Category: Sanity Savers

“I’ll Stay Close by Next Time”

It’s scary when toddlers run away.

Dad decided to take baby, new puppy and a 4 year old boy for a walk. The boy ran away from the Dad.  Once the boy returned, dad said with empathy, “This is so sad, we have to go home now since I can’t be sure you’ll stay with me.” This little boy started crying and Dad responded with his brain dead one liner, “I know.”  He kept repeating it over and over as his little guy whined and cried and complained.

Once at home, the evening proceeded as usual, dinner, bath, and story with no more mention (or lecture or punishment) of the incident.  At bed time the boy told his dad, “Dad, I’m sorry I ran away from you tonight.  I’ll always stay with you next time.”

We all got choked up listening to the story and how the Dad preserved his relationship with his son by lovingly and empathetically setting limits and how his 4 year old son so thoughtfully responded.

Shelly Moorman
©2009 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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Temper Tantrums Aren’t Just for 2 Year Olds

This year has brought a new experience for John and I …temper tantrums.

That moment when Hailey clenches her fists, shakes uncontrollably, and squeals like a pig…randomly throughout our day.  Tantrums could be triggered over a number of different things in her “high-stress” day.  As adults, we talk about temper tantrums like they are a phase and disregard any logical explanation for why they happen.  Personally, if someone twice my size deprived me of another serving of ice cream or tore me away from my favorite show to go grocery shopping…I’d get pretty upset too.  I might even shake uncontrollably.

We often say, “Oh well, whatcha gonna do? It’s the terrible twos.”

We recently took a Love and Logic parenting class (highly recommend this) and it has helped immensely.   Temper Tantrums for adults and kids are mainly caused by our lack of control.  Give a child or an adult a choice and they feel more in control. Hailey now gets several choices a day regarding everything she does…”do you want to wear pink shoes or red shoes…pants on first or shirt on first…dinner in this chair or that chair…”  It has added a lot of humor to our day and keeps things in perspective.  She also has “a calm place” where she is instructed to go if she “loses it.” It’s an area in her room with pillows and stuffed animals.  Now that she knows how to use it, she will frequently go there on her own after “losing it.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a “calm place” at work after a bad meeting? How about a “calm place” at the airport?

Shelly Moorman
©2009 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 Want More Milk!”

I poured my daughter a bowl of cereal with PLENTY of milk. When she asked for more milk, I said, “No, you have more than enough.”

Of course she started whining.  I went brain dead!

She started screaming “I want more milk!!!” and I said in the sweetest, singsongy voice I could muster, “I know.”  This went on for about a minute, back and forth until I took her by the hand and led her to her room, saying “Feel free to come out and eat your breakfast when you’re done screaming.” She sat in there for about two minutes and then came out quietly, sat down at the table and ate her breakfast!!!

The most wonderful part was that I felt so calm and loving toward her the whole time!  I never felt angry.  If this had happened the day before class I would have been gritting my teeth, ready to throw her in the backyard with no shoes on.  THEN, when we got to school, she slowly got out of the car, I gave her a big hug and kiss and said have a great day, she looked at me and said “Mommy, I’m sorry for screaming about the milk.”

WOW.

Shelly Moorman
©2009 Shelly Moorman, 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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