The Day of Big Parenting Talks

July 23, 2014 by ldecesare

talking to teens, talking to kids, big parenting talks, parenting triumphs, tough parenting days, Naked ParentingWhew – I’m exhausted.

Today was a day of big parenting talks, ever have those days? The kind where topics arise that spur in-depth discussions, or behaviors warrant longer sit-downs. Today, I had both types of big parenting talks, and I had them with all three kids at different times throughout the day. It felt like tag from one kid’s situation to another one’s – topped off  with a teary moment at bedtime that needed an energetic mommy-pick-me-up.

There were moments of utter frustration and feeling like I wasn’t being heard or getting through, followed by instances of triumph where I felt like I said or did the exact right thing. I’ve joked that we have our “Oprah Days” and our “Dr. Phil Days,” the picture-perfect and the ugly, and the everything in between. Today had it all!

A few of today’s big parenting talks revolved around Michael who really wanted to go out on a power boat with two other 13 year old boys and no adults. Um, nope. I wasn’t comfortable with that and gave him a, “no” answer which, of course, made him unhappy. He was disappointed, I wasn’t budging, but felt his disappointment. He tried a bunch of tactics, to his credit some were quite creative, but my answer was still a negative, and with me, you’ll never get anywhere with begging, however clever the form.

We talked about safety and choices, among other things. He was so focused on missing out and not getting what he wanted that it dissolved into some snippy talk to me which led to him lose a privilege. Told you, tough day.

As he biked home, he was in a state of upset and even welled up with tears. And here comes my mommy-win moment, ready? It’s not even monumental but it worked! I calmly (that always makes the biggest difference) told him to, on his ride home, think about what he could have done differently, not to think about the wrongs he thought were done to him, and I left him alone, sulking and peddling away.

When he got home, he was calm and we had another big talk, one that he heard with a more open mind. He was able to express his emotions and verbalize his wrong-doings, he was able to recognize possible safety issues. He even told me that when he left the beach he was thinking he was having “the worst summer ever,” but while biking home, he thought about all the really fun times he’s had this summer. How proud I was that he was able to put things into perspective and find appreciation and gratitude from within an emotionally charged afternoon.

This thing called parenting is not easy. It’s not meant to be, we’re guiding young lives and teaching them responsibility, self-sufficiency and how to love and care for themselves. Taking the time and energy to be consistent, to stand by your family values, to come up with creative solutions, and to repeat things endlessly, all adds up and it’s worth it.

So if you feel beaten up – and beaten down – be kind to yourself. Take time for yourself in your days. Smile and pat yourself on the back. It’s often helpful to seek out new ideas, suggestions, and fresh ways to look at a parenting situation. Talk to trusted friends and family, read blogs and books and be open to other ways of trying things as a parent.

It takes boundless creative energy to parent, find things that encourage you and give you tools to help along the way. My hope is that you will find those things in my new book, Naked Parenting.

What kinds of big parenting talks have you had recently?

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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What is 20 Years?

July 16, 2014 by ldecesare

what is 20 years?, 20 year anniversary, platinum anniversary, china for 20th anniversary, symbol for 20th anniversary20 years is to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part. It’s needing notes to remember the words, a congregation of friends chuckling.

20 years is our first home with a deep front porch. It’s tearing out ugly mustard-colored carpet to find pristine hardwood floors beneath, it’s stripping wallpaper in dime-sized pieces. It’s sitting on lawn chairs and eating off stacked crates.

20 years is traveling far and wide, young and carefree, climbing historic church towers and hiking stunning canyons. It’s snorkeling, horseback riding, swimming in waterfalls and driving coastlines. It’s Arizona, Hawaii, France and the Olympics, Prague, Poland and Germany, it’s islands, mountains and oceans.

20 years is the first plus-sign on the stick, the happy tears, the growing belly, the drive home with our new baby girl realizing she was ours to care for and protect and love. Forevermore. And then we were three.

20 years is first cell phones, cool-looking things with an antennae and no such thing as texting. It’s sleepless nights, dribbling giggles, first steps and ABC’s. It’s time with grandparents and families, time with each other. Time together. A family.

20 years is a baby boy, the first in a generation, smiley and sweet. The gift of a brother for his sister. It is outdoor wedding photo, wedding 1994, wedding photography,saying goodbye to our first house and moving over the river. The house of dreams, a front porch covered in vines, that we filled with infinite love.

20 years is birthday parties and christenings, first days of school and scraped-up knees. It’s toddlers and tea parties, Play-Doh and sledding, bicycles and finger paints. It’s welcoming an 8-year old Little Sister and making our son a big brother with a water baby blessing our lives. Our family complete.

20 years is moving once more to honor our values, to live what we believed. It’s family dinners and home movies, it’s being there, planting gardens, building tree forts, and continuing traditions. Shorelines and friendships, school days and camping trips, first bus rides and kids growing big.

20 years is teamwork and connecting as partners and best friends. It’s talking and debating, deciding and dreaming, hoping and laughing. It’s holding hands, rubbing shoulders, nudging snores, and dancing slowly. It’s silly jokes, knowing glances, being understood. It is freedom to be who we are, authentic, whole, and safe.

20 years is a gift. A blessing, a treasure. It is at once a forever and a beginning.

My heart is yours. You always have been, and always will be, my true companion, my soulmate, my knight in shining armor, my Mr. Right, my perfect steak knife.

I love you. I live you.

Happy 20th Anniversary, My Love.

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

20 years ago, engagement photo, young couple, 20 year anniversary, hello summer party, orange shirt, happy 20th anniversary

Prince George’s First Birthday

July 16, 2014 by ldecesare

prince george effect, prince geoge birthday, when is Prince George's birthday, cupcake with crown, birthday crown cupcakeSo, I’m not much of a royal-watcher, but years ago, I lived in London for four months and, because of that, I have a love of England. As Prince George’s first birthday approaches, I’m thinking of my time there.

My flatmates and I would explore Hyde Park, shop at Boots, and poke around Portobello Market on weekends. Once, after I’d heard words almost exclusively in a British accent for months, I came home and in all seriousness, reported that I’d heard a lot of foreign languages that day, which wouldn’t be odd except that I was talking about American English!

While in England, I loved walking to school from my flat, remembering to LOOK LEFT before stepping off a curb, and “minding the gap” before hopping onto the Tube. I loved going to the theater, local attractions and taking side trips around the English countryside. We even once spotted Princess Diana taking her boys to school. It crossed my mind then, how difficult parenting as a royal would be, but as a mom, I feel it even more acutely now, watching Kate and her young prince.

Yup, I really loved my time there and my visits to London and England since. While there, I was immersed in the castles, the history, and even the Royal Family; it really can’t be avoided. Decades since, and a mom three times over, I both chuckle and sadden at the attention George and his parents receive. Parenting is tough: tantrums in the market, meltdowns at restaurants, bickering siblings waiting in line at the bank. Can you even imagine doing all that on a global stage? Sure George is only one year old, but we parents all know what’s coming.

Little George is even already setting trends as the small “Pre-King.” Have you heard about the George Effect and how items that look like whatever he wears are selling out by the droves and shutting down websites? I wonder what the wardrobe will be for Prince George’s first birthday celebration. No doubt we’ll see it in stores and catalogs before he’s even done celebrating on July 22nd.

To honor a very royal summer, 888ladies is celebrating with their online bingo game about the royal family. This July 22nd, on Prince George’s first birthday, this online bingo jackpot is seriously royal so players can celebrate, too.

Happy First Birthday, Prince George!

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and statements are my own.

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3 Playground Rules for Parents – Guest Post

July 11, 2014 by ldecesare

playground rules, tips for parents at playground, playground parenting tips, red swing, naptime reviewerI am happy to share my guest post on The Nap Time Reviewer on:

3 Playground Rules for Parents

Click here to read my guest post on The Nap Time Reviewer.

As always, thanks for being a Mother’s Circle reader!
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Naked Parenting Book Trailer

July 10, 2014 by ldecesare

Yesterday I posted about my new book – Naked Parenting: 7 Keys to Raising Kids with Confidence. It’s now available on Amazon.

Here is the Naked Parenting book trailer, come on – Get Naked!

 

 

naked parenting book trailer, naked belly, belly button,

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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Naked Parenting – New Parenting Book from Mother’s Circle

July 9, 2014 by ldecesare

Naked Parenting book, image Naked Parenting, raising kids with confidence, honest parenting, tips for being confident parent, parent book for teens, parent book for tweens, parenting book for all ages, I’m proud and excited to announce the publication of Naked Parenting: 7 Keys to Raising Kids with Confidence.

Over the thirteen years working with new parents and helping families transition to parenthood, I’ve received many calls and emails from clients, from the immediate postpartum period to years later, asking parenting questions. Many clients and blog readers have asked or suggested I write a book – so here it is!

Naked Parenting is parenting stripped down to the bare basics focusing on seven keys to raising kids who are self-sufficient, confident, respectful, and resilient. Nudity not required.

Naked Parenting describes my parenting principles and philosophies and allows readers to apply these ideas to their own style of parenting using their own household rules and values. I share specific tips, examples and suggestions that families can begin using right away.

It’s a quick read that will leave you ready to try new techniques in your family. One early reader was heading on vacation after finishing Naked Parenting and told me she was going start the next day by focusing on one aspect she’d learned in the book that really resonated with her. Another early reader felt like she was sitting talking with me over a cup of tea as she read it – what a compliment – and I hope you feel that way, too. Pour yourself some iced tea and join me!

I’d love to hear how Naked Parenting impacts your family – use the contact form or share your thoughts in the comments below. As a Mother’s Circle reader, you already know a lot about my writing style and parenting ideologies, and I hope you will enjoy Naked Parenting. Click here to see Naked Parenting on Amazon.

Thank you for your readership and your support!

I’m grateful for the advance praise for Naked Parenting

“Leah is such a gifted writer, woman, mother and more! . . . I am truly inspired by her wealth of wisdom and knowledge . . . this book will touch and inspire parents to not only enjoy parenting, but to embrace all it has to offer for themselves and their children . . . Naked Parenting offers a nonjudgmental, open-minded approach to parenting . . .”
- Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Co-Author, Creator and Director, Orgasmic Birth, and Chair, International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization (IMBCO), debrapascalibonaro.com

“As an author and an educator whose focus has always been on helping children to maximize their potential, I highly recommend Leah DeCesare’s Naked Parenting  . . . use of her recommended strategies and knowledge of the principles upon which they are based are practical and effective tools for all parents who want to raise their children to be successful and fulfilled.”
- Carol Cooke, author of America’s Answer to the Tiger Mother

“Naked Parenting is a fantastic resource for parents with children of any age. Leah provides a transparent and honest lens on parenting with beneficial and practical advice. An engaging read!”
- Dr. Claire Nicogossian, Clinical Psychologist, momswellbeing.com

“A parents go-to peace book for creating a positive, happy and nurturing environment while raising responsible, respectful, and productive children. A practical guide for all parents who know they’re not perfect!”
- Kara Ratigan, Elementary School Teacher

 

© Copyright Leah DeCesare 2014

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