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the Mudroom


Weekly nuggets of developmentally appropriate parenting wisdom to help you parent your toddlers and preschoolers more effectively, with less effort. The Mudroom is recorded live on Facebook every Tuesday at 9pm eastern, 6pm pacific.


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Weekly nuggets of developmentally appropriate parenting wisdom to help you parent your toddlers and preschoolers more effectively, with less effort. The Mudroom is recorded live on Facebook every Tuesday at 9pm eastern, 6pm pacific.






How to Structure Your Child's Summer Break

Summer is here! ☀️ Or at least nearly here for most of us. And while the kids may be free for shenanigans for a few weeks, parents often are not. Whether that’s because you’re working, have younger children who need attention, or you simply don’t want a kid at your heel all summer complaining about having nothing to do, it’s time to make a game plan. And I’ve got an easy one to share with you that’ll make summer break manageable (and dare I say fun?) for everyone. This is going to be...


Are Extracurricular Classes Good or Bad?

Summer is in full swing which often brings about a whole lot of buzz about extra-curricular and enrichment classes. I’m talking swim, dance, acting, art, violin, soccer, all the things. I mean, let’s be honest. It’s freaking ADORABLE to see your kid in their little mini uniform wandering around the field while the coach/instructor tries to corral them all back in. Or celebrating their first score/performance/award? The pride parents feel is basically at the same level it would be if they...


My Child Loves Dad (or Mom) More...

So there are these cute videos on Reels and Tiktok where both parents stand on either side of the child and count to three- then they run in opposite directions and wait to see who the child follows. And it’s this cute little trend that everyone gets a little laugh from when the child hurries after the same parent every time. But… It stops being so funny when it keeps happening over and over again. It can sting a bit to see your child light up every evening when their other parent walks...


Is it Inclusion or Integration?

This is important, okay? Not too long ago we discussed how to pick out a daycare program for your child and I love being able to support parents with such a huge milestone. Whether it’s their first time being cared for outside the home or if they're simply changing programs - it’s important to make sure that the program is a good fit for your child. But there’s a topic that really needs its own separate conversation. And that’s inclusion vs integration. Some schools will use the phrases...


How to Pick a Preschool

If you’re reading this there’s a pretty good chance that you’re either looking for a preschool/daycare or that decision is looming in the near future. (And boy does the time fly by! You’ll blink and it’ll be time to choose.) There’s a lot to consider and it can be overwhelming. A lot of parents focus on the logistical things- which is completely reasonable! It’s important to consider if it’s on your way to work or if you want a center vs a more homelike environment. Those types of...


Becoming a Mom VS Becoming a Dad

You might have heard the quote from the movie/book Juno: “A woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, a man becomes a father when he sees his baby.” And that sentiment seems to be reflected in a lot of the parents I work with. So, let’s just be completely honest here. When a woman becomes a mother- typically it’s an immediate shift into motherhood and we adopt that identity pretty early on. (Although I understand that not everyone experiences motherhood the same way- this is...


My kid can’t focus! Should I be worried?

There are a lot of parents who watch their child bounce from one activity to another and wonder why their child can’t seem to Just Sit Still. Your kids seem easily distracted when they were supposed to be putting their jackets in the closet. Or they’re suddenly as your leg poking their nose into your conversation when you swore you sent them off to wash their hands for dinner. You thought they were picking up the blocks from the living room but when you come back they’ve disappeared to...


Is the Toothfairy and Easter Bunny Real?

Everyone loves a little magic in their lives and for a lot of parents, there’s a lot of joy and fun in creating magic for their children. Have you ever scrolled through Pinterest and seen how creative some of these ideas are? Like “tooth fairy glitter” inside a special envelope. Reindeer treats trailed around the backyard so Santa’s reindeer know where to park on Christmas Eve. Or pieces of colorful eggshells around the Easter basket that the bunny left behind. Among the endless work of...


Bribes and Boundaries With Your Child

Most of us are aware of what bribing is. Afterall, it’s not a secret that children can sometimes be really difficult. It reminds me of the iconic scene in the movie Lord Of The Rings where Gandalf the Wizard shouts “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”- That’s what it feels like when you’re running late and you need to them to just accept that the red cup is missing and you don’t have anymore time to run around the house searching for it. They have their little feet firmly planted in front of the door...


How to Handle Your Child Cursing

Picture this: you’re having a playdate at your friend's house. The kids request a popsicle so your mom's friend hands each one a nice, fun summer treat. Everyone is happy and smiling and it’s just a wonderful, wholesome moment. Then your child accidentally spills a drop of purple popsicle on their shirt- they look down and… Bombs away! They drop the F-bomb. 😮 Now everyone is staring in disbelief and you can’t decide if this is one of those moments where you laugh (afterall, it was timed...


How to Stop Your Child from Being Aggressive

Recently in the free community for parents Parenting Posse a parent asked a question about their child being unintentionally aggressive, but no matter what the parents did (taking away screen time, discussing the incident, etc) the behaviour continued. And this isn’t the only time a parent has asked a question with a similar scenario: - The child keeps doing a certain perceived misbehaviour. - Parents gives a punishment - Child stops for a day or two, maybe, but then does it...


Why are kids so emotional?!

When we think about emotional, angsty, moody children we often think about teenagers, right? We’re picturing a 16 year old with their hoodie pulled over their head, earphones blaring Paramore to block out the world, and a permanent scowl. So WHY the heck is your 3 year old already bursting out in tears and yelling you’re a mean momma? Isn’t it a bit too early for your kid to be huffing and rolling their eyes? Why are kids so emotional?! A lot of parents seem to already know this is common...


Talking To Your Child About Scary Stuff

Before we start I want to give a warning that I'm going to discuss some potentially sensitive topics. I want to talk to you about when our kids say scary sh*t. Like when they say something violent, or really freaking dark. I want to approach this with compassion and sensitivity because I know it’s unsettling and uncomfortable. Sometimes parents are even too embarrassed to admit what it was their child said but… It’s a reality for a lot of parents. Sometimes children say the most...


Autism Awareness

Maybe it’s because April is around the corner and it’s Autism Awareness Month? Or maybe it’s just more parents becoming aware of neurodiversity in children and having more thoughts about it... But I've been getting more and more questions and concerns from parents worried that maybe their child might be autistic. The important thing to know about autism is that the signs can overlap with so many other things. And early indicators of autism can also be completely developmentally appropriate...


How to Talk to Your Child About What is Happening in Ukraine

These conversations aren’t easy. But they also must be had. We’ve got to be honest and talk to our children about what’s happening in the Ukraine. Sometimes we forget that children absorb information at an astonishing rate. And I know you’re thinking “but we don’t watch the news in front of them” or you ask grandparents and friends to change the subject when it comes up at dinner but think about just how many times your kiddo has surprised you by asking a question about something you...


What Does The Play Stage Look Like For Your Child?

We talk often about the importance of play for children and chat about this false expectation that children automatically know how to share (they have to learn that skill). Especially when it comes to siblings and breaking up arguments over that week’s favorite toy. But have we talked about the developmental stages of play? If you’re thinking “what the heck is that?” allow me to explain. As your child grows, the way they play changes and evolves. And this has a huge impact on not only...


Teaching Your Child Kindness

We’ve seen the iconic scene from the Mean Girls movie where Gretchen has finally had enough and yells at Regina “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!” And while it’s a funny fictional scene in a movie, as parents I know we all sigh in relief knowing that we’re not raising our children to be like that. Right? Well, I’ve been hearing parents worry about their children being mean lately and it may have upticked recently in light of all these unprecedented events happening. We want our children to be kind...


How Do You Motivate Your Child?

So we’ve talked about bribing before, right? “If you do this thing, then I’ll buy you the toy or get you the ice cream.” And most of us agree that bribing doesn’t work as a disciplinary measure. So, we think of other ways to “motivate” our children. Enter the contingent instructions. It feels similar to bribing but instead of giving the child something tangible for complying, we offer them permission to do something else. For example: “if you pick up your toys then you can play video...


When Can a Parenting Coach Help with Your Child?

I get this question quite a bit from parents and caregivers who are looking into joining ParentAbility or are generally curious about what I do. The question is: If my child already gets therapy, do I need a parenting coach? (And vice versa.) As with most things in life, the short answer is “it depends”. There are so many different factors that can impact the answer to this and at the end of the day, you are the expert on your child and their needs. But I still wanted to take some time to...


Are You Seeing an Increase in Emotional Breakdowns?

If you have a 4/5 year old in your home you might be noticing an increase in emotional meltdowns in your home. It can feel pretty sudden too! Just out of the blue it’s like you’re in some kind of Real Housewives drama show and your little one is the screenwriter, producer, and the star. The rest of the family are just background characters walking on eggshells, hoping not to set them off. This is common at this age and it’s a stage I call the Limbic Leap. Basically it’s a huge...