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As a parent, there is always something new to learn with every age and stage. That's why we started The WhereParentsTalk Company to create exceptional how-to DVDs, gifts and other products that parents can use as learning and reference tools during those tough times. Our award-winning DVDs combine expert advice, demonstrations and lots of mom-tested tips from company founders Lianne and Andrea, both moms as well as broadcasters. Here is where we'll post company updates, sneak peaks, and more exciting tid-bits!

Posted May 11, 2010

By Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

My daily struggle as a parent is trying to figure out if what I'm asking my children is something they can understand for their respective ages. Is my request age-appropriate? Is a 12-year-old ready to handle the responsibility of using a cell phone (which was purchased for emergency purposes)? Can the 10-year-old comprehend putting away his clean laundry in a civilized fashion rather than rolling up various items and flinging them into his closet or piling them on his chair? Will the 6-year-old get it when I ask her to stop repeating or copying what her brothers say - especially the silly stuff?

On the one hand it's important to give anyone, especially kids the benefit of the doubt. In other words - make it a reasonable request and then throw it out there with consequences clearly stated and see what they do with it. It should teach them responsbility, accountability and problem-solving at a very basic level.
On the other hand, when they come back with something ridiculous, or illustrate their independence or defiance in a way that makes you cringe - then deal with it at that point. This is where the fun starts!!

My sister who is 4 years younger than me with 3 young boys, 2 years apart, once told me 3 simple words - DON'T ASK WHY. These are words to live by, believe me.

What she went on to explain made perfect sense and it's something both my husband and I try to follow - as hard as it can be.

When you ask you child WHY they did something or WHY they want something - what kind of answer are you truly expecting to get?
Whatever their answer is likely WON'T satisfy you - so DON'T ASK. For example - "Why did you take your sister's doll away from her?" The child responds. "Because she's funny when she gets mad and starts stomping her feet like a maniac." Hmm. Enraged button just went up a few notches. Problem is not solved. Irritation level is soaring. Questions about parenting failures start flooding the mind.

When you don't ask why you save everyone a lot of grief, especially yourself. Replace why with clearly stated consequences, followed by clearly stated repercussions and FOLLOW THROUGH. These are the hardest lessons to execute on as a parent, in my opinion, because kids can charm their way out of anything, and in the course of charming everyone forgets the original faux pas and suddenly there are no consequences and no accountability.

It may take a while to master, but once achieved it works like a charm.

Let your child ask the WHY questions of you - especially about things, people, places, actions - not the other way around, especially when they are very young. It will likely save you a ton of headache medication!!

Check out ParentTalk Radio for our podcast with Dr. Michael Ungar who talks about kids and responsibility: http://www.whereparentstalk.com/podcast/young-author-mission-nutrition-k...

Posted May 6, 2010

by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

So unique and so precious. A gift that is so difficult to describe to those who don't have it. It is impossible to explain weaving (safely!) through traffic to get to hockey practice on time, hurdling over grocery shoppers to get the cupcake essentials for the surprise birthday celebration at school, rummaging through mounds of toys to save that favorite blankie from a certain fate, leaping over piles of dirty laundry to find those gym clothes then racing to deliver them before class starts.

Why on earth do we put ourselves through this? Because we are blessed to feel unimaginable joy at a challenge overcome, pure and sweet pride at a lesson learned, frustration at the forgetfulness, anger at the deceit, exhaustion from the sleeplessness, and happiness at being the comforter, voice of reason, friend, giver of hugs, receiver of artwork made with little hands, confidante, and most importantly MOM.

I could never imagine life without my three angels. They have brought me more joy than I could possibly express. So blessed, so fortunate, I realize and am so very thankful.

To all you new, expectant and grizzled veteran moms out there - enjoy your day. Celebrate, reminisce, savour every second.

We'd like to celebrate with you with our Mother's Day Giveaway - a What to Expect When You're Expecting Gift Set complete with a Bringing Baby Home DVD. Simply become a member (it's FREE!) and you will receive your gift before Sunday May 9.

Happy Mother's Day!

Links:

Click here to become a member: http://www.whereparentstalk.com/why-join

Posted May 5, 2010

By Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

It is now official. The disclaimer is now not just relegated to G movies and above, various cartoons, the first 6 minutes of most newscasts, the last 2 minutes of most sportscasts, billboards, the internet, and other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

We have now officially added the front page of the newspaper to our list of things to keep out of reach of children (under 12). How ridiculous. My husband and I are news junkies.  We cannot start the day without reading the newspaper from almost cover to cover. As a result of watching us over the years, our three children have followed suit. We are always wary of the front section of the newspaper and the litany of murders, sexual assaults, adultery, fraud and various other vices contained therein.

But when the headline of the paper reads, in size 28 font, something so crude that I will not repeat it here, we were both floored and disgusted. So now, we get to review the main section of the paper daily - quickly and hide whatever sections are not appropriate for children. Kids do not need to read this kind of stuff. We understand newspapers are struggling to be relevant in an increasingly online world, but show some sensitivity for goodness sake.

It further erodes the goal of getting kids to read – letting them read what they enjoy – which might just happen to be the newspaper. Why can’t we show some discretion in what is being printed, or at least save it for the last section of the last page. Whatever happened to childhood innocence – and trying to preserve at least some of that?

We started scanning the paper this morning, trying to recover from yesterday’s horror. Something else to add to that endless list of parenting duties.