Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Sorry, Not Sorry: My Facebook Feed is Only Kid Pics

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

facebookI’ve seen the lists. You know the Facebook etiquette lists. I’ve heard the people talk. You know the people who complain that their newsfeed is filled with other people’s kids because we’re at that age where a lot of people are popping those kids out or still have them at the cute, baby-cheeks, toddler-walk, and preschool-art phase of life. Well I fear that’s me.

I didn’t mean to become the mom that posts photos of her kids. Really. I recall lightly promising a few friends years ago that my profile picture would remain MY picture and I would not “lose my identity” by switching it to a photo of only my children. As if my Facebook profile has any real bearing on my identity. At the very least I’ve kept that promise to myself. Of course, had Facebook not added the cover photo option I may have not.

I even thought I was doing a good job. About once a month I add 10 or 15 photos into a photo album, and they all happen to be of my children. I share them for my small following of family and friends. I’m not a daily, or even weekly, poster of anything. I really thought I was doing a good job into But then I went to my profile. Profile picture aside, if you didn’t know me you’d think my first, middle, and last name must be the names of my three children because there is no other evidence I even exist unless you scroll back and take a hard look.

Please don’t hate. I’m a stay-at-home mama to three young children. Turns out, that means my children are my whole day and night. Move along unless you want photos of me paying bills, scrambling together a meal, endlessly clicking and unclicking three car seats while trying to run errands efficiently, or trying again to get a consistent workout routine. I could take those photos. I think you would want to see them even less than my children.

And let me be honest. I have other interests. I’ve got all other parts of me that have nothing to do with my kids, all those passions and pursuits I invested my life in up until I had children. On the rare occasion that I have time for them, I’m not updating Facebook! This mama ain’t got time for that!

I’ll lay it out for you. This is the season of life I’m in right now. Just scroll on by or, even better, like or comment every once in a while. After all, online is one of the few ways I interact with people over four feet tall. Likewise, I’ll take part occasionally in your food pictures, photos of you clanking your glass of wine with someone else at a bar, posed vacay pics at beautiful locals, and fundraisers or political and religious opinions. We’ve all got our baggage… err, interests… we air out on Facebook. Lucky for my children, my interests always include them.

Lynette is a mom of three children from newborn to age four. She appreciates the idea of staying connected but also that some seasons of life, like this one, leave her sleep-deprived and some days without shower. 

When Your Toddler Starts Hitting

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

When Your Toddler Starts HittingI remember the scene like it was yesterday. I was pregnant with my son, and my daughter was 1. I was leaving a large women’s Bible study and attempting to put Johanna in her car seat. She wasn’t a fan of this idea and as I leaned over to buckle her in, she smacked me in the face. I remember her hitting me in my glasses and me becoming very rattled. Did she really just hit me? My sweet, loveable, little girl just hit me in public and other moms had to be judging. I got in the driver’s seat, cried the whole way home, and questioned what I had been doing wrong.

Newsflash: That was me with one kid. Now, I am pregnant with my third child, and I have learned that toddlers at an early age start becoming aggressive. It’s not me. It’s not something I’ve not done right. It’s just something that can happen. My son Levi is 1, and we’ve been through phases already. For some kids it is hitting. For us, that has been the case. For other kids, it may be biting or pushing. Early toddler aggression is real. And it’s not your fault.

So what causes our sweet angelic little ones to be mean and lash out? Many children become aggressive because of strong emotions coupled with weak communication skills. For me, this has been the case. When a child can’t express themselves in words, they may become aggressive. For Levi, this is when he has a toy taken away from him by his sister. Self-control is also still being learned, so young toddlers may hit, kick, push, or bite.

For my family, these aggressive behaviors have come and gone in seasons. Johanna is now a happy, energetic 3-year-old who doesn’t show aggression. When she is mad, she cries. It is almost humorous to me to hear her tell her little brother to stop hitting. I mean, what about all of those times she hit me? For me, teaching my children to touch gently and modeling behavior with their lovey teddy bear has been helpful. Time-outs work for older children, but a 1-year-old doesn’t get it. Removing them from the situation while reminding them we don’t hit or kick seems to work.

Children tend to exhibit these behaviors when they are tired, hungry, or overstimulated. My kids are much more tempermental at nap time or before bed.

I don’t have the answers on how to handle early toddler aggression. I can only to tell you that you are not alone. Reminding myself that some of this is normal kid behavior has helped. It doesn’t last forever. Lean on other moms. I have gotten some good advice from gentle mommas who can hold it together in these time much better than me.

Our little ones love us, but they need us to teach them, lead them, and show them the way.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she is happy no one has hit her in a long time.


Communication Frustrations with Toddlers

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Communication Frustrations with ToddlersIt’s an exciting moment when your child starts to say their first words. For my daughter, it was “momma.” Then “daddy” came along. By her 18 month check-up, however, she wasn’t talking as much as I thought she should be. My pediatrician calmed my fears, and now at 26 months, she talks my ear off. However, there have definitely been some frustrating moments with communication.

Most toddlers babble. I am going to say I will definitely miss the baby babble once it’s gone completely. Words like pink, Teddy, eat, Mimi, and go are now my daughter’s favorite things to throw in between babble. While it is frustrating to try to understand this babble, it is also very frustrating for toddlers when we don’t get it.

Toddlers have a big, new world in front of them. Sadly, many times they become overcome with emotions and frustrations and communicate these feelings in a negative way.

Common Ways Toddlers Show Frustration

Crying: This one seems simple enough, but many toddlers simply cry when they cannot express what they need or want to an adult. It’s important to “tolerate the tears.” Let your child express themselves and get out the tears. Then, find a way to comfort them.  Cuddle, nurse, or simply curl up on the couch together and read a book that makes them happy. Have a few toys close by that make them happy and use the moment to talk about the toys.

Hitting and Biting: This is a tough one for me to write about. My sweet girl has had her issues with hitting. Most often, toddlers hit when they can’t express what they need or want. Hands are communication tools for toddlers. It’s important to show your toddler how to express themselves without using aggression. Hands Are Not For Hitting is a fun board book my daughter loves. It teaches a great lesson, too!

Sometimes they simply need your attention. Respond with a soft voice, and show them how to touch gently. Many toddlers also go through a biting phase. Remember your child is trying to communicate something to you. Use this as a teachable moment. Responding with patience is not easy.

I think it’s important to remember that toddlers are little sponges. They are learning how to communicate with adults in a big, new world. They may become frustrated and angry while trying to communicate, but it is our job as moms to help them grow, learn, and understand their emotions.

I definitely have days where I don’t understand everything my daughter is trying to tell me. For example, she says “play” and “potty” almost exactly the same. I often upset her by asking her to go potty when she simply wants to play with her dollhouse.  But, I’m learning that we both communicate better when mommy isn’t frustrated and she’s free to use her own precious little voice. Sweetest sound ever.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in Northeast Indiana. She is learning new things every day from her kiddos.