Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Planning Ahead

One of the best pieces of advice for a new parent is to plan ahead.

This starts with the practical: planning your morning, preparing tomorrow's diaper bag or lunchbox, or making dinner at 3pm so that the after-school crowd gets the attention they deserve. These are all examples of the planning we do to get through the day with our basic physical needs met in a timely fashion. We plan family trips weeks in advance, and we start packing a few days prior to departure. We sign up for summer camp in the winter and buy school supplies in the summer. We learn to create extra buffer-time in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings for tantrums, melt-downs, or other sudden episodes.

But planning ahead extends beyond just the daily grind. An attentive parent will recognize that planning ahead should include the emotional. As we learn our children, we notice patterns of behavior - one child gets tired earlier than others, another comes home from school in a bad mood, another always picks fights with the baby... We can begin to feel emotionally overwhelmed, caught in the whirlwind of negative feelings, whining, and finally chaos. In order to prevent this from escalating, we need to plan ahead. Be prepared.

I have begun making lists of rewards and punishments (aka "consequences") that I can offer/remind each child, according to his/her developmental abilities and understandings of his/her behavior. With my second-grader, these are reminders that if she cooperates, helps out, does her homework, etc. then she receives immediate praise and long-term rewards. With my 14-month old, a swift catch and firm "no" is all he will understand, when I find him heading to play in the toilet. With my 3 and 5 year old, all consequences must be immediate and require more consideration since they are not so easily distracted as the baby... This is where I need to be most-creative - like a combat soldier, I need to be prepared for attack and respond in a strong, decisive fashion. With toddlers and very young children, it's especially important to be ready with an arsenal of consequences, always at-the-ready.

By planning ahead, we feel more confident and prepared. As with any other job or role in life, the more we plan ahead, the better the results. This is true for both the emotional and the physical/practical.


  1. So true!!Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one that is at a loss occasionally when it comes to consequences and planning.

  2. Yes Etella, it's incredibly frustrating when your child is about to throw a tantrum and if you can *just think of a creative incentive to do the right thing* then the entire episode can be avoided! Drat!!! Hence my advice to write down (yes, physically!) a list of consequences - positive and negative - so that you will be ready. It's called "outwitting your child" aka "I'm an adult and know how to plan ahead." This is one that truly comes with maturity (children don't have the capacity to plan for tomorrow like we do), so we can use it to our benefit!