Archives for May 2011

3 Strategies for Dealing With Criticism

The following is by editor Kara Fleck.

Last week I wrote about the three types of friends I think every parent should have.  I know that having people in my life who don’t pass judgement on my parenting choices is very important to me.  In fact, in today’s critical world, it is crucial to have a support system.

Not everyone will be supportive of us, however.  Parents especially seem to invite scrutiny from others.  Everyone has an opinion on how children should be raised and some of us find ourselves getting advice (and lectures) practically from the moment we announce that we’re starting a family.

Encounters with those who make us feel like our lives are under their microscope can be emotionally exhausting, to say the least. Then, there are those who take it a step further and openly criticize our parenting.

  • Fact #1: We aren’t going to be able to please everyone.
  • Fact #2: There are those who want to make sure we know that!

Normally, I am my own worst critic, but there are a few people that I cross paths with in life whom I suspect are trying for that title. Perhaps you’ve got someone in your life like that, too?

Now, I don’t always handle criticism perfectly.  However, I am much better at handling criticism than I was, especially as a new parent.

I’ve learned some coping techniques over the years and picked up some things from parents wiser than I.  I want to share a few of those with you today, in case you find yourself struggling with criticism.

Here are three strategies for dealing with criticism that work for me:

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Creative Photography with Children – and a Through the Lens ecourse Giveaway, too!

The following post is by contributor Mariah Bruehl of .

With summer quickly approaching it is nice for parents to have a repertoire of engaging activities in the backs of their minds that encourage children to keep reading, writing, and being creative.

This giveaway is now closed.  The winner will be announced soon.  Thank you!

Photography offers children a wonderful outlet for expressing themselves and taking in the world around them. Not only does it channel their natural tendency to be attracted to technology in a positive direction, but photography can also inspire writing and other forms of self-expression.

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6 Peaceful Solutions for Hitting and Anger

While this Spring cold continues to work its way through our house, I wanted to share with readers today one of my favorite posts from the archives.  Originally written by Megan Tietz in June of 2009, there are some great suggestions here for helping our kids control their anger.  I think you’ll find it an article worth bookmarking, as I did when it was originally published.  – Kara

I have noticed that with my oldest daughter, the “half-age” mark generally brings with it some negative behaviors that we have not yet encountered.  For example, she was delightful at two, but two-and-a-half brought new meaning to the term “terrible toddlerhood” – there were many meltdowns and days of frustration for both of us.  Three was exciting and fun, but three-and-a-half introduced transition troubles and sibling rivalry angst.

Dacey is exactly four-and-a-half today, and true to form, we have had a new issue come up that we have not had to deal with yet – hitting. She never went through a hitting stage as a toddler, so this is all uncharted parenting territory for me.  Because I believe in the power of parenting as a community, I’ve been asking around and taking notes on what others are doing in response to the problem of preschoolers who hit.

Here are six of the most helpful suggestions I have found for hitting and other negative angry behaviors:

1. Hand Claps

My friend Corey is educated and trained in early childhood development, and she offered me this suggestion: Sometimes kids don’t know what to do with their hands when they want to hit, so  teaching them to clap their hands when they are angry gives them an outlet for the need to act out with their hands.  This serves the double purpose of alerting me to the fact that intervention might be needed in an upsetting situation.  The angry hand clap has actually been one of our most effective solutions.

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