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I'm Avital.

You want a present, peaceful and playful family life? I'm here to help you make that a reality.

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How to Set Limits So Your Child Can Hear Them

Are You The “No” Lady? (or Gentleman?)

I know I sometimes am. When I suddenly stop and hear myself I can often count 11 no’s in the space of 29 seconds. Or something like that.

I know what you’re thinking: What, so now we’re not supposed to say “No”?! What happened to boundaries! Here’s why all kids today are as spoiled as the spilt milk they cry over! Entitlement! Indulging!

Hear me out. You can and should continue to set the right kind of limits, firmly, and kindly. But the word “NO” can often be perceived as aggressive and harsh – and even rude, when aimed at adults. Why the double standard?

And that’s the point I’m addressing today. Saying a simple “NO” is not usually our best bet with our friends, partners, colleagues… or children.

Setting limits is important in any healthy relationship, but in all our other relationships we go to great pains to soften the blow of “NO”. To explain it, to sand down the splinters and smooth over the edges.

Take a look at the inconsistency here:

“I’m sorry, I can’t work late today. But I’d be happy to take some extra work home on the weekend”. (to our boss)

“Awww, I wish I could! That sounds so nice… but we have plans.” (to our best friend)

“Honey, tonight I’m swamped but let’s do dinner tomorrow, OK?” (to our partner)

“NO!” (to our child)

Hearing a straight up “NO” (without caveats or explanations) brings out the rebel in all of us (see: “I’ll show you no screen time!”). Or even worse: it makes us feel worthless and unvalued… As though our wishes, needs and requests aren’t even worth a consideration. As though just asking isn’t OK.

But the good news is that in their book, No Drama Discipline, Dr. Tina Payne Bryson and Dr. Daniel Siegel have taught us the art of the “conditional yes”. Setting a “NO” limit, in effect, but in a positive, more palatable orientation. Finessing the art of the conditional “Yes” is what sets the peaceful parents apart from the power-strugglers. I know which I’d rather be, so I’m practicing!

It’s our job as peaceful parents to find the hidden “Yes” in every “No”. (Tweet it)

Here are the five ways to hold firm limits without the “NO”:

  1. Yes, in another time. “Yes, you can have candy… on Sunday!”
  2. Yes, in another place. “Yes, you can play with water… outside!”
  3. Yes, in fantasy. “Yes, I wish we could buy another teddy bear! I wish we could buy a million!”
  4. Yes, if… “Yes, I can play with you. If you give me five minutes first.”
  5. Yes, to the feeling “Yes, you really feel like having sugar right now! I know what that feels like!”

Will you try to say YES instead of NO? Then give a big YES in the comments!

If you want to learn more on know which limits to set, look into Empathic Limits.

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My view while I get some ish done. ⁣

Toddlers can be clingy, whiny, and annoying sometimes... but one thing's for sure: toddlers are designed to play. ⁣

The trick is... supporting their current stage and phase of play. ⁣

Parents are notorious for feeling dumbfounded when their 18-month-old doesn't play with ANY of their toys. "You have all these cool toys, why won't you play with them!?" Can you relate? ⁣

That's because, oftentimes, toddlers aren't engaging in make-believe (imagining scenes, building worlds) - but exploring their own world. ⁣

🌈 That's where sensory play comes in (think: dry beans or shaving cream in the bathtub)... ⁣
🌈 Developmental schemas (think: throwing objects or spinning dizzy)... ⁣
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🌈 Real-life pretend play (think: anything in your kitchen cabinets or nailing trim nails into corkboard). ⁣

Play may look different for a toddler than for an older child busy with Lego - but they can totally rock at it if we find ways to support their stages and phases of exploring their world, developing their fine and gross motor skills, and just being the little scientists that they are. ⁣

Just like they were compelled to crawl (in their good time), they are compelled, wired, and designed to PLAY.⁣
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★ What's keeping your toddler busy? ⁣
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Psst... Have you watched my new YouTube video about this? I'd love to hear your feedback! ⁣
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#toddlerplay #independentplay #schemas #playmatters #childhoodunplugged #playisimportant #toddleractivites #peacefulparenting #intentionalmotherhood #simplicityparenting #mindfulparenting #toddleractivities #workingfromhome #getishdone #momof5 #momoftoddlers #momoftoddler #learningthroughplay
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Are you stuck at home (still?) with a to-do list longer than the Great Wall of China and a toddler running circles around your feet? Trying to get stuff done with a toddler in tow is like slamming on the accelerator with the handbrake on... you end up spending a ton of energy, without getting anything done.⁣

Enter: Independent Play⁣

If we've hung out for any length of time, you know I’m a sucker for all things #independentlyplay. ⁣

In fact, not to toot my own horn, but it’s kind of what I’m famous for (if you call having more than 3 followers on Instagram famous😉). ⁣

Anyhoo - thanks to 5 awesome hacks I’ve picked up along the way I am managing to get some *ish* done while my 2.5-year-old occupies himself... and I want that for you too!⁣

With the #ReclaimPlay Challenge coming up and Present Play opening soon, boy! my team and I are hard at work cookin' up some amazing goodies for you. In other words, I am using these hacks like my business depends on it right now. Literally⁣

You'll want to head to the link in my bio @parentingjunkie to watch the FULL 12-minute VIDEO (or listen to it on the podcast 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 you get ish done), but here's the bullet point version:⁣

5 Ways to Occupy Your Toddler (while you get ish done)⁣
1. Sensory Play⁣
2. Movement⁣
3. Music⁣
4. Dress Up ⁣
5. Real-Life Pretend Play⁣

💬 If your child was occupied (screen-free) for 30 minutes... 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙙𝙤?⁣

Read a book? ⁣
Make some protein balls?⁣
Write that blog post you've been meaning to since last month?⁣

Tell me more in the comments below and tag someone you know who has a toddler at home!⁣
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#toddleractivities #kidsactivities #invitationtoplay #independentplay #toddlerplay #momlife #workingfromhomemom #momof5 #momof5motivation #screenfree #screenfreeactivities #whilemommyworks #toddlerplayideas
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