Video Calls: Helping your Toddler Connect with Loved Ones in a Socially Distanced World

I love face to face small group interactions. Meeting a friend for tea, going to dinner with a few close friends, or sitting with caregivers in their home for a Parent Coaching session helps me build connection and trust. In person meetings create fun memories. Since the pandemic began, all of my in person servicesContinue reading “Video Calls: Helping your Toddler Connect with Loved Ones in a Socially Distanced World”

The Art of Gathering: Leadership in Schools

After reading Priya Parker’s “The Art of Gathering, How we Meet and Why it Matters”, I reflected on my own daily interactions. I wanted to start thinking about every ‘meeting’ as an invitation to gather intentionally- a coffee date with a friend, dinner with family, a workshop with ten families or two hundred families ,Continue reading “The Art of Gathering: Leadership in Schools”

Taking it S.L.O.

Have you ever written New Year’s resolutions? Do you start really excited and motivated and January begins with a bang! Then, something happens and there is a quick fade or feeling of defeat and you don’t stick to your resolutions?
Many moons ago, one of my first jobs out of college was as a personal trainer in New York City. Every December, we would get a surge of enrollment and people would flood the gym during the first two weeks of January. Do you know what happened next? Some people would come every day for two weeks, miss a day, and never come back. Some would come diligently every day and then say the commitment was too much and they don’t have time anymore. The people who ended up staying for the year were flexible. They came to the gym every other day or 3 days a week. They had realistic and sustainable goals. They did what worked for them and their lifestyle. And they didn’t quit if there were setbacks.
What does this have to do with parenting? We can approach parenting with the same mindset of the successful gym- goers! We can meet our days with flexibility, grace, and intention. I wanted to share 3 ideas of how to take it S.L.O. in the New Year. If you like them, choose 1 (YES, set yourself up for success by choosing 1!) and try it in January. If you do choose 1, ask yourself, Does this work for my family? and use it consistently throughout the month.
Idea 1, See yourself as human 1st.
Find 5 minutes a day for ‘me-time’. What is one thing you want to do more of? Work out? Read? Paint? Write? Dance? Sit in your car before coming home, wake up 5 minutes early, or sneak 5 minutes in the bathroom. Find 5 minutes a day to re-connect to your spirit.
Idea 2, Learn about your toddler.
Try validating your toddler in every situation for the month of January. Use these phrases first in any situation. You are so happy. You are clapping your hands. I see you are sad. You are stomping your feet, you must be frustrated. I see that you are feeling angry. Validating your toddler’s feelings first helps their brains make important connections, allowing you to feel more connected to your child. (and less stressed!)
Idea 3, Own your story.
Have an honest conversation with your partner or other primary caregiver. Say, This is hard. Let’s figure it out together. Then, collaborate with one thing you can agree on. For example, if you are struggling with communicating with your toddler, agree on one phrase you will both use in a specific challenging situation. If your toddler whines to get something, you can both agree to say, I can’t understand you when you are whining. When you are ready, we can talk about what you need. (You must also agree to actually not give your toddler what they want/ need until they are not crying/ whining)
Remember, to set yourself and your family up for success, choose one of these for one month. Then, practice them consistently. Let me know how it goes. Happy New Year!

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