a must-read article for those who practice attachment parenting

I so wish I had the benefit of a perspective like this when my kids were little! This profound wisdom from Patty Wipfler, the founder of Hand in Hand Parenting, might have made weaning so much easier:
http://www.handinhandparenting.org/csArticles/articles/000000/000034.htm

Actually, all of my parenting could have been so much easier if I had understood that sometimes crying was a signal that my child needed my help fixing a problem (like hunger or physical discomfort or a need for stimulation) while other times, crying was the remedy itself.

When no problem was evident for me to fix yet their crying continued, my children were simply asking for my compassionate presence while they released the static that had built up in their nervous systems with a good cleansing cry.

But I thought I wasn't doing my job well if they were crying, and tried even harder to soothe them and get them to stop. What a relief it would have been for me to hear that the best way for me to help at those times was just to stay and warmly listen while they poured it all out.

What a comfort it would have been to know that when I needed to say No to something in order to preserve my own sanity, like night nursing for example, I could say that No, and then lovingly listen to my child's protest for as long as it took to run its course.

And that furthermore, this kind of compassionate listening would strengthen our bond even more than the night nursing they were so upset about giving up.

Now that I've gabbed on and on about it, here's the link to the article again:

http://www.handinhandparenting.org/csArticles/articles/000000/000034.htm

I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.

For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit http://www.karenalonge.com/

research about how alcohol damages the teenage brain

Pardon the pun, but this information is quite sobering. Researchers have determined that teenage brains are physically damaged by 4 or 5 drinks once or twice a month.

Tapert's team found damaged nerve tissue in the brains of the teens who drank. The researchers believe this damage negatively affects attention span in boys, and girls' ability to comprehend and interpret visual information.


You may want to forward this article to your teen so you can talk about it together: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122765890


For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit www.karenalonge.com

mother-daughter project

I heard about this from a friend who started her own mother-daughter group locally. I think it's a wonderful idea!

http://www.themother-daughterproject.com/

For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit www.karenalonge.com

parenting book recommendation

When the Labels Don't Fit: A New Approach to Raising a Challenging Child just may be the book I thought I was going to have to write. Now that Barbara Probst has done it, I can just sit back and relax and send you all to her. She might even put me outta business!

This book is a priceless resource if you struggle with your child's behavior, and/or wonder why he or she can't be more like those mild-mannered, cooperative kids you know. It includes an extensive questionnaire that will help you identify where your child is located on a spectrum of different temperamental traits, and then goes on to list concrete strategies to bring out the best in your child.

Probst will help you see what is RIGHT about your child, as well as teach you exactly how to minimize tantrums, crying jags, emotional outbursts, resistance, and power struggles. This book gets my highest recommendation.



For more information about Karen's parenting consultations, click here or visit http://www.karenalonge.com/

I just found out my middle schooler tried pot. What now?

This can be a very emotional and personal topic, so I want to make sure that you know my intention in posting this response. What follows is my opinion, and nothing more than that. I offer it solely as something for you to consider as you make your own decision about what course to follow.

I do not believe there is a right or wrong way to handle this situation (or any situation, for that matter!) If you read this, and find yourself vehemently opposed to what I say, then I will be glad that my words contributed to your sense of clarity even if it lies in the opposite direction from mine. Parenting is a journey, not a destination, and each of us must follow our own guidance.

So, on with my response. To avoid the he/she awkwardness, I simply switched pronouns halfway through:

Q: I just found out my middle schooler tried pot. What now?
Whew! If you are like many parents, your first reaction is a shocked thought of ALREADY? In middle school?