Mama Says

“Dear Mama…” readers ask questions that confound or perplex, or simply don’t seem to have a ready answer. Boys and guns, kindergarten readiness, and what to do when your best friend’s kids are out of control are a few of the issues we circle here.

Mama Says: “I Can’t Do It!”

Dear Mama:  I am at the end of my rope. My competent lovely 3 year old daughter has been saying I can’t do it, from putting on her shoes to drawing a circle to finding her dolls, and she acts helpless and cries and throws a fit when I tell her she can. If I […]

Ask a Mama: “Are They Ready for Kindergarten?”

Dear Mama, I have boy/girl twins that were born in August. What are your thoughts on starting Kindergarten as a young 5 year old versus a 6 year old? I hate to hold one or both of them back if they are ready, but I certainly don’t want to regret sending them in too early. […]

Ask a Mama: The Headaches and Joys of Toddler Independence

Dear Mamas, If I hear one more “Do it, self!” one more time I’m going to scream. From getting in the car (while baby sister is crying for her binky), to getting a diaper from the drawer (which is out of reach), to scooping up rolly polly peas using a fork. I want my 2 […]

“You Be the Monster!” The Importance of Playing with Fear

It begins with a simple 5-beat clap; a percussive call to what the kids call the RUNNING GAME. You cannot say those two words quietly. It is always shouted or crowed or yelped when they hear the opening clap. Two-year-old Poppie and four-year-old Finn race upstairs to the long hallway where I sit with my […]

What’s Normal? Milestones from Birth to 1 Year

One of my favorite books when I began having babies was Berry Brazelton’s Infants and Mothers  He profiled three babies—an average (Louis), an active (Daniel), and a quiet baby (Laura)–and went through the milestones of ‘normal’ developmental behavior. He was also on the forefront in research on how parents’ perceptions of their babies impact their […]

Mama Says: “How Can I Stop the Fighting?”

Dear Mama, I have two sons 5 and 3 years old. I saw you speak on creativity and was inspired to put together an art and inventor’s box, and it works—they love it! but the 3-year-old messes with his brother’s projects and things often escalate to a fight. How can I stop the fighting and […]

Mudpie Mama Favorite Posts of 2017

Teaching children a solid work ethic, negotiating the tricky territory of a best friend’s out-of-control son, and life as Plan B when all goes awry were some of the most popular posts of 2017 here at Mudpie Mamas. Enjoy! And warm wishes for a Happy New Year filled with adventure and dirt roads! http://bit.ly/19xtOFY “A […]

“The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give You…”

Many summers ago when my daughter was expecting her third baby she asked me to gather a group of wise and beloved women together for a Blessingway, an alternative to a shower that focuses less on gifts and more on the mother-to-be. Blessingways help the mother prepare emotionally and spiritually for birth with the female […]

Mama Says: “Help! I Yell Too Much!”

Dear Mama, I have three kids from a 13 month old baby to a 6-year-old. My husband travels a lot for business and when he goes all the responsibility for feeding, bathing, disciplining, getting everyone out the door for pre-school every morning, etc. falls on me 24/7. It can be exhausting and there are days […]

The Right (and the Wrong) Way to Praise Kids

Want to increase your child’s self-esteem? Make her more resilient and willing to face challenges? Stop praising her. That’s right, stop the atta-girl, you are so smart and strong. An intriguing longitudinal study on parent praise by Carol Dweck, a Harvard researcher, shows that too much positive feedback can backfire and hijack the very attributes […]

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