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What is kindness? Why is it be important to teach it to our children ? Here a reflection on the benefits of kindness when we live it on a daily basis.

children and kindness
children and kindness

What is kindness?

Let's talk about kindness today, as it sometimes seems disappearing in our world, and yet I believe it is a very important virtue.

I'll start with its definition : kindness defines a person

    •  being friendly, generous, and considerate;
    • with a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others.

(as taken from google and wikipedia )

To be clear in my remarks: I'm not talking about a fake kindness here. I do not refer to these codes of conduct that make us say yes while we think the opposite, this mask of which Thomas d'Ansembourg speaks in his deep and revolutionary "Being Genuine : Stop being nice, start being real

(If you don't know him, I really suggest you to watch his conference ) :

No. I insist with my children and want them to be "nice" in their gestures and words because it is, in my opinion, an exercise of empathy.

I consider a value the affection that we carry towards each other and towards ourselves, and which must be manifested through our daily actions and words.

When I think about kindness here, I think about respect. Respect for others as for ourselves. If I respect myself, I want to be treated with fair words and deeds; and if I respect others, I want to treat them with fair words and deeds.

When I think about kindness, I think about the love  we feel when we are connected, able to make demands and express needs without accusing or judging.

Kindness .. What for?!

You're maybe thinking, "It's a bunch of really nice words, but that's not our real life! When I do get angry, I don't necessarily want to be nice, it wouldn't work!"

...continue reading "Kindness. Do we want it today?"

Potty training, an adventure? If you find it overwhelming, if you're wondering whether it's the right moment to potty training your child.. this post will interest you! Potty training and similar adventures are fundamental steps in a child's development. It's when he/she starts to really grow independent.. Better to live the moment, stress-free!

potty training
On potty training

Potty training and similar adventures: too much theory?

Okay, let's face it : there are way too many theories and strategies about potty training. The best age to do it; the things to avoid; when it's too early when it's too late.. I don't want to add anything to that.

I'm just going to share my experience with my own kids, because I've just been through this right now. However easy it may seem, it does present a few frustrations and inconveniences.

Actually, the memory I had about my daughter's potty training was making me postpone the training with my son. I was thinking .. well, let's leave the diapers some more!

It ends up being practical : you don't have to worry about having a toilet around you wherever you go; nor bringing clean underwear with you all the time, neither bicarbonate to wash the mattress several days in a row. (thank you Kristin for sharing this wonderful recipe to clean it from pee stains! Ok I know, it's not glamorous.. But hey, it's totally part of parenting joys..)

THE question : potty training, When?!

The physical rule I followed for both children, was to wait at least until they were able to go up and down the stairs by alternate foot by themselves. (It should indicate a sufficiently developed musculature so that they can control their bladder. you can take a better look here, and there, among the many websites out there.) .

...continue reading "On potty training and similar adventures"

How can I help my children sleep? You may have wondered, like me, from time to time.. It's one of the most recurring topics among parents right? Do your children struggle to find their sleep, and you struggle with the urge of running miles away? Let's take a closer look!

How can I help my children sleep
Children's sleep

Children's sleep is heaven. When they sleep! How can I help my children sleep then?

If you have children, or have spent time with them, you have probably experienced the relief that floods you when you close the door of their room in the evening, imagining a few hours of adult life just for you, or for your couple.

And you probably all know the thrill that runs through your back when you hear a "Moooom, Daaaad, I can't sleep! I'mm thirsty! Please come!"

At first you pretend not to have heard, but after 2 minutes the little voice has become a loud cry and at some point you need to avoid waking up the whole neighborhood  ..

So you get up, and you hope to fix it in a few minutes. But your child's eyes are wide open and, based on his energy level, he could go hiking up a  mountain .. not quite willing to stay alone in the dark. Children's sleep becomes a nightmare.

You stay a little longer, then try to leave the room again, and there it is. This loud cry, the weeping cry. In your head, the fight : on one hand, I want to finish my film ! (or tidy up the kitchen / talk with your friends who came for a drink / go to sleep / anything else) but on the other, Poor honey, look at his big tears .. I can't just leave him like that ..

And depending on your fatigue level and empathy, one of these thoughts will move you in one direction or the other .. with its consequences.

When children's sleep moves deep, personal issues

...continue reading "How can I help my children sleep? How to handle it, smooth!"

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If you often feel tensed and stressed; you are running all the time, and don't even know why. If you sometimes snap at your children for no reason.. or simply, you often find yourself holding your breath.. This article may interest you! We'll see how, when you breathe correctly, you may improve your life in unsuspected ways. 

Children know how to breathe and enjoy life more
Children know how to breathe and enjoy life more

Why should I pay attention to how I breathe?

Let's be honest. How many times a day do we think about our breath?

To the importance of breathing, and to the existence of different techniques to breathe, I payed attention only when I started taking singing lessons. I was 20.

I was taught what the diaphragm is, and how difficult it is to reproduce certain sounds in a melodic and melodious way without the right support with proper musculature, posture and breathing. Before, breathing was something I just did not ever think about.

In order to sing, I had to focus on my breath. I then realized how many times anxiety and nervousness, made me breathe up high to the chest; and how ventral "low" breathing  conciliated instead a state of calm. This is quite physiological since the increase of the respiratory rate is a response to stress (fight or flight response).

It still surprises me. Why in the world do we encounter so many difficulties as adults to just breathe? I mean, it's such a natural mechanism! Children and animals do it right effortlessly. But as we grow, we disconnect so much from ourselves, we forget. And then we need to pay attention and to exercise to relearn..

...continue reading "Breathe… Why it helps you stay calm and present"

Whims and tantrums, is it a recurrent thing for you? Do you ever feel like spending most of the time with your children yelling that you can't go along with their whims? Only, it ends up with the worst tantrums? Let's find some tricks that could really help you out! 

whims and tantrums
Is my daughter throwing a tantrum on a whim?

What are whims ? What are tantrums?

I realize I use these worde when my children show their anger, often in an exaggerated fashion, due to some frustration for the refusal of something they wanted.

After several readings and learning, especially Isabelle Filliozat's books, I understood and internalized the fact that until 5 years old, the part of the brain able to control one's emotions is not mature enough to react as we adults would like.

And besides, even as an adult, I have troubles sometimes in controlling my own frustration (for example when my children don't listen to me!).

You can actually do a little test by yourself. Just to check on your child's cognitive developmental stage. Ask him / her to insert different geometrical shapes in the corresponding hole, as in a toy cube (like this one, to be clear).

If he (she)'s capable of inserting all the right shapes the first time, then his prefrontal cortex is mature enough to understand our Nos without too much fuss.

Otherwise, stay on guard! And remember : he just cannot control himself, he doesn't have the brain capability yet.

...continue reading "Tantrums and whims – the 5 lessons I’ve learnt"

Have you ever felt like being nice to other people made you do things you didn't actually want? Have you ever felt scared when you had to say no to somebody? Afraid of being rejected?
If that's the case, you may want to read this ! I'm going through the same path too, and it could be great to share some advice!

Say no is like climbing
Say no is like climbing

Say no. What?!

It took me years to realize that, well, I have a problem. I can't say no. Friends or colleagues ask me a favor? Of course I'll help ! People ask me to do things I absolutely don't want to do for the sake of me? Here I am anyways!

But hey, either I'd force myself into it, or I'd find an incredible excuse to justify my no. And then I'd feel guilty for hours, or sometimes days.

I became so good at this, I hadn't even realized I would actually convince myself into changing my mind and believing that the other person's option was a better one. I would just forget whatever reason it was for which I didn't want to comply in the first place.

...continue reading "Say no! Why you may want to learn that right now"

Who's never experienced to get up feeling organized, efficient, in control, and full of time ? A clear schedule in your head, and feeling positive about everything? A morning where you feel balanced and strong. In power. You savor a zen morning with the kids, breakfast together and some cuddles, before getting to work..

Then, this whole zen morning with the kids in your head, you wake your wonderful creatures up, and a few moments later, see this powerful feeling of control crumble and transform into exasperation..Raise your hands!!!

zen morning with the kids
Children getting ready

A typical zen morning with the kids

When I enter my children's room, seeing their cute little faces full of sleep,fills me up with tenderness (also read : under the effect of oxytocin). So I start dressing them up, I wake them slowly slowly with kisses and caresses. I listen to them while they're telling me their dream. They usually make them up on the spot... It sounds like "my lollipop turned into mud", or "my bed turned into a leaf", and so on. I smile and feel the luckiest mum of all.

Then we go in the kitchen, I sit with them while they take breakfast, we chuckle. We stay quietly together, until I decide it's time to activate phase number 2 : pee, teeth brushing, washing hands and face, give a hug to daddy still in bed, and then coats and scarfs and go.

The zen morning with the kids you had in mind transforms into catastrophe

My balanced, happy self, my sense of control, disappear in an eye blink.

My daughter jumps in bed with daddy and do not want to move into the bathroom for the sake of her. Then, when I finally get her to do it, she doesn't want to sit in the toilet. In the meanwhile, I've finished washing her brother and need to bring him to his bedroom to get him dressed, only she does not want to stay in the bathroom on her own...

...continue reading "Zen morning with the kids : get your kids out and be on time to work"

Before I even get started, I want to make clear what my mission is. Why do I write. How can I serve you.

why-this-blog-framework
A framework - Photo by Jessica Ruscello on Unsplash

Who am I and what's this blog about?

I am a parent who's been there (and still am actually!).

A mom who's found herself yelling at their kids, and then felt guilty. Who went to work leaving a crying baby behind, not knowing her whys anymore.

A person who's tried to make everyone happy, and then wouldn't know why she was unhappy at times.

...continue reading "Mission Statement – why do I write ?"

At what age did you or your children learn how to ride a bike without wheels? Was it easy? Who taught you? I was amazed when seeing a little child riding all by himself.. How could I teach my daughter too? The answer came unexpectedly.. When I saw how my daughter learnt to ride her bike for an ice-cream. If I only had known her better!!

how my daughter learnt to ride her bike for an ice-cream on the road
Bike learning on the road

Bike and independence

For my daughter, her independence has begun with learning to ride a bike without wheels. She starts off, all by herself, and flies away with a big smile. This is the first time I feel proud of having taught her all that, when seeing her so happy with herself. I forget all the frustration we experienced during a long winter of unsuccessful attempts.. So, here's the (true) story of how my daughter learnt to ride her bike for an ice-cream.

Is there a technique? I asked myself several times. I saw a lot of children, even a lot younger than she was (4, almost 5 now), walking past our window with the assurance of a bicycle veteran, and constantly asking me this question: but how did their parents do?! Why can't we do it?

I looked on the internet, like many of you probably, and saw the usual captivating titles : "5 steps for teaching your kid to ride a bike"; or "how to teach your child to ride a bike in 45 minutes"; or even in 30 minutes! Doesn'it it feel frustrating at times? Like.. Partly you hope it will work, and partly you know it's going to be a lot harder than that.. ...continue reading "How my daughter learnt to ride her bike for an ice-cream"

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