Monthly Archives: January 2011

How To Be Successful In Putting Your Child To Bed

My daughter just turned 3. But she’s quickly learning how to draaag out her bedtime. I need a hug (and how can you say “no” to that?), I need a drink of water, I have to go pee pee. It’s easily adding another 15 minutes to the bedtime routine. Which is why I was so happy to see this article in Psychology Today about how to have a successful bedtime. Enjoy!

By Kevin D. Arnold, Ph.D., ABPP, is the Director of the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy of Greater Columbus and a Clinical Faculty member in the Dept. of Psychiatry at Ohio State University.

Putting Your Children to Bed: A Win-Win Proposition

Probably one of the most challenging things parents face is putting our children to bed…..and helping them stay there. When they are babies, they don’t have a routine way of sleeping. But, as they get older, around six months or so, they start to sleep with a regular pattern, several times each day.  By the time children reach elementary school, they usually go to bed, fall asleep, and sleep al night.

But, some children do not go to bed so easily. They fight sleep and get up again and again. They become crankier and crankier, as we become more and more frustrated. It’s a recipe for disaster.  We can easily forget that this exhausted, out-of-control tornado running down the hall is really just a very tired, little angel in disguise.

Four Tips to Help Children Stay in Bed

1.  Don’t give negative attention:   Parents can become as lost as their children in the tussle over going to sleep. When we lecture or raise our voice (“I said, ‘GO TO BED!'”), we might unintentionally reward our children with negative attention. I myself, even as a psychologist, must tap into my “wise” mind and remember the rule “All attention is attention.” Children thrive on attention, so when parents pay negative attention to getting out of bed, they can accidently teach their children to keep getting up.

2.  Separate your child from the behaviors: Sometimes my frustration gets the best of me, and I only see my children misbehaving. I forget to see them as the little children they really are. We all can be better parents when we remind ourselves that our little boy or girl is the baby we rocked to sleep not-so-long-ago.

I use two strategies. First, I pick up my children and rock them the way I did when they were young. Not only are our children reminded of the calm they felt as babies, but so are we as parents. It reverses the cycle of frustration, promoting calm instead.

Second, I refocus my thoughts by silently reciting the lyrics to “I Loved Her First,” by Heartland: “But I loved her (him) first and I held her (him) first, And a place in my heart will always be hers (his), From the first breath she (he) breathed, When she (he) first smiled at me, I knew the love of a father runs deep.” I focus my mind on the love I feel for my children. I shift my thoughts away from the out-of-bed behaviors, filling my mind with ideas about teaching my children to calm down and fall asleep.

3. Pull, don’t push: In many martial arts, when someone attacks you, the idea is to pull their attack toward you and control their energy. The principal is also true for putting children to bed. When my children fight sleep, I do not fight back (push), I find some way to connect to them (pull). Often, they are not tired-being physically active in the winter is hard to do-so they are not physically ready to sleep. Instead of lecturing them about sleeping, keep them up a little longer by reading or playing with them. But-stay in their room while they tire themselves out.

To see more of this Psychology Today article, click HERE.


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{Fab Friday Giveaway!} WIN A Crown For Your Prince Or Princess!

We have been so lucky to have such wonderful Etsy shops working with us on spectacular giveaways. This week, we couldn’t be more thrilled to introduce you to Taffie Wishes and her gorgeous felt crowns. These are sure to be the crowning touch at your little prince or princesses next birthday (since they easily adjust for size, how fun to take a picture in the crown every year and look back at how much they’ve changed?). The fun thing is, these crowns don’t have to be just for birthdays. I know a little girl in our house would be wild to wear it every day with her pink princess dress up dress.

You can even get the crowns to match other party related items, such as banners, tee shirts, picture frames, and MUCH more). They are made from durable pink or blue felt. The crown has a durable velcro closure in the back, making it suitable for a little princess or older queen. (Just a word to the wise, be careful with the button on the girls crown around young children.)

Winner gets to select either a pink or blue crown.

Want one for your very own? Here’s how to enter:

  1. Visit Taffie Wishes and tell us which item you’d love to have!
  2. Add her store to your Etsy Favorites (click the heart Add To Favorites button) and tell use that you did.
  3. Taffie Wishes is on Facebook! Become a fan here and give her lots of Momsense love!
  4. They too have a awesomely creative blog. Visit here and leave a comment. Tell us what you commented on.
  5. Do you receive our (Momsense) emails? If so, let us know. If not, subscribe today.
  6. Are you a Momsense fan on Facebook? If so, let us know. If not, become a fan.
  7. Spread the word about this giveaway! Share it on Facebook, Twitter or your blog, and let us know by leaving a link in your comment.
That’s seven ways to win. How fantastic! Remember to leave one separate comment for each entry (up to seven individual comments in total). If you are leaving a comment as anonymous, please leave us your email information (you can do, for example as: name at momsense dot com to avoid spammers) so we can get in touch with you!
Winner will be chosen on Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 9:00pm (EST). Any entries received after this time will not be considered. Open to US residents only. Winner will be chosen using


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TASTY THURSDAY: Sweet Turkey & Quinoa Meatballs

These look so delish. I’m drooling looking at the pictures. definitely going on my “To Make” list!

Taken from

These pop-in-your-mouth meatballs are packed with great nutrition thanks to the lean ground turkey, quinoa, and raisins.
Janice plans to serve them on Sunday at a tailgate party (go Patriots)!

Simple ingredients — chopped basil, reduced-sodium soy sauce, golden raisins, ketchup, and garlic powder add a big burst of flavor to the meatballs.

Sweet Turkey & Quinoa Meatballs

Makes 6 Servings (about 4 meatballs per serving)

Toss the cooked meatballs with our tangy sweet & sour sauce, place them on a platter with a frilly toothpick in each one, and you’ve got the makings of a festive and fun party food!

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup golden California raisins, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To see how to make the meatballs and sauce, click HERE.

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Sharing And The Preschooler

They say sharing is caring, but this phrase isn’t going to ring true for any preschooler (or toddler). Young kids are notorious for not wanting to share, whether they care about the item or not or whether they were even using it or not. It’s such a battle as a parent to get your child to understand the concept and realize nobody is taking their stuff away, they just want to try it out.

Want to know how to teach your preschooler to share (don’t we all?)? has some ideas on the subject.

Here are some words in our vocabulary that will, for the most part, always be associated with preschoolers. “No.” “Mine.” “Gimme.” These words are usually accompanied by a pull, a grab or a hugging motion to the chest — in all cases the preschooler is holding a precious (or not-so-precious) item, something that they don’t want someone else to have. Teaching a preschooler how to share something they don’t want to give up can be a daunting task, but it can be done. Here’s how.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Varies on the child
Here’s How:
  1. Set a good example. If you want your preschooler to learn to share, then you must share with her. If you are snacking on apple slices, offer her one. Does she love to color with your makers? Let her draw a picture with them. Put sharing into action by modeling good behavior. Share things with your spouse or partner and draw attention to the action. “Thanks Daddy for sharing your popcorn with me. I love it when we can share a snack together.”
  2. Remember that your preschoolers things and toys are his world. Respect them. Just because he’s small and didn’t purchase the items in question, they are still his. If you need to borrow something, be sure to ask and say thank you when you are finished. Make sure siblings follow suit. Most importantly, make sure the item in question is in good condition when you return it.
  3. Make sure your preschooler knows what sharing is and that when you share a toy with someone, they don’t get to keep it forever. If she doesn’t want to share her doll, set a timer and explain when the timer goes off, it’s time to let the other child have a turn. When she sees that she will get her doll back, she may be more likely to give it up in the future.
  4. Find out why your preschooler doesn’t want to share a particular item. Was it a special gift from someone? Is it brand new? Before you discipline your child for not cooperating, find out why she’s behaving this way.
  5. Sometimes you can hit a stumbling block when another child won’t share with your little one, but it’s still a great opportunity for teaching. Have your child put himself in his friend’s shoes to figure out why his friend doesn’t want to share. Say something like, “I think that toy is really special to your friend. Why don’t you find something else to play with?”
  6. Show her that sharing is a fun thing. Do activities and games that are great for two or more — work on a puzzle, play a board game or bake cookies together. When the goal is met — the puzzle is finished or the cookies are ready to eat — talk about how great it was to share that activity with her.
  7. Recognize when it is OK not to share. Sometimes there are items that your preschooler just isn’t ready to give up. And that’s fine. If you force him to share something he’s not ready to give up, it could backfire, making him resentful instead of generous. Before a playdate begins, go through the house and have your little one pick out items he’d rather not have someone else play with. Put them in a special place. Then go through and pick out things that are great for sharing — art supplies, puzzles, board games. This will set a good tone.
  1. Use positive reinforcement. Give her things to share with friends on a playdate or at school like stickers, a snack for the

To continue reading, click

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Can Lack of Sleep Make Your Child Chubby?

Taken from CNN Health

Catching up on Z’s could curb kids’ weight

Recent studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can affect your waistline. Less shuteye means more pounds. This also applies to children, which is tough for some. School, extracurricular activities and busy schedules can keep a child up at night. But research published in the journal Pediatrics finds that when youngsters are given the opportunity to make up for lost sleep by staying in bed longer on weekends and holidays, that extra time cuts down the negative effects of irregular sleep during the week. And that’s especially true when it comes to weight gain.

Doctors from the University of Chicago wanted to determine how much sleep healthy kids really get. In order to obtain an accurate measure, researchers used an actigraph (a specialized motion logger) rather than relying on parents, who, they say, usually overestimate by 60-90 minutes the amount of sleep their children get. Investigators also wanted to determine whether sleep duration was associated with increased risk for obesity as well as future risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

In the study, researchers monitored the sleep patterns of 308 children between the ages of 4 and 10 and and recorded their Body Mass Indexes or BMIs. They found that children who had regular sleep schedules and slept the recommended number of hours per night had the least risk of being obese or having unhealthy blood markers. In contrast, children who slept the least  and had irregular sleep schedules had more than a fourfold increase in the risk of being obese and having unhealthy blood markers that indicate the beginning of other conditions.

But investigators also found that sleep-deprived kids who catch up during the weekend reduce that risk from four times to slightly less than three times the obesity risk of kids who get adequate sleep

“Lack of sufficient sleep can have major adverse consequences to the body, such as reduced memory and cognitive performance, lack of attention and focus and in children hyperactivity and ADHD like behaviors.” says Dr. David Gozal, physician-in-chief, for the Department of Pediatrics at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago. “In addition helplessness and depression can develop,” he adds.

Research shows that lack of sleep can also lead to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.

To continue reading, click CNN Health

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Filed under: Children’s Health • Obesity • Sleep

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{Fab Friday Giveaway} Sweet Cheeks Baby Cupcakes-WINNER!

Woo hoo!! We have the winner of our adorable Sweet Cheeks Baby Cupcakes!

First off, thanks to everyone who entered and showed Momsense and Sweet Cheeks some love. We appreciate it so much. We’ll be running ANOTHER fab giveaway next Friday, so stay tuned. And now, for what you’ve all been waiting for:

Our winner is:






Who said:
I am a fan of Momsense on Facebook.

Congratulations Kendra! Please email me at with your contact information, phone and email and we’ll let Sweet Cheeks know to send these adorable cupcakes out to you. We hope you, or whoever is special enough to receive them, enjoys them.

Once again, a HUGE thank you to Lani at Sweet Cheeks. We appreciate her working with us and hope to team up with her again.

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What We Are Reading Today

Just thought I’d share some of the books is major rotation in our house. Happily, I enjoy most of them (the ones I really loathe seem to magically disappear).

When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth
By Jamie Lee Curtis
When I Was Little: A Four-Year-Old's Memoir of Her Youth

If You Give A Pig A Party
By Laura Numeroff
If You Give a Pig a Party (If You Give...)

Olivia…and the Missing Toy
By Ian Falconer
Olivia . . . and the Missing Toy   [OLIVIA & THE MISSING TOY] [Hardcover]

Llama Llama Red Pajama
By Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama Red Pajama

Clifford Makes A Splash
Clifford Makes a Splash

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