Sunday, January 18, 2015

No More Yelling | I want to be a Peaceful Parent

No matter your situation, parenting is a challenge; an emotional roller coaster wrought with love and laughter and tears. As young adults. before we have children, we swear we will treat our children differently, we know EVERYTHING and we have all the answers.

But as parents, we know the truth; we know NOTHING and have none of the answers. We are also so full of questions, that I personally feel great compassion for my parents' generation who didn't have anywhere near the amount of resources and support that modern parents have. When all else fails, we have the internet, social media and government supported workshops to help us navigate parenthood.

Unfortunately, one of the first lessons we learn as parents is that NO ONE has THE answer, even the doctors. Child-rearing recommendations have changed drastically over the years and as far as I'm concerned, the very best guide, that a parent MUST consult, is their gut.

But what happens when your gut, emotions and exhaustion all get mixed up together?

In my house, that lethal combination results in frustration, anger, tears and yelling. Lots and lots of yelling. The kids yelling at the parents and the parents yelling back. It turns into a vortex of tears, threats, time outs and little people hitting, kicking.

Sometimes, we can avoid the vortex and instead are able to be the peaceful parents that we all want to be, but without conscientious effort, its easy to slide back into bad habits. I'm a huge fan of Aha Parenting and find that the weekly newsletters often seem to be speaking to me as they tackle REAL problems that we face each and every day.

So, I decided to buy Dr. Laura's new Book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, as an audiobook and I've been listening to it while I make lunches each evening. I haven't gotten very far yet, but I'm already reminded that I WANT to be a Peaceful Parent and I can be.

So we're taking the first step, of what I'm sure will be many, to helping our family learn to communicate better.
No More Yelling. 

No more yelling for Mom, Dad or the boys. We've explained to the boys that we don't want to yell or be yelled at anymore. That we are going to do our very best to use our words and we want them to do the same.

And surprisingly, it seems to be working, at least a little bit. We're only a few days in and there have certainly been tears, flailing arms and yelling, but less. And when I remind them that I'm trying not to yell and so I need them to listen to my words instead, the boys have actually listened.

To keep things positive, when we put reminders up for the boys, we try and encourage the behaviours we want rather than giving attention to the negative, in this case, listening ears, gentle hands and inside voices.

Dr. Laura says it takes 3 months to break a yelling habit, but after only a few very conscious days, I'm starting to believe that with some effort we may be able to crush this goal.

What are your tips for being a Peaceful Parent, because believe you me, I need the help just as much as you.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chocolate, Coconut & Raspberry Overnight Oats | A make ahead breakfast recipe

HAPPY NEW YEAR, I know I'm a little late to the party, but sometimes I find myself rebelling against expect expectations.

Expectations that I should write a gift guide or a special holiday post, that I should write a year in review post or share with the world some reasonably attainable new years resolution. I actually enjoy reading those posts, but one of the things I've realized in the past year, is that I want to be able to write about what I want, when I want without the societal pressure to perform as a blogger.

When I try and conform to whatever it is that my mind thinks a blogger should be, writing becomes work and although many people consider their blog a job, and for a while I thought I might too, for now,I want my blog to be a place for solace and peace and relaxation.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know, I have been very slowly under taking the #100happydays challenge and it was pointed out to me very early on, that FOOD and my children have been the primary focal point. Combined with many requests to share my recipes, today, I'm going to do just that.

I LOVE breakfast; I get up early every day so that before I leave for work at 6:30am I have time to eat a nutritious and filling breakfast and feed my family the same. I am a huge fan of eggs, either on toast or in a tortilla and I regularly eat them multiple days a week.

But sometimes, its nice to change things up and when I posted the photo above of some chocolate coconut and raspberry overnight oats I had made, I discovered I wasn't the only one who wanted a creamy, delicious and quick breakfast on hand.  I've refined the recipe a little bit since I first made it and actually prefer to use the smaller 250ml jars rather than the large 500ml ones seen in the photo above and the recipe below makes five 250ml jars which means if you don't share you will have enough for your entire work week. 

Chocolate, Coconut & Raspberry Overnight Oats
(gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free)
yield: five 250ml jars
  • 1.5 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup + 5 Tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup (raw) cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1-1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • Mix together everything except the oats, frozen raspberries and 5 Tbsp of coconut. 
  • Once well blended, add in the oats and still until combined. The mix will seem a little loose and runny.
  • Spoon yogurt mix into jars until they are approximately 1/3 full.
  • Divide frozen berries among the jars, sprinkling 1 tbsp of coconut on top of the berries in each jar.
  • Spoon remaining yogurt mix over the berries and coconut, dividing evenly among jars.
  • Refrigerate a minimum of 3 hours.
  • Enjoy the deliciousness!
Note: Feel free to mix up the ingredients and add-ins to suit your tastes and of course what you have on hand.