May 072014
May is Child Care Month – celebrate a child-ca...

May is Child Care Month – celebrate a child-care provider! (Photo credit: BC Gov Photos)


Not long ago I was  talking with a new mom who is heading back to work a few hours each week.  She’s an awesome mother and has been struggling with how to do “this  parenting thing just right.”  She shared that she had found the right day care provider but was still worried.  “What if she doesn’t want to do things the way I want them done?”

No matter how wonderful your child care provider may be, there will be times you don’t understand one another 100%.  Even if you’ve managed to hire Mary Poppins, you may, at times, disagree or not understand the other’s choices.

So how can you be certain that and your child’s other care providers remain more compatible than not?


When it comes to our little ones, sometimes everything we know about calm, assertive communication goes right out the window.   Work-life balance can bring out the “tired-guilty-I-want-to-be-two-places-at-once-monster” in the best of us!

Whether your childcare provider is a family member, a friend or manages a licensed day care facility you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on your communication skills.

Here are three tips that may make it easier for you:

  • Start with a positive.  Choose something you like about the relationship, the care your child gets or any of the communications that seem 100% clear.
  • Explain your concern simply and directly.  “It’s really important that we keep nap time consistent, yet when I got home the other day she slept almost an hour longer than usual.”
  • Ask for an explanation:  “If something happened and she went down later than usual I need to know that.  It helps me know if she is going through something that requires more sleep.”
Not sure what you’re supposed to ask about?  Many states provide a child care consumer information web sites or  phone lines. Here are sites from Vermont , Florida and Arkansas for example.
Like so many things, once you know what you want and have all  information you need, making  compromises and adjustments can get a little easier.
May 242013

When in doubt, talk to it, right?  Here’s the warning lable…. if you’re not trying to get your own dogs going, turn down you sound a little before pushing “play.”  Speaking of “play”…  have a great weekend!


 May 24, 2013  Posted by at 5:30 am Friday Fun Comments Off on Beagles and the Bee
Sep 182012

Sometimes when kids are learning new routines, schedules or chores they start off strong… and then hit a series of bumps in the road. Cooperation is replaced by: “I forgot.”  “I don’t want to.”  “I can’t.” With a families’ busy schedules, this phenomenon can be particularly frustrating if you’ve begun to rely on your child taking care of this particular activity without supervision… or we can use it as a chance to build work out our “choice” muscles.


[Tweet “If you don’t want to go “back to square one” consider giving kids choices. Lots of them.”]

That’s right, if you don’t want to go “back to square one,” consider giving the kids some choices.  Lots of them. I’m not talking about  “will you” or “won’t you”, “yes” or “no”, or any other potentially polarizing choice… but one that works more like an open question does.

Let’s assume that the resistance is showing up around bedtime.

  • “Are you planning to take your shower tonight or in the morning?”
  • “Are you going to brush your teeth before or after you put on your jammies?”
  • “Do you want the red pajamas or the yellow ones?”
  • “Do you want Aunt Cindy to read your story or do you want me to do it?”
  • “Do you want to hear Goodnight Moon or The Lorax?”

You get the idea.  It’s also a great way to model choice-making.

[Tweet “”Do you want the red pajamas or the yellow ones?” Choices. Lots of them.”]

Whether about bedtime, tooth brushing, walking the dog or taking out the trash, you have an opportunity to avoid the heated discussion for which your child has prepared.  Instead, you’re giving choices…  not about IF the activity will be accomplished but HOW.

When invited to an argument, using this strategy can help a parent choose not to attend.  That’s a powerful model… and a skill that will serve them well for a long, long time.  The choice is yours.