About us

Welcome to our page. We are moms, educators and therapists who hold a firm belief in gentle, mindful parenting. We hope to empower you with current research, personal stories, and inspired readings to help you approach parenting through a mindful awareness of how your connection to your children affects their present and future behaviors and emotional intelligence. When children are treated with kindness, respect and unconditional acceptance they have the freedom to grow in to healthy, compassionate and responsible adults.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Giveaway: Whispers Through Time Kindle Edition

 Thank you everyone who entered to win a copy of L.R. Knost's "Whispers Through Time." The giveaway is now closed and the winner has been notified. We look forward to having more giveaways in the future.


“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”


If you missed the $0.99 sale on Amazon last weekend you won't want to miss our giveaway! We're offering a free Kindle copy of L.R. Knost's "Whispers Through Time."

To enter the giveaway (1) share this giveaway, (2)  leave a comment saying you shared and (3) tell us why you'd like to win the book.

Giveaway begins today, Thursday, October 3 and ends Saturday, October 5 at midnight. We cannot guarantee that we'll see your entry on Facebook, so to ensure your name is counted please comment on this blog. Winner will be chose at random using Random.org.

We love Little Hearts Books (Gentle Parenting Resources) and L. R. Knost.
Best-selling parenting and children’s book author, L.R.Knost, is an independent child development researcher and founder and director of the advocacy and consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, as well as a monthly parenting and education contributor to The Natural Parent Magazine. She is also a babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping, homeschooling mother of six. Her children are a 25-year-old Pastor and married father of two; a 23-year-old married Family Therapist working on an advanced degree; an 18-year-old university pre-med student on scholarship; 13 and 6-year-old sweet, funny, socially active, homeschooled girls; and an adorable 25-month-old toddler. Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages and the newly-released  Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood are the first in the Little Hearts Handbook series of gentle parenting guides by L.R.Knost. The next book in the series, The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline, is due to be released November 2013. Other works by this award-winning author include a children’s picture book, A Walk in the Clouds, due to be released September 2013, and Petey’s Listening Ears, the first in her Wisdom for Little Hearts series for ages 2 to 6, which are humorous and engaging tools for parents, teachers, and caregivers to use in implementing gentle parenting techniques in their homes and schools.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleheartsbooks
Twitter: @LRKnost_Author
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lrknost/

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

5 Keys to Setting Limits that Minimize Tantrums and Meltdowns

Guiding children sometimes includes setting limits or boundaries, and is a necessary part of keeping our children safe and helping them learn about themselves, their relationships, and the world around them. And we can guide children and set limits with them in ways that minimize tantrums simply by creating an emotionally nurturing environment and by our approach to limit-setting. This is also an opportunity for us to model respect, collaboration, and focusing on solutions!

We can choose to engage with our children and reinforce boundaries in ways that minimize triggering an emotionally overwhelming response.



5 Keys to Setting Limits That Minimize Tantrums



Respond With Intention

Model Appropriate Emotional Responses
 Use Positive Language
Implement Creative Solutions

When we set limits with our children, how we set the limit is key. In order to minimize tantrums and meltdowns it helps to consider their developmental ability to handle both the limit and the delivery of the limit. This does not mean we "fall all over ourselves" to keep from upsetting them; it simply means we consider their emotional development when we choose our approach to setting a limit. Children are able to deal with limits when they are set in ways that are emotionally nurturing.
Here are some examples of language you can practice with your children today:
Your toddler is throwing blocks and dumping toys all over the house...
Your immediate reaction is to think, "unsafe! big mess! stoooooooooop!"

Instead, take a deep breath and respond:
 "I can see you're having fun throwing the blocks and dumping the toys. We want everyone to be safe. You can throw them in this laundry basket or you can drop them on a pillow."
First we connect by acknowledging the fun our child is having. This allows our children to know we understand their actions and that we are in partnership with them versus have a power struggle against them. Then we take time to respond with intention, which models appropriate emotional responses by remaining calm and empathetic. Finally, we model positive language and show our child a creative solution so the child can continue to learn about the world in safe ways.

Your preschooler wants ice cream while you're cooking dinner.
Your immediate reaction is to think, "I'm working hard to fix a healthy dinner. Ice cream will ruin your appetite. No way!"

Instead, take a deep breath and respond:
"Ice cream is so yummy. Wouldn't it be fun to eat it all the time? We can have ice cream after we eat dinner."
First we connect by acknowledging our child's wishes, which maximizes a collaborative relationship with our child. We connect by acknowledging how fun it really would be to eat ice cream! Then we take time to respond with an intentionally appropriate emotional responses - we remain calm and empathetic; and we use positive language to set the limit, telling the child when s/he can have what she wants.

Another example: In May my daughter (age 4) and I bought sushi to eat before grocery shopping. She wanted ice cream first, so we talked about food as fuel for our bodies and she came up with a creative solution, "How about I dip my sushi in my ice cream?" I knew she was very hungry, so I agreed. She dipped her sushi in her ice cream until all the sushi was gone, then gobbled up the rest of her ice cream (mango, ginger sorbet...an excellent choice for a sushi dip, eh?! LOL). Knowing our children is an important part of this process too!

Your 7-year old wants to stay at the zoo until it closes even though everyone is exhausted after 7 hours at the zoo already.
Your immediate reaction is to think, "No. You're tired and we need to get home and have dinner before we all have a meltdown!"

Instead, take a deep breath, consider their request, and respond:
"You've have had so much fun at the zoo today and you're not ready to leave. I had a lot of fun today too and I wish I had the energy to stay as long as you want. But I'm tired and hungry, and I don't want to be cranky with anyone. Let's choose one more animal to visit and then talk about a game to play on the way home."

First we connect with our child, then we let them know our own limits (we do have them!), and then we collaborate with our child on what they can do and use positive language to let our child know what they can look forward to doing in the future. Again, we take time to respond with an intentionally appropriate emotional response.

What are some more alternatives to responding to these situations in ways that model appropriate communication and solution-focused interactions? What are some other scenarios you want help with to minimize tantrums and create connections?

Of course these are ways to MINIMIZE tantrums and meltdowns, not eliminate them. To learn how to respond to temper flares and meltdowns look for our post coming soon...

"5 Steps to Help Children Tame Their Own Tantrums"

"How to Help Ourselves Tame Our Adult Tantrums"

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trying to Parent by the Golden Rule

"Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated"
The golden rule is the core of parenting...
I treat my child the way I want to be treated.
I speak respectfully and with kindness.
I listen and hear her, and I work to understand her.
I invite her to learn from her mistakes without shame, blame, or pain.
I show her empathy and compassion.
I invite her to be a part of the planning and deciding.
I acknowledge her voice, her belonging, her significance.
I accept her unconditionally for exactly who she is right now.
 Sometimes I suck at following the golden rule...
I am imperfect. I make mistakes. I apologize.
I treat myself with respect and kindness.
I work to understand what is going on inside myself.
I give myself empathy and compassion.
I accept myself for exactly who I am right now.
I invite myself to learn from my mistakes.
...and I try, try, try again.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Healthy and Easy Energy Snack Recipe

As a mother who is always looking for quick, healthy snack options, I absolutely fell in love with these no-bake energy bites, which I adapted to meet the nutritional needs of my family. And while I'm neither a chef nor a nutritionist, I have spent the last 4+ years studying food and nutrition out of necessity since discovering my daughter had multiple food sensitivities as an infant (which impacted our family in all kinds of challenging ways). If I had to sum up all that I learned in a single sentence it would be "eat real food according to your individual body's needs." In other words, shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store and pay attention and trust your and your children's bodily response.

I hope your taste buds and your bodies enjoy these as much as we have!


Picture from Recipe Source: Gimme Some Oven
Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed, then cover and chill for 15-20 minutes. Once chilled, roll into 1T size balls (you can make them any size, but we liked this size best). You can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


A friend of mine introduced me to this wonderful recipe, and she also includes these ingredients for some variations...we've tried them all with great pleasure, although not all at once, LOL
1/3 cup crispy rice
1/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (dairy, soy, and gluten free)
1/4 cup dried raisins and/or cranberries

Note: I am going to try the oats soaked the next time I make them!

NOTE: Gimme Some Oven slightly adapted her recipe from Smashed Peas & Carrots. Feel free to check out both sites!

Here are some great books on health and allergies, for those interested.
Food Allergy Survival Guide
Nutritional Healing
Wheat Belly
Wheat Belly Cookbook
Practical Paleo

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Giveaway and Book Review: "Whispers Through Time"

Thank you everyone for joining us on your parenting journey.
The book winners were notified.


If you're interested in reading "Whispers Through Time" and/or "Two Thousand Kisses A Day" you can purchase them here:

Whispers Through Time ($7.19 + shipping)
Two Thousand Kisses A Day ($7.19 + shipping)

  Come back and tell us how you've applied these gentle parenting principles at home and remember to review it on Amazon!


“Whispers Through Time” is now available and we’re excited to promote it. Author L. R. Knost focuses on the importance of communication in parenting. While she acknowledges the challenges we face as parents, she also gently reminds us that the connection we have with them when we first meet their beautiful newborn eyes is the same connection we hope to have with them when they're teens and grown adults - and she explains how communication is the key to maintaining that amazing connection.

Knost asks us to consider our children's behaviors as attempts to connect and communicate with us, rather than actions to drive us crazy. Knost offers practical approaches to 

  • Temper tantrums
  • Whining
  • Tattling
  • Chatterboxes, and
  • The "I dunno" of adolescence

This approach to communicating with children empowers children and parents alike while maintaining the parent-child connection through gentle, respectful parenting practices.

TO WIN YOUR OWN COPY...simply comment on this blog.
Giveaway ends Saturday, June 22, 2013 @ 10p Eastern.
Winners will be chosen at random and notified on Sunday, June 23.
(This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, per Facebook rules.)


If you don’t want to wait to read the book, it is now available on Amazon:
This post is part of the Virtual Book Tour for the launch of L.R.Knost's newest release Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood. Click here if you’d like to check out all of the other stops on the tour! 

 About the Author


Best-selling parenting and children’s book author, L.R.Knost, is an independent child development researcher and founder and director of the advocacy and consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources. A mother of six, her children range from 25- years down to 25-months-old. Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages and Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood are the first in her Little Hearts Handbooks series of parenting guides. The next book in the series, The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline is due to be released November 2013. Other works by this award-winning author include the children's picture books A Walk in the Clouds, Petey’s Listening Ears, and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series for ages 2 to 6, which are humorous and engaging tools for parents, teachers, and caregivers to use in implementing gentle parenting techniques in their homes and schools.