setting limits

Mama Drama: Calming the Candy Crash

Dear Mama Drama: Every year I dread the post-Halloween crash. My kids are exhausted and alternately hyper and cranky from sugar highs and lows. After they spend so much time planning costumes, decorating the house, carving pumpkins, and trick-or-treating, I don’t have the heart to limit their candy. How can I help them moderate their candy intake without ruining the fun? ~Crash Tested Mama  (photo credit) Dear Crash Tested: The hype, anticipation, and preparation for Halloween do make it a holiday many parents struggle to manage. However, just like with other parts of parenting, it’s our job to set limits and create structure for our children. I’m assuming your kids are a bit older as you have experienced this a few times. First, I would talk with your children about what you notice when t...

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

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 ...