Erratic bedtimes linked to child behavioral problems

Children who go to to bed at irregular hours are more likely to have behavioral problems, according to a recent study. The research, which appeared in the U.S. journal Pediatrics, found that lifelong problems could result from erratic childhood bedtimes, but that the effects could be reversed with implementation of a schedule. “Not having fixed bedtimes, accompanied by a constant sense of flux, induces a state of body and mind akin to jet lag,” said Yvonne Kelly of the University College London. Inconsistent bedtimes can disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, impairing brain development and the ability to regulate some behaviors, the research showed.

Parenting: How to Say “Yes” as Much as Possible

Dear Mama Drama: I have noticed recently that anytime my husband or I say “No” to our three-year-old daughter, a huge meltdown ensues. Even if we are saying, “No, not right now, but later,” she still throws a tantrum. We find ourselves in power struggles or giving in and are at a loss for what to do.  (photo credit) How can we help her handle not getting her way right away with a little more grace?

Tips for taking your tantruming fighting kids in public

Dear Mama Drama: I have nearly decided I cannot take my kids out in public anymore. Every time I do, they have terrible meltdowns and we all end up miserable.  They are two and four and will either fight, throw tantrums, or run around like crazy when we go to a store or restaurant. I am so embarrassed by their behavior and that people will think I’m a bad parent. I don’t want to embarrass them by disciplining them in public, so things tend to get really out of control. By the time we get home I am ready to explode. ~Home Bound Mama

Mama Drama: Staying Sane Parenting the Spitfire and the Saint

Dear Mama Drama: I have two great kids. One is the model son who is sweet, obedient and tries to do what is right. His older sister is a fun spitfire who frequently gets in trouble for antagonizing her little brother or not listening. The other day when I was reprimanding her, she accused me of not loving her as much because I always side with him. Though I try to be a loving mom, I can see how she’d feel that way because he rarely gets in trouble. How do I teach her certain behaviors aren’t acceptable but also show my love? I also don’t want her to resent her “perfect” little brother. ~Misunderstood  Mama  (photo credit) Dear Misunderstood: It can be challenging to find balance in our interactions with our kids. Siblings often think we should treat them the s...

Mama Drama: Responding to Rudeness from Other People’s Kids

Dear Mama Drama: I’ve had a few experiences with rude children that have stumped me. I don’t really know how to deal with other people’s kids who are disrespectful. Where is the line? (photo credit) One was a teenager who had parked across three parking spaces in our church parking lot. I politely asked him to move his car but he gave me lip and refused. Imagine how mortified he was when he learned our religion classes were combining that day and he had to sit through my lesson. Another was a student in my daughter’s second grade class who was being really mean to her about something she didn’t agree with. Fine. But then this girl started going off on ME! I couldn’t believe she’d dare to do it to an adult. ~Disbelieving Mama

5 ways to help kids pay attention in the classroom and at home

Mindful Life School teaches children in Colorado to use mindfulness to increase capacity for empathy, attention, impulse control emotional regulation and intimacy.

Mama Drama: Direction Following Folly

Dear Mama Drama: My three-year-old son struggles with following directions and becomes stiff and unresponsive when he doesn’t want to do what is asked of him. We end up either letting him get away with not following directions or having to physically force him to follow them. Neither strategy is really working and he tends to fight back when we try to force him. (photo credit) The behavior usually happens when he is being asked to stop something more interesting or fun (like playing) and switch to a task that is less interesting to him (like cleaning up or washing his hands for dinner). I think it may be a learned behavior as his dad also shuts down and won’t talk when frustrated. I am struggling to support him and have no idea what to do. ~Stumped Mama Dear Stumped: It is fairly common fo...

Mama Drama: Supporting Non-Violence in Toddlers

Dear Mama Drama: My 22-month-old son has recently started using his toy trains in a way that looks and sounds like a gun to my husband and I. He points the trains at us and makes a “pshh, pshh” sound. (photo credit) We are vigilant about not exposing him to violence and are stunned by his behavior. It feels awful to have my child shooting at me. We believe he has picked up the behavior from a boy

Mama Drama: Making the Holiday Season Managable for Kids

Dear Mama Drama: Last year I noticed that my daughter had a really difficult time managing her emotions and behavior during the holidays. She would fall apart at the store, family gatherings, and even at school. She is four this year so I’m hoping things will be better, but am wondering if there is anything I can do to help her handle things more smoothly? ~Hoping for smooth Holidays (photo credit) Dear Mama Drama: The holiday season can be lots of fun with family to see, presents to buy, and events to attend. However, it is important to remember that preschoolers can be overwhelmed by all of the activity resulting in meltdowns, tantrums, and much less fun for all. As the busy season begins remember to: Keep a regular schedule as much as possible. Waking up, eating, and going to bed consis...

Mama Drama: Rampant Rudeness

Dear Mama Drama~ I am struggling with my daughter who is almost 4 saying mean things to her parents and her younger brother. When she is tired, hungry, irritated or just not in control, she says many mean things. For example: I don’t like you. You are not a good brother. You are not the boss; I am the boss. I never like you. I know this is not truly how she feels, but I don’t know what to say back to her to take the power out of her words. Her little brother gets sad when she is mean to him, so he’s crying and I’m in a fit hearing her use these words. What do you say back to these mean words? Telling her that is not something we say is ineffective. Trying to be nice, Mommy in Erie (photo credit) Dear Mommy in Erie: I can hear your heart breaking as you struggle with...

Mama Drama: Anniversary Advice Round Up

Mama Drama is celebrating two years with Mile High Mamas!! We’ve rounded up all of the drama Lisa has covered during that time into a variety of categories to make it easier for you to find that special nugget of information or advice you need. Keep the questions coming ([email protected]) and remember that we all have our share of Mama Drama, so contribute your advice, ideas, and tried and true strategies as we support each other through the journey of motherhood in this fabulous community of moms. Be sure to bookmark this page for easy access and share it with all your mommy friends! Developmental issues: Articulation Angst – When to worry about speech concerns.

Mama Drama: Positives for Power Struggles

Dear Mama Drama: My four-year-old son has become exceptionally defiant and I am at a loss of how to respond. When I ask him to do something, he tells me no. When I tell him to do it or he will not be able to watch TV or he will lose his toys he isn’t cleaning up, he says he doesn’t care. I have threatened to put his toys in the trash and he tells me that he’ll just buy more when he is a grown up. I am worried that these struggles are causing angry feeling between me and my son all the time. Any ideas you have are appreciated. ~Struggling Mama (photo credit) Dear Struggling: Constant battles with your children take a toll on all of you emotionally. Power struggles can be so exasperating and we often don’t recognize we’re in them until our heels are dug in and our backs are against the wall....

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