Be the adult you want your child to be

By Taryn Yates

Posted in the Post Register on September 5, 2017

Last night, I placed my five month old on the floor to play while I took a bathroom break. When I came out, I spotted my two year old with him. At first glance, it looked like he was practically on top of him- and my heart jumped at the potentially dangerous situation. My two year old is heavy and can be aggressive. Fortunately, I let a split second go by before I rushed in, which allowed me to witness something remarkable. My two year old was leaning over his baby brother, with his face very close. He was saying “Whaaat? Whaat are you doing?” in a very specific sing-songy way that sounded just the way I say it to elicit coos and giggles. And the baby was responding!

Two things struck me in that moment. The first was how well my 2 year old had embraced his big-brother role. His actions have been beyond my best hopes. I was expecting quite a bit more jealousy and was happy to have underestimated the little guy. The second thing was just how well he was mimicking my baby voice. It was almost eerie. Hearing my words and tone come out of my son’s little face reminded me of just how closely he watches me. I honestly hadn’t noticed him noticing me and my interactions with the baby, yet here was proof he had been watching me all along. Not just watching- he was taking my actions as a lesson and example of how to treat the baby.

Suddenly I had a surge of insight which led to a theory. As valuable as parenting books and experts are, maybe the best parenting advice has been under my nose the whole time. Be a good role model. Be the person you want your child to grow into and they will. Could it really be that simple?

My son has gotten into a bit of trouble at his child care facility for a while now. He is aggressive. He really loves people, but he also pushes, hits, and throws things. It has gone on despite my best efforts. I’ve researched how to parent the willful child and how to teach empathy and kindness. I’ve learned about redirection and teaching him how to “calm his body down” and I’ve told him that kindness is the most important quality a person can have. Yet I still stressed out that I was failing as a parent. What if I raise a mean child? A bully? The thought haunts me.

If my theory is correct, then I can just relax and be patient. Throughout my fear and stress, I’ve tried my best to be kind. To avoid yelling. To understand where he is developmentally and respond accordingly. I ask him why he is sad and I tell him I am listening when he gets frustrated. I ask him if he needs a hug or some quiet time alone under a blanket on the couch. I tell him that hitting hurts and makes me sad, but I’ve never hit him to demonstrate. I’ve done my best to be a kind and loving adult even when I’m frustrated. And he’s noticed. Sure, he still throws things and isn’t good at sharing, but there are these increasingly frequent moments when he shows what a good person he is becoming. He shows concern when a friend is injured. He gives unsolicited compliments about my hair. And sometimes, when he thinks no one is watching, he makes his baby brother laugh…just like his mom.

New Resources on Parenting Tips

We've added several new resources under our Parenting Tips section. Give it a visit and learn more about how to raise happy, healthy kids. 

"Good Enough" is Just Right

Article from the Post Register

By our Grants Manager, Taryn Yates


Posted July 12, 2017

Three months ago, my family and I welcomed our second child: A bright-eyed boy with several cowlicks, the most noticeable of which causes a tuft of hair in the back of his head to stand up distinctively. It's adorable and I do adore him. However, I must admit that having a second child has been challenging. Fortunately, I don't stress anymore about rigidly keeping a feeding or sleeping schedule, making sure no one touches him with unwashed hands, and a lot of the other big standard worries I had when I was a new mom. I learned with my firstborn to just feed my baby when he's hungry, that sleep patterns usually emerge when they are ready, that the baby will be exposed to germs whether I like it or not (his germ-ridden brother keeps kissing him), and life will carry on.

However, since I had the logistics under semi-control, I was caught off guard by a familiar foe: Guilt. I didn't feel like I was enjoying my baby. I didn't have time to. I was trying so hard to just keep my toddler alive and cared for, not to mention all the feeding, holding, burping, diaper changing, and bathing required to keep a newborn happy, that I didn't have any time to simply stop and smell the baby powder. I felt like I was mentally hunkering down and pushing through the hard part until my baby was a little older and life got more "manageable". That started me to worry: if I wasn't enthusiastically embracing every single mothering moment- was I hurting my children? Would they notice? Would letting my toddler watch too much television so I could take care of the baby or throw in a load of laundry ruin his brain development?

Somewhere in the midst of worrying, I was reminded of the concept of "good enough parenting". Good enough parenting comes from the research of Donald Winnicott and was expanded upon by several others. There is a lot of information out there on good enough parenting and attachment (google it, you'll see what I mean), but the basic idea is that parents have an insider's knowledge of their child that experts don't, so a well-meaning mother who is "fond of her baby" and tries her best will have good outcomes for their child. In Psychology Today, Dr. Peter Gray used Goldilocks as a metaphor for good enough parenting. Children need a parent who doesn't parent too much or parent too little. There is a sweet spot of good enough parenting right in the middle. So I decided to reflect upon my parenting with a more positive "good enough" lens. Am I fond of my children? Absolutely yes! Am I trying? Yes, I'm trying very hard, actually.

Through this lens, my guilt began to fade. Yes, I am rushed much of the time, but when I'm not worried about making every moment meaningful, I noticed that I do, in fact, put meaning into the little moments. I quickly tousle my toddler's hair as I'm getting him to brush his teeth. I coo at my baby while changing his diaper. I sing silly songs as I'm putting their clothes on. And I kiss each child as I'm putting them into their car seats. Sure, I offer my iPad for a much-needed distraction, and it's not unheard of for me to either rush through breakfast or offer a children's protein shake to my toddler in the car in lieu of scrambled eggs. It's not perfect. But it is good enough. In fact, one could say it's just right.

July 2017 Board Meeting

MEETING NOTICE: July 17 & 18, 2017
9:00 A.M.

The Idaho Children's Trust Fund Board will hold its Regularly Scheduled Board Meeting on Monday and Tuesday, July 17 and 18, 2017 in the second floor courtroom in the Borah Building at 304 N. 8th St.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:00 each morning. Members of the public wishing to participate should contact the Children's Trust Fund Board offices (at 208-386-9317) to obtain the call in number and passcode if they wish to participate telephonically.

This notice is published pursuant to §67‐2343 Idaho Code. For additional information regarding Idaho's Open Meeting law, please see Idaho Code §§ 67‐2340 through 67‐2347.

Posted 6/26/17


Meeting of the Board of Directors
July 17 and 18, 2017
Borah Building*304 N. 8th St. 2nd Floor Courtroom * Boise Idaho

Monday, July 17
8:30 A.M. Gather/Light refreshments
9:00 A.M Convene
12:30 P.M. Lunch
4:00 P.M. Adjourn
9:00 Call to Order/Check In

9:15 introduce Richard Jurvelin, new Region 1 board member and go round

9:30 Approve minutes of April board meeting

Consent Agenda (staff reports and financials as reviewed by Finance committee)

Expenditures over $1000 (TBD)

Review DHW internal audits division report on internal controls

Performance reviews/ Wage increase

*Approve Travel plans
o CBCAP-DC Roger (August 10 11)
o PCAA New Orleans—Roger (October 5 and 6)
o Ignite 17 D2L Atlanta Norma and Roger (October 10 &11)
o National Alliance of CTF's Little Rock (November 7, 8, 9)

*Review and finalize SFY 2018 Budget

12:30 Networking Lunch

Assessment of prior year and goal setting
o ICTF role as backbone organization in statewide collective impact
o Statewide Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative (options for moving forward)

o Internship program
o ACEs/Protective factors
o Funded projects

Begin planning as time permits

4:00 Recess for evening (Dinner together)

Tuesday, July 19

9:00 Convene for planning using Matrix

*Next Meeting October 16 or 17

Noon Adjourn

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