Let’s Take More Photos of Moms

by Kristen Thompsonkristen.thom@gmail.com

There’s a photo of my mother and me that I know by heart. I’m in her arms in my grandparents’ backyard. I’m reaching out and smiling at someone off camera. My  mother’s blonde hair is cut short. She is wearing a lavender blouse and is looking down at me, smiling. She looks beautiful. And she looks proud.

I love this photo. There aren’t many pictures of just the two of us together, and I cherish the ones that I do have.

I want to leave my daughters beautiful photos like this: candid pictures that will tell them the story of my love for them. So I take a lot of selfies. If I didn’t, there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell.

For some reason, there seems to be something unremarkable about my daughters being in my arms. Whether it’s a family gathering or an average day at home, chances are few people will aim their camera our way.

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Improving the Transition from Spouses to Co-Parents

by Sara Klemp

Transitioning from spouses to co-parents isn’t always simple, especially after a painful divorce. Conflict stemming from the relationship may have a tendency to continue even after spouses have parted ways. As with the end of any relationship, it takes time to accept that it’s over and move forward. But for divorcing parents, simply cutting ties and moving on can be much more complicated.

In this situation, it is often in the best interests of your children to work towards forming a new kind of relationship as co-parents. It may take time to get there, but transitioning into that relationship can help get you to a place where you can raise your children as partners in co-parenting. Here are four ways that can help you improve the transition from spouses to co-parents.

Confront Your Emotions

Apart from the matters that involve your co-parent directly, you may be facing other personal emotions that make it challenging for you to move forward. No matter what it is you’re facing, letting those emotions sit without confronting them now could make them harder to deal with later on. They could even start affecting your parenting and, in turn, affect your children.

Be proactive about finding emotional stability. Talk to close family members and friends about what you’re dealing with, and let them offer their support. Your close confidants want to be there to help you, whether that means listening to you talk through your emotions, helping you with household tasks, or even watching your children if you need to go out for a few hours. Apart from those closest to you, consider seeking help from a professional. Working with a counsellor or a therapist can help you learn skills for coping with your emotions. They can also help by providing you with a neutral perspective when discussing what you’re feeling, which is something that even close family and friends cannot always do. Above all, spend time with those who bring you the most joy. Having positive people around you, like your kids, can help to bring you up when you’re feeling down.

Find a Better Way to Communicate

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6 Tricks to Help Your Kids be Positive

by Cynthia Crossley  •  www.habyts.com/power-of-positive-perspective

Our thoughts, or rather, the way we think, have a remarkable impact on our everyday lives and wellbeing.

Don’t believe me?

Who do you think would be most successful?

1. The person who believes they can achieve anything, become whomever they want, and follows up with swift action, or:

2. The person who complains about anything, is indifferent about everything and gets nothing done out of feelings of hopelessness.

Obvious, huh? 

But whilst our thoughts may influence our lives in the present, our perspective influences our thoughts in the first place.

The power of a positive perspective

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Deciding to Try Baby Sign Language

by Kristen Thompsonkristen.thom@gmail.com

I spent the first ten months of my daughter’s life quietly begging her to beam her wants and needs into my mind during her daily (hourly) meltdowns. If a magician had existed to translate her cries for me, I would have hired that person on the spot.

Everything changed for the better one quiet afternoon, when out of the clear blue sky she looked up and gave me the sign for eat.

We’d been diligently signing several words to her since she was old enough to open her eyes, and I had been starting to feel like it was for naught. Then she signed eat  and realized she’d found a way to communicate a very pressing need without tears. And life for both of us became infinitely easier.

Two months later she was signing up, all done, and more. By 18 months she had mastered help, want, sorry, please and come. It wasn’t long before we added gentle, wait, share, and thank you, as well as food signs. This quiet means of communication eliminated a huge source of tears and frustration. It felt like a blessing. We learned our baby signs from babysignlanguage.com, a free resource for parents and caregivers that offers easy-to-follow signing tutorials for hundreds of words we use every day with children (they also have a great free app for your phone).

The key was repetition. Lots of it.

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