My child won’t stop crying!

The next time your little one is losing it over something you think is silly (like maybe they asked you for a banana but not a PEELED banana, and, well, you peeled it! Who knew this could cause such pain and upset, right?!? but they are kids – not mini adults, and believe it or not, it DOES…) and you’re tempted to stay “Stop crying” or “Don’t cry”, take a deep breath and as you offer them the peeled banana anyway, say instead “I see you’re sad/disappointed. It’s okay to cry. I’m here…”

mr rogers quote

Say these words and mean them. Be there for your little one who is just beginning to learn about this thing called “feelings” … including anger, disappointment and yes, even rage.

Sure. It’s not easy to sit there and listen to your child cry when every cell in your body wants to yell “ALRIGHT ALREADY HERES YOUR DANG BANANA. SHEEESH WILL YOU STOP CRYING??!?! IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL!” as you reach over to the fruit bowl and grab another banana.

But imagine instead you simply say “This is your banana today. If you want to peel your banana tomorrow you can. This is your banana today. It’s right here if you’d like it.”  Instead of being angry and reactive, these words are responsive, like training wheels, helping your child learn to be with their emotions, to express them and to shift.

As you sit with your child in the middle of their upset, look to yourself. What is happening in your body? Are you holding your breath? Are your shoulders tense and way up by your ears instead of relaxed and sitting on your ribcage? Does your face look all scrunched up, irritated and/or scary? Take a deep breath. Soften the lines on your face and keep breathing (this is the first thing that goes when we’re upset). Imagine a moment with your child where you were at peace and FULL of love. Snuggling. Staring into their big, dark eyes when they were a newborn. Breathe, holding this memory in your mind as you allow for this less than peaceful child that is before you to be seen as well.

As you sit there together, accepting your child and all their many feelings, she will likely still cry and she may never reach over and eat that peeled banana, but in the end, she will feel HEARD. And even though she was dealing with some downright big/scary/ugly feelings, the two of you will leave the experience feeling closer to one another instead of mad/angry/frustrated and further apart. Instead of learning to whine and cry to “get her way” your child learns 1) you can be trusted with their big emotions and 2) you can be loving even as you are setting limits. Limits that are clear, firm and respectful. What a gift.

Let your child know in ways great and small, you are a safe place for them to feel their emotions no matter what. Because you two? You are on the SAME SIDE OF THE COURT. You are connected. You are a team.

(And a damn good one at that.)

PS: If you liked this post, join our community of mindful mamas and receive a free gift, a Hug Each Moment Kit via email today along with weekly positive parenting tips and inspirations direct to your inbox.

Inspiration and support for the journey of motherhood.  The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone! Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest too. xoxo


How to Hurt

Skinned Knees Rock

Your Parenting Purpose

Positive Parenting Support and Group Classes

Not Perfect Parenting

not perfect parenting

Give your family the gift of YOU. 

Imperfect, wonderful, awesome-sauce YOU.

Because when we do this.

When we let go of perfect…

Everything is possible.


ps: Have you ever felt yourself letting go of “perfect” in one way or another and felt the DEEPER CONNECTION possible with your family/mama friends on the other side of perfect as a result? Tell your story in the comments below.

When we tune in and trust, everything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because mom-hood is BETTER when we’re holding hands. Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest as well, because the manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone!


How Parenting Helps Me Grow

How to Accept the Un-Acceptable

More Posts on Being a NOT Perfect Parent and Forgiveness

Suffering From the Terrible Two’s? Remember to BIRP

Taking Love Off The Line




You love your child. Period.

I know this the same way YOU know this.

It just is. A nearly universal thing we moms all relate to. A mother’s love for her child is unconditional — the sort of love that suspends all logic.

So why?

Why do we as parents act like our love is negotiable, putting our love on the line when we’re upset?

Why do we say things to make our kids think there is any possible way that we could love them less because of their flaws? Because of their human-ness? Because of the dark, scary places that live inside of them? The places they love and trust us alone enough to show? The places they hide — from their teachers, from their friends, for fear that they’d no longer be worthy of love if someone found them out.


We do it for that exact reason it was done to us. Because it is what we know. It is hard-wired into us. It is our knee-jerk reaction when things don’t go the way we’d like them to go. When our kids misbehave. When our kids are different. When they don’t fit into the square hole their school is pushing for them to fit into. When they don’t fit into the round hole our (generally well-meaning) parents, in-laws, friends, neighbors, doctors, etc tell us they “should” fit into.

We get triggered. We snap. We “lose it” on our kids.

It’s what we know.

But don’t we remember how it felt? That look from a parent (or a teacher or any other person of authority in our short little lives) that told us we had just completely let them down. The look that said “You, my friend, are a disappointment.”

Don’t we remember feeling the not-enoughness? Feeling, deep, in the pit of our stomachs, the I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not organized enough. I’m not sporty enough. I’m not social enough. I’m not outgoing enough. I’m not quiet enough. I’m not pretty enough… And on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

The beating ourselves up for our challenges, so much so we lost sight of our gifts?

“I can’t remember things like other people can. I don’t pay attention like other people do. I’m broken.”

Not only seeing it in their looks, but hearing it in their words.

What if, instead, we remember? Breathing. Clearing. Coming back to love.

Remembering that day when first, we locked eyes with our little one. The way we loved them then. Unconditionally. With our entire selves and everything we were. Love. More than life itself. Love.

Remembering. Our child’s innate goodness. Innate wholeness. Innate deservingness of love, not for anything they did or DO so much as just because THEY ARE.

Letting go. When old hurts creep up from the past to make their way into our ways of being today. Feeling for these moments. Watching for them. Sensing when we are about to move, are moving or have already moved off our center, triggered by something our child has said or done.

Catching these moments quicker as the weeks go by, quicker because of our growing awareness. Quicker because of grace and our breath and the support of a circle of other loving parents, equally committed the healing, growing journey that is parenthood.

Taking our love off the line.

Holding misbehavior as a sign of an un-met need and not a broken child. Using responsible, respectful, clear, consistent and firm words with our kids when met with a “teaching moment”.

“I love you but I do not love your behavior today.”

Connecting before correcting.

“Can we talk? I’m feeling very far away from you these days.”

“What do you think we could do to make mornings gentler/smoother/etc…?”

“I feel like I’m yelling at you all the time. I’m sorry I get so anxious when we’re running late. Do yo have any ideas that could help us here?”

Because really, you and me? Us — all of us — parents. We are on the same team as our kids. We’re not playing tennis, one on one, on opposite sides of the court as our children. NO. We are playing DOUBLES. TRIPLES. QUADRUPELS even. And there can many, many, many people on our same side of the court: husband’s, partner’s, teachers, doctors, etc.

We are all on the same side of the court.

The balls are flying at us, coming over that net at lightening fast speeds, and there we are, side by side, playing this game of life together… with our kids. Those balls, they’re not our kids. They’re life. Our pasts. Our fears. Other’s fears.

Tell this to your child today: “You and I? We are on the same side of the court.”

In the words you use. In the actions you take. Tell your child. Your love is theirs. Unconditionally.

It just is.



PS: If you liked this post, join our community of mindful mamas and receive weekly notes of inspiration and support for connecting with your kids along with a Hug Each Moment Kit direct to your inbox.


The journey of motherhood.  The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone. Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest too. xoxo


Suffering From the Terrible Two’s? Remember to BIRP

How Parenting Helps Me Grow

Parenting and Discipline


What If We All Entered The World To This Sort of Love?

This. This is why I teach baby massage. This is it. It is all here in this video.


A peace-filled, conscious connection possible with our hands, telling our little-est people that the world around them is a safe and nurturing place. Telling them it is okay to trust and that they are loved.

Who would not want this for themselves, for their children? (Can someone please do this to me?)



How To Love Your Demons

Invite Them to Lunch


I said to a friend the other day, “I’m having my demons over for lunch. Would you and yours care to join me?”

I figure if I’ve got them, demons I mean… and I do, I might as well get to know them better. My friend couldn’t make lunch that day, but it sparked a great conversation and ultimately led to this post.

All this focus on examining my demons started after a soul searching night spent listening to Paul Coutinho speak in St. Louis, Missouri. Paul is an incredible speaker, the author of How Big is Your God, Just As You Are… and lucky for me, spends half his time in his homeland of India and the other half teaching theology at St. Louis University.

What was the topic of his talk you ask? For me, it was all about l-o-v-e. Paul shared a number of compelling ideas, but the part of his talk that intrigued me the most was when he encouraged us to make friends with our demons.

On this night, I had an ah-ha moment. In his simple way, Paul’s words brought home to me the idea that we, each of us, are mystics NOT in our strengths… but in our weaknesses. [Read more…]

How to Love the One You’re With — Really!

Only a man would try balancing the checkbook at 8:20 on a Saturday when our son has a 9:00 soccer game. Who does that? Who thinks the checking account has priority when there are shoes to put on, uniforms to dig out of laundry baskets and orders to be shouted at children who don’t function on Saturdays without them.

Men are just different from women. They think about things differently. But I guess that’s why we love them. They complete us. Here’s a look at things that only a man would do. Only a Man Would… [Read more…]

How to Mend a Broken Heart

“What’s ‘unrequited love’ mean?”  That’s the opening line from my son when I picked him up from school earlier today.

As any experienced parent knows, this is the type of question that doesn’t deserve an immediate answer.  It deserves another question. So I say, “Why do you ask?”

“Well, this girl at school said that she had ‘unrequited love’ for me.  I don’t know what she’s talking about.”

It sounds to me as if this girl may not only be more mature than my son but she also has a better vocabulary.

I start thinking about how to best answer his question and my mind veers onto the nostalgia road where I recall a few personal “unrequited love” stories from my tween/teen years. [Read more…]

Expert Mom Interview: Love’s Garden

Long-time couple and Buddhist Dharma teachers Larry Ward and Peggy Rowe Ward offer The Three Keys and other concrete practices for the transformation of suffering and the establishment of happiness. Love’s Garden is an invitation to deepen our spiritual practice and strengthen our most important relationships.

[Read more…]

Zen Mommy Minute: Daddy LOVE!

This is for my amazing husband from his “girls”…and for all you Dad’s out there that love your children. Thank you. You make a difference in the world.

[Read more…]

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 9

love_ebook_bannerBe sweet to each other.

If I had to take one lesson from this life and bottle it up to carry on to the next it is that… be sweet… to your friends, your children, your dog, your spouse or sweetheart, even your ex-spouses and sweethearts. In this age of technology, there are so many ways we can touch each other’s hearts. Yesterday, I got a text that simply said, “Hug.” And a direct tweet that said, “Going to sleep, love.”

These tiny touches are deposits in the heart bank. It made no difference that they were virtual. This is the food and nourishment of life. It’s what gives us the strength to face our challenges and learn our lessons. So if you are hesitating about the email, wall post, whatever… DON’T. Don’t ever shy away from a chance to be sweet.

My friend Julie has taken it a step further. She’s collected all sorts of sweetness in an eBook about LOVE. And she’s giving it away free on her blog. Why? Because she’s hoping that in the spirit of love, you will make a donation to Career Gear.

Okay… yes… this is shameless promotion! But get I nothing for it this except the joy of giving! :) Julie’s mission is “To spread happiness & positivity and to make a difference for people struggling with the recession.” I’m so down with that! It’s an inspiring collection of poetry. A great gift for your spouse, a friend, or yourself.

Download the book for free. Then, donate to Career Gear. It’ll only be up from today through Saturday, Valentine’s Day.

Related Articles:

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 8

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 7

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 6

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 5

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 4

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 3

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 2

How Many Posts Can We Do About Love: 1

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for pregnancy and exercise, travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.