Category: Kerry’s Dailies

Happy Starts to Preschool

Dear Kerry,
I’m a stay at home mom of twin boys and I knew that starting preschool would be difficult for them to deal with. New places, new faces, a new routine and the absence of mom would be a lot for them to digest so; I decided that instead of dreading this wonderful event in the lives of my boys, I would embrace it with Love and Logic® parenting. Following are some of the ideas that were a success for me and my boys; I hope your readers find them useful.

Loads of Love

Before we head to class, I gave each of them plenty of hugs and kisses. Not just a few, I overloaded them with lots of love, snuggles, hugs and kisses while asking them if they had gotten enough to last until pick up time. I also asked if I could give one more kiss on their nose, forehead, cheek, chin, etc. just to make sure that they were covered from head to toe in love. When they decided that they had received enough loving to make it through the day, I would take them into class.

Practice Makes Perfect

In order to get my boys accustomed to a new experience, I decided to practice the preschool routine in an effort to turn their jitters to joy. I held preschool practice sessions on days when my boys didn’t have to go to school. From walking out the door with backpacks in hand, to walking into the classroom and saying goodbye, my boys became familiar with the process and what to expect. I made sure to document this process with lots of pictures in order to remember our practice routine and show my boys how to successfully arrive at preschool with zero anxiety and fuss.

Preschool Platter

Another great idea that worked well for my boys was a menu board. The board showed pictures ranging from a crying and screaming child that’s holding his mother’s leg to a happy and hopping child that’s glad to be going to school. There was enough variety on the board that my boys were able to plan out their week of going to school, which allowed them to decide how they wanted to arrive at school. If either boy started to fuss on day one, I would offer a reminder that we’re “happy and hopping into class today” and that “crying and fussing” isn’t on the menu until Wednesday. This was a perfect way to create a positive experience while having fun.

Lastly, I found the following books to be helpful; “The Kissing Hand”, “The Invisible String” and “I Love You All Day Long”. They were great tools that prepared my boys for preschool while helping them to understand and enjoy the experience. I hope these ideas are helpful!
Thanks,
Jan
Auburn, CA
Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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It’s true: they actually do grow up

After I sent Keaton’s pictures in an email to my family, my sister-in-law wrote back to me:

“Wow. Handsome young man! Our first senior. I think I’ll always remember him sitting in my kitchen sink for a bath, mad that he couldn’t get a hold of the stream of water.
I keep thinking wow. This IS really happening. Can’t really imagine the college that looms ahead. I think they really do grow up and leave home eventually. (I mean that sadly not sarcastically.) It’s just hard to believe it when you’re in the thick of it all.”

Smiling and Crying at the Same Time

All I could do was simultaneously smile and cry when I saw my oldest son’s senior pictures. So grown up. A young man about ready to launch into adulthood. I think about how since the day I found out I was pregnant with him, I have loved and adored and protected and cared for and worried about the well-being of this kid. He and I were sitting together when the tears rolled down my face as we looked at his portraits. He looked at me with surprise and patience. I think he’s getting used to seeing me cry every time I think about him growing up and going off to college.

I am counting my blessings today.
Senior Portraits


Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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It takes so much courage not to be a liar to our kids!

I set a curfew tonight. One son came back on time; the other son didn’t. He was late… and not just a little late. I wasn’t mad; I was sad. I was sad because in order to help him learn that rules do apply, I HAD to do something about it. That “something” was going to make him unhappy. I’m a people person… I like people to be happy. I especially dislike being the cause of someone else’s unhappiness. But if I let my beloved son get away with his violation, I would be a liar. To set a rule with a kid and then not have the courage to follow through is to teach them that our word means nothing. They learn that they can get away with breaking rules. If they learn they can get away with breaking rules, then when they are making potentially life-or-death decisions about drinking, driving, drugs, buckling up, having sex and taking risks, how likely are they to make the hard, unpopular decisions that can save their lives? If we parents don’t have the courage to “cause a stir” and follow through, how can we expect our young people to have the courage to make hard decisions to say “no?” Oh my gosh, does it ever take courage to tell a teenager that you are following through! Heck, it takes courage to tell a three year old that you are following through! The parent of the teen faces surliness and anger; the parent of the toddler faces tantrums and public embarrassment. So I wasn’t a liar tonight. I imposed a penalty. I stand no chance of getting a “Popular Mom” award anytime soon. I was not permitted to bestow a goodnight kiss on the top of his head. The whole thing was painful… for both of us. But maybe… just maybe, that precious son of mine is the teeniest bit more likely to make a good decision when his life depends on it. And for that, I can tolerate just about any amount of discomfort or lack of popularity.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Which is Better: Drinking & Driving OR Drinking & Texting?

According to statistics, we are better off drinking and driving in front of our kids than we are texting or otherwise looking at our phones while driving.

In this day and age, there are more crashes caused by phone distractions than by drinking and driving. And society is full of messages about not drinking and driving, so they learn that’s a bad idea. But texting? Talking? Looking at your phone? Kids think that’s normal behavior because that’s what their parents do. Besides putting our and their lives at risk by looking at our phones when we drive, we put our kids’ lives at risk by modeling deadly, dangerous behavior that they will adopt when they get behind the wheel.

I’ve struggled through the agony of cleaning up my act while I drive. Care to join me? It only hurts for a little while. Then it actually starts to feel good to not be busy while driving. I also don’t miss my near-misses.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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No phone = no food

Giving up my phone while I’m driving feels a lot like starting a fast or cleansing diet where I’ve had to give up foods like dairy, wheat, sugar, yeast. At first, I feel antsy and irritated and wonder what in the world I’m going to eat. Same when I get in my car, I feel a bit lost, restless. I’m hoping that like a fast, this business of giving up my worst driving habit will leave me feeling better and more energized. This morning as I listened to the news and had a clue about what’s going on in the world, I felt good! It was nice to feel a wee bit informed. Last night when I listened to music, I felt calm and relaxed. And it felt great to know that I was being safe.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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I’ve been peer pressured!

Last night when I was out with girlfriends, my friend pressured me into a pact that I knew I couldn’t/shouldn’t say “no” to.
We agreed that if we can both go TEN days without looking at our phones while our cars are in motion, we get to go dress shopping together. Dang, what was I thinking??
Oh ya…. that I want to live. And I don’t want to destroy anyone else’s life, either. This is gonna be tough.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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TGIF or TGIM?

Today my sister-in-law said, “TGIF!”
I know some parents who may not say it out loud, but on Monday mornings, they’re thinking, “TGIM!” That means it’s Monday morning and they can go back to work where they feel competent, valued and can tell whether or not they’re doing a good job. Parenthood, wonderful as it is, doesn’t tend to offer much by way of validation and affirmation of a job well done. But remember: just because no one’s telling you you’re doing a good job doesn’t mean that you aren’t.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Missed the bus

This morning, I raced down the hill with my 5th grader only to watch the bus pull away. Late. Dang it. I smiled and waved as I passed all the good, competent moms who had been on time and were chatting and smiling while they calmly waved goodbye to their good kids who had made it to the bus on time. What I wanted to do was throw Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak over my car so the competent, on-time moms couldn’t see my inadequacy as I raced past them.
As I followed the bus, presumably all the way to school, thereby making myself late for work, I did manage to stay calm with my son. Score. I suggested he think about some ways that he could help make up the 25 minutes at work I was going to lose by driving him all the way to school. We both lucked out when the bus pulled over for one more stop and my son dashed out of the car and jumped on. Score for him.
Regret. Incompetence. Embarrassment. Love. Laughter. Competence.
Thus passes another morning of parenthood.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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Some days I hate Love & Logic!

What I hate about parenting with Love and Logic is that sometimes it feels bad. It can mean that I have to take things away or follow through with consequences. My kids don’t generally thank me for that. In fact, they get mad. Irritated and irritable. They don’t like me. That’s a hard feeling to take, even for someone who has spent the last 14 years teaching parents how to tolerate it and why it’s good for the kids. It’s still easy confuse being a good parent with feeling good. I tend to think that if I’m a good parent, my kids will like me and we all will feel warm and fuzzy. Ain’t always so.



Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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