Tag Archives: baby

Parenting Tool: Try It Again

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A couple of years ago I began using a picture routine list with my son in order to help him transition from one part of our day to another. It helped with his meltdowns for a short time and then the schedule went to the trash can after a couple months of less than stellar results. As he grew older, he had less transition related meltdowns and I slowly forgot that we once created a schedule for him.

Fast forward to last week. Due to some changes in our lives, my son began having difficulty during our morning and evening routines. He knows the steps of getting ready for his day and getting ready to sleep, but was melting down quite often yet again. I decided to go back through the strategies we tried before in order to find one that helped.

I asked my son if he would like to help me create a new picture schedule for both our morning and evening routines. He agreed. There we sat at 9 PM looking through free photos we could download for our charts. Not only did he feel important, he also felt in charge of his routines. They are the routines I prefer, too. It was a matter of putting the routines on paper again so he could easily refer to them when needed.

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, winnond, SOMMAI, Serge Bertasius Photography , Sira Anamwong, and foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, winnond, SOMMAI, Serge Bertasius Photography , Sira Anamwong, and foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Since creating the new and improved routine lists, he has had less meltdowns, enjoys trying to read the words we chose to include with the pictures, and reminds me what he has not yet completed. We worked as a team, which means we both won.

The moral of the story is that sometimes a strategy will work for a time, not work, and then work again. Sometimes a strategy won’t work at all, then you try it again years later and it works. Never say never to a peaceful, respectful strategy.


Zen Parenting: The Book

I am thrilled to announce the Kickstarter campaign for

Zen Parenting: The Book!


I was asked to contribute to this valuable resource which is based on the principles of the Zen Parenting Blog.  Zen Parenting: The Book promotes peaceful strategies as well as informed consent during pregnancy, birth, and the first months of parenthood. I am proud to work with the co-authors to create a highly valuable resource for new parents.

The book is currently being edited. The job now is to fund the publishing part of the project. Please support us by liking, sharing, or donating. There are quite a few perks listed on the Kickstarter campaign for those who donate so check those out.

For information and updates, check out the Kickstarter event on Facebook, the Kickstarter page, and the Facebook page for Zen Parenting: The Book.

Thank you for your support!

I look forward to discussing the project with you!


You Are Not The Crutch. You Are The Teacher.


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How to get your child to sleep is a huge topic in today’s media. Many publications tout the idea that children should be trained to sleep by leaving them alone to cry or stare until they fall asleep. Unfortunately, this way of “teaching” children to sleep is not really teaching. It is leaving the student to guess and be confused. Any classroom teacher who did this would be fired as this process is not going to yield learning or growth.

The truth is that children need to see how we fall asleep. They need to know someone is nearby. They need to know their needs will be met if they voice a concern. This could be signaled by a gurgle, cry, or language in an older child.

Some children learn more quickly than others. Every brain is different. Everybody is different. It may be difficult, but patience and practice are the key. Two of my children chose to sleep on their own before age 2. My third child is 4 years old and chooses to sleep alone half of the time. The other half of the time he needs someone close by to help him remember how to calm and rest. Everyone is an individual and that is okay.

If you model or teach how to fall asleep while together, you are not a crutch. You are meeting your child’s physical and emotional needs.

Cosleeping is when a caregiver sleeps near or beside the child. Some people teach sleep habits by using a type of cosleeping called bedsharing. Not everyone can safely do this. Feel free to try other forms of cosleeping a well. You can sidecar a crib or use two mattresses beside each other on the floor. If cosleeping is not safe due to smoking or another issue, have a nursery in the room beside your bedroom and leave your door open so you can hear your young child while he or she sleeps. Then place the child in the nursery once asleep. Respond quickly when the child wakes.

Leaving children alone to fall asleep before they have learned this skill leaves them to guess what you want from them or what they should do. By watching caregivers, being near parents, and being responded to when needs arise children will learn to calm and sleep.

There are some links below. Feel free to look through them for more information.

Research And Articles By James McKenna And Associates

Safe Bedsharing Guidelines

Dr Sears Weighs In

Sidecar Your Crib