• Raising Girls

    3 Actions to Take if a Dog Bites Your Child

    Pet owners have an obligation to control their pets so that they do not bite anyone. However, pet owners are sometimes negligent + accidents do happen. Here are some things that you can do if a dog bites your child.

    Seek Medical Treatment

    CureJoy suggests that while you may think that a dog bite can heal on its own, it is better to get help as soon as possible. In a worst-case scenario, your child may need rabies treatments.

    While that is unlikely, it is better to know upfront what you are facing. Many bites can fester before becoming infected if they are not treated appropriately. It is better to be safe than sorry.

    The worst that happens is that you are out the time + possibly some money. However, either your insurance or the dog’s owner may cover the cost of the medical treatment .

    Call the Police

    Embrace Pet Insurance explains that like any type of accident, you want a report of the accident that documents what occurred. You can get this by promptly reporting the dog bite to the police.

    You can then use this documentation as the basis to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit. You may have no other way of knowing whether a dog has bitten before or even whether it has been vaccinated except if you file a police report.

    Additionally, if the owner knows that law enforcement is involved, it just might be the motivating factor to take the highest possible safety measures to make sure that the dog does not bite anyone else in the future.

    Consider Legal Action

    Ahlander Injury Law recommends that you might be able to seek financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages + pain + suffering. The liability for a dog bite depends on the state in which the bite occurred.

    In some jurisdictions, the dog’s owner will be liable for a dog bite no matter what. Other states assume that a dog is not dangerous until it bites a person once.

    After that, the owner would be liable for any damages from pet bites. You should immediately consult a personal injury attorney to find out whether you would be entitled to compensation for the harm caused to your child.

    While your child may be the victim of an aggressive dog, you can still take proactive steps to both protect your legal rights and ensure the safety of others in the future.

    Safety first. Check out these articles about ways to keep your kiddos safe.

  • Raising Girls

    3 Places to Buy Inexpensive but Nice Girls’ Clothes

    With three girls, I am sure you can imagine the quantity of clothing + shoes that we have in our house. Sure, the oldest had the most clothing + shoes + those items have trickled down to her two younger sisters (for the most part).

    The challenge is that all of my girls were born in different seasons, which makes hand-me-downs sometimes difficult depending on sizing.

    So what is a girl mom to do?

    Well, I’ll tell you.

    Kids on 45th

    I adore Kids on 45th. It’s similar to a Stitch Fix for Kids, except the clothes are second-hand instead of brand new. Although, the boxes we have received often contain clothing + accessories that still have the tags on them. The clothing is so affordable. Most items range from $1 and some change to $3 and some change.

    I can buy an entire box of clothes for all three girls + only spend about $100.

    You can totally control your shipments so you can set up an account for each child. You can choose how many pants, shirts, jackets, etc. that you receive for each child + all of the kids clothes are shipped in the same box.

    The only drawback is that if you receive something that doesn’t fit or your kids don’t like, you cannot return it. Honestly, though, the clothes are so cheap that it doesn’t really matter. I simply sold the items at a consignment sale or donated any items that my girls wouldn’t wear + it doesn’t hurt anywhere near as much when you drop bucu bucks (like the Crew Cuts jeans I bought brand new that they swore they’d wear, wore a grand total of one time + then refused to wear them again).

    HINT: If you decide to give it a try, use my link. You get $10 off your order + I do too. Ten dollars is at least 3 pieces if clothing (if not more) depending on what you add to your box! That’s to say that $10 goes a long way.

    Stitch Fix for Kids

    I use Stitch Fix for myself so it’s natural that I give it a whirl for my girls. My husband tried it but wasn’t impressed. I’ve been fortunate enough to like everything in all of my boxes (with the exception of my recent box, where I still bought two of the five or six items).

    Stitch Fix allows you to set up an account for each of your kids. Like the world of online dating for adults, you can answer some style questions about each of your kids to give the stylist an idea of which clothing items to put in your child’s box.

    When you receive the box, you can go through it with your child to try the clothes + shoes on to decide which items you want to keep + which items you want to exchange for another size or return. You have three days to make a decision.

    Stitch Fix provides you with a paid return postage envelope bag to return items.

    These clothes are pricier than items like Kids on 45th because these clothes + shoes are brand new. If you buy the entire box, you receive a 25% discount + if you buy at least one item, the styling fee is waived so it makes it economical + convenient (because you don’t have to drag one or more kids through a store, dressing room + checkout).

    HINT: If you decide to use my link, we both get $25!

    Consignment Sales

    Where I live in Virginia (+ I’m sure all over the country) consignment season happens twice a year (around March + around September). Some of the consignment sales (which are all for kids clothing, shoes, toys, accessories + baby gear) are HUGE (+ i do mean HUGE).

    I tend to go through the pre-sale (offered to consignors), which are items at full price. You can definitely pick up name-brand items at greatly reduced prices. Sometimes I also breeze through the half-off sale, which is typically the last one to hours of the sale.

    It is well worth the effort it takes to go through racks, decide what you want to buy + stand in line to pay. I’ve picked up some great buys, such as a brand-new-with-tags London Fog winter jacket for my first born, Crew Cuts pants, sweaters + shirts in the area of $5 each, Hanna Andersson tops for a couple bucks + the list just goes on + on.

    One of the huge producers of kids consignment sales in states around the country is Just Between Friends. Check it out to see if they host sales in your area.

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    The Likeness Book Review

    The Likeness is a novel by the same author as Into the Woods (which I read eons ago), Tana French. I had this book sitting in my night table drawer for I don’t know how long.

    I was in between books for book club so I pulled it out one night + started reading it.

    It pulled me right in!

    The story is about an undercover detective that has taken on a desk job until she is drawn back into the undercover world after a college girl using her old undercover alias’s name is found dead in a dilapidated cottage in the country.

    Not only is the college girl using the detective’s old undercover name but the dead girl is a dead ringer for the detective. Hence, the name The Likeness.

    The detective ends up going undercover as the dead girl (because the police do not announce she is dead but instead say she was attacked + injured) to try to figure out who is responsible for the murder.

    What I Loved

    The story involves the same lead character as Into the Woods but it is two separate cases/story lines so I didn’t have to remember what actually happened in Into the Woods to read (+ thoroughly enjoy) this book.

    I also love that the main character is a woman detective. This is not the only author that has strong woman detective characters that I enjoy. Sue Grafton has a PI main character, Kinsey Milhone, that I also love.

    This book also has a BIG twist ending. I love a good twist ending.

    What I Didn’t Love

    The book is pretty long. It has over 500 pages. While it was a page turner + I enjoyed reading it, I think it could have been just as good with less than 500 pages.

    It creeped me out at the beginning so I could only read it at night when my husband was home. I had to start putting my contact case + solution on my nightside table so I didn’t have to get up to take them out before going to sleep.

    It became less creepy as the story went on but about the first half of the book put me on high alert.

    Grade

    I give this book an A + I highly recommend it. If you are a fan of Into the Woods or true crime type novels, then this book should be on your bookshelf (or at least your reading list).

    I even convinced my Moms’ Book Club to read it so it’s our book club book for May.

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    Shenandoah Discovery Museum Mom Review

    My cousin’s daughter recently had her 7th Birthday Party at the Shenandoah Discovery Museum. We live about an hour and a half from there but we usually go out for birthday parties for the kids + to visit.

    What I Loved

    My first impression of the museum from the outside was, “What a neat place!” It looks like it’s an old fire station that was converted into a museum. It is the end unit of a building with more than one business now but there is a large window garage door that makes up almost the entire front lobby of the museum.

    On the side of the building is a painted mural. It gives off a fun, vibrant + artsy vibe.

    It’s location, in the middle of downtown Winchester, is a special treat. There is plenty to do in the historic area. Pubs, restaurants, museums, historic homes + more are within walking distance to the museum. Bonus points because you can walk the area easily.

    The inside of the museum is a kid wonderland. It is three floors of activities. The second floor also has two or three party rooms dispersed throughout the activities.

    My girls (5, 3, and 1) really seemed to enjoy the activities. They had indoor climbing structures, an ambulance, a hut that you can crawl through + sit inside of + arts + crafts + so much more!

    They also had a small soft-play area for younger kids.

    In the lobby is a huge maze-like structure. There is likely a better name for this but it’s not coming to me at the moment. It’s not a maze that you can walk through but it has different moving parts that my girls really enjoyed watching on the way out.

    What I Didn’t Love

    I wish there was more activities for the 1-year-old. She enjoyed the soft-play area for some time but it did not entertain her for the entire time we were there. She’s also not walking yet so she wanted to crawl around on the floor, which made her a target for kids + adults that were walking/running around to the various activities.

    The climbing structure/maze on the first floor was hard for my tall 3-year-old (almost 4-year-old) to climb up into. Even with her older sister + two other girls who were climbing trying to help her, she could not get past the first climb-through hole.

    I noticed that many children were having a hard time climbing it so it wasn’t just one of my kids.

    Parking was also a HUGE challenge. Street parking is free on the weekends so we eventually found street parking at a meter that was approximately one block from the museum. There is a parking lot adjacent to the museum but it was small + full.

    We used the stroller to get two of the kids from the street parking to the museum but the museum is not really set up for strollers so my husband ended up returning the stroller to the car while we were there. We carried the baby back to the truck when we left + the two older girls walked.

    Of course, there is a small shop right when you are entering + exiting the museum so my girls wanted to go through it + buy everything when we we arrived + when were leaving. It took some effort to keep them out of it because we don’t need any more trinkets (aka crap) at our house.

    Grade

    I give the museum an A. It’s definitely a unique place in a great location. Kids of all ages enjoy it + you can grab a nice lunch or enjoy other activities within walking distance from the museum.

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    Where the Crawdads Sing Book Review

    As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    This is another book that I read for my Moms’ Book Club. Where the Crawdads Sing has high ratings + fab book reviews all over the Internet + is part of Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club.

    It is so wildly popular that I was like # one million (total exaggeration) on the wait list for it at the library. I put out a call to borrow a copy on our neighborhood FB page but no luck there either so I ended up buying it on Kindle.

    I say all of this to point out just how popular the book is right now.

    Overview

    The book is about a young girl, Kya, who lives in a marsh in North Carolina. Her family is extremely poor + one by one both of her parents + all of her brothers + sisters abandon her.

    The book is all about her daily life of survival. She finds ways of finding food, making money to buy her necessities + learning about the flower, fauna, animals + more that live in the marsh.

    Kya ends up fending for herself over the years until she becomes a young woman. In the end, she is accused of murdering her former lover + stands trial for it.

    What I Loved

    The book has a TOTAL twist ending, which I loved. While it is possible that I should have seen some of the ending coming, I did NOT. I really enjoyed the twist.

    What I Didn’t Love

    I did not enjoy the beginning chapters of the book. In fact, after reading the first two or three chapters I was starting to wonder how in the world this book is so popular.

    If you decide to read it, push through the first few chapters. It DOES get better.

    I also had a hard time believing, at times, that a girl that was so young could actually fend for herself. She literally lived alone in a marsh from about the age of 5 or 6 until she was a woman (+ even continued to live there as an adult).

    On one hand, I can see a “survival” mentality that would have had to kick in so that she could forage for food, live in a marsh + raise herself from a very young age. On the other hand, I have a five year old girl + cannot really imagine her actually raising herself, feeding herself, living by herself–having to completely fend for herself.

    Overall, I give the book an A. From a few chapters in, this book ended up pulling me in. It ended up being a page turner because I wanted to see what happened next.

  • Raising Girls

    6 Steps to Resolving Conflict with Your Strong-Willed Daughter

    It’s the same old conflict: Parent versus child. Throughout the ages, parents are at odds with their offspring at some point in the growing up process. You might even be getting a taste of some of that right now with your own daughter.

    Toddlers + adolescents are usually the biggest perpetrators of “boundary testing.” If you can survive these years, most girls grow beyond the attitudes + adopt a more mature nature.

    Unfortunately, for many parents, this “phase” is anything but. They grapple with real-life destructive behavior because they deal with a defiant daughter. If you are experiencing this, rest assured that there is help for your daughter + there is help for you.

    Defiance can go beyond the age-appropriate outbursts. In these situations, other conditions may be present that exacerbate overly strong-willed attitudes in your daughter.

    It could even stem from a chemical imbalance of some sort in the brain or a learning disability. The point is that there are solutions. Your daughter is not a “demon seed,” as some might like to label her, but someone you love who needs your assistance.

    Hang in there, Mama! We’re going to learn how to get to know life through your daughter’s eyes + get into to her head to see what she’s thinking.

    Hang in for a bumpy ride as we maneuver the “thinking errors” that young girls aren’t always able to turn off. Finally, we’re going to pave the way to steps for resolving conflict with your defiant daughter + find ways to better understand her.

    How a Defiant Daughter Thinks

    One common myth we have to overcome is that our daughter is a mini-version of us. In reality, her way of thinking is drastically different from ours.

    Let’s face it. They don’t have the experience we have. Her brain isn’t fully developed so she doesn’t connect reasoning + analyzing + numerous other actions the way we do as adults.

    As she learns to sit, stand, walk, talk, reason, share + understand, she also develops self-centered feelings that might make her act defiant — as in refusing to clean her room or throwing a tantrum because she doesn’t want to put on her shoes right now.

    Until she develops + learns to be in control of her actions + that she can control her emotions, she doesn’t really know any other way to react other than what she’s feeling inside so it can come across as defiance.

    A defiant child, on the other hand, sees things in their own way. What you view as reasonable requests are just reasons into an argument. Here are some snippets from the book “Day in the Life of a Defiant Child.”

    “I don’t want to get out of bed. School is dumb. I’ll just lay here.”

    “I don’t have enough time to get ready before the bus comes. This sucks. Why do I have to go to school?”

    “Why should I do my homework? I’ll never use any of this stuff. My teacher hates me anyway.”

    “Can you take me to school? Otherwise I’ll be late since I missed the bus.”

    “Stay off my back. I’m doing the best I can. Nothing I do is ever good enough for you guys.”

    “There’s nothing wrong with watching this show. All my friends’ parents let them watch it. You just don’t want me to be cool.”

    Does any of this sound familiar to you? You may have heard it so much that you just tune it out, roll your eyes + keep moving.

    Or, your blood boils every time you hear it + the shouting commences.

    These statements are inflammatory + meant to invoke these reactions from you. Defiant daughters have a goal + it’s to enrage you enough to give in to their demands so they can go on living as they always have.

    The problem is these attitudes are not healthy + not productive for you, for your daughter or for your family as a whole. It can only lead to more trouble, as your daughter gets older.

    A child who sees the world like this on a daily basis is not only defiant but might be suffering from some sort of disorder. What could be driving your child to exhibit such behavior?

    • Peer pressure and/or rejection (bullying, teasing, drugs, sex, alcohol or other)
    • Past traumatic experiences (physical or sexual abuse, for example, with or without the parent’s knowledge)
    • Conflict with parents (parental expectations, separation, divorce, or remarriage)
    • Body image issues (developing too fast or not as fast as their peers do)
    • Sibling issues (dangerous sibling rivalry, bullying, etc.)
    • Defiance is the thing that is “in” right now so it’s okay to do

    This is by no means a comprehensive list.

    It does bring many different kinds of situations to your attention, though. Children can set unrealistic expectations for themselves + feel too embarrassed to tell you when something is going on with them. As a result, they try to handle it themselves + it results in defiant behavior.

    You’re not a mind reader as a parent (You probably already know this.) so you don’t make the connection all the time, which can further infuriate your daughter into thinking that you don’t care so they don’t tell you when they’re having problems.

    Chemical imbalances + disabilities can also cause defiant behavior in girls. It is possible that she is suffering from:

    • Anxiety disorders (ADD, ADHD, ODD, panic attacks or another)
    • Depression (bipolar depression or clinical depression)
    • Learning disabilities (dyslexia, autism spectrum disorder, or another)

    It can create the perfect storm if your daughter is suffering from one of these disorders + has to deal with her emotions at the same time.

    Whatever the reasons causing the defiance, you’re going to have to address the underlying issues to take the necessary steps to correct it.

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    Almost every child goes through a defiant period in their life–especially during the formative years. Sometimes, though, it’s to an extreme. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a medical condition that must be diagnosed by a professional clinician.

    ODD is something different than typical acting out. It is not a phase but an ongoing set of behaviors that don’t resolve or get better, but progressively worsen, especially if not treated through training + behavior modification (for both parents + children).

    A child may be suffering from ODD if they exhibit one or more of these chronic symptoms almost daily for at least six months.

    Children with ODD:

    • Are prone to using bad language
    • Lose their temper easily + often
    • Argue with adults including their parents (they believe that they are equal to adults)
    • Refuse to comply with requests from their parents, teachers + other adults
    • Annoy others on purpose
    • Talk back to adults
    • Blame others for their problems + accept no responsibility for their actions
    • Are annoyed easily by other people including friends + family members
    • Show vindictive behavior over perceived slights
    • Angry all the time
    • Resentful of other people

    These children believe that it is their right to do as they please. If something displeases them, they rage against it until they get their way.

    For them, defiant behavior is a norm instead of an exception. The danger is these patterns can carry over into adulthood where their behavior could turn violent + lead to problems at work + with the law.

    Thinking Errors in Defiant Children + Teens

    We all can exhibit “thinking errors” at times in our lives. This is not unique to young or teenage girls.

    Consider the alcoholic who says that they can drink + function at the same time. Or the person who wants to lose weight but doesn’t see the harm in eating half a gallon of ice cream after dinner because they will “work it off” tomorrow. It’s called “justification.” These thought patterns are used every day by someone (mostly adults) to feel better about making poor choices.

    As adults, we understand what we are doing but deceive ourselves so it will be alright. Children don’t have this knowledge. They act this way to gain the upper hand, or power, over others in their lives.

    When they see it works, their behavior will continue along that vein whether the outcome is good or bad. For defiant children, the outcomes tend to be negative + that’s where their power lies. When we as parents give in to their demands, we are reinforcing negative behavior + showing that their tactics work.

    Here are five thinking errors that a defiant daughter may exhibit.

    Victim Stance:  As a victim, everything is done “to” you so the responsibility for fixing a situation doesn’t fall on you but the person who is the aggressor.

    Defiant daughters may play the “victim” role to get out of taking responsibility for situations where they are clearly at fault. There are times when our children or we may actually be a victim, but it is not healthy to live in that position in everyday life.

    Blaming others seems to absolve them from trying a new task, making mistakes, or moving ahead in life when they are afraid or embarrassed. Instead of trying, they cry foul + become angry.

    Uniqueness: This is when children feel that they are above everyone else. Pitfalls that would ensnare a lesser person don’t apply to them.

    The alcoholic, mentioned above, is an example of this. He can drive unimpaired by a few drinks because he has a false sense of superiority + security. Clearly, alcohol compromises the system + his logic is faulty.

    For kids, it could be the reason why they don’t study for a test. Hanging out with the wrong crowd won’t influence them because they are “different.”

    Concrete Transactions: Defiant daughters use adults + others as a means to an end. You are only useful as long as you perform the job that they need you for. They may trade on their friendship with someone to get them to go along with something bad or illegal. Being nice to parents is only so they will do something for them even after the parent has put their foot down.

    Turnaround: No matter what you say, your defiant child will turn the remark around on you. If you are not prepared for it, you’ll be caught off guard.

    You end up annoyed because they are not cleaning their room. Your child retaliates by saying that you don’t love them or that you are too hard on them. They accuse you of all sorts of atrocities in order to change the subject + get out of punishment.

    One-way Training: Instead of you getting your child to follow the rules, she is training you to follow her rules. When confronted with a task she doesn’t want to do or a skill that she doesn’t want to learn, she turns things around to focus on your behavior.

    She may go through your belongings in your room but then bark at you when you come into her room. She may lie + say she has other things to do or too much on her plate to put off whatever you are asking her to do for later. Manipulation is not above her.

    STEPS TO DEAL WITH A DEFIANT DAUGHTER

    1. Learn to understand your child – In the case of defiant children, this is almost as important as loving them. In fact, it is an expression of your love for them. Discover how she thinks + why she thinks the way does. If you need to employ the services of a psychologist or psychiatrist to assist your family with sorting through the mess + getting to the root of the issues so everyone can live a more productive life.
    2. Avoid yelling – This is hard but yelling is counterproductive. Instead, step away from the situation. Instead of giving in to what your daughter wants, leave the area. Return to the discussion when you can keep your emotions in check.
    3. Listen to your child – In between her shouting + double talk are clues to why she is acting the way she is. Actively listening is also the way to compartmentalize your emotions as you seek out the information you need to help your daughter.
    4. Positive reinforcement – Your child is looking for power + doesn’t care if the results are negative or positive. Ensure that the results are positive through positive reinforcement. Offer encouragement, praise, validation + even rewards for positive behaviors she exhibits. Reduce her negative power by refusing to give in to her demands + refusing to produce the desired negative results.
    5. Redirect her energies – Think about the last time you were mad. Your heart was racing, your muscles were tense + you had a lot of excess energy. The same goes for your child. Use productive ways to burn off that energy that doesn’t involve negative behaviors. Teach her to use exercise (playing basketball, running, biking, jumping jacks, etc.) as a stress reliever to calm down. Physical movement satisfies the urge to throw or hit something while allowing her to come back down to earth.
    6. Set boundaries + stick to them – Following through with consequences, no matter what sad story your child tells, lets her know how things work in real life.

    Being defiant is a normal phase for most girls, but goes beyond normal for some. If your daughter is exhibiting defiant behavior (whether it escalates or not), nip it in the bud right now.

    Understand your daughter’s way of thinking + then combat each behavior by hitting it head on. Follow through with firm consequences for negative behavior. Stress reinforcement of positive behaviors as a way to move away from those destructive patterns. Give your daughter the tools she needs to fuel her growth into adulthood + a successful life.

  • Raising Girls

    3 Home Pests That Can Make Your Kids Sick

    As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your kids safe from outside dangers. But you may not have thought about the pests that can invade your home + make your kids sick. Find out about these three pests that you want to protect your kids from.

    Fleas

    Fleas are an annoying little pest that you want to keep away from your kids. If you have pets, then it’s possible that they can bring fleas into your home.

    But other animals, such as rodents + raccoons, can also drop off fleas into your space. Fleas might be tiny, but they carry several diseases + can cause allergies. And because they bite, fleas can irritate the skin + cause lesions.

    You can get rid of fleas by treating your pets with flea prevention medications. Also, you can wash all your bedding + any other materials in very hot water. Thrifty Fun says that if your children have flea bites, there are many child-safe remedies you can use to soothe them.

    Bed Bugs

    Despite their name, bed bugs don’t just live in beds. According to Sage Pest Control, bed bugs crawl on the ceiling + are drawn to humans because they can sense carbon monoxide being exhaled (Oh joy!).

    Then, they drop from the ceiling + begin to feed on human blood (The joy continues!). Their bites leave itchy welts + many people develop an allergic reaction to the saliva injected by the bed bug as it feeds.

    If you suspect you have bed bugs, then make sure you call a professional. They can use heat treatments + other methods to help protect your kids from bed bugs.

    Pigeons

    Lastly, another pest you need to protect your kids from is the flying kind. Pigeons may seem harmless, but they can actually make your kids sick.

    The droppings that pigeons leave behind can contain a wide range of different diseases that can be transmitted to people, including E. Coli, encephalitis + histoplasmosis, which is a respiratory disease.

    Pigeons are also known to carry fleas. While nesting around your house, pigeons can leave droppings in the areas where your kids play, such as playground equipment, enclosed screened patios + other areas. If you have pigeons hanging around, then a pest control expert can help humanely trap them or take steps to pigeon-proof your home.

    Keeping your kids safe + healthy means protecting them against these household pets. We also recommend that you seek the help of professionals if you have an infestation of any kind that you haven’t been able to deal with on your own.

    Experts can help you to eradicate these pests so that your kids don’t suffer from any of the diseases or irritants they carry.

    Family health + safety is something to take seriously.

  • Raising Girls

    7 Strategies for Dealing with Defiant Daughters

    Parenting is not for the faint of heart, especially if you have a stubborn or downright defiant daughter. You need to be prepared + more determined than she is to help her get through the issues that arise.

    Having a game plan in place is crucial for your success and hers. Consider incorporating these parenting strategies for dealing with a defiant daughter.

    Defiant, stubborn daughters tend to test your patience + stretch your parenting skills to the limit on the reg. This is just part of raising girls, for the most part.

    All girls ten to go through at least two defiant stages:

    Around age two or three, when they learn the “n” word + go around saying no to EVERYTHING.

    Then, it comes back around again when they hit their teen years, when they say “no” as they practice making mature choices + decisions (or sometimes not making mature + good choices).

    If your daughter has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) by a doctor, you can encounter similar issues. However, there are differences related to frequency + severity due to the cause of the defiant behavior.

    Under these circumstances, it’s even more important to have solid foundations, plans + consequences in place.

    Whether your daughter is going through one of the common defiant stages, dealing with ODD, or has another major issue, it’s important to address the problem early. In fact, at the first sign of defiant behavior, model + teach your daughter acceptable ways to react + respond to situations she faces.

    7 Strategies to Help with a Defiant Daughter

    #1 Build a solid foundation

    It is never too early to begin teaching your daughter good manners, conflict resolution, problem solving skills + social etiquette. The earlier you begin, the easier it is.

    Even before your babies are born, they are learning about the world around them – including actions, reactions, expectations + consequences, or causes + effects. Don’t be afraid to start building the foundation when she is a baby.

    Establish boundaries, rules + consequences. Establish these boundaries + rules to address your expectations for your daughter + for your own behavior, as well. When setting up consequences for your child(ren), try to correlate the consequences with a specific issue.

    Write down the consequences so your daughter knows what is going to happen if she chooses to disobey or ignore rules. Depending on what your child responds to, you may restrict or disallow the use of an item, especially if it contributed to what she did to break a rule or disobey.

    #2 Master your self-control

    Your daughter uses you as as role model. Model a calm, cool + collected attitude (even when you are ready to lose your $#@!). Defiant children can be emotional + explosive so you can’t be.

    In order to deal successfully with her outbursts, you must control your own thoughts, emotions, actions + words. If you need to, take time to calm down before addressing the behavior issue.

    When you talk with your child, keep your tone of voice low, firm + decisive as you discuss family beliefs, values, expectations + rules.

    #3 Enforce consequences

    When a child knows that consequences are not enforced, they are less likely to follow the rules or stick to the boundaries. Being consistent with enforcing rules can make a HUGE difference.

    Whatever the consequence is (losing her iPad for a day or not being allowed to have friends over), consistently enforce it when she done something to lose her privilege.

    #4 Hold on to your power

    A defiant daughter wants the last word. She also wants you to give in to her wants + way of thinking. Refuse to argue with her.

    End the conversation on your terms. Don’t let her wear you down. You have to be more determined than she is.

    #5 Refuse to negotiate

    Negotiation is a tool used by kids to get their way + get out of dealing with their responsibilities. No matter how much your daughter cries or complains, she must fix her mistake + then accept the consequences for her actions.

    #6 Reinforce the positive

    Instead of giving attention when she does something wrong, praise + reward her positive behaviors. Point out when she does something well or makes a well-thought out decision. Don’t skimp on the positives if you want your daughter to model them.

    Parents must take the time to plan + strategize when it comes to dealing with defiant daughters. Be determined + consistent when dealing with her defiance. Make a plan to include one or more of these 7 parenting strategies for dealing with a defiant daughter.

  • Raising Girls

    7 Books to Help Girls Overcome Anxiety, Fear + Worry + Other Feelings

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    My oldest daughter, my 5-year-old, is a worrier. She always has been ever since she was a baby + toddler. I see it creeping into the 3-year-old too now. We checked out some of these books to help her work through some of her worry + fear.

    Toddlers + kids are a ball of emotions. They are learning what feelings are + how to deal with them — whether it is being angry, sad, frustrated, or something else. I’ve read all of these books to my girls + I think it has helped them learn about their emotions + given them some tools to deal with them — even as young girls.

    In most of these books (but not all) the main character is a girl. I think this helps girls to relate to what’s going on even more so than if it was a boy (although I don’t think if the characters were/are boys that they totally dismiss the lessons).

    1. Wilma Jean the Worry Machine

    Both of my older girls loved this book. It rhymed + I think the oldest one could relate a lot to what Wilma Jean worried about. My oldest has overcome it now, but she had some anxiety around starting Kindergarten this year. This book touches on worrying about things at school. I think it truly helped her to deal with some of the fear + overcome it.

    2. What to Do When You Worry Too Much

    This book is another great option for kids to learn how to deal with worry + to overcome the battle of worrying. We read it at the start of Kindergarten so I think it might have been a little too over my daughter’s head at that point. I do think the book does a great job of giving real-world examples + activities kids can do (it has some workbook style activities in it) to take them step-by-step through the process of saying goodbye to their worry.

    3. My Many Colored Days

    My Many Colored Days is a Dr. Seuss book about feelings. It uses colors to explain emotions or feelings that young kids might have. It’s a great book for letting kids know that everyone has sad days, happy days + other kinds of days — + that having all of these days (feeling all of these emotions) is A-OK.

    4. In My Heart

    Another great book that walks kids through all of the feelings they experience. Beyond the lessons the book holds, the illustrations are fun for kids. The HUGE rainbow die-cut heart on the front cover that goes all the way through the book is a big hit, too.

    5. Bernice Gets Carried Away

    My 3-year-old especially enjoys this book. It’s about a cat who is having a bad day + what she does to turn her bad day around. A series of events happen to Bernice that create a bad day in her mind. Then, Bernice springs into action to create a series of events that turn her bad day into a good day. It’s great at illustrating how you have control over your feelings + can do something about them.

    6. The Way I Feel Sometimes

    This book is more like a series of poems that tackle various situations + how you might feel about these situations. Being mad, scared, worried or how a child might feel when there is a new baby in the house are but some of the emotions covered in this book. This is a book that you can read from beginning to end or pick + choose the feelings you might want to tackle with your child.

    7. Grumpy Pants

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book + so do my girls. It’s about a grumpy penguin. (I LOVE penguins so it might be one of the reasons I like this book so much). He can’t seem to shake off his grumpiness + he isn’t even sure why he is grumpy. Then, he does a bunch of things he likes to do like take a cold bath, drink hot cocoa, read his favorite book + fall asleep with his favorite teddy bear. He also tells himself that tomorrow is another day + it’ll be a better day.

    If you’ve read any of these books with your kid, what did you + the kids think? Are there any other books you’d suggest for kids?

  • Girl Mom Reviews

    The Hate U Give

    Last night, I finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It is technically a Young Adult novel but we read it for my book club for moms.

    The Overview

    The novel is told from the point of view of 16-year-old Starr Carter, an African-American girl living in Garden Heights, which most consider the ghetto.

    Her parents are hard-working — mom is a nurse at a clinic + her dad owns a convenient store in their neighborhood. They work hard to send all three of their kids to private school outside of their neighborhood, a primarily white school.

    One night, as Starr + her childhood friend, Khalil, are driving away from a party, they are pulled over by a white police officer. The cop ends up shooting + killing Khalil.

    The book is all about how Starr deals with witnessing the killing of her friend for the second time. She also witnessed a friend, Natasha, who was killed in a drive-by shooting when Starr + Natasha were 10-years-old.

    It’s also a book about race relations. A white officer killing a black boy. A black girl dating a white boy. Black children attending a predominantly white school + how they interact with their classmates + how their classmates interact with them.

    What I Liked

    The book was an easy read. It was a page turner so I kept turning, not wanting to put the book down, so I could find out what happened. I wanted to know if the cop was going to be charged with murdering an un-armed boy.

    I wanted to know how Starr would deal with witnessing the murder of her friend.

    I wanted to know.

    For me, it was not about what color the officer was + what color the boy was that he killed. To me, they were human beings + one of them was dead at 16 + his friend was dealing with the trauma of witnessing his death.

    For the characters of the book, however, it was about more than that. It was about race + their feelings about the fact that when there are officer-involved shootings that it’s typically a white cop + a black victim + that the white officer is never charged for a wrongdoing.

    I also liked that the book was about a strong girl character. Having three girls, I am always drawn to characters that are girls, that are strong + that want to make a difference in this world.

    In this novel, Starr is that girl.

    Even though she is only 16, she is wise beyond her years. She is grappling with being a teenager + with being a black teenager in this world. She struggles with making the right choices + decisions + for the most part she does the right thing throughout the novel.

    What I Didn’t Like

    I don’t really have anything bad to say about this book. Angie maybe could have wrapped it up in fewer pages but maybe not.

    I think she did leave some things hanging, though. Maybe she’s planning a sequel or maybe she just forgot to tie up some loose ends.

    Book Grade

    Overall, I give this book an A. My kids are too young right now but I suggest this as a book for teenagers to read, especially girls. I think it gives an insider view of what it’s like to be a teenage girl + what it is like to be a black teenage girl.

    The author does a good job of revealing to other teenage girls that may be reading the novel that they are not alone. That everyone feels self conscious at times. That everyone feels uncomfortable in certain situations + that they are not the only ones dealing with these feelings + problems.

    Next on my list of reads, Where the Crawdads Sing.