View my recent article Transforming Toddler Tantrums in The Women of Gloucester Online Magazine!
View my recent article Transforming Toddler Tantrums in The Women of Gloucester Online Magazine!
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BRAIDS BEADS and BALLIES
The Glory of Black Hair
© 2011 by Deborah A. Beasley ACPI CCPF
If you are Caucasian parents raising African American children, like I am, learning proper care of your child’s hair can become a slippery process. The daily confrontation with thick curly hair, tangles, tears, and intricate styling methods can leave even the most adventurous parent feeling like she’s all thumbs! Well, grab the detangler and a towel ‘cause things are about to get messy!
Black hair is lathered with products that sound as though they belong in the kitchen. Products like carrot and olive oil, coconut and soy oil, and, yes, even castor oil. It is dressed with pomade, pudding, and something called Hair Food! These gel-like, oil-based products come in strange colors of black, dark green, and blue. They typically carry warnings that say: “Highly flammable! Keep hair away from open flame!”
All of this is enough to make a white woman tremble with the prospect of having to do their child’s hair! Relax! Before you are through you will be able to section straight parts and bead braids with the best of them!
Invest, Organize and Get Comfortable
Every woman knows there are certain things a well coifed doo can’t do without. All that hair a top those little brown heads will need special care to stay looking and behaving well. There is always a cost to looking beautiful and keeping up with your child’s curly locks is no exception.
Here are some ideas to help you begin:
Investment, organization and a comfortable working space are logistically important considerations. It takes some time to twist and plait hair, and it will go more smoothly when you have everything you need at your well oiled fingertips.
Well Dressed Hair
Many adoptive parents struggle when it comes to the actual execution of caring for their child’s hair. Below is a list of essential items you need for your child to have well dressed hair at any age.
Ethnic hair textures vary greatly from fine and soft to very thick and course with varying combinations in between. Using the right comb (and brush) for the particular hair texture your child has is important.
Generally, you need a fine tooth comb, a detangler comb, and an extra large wide tooth comb. For brushes, I highly recommend the wooden style with medium to stiff bristles. Boys will like the wooden oval palm brushes.
The Glory of Black Hair
In the black community hair is an important part of ethnic identity! It is braided and coifed, twisted and knotted, shaved and carved. The glory that is black hair is made into dreads, adorned with extensions, and corn rowed into elaborate designs.
Learning how to care for your child’s hair is an essential piece in blending the multicultural elements of your family. Now that you have a head start, stop trembling! You are a white women in the know! Now, wash the hair gel off your hands and go play with your beautiful kids!
Look for my next article on this topic: TACKLING TROUBLESOME TANGLES!
If you would like to explore your questions about issues related to cross-cultural adoption, contact me as DeborahBeasley20@yahoo.com, or 609-970-1100.
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A WHOLE CHILD APPROACH
©2011 by Deborah Beasley ACPI CCPF
How to handle toddler temper tantrums has always been a hot topic among parents and experts. Kicking feet and flailing arms can fray a parent’s nerves and flip the balance of your day topsy-turvy. When you are standing in line at the super market and your toddler is throwing a royal fit over a piece of candy you want a solution that best meets the needs of the whole child. Don’t lose your cool!
Here are three ways to successfully meet the emotional needs of your toddler, model internal self-regulation, and transform those terrible tantrums.
1. Transform tantrums by being attentive to your toddler’s needs.
Your toddler’s strong reaction is the measure of his internal frustration or confusion over whatever is happening to him. These reactions are common toddler behaviors. He needs your attention and gets it the only way he knows how.
Attention seeking behaviors at this age are never about cognitive pre-planning; rather, all behaviors come from underlying unmet needs. Gaining a better understanding of what your child really needs will help you address the problem appropriately and restore his sense of feeling safe and cared for once again.
ACTION: Ask yourself what is driving the behavior? Finding the unmet need is the first step to filling it. Is your child tired, hungry, and overwhelmed by the tantalizing sights and sounds of the supermarket, playground, or other environment? It’s easy for little minds and bodies to confuse being tired with being hungry. Adults do that all the time. The sweet red taffy just beyond his reach has now pushed him beyond his level of tolerance.
2. Transform tantrums by calmly acknowledging your child’s feelings.
Toddlers do not have the ability to accurately verbally express how they feel and often will let you know through their emotional upset and crying.
ACTION: You can hep diffuse difficult behavior by ‘describing’ or ‘naming’ what your toddler is feeling. This action will let your toddler know you care about what he feels and you are capable of helping him feel better about it.
EXAMPLE: “I see how upset you are because you want the candy so much.”
Or, “I can see how angry you are right now. I understand how hard this is for you not to have candy.”
Or, “Wow, this is a noisy place. I don’t thing you like all this noise right now. Help mommy finish shopping so we can go somewhere quiet and have fun.”
3. Transform tantrums by creating a positive response to a negative reaction.
It is more productive and effective to provide your child with choices of what she can do or have, instead of focusing on what you do not want her to do or have.
ACTION: Seperate the child from the cause of the upset while lending emotional support. This might mean heading down a different isle, redirecting her attention to something else, or, in extreme cases, leave your basket at the customer service desk while you and your child get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Always reassure your child they are going to be okay.
EXAMPLE: (Describing) “We have been out for a long time this morning, Sam.”
(Positive choice and outcome) “Pick out your favorite cereal so Mommy can get you home quickly and you can have your nap.”
(Reassurance) “Next time we won’t be so long.”
Points to Remember
* A toddler’s ability to regulate their emotional and impulsive reactions is experience limited. They are navigating their rapidly expanding world for the first time and can become easily overwhelmed and frustrated.
* The goal is to help your toddler master his internal and sometimes unruly emotions that lead to less than desirable behavioral displays. Your toddler will need a very patient caregiver to help her learn these lessons well.
How a toddler eventually internalizes self-regulation will depend upon the models they have available from a loving family, friends, pre-school or other caregivers to the community in which they live. All young children need nurturing guidance and lots of patience. Parents who respond to tantrums in calm, consistent, and positive ways meet deep emotional needs in their children. Meeting needs at this level secures your toddlers positive self-esteem.
Once you have mastered all these skills, parenting through the tween years should be a piece of cake! Or, will it? See you then. 🙂
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© 2010 by Deborah Beasley
Is it possible? Can it be that time of year already? We hadn’t time to recuperate from Halloween when Christmas and Hanukah decorations began showing up on the shelves. We were just beginning to think about the menu for our Thanksgiving Feast as the onslaught of Holiday television advertising kicked into high gear.
The movers and shakers behind brilliant advertising campaigns knew right when to pounce on the weakened wills of our unsuspecting kiddies. With their mouths still salivating over the stash of trick or treat sweets and their cute little brains on a sugar high, their eyes began to take on that familiar ‘deer in the headlights’ look kids get when they see all those sparkly new toys on the telly.
The mere possibilities overwhelm such delicate systems and a chorus of voices has reached the ears of parents far and wide. Yes, folks. ‘Tis is the season of ‘I wants’, ‘Get me’s, and ‘Gimmies’. Despair not! When opportunity knocks, good parents open the door. Balance the ‘gimmies’ in your kids with giving this Holiday Season. Teach your child the spirit of compassionate giving.
Here are 10 opportunities for kids to give in Gloucester County and beyond:
1. Begin or participate in a holiday winter coat drive through your school, church, sport team, or Scout troop.
2. Organize a food drive or donation drop in your area to benefit the local Pantry.
3. Help your child research and choose an organization s/he may want to help by collecting donations of food, clothing, or baby items and personally delivering them to the shelter or organization.
4. Offer to help an older neighbor with yard work, fall clean up or shoveling snow throughout the winter season.
5. Decide to run an Alex’s Lemonade Stand yearly to benefit kids with cancer.
6. Allow your kids to choose a child to sponsor through organizations like Christian Children’s Fund. They can pick the country of the child and communicate often through letters and photographs with their sponsored child.
7. Young children can help parents write a menu and pick out ingredients for a meal to be donated to a family in need during this season.
8. Take your children to pick out one gift each for a child less fortunate and place them in the Toys for Tots collection box.
9. Ask friends and family members to donate new pairs of gloves, hats, socks, ear muffs, and scarves for underprivileged children.
10. Get involved with a local ‘soup kitchen’ where young people may volunteer to serve those coming in for their meals.
According to the Volunteer Center of Gloucester County located in Sewell, New Jersey, “Youth volunteerism has doubled in the last 15 years. “ The Center reports that “young people volunteer 2.4 billion hours annually” to help meet the needs of others in the community. Why should your child let them have all the fun?
First Lady Michelle Obama in an essay written exclusively for USA Today Magazine in 2009 wrote, “The current generation of young people is one of the most socially conscious and active, with 61% of 13- to 25 year olds saying they feel personally responsible for making a difference in the world.”
The First Lady goes on to say, “When so many people are struggling to make ends meet, we need everyone pulling together to help solve our nation’s problems and lift up our fellow Americans.” This includes America’s youngest citizens.
Teaching kids to open their hearts to others prepares them to be the people of character we envision them becoming in the future. Encouraging kids to give to others promotes a spirit of willingness to give generously of their time and talents to those in need. Parents who model the ideals of community giving in any season will support healthy growth in their children all year round. You will still hear the ‘gimmies’ and ‘get me’s’ so familiar to children excited by the season. Now it will be tempered by a new social awareness and the joy they experience from learning the spirit of compassionate giving.
Deborah Beasley, ACPI CCPF, is a Certified Parenting Coach, workshop presenter, and adoptive parent. She is the author of From Foster Care to Adoption- Navigating the Emotional Journey, A Parent’s Guide to State Adoption (2010), and regular contributing writer for The Women of Gloucester County online magazine. Deborah is the founder of Together At Last Family Support which provides phone and in home coaching services, parenting education courses, and supports for families raising children with mental health and behavioral concerns.
Contact Deborah at: 609-970-1100
Parent Support: http://www.HowDoesYourChildGrow.wordpress.com
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GOOD STUFF IN – GOOD STUFF OUT!
(c) 2010 By Deborah Beasley ACPI CCPF
Healthy children need healthy things from their parents. Just as the ol’ saying goes: Good stuff in – Good stuff out; and, well…you know the rest. What is this ‘good stuff’ you ask? Here are a few hints.
Ready, set, here it is!
GOOD STUFF #1 – THE WORDS PARENTS SPEAK
The words parents choose to speak to and about their children have great power over a child’s young mind and heart. As parents we want to teach our children to speak well of themselves and others. We want our children to learn respect. They will be able to do this when they experience their parent or caregiver speaking well of and to them. Remember: Children learn by hearing.
GOOD STUFF #2 – THE THOUGHTS PARENTS THINK
The quality of thoughts a parent may think about their child will influence the quality of connection and response the parent receives from their child. When the parent is in the habit of thinking negatively concerning their child this creates negative reciprocal emotions between parent and child. Both parent and child become locked in a repeating and self-propagating loop of negative interactions. In this case the child feels the negative space between him and his parent. It is not a place of love or support, and he knows it! As a parent then, you get what you give.
Effective and loving parents will support their growing child through positive internal thought. Parents Beware! It can be contagious! Positive thoughts about your child will become evident to him in the way in which he is treated. He will feel your love and care and become more willing to spend time with you and communicate. Yes, even teenagers! It is the confident and connected child who responds in kind to the parent whose positive thoughts empower and enrich his self-worth. Remember: Children learn through feeling.
GOOD STUFF #3 – THE LOOKS PARENTS GIVE
A parents ‘look’ in the direction of a child often depends upon the child’s current attitude and behavior. Consider that your child is new to life. Each experience and blunder is hers to make and learn from. Isn’t that how we all grew to be so wize? Soften your looks toward your child when they are less than perfect. Remember: Children learn through watching.
GOOD STUFF #4 – THE ACTIONS PARENTS TAKE
Dear Parent. How we live, work, play, think, speak, listen, understand, direct, choose, influence, interact, love, and guide ourselves, others, and most importantly, our children, is within their astute observations. They see it all and ponder it carefully. Soon, they too, live, work, play, think, speak, listen, understand, direct, choose, influence, interact, love and guide themselves in exactly the manner in which they have been taught. Remember: Children learn through modeling.
Healthy children need healthy things from their parents. Continue stepping up to the plate parents! Your children are learning!
Deborah Beasley ACPI CCPF is a Certified Coach serving Families throughout Gloucester County, New Jersey, Delaware County and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Deborah is an author, presenter, and regular contributor to The Women of Gloucester County online magazine. She works with biological, adoptive and special needs parents via phone coaching and in-home services. She specializes in helping families repair relationships, manage stress, and implement successful solutions to raising children with behavioral disorders. Deborah is the owner of Together At Last Family Support and is now accepting registrations to her local Fall Parent Enrichment Courses. For specific course information contact Deborah at: www.HowDoesYourChildGrow.wordpress.com and click on the Events Calendar page. Or Call Deborah at: 609-970-1100. You are not alone, help is as close at your phone!