The Power of Touch

download (5)I recently read an article about an Australian woman who prematurely gave birth to twins, and while one of the twins was fine, the other was pronounced dead after the doctors worked on him for twenty minutes. The mother unwrapped her baby from his blanket and held him against her skin.  All the while, she cuddled, kissed and talked to him. Miraculously, after two hours of skin-to-skin contact from his mother, the baby began to breathe and open his eyes. There is a lot of talk about the importance and benefits that come from skin-to-skin contact between mothers and newborns, but this instance of healing power of touch is simply astonishing!

The Power of Touch

According to, skin- to-skin contact between newborns and their mothers can have the following, and other additional benefits:
Calm and relax both mother and baby
Regulates heart rate and breathing in the baby
Stimulates digestion
Regulates temperature
[Provides] protection against infection

As They Grow

And I have a feeling that the importance of a loving touch never fades as your child grows up. For example, what does your child need when he scrapes his knee? A band-aid and a kiss on the boo-boo usually can wipe away the tears. And as adults, even we find comfort and a slight release of stress after being held in a good, long embrace. There is definitely something to be said about the power of touch.

Holding and snuggling your little ones is easy when they are babies, but as they become older, it may be challenging. Try setting aside special snuggle time each night before bed; a time when the two of you can cuddle up and read, sing or talk about your day. This may be a great routine for a few years, but older kids may present even more of a challenge. However, you can sneak around their “too cool” exterior and make it a point to give them a hug when they come home from school each day, and before they go to bed each night. As long as their friends don’t know about it, you should be fine. In short, just remember to hug and kiss your kids as much as possible, no matter how old they are, because it just may be good for their health.

Parenting with Balance

Kids-walkingLife is about balance. You see it everywhere, even in parenting. While walking around in public you can’t help but take notice of the people around you, how their kids behave, and how they respond. You tend to secretly judge the parents who are too busy gossiping to notice that their kids are running amuck.  And alternatively, pangs of envy hit you when a family of perfect angels walks by as your child decides to throw a fit. You usually see the scales tipped one way or another.

You see some parents who opt to put their kids on leashes rather than chase them, or teach them to stay near. Then other parents struggle to push their eight-year-old in a stroller which had been outgrown years ago. Unfortunately, those situations are probably just glimpses into how these parents deal with their kids on a daily basis.

What can parents do?

Whether you’re struggling with parenting too passively, or too involved, the good news is that there’s a solution; find the middle ground.  Balance, after all, is an integral part of life. Children should be encouraged to be independent, but you can’t just let them go, and you can’t hover over them either. Kids need to be given guidelines and boundaries, and to be taught right from wrong. Maybe more importantly, they need the opportunity to try things out, make mistakes, and then learn from those mistakes. As a parent, it is your job to:

A) Know that your kids aren’t getting into harmful sorts of things.

B) Support and applaud their good choices.

C) Be there when they make wrong choices and teach them why they were wrong.

In short, independent, well-adjusted kids are raised by parents who are actively involved in their lives, but who also allow them to explore life in their own way. If we do our best to raise our children to rationally think, and appropriately act on their own accord, then they actually may make this world a better place.  For more tips to help your child become more independent, click here!

The Fence

580329_501216786604196_979449597_nI came across The Fence on the web and wanted to share. Sometimes our kids need to physically get their frustrations out, and sometimes they need a visual to truly understand what they have done. The sooner we teach our children respect, control, and compassion, the sooner we heal and change our world.

The Fence

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily, gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The Lesson

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence.  The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. Make sure you control your temper the next time you are tempted to say something you will regret later.” ~Author Unknown


The Golden Rule

People seem to have an opinion on everything these days.  Our Facebook feeds are littered with political coverage, and people are not shy about sharing their opinions. Strangers are quick to pass judgement on the way others parent.  But the problem is that their opinions are usually attacks. The annonymity of the internet makes people forget about the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated… with respect.

The Golden Rule is lost when social media gets flooded with comments.

When the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) ruling went public in 2013, social media was flooded with comments of support and praise, but also with hatred and condemnation. What bothered me the most was that the comments against the ruling were not political in nature, they were ugly, hate-filled, ignorant comments aimed towards the people this ruling affects. The same type of hateful comments can be seen when the topic of immigration laws come up. Where does all this hate come from, and why do people want to spread it? The fact of the matter is that hate, ugliness, and rudeness is taught in the home. However, it maybe not always taught directly. Kids tend to pick up on and imitate the words used, and actions taken by the adults around them. Luckily, the same is true for love, acceptance, politeness, and basic human decency.

We need to be better people to make our kids better people.

If we want our world to be a better place for our kids, we need to make them better people. We need to teach them that please, thank you, and general politeness go a long way. Teach them that they can be strong without being violent, opinionated without being hurtful.  And that being kind and caring do not make them weak. We need to teach them that everyone is different, and that’s okay. And although we may look, act, speak or love differently than one another, we are all people and deserve respect. We need to bring back the golden rule into our homes.

So even though you may have had a rough day at work, take the time and make a conscious effort to be polite at home. Give your child a hand cleaning up his toys. Say please and thank you rather than barking out orders to your kids. While you are out you can offer your seats on the bus to an elderly person or pregnant woman. Take a few extra seconds to hold the door for someone you don’t know. These seem like small actions, but they will go a long way in teaching your children how to be decent human beings.

Dinner and Memories

Large Hispanic family in kitchen preparing foodWhile driving home from my in-law’s house, I thought about the best parts of the day, and they all circled around the kitchen table. Wherever we went the most vibrant conversations, the most laughter, the most connections, and the most memories were shared and made while everyone was sitting together at the dinner table.

What is it about sitting down to a meal that just opens up the floor for good conversation? Is it the food? The drink? The people? Maybe it’s the fact that you are able to see everyone, and no one can get away. Whatever power it possesses, the kitchen table always seems to bring us together, and help us create memories.

The magic of the table isn’t just for special holidays; it should be used as often as possible. Having meals together is an important part of your family’s health and happiness; and it is important to your child’s development. Meal time is a time to talk, learn, love and listen to one another. It’s a time to bond as a family, and open the lines of communication so your children know they can talk to you about anything.

With all the issues that children have to deal with these days, open communication with them is key to helping them stay safe and make the right choices in life. Busy schedules, for everyone in the family, make it hard to sit down to dinner together. Sometimes it just seems easier to grab some food on your way to or from activities. However, you can start small. Just set aside at least one meal time a week, every week, when you will all be present, and see what kind of memories you can make.

We All Feel Overwhelmed Sometimes

mother pulling hair out with forlorn child in backgroundHave you ever felt just utterly overwhelmed by all the advice about being a good parent and how to raise worldly, well-rounded children?

Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to do it better. They tell you which new products are must-haves if you want your kids to succeed.

While most of the articles you may read actually contain useful advice, there are a good number that just make you feel like crap. Your child is three, and you don’t have him signed up for piano lessons and learning French yet?!

Sometimes it all just seems like too much. And after reading an article looking for help you end up feeling less awesome, and more lost than before.

Steve Wiens’ article, “To The Parents of Small Children: Let Me Be The One Who Says It Out Loud”, is one refreshing article that stands above the rest, helping to give an insight on what it really feels like to parent.

Parenting is a tough job, and no one is perfect

It’s a 24/7 career that consists of a thousand little jobs that all need to be done at once.

To name a few, a parent must be a:

  • cook
  • teacher
  • chauffeur
  • janitor
  • disciplinarian
  • activities director
  • nurse
  • mind reader (at least until they learn how to talk)

It’s exhausting, and sometimes you just want to hide in bed under the covers until it all goes away.

And that’s okay because being a parent doesn’t make you super human; you still have physical and mental limitations, and when they are pushed or crossed you may feel like you are failing as a parent.
The next time you are overwhelmed by advice about how to be perfect, or you want to scream because your kids are driving you nuts, take a deep breath, read over Steve Wiens’ article, and take solace in the fact that you are not alone.

And if that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll help you put together a plan that will teach you the parenting skills needed be the parent you always wanted to be.

A Routine Stop

My husband and I went away for a long weekend, so our two-year old got to spend four nights at his grandparents’ house. We sent him off with an instruction manual that outlined his daily schedule and routine. I understand that being in a different house, with different people, things cannot be exactly the same, but I still expected his schedule and routines to be followed the best that they could.

I know that the instruction manual may have been a bit controlling of me, but I worked hard at getting my son on a schedule that works for both of us, and I know how difficult he can be if he doesn’t get enough sleep.

The Routine Aftermath

Long story short, when he came home he was a wild man. It seemed as if he hadn’t heard the word “no” all week. He was difficult when we tried to go about our regular day, and he had issues going to and staying asleep at night. Needless to say, the next few days were a re-training boot camp. We had to go through sleep training again. We had to engrave “please” and “thank you” back into his brain. And we spent time relearning the rules and boundaries of the house. It was a lot of work, again, but eventually we got back to normal.

The Takeaway

Sometimes life gets in the way, and schedules and routines need to be shifted a bit. However, they are of the upmost importance in a child’s life! Children crave routine because it creates a safe environment. Routines allow them to know what to expect and when to expect it. Rules and boundaries add to that safe environment by allowing a child to know how to behave, and how they can expect others to behave around them. But after all your schedules, routines, rules and boundaries are set, they must be consistently followed; otherwise, the just don’t work.


Food for Thought

From the discovery of “pink slime” in ground beef, to the recent petition by the dairy industry to add aspartame (a controversial artificial sweetener) to milk and not add it to the label, people are becoming more aware and concerned about what actually goes our food.

However, living in the busy world we do, convenience is the name of the game. But at what cost? Pre-made, packages food and meals, including baby food, can contain fillers, preservatives, and trans fats. All of which are not the best for our bodies. So what’s the alternative? Cooking meals made from fresh items at the store is your best bet. No time to cook? Think again.

Heathy food can be cheaper!

Ever since my son began eating real food, I have made his food from scratch using fresh vegetables and fruits. All I needed was a few hours on a Saturday or Sunday when my husband could watch the baby and I could be in the kitchen. When I was done, I had filled ice cube trays with the fresh purees I had made so they could be frozen in perfect serving sizes for later use.

For the few hours of cooking, I had enough baby food to last a couple of months! Not only was this a healthier option, but it was cheaper too! Jarred baby food goes for $0.58-$0.88/jar, and a pureed $1.15 sweet potato can easily fill 8 of those jars (that’s less than $0.15/jar). This cook and freeze method can work as your family grows too. Make a few meals one day and freeze them so they are ready to cook on a later date. Crock pot meals are another healthy way to cook when you’re short on time. You just need to dump your indregients into the crockpot in the morning, turn it on, and by dinner time it’s ready to be eaten! Pinterest is a great resource for healthy freezer meal and crockpot recipes.

The point is, choosing to take the time to prepare healthy food for your family, and yourself, is a smart choice. Presenting a variety of healthy food options now will allow your child to develop a taste for good foods. And healthy eating habits learned now will lead to them making smart, healthy choices later in life. Eat well! ~Jamie-WWP

You’ve Had a Long Day?!

Relieve the Stress and Get ResultsHave you ever heard the anecdote about the husband who came home from work to find his house a mess? When he arrives home the dog and kids, still in their pajamas, are running around the house. Toys seem to have exploded all over the place, and the kitchen is a mess of leftover food and used dished from breakfast and lunch. He finds his wife sitting in a chair reading a book. Upon inquiring about what happened, she simply replies, “Remember how you asked me what I actually do all day? Well, today I didn’t do them”.

A Long Day in the Adult World

Luckily, my husband is smart enough not to ask me what I actually do all day, but when he says, “I’m just so tired,” or “It’s been a long day,” I find myself cringing just a little. I have no doubt that my husband’s job as the VP of Sales is challenging and tiring. However, he works in the grown-up world; a world that allows you to have lunch breaks, privacy in the bathroom, adult conversation, and time that is yours (quiet if you will) to think and work alone. I feel as if he doesn’t quite understand what my days are like.

Vs. in the Kid World

I care for two toddlers who live to explore. I make meals, clean up, play, play, play, I break up wrestling matches, and try to teach the concept of sharing. My conversations revolve around the entire list of zoo animals we saw at the zoo (two weeks ago), and I am followed everywhere I go. I can’t even get two minutes of privacy while I use the restroom. “But don’t they nap?” you ask. Of course they do, but that’s when I vacuum, do laundry and dishes, repair broken books and toys, eat, and try to squeeze in a short workout. Then they wake up, and hopefully it’s nice enough to go to the park for a while; but with two toddlers, that’s a monster of a task in itself. Finally, dinner and bedtime roll around, and then, after my twelve-hour day, I’m the one who’s tired. ~Jamie – WWP

Can You Relate?

How many moms can relate to this story?  The hardest part is that our job as a mom never stops. Many of us still need to wake up in the middle of the night because our little angels are crying or having a bad dream. Or how about those nights that they are sick. We are the ones they need and want the most. However, even though it’s lots of work and can be exhausting we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Being a mom is the most rewarding job in the world! I strongly encourage every mom out there to make sure you are taking care of YOU! You are your family’s foundation and you need to make sure you are taking care of your emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health needs. It is extremely important for you to mark it in your calendar and make it priority! You are just as important as your kids and spouse. Life wouldn’t be the same without YOU! So do yourself and you’re family a favor and invest time for YOU! ~Terry – WWP

Happy Marriage, Happy Life, Happy Kids


A happy marriage, makes for a happy life.

The other day I read an article on Facebook, entitled “Three Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married”.  The gist of it is that if you put your marriage above all other things in your life you will be happy, and then, in turn, success will come to you in all other aspects of your life (including parenting). I can really see how this makes sense!

My husband and I work really hard to make each other happy, to make each other’s lives easier, and to support one another in everything we do. This makes us a happy and communicative parenting team. Our son sees us as happy adults, happy parents, and therefore, he is a happy child.

What about the single parents?

However, this got me thinking of all the single parents out there. How do they bring up well-adjusted children? While asking myself this question, I began to think about all the single moms I know. I don’t know any single dads. I found that they all had a few qualities in common. First, they are all emotionally stable. They don’t let their world get shaken by childish drama.  And when something real hits their lives, they don’t allow it to break them. Second, they have strong wills that allow them to work hard for what they want to achieve, and to provide everything for their children.

And finally, they have some sort of support system. Whether it is a close circle of family or friends, they have people on whom they rely. I think the bottom line is that if you want to raise happy children, you need to make sure that your life is happy and stable, and the rest will follow.