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3 Ways to Practice Positive Parenting

Parenting is a beautiful, rewarding, and challenging undertaking. It’s easy to second guess yourself as a parent, and you sometimes wonder if you are doing all you can to give your child the love and guidance she needs. The good news is that we all have the tools we need to be positive parents. The key to unlocking them is found through awareness of the impact the parent-child relationship holds for your child. Here are three key areas to consider when cultivating a positive parenting approach. The relationship with your child. Children develop through relationship. Everything that a child learns and internalizes is based on this. A newborn infant does not understand that he is a separate entity from his mother. The developmental task of a child’s first three years of life is to gain a sense of psychological “separateness”     . . . read more

Parent Strategy Sessions

Does this sound like you? You know in your heart you’re a good parent. Sometimes you wish you had a little more patience, a little more confidence. You feel like you could use a few new parenting tricks up your sleeve. You want to become the parent you know you can be. The truth is parenting can be so hard.  And it’s way too easy to start feeling beaten down and discouraged.  Let’s face it. There are times when we all feel like we’ve done less than our best when it comes to being a parent. Here at New Approaches, we get it! And that’s why we’re so very pleased to be offering Parent Strategy Sessions. These are 2.5 hour consultations that are facilitated by Laura Watters, LCPC. Laura is a family expert and therapist as well as a parent     . . . read more

Love, Process, and Letting Go: What I Learned as My Daughter Made Valentines

“It will take one hundred years!” I said a bit (okay, a lot) immaturely to my 5 year-old daughter mimicking her usual phrase. She wanted to trace, cut out, decorate, and write names on 19 homemade heart-shaped valentines for her nursery school classmates. Wanting to avoid the time, imagined tears of frustration (hers and mine!), and perceived stress, I proposed I at least cut them out. I pictured hearts made with nice smooth scissor edges. That proposal was shot down. I hung out cleaning the kitchen instead, until it was painfully obvious I was not needed at all. Sometime later that afternoon, I was proven totally wrong. Those 19 valentines were done. My heart felt so full seeing them on the table after watching her plug away undaunted by the task at hand. These pieces of paper, which I doubt     . . . read more

Parenting: Are You a Fixer or a Guide?

It seems to me that well-meaning parents lean towards one of two strategies (but often do both): being a fixer or being a guide. Neither is wrong. Like I said, these are what caring parents do. The trick is getting the right ratio of guiding to fixing, and knowing the limits of each. Guiding is teaching, explaining, validating, comforting, supporting, discussing, asking questions, and encouraging exploration. Fixing is about taking charge and changing a situation. These are very different strategies and both should be used intentionally. Guiding Guiding helps children learn lessons and skills that they can take with them their whole life. It is a process that takes time. It embraces life as a journey and kids need help along the way. Guiding is appropriate for situations where safety is not an issue. It’s for when a child is     . . . read more

Beyond Postpartum: The Surprising Benefits of Being a Mom

Writer and mother extraordinaire, Lynn Shattuck, recently wrote a great piece for her blog reflecting on her postpartum experience. It was hugely popular because it hit home for many women. It brought back some memories for me, too. It took me a few weeks to regroup emotionally from having a baby in the middle of a dark, cold winter. In the thick of it, I was more exhausted, anxious, and vulnerable than I had ever been. In my worst moments, I worried about everything from dropping the baby, to falling down the stairs, to forgetting her altogether. Who had entrusted the care of this helpless creature to me anyway? Didn’t they know that I occasionally tripped and misplaced things?! I was worn down like all new moms. In the hardest hours, sparks of worries kept me tired and wired in     . . . read more

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