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    by Reruns blogger | Mar 13, 2013

    “This is my room not yours.”

    “I was born first. Not you.”

    “I’m 4. I’m the biggest; you’re the littlest.”

    “You need to share.”

    Here we go again.

    My girls are feuding. This time it’s over a toy spoon. Really, why? * Forehead slap.*

    Sure, I could drop into the conversation or separate the two so my house could go back to a peaceful state — but I’m not going to do that. That, my friend, is the easy way out.
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    They need to learn how to work through their conflict.

    Children are not developmentally designed to share. Young children are naturally ego-centric. Oh, that’s Gabriella all the way. She’s 2 and in the “Mine” stage. Giving up something makes her weak. She seeks power… control… independence. She hasn’t quite developed the social skills that her older sister Alejandra posses.

    And so the power struggle begins.

    “Mine,” Gabriella shouts.

    “I had it first,” Alejandra tries to reason.

    “NOOO. MINE.”

    After a few minutes of “mines” pass, I intervene.

    “What’s going on?”

    Alejandra blurts out the situation. Gabriella lowers her head admitting submission.

    Instead of taking the spoon out of anyone’s hand, I ask them how they can resolve the situation.

    Sometimes being the parent means that we have to gently teach them over and over to recognize and value the feelings of others. Also, help children recognize the power in sharing.

    Sharing requires practice, which always includes mistakes along with the successes.

    That day we started with a positive experience. I asked for the spoon.

    “I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend it’s a microphone,” I said, and then proceeded to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

    After squawking the tune, because I’m not much of a singer, I then handed Alejandra the spoon.

    “I’m happy when I have this spoon because I like to pretend I’m baking cupcakes,” she said. She then spun the spoon around as if she was mixing batter in a bowl.

    Now it’s Gabriella’s turn.

    “Spoon. MINE!!!!”

    OK. So we haven’t gotten her impulses under control quite yet. But not all is lost.

    After banging the spoon on the hard wood floor in her bedroom for a few seconds, she handed me the spoon.

    She’ll eventually get the hang of this sharing thing. Slowly, but surely. I hope.

    Bio: Josie Loza is a mom to three young children. She blogs about parenting issues, lifestyle and and her family’s quirky adventures on www.momaha.com.

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  • I Knew This Day Would Come…

    by Reruns blogger | Jan 21, 2013
    I knew I’d someday be sitting across from my 4-year-old daughter, kissing her forehead and wishing that she’d stay young forever.
    As I sat among a group of parents at our neighborhood school’s kindergarten information night, I realized that day had come.

    My stomach was in knots. Why am I so nervous?  

    Words

    She’s ready to go to school. She knows her ABC’s. She can count to 30 and beyond. She can write her first name. She knows her address. She knows her mother’s and father’s names. She can dress her self and is a self-starter in social settings.

    We’ve prepared for this day. So why are my knees buckling as I fill out her school registration form?

    Everyone tells me she’ll be fine when she enters school in the fall. She’s independent. She’ll forget all about missing you.

    But it’s not her that I worry about as much as it’s me.

    What if I’m not alright? What if I can’t stop missing her?

    Is it wrong of me to say that I’m not ready to let my piggy-tailed little girl go.

    It’s the real world out there.

    I won’t be able to kiss boo-boos, tie tennis shoes or cut her sandwiches into shapes. At least not during school hours, I won’t.

    I won’t be able to hold her hand and leave wet kisses on her cheeks as she walks into the classroom because — let’s face it — “it’s not cool.”

    Someone else will be responsible for the love of my life every day, and letting go will tug at my heart… just a little bit.

    Sigh.

    I guess it’s that thing we all do as moms. You know, worry about everything.

    Realizing she’s growing up is so hard.

    Letting go is even harder.

    After leaving the information night, Alejandra held my hand.

    “It’s OK, mommy,” she said. “I’ll have lots of friends to play with, and when school is over we can play too.”

    Josie Loza is a mommy blogger and the editor of Momaha.com, a site operated by the Omaha World-Herald. Momaha is an online community for moms to share ideas through blogging. Loza is a mother of two girls and a boy, and she brings her experience and quirky family adventures to the site.

  • My Little Girl, Gabriella

    by Reruns blogger | Dec 21, 2012

    I’m a firm believer that art is in the heart of every child.

    It starts with the first soothing sounds of a mother’s lullaby to brightly colored toys and the comforting touch of a favorite blanket.

    Early exposure to the arts lays a complex groundwork of mental, physical and emotional connections that opens the door to a lifetime of curiosity, learning and creativity.

    During a recent visit to the Omaha Children’s Museum, my 22-month-old Gabriella was fixated on painting. I tied an apron around her to protect her clothes.

    After the first three projects, I tried to move her into a different area to explore. She wouldn’t budge.

    Instead, she handed me a paint brush.

    “You want mommy to paint?” I asked.

    She nodded.

    So there we were painting all sorts of random shapes and swirls. Paint speckles landed on my boots. Globs of yellow paint were on Gabriella’s hands. She didn’t mind as much as I did.  We both looked at the now polka-dotted floor littered with paint droppings. Gabriella placed a piece of paper over it and continued painting.

    Smart girl, I thought. 

    Gabi and Mom

    On that day, she was post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. She was making a masterpiece, one that was bold in color, a bit rough in design, but beauty nonetheless. I yanked that painting from the artist easel and placed a new blank sheet in front of her.

    She became Pablo Picasso. She painted shapes, I defined their edges and she slapped more globs of paint on top.

    New sheet. She was Alejandro Obregon. No, Georgia O’Keeffe. No, Arshile Gorky. NO! Willem DeKooning.

    I turned to hand her a new sheet, but she didn’t need one.

    She had yellow-ish, brown paint smeared across her face. She cracked a smile.

    No, she was my little girl, Gabriella.

    Here are three ways you can honor your child’s masterpieces:

    1. Have a place to immediately post the pictures. Your special place could be on the fridge door or hanging for a clothesline in a child’s play area.
    2. Store the artwork in a shelf, closet or drawer. Save the work for some time before going through which pieces you’d like to keep in a scrapbook.
    3. Preserve the artwork by scanning, saving and print it like a photograph.

    Bio: Josie Loza is a mom to three young children. She blogs about parenting issues, lifestyle and and her family’s quirky adventures on momaha.com