In Grace

The Day I Realized I Was A Shitty Parent

As a parent, it can be hard to admit when we have failed at something. Saying it to ourselves is one thing, but letting the world know, is a completely different level of uncomfortable.

But like they say, when you know better, you do better. I never want to look back and wonder what could I have done differently?  Or I wish I was there more. I know if I don’t want to ever feel that way, then I definitely do not want my children to have those memories of their childhood either. Read more

In Grace

15 Ways To Help Your Child Calm Down (and still keep your sanity)

15 Ways To Help Your Child Calm Down and Still Keep Your Sanity // www.gritsngrace.com

As adults sometimes we find it difficult to navigate and manage stress. So it’s easy to imagine (at least I hope), that it must be the same for kids as well. My dad always sad a happy child is a stress-free child; and while I agree, I knew that I had to start taking steps to help my children manage stress in a healthy and positive way. By instilling these habits early on, this will help them learn to find healthy ways to cope as an adult (at least I hope).

Here are 30 ways to help your child calm down and cope with stress.

1. Blow Bubbles

Besides being outright fun, blowing bubbles helps to control breathing which is a common technique many parents use when they want their kids to calm down.

2. Count to 5

Is a simple form of meditation. Combined with breathing this can be an effective technique for allowing your child to reset.

3. Give (or get) hugs.

Hugs reduce blood pressure and stress. Grandma didn’t lie when she said a hug makes everything better.

4.Rocking

5. Talk about it.

6. Play music.

7. Dance

8. Go for a walk.

Walking has been proven to reduce stress. Sometimes a short walk just to clear their head (and yours) is all that is needed.

9. Complete a craft.

It gives the child the chance to sit still and focus on something other that what made them upset for a few minutes.

10. Color

Coloring is helpful on so many levels. This is another activity that allows them to redirect their focus to something else.  Having special coloring books just for calm down time may be beneficial. You can even let your child pick out a coloring book that they would like to have.

11. Run

Sometimes all of the anxiety and anger built up can be released by something a simple as running. Like walking it helps to reduce stress and can be the start of making sure your child has a healthy outlet for reducing stress.

12. Find something squishy and squeeze it

Squeezing is a great way to release tension in the body. Kids sometimes don’t realize just how upset they are (and how much they are holding in) until they start squeezing something.

13. Place hands in pockets

Like a hug, this is another form of applying deep pressure to the body. Kids can also sit on their hands or clasp them.

14. Close eyes and think of a calm place (or place they want to be)

15. Push against the wall

Have your child push against the for 10-15 second two or three times. This allows them to relax by releasing hormones into the body.

 

 

 

In Travel

Michael Jackson Almost Got Me Fired From Disney World & Other Tips To Survive Disney During The Summer

I’ll never forget the summer of 2003. Between the excitement of Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean opening, and my completing an internship at Disney, I didn’t think things could get any better as a 19-year-old college student. That was until one (predictable) summer semi-rainy Florida afternoon.  I saw the king of pop himself at Disney, and guess what? He almost got me fired from my job there. But more on that later.  Read more

A Few Good Reasons Why Your Kid Is Just Not Into You

By into you, I mean overly affectionate or lovey dovey. As the mother of a nine-year-old with ADHD & Autism, I am used to my son not telling outwardly that he loves me or giving me hugs. As it would with any mother, of course, it hurts, but I have learned over the years that there are other ways he shows his love. Read more

In Family

5 Things Parents Need To Stop Bugging Over

5 Things Parents Need To Learn To Let Go Of // www.gritsngrace.com

I’m not perfect (gasp!), but since my oldest is rounding the corner to her teenage years, with my son soon following suit, I thought I would pass on a few words of wisdom.

As parents we have got to do a better job of picking an choosing our battles. I have read so many articles (and have written some as well), about how frustrating motherhood and parenting is, how the plight of a SAHM is harder because your with your kids 24/7; and honestly, it always the same things. My kid won’t eat, they follow me to the bathroom, they won’t put on a jacket to go outside.

In the grand scheme of things, is any of this really important enough to stress over? No, it’s not. Obviously if your kid is doing something dangerous then yes, by all means, freak the hell out. But don’t make daily battles of small things.

A lot of this is things that I have the privilege of saying from hindsight. However, even with that being the case, I have been able to practice it with my younger children as well. Is every day perfect? No. Most days I want to run out the house screaming and leave them there. But I don’t and I won’t. I just suck it up and move on.

RELATED: 5 Frustrating Moments of Parenting A Threenager

So if you are feeling frustrated and a bit of daily burnout, here are a few things that you can start relaxing about as a parent.

1. Putting on a jacket to go outside.

We live in the south, the weather gets cold but not deathly cold. My husband is originally from Chicago, so he knows cold weather. My grandmother would always say “put on socks before you get the ‘pleurisis” (which I am assuming she meant pleurisy, that my sister did catch in her 20’s). All of those years of running around the house and outside with no socks or shoes, or even putting a jacket in 40-degree weather did I ever catch the flu.

My son wears a jack in 90-degree weather, whereas my 12, 4 and 2-year-old daughters prefer to not wear them. So instead of chasing my two-year-old around the house, or holding her down to put the jacket on, I let her forgo it. Of course, I keep one with me, just in case she changes her mind.

75% of the time she does. In which case, she then puts on the jacket. And we didn’t even have to fight about it.

2. Not eating dinner.

I have three of the best finicky eaters ever. Meaning they will eat whatever you put in front of them, but they aren’t always hungry. We have one rule, take three bites and if you don’t want anymore, you can leave the table. I know that if they are hungry they will eat. The one thing I hate is seeing kids being forced to sit at a table and made to finish their plates.

An unfinished plate of food isn’t going to cause them to starve to death.

 

3. Not making the playing time on the team.

If your child is 4 years old playing soccer (or t-ball, basketball, etc;), if the coach pulls them out and they sit a good chunk of the game, it’s not the end of the world. I guarantee there is not a NBA contract on the line if Bobby sits down for a few minutes (or even half the game) at your local park. They will survive. More than likely they will only show emotion if you are super emotionally about it.

4. TV for more than 1 hour a day.

I’m pretty strict with television and electronics. But there are days that I’m just like screw it, and yes I will plop them in front of BabyfirstTV or re-runs of the Berenstein Bears until I properly adult.Which usually is after a couple of hours.

Their brains don’t mush. My older children about both honor students and in my mind little geniuses.

5. Bedtime routine.

Now if you read my previous post about the importance of a routine, you may think that I am a hypocrite. But I’m not. If bedtime is causing you and your child too much stress and anxiety at night, then don’t fight with them. My kids are in bed no later than 6:15 (sometimes 6:30, if I just can’t), but that wasn’t an easy feat, nor did it happen over night. There were plenty days where they just wouldn’t lay down, or if they did, they would be up every five minutes asking for me to put on their blanket.

Don’t let a routine consume your life. Routines are great and I am all for them, but not at the expense of my sanity or my kids.

 

What are some things that you let go of? Feel free to share below! Also don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

5 Things Every Child Should Do In The Morning

5 Things All Children Should Do In The Morning // www.gritsngrace.com

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Getting up and out in the morning can be an incredibly daunting task. Personally, I hate waking up at 5 am, however, since the kids school district decided it would be a great idea to have buses come at 6:30am, I kind of don’t have a choice. Read more