Children

Happy Mothers Day

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How many of us moms have had visions of grandeur when it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day? I certainly have had my fair share. I dreamt of the beautiful cards, my children behaving well, playing with my hair, getting me the most thoughtful touching present a mother could ask for. The Reality is: “Oh yeah by the way, Happy Mother’s Day, can I get you anything?” Before I can even answer they have walked away. What happened to breakfast in bed with fresh pancakes and strawberries? I see it all over social media but where is my fairy tale story?

YOU are the fairy tale story. You have kids. Amazing, beautiful, funny, sweet, caring, smelly, rude, disrespectful and selfish kids. Every day we wake up to the most challenging rewarding career anyone could ask for, being a mommy. (Or a daddy doing double duty) Kids don’t always do what we want them to do when we want them to do it. In life I have realized many times that it is about the journey not the destination. It’s about the dirty diapers, first words, first kiss, first fight, first everything for our kids. We are their teachers for life and that is the greatest gift.

For all the mothers out there, Happy Mothers Day. If no one told you what a kick ass mom you are, let me tell you! You are all amazing even if under appreciated.

Enjoy the day!
Elise

New Year, New Habits

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One question I always ask parents who start my Happy Family in 90 Days™ parenting program is to identify their child’s currency. What is it and how do we determine it? Your child’s currency is an everyday thing that they constantly ask for that isn’t food, love, or time and doesn’t cost any additional money. It must be something they can earn for a job well done just like money.
 
When my daughter was younger her currency was me turning the shower on for her. I had no idea why, but this was a big deal for her. Every day when she asked me to turn the shower on for her I would evaluate her behavior for the day and then determine whether or not she had earned her currency.
 
Similarly, I had a client whose 3-year-old son was saying “damn” all the time and she wanted to know how to get rid of it. The answer was simple, his currency was changing into his pajamas when he got home from school. Now this was no longer something that he could do for free, he had to earn that privilege. Magically, he stopped saying “damn”!

Other examples of currency that I have come across include: letting your child choose the song you play in the car, picking out what to eat for dinner etc. Every child is unique in what their currency is but with a little investigating I am confident you will find what it is!
 
Love,
Elise

Quick Tips for a Peaceful Thanksgiving

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Ah, I love Thanksgiving. It's the perfect time to think about what we are thankful for and take inventory of our lives. You might have already started counting your blessings but if you've gotten lost in holiday shenanigans, I invite you to start now: 

What are you really thankful for? 

It can be something that you usually take for granted or something big that happened this year. Gratitude is gratitude. 

 Also, remember some family and friends may not have Thanksgiving plans... I'd encourage you to reach out and invite them to your celebration. Being alone during the holidays can be very lonely and difficult. Payton felt destroyed when her friends didn't invite her for Halloween plans...  imagine how adults feel without anywhere to go for the holidays.  

Thanksgiving often comes with some family drama. Instead, be proactive and decide that you will have a different perspective. Understand that no one is perfect. The annoying parent that seems to only “criticize” you? They might just be really scared and doing the best they can.  Try to empathize with the path they have taken in life to arrive at the place they are. Perhaps they only know negativity. Show compassion through your own positivity.

Wondering what the hell you are going to do with the kids the entire vacation? Rest and relax!  Sleep in, make a mess, let the kids come in your bed for snuggles. You will miss this time in a few years. Do things that your normal schedule wouldn't allow. Bake, sing loudly, dance, play. Enjoy the togetherness of family time. It’s a beautiful blessing. If you have a toddler that screams and throws temper tantrums, take this opportunity to do some behavior modification techniques while you have the time to devote.

Finally, relax and enjoy the blessings of life and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, 
Elise 

Tips for back to school

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As the relaxing days of summer are winding down (In Florida we go back
to school in less than 2 weeks), I think as parents we are holding our breath in anxiety. We remember the arguments we had with our kids, the deadlines for school projects and of course the dreaded early morning drop offs.

Here are some of my tips to making the transition easier as the kids go off to school.

  1. Never let them see you sweat. What does that mean? Don’t start complaining about going back to school and having early mornings again. Remember that little ones are always watching. Model what you want your kids to do.

  2. Start practicing some math and reading skills again. Don’t set a strict schedule. Just enough to get their feet back into the “work pool”.

  3. Remember this is THEIR school experience, not yours. Try not to hover too much or stress too much. A little suffering never hurt a kid

Enjoy your last few weeks with the ki.ds. Time goes by so fast.

Happy parenting,
Elise

Happy Holidays!

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The kids hadn’t even finished their Halloween candy and I was already getting excited for the holiday season. It started when I was a little girl and I would come down to South Florida to visit my grandparents. I would come back with a Jewish tan: dark on the front, pale on the back. When I went to college, I loved coming home and going shopping, having my mom cook and do my laundry for me and getting a break from school.  

Now, as I have my own family, this is also a favorite time of the year. My ex-husband wasn’t Jewish so I was able to get the coveted Christmas tree which became the highlight for me, another place to make something pretty. After I divorced, I kept the tradition of the Christmas tree (don’t call the Jewish police). Rather than worry about my perfectly matched ornaments and bows, I let my children pick out the tree theme. They did what every child does: the multicolor lights and ornaments. I embraced my new kid-friendly themed tree in exchange for my sophisticated tree of the past. My holidays now became about the experience instead of what the holiday looked like. My perfect tree topper was now a crooked ornament that has never quite fit, but it is magical.  

I love everything about the holidays. I love to shop for everyone’s presents, picking out the tree, decorating the tree, making potato latkes and seeing all the children tear open their presents with anticipation.

This holiday season, try to do one thing new that is super fun that can be a new tradition with your family.  Maybe something goofy, or a tree that’s just for your kids.  Maybe let them each pick out an ornament, or if you celebrate a different holiday, create a dish that you and your kids pick out and make together every year.  

Remember that holidays can be difficult for people so be considerate. While these times often come with stress, remember the beauty that surrounds this time. It is a time of miracles and celebration. 

Wishing you very happy holidays! 

Elise