Are you raising an ungrateful child?

Expressing gratitude can be tricky … for kids and adults. It’s so easy to freak out when we think we are raising ungrateful and unappreciative children… or we think others may think that of us. The reality is that gratitude can be tricky to manage and express – for adults, too! Consider these two scenarios: ? Your partner takes you out for a special dinner, but instead of the fancy candlelight dinner you’ve been imagining all day, you find yourself freezing in line at a food truck.  Your partner is grinning at you – excited because this place serves the carne asada tacos that you like so much. But you just

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Let’s Talk Anxiety and Parenting

As I always say, anxiety is a B@%#! Anxiety when you’re a parent? If you know, you know? As a lifelong anxiety struggler, I’ve worked hard to get my anxiety under control. But here’s the thing, even though I’ve learned how to manage it, it’s still there, always lurking in the background. It’s an extra thing I deal with every day, and it takes effort to keep it under control. As a parent, there are already plenty of challenges. And having this extra thing to manage on top of everything else can be exhausting. I’m also very aware of how my anxiety affects my family. When I’m feeling agitated or

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Managing Meltdowns Like the Bomb Squad

When our kids melt down or have tantrums, we tend to, well, freak out ourselves. Angry thoughts pop into our head, our heart starts to race, and our palms get sweaty. As a result, we tend to react in these situations, rather than respond purposefully – and we unintentionally make things worse by adding fuel to the fire. So, what should a parent do when their child is exploding? Be the bomb squad. What?! Let me explain. In his book, The Angry Child, Tim Murphy suggests that when a child is exploding, a parent has only two things they should be focusing on: Diffuse the bomb. Minimize damage. This means our role in these

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Invisible Energy Zappers and Summer Colds

Summer colds are annoying. I’ve been home the last three weeks with a cold virus I can’t seem to kick. It’s frustrating to sit on my tushy for days on end, and to have lots of “at-home” time with very little to show for it. As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time asking myself the question, “How is it that I came to have a cold that is now on its 25th day?” Well, besides the obvious – that I owe my husband a thank you for sharing his cooties – I guess it’s a combination of a few things. The one that I want to share with

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The Pressures of a Perfect Summer

I recently wrote a blog about how we parents tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to create a “perfect” summer for our kids. But what does perfect look like? Who defines “perfect?” Are we terrible parents if we don’t fill our kids’ summer with long beach days, trips to the water park and an epic family vacation? What if your family prefers to stay home and play board games? I want to tell you a little about the summer of 2012. My now 17-year-old’s favorite summer. Also the summer when she was 7, broke her leg and spent the whole summer in a wheelchair. After many tears

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No Matter How Informed You Are, Perfect Parenting Doesn't Exist

Surprise! I’m an Imperfect Parent

If I had a dollar for every time my kids snarkily asked me, “Aren’t you a parent coach?” I’d be sipping wine in Italy right now. Salute! Yes, I am a parent coach. And yes, I am also an imperfect parent. And the beauty of what I do is that both truths can exist harmoniously. The kind of parenting I teach embraces our imperfections and celebrates our mistakes. It takes into account that we are emotional human beings and that the people we interact with are also emotional humans, all of us with our good days and bad days, our highs and lows. We parents already have enough weight on

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blog posts from the OC Mom Collective

How To Keep Your Child’s Public Meltdown From Ruining Your Day

Your child has thrown themself on the dirty ground, screaming incoherently, in the middle of the food court. It’s official – this is your child’s public meltdown mode. Your first thought, “OH S*@$! PEOPLE ARE WATCHING.” Suddenly it feels like everyone in the food court has stopped in their tracks to watch the public display unfold, to watch YOU. You are expected to handle this, to correct it, to get it under control. You kneel and quietly plead with your kid to get off the ground. When that doesn’t work, you offer a desperate bribe, “IF YOU STOP YELLING, YOU CAN HAVE THE COOKIE WE BOUGHT.” But the screaming continues.

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The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Help Your Child After Divorce

Divorce itself isn’t the reason kids suffer. As a child of divorce, I saw first-hand the damage divorce does to a family. But it’s not the separated homes that cause the problem. The real suffering from a divorce stems from parents not being able to continue nurturing their children’s sense of connection, belonging, and significance. The loss of the family unit, and the child’s place in it, is what causes the real distress. Why do you need to help your child after divorce or a parental split? Children of divorce are often caught between parents competing for the child’s attention as they try to fill their own emotional voids, rather

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My Pantry Saga Part 2: Questioning My Thoughts About The Kitchen Pantry

He said no. My handyman said no. I knew he wasn’t sold on my brilliant idea to replace my kitchen pantry drawers with shelves, but I didn’t think he would completely reject the project. Oh, but he did. Some of you may recall Part I of this saga which I wrote about in my post, What I Learned About Love From My Kitchen Pantry Renovation, and all the brain drama I went through deciding to replace my “highly desired” pantry drawers with shelves, which many might consider a downgrade. I ended Part 1 with the handyman leaving my house and – I imagined – heading to the nearest bar to drink

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bag of groceries

What I Learned About Love From My Kitchen Pantry Renovation

I just had a handyman come to give an estimate on how much it would cost to REMOVE those pretty slide-out drawers from my pantry and replace them with shelves. He looked appalled at my kitchen pantry renovation idea. Why would I want to do that? The slide-out drawers are a highly desired kitchen feature, the best! I acknowledged that I knew it sounded crazy, but the drawers just weren’t practical for my family (cough – husband). The handyman’s face said it all. The confusion, the judgment. I stated his silent question out loud, “You’re wondering why he can’t just pull out the drawer and put it back?” The handyman

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family outside

10 Truths About Positive Parenting And Why It Works

Spoiler: The truth about positive parenting is that it’s not about hippy, dippy parents raising spoiled “special snowflakes.” Positive parenting has gotten a bad rap. Maybe because it conjures an image of parents walking around with a permanent smile pasted on their face, shielding their kids from the realities of the world, refusing to say “no” to their children, and indulging their every whim out of fear of upsetting them. But here’s the truth – that’s NOT what positive parenting is about. On the spectrum of parenting philosophies, positive parenting (aka authoritative) is smack-dab in the middle between “do as I say or else” authoritarian parenting and “do whatever you

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sandwich

Lessons From A New Member of the Sandwich Generation

I am an egg salad sandwich. As a member of the “Sandwich Generation,” I decided naming myself after a sandwich that I can’t stand seemed fitting. What does it mean to be a member of the Sandwich Generation? It means that in addition to still caring for my own kids, I am also responsible for the care of my aging parents. In my case that would be my stubborn, independent, and completely “with it” 96-year-old father who has insisted on living alone and adamantly refuses to discuss anything that had to do with his mortality. The other side of the sandwich is my two teenage daughters. Even though, for the

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