WeekEND Reading: Need to hit the ‘reset’ button on your Parenting/Family Life? Sue Groner, The Parenting Mentor is here with 5 Ways to Rock the New Year, her new book, PARENTING: 101 WAYS TO ROCK YOUR WORLD, and more

By Leslie Lindsay  

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we just put behind us, parents might find it a bit challenging to re-center and focus on what’s important: our family. 

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I recently had the opportunity to read Sue Groner’s amazing book of parenting tips. The book is slim, but don’t be fooled; it’s jam-packed with practical, hands-on, and very ‘do-able.’ Be sure to check out my review here. 

Today, I have this lovely guest post from Sue on 5 ways parents can hit ‘Reset’ for the New Year; please join us!

“If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a lot of time reading how-to articles and blogs about being the best parent you can be. The amount of advice available to parents is overwhelming and confusing. Thinking that you’re not living up to a parenting gold standard causes stress and anxiety. And it certainly doesn’t make you feel great as a parent.
This year, during our New Year’s family dinner, we did something a little different. Rather than announcing specific resolutions, we went around the table and talked about how we felt about the new year.
The theme that emerged was how we were all excited for this opportunity for a “reset”. Of course, you can choose to reset on any day of the year, but when you reset at the beginning of a brand new year, the timing just feels right!
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Like my clients, I have fallen into the no-win cycle of trying to make everything in my family just perfect. What I’ve learned is that Perfect never works. Not only is it truly unattainable, the quest for Perfect seems to make things worse, not better — the exact opposite of what we parents are all striving for.
This year, instead of exhausting yourself trying to make your family what you think it’s supposed to be, here are 5 simple ideas that can help make you and your family life happier and more sane.
#1: Lose the P Word. Striving for Perfection not only causes unnecessary stress for you and your children, it also fosters disappointment. When children live within a Perfection- Oriented environment, they often avoid trying new things for fear of failing. Rather than evaluating results, praise your children for hard work and effort. And rather than judging yourself against a “perfect” ideal, praise yourself for what you do, and what you’ve done. Embrace the delicious feeling of being “good enough.”
#2: Have Realistic Expectations. The best way to ditch the P Word is to reconfigure your expectations. Whether it’s about your child’s birthday party or that much-anticipated date night, if you actually expect that things will sometimes go wrong, you can relax and laugh about it when they do. Learn to enjoy the planning and the process, but let go of the expectation for a flawless outcome. Adjusting expectations helps you go with the flow.
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#3: Do Something For Yourself. You know what I find makes a “good” parent? A happy, relaxed parent! Get a babysitter for an hour and watch some mindless television. Accept offers of help from friends and family. Take a bath. Take a nap. These short relaxing snippets are extremely valuable to your health and well-being, and will make you a happier parent almost immediately.
#4:  Try New Things As a Family. This is a simple, practical tip that seems to have a ripple effect. Take turns talking about some activity that you’ve been wanting to try. Cooking a new recipe with some first-time ingredients? Hiking that mountain that’s an hour away? Starting the new year with something other than resolutions? Picking and participating in new activities as a family is bonding, but it can also level the playing field among family members. Maybe the little one wants everyone to take ice-skating lessons. If everyone is a newbie, there’s no telling who will “rule the ice.” New activities let you model realistic expectations and process over outcome for your kids.
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#5: Say “Yes” with Joy. This is probably my favorite tip and the one that can instantly move me from stressed out to blissed out. If you know you’re ultimately going to drive your child to the mall, let her have a three-person sleepover, or allow an extra cookie after dinner — just go straight to a happy “Yes!” When you offer up an awesome gesture as if you’re doing your kids a big favor, it takes the fun out of it. It’s so easy to add joy to your delivery with “Sure!” or “I’d be happy to!” or “Let’s do that!” Your enthusiasm will make your child feel even better about your YES, but best of all, it will make you feel great.
When I start my year with a healthy parenting mentality, I have more fun, my family is happier, and we can spend more time and energy on the things that really matter — being together and supporting each other.”
These tips, and more, can be found in PARENTING: 101 Ways to Rock Your World by Sue Groner. 

For more information about the book, the connect with the author via social media, or to purchase a copy of PARENTING: 101Ways to Rock Your World (Daily Success, Nov. 1, 2017), please see:

sue-groner-bioREV2ABOUT THE AUTHOR: As an experienced mother, Sue Groner knows how stressful and overwhelming parenting can be at times. She founded The Parenting Mentor to provide an ally for parents in their quest to raise confident and resilient children.

Sue is also the creator of the CLEARR™ method of parenting, developed through years of trial (and her fair share of errors!) with her own family. CLEARR™ adheres to the belief that parenting strategies should be grounded in six important pillars: Communication, Love, Empathy, Awareness, Rules, and Respect. This has become the cornerstone of her practice as The Parenting Mentor.

A graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a former advertising executive, Sue resides in New York City and Bedford, NY with her husband, two children (when they are not away at school) and two dogs. She is available for private, group, and virtual mentorship sessions nationwide.

You can connect with me, Leslie Lindsay, via these social media sites:

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[Cover and author image retrieved from S. Groner’s website and used with permission. Image of family dinner from, family hiking image from, family walking with tree from, napping mom retrieved fromall retrieved on 1.5.18. Special thanks to PRbytheBook.] 

The Teacher is Talking: Mum’s the Word–Interview with Author Jessie Clemence

By Leslie Lindsay

Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

As as teenager, I subscribed to YM magazine (I think it stood for Young & Modern).  The publication had a section entitled, “Say Anything: Your Most Mortifying Moments.”  Gone are the the days of YM, (and thankfully, so are my teenage years), but those mortifying moments live on, even as a mother.  Especially as a mother.  Today, I present “Cringe-Worthy Moments” by Jessie Clemence, author of There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse: And Other Ways Motherhood Changes Us. 

I am thrilled to have Jessie spell it all out for us–mortifying moments and all here in her guest post.  Stay tuned to learn more about the give-a-way: a complimentary copy of her book–perfect for gifting this Mother’s Day.  

Before I had my own children, I had an idea of how parenting would go. I operated under the assumption that I would parent my children to the best of my ability and that would be enough. I believed that my efforts would ensure me happy and obedient children, all the time.

I was wrong.

It turns out that you can parent a child with all your might. You can train. You can teach. You can make up good-behavior charts and bribe reward a child with all manner of stickers and special treats, but these things might not make a difference at crucial times in their life. No parent has ever been able to predict and control every choice a kid makes. That’s the thing about kids—they come with minds of their own. And this often becomes obvious in front of other people, and we mothers are embarrassed beyond words, possibly even stunned silent.

For example, our daughter recently startled a room full of relatives at the family reunion when she yelled, “Pray, Larry!” at her grandfather. You see, my father-in-law is a dear man of God, but he often takes a bit of time to gather his thoughts before beginning the prayer. My mother-in-law has been known to nudge him with a whispered, “Pray, Larry!” to get him moving. My own husband has taken up this prayer-hesitation as he ages, so I’ve started mimicking his mom at the dinner table. “Pray, Larry!” I hiss at Eric.

I think I’m terribly funny, and if he’s honest, so does my husband. He snorts and starts praying. But we forgot to tell Audrey that sometimes little family jokes are just that—little and with only the four of us. So when she was hungry at the family reunion and Grandpa wasn’t on her schedule, she just did what comes naturally—she ordered him to pray. And the whole room thought it was hysterical, except for maybe me. And Grandpa, who apparently doesn’t appreciate being called by his first name by a grandchild. He did get right to the prayer, so I guess the child made her point.

In another example, I think of the time that Caleb threw up on me, all over me, at story time at the library. We were sitting quietly when I suddenly realized he was burning up, then he was throwing up. There was no time to prevent the disaster. My first instinct was to start cleaning the mess, but there was no way I could do that and care for my sick child at the same time. The dear librarians came to my rescue and started mopping up the mess. They cleaned the carpet and the chair and sent me home. My daughter was heartbroken to leave story time early, so they let her stay and then walked her home when it was over.

I could go on and on about the chances God has given me to get over myself as I parent. In fact, I wrote an entire book called There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse, and it’s all about the ways God has let me grow closer to Him through parenting. Each parenting challenge is another chance to move past my initial reaction to seek the good of my children, and to move past pride and self-absorption. These things are poison to our walks with God, and He lets the difficulties of parenting teach us this over and over. plasticmonkey_160x240and ridiculousness. I love to connect with people through writing about how God’s Word applies to all parts of our lives. We talk about parenting and marriage, the food I burn for dinner, how much I hate skinny jeans, and anything else that comes to mind. Subject matter runs the gamut, I tell you.

I have also written a book titled There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. It’s 200 pages about how God helped me get over myself and turn to Him in my inadequacies as a mother. It’s about how He’s never

Colossians 3:12-15 says: Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (NLT)

Those cringe-worthy moments in motherhood give me a chance to do just these things. They let me learn how to clothe myself with tenderheartedness towards a child even when I’m embarrassed. They give me a chance to react with kindness when a child blurts out something at the wrong time. They let me learn forgiveness over and over again, just like Christ forgives me over and over again. My life is not about me. I live to glorify God, and He teaches me how to do it as I parent. I pray that He lets you learn these same blessed things through your own experiences as a parent!  Apraxia Monday:  He Talks Funny Author Jeanne Buesser & Give-a-Way

***It’s Give-A-Way Time!! ***Here’s how it works:  Tell us  your most embarrassing moment as a MOM by leaving a comment in the comment section of this blog.  (Sorry, but Facebook comments will not be entered to win).  A lucky winner will be drawn at random on Friday, May 3rd at 3pm CST.  If you’re the winner–great!  We’ll contact you via email.  Please remember to check your junk folder!  You’ll have 24 hours to claim your prize (respond to the email with your mailing address).  Your complimentary copy of Jessie’s book will be mailed to you from PRbytheBook, based in Texas.  Thanks–and good-luck!

Bio:Jessie Clemence is a mother of two fun and occasionally sassy children who keep life interesting. She is married to Eric and their family lives in southwest Michigan. To find Jessie online, visit her blog at www.jessieclemence.com. You can keep up with their daily adventures there.  [all images retrieves from www.jessieclemence.com 4.05.13]

Write On, Wednesday: Special Post!

By Leslie Lindsay

EggMania (image source: iTunes.com 4.05.13)

Today, I have a special edition of Write On, Wedneday!  Instead of tips and ideas for the writing life, today’s post is all about digital media (which is very closely related).  While it looks like digital media is here to stay, the author of EggMania: Where’s the Egg In Exactly (Sherry Maysonav) gives parents  tips in navigating the new landscape with their children.”  Take it away, Sherry!!

“Digital media for kids offers a unique platform for learning and long-term retention by activating multiple senses and cerebral pathways. Many digital products today, especially ebooks that blend entertainment with education, incorporate the three primary learning modalities simultaneously —visual, audio and kinesthetic, which increases learning potential significantly. Learning occurs depending upon the level of a child’s engagement, mentally and emotionally. So how can parents optimize their children’s screen time?

Six tips for using interactive ebooks to engage your kids:

1)Visual Sense:

Choose illustrated ebooks that are visually-rich, those having artful (not merely stick figure kiddy art or cartoon types common to digital games) and colorful graphics to fully engage children visually and to stimulate their imaginations.

2)Audio Sense:

Select ebooks that have two modes of reading: a) Narration with Enhanced Sound—music and sound effects; b) Read Myself. To optimize audio integration, allow children to enjoy and explore the narrated version with enhanced sound. Then, to practice oral reading skills, set up an audition for “the best narrator.” Use an audio recorder or smart phone to tape children’s versions. Allow them to create some fun sound effects and add music along with their narration. Parents may record for younger children who are not yet reading advanced vocabulary. Involve them in the nuances of your oral expression. Make it theirs by including their voice on the recording. Have them read, speak, or repeat after you, some of the words or short sentences.

3)Kinesthetic Sense:

Encourage tapping and touching of the screen to activate kinesthetic and interactive components. To maximize these features, have kids zoom in and out on art images, tap for duplication or animation of image, and tap words for definitions. iPad users can take screen shots of illustrations, then print them in black and white for kids to color, paint, trace, or copy.

4)Emotional Components:

A.Host a live chat to discuss stories and illustrations with children; ask what’s their favorite illustration? And why? Their favorite words, etc. Avoid asking, “What did you learn?”

B.Support the hero in your child. Develop their subjective thinking skills by helping them analyze the subtler life lessons typically inherent in children’s narratives. Kids do not always integrate what we think they will. Help them come to positive conclusions by asking them questions about the main character or characters, asking what they liked about them/him/her and didn’t like about them. Ask how they would respond to the dilemma or conflict if they were that character.

5)Language Development:

Give kids a choice of two illustrations from an ebook or have them select two favorites. Then have them write a new story or poem based upon the illustrations and what the images inspire in their imagination. Older kids can be required to have a lexical humor slant to their story or poem, or to choose a genre such as comedy or drama.

6)Memory and Family Fun:

Further develop kids’ memory and integration by extending the subject matter into family time by playing games, such as charades, using vocabulary-rich phrases from selected ebooks your children enjoy. A family/friends version of “Who’s Smarter than a Fifth Grader” can be played using the Fun Facts that some ebooks provide.” 

Grades 1-6.Available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.Category: Children & TeensPublished:Mar 12, 2013Publisher: Empowerment ProductionsSeller: Empowerment EnterprisesPrint Length: 190 PagesLanguage: EnglishRequirements: This book requires iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 5.0 or later. Books can only be viewed using iBooks on an iPad, iPhone (3G or later), or iPod touch (2nd generation or later).