Tag Archives: boys

Raising Compassionate Boys Means Having Compassion For Boys

This post is part of the 1000 Voices for Compassion movement, an online campaign happening on February 20, 2015 (or on February 21, if you’re an overwhelmed mom of three, trying to cultivate self-compassion…) to flood the blogosphere with kindness, caring, compassion, non-judgement and all around goodness. To read other stories of compassion, check out the hashtag #1000Speak on Facebook and Twitter.

The other day on the way home from school, my 8-year-old suddenly interrupted his own excited play-by-play of his day’s highlights with a roaring rendition of “Tomorrow,” the famous tune from Annie. “The sun will come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow ther’ll be sun…”

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Us, Our Kids, And Mountain Lions

I had a great morning on Saturday, geogaching with two of my boys in the Open Space near where we live. It’s beautiful out there – like our own private national park. It’s right in the city, but feels like a million miles away.

As we hiked through the rolling hills, passing gigantic old oak trees and tiny white flowers that had been fooled by global warming into thinking that February 1st is springtime in California, we heard a rustle in the nearby brush. The noise quickly quieted, but a conversation about all the different kinds of animals that inhabit the area ensued. We started at the bottom of the food chain with the cute small ones, but inevitably ended up focused on the greatly feared, but rarely spotted, mountain lion. READ MORE>

My son came downstairs with two fewer teeth than he went up with!

Yep. You read it right. My super cute 7 year old is not, currently, very cute at all. My husband and I can’t decide if he looks more like a hockey player or a thug after a fist fight. I know. Beauty is on the inside. But let’s just say it like it is. His mouth is looking pretty ugly. READ MORE>

How crying about the Holocaust helped me parent better.

In many ways, the last few weeks on planet earth have been bleak. There have been terrifying plane crashes, heart-wrenching massacres and shocking hostage takings and terrorist attacks. For the first time since WWII, the largest synagogue in Paris did not hold shabbat services. Despite my only occasional attendance at such services, I expect that they will go on. I garner comfort in knowing that despite the chaos of life, certain traditions remain.

But when I woke up the other day to a front page story about an estimated 3.7 million people in Paris and around the world marching in unity, I felt hopeful. 3.7 million people moved beyond their grief, their fear, their hopelessness, their business, and prioritized unity – togetherness – connection. For a few hours people were thinking about what bonded them to one another rather than what separated them. READ MORE>

You Really Won’t Believe What I Said To My Son…On His Birthday!

The Not-So-Great Parenting Moment

Part of me can’t believe I’m writing this, yet I know how badly you all need to hear it. If I had not had the pleasure of supporting so many amazing parents in my career, I wouldn’t dare out myself. But I know we’ve all said or done things in our parenting that are, to be kind, less than stellar. And it is not my goal to offer you the illusion of my perfection. I, too, make horrible mistakes. READ MORE>

5 Tips For A Sweeter Holiday Season

There is something about this time of year – at least in the northern hemisphere – that feels heavy to many of us. The days are shorter. The lively colors of spring, summer and fall have turned to shades of gray. It’s hard to keep ourselves upbeat and on track, much less our kids.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to reclaim this season and make it great! The solution, of course, involves work – because that’s just how life is. You get out what you put in. But hard work pays off, and I encourage you to join me in giving it a go by taking these 5 steps: READ MORE>

Nourish Yourself With Things That Make You Feel Fabulous!

I’m guessing I’m not the only parent who, from time to time, finds him or herself in a certain situation and thinks, “Wow! This is not what I imagined my life would look like!”

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Let’s cut the pretense, guys!

Sorry if I’ve offended you by calling you “guys”. “Guys” has become a gender-neutral term in my lexicon. I guess it’s a rollover from my home life with all the guys…

A client of mine once told me that she’d read a ton of books and consulted with various experts, but that she was never able to implement their suggestions in the moments when she needed them most. She said, “Tosha, you have the HOW of parenting!”

I hope you enjoy Part I of my six-part series on the HOW of parenting our little guys. (There’s that “guy” again!)

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How to get your scared child back to sleep

Kids get scared of all sorts of things that take us, adults, by surprise. They might suddenly fear people with hats, or men with beards, or rabbits, or those floaty fuzzy things in the bathtub. Rather than try to convince them that there’s nothing to be scared of, or losing our patience at the “ridiculousness of the situation”, we’d be doing our kids a service to acknowledge that they are scared, and Listen to their fears. Here’s an example of how I was once able to do just that. READ MORE>

When your kid just won’t listen!

We traveled across the world and stayed with my brother-in-law’s family for five weeks this summer. His gang of six gave up their bedrooms and shared their food and washing machine (very important) with us without complaint. The least I could do was take my kid out of the living room while he mopped the floor.

Not as easy as you might think! After several requests to “please go outside so uncle can mop the floor” failed, I realized that something more was going on for my little guy, and he needed my help. I moved in close, crouched down to his eye level and asked him to please come outside with me.

“No! I’m not going out!” he yelled.

“Yes, sweet boy. We need to get out of here, so that uncle can wash the floor. He can’t do it while we’re standing in the middle of the room with our dirty feet.”

“No! I’m not going out!” he yelled again, arms crossed in front of him.

Gently, I scooped him up and brought him outside with me, but the second I put him down, he bolted right back into the living room. His filthy feed stood out, even against the backdrop of the rust-colored floor. Again, I whisked him up into my arms and brought him outside.

This time when I set him down, I was prepared to set a firmer limit. I positioned myself between him and the door and used my body to keep him from entering.

“I can’t let you in, sweetie. Uncle needs to mop the floor.”

He cried and screamed and sweated and pushed against me, trying with all his might to get back into the house. I stayed firm with my limit, but kept my voice soft and my eyes on his, despite his efforts to avoid my gaze. I just Listened. After ten minutes or so of lots of noise, my boy took a few deep breaths and calmed down. He looked me in the eye and said, “I’m going to play with my cousins,” and he headed down the road.

I don’t know what was really bothering him, but I know that his insistence on doing something he knew I wouldn’t allow was a call for help, and I know that lovingly setting a firm limit was the medicine he needed. It felt great to be able to be present with him when his emotional life got tough, though I must admit I felt self-conscious about the public outburst and my inability to get my son out of the way quickly and quietly.

Drowning in my embarrassment, I turned towards my brother-in-law and apologized for my son’s behavior and for all the noise. He looked at me and said, “I would have done exactly the same thing…but with fewer words.” I let let go of my breath and relaxed into noticing I was being accepted, despite my worries to the contrary. And I took note to talk less next time. He was absolutely right. The fewer words the better!

Have you ever felt embarrassed dealing with your child’s big feelings in public? Click “comment” below to share your experiences. I’d love to hear!