inspiration in everyday living. This little book will challenge you to make the most of the time you do have. Time you can spend creating beauty and meaning – with your head, heart, and hands.

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleThe Playful Family

Shawn Ledington Fink (Awesomely Awake), value $4.99 USD

The Playful Family encourages and challenges busy parents to slow down and spend quality time together with their children, regardless of their age. With nearly 100 ways to connect, engage and play together this easy-to-read e-book is a must-have resource for any parent interested in becoming more playful and happy while raising children. Each chapter includes dozens of ideas as well as a challenge to motivate families to put their own ideas to work in real life.

 

Poetry of a Hobo Mama, The First Three Years

Lauren Wayne (Hobo Mama), value $9.37 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundlePoetry of a Hobo Mama is a collection of poems by Lauren Wayne, inspired by the initial three years of parenting her firstborn son, Mikko.

I sling my baby like a bindle on my back,
tramping along the tracks
countless feet have worn before.

Poetry of a Hobo Mama contains three years’ worth of parenting poetry, written from the time Lauren and her husband, Sam, were preparing for Mikko, through watching him grow to three years old. She has included poems that speak of their natural parenting journey — breastfeeding, the family bed, elimination communication, and natural birth among them.

The book is a combination of free verse and more traditional poetry forms, and the topics and tone run through all the variations the poet felt when writing them: the grief of miscarriage, the anticipation of trying to conceive, the upheaval of the newborn months, the joy of parenting, and the balance of motherhood and personal passion.

 

Parenting for Social Change

Teresa Graham Brett (Parenting for Social Change), value $8.97 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleParenting for Social Change: Transform Childhood, Transform the World(2011, Social Change Press) is a powerful parenting book that isn’t about children, but about the harmful cultural messages we, as parents, perpetuate in our relationships with children. It addresses the work we as parents must do to free ourselves, the children who share our lives, and our world from those harmful messages.

The author, Teresa Graham Brett, uses current social science research to debunk the myth that controlling children is necessary to ensure they grow up to be healthy and responsible adults. She demonstrates how changing our parent-child relationships plays a critical role in creating social change. More importantly, it gives parents strategies and tools for letting go of harmful control of children.

 

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

Encouraging Words for Kids

Kelly Bartlett (Parenting From Scratch), value $2.99 USD

Encouraging Words for Kids gives parents over 150 examples of phrases to say that inspire a child’s confidence and self-motivation. Encouragement is about drawing forth a child’s own drive to work hard and do what’s right without being told; this book shows you how to get there. It is a guide that parents can turn to again and again whenever they need a dose of inspiration in creating positive communication with their kids.

 

Raising a Creative Kid, Simple Strategies for Igniting and Nurturing That Creative Spark

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleJilian Riley (A Mom With A Lesson Plan), value $7.99

Raising a Creative Kid:  Simple Strategies for Igniting and Nurturing that Creative Spark  is just what you need to transform your environment into a creativity growth center. With creative exercises following each of the  sections I have made moving into a creative lifestyle as easy as possible. Just like I do with everything else on amomwithalessonplan.com, I use and recommend materials that are inexpensive or free.

 

Children and Food

Tara Wagner (The Organic Sister), 72min audio + 39 page workbook, value $25 USD currently only available as part of The Organic Sisterhood

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

This mini-toolkit helps you recreate the whole family’s experience with food. No more fighting at dinnertime. No more forcing or bribing. No more worrying about your child’s ability to make good choices. You’ll have the tools necessary to begin to release control, lean into Trust, and make mealtime a joyful and fun experience. But it starts with your own relationship with food. It includes:

  • 72 min audio: Describes the most important principles in raising healthy children and how to begin practicing them (Value: $200)
  • 39 page workbook: Packed full of exercises to help you DIG IN and put new traditions and experiences into place (Value: $40)
  • Covers everything from: how your experience with food affects your children and how to change that, how to meet the varying needs and tastes of the whole family without feeling like a “short order cook”, as well as tips, ideas, strategies, recipes, and more from me and other mindful mamas.

 

Coming Of Age: How To Stop Worrying About ‘The Talk’, and Start talking with Your Girl! (audio)

DeAnna L’am, 41 min. audio, value $27 USDA Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

  • Remember “The Talk” you received from your Mom, or your school’s nurse?
  • Remember how awkward you felt listening?
  • Wonder how you can do a better job with your girl?

If you would you like to feel relaxed, confident, and at ease when speaking with your girl about becoming a woman – this is for you!
You will experience a sense of CALM and PEACE within yourself; An INNER EASE about the girl YOU once were; A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING of what your girl is feeling; SELF-TRUST going into any conversation with your girl; And a growing EASE in your relationship with her.
This down-loadable recording will deepen trust between you and your girl, and lay a foundation for lifelong openness between you!

 

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleThe Parenting Primer: A Guide to Positive Parenting in the First Six Years

Michelle Carchrae (The Parent Vortex), value $6.99 USD

The Parenting Primer is a guide to the main ideas and strategies used in gentle discipline. It will show you how attachment works to create harmony in families, empowering you to parent in a positive, creative way.

The Parenting Primer begins by looking at how love and limits influence our parenting, then explores other topics that affect our relationships with our children, such as information on brain development or personality, communication skills, lifestyle choices, creativity and self-discipline.

 

 

Mommy Overwhelm, A Holistic Approach to Parental Stress and Depression

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

Laura Schuerwegen (Authentic Parenting), 27 pages, value $2.99 USD, first-time opportunity, launch sale!

Mommy Overwhelm is a step-stone guide for parents who want to overcome daily overwhelm, stress and depression.

In this book, Laura draws from her own experience overcoming a longstanding depression to hand you the tools to heal. From strengthening foods and herbs to exercises and activities, this guide will kickstart your journey to happier, balanced parenting.

 

Unique Parenting Tool: Sleep Talking Set

Marcy Axnessvalue $13.95 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

This set includes the Dr. Marcy Audio Coaching Session “Speaking to Your Child’s Subconscious” and companion eBooklet, A Unique 7-Step Parenting Tool: Sleep Talking.

Throughout my recent talks all over the world, what were SO many people interested in learning about? After hearing about the power of prenatal imprints, they wanted to know what parents could do when things didn’t go so smoothly in pregnancy, birth or around conception. I make it clear that repair & healing are ALWAYS possible at ANY age, and mentioned an somewhat out-of-the-box approach I’ve developed over my years of coaching parents — which includes talking to your child in his or her sleep.

They were so keen to learn, that I put together this primer in the power of the subconscious mind — and how to use it to create healing change. This 75-minute presentation includes a powerful guided imagery to use the power of imagination in making positive changes to parents’ own inner lives and childhood history. (It is an excerpt from / preview of the “Calm Authority for Parents” series.)

 

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleSpecial Bonus Freebie

The Mindful Mothering Challenge

Jennifer Saleem (Hybrid Rasta Mama)

This 57 page eBook takes mothers through 20 small steps designed to help them become more mindful mothers. Follow along with Jennifer’s journey as you begin your own. The Mindful Mothering Challenge will awaken your mothering, push you beyond your comfort zone, and deepen your connection with your children.

Just Added: API Live! Attachment Parenting International Teleseminar Series: “8 Principles of Attachment Parenting”

Teleseminar – (Attachment Parenting International), 2 hour teleseminar; value $38 USD

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundleAttachment Parenting isn’t new. In many ways, it is a return to the instinctual behaviors of our ancestors. In the last sixty years, the behaviors of attachment have been studied extensively by psychology and child development researchers, and more recently, by researchers studying the brain. This body of knowledge offers strong support for areas that are key to the optimal development of children, summarized in API’s Eight Principles of Parenting. Enjoy the exchange among the world’s leading experts in AP discussing API’s 8 Principles of Parenting, listen to their responses to questions of our time, and hear their answers to questions from the audience.

Panel experts include:

  • Dr. William Sears
  • Martha Sears
  • Dr. James McKenna
  • Ina May Gaskin
  • Dr. Isabelle Fox
  • Mary Ann Cahill
  • Barbara Nicholson
  • Lysa Parker

“AP is learning to read the cues of your child and responding appropriately. Open your heart and mind to the individual needs of your child. Let your knowledge of your child be your guide.”

~Dr. Bill Sears

A Look At Each Item In The Mindful Nurturing eBundle

— I will receive an affiliate fee if you purchase through my buy now buttons. You will not pay any more, but will be helping me maintain the website. Thank you for your support!

Getting Into Gardening

For the last two years, I have had the worst luck with  my garden. What pregnancy didn’t take out of me, sickness and a newborn did, and then, to top it off it rained so much last year that even my mint died. Do you have any idea how hard it is to kill mint? Well, it drowned. And got moldy.

Of course, this year, what with being in Australia and all, I came a bit late to the planting season, so I had to get a bit of help from the garden centre, but overall, it’s gone okay. This is the ‘before’ photo of the garden. To be honest it’s not all done yet, so there’s no after photo just yet, and the before photo was taken after mowing the lawn and hacking away the foliage, but oh well.

Getting Into Gardening

Getting Into Gardening

As well as planting an envelope of tomatoes from seed – thank you very much Heinz for sending us a gorgeous wheelbarrow and gardening equipment for Ameli, as well as a bag of seeds – we also planted some sun flowers as I figure they’ll grow quickly and maintain the girls’ interest.  Interestingly, both of them really enjoyed digging about in the ground.

Getting Into GardeningGetting Into Gardening

And including their little friends in the process.

As I said, since we’re quite late in the season already, we got some help from the local garden centre and bought a few ready to plant out courgettes, marrows, shallots, kale and a few different herbs.

Getting Into GardeningGetting Into Gardening

Well… I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s been fun, but I really do hope we get to eat from our garden this year!

P.S. If we happen to get tomatoes off this plant, Heinz have promised us a hamper of goodies, so here’s hoping we get a double bonus for our efforts! I think Heinz are still giving out grow your own tomato kits, so head over to their Facebook page for some to grow yourself.

 

 

 

9 Strategies For Parenting Today’s Children

I received this from a friend on Facebook and I just love it. I don’t think I’ve seen a simpler list. Of course, now the trick is to take it from the paper and put it into practice. We’re working on that.

9 Strategies For Parenting Today's Children[pinit]
By the way, I’m reading a new book: Kiss Me! How to Raise Your Children With Love (US Link) and there’s so much I want to share about and write about. Hopefully soon.  

How To Raise A Child While Disciplining Less

Elisabeth from Manic Mrs Stone posted this (via The Child Whisperer) a couple of days ago, and I have not been able to get it off my mind. My life circumstances are such at the moment that Ameli is in a different country, in a new home, missing her daddy something fierce and surrounded by other people, many with different parenting ideas to my own. This graph came to me at just the right time, and confirmed for me what I know about my child, and about how best to manage her time, encourage her stimulation and in so doing, prevent tantrums and the ‘need’ for discipline.

I know that 9 times out of 10, when she needs to be ‘disciplined’, it’s because I’ve dropped the ball. (For example, she’s done something ‘naughty’ because she was bored because I was chatting away on my phone!)

Anyway, I hope this graph sheds some light for you, or reminds you how to respond to your child’s needs.

Read: Encouraging Words For Kids for more fantastic insights into raising happy, successful and cooperative children. 

Going through a tough time yourself? Read Parenting in Tough Times

Sometimes a child needs a little Love Bombing to help them feel connected

And these children’s books are wonderful for reminding little ones of our love

How To Raise A Child While Disciplining Less

How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer

I’ve often said that I’m not very ‘crafty’ and don’t really enjoy too much ‘messy’ play, but any parent to a toddler knows that that just comes with the territory – either that, or your child’s not having much fun. It’s been a learning experience for me, and I must admit, it’s growing on me. Now that Aviya is getting a little older and is able to do real crafts, it’s almost fun.

I started a series recently called Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home. It came about when an old friend of mine, who now lives in Canada with her two boys, aged 5 and 2 decided that to survive the 12 weeks of summer holiday she would need a plan. Others quickly jumped on board and soon Andrea’s Summer Camp At Home was born.

 

Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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There’s a theme for each week, which has been awesome, and an activity for each day, and the best part of it has been the flexibility. We’re really enjoying it.

Here are some of our activities from week 1: Ice Cream.

How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer

Our home made ice cream truck, painting with water beads in the bath, decorating ‘ice cream’ cupcakes, (Bottom left:) making ice cream balloon shakers, cut and paste water bead ice cream cones and glitter pen ice cream, coloured popsicles. 

And here are a few activities from week 2: Wild Animals  (We actually did very few of the week two activities, and added a few of our own out of our craft box!)

How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer

Home made playdough, painting toilet rolls with glitter glue, decorated and drying, (bottom left:) painted frog, looking at the frog through the now dried binoculars, give a child two cups – one with animal shapes, one with bells – and sit back and watch what they get up to. Amazing. 

We’re now in week 3: Ocean theme and so far we’ve had two fishy-dinners this week. I work the first half of the week, so crafty fun has to happen towards the end of the week, but we’re looking forward to it. You can see what we’ll be doing though and feel free to join in! If you want more information on ASCAH, read the first post about it. You can join in at any point, too!

 

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How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet SummerVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon July 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children or all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.