Joanna Anastasia

children

Parenting tips versus parenting intuition

Parenting tips versus parenting intuition, which one to choose? Great inspiration for new moms!

We live in a society that dreams about constant improvement and growth, in a society where efficiency has become the measure of success. Parenting has become a wildly discussed subject and parenting advises are often in line with this approach of the efficiency, statistics growth and passing developmental stages faster and better!

When my girls where babies, I remember that every time I would visit our nurse for a check up, or see a friend I haven’t met for a while or meet with a well intended family member, everyone would ask the same set of questions: Is your baby finally sleeping alone through the night? Is it self soothing? Eating alone? Finally potty trained?

I  felt like in fact I was constantly being asked if the changes are coming fast enough, if the the growth is stable, is my child’s development parallel to the statistic average or better? Everyone would focus on achieving developmental milestones the fastest possible. And everyone would offer me tips for achieving these.

Of course sometimes these well intended questions, are important to ask, since some of the issues might indeed indicate a developmental problem that when spotted early on can be fixed..

But I realized that most of the time they just created the anxious feeling, that we moms tend to have:

The fear that we’re not doing it right.

And then I felt like I need to read more and more, different and often conflicting tips. And I realized that in the end, us, moms, we might feel lost and anxious, just because we worry that our children are not hitting these milestones fasts enough, that the growth is not stable, that the statistic average is somewhere ahead of us, and that we’re failing as the efficient parent that we should be..

Except that parenting a child isn’t running a business. The success isn’t measured in efficiency and growth and hitting the milestones the fastest possible!

The success of a parent, is raising a loved and loving happy human, who’s prepared to live in the society on his own, as an adult.

So why a nurse would ask me if my 10 month old baby can self-sooth? Why parent’s are being judged if their three-year old is still in diapers? Why is a new mom being asked and asked over and over again if her baby finally sleeps through the night? Why do school aged kids are expected to participate in tons of extracurricular activities? Non of these are real indicators of a success nor of a happy child or a happy life. They are just milestones to pass.

parenting tips versus parenting intuition

And while me too, I tend to write my posts with tips intended to help, I realized that the most important tip is the one I never wrote before: The one about your own parenting intuition. Because every piece of advice that is out there, and every post I ever wrote, is not as important as your own intuition. Nothing is stronger and more important than your own parenting guts.

You know whats right for you and for you baby. You know what are your family’s needs. And before reading and listing to people telling you what and how do things, just listen to what feels right for you.

While health experts here in Quebec would tell me that my baby should self soothe, I knew that this isn’t an issue for me, nor for people in many other cultures. I felt that my babies had plenty of time to learn that skill, and that at a ripe age of 10 moths my babies weren’t ready to be left alone in the crib to cry. While my family nurse would tell me that I should sleep train my baby, I new that this isn’t something that’s good for my kids. I knew that eventually they’ll sleep without me making them cry and without feeling left alone. And yes, now they do sleep all night alone in their own beds.

My good friend has been told many times by her family members, that her child isn’t supposed to be in diapers at his age of three and a half. That’s it’s a big problem. But she knew him, and she knew that when he’ll be ready, he’ll be potty trained very fast. And that’s exactly what happened, within 2 days from when he decided he wanted to.

Some kids walk later. Some talk later. And as long as the parent feels its fine, it is. Because intuition of a parent is stronger than any parenting tip based on the statistic and normative approach!

So while here on my blog, you’ll find titles starting with “how to” and ” best tips for” please know that these are just ideas, only ways to parent. And that I truly believe that there isn’t one and only way, and one and perfect approach.

And I think that if you feel anxious and bad after reading parenting tips, it might be because they are against your own gut and your own intuition! And your intuition is the strongest and best parenting tool that you have!

It’s because during the thousands and thousands of years of evolution there was no manual, no parenting guru no parenting tips. We had intuition and biological instinct to guide us. When a baby cried we would pick it up, nurture and cuddle. A toddler would sleep next to us, and we wouldn’t think twice about it. All around the globe we would keep our babies close, and leave the growing kids to run outside to explore on their own.

Yes, from culture to culture, things would diversify, ( the language, the way of dressing and feeding ) but still, the human history is thousand years of following the instinct and listening to intuition! Of curse our intuition now is influenced my both biological instinct as the way we were raised, what we have been through, what “feels” right to do in our culture, and what we observed as children. Nevertheless, it’s our best parenting compass!

( Side note: Grown-ups raised by abusive parents may have their intuition set on repeating what they been through, so in that case intuition isn’t a good guide at all..)

So our bodies and our minds usually know what to do. We just need to listen to them more often. Because all of the parenting tips are only optional, and make sense only if in the first place, we listen to our intuition!

How to raise grateful kids

How to rase grateful kids: great simple tips!

With Christmas around he corner I ask myself if my children will appreciate their gifts or will they ask for more and more, and cry because Santa brought the wrong doll? I’m always scared of spoiling my children, because I belive that being spoiled, ungrateful and unappreciative actually makes kids unhappy, unsatisfied and unsensitive.

I know, that probably thy will ask for more sweets, they are kids after all! But I really hope that I managed to install the sense of gratitude in my daughters (or at least in my older one).

Here are my tips for tuning it down a little. I’m not saying everyone needs those, but if you feel that it’s just too much gifts, and if you see that your kids start to be unappreciative, here’s what I do:

1. Clean the playroom, and fill a donation box before Christmas/birthday.
I try to put in the box not only broken, or cheap toys, but really everything that they don’t play with. ( the same goes for my closet, because you know, modelling good behaviour is always best)

2. One-gift-per-kid-from-parents rule.
Because I know my kids will get gifts from family members, I got them one educative gift each, that’s it.

3. Hide some gifts and give them later.
If your child got too many gifts at once (and is young enough not to notice) just hide some and give them within next couple of months for good behaviour, after doctors visit, or while you’re sick and tired and in need of a break!

4. Give your kids activity gifts.
Instead of toys, you could get them zoo passes, movie tickets, or museum passes! A day of fun is just as good as a toy, if not better!

5. Encourage your kids to make or buy gifts for closest family members.
I guess that we all want to show to our kids the joy of giving, so helping them preparing something is really the best we can do! They can help you prepare the cookie in a jar mix, they can make cookies with you or prepare clay ornaments. Or, if you don’t have time to make DIY gift with them, you can simply ask them to draw a Christmas card for each member of the family!

6. Help your children name what they are grateful for!
The best way to help your kids feel happy and appreciative, is to help them name what are their grateful for/ what makes them happy/ what are their blessings . It’s a great way to finish a day, while cuddling in bed, and naming what we are grateful for (for mommy as well: the felling of gratitude decreases stress, so let’s make it a habit, for our kids and ourselves as too!)

And what are your tips for raising grateful kids?

5 reasons why your child needs merino wool clothing

I discovered merino wool 5 years ago when I was in New Zealand with my at-the-time fiancé ( now hubby). We spend almost 4 months in that amazing place, hiking, exploring and having the best time in our lives. That is, until our daughters came along, because obviously the best fun ever is being a parent 😉 .

Why merino wool clothing is the best choice for active kids and busy moms

Back then, everyone had something made from merino wool and I remember that it wasn’t until I got myself a long sleeve shirt when I understood why. It’s the perfect keep-me-warm-yet-never-too-hot garment of clothing! It lets you breathe, it feels soft against your skin, keeps you warm and cozy and never, ever gets to smell bad!

So obviously as soon as I had kids I wanted a merino for them too.

Something to keep them warm, but never too hot, something soft, cute and perfect for any occasion. The only problem was that, merino wool is usually used in high-end sports wear for adults. As if kids wouldn’t be in constant motion, getting dirty and smelling funky!

And then, one day I found thorough Instagram Luvmother . Sourced in New Zealand and Australia, and then made in Canada. And best of all : designed especially for kids!

Why merino wool is the best choice for your child

These beautiful basics have all of the best merino wool characteristics: soft, warm and breathable with the cutest kid friendly features. The hoodies are longer in the back, with pretty prints, soft hues and practical little pockets. No big distracting logos, just a subtitle double stitch in the back.

Why merino is the best choice for your child

I actually contacted them and said that I really, really want to try their clothes. And so I took Lili for a mother-daughter date. We went for a walk by the river, where the wind blows and it feels like vacation ( my daughters words!). We looked at the boats passing by. We run. And it was great knowing that even when the wind was blowing harder she wasn’t to cold, and when the sun was coming back she wasn’t too hot neither. I could really concentrate on her.

Why it's the best choice for your child

And so, here are the reasons why I love merino wool on kids:

1. Merino keeps kids really warm.
Merino has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio compared to other wools, so it’s trapping body heat similar to the way a sleeping bag warms its occupant.

1. But they never feel too hot, or wet in it!
Merino wool draws sweat away from the skin. Since this fabric is slightly moisture repellent it helps to avoid the feeling of wetness.

2. It never smells bad.
It’s because merino wool has antibacterial properties ( so you get to do a bit less laundry, yay!).

3. It’s really soft, so kids can wear it directly on bearskin.
Merino is one of the softest types of wool available, so it doesn’t scratch.

6. It’s a perfect garment for active lifestyle : aka for being a kid.
Thanks to it’s properties it’s used a lot in high-end athletes clothing. So it’s a perfect choice for anyone who runs/climbs/jumps/and guests dirty a lot.

Merino

And then we went apple picking. I really wanted to test these cloths in both colder and warmer weather, to see if they are really as great. And they are. It was a sunny fall afternoon, with a bit of clouds, and my girls seemed to be very comfortable.

Why merino wool is the best choice for your child best choice for your child

My younger one got all wet from all of the apples that she had (just imagine a messy creature bursting in to a very juicy fruit. 10 times in a row.) And her cute birdie sweatshirt dried so fast that I didn’t even had to change her!

Why merino is the best choice for your child

As for Lili, she didn’t even know we were testing anything here. She was just happy that I let her climb that tree and wear her dad’s hat. And that her little sis couldn’t climb that high!

Side note : luvmother clothing is made to fit. But my almost four year old is a very tall little girl, so I got her a Aha Hoody in a 5-6 size. She totally rocks it as a tunic, but originally it’s meant to fit tighter. As for my almost-toddler Rose, she’s officially wearing 18 to 24 moths, and so I got her the smallest available size 2.

Why merino is the best choice for your child

Disclosure : I received this product free for review, all opinions remain my own.

Colour mixing water play

image

With the warm wether we can finally play outside with water 🙂 . There is something ultimately attractive in water play, the mess, the splash the sensory experience of it. And every child loves making mess :). So I’ve prepared some plastic containers and food colouring and we went outside to play:

image

I’ve started slowly adding the food colorant, so she would see and understand how do colours mix together :

image

Then she started to mix different colours with each other :

image

And then we mixed everything together to discover that in the end it will all became brownish .

image

And then we got all wet 🙂 . Now go and prepare your messy water station!