Me in a Tree

Archive for September, 2014


34 e


Every kid has moments where they whine, beg, cry, scream, mope, and are just generally annoying. It’s inevitable that kids will get on your nerves every once in a while, and even though, it may frustrate you, kids are learning to manage their emotions, which is a healthy part of development. Here are six annoying things that children do that are actually very healthy:


1: Throw Temper Tantrums

Kids learn to express negative emotions like anger during a tantrum. They will scream, cry, and physically express their anger. As a parent, it is best to let it happen – safely.

2: Cry Easily

Tears are cathartic and healing, despite their weak reputation. It is said that crying reduces the stress of the situation by decreasing the stress hormone level. Crying allows children to find healing when they’ve been hurt either physically, emotionally, or psychologically.

3: Act Scared

Like crying, being scared is often held in low esteem. However, allowing your children to act scared forces them to confront fear and deal with it in a positive way.

4: Dawdle

One of the most frustrating things parents face is trying to get the kids to bed or out the door – on time. Dawdling, however, teaches a child the importance of family schedules. Learning and mastering this skill takes time and patience.

5: Whine

Children are masters of getting what they what. Often, they will persist and whine until parents become so frustrated that they give in to demands. When you let them whine, they are learning limits, negotiation, and speaking up for themselves. It is important, however, to enforce that your kids are not always going to get what they want.

6: Showing Resistance

Nearly all parents have experiences when their child just wouldn’t do what they asked. Children, however, are learning to be assertive, which is an important life skill to have.


35 a

Sometimes, going to restaurants, kids in tow, can be a recipe for disaster. We’ve all seen the rambunctious toddler running around the restaurant, the won’t-stop-crying baby, and of course the flustered and frustrated parents. To make sure your family doesn’t succumb to the “Annoying-Family-In-The-Restaurant” syndrome, consider these tips.


1: Choose a restaurant that is family-friendly. Here, you have more ability to teach your kids the importance of behaving properly in a restaurant. Family-friendly restaurants are great places to teach your kids good behaviours like speaking quietly, ordering appropriately, waiting patiently, and eating politely.

2: Pack an emergency kit. Kids are messy and they tend to grow restless quite quickly. Having an emergency bag will help you stay on top of boredom groans and sticky messes.

3: Give your children a choice in what they want to eat. If you order something they won’t like, you will be hearing about it through the entire meal, making your dining experience a negative one.

4: Be in control of the experience. It is wise to keep your children under control while at a restaurant. Practical ways to do this include reminding your kids to use “indoor” voices or taking restless kids out to the lobby or for a walk around the restaurant.

5: Above all, keep a sense of humour about you and have fun. Eating out with your kids is a memory-making experience. Spend time as a family and enjoy it.


I'm grateful for you!

I’m grateful for you!


Parents, you know this scene is all too familiar: you are in the grocery store, and your kid starts screaming and acting out. It’s stressful, and when kids act out, a common response by parents is to get angry and punish their children. There are days when choosing to act calmly toward your children will be a struggle. Use these five tips to help you ease the transition to peaceful parenting.


1: Check Yourself

You must make a commitment to regulate your emotions. When you feel upset, stop and take note of what you are feeling. What is your body doing? Then, just breathe. When you know what you are feeling, you have more power to control it.

2: Explain

Sometimes children don’t understand why their parents are upset. Explaining what made you upset sets both you and your children up to solve problems collaboratively.

3: Connect

Positive parenting works on connection. To build trust and a cooperative relationship, you should spend at least 15 minutes per day connecting one-on-one with each child.

4: Set limits

Positive, peaceful parenting requires some flexibility; however, you will still need to set limits. The key is setting the limit before you get angry or upset. Instead, empathize with your child’s perspective. Before long, your child will want to cooperate with you.

5: Expect emotions

People have a tendency to push down negative emotions, and in order to heal, those emotions must be let out. A similar thing happens with children. When you punish them for certain behaviours, they label those resulting emotions as bad. Once you stop punishing them for bad behaviour and respond to the situation calmly, those negative emotions are likely to surface.



34 d

Rich communication is filled with open and consistent dialogue. Families who exhibit great communication styles often talk about everything and anything.


A roadblock that many parents experience is not knowing where to start the conversation. These questions and tips will help you begin those conversations and deepen your relationship with your child.


  • What are the three most interesting things about you?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What scares you the most and why?
  • What is your biggest goal this year?
  • If we had a special day together what would you want to do?
  • What do you think makes a family close?
  • What is your favorite family tradition?
  • What do you think the biggest problem in the world is? How about in our country?
  • How do you feel when someone is angry with you? How do you act?
  • Do you think there is a such thing as peer pressure? Do you ever feel peer pressure? Do you think some people are more susceptible to peer pressure than others? Why do you think that is?


For more ideas on conversation starters, check out this list on Family Huddle.



36 d


As a parent, you don’t want to think about your child stealing. However, children tend to have poor impulse control; when they want something, they will take it. As a result, stealing can become an issue for parents.


Kids steal for a variety of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Poor impulse control,
  • To impress friends,
  • Envy,
  • Embarrassment,
  • Risk-taking,
  • Revenge, and
  • Stress

For a description of each reason, visit Family Education.


However, the hard part, as a parent, is to decide how to handle the situation when your child gets caught stealing. Here are a few tips:


Make it clear that stealing is an unacceptable behaviour. It is not okay, and you will not tolerate it.


Try to find out the reason your child is stealing. Talk to him or her. Discover the motivation. Be careful not to interrogate, ridicule, or embarrass your child. This will only cause your child to shut down and become silent. To create a positive discussion, talk with, not at or to, your child.


Use this as a good opportunity to reiterate the importance of values, ethics, and morality. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t make this a lecture.


Enforce the consequences of your child’s actions. This may require repayment or return of the item.


Take a step back and assess the situation. Does your child have a history of stealing? Are there stressors in your child’s life that are causing him or her to steal? If stealing is combined with other types of misbehaviour, you should consider seeking professional help.