Connection Before Correction – In Action! (aka The Jelly Bean Story)

I’ve been on a quest to develop gentle parenting skills. I have read countless books (check out my Books page) but one of my favorite mentors is Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and Her website is full of THE BEST, MOST USEFUL information for parenting with loving guidance.

One of the things I’ve learned is Connection Before Correction. What that means is that when we see an act of misbehavior in our child, we should connect with them before we try to correct them. My first instinct is to go right to the correcting, but as Dr. Markham explains in this article on How to Use Positive Parenting, kids misbehave when they feel bad about themselves and disconnected from us.

All of us, including kids, are always trying to get our needs met. At the moment we see bad behavior from our child, it is their attempt at getting some need met. If we can pause and, instead of punishing the misbehavior, try to figure out the need behind the behavior, we can move towards understanding the need, maybe help filling the need in another way, and create more loving connections.

Dr. Laura Markham says:

Parenting is 80% connection; otherwise kids can’t accept our guidance.

How’s your ratio?



I try to connect with each of my kids daily – for at least 15 minutes, as Dr. Laura recommends. This creates the base of connection with you.

But you can also connect with your child in a challenging moment, too.

Connection Before Correction – In Action

Continue reading

Sometimes I’m Crafty: The Shirt-to-Pillow Upcycle Success

Although not the main focus of this website, I thought I would share one of my latest crafty projects. I am sure there are many of you who also might like this handy little idea.

The Dilemma

When my son was in preschool the year he was two, they made these personalized shirts for Christmas. They have a reindeer on the front made with my son’s own hand and footprints. I loved the shirt! Now that he is 7 1/2 he has not only outgrown the shirt, but probably wouldn’t want to wear it even if it did fit!

But I cannot throw away something as precious as this! And donating didn’t seem right. Who would want handprints of someone else’s child?

I wanted to keep the shirt for sentimental reasons. I want to look at it again and again. But just keeping it in a drawer didn’t seem functional.

The Solution

I somehow got the idea of making the shirt into a pillow, one that I could keep and would become a seasonal decoration. Thanks to Pinterest, I found several tutorials that helped me figure it out.

The Result

Here is the before and after shot of the shirt and the pillow:



The Procedure

I decided I wanted cording around the edge and for the back to have an “envelope”, as the overlapping fabric flaps are called. This will allow me to take out the pillow insert (which I bought at a local craft store).

The two tutorials I used the most were this one and this one. (I just bought my own cording, though, I didn’t make it.)

I sewed one layer at a time, though, not all layers at once. You do have to be careful as you sew cording but in general, this pillow was way easier to make than I thought! I’m happy!

How will you use this idea?

Wendy -

(If you like this article, it would mean so much to me if you share it!)

Grateful for Tantrums? Yes I Am! – The Practice of Being Grateful for Difficulties

I remember hearing about the importance of creating gratitude lists years ago, probably from Oprah. It seems that gratitude has found its way into many discussions these days – and that’s a good thing. I believe that being grateful is one of the very best ways to raise our vibration. Every night before bed I think about all the things I am grateful for.

When you practice gratitude in this way, you see how much abundance is in your life already.

Grateful for the Good

Much of the focus about gratitude lists is on being grateful for all the good things in your life. That’s wonderful, because many people focus on the negative and have a hard time remembering that they have many things to be grateful for. These types of gratitude lists may look something like this:

  • I am grateful for the health of my family.
  • I am grateful for my two children.
  • I am grateful to share my life with a wonderful husband.
  • I am grateful for my house, which shelters me.
  • I am grateful for the abundance of food we enjoy, knowing we always have enough to eat.
  • I am grateful for the nice weather we had today.

And so on.

I think making this kind of gratitude list is a great daily practice and can bring much happiness and peace.

Another Kind of Gratitude List

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the parenting challenges I face, sure that no one else has these struggles and that I am just going to have to “suffer” with these challenges until the kids are older. Choosing to suffer every day is definitely not a good feeling.

I recently read Dr. Wayne Dyer’s most recent book “I Can See Clearly Now” in which he reflects upon many experiences in his life and how he is grateful for all of them – the good and the not-so-good. His stories opened me up even more to the idea of trying to see the purpose or lesson behind each difficult challenge. If we can discover the purpose or lesson we learned (or should have learned) from each event or experience that we may label “bad”, then we can find a way to be grateful for them. Gratitude for all that happens in our life is a sure way towards inner peace.

So I decided to come up with a list of 10 things to be grateful for regarding my tough parenting challenges. The first parenting challenge I chose was my daughter’s tantrums. Continue reading

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