Friday, October 30, 2015

How to Help Children Express Their Emotions

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of My Happy Pillow.
All opinions are 100% mine.

Often times my kids become frustrated because they can’t find the words or they haven’t been given the opportunity to express themselves.  When a child is upset, sad, scared, or happy, it is important to encourage them to express their emotions. 
Some tips for helping kids express their feelings include:
  • Reading books with them.  Some titles I like include The Way I Feel series from Cornelia Maude Spelman.  The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen is another favorite.  As you read, you can ask questions such as: How do you think this character is feeling? You can also use stuffed animals, dolls, or puppets to help act out the emotions. 
  • Talking with them about different emotions.  Use words like happy, sad, and frustrated when helping them work through their feelings.  For instance, remind them that Mommy gets upset when she bumps her head.  When do you get upset? 
  • Show children emotion cards or pictures and talk about each one.  Children can use the cards to draw an ‘emotion journal’ where they use text such as I feel….when….. They can also use the journal and cards to non-verbally express how they feel. 
Kids themselves have a lot of insight on this matter too!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to talk with Isabella, a seven-year-old and the creator of
My Happy Pillow.  My Happy Pillows are cute, character pillows with one expression on one side and another feeling on the other. The lovable pillows provide a source of comfort for children. In addition, it has helped make bedtime less of a battle at my house.   Recently, My Happy Pillow won the Dr. Toys Best Picks award for children's products for 2015! 

To help parents understand how to help children express themselves and to learn more about the young creator of My Happy Pillow, Isabella was gracious enough to answer the following questions:

Me: How did you come up with the idea for My Happy Pillow? 
Isabella: I wanted to make something that other kids could play with and show how they're feeling. (happy or mad, and how each face looks).

Why is it important for kids to be able to express themselves non-verbally?
Isabella: Sometimes, it’s hard to explain what you're feeling.

How did you choose the emotions on the Happy Pillows?
Isabella: It’s how I feel the most or what my friends and I talk about the most. It’s how I feel most often.

What helps you calm down when you are upset?  
Isabella: The best is when I can talk to my mom. Having something to help me explain myself like the pillows still helps.

In your opinion, how can parents help children who are scared at night?
Isabella: Just being with them and making them feel safe and letting them talk.

Do you have a favorite My Happy Pillow character?
Isabella: Rosie the dog and Zee the monkey.

What helps you fall asleep at night?
Isabella: Having my mom there with me and all of my pillows and toys.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs like yourself?
Isabella: My mom always helps me take chances and not be scared and just do stuff.

How do you help your kids express their emotions?

Please take a moment to send a vote for me by clicking the banner below!  Thanks.
If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The 12 Emotional Stages I Go Through After My Kids Break Stuff

Sometimes my kids break stuff. Perhaps, it’s because I let them play ball in the house. Perhaps, it’s because they are wild little monkeys. Perhaps, that’s just life with kids. Even though I hardly have any breakables around the house, my kids still seem to manage to break things.  Here are the 12 emotional stages I go through after my kids break stuff.


(Huge eyes) OMG!  I can’t believe it.  How can two kids possibly make such a mess while I go to the bathroom?


No one move!  I don’t want anyone to step on a piece of glass. That would hurt, plus urgent care is a nightmare on the weekends.  Go put on shoes and stay out of this room until you are 18.


Deep breaths, deep breaths…... I can’t believe you broke that!  You’re going to have to owe me allowance money for the next 50 years….wait I don’t give you an allowance. Hmmm….let me think of something else. 


Wait, no, don’t cry, mommy was just kidding. I won’t take your allowance that you don’t even get. If you stop crying, mommy will buy you a unicorn or a mockingbird. Let’s hug. Hugging solves all problems.


When am I going to have time to fix that?  When am I going to have enough money to fix that?


That was the first piece of art I bought after we got married.  I know it’s just a print from Bed, Bath and Beyond that I purchased with a 40% off coupon from Michaels (yes, you can do that). Still, who knows when I will have enough money in my budget to replace it.  Sniff.


Well it’s my fault because I’m the one who let you play ball inside the house.  I’m a horrible mother.  I should have taken you to the park to play this morning.  I should have signed you up for soccer this year. 


Who needs that piece of junk!  I never liked it.  I wanted to re-decorate anyways.

Joy I can go buy that new picture I’ve been eyeing at Pottery Barn!  It will look so beautiful over the couch with the holes and black tape on it!  Come on kids, I’ll turn on the clean up song and we’ll clean up this mess in a jiffy.


Ha ha! That Pottery Barn picture is $300. Besides, I would be really mad if the kids knocked THAT off the wall. I’ll just stick with my cheap wall art.


I can fix that.  I’ll just Google how to make a DIY picture frame from an old pallet or some twigs. A little wood glue will make it look as good as new.


(Puts picture back on the wall without frame). It’s okay kids, just keep playing! After all, it’s 100 degrees outside and I don’t really want to brave the fecal matter at the indoor playground…..just be careful!


Oh no, what did you break now?

Have your kids ever broken anything?  What did you do?

If you have a second, please click on the banner below to send a vote for me to Top Mommy Blogs.  One click=One vote!  Thanks.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Sunday, October 18, 2015

How to Tell If You’re an Introverted Parent

Introverts are often given a bad rap. They are labeled as unfriendly, anti-social, boring, etc. People are often surprised to find out that some public speakers are introverted. In fact, when my church pastor said he was an introvert a few weeks ago, I, an introvert myself, was surprised. If you’re wondering what an introvert really is, I like this definition from

“Introvert comes from Latin intro-, "inward," and vertere, "turning." It describes a person who tends to turn inward mentally. Introverts sometimes avoid large groups of people, feeling more energized by time alone.”

Here are few ways to tell you might be an introverted parent (although a lot of these things apply to people who aren’t parents):

You Thrive in Small Groups (or Large Playdates Scare You)

You might be an introverted parent if you enjoy hanging out with one or two parents and their children. When my daughter was young, I belonged to a playgroup with a few moms and their children. On many occasions, the playgroup consisted of just a few moms and less than five children. I found it very relaxing and enjoyable. Then, more and more people started to join and before I knew it, there were about 20 people in the playgroup. For me, this was no longer enjoyable, but chaotic. If you’re an introvert, you might enjoy small gatherings with a few close friends rather than a large party. Likewise, you probably have a few close friends rather than a lot of acquaintances.

You Enjoy Going Out but You Need Your Alone Time More

You might be introverted if you enjoy going out with your friends but sometimes need your alone time more. I love getting dressed up and going out! However, if it’s been awhile since I’ve had any ‘me time’, I will choose to do something by myself rather than go to coffee with a girlfriend. Introverts thrive on alone time. So, after a crazy week of school functions, chit-chat, and soccer games, you might decline an invitation to go out with friends for a mom's night out. After all, if you don’t get any time to be alone with your thoughts, you might start feeling overstimulated and drained. You also may stay up too late to soak in some more quiet time.  

You Dread Going to Kids’ Birthday Parties where You Have to Make Small Talk

If you dread making small talk with strangers, you might be an introverted parent. Once my daughter entered elementary school, she was invited to a lot of birthday parties.  Sometimes I felt like there was a party every weekend forever.  Since my husband often stayed behind with my younger son, this meant I went to the parties with my daughter alone.  Sometimes this was hard because I had to make small talk with a bunch of parents I didn’t know. Luckily, over the years I have gotten to know a lot of the parents at my daughter’s school, so things are much easier. If you’re introverted, you might feel the same way at your child’s soccer parties or PTA meetings. This doesn’t mean you don’t like talking to people.  It just means you’re more likely to want to have a passionate conversation rather than one about the weather.  

I also liked this quote about the difference between introverts and extroverts from Susan Cain, the author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking’:

"Extroverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched-on and their most capable when they're in quieter, more low-key environments. Not all the time -- these things aren't absolute -- but a lot of the time.” 

It’s also important to remember that extroverts are not better than introverts, or vice versa.   

So are you more introverted or extroverted? Are there are any social situations you dread as a parent? 

If you liked this post, please take a moment to click the banner below to send a vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs!  Thank you. 

  Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
The Twinkle Diaries

Sunday, October 11, 2015

When Your Emotions Take Over: Just Breathe

Sometimes, I forget to breathe. When I’m excited, when I’m scared, when I’m angry, my emotions overflow and I forget to breathe. I just keep talking, crying, shouting, and then, suddenly, I’m breathless.

On many occasions, my children have caused me to stop breathing.

I stopped breathing during childbirth, when my daughter’s heart rate slowed due to the cord being wrapped around her neck. Laying on my back, I felt helpless.  

I stopped breathing when I took my newborn son to the doctor because something just didn’t seem right and they told me his body temperature was dangerously low.

It’s hard to stay calm and keep breathing when our kids get hurt or when we feel overwhelmed or pushed to our limit.

But breathing is essential for living. Without oxygen, we will soon be lifeless. Additionally, when we don't take care of ourselves, we can’t to take care of our children. I mean, there’s a reason why the flight attendants tell parents to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you try to help your children.

As parents, we need those slow, deep breaths to calm us down, to remind us that this is just one moment in the book of life.  Tweet this:

So, when your toddler is throwing a tantrum and you feel like the whole world is staring at you, just breathe. 

When salty tears are bathing your face because you feel like you’re the worst mom and you’re not doing anything right, just breathe.  

When you’re racing around because there is too much to do and not enough time, just breathe.

Breathe in the smell of your children’s freshly washed hair when they cuddle with you at night.

Breathe in the aroma of your morning coffee, whether it be hot, warm, or stone cold.  

Breathe in the moments of beauty, the silver linings, all the small, good things.  

When everyone else has gone to sleep, breathe in the quiet night air. Breathe out all the negativity. Exhale and remember you can’t control everything. 

Remember that  it’s okay to feel anxiety, frustration, sadness,….it means you’re human.  

Breathe in, breathe out, deep, deliberate breaths, you’re doing just fine!

How do you prevent frustration and stress from taking over? 

Please take a moment to send a vote for me for Top Mommy Blogs!  Thanks so much for your support!

  If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Friday, October 9, 2015

How to Parent with Purpose: A Book Review

Do your children throw a lot of tantrums? Do you feel frustrated when you have power struggles with your children? Do you feel like you yell too much?  

I know I sometimes feel like I’m making discipline mistakes with my kids. That’s why I was so happy to get a free digital copy of Nina Garcia’s new book Parenting with Purpose that focuses on “How to Raise Well-Behaved Children and Build a Strong Parent-Child Relationship.”

One of my favorite parts of the book was Chapter 1 where readers will learn about connecting with their children to prevent conflict.  Personally, I know I sometimes become frustrated, and my kids become frustrated, when I’m not completely present. For instance, I might be trying to blog but my kids want to play with me. Sometimes, you need to forget about all the housework, put the smartphones away, and connect with your kids. In her book, Nina suggests to “give your child your full attention, even if only for  a few minutes.” By fully connecting with your child, you’ll prevent outbursts and frustration from setting in.  

Throughout the book, Nina also gives advice on how to communicate with your child, prevent tantrums, effectively use routines, parent calmly, and more.  The book ends with 20 actionable steps parents can take to create strong connections with their kids. I love how specific the actions were and how I could start using these tips right away. Since reading the book, I have been spending less time multitasking and more time where my focus is on my children only.  

Nina’s book will be released on October 18. You can find out more about the book and download a free chapter here. For those of you who are interested in this book, I have some great news. You can snag a free copy of the ebook version of Parenting with Purpose on Amazon from October 18 to 22.  In addition, you can become an email subscriber and get a free bonus chapter along with other great information and freebies.

Nina is a fellow parenting blogger over at Sleeping Should be Easy.  If you haven’t checked out her blog, it is full of helpful advice. She’s also a working mom with toddler twins and a six-year-old, all boys.  

I hope you all get a chance to read this great book!

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers