Freedoms of Choice

I’ve been absent from the blog for a little as life gets busy!  My baby has completely turned into a toddler and worldwide there has been a lot going on, which has been leading me to really think about my mindset around choices.  Making them, teaching them, responding to them rather than REACTING to them.  My toddler is not “terrible”, but she is yearning for independence.  She is yearning to exercise what small amounts of FREEDOMS of choice she may have.  It is my job to provide them.  It is my job to allow her to exercise independence safely.  It is my job to be accepting, flexible, patient, and observant.  It is my job to practice stopping, thinking, regulating, and then deciding in my daily life.  My path is largely laid board by board with my own choices.  Learning to make decisions begins with learning to recognize and respond to provided choices.  As parents and mentors, we can cultivate decision making skills, as well as leadership mentalities from a young age. 

Creative Expression: A Journey to Greater Gratitude with Journaling & Ways to Incorporate Practices with Children

I was recently introduced to Julia Cameron’s Morning Pagesexercise, as well as her call to get creative daily.  Research shows that exercising creativity has a positive impact on self-care, self-image, and positive mindset.  As a mom I look for self-care practices that I can easily incorporate throughout my day (5-10-minute increments or less).  Instilling a sense of radical self-care has become a personal goal of mine after realizing that I need to feel good to be a present parent.  To quote an amazing interview on The Soul Feed Podcast (one of my favorites!) “There’s so much power and momentum in loving yourself in little moments! It’s not about a spa day every six months.  It’s about radical self-care every day.  Morning pages have become a really valuable tool for me personally, so I wanted to take the time to share.  Since my other passion is also encouraging positive self-talk and flexible mindset in children, I also wanted to share some ways to connect with children to help them practice gratitude and continuous self-care practices as well.  I think especially now the next generation can be taught subtly and directly that being kind to yourself and treating yourself like a friend, enables you to be kind to others and causes a ripple effect of a culture of kindness.

Alexa: What is Your Relationship with My Child? Friendships Are Not On Demand

We need to get back to teaching our children that thinking and guessing are just as important as knowing. With Amazon launching its newest “Kid Version” of Alexa I ask you as a parent to stop, observe, and wonder…before you buy.  While A.I. is definitely helpful in making our lives more manageable it has its downsides. As adults we choose our interactions with technology, and most of us also had the benefit of growing up with simpler technology.  If you dive into the research on devices like Alexa and their impact on children, the findings show that the developmental impacts can be significant. 

To The EVERY Mom

To The EVERY Mom,

I don’t know you, but I do. I don’t know if you work full-time outside your home, or in your home.  I don’t know if you have a nanny or use a daycare or have family that helps. I don’t know if you sleep train, or feed organic, or order take out.  I don’t know if you have time for yourself, or drink wine and call it “Mommy Juice.  I don’t know if you do date nights once a month, or dread taking your laundry out of the dryer to actually put it away. 

I don’t know. 

But here is what I do know. 

Family Pizza Night: Sauce & Sequencing

A slice of quality time for the whole family! As a speech therapist making pizzas is one of my most FAVORITE activities to work on sequencing and organizational skills!  From a health perspective it’s an amazing way to teach your children that cooking can be fun, healthy ingredients can taste great together, and that knowing what is in your food is important!  Ingredients matter!  This sauce is easy, healthy, and packed with flavor! Plus some fun ways to encourage sequencing skills and narrative language development in the process!

School Readiness: Focus on Social & Emotional…The Academics Will Follow

We can think of our children’s minds as buckets we want to fill.  In order to fill their buckets and increase confidence and enjoyment of learning we need to “plug the foundational holes” in their buckets.  Having solid skills prior to beginning school enables our children to regulate, learn, and thrive.

So Chill Chicken Salad

This is a Sunday Meal Prep MUST! We were at the grocery store the other day and my husband grabbed a plastic container of pre-made chicken salad that would have maybe fed him twice.  I love chicken salad so I figured this was the perfect time to practice my new intention of cooking once, eating twice (or more) as well as cooking with more whole and organic ingredients.  I call this the “So Chill Chicken Salad” it requires mostly “chilling out” while you make it.  You can feel free to add more veggies, like celery, or even different fruit and nuts!  I like to keep my recipes flex because everyone’s body is different, and I truly believe that creatively cooking is good for the soul!

My Levels of Like: Breaking Through Rigid Thinking & Encouraging Problem Solving

Let’s be honest, all of us have used “I hate…” before.  We have all become so stuck in a specific mindset about an activity, person, problem, that we cannot see it any other way.  It’s black or white and it’s never going to change.  The issue with this is it stifles our ability to make positive change, seek support, or set a boundary.  One tool I was introduced to via Social Thinking is the “Level of Like Scale”.  It has become one of my favorite tools in working with clients who present difficulties with flexible thinking, social cognition, and executive functioning.  Moreover, it has also become a tool I utilize for myself, and once my daughter is older, I will utilize as a parent.