Posts tagged child
I am the Parent of a Biting Child

Here I am, feeling extra vulnerable and completely defeated. For the last month I've started going to the gym 2-3 times a week and leaving my kids in the childcare center my gym offers. This week Turner, now 3 years old and short for his age, was written up for biting another child. This is a problem we've had before, and I thought he was past it until this incident. I had a long talk with him about how it's not okay to bite others because it hurts them. I told him we need to use our words to express how we're feeling, and if a child isn't listening to you to talk to an adult. I asked him to promise me not to bite anymore and he agreed that he would not.

Well, today I took them to the gym again, and we had another biting incident that Turner was written up for. I left feeling humiliated and frustrated. As I was strapping him into his carseat, I told Turner that behavior was unacceptable and that we need to use our words to express how we're feeling. As I tried to get him to understand me, I started crying. I hugged him and pleaded desperately that he would not bite anymore. 

I was fuming the whole drive home with every range of emotion. Embarrassment, guilt, sadness, frustration, desperation, anger, defeat, confusion. I was completely at a loss of how to teach my son to express himself in a healthy way. I was thinking about how frustrated the other children, childcare employees and parents must be with my child and me. I've only ever seen him try to bite someone when they are taking something from him or making him feel threatened, but that doesn't make it okay. It's never okay. They told me that if it were to happen again, he would be suspended for several weeks. 

Working out at the gym has become so amazing for my mental and physical well being. So much so that being suspended would be absolutely devastating to me. Turner doesn't understand that. I've told him that going to the gym means a lot to me and that I would be sad if we couldn't go anymore, but that doesn't really matter. I just want him to understand that it's not okay to hurt others.

I've been googling, you-tubing and researching all the ways I can teach my child to stop biting. I did a few role playing exercises with him where I pretended I was a child trying to take his toy from him, then walked him through how he was feeling and how to express it properly. I'm doing everything I can to teach him that it's wrong, and I feel like I am failing. 

I messaged my husband to let him know it had happened again. He called me and we talked about our frustration and disappointment over the situation. We discussed different strategies like watching videos with him, reading books, and singing songs that teach him not to bite. He told me he knew we could work this out, and that we can get through anything together. <3 

I spent the next two hours playing with Turner as the baby napped, and he didn't show any type of aggression. He was communicating in a healthy way, compromising with me when there was something I didn't want to do and sharing with me really well. That's when I realized how self centric I had been throughout this whole situation. I didn't really think about how Turner was truly feeling, but about how his choices were effecting me and the people around him.

I knew he was reacting out of anger or frustration, but I didn't really think about how he may have been feeling going to childcare in general. Turner has only started playing in big groups since I joined the gym, and he is not used to that at all. We usually stay home during the week where he deals with his little brother, a 10 months old who is just learning to crawl around and play himself. He also attends a nursery during church once a week for a couple hours that has about 15 children, but it's usually less than that. Other than that he doesn't get a lot of exposure to groups of children.

The childcare center, however, can have up to 25 children and 5 infants at the same time (30 total), while there are usually only 5-6 employees. That's about 5 kids per adult. I only have 2 kids of my own, and that's a lot for me to handle. The employees can't watch every child at all times. It's not possible. They are doing the best that they can to ensure every child is taken care of.

Turner really thrives on adult-child play, which he's not getting. He also thrives on one-on-one and small group interaction and I'm sure he's getting overwhelmed with such a large amount of children in the same space. He is trying to deal with it the best he can. And unfortunately that's with his teeth. I wish the 10 million times I told him that biting isn't okay was enough. I wish I could be there with him every second to reinforce his good behavior and guide him through proper emotional expression. But if he's not emotionally ready to be with a big group of kids without my constant supervision for an hour, then he's not ready. AND THAT'S OKAY.

I'm going to continue doing everything in my power to teach him what behavior is okay and what's not. That's all I can do. So if your child is biting, know you are not alone and that the struggle is real. Keep loving them and teaching them the best way you know how. Talk to your spouse, family members, friends, your pediatrician, and anyone else you trust for other resources to help you. And if you're child is the victim of a biting incident, or a childcare employee, please try to have empathy for the biting child, and their parents too. No parent wants there child to be hurt or to be hurting someone else. Let's all show a lot more love and equally less judgement. We all have our struggles, and right now this is ours.

Some of the Greatest Tears I've Ever Cried
Some of the Greatest tears I've Ever Cried || ADOS || Blog, lifestyle, motherhood, meaningful moments

The day after Thanksgiving, after what feels like an eternity, we pull out the Christmas decorations. After lugging all of the boxes upstairs, I realized that we still had the old four foot Christmas tree that I grew up decorating in the room I shared with my little sister. That's when I had, what I would say was, a brilliant idea. I thought to myself, I should set up the tree in the loft and let Turner decorate it all by himself! 

I had him follow me as I carried the tree upstairs along with all of the sentimental ornaments I had acquired over the years. I wrapped it with lights and his eyes filled with wonder as I plugged them in. I opened up my box of ornaments and showed him how to hang them on the branches. Then I watched as he proudly put ornaments on this Turner sized tree. I sat there as he put 5 different ornaments on the same branch, while trying to tell him to put each ornament on a branch of its own. But his pure joy in that moment was all I really cared about. 

I got out my phone and took a short video of him adorning the tree with trinkets and keepsakes of my childhood years. Stitched plastic canvas ornaments that remind me of my grandma, an angel the color of my birth stone and wings of gold, and birds I crafted from paper the first, humble Christmas Matthew and I shared together as husband and wife.

That's when it hit me just how incredibly blessed my life has been, and how especially blessed it is now. It came like a wave of emotion as Turner clapped and cheered while he decorated what he called, "the greatest Christmas tree, EVER." As I saw the endless amount of joy in his countenance, I felt overwhelmed with love.

So overwhelmed that I began to cry.

It was the most tender feeling of happiness. And that happiness has been a light every moment since. I'm so grateful I took the time to sit and be present with my son that night. I never ever want to forget how meaningful it was to experience that moment. Those were some of the greatest tears I've ever cried. 


I'm excited to share one more thing with you tonight. Tomorrow is the kick off of #LIGHTtheWORLD with 25 days of serving others, as Jesus Christ did, every day until Christmas. Doesn't the idea of that make you so happy? It makes me happy, and I'm hoping through this challenge I can make a habit of serving others more. Watch this video, find a service calendar and other free printables at The Small Seed, and join me in lighting the world with service! 

Bookroo || Children's Book Subscription Review
Bookroo || Monthly Children's Book Subscription || Review || ADOS

One of my favorite things to do with Turner is read. As much as I love reading the same book a thousand times...I don't. So getting new books on a regular basis is essential. Now that he's talking and understanding more and more words, the smaller board books just haven't been cutting it. I've been meaning to get him some more age appropriate books, but they can get expensive! I have wanted to go check some out at the library instead, but dread the thought of getting them returned on time. 

Bookroo is the perfect service for someone like me. It's a monthly book subscription service that delivers two or three age appropriate children's books right to you. That's right, new books in your mailbox. Talk about happy mail! You can pay month to month, or save big time by paying a year in advance! It adds quality books to your collection for an amazing price! I looked up the prices of these hardback books individually and I'm basically getting TWO for the price of ONE! You can't beat that. (They're also offering my readers a discount. Details at the bottom of this post!)

Did I mention it comes wrapped like a present with a handwritten note inside the box?! It's like Christmas! Turner couldn't have been more excited about opening them and seeing new books. He wanted to read them right that second! So we did. 

I'm a huge advocate of reading to children. I worked as a reading tutor in an elementary school before having children, and came to realize how much reading on a daily basis helps children develop in all other areas of their lives. I've been reading to Turner since he was tiny, and I cannot believe how much he learns because of it. He's 2 years old, has several books memorized word for word and will repeat them with me. I can tell that they help him expand his vocabulary, better understand emotions and social cues. New books not only help him learn new things, but it creates so many special moments for him and I to have together. I'll be devastated when he will no longer want me to read to him. So until then, I'll be continuing to buy new books.

Bookroo is offering my readers $5 off their first Bookroo box by clicking this unique link! They are also currently doing a giveaway throughout March to celebrate National Reading Month. All you have to do is register for their free reading app on their website and start to track your child's reading. Every day that you log 30 minutes or more of reading with your child, it gives you an entry towards some amazing prizes! Click here to find out more.

What are some of your favorite children's books? Leave them in the comments below! 

xo

Signature || Cheree || ADOS
 

*post sponsored by Bookroo, all reviews and opinions are completely my own*

Pregnancy Diary: 33 weeks
Pregnancy Diary: 33 Weeks || ADOS

It's starting to get really real over here. At my appointment on Monday the baby was measuring at 4 lbs 9 oz. I'm well on my way to having another 8 pounder. Insert distressed emoticon here. My doctor suggested I think about being induced at 39 weeks because my last delivery was so difficult. I can't believe how much comfort it brought me to hear him say those words. Knowing that's an option and that my doctor wants me to have an easy delivery brings me such peace of mind.

It's not really until now that I realized how traumatizing my first delivery was. As the day is approaching to have Grey, I am feeling more anxiety and fear that it will be exactly the same as last time. While I've received a lot of encouragement from family and friends that my body knows what to do now, I can't help but think about how I felt like a failure for the first three and a half hours of pushing with Turner. Granted, I didn't have much of a coach throughout the process. I only saw my doctor 5 or 6 times in the 10 hours I was at the hospital. 

Still, it was frustrating to me to think I wasn't strong enough to push out my baby. He was in the birth canal for 4 hours before he arrived. I feel completely responsible for his stay in the NICU.  I have prayed so many times that with Grey it will be different. That it'll be a smooth delivery. That I will have the strength and ability to ensure a healthy delivery for him. I don't know if an induction will help me do that, but I'm hoping to be inspired to know what will be best for me and my sweet baby boy. 

Until then I'm choosing to stay hopeful. To have faith in myself and my experiences. To trust in my Father in Heaven. I'm choosing to be grateful for a healthy child and an uncomplicated pregnancy. For the blessing to be a part of creating another human life. I'm choosing to think about the first time I'll hold my precious son in my arms, and when he will meet his incredible father and his big brother. That day will be the sweetest of days. And although I'm afraid, I'm dreaming of that day to come.

xo

Signature || Cheree || ADOS