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Hello and welcome to the Kristy Belle Photography Blog! I'm Kristy Woolford & I'm a portrait, Brand and Food Photographer. I hope you enjoy viewing my latest work and getting a little peek into my life as a mom, Wife and Photographer.

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My Favorite Resources as a Mom

Remember the time you when you were young and thought you would be the perfect parent? Thoughts like “I would never do that.”, “My child is going to always listen and do what I say”, or “My child will never act like that.” etc. HAHAHA- that’s all I can say to that. I was completely naive about the realities of parenting! It’s hard and it takes up a lot of your mental energy to work through behaviors and challenges with your child!

 

It may be stressful and difficult sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of Calder I’ve grown so much as a person and it’s only been 2 1/2 years! I wanted to share the things that have helped me the most because, let’s be honest, we are all a work in progress. I’m no where near a perfect parent- I have breakdowns, I cry, I yell, my child will sometimes watch too much TV, the list goes on and on. But, I’m trying and that’s what matters.

 

1.Parenting Books

I seriously love a good parenting book. I’ve learned lots about my little complicated toddler and how to handle outbursts. I’ve read almost all of my favorites on our subscription to Scribd. We love Scribd because you can read as many books as you want, listen to as many audiobooks as you want, and there are even children’s books! It’s something we use everyday so $8.99 a month is well worth it. Go here to get a free 30 day trial: https://www.scribd.com/gi/7c2vn0

My favorite parenting books:

  • Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline
  • Joyful Toddlers and Preschoolers: Create a Life the You and Your Child Both Love by Faith Collins
  • How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber

2. XOPlaytime by XO Lauren Pace 

I have followed Lauren on Instagram for a long time. I’ve watched her live streams, I’ve been in her Facebook group for a long time,  etc. I’ve found a lot of support when we are struggling with a particular behavior of Calder’s. For awhile he really struggled with sharing with a particular friend- Lauren shared a personal story about her son in her Facebook group and this really helped me find a solution with how to help Calder be better at sharing.

XO Parenting is something that I just started but I am LOVING. Calder has a really tough time with independent play. He is VERY social and energetic so I really struggle with knowing what to do with him all day, everyday. Part of one of my favorite books I listed above (the Joyful Toddlers and Preschooler one) talks about addressing needs outside of just eat, sleep, hygiene. Children have other needs like connecting to others, becoming competent at skills, and contributing to something bigger than themselves. Independent play is not something that comes naturally to Calder so this is something I’m excited to do with Calder in order to foster more learning into his playtime. In her first email to me, she sent me so I knew what to expect. I couldn’t write it any better so I figured I would just share it!

  • Every two weeks you will receive a themed lesson plan with a parenting exercise and emotional development spotlight. (Every other Thursday)
  • Parenting exercises! I’m a behavior specialist, this is what I research and LOVE. It’s a huge part of loving parenthood… understanding our child’s behavior and teaching new skills so that behavior improves and doesn’t escalate. AND webinars that are only free to YOU.
  • Emotional Development Focus! Each lesson plan will come with simple emotional development plug. One very easy thing to add into normal routines, mealtimes, car rides that will support emotional development. (The most important thing a child can actually learn before Kindergarten, yet we focus SO much on the academics)
  • Each lesson plan will include reading and writing, math, engineering, science, sensory, gross motor, dramatic play, creative arts social studies.
    • Independent activities are activities that are super easy to have your child do independently
    • Relationship boosters are activities you can do together… Play 5 minutes a day with your child will change your entire relationship, these activities make it simple, different and fun!
    • Screen busters… these are activities that are JUST as engaging as screens. It might not work right away if your child is addicted or in the habit of a certain amount of tv but I’m going to come out with a ebook about healthy habits around screens… so you’ll really appreciate these screen busters when you fight that uphill battle! And there are even ideas for screen busters on the go. A small activity that you can take with you to a meeting or a lunch with friends.There is a special icon column with illustrations for activities that meet specific goals: screen busters, independent activities, relationship boosters and emotional development.

AMAZING, RIGHT? If you are interested in XO Playtime- go here.

3. Block Scheduling and Routines

I used to get really stressed about work, cleaning the house, getting some time for myself and spending quality time with Calder. If I was trying to get work done, I felt guilty because Calder was watching TV. If I was cleaning, I was stressed about when I would get time to do things on my business to-do list. Something that has helped me is to create and “ideal” block schedule. We don’t follow it to a T or anything but it helps me know that I have planned time for work, special activities for Calder, etc. I have one for Calder as well that corresponds with mine. This helps me stay productive because I know I only have an hour out of my day to sometimes get the house cleaned. I like to give Calder a few chores to help with as well that are age appropriate. I learned all about block scheduling in a business course here. I just applied it to my personal life as well.

As for routines, I have a morning and nighttime routine for Calder and I. We follow Calder’s a bit more closely to be honest. He actually really loves to go look at his list and we do it together. He does things like reading a book, brushing his teeth, saying his prayers, etc. I created based on the main things we always want to instill in him.

 

I hope these resources help you in your parenting journey. If you have any parenting resources PLEASE share them below in the comments. I would love to see them and I’m sure there are others who would like to learn from you as well.

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