My Type of Parenting Method—CTFD

I often get asked what the ideal parenting method is. My new favorite is CTFD, which stands for “Calm the F*ck Down.” (Hint, it’s directed at you, not your kids.) The idea is that no matter how you choose to parent, your kids will grow up fine. Let’s see it in action: Worried that your neighbor’s kid is walking way before yours? Calm the f*ck down. Concerned that your kids misbehave in public? Calm the f*ck down. Stressed that you aren’t the parent you thought you’d be? Calm

Five things

“What happened today?” gets total silence from my four-year-old, or his favorite line, “I can’t remember.” Here is a great hack to break the silent treatment—Five Things. Get your kids to tell you about Five Things about their days, except one of the things has to be NOT true. You then guess which was the ‘lie.’ You secretly get to learn about their day while making them laugh. Liven up your family dinner conversation. #momhacks #parentingtips #traditions

(Not) Snapping at kids

And, our final tip from a single dad, Marc Pickett... This is a recent discovery. I found myself getting into the habit of speaking sharply to my kids to get them to listen: "Get your pajamas on now!" or "I told you not to throw marbles inside!". I did a little internal digging and realized that I wasn't doing this so much out of anger but because it works to get kids to listen (at least temporarily). I came up with a new strategy that seems to be better. When I've asked my s

Free classes for rainy days

Now that it’s winter, my go-to entertainment of nature isn’t as reliable. The good news? So many stores offer free kid entertainment. Here is a round-up of our favorites: Home depot has a monthly craft project that involves nailing and real wood on the first Saturday of every month. Make sure to register in advance Lowes offers monthly building classes, usually, on the second Saturday of every month. Michaels offers almost free craft classes almost every weekend. Disney holds

Ride the rides

Last night we went to Zoo Lights at the National Zoo. We went last year, and the kids had fun riding the rides while Joe and I watched. This year was more crowded, so with spare tickets, Joe and I joined in. What a difference. I screamed on the tube slide. Rowan and I had a special moment on the carousel. I felt much more alive than when we stood on the sidelines. So in life, ride the rides. Use your kids as an excuse to tap into your inner child. Trust me, it’s way more fun.

Play the Boob

Being a kid is hard. You are doing so many things for the first time, and you have very little control over your life. Parenting expert, Harvey Karp, suggests countering this by “playing the boob.” You make your child feel fast, smart, or secure by making yourself a “boob” such as: Acting like a klutz by dropping or falling down Losing a competition, such as who can put away something faster Letting them be stronger than you, such as losing a pillow fight Be incorrect, such a

Do a Hug Countdown

When I pick up Rowan, we need to cross a vast avenue to get to the car. Usually, I am annoyed when we miss the light, watching the crosswalk sign countdown from 60. This week, though, I reframed the situation. I knelt next to my little munchkin and gave him a huge hug and just didn’t let go. It ended up being the favorite part of both of our days. What was shocking to me was how much a single minute could impact my day. My usual reaction increased my stress, while the

Do Some Kiddo-therapy

Last night, I left my notebook on a plane, which meant getting back home at 3:30 am instead of 1. Today I could have been a mess with the lack of sleep, but instead, I took a page from my good friend, Leah Fink (founder of Classes At) and practiced some kiddo-therapy. When my kids woke me up, instead of dreading the morning, I hugged them as tight as I could. I slowed down, let go of all responsibilities, and just concentrated on being present with and thankful for the

Stories to the Rescue

Once upon a time, there was a superhero named, (your name here), who could stop kid breakdowns by uttering a few sentences. Want this to be a reality? Turn to the power of stories. My youngest, Rowan, is three, which means daily (if not hourly) breakdowns. My favorite recent one happened when he handed me his blueberry bar while he put on his jacket. When I handed it back, Rowan melted down because there was a bite missing. He had taken this bite. Three-nagers! Here's

Streaking Rowan on the Loose

For me, the hardest part about being a working mom by far is parenting, especially discipline. This week I took the kids to the beach post-work. I let them wander towards the boardwalk while I spent 2 minutes cleaning up the beach toys. In that time, my kids rolled around in the sand covering every inch of their bodies. Rowan then took his pants off and ran down the beach. We are talking two minutes! I was mortified. The angry mom voice came out. And, frankly, I ruined the en