problem solving

Mama Drama: How to Grow Independent Problem Solvers

Dear Mama Drama: (photo credit) I’m afraid I’ve created a monster (or two) by being an overprotective mom. My kids can’t seem to solve even the smallest problem by themselves. If something doesn’t turn out the way they think it should, they fall apart and for every little thing it’s “Mom, mom, mom!” How can I help them become more independent? ~Overprotective Mama Dear Overprotective: Good for you for realizing that you are the link in this chain of helplessness that you have the control to change. It’s hard to admit when our behavior has led to difficult behavior in our children. There are many small things you can do to help your children increase their independent problem solving skills. It just takes a shift in thinking, a lot of teaching...

Five ways yoga makes you grow as a mom

I had my annual physical and I’m happy to report that all tests came out great. One vital statistic came out better than great: I am a half-inch taller than I used to be. I attribute it to yoga. A steady yoga practice can put space into one’s spine to counter the compression that comes over time. I began practicing yoga more than 5 years ago and I’m aiming for 6’2″ before I die. So that’s a lot of yoga (and a lot of years — I’m clever like that)! In honor of this half-inch, I share with you today a story by mom and yogini Kim Shand, a yoga teacher who writes about finding the calm within the storm that is parenting. Her grown-up secret? Balasana — the pose of the child. ~~~~~ I’ve been a mother for 23 years. My husband and I have raised two children to the point to adulthood, i...

Mama Drama: Stop Refereeing and Turn Your Kids into Solution Finders

Dear Mama Drama: I have two boys ages 4 and 7. They struggle to solve problems between themselves when they are playing and my husband and I often feel like referees. I’d like them to be able to handle play situations better, but am not sure where to start. Help! ~Stumped Mama

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.

The one thing you don’t want to happen in a public restroom

What would you do if you wanted to be able to show your face in your favorite place again?

Mama Drama: Helicopter Mom Needs Help Landing

Dear Mama Drama: I am the mother of two girls and enjoy being active in their school. I volunteer in a variety of ways in the classroom and in the school in general. (photo credit) I stay on top of the girls’ academics and social issues and step in whenever I or they have concerns. My husband has recently said that I am being a “helicopter mom.” He says I need to let the girls speak up for themselves and solve some of their issues without me stepping in. I just want to do what is best for them, but don’t want to hinder them. How can I support them without interfering or rescuing? ~ Hovering Mama (Send your Mama Drama Questions to [email protected]) Dear Hovering: Involved parents make a huge positive impact on the success of their children. However, it is important, though often chall...

When you find yourself in times of trouble

When you need help, you run across two different types of people. People like me, who have to figure out a path from here to helping you before they can say, “Sure! I’ll be right there!” People like my sister, Tami, who say “Sure!” first and then figure out the how. Three years ago, Tami called me when her husband, Gino was about to be released from the hospital after a 4-month stay with complete body paralysis and rehab. I had Tami’s car with her son’s carseat and Gino’s wheelchair in it, since I had been watching their toddler son much of the weekend. Her car allowed me to transport Dominic and both of my booster-seat kids, unlike my smaller vehicle. My family and I had just sat down for dinner at an Italian restaurant. I am embarrassed to ...

How I didn’t go broke or crazy buying a car (and how YOU can save on one, too)

Lola (pictured below) is the newest member of our family. She’s expected to be a workhorse — to lug our bikes and skis, make possible simultaneous playdates for Tessa and Reed, and make me downright happy to be in the chauffeur stage of parenting. We plan to rely on Lola for years to come. She’ll be the car that hauls our children’s stuff to college some day. Oh, wait.  Lola consumed our kids’ college funds. Kidding. Kind of. We were at that decision point. Our 12 year-old beloved Honda CR-V, in which we strapped two teeny infants back in the day, had begun to show her age. Betty had taken good care of us, but she was bound to begin needing attention (read: $$$) soon. Plus, with growing kids as well as the accompanying friends and bigger toys of said kids, we ...

Mama Drama: Christmas Morning Craziness

Dear Mama Drama: Christmas day is a nightmare at my house. My children run downstairs, dump their stockings, tear open all the gifts and then fight over who got what. (photo credit.) When the rest of the family comes over, it’s the same thing. They greet their grandparents with, “What’d you bring me? What’d you bring me?” Then there is wrapping paper everywhere and they have no idea who gave them what presents nor any appreciation for them. It’s like a feeding frenzy. I have no idea what to do to make this better. ~Feeling Frenzied Dear Frenzied: Creating a routine for Christmas morning and opening presents is just as important as developing regular daily routine. Since your children have a pattern of behavior already established, it is important that you start talking with them before Chr...

Mama Drama: Grocery Grabbers and Independent Eights

Dear Mama Drama: Every time we go to the grocery store my two-year-old daughter climbs all over the cart. She stands up and grabs at things and has nearly fallen out several times. I have talked with her over and over, bribed her with treats, and threatened to leave the store, but nothing has worked. What else can I do? ~At my wits end! Dear Wits End: The first thing to do is buckle your daughter into the cart every time she is in one. She may fuss and whine, but this should be a non-negotiable point. Next, give her something to do while she is in the cart. Sitting for long, seemingly endless trips to the store can be very frustrating for a child. Let her hold the shopping list and help you cross off items. Give her a drawing pad or magnet drawing toy and have her make her own list. Bring ...

Mama Drama: Sibling Rivalry and Playtime Struggles

Dear Mama Drama, I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then she started crying. When we finally got to the root of the problem, she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t. This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child, I really don’t understand and am not very sympathetic to sibling rivalry. How can I encourage my childre...

Mama Drama: Bedtime Woes & Sibling Fights

Dear Mama Drama: My 13-month-old daughter used to go to bed easily. Now she stands in her crib and screams. We have a consistent, calming bedtime routine, but it doesn’t seem to be working right now. ~Exasperated Dear Exasperated: Your daughter may be telling you it’s to change her sleep schedule. She may not be as tired at her current bedtime as she used to be. Toddlers often shift their sleeping patterns as their activity and developmental needs change. They still need 10-13 hours of sleep on average, but may take fewer naps, need a different bed time, or need to be awakened earlier. It may also be helpful to take a look at her schedule throughout the day. Make sure she is getting enough physical activity and that she is not over-stimulated in the hours just before bed. Warm baths, massa...