Crystal's Gallant Adventures - book trailer (picture - ages 3-8)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Our young cremello stallion Otto as he leads without a bridle, halter, or rope - following the whip.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A watercolour portrait of Black Caviar, the famous Australian thoroughbred racehorse.

Black Caviar by Ursula Ciller
 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

When Simple Becomes Tough



Welcome to the March 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Tough Conversations


This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have spoken up about how they discuss complex topics with their children. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


***





Though veering a bit from the topic (as my kids are too young for tough conversations), I felt compelled to write this excerpt.
It started with a simple gentle request to do or not to do something, which then became the object of obsession for my two year old toddler, disobedient and defiant; the little angel started acting like a little devil – staring eyes, gaping mouth, hands thrown back in an obstinate manner or throwing herself on the ground refusing to budge. Discontent with the toys, always wanting something else, and starting to tell the grown-ups how, when, and where to do things and telling little non-truths. Oh no, I was very very troubled.
 
With the natural parenting approach I tend to be relatively gentle and un-authoritarian. However, this problem was getting out of hand and I didn’t want to see my lovely little ones turn bad. I tried everyone’s advice to no avail. Negative attention was still attention and weirdly my little one seemed to thrive on it.
So I did some research and found a remarkable simple way to deal with these problems in a paper by Marilyn Adams called ‘Solutions to Oppositional Defiant Disorder’ (http://www.guidancefacilitators.com/odds.html).
 
My version of her work is:
Avoid conflict:
·         Do not engage in long arguments or explanations;
·         You decide the outcome and calmly stick to it.
Use effective consequences:
·         Focus only on consequences that do not require a child’s cooperation. For example taking a toy away or not reading a book to the child (this works well for me) if she continues to do naughty things.
 
Another example, when it is time for little one to have an early afternoon nap, I put her to bed. I would sing her a lullaby and bide her sleep well.  She would throw her toy out and scream that  she needs it back, wee in her nappy and then demand a clean one (three times in a row???), demand that she needed to go on the potty (even though she just went before going to bed), insist that she’s hungry, need drink (just after lunch)... the list goes on. Frustrating to say the least.
Now I sing her a song, kiss her goodnight, and go about my business. She still babbles with her sleeping companion toys for a little while (which I think is fine), but settles much quicker and sleeps really well. She has much less nightmares and is generally happier. Any parents who are confronted with these kinds of problems would undoubtedly benefit reading the paper that helped me. Here’s the link (http://www.guidancefacilitators.com/odds.html).
 
Now I can be reassured and happy because things are getting much better. The photo included is a very young horse with the same behaviour as my toddler. He too threw himself on the ground and refused to budge while being tied to a post (a problem across species!) - thankfully a trainable challenge.

Oppositional defiance in a young horse



***

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 12 with all the carnival links.)

  • A Difficult Conversation — Kellie at Our Mindful Life is keeping her mouth shut about a difficult topic.
  • Discussing Sexuality and Objectification With Your Child — At Authentic Parenting, Laura is puzzled at how to discuss sexuality and objectification with her 4-year-old.
  • Tough Conversations — Kadiera at Our Little Acorn knows there are difficult topics to work through with her children in the future, but right now, every conversation is a challenge with a nonverbal child.
  • Real Talk — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama explains why there are no conversation topics that are off limits with her daughter, and how she ensures that tough conversations are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner.
  • From blow jobs to boob jobs and lots of sex inbetweenMrs Green talks candidly about boob jobs and blow jobs…
  • When Together Doesn't Work — Ashley at Domestic Chaos discusses the various conversations her family has had in the early stages of separation.
  • Talking To Children About Death — Luschka at Diary of a First Child is currently dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. In this post she shares how she's explained it to her toddler, and some of the things she's learned along the way.
  • Teaching 9-1-1 To Kids — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling talks about the importance of using practical, age-appropriate emergency scenarios as a springboard for 9-1-1 conversations.
  • Preschool Peer PressureLactating Girl struggles to explain to her preschooler why friends sometimes aren't so friendly.
  • Frank Talk — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis unpacks a few conversations about sexuality that she's had with her 2-year-old daughter, and her motivation for having so many frank discussions.
  • When simple becomes tough — A natural mum manages oppositional defiance in a toddler at Ursula Ciller's Blog.
  • How Babies are Born: a conversation with my daughter — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger tries to expand her daughter's horizons while treading lightly through the waters of pre-K social order.
  • Difficult Questions & Lies: 4 Reasons to Tell The Truth — Ariadne of Positive Parenting Connection shares the potential impact that telling lies instead of taking the time to answer difficult questions can have on the parent-child relationship.
  • Parenting Challenges--when someone dies — Survivor at Surviving Mexico writes about talking to her child about death and the cultural challenges involved in living in a predominantly Catholic nation.
  • Daddy Died — Breaking the news to your children that their father passed away is tough. Erica at ChildOrganics shares her story.
  • Opennesssustainablemum prepares herself for the day when she has to tell her children that a close relative has died.
  • Embracing Individuality — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy addressed a difficult question in public with directness and honesty.
  • Making the scary or different okay — Although she tries to listen more than she talks about tough topics, Jessica Claire of Crunchy-Chewy Mama also values discussing them with her children to soften the blow they might cause when they hit closer to home.
  • Talking to My Child About Going Gluten Free — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama concluded that her family would benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet, she came up with a plan to persuade her gluten-loving son to find peace with the change. This is how they turned the transition to a gluten-free lifestyle into an adventure rather than a hardship.
  • How Does Your Family Explain Differences and Approach Diversity? — How do you and your family approach diversity? Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen shares her thoughts at Natural Parents Network and would like to hear from readers.
  • Discussing Difficult Topics with Kids: What’s Worked for Me — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares parenting practices that enabled discussions of difficult topics with her (now-adult) children to be positive experiences.
  • Tough Conversations — Get some pointers from Jorje of Momma Jorje on important factors to keep in mind when broaching tough topics with kids.
  • Protect your kids from sneaky people — Lauren at Hobo Mama has cautioned her son against trusting people who'd want to hurt him — and hopes the lessons have sunk in.
  • Mommy, What Does the Bible Say? — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work works through how to answer a question from her 4-year-old that doesn't have a simple answer.
  • When All You Want for Them is Love: Adoption, Abandonment, and Honoring the Truth — Melissa at White Noise talks about balancing truth and love when telling her son his adoption story.

Monday, 11 March 2013

New Goodreads quiz for Crystal's Gallant Adventures

Crystal the unicorn from life!
A bit of fun for unicorn enthusiasts!

Check out the new goodreads quiz for the children's picture book, 'Crystal's Gallant Adventures: The Mountain Pass Back to Valley Flats' at: http://www.goodreads.com/quizzes/25284-crystal-s-gallant-adventures

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pink Lightning - Summer Storms

Pink lightning flashed at least half a dozen times - just milliseconds appart.
  

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A fine cremello

Here's a fine cremello. He has two creme genes giving him clear light blue eyes, yellow hooves, and pink skin. No doubt related to Crystal the unicorn!
Otto feels great.

A glass eye.
He has a placid and gentle nature despite his youth.

A cremello can have 'invisible' white markings. This young colt has four white feet (including a stocking and a large sock) and a blaze - pretty flashy!