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a new year, a new time!

Announcing… MOPS – Rochester, NH will be meeting on the 1st Friday of the month from 7-9pm!

MOPS – Rochester, NH is changing our times for the 2012-2013 season!  We are excited to announce that we are going to be mixing it up this year and meeting on the 1st Friday of the month from 7-9pm (October-June).  We will be offering a limited MOPPETS program for moms with extenuating circumstances (please email to sign up for childcare).

There are a few reasons that the steering team has chosen to make this change:

In the past year we have really struggled to find enough MOPPETS workers to handle a growing number of kids.  We have several faithful workers (who we LOVE and APPRECIATE so much!) but we feel that it is really impacting our quality of care and it is not allowing us to feel comfortable to invite more moms and grow our group.

Secondly, we feel a burden to reach out to working moms and give them an opportunity to experience MOPS.

Although we recognize that change takes some time to get used to, we are really excited to try this out this year and reach more MOPS moms!  We hope that you will look forward to joining us for our first MOPS meeting of 2012-2013 on October 5th and consider inviting another mom to come with you!

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don’t worry we’ll pay for therapy…

by Kyla Yoder

Every parent screws up, it’s impossible not to. Every mom thinks to herself at least ten times a day “I just really messed that kid up.”

When I was about 6, and learning to read, my mom and I were in the car with my Grandma.  My mom kept asking me to read to my grandma. (She, like any proud parent, was trying to show off my new skill.)  Needless to say I was very stubborn at 6 – no really, really stubborn. So in shear frustration and anger, my mom pulled the car over and spanked me for not reading. Did I mention we were on a busy road? Anyway, you might be thinking “you poor kid that must have been so horrible how scarring, what a terrible experience.” Hears the scoop: the only reason I can tell you this story is because my mom apologizes for it on almost a regular basis. I have no personal memory of it at all.  Also, let me assure you it had no lasting mental effect on my either. I don’t have a fear of reading, in fact, I love reading almost to a fault. And I don’t have terrible flashbacks if I’m reading in the car, although I do get a stomach ache but I’m 99.9% sure it has nothing to do with this incident.

We all screw up, we all over react. Whether it’s saying to a 6 year old “what’s wrong with you?!” when he’s crying about pants because he doesn’t like the way they feel on his legs (I did that just last week), or maybe out of frustration with a 2 year old you put them in a car seat with a little more force than necessary. Maybe it’s having to walk away from a newborn that won’t stop crying and you’ve tried EVERYTHING and you’re just so tired and you start to think maybe I should shake him just a little…  Or if your daughter catches you rolling your eyes at her when she asks “aren’t I a pretty princess?” and you just can’t take anymore of this girly stuff – how many years can this go on for? Maybe that one is just me and it really will be scarring to her. And yes I’ll pay for those therapy sessions.

Anyway, we all think these things, or similar things, on a daily basis. We’re not perfect and we’re tired and sometimes we’re just lazy or in a bad mood. So when you find yourself wondering how badly you’ve screwed up a particular child, remember that a majority of the time when we think something will leave a lasting impression and our kids will become horrible people because of it, that it’s probably not the case. If it is? Don’t worry you can pay for therapy!  God gave us these kids and it’s not a surprise to him when we say or do things we shouldn’t. If he gave us our children because he knew we were the perfect parents for these particular children, then I’m sure he took into account to give them just the right amount of stuff to make it through all our mess ups.  Most of the time our mess ups are for our own sake to grow us and change us to see the things that we need to work on. If you think about it, kids are like therapy for us.  We sometimes learn from our parents mistakes and we are better parents for it. Sometimes we follow in their foot steps whether for good or bad, and when it’s bad that’s our opportunity to change and grow and find the healing we need to be better parents.

Last week when I yelled at Zeph for crying about pants, in the end of the whole situation I had to apologize. I realized that while yes, there was no need for him to cry about clothes (we have a rule in our house about clothes and TV and food and school that they are all gifts and not every person has them and we should always be grateful for what we do have even if it’s not perfect) that in that situation I was being a hypocrite. How many days do I try on everything I own and while  I don’t cry about it, I still am being ungrateful for what I am blessed to have. In the end, every time we mess up it’s a moment we can learn from and our children can learn from. God is perfect and gives us all ample opportunity to change and grow and become better people.

So instead of beating yourself up the next time you mess up, ask yourself “Can I make this situation better? And how can I change and how can I approach it in a better way?”

And if you can’t, there is always therapy. 🙂

ask a mentor mom! [picky eaters]

We have two responses to share with you regarding our first Ask a Mentor Mom! question.  These moms have shared from their experience and their hearts and will readily admit that what they are suggesting may not work for everyone.  We acknowledge that we are all ‘coming to the table’ (pardon the pun) with different parenting strategies, different experiences and different kids so please keep that in mind as you read their answers.

Ask a Mentor Mom! Question: In light of our dinner meltdown tonight (my four year old AND me!), can you give some advice for how to deal with picky eaters?

Responses:

from Staci…
Kids can be picky eaters for a variety of reasons and parenting styles can vary from family to family, therefore, making it hard to give solid advice.  Instead of giving advice, I’ve jotted down a few things that I’ve considered or have put to use over the years.

Is your child eating too many “in-between meal” snacks?  A hungry child is more likely to eat what’s on the plate and food tastes better when one’s hungry.

Is your child drinking their calories?  Too much juice/milk throughout the day can kill an appetite.

Is it a singular food group?  Explore – My daughter will not eat fruit.  The pediatrician has told me that the part of the tongue that tastes fruit is much enlarged and therefore is no surprise that fruit tastes incredibly sour to her. I still encourage her to try because I know that taste buds can change.

Is it mixed foods like in a casserole? I’ve got one that simply gags on the feeling of mixed textures in his mouth. Make the basic meat/potato/vegetable that can be eaten separately. When I’m making a casserole, I plan leftovers of the separate items to be heated up.

One only eats two or three kinds of vegetables.  I always have those choices on hand.  I cook more than enough of the vegetable he likes for everyone and have left overs to heat up when I’m cooking something different the next night.  Again, encourage trying new choices often. Better a few choices within a food group than trying to force many choices.

Is the atmosphere too chaotic? Sit together as a family and turn the t.v. and extra noise off.

Sometimes kids need to feel grounded to eat.  Try a footstool they can put their feet on instead of letting their legs dangle.

If you’ve got food on the plate that you know they like and they’re just being stubborn, you can hold the plate on the table until they’re hungry.

Make sure your portions aren’t too big.  Better to dish out seconds than to battle over the “clean your plate” motto.

Decide how important the battle is! I’ve not made food a huge issue because my kids were basically healthy.  I would have liked to have had them eat the proper well-balance diet from the get go but that didn’t happen in my house.  Overall, though, all five have turned out to be basic well-balanced eaters.

from Judy…
I remember learning a few things from others when it came to dealing with picky eaters. The first thing is that eating is one of the few places where a child can feel a sense of control. As we’ve all experienced, it is impossible to force a child to eat! In their little worlds where a grown up is continually trying to guide their behavior, mealtime is one time when they can refuse to do what we want them to!

My brother knew of a toddler that refused to eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches–morning, noon and night! The little boy’s doctor told his mom to let him. He was getting all kinds of nutrients that his body needed, and soon he would tire of it and move on to something else. I’m sure that little boy is a grown man now, alive and well despite weeks of PB and J.

We chose to not make special meals for our picky eaters if they didn’t like what was being served. One thing we tried was to have them take as many bites as they were old of the food they didn’t want to eat. Not a perfect solution, but it worked a sometimes, and by the time they were 16, they were eating adult sized portions! (Just kidding!) 🙂

Mealtime can be such special family time. I think the key is to keep it from becoming all about the food battles. If a child refuses to eat, offer to excuse them and remind them there will be no dessert or snacks until the next meal. And stick to it! 🙂

Do you have a question for our mentor moms?  Email your questions here or include them in the comment section below.

 

 

 

 

welcome to holland

At yesterday’s meeting Staci shared a poem as she was telling us her experience of having her son diagnosed with autism.  It touched many of us, we are happy to be able to share it with you!

WELCOME TO HOLLAND

By
Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.