By Shoshana Hayman, director of The Life Center/Israel Center for Attachment Parenting, http://lifecenter.org.il
A father of an 18-year-old boy recently consulted with me because, among other things, his son had totaled the family’s car. As any parent would be, this father was very worried about his son’s poor judgment, impulsiveness, and lack of consciousness. How could he give him responsibility if his son could not handle it?
As our children get older, we expect them to be able to handle more responsibility and become more independent. We intuitively know whether or not we can count on them to cooperate with us and be able to make commitments in order to achieve a goal. They should also be able to sense danger and exercise caution accordingly. In addition, they should experience the feelings of caring that are needed to temper their reactions and impulses. True independence also requires of them to be able to consider different sides of a situation, different points of view, and different contexts in order to make mature decisions. We also hope that they will be conscious of the values needed to guide them through life.
As children get older and develop these abilities, we naturally and spontaneously live together cooperatively. It doesn’t even occur to us to ask questions about how much independence to give a child, because we can see that he is moved by consideration and a growing desire to take more responsibility. He is developing the character traits of a mature person. Continue reading How Independence and Maturity Develops
By Kelly Bartlett, certified positive discipline educator and leader for East Portland API, Oregon USA
Many parents fall into a routine with their new baby sometime in the first few months of life. Eating and sleeping habits go from having almost no predictability to settling into some level of expectedness. Over the first few years, with the addition of family activities, classes, friends, and preschool, parents and kids must somehow find a way to fit everything efficiently into their busy days. Establishing routines helps with this. Routines add comfort and security to families’ lives. Parents are able to feel more prepared in caring for their children, and kids can depend on the familiarity of “how things go.”
Dr. Jane Nelsen, author of Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, says that with routines, children have an opportunity to learn to focus on the needs of the situation: doing what need to be done because it needs to be done. “Children learn to be responsible for their own behavior, to feel capable, and to cooperate in the family. The parent doesn’t continually have to demand help,” according to Dr. Nelsen. Continue reading Routines for Preschoolers
By Tamara Parnay
**Originally published in the Winter 2006-07 Balance issue of The Journal of API
When I was a child, I was fascinated by people and characters like “The Empath” on the Star Trek television series, who showed great empathy. I wanted to be like them but I was unable to think much beyond my own needs.
Now that I’m a mother, I find myself experiencing the mighty feelings of unconditional love that an attached mother has for her little ones. It is a type of love I once thought I was incapable of giving.
Because I want to be a good role model for my children, I need to extend a certain degree of empathy toward those with whom I cross paths. Continue reading Being There for Our Children and Others Through Empathic Parenting
By Rita Brhel, editor of The Attached Family
The current economic climate in the U.S. is putting a lot of people on edge about where their financial futures may lie. Some people are struggling to keep their homes, others are trying to climb out from a mountain to credit card debt, and many are watching the value of their stocks plummet. It seems no one is immune to the concerns about what else may happen to the national – or for that matter, global – economy. And it’s difficult to be a happy parent when you’re worried about finances.
Fortunately, there are many ways to cut family costs and still be able to build enough savings to take vacations, go on shopping trips, or not stress over emergencies. Here are some tips from Soni Sangha in her About.com article “Five Ways to Jump-Start Your Household Budget” and from CNBC Correspondent Sharon Epperson’s www.msnbc.msn.com article “Money Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms”:
- Create a budget – This is not to be taken without some real financial planning. Take a month to record exactly how much money you’re spending and on what. Then, set your budget according to this spending pattern. Be sure to set aside enough money to pay for your set monthly bills, like your mortgage or rent, loan payments, utilities and phone charges, insurance, food and medical. Each month, aim to spend not more than your budget but pay attention to when your incidental expenses occur, like vehicle care, dentist appointments, and birthday gifts, and adjust your budget accordingly.
- Use your budget – This is harder to do than it sounds, because you need to actually keep your budget in mind or, better yet, carry your budget with you. Write down how much you have budgeted for grocery shopping, for example, and take it with you so that you can be sure to stay within that amount. This may mean opting for more generic brands or doing without some items in order to be able to afford those that you truly need.
- Regularly check back with your budget – Schedule a time every week when you check back with your budget to make sure you’re staying within budget, or you’ll likely forget all about your budget and overspend.
- Stick to your budget – This means actually changing your spending habits for the long term. The real returns from living on a budget come after several months of sticking to one and then seeing the savings build up.
- Prioritize your spending – You will probably have to cut something out of your regular spending patterns to stay within budget. This may be deciding to eat out less, take shorter vacations closer to home, or even choosing to make treats for your playgroup instead of buying a box of cupcakes at the store.
- Pay yourself – Setting aside a set amount per month for savings is just like giving yourself a monthly stipend. You can still try to save extra, but by taking out a savings deposit each month, just as you would your mortgage payment, you’re making it a priority and being sure it gets done. Don’t fall into the trap of skimping on the savings deposit to buy something you don’t need; your savings is not only to save up for fun stuff, but to be there for emergencies like medical crises or a vehicle accident.
- Create a separate account for savings – When you’re pulling part of your spouse’s salary for your family savings, actually take it out of your checking account and put it in its own savings account. This way, you can watch your savings grow, plus if you do withdraw an amount, you can easily keep track of how much you’re spending.
- Don’t skimp on insurance, or retirement savings – Cutting either of these won’t do you any favors in the long term. That retirement savings is what will ensure that you’ll live comfortably in retirement, or that your spouse will be able to retire at all. And while insurance premiums seem costly now, if something should happen – a storm damages your house, you have a car accident, you need surgery – the expenses incurred without insurance will break your bank account a lot faster.