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.
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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

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