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Surprising Causes of Child Disobedience and How to Finally Break the Cycle

when your child disobeys on purpose

Children disobey. It happens whether you’re raising toddlers or teenagers. In fact, we disobey too. Like when we deliberately go a bit or a lot faster than the posted speed limit sign because our kid was going to be late for school for the third time this week.

The fact is when we disobey we often take the “it’s justified” stance based on our circumstances at the moment. However, when our kids disobey we assume that our kid is acting out.

when your child disobeys on purpose

There are many underlying causes for child disobedience that may actually surprise you. And many situations where a child is being called “strong-willed” is actually being caused by something else entirely.

Part of being a loving, positive parent is learning to become a detective who looks for clues most people can’t clearly see on the surface. We need to do some digging to find the real answers to our parenting struggles.

It May Not Be Defiance at All

Like I said earlier, all children disobey. That’s totally normal and not necessarily a symptom of an underlying problem.

That’s because there may be a logical reason for your child not listening. Let’s say you called your 4 year old to dinner and they didn’t come downstairs. You called three more times with no response before finally storming upstairs with your frustrated meter on high.

You find your daughter in her closet trying to put away the game she was playing. She’s visibly frustrated with tears welling up in her eyes because she can’t figure out how to get the game in the box by herself. You’ve been spending time lately teaching her how to put away her toys when she’s done.

Frustration meter suddenly plummets and you feel terrible for getting upset.

The most helpful way to handle this situation is to offer positive encouragement by acknowledging how she cleaned up before dinner.

But this praise must be followed by a clear reinforcement that whenever mommy or daddy calls you, you answer… no matter what.

Surprising Reasons Children Disobey

But what if your child disobeys a lot… on purpose? This can be frustrating and requires us as parents to look deeper for the source.

First, we need to explore the possible causes for your child’s disobedience. Again, these may surprise you and help you change your approach to discipline.

1 – Your Relationship Needs Strengthening

It may not seem or feel on the surface that your relationship with your child needs strengthening but often that’s exactly the culprit.

There’s a need built into children to want to please and obey their parents just as we have the same need to put a smile on our child’s face. However, when there’s a lack of trust or connection this can lead to a child acting out.

If you feel that you aren’t as connected as you once were with your child, try setting aside a small amount of time every day to have one on one time together. This can be just talking and asking questions or doing fun activities together.

Building trust and connection with your child isn’t done overnight and should be a priority for the long haul. Relationship and connection with our children should be at the top of our priorities as parents.

2 – No Clear Boundaries

If your child doesn’t have clear expectations or boundaries as it relates to his behavior he will consequently spend much of his time testing those boundaries.

He’s not testing to irritate you but to simply locate those boundaries so he knows how far to go. This can feel to a parent like your child is always testing the limits. That’s because they are!

It’s our responsibility as parents to establish those healthy expectations for our child from very early on. This task is one that never goes away and needs constant refining and reminding along the way.

It’s much easier to spend your moments teaching and modeling proper behavior, even ad nauseam, than it is to spend your days constantly correcting the wrong ones.

3 – Constant Labeling

This is a big one for today’s parenting where social media cultivates all the “labels and names” we can give our children without ever considering if that’s even true of our child. Labeling actually holds us back as parents.

Terms like the terrible twos, bratty teenager, and even strong-willed child are all labels that limit our own will as parents. For example, if we buy into the lie that all babies who reach the age of two become terrible we set ourselves up to hunker down until it’s over.

We stop looking for solutions because we believe it’s all a part of the journey. I mean, every mom is struggling with their teenager, right?

I’ve refused to believe in the negative labels about children and as it turns out when you expect your child to be a certain way, they will. That’s because my expectation that my kids will be well-behaved greatly influenced my parenting choices.

Kids will always rise to our expectations!

4 – There is Tension or Stress

If there is tension in the home because of constant fighting or maybe financial pressures that spill over into your child’s world, they can internalize this as stress causing them to act out.

They will often not fully understand why they are acting this way because they don’t understand how stress effects the mind and body.

Also, if your child is under another type of stress like academic pressure or too many high-stress activities they may feel the need to blow off steam which often looks like getting into trouble.

We should be taking an intentional measure of our child’s stress levels by talking with them on a daily basis. Simple check-ins and one on one talks help to let your child know they’re not alone.

If you find that you fit into one of these reasons and feel overwhelmed, don’t be hard on yourself. Parenting is the hardest thing we’ll EVER do. Just make positive changes in the right direction every day and you’ll see the difference!

How to Respond When Your Child Disobeys on Purpose

When dealing with a disobedient child we should be focused on finding solutions as to why the disobedience is happening in the first place. Instead of being totally punishment focused.

Here are 4 ways to handle deliberate disobedience:

1 – Pick Your Battles

Backtalk, intentional disrespect and lying are non-negotiable offenses in our home that always get addressed in some way.

But there are days when my toddler wants to wear his Spiderman PJ’s or my daughter doesn’t want to eat what I cooked for dinner. Some days I dig in and others I don’t.

I pick my battles and live to fight another day.

2 – Hold Your Child Accountable

Part of good parenting is establishing those healthy boundaries we talked about. And the only way those boundaries are effective is if we hold our kids to them.

If your child repeatedly forgets to turn in their homework resulting in poor grades, you must have already established consequences set in advance.

After they fully understand what’s expected of them, it’s our job to be the enforcer. If we say they lose their phone for a month if their grade falls to a C, then they lose their phone for a month. Period.

3 – Offer an Explanation

So I know I’m probably getting some eye rolls from all you old school parents. Trust me I hear you. I believe children should listen and obey regardless of whether an explaination is ever given.

But in the spirit of changing our kid’s behavior, sometimes a simple and very brief explaination can do wonders in making kids do what we’re asking.

There was a study done that showed how it was so much easier for a woman to cut in line if she offered a reason. Let’s face it, as adults we LOVE explanations. We don’t like it when people just ask us to do things and don’t offer a reason. Kids are the same.

Occasionally telling your kid why you need them to do something doesn’t make you a weak parent. I promise.

4 – Stay Calm and Firm

You are the parent. Losing your cool or entering into a debate or argument with your child undermines your authority. It also turns your power over to your child.

Kids are smart and will learn what pushes your buttons and what they can say or do to get you to give in out of frustration.

Though kids are skilled with the keen ability to set their parents off in a moment’s notice, we don’t have to take the bait.

We don’t yell and lose our cool at work or other places when people irritate us because we have self-control. We need to keep our control by acting like the adults we are even with our kids.


Parenting is hard and there’s never a day off. Just know that your desire to help your child make better choices is the starting point to healthy change.

And making connection with your kid your highest priority is going to help you tremendously on the hard days.

There is a right and easier way to respond to your child's disobedience. There are also surprising causes of child disobedience. Try these positive discipline strategies when your kids don't listen. #positivediscipline #parenting #positiveparenting #kidsandparenting
Back talk, tantrums, and intentional disobedience are often the result of these 5 reasons. And these positive discipline tips will help you raise happy and more obedient kids. #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #toddlers

50 Simple Ways to Speak Your Child’s Love Language Everyday

speak your child's love language

Did you know there’s an actual language of love… no not Italian. Seriously, we all have a unique Love Language that’s tailor-made to our unique personality. A language that when it’s spoken to us, can make us feel love in a deeply personal way.

And understanding the power of love languages, especially as it pertains to our kids, makes such an impact on how we give and receive love. This post shares simple and tangible ways to bond closer with your children using their love language.

We all know what it’s like to feel loved. It’s this experience of love that hits our heart much differently than merely knowing we’re loved. So many of us live the majority of our days in the “knowing we’re loved” zone, versus actually “experiencing that love” in action.

speak your child's love language

We all want to feel that love a whole lot more than just knowing it’s there. I know I’m guilty of letting the days go by without going beyond the usual hug, kiss, and I love you as I drop them off at school. And, of course, the thought that feeding them, clothing them, and sheltering them is an expression of love.

And though they are clearly expressions of love, I have to ask myself when was the last time my child “felt” love. A love that was meant just for them, and not a one-size-fits-all love that merely got tossed to all the kids at once on the way out the door.

The truth is, far too often we all take for granted that our spouse, children, and friends simply know we love them and leave it at that. Until a holiday (#Valentine’s Day) or other special event rolls around. Then we bring out the big guns!

This list is designed to help you become an even better mom and a positive parent than you already are!

We Speak Love in our Own Language

But our loved ones need so much more than that, especially our sweet children. Who are generally sweet most of the time. 

They need to feel and experience a clear and tangible expression of our love. One they can’t question or talk themselves out of later. And the best way to do this is to show them love in their own love language.

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock (or mounds of your children’s dirty laundry) and haven’t heard of love languages; let me catch you up.

The concept is taught extensively by Gary Chapman who wrote several books on the topic including The 5 Love Languages of Children – which I HIGHLY recommend along with all of his other books on the topic.

He teaches that there are basically five main ways (languages) we humans uniquely communicate love to one another. We all communicate on some level using all five languages, but Gary believes we each have one overarching language that’s stronger than all the others. That’s our love language.

Why are Love Languages Important?

The interesting part is, we naturally communicate our love to others using our own love language. I mean, that’s our own language, right? But this can hinder the flow of the “love exchange” because, as you know by now, we receive love best in our own language. Confused yet?

Please don’t be. Think of love languages as actual languages. If your husband spoke French and you only spoke English, your relationship would be challenging at best. But if you knew each other’s language and chose to speak that language to each other – you’d be in business. No more mixed signals. Well, hopefully.

This gives us the challenge of identifying and understanding the love language of those we want to show love to the most – our family. This way you can shoot your arrows of love like The Mocking Jay and hit the bulls-eye every single time. Imagine that!

The whole point of understanding and using love languages is the concept of filling each other’s love tank. And doing things that fill our child’s love tank in the specific way that they need it, sends the message loud and clear to your child – I AM LOVED.

Tips to Identify Your Child’s Love Language

In case you don’t know your child’s love language, I’m going to briefly list a few clues to point you in the right direction. I’ll warn you, it may seem at first that your child has ALL the love languages.

But if you observe your child over time, it’ll become more clear. Once you know your child’s love language, you can have fun delivering love messages to them in a way that’s sure to fill their love tank all the way to the top!

Physical Touch

  • Your child is touchy-feely and never seems to leave your side.
  • Frequently grabs your hand to hold it, leans on you, or rubs you in an affectionate way.
  • Loves to snuggle, cuddle, and be close.
  • If you reject this snuggle-fest request, they’ll likely feel rejected themselves.

Words of Affirmation

  • Your child is highly motivated by your words of encouragement.
  • They tend to feed off the validation of others.
  • They also will be more affected by harsh verbal correction or discipline.
  • Compliments and praise are like fuel to their soul.

Quality Time

  • Your child will frequently ask to spend time with you, even after you just had an awesome one on one day yesterday! Lol
  • Every time you turn around – they’re there looking to see what you’re doing.
  • If they aren’t getting the attention they’re seeking out, they will often resort to getting attention elsewhere. This is where getting negative attention can come in.
  • They’ll ask to come along when you’re just running errands. The point is, they want to be with you. Here are some great ideas for family connections!


  • Your child sees receiving gifts a special moment.
  • On big gift giving days like Christmas and Birthdays, they’ll often remember who gave each and every gift.
  • They will often collect and store seemingly random mementos from places they’ve been or from things they’ve been given by friends.

Acts of Service

  • Your child always wants to help and will even try to take over doing things like folding the laundry or putting away dishes as an act of love.
  • They will look for things that need to be done, like cleaning up the pile of blocks that got left in the corner. They’ll feel proud and accomplished after doing this, so showing your appreciation will go a long way.
  • They will naturally look for ways to help others.

How to Bond with Your Child Using Love Language

Even when you’re busy and overwhelmed with life, these ideas are so super, simple that you’ll find yourself inventing new ideas. The ways to speak your child’s love language are really endless and are only bound by your creativity and FUN! Let’s get to it.

 Physical Touch

  1. Watch their favorite TV show or read a book snuggled up on the couch. For ideas, check out my Epic Summer Reading list here!
  2. Create a special one-of-a-kind handshake.
  3. Give a lingering hug every day. One that just holds for an extra moment or two.
  4. Offer piggy-back or on the shoulder rides (if they’re still little enough!)
  5. Invite them into your lap to read as long and as often as they’ll still accept the invitation.
  6. Challenge them to an arm or thumb wrestling contest.
  7. Play a board game. Twister is a great one if you can handle it, Mom!
  8. ALWAYS tuck your child in for bed whenever possible.
  9. Wake them up sweetly with a warm snuggle instead of the light on and a, “wake up!”
  10. Do yoga or stretches together using each other for gentle resistance and support.

Words of Affirmation

  1. Write them a love note in their lunch box.
  2. Send them a text message telling them how awesome they are. Be specific and genuine! They’ll spot a canned praise a mile away.
  3. Always be ready with something awesome to say about them when they’re with their friends and/or siblings.
  4. When disciplining/correcting use the sandwich method. Praise – correction – praise.
  5. Offer words of praise that are very specific such as, “it was so awesome when you did … “
  6. Talk openly about them in a positive way around other family and friends.
  7. Always reserve correction to be given privately within your home and not around others.
  8. Create fan signs for your child at their sports games or other activities. And scream their name loudly if appropriate.
  9. Purchase a nice journal for them and write an inspiring message for them on the first page and date it. Words are important for those with this love language so journaling is usually a great activity to encourage.
  10. Create a secret journal that only you and your child know about that you use to write back and forth to each other. This is wonderful for those challenging tween years.

Quality Time

  1. Have a regularly scheduled date day. Could be simple and free like going to the park every Friday. Here are some great FREE ideas! 
  2. Go for a walk alone. Allow them to lead the conversation.
  3. Order a fun subscription box for kids. They are so much fun. My kids are obsessed with these!
  4. Find a way to include them in your work, if you work from home and they’re old enough. Get creative.
  5. Play with your child. Enter their play fort, hide really well in a game of hide-and-seek, and learn how to give their dolls the most stylish do’s for their latest date to the ball.
  6. Create a project together that the whole family can enjoy when it’s done.
  7. Reorganize or rearrange a room together.
  8. Take up a physical activity like running together. You can train together and run marathons throughout the year.
  9. Cook a meal together. Allow them to plan, shop, and prepare it.
  10. Identify a talent, hobby, or sport they love and find a way to get involved. Become a coach, a volunteer, or start your own group.


  1. Give unique and meaningful gifts like planting a beautiful tree together in the backyard. Preferably one of their favorites, if possible.
  2. Tap into your inner DIY crafter (get on Pinterest) and find something to make for your child that they can use every day like a jewelry organizer or a nice phone charging station. The fact that you took the time to make something won’t be lost on this child!
  3. Get creative in making gifts for classroom gift-giving seasons like Valentine’s Day. They like giving gifts as much as receiving them.
  4. Give them the gift of quality stationery so they can beautifully express their appreciation for the gifts they receive from others.
  5. Make their gifts an event or experience by coordinating a gift treasure hunt.
  6. Work on a project that allows them to use their talents as gift giving opportunities.
  7. Give them gifts with a deeper meaning or significance such as a piece of jewelry or a personalized journal. And make the packaging thoughtful!
  8. Bring them a personal memento from an interesting place you went that day or from your travels. For example, a cool looking rock or flower. Repay the “look what I found” sentiment we get from them so often.
  9. Buy them personalized items with their name on it. This could be as simple as a dinner plate or cup with their name printed on it but can get more special as they get older.
  10. Create cool spaces for them to store their new gifts or mementos. Like baskets, shadowbox shelves, or cabinets with open spaces.

Acts of Service

  1. Give your child special responsibilities they personally enjoy doing such as cooking, walking the dog, or watering the plants. Allow them to have feedback in the process.
  2. Create opportunities to display random acts of kindness to strangers together.
  3. Offer to be a teacher’s helper in your child’s classroom and allow your child to work as your assistant.
  4. Discuss how you can work with them to use their interests to help others on your street. If they love animals, you can both offer to wash their neighbor’s dog for free together.
  5. Payback their acts of service by doing one of their chores secretly.
  6. Let your child HELP! Even when they roll the shirts up instead of folding them.
  7. Plan simple random acts of kindness just for them.
  8. Take the time to teach. Instead of just “doing” everything, slow down and teach your child how to do something.
  9. Always bring extra to share. If you get a snack in the kitchen put extra on your plate so you can freely share. Or better yet, offer to get them their own plate!
  10. Cook them their favorite “real” breakfast every now and then on a school morning

This is just a list to get your imagination working. As a mom, it’s important for us to take the time to learn how to deliver the message of our love in a way that speaks uniquely to them. No more generic love! 

Do me a favor and put in the comments below what your child’s love language is. My oldest daughter’s is giving gifts, and my middle daughters is physical touch. I’m not yet sure of my toddler’s yet but I’ll keep you posted.

Tell us what love expressions you’re planning next in the comments below! Let’s keep this list going beyond this 50!

Does your child "feel" your love every day in a tangible way? It's super easy when you know their love language! Get 50 super simple ways to speak your child's love language every day! #parenting #momadvice #kids #kidsandparenting #parentingtipsKnowing your child's love language is very helpful in being able to show love to your child in a special way every day. These 50 ideas will get you started today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #momadvice #mom #kidsLove is unique for everyone because we all have a love language. Find out how to speak your child's unique love language today! #lovelanguage #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #momlife #motherhood These super easy and unique ideas will have you speaking your child's love language everyday and strengthening your relationship in the process! #kidsandparenting #parenting #parentingtips #parenting101

The Best YouTube Kids Channels You Won’t Feel Guilty About Letting Your Kids Watch

YouTube Kids is something kid’s dreams are made of, or at least I think it is of my toddler’s dreams. But it can also be what parent’s nightmares are made of because of all the mom guilt that seems to come into play with screen time.

YouTube content for kids wasn’t a thing when my girls were little so YouTube kids really took me by surprise with my toddler son this time around.

Best YouTube Kids Channels

I’m not even entirely sure how he got introduced to YouTube Kids… probably sitting next to his older sisters’ watching slime videos.

He first became obsessed when he watched his first Blippi video. I was super leery of this strange guy wearing an orange hat and bowtie and acting like a kid himself. PeeWee Herman came to mind.

But I starting watching with him and actually came to like the guy as he actually shared educational content. He’s basically lightyears better than watching useless toy reviews and unboxing videos.

Helpful Screen Time Guidelines

So where do I stand with my kids watching YouTube Kids channels?

I personally feel that screen time is screen time. I say that to mean, anytime your kid is looking at a screen, chances are, they aren’t doing healthy kids activities like reading a book, doing something hands-on, or getting physical exercise.

So, screen time in my house is limited in time and type… and those above mentioned things-to-do are strongly encouraged. As for how much time my kids get really depends on the day and whether we’re on a school break.

Or whether I need a break for that matter! 

You know what’s too much for your child, but no more than an hour a day is a good benchmark. Trust your own judgment as a parent.

As for the type of content they can watch or play on their device, I do my best to stick to educational. Especially when it comes to Youtube for toddlers. But not always. Some of his favorite shows and channels aren’t my favorite but I treat them like ice cream… sparingly.

Here’s a list of good YouTube channels and content that won’t leave you feeling guilty:

YouTube for Toddlers:

Super Simple Songs – This channel is full of cute, ear wormy, type of songs like Baby Shark but also has fun original educational content also.

Subscribers: 12 Million

Mother Goose Club – This channel is made up of adults and cute kids who dress up and create popular nursery rhymes and other fun children’s songs.

Subscribers: 4.9 Million

Sesame Street – Yes, our favorite monsters are on YouTube Kids. They’ve created shorts from their best episodes and also feature lots of learning videos. Their newest creation is a brand new animated series, Esme and Roy which is adorable.

Subscribers: 4.7 Million

PBS Kids – This channel doesn’t have original YouTube content but they do feature episodes of their shows like Daniel Tigers Neighborhood, Odd Squad, Pinkalicious, and Wild Kratts.

Subscribers: 553k

Blippi Blippi is fun and entertaining for toddlers and preschoolers but he also does do a good job of making his videos educational. My son loves Blippi and actually has learned quite a few things. He even asked for lettuce on his sandwich yesterday because Blippi did it!

Subscribers: 3.1 Million

YouTube Kids Channels for School Aged Kids:

National Geographic Kids – This channel is wonderful if you have a kid who loves animals or the outdoors. There are tons of videos about fascinating animals and their environments. They also really fun video series like weird but true, Sam’s zookeeper, the Best Job, and Awesome 8.

Subscribers: 179k

TED-Ed – From the creators of the TED Talk videos we all love to watch comes a channel that all parents and kids will love TED-Ed. This channel answers all the questions we’ve ever asked in life… and then some. The creators craft visually stimulating videos to answer these questions in a very edutaining way.

Subscribers: 8.2 Million

Sick Science! – If your child loves science, making slime, or doing experiments they’ll really enjoy this channel with Steve Spangler demonstrating the fun and power of science.

Subscribers: 570,000

Simple Kids Crafts – If you have a kid who loves crafts and making cute furniture for her dolls, she’ll love all the cuteness on this channel.

Subscribers: 500k

Nerdy Nummies – This channel is so fun and is perfect for your little baker. Rosanna is so charming as she teaches viewers how to make yummy nummies that are a kid’s dream!

Subscribers: 10 Million

YouTube Kids Channels for Tweens and Teens

Minute Physics – This breaks down complicated physics concepts into easy to understand stick animations. With all the superhero movies and shows, kids are being introduced to physics terms and these videos will help them understand things like dark matter and quantum tunneling.

Subscribers: 4.5 Million

Mike Loves Science AKA ComaNiddy – If your kid loves hip hop music and science than this channel is a match made in heaven. Mike loves science, hence the name, and he creates videos to teach scientific concepts with lyrical rhymes to help kids enjoy and remember them.

Subscribers: 18K

Cartooning 4 Kids – If you have an artistic kid who loves to draw like I do this channel is a great and fun place to help them hone their drawing skills.

Subscribers: 1.3 Million

Do you have any screen time tips? Please share them in the comments below!

When you do allow screen time in your home, these educational and fun YouTube Kids Channels won't leave you feeling guilty! #kidsandparenting #parenting
These education and fun YouTube Kids channels are perfect to get your kids learning new things about science, math, and other cool stuff. Plus, you won't feel guilty about the extra screen time! #parenting #screentime #kidsandparenting

23 Must-Read Parenting Blogs You Might Not Have Heard of But Will Adore!

mom reading phone

If you’re a busy mom trying to do your best as a mom, wife, home manager, chef or food fixer, business owner or whatever titles you carry, you’ll seriously love this epic list of amazing parenting blogs for every season of motherhood!

mom reading phone

I love the age we live in where so many real moms can start a blog and help other moms with their struggles. Even the wildly popular blog Scary Mommy was started by a regular mom who wanted to share her humorous view of parenting with the world… and it paid off big time!

There are many, many mom and parenting blogs out there. Some are just personal diaries of that mom’s own parenting adventures. But there are many others that create content that skillfully balances their own life and experiences with the purpose of helping others solve their biggest parenting challenges.

The sad thing is too many of these rather amazing blogs aren’t as well known as they should be. And that’s the purpose of this post – to spread the good news of these great and sometimes lesser known parenting blogs.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to understand positive parenting, increase your breastmilk supply, raise a happier teenager, or stop your toddler’s never-ending tantrums – these blogs will help you do it!

And because I found most of these bloggers on Pinterest, I’ve included their Pinterest profile page links with each blog so you can easily follow them on Pinterest as I do. You can follow me on Pinterest here!

So when you find yourself in a rare moment of quiet, pop over to one of these great blogs on parenting to help you find the solutions to your biggest parenting and mom challenges.

Amazing Blogs on Parenting for Every Mom

Happy You Happy Life

Kelly is a busy mom and family therapist who shares a wealth of knowledge and personal experience of raising kids without losing your joy or mind in the process! There are many very helpful posts to help moms get rid of anger and yelling, stop living on mom auto-pilot, and learn the simplest ways to connect with your family despite busy schedules.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Pragmatic Parent

This blog is full of practical parenting advice, hence the name! Corinne talks to you like you’re a close friend and her advice is so simple to follow. Plus, if your kiddos are struggling with sleep issues at any age (I know I am!) she’s a bit of a sleep guru and has even written 4 books on the topic! Here’s my favorite post on toddler sleep issues!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Playful Notes

Raluca is a fun traveling mom who’s passionate about peaceful parenting. If you’re a mom on the go, this is the blog for you. Here you’ll learn how to reset your relationship after a parenting mishap, get your kids to want to clean up their toys, and lots of resources on enjoying traveling with kids without losing your mind.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Living Well Mom

If you’re a mom who’s looking to get healthier but don’t know where to start… Erika’s your new best friend! She is a very down to earth mama who wants to live a healthier lifestyle and wants to help you achieve your health goals too. You’ll learn how to use essential oils for your family, get the tastiest healthy recipes your family will actually eat, and find hacks to help you destress as a busy mom!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Incremental Mama

Erin created her lovely blog to share mom survival and thriving tips to help moms stop feeling overwhelmed and find more balance in very simple ways. And she should know… she was a working mom to four kids under four! We could all learn from her! Plus, she shares recipes, home organization hacks, and lots more mom and parenting advice!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Chicken Scratch Diaries

Brandi has created a blog after my own heart, and I’m not just saying that because we share the same name! She shares amazingly helpful parenting advice that stems from a practical and loving biblical foundation. Learn the best way to handle things like unwanted back talk and how to make time to connect with your kids. She even gives advice on how to take parenting advice from the internet in this wonderful post!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Smart Mom Ideas

Elna @ SmartMomIdeas happens to be a busy mom of twins so she knows all about juggling as a mom! She shares her best tips on raising twins, advice for first-time moms, and literally everything in between to help you be your best at this mom life. You’ll walk away from her blog feeling just a little smarter than you did before.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Sleeping Should Be Easy

I just love the resources Nina gives on her blog. Her posts are so easy to read and her tips are extremely practical and always involve a positive parenting approach. If you have little ones and find yourself asking yourself, “what do I do now?” you must read this blog. You’ll learn easy “what to do when” tips like what to do when your two-year-old wakes up at night for hours, what to do when your baby goes on a bottle strike, or how to survive the newborn days with a toddler.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Sammy Approves

Sammy’s blog is a great resource for moms looking to go deeper with their kids. She has so many inspiring posts that help moms learn practical ways to build more confidence in their child, help alleviate homework related stress, and even how to overcome the dreaded toddler tantrum in public! Oh and she shares tons of super easy and tasty recipes too!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Self-Sufficient Kids

This blog is a powerful one for parents who want to go beyond the day to day parenting stuff and are looking for simple ways to raise self-motivated and positive kids. She shares insight into why positive affirmations are great for kids and us, how to get your toddler on a chore routine that works, and how to develop a healthy growth mindset in our children.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

A Mother Far From Home

Rachel’s been blogging for many years and has created some amazing posts to help moms make their mom life so much easier! She’s even created some great courses on baby sleep and developing child routines with your kids. I love her posts on the one thing to keep doing to encourage good behavior and how to cope with the dreaded mom burnout.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Soccer Mom Blog

Stacey has literally thought of everything in her blog. She even has a page entirely dedicated to slime making recipes! You’ll also find super easy family recipes and tips to help you become a better parent and love yourself as a mom which is so important. I love this post on how to help your child develop better concentration which is so helpful.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Project Hot Mess

Krystal is truly an amazing lifestyle blog made perfect for moms. And don’t you just LOVE the name! She touches on so many important issues like confidence and thriving in your everyday life. Good stuff! She also shares a wealth of parenting tips like how to return to work after your maternity leave. And offers the most practical advice like why having family dinner nights every night isn’t necessary.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Inspiring life dreams

Frances’ blog is really named appropriately because when you arrive there you feel inspired to live better. She shares tips on how to parent with more intention with posts like how to be more kind to your child and also what to stop worrying about as a parent. She even has a great post with videos from celebrity moms sharing their natural beauty routines. Love it! She’s also a wonderful author of a ton of great books!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Military Wife and Mom

Lauren is a military wife and mom as her blog’s name reveals. She’s passionate about helping military moms cope and thrive in military wife. As a military brat myself who lived all over the world growing up, she provides really great information. But she doesn’t just write for military moms but all moms. She shares posts like how to handle back talk, how to get your kids to eat their vegetables, and how to raise truly kind kids.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Lemon Lime Adventures

Dayna @ LemonLimeAdventures has created a wonderful and inspiring blog where she is helping so many parents. She is a formal educator turned homeschool mom and blogger. She shares a wealth of knowledge on topics like Sensory Processing Disorder and offers an endless supply of fun and educational activities for kids!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Pint-Sized Treasures

Alison is a passionate mom of six pint-sized treasures! She loves being a mom and sharing all her experience and wisdom with other moms. My favorite posts are 5 ways moms accidentally create cranky toddlers, the secrets to keeping your house clean with kids, and how to win your child’s heart and why it really matters!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Your Modern Family

Becky is a former teacher and child therapist and mom of four kids. Her blog is a lifestyle blog that provides tips and resources for parenting, motherhood, marriage, saving money, recipes, and more. My favorite posts are how to help our kids overcome worry, what to give your kids instead of toys, and why it’s not the best idea to put a TV in kid’s rooms.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Seaside Sundays

This blog is a wonderful resource for moms wanting to be a better mom and manage their busy homes. You’ll find posts on parenting tips like getting your baby to sleep through the night, activities for kids and how to be more frugal and save for money. But one thing that sticks out is the extensive amount of posts on the subject of infertility or rather “fertility.” We suffered with infertility for over 4 years before getting pregnant the first time and would have loved to read this blog back then! These are must-reads if you’re dealing with any fertilitity issues.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

Paper Heart Family

Brenda started her blog as a way of helping other moms through the daily challenges of pregnancy and baby and toddler life. These are probably the most stressful stages for new moms! You’ll learn how the easiest ways to tire your kids out before bed, how to survive labor without an epidural and self-care routines for moms who suck at self-care.

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The Millennial Stay at Home Mom

I just love Kermilia’s blog with all the mom life topics she covers like how to transition from co-sleeping the easy way (been there!), finding real joy in stay at home mom life and creative ways to keep your toddler entertained with a new baby. She even has really helpful posts on starting and running a blog!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

The No-Guilt Mom

Jo Ann has so many creative and helpful posts to help moms solve their biggest problems and enjoy life a whole lot more. From overcoming homework battles to raising kids that aren’t materialistic you’ll find posts to help you be a better mom. She even has an entire style section with posts to help moms look and feel more stylish and put together. Gotta love that!

Follow her on Pinterest here!

What Moms Love

Aly’s blog is so much fun! If you’re not one of those super crafty moms, you’ll suddenly feel like you want to be when you see all the stuff you can create with and for your kids. There are so many helpful product guides for new parents and endless activity ideas to keep your kiddos happy and entertained. She also shares great parenting tips like how to raise non-picky eaters from birth and amazing organization hacks for stress-free mornings.

Follow here on Pinterest here!

I hope you take a moment to check out these wonderful and inspiring mom blogs! They really are great and please take the time to follow them if you do love their blog.

Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!

These parenting blogs are my absolutely favorite go-to blogs on parenting. If you're looking for parenting advice look no further! #parenting #parentingblogs #momadvice

The Simple Solutions I Used to Overcome My Biggest Parenting Challenges!

Positive parenting solutions for your biggest parenting challenges

Parenting is literally the hardest thing we’ll ever do as people! There are so many questions, worries and concerns that keep us up at night and gnaw at our soul.

“Is my kid ever going to actually do what I say?”

“Is she ever going to get passed this phase?”

“I am ever going to feel normal again?”

And here’s the truth, the answers to those questions will look and feel different for every parent and every child. We’re all unique and there’s no one-sized-fits-all approach to parenting. And anyone who tells you that is mistaken.

That’s why I’m so passionate about using positive parenting with my kids. This approach to parenting isn’t a “do this” manual. It’s more of a “consider this” way of seeing myself and my kids.

It’s helped me go from a frustrated, overwhelmed and screaming-head kind of mom to one who can actually remain calm and effectively communicate with my kids even when I’m fuming. That’s huge for me! I still have bad days and mess ups but those are no longer my daily norm.

I want to simply share some of my own biggest parenting challenges and how I found solutions that actually worked. I’m a mom of a toddler, a school-aged child, and a teen. That’s a lot going on in my house and these tips work with all of them!

5 Simple Solutions for my Biggest Parenting Challenges

Positive parenting solutions for your biggest parenting challenges

1 – My Kids Never Listened to Me Until I Yelled

This is such a huge one for me. Like I said, I used to yell to be heard. It felt like the only way my kids responded was when I yelled and got angry. I got to a point where I started to believe that this was just how my kids needed to hear instruction.

When in reality, they didn’t like being yelled at anymore than any other human does. But I was undermining my own authority by not doing what I said and not having any consistency in my parenting.

I made a regular practice of throwing out empty threats like they were prizes at a sporting event. My kids came to NOT believe what I said and this caused my frustration, followed by lots of what I thought was necessary yelling.

All this changed when I started to only say things I was absolutely going to follow through on and no fluff. In addition, nagging and barking orders constantly never helped either. I found that treating my kids with respect and like people goes a long way.

2 – Mom Guilt was Consuming Me

As a mom, there are so many choices we have to make in a single day that can totally shape the life of our child. This person we’ve been trusted to take care of and lovingly raise into a good human being.

Along the way, the pressure, doubts and mistakes we make can smother our joy and confidence as moms.

I watched the movie BirdBox the other night and all I kept thinking was how Sandra’s character had to keep those precious children alive in the most horrendous of circumstances. The stress of just watching it unfold on TV was almost too much for me!

Here’s what I’m learning about mom guilt. First having it at all means I’m a great, loving, and caring mother. The fact that I even care about how good I’m doing says volumes. There are many moms out there that don’t.

And second, praying to constantly seek God’s direction for my home and also writing down my concerns helps me make the best decisions for us. After that, I’m intentional about NOT obsessing about my choices or my mistakes (because we don’t always get it right) so I can live in peace.

3 – I struggled with balancing work and kids

I’ve always been a working mom since my first daughter was born. I’ve just been blessed to have been able to work from home all these years. I started out doing work I hated and have shifted over the years to doing work I love.

Along the way, I struggled a whole lot with balancing the work load I was responsible for and taking care of my kids and home. The process wasn’t easy and never looked pretty but I found my own version of balance.

I don’t really know if there is such thing as true balance between our families and work. And it doesn’t matter if you work inside the home, outside the home or something different entirely. The key is creating healthy boundaries and being intentional about how you spend your time.

Oh and not trying to do it all by yourself!

Take time to find a system that works well for you and your family and be intentional about working that system. And my biggest piece of advice is to learn to ignore that nagging internal voice that says you’re a bad mom for not being with your kids 24/7.

The fact is, our kids don’t need our presence every minute of the day but they do need our heart. If we make connecting with our kids our biggest priority, we’ll all be just fine.

Try spending at least 10 minutes a day with each of your kids just talking and having eyes on me time. You’ll be surprised how effective this is in forging a wonderful bond with your kids.

4 – I was too Punishment-Focused Vs Heart-Focused

I was raised, like so many other kids, that when you did something wrong there was a punishment attached. It was a very simple approach to parenting.

There’s only one problem with that. The need for the parent and child to be deeply connected gets missed. It’s not that parents shouldn’t discipline or dole out appropriate punishments when they’re needed, but when we focus only on the action and punishing that action we miss something.

Our biggest goal as parents should be to win our kid’s heart. When we do that, parenting gets a whole lot easier. You have access into their biggest struggles, concerns and questions. We get to actually help them make decisions and choices that strengthen their ability to make better choices on their own.

This way when they do make a mistake, there’s more communication about why this happened, what they learned, and how it can be avoided in the future.

Punishments have their place, but communication and asking questions are much more effective parenting tools to raising great kids who are ready for real life. In our family, we rarely even have to give out punishments with our kids and in the process, they’re learning how to be more responsible and accountable for their actions and choices.

5 – Not Handling Back Talk, Tantrums and Whining Calmly

When we’re adulting all day, we can be downright exhausted. And when our kids start whining or talking back it can be very frustrating.

We just want our kids to comply without complaint and when they don’t we can feel backed into a wal. This dysfunctional communication cycle isn’t healthy for us and it’s not teaching our kids how to effectively handle conflict.

It’s so much easier, in the short run, to shut down our toddler’s whiny complaints or our teenager’s back talk. But it’s more helpful to engage positively in the conversation or interaction with firm and calm action.

In the case with a tantrum, our toddler is usually overwhelmed by their big feelings. Getting down on their eye level and calmly talking to them or even giving them a firm hug can help calm those emotions.

Ultimately feelings cannot be punished away; they must be worked through. It comes down to determining why a tantrum is occurring and giving children the knowledge and skills needed to move beyond tantrums.

– Susan Newman Ph.D.

As for dealing with conflict with older children, asking questions for understanding is really helpful in defusing negative emotions and helping our kids feel heard. Dr. Newman also says that being too permissive or being too controlling can bring on back talk in our kids.

This has held true for me and my kids!

hildren need a firm but fair leader who takes their opinions respectfully into account and also knows how to stand firm when needed.

Susan Newman Ph.D.

Final Thoughts on Overcoming Parenting Challenges

This isn’t an exhaustive list of parenting challenges and we all struggle in different areas. A lot of our issues depend on the uniqueness of our own families.

These are the challenges I struggled with for far too long. But I know so many other moms feel overwhelmed by these as well. It’s important for me to share my parenting journey with you in the hopes that my struggles and victories will help you!

The most important thing to remember is perfection is the enemy of progress so give yourself tons of grace along the way. When you make a parenting mistake forgive yourself, make it right and move on.

Tired of dealing with endless back talk, toddler tantrums, kids not listening, and mom guilt? Stop struggling and get these positive parenting solutions to your biggest parenting struggles. #kidsandparenting #positiveparenting #parenting101
There's no batch of honor for struggling with parenting challenges. These parenting tips and positive parenting solutions will help you overcome your biggest parenting struggles! #positiveparenting #kidsandparenting #parenting

5 Simple Positive Parenting Techniques Any Mom Can Do Right Now

positive parenting techniques

As moms, we navigate challenging terrain all day, every day. No one day ever looks like another. Certainty is something we crave. Certainty that our toddler won’t have a blowup today or that our tween who’s knee-deep in puberty won’t be super moody this morning!

But these guarantees don’t exist. And that’s OK. It’s all a part of the adventure of motherhood.

positive parenting techniques

But even great adventures need some stability and that’s where positive parenting comes in. Your days don’t need to be consumed with “figuring it all out” and still feeling like a failure or overwhelmed with mom guilt.

I know this because that was my daily routine. I started my days with great intentions and ended each day with the guilt of all the things I messed up, how many times I lost my temper and the fact that I still can’t get my 3-year-old to sleep in his own bed.

5 Positive Parenting Skills that Really Work

I finally stopped believing the lie that as a mom I’m supposed to “just know” how to do all this stuff well. And I humbled myself to discover new and better ways to raise my kids.

These are the parenting skills that I do my best to use with my children every day. And they work to not only make things better, in the moment, but they work together to establish healthy habits which makes things better for you down the road too.

My favorite part of using these skills with my kids is they work to prepare my children for becoming happy and healthy adults. They aren’t just a bag of tricks to temporarily get my toddler out of tantrum-mode.

1 – Establishes Healthy Boundaries

This is probably one of the most helpful tips I’ve learned and used over the years. Not having proper boundaries and a clear set of expectations for your children to follow is like trying to set up dominoes on a sandy beach.

Children need solid ground. In other words, they need to fully understand what to expect, how far they can go in any given situation.

It would be like driving in a fancy sports car but not having any posted speed limits. You’d be tempted to go faster but you’d never know how fast the limit was and would spend your days agitated and looking in your rear-view mirror or racking up steep speeding tickets.

It’s more enjoyable for everyone when we know what’s going to happen if we do this or that. Then if your child steps outside of that border, they learn the corresponding consequence of their action.

In my house, we’ve hardly experienced tantrums with our toddlers. I believe the reason for that isn’t that we have 3 kids that were born to love to listen as toddlers. Nope! It’s that we established very clear expectations and didn’t waiver… most of the time.

For example, when we go into a store my son is told clearly that we don’t run around and we don’t touch things unless he asks permission. Sure, he will test the limits. When he does this, he’s merely trying to establish the boundary line. Totally normal behavior.

It’s our job to speak, show, and uphold the boundaries we give to our kids. If I lose my cool, ignore him out of frustration, and only sometimes correct his behavior, he’s left confused. And we’ll need to cycle through this scenario every time we go in the store.

Simply, decide what your expectations are, tell them to your children repeatedly, and stick to what you say no matter what. It takes time but if you do this, you will see a difference.

2 – Focus on Your Child Over the Behavior

This may seem counterintuitive but stick with me here. When your child makes a poor choice or shows undesirable behavior it’s often our knee-jerk reaction to zero in on what they just did.

I remember when my kids would mess up I would spend so much time focusing on that behavior and how I couldn’t believe they did it… again. But I didn’t stop and consider my child and why she did do it again.

I was too consumed in my lecture-mode to engage with their heart and bring them into the conversation.

Positive parenting is all about connection and kindness. And let’s face it, we as adults mess up a lot too. And the last thing we need or want is someone beating us down about our mistakes.

We need people to be empathetic with our situation and help us to identify why we keep doing the same things over and over. When we do that, we find solutions and finally make a change.

It’s not that we shouldn’t talk about or discuss wrong-doing. We just show how much we care by diving into that situation and working with our kid to find a solution. It teaches our kids that mistakes are a natural part of life but it’s how we move forward that makes the difference.

3 – Communicates with Respect

We all deserve and like to be talked to with respect. Our children, no matter how little, deserve respect.

Talking down to and belittling our kids is unnecessary and stems from our own uncontrolled emotions. I know this because I used to emotionally dump on my kids whenever I felt frustrated.

I yelled and screamed whenever I felt the need with little regard for the damage I was doing until after I was done and the guilt would consume me so deeply.

It was a vicious cycle and all stemmed from my feelings of powerlessness. I felt powerless to stop certain behaviors and in my fear of never being able to figure it out, I yelled.

Over several years and a humbling surrender to Christ, I have learned to stop communicating disrespectfully to my kids. And what a difference it makes.

I’m no longer racked with guilt and my relationship with my kids is amazingly close.

I still discipline, correct, and establish those firm and clear boundaries but because I’ve laid the groundwork, there’s little need for blowups.

As for those moments when I feel overwhelmed and ready to blow, I practice taking a moment to think and process what I’m feeling. I remind myself that yelling doesn’t ever help and I hate the awful hangover of guilt that floods in immediately after.

4 – Looks for the Good

The bible teaches to believe and look for the good in every situation. Though this, in my opinion, is one of the hardest things a person can do it’s very important for parents to learn.

That doesn’t mean you walk around sugar coating your child’s behavior. However, you set your mind to look for the positive if there’s any to be found.

If you see good, then say good. In other words, praise them for the good you do see. If you see your child cleaning up their room without you reminding them offer a high-five and a big hug.

If your daughter brushes her teeth before bed but left the sink a mess try saying something like, “thank you for brushing your teeth by yourself, great job! But don’t forget that we also need to keep the sink clean too.” Then follow by making them clean the sink.

This works better than calling your child into the room and pointing out the messy sink and criticizing them for being so messy. It’s also better than seeing the sink and quietly cleaning it up yourself.

Parenting is hard work and requires us to be intentional about training our kids to be sufficient and self-motivated.

5 – Takes Personal Responsibility

One of the biggest areas of growth for me as a mom is learning to take responsibility for my own actions and the consequences of those actions as it relates to my children.

I realized that if I yell at my kids, there are damaging consequences. Equally, if I parent without boundaries and give in to my kids whenever I’m tired, those are also consequences that’ll come back to bite me later.

If I spend most of my time and focus on training and disciplining my children and not on building connection and relationship I will have a much harder time raising them.

Part of being a great mom is learning to better myself. When I fill myself up, I am better able to take on the joyful challenge of raising great kids.

How do you practice positive parenting in your home? Share in the comments below.

These simple positive parenting techniques are so simple any mom can do them... but they are also highly effective! #kidsandparenting #parenting #positiveparenting

The ABC’s of Positive Parenting Every Mom Needs to Know

positive parenting basics

When I first heard the term positive parenting I was skeptical. It sounded like some new-age, soft form of parenting that resulted in raising kids who are entitled, unmotivated, and lacking in self control.

I was very wrong, and the science backs me up. Positive parenting can be seen as a parenting philosophy, rather than a parenting style.

positive parenting basics

It focuses more on creating a positive connection with your child through love, empathy, and kindness rather than creating powers struggles through the enforcement of a strict set of rules.

Does this mean parents that use the positive parenting approach don’t discipline their kids or have power struggles?

Absolutely not! Discipline is an integral part of positive parenting. But rather than putting your entire focus on the bad behavior and the corresponding punishment, there is a strong focus on understanding the cause for the behavior, showing empathy and finding solutions.

I wasn’t raised in a super strict home myself, but we had rules and clear punishments when rules were broken. Basically, when we did xyz, we knew that our punishment would be xyz.

Not bad, but like most parents during that time, there was little consideration for why the behavior happened in the first place. And where there is no why (why the behavior happened), there isn’t a how (how we can prevent this behavior from happening again.)

One of the cornerstones of positive parenting is trying to understand why our children do things so we can teach and show them, with kindness, a better way. Rather than focusing all our attention on the bad behavior itself.

This is what drew me into learning more about this way of parenting. It appeals strongly to my own desire to be closely connected to the heart of my children and my innate need to ask why in pretty much every situation I find myself.

What is the Positive Parenting Approach?

Positive parenting rests on the hook of love and mutual respect. There is a strong display of empathy as we try to understand our kid’s choices both good and bad in effort to help guide them into making positive decisions on their own.

I personally didn’t start off this way. I started off my motherhood journey broken and full of anger. I yelled and screamed a lot and patience was in short supply. I’ve always been a loving mom, but I was always one spilled sippy cup away from a meltdown.

I’m not proud of that part of my life and I’m thankful that God has led me to understanding how to raise happy and self-motivated kids that are truly knitted to my heart. I love having deeply connected relationships with all my kids.

And it started by practicing empathy and taking personal responsibility for my own actions and how those actions affected my kids.

5 Attributes of Positive Parenting

There are several attributes that are distinctly associated with positive parenting. These are specifically what attracted me to learn more about positive parenting techniques in the first place.

  1. Shows empathy toward your child. This is simply you focusing on trying to understand and “be in the trenches” with your child in their moment of need. Instead of looking at their feelings from the outside, you come inside with compassion.
  2. Connection is paramount. As a parent, one of my biggest goals is to become and stay connected to the heart of my child. To be their main source of help, encouragement, and love.
  3. Creates healthy boundaries. Children, despite what they themselves may say, need and want to be told what to do. Power struggles ultimately happen when consistency is absent from parenting. When a child doesn’t know what to expect, they will always test the limits of what they can get away with.
  4. Looks for and believes the best. The positive power of affirmation always trumps the effects of pointing out fault. It works like this… when you see your child sharing, cleaning up without prompting or any other good thing… praise, praise, praise. It’s much easier to keep a good thing going that to stop a bad one.
  5. Takes personal responsibility. A key attribute of positive parenting is understanding how our own behavior affects our children. Taking personal responsibility helps us be intentional in how we communicate with our kids and forces us to make positive changes in our own lives.

How to Know if Positive Parenting is Right for your Family

If you are considering learning more about positive parenting and value having a positive relationship with your child and raising kids who really listen, this is a great place to start.

I want to be clear that I’m not a positive parenting expert or even a parenting expert. I’m a mom who’s made too many mistakes to count and sought out a better way. I’ve come to live that better way and have amazing kids and a very close bond with each of them.

It wasn’t easy and it took a lot of work and healing. I also personally don’t follow parenting manuals or parenting philosophies to the letter. I allow my heart and the spirit of God to lead me where He wants me to be.

If there is something I read or hear that doesn’t sit right with my spirit, I leave that part out. I recommend you do the same. Parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing nor should it be. Children are all unique and should be raised with care and creativity.

Is Positive Parenting Biblical?

Though the pioneers of positive parenting Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs do not claim to be Christian, I find this approach to parenting to be in line with scripture.

I am a Christian woman and an ordained minister of the gospel. I say that to say I love the Word of God and seek to raise godly children who love the Lord and do not stray from Christ.

It is my belief from scripture that a parenting style that stands on a firm foundation of respect, kindness, and love is starting from a Christ-like place. It also teaches parents to express grace as the driving force when disciplining, with punishments being given as needed in love.

The bible says that children are God’s reward and if we combine Christian practices such as studying scripture and prayer within a framework of positive parenting it’s a winning parenting combination.

3 Ways to Start Using Positive Parenting with your Kids Today

  1. Make connection your highest priority. When talking with your kids commit to putting away phones and other distractions and make eye contact. When disciplining, pull your child close or get down on their level and speak in a calm tone of voice.
  2. Model the behavior we desire. Children were created to observe and imitate the behaviors of their parents and mentors. If we want a particular behavior to be strong in our child, we need to start modeling it for them. How can we expect them to learn if they don’t have an example to follow?
  3. Love them unconditionally. Too many children walk around afraid of their parents or are not sure where they stand. As a result, they can become fearful of making mistakes and taking chances which are normal, healthy behaviors. When they know they are loved regardless of their choices, they are free to fall and soar.

Just remember that making positive changes takes time and lots of grace! And take comfort that you know what’s best for your child and should feel empowered to create your own unique parenting style for your child.

How do you practice positive parenting with your children? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with getting your kids to listen? Try positive parenting! This way of parenting really works and actually makes you a better, happier mom in the process! #kidsandparenting #parenting #positiveparenting
Positive parenting is a parenting way of life that really works to raise happy kids who actually listen! Here are the positive parenting basics you need to know. #kidsandparenting #parenting #positiveparenting

Why Your Tween’s Moodiness is Likely Not Caused by Hormones

Teen moodiness not cause by hormones

It’s always been widely believed that as our children reach puberty and grow into their teen years hormones will be running the show. As parents, we see these hormones as moody body-snatchers making our kids do and say strange things.

However, your tween or teen’s moodiness might not be caused by hormones at all. And blaming these invisible perpetrators for every odd or rude behavior may actually hurt your child in the long run.

Teen moodiness may not be caused by hormones

That’s because your middle schooler is living a very hectic and crazy life every single day. Most of us wouldn’t trade our own stressful adult lives to go back to school for any amount of money!

Oh uh… not going.

Read: Raising confident Teens

3 Cures for Preteen Moodiness

As our children transition from elementary school where most of the kids they go to school with are still sweet and they have the same teacher all day – this all changes drastically when they reach middle school.

The kids they used to be besties with all of a sudden think your kid isn’t cool anymore, they go from having one teacher to seven, and their body is seriously doing some crazy things.

All of this alone would make anyone feel a little out of sorts. But when you add on your tween’s very immature brain which isn’t even close to being finished growing, life can simply feel overwhelming for your child.

It can be a real eye-opener to learn that a lot of typical teen behavior and general moodiness isn’t necessarily caused by hormones at all but by things we can control.

Uh hem… that means we can actually do something real to help!

Tweens Desperately Need More Sleep

As tweens and teens get up at the same time as a typical working adult and get ready to head into an all day physical and emotional roller coaster called school, they are usually short on one thing – SLEEP.

Studies show that 60 to 70% of American teens live with a borderline to severe sleep debt.

Sleep deprivation puts teenagers into a kind of perpetual cloud or haze, explains Dr. Mary Carskadon, a professor of psychiatry at Brown University and director of chronobiology and sleep research at Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island. 


It’s recommended that all kids ranging in age from 12 to 17 get at least 9 to 10 hours of sleep each night. We can see how hard this is to achieve with their early waking school hours.

Most kids this age probably aren’t realistically getting to sleep at 9pm. In fact, many actually have trouble getting to sleep in the first place because of using electronics late into the evening, relationship stresses, and homework and studying demands.

Encouraging your kids of all ages to have one hour before bed where they do enjoyable non-screen activities is proven to help prevent sleep problems.

In addition, keeping similar wake-up times on the weekends helps too. Apparently, sleeping in till noon on the weekends hurts their sleep cycles during the week. You may want to allow them a little extra sleep on Saturday mornings, though!

Here are more sleep tips for teens.

Tweens Desperately Need Nutritious Food

There’s a reason your teen seems to want to eat all the food in your house! They’re growing at the rate they were when they were that sweet little toddler.

Their bodies are growing at alarming rates and snacking and grab-and-go meals aren’t cutting it. We must encourage more whole foods whenever possible to reduce the amount of processed foods our teens are consuming.

They’re tasty, convenient, and very attractive to our kids. Packaged and processed foods are also everywhere including our kid’s school. Most children are consuming the typical Modern American Diet (MAD diet) every day.

“Study after study in the medical research journals confirm that people who are most dependent on MAD-style eating habits have increased levels of depression, anxiety, mood swings, hyperactivity, and a wide variety of other mental and emotional problems.” —Tyler G. Graham and Drew Ramsey, The Happiness Diet


Offering many options of healthy, whole foods like sweet clementines, crackers or veggies with hummus, and healthy nuts like pistachios are easy and tasty snack alternatives to candy bars and chips.

Tweens Desparately Need a Break

Wait a minute, all my teen does is lay around all day… breaking is all she does!

Is that what you were thinking?

Having a break doesn’t necessarily mean laying on the couch watching TV or taking a nap. Tweens and teens simply need permission to take a mental and physical break from the stress of their days.

Yes, tweens experience stress… lots of it.

They live in an unusual environment AKA middle school that requires them to change their physical and mental state, sometimes drastically, at the sound of a bell. That is, the school bell.

They dive right into American History and give a class presentation on George Washington’s family life, walk down the hall to take an Algebra exam, run a 4 minute mile in P.E., have a profound discussion on the poetry and life of Robert Frost, sit ackwardly in the cafeteria at the “uncool” table, dissect a butterfly in biology, learn a new song on the trumpet, and the day’s not even done yet.

All of this with different teachers with unique demands and personalities. And let’s not even talk about all the judging, bullying, and peer-pressure being thrown around at our kids every single day.

They need a break.

They need permission to feel how they feel.

They need a space to feel accepted, loved, and un-judged. To feel loved, supported, and encouraged.

They need a break from the pressure.

Our Tweens Desperately Need Us

Teen depression and suicide rates are staggering and on the rise. It’s clear that something is missing.

Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13-to-18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent.


While sleep, food, and downtime are very important to our growing kids, what they need most is us.

Tween and teens need to see us present, hear us cheering them on, and know that we love them unconditionally… no matter how many mistakes they make.

Being a present parent doesn’t mean being physically with them 24/7 but it’s a creating a lifestyle of making them a priority.

We can do this by making a habit of really listening to them and carving out a small piece of one on one time regularly (even 5-10 minutes) can make a habit of real connection.

Raising children at any age isn’t easy so be sure in all of this parenting you don’t forget to take care of yourself. That’s one of the biggest things we can do for our kids… not become a mom hanging on by a thread.

How do you relate to your tween or teen? Share your tips in the comments below!

Got a moody tween or teen? Here's a little-known reason for typical tween moodiness and it's not what you think! And you CAN do something about it! #kidsandparenting #tween #teens #parenting101

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