Posts Tagged ‘Tandem Nurturer’

Toddler and Tandem Babywearing

Since the birth of her brother, my 2.5 yo has been wanting to be babied (big surprise).

I tandem nurse her and wear her, as does my husband, as much as possible. The babywearing has offered a sweet closeness that I missed. My babywearing journey has been full of unexpected twists and turns.

Just as when my daughter was little, my BabyHawk and Kozy Carrier mei tais have been doing the trick for nursing baby and walking around. (She needed walking around to sleep, but my son is an easier sleeper it seems.) The mei tais are so quick and easy and adjustable for short carries. However, I stopped wearing her in them when she was bigger and could fit the ERGObaby. I did wear her up through my sixth month of pregnancy in my Boba.

On a whim, I tied my Didymos woven wrap on and threw her in it. Without a diaper even. I was surprised how comfortable and easy it was. I am not yet skilled at tying wraps, so I think I could do better. (I also need help with ring slings, although I’m not a fan of one shoulder weight.) Still, it worked.

That's her "smiling."

One random day a few months ago, I got out the frame backpack carrier from the closet. As soon as she saw it she wanted in. I, of course, had baby, but I was excited that my husband could wear her in that. My daughter expressed my excitement when she said “me and baby are in the sling together!”

The frame carrier was great when we took a train adventure just for family fun a few weeks ago.

Daddy has the shoulders for this thing, but I find it comfortable, too.

Recently, I thought I’d try her in one of my mei tais just to see because it’s so easy to put on (especially since I’m already wearing it a lot for baby). It was so awesome! I just swung the body around to the back and had her climb in.

Wow, comfortable. Just have to watch those long legs...

The back carry was super easy since she can understand getting in and can cooperate from her vantage point. I found the weight distribution with her on my back comfortable. I loved that it was easy to get her in and easy to get her out (which she wants sooner than she did as a baby). Plus, I don’t have to change carriers for my children. Same carriers, same diapers…a streamlined life!

So, yes. I was completely surprised and excited to find that I have a full range of babywearing options back in effect with her. Wouldn’t have expected that with a toddler when most folks stop babywearing. It’s almost the most versatile stage, though, it would seem. Just goes to show you.

To end, then, speaking of late stage babywearing, I’ll leave you with this post from a mama wearing her “baby” through to age 11 and beyond! Rock climbing adventure? No problem! An inspiring and uplifting must-read….

Wear your “babies” proud, mamas, papas, grandparents and all caregivers!

Tandem Nursing Update

I had a tandem nursing breakthrough today.

I shared in an earlier post that I am a tandem nurser after my toddler relearned to latch and nurse. For a while there I was wondering, “Am I (still) a breastfeeding mama?” My daughter even gained a nose obsession from when she weaned during pregnancy.

Well since then my daughter has started to ask for milkies. All. the. time.

It just makes her so happy sometimes. Sometimes she asks, latches for a minute distractedly before choosing to get off to do something else.

Part of me is grateful that I can nurse and wear her so that she has a closeness from her babyhood in this time of transition and upheaval in her world. Part of me is still hormonally averse and has to breathe through each session moment by moment.

Sometimes, when baby has been nursing constantly and so has my daughter, I feel the thought float across my mind: weaning. “I’m not ready, and neither is she.” Breathe…..

Today, I had a genius discovery at a key moment; here was the scene:

My daughter had just nursed. Again. I think I literally hadn’t had my boobs to myself for more than a few minutes. I was done.

Milkies at the train station with "footie hands" (socks on her hands).

2 yo: I want more milkies.

Me: One more minute then milkies are all finished.

2 yo: Ok. [Nurses for more than a minute.]

Me: Ok, all finished.

2 yo: I want more milkies! [Enter meltdown face and begin wailing cry.]

Me: You really like to get milkies.

2 yo: Yes. I want more milkies. [Lip quivering still, the cries subside a bit.]

Me: I hear that you want more milkies. You can have more milkies later, but right now milkies are all finished.

2 yo: Why?

Me: Because mama needs a break.

2 yo: [Wailing starts to take off] Why?

Me: [Thinking about why I need  a break….about how I feel like if someone touches my nipple right now I might just lose my mind. Listening to this wailing start to pick up. I feel us entering full on meltdown. Still, I just can’t deal with any more right now!] It’s mama’s turn, my love.

2 yo: [Sniff] Mama’s turn? [Sniff]

Me: Yes, love. [She calms down. Hmm, this is going somewhere!] You had a turn, baby had a turn, now it’s mama’s turn.

2 yo: [She seems to be accepting this. I sense her brainwave shifting.]

Me: It feels hard to share the milkies sometimes, huh? You really like to get milkies. We are all sharing the milkies, and sometimes you have to wait and be patient. That can be hard sometimes.

2 yo: Yes. … Mama? Let’s go play.

Me: [Shocked that this solution has come to me and actually worked.] I would love to play with you, my love.

Yes, I finally realized that tandem nursing is about sharing. My children are sharing: my lap, my breasts, my milk, my love.

I am a point in that triangular relationship, too, though. I need to make sure that my needs are considered. They may not take priority, but my needs should be acknowledged.

I should strive to meet my needs as well as those of my children in a balanced way. Sometimes that means baby gets to nurse. Sometimes that means I need to breathe through nursing my daughter.

Tandem nursing: Sometimes, it means saying it’s mama’s turn.

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RESOURCES

My Experience as a Tandem Nurturer: Part 4

I fell into darkness after some tough days full of almost constant crying and whining.

We try to keep a little perspectiveparent playfully, and use gentle discipline. Lately, though, despite our best efforts, my daughter seemed so fragile emotionally that even her happy moments had a feeling of instability to them. She’s had night terrors for the first time, and I can sometimes hear her crying in her sleep.

I have been working hard to do better at controlling my anger and annoyance, to be more present and positive when I am with her and to keep her rested and active and engaged with activities. I’ve worn her in the sling when she asks if I can and nursed her more on demand than I was. All this definitely wasn’t making things worse, but I didn’t feel things shifting like I had hoped. I know she has been hit hard with this transition to having a sibling. I just felt like I didn’t know how to move forward, how to make things better for my family.

Then I listened to the tail end of Progressive Parenting‘s online radio show “Parenting from Stress to Success” with guest Kathy Witham of Parenting Beyond Words.

All of a sudden, I just felt a deeper well of inner resources. I now feel more patient, more compassionate, more present. Since then, I have just been having better and better days, and so has my daughter. I thought I’d write up a Tandem Nurturer update to share some more of my journey.

What I’ve Been Working on Doing….that Works!:

Drop down to her level.  

I read on Kathy Witham’s site how dropping down to the child’s level can help create a safer feeling space. When I drop down, I am not towering over my daughter telling her what to do, usually raining frustration down from above. When I drop down, it feels more like we are together working on a solution.

The first time I did this my daughter was insanely poopy and needed to be changed and washed. I had my son in a sling and couldn’t do a whole lot of physical manipulating. (What a good thing because it led to an “aha” moment!) My daughter was standing, hysterically crying because she didn’t “want me to wash her bum bum.” I dropped down to her level. She sat down on the ground, and I sat all the way down with baby. That struck me, and although she cried for some time the tone was down a few notches immediately after I dropped down. I then gave her choice (see below) of whether to start with her shoes or her sweater, which seemed to have her feeling some control over the situation. I did this for each step. By the time she had to get in the water, she was over it.

Breathe out. More breathing, slow and deep. 

Breathing, hormones and emotions are all tied together, sometimes in a big huge messy ball. I like what Kathy Witham has to say about breathing out first. This emptying, of the lungs and of negative emotions, creates a space to be filled more intentionally. Breathing regulates my heart and cools my anger. It helps me see the child before me.

The good thing is that you can’t breathe too much! My daughter often helps us breathe when we are angry. The other day my husband was still angry after one round of three breaths. She let him know he needed to breathe some more. He wasn’t totally fine, but every round gets us closer and closer to calm.

Remain silent.

This is an active silence. When I am silent, I have time to consider all that is going on inside and outside the two of us. I can search my brain and reach for tools instead of just reacting. When I react my conditioning has a stronger influence. When I stop and breathe I make a space for my heart to guide me so I can consider my true priority: our relationship. I start to wonder: Do I really care about this mess? Do I really need things to happen right now? Is there something else I can do beside force her to do things my way?

Empathize or narrate out loud.

This post called “The Happiest Children Don’t Have to Smile” reminds us that children are human and have a need express their feelings, too. Even though we say it, no adult likes being told to stop having the feelings they are having. It makes sense, then, that part of my mothering involves listening to my daughter’s feelings. When I stay present with her through them, remaining calm myself, she learns that big, overwhelming feelings need not be scary and are not bad. I create and maintain a safe space for her to feel and offload emotions that might otherwise come up in sleep disruption or more daily strain.

I say things like. “You are feeling sad. You are feeling sad because….” Often times I will just leave the sentence open like that as an invitation for her to communicate her feelings. Many times, especially if it’s not clear what she might be feeling, I even just say “You are having feelings,” so she can think about what she feels and put her own words to it when she’s ready.

The other day I said this when she was sobbing because she didn’t want to put her coat on. While yesterday I let her go without a coat because we weren’t really going outside yet, this time she needed it to go outside and play (which everyone knows she needed to do). She said she was feeling sad because she didn’t want to put the coat on. I said “I see that you are sad. I noticed that you were sad this morning while you were sleeping. You were having a dream and crying. Why were you sad in your dream?” She said without hesitation, “I was sad in my dream. I was crying because mama and daddy were doing something together and I was crying for them to come.” We talked about this (we had indeed gone somewhere while she played with her grandmother). As we talked through this she cried a bit more and then calmed down. At the end she said suddenly on her own that she wanted to put her coat on and go in the car.

Offer choice using language such as “When you are ready…”.

This has had the biggest impact, I believe, aside from dropping down to her level. I have been trying empathizing, for instance, and offering choice for some time. However, I have begun to say “When you are ready” to let her know that she has the power to decide when something will happen. The effects of this are similar, I imagine, to the shift from “nagging” to “noticing.”

I did this for something not so important or upsetting when I told her she could help me put the groceries in a particular bag away. This was something I know she likes to do, but she was clearly engaged in something else. I let her know I would leave them there till she was ready. It wasn’t until right before going up to bed that she finally felt ready.

A more powerful instance, in that it was hard for me, was when she spilled the beans. Literally. All over the floor. On purpose. Again. I could tell I was at a complete loss, and I know that those are precisely the times when I get most angry and do my worst mothering. However, I have been working on seeing these times as opportunities. I breathed out and in my silence realized I didn’t need the beans to be cleaned up in any time frame. Still I was clear that I would not be picking up the beans alone, so I just said calmly said “When you are ready, let me know and I will help you clean up the beans.” She said I’m ready, so I thought “genius!” Turned out she wanted to “sit here and watch you pick up the beans.” I went back to cooking again and said, “I will wait until you are ready. You let me know and I will help you.” This happened over and over again. At least five times, though a time or two she got down on the floor with me and put some beans in a bowl before dumping them again. Finally, she said she was ready and I got down there again ready to get back up. But she really was ready and helped me pick up each and every bean. It took us about 15 minutes to get to this point, but it felt good that we got there without me doing it, without her crying and without her feeling forced, an action that surely would have created pent up feelings I would pay for later on.

Strangely, in my darkest hour has come my best mothering. I am onto something here. Where I was once fearful, I feel more confident and excited to see where this journey takes me….

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RESOURCES

Parent Reflection and Tools

Crying and Feelings

Sleep and Feelings

I Am a Tandem Nurser!

I joyfully shout this inside my head.

I had already shifted my focus to being a tandem nurturer. I partially came up with this term for myself through processing my sadness and disappointment that I probably would not be tandem nursing my children. After realizing the probable source of my daughter’s nose obsessionforced weaning caused by my pregnant body’s refusal to make milk, I wondered “Am I still a breastfeeding mama?” I feared that my nursing relationship with my daughter was ended without me even knowing when.

How many weeks (months?) had gone by without her asking to nurse?

I found myself choosing clothes without having to consider if I could nurse in them or not. I knew I would be thinking about nursing clothes again because of the baby, but I wondered often if somehow I would be able to be a tandem nurser after the birth. I worried that when my milk came back that my daughter wouldn’t have interest, so I was hopeful when she started getting curious from watching all the birth videos. One time before the birth, she asked to nurse, and I found that my aversion was less intense. Despite these positive signs, I questioned whether she would remember how to latch. (She wasn’t that great to begin with.)

The day baby came, I happily nursed when she asked (and made sure to take pictures in case it never happened again), but my worst fears were realized — she couldn’t latch!

She didn’t seem to remember, and when I tried to help it made things worse. My milk didn’t really come in for a week, which didn’t help either. (I think that maybe happened because I wanted to leave baby in the light treatment for jaundice so I didn’t get to hold him much, which stimulates milk production.) She asked to nurse once or so a day, and I still felt a bit of agitation. I was also frustrated and fried (emotionally and literally) from the 24-hr light therapy and the strain of staying positive about baby’s health. I began to think maybe we were both trying, but it just wasn’t going to happen.

Enter the milk.

When my milk came in, I cried inside…again, for joy. I felt relief from worry that I wasn’t going to be able to feed my newborn baby well. Some of my joy came from renewed hope that with actual milk coming out (and forcefully) that my daughter would somehow begin nursing.

My daughter blessed me for my perpetual hope by nursing!

It happened over a few days. I had offered her those few times when there was no milk, so now I knew to just keep quiet and let her do her thing. The first time I offered her milkies when my milk had come in was after baby had nursed both sides pretty well. She latched a bit better than before and even swallowed once, where before she just left her open mouth on there or closed her teeth too much. The second time I offered her milk from one side after baby had nursed one side and I knew the other was full. She continued to latch decently, swallowed a few more times and even got a little lip/mouth motion going, but she wasn’t truly nursing.

The third time, the charm, my daughter latched well, sucked gently and swallowed regularly — she was nursing!

I had gone in and offered milkies when she woke from her nap, and she seemed glad to say yes. I was quietly ecstatic, practically holding my breath to make sure I didn’t break the spell and make her stop. We nursed for about 10 minutes. Such a long time for us! And I had to end it because she was beginning to lose her interest and latch. I decided setting limits were ok, since I felt confident we could build from here. I asked her, unable to contain my excitement, “did you get milkies?” My heart felt joy when she said yes. We got up to leave the bedroom soon after.

As we walked down the hall, holding hands because she wanted to, she said in a cheerful, little voice “I like milkies. I feel better.”

Crying ensued. I practically skipped with her down the hall. I am nursing my newborn son. I am now nursing my two year old daughter. I am grateful for however long this lasts.

I am a tandem nursing mama!

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Resources (Of Course!)

My Experience as a Tandem Nurturer: Part 3

[Part 1 and Part 2 of my journey were raw and rough, I know. I definitely was feeling more off then than I do now. Is this because I’m taking my placenta pills again? Not sure, but here’s an update with some better news about my journey to become a tandem nurturer……]

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I was at the lowest point in my mothering “career” so far. I knew my daughter needed me badly. I just did not feel I was coming from a place that was helpful. It felt hard to know what to do.

Here are some things I knew I didn’t want to do:

  • threaten or use distrustful language
  • raise my voice or get loud to make a point
  • use that ridiculous “stern” voice
  • disrespect my daughter’s personal space
  • plead or demand
  • …….. whatever else wasn’t working

However, I read some of the articles below and reflected on our situation. I talked to my husband about our treatment of our daughter and ways to move towards respecting her. I reflected more on my past and upbringing (things that reading Unconditional Parenting
for our online Book Club has made me consider).

I looked more closely at my child, so small and so very big all at the same time.

I watched her face, her gestures, her actions and reactions. I saw her curiosity, her desire for autonomy and competence. I started to see her need for closeness, her new feelings of vulnerability and fear.

I saw my daughter through new eyes, and my heart swelled once again with love and compassion for my little blessing.

For a few days now, I have been working on:

  • keeping my mouth shut if I don’t have something good to say
  • asking my daughter regularly if I can give her lovings or if she needs lovings
  • giving my daughter opportunities to interact with her baby brother without my comments or interference

As I filled my heart with trust and my head with patience, she has had more space and scope to be and to feel and to live.What I noticed is that my daughter is having feelings and feeling sad sometimes, and sometimes this leads to her nose touching obsession. I realized that she does need extra cuddling and closeness right now, sometimes wanting to be carried like a baby.

How did I find all this out? I asked her.

We have come such a long way in a short time, with my attitude adjustment and shift of perspective making all the difference. Still, things are not perfect or settled. I still apologize and have unhelpful thoughts and frustrations. Overall, I am finding myself in a more peaceful, loving, compassionate place. Whew! Am I ever glad. It feels so much better to be filled with gratitude for my amazing little girl. A much better way to mother…..

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Inspiration to Keep Me on the Path

Some Blogs to Follow on Respecting Children

My Experience as a Tandem Nurturer: Part 2

From the time a parent finds out there’s another baby on the way, one question that hangs in the air is: How will the sibling relationship be?

The stories told of reactions to new siblings span the spectrum, from instant affectionate love to secret and overt hitting and hurting. (Please feel free to tell your stories in the comments!) When I was a baby, my own brother was kind to me when my parents were looking and hit me when he thought they weren’t. Or so I’m told.

Having been surprised by my baby boy’s recent arrival, I didn’t get to finish all the activities and special big sister things I wanted to have in place for her before the birth. I had a sense, though, that even without those things my two-year old daughter was already in love with “her baby.” (The giveaway? The kisses and hugs and I love you’s my pregnant belly received.) Even so, I wasn’t sure how she would feel when baby actually came out and was demanding that this new family member’s needs be met as well as everyone else’s.

Turns out she does indeed love her brother….sooooo much, as she says. She wakes up and wants to see him. She loves to give him kisses and hold his head and hand and “tosh the nose.” The problem we have run into isn’t in having her come around to care for him but in having her give him (and mama) some space.

Believe it or not, my daughter’s displays of love and affection toward her sibling have sent me over the edge many a time.

I realize things could be worse. However, our situation was complicated by the fact that we had to deal with jaundice which required me to stay in bed under bright full spectrum lights pretty much round the clock. Many of my parenting strategies that I would normally use if I was up and about I could not because I was stuck in a room that had more of her things instead of little other than books and her “new baby brudder.” This meant that pretty much constantly there were things that she couldn’t touch (pump parts, feeding syringe, homeopathy and more) near the bed in addition to her mama telling her she couldn’t be leaning over baby in baby’s face to give kisses when mama is trying to do something important (like nurse, syringe feed, change dirty clothing, and so on).

In a fit of desperation I came up with the idea that when we really really want to touch baby we can give baby lovings from our heart instead (put hands on heart). She was into it, but still insisted on coming over, leaning in and touching her hands to his body. No matter how many times I talked about and modelled being gentle and used alternatives and empathy, this girl continually insisted on being up in baby’s face.

I found myself losing my calm and getting angry and using my one free arm to hold/keep her back. This led to my two year old daughter telling her mama “don’t push me.” I was so frustrated and exhausted from dealing with baby’s jaundice (and possible tongue tie) that all I could do was have a dead end conversation with her about how I don’t want to push her and I don’t mean to get angry but I’m frustrated that she won’t stop touching baby.

Wake up call: I was not handling this well. I was not considering my daughter’s perspective. I was not diving deeply enough into my resources to find a solution.

I realized a few things after calming down and seeing things from her vantage point. She has been responding incredibly positively and lovingly to the pregnancy, birth and arrival of her brother. Instead of the potty regression that many talk about (and that may still occur), she has been more clear more often about having to go. (Part of this may be because we got a new travel potty seat that she decided she loves and enjoys putting on herself. We also got a potty step so she can climb up by herself and do the whole process except wash her bum.) This in baby’s face must stand up on the bed business is the one area in which she may be trying to show me the challenge of transition. I also realized that it must be completely unclear and seemingly arbitrary when she can touch baby and when she can’t.

This last realization about her not being able to clearly tell when I can allow her to touch baby and when I need her not to led me to a possible solution.

A few months ago my daughter recognized that when the stoplight turns green the car gets to go. This excites her and she often says when a light is green and exclaims “we get to go go go!” We also, then, have talked about what red means. We have to stop and wait. When I realized she didn’t know when she could come in close and when she couldn’t a lightbulb went off that maybe using red and green and her “go go go” excitement would make it much more clear to her what my needs (and baby’s) are at any given moment.

So, I made two cards: one red card that says “Stop and Wait” inside a heart and one green card that says “Touch and Kiss.” I explained that green meant she could touch and kiss gently and that read meant she had to wait and if she was having trouble waiting the heart symbol meant she could give baby lovings from her heart. At first they didn’t seem to work too well because she ignored them and did what she always did.

We kept trying the red/green wait/kiss cards, though.

She did start responding by waiting and saying/asking if she could give baby lovings. I also found that I could stay more calm because I had a chance to give her permission to come over and could focus on giving her as much “green card” time as I could manage. This led to both of us getting our needs met more.

It’s not a perfect solution (she was excited about the cards and wanted to hold and play them which doesn’t really work out well). However, whereas before my negative attitude was setting up power struggles that no one could or should win, I definitely feel that I shifted my own energy towards the positive which allowed her to do so as well. This simple card system has allowed us to get through a tough period of transition for all of us.

I hope that I can keep bringing myself back to “finding solutions” as my husband said so that we can support a loving and respectful relationship between these new siblings……and keep our sanity and respect as well.

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Resources

Posts on related topics with resource lists:

My Experience as a Tandem Nurturer: Part 1

My journey towards being a tandem nurser has presented some big bumps in the road.

Since the birth of my son (December 22), my daughter has asked to nurse and I have offered milkies, but she clearly does not remember how to. She either uses her teeth or just sits there mouth open. Plus, she says “I don’t like it” about the taste, makes a face and tries to spit. So, I may not end up the tandem nursing mama I wanted to be. (I’m also not sure that I am even wanting to be anymore since I have had to pump for my son’s jaundice which irritates on top of his possible tongue tie which makes for difficult nursing all on top of my daughter’s bad/nonexistent latch).

My new focus, as I step into being a mother of two, is to strive to be a tandem nurturer.

I came to this idea after some rough days of 24 hour light therapy for my son’s jaundice. The circumstances this created complicated the transition for the whole family. I started to hear and see myself turn on my daughter and begin being negative, criticizing and unbelievably impatient almost all the time. I was trying to think of and meet her needs as they are greater at this time, but it wasn’t evoking the empathy to spark creative and effective communication and loving mothering. At a total loss and at my wit’s end, I desperately went to my bookmarked parenting posts and gathered my parenting books to gather inspiration and ideas. [See resource list below.] I hadn’t read Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids yet but knew many the ideas from Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Relationships and The Compassionate Classroom. What I read suggested that my negative reaction stems from a fear that my needs won’t be met. This prompted me to ask myself:  What are my needs?

My first thought was unglamorously “I need her to do what I’m telling her.”

That stopped me dead in my tracks. That was the first thing I thought? And I had to actually think hard to figure out another need? I had just read the part in Unconditional Parenting about control for the book club. I knew that I didn’t want to be a critical, controlling mother. Here I was in my darkest, least loving moments of motherhood so far.

I didn’t want to go to a place of blame and shame, not on my child for sure but not on myself either.

I thought harder about my needs. I knew that my husband’s need is probably to have everyone safe and secure. A significantly jaundiced newborn baby who requires light therapy and a vibrant two year old bouncing around the bed, leaning on the baby and blocking the light were easy triggers for his fear of someone getting hurt. I tried on the idea that my need was for their safety, and it wasn’t clicking. I searched elsewhere.

My mind settled on the simple, joyous moment I had with my baby earlier. It was just the two of us. I knew my daughter was being cared for by others and would not disturb our space or disrupt my moment with him. This brought me back to a post I had just reread (in my desperation) on Encouraging Children with New Siblings through the transition.

I realized I need to have time where I just focus on my baby. I also need to have time where I can focus on just my daughter.

I know … they aren’t profound ideas, but I felt the truth and breadth of those needs. I realized that when I feel like my daughter is “invading” my son’s space, it is not a fear for his safety but a desire to connect deeply with my son in this most precious early period and while he is working through the jaundice. Likewise, when I want to focus on and engage with her (beyond reading a book or taking her to the potty or talking from afar while she shows me something) I find myself distracted because he usually with me or right there with both of us.

Above all……this too shall pass…..

My son’s jaundice will not last forever. My questions about his tongue tie, my milk supply, and our cosleeping situation will not last forever. My body’s need to recover will not last forever. My containment to a single space will not last forever. This period of transition will not last forever. My negative response to my daughter’s needs, my needs and the needs of my son and husband will not last forever.

I can turn this around.

UPDATE: After realizing and acknowledging my needs, I immediately felt more compassionate, caring and patient toward my daughter. I told my husband my needs, and we talked about his needs as well as the importance of our trust in our daughter (which seemed to have suddenly diminished). I love having special time alone with each of my children. It’s only been a short time, but I definitely am taking the reminder to keep my relationship with my daughter as a priority above obedience and compliance. As I take the control out of my tone and words, the power struggles are fewer and our interactions more positive and loving. I certainly have had many more joyous and connected moments with her, and that builds my confidence that I *can* be a tandem nurturer of these two blessings of mine….

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Here’s a list of resources I am turning to in my quest to be a tandem nurturer:

Books

Online

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