Posts tagged children
Podcast: Justice Makes A Difference
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Thank you so much for tuning into our brand new podcast for #diversebooks4diversekids.

This week we have a special podcast for our Instagram Giveaway winner, Dr. Artika Tyner. Her incredible book, Justice Makes A Difference, is about a brave little girl named Justice who is inspired to change her community by advocating for equality. Justice was inspired by inspiring leaders she read about in books given to her by her grandmother. Justice feels the pressure of bearing a name that has such an important meaning and seeking ways to find how she can make a difference as a little girl. She bravely chooses to become her own superhero in a fight for justice so she can uplift her community through social change.

Follow children's book author Dr. Artika Tyner on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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Bravery

It takes a lot of courage to be a voice for your community. You can do your part by volunteering to help those less fortunate than you!

No attitude, No problem.
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If they don’t have an attitude, we don’t have any problems.

Do any of you have tiny humans who act like teenagers already? If you’re parenting anyone who’s in the 2-7 year age range, it may feel like that.

Aria loves to make dramatic exits from our room when she’s annoyed. You’ll hear, “I’m going to my room” and see her stomping all the way to the door that she grips tightly to slam it shut behind her. When did our three year old turn into my thirteen-year-old self?!

It’s easy to lose your cool when speaking to your attitude-prone child. But, it’s important to remember that if you don’t correct their behavior, it will be up to other adults, caretakers, and teachers to try to instill better behavior in your kid.

Here are the 5 things to do to eliminate tantrums and hissy fits with small kids.

  1. Talk calmly and clearly. Acknowledge when their behavior is bad and clearly state that you are giving them one warning which is their opportunity to correct themselves.

  2. Do not repeat yourself. After the one-time warning, send them to their room. Time alone with no toys or stimulation is super effective. Increments of 5 minutes usually works well depending on the severity of the attitude.

  3. Set expectations and don’t waiver. When you set a punishment for behavior, be consistent with the way you reprimand them. They will remember the negative consequences for bad behavior.

  4. Reflect. Talk to them about the situation that happened and offer a solution you would have preferred to see. For instance, if they’re yelling, demonstrate them the voice level that is appropriate.

  5. Rewards. Rewards should be given if your kid uses good coping and reasoning skills to de-escalate their attitude on their own.

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What I’ve learned…

If you had any type of attitude growing up, your child will serve it back to you tenfold. Instead of raising your voice, or saying the same thing twenty times, try these 5 tactics. I’ve found that in motherhood, nannying, and teaching that they are super effective, especially if you consistently use this method.

That's How I Got Here Part 2: Sire's Birth Story

Dezmond “Sire” Seifu was born on Friday, 10/26/18 at 9:06 am.

The entire week leading up to his birth was agonizing. I was in an early laboring stage for a full 7 days before little Sire made his grand appearance. I thought I would know what to expect out of the laboring process since this was my second time around, but boy was I wrong…

Side note: Labor for Aria was terribly different and set unrealistic expectations for this new baby. I went from 2 cm dilated to 10 cm in 24 hours with her.

Flashback to a 10/17.

Our hospital was about an hour away from where we’re currently living in comparison to being 10 minutes away from our studio that is located in Washington DC. I figured, the worst case scenario was that I would stay with Dez at the studio if I felt like I was going to go into labor. So, the day my contractions started, I immediately was alert and excited.

As you may know, the closer the contractions are together, the closer you are to delivering. The contractions I had that day went from 30 minutes apart, to 10 minutes apart, to 5, and it stayed like that for about 12 hours before they stopped completely. I had even called the midwives to alert them that I may be coming in if they intensified, but they didn’t. I was shocked. I had my hospital bag packed by 35 weeks so I had everything in the car ready to go! Hospital bag, check. Newborn carseat, check.

At 10:00pm that night I felt the contractions start up again, this time they were more intense. I happily got in my car and drove to our studio, where Dez already was, thinking our boy would be arriving soon. I stayed up, waiting and hoping it was true. I just knew that I wouldn’t have a long labor this time. The midwives warned me to move faster this time because labor is about half the time the second time around. If the first time labor was eight hours, I was expecting to be in labor for about four hours this time.

I finally fell asleep on an air mattress around midnight, thinking that any intense contractions would wake me up out of my sleep. The next morning, I woke up early and was still pregnant, sigh. My contractions consistently came and went for days and days, leading me to become frustrated, emotional, and strained physically.

Luckily, I had a doctor’s appointment the next morning in the city, so I got dressed and went to see the midwives as normal for my 39 week check up. When I arrived, a midwife named Virginia greeted me and decided it was time to check my cervix. I was dilating but it was only at 2cm which was disappointing. She said it could stay like that for days or a week. Yikes.

How was I feeling during this pregnancy? MISERABLE by the end. Carrying boys is SO different than carrying girls. Sire ran out of room in my body weeks before he arrived. He would kick the hell out of my sciatic nerve which is the long cord that runs down your back down to your legs. It cuts off feeling through half of your body if it’s struck hard enough.

I didn’t have any of these pains when I was carrying Aria. He kicked my nerve so hard one day that my sister-in-law had to bring me ice because I couldn’t walk for three hours. He would sit on the nerves that operated my legs and would cause them to go numb for seconds at a time, often in front of other people who I’m sure thought I was seizing or needed serious medical attention.

 Fast forward to 10/26.

FINALLY, a week went by, and I was in the city again at the office. I was with Dezmond working late and was exhausted. I decided to bite the bullet to get a nicer air mattress from Walmart, some soul food from Oohs and Ahhs (the best soul food in the DC), and to get comfortable at the studio for the last time.

I woke up about 4:00am with very intense contractions and felt relieved because it was finally time! I gently woke up Dezmond to tell him the news! I knew the contractions would get more intense, but decided I definitely needed an hour or two more of sleep before we went into the hospital. I recall being up literally all day the day Aria was born between nurse check ups and visitors, the hospital is a place where rest rarely happens.

At 6:00am we packed our things and headed to the hospital. Unfortunately, we had the hardest time finding the ER entrance, which was something I knew was inevitable. We had missed our hospital tour more than once and we could have easily avoided this dilemma altogether if we had made it to any of our tour times.

We had Aria with us, and I couldn’t walk far distances, so Dez let me out at the ER entrance so he could park, grab all our bags, and lead Aria in. I walked to the attendant’s desk and let them know I needed to go to Labor and Delivery. They called a transporter who wheeled me to the fifth floor.

When I got there, it dawned on me that I had left my wallet in the car. All I had was my cell phone and a bottle of water. The security guard started asking me questions about the nature of my visit. I told her I was 39 weeks pregnant and was going into labor. The desk was crowded by nurses but for some reason, they asked me “how I knew I was going into labor?” I told them that my contractions were strong and that I was already dilating the week before.

Like an angel, Virginia floated in to the room and smiled at me. I felt relieved she could vouch for who I was to speed up this idiotic intake process. They took me into the triage room to have me answer more questions while they put an IV needle in my arm and started tracking the contractions with a belt around my belly.

Once they finished they wheeled me into the hallway to take me into the delivery suite. There, holding all our baggage, was my amazing fiancé who had our loud, energetic toddler in tow. Luckily we had an iPad with us and headphones to keep her busy. We finally got to the room and it seemed like it took an eternity to connect the device to wifi. The midwives who were on call and assisting me were two lovely women named Brenda and Alkita. They were two of the only midwife nurses I had never met, but it didn't matter.

They made sure I was comfortable and spoke to me in calm soothing voices. They continued to monitor me and the baby and helped me breathe through the unbearable stage of labor where every contraction feels like it’s ripping through your body. They placed cool rags on my face and told me I could walk around and move if it helped me. I knew it was time for me to push within a half hour of being in the delivery room.

I started pushing on my back, but something told me to flip to my hands and knees which is a position I researched about more comfortable natural birthing. I opted for no medication again?which I realize some people think is crazy but I find it to be empowering and beautiful. I know how much pain I can stand to bring our children into this world with limited assistance by doctors or medicine to speed up or slow down the process.

On my hands and knees I pushed and Sire came out crying. Beautiful and raw. Aria was in the room and her dad shielded her from the graphic part but she was one of the first faces to greet her new brother. My nose started to bleed, something that has never happened in my life, and the rest was a small blur until they placed our son in my arms. They handed him to me, cord still attached to the both of us. I laid there with him just soaking up all those moments until the midwives asked Dez to cut his umbilical cord.

We bonded skin-to-skin for about an hour just embracing each other. I was absolutely in love with him from the very first time he was handed to me. Ah, my boy. His delivery was fast and smooth. We are absolutely blessed to have had two beautiful, uneventful, natural births. It was a wonderful thing to be able to have had calming midwives who allowed my whole family to be together in the room to witness the birth of our new family member.

And just like that, we went from a family of three to a family of four.

How life’s changed

We are slowly transitioning into our new lives with two. We have no routines yet at 6 days in. Dez took a few days off from work to help us get situated which was amazing to have his help in the first few days. We’re just learning to balance the needs of both children and figuring out Sire’s personality. The house has gotten a lot quieter now that we have a sleeping babe around. Aria is still learning about her “inside” voice. I have a feeling, learning that will take some time.

In order to help her adjust to all the changes that come with having a new baby and sibling, we made her room feel more “princessy” and grown up so she wouldn’t feel left out of getting all cool new gear and so she would enjoy spending time in her room. I think it helped ease the jealousy of having a new baby being in our room with us too. She’s a wonderful, attentive big sister already. She holds his hand and sings to him which melts my heart. We’re happy she loves him as much as we do!

Happy birthday to our son Dezmond “Sire” Seifu. We are so lucky to have you.

 

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#Diversebooks4diversekids Podcast 2

The audience for #Diversebooks4diversekids is growing ya'll! I am getting flooded with authors inquiring how to be a part of this movement. I absolutely love seeing authors writing stories about unique children with bold voices.

These stories are all about empowering those who are different whether that's based on skin tone, having large ears that had been inevitably passed down, big crazy hair, or someone who doesn't have somewhere to call home.

1. "I am Tan" by Michele Rose Finley. This is a book about a mixed boy who realizes that race and color is just a perception that people can interpret differently. At the end of the day no matter our color, we are all the same. To purchase "I Am Tan", shop here.

2. "The Magic Poof" by Stephen Hodges. This book is about a little girl with a lifelike and personified afro that likes to talk, dance, and make friends. The poof's got a mind of it's own! To purchase, "The Magic Poof", shop here.

3. "Clarence" by Stephanie Baruffi. This book is about an Italian boy who discovers he looks different than his family and feels sad about it until his Grandmother tells him he looks just like his late grandpa Clarence. To purchase, "Clarence", shop here.

4. "Jabulani" By Jonathan Stotler. This book is about a South African boy who starts doing acts of kindness for the people around him after being inspired by his pastor's message to help other. To purchase "Jabulani" shop here.

5. "My Forever Home" By Joanie Boney. This book is about a very sweet black cat who waits patiently until the right family see how wonderful he is and takes him home to give him a forever family. To purchase "My Forever Home", shop here.

Introducing... #Diversebooks4diversekids on SoundCloud!

My goal as an author and as a podcaster is raising awareness about the need for diverse children's picture books! I say "Diverse" to mean the star of the book and the characters represent minorities or the story has cultural significance that speaks to a marginalized or ethnic community.

I'm so excited to be delivering curated pieces of literature on a weekly basis to give authors like me a platform to share their books with other authors, parents, and listeners of all backgrounds. Check out my first podcast on soundcloud! This week I am sharing 5 stories: 

1. "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Myself" by A. Cole, visit the shop to purchase

2. 2 Halves Make Me Whole" by Tiffany D. Taylor, shop here

3. Mansa Musa: The Richest Man in History" by Mike McGraw, check him out on facebook

4. Hope For The Honeybees: Heal The Planet Book I" By Kesi Augustine, shop here

5. "The Diwali Gift" by Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta, shop here

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