How to help a child deal with pet death

how to help a child deal with pet death

5 tips that will help you learn how to help a child deal with pet death, plus one helpful children’s book on pet loss. My heart sank when I walked into the room and saw the fish floating at the top of the tank.  After rushing the tank out of the room, I gently shook my boys awake.  “I have some sad news for you, sweeties. Fishy died last night.” My normally-stoic 7 year old flipped onto his belly and began to bawl. I climbed up into the top bunk and lay beside him, letting his hot tears fall into my hands.  He had bought the little beta fish with his own money. His favorite pastime was to watch the colourful little guy swoop and swirl in the water. And now his little friend was floating belly up, eyes glazed over. The death of a pet fish can seem very … Read More

6 Crucial College Transition Issues You Didn’t Think Of…Yet

college transition issues

It’s a pleasure to welcome Crystal Chiang to the blog today, sharing about something I will eventually need: helping your child transition to college! Crystal is the executive director of student curriculums at Orange. She is the co-author of The Art of Group Talk: How to Lead Better Conversations with Teenage Girls (Orange Books, April 2018), a resource for small group leaders. Check out her brand new devotional book for college students: Starting Now: A 30-Day Guide To Becoming Who You Want to Be In College. (check it out on Amazon in any country here or on Amazon.com below) It would make a great gift! Helping your child transition from one phase to the next is never easy. You probably remember the first day of kindergarten, of middle school or of driving. Chances are, at each phase, you found yourself asking the same, very important, question: Are they ready? In elementary school, the answer … Read More

Surviving Summer Trips Without Screen Time: The Best Audiobooks for Families

best audiobooks for families

Check out this enormous list of the best audiobooks for families! You won’t regret listening to stories instead of vegging with screens. We bought our minivan used, so we didn’t have the option of a built-in DVD player. For our first family vacation with 3 kids, we installed a portable DVD player, proud that we had joined the 21st century with our parenting moves. Only it turned out to be a BAD move. The kids begged for movies from the first moment they stepped in the van, were quiet for a big while the DVD was on, then were SUPER cranky anytime the movies turned off. I hated it. To me, the temporary quiet wasn’t enough to override the awful attitude my kids had before/after watching their movies in the van. Here’s what we did instead So we dumped the DVD player and started making much better use of our … Read More

The Introverted Mom’s Summer Survival Guide

introverted mom surviving the summer (barely)

I’m an introverted mom. There, I said it. Maybe you can identify? For us introverts (and probably even a lot of extroverts) sometimes those long days of summer where all the kids are home can seem more like an eternity. The kids chatter in our ears all day, demanding popsicles, books, activities, attention, popsicles, stories, food, drinks, bandaids, popsicles, and peacemaking. Did I mention the popsicles? All that noise truly wears on a introverted mom, and it can feel like all we want to do is: a) hide in the bathroom orb) sign the kids up for summer school. But let’s face it: our kids want our attention in the summer, and that’s a good thing! Instead of just booting them outside every chance we get, let me tell you how I set up my home for a successful summer. On a related note, check out this highly recommended new release … Read More

Gratitude for Kids: Pipe Dream or Possible?

gratitude for kids

Gratitude for kids can be so hard to achieve, but it is possible! Here are 4 concrete tips that have helped in my family. As you can see, we need to practice it more! It was Mother’s Day, and my kid was CRABBY. Like, Not-Quite-Preteen-Angst-Crabby, the kind that only comes when a privileged child sees someone else having a special day and decides that it has now become The Worst Day Ever because they are not the centre of attention. He didn’t want to bring his scooter to the park, until we got there and he realized he really did want some wheels. Oh, the misery when he realized we would not turn around and go back home to collect his scooter or bike. He didn’t get a special drink at lunch. Apparently he’s over having clean water to drink. That’s so 2018. It was too windy. It was too … Read More

Speak Your Child’s Love Language

mom speaking love to her child

Every child has a love language. Learn to speak your child’s love language with these tips and gift ideas. We all learn languages as children:  We learn to speak words, like English or Dutch or Cantonese. We learn body language and how to understand what adults and friends are saying without words. We also learn a primary love language. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages“, our primary love language develops as a function of the home we grew up in. If your parents were extremely affectionate, your primary love language is likely to be physical touch. But if no one in your house was a hugger, you are less likely to interpret physical touch as love. Instead, your language might be gifts, acts of service, quality time, or words of affirmation.  Of course, personality also comes into play, which is why we can have 3 … Read More

5 Life-Changing Tips to Help Kids Sleep 

get your kids to sleep

Help kids sleep (and get more yourself) with these 5 life-changing tips. My son’s little face scrunched as he greedily sucked down his meal. The smell of milk breath and sweet baby skin mingled, but I wasn’t focused on the moment. Instead, the rocker moved quicker and quicker, my feet unable to stop pushing. I had just heard that my friend’s baby, born the same week as mine, was sleeping peacefully for 8 hours at a time. Mine still woke up every hour or two, which, while it was a big improvement from his previous longest sleeps of 40 minutes, was a far cry from 8 hours.  Why couldn’t I get my baby to sleep when she obviously could? I was the one who had an older child; I felt like I should be better at this.  But the mystery remained. All babies seem to sleep a little different. There … Read More

 8 Prayers to Help a Child With Anxiety

child and parent praying, prayers to help with anxiety

8 prayers to help a child with anxiety, based on the Bible. My cell phone chimed just as I sat down to drink my coffee. It was the school.   As soon as I picked up, my son’s complaint came through: “Mommy, I’m sick.” The scent of coffee teased me as I closed my eyes and sighed. “What kind of sick?” “My tummy hurts.” The school receptionist came on the line. “Yeah,” she apologized, “there’s something going around. Lots of the kids have been hit with this one.” I nodded, set the warm mug on the desk, and went to get my jacket. So much for my work morning. It was too early to tell, but I wondered if his stomachache had more to do with his thoughts than with germs.  HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CHILD HAS ANXIETY Sure enough, he perked up soon after I picked him up. Occasionally … Read More

A Comprehensive Guide For How To Help Kids With Separation Anxiety

How to help kids with separation anxiety succeed in life. My 4-year-old has a surprisingly strong grip when he doesn’t want to go somewhere. For the past few months, dropping him off at his Thursday daytime had become a wrestling match. He wrapped himself around any vulnerable-looking body part…legs, arms, and neck were all fair game. I tried to entice him with games, friends, and the occasional bribe, but he would have none of it. He knew Mommy was leaving so he was going to hold on with the strength of a baby koala. If you have kids, or work with kids, or were recently a kid, you probably can instantly tell that my son was dealing with separation anxiety.  SEPARATION ANXIETY IS A GOOD THING As a mom, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that separation anxiety means I’ve done something wrong.  On the contrary, a … Read More

How to Fight Anxiety With Gratitude

how to fight anxiety

How to fight anxiety using this powerful skill. A blast of cold air came in with my son as he stomped in the door. He dumped his backpack and jacket on the floor. When I reminded him where they belonged, he glared at me and snarled a reply. At my rebuke, he began to sob.  It’s not easy to tuck an angry, sobbing child into your arms, but I did so anyway, making him cry all the harder.  I guided him to the couch. We sat together. He cried, and I summoned up all the patience I could muster while also putting mentally putting together my supper meal plan. “What’s going on?” I asked, when the sobs had simmered down a bit.  Still sniffling, he choked out his response.  There had been a fight on the playground, and a friendship had been declared to be over. Just like that. “I’m … Read More