11 Calming Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re About to Blow Up at Your Kids

Calming Questions

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve struggled on more than one occasion with losing your cool with your kids. I mean, who hasn’t, right?

Raising little people is hard and kids are kids. Enough said.

Calming Questions

I personally struggled for years with anger, frustration, and yelling more than I ever wanted to at my kids. 

It was through total surrender to the healing of my Savior, understanding what was triggering my yelling and anger in the first place, and learning to quickly gain a healthier and calmer perspective when I felt the anger and overwhelm rising up.

That’s where these questions come in! That’s where the questions on this list come in. This is not something you read and say, “hmm that’s nice to know when I’m in the heat of battle with my kids.”

No, it’s likely if you read this once, you’ll never remember a single question when you need it most. These are questions that are meant to reshape your thinking. Questions to reflect on daily or weekly or have posted up as a reminder.

All of these questions require practice and repeated attention to help train our minds to think and then as a result, ACT differently. 

We have the power to train ourselves to both think and act the way we desire. If we yell and get angry, it’s because we’ve trained ourselves to react that way. These questions are designed to help you retrain your mind and thinking so you can retrain your actions. 

“So many have a highway to stress and negative thinking and a dirt road to happiness.” – Tony Robbins

Let’s work on repaving our road to happiness and stop going the path of least resistance because we’d all agree that the old way isn’t working. And also know this is just a starting point. There are many hugely helpful resources available that I’ll share throughout this post.

1 – What does my child need right now?

When kids are acting out, not listening, or doing something that’s annoying us at that moment it’s super easy to feel like you’re going to blow. But one of the key indicators of our child needing something is their strange or even rude behavior. Kids at any age, really do have challenges knowing and articulating what they need and so when that need goes unmet they do the strangest things!

So when your son keeps flinging your couch cushions against the wall to see how high they can bounce and then when you tell him to stop, he moves to his real ball and starts bouncing it in the kitchen – it’s time for us to stop. We need to stop what we were previously focused on and get refocused on what in the world our little guy needs right now instead of getting heated before we blow. 

Sometimes our child just needs some attention and one on one conversation. Sometimes they need a nap or a snack because tired and hungry kids can honestly turn into crazy kids. Sometimes they want a fun and quiet activity to do but don’t know how to get started. When we stop and do some digging, we get so much more time back and peace in return.

9 Things Your Kids Really Need but Don’t Know How to Tell Us

2 – What do I need right now? 

There are other times when children are just being kids and doing just about anything can seriously wear on our nerves. Even if we realize they’re hungry and we get our kids some crackers to snack on, we can be annoyed by the sound of chewing. I had a day like that yesterday!

On those days, I’ve conditioned myself to notice when I’m really sensitive to the kids… and even my spouse. This is important because I used to not pay attention to what I needed and assumed it was always about the kids. When it’s not just that moment, but I’m feeling really edgy most of the day, I stop what I’m doing and do a quick self-evaluation. This is where I’ll go to the bathroom or take a shower if possible to collect my thoughts and grab a break in private.

Sometimes, that’s honestly enough… to just know that I’m super tired because I didn’t sleep well because of my restless toddler the night before. There’s a lie that rolls around our head that tells us when we get angry or frustrated that we’re terrible mothers and something is wrong with us. 

No, you are just human, with human needs. Meeting those very human needs is so important to our overall well-being and our ability to handle momlife well.

The Simplest Ways Moms Can Recharge When There’s No Time

3 – Am I feeling embarrassed or judged by others at this moment?

I know that nothing can set a mama off more than a public show of foolishness on the part of her lovely children. This can happen at any age, one of your kids decides to push your buttons in public at the store or at a family event with everyone watching. 

Again, your child may be overly tired or stimulated which is often the case, but instead of managing our child’s need and calming our rattled nerves down, we instead go into a heightened state of embarrassment because we often feel judged like everyone is shaking their head in our direction. And making mental notes of how bad of a parent we are or how bad our kids are. 

That’s why training your mind to ask yourself this question is so powerful. It makes you aware that though you may be aggravated at your kid for what they did or said, the added anger piling on top doesn’t have to be yours. You don’t have to sign for that package. Simply know that every parent in that grocery store line or at that family party has been there before with their own kids. And those who don’t have kids, simply don’t get a vote!

Just take it all in stride as yet another moment when your normally well-behaved child decides to act out in front of others like they have total manners amnesia. And just excuse yourself from that situation, address your child and their behavior, and move on. Let whatever negative feelings you do have be for that behavior alone and not all the judgemental stuff. 

4 – Is my anger right now reasonable? Is it really that big of a deal?

This is a very important question to ask anytime you feel like you’re about to explode or have already let loose. This is also great advice for spouses too. I remember getting so mad, like extremely heated, at my husband because he made a comment about me feeding my toddler son chicken nuggets for dinner that night. 

The comment wasn’t bad in and of itself but I as mentioned above was feeling judged and so that added to my anger in a major way. Let’s just say as the days went by (I needed several to get over it) I could clearly see that my anger was totally unreasonable.

And over the years I’ve also expressed totally unreasonable anger toward my kids too. It’s hard not to do because we are emotional beings but it’s necessary that we train our minds to think differently. 

That’s because it’s even harder to be on the receiving end of someone else’s unreasonable anger. We owe it to our family to see the signs and stop it in its tracks. Often, just seeing that we are going overboard is enough to calm down. The problem is when we never take the time to look.

5 – What is the specific emotion I’m feeling right now? 

Here is one of my favorite questions to ask myself when I’m feeling heated. What emotion am I feeling right now. Notice, I’m not asking myself “how I’m feeling.” Asking myself to name my emotion allows me to disconnect that emotion from me. To say feeling is something that feels a part of me.

You might be thinking, that’s easy, my emotion is anger. Nope, we need to go deeper! We are most often angry because we’re experiencing something else like disappointment, rejection, fear, or like shared above – embarrassment. This is where we have to be courageous to get really honest with ourselves in the moment. 

The Uncommon Truth Behind Why Moms Yell

6 – What’s really going on here? Am I offering them the benefit of the doubt or jumping to conclusions?

Oftentimes, we can jump to conclusions and consequently fly off the handle without having the full picture. Like when you’re super tired and go to your bathroom to wash your face before bed and see your two girls playing in your “mommy-only” makeup… which is now all over the bathroom.

Your instinct is to scream because now your make-up is messed up AND you have a bathroom and two more faces to wash! But what was really going on was your daughters wanted to surprise you with their own beauty makeovers. They wanted to put a smile on your face, but instead, they made you want to cry.

Sometimes when our kids do stuff that we don’t like, it’s just as we see it. But other times it’s not, and we need to learn to pause and hold back the screams and instead ask questions to find out what is really going on. When we jump right into scream mode, we often miss out on hearing our child’s perfectly sweet and innocent reasons for messing up your makeup.

When we go in too hot, they’ll reasonably cower and just apologize or shut down. Meanwhile, you missed a potentially sweet moment that while may be more work, is one to treasure.

7 – Am I trying to do too much in this moment?

This was a huge question for me to ask because I’ve always been a work from home mom and so juggling work, housework, and kids was my daily to-do list. I was constantly trying to pack-in too much in every waking hour.

And every time I tried, my kids would set me off. The funny thing is, most of the time they were just doing regular kid stuff yet because mommy was working I was expecting them to be robots. It doesn’t work well because for some reason kids have a sense about these things. It’s like when we’re on the phone, they suddenly have a lot of needs or have to fight with their sister! 

If you realize that you’re being unrealistic about what you’re trying to get done, stop and re-evaluate. Can you move some things around? Can you get the kids to help? Or if you’ve really got to get your work done, would putting on a good movie for the kids be a better way to keep them occupied until you’re done?

7 Surprising Reasons Moms Yell

8 – Is there any good in this situation that I can focus on – no matter how small?

This may be a hard one but it’s helpful in so many situations in life. Looking at the positive side of things helps to put our minds in a positive state which helps us make better decisions.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.”

Philippians 4:8

For example, my girls are both getting older and so their friend time is getting less frequent as they start enjoying their own individual interests. So when I hear them suddenly running around and rough-housing and laughing upstairs, I force myself to calm my annoyed nerves at the loud banging coming through the ceiling. 

When they’re being loud, but I hear laughter… I just let them do it and be grateful I don’t hear fighting! 

9 – If I’m honest with myself, am I really letting fear make me angry?

Fear is such a funny thing because it’s so sneaky. When your toddler who’s on a hunger strike refuses to eat and you find yourself at your wits end, you’re not really angry at your toddler – you’re afraid.

You’re scared that if he doesn’t eat, he’ll get sick and need to be fed at the hospital, you’re afraid that this means you’re a terrible mom because you’ve never heard of any other toddlers refusing to eat.

When your teenager talks back, refuses to clean up their room, and brings home another D you’re afraid that you’ve missed something as a parent, that they might never turn out the way you hoped. That you just don’t have the answers to figure it all out.

It’s that fear and feeling of powerlessness moving beneath the surface that drive your fear. When you realize this, you can shift your anger to compassion. I know… just stick with me here. 

Compassion is needed for you and for this situation. You feel stuck and need help. Feeling angry only distracts you from the answers and delays your progress.

Choose to treat yourself like one of your mom friends and give yourself some good advice and a good dose of understanding that none of us have all the answers. 

10 – What was I doing before I got angry? Could that thing be adding to my stress?

In all fairness to children, they seem to have the worst timing ever! You might have just gotten off the worst 2 hour customer service call to the cable company that made you consider clawing your eyes out and your kids run into the room asking you to judge who’s turn it is to kick the ball next. 

Literally, NOT a good time. In those moments it’s best to take a breath and answer the question quickly so they’ll run off and play or tell them to give you a few minutes. Say this calmly yet firmly because they’re likely to go into beg-mode if you don’t.

Taking a few minutes to breathe and collect yourself will help you better deal with the latest issue at hand without going ballistic. 

In fact, this has happened to me with my husband. He’ll be working in the office and I’ll pop in to ask if he feels like hamburgers or fish for dinner. In response, I’ll get a very sharp answer that doesn’t feel good in the moment. He’ll then come back later and apologize for his tone and explain that he just got off a terrible call or something.

11 – Am I letting love and grace lead my words or my anger and disappointment?

Being angry and/or yelling usually doesn’t help but only adds to the problem, making things worse. We tend to say things we regret, tears start flowing, and we feel guilt the size of Texas. Understanding this in the moment (as hard as that may seem) challenges us to look for a more helpful way to respond.

And we do that by focusing on grace – which is what we ALL need. Grace is our ability to see that we don’t all do it, get it, or say it right all the time. And when we mess up, we want others to give us the grace and love we need.

And when we practice giving grace to our kids when they miss it big time, it teaches them to show grace and kindness to others. This is a lost art in our society and showing grace to our children is a key ingredient in raising kind humans. 

The Truth About Mom Guilt and How to Stop it From Running Your Life

The truth about mom guilt and how to stop it from running your life

Mom guilt is the Achilles Heel for mothers! It hits us almost every day and without fail sucks the fun and productivity right out of whatever we’re doing. I don’t know about you but I hate mom-guilt.

We feel guilty when our child struggles with anything. I mean, it’s our fault, right?

We feel guilty when we discipline our child. This hurts me more than it hurts you, we think as tears flow and pouty lips emerge.

The truth about mom guilt and how to stop it from running your life

We feel guilty when we know we’re enabling bad behaviors in our child just to allow a moment of quiet or get more sleep at night.  I’m totally ruining my kid! Why can’t I just be stronger?

We feel guilty when we have our own kind of meltdown and yell at our kids. What can’t I control my emotions?!

We feel guilty when we give time toward our work, goals, and dreams that require us to sacrifice time and energy away from our family. Whether or not we love the work we do or are simply required to work for income. Guilt still finds its way in.

We either regret the things we’ve done or the things we wish we’d done. And the truth is, the cycle continues and won’t stop unless we stop it.

As a mom, you have the hardest job on the planet hands-down. And you should be free to do what you believe is right without having a monkey hanging on your back the whole time. And I’m not talking about your climbing toddler! 😉

When I first became a mom, I was under attack EVERY DAY. I was so frustrated because I never felt free to really enjoy being the mom I always wanted to be. Every mistake was magnified – every failure was all my fault.

Related: How to Set Realistic Expectations When Motherhood is Hard

And because I’ve always been a working mom – I’ve had high functioning guilt for many years. But I’ve learned the truth about guilt and now I’m no longer working because I have to but because I love to. I’m free to enjoy my life!

Mom Guilt is Common but Not Normal

At times I felt like I wasn’t made for this mom thing. I mean, I never had any other moms come to me and say they were feeling the same way. So, I kept my feelings to myself because I already felt under-qualified for the position of mom.

We don’t always talk publicly about what shames us and chronic mom-guilt can leave you feeling broken and frustrated as a mom.

But I now know the truth!

My children have had their fair share of cold viruses and infections over the years and I’ve picked up a phrase I’ve heard doctors use when giving a diagnosis – it’s common but not normal. This means, whatever you’re experiencing affects a lot of people making it common. But the fact that it’s a condition your body isn’t supposed to “have” makes it abnormal.

That’s exactly what mom guilt is – common but not normal.

I’d venture to guess that millions of moms deal with some variation of mom-guilt every day. But just because it’s so common doesn’t mean we should take the attitude that it’s just par for the course.

We have the power to say no to all the labels our society throws around about raising a family. They say your child has to turn terrible when they reach two, will become a hormonal mess when they hit puberty, and angst is the typical attitude for a teenager. Basically – deal with it.

Related: 4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Get Out

4 Steps to Getting Rid of Mom Guilt

We don’t have to go along with what’s common. How about we decide to go with what’s normal – the ways it’s supposed to be. So what is normal? In the context of my previous diagnosis example – normal is someone without any physical or mental disorders.

Abnormal is when there’s something going on that’s not supposed to or intended to be there. So again, just because a lot of moms struggle with mom-guilt doesn’t mean it’s supposed to or intended to be like that.

We have the power to choose whether we go along with the masses or to blaze our own trail. I kind of like doing my own thing, so trail-blazin’ I go! You with me?!

Give Yourself Permission To Do What You Believe is Right

The first step in the guilt ridding process is to learn the art of giving yourself permission to do what you believe is right. If it’s homeschooling your child versus sending them to traditional school – don’t allow the guilt of what they may be missing out on creep in.

If it’s not allowing your son to attend a sleepover because you just don’t have peace about it in your heart – know that your decision to obey your heart could be a matter of life or death for him. And don’t feel guilty just because he throws a fit.

If it’s picking up extra shifts at work to pay for them to go to a safe and quality school don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for the missed time together. As long as you’ve made a prayerful, quality decision you must know your toughest decisions are most often your child’s greatest advantage in life.

We have to make difficult decisions every day and second-guessing every one will simply steal your joy. Owning your decisions gives you the power to say no to guilt.

Yes, I said it. You have the power to say no to guilt. You do this by standing firm in your choices as a family and letting peace be your guide and final say. It’s our self-doubt and second-guessing that invites guilt right into our lives. Remember, be firm and confident!

Related: Reversing the 4 Mindsets that are Stealing your Enjoyable Life

Give Yourself Permission to Live in the Moment

The other side of giving yourself permission is to choose to live “in” the moments of your life. That means if you’re a work-at-home mom and you’re rocking your fussy baby back to sleep for the third time in one nap session and you’re tempted to dwell on the work time you’re missing out on – choose to be in that moment.

Instead of holding her in your arms and being frustrated in your mind – stop. Look at that sweet baby of yours and take in the moment. Remind yourself that your baby won’t be this little forever. Don’t allow these unplanned moments to be a mental complaint session but instead to become a bonding moment.

Give yourself permission to be fully in the moment of whatever you’re doing. If it’s a shower, turn up the music, lather up some aromatherapy suds, and stand under the water longer than you should. Basically, live it up!

If you’re in the park with your kids – play with them! Don’t just sit on the bench watching like all the other parents.

If you’re sitting down completing a work project – stay focused and don’t get distracted (unless it’s the kids, of course.) 😉 Don’t let the attraction of social media, for example, pull you away from your precious work time.

When you make a conscious choice to stay committed to the current moment – it’s like kicking guilt in the face and right out the front door. And that’s where we want it to stay!

This happens because you’re making the choice to not be swayed between two things – this or that. Instead, you choose this. And to take it even further you decide not to just go through the motions but to soak in every drop of your life.

Related: Why Every Mom Needs to be Intentional About a Quiet Time Routine

Give Yourself Grace

And finally, in those times when you didn’t do what was best, you must give yourself grace. And there will be plenty of these times to practice. That’s because you’re not perfect and will never be. When you miss the mark you need to forgive yourself.

In the same way we give our kids grace when they don’t make the right choices, we must do the same for ourselves. If your child made a simple mistake because of a poor choice – you may be disappointed or upset – but you’d never give up on them or write them off as a horrible kid.

So why do we so easily write ourselves off as horrible moms? We need grace, too. From ourselves.

Related: How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

Make a Plan for Your Choices

The final way to get rid of mom-guilt forever it to make a plan for your choices and how you spend your time. So much of those guilty feelings come as a result of being overextended and having all the many areas of our lives blend together like a really bad stew. Yuck!

Our lives desperately need boundaries. It’s not so much about balance (don’t have time to get into that here) but more about having healthy boundaries for the things that are most important to you and your family.

If you take the time to create a plan for how you actually want to spend your time you’ll gain a lot more peace and experience less stress and anxiety. You can then give yourself permission to live according to your plan and can make daily adjustments as needed.

Comment and let me know how you handle mom-guilt or maybe share your biggest struggle with it. Let’s share and kick this guilt out of our lives forever!

It's really hard not to let the trap of mom guilt take over every situation in our lives. Here's the secret to breaking the cycle of mom guilt forever! #kidsandparenting #kids #parenting #momadvice Mom guilt can be really vicious and can really run all our decisions if we let it. Get the secret to ditching the mom guilt and finding your freedom! #momlife #momadvice #adviceformoms #kids #parenting #kidsandparenting #parentingtips

Struggling with mom-guilt? Here are 4 simple steps to lead you out of the trap of mom guilt and into much needed peace! #Motherhood #momguilt

16 Family Christmas Traditions to Make Magical Memories with your Kids

Family Christmas traditions

Christmas time is literally such a special time for me and my family. And it’s not because we live in a magical wintery paradise with Christmas decorations lining every street. We live in Florida. So, we’re just thankful that the humidity has died down by then!

Family Christmas traditions

Living in a warmer climate certainly doesn’t add to the Christmas spirit but we do our best to make our own and really soak in this season.

You see, I used to get really stressed during the holidays because of all the hustle and bustle going on. I’m a pretty big introvert who likes very small gatherings.

Big crowds and large family gatherings tend to make me anxious. And with all the parties and dinners, I would get overwhelmed really quickly.

Until I decided to focus my attention elsewhere. When I, on purpose, stopped paying so much attention to all the parties, the spending, and the general holiday stress things started getting so much better.

I shifted my focus to making the Christmas season one that my family would remember and cherish forever. One that focused on having fun and enjoying each other instead of all the stress swirling around me.

We started creating fun family Christmas traditions that we can’t wait for all year. We do just a few of these Christmas traditions and I went farther to share even more ideas with you… thirty to be exact!

This isn’t a Christmas bucket list per se, it’s more of an inspiration list to help you build your own family Christmas traditions. So, don’t get overwhelmed. Just choose a few and try them out and see what sticks! And most of all have a fun and Merry Christmas!

16 Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas family traditions

 

1 – Make Your Own Ornaments

This Christmas tradition is really fun because the ornaments can be as simple and easy as they need to be when your kids are still very young. And as they get older, they can still continue creating more sophisticated ornaments.

Each year you can decorate your tree with these ornaments. We’ve always decorated our tree with a mixture of storebought ornaments and kid-made ornaments. And our tree always looks amazing!

I actually adore this post of ornament ideas because there is such a mix of really beautiful ornaments that are perfect for both little hands and ones your older kids would love!

If you’d rather not run around gathering a bunch of supplies, here are some DIY ornament kits that make the process much easier! Make your own ornament variety kit, Melissa and Doug ornament kit, and a create your own suncatcher ornaments kit.

2 – Attend Christmas Service

As a kid, I remember getting up as early as possible to open up presents and then eat cinnamon rolls. After we got all the wrapping paper cleaned up, we’d head out as a family to attend Christmas Day service at our church.

As adults, we attend Christmas Eve service now the night before. Somehow it feels even more magical going out at night. Either way, it’s important that we give honor to Whom the season was given. For us, Christmas is the season that we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Family Time Made Simple Checklist

3 – Make a Christmas Give and Receive List

My kids are professionals when it comes to making Christmas lists. They learned very early how to search for the latest toys and gadgets and how to do it all electronically so they can text their list to their loving recipients.

However, this always left me feeling icky. Christmas lists are fine, in fact, it’s their grandparents and other family members that ask for them every year so they know what to buy. I get it.

I just felt like there was something missing. So, I first gave my kiddos a limit of how many things they can add to their own list. One year my oldest almost got to 100 things on her list. Not my proudest parenting moment.

They can now add no more than 20 things. This may seem like a lot but we have a huge family. You do what works for your family.

And second, they also create a Christmas Give list. This is where they think of their friends and family and think of who and what they desire to give this Christmas. And because we all don’t need another list of things we have to buy, they are encouraged to think about ways to give their time or talent.

4 – Make Edible Gifts

My middle daughter loves to cook and bake in the kitchen so making large batches of edible gifts for our family and friends is totally in her lane.

We’ve made many, many little packages of love that were a big hit. We just search on good ole’ Pinterest and look for easy treats to make that have wide appeal. Our edible delights over the years have been peppermint white chocolate covered brownie bites, Christmas crack, sweet and spicy candied mixed nuts, mint Christmas fudge, chocolate covered pretzels.

Usually, we make several different treats and give them as a Christmas treat sampler! It’s a lot of work, but it shows how much you care and they are always a big hit.

To make your gifts extra special, pack your individual treats in these adorable gift boxes and nestle your little boxes in this Christmas gift box.

5  – Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus

I love this idea because it really drives home the reason for the season! We did this one year and it was fun for the kids, but we ended up with a whole cake to eat. Which is fine but when you pair that with Christmas cookies and all the other sweets… it was overload.

What we now do it make Birthday “pan”cakes for breakfast. We sing happy birthday and enjoy a yummy breakfast without an entire cake to eat all week long.

6 – Make and Decorate Christmas Cookies

Christmas cookies

I remember baking and decorating endless cookies with my mom as a kid. I remember sneaking all that yummy cookie dough more than anything!

Making cookies is really such a fun tradition that can double as a Christmas gift if you choose to give them away as tasty little gifts of love!

Here are some amazing Christmas cookie recipes to try this Christmas!

7 – Go Ice Skating

Now I know I must sound crazy being the Florida mom telling you to go ice skating. But I know that so many of my readers don’t live in Florida and are living in a real winter wonderland during Christmas. #Jealous

Ice skating is actually something we were able to do here in Florida at an indoor skating rink. It wasn’t as magical as skating on a real lake, but it was a whole lot of fun and a great tradition to do every Christmas.

8 – Make Hot Cocoa

Making hot cocoa is something we love to make a big deal of during Christmas time. We make some before we go on our Christmas lights tour and we make some before we watch our Christmas movies. And pretty much anything we’re doing!

Of course, we love adding peppermint flavor but not everyone in our house likes peppermint. I know, crazy right? Here are some fun hot cocoa recipes to try. If you’re taking your cocoa to go, try using these adorable to-go cups to keep it warm and from spilling all over your backseat!

9 – Watch a Christmas movie marathon

We are a movie family! Snuggling up together watching classic Christmas movies is one of our favorite traditions. It’s so relaxing and helps us stay connected at the same time.

Nowadays it’s so easy to just select the Holiday movies in your Netflix or cable dashboard. Just scroll until you find your favorites. But just in case you don’t have those, here’s a great list!

10 – Make Homemade Gifts

I love, love handmade gifts. I strongly believe a handmade gift, done right, can be even more special than a storebought gift. Depending on you or your children’s natural giftings your homemade gifts can be pretty amazing.

And they show the other person how much you care because you didn’t just give them a gift card. Here are some really fun to create and fun to receive gift ideas.

11 – Buy a Gift for a Charity

This is also one of our favorite family Christmas traditions. We all know how much more amazing giving feels than receiving and I want my kids to feel that during the season that is primarily focused on receiving. At least it is from the lens of most kids!

You can join in with an Angel tree in your city or through your church. You basically pull a tag off an angel tree and purchase the wished item and return the wrapped gift to that location.

There are usually many ways to give to others in need for Christmas. The point is to make it a tradition to have your family get involved in some way!

12 – Make Gingerbread Houses

Yes, I know this one is old school but it’s still a lot of fun for the little ones. We do this one with our extended family on Christmas Eve each year. Some years us adults forget to grab all the supplies before the stores close.

But each year we remember, the kids absolutely have the best time and it’s so fun to watch them! Here’s some gingerbread inspiration for you! And yes, you can actually buy your own gingerbread house kit!

13 – Drive Around Town to See Christmas Lights

This is one of our family favorites. We always stop for hot chocolate first and then drive to the best spots in our city (we have a lot of them) and marvel at all the amazing light displays.

No matter how old our kids get, this never seems to lack in plenty of whimsy and Christmas spirit. In fact, our city is so large that we can easily drive around to see Christmas lights several nights throughout the holiday.

14 – Elf on the Shelf

I think we can all agree that the Elf on the Shelf phenomenon has taken on a life of its own! It’s hilarious to see on your Instagram all the trouble that little guy gets into each night after the kids go to bed.

I’m not sure that’s what the intent was behind the creation of the Elf of the Shelf, but it’s certainly a fun activity that gives the whole family a good laugh in the morning!

15 – Do Acts of Kindness with the Kindness Elf

This is such a cute idea that I just stumbled upon from the Imagination Tree. The Kindness Elf is an alternative to the Elf on a Shelf and helps kids get in the spirit and habit of doing random acts of kindness to others.

I just love this idea and you can read all about it here!

16 – Have an Ugly Sweater Photo Shoot

I’m not convinced that the ugly sweater movement is over yet. But then again, I can be so late! Lol But I love any opportunity to be fun and silly with my kids.

And this one is so easy! Just go to your local thrift shop and you’ll be overloaded with choices for ugly Christmas attire. Yes, you can buy expensive ones in the stores now. But why?


Which family Christmas tradition is your favorite? Did we miss one? Please share your best traditions in the comments below!

Related: 60 Fun Questions to Ask Your Kids to Get Them to Open Up and Share Their Heart

Related: Super Easy Festive Fall and Thanksgiving Craft Ideas for Kids

Related: Present Parenting: What it is and why our kids need us to be living it

Christmas time can be such a magical season! And this fun list of family Christmas traditions will have you creating fun and lasting memories with your kids! #kidsandparenting #christmas #holiday #parenting #familytime Christmas time is almost here and these magical Christmas traditions for family will create fun memories with your kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #christmas #holidaysThese fun Christmas family traditions will create magical memories with your family over the Christmas holiday season! #kidsandparenting #parenting #christmasChristmas time is almost here! These fun and memorable Christmas traditions for families are really easy and fun!

Retro Baby Names That Are Perfectly Modern!

Naming your precious bundle of joy is one of the most meaningful and obviously lasting parenting choices you’ll make as a parent.

It can also make any new mom feel anxious. Should you go with a cute and adorable, strong and powerful, or totally unique and original name?

My advice is to always follow the peace in your heart. My first baby’s name was chosen many years before she was ever conceived and then my second baby’s name was given to me in a dream while I was pregnant! It doesn’t matter how you find your baby’s name, it only matters that you love it.

These are the list of names that were huge in times past and are now perfectly modern today!

Retro Baby Names That Are Modern Now

A

Adelaide, Adele, Annabelle, Ava

B

Beatrice, Billie, Bernadette, Blythe

C

Constance, Clara, Cora, Celia, Chloe, Clementine

D

Daisy, Delilah, Della, Dixie

E

Eleanor, Elsie, Edie, Eliza, Elsa, Evie, Edith, Everett

F

Fay, Flora

G

Grace, Georgette, Gwendolyn

H

Hazel, Helen, Hattie

I

Ivy, Imogen, Iris, Irene, Isabella, Ida

J

June, Jo, Jewel, Justine, Jonah

K

Kate

L

Lillian, Lizzie, Layla, Lenora, Liza, Lucy, Lennon, Lila

M

Marjorie, Mattie, Madelyn, Maisie, Maxine, May, Myra

N

Nanette, Nellie, Neva, Nicola

O

Olive, Olivia, Opal

P

Penelope, Phoebe, Pearl, Presley

Q

Quinn

R

Rose, Rhea, Roxanne, Ruby, Russell, Rory

S

Sylvia, Sophia, Sadie, Scarlett, Selma

T

Tabitha, Tillie, Trudy

U

V

Violet, Vera, Vivienne, Vernon

W

Willa, Wiley

More Baby Names Posts You’ll Love:

Adorably, Cute Baby Names for Girls

Strong and Cool Baby Names

The Most Unique Baby Names of all Time

Why Moms Yelling At Their Kids Isn’t the Problem – and What Is

There are tons of articles floating around the internet telling moms how and why they should stop yelling at their kids. And while I’ll admit I’m one of many bloggers who’ve written on this topic – I want to set the record straight.

 

Personally, I struggled a lot in my early years as a mom with getting my kids to listen without yelling or constant nagging.

That’s why I simply don’t believe the yelling is the problem. If our kids don’t listen without the shock of a yell from us or needing to be reminded a hundred times, our system isn’t working.

It’s not the yelling that needs fixing, it’s the system!

And a lot of the parenting advice today can leave moms feeling hopeless for why they can’t control their own temper or why they can’t figure out how to get their kid’s attention without yelling.

If that’s you, know you’re NOT alone and you’re NOT a bad mom!

Moving right along…

Related: How to Really Get Your Kids to Listen

All Moms Yell at Some Point

Yelling happens to all moms at some point. I don’t know a mom who’s never lost her cool. If that’s you, I’ve seriously got to meet you and sincerely shake your hand.

The cold, hard truth is motherhood can be painfully hard some days. And when we combine the behavioral issues of our kids, our own emotional challenges and seriously crappy days – yelling seems like an inevitable occurrence.

In my early days as a mom, I probably yelled at my kids at least once every day. Sometimes my yelling was just high energy talking like when we’d be running late and I needed to announce it upstairs to the whole house at once. Let’s go!!

But other times I yelled when I was angry like when my kids would start arguing in the living room over what to watch on Netflix and start wrestling over the remote. 

In the beginning, it all seemed normal. When I yelled, it always got everyone’s attention and made me feel like I was doing a better job than simply taking a passive approach. 

I felt proud of the fact that my kids were always some of the most well behaved kids in the room. I always got compliments and comments about how respectful my children were, even when they were just toddlers. 

What people didn’t see was, I was using yelling as part of my parenting strategy. A strategy that gets results but doesn’t last. One that required ME to make it work. 

This overwhelm and exhaustion only perpetuated my yelling and anger. It was like I was angry because I had to yell in order to get anything done. 

I’m convinced that if there was a way to measure the stress hormones surging through my body in those days, mine would’ve been off the charts! I was always running on a 10 and found it very hard to be in a state of calm or ever be relaxed or playful with my kids.

Click below to get my FREE guide that shows you how to quickly identify surprising mom anger triggers and how to calm down before losing it!

What’s Really Behind All The Yelling

I didn’t really want to yell or scream at my kids. But at the time, I felt like it was my only option and was my go-to method that always gave me that quick win.

I wished there was a way I could talk to my kids like Claire Huxtable who always knew just what to say to get her kids to listen, teach a valuable life lesson, and make a priceless connection with her kids – all after a long day at the office. 

What I didn’t know at the time was my communication process with my kids was broken and that parenting like Claire wasn’t a total work of fiction.

The problem with yelling all the time is it hinders our ability to truly connect to the heart of our children. Think about if you yelled at your spouse all the time when they got on your nerves. Instead of communicating in a more respectful way you just yelled and nagged.

Or what if your partner was the yeller and lost it every time they didn’t like the way you did something. Hmm. I bet there wouldn’t be a lot of intimacy happening.

It’s the same with our kids. When we’re angry and yelling, it sends negative and fear-laden messages to our brain about the source of our anger. Who just happens to be our kids. 

Yelling also sends fear signals to our kids’ brains and studies have shown that yelling also has damaging effects to their brains and overall development.

When you combine how yelling makes us feel and how it makes our kids feel – it really hinders our ability to have a close, intimate, and even playful relationship with our children.

Again, let me emphasize that yelling here and there isn’t likely to be a problem. What I’m talking about here is a lifestyle of yelling.

Related: Surprising reasons moms really yell

What We Need to Ask Ourselves

If you find yourself yelling on a daily basis, I want to encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself why. 

Are you dangling at the end of your rope? 

Are you stressed and exhausted beyond anything you’ve experienced? 

Do you need a better way to get your kids to be self-motivated and listen without you needing to yell? 

Is there a source of unresolved anger that’s bubbling under the surface?

Only you know the answer to those questions and only you know if you need and want to change. It’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you that you have a problem or need to change.

You’re smart and capable enough to decide that for yourself.

I made my own decision to change because I didn’t like how I felt as a mom anymore. I didn’t read a parenting article that told me I should stop yelling. I just felt inside that there was a better way for me and my family.

What You Probably Don’t Know About Yelling

Yelling is two things…

The first is something I didn’t know early on. And that is yelling is a reinforcer of the behavior we don’t want. Yep. Every time we yell and our kids finally jump up and do what we ask, we‘ve reinforced that ineffective pattern of behavior.

We’re essentially training our kids to only listen and obey when we yell. In fact, I used to say that to my kids when I was annoyed… “you guys are training me to yell more because you don’t listen until I yell.” 

Sure, I was just venting my frustration, but the truth was they weren’t training me… I was training them! 

The second thing is that yelling is more about us and how we’re feeling in the moment than it is about our kids and what they’re doing in the moment. 

Imagine your spouse just came home and gave you the devastating news that his position is being phased out of his company and he’ll be getting laid off next month. 

Suddenly, you’re heart starts racing and you’re flooded with high levels of anxiety, fear, frustration, and maybe even anger at the situation. You walk into the kitchen to get a glass of water and you’re jolted when see your 4-year-old decided to take his older sister’s giant pack of colored sharpies and make a mural on the kitchen wall. 

How do you think you’d react to the wall and your son in that moment? What would you say? What would you do? Do you think you’d be yelling or screaming?

Now let’s change that scenario up a bit. Let’s say your husband came home and announces that he’s finally been given the dream promotion he’s been working on for two years. 

 

His salary and bonuses will be increasing significantly and you can finally move out of your cramped house and into the neighborhood you’ve both been eyeing for over a year. 

 

You’re elated and filled with a renewed sense of hope. As you bounce into the kitchen for a drink of water you suddenly notice your son’s art project. 

 

How do you think you’d react to the wall and your son now? Is it a much different reaction from the first one? Do you think yelling and screaming would be involved? Or do you think you might even have a sense of humor about it. 

 

I’ve seen many awful messes made by toddlers whose moms decided to make a video and post it on social media. I’ve always thought, “she must have been in a fantastic mood when that happened!

Seriously, the BEST News Ever!

Now that we know what yelling is… let’s talk about what yelling is NOT. Yelling is not something that has to control you. We get to decide.

 

If yelling is more about us and NOT our kids… that means we have the power to control the only thing we can control… us. 

 

We can’t make our kids behave differently, make better choices, or do everything just the way we want it. That’s the definition of owning a robot. And if you’ve been a parent beyond 5 minutes, you know there’s no off switch or mute button!

 

That said, we can take courage to make a change within ourselves. One that allows us to learn easier ways to get our kids to really listen without all the yelling and constant reminding (yes, it’s possible!) And one that helps us manage our emotions in a healthy way. 

 

This is the work I did for myself. I got very honest with myself and asked God to help me through this process. And He did. I surrendered my guilt, frustrations, and my pride before God and decided that it was time I committed to doing the work I needed in order to change. 

 

And make no mistake about it, this was WORK. God gave me the grace, but I had to walk through the hard stuff for several years while making all the mistakes until I made it to a place that feels like peace. 

 

I can’t express the gratitude that I feel for giving myself permission to be brave to go somewhere I was terrified to go. 

 

I still get mad, irritated, and yell from time to time. I’m human and those old instincts still come out if I can stressed and tired. 

The difference for me is I know exactly how to calm my nerves in those anger-inducing moments. I’ve done it for so long, I even surprise myself sometimes!

But the most priceless gift is having kids who truly listen to me and the relationship I’ve been able to build with each one of them. 

Less Yelling is Just a Happy By-Product

If you’re feeling stuck in a cycle of yelling and can’t figure it out… it’s time to do some work. That’s because you don’t have to yell unless you really want to. 

NOT yelling shouldn’t be your focus. There’s always an underlying cause that needs more attention.

You can become a mom that’s calmer and more playful than you’ve been in a long time. 

One who’s not burnt out and overwhelmed to your max. 

If I can do it… you can do it.

Yelling less at our kids is simply a by-product of fixing the actual problem!

If you’re a mom who’s stuck and feels alone… please hear me now. You are NOT alone! You are NOT a bad mom. And you do NOT need to spend your days in guilt and frustration. There is freedom for you. 

You can start your journey to a calmer way of life by grabbing your free Calm Down Cure copy here! It will teach you how to start training your brain and understanding your anger triggers.

 

How have you overcome anger? Share your tips in the comments below. Or share your biggest struggles and questions and I’ll be sure to answer them below!

With all the advice telling moms to stop yelling at their kids, I believe this is bad advice for moms. Why? Because there's something huge that's missing when we say to moms to just stop and calm down. Here's what moms should focus on instead... #kidsandparenting #momanger #parentingtips

Summer Fun List: 31 Fun Indoor Activities for Kids When It’s Too Hot to go Outside

fun indoor activities for kids

It’s summertime and kids are out of school and looking for fun activities to do. And us moms are looking for anything our kids will think is fun that isn’t attached to a screen!

But what does a mom do when it’s too hot to send her kids outside to play? I mean, we live in sunny Florida where some days it’s not even safe to play outside.

fun indoor activities for kids

She finds something fun on this list and lets her kids have at it!

These fun kid’s activities will keep them happy and occupied so you don’t feel the cabin fever getting to you too much! Plus, these activities are perfect for those soggy, rainy days too!

If you have very little ones running around and messing up with the bigger kids are doing, try making your toddler a few busy bags like these.

Indoor Activities for Kids on Hot or Rainy Days

1 – Make Slime – Yes, I know this one is probably the most overdone kid’s activity ever. But for good reason! It will keep your kid occupied for hours both in the making and playing with their newest slime creation. Plus, it’s science! Here are some great science-focused slime ideas.

2 – Create an indoor obstacle course – This idea can be really fun and can use just about any supplies you already have on hand. Here’s an easy step by step post on creating your own.

3 – Do activities in a subscription craft box. My kids really love KiwiCo and each get crates (activity boxes) shipped to them each month. My kids literally scream when they see their delivery and learn a lot working through the activities each month. And if you just want to order crates in the cold months, you can pause your subscriptions in the summer months! Get your crates here.

Here’s my little guy making his own bean bag horseshoe game! He’s loves it!

4 – Have a book read aloud sessionRead alouds are so fun for kids. My daughter still loves when I read a chapter book aloud each night. It’s great for bonding and connection over a great story. Here are some recommended read aloud books.

5 – Build and giant fort and play games inside – Kids are more apt to stay in one place and to one thing, like play a game, if they do it from inside a fort. Just skillfully pile up the couch cushions and blankets and make anything that resembles a fort. Then get your kids’ favorite board games and let them have a game day inside. Here’s a great 2019 game guide.

6 – Make giant tracks for your kid’s cars – This one may sound strange but if your child loves cars and trucks this one is really cool. Simply use painter’s or masking tape and make highway lines all over your floors that your kids can drive their cars. It’ll keep them busy for hours! Here are some fun ideas.

7 – Binge Watch a Kid’s Series on NetFlix – This idea is perfect when the whole family is sick or you just need a break. Pop some popcorn and just hit play. Your kids will be happy and you’ll probably love the show too. Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events is a fun show for the whole family and there are 3 seasons on NetFlix already.

8 – Make a Hallway Laser Maze – This is so much fun and your bigger kids can actually do the whole thing by themselves and you get time to yourself. All you’ll hear is tons of giggles and “aw man’s!” Check out the video example below:

9 – Make a window sun catcher – Though your kids might not be able to go outside, these cute sun catchers will make looking outside fun, especially if it snows where you are! Here’s a great sun catcher tutorial.

10 – Put on a play – If you have a bunch of little performers in your house encourage your kids to put on their own performance. They can create a script, choreograph dances, and make their own set and costumes. This could literally be an all day event.

11 – Learn new dance moves – We used to learn the latest dance moves by watching music videos on MTV. Now kids just learn them on YouTube. Put on some dance tutorial videos for kids and let them practice till their heart’s content. Here’s one to learn to Floss:

12 – Have a Marshmallow Toothpick Challenge – This is the cheapest game you can pull together for your kids. Just buy a bag of marshmallows and a box of toothpicks and let your kids have a building contest. They can construct whatever they want and challenge themselves! Here’s how to do it.

13 – Let them have paint! – Yes, I know this is a messier activity. But if your kids are older and to be trusted with paint alone or slightly supervised, this is a wonderful creative activity. Plus, you can buy art canvases rather inexpensively so they can even hang their creations when they’re done. If your little one wants to get in on the painting action, here’s a mess-free toddler option.

14 – Have a paper airplane flight contest This is the coolest idea I’ve seen. Simply make your airplanes and build a target with holes and scores.

15 – Make an indoor tape game – Not only can you make car tracks with tape but you can basically create an endless list of games too. Here’s an exhaustive list of indoor tape games from What Moms Love.

16 – Build a DIY marble maze – This is easy enough that bigger kids can do this on their own. Here’s the tutorial. Then let them have a contest to see who can get their marble through the maze the fastest.

17 – Learn how to do origami – My kids love learning origami. There are so many fun creations they can make. Here’s a fun and easy video they can watch to teach them.

18 – Do cupcake wars – Make a batch of yummy cupcakes and give each child three and have them decorate each one creatively. Have them present each of their designs for judging and then have fun eating them!

19 – Make a DIY corner page bookmark – My kids love reading and they actually don’t like dog-earing their pages. This adorable craft will give them a fun activity and will encourage them to keep reading.

20 – Make Toilet Paper Roll Animals – This craft is fun and can get as involved and artsy as your kids desire! Here are some ideas for inspiration.

21 – Build a rainbow prism mobile – Rainbows are beautiful outside, but this mobile craft lets you have rainbows inside! Here’s the full tutorial.

22 – Have a board game day – Just let the kids go into their games and choose a few of their favorites and play as long as they want. Here is a great board games recommended list.

23 – Play card games – Card games may not be the first thing kids think of to play with but they are still a lot of fun! Here is a post with 15 card games you can teach your kids to play with a regular deck of cards.

24 – Make an indoor scavenger hunt – Make a list of random items around the house and have the kids take pictures on their phone, tablet, or digital camera of all the items they find.

25 – Have an indoor picnic – Lay the blankets on the floor and prepare a picnic style meal.

26 – Put together a puzzle – Puzzles are fun and can take up an entire snowy afternoon. The older your kids, the bigger and harder the puzzle. The ones that cover the entire kitchen table are the best!

27 – Make DIY playdough – this non-toxic, homemade playdough is just as fun as making slime but is a less messy option for little ones. But bigger kids love playdough too.

28 – Shoot hoops – Find any ball and a larger sized basket or bucket and have a shoot out contest. I honestly can say that my husband can do this with the kids all night and they have a ball… literally!

29 – Make crystal geode eggs – This activity is so much fun and equally educational. These are naturally forming geode crystals that form inside egg shells. Here is exactly how to do it.

30 – Go camping inside – Camping is fun no matter where! So why not sleep in the living room and even get a tent. Make smores in the microwave.

31 – Have a micro treasure hunt – Every kid gets a little matchbox and has 10 minutes to fill it with as many tiny objects as they can. Thinks like a bead, a button, or even a pea.

When it's too cold to go outside these super fun indoor activities for kids will deliver a fun filled days and no excuse for boredom! #activities #kids #parenting

End Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrum Quickly with These Simple Steps!

toddler tantrum tips

Toddler temper tantrums can happen in a split second and can be caused by many different reasons. But the resulting cause every single time is frustration and even embarrassment when your sweet little angel decides to unleash her reign of terror in public.

That’s why I believe we as parents should work to skillfully play offense with our kids instead of pounding it out on the defensive line. There, I sounded like I know what I’m talking about with football. My husband would be so proud!

How to stop a temper tantrum

Basically what I mean is, working on the front end to prevent temper tantrums in the first place instead of working so hard to stop them when they happen. Yes, it’s really possible!

That’s why created this first post, Easily Prevent Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrums with These Fool-Proof Tips, and I recommend you read it first. Unless, you’re in the midst of a tantrum right now and in that case, please read on!

However, even when you do all these things to help prevent tantrums, chances are, one or more will still happen. Here are some easy and effective tips to help calm your child and your nerves when your child is in full-on fit mode.

1 – Get on Their Level

No one likes being talked down, including our kids. Toddlers are short and if we want to stop talking down to them, we need to intentionally get down on their level.

Talking to your toddler eye to eye isn’t just helpful during a tantrum but really is how we should be talking to our children every time.

If you ask your little one to do something and you’re getting totally ignored, don’t keep repeating yourself. You’ll only get more frustrated and angry. Simply stop and get down to where they are or bring them up to where you are, and speak to them in a calm and direct tone.

And look them right in their eyes.

This takes some practice, and in the beginning, you’ll most likely be met with aversion and them trying to escape your space. But keep at it. Once they realize you’re no longer going to be towering over them barking demands, they’ll begin to respond positively.

Doing this ensures they’ve actually heard you and also makes them focus. This practice is extremely effective with my toddler son. And talking to him from across the room almost never works.

And one more thing, talking to anyone in this way is a sign of respect. It shows them they’re important and deserve your full attention. This really goes a long way.

Think about the last time someone talked to you while staring at their phone. Feel ignored much?

Related: 50 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Loved in their Own Love Language

2 – Give them a Firm Hug

I know, I know giving your little tornado of terror a hug in the middle of a tantrum is probably the last thing you’d want to do. And you’re probably thinking it’s equally as ineffective. (source)

I dare you to give it a try the next time your toddler goes into fit-mode. Not a warm and fuzzy hug, though. Give them a close, firm and disarming hug.

Think of it like those weighted blankets that help people overcome night-anxiety or how swaddling a baby helps them feel safe.

Pulling your toddler close when they’re acting out is like yelling I Love You to your husband in the middle of an argument… it’s a pattern interrupt.

It’s also a lot more effective than walking away, yelling, or punishing them for their tantrum.

3 – Lower Your Voice

This tactic pretty much works for any human interaction with conflict. If you’re talking to an angry person, the least effective thing to do is elevate your voice too.

Instead, lowering your voice to one that is calm, confident, and firm is the perfect way to talk to your angry toddler. NEVER, yell! I know this can be really hard.

But it’s really only a way to release your own frustrations but it in no way helps the situation get any better and really just models that yelling and emotional outbursts are OK.

Also, toddlers can be really sensitive and will often hold onto your anger.

Try these practical tips to get your kids to listen without yelling and the corresponding regret. 

3 – Control Your Own Anger

Here’s where things can get a little sticky because when our toddler isn’t listening, talking back, or having an outright tantrum it’s really easy to allow our emotions to go into overdrive.

When our emotions are in control we’ve more likely to say things that aren’t helpful, add to the problem or things we don’t mean and will regret. So when your little one is acting out, always take a breath before you say anything or make any parenting decisions.

As silly as this may sound, take a couple slow and deep breaths or count to ten in your head. This serves as a reminder to you that you’re the parent and you’re the one in control – not your toddler.

Then decide how you want to handle the situation. Just remember, that once you open your mouth and say something, you need to stick by it.

If you say to your child that if he runs through the clothing racks at Target again, he isn’t going to get that cookie he asked for. And you can’t go back on that… ever! No matter if you went too harsh with your punishment and feel guilty.

Take a moment to think first and don’t act out of your own emotions.

4 – Get Outta There!

If you’re in a public place, get out as fast as you can. It’s obviously great for all the innocent bystanders and just plain good manners. But it also resets the location and works to interrupt their tirade.

Just a few words to consider while you’re running out of Wal-Mart. Stay calm and take this time to breathe and count, NOT to yell, complain, and yank your kid’s arm off.

I know this is easier said than done. I’ve screwed this one up many times. But modeling calm behavior is SUPER important!

5  – Hear Them to Understand

Remember, tantrums are a form of communication. Not the best, but communication none the less. If your child’s form of getting their way is a tantrum or if tantrums are a way of life in your home, I would strongly suggest reading this post.

This is a sign that your child hasn’t learned a more appropriate way of sharing their feelings. And this behavior isn’t likely to go away on its own as they get older. I have witnessed many shocking tantrums in public with older kids berating their parents. #Sad

This occurs when children aren’t taught how to properly communicate and haven’t been shown that this is unacceptable behavior. Or at least, they haven’t in the right way.

However, on the occasion tantrums or angry displays of emotion do happen and this is where we need to do our best to find the source and help them work through it with compassion.

Related: 9 Things Your Kids Wishes You’d Do but Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

6 – Stay Firm and Do NOT Bargain

Never, ever bargain with a child! If you were headed to get ice cream and needed to make one last stop at the store and your child starts misbehaving, give her a firm warning that she won’t be having any ice cream if she doesn’t stop NOW.

If she doesn’t listen, no more ice cream. Period.

They may cry, beg, and try to bait you into a bargaining session, but you Must. Stand. Firm.

7 – Keep Your Language Positive

As tempting as it is to unleash your true feelings of frustration and call it like you see it, do your best to reign it in. Calling your son a bad boy over and over isn’t going to fix the problem.

I’ve witnessed name calling from parents many times and it rips my heart out because they just don’t know how powerful their words are and the impact they make.

Our words have power and calling your son a “bad boy” is actually making a declaration that your son is bad. Certainly not what you really want to accomplish.

I always work to speak what I desire to see in my children, my life, and my family. Our words have creative ability and have the power to change our circumstances.

In Romans 4:17, it says to “call those things that do not exist as though they did.”

Instead, try saying something like, “you are a good boy, so let’s start showing it.”

Do you have some effective strategies to stop your toddler’s tantrums? We love to hear it! Please share in the comments below!

Related: How to use Your Words to Raise Brave and Vision Focused Kids

If you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a toddler temper tantrum and feel your own tantrum coming on... try these tips to stop that tantrum in it's tracks! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101 #kids #momlifeThese simple and highly effective steps will help you defuse and end your toddler's temper tantrum fast! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parenting101 #parentingtips #momlife Toddler temper tantrums are hard to deal with. But with these simple steps, you can end your toddler's tantrum fast! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #kids #toddler

How to Keep Your Marriage Strong Even When it Looks Healthy!

3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

I’ve always been fascinated by “that couple” who seem genuinely happy in every situation in their marriage. The ones who constantly hold hands and gaze into each other’s eyes at every opportunity. I wonder if they really have a healthy marriage. I wonder if they’ve ever had a real fight, or are even wired to fight at all. I know I am.

My husband and I have had more than our fair share of fights over the course of our 17-year marriage. Not major blow ups but a few strong, emotional disagreements.

3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

I’ll probably never be able to go home with that couple to see how things really go down in their home. To see if it’s all an act or if there’s genuine love holding them together. And if they really are that good.

Whatever the truth is, one thing’s for sure about ALL marriages – they require hard work. There’s not one single couple that’s immune to this fact, even “that” couple.

But enough about them. Lol

Two Enemies of a Healthy Marriage

One is much easier to spot and widely known. The other is much more subtle and unexpected. It will invade your marriage like a parasite – sucking the life out of it without you ever knowing until it’s too late.

The widely known enemy to marriage is selfishness. It’s not always easy to fight and overcome, but at least you know it when you see it.

The unexpected enemy – the one with the superb skill of the sneak attack – is complacency.

Just like selfishness, every marriage is vulnerable to the parasite of complacency if you don’t know how to guard yourself against it. But before we can effectively protect ourselves, we need to know what complacency really is.

What is Complacency?

Complacency is defined as a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some danger or defect.

When I read this definition it brings to mind someone laying in a hammock with their eyes closed thinking about how their life seems perfectly, perfect. While their enemy quietly makes their approach.

Complacency may seem harmless – a lot less than selfishness. Right?

Let me tell you, it’s a lot more harmful because it works like a Trojan Horse. Once you let it in, it’s already done its damage. When you feel complacent, you have this overwhelming sense that you’ve arrived. You finally did it! You’re no longer “working at it.” You’ve become finally “that” couple.

This is exactly where my husband and I got to in our marriage. We fell in love in our teen years and quickly became inseparable. We got married very young and were never, ever apart. Outside of normal disagreements, we always enjoyed being together. We really considered ourselves best friends.

Then, drumroll, please … we started having kids. Nuf said there, right?!

It’s not to say our children messed up our marriage. But we fell for the trap of complacency and had no clue we were headed for danger.

Looking for great books to help you strengthen your marriage? I highly recommend these books and authors:



Related: 4 Habits to Guard Your Family From a Life of Complacency

Living in Our Quiet Comfort

We had the feeling we were “that good.” We didn’t need to take intentional date nights when our children were still little. After all, I just couldn’t hand over my angels to just ANYONE. So, my babies took precedence over my marriage.

And my rockstar husband said, “no problem”. He’s a good man who’s always trying to relieve my stress and make my life easier, so letting it ride seemed like the right to do.

We continued like this three kids later with less and less #TeamUs time. All the while, we rolled with it, feeling none the wiser about the whole thing.

What we didn’t see happening was the slipping away in our hearts. We went about each day in our quiet comfort totally unaware that we went from wishing we had more time together… to get used to our regular routine… to finally not caring so much about it.

Not in an “I don’t want to be married” kind of way. But in an “I forgot how good it used to be” kind of way.

It became easy to not have to work at anything. To just foolishly believe our healthy marriage was divorce-proof. Even though we took a solemn vow to stay committed to each other till death do us part, doesn’t mean we don’t equally have the responsibility to cultivate and nourish our marriage as well.

Now going back to “that couple.” The truth is, if their marriage is indeed the real deal than I’ve got shocking news for you – they’ve put in real work to get there. And more importantly… to stay there.

Related: 21 Questions to Ask When Conflict Rises in Your Family

3 Lies to Resist in Your Marriage

There are 3 lies that couples tend to believe that set them up for failure down the road. If you can recognize them early, you’ll be armed and ready when complacency tries to show up in your marriage.

Lie #1 Your marriage doesn’t require work

Maybe you want to replace the word work with another like nurture. Whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same. Every single marriage requires attention to keep it healthy and strong. The moment you think you’ve arrived; your strong marriage is in danger. Maybe not tomorrow, but later down the road.

Related: 4 Strategies to Win the Fight for Your Family in Challenging Seasons

Lie #2 Date Nights Aren’t for Every Marriage

This is a lie that invaded my marriage. We felt the whole date night thing was kind of clique, so we didn’t take them seriously. What we failed to realize was it doesn’t matter what we label them – it only matters that we do them. Having one-on-one alone time on at least a weekly basis is a must for all marriages.

The point is, find something you both enjoy and do it together. It doesn’t have to be a “date” at all. Just be you.

Lie #3 Putting the Kids First is OK While They’re Still Little

God created an order for families – God, Spouse, then children. Outside of the necessary taking care of your children, placing them before your spouse can have devastating consequences.

Your husband was there first and he’ll be there with you after they’re gone. If you’re struggling with this one, think of it like this; placing your marriage first will keep your marriage healthy. That’s something your children will be thankful for later. My parents divorced after I was already married with my own children. Simply put… I was devastated.

Your children would rather you take time apart from them if it means they don’t become yet another family torn apart by divorce.

Pray and ask God to show you any areas in your marriage that may have slipped or are vulnerable to complacency. Watch Him give you the wisdom to come back together and leave any trace of complacency behind.

Share your testimony of how you personally overcame a trial or challenge in your marriage in the comments below!


All marriages, even super healthy marriages need work and attention. Learn how even happy couples can end up in trouble and how to spot that trouble before it starts so your marriage can stand the test of time!Keeping Your Marriage Strong3 lies to stop believing in your marriage

We know we need to work on our marriage when things get rocky, but what about when our marriage looks healthy? Learn the secret to keep your relationship strong and fresh! #marriage #relationshipgoals #marriageadvice

7 Surprising Reasons You Yell at Your Kids and How to Break the Cycle

As a new mom of two little ones I spent my days cycling through being a happy and grateful mom to an angry yelling “blowing her top” mom, to an ashamed and guilty for yelling at my kids mom.

As the days went on the cycles got more frequent, the happy and grateful mom showed up much less often and I ended up trapped in a sad and paralyzing state of tired, grouchiness.

I snapped very often, my demeanor was pretty uptight most of the time, and I felt like a complete and total failure as a mom. Until one day it hit me and I asked myself, “why am I such an angry mom?

This certainly wasn’t what I thought motherhood was going to be like. I dreamed of being a mom and though we struggled through infertility for almost 5 years, I was overjoyed to bring our first child into this world.

Then the reality of mom life showed up… and my idea of motherhood didn’t seem to fit my reality of motherhood.

It was hard for me.

And the fact that is was hard for “me” the mom whose dream it was to even be a mom, was pretty devastating. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was in over my head and felt consumed with shame all the time.

Why Good Moms Get Angry

I finally decided this craziness needed to stop. I genuinely wanted to have fun as a mom and have a close and fulfilling relationship with my children. So I got to work.

With loads of prayer, study, and tons of trial and error I’m now at a place in my life where I LOVE being a mom and actually feel like I’m pretty good at it! But that only changed when I stopped letting dysfunctional behavior patterns just happen, and started getting intentional about changing them.

One of the first things I learned (HUGE!) were my anger triggers. Little did I know, I was setting anger traps for myself every single day. And that’s what this post is about… helping you to set yourself up for those good, no-blow up days!

Now, let me be clear here, I did a lot of work in the process of healing from mental and emotional lies and past hurts that were greatly contributing to my overall anger. This is not an overnight process.

Recognizing my triggers for yelling was just a part of the puzzle but helped tremendously! Doing these things won’t likely be a total solution to why you are yelling at your kids but they are vitally important to an overall anger management solution.

Here are some helpful posts to getting kids to listen and not causing anger in the first place:

Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

How to Respond When Your Child Disobeys on Purpose

Common Parenting Mistakes Any Parent Can Fix

I would also like to add that yelling to be heard or because you tend to be on the louder side of the communication spectrum isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you just talk louder or are more intense than all your mom friends… that’s totally OK. I personally still fall slightly into this category!

In this post, I’m addressing moms who struggle with anger in this post. The kind where you feel like a horrible mom after. That’s what I wanted to break free from, and you can join me!

Surprising Mom Anger Triggers

These surprising anger triggers are the things we commonly do every day that we’re usually unaware of that can open the door to blow-ups. And as the saying goes, “when we know better… we do better.

If you read this list and notice one or more that you’re doing, I want to encourage you to make a plan to set up borders for yourself to allow yourself the change you desire.

You want to be a more peaceful mom who really enjoys her children or else you wouldn’t still be reading this post! This process is going to take work but you owe it to yourself and your family to give it all you got so you can be the mom you know you really are inside!

1 | Working with Kids in the Room

I’ve been a work from home mom since my first daughter was born. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to work right in my home while raising my kids, but there is a right and a wrong way to do it! Over the years I’ve done crappy work totally because we needed the money and work that I absolutely love – and this rule still holds true either way.

Honestly, I could write an entire post on this topic, so I’ll do my best to keep it brief. Working on your laptop (or whatever work you do) with kids actively in the room is a setup for disaster. Unless you make a very intentional mindset shift.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d be intensely working (head down, eyes on screen) and blow up because I kept getting interrupted again and again. Silly, I know.

After I realized this to be a huge anger trigger for me, I totally shifted how I work. I now get up very early in the morning and do the bulk of my work that needs my full concentration while my kids sleep. This doesn’t have to be how you do it, but find what works for you.

Then, here’s the mindset shift, I make any work that I do work on in the presence of my kids, second to their needs… ALWAYS.

It looks like this – if I’m working (on a less intense work task) and my child asks for a snack, I put my laptop down and get a snack.

If my children break out in a fight-mob in the living room, I put my laptop down and handle the issue. No more, let me finish this really quick… one more minute sweety… stop fighting! Don’t you see I’m working!

By mentally shifting to my kids and not my project as the priority, it totally changes things for me. Sure, I’m not nearly as productive as I used to be when I was putting my work first but I’m so much more peaceful and my kids no longer resent it or try to fight for my attention when they see me working. It’s a total win-win.

2 | Not Setting Boundaries Up Front

One major source of mom blow ups is when our kids don’t listen until we yell. It’s a cycle that doesn’t have to continue.

In fact, yelling undermines our authority because we don’t have to yell to get their attention. One of the biggest reasons our kids do things we don’t like is because they don’t know the boundaries.

Think of behavioral boundaries like physical boundaries. If you told your son he could ride his bike outside until 5:00, chances are, he’ll go exploring beyond where you had in mind. If you caught him riding his bike on the main road, you might be upset.

This really wouldn’t be fair because he wasn’t given a boundary line like, “do not ride your bike past our street.” Now, this doesn’t mean he won’t try to test this boundary but we’ll get to that in the next point.

For now, we need to establish simple boundaries like, “when we play with one game, we need to clean it up before we open another game.”

This keeps us from going into a screaming fit when we walk into the playroom and see every game they own dumped out on the floor after a very exhausting day at work!

There are endless boundaries you can create, but you get the point.

3 | Not Giving Natural Consequences

When we create and effectively and repeatedly communicate our boundaries, we must offer natural consequences when those boundaries are challenged.

And they will be challenged! Your kid isn’t bad when she deliberately disobeys what you just told her. She’s merely testing your resolve and if you’re really telling the truth. Hmmm, think about that for a second.

When we say, “if you don’t pick up your Legos by the time I get back upstairs in five minutes, I’m going to box them up and give them away” and we don’t follow through (if the Legos aren’t cleaned up), we’ve just lied to our child.

And they know it.

This is why giving natural consequences upfront is so important. Don’t give great big threats that you have no intention of doing just to scare them into obedience. This cycle of giving threats and not following through is a recipe for disobedience every day of the week. And your sanity goes right out the window!

Make sure your child clearly knows both the boundary and the consequence to their behavior upfront. If they cross that boundary… that’s where the next point comes in.

4 | Not Keeping Your Word

This is so important to establishing trust with your child. They know when we won’t stick to our word and it’s like blood in the water to a kid.

They aren’t trying to destroy our patience, they’re just trying to figure it all out.

Take a moment to be sure the consequence you’re about to give makes sense and you are willing to dole it out when needed.

Never ever waiver or bargain with your child. This is the key to keeping your peace.

If you’re currently trapped in this cycle, I give you permission to stop right now.

Just know, it’s going to take work and your kids will likely not appreciate your new found change. But over time, they’ll know you mean business and will listen when you talk without needing to yell.

5 | Pouring Out of an Empty Cup

As a mom, we’re in a perpetual state of pouring out. We pour out spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. We know that’s all a part of the job of mom.

But what we all seem to forget or treat as unimportant is the filling back up part.

We can’t run on empty any more than our car sitting in the driveway can. Sure, we can try but at what cost?

There are harder mom seasons than others, and in the hardest ones, we need to find pockets of rest. But when we’re not caring for a newborn or for 3 kids under the age of 3, things get a bit easier.

And it’s our job to carve out time to rest and recharge because honestly no one else is going to do it for us!

Doing things that recharge you like getting enough rest, exercising consistently, reading purely for enjoyment (audiobooks are great for moms), having a quiet devotional and prayer time, and even time with close friends you can connect with.

Just remember, these things are only effective if you schedule them regularly… not once a year around Mother’s Day.

Sure, it’s wonderful to have a family who shows their appreciation for all you do, but I’m pretty sure that’s a rare occurrence for most moms. The good news is, you can take charge of your own happiness and show appreciation to yourself. You totally need and deserve it!

6 | You Take it All Personally

Kids misbehave and test boundaries… it’s kind of their thing. It’s NOT personal towards you. There may be things we’re doing that contribute to undesired behavior, but it’s not an attack on you.

Kids are tiny humans and whether we believe it or not, they have their own reasons for doing what they do no matter how strange or annoying those things are to us.

I find one of the best ways to get in our kids’ little heads and hearts is to ask questions before we assume what we see is accurate.

One day I was looking for my daughter who was 5 at the time and heard her in her closet. When I turned the corner I almost lost it! There were clothes everywhere!

What looked like a, destroy my closet for no reason type of situation, was actually her attempting to reorganize her wardrobe. She was just doing it the really hard way kids at that age do. Yikes.

I’m grateful that in that moment, I didn’t start yelling and lecturing but mustered up enough self-control to ask what she was doing.

When I realized that she was trying to do something helpful, I dropped down and started to help her. We had a good conversation and I found out that she didn’t like the way I had organized her clothes and she felt like her way would be easier to get ready in the morning faster.

Who am I to argue that?

Even in the moments when our kids are disobedient and rude right to our faces, we must know there is something else at the root. And ironically, they need us most of the time to help them work through their emotions.

Not taking it personally helps us show up and do that.

7 | Not Managing Things Well

When life gets too hectic and I’ve allowed too many things to overtake our family schedule all the important stuff gets pushed to the side.

What’s left is a very messy house, no plan at all for dinner every night, running late for everything, and a mom that’s always on the edge of a meltdown.

I think in many ways, this is the hardest part about being a mom… the managing the home stuff.

It took me a long time to realize that something’s gotta give and I can’t allow our routines to fall by the wayside.

Making sure that the house stays livable and the kids are actually doing their part in keeping the house clean is so important. When the house is filthy, it’s very hard for me to stay in a positive mindset.

And making sure there is a plan for meals that don’t involve giving all my money away in the drive-thru is also super important. Meal planning is both my nemesis and lifesaver. I honestly hate doing it, but it’s the only way to not operate in chaos.

Finally, practicing intentionally leaving with plenty of time totally reduces fits of yelling at my kids. Running late for appointments is such an open door for yelling, tears, and frustration.

Why Moms Get Angry

This is not an exhaustive list of anger triggers. Moms yell at their kids for many reasons, some are not even being addressed here in this post. These are just some anger triggers that I became aware of personally in my own life and from talking to other moms who struggle with anger.

I want to encourage you to observe your life and time with your kids and look for those things that set you off, and do what you can to eliminate them.

The important thing to remember is, you are NOT a bad mother! Simply the fact that you’re reading this to the bottom proves you’re a good mom.

The first thing I learned is that I needed to change, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I am a Christian and knew I needed to surrender my emotions to Christ. I believe surrender is the first step to change. It acknowledges that I can’t do this on my own or I already would have by now.

I then needed to be honest with myself and transparent with others. I stopped being isolated and found out that other moms were struggling with the same issues. There is freedom in openness.

Finally, I made a quality decision to change and become the mom I knew I was meant to be. I apologized a lot to my kids along the way, and now they hardly have memory of those old days. Which means there’s a better life ahead of you that’s free from guilt and shame.

You can do it if it’s what you really want… you just have to decide.

Want to stop feeling like an angry mom and yelling at your kids all the time? These simple tips really helped me find my anger triggers and stop yelling at my kids! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingadvice

3 Things Happy Moms Know and Do Every Day to Really Enjoy Motherhood!

how to be a happy mom

Let me start off by answering the big question lingering right now… what makes a happy mom?

I’d like to first tell you that a happy mom is NOT

a perfect mom.

immune from messing up and making mistakes.

happy all the time.

And a happy mom…

does NOT have it all figured out.

does NOT have super powers.

Happy moms

Years ago, I used to be the exact opposite of a happy mom. I was a tired mom, a short-tempered mom, a stressed-out mom, a burnt out mom, and a worried mom. But I never would have defined myself as a happy mom.

It’s not at all that I didn’t love being a mom or loved my kids with every part of me but I was so consumed with “getting it right” and “getting it all done” that all the fun in my days got sucked right out the window like a vacuum, leaving me suffocating inside.

What Happy Moms Do Every Day

I needed a brand new perspective – one that freed me from the bondage of carrying my motherhood on my own. I wanted to learn what other happy moms I knew were doing who didn’t seem to feel so overwhelmed all the time.

And I did. I pinpointed three things that happy moms do every day. And doing these simple things really help so much to remove the pressure and stress that come with motherhood and focus on being free to focus on the things that matter the most.

The Bible calls children, His reward. And I believe that with all my heart. No matter how much stress I may experience as a mom, it will never ever outweigh the joy and gratitude I feel for having the title mom.

“He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!”

Psalms 113:9 NLT

So what does a truly happy mom look like?

Well, she’s a humble woman who knows she can’t and shouldn’t try to get it all done on her own. She’s wise to know that there’s no badge of honor for working her mind and body to the bone. She sacrifices by finding her tribe and gains so much in return.

She survives on grace instead of coffee. I mean, coffee is the nectar of the moms and I love my hot cup of goodness every morning. But I couldn’t live without the fuel of grace from Christ allowing me to do what I do with a joyful heart.

A truly happy mom takes responsibility for her own happiness. This simply means our happiness is a choice. We can be happy even when our kids aren’t acting right or when our spouse isn’t giving us what we really need. We have the power to choose joy in the midst of things that aren’t joyful.

And finally, she’s a woman on a mission. She’s on a mission to win the heart of her children. And while she’s cleaning, teaching, feeding, and disciplining those kids she’s paying attention to the biggest goal – relationship.

Keep reading to know how to experience these things in your own life and home with these very simple tips.

1 | Happy Moms Don’t Do #AllTheThings All At the Same Time

I’m not sure where the belief comes from that we, as moms, must do everything. This is simply not true and not healthy. I used to feel as if caring for the kids, for the house, cooking all the meals, doing all the driving, and on and on was my sole duty as a mom.

Meanwhile, I’ve always been a working mom. I quickly wore myself to the bone and had no joy… at all. Sure my kids were smaller back then but that isn’t a good enough reason to not enjoy one of the best season’s of a woman’s life… raising her babies.

So here are my tips for NOT doing #AllTheThings all at the same time!

Ask for Help

Asking for help isn’t asking for a favor. It’s having an honest conversation with your spouse and your kids about what it means to be a part of a family. If you’re doing all the cleaning, cooking, and house duties in your home… stop.

I’m not saying that there’s one way to distribute labor in your home because there’s not. But it should be appropriate for your family’s dynamic. Consider your children’s ages and when you feel it’s time to introduce chores. And it’s been scientifically proven that giving kids chores is a really beneficial thing for them. So absolutely no downside there!

Also, consider your spouse’s work schedule with yours. If you both work equal schedules you both may find that dividing household responsibilities equally works best. Just start talking about it positively and without negative emotions or nagging getting in the way.

Keep a simple schedule and put yourself on it

Having your kids involved in each activity under the sun can feel overwhelming for both you and your kids. As our kids have gotten older, we’ve allowed them to be involved in one activity per child, per season. There are case-by-case exceptions that pop up along the way but this is the norm for us.

This goes for your schedule too. If you are a compulsive people pleaser who just can’t say no, chances are you’re drowning in obligations. It’s OK to say no to volunteering every week at your kid’s school or being on the roster for every event at your church.

Being overloaded isn’t doing you or your family any favors. And do NOT forget to put time for yourself on that schedule. It doesn’t take much but you need to care for yourself too.

Separate work and kids whenever possible

Finally, the one thing that stole my joy faster than anything was trying to do work regularly in the presence of my children. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve always been a work at home mom with a computer and a baby in my lap at all times!

This led to many, many tantrums (eh hem… from me) when I couldn’t manage the constant interruptions while I was trying to get my work done. I finally had an Aha moment that my kids were doing nothing wrong. It was me that needed to make the adjustment.

I either needed to learn to seamlessly bounce back and forth between my work and my kids’ needs, or I needed to schedule my work around my kids. And because I just didn’t handle the back and forth very well, I make a huge sacrifice and started working around my kids. You can read about that here.

Since making that single change, I am soooo much of a happier mom!

2 | Happy Moms Give Themselves Heaps of Grace

Grace is knowing that we’re all highly imperfect and we need so much grace along every step of this motherhood journey. There are so many decisions, choices, and the many opinions of others that can make us second guess everything we do.

From the very beginning, we’re making big choices like whether to breast or bottle feeding or whether we should co-sleep or sleep train in their nursury. And the truth is, sometimes we totally rock it and other days we feel like the biggest hot mess ever.

And what we don’t need is more mom guilt eating us alive!

Learn to forgive yourself freely

When you do have one of those days, or weeks, where you yelled so much your throat hurts and you feel like the worst mom that ever lived… stop. Stop beating yourself up. It’s not good for you and it’s also not good for your kids.

The best thing your kids need to see is a true example of a person who knows how to positively respond and recover when they make a mistake. Simply make it right however appropriate, apologize genuinely, and move on!

Know you weren’t made to do this on your own

None of us were meant to do this mom life on our own. Whether you’re married to a husband who helps or one that doesn’t, or whether you’re single, divorced or widowed – you shouldn’t strive to do this life on your own.

This is a very in-depth subject in and of itself without a one-size-fits-all answer. But what is true, is we all need a support system. This can be a group of other mom friends that all help each other out when we need it and when we don’t. Or simply having an honest conversation with our family on why it’s important that everyone in the house do their part.

But you were made to do this

The most important part I want you to really know is though you weren’t meant to do this on your own, you were made to do this.

You were given the privilege of becoming a mom and therefore I truly believe you are already equipped for the job. God created you and called you to be a mother before you were born whether you adopted or birthed your children! There is a special grace given to all moms… you just need to put a demand on that grace through faith.

3 | Happy Moms Foster Connection Above All Else

The final and most important thing that happy moms do every day is foster connection above all else. Too often we can get caught up in teaching, leading, and disciplining our kids… and I didn’t even mention cleaning up after!

But happy moms see that the relationship that they build with their child is one that actually helps make the rest of the mom stuff so much easier. Kids naturally want to please those they love and respect.

When we’re truly connected to our kids, they don’t like breaking that bond by doing things that can rock the boat. And the seeds we sow now in bonding with our children is a harvest that will last a lifetime!

There are many ways to foster this connection. Here are a few of my favorites:

Have one on one time

It doesn’t matter if you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, having one on one time with your kids can easily be done every day. Simply schedule a time block for each child every day. Ten minutes is just fine.

You and your child may just love to talk and catch up on the day. You may love reading a book outloud together or even playing a short board game every night. What you do isn’t as important, as your child knowing they have your undivided attention.

Just keep in mind to do what is most fun or interesting to your child. Showing that we’re “into” what they love, even if we’re not, shows how much we care!

Hug it out

Hugging has been shown in many scientific studies to help children deal with emotional challenges, make kids smarter, grow bigger, and even stay healthy. Yes, all that!

Hugging your child for at least 15 seconds is highly recommended. Now, not all your kids will be natural huggers and others will love to stay in your arms for days on end. And other kids will be wiggling out by second-2! But getting those hugs in every day is beneficial to them and us.

Focus on the good

The final way to foster connection with your kids is to always be looking for and focusing on the good in your child. Your kid might be going through a challenging season or a difficult phase and it may take a lot more energy on your part to see the good… but do it anyway.

This doesn’t mean you ignore the bad, but you praise and high-five all the good moments you can find and this helps inspire your child to keep repeating the good behavior. Instead of getting all the attention from their questionable behavior.


Final Thoughts

Happy moms aren’t perfect or immune from mistakes and bad days. Even after you’ve read this entire post and even put these tips into action, you will mess up.

Just remember that section on grace! You can do this AND enjoy the day because as the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. In other words, time flies way too fast, so why not work on enjoying this journey!

These fool-proof tips will help you become a happier and more relaxed mom even when you're feeling stressed! #happymom #motherhood #parenting #kidsandparenting

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