Methods to Burp a Baby Effectively

4 Methods to Burp A Baby Effectively

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

What?? There’s more than one way to burp a baby?

Yeah, I know, who knew? NOT ME!

There’s a lot more to burping babies that you would think.

My first child was not a good burper. She had gas a lot because I couldn’t figure out how to help her burp! Of course, that made her upset and then I struggled to calm a fussy baby. I had only heard of one method (over the shoulder) and it wasn’t working for us.

When I finally got smart and did a little research, I found TONS of useful information about how to burp your baby that solved all my problems.

woman carrying baby standing near white wooden door

Why Do Babies Need to Burp??

  • When babies eat, bubbles of air are ingested that can make them uncomfortable.
  • If those pockets of air stay in the baby’s system, it can cause painful gas.
  • Gas causes babies to be upset. It is difficult to soothe a gassy baby.
  • Dad can help with burping. It’s a great way for him to be involved with the baby.
  • Burping is a great time to connect with your newborn.
  • Touching and patting is stimulating and healthy for the baby.
  • It feels good to meet our baby’s needs! Every new mom needs that boost in confidence!

When Should I Burp My Baby?

Every baby is different, so pay attention to your baby’s cues. This will help you predict when your child needs to burp. Watch for common signs of discomfort like:

  • Arching back
  • Fussiness
  • Pulling away or refusing to nurse

Breastfed babies typically burp when they switch breasts and again at the end of the meal.

Bottle fed babies burp at least once in the middle of the meal and once at the end of the meal. Bottles can cause babies to swallow more air so it may be necessary to burp more often.


Other Great Reads: 

11 Steps to Delivering a Baby Alone- Be Prepared For Those Crazy Times When Sh*# Like That Happens

5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

What is a “Good Parent”? Comfort and Advice for First Time Moms

14 Ways to Piss Off A Pregnant Lady


grayscale portrait photography of baby

How Do I Burp My Baby?

Here are those four techniques I promised!

  • Over the Shoulder: You know this one. The parent can choose to sit or stand. Face your baby towards you, rest his chin on your shoulder, support his body with one arm, and lean back to allow the child to rest into you. Then firmly pat or rub the child’s back, moving your hand up and down as you pat to release any air bubbles.

 

  • Variation on Over the Shoulder: This method is very similar to the basic Over the Shoulder Method. The only change is to hold your baby a little higher up on your shoulder so that the child’s belly rests on your shoulder. This causes just a little extra pressure to help release those air bubbles. Only use this method if it is comfortable for your baby (no slouching or odd body position) and if he can breathe easily.

 

  • On Your Lap: Sit down to use this burping method. Sit the child on your lap. Support his head in one hand. Place your fingers along the child’s jaw, not on the child’s neck, nose, or mouth. The baby’s chest can rest on your open palm, creating additional support. Pat the baby’s back.

 

  • Lying on Lap: Sit down for this method as well. Lay the baby across your lap. Place one hand under the baby’s head with his cheek against your palm. Keep the head at the same height or slightly higher than his body. Never let the baby’s head drop lower than his body, as this will cause all the blood to rush to his head. Pat the baby’s back.

 

When choosing which method to use, look for which position your baby seems to prefer, which is most comfortable for you, and which is most effective in helping your child burp.

Some moms choose just one, some moms switch back and forth between different methods.

shallow focus photography of baby wearing white diaper lying

Other Helpful Tips:

  • It’s ok if your baby doesn’t burp sometimes. Always try to burp your baby, but don’t stress if it just isn’t working here and there. Sometimes the baby doesn’t need to burp.
  • Expect more burps from bottle fed babies and less burps from breast fed babies.
  • Be ready for spit up! Don’t worry, your child is still getting adequate nutrition. It’s normal to spit up when burping. Just keep a burp cloth handy to clean up with.
  • Make burping a stimulating experience. Sing, sway, talk, kiss, hug your baby. Not only is it great stimulation, but it also helps the baby stay calm during the burping process. It’s harder to burp if you’re tense or upset!
  • Take advantage of these sweet moments with your baby! Soon, he’ll be big enough that he doesn’t need your help to burp, and that’ll be one less one-on-one activity for the two of you. Soak up your cutie!

There you have it! Everything you need to know to burp a baby!!

I hope these tips make your life easier. They did for me!

Happy burping!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

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Should I Use Punishment In My Parenting? Answers from ABA Therapy

Should I Use Punishment in My Parenting? Answers from ABA Therapy

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Photo by Letizia Bordoni on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Sheltering Suburban Mom Meme | SO YOU DISCIPLINE YOUR CHILDREN? SHAME ON YOU FOR RAISING POLITE RESPECTFUL KIDS! | image tagged in memes,sheltering suburban mom | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

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Moms,

Do you ever get so frustrated when you are trying your best to be a calm and patient mom, but it just seems like the gentle parenting method isn’t getting through to your kids?

We are responsible to teach our kids to behave in a way that will help them live a successful and happy life…  But kids aren’t always receptive to our best teaching attempts. 

When positive parenting isn’t working, it’s very tempting to try some form of punishment to scare the child straight.

I struggle with the desire to use punishment. It’s an inner battle- Would punishment be effective? Or cause problems in the future? 

This is a letter to myself to remind me of the facts about punishment. I hope this information will help me keep my parenting on track, and hopefully help other moms out there too!

Let’s examine punishment. We’ll get to the bottom of why, how, and when.

woman between two childrens sitting on brown wooden bench during daytime

Definition of “Punishment”

In order to have a cohesive and cooperative conversation about punishment, we need to begin by defining the word.

When I talk about punishment, I’m not talking about child abuse. Things like withholding nutrition or water, solitary confinement, physical abuse, etc. are NEVER appropriate ways to teach children.

In ABA Therapy, punishment is defined as anything that “decreases the future probability of the behavior occurring.” 

That makes punishment sound a lot less EVIL. After all, aren’t we as parents responsible to help our kids curve those bad habits and replace them with good ones?

A parent can decrease the likelihood of a behavior happening again in the future in two ways:

  •  Positive Punishment (Type I): A stimulus is added  that decrease the behavior in the future.
    • Example: When a child touches a candle on his birthday cake, he feels pain from the heat of the flame. It is less likely that he will do that again.
  • Negative Punishment (Type II): A stimulus is taken away in order to decrease the behavior in the future. 
    • Example: A teenager is grounded from her cell phone for breaking the family rules.

Need more info about ABA definitions of Punishment? Check out these resources:

Punishment in ABA

ABA Tool Box 

Good, Bad, Ugly Punishment 


Obviously, punishment doesn’t have to be physical. It’s much more broad and includes a lot of appropriate parenting techniques, such as:

  • Limiting or removing privileges
    • Example: A teenager that engages in risky online behavior might lose access to the internet at home.
    • Example: A six year old who tantrums when leaving McDonald’s play place might not get to play there again for a designated time period.
  • Taking a time out 
    • Example: An eight year old is asked to take a break from a game if he is struggling to follow the rules of the game. After being reminded of the rules, he is allowed to try again.
  • Making amends for your mistakes if they affected another person
    • Example: A teenager that smashed a person’s mailbox might be asked to purchase a new one for that person.
  • Asking a child to wait for something he wants due to inappropriate behavior
    • Example: “I can’t give you a cookie when you speak to me like that. You can have the cookie after you are able to ask nicely.”
  • Natural consequences of the child’s actions
    • Example: A 6 year old has a problem with taking toys from his friends during play time. Eventually, the child starts to notice that the other children don’t want to play with him. A parent can point out the cause and effect in this situation and help him think of a better way to play cooperatively.

Of course, there are inappropriate methods of punishment, such as yelling or hitting a child.

How can a parent monitor themselves when called upon to implement negative consequences for a child’s behavior (in other words, to “punish”)?

How can I identify if my punishment is appropriate? 

baby sleeping on black surface

1) Understand the Effects of Punishment

Parents must understand that punishment has LOTS of negative side effects when used improperly.

  • Punishment causes temporary change ONLY. 

This is so VITAL! If you want long-term change, follow the rules of behavior (see below).

Punishment is a temporary fix, used for the most dire of parenting circumstances. If used by itself, it will only result in a limited and short-lived change in behavior. 

For example, when my toddler runs into the street, I will yell to get her attention quickly in order to keep her safe. She hurries out of the road because I yelled. But, she didn’t learn anything. She will probably get in the road again in the future unless I implement additional teaching. 

  • Punishment increases the tendency to hide behavior. 

Punishment doesn’t teach. It doesn’t help the child know what to do better- only what not to do.

Children who do not know why a behavior is “bad” won’t stop the behavior- they’ll only hide the behavior from you. 

  • Punishment makes a child want to change for another person, instead of changing because they want to improve themselves. 

Punishment doesn’t help a child see your point of view. It doesn’t help them think through the good and bad reasons to continue or discontinue acting a certain way.

The child will change what they’re doing to avoid the punishment, and that’s the ONLY reason. As soon as the punishing agent is gone (often YOU- the parent) they are prone to misbehave again. There’s no internal change or understanding. 

  • Punishment can cause rebellion. 

Nobody likes to be punished. If a parent’s side of the story isn’t adequately explained, it seems to the child like the parent is being mean or insensitive.

Children who don’t understand why the parent acted the way they did are prone to kick against the pricks. They might feel a righteous anger- the need to fight back against the tyranny of your parenting. 

After all, children learn from our behavior. They are just treating you the way they were treated. 

  • Punishment gets less effective over time. 

Even with a child who isn’t openly rebellious, punishment loses its efficacy over time because it loses the novelty. You can remedy this by using punishment LESS often, not MORE often.

Let’s compare this to the example earlier about yelling for a child who is in the road. If the parent had a habit of yelling often, the child wouldn’t respond as quickly to the parent’s calls to get out of the road. 

  • Punishment can escalate quickly. 

Let’s say a parent tried positive, gentle parenting. It didn’t seem to work. After a lot of frustration, they decide to try implementing punishment.

Instead of motivating real change, the child responds negatively to this too.

A common mistake is to increase the punishment. More severe punishment should equal faster change, right? Unfortunately not.

This spirals quickly into chaos. The child resents the parent’s punishment, and the parent tries to respond by increasing the stakes, and the child is more upset by that. Every time the parent increases the punishment, the child feels less loved and more cause to fight back. 

The result is a gridlock of power struggles. 

I’ve heard parents compare this to the fighting robot on The Incredibles. You know, Mr. Incredible is asked to go to the island to stop the robot? The one that gets smarter as you fight it?

“Every second you spend fighting it only increases its knowledge of how to beat you!”

-Mirage, The Incredibles

  • Punishment can harm relationships. 

Obviously, a parent-child relationship can’t stand much of this vicious spiral of one-upping each other.

The parent finds a new way to punish, the child finds a new way to rebel. There’s no love in that. There’s no fostering open parent-child communication. There’s no teaching.

  • Punishment is not always in the child’s best interest. 

Punishment isn’t a cure all.

There are VERY, VERY few occasions to use punishment, and LOTS of occasions to avoid it. 

But I don’t pretend that punishment should be completely avoided. There are some rare circumstances to use punishment, carefully and appropriately.

But WHEN should punishment be used? And HOW can I avoid these negative side effects? 

woman standing on bridge

2) Follow the Laws of Behavior

Let’s go back to ABA Therapy. ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis- basically, the study of how people act and how to use patterns of behavior to positively affect the people around us. 

You can remember the basics of human behavior with a simple acronym: ABC- Antecedent (the trigger that causes a behavior), Behavior, and Consequences. 

The results of our actions (consequences) determine if:

  1. we choose to continue our behavior in the future (we call these positive consequences “reinforcement”)
  2. or if we discontinue our behavior in the future (you know this one already! We call this “punishment”).

Reinforcement is BY FAR more effective than punishment. Positive consequences cause long-term positive behavior and inner change. 

If your child acts out, avoid punishment.

Remember that there are valid reasons that children misbehave. They are just trying to get their needs met!

The first line of defense is to teach your child a more appropriate way to get his needs met.

Rather than saying, “Don’t hit” try saying “Let’s use gentle hands.” Show the child what that looks like, talk about it, and practice it in real life situations. Then reward, reward, reward when the child successfully uses gentle hands instead of hitting! 

Rewards can be anything that motivates the child to continue the behavior in the future, like:

  • Verbal praise
  • Hugs and kisses
  • Being proud of the child
  • Natural Consequences 
    • Example: If the child uses gentle hands, he will have more friends and more fun as he enjoys cooperative play.
  • Getting to enjoy extra privileges
    • Example: Getting to enjoy a fun activity that the child loves, like playing video games or getting to stay up after bedtime to spend one-on-one time with mom.

Punishment is effective when saved for the absolute worst case scenarios (especially dangerous situations)…. and, even then, ONLY when combined with reinforcement. 

Let’s use the example of a child who walked into the street.

  1. The parent’s initial response is to yell (punishment) to get the child out of harm’s way quickly. Because the parent doesn’t yell often, the child responds right away. But the child feels terrible about her mistake. She is crying and doesn’t understand what she did wrong. 
  2. The mom patiently hugs her until she is calm again. This reiterates to the child that the parent loves her even though she made a mistake. This keeps the parent-child relationship strong even though the child was punished. 
  3. The parent doesn’t stop there! The next step is to teach the child what to do instead. They walk around the yard together and mom points out the safe places and the dangerous places, taking time to explain why the yard is safe and the road is dangerous. 
  4. Then the parent ends with reinforcement! As the child plays, the parent notices and praises the child for staying in the safe parts of the yard. This results in long-term learning and behavioral change. 

two person holding hands

3) What is Your Mindset?

If you’re asking yourself if you’re in an appropriate situation to use punishment, first consider your own mindset.

Punishment is not a good way to release your own frustrations.

Before you act, ask yourself: Are you looking out for the child’s best interest?  

three children sitting on grass

4) Consider your Child’s Development

If you’re asking yourself if you’re in an appropriate situation to use punishment, think about the child’s developmental strengths and limitations.

Children’s misbehavior often isn’t misbehavior at all. You can’t break a rule that you don’t understand.

Here’s some basic guidelines for children’s development:

  • Babies: Absolutely never punish a baby. Babies cannot misbehave. They only cry when they need something. Crying is an effective means of communication. Parents should respond quickly.
  • Toddlers (2-3): Toddlers have very limited understanding of rules, consequences, and logic. Patient teaching is the best response to toddlers. Keep it simple!
  • Young Children (4-7): Young children understand rules and simple cause and effect. Most children want to follow the rules. They want to be good. However, they are still impulsive and can forget about consequences in the moment. Guide them in their efforts to make good choices using lots of reinforcement.
  • Older Children (8-12): Older children are able to account for their mistakes. They have the recollection and understanding to predict consequences based on their previous experiences. They are receptive to loving guidance, especially when the parent takes the time to explain why the child should act a certain way!
  • Teenagers:  Teenagers are capable of complex thinking, including morality, situational changes rather than rigid rules, and hidden consequences. Teenagers are heavily influenced by friends, so parents can lose some influence. If parents want to maintain a strong impact in their child’s life, it’s best to have a good relationship with the child prior to the teenage years. Even if you feel that your relationship is strained, you can show love for your teen by setting appropriate boundaries and sticking to them using positive and loving methods.

person holding pen with coffee on table

5) Think of All the Possible Solutions

There’s always a positive solution to every problem. 

If you’re stuck, get creative!

Sit down and write down 50 potential responses to the child’s behavior. It takes a TON of work and thought to list that many realistic solutions. You’ll find yourself getting more in depth ideas.

You’re less likely to have a “blow up” out of frustration because you have so many predetermined ideas to turn to when the behavior comes up!

silhouette of road signage during golden hour

6) Take Advantage of Natural Consequences

Natural consequences are amazing. 

They are life’s responses to how we act.

  • If I go out in the snow without a coat, I  will be cold.
  • If I stay home from work, I won’t get money to buy the things I want.
  • If I yell at my boss, relationships are damaged and I could get fired.
  • If I buy one item, I can’t afford another thing that I might have wanted.

Parents can point out life’s consequences without implementing punishment of their own. 

This is a great way to maintain a loving relationship with your child, help them avoid mistakes, and develop strong character. 

woman in white dress shirt holding her daughter in tutu dress beside of asphalt road during daytime

7) Behavior is Only Behavior

Remember that your child is who matters most.

Behavior is not everything. It’s ok for children to mess up here and there.

Love your child through all their good times and in their bad times. That will show an ever-lasting love that will help both you and your child respond positively when things get tough.

 

What are your opinions on punishment? I want to hear them! Comment below!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

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Burping a Baby- Everything Parents Need to Know

Burping a Baby- Everything Parents Need to Know

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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Hey Mamas,

Check out my newest article, published on mothermecrazy.com!!

Burping a Baby- Everything Parents Need to Know

 

You’ll learn great information beyond the basics of burping a baby, including:

  • Why babies need to burp
  • When to burp your baby
  • 4 Positions to burp your baby
  • Things to watch out for when you are burping a baby

 

Check it out!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

Did you enjoy this post?? Share with your friends!

Subscribe to my email list for weekly updates in the world of parenting! Nobody needs to do this alone- parenting is just too hard for that. Join a wonderful community and have access to exclusive resources, like this one:

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Click here to receive your FREE Pregnancy Weight Gain Tracker! 

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Techniques to Try When Your Kid Eats All The Time... Except During Meals

6 Techniques to Try When your Kid Eats All the Time- Except During Meals

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

My little girl likes to snack. All day long. All the time. 

I always want her to have access to healthy food so that she doesn’t go hungry, so for the first two years of her life I let her snack whenever she wanted. 

But then I started to notice a less-than-preferable pattern.

She seemed hungry all the time, so I fed her. But then she was never hungry during meal time! She would push her food away, say “Done!”, and run off to play instead of eating her dinner. Only to ask for a snack 5 minutes after everyone else finished eating. 

I also have a strong opinion against forcing kids to clear their plate. This teaches kids to eat a certain amount of food instead of listening to their bodies to tell them when to stop eating. So I never wanted to make her eat.

What’s the solution??

I asked a lot of smart mamas who have been there, done that. Turns out, this is a common problem for kids! As I asked around, I found several techniques that these clever moms used to fix the problem.

The amazing thing is that each mom had a solution that targeted a different aspect of the problem. 

Is the frustration due to:

  • The child eating only unhealthy snacks and turning down healthy food during meals?
  • The insane effort of constantly cooking/fixing something to eat?
  • The amount of food wasted during dinner and unnecessary money spent on snacks?
  • Feeling a lack of gratitude for the meal that you worked hard on?

These moms feel you, and they’ve got tips to fix each aspect of the problem!

Here they are! Choose the one that fits your family’s needs the best.

woman leaning against door while holding her cheek

Technique 1: No snacks one hour before mealtimes!

This strategy helps children be hungry enough to eat at the next meal without feeling starving for an extended period of time. 

It’s easy to do- just decide when you’re going to eat a meal and put away all snacks one hour before meal time. Done!

Simple and easy… until you have to tell the child “no”. It’s not easy for a child to get used to a whole new system, so be patient as the child learns the new expectations. As you consistently explain and stick to the new schedule, the child will adjust. The frustration will decrease over time.

Giving lots of heads up can help decrease frustration for the child. Remind them by saying, “Snacks will be put away in 10 minutes. Hurry and eat a snack if you are hungry!”

If you need additional resources on handling tantrums, check out this link!

How to Handle a TANTRUM without Destroying Relationships

round Timex analog clock at 2:33

Technique 2: Parent chooses when to eat, the child chooses what to eat. 

This method divides the roles of eating between the parent and the child.

Mom- your job is to identify what times snacks and meals will be allowed and provide a couple healthy options for the child. 

The child’s job is to decide which of the options he will eat and how much he will eat. That might mean nothing at all, and that’s ok. Just make sure to explain in advance that the child will have to wait until the next snack or meal time!

For this method, it can be helpful to use a visual aid to help younger children understand that they need to wait.

Check out this great resource for parents!

Helping Your Toddler Understand Time- Less than $20 DIY Resource for Parents

three bowls of nuts

Technique 3: Limit sugary, carbilicous, or greesy snacks. 

Another great idea is to take a closer look at what snacks you are offering. It’s common to offer kids unhealthy options like fruit snacks or chips for snacks.

Those things are just fine in moderation, but if a child prefers unhealthy snacks to healthy meals (I mean, can we blame them??) then it’s perfectly natural to fill up on the yummy snacks and refuse to eat their broccoli at dinner. 

Try offering broccoli as a snack, or a fruit cup with no added sugar, or a cheese stick. This teaches the child that healthy food is a lifestyle for your family, not an occasional thing. 

When there’s no comparison (fruit snacks vs broccoli?) the healthy options look a lot better!

assorted foods

Technique 4: The uneaten meal becomes the snack. 

Some moms hate seeing meal after meal thrown away in the trash, just to have the child ask for more food a few minutes later. This was my biggest frustration with my daughter!

A great solution is to hold on to the child’s plate from mealtime. Make sure to put a little of each option on the plate. This ensures that the child still gets some choices in what to eat.

The next time the child asks for a snack, pull out the plate from lunch rather than fixing them a new snack. This is a great way to teach a child to have gratitude for the food they have, reduce picky eating, save time and energy for mom, and reduce waste.

strawberry serve on blue plate

Technique 5: Premade healthy snacks available for any time! 

Some parents really don’t have a problem with the child eating often. The problem is the amount of time and energy that goes into constantly preparing a new snack or meal. It can literally consume the day if you’re not careful! 

Some moms will set aside 30 minutes twice a week to assemble healthy snacks. They will dice cheese, slice fruit, portion out whole grain crackers, and even make a few sandwiches.

If your kids are old enough to open the fridge by themselves, place the snacks in a designated section of the fridge. The kids will always know where to go to find themselves a snack without mom’s help! 

If the kids are not old enough to get the snack on their own, all you have to do is grab something out of the fridge and you’re done!

Moms can easily set aside enough snacks and even some meals for the next 3 days or so in a short amount of time! Viola!

sliced watermelons on top of chopping board

Technique 6: Watch portion sizes.

I made the mistake of handing my child the entire bag of goldfish. I assumed that she would eat until she was full and I could put the goldfish crackers away as soon as she was done.

The problem is, she didn’t just stop at full. She ate until she was STUFFED! And then she wasn’t hungry until long after lunchtime. 

Binge eating like that isn’t a good habit for kids (or adults for that matter). I can help my child eat appropriate portions throughout the day rather than one large binge by being aware of the portion sizes that I am offering the child.

If I give her too little, she can always ask for a little more. No harm done.

If I give her too much, she might overeat. Or make a mess with the rest of the food…

shallow focus photography of almonds in white ceramic bowl

I’m always so grateful for moms in my life who know exactly what I’m going through! I want to hear from you too!

What techniques do you use to help your child eat appropriate amounts of snacks but also participate in family meals?? Comment below!

I also want to know which of these techniques was most helpful for your family! Let us know that too!!

Need more information? Check out this great post by Sarah Remmer!

10 Reasons Why Your Child Isn’t Eating at Meals (and What to Do!)

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

 

Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

 

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Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

3 Reasons and 4 Tips to Save Kids (And Ourselves) From Technology

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Trivia: How many children under the age of 6 have smart phones??

(Scroll to the bottom of the post for the answer)

I have heard that technology can cause problems for kids and parents. I kind of thought, “Yeah, well, anything can cause problems. You’ve just got to be in control of it, be smart.”

That is what I thought.

And then I watched this Ted Talk that changed my whole perspective on technology and social media for children.

Can flip phones end our social media addiction? | Collin Kartchner | TEDxSaltLakeCity

 

Please, please take the time to watch this. It’s 17 minutes long, and life changing. I’m so happy I spent that 17 minutes to better understand this issue.

Let me repeat some of the most horrifying, intoxicating, depressing quotes from that video- Not to bring anyone down, but because I think they’re worth remembering. Even better yet, they’re worth changing ourselves!

There is a lot in this video that’s tough to hear, but it’s worth it to make ourselves, our homes, and our kids better!!

Here we go. Let’s do this.

(All quotes come from the Ted Talk listed above (see link)- unless otherwise specified.)

woman holding iPhone during daytime

1) Social Media and Suicide

“What is one thing your parent does not know about social media? It nearly ended my life.”

“…In just the last 7 years our suicide rate among kids (ages 10-17) have jumped 141%.”

“Experts say that handing a smart phone with social media and untethered access to these apps with no training or guidance is like handing them a key to a car with no drivers’ ed.”

Suicide has been a problem in society for most of my life, but I never really thought about the realities of this mass epidemic.

Children are hurting themselves. Children. All the time! Children don’t just do that kind of crap. Children are loving, kind, gentle, forgiving, understanding. Children are my favorite people to be around because of their amazing qualities.

My eyes are opened that a sweet, innocent child who hurts themselves could be lost forever. Over something so insignificant as a phone. That’s insane! It just can’t go on. This has to stop.

person using black smartphone with gray and pink case

2) Problems for Children’s Mental Health

“We are on the verge of the greatest public health crisis this generation has ever seen. That was two years ago. We are no verging. The verge is here.”

“Robs them of their resiliency…”

“Our kids’ entire self-worth at 13 is determined by virtual, unpredictable feedback. The validation that we all crave, to them, is only available in this synthetic way. Their social standing and their self-esteem is determined by a like on an Instagram photo.”

“When you’re 13 today, there’s no place to run. There’s no escape. And it is soul crushing.”

I’ve often wondered about the rising rates of depression and anxiety in particular, but other mental health issues as well, like bipolar disorder.

This video shared research linking depression and anxiety to cell phone use and/or social media addictions in children. This makes sense to me as a professional. I know that children’s brain development (particularly in complex social situations) takes years to properly form.

Neural connections that are actively used are maintained and even heightened by the brain, while neural connections that are not used weaken, wither, and eventually die if they are not used for a long period of time.

That means that our teens’ daily activities drastically affect their long-term development.

Lack of appropriate social and emotional experiences, learning, and growth will weaken or slow the social/emotional areas of the brain. Overexposure to particular experiences (like cell phone or social media use) heighten those areas of the brain.

It makes sense that the result would be an imbalance of development!


Other Great Reads: 

27 Universal Truths to Live a Happy Life NOW!

16 Rules of Parenting Etiquette That Will Make YOU One Popular Mama

Over 35 Guilty Pleasures for Moms that I’m NOT ABOUT to Stop!

25 Best Mom Hacks that Save Time, Energy, and Money


two men and one woman standing on station while holding mobile phones during daytime

3) Our Own Addictions

“The answer of ‘how do we save these kids’ is that we can’t… until we first save ourselves. We as adults and as parents, we have to break free from our screen dependency and our social media addiction. We have to start modeling healthy digital behavior for our kids who don’t hear us, they see us.”

“Now that I’m a teenager, I have never felt more distance, and it’s not because of me… It’s because I can’t get my mom and dad off their stupid phone… I’ve never felt more unloved and more uncared for all because of this stupid phone.”

“This little, precious human being looked at me and with tears in her eyes said, ‘Why do you love your phone more than you love me?’”

“When I had my phone out in front of my kids she didn’t know that I was answering emails to make money so she could go to dance… The only thing she saw when this was out in front of her was ‘that means more to dad that I do.’”

This broke my heart.

It is interesting to me that the presenter did not describe the intense, over the top parents. He described every day dads and moms. The ones who use their phone to check email, to enjoy a break by playing a quick game, to keep in touch with long lost friends, to see their sister’s cute baby on Facebook, to learn something new on YouTube.

It’s all good things- but an imbalance of anything is no longer a good thing.

The child doesn’t know the difference between a parent who is doing good things on their phone and a parent who isn’t. To the child, it’s the same result- a distracted, emotionally unavailable parent.

And I realized as I listened that I fell into that same category of “normal” disengaged parents. I remembered my child pushing her face in between me and my phone, or saying “mom, mom, mom, mom…” over and over because I didn’t respond the first time, or hitting my phone in my hands and saying “No!” And I thought she was the one who was out of line. 

Absolutely not! It was me all along.

Not my child! She can NEVER feel this way again! I learned about this with plenty of time to adjust and I’m going to.

My baby will grow up knowing that she and her daddy and her siblings are the most important thing in my entire life! More important than stupid cell phones, more important than Facebook likes, more important than popularity.

She is the center of my universe, and she’s going to know it!

man beside a boy while holding playing cards

4) What Can We Do?

Throughout the Ted Talk, I noticed four ideas of what we can do to improve ourselves as parents to help this crisis. Here they are:

  • “When I get home from work now… I put my phone in a drawer, I grab that little tiny human, I set her on my lap. I ask her about her day and as she’s telling me I try not to even blink. One thing amazing happened as I was doing this. All the defiance and anger stopped right then because she felt loved and connected.

This is obvious, but really hard to actually do.

The first step is to put the phone away. I never, ever thought I had a cell phone or a social media addiction. I never even had an Instagram or Twitter before I started blogging! I only had Facebook, and I spent less than 1 hour a day on Facebook.

But the cell phone… I actually struggle to be without my phone. I depend on it for my calendar, my alarms, my notes, my grocery list, my email, my games, my social media, my communication with my husband (and everyone else I know for that matter….), researching answers to questions, and basically everything else.

How am I supposed to put it down so that I can give my children all the attention they need?

I don’t really know, but I’m going to figure it out. Time to put it down, even when it’s inconvenient.

  • “It’s ok to show the world that we’re not ok.”

Social media has created a world of perfection. A world where everyone compares their worst qualities to everyone else’s best qualities. A world where you hide your flaws and flaunt the things you’re good at, then beat yourself up quietly when others are good at something you’re not good at.

That’s wrong!

Why do we participate?? Let’s just not!

We can be imperfect, even in public. Even on the worldwide web- even in front of our friends, and our colleagues. And yes, even in front of our children!

  • “What is the proper age to hand our children this technology and these devices… When are you ok with him to start looking at pornography? When are you ok with her to start feeling anxiety and question her self-worth? The minute we hand our kids these devices is the minute they stop being a kid.”

A third suggestion is to delay giving your children access to smart phones, especially because of the access to social media.

I know every parent has their own opinions on this, and I’m still forming my own opinion. But I think this point is very compelling and should at least be considered as parents make their own decisions.

photo of mother and child beside body of water

  • “It is never too late to step up and be a parent!”

I love this quote so much!

It’s absolutely right! We never have to get down on ourselves for our mistakes. We get infinity chances to try again, to fix our problems, to become who we want to be. 

Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and give it another shot.

And when you fail again, just do that again. One more try, and another, and another, and another. Your kids will love you if you keep trying, even if you fail over and over. Trying shows that you love them. You would give up if you didn’t care, but you do care so you won’t ever give up on your kids.

 

I hope sharing this awesome information helps a parent and a child out there! Please share your experiences in the comments below to inspire other moms and dads just like you!

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Click here to get your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

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Trivia Answer: 1 in 4 of children under age 6 have smartphones, according to this resource! 

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