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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Learning to parent with loving guidance

Leading her first meeting as a LLL leader, Timbra led this month's enrichment meeting. This was part two of How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk. We discussed alternatives to "no," labels, autonomy and ways to deal with & prevent temper tantrums. Here are a few excerpts from the outline Timbra put together and passed out.

Helping Children Deal with Their Feelings
The following are some quotes I believe will give an idea of the approach of this book
“When kids FEEL right, they behave right. How do we help them feel right? By accepting their feelings!”
“A steady denial of feelings can confuse and enrage children, teaching them not to know or trust their own feelings” (A great reference for why this emotional skill is SO important is Gavin DeBecker’s Protecting the Gift)
“Parents and children become increasingly hostile towards one another when feelings are denied”
Must I ALWAYS empathize? NO! don’t over dramatize a casual exchange, it’s negative emotions that require these skills
“Children don’t need to have their feelings agreed with, they need them acknowledged”
Is this approach too permissive? (acknowledgement of feelings) No, we’re only giving permission to have the feeling or emotion

Alternatives to Engage Cooperation
(usual response v. alternative)
Scenario: Child leaves a wet towel on the bed (for the umpteenth time)
(What you usually say/do) “You always do this, and I have to sleep on wet sheets “
1. Describe what you see or the problem
Your WET towel is on my DRY sheets

2. Give info
When a wet towel is left on the bed, mommy has to sleep on damp sheets

3. Say it with A word
Alani, towel

4. Talk about YOUR feelings
I don’t like sleeping on wet sheets or cleaning up after you

5. Write a note
This can be very creative, poetic, from the perspective of the towel, but keep it simple
One boy said he liked notes best because “they don’t get any louder”

It’s important to be authentic (noticing a trend?)
Just because you don’t “get through” the first time, doesn’t mean you should revert to old ways

These are suggestions of PREVENTION, it’s better to head off the problem if you can foresee it will occur

“Prevention is better than the cure” it’s said
1. Point out ways to be helpful
2. Express STRONG disappointment (without character attacks)
3. State expectations (example: you know your child goes crazy every time you go to the grocery store)
4. Show child how to make amends
5. Give a choice
6. Take action
7. Allow child to experience natural consequence
8. 101 scenarios and responses

Alternatives to “NO!”

1. Give information
Can I go to Suzies?
No v. We’re having dinner in five minutes

2. Accept feelings
I don’t want to leave the zoo, can we stay longer?
No, we’re leaving RIGHT NOW v. It’s hard to leave a place when you’ve had such a great time, I can see that you’d really like to stay longer (as you gently lead the child out of the zoo)
~resistance may be lessened if you show understanding (this even works with toddlers. . I know, I’ve tried)

3. Describe the problem
Can you take me to the library now?
No, you have to wait v. I’d like to help, but I’ve got to wait on the cable guy, I can take you after

4. If possible, say YES instead of NO
Can we go to the park?
No, we’re eating lunch v. Yes, we can go right after we finish our lunch

5. Give yourself time to think
Can I sleep over and Sarah’s?
No, you slept there last weekend v. Let me think about it

It’s true “no” seems like a shorter response than the alternative, but considering the usual fallout with “no,” the “long way often ends up being the short way!

Media Release: La Leche League International Encourages Mothers to Recognize Importance of Vitamin D


Contact Information: Jane Crouse, PRManager at (847) 519-7730, Ext. 271.

(October 16, 2008) Schaumburg, IL - La Leche League International encourages all mothers to recognize the importance of vitamin D to the health of their children. Recent research shows that due to current lifestyles, breastfeeding mothers may not have enough vitamin D in their own bodies to pass to their infants through breastmilk.

In October 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that infants receive 400 IU a day of vitamin D, beginning in the first few days of life. Children who do not receive enough vitamin D are at risk for rickets and increased risk for infections, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is mainly acquired through exposure to sunlight and secondarily through food. Research shows that the adoption of indoor lifestyles and the use of sunscreen have seriously depleted vitamin D in most women. The ability to acquire adequate amounts of vitamin D through sunlight depends on skin color and geographic location. Dark-skinned people can require up to six times the amount of sunlight as light-skinned people. People living near the equator can obtain vitamin D for 12 months of the year while those living in northern and southern climates may only absorb vitamin D for six or fewer months of the year.

For many years, La Leche League International has offered the research-based recommendation that exclusively breastfed babies received all the vitamin D necessary through mother’s milk. Health care professionals now have a better understanding of the function of vitamin D and the amounts required, and the newest research shows this is only true when mothers themselves have enough vitamin D. Statistics indicate that a large percentage of women do not have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies.

La Leche League International acknowledges that breastfeeding mothers who have adequate amounts of vitamin D in their bodies can successfully provide enough vitamin D to their children through breastmilk. It is recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers obtain adequate vitamin D or supplement as necessary. Health care providers may recommend that women who are unsure of their vitamin D status undergo a simple blood test before choosing not to supplement.

Parents or health care providers who want more information on rickets, vitamin D in human milk, or other information on breastfeeding issues may call La Leche League International at (847) 519-7730 or visit our Web site at

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Thanks to Alicia for bringing these yummy cookies to our last series meeting, and for supplying the recipe!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

1 stick butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pureed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 cups rolled oats

Heat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, eggs
and vanilla; beat. Mix in combined flours, baking soda, and spices,
then stir in oats.

This is the basic recipe. I added chocolate chips and sometimes
butterscotch chips. It says bake for 10 to 12 minutes, however I
needed to bake mine longer...I found 14 minutes was perfect.


Friday, October 17, 2008

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen

& Listen so Kids will talk! Don't miss our next enrichment meeting on Tuesday, October 28th @ 10am!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Have We Learned?

Today's meeting was Series Meeting #2, Bringing Home Baby, The Family and the Breastfed Baby. Today along with "normal" infant behavior and breastfeeding patterns we explored the knowledge we have gained as mothers. In a group discussion led by Renee, we went over five areas of learning, changing and surprises. Here are the five questions that were asked and some of the responses from moms.

1.) What did you do in preparation for your 1st baby?

Crib preparation, classes, reading, internet, remodeling houses and talking to friends for advice.

2.) What adjustments/changes/surprises did you experience after the birth of your 1st baby?

Needing a lot of help, wanting different diapers, too much unnecessary baby paraphernalia, frequency of feedings, nursing cues and learning baby's cries.

3.) What did you/would you do differently with subsequent babies?

Have people bring dinner, buy a larger bed, get rid of crib, getting more help, feeling less stressed, read less, listen to baby more

4.) What adjustments/changes/surprises did you experience with subsequent babies?

Dealing with older children wanting mommy, extra curricular activities of siblings, older children wanting to "help"

5.) What have we learned?

Trust your instincts, You are the expert on your baby, Be willing to change your expectations, Be flexible, and This too shall pass!

Monday, October 13, 2008