Google+ Authentic Parenting: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why it's okay for little girls to play princess

Written by Melissa Carlton

Many girls dream of becoming a princess when they are younger. In fact, some girls still think it could happen once they meet Prince Charming. This will probably never happen, but a girl can be a princess if she wants. She just has to become one on the inside. These are four reasons why little girls should be allowed to play at being a princess, as long as you keep a few things in mind.

1) Royal Dream vs Reality
Everyone watched the royal wedding of Catherine Middleton to Prince William. It was a dream come true! Many girls will remember that day forever. Let little girls dream big dreams. At least they're dreaming! Take this opportunity to introduce her to other aspirational careers, whatever they may be, and while you shouldn't discourage this dream, it's ok to subtly point out how money, wealth and glamour aren't everything.

2) Princess versus Barbie

Playing princess is different from playing with Barbie. Barbies promote unhealthy body images and shallow values. Princesses have real responsibilities, and royalty comes in all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, most princesses do a lot of community service, so remind your kids about this. Use this as an opportunity to do some good deeds and learn about how all people are created equally. Plus, teaching about royalty can be a great way to teach your kids about history, politics, government, other countries and more. If you’re frustrated with the negative implications of having a girl pretend to be a princess, take it upon yourself to remember these points, and remember that it’s better than blonde Barbie!0

3) Etiquette
Being a princess means that one should always act with proper d├ęcor. Little girls will actually want to learn about manners, respect & etiquette when when playing princess, so take advantage of this opportunity. In addition, you can also take this opportunity to teach her about gender roles, and how since it’s acceptable for her to pretend to be a princess, it’s also ok for boys to pretend too! While she might like to be a princess, other girls might pretend to be firefighters, basketball players or anything else. It’s all acceptable, and it’s all pretend. Part of being a princess is being  classy enough to accept everyone as they are, and make sure everyone feels welcome at the playground!

4) She is a Princess

All little girls are princesses. In the famed story "The Little Princess," an orphan claims that all girls are princesses no matter who they are. In short, every girl should aim high, and you shouldn’t step on your daughter’s dreams. If it frustrates you, it’s ok. She’ll likely grow out of it eventually. At least she has goals and is looking to the future! Remember this, and as long as you are reminding her of the things mentioned above, there’s no reason she can’t be a princess every night! Just make sure she’s taking off that tiara before going to school.

Who knows? She may grow up to become the next Catherine Middleton!

About the author: 
Melissa Carlton writes about education, finance and saving money at


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Little by little one walks far” -Peruvian Proverb


Making the Most of a Summer Maternity Leave

Content provided by Hollie G.

Summer is a great season for your maternity leave to fall on – instead of being resentfully cooped up in the office on sunny days, you and your baby can make the most of the sunshine together. The only problem is that your leave will probably speed past in the blink of an eye! Here are some suggestions as to what you can do to pass the days and bond with your baby whilst taking advantage of the lovely, British sunshine:

Walks in the park

Image: Allison C. Lewis

A relaxed stroll will do wonders for the both of you. As well as fresh air and exercise, think of all the exciting sights your baby has yet to see! Getting out of the house for a walk will give your skin a chance to soak up some vitamin D, and will do wonders for your tired mind. During the early stages, it may feel impossible to leave the house – so a relaxing stroll is a perfect start. A decent carrier or pushchair, nappies and hydration is all new mothers need for a little stroll around the nearest park – just watch out for all of the cooing strangers!

Sitting in the sunshine

Sitting in your back garden and catching up on your reading will allow you to switch back to your adult brain for a while. When your baby is napping, even getting through a few chapters will leave you feeling a little more intellectual in-between nappy changes, and just as sun-kissed. A few moments of sun-soaked silence will be glorious, and your brain will thank you!

Staying in

If you’re not ready to leave the house yet, open the windows, or sit in the garden for a while for a change of scenery. There’s no reason you still can’t embrace summer – get in some ice lollies, put on some summer songs or films and bear in mind that there are no rules about wearing maxi dresses around the house.

Being creative

If you’re a creative person – with the little one down for naps and a lot of free time on your hands once the house looks almost habitably tidy – use the sunshine to stimulate your creativity. Whether it’s painting, drawing or crafts where your forte lies, the sunny weather puts everyone in a better mood and will be perfect for inspiration and creativity.


Gardening is the new yoga – it’s both healthy and productive, as well as giving you some sun without having to leave the house. Tending to your garden means that you can keep an eye on your baby at the same time as making your garden look pretty and exercising – you’ll have your pregnancy glow back in no time!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New 'Parenting': Cyber Punishment Can Do Long Lasting Harm on Children

written by Amelia Wood
Recently there has been a new wave of "creative "discipline techniques some parents have resorted to in order to punish their children: public humiliation via social media. In February, a father decided to take out his 45-caliber and shoot his daughter's laptop to pieces after discovering the 15-year-old girl used foul language when ranting about doing chores on Facebook. The father posted the shooting on YouTube as a lesson. The video went viral. 
In April, a mother decided to alter a photo of her sass-talking 13-year-old daughter with a huge red "x" across her mouth. The tag line read: "I do not know how to keep my mouth shut. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why. My mom says I have to answer everyone that asks."
More recently, a mother caught her 12-year-old daughter holding an unopened bottle of vodka on her Instagram profile saying, "I wish I could drink this." Although the daughter begged for a spanking, the mother decided to post an image of her crying daughter on both Instagram and Facebook instead holding a sign that read: "Since I want to post photos of me holding liquor, I am obviously not ready for social media and will be taking a hiatus until I learn what I should + should not post. BYE-BYE." 
While these parents may think that these forms of punishments are just "hip-with the times," and aren't that bad—after all no physical abuse is involved—what they are doing can potentially have serious and long lasting side effects on their children. The "emotional abuse" can theoretically ruin their child forever. Not only will children of these web-based forms of punishment have angst towards their parents, but they could potentially be made fun of by their peers until they go off to college. After all, anything that someone posts online stays in cyberspace forever. If teased in school because of their parents' choice of punishment follows them forever, it can directly affect their self-esteem and confidence levels.  Children are no strangers to the harmful effects social media embarrassment can have on their lives, no wonder one of the children mentioned above preferred a spanking. 
Eventually your child may experience embarrassment on the social media site on his or her own, but why on earth would any parent want to be the first person who defames their child for the world to see?
Instead, remember to always warn your child of using social media responsibly. Keep your lives in the private sector, not the public. The whole world does not need to witness your parenting techniques or your child's wrong-doings. 

About the author:
Amelia Wood contributed this guest post. She pursues freelance writing projects in the medical billing and coding niche. She especially loves hearing back from her readers. Questions or comments can be sent to wood. amelia1612 @


Monday, May 28, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Surf

Continue your reading through the linky below. If you're surfing too, add your link below or over at Hobo Mama. The linky will go live every Sunday and you can add your link at any time during the week.
If you have a great post that would look good in Sunday Surf, feel free to email a link to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.
If you're surfing, add your post to the linky at the bottom of this Sunday Surf. You can do that here or at Hobo Mama, your link will show up on both sites. Make sure to grab the new button either from the left sidebar or the Sunday Surf page, where you'll also find a little blurb about Sunday Surf you can copy for your post. 



Friday, May 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you.” -unknown


Silencing the Voices in My Head

Welcome to May edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama. This month’s topic is “Parenting Practices and Criticism”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!

Like most of us, I was raised to believe that expressing 'negative' emotions was wrong, that one should always behave in public, obey and that there's no room for authenticity. Like many of us, I was also very bad at following these rules and often felt the consequences.

For my children, I had decided that I would take a different path. I would allow my children to feel, to experience and to be themselves.

Now that's pretty simple in theory, but in reality it is ever so hard.

Allowing my children to express negative emotions, speak in tones I was prohibited and not to ask "how high" when I say "jump" is the hardest thing. Often I find myself being triggered and I want to respond in anger.

Mostly, I am not merely being triggered by my children's behavior, but by the voices in my head.

"You see, this parenting style is leading you nowhere."
"She's walking all over you."
"People are watching."
"She should know by now."

These are just a couple of examples, but sometimes these voices get so loud, they deafen all reason in me.

But all is not lost.

As soon as I realized the dynamic of this nagging in my head, I knew I could break it. Here's how:

1. I realized that being close to certain people makes the voices louder, so I moved a continent away.
2. Whenever I start wondering about what people think, I regroup, draw myself closer to my child and wonder about what she might be feeling instead.
3. I realized that what counts isn't the way strangers or others outside my core family unit think of me, what matters is my family's health and happiness.
4. When I find myself in a situation where the voices are being triggered, I try to get out of that situation.

Self criticism of this kind is destructive and meaningless, moreover, it doesn't even generate from the self, it is incited by the faulty mind frames that have been passed on to us. Hearing these negative things inside your head and pinpointing when and why they arise is a huge step into healing your inner child and becoming a better parent.

What are your voices telling you and how do you deal with them?


Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism   — Stoneageparent shares how she deals with criticism over her parenting choices 
  • BEWARE of Sanctimommy — Amanda at Blinded by the Light talks about how recognizing your own inner-sanctimommy and how it will facilitate ways to deal with other criticism in your life.
  • We're on the same team — Brittany from The Pistachio Project shares about how we should support and respect each other because we already get enough criticism from the outside world.
  • 30 Responses To Parenting Criticisms — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 30 ways in which you can respond to parenting criticisms. 
  • A Case for the Dramatic — A smart-alec response to a stranger's view by Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • I Could Never... — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how the phrase "I could never" really means "I would never want to" and how owning our words and actions can lead to understanding and empathy.
  • Admiration For A Parent's Strength— Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots shares her admiration for parents who continue  to make parenting choices in the best interest of their child even when those closest to them disagree.
  • Assumption Free Zone — Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries challenges us to cultivate kindness for everyone; even if you disagree with them.
  • Perfection, Criticism, Parenting and The Sock Police — Ariadne @ The Positive Parenting Connection is sharing how parenting has been an excercise in overcoming perfectionism and handling criticism.
  • Silencing the Voices In My Head — At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about fighting her inner critic. 
  • Tackled from the Sidelines — Marisa from Deliberate Parenting reveals what parenting choices she makes that are most often questioned and how she is coming peacefully to the defense of her decisions.
  • Different Strokes — Justine from The Lone Home Ranger shares the method she uses to explain her family's "crunchy" differences to her preschooler.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let’s Get Smarter About Our Smartphones

written by Liz Cohen

Hey, ‘modern moms’ - that sounds like a good classification for the lives we try to keep balanced, right? For instance, I work my days as a full-time marketing manager, my afternoons as a full-time children’s entertainer, my evenings as a full-time sheep herder, and no matter what time of day it is, I’m a full-time mom. 
Image: philcampbell on Flickr
Level with me, fellow mamas: How do we manage to do it? Maybe I speak for a lot of us when I say I keep it (somewhat) together with my smartphone (an Android) - for work, for play, for distracting my kids, for finding out what happens when it gets dropped too many times… it’s constantly attached to me. 
And, probably like every other multitasking mom out there, I often find myself taking a breath between daycare pickups wondering… is this lifestyle ok? There have been a lot of articles in mainstream media lately about cell phone radiation… How is it affecting us long term? Is it a greater risk for our kids? How much smartphone radiation exposure is dangerous?  And, if too much exposure is an actual risk, how on earth would I even keep track? 
Luckily, I’m a researching kinda gal so I’ll share the lowdown in a nutshell: Cell phone radiation happens because information has to be passed between your phone and base stations with high-frequency electromagnetic fields (the phone’s ‘connection’). Our phones have to work harder when they don’t have easy access to the signal from cell towers. When they work harder, our exposure to the radiation is greater. 
Study after study has been trying to prove what many suspect - a clear connection between our cell phone radiation exposure and health risks, brain cancer being a notorious one (and ADHD through pregnant mothers a recent finding). On top of that, many a researcher believes the risks are definitely greater for our children who use cell phones, whose growing bones, tissue and brains are way more sensitive to harmful factors. 
So while experts can’t warn us of specific risks with 100% certainty, there is a growing movement to practice the precautionary principle: lead a lifestyle that encourages preventing the exposure where possible, especially in our children. Use a headset or speakerphone instead of holding the handset to your ear. If the reception’s no good, try moving location. Or download a mobile app like tawkon, which alerts you when your exposure becomes too high so you can make instant changes during a call.
In the parents’ community, we’re all working full-time, whether it’s as corporate employees, freelancers, or, well, parental sleep shepherds and soccer practice stain-removers. Ditching our cell phones just isn’t in the cards for most of us. But we can be smarter about the way use our smartphones, especially with our kids. 

About the author:
Liz Cohen works with the tawkon team, promoting smartphone health with a mobile app that alerts users when their exposure to cell phone radiation reaches high levels. Oh, and she's a dedicated mama with a smartphone.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” -Lao Tzu


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Challenge the Moment; Love your Child. Three Real Alternatives to Spanking (rerun)

Last week I read an article in Healthland/Time about Parents Spanking Their Kids. Very honestly, I did not find it surprising to read about parents that admit to using corporal punishment because I am very aware that it happens, across all socio- economic levels and different cultures.I do however find it unfortunate both for the children and parents. As the article states:

Children who are spanked occasionally are not thought to be significantly impacted later on, but those who are spanked regularly are more likely to have behavior problems that may escalate into antisocial behavior. They may also be at greater risk for anxiety disorders or depression and ultimately may be more likely to engage in domestic violence and child abuse as adults.

So parents displaying aggression and violence lead to children displaying aggression and violence…simple concept, yet something some parents are often not aware of. Further, research shows that spanking or swatting may work in the immediate moment but beyond that, in most cases, according to the researcher in the article “it's very ineffective."

In the long term, practicing things like attachment parenting, creating a lasting connection with your child, building mutually respectful relationships, having routines are all wonderful ways create a non spanking relationship with your child.

But let’s look at the moment of conflict, of disrespectful behavior, misbehavior, or sassiness whatever one wants to call it – that moment that makes you boil, you know which moment that is... what are the alternatives?

1. Count to 10 or 20 or 100 – whatever number you may need to re-center and calm yourself. Close your eyes or ask another adult to step in and be with the child if there is a safety concern. When you are calm, step back in and try to resolve the conflict through words. I once walked into the bathroom after having nursed baby and found my two year old had painted the bathroom walls with poop. Yes, real stinky poop. I counted to Ten in which time I realized it was my fault entirely for leaving him alone, without a plan of what he would do in the time I was nursing his sister. I took a deep breath and asked him if I could help him wash his hands and run a warm bath for him to play in. While he bathed, I cleaned the walls and when he was done bathing he helped dry up the now clean walls. He said drying the walls was hard work, I asked if he knew why they needed to be cleaned and his response was “I not going to make poop pictures on there again.” There was no spanking, no shaming. Also, no poop on the walls since!

2. Hold your child close until you have reconnected. Some call this a time in, or holding therapy. This is useful if a child is trying to hurt someone or themselves. By holding them (not with force, just to keep them safe) you can provide a safe place for the child to feel whatever range of emotions, sadness, anger, hurt, frustration. Not too long ago my five year old was very angry he could not find his conductor hat. Combined with the fact that we recently moved and he misses his friend, the lost hat was more than just a lost hat. He was angry enough to start kicking the sofa and then turning and kicking me for that final release of anger. It hurt but I scooped him up and sat with him on the sofa and said softly “you can be angry, you can be mad, I love you but you may not hurt me.” He started crying, sobbing even and slowly he started hugging me, and I hugged him back. Through tears he asked if I could help him look through “the whole entire stupid new house again.” I agreed and when he was calming I asked him to look at me so we could be connected again. That evening at bedtime when we were reading a story he said to me “I’m sorry I kicked you.” I didn’t expect, demand or request the apology, it just came when he was ready – it was genuine.

3. Put your hands behind your back and take three steps back from your child. Stop and think what is making you think that a swat is the solution and now find a real solution. Can you offer choices? Can you ask someone else to help? Can you re-state your request in a more appealing way to your child? Can you re-adjust your expectations of the situation and or of your child? When you have found a solution, put it into place and then for good measure go away and find a way to release your aggressive energy. For me it’s usually taking a pillow to the laundry room and yelling into it. Crazy, maybe, but it really works.

Lastly, if you fail your plan, go ahead and apologize, model asking for forgiveness, find a way to re-connect and next time try again. Parenting is after all a journey and surely there will be bumps along the way.

Have you ever had to challenge yourself to find and work with alternatives to yelling or spanking, what are they? Have you hugged your child today?

Peace & Be Well.

About the author

Ariadne - aka mudpiemama has three children and two dogs. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. She believes parents and children should try to have fun everyday and love life.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.”-Tom Krause


Taking care of your baby - when they won't stop crying (rerun)

Having difficulties soothing your child? You seem to have tried everything and he still won't stop crying? Don't fret.

Needless to say you have to make sure your baby is not hungry or wet. Maybe he's teething? If not, he's probably just tired and needs to get all those new impressions out of his system.
Most babies go through this at one time or other. Around six weeks, babies have a peek in their total crying time.

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. This is probably also the most difficult, because a crying baby can be nerve wrecking, and even more so because you are probably lacking sleep. Try to calm down anyway, take a deep breath. Babies pick up on emotions really quickly and if you are worried or stressed out, it will make them so. If it is really too much, try to get somebody else to take care of him for an a while, just the time for you to get your strength back. A lot of parents seem to benefit from pacing around with the baby (most times, the uncontrolled crying happens at nightfall, so this might not be the time to go for a walk outside). Even though this might not have instant results, at least it calms both you down. Humming or singing might work. Some babies like soft touches, others benefit from a more vigorous rub (depending how old they are of course). Maybe you could checkout baby massage, that calms down many a fussy baby. Just keep telling yourself that this too shall pass and mostly it is just a faze. Remember that your baby crying does not make you a bad mother.

If you are in need of reassurance, or your baby seems in pain, do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician.

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.


5 Great Ideas For Father's Day

Content provided by Alex S.

Moms may get most of the credit for the rest of the year, but Father's Day is the time to recognize dads across the nation for their own valuable contributions to their families. If you are wondering how to really show your appreciation to a father or husband, consider these five fun activities sure to please the whole family:

Go Fishing 
A relaxing day at the local lake or river may be the perfect Father's Day gift for an outdoorsy dad. Pack a picnic, some fishing rods and bait, and if you're lucky you may end up catching dinner!

Have a Barbecue 
Celebrate Father's Day by cooking up some of his favorite foods on the grill. Hot dogs, steaks, hamburgers and corn on the cob all taste best when cooked over an open flame. To make the meal truly special, whip up some delicious potato salad and veggies to go on the side. 

Go for a Hike  
Spending time admiring nature is a great way for dads to wind down and shed some of the stress that comes with being a father. If you live in an area with scenic nature trails, a day of walking and fresh air may be the perfect prelude to a celebratory dinner. 

Go to a Sports Game  
It's an old stereotype that dads love their sports, but more often than not a father has at least one team that he follows religiously. You may not be able to get tickets for his favorite team right on Father's Day, but a day spent cheering at the stadium is the perfect present for any sports fan. 

Take Fathers Day Portraits 
What better way to commemorate Father's Day than through a handsome family portrait? Dress up the kids in their finest clothes, avoid any stain-causing juices and head over to the nearest portrait studio to mark the passing of another year. Fathers Day Portraits are a tradition for many families, and you may find that they soon becomes a source of cherished memories as your children grow. 

Even the most selfless and giving father likes to know he's appreciated, and Father's Day is all about letting the men of the family see how much they are valued. A fun day with his family, doing something he loves, can easily make Father's Day dad's best day of the whole year.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Surf

Continue your reading through the linky below. If you're surfing too, add your link below or over at Hobo Mama. The linky will go live every Sunday and you can add your link at any time during the week.
If you have a great post that would look good in Sunday Surf, feel free to email a link to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.
If you're surfing, add your post to the linky at the bottom of this Sunday Surf. You can do that here or at Hobo Mama, your link will show up on both sites. Make sure to grab the new button either from the left sidebar or the Sunday Surf page, where you'll also find a little blurb about Sunday Surf you can copy for your post. 



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Birds & The Bees: Three Tips for Answering Tricky Questions (Rerun)

One afternoon at the post office, while waiting in line, my four year old asked “Mom, how did Bella get into your belly?” Suddenly, every conversation ground to a halt and it felt as if all eyes were turning towards me and my pregnant belly. I’m quite sure all ears were attuned as I answered the question. Lucky for me, as it was my third pregnancy, it wasn’t the first time I was being asked that question so I had a quick and simple answer that was readily accepted. Truthfully, I felt quite relieved that it was just that question again and not like the very first time my two year old happily asked pointing to a cashier “Does he have a penis or a vagina?”

Often called tricky subjects: sexuality, birth, death to name a few can create quite some anxiety for some parents. Many parents that are otherwise confident with their parenting duties become flustered, nervous and otherwise confused as to how best handle such questions.
Helping children develop healthy thoughts and feelings on these subjects is so important; answering any such questions by being calm, honest and consistent can keep you from getting tongue-tied.

No matter how outrageous or inappropriate a question may seem it is important to remember that children are most likely just exercising their natural curiosity. Even if the question pops up in a situation that you do not exactly deem appropriate (i.e questioning a cashiers genitals), staying calm will help both you and your child figure out how to move on. Maybe you will be ready to answer the question in a matter of fact tone or maybe you will need to ask your child to give you some time to think. It is alright to be honest with your child if you need or want additional time to answer the question. Finally discussing with your partner any key pointers for tricky subjects so that your answers are always consistent can ease any tension around the subjects as well.

If you are not comfortable answering a question on the spot:
Instead of using statements that might shame your child like “how dare you ask that?” or “What are you thinking asking such a thing.” Try responding with words that can help you find space but provide reassurance to your child: “I cannot answer that question right now, but I can answer it when we get home. How about we talk about our favorite animals right now?” Do follow up with your child when you reach an appropriate place like home or your car. This last step will help your child not only have the answers to something she wants to know but also builds trust.
If you don’t quite understand what your child is asking:
Try to avoid statements that might upset or confuse your child like “That doesn’t make any sense” Or “Where did you get such a crazy idea.” Instead try to paraphrase their original question “Are you trying to understand what happens to people when they die?” Then follow up with a brief explanation and wait for your child’s lead. Quite possibly a short answer will suffice, if not new questions will surface giving you an opportunity to continue having a dialogue.

If you don’t know enough to answer the question:
Avoid statements that could discourage your child “why would I know that” or “I have not the slightest idea”. Instead, try explaining that you would like to find out more yourself about that very question “I will need to look that up before I can tell you more” or “Can we look this up together sometime?” Allowing your child to know that you need more information not only models lifelong learning it also gives you a great opportunity to learn something together.
That cashier from earlier, just in case you were wondering, answered the question directly to my son, smiling and matter of factly, that she does in fact have a vagina. To my relief, she also told me she was a mom and a grandmother to four equally curious children.

Have you ever been asked a question by your child and not really known how to handle it? What was the question and what did you do?

Peace & Be Well,

Please join me at Positive Parenting Connection on Facebook for daily inspirations, ideas and resources for positive parenting!
Image credit: abpphotos


Friday, May 18, 2012

Five Rhyming Games to Play with Toddlers

Toddlers love repetition and rhythm. Rhyming games, also known as finger-plays are fun, silly and joyful ways to spend some special time with a toddler.

Within the fun of rhyming games, toddlers can explore rhythm, vocabulary and language, sequence recognition, creativity, listening, coordination and memorization. It is also a really sweet way to connect with laughter and love.

These are five silly and easy rhyming games to play with toddlers:

I can make a heart
I put my hands together,
This is how I start.
I curve my fingers right around,
And I can make a heart!

Open Shut Them ( Using your hands, open and close them like a book, then follow along the words)
Open shut them,open shut them. Give a little clap.
Open shut them, open shut them. Fold them in your lap.
Creep them, creep them Creep them, creep them. Right up to your chin
Open wide your little mouth But do not let them in.

Hands on your hips 
Hands on your hips, Hands on your knees,
Hands behind you if you please!
Touch your shoulders, Touch your nose,
Touch your hair, Touch your toes!

Ten Red Apples
Ten red apples grow on a tree( Reach Both hands up high)
Five for you and five for me. (Bring forward one hand and then the other)
Let us shake the tree just so(Shake your whole body)
And ten red apples will fall below(Fall backwards or sit down)
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. (Count out each finger or little toes)

Catch that Pancake!
Mix a pancake, (pretend to mix)
Stir a pancake, (pretend to stir)
Pop it in the pan;
Fry a pancake, Toss a pancake, (make a tossing motion)
Catch it if you can! (make catching motion)
*We like to play this one while playing with our play kitchen or some mixing bowls and spoons!

Does your child have a favorite rhyming game?
Looking for more ideas for play, fun and positive parenting? Come join the growing community on Positive Parenting Connection Facebook Page! See you there.

Peace & Be Well,



Quote of the Day

“Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.” -unknown


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Call for Submissions: Authentic Parenting Carnival-May 2012

Authentic Parenting, teamed up with Mudpiemama's: Positive Parenting Connection, will be hosting the May Carnival of Authentic Parenting on May 25th.

This months topic: Parenting Practices and Criticism

Parenting isn't easy, especially if you parent in a style that is unique to yourself and your family or if you make choices that are outside of the "norm".

This month, we will be focusing on how we deal with opposite views, how we deal with other people treating our children differently, criticism of our parenting choices or style.

Join us to share your advice, your experiences, your family's reactions and/or your frustrations to criticism related to parenting practices.

Submission Date: May 20th.
Carnival Date: May 25th

To enter, please compose a new post on the chosen topic and email mamapoekie {at} yahoo {dot} com and ariadne {at} brillweb {dot} net no later than 11PM GMT on May 20th 2012. Once you have emailed your submission please fill out the submission form:


Monday, May 14, 2012

Are you Damaging Your Child by Demanding Obedience?

In our current culture, parents are praised when their children are obedient – it’s a mark of good parenting. The quieter and the more obedient the child, the better.  In truth, parents are doing a disservice to their children and to society when they demand that their children do exactly as they are told, no questions asked.  In other words, expecting children to dutifully comply with their parents commands, right away, is not such a great idea in the long run.

Here are six reasons why obedience is potentially damaging and why you may want to reconsider demanding it from your child:

Demanding obedience damages self-worth.
When a child is made to do something, with no choice or reasoning, their sense of self worth is affected. They must override their own needs to do that which the commanding person expects. A child that is made to stop focusing on their own needs long enough will soon not even bother, afterall someone else will be dictating their needs for them.

Demanding obedience instills shame.
Along with overriding their own needs and damaging self-esteem, a child that has no say over their own body and choices will feel ashamed, over and over again.  Being repeatedly told that a child has done something incorrectly and that they must instead do something in a certain way imposed by someone else causes emotional pain. This quote from Gershen Kaufman sums it up well  "Shame is the most disturbing experience individuals ever have about themselves; no other emotion feels more deeply disturbing because in the moment of shame the self feels wounded from within."

Demanding obedience is a set up for bullying:  Parents often demand that a child follow orders and then threatens with consequences and punishment in the name of obedience. How is a child to recognize when a peer or stranger is bullying them, if this already happens at home? Even worse, a child will come to believe that relationships are built on a foundation of demands and threats and may turn into a bully himself.  It’s actually quite a scary thought, but if we take the time to carefully examine the current culture which expects obedience from children at all costs and the ever rising number of problems with bullying in schools it’s enough to make one pause and think.

Demanding obedience hinders critical thinking.
A vital part of the learning process and development of a child is asking questions and exploring alternate outcomes. If a parent is making a child obey with phrases such as “Do this right now and just stop asking why!” or worse “Because I said so”  they are ultimately denying the development of an incredible life skill; thinking!

Demanding obedience kills trust between a parent and child. 
Parents can demand and then a child may do as their parent tells them but, ultimately  the child will not feel good about what they did. In addition to damaging their self esteem,  they will also start to question their trust in you as a parent. Why should a child want to do something, want to please their parent if it comes at a cost of feeling bad, unworthy and deflated? Children that are secure in their relationship with their parents tend to WANT to do what the parent asks but part of that security comes from being able to express themselves, question things, have their own ideas and still feel loved and wanted even if there are disagreements or difference of opinion.

Demanding obedience hinders the development of self-discipline.
Some parents nag and demand that their children dress, wash, finish homework, etc...and yet the struggle continues daily. The culprit? Demanding compliance and obedience.  The thing is, constant pushing can make a child become dependent on or worse indifferent to those very reminders. A child may start to think “Why bother until that yell comes about” or "if they really mean it, they'll yell at me."

In no way do I mean to say children should not be getting dressed, doing homework, respecting limits and so on, but demanding obedience does not create the inner guidance to do what we know is best and correct for that moment, in fact it squashes it.

Do you find yourself demanding that your children be obedient? Frustrated that nothing works? You are not alone, after all, society really expects children to quietly behave and do as they are told, and of course it's sometimes much easier if our children would just do what we want. So, Wondering what to do instead of demanding Obedience?

On Positive Parenting Connection  I am talking about: If not Obedience, then what?  I hope you will join me over there and on the Positive Parenting Connection Facebook page. Until then,

Peace & Be Well,

Image: Simon Howden /


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Surf

Continue your reading through the linky below. If you're surfing too, add your link below or over at Hobo Mama. The linky will go live every Sunday and you can add your link at any time during the week.
If you have a great post that would look good in Sunday Surf, feel free to email a link to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.

  • "Respect the "No"": a very important lesson manny adults still need to learn when it comes to children (and even when it comes to other adults), on Sleeping Should Be Easy.

If you're surfing, add your post to the linky at the bottom of this Sunday Surf. You can do that here or at Hobo Mama, your link will show up on both sites. Make sure to grab the new button either from the left sidebar or the Sunday Surf page, where you'll also find a little blurb about Sunday Surf you can copy for your post. 



Friday, May 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln


Wouldn't you rather be Mom AUTHENTIC?

I wrote this recently as a reflection on my journey of motherhood: Parenting is a journey filled with twists, turns, bridges to cross and roads that seem to never end and so many moments that take your breath away.

It rings true today, just as it did that morning as I sat nursing my toddler and typing away at the keyboard. There is a lot that goes on in this parenting journey. Hopes, dreams, wishes, fears, joys…

Parents don’t always agree with each other, of course not! We are all individuals and thank goodness for that! Some parents choose to follow attachment parenting, natural parenting, connection parenting, aware parenting…some parents follow an “expert” guide, some go by the seat of their pants, taking it in as they go along, some parents take classes, others ask their families for advice.

Regardless of if they breastfeed or formula feed, co-sleep or use a cot, choose positive parenting or behavior modification charts, one thing is very clear to me, the VAST majority of parents out there want to do well by their children.

Are there outliers, some that just don’t care, some that are too tired, stressed and forgotten by society to care? Sure. But the vast majority, yes, they want their children to succeed, be happy, be healthy, be contributing members of society.

Most parents are working really hard, be it from home or the office to give their children what they need and to create those breath taking moments and memories be it at soccer practice, at playgroup, in the family room, on vacation or the family bed.

The vast majority of parents also would like to feel more supported in their choices. Do standards, methods and parenting choices matter? Well, to a certain degree yes, children are people, they should be protected and entitled to a life without abuse, fear and stress.

However, much like we are individuals with different life styles and needs, it should not matter if we are ENOUGH based on some philosophy, photo or something else… 

What really matters to us as parents and to our children is if we are AUTHENTIC - being faithful to our internal needs and instincts rather than external ideas imposed by some magazine cover, baby manual or words of an expert.

Breastfeeding is normal. Breastfeeding is beautiful. Yet, if breastfeeding makes a mother resentful, tied down, miserable, if there is no milk, if there just isn't the willingness, a medical issue, then can’t we respect the mother’s choice and needs? Yes, the baby has needs too, believe me I get that, I respect that, I breathe and live that, but breastfeeding is one tough, tough job, I know because I have had that job for six years. I even shared about that journey on Jamie Lynne’s Clever Cleavage feature.

But, some moms just have a different experience, different story, a different journey. For some moms, it’s smooth roads, for others it’s just too many bumps, twists and turns…. so let’s try to respect and support one another in our own authentic journeys.

I have read some shocking, nasty remarks about the now infamous cover photo on Time... Come on! Let's not make the beautiful women that have stepped up to show the world that breastfeeding is normal be the culprit here. Let's not create more war in a world that desperately needs PEACE, a world that could use some more enlightened, peaceful and hopeful individuals and a lot less greed, shock and confrontation. So let’s not worry about being ENOUGH, let's choose to be Authentic.

Seriously ladies, if mothers are not going to support each other, the very mothers that know just how incredibly hard all this motherhood stuff is then who will?

Peace, respect and kindness are amazing traits to model for our children.  Let's celebrate our individuality.  Let’s give each other this mother’s day and every day the gift of respect for our authenticity so the world can be full of amazing individuals.

 Peace & Be Well,

Please join me at Positive Parenting Connection on Facebook for daily inspiration, ideas and resources for positive parenting!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just A Silly Love Song? (rerun)

I don't listen to the radio a lot, simply because we don't ave any in Congo. I'm not really up to date with music, but I get my dose when I'm in Belgium.
Last week, we were driving and the radio was on. I heard this new Belgian hit (you hear it everywear at least 27 times a day). It's a slow 'love'-song and it's really the hit of the moment. I bet lots of women drool over it and feel flattered when some special boy dedicates it to her, or asks the DJ to put it on. I bet new couples are making it 'their' song, maybe even the one they'll be slow-dancing to on their wedding one day. I can already see the sparkly eyes of young women, filled with romance and emotion.

Next to the fact that I don't like that singer and think the song really sucks, I am appaled.

Now why would I care about a silly love-song?

Here's some of the lyrics:
"I wish you were a little bigger, Not just big but really fat. Doors you would no longer fit through, In my bed you would have to stay"
"I often wish that you had feathers, I'd keep you in a giant cage. All day long I'd sit and watch you, I'd sing for you and that would be okay."
"I wish you were a little slower, Not just slow but paralyzed, Then I could plug you into a socket, So you could never run away."

The song is by Milow and is called 'You and Me', here's the music video for it, if you want to listen to it.

Is this really today's idea of romance? Of love? Is this what women are made to believe love is like? This has nothing whatsoever to do with love, but rather with obsession and abuse. How can one think this is a good idea?
Love is about trust and respect and a deep care for one another, not about possession and weird Stockholm Syndrome aspirations.

How is it that we live in a culture that romanticises this abuse? Have we really gotten nowhere? Is this what all these years of feminist activism has gotten us? Cultural adoration of distorted relationships?

This song is juts one example, but it is such a clear symptom of what is wrong with our society's view of love and relationships, that I could not let it pass.

I've gone on rather long for the sake of a post, but I promise, I will come back and talk about how stalking and manipulation are also idealized romantic fantasies.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Quote of the Day

“You are the embodiment of the information you choose to accept and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” - Adlin Sinclair


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

And the winner is.

The winner for the KIdsblanks giveaway is Jaclyn. She has won a 25USD gift certificate to



Monday, May 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Experience is the best teacher." -Proverb


The Truth about Circumcision

Written by Angelita Williams

While infant circumcision—the act of surgically removing the foreskin of a newborn male’s penis-- is most popular among those who follow the Islamic and Jewish faiths, in America, circumcision for non-therapeutic reasons is surprisingly popular among the general population, whether or not they are religious. The World Health Organization estimates that the prevalence of circumcision in the United States is 75%, while for our Canadian neighbors to the North, the prevalence is only 30%. Circumcision in America is a perfect example of following a practice blindly just because it has always been done, while research shows no demonstrable medical reasons for doing so. Before you consider circumcising your baby, consider the following facts:

Circumcision is painful, both psychologically and physically.

There’s no getting around the fact that circumcision is a painful process, both during surgery and after, even if an analgesic is used. Surprisingly, many physicians do not even use any anesthetics. In some European countries like the Netherlands, the medical consensus is that routine, non-therapeutic circumcisions of infants violates their "rights to autonomy and physical integrity." The Dutch Medical Association issued a report that calls on doctors to inform parents of the risks and absence of medical benefits of routine infant circumcisions.
For infants, however, therapeutic reasons for circumcision are very rare.

Circumcision does not, as many think, promote penile hygiene. 

This is one of the non-religious reasons that many parents decide to circumcise their babies. However, the American Association of Pediatrics maintains that there is little evidence suggesting that circumcision promotes hygiene.

Theories about the historic reasons for circumcision are frightening.

If you consider the various reasons that circumcision may have started in the first place, you’ll realize that it’s a superstitious and rather provincial practice. For example, at one point in time, circumcision was used as a “cure” for masturbation. In other cultures, it may have started as a practice used only on slaves and prisoners to symbolically castrate them.

Circumcision may reduce sexual pleasure later in life. 

One study showed that adult males who voluntarily circumcised experienced substantially less sensation during intercourse after circumcision. Another study indicated that female partners experienced less pleasure as well. Depriving a person of a more enhanced and healthy sexual life without their consent is another reason that one can consider circumcision cruel.

Even if you are considering circumcising your child for religious reasons, remember that there are many religions traditions practiced for centuries that people today of that faith don’t follow. You can still be a faithful member of your religion without circumcision.

About the author:
This guest post is contributed by Angelita Williams, who writes on the topics of online courses.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: angelita.williams7


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Surf

Really short surf this week, because I've got very little internet time and have been busy busy! Continue your reading through the linky below. If you're surfing too, add your link below or over at Hobo Mama. The linky will go live every Sunday and you can add your link at any time during the week.
If you have a great post that would look good in Sunday Surf, feel free to email a link to mamapoekie at yahoo dot com.

  • We've written about universal knowledge before, and wondered if there's anything an unschooler really needs to know. Swiss Army Wife takes a fresh look on the question in "5 things your unschooler needs to know".

If you're surfing, add your post to the linky at the bottom of this Sunday Surf. You can do that here or at Hobo Mama, your link will show up on both sites. Make sure to grab the new button either from the left sidebar or the Sunday Surf page, where you'll also find a little blurb about Sunday Surf you can copy for your post. 



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Quote of the Day

“Laughter is like changing a baby's diaper. It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while.” -unknown


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quote of the Day

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix


When Having Fun Is Mandatory (rerun)

written by Murielle Bourbao

We are part of a water-babies association, and we have been enjoying the warm swimming pool with our children (almost) every Sunday morning for 5 years. Almost every time, I can hear a parent expressing loudly his disagreement on his child’s way, threatening her or even punishing her. Some children won’t put their clothes back on as fast as their parents would like, others won’t move their legs correctly in the water to swim. Some children don’t want to go on the slide. And the parent gets frustrated and starts yelling or making demands. This parental behaviour is also noticeable in playgrounds, indoor play centres, attraction parks, or any place/activity designed for children.

Now, when parents take their child to a children-oriented facility, it is supposed to be fun for the child. The parents would not have gone there just for themselves. So why do they start directing their child’s actions?

Probably because they have made an “effort” to take their child to this facility, they made time in their busy schedule, they may even have paid for it, so now the child has to enjoy herself. Enjoying herself is mandatory, and has to be done according to the parents’ concept of having fun. So enjoying herself means taking the big slide even if she is scared. Enjoying herself means not staying on the same swing for an hour but trying all the tunnels and climbing walls of the playground.

Or because the parents are so caught up is the daily routine that they keep pressuring their offspring like they (most probably) do at home, to gain a few minutes here and a few seconds there. Because they are here for the child to have fun, she should not be spoiling the moment by taking an extra 5 minutes to put her trousers back on.

Wait a second. Is a scared child forced to take the big slide having fun? Is the yelled at child who is playing with his socks instead of putting them on having fun? Of course not. Neither are the parents trying to coerce their child. So what is the point of the parents making that “effort” to take the child to some fun place if no-one is having fun?

When we take our child for a children-oriented activity, we should tune in to our child. We have made special time (and maybe paid some entry fees) so our child could have fun. Let her have fun. The time and the money will not be wasted if the big slide is left aside. The outing will not be ruined if she doesn’t want to tie her shoes right now. Let’s organise the whole activity so the child will decide what to do, when to do it, take her time, lead the way.

In the end, the parents will really have fun, too.

About Murielle

I am the mother of three children born between 2005 and 2010, I became a SAHM by chance and I am thriving on my new job : parenting. I am involved in several volunteering organization : the school council as an elected parent representative, the school association which goal is raising money so the children can have fun outside of school with their teachers (educational theme parks, museums, concerts and other shows...), I am training to become a LLL leader and I administer the Eats On Feets France chapter.
Every day, I seek to improve my parenting ways, and I try to achieve the ideal balance between my children and their needs and desires, and my personal goals and interests.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Would You Prefer?

Written by Liza Cumming

We all want what is best for our children, we want them to grow up to be happy, strong, independent people who look back with fondness on their childhood. However, sometimes we loose our way as parents and in an effort to give our kids everything, give them a lot of things they don't need and nothing they really want. So perhaps we need to stop and think, if I were them, what would I prefer?

When Finn started showing an interest in toys and other things around him, I rushed to the shops, where a range of marketing campaigns told me all the things that he would need. I bought him toy hammers, steering wheels, fish, books, rattles and cars. I wanted to see his face light up and see him playing happily for hours like the boys on the boxes. So what were his favourites? The TV remote that he saw mummy and daddy using, the wooden spoon that made loud banging noises and mummy used for cooking and the boxes that the fancy toys came in.
So did society get it wrong? Or did they never really care, they just wanted us to spend our money. Don't get me wrong, some toys are great but do they need everything in store? No.
Then there are all the things we are told we need for raising happy children that we just don't need at all. Prams that cost more than some cars, matching furniture sets, baby monitors.

So you have to ask yourself. If I were a tiny baby would I care which brand of pram I rode around in? Or would I in fact prefer not to be in a pram at all but rather to be in my mother's (or father's) arms. (Read about how the baby carrier replaced the pram in our house here). Would I want my own room with a theme and matching furniture and a machine for my parents to see me without coming in or would I want to share with mum and dad?

The choices we make about what to buy can have a big impact on our kids. The decision might be to buy "the best" pram and the latest toys and do an extension on the house to allow each family member to have their own room but to pay for all these things by mum cutting her maternity leave short and dad staying back at the office. If I was the child, I would prefer my mum and dad's time over most things.

For small babies, going to sleep and staying asleep can be challenging. So what does Western culture teach us to do? Teach them to "self settle" so that they can learn to be independent sleepers. Well I ask you, if you had just spent the last nine months being lulled to sleep in a warm cocoon, listening to mummy's heartbeat and voice, how would you like to learn to fall asleep? If it were me I know what I would choose between a nice long cuddle and drink of milk while I played with mum's hair and listened to her voice, and crying until I gave up and went to sleep alone.

Of course it is not just about what the child wants but also what is best in the long run. We want them to be independent and we don't want them to be spoiled.

Let's look at the issue of independence. At odds with most other cultures, from the moment our babies are born we want them to start being "Independent". Sure independence has it's advantages when you are 40 and don't need your mum to show you how a washing machine works but as a baby?
Babies are as nature intended them, extremely vulnerable, immobile and entirely dependent. So what is the advantage in making them independent? (If that were even possible). Is nurturing and looking after our babies by allowing them to be dependent actually stopping them learn independence? I don't think so. In fact I think it is quite the reverse. If Finn can see his mum or dad nearby, he is braver, more investigative and more inclined to go off on his own in pursuit of adventure.
We borrowed a Noah's arc boat from the toy library that makes rather alarming animal noises and when Finn sat down to play with it by himself he was petrified and needed to be held. Revisiting it with his dad sitting beside him he sat happily pulling animals out and investigating them.
As parents we are there to scaffold our child's learning, comfort them and rock them to sleep because it is in our arms that they feel safe and secure enough to find their own independence and confidence. Finn is constantly "babied" by being fed and rocked to sleep and sleeping in his parents bed, it didn't stop him deciding to crawl at five months or refusing to be spoon fed and learning to eat by himself at six months.

As for children being "spoilt" by too much attention, do you honestly think showering your baby with love and attention and comforting them when they feel scared will ruin them and turn them into little brats? Surely ignoring them when they cry and making them feel scared and alone would be more likely to do that.

Anyway, with all this focus on learning independence, do you ever stop and think that adults are never really fully independent either. We build communities, cohabit with our families and sleep cuddled up to our spouses. We are pack animals, this is how we feel safe and this is how we flourish.

About the author
Liza Cumming, mum to 9-month-old Finn, has a Degree in Psychology and a Post Graduate Degree in Primary Teaching. She writes baby and food blog, Pramsandwich, where she shares her parenting thoughts, stories, recipes, cafe finds and love letters.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Controversial Issues Every Mother-to-be Should Confront

Content provided by Alex S.

There are several decisions that every soon to be mother thinks of, including what clothing to put the baby in for his hospital picture, whether to use pain medication during labor, how to decorate the child's room and whether to breastfeed or formula feed. Some other issues are not in the forefront of new mother's minds, but should be. Here are three controversial issues that every mother-to-be should confront.

Image: CORD USE on Flickr
Cord Blood Banking
There are numerous beneficial reasons why any parent would choose to use stem cell bank storage. Cord blood is highly sought after as the stem cells within can be transplanted into the body an ill child, sibling, or relative, and can be used to treat life-threatening diseases including leukemia and other types of cancer. Th stem cells can also be used to treat subsequent children that may develop a life-threatening disease, or be given to any match in need of a bone marrow transplant.
If your family suffers from specific hematopoietic or genetic diseases, such as certain types of leukemia, anemia, or Sickle cell, choosing to bank cord blood could be a life saving option.  Research is also supporting that diseases, such as Type 1 Diabetes, may also be treated with cord blood, providing all the more reason to store it.
However, keep in mind, that storing cord blood can be expensive and isn't always covered by insurance.  If you choose to harvest your cord blood, be sure to speak with your insurance first to make sure that you are able to do so with the very little coming out of your own pocket.

Breastfeeding in Public
Although breastfeeding is a natural process, breastfeeding in public can quickly ignite passionate debate. Even though breastfeeding a child is the healthiest diet option for new babies, and a mother should be able to breastfeed her child in public. Some individuals feel that breastfeeding in public is not appropriate and exposes the general public to intimate parts of a woman's body.  These heated debates often make it uncomfortable for first-time mothers to decide on the issue, and many fearful of what kind of repercussions their decision may bring.
When a new mother makes a decision regarding breastfeeding in public, she should know that she will most likely hear some kind of criticism and that it is only natural.  People always assume their style of child-rearing is the best.
If a mother wants to breastfeed at home and in public, that is perfectly normal and natural and she should know that she is backed by the law in her decision.  Ultimately, she needs to mentally prepare herself for the comments that may follow, and just remain confident in her decision.

Placenta Keeping
Choosing to keep the placenta after birth has only recently become a common decision amongst mothers. Some mothers opt for a lotus birth in which the umbilical cord is left intact until it is naturally shed, and others recognize the health benefits of the placenta and consume or inject it into their bodies.
While this may sound extreme, the placenta includes many vitamins and nutrients that aid in a new mother's recovery after labor and delivery, and some mothers report an increased amount of milk development.  It is also believed that mothers who consume the placenta also experience a decreased rate of postpartum depression and are able to avoid other fluctuations in emotional stability because of the hormones the afterbirth provides.

Ultimately, mothers need to understand that the decisions they make are their own.  They know what is right for their children, and should not fear the criticism of others.  As long as they are making healthy and safe choices for their children and themselves, a mother's decisions are always right - regardless of others personal beliefs.