Less Is More

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.”   ~Johannes A. Gaertner

So, I’ve been wracking my brain, trying to think of something appropriate to write with regards to this week’s holiday. I believe I had a flash of insight a couple of nights ago in the wee hours, but I fell back asleep almost immediately and the thought is now lost to the ethereal mists of dreams.

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Why Does My Child Lie?

Dear Groovy Mama,
My six year old daughter lies. I don’t know why. She makes up stories. She has a hard time admitting when she has done something wrong. She seems to be able to convince herself that her stories are real. It seems like she is afraid of being wrong and getting in trouble. How much of this do I confront her with? Or sometimes I’m not sure if she is telling the truth and I don’t know what to do? Why is she having a hard time telling the truth? Have I done something wrong? Is she afraid of me? –Mrs. K

Dear Mrs. K.,

While your daughter is old enough to distinguish fantasy from reality, it’s important to remember that children at her age have a rich imagination. In fact, that inner life of fantasy, story, and make-believe is vital to their development.

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‘For Special’

The cat let out a muffled yowl as I smashed his head between the toilet seat and my derriere. Surprised, I leaped forward and spun around awkwardly, trying desperately to not trip over my panties which were now twisted around my ankles. I successfully shooed him away and resumed my business. Coffee in, coffee out. Can anyone tell me how one cup of coffee can produce two liters of urine?

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Managing Overwhelming Emotions

Dear Groovy Mama,
How do you teach your kids to not be ruled by their emotions/feelings when that’s something you struggle with? –Leah

Dear Leah,

Being part Vulcan, I have to confess I don’t have a ton of personal experience with this. However, when my kids were very young, I did have issues with anger and impatience getting the better of me. I honestly wasn’t fit to command my crew at times. Also, as I think on it, aboard my starship are two ‘Empaths’, one who is an extremely emotional sort, so I suppose I do have a few things to share. (Sorry, my inner nerd gets out sometimes…no more Star Trek references, I promise!)

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Fostering Independence

Listening to our wise and illustrious leader at the homeschool co-op meeting, I felt nailed. Addressing the mamas of the group. she was discussing the craziness of co-op mornings, the rush to get everything ready for our weekly gathering, and how we could ease our burden on those days.

What had me squirming in my seat was her good-natured admonishment to stop doing everything for our kids. They are fully capable of making their own lunches by 1st or 2nd grade, she said, and I felt the spotlight of failure come to rest squarely on me. I was still scrambling on those mornings, preparing lunches for my kiddos who were ages 5, 6, 10, and 12.

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How Do We Combat Childhood Anxiety?

Dear Groovy Mama,
My two granddaughters both experience high anxiety. It really impacts their life, so any wisdom would be very welcome. –Grandma M.

Dear Grandma M.,

First, let me say that your granddaughters are lucky to have you. The impact you can have just by recognizing their anxiety issues and validating their feelings is immense. Here’s a few thoughts:

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Master the Mayhem: 5 Tips for Managing Messes

I watched my husband fall with grace, artfully throwing our infant son to safety as he turfed it. Stepping over the baby gate, his foot had found the spiny back of a plastic stegosaurus. If you’ve ever stepped squarely on a stegosaurus, or a lego, or any other small, hard toy, you know that these tiny pieces of childhood joy have a dark side. They can take you down.

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