Parenting Strong Willed Children

by Tiffany in parenting

Parenting Strong Willed ChildrenIt is my firm conviction that the strong-willed child usually possesses more creative potential and strength
of character than his compliant siblings, provided his parents can help him channel his impulses and gain control of his rampaging will,” Dr. James Dobson, The Strong Willed Child.

If that caption gives you hope it should as it supports the notion that all children—all people—have a unique gift that only needs to be developed through knowledge, nurturing experiences and maturity. We have strengths and the challenge is helping our children find and nurture them instead of focusing on any apparent weaknesses.

Strong willed children tend to question more than others. They won’t accept limitations readily and they believe strongly in their opinions. These actually sound like positive traits. The challenge is that in a young person who has yet to learn and mature such traits can manifest in ways that are truly frustrating for parents. Saying “no” is often the beginning of war of wills. This describes my oldest son perfectly. He is JUST like me….strongly opinionated, energized by debate, and always wanting the last word.

I am generally a “yes” parent. We don’t have boatloads of arbitrary rules and if I possibly can I always try to say yes. But when I do have to say no my son knows how to push my buttons.

“You are not meeting my needs….and this makes me upset with you.”

“You are not treating me with respect.”

“You are not treating me the way YOU want to be treated.”

Yes, he has a tendency to be dramatic. I give him props for trying to turn my own words around on me even if they are skewed to try and change a situation he doesn’t like.

Denying a strong willed child is difficult but so important if necessary in a given situation. How a parent says no is the important part. It takes patience, control and consistency to get through to a strong-willed child. They need you to know that you’ve listened and considered their view point. They also need explanations. While time consuming, these are all valid requests. The hard part is when your decision is still the safest and the most correct decision given the circumstances and it is contrary to what your child wants to do. As a parent you have to be firm but loving in your decision but it is important they they feel heard and valued all the same. Listening and redirecting works wonders for my son.

Try to explain things in terms of outcomes—especially those outcomes that have direct impact on your child.

Let’s say your 5-year old child is screaming at the top of her lungs in the middle of the department store. She wants to go to the toy department “NOW!”

Here’s a suggested reply: “We can’t go to the toy store now Cindy because we have to go home to prepare dinner. Remember after dinner you and I are going to make strawberries topped with whip cream for desert – your favorite treat!”

Discussing options in this article is really the easy part. The difficulty is having the patience and frame of mind to explain in a calm, loving but very firm way that your decision is best for everyone, including your strong-willed child. It also means that when it isn’t best, but perhaps just something you are being a stickler about, you can and should change your mind and say yes. Don’t be afraid to say you made a mistake.

This is tough for many parents because most of us were raised that children should be “controlled”. When parents say no there is no argument or debate…mom and dad have the final word and they can’t give in even a little bit. But I have opted for connection instead of coercion in our family. It is a partnership…not a dictatorship. I always ask myself “How would I feel if someone said or did this to me?” If I am not 100% okay with someone doing or saying that to me then I know I need to change tactics.

It isn’t easy raising a strong-willed child but how gratifying for you and also your child to know that regardless of the disagreements the love is always there and unconditional. It is important to remember that we can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse. They will behave better when they feel better.

If someone told me I was I was a lazy bump on a log would I feel motivated and energized to help around the house? Uh…no.

Lastly, we also need to realize that children only imitate what they see.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, buy they have never failed to imitate them. – James Baldwin

I know full well where my son gets his strong willed personality. ME! And my husband reminds me of that fact every day. ;) I just have to get creative when meeting his needs and hope that I get a break with my other two, LOL. If he has anything like my drive and ambition then look out everyone!

Some books in my own parenting library that I LOVE that you might like:

Connection Parenting – Parenting through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear by Pam Leo This is a workbook too!

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn

Parenting the Strong Willed Child

Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort

Raising Children Compassionately – Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way by Marshall B . Rosenberg Ph.D. This is a really small book and you could read it in under and hour.

Your Child’s Strengths by Jenifer Fox

So tell me about your own struggles with strong willed children. What works or doesn’t work for you?


Natural Allergy Remedies

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Natural Allergy Remedies

It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies. Of that amount approximately 26 million are considered seasonal allergy sufferers who react to natural outdoor substances like pollen. I am feeling it, are you?

The typical response to the sniffling, sneezing, itching symptoms of allergy reactions is a medicinal one designed to suppress these symptoms. The problem with this approach is that there can be adverse side effects associated with the use of certain allergy drugs. The trade off isn’t worth it for me.

I admit I might have it pretty easy. I get congested a bit every morning, I sneeze a few dozen times, and I have a mild case itchy, watery eyes. Some people have much worse allergies and might be looking out the window at Springs glorious wonder with with a look of disdain, a box of tissues, and a packet of allergy relief pills in hand. Although I do get hives that make me want to scratch my skin off. But I pretty am much against any type of pharma elixir or pill unless it is an emergency.

The natural approach to providing remedies to allergies is to take actions that help strengthen the body’s defenses before the it goes into reaction mode.


* Be conscious of the time of year when widely known irritants like ragweed pollen are at their highest levels (this is usually from mid-August until the first front). Take precautions to avoid unnecessary exposure outdoors during this temporary period.

* Resist using window fans to cool rooms—they can pull pollen indoors.

* When driving, keep the windows closed and if you have an air conditioner use it as needed during very warm conditions.

* Shower and wash your hair after you have been outdoors.

* Run an air purifier in the home. I LOVE mine.


Natural Remedies:

Neti Pots have gained in popularity in recent years among many people but especially among natural moms. They are essentially containers with spouts used to flush sinuses and keep them clear. Very similar to a nasal spray, Neti Pots are filled with a saline solution that you mix yourself (½ teaspoon of salt in a 1 cup of water) and then pour into one nostril and flush out through the other using gravity (a tilt of the head).

During allergy season it’s best to use Neti Pots about twice a day – once in the morning and again after spending time outdoors.

There are actually some foods that are thought to be ideal in helping allergy sufferers. One European study found that allergy sufferers who ate foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to suffer allergy symptoms than those who didn’t regularly eat these food items. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and are present in cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as grass-fed meat and eggs.

For those who suffer from swelling and congestion it is believed that adding horseradish, chili peppers or hot mustard to food can act as a natural and temporary decongestant.

Honey is another substance that some people believe is effective at preventing hay fever. They contend that small amounts of flower pollen found in honey can help to desensitize the allergic effect caused by local flowers. I suggest raw local honey.

It is a good idea to safely explore the various natural remedies around to determine if you can help your body to handle allergens in the environment. Hopefully you’ll find a remedy that works to help you to better enjoy the world around you without reaction. Here are some more natural allergy remedies:

* Peppermint tea with honey – Helps soothe the throat and ease congestion.

* Raw Milk Compress – Wet a washcloth and apply to hives.

* Eat Wasabi for congestion – Now you have an excuse to go eat sushi – it’s medicinal!


More Natural Remedies:

Remedies for Baby Eczema


Vegan Lunch Box – Earth Week Giveaway

by Tiffany in Freebies, Healthy Eating

Vegan Lunch BoxI am getting ready to go on vacation very soon. We are spending a couple weeks in Florida in a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen. To make sure that my family is eating right and we don’t get all crazy eating clam chowder bread bowls from the French Quarter at Disney or eating lollipops for lunch because a $5 sucker is the cheapest option…. we are bringing our bentos with us.

If you are not familiar with bentos they are Japanese style lunch boxes and I LOVE them. I have a huge collection in fact. Of course my favorite is the Laptop Lunchbox system. All 3 of my kids have one and they will be using them all the while we are in Florida. So I reached for my Vegan Lunch Box book, which is a book full of recipes and ideas for healthy vegan eating using the Laptop Lunchbox system. I started making notes of what I would prepare and what groceries I will need to buy when we get to Orlando. We aren’t necessarily a vegan family but we DO limit meat and we tend towards raw foods so this book is perfect for just about any family.

Then I came across a discussion on the net about how these books are going for $50-100 a book because they are out of print. There is a revised edition coming out soon but I guess moms everywhere are desperate for this book. Pretty cool! Anyway as I grabbed my copy … which I would never sell so don’t ask ;) … I saw that I have TWO copies. I vaguely remember there being some kind of buy one get another half off deal or something and I am a sucker for a deal.

So guess what one lucky reader gets? A brand spankin new copy of the original and now out-of-print Vegan Lunchbox. You will love all the healthy, delicious recipes in this book…especially if you pack a lunch for your kids. Also very handy for travel snack boxes.

Here is some bento inspiration and one of my son’s favorite lunches…a nut butter rainbow sandwich.

Rainbow PB& J Pita

The above lunchbox is a Laptop Lunchbox. Also pre-order the new edition of Vegan Lunch Box.


Yoga Stick-e Socks – Earth Week Giveaway

by Tiffany in Freebies

Any yoga fans out there? This giveaway is for you.

They are called Yoga Stick-e Socks! Now you won’t need a rug or yoga mat anymore…these socks make it yoga socksfeel as if you are going barefoot but you don’t slip and slide. They feel just like regular socks but they have a hole for each toe to extend through so the toes remain exposed. The exposed toes enable gripping during exercise which is really important for yoga.

With their soft-as-silk Bamboo fiber they provide a hygienic, non-slip, sweat-absorbing environment for all your barefoot exercise including Yoga, dance, Pilates, and Karate and they made form a sustainable and earth friendly material. They would be perfect for yoga classes to. Even if you bring a mat as it is nice to have something covering your feet while not sacrificing your ability to “stick” your poses. They come in black and beige and they very affordable in price.

I am giving away a pair of black on black Yoga Stick-e Socks in size small (women’s 4-7). These would also be a great gift for a yogi in your life.

To Win: Just comment!

If you want two chances to win you can link to this blog from your own blog…make sure to leave a trackback or a second comment to let me know about the link to so you have a total of two comments and therefore two chances to win. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 28. Good luck everyone!


Food Tees – Earth Week Giveaway

by Tiffany in Freebies

Food TeeAnother great T-shirt form another great company! The giveaway today is a Food Tee.

These t-shirts are designed to be fresh, healthy, and invigorating. For food conscious moms and kids they also help you to share a love of fruits and veggies. They help promote a healthy lifestyle and attitude about food with over 20 beautiful designs for children and adults, from onsies to aprons. These would be really good for raw foodies, vegans, and vegetarians.

I LOVE some of these t-shirts, like the ones that say No Sugar Added, Bite Me (with a carrot picture), and Think Before You Eat (with a picture of a doughnut). A portion of the profits from t-shirt sales also goes to Two Angry Moms, who are fighting for lunch reform on our public schools. That is pretty cool. I need to get the carrot one. :)

I am giving away a size small (2-4) white t-shirt with a red raspberry on it that says “all natural” underneath!

To Win: Just comment!

If you want two chances to win you can link to this blog from your own blog…make sure to leave a trackback or a second comment to let me know about the link to so you have a total of two comments and therefore two chances to win. The winners will be announced on Monday, April 28. Good luck everyone!