Parenting - Preschool

RSS Feed

The Comparison Game, Part 2

Parents,

Have you ever had one of those days when you just barely make it out the door?  House is a wreck, you haven’t had a shower today and the kids are already fighting.  Your parenting self esteem has already taken a hit when you run into that family.  You know the one:  they look like they just stepped out of the pages of a magazine, kids are behaving perfectly and mom has brought homemade goodies for the kids to share.  How do they do it?  Why can’t we do that?  Why can’t our child excel like theirs?  Sometimes you feel like a parenting what-not-to-do.

It is completely normal to compare ourselves and our kids to others.   Unfortunately, we often can pick out our own faults and flaws and they seem to be amplified next to those “perfect people”.  The truth is that no parent and no child is perfect.  Even those seemingly perfect families have their own problems, too.  So what can we do when we catch ourself falling into the comparison trap?

  1.  Remember that milestone development is relative.  Of course you want to make sure that your child’s development is on track, but obsessing over it is not helpful.  Don’t let others set the standard for where your child should be.  Talk with your child’s pediatrician.  If they are comfortable with how your child is growing, you should be too.  If you don’t trust your pediatrician, you need to find a new doctor.
  2. Don’t turn parenting into a competition.  Being a parent is hard, even on a good day.  Why make it even harder by setting unrealistic expectations on yourself and especially on your child?  Every family has their own set of issues that they struggle with every day, some just hide it better than others!  You never know what someone else may be dealing with behind closed doors.
  3. Realize that comparisons can steal your joy.  Why purposely invite any sort of conflict into your life?  We should be striving to be joyful and to find joy everyday.  Comparisons can lead to envy and jealousy.  Proverbs 14:30 states “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.”  Find parent friends who are supportive rather than competitive and be that friend to others.
  4. Be able to admit and own weaknesses, and at the same time recognize and utilize strengths.  What is your child good at?  Celebrate that and let them know that you are proud of them.  Help them to find activities and projects that interest them and that they enjoy.  Your child is a unique individual who has things they are good at…do you know what they are or are you too focused on what they cannot do?   Apply this to yourself as a parent as well.  You may not be the best goodie-baker, but you tell the best stories.

Take a good look at your child.  Are they happy, healthy, safe and loved?  Congratulations, you are a good parent.  Ultimately, these are the things that are important.  Enjoy your children for who God created them to be and appreciate the job you have been blessed with as their parent.

Thanks,

Kim Constantino

The Comparison Game

Parents,

Being a parent is hard work and sometimes we wonder if we are doing a good job?  We hear about other families, other people’s kids and it can be easy for doubt to creep in.  Comparing ourselves to others is natural and depending on the situation can either make you feel like parent of the year or a total failure.    The last thing you want to hear about when you were up all night with your ten month old is how someone else’s two month old is sleeping through the night!  Or how about running into that mom who is always perfectly put together when you can’t remember the last time you got a shower?

Comparisons can be harmful to our self esteem and our outlook on how we are managing.  It’s easy to fall into this trap.  Before we close the blinds and shut ourselves off from all human contact, we have to realize that we all have good and bad days.  No one has completely mastered being a parent!

Take some time and check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with those moments we feel like we don’t measure up.  Later this month, you will receive some tools to help you when you are playing the comparison game.

Here is the link to the video: https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/90162336/2b9dba9f43

Thanks,

Kim Constantino

When You're Frustrated with Your Child, Part 2

Hey Parents,

Are you having a good week, or are you experiencing one of those weeks parents of preschoolers would like to forget ever happened?

Hopefully in all the hubbub of your life you’ve taken the time to watch this lesson’s video to help with those moments of frustration.

Needing a break from your kids is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a normal emotion and one you need to act on in order to be a better parent. In other words, it’s not a matter of doing so, it’s HOW you do it that matters.

#1. Instead of saying something like “You’re driving me nuts, so go play somewhere else!” say, “Mommy needs a bit of quiet time so I need you to play in there while I stay in here.”

#2. Limit the number of noise-makers (as in toys) allowed in the house.

#3. Provide a safe, secure, and fun outdoor area for your kids to play in for a while each day. This could be your backyard or a nearby park. While they’re playing, you can read a book or visit with a friend. Don’t worry, as long as they’re dressed properly, they’ll be fine.

#4. Don’t use words or phrases like: brat, you’re driving me nuts, you’re bad, get out of here, get out of my way, I don’t care, I don’t want to hear you, and get lost.

#5. Let your children know when their behavior isn’t acceptable, but do so by saying, “What you are doing isn’t very nice, so please stop.” Or “I need you to be quiet so I don’t get upset.” Or “Inside voices are the only voices allowed inside.” Or “You need to be a better listener so we can all have a good day.”

Children need boundaries but as a parent it is your job to let them know the boundaries are as friendly as they are safe. Psalm 16:5-6 is a great passage to help you remember how to be a less-frustrated parent…

“Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6

Remember…your preschoolers really are a delightful inheritance.

Yours in Christ,

Kim Constantino

When You're Frustrated with Your Child, Part One

Hi, Parents,

I hope your week is off to a great start. This month’s Online Parenting Class is on Frustration. I pray that you can gain some reassurance from watching.

Hey, I get it. Parenting is hard no matter how well-behaved or easy your kids are. And there are times when you want to throw in the towel, lock yourself in the bathroom, or go to the mall or golf course and pretend you don’t even know those little stinkers exist. But it never takes long for those feelings to go away does it? Especially when you hear, “Mommy, I just love you so much.” Or “Daddy, I need you to kiss me goodnight.”

Most of the time our frustration as parents stems from our lack of trust in ourselves—we don’t think we’re getting things right or are afraid our preschooler’s meltdown is a sign that we’re failing as parents. Not true! Preschoolers are a unique and wonderful species all their own. So relax, take a deep breath, keep on praying, and don’t forget I’m here to help however I can.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/149146295/f2c90ff462

In Christ,

Kim Constantino

Screen Time, Part Two

Hi,

Hopefully by now you’ve watched the video that goes with this lesson on addressing screen time and your preschooler. If you have, you know it was filled with practical and relevant information on how to make digital technology a positive for your preschooler rather than a negative.

We can’t deny the benefits of technology or the fact that our kids are going to be surrounded by it for the rest of their lives. That’s why it is important to teach them how to manage their screen time properly now and how to be discerning about their digital media. Well, as discerning as a preschooler can be, anyway.

1. Block site access to anything that might be dangerous. Even seemingly harmless searches can put you and your preschooler in places you don’t need to be.

2. Set time limits on your child’s devices. When the allotted amount of time has been spent on the device, it times out.

3. Download apps that enhance your preschooler’s spiritual growth; apps like the free interactive Bible.

4. Play educational games online with your preschooler.

5. Make sure your preschooler knows how to operate the television, computer, and phone properly. Knowing how to use these things properly makes it easier to use safely.

6. Don’t allow your preschooler to be online without you being present.

7. Don’t let your preschooler rely too heavily on technology. Teach them to play board games, play outside by themselves and with other kids, and do things like paint, play with craft dough, dig in the dirt….

8. LIMIT their time in front of a screen of any kind. Not only is too much screen time bad for their eyes, but it hinders the development of their social skills, confidence among their peers, and their ability to process situations in any number of social and public settings.

God didn’t create this beautiful world and the people in it so we can shut it all out for the sake of animation and lightening-speed processing.

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” ~Psalm 8:3-4.

Serving God together,

Kim Constantino

Screen time, Part One

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! I'm excited to say that our bi-monthly Parenting Emails are back. This first one is about an important topic that we can all benefit from evaluating in our own lives; Screen Time.

This is the digital age and the age of rapid technological advancement. We can’t run from it, so we have to make sure we understand it, are in tune to it, and most importantly, in control of it—rather than letting it control us or our kids.

This Online Parenting Class video helps you come to grips with how much screen time your preschooler should be experiencing. After you watch the video, I urge you to get in touch with me regarding any comments or questions you have.

Let’s work together to make sure technology works for the good of your family’s spiritual growth instead of against it.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/149143125/89fb85608a

Signing out,

Kim Constantino

Picky Eaters, Part One

Dear Parents,

Who likes brussel sprouts? Bread crusts? Soggy cereal? Not your preschooler, I bet!

Dealing with a picky eater can be challenging to the point of I-want-to-pull-my-hair-out frustration. But don’t worry, there is hope and help to be had.

The video for this lesson addresses the issue of preschoolers who are picky eaters. No, there’s no pill or sure-fire cure you can offer, but you will be given tips that have proven successful to help you a) deal with the issue and b) rectify the situation (to some degree, anyway).

Thank you for allowing me to partner with you in your parenting journey. I consider it a privilege. Please let me know if there is any way I can be of further assistance to you and your family.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to let me know how I can pray for you and your family.

https://vimeo.com/parentministry/review/149143123/9d66ed1be5

Feasting on God’s grace,

Kim Constantino

Posts