Intelligence versus Effort: What are we praising?

drawing2.jpgI have been reading this book called Mindset by Carol Dweck and let me tell you how in just the first couple of chapters it has made me realize that I may be praising my kids all wrong?! Dweck talks a lot about how starting from when kids are very little, we praise their intelligence non-stop. Examples like: “You’re so smart,” “You’re the best,” “You’re great,” “You did so well,” you get the idea. However, that type of praise, the praise of intelligence, is perceived by kids to be something innate, something that they cannot change or improve. They believe that what talent they are born with is the talent that they have. So they tend to only stick to things that they are “good” at and shy away from a challenge. They look to maintain/prove their appearance of being the bestest, smartest, greatest at the things we constantly praise them for.| However, there is a different type of praise. Praise around effort. Examples include: “I like how you concentrated on your worksheet without asking for a break,” “You must have practiced really hard” (after having a good game/dance recital/etc). This type of specific praise lets them know what they did to deserve the praise and what they can continue to do to get more. They learn that with effort comes success/praise/improvement. AND that if they are not good at something, they can exert effort and become good at it. They think of challenges as opportunities and not as limitations. MIND-BOGGLING isn’t it. We all do it, want to show everyone that our kid is the best, greatest, smartest, and most beautiful child in the world. But with that, are we setting them up for failure? Here is the article that got me thinking, and that even 8 years later, we have not made much progress. This book is an excellent read, highly recommend it. Enjoy! Have you had an ah-ha moment from reading just this short snippet on praise?

Toddler Bites …

Over the last few months, I really thought about things that were making me frustrated/sad/mad/impatient etcetera with my kids… Quite to my surprise there was a laundry list of which most of it had to do with me! So I decided – since there is NO WAY I could be the only one dealing with these kind of issues through the toddler years. SO I want to make this a place where we can share our journeys of Raising our Babies together… the ups, the downs, the tricks and the tips… lets all get together and get through this insanity!

Today I would like to share one of my biggest dilemmas – and I HOPE you will chime in to make it all make sense for me/provide guidance and/or validation.


Over the last 6 months, I have really been pushing my 3-year-old daughter to feed herself. Mainly when we are at home, but also times like at parties – especially if the “big kids” around her are feeding themselves. In my stubbornness to have her feed herself and be a big girl, every night at the dinner table has been “Take a bite or else…” “Take a bite and I will give you…” “Take a bit or no…” “Take a bite if you want to…”! Unless its something she wants to eat (mostly food with no nutritional value), every night there is this ongoing saga where tensions rise, then she ends up being a ‘bad girl’ for not finishing her food after being given an hour to do so, and she loses out on being a ‘good girl’ for the small amount she did eat herself. I tried the just let her eat however much she wants and she will learn, and she has legit gone 2-3 dinners of not eating a bite. I should also mention that her 2-year-old sister sits across the table from her being fed by an adult.

So, at the start of 2015 (she is now 3.5 yrs old), I decided to just go back to feeding her (only our ethnic food, as the other stuff she still eats on her own), where I tell her stories and she just eats. Dinner is finished in 20 minutes, no one is tense, everyone is a good girl and then we can go on to playing before bathtime and milk. I do feel like it’s a step backwards, but for the sanity and happiness at the end of the day… is it worth it??! HELP!!! How long did you feed your toddler? How did you transition to full meals on their own? Are there any tips/tricks you have used to get your toddler to eat on their own – even stuff they may not like!?

Humidifier for Baby

humidifierNow that the weather is cooling down and the heat may be cranking up, it is time to put the humidifier in your baby’s room. Not does it only help make the air moist and therefore breathing easier, it helps with congestion too. Make sure that it is on a stable, safe surface; wires are out of baby’s reach, and that you clean the unit routinely. My personal favorite is the Safety First Humidifier.

5 Minute Hair Styles

5 min hairOn top of the other 100 things us mommies have to do in the morning, getting our hair to look “presentable” is just another thing on our checklist. My sisters and I have come up with 9 quick hairstyles that any woman can put together in 5-minutes or less! After figuring out a 5-minute makeup look, the next thing on our checklist was our hair! After all, hair, makeup and attire are the three most important things to make us look (and feel) like we have it together! All you need for these simple styles are a couple of bobby pins and a plain black no damage hair tie (or two). Here are the detailed how-tos. Enjoy and happy styling!

Stop the Sliding Changing Pad

contact nonskid linerSo, when I recently posted about my favorite Ikea Dresser turned changing table which also holds my all time favorite Sara Bear Diaper Caddy… I encountered a little problem with the changing pad sliding on top of the dresser… So I racked my brain to think of a solution and here is what I came up with! I placed a 1.5 foot piece of non slip drawer liner underneath the changing pad.. and voi la! No more sliding when my girls are trying to wiggle off! I also use these under all my small rugs downstairs just to prevent any unnecessary slipping! You can find them everywhere, the Dollar store, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and even your local grocery store!