Simple Families http://www.simplefamilies.com Solutions for Thriving in Motherhood Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:01:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 The Simple Families Podcast is a Q&A style show that offers solutions to living well with children and family. The host, Denaye Barahona, helps women to thrive in motherhood. Each episode will address a reader's question on topics such as: choosing the best toys, getting kids to eat their vegetables, decluttering, taking the mystery out of child behavior + child development, and aspiring towards a "less is more" way of life. Simple Families inspires simple living through a minimalist lifestyle and purposeful parenting approach. Learn more at simplefamilies.com Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism denaye@simplefamilies.com denaye@simplefamilies.com (Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism) Copyright of Denaye Barahona 2017 Solutions for Thriving in Motherhood Simple Families http://www.simplefamilies.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/Podcast_art.jpg http://www.simplefamilies.com TV-G SFP 72: When should my kid “know better”? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode72/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode72/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 06:01:50 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3674 In today’s episode we are talking about “when kids should just know better.” I explain why I don’t really like this phrase and a new way to look at these situations.

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shouldn't kids know better?In today’s episode we are talking about “when kids should just know better.” I explain why I don’t really like this phrase and a new way to look at these situations.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode72/feed/ 0 In today’s episode we are talking about “when kids should just know better.” I explain why I don’t really like this phrase and a new way to look at these situations.Continue Reading ]]> Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 7:33
SFP 71: How can we play outside as a family? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode71/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode71/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 06:01:52 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3672 Playing outside seems so simple and natural, but often it doesn’t happen that way for many families. In today’s episode we are discussing how to promote outdoor play in families.

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ideas to play outside with kids

Playing outside seems so simple and natural, but often it doesn’t happen that way for many families. In today’s episode we are discussing how to promote outdoor play in families.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode71/feed/ 0 Playing outside seems so simple and natural, but often it doesn’t happen that way for many families. In today’s episode we are discussing how to promote outdoor play in families.Continue Reading Playing outside seems so simple and natural, but often it doesn’t happen that way for many families. In today’s episode we are discussing how to promote outdoor play in families.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 6:32
SFP 70: What do you do when a kid bites? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode70/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode70/#respond Thu, 14 Sep 2017 06:01:04 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3655 Many children go through a stage where they bite, hit, or otherwise use behaviors that are undesirable. In today’s episode we discuss how these behaviors typically aren’t aggressive, instead they are primitive forms of communication.

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What do you do when a kid bites?

Many children go through a stage where they bite, hit, or otherwise use behaviors that are undesirable. In today’s episode we discuss how these behaviors typically aren’t aggressive, instead they are primitive forms of communication.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode70/feed/ 0 Many children go through a stage where they bite, hit, or otherwise use behaviors that are undesirable. In today’s episode we discuss how these behaviors typically aren’t aggressive, instead they are primitive forms of communication.Continue Reading Many children go through a stage where they bite, hit, or otherwise use behaviors that are undesirable. In today’s episode we discuss how these behaviors typically aren’t aggressive, instead they are primitive forms of communication.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 7:47
SFP 69: Why do kids repeatedly ask the same questions? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode69/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode69/#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 06:01:40 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3652 Do you have a kid who asks the same question repeatedly? Or how about one who constantly requests the same movie, book, or song? In today’s episode we are discussing why kids need this type of repetition.

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why do kids ask the same questions

Do you have a kid who asks the same question repeatedly? Or how about one who constantly requests the same movie, book, or song? In today’s episode we are discussing why kids need this type of repetition.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode69/feed/ 0 Do you have a kid who asks the same question repeatedly? Or how about one who constantly requests the same movie, book, or song? In today’s episode we are discussing why kids need this type of repetition.Continue Reading Do you have a kid who asks the same question repeatedly? Or how about one who constantly requests the same movie, book, or song? In today’s episode we are discussing why kids need this type of repetition.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 8:52
The Reason I Let My Children Tattle http://www.simplefamilies.com/tattle/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/tattle/#comments Sun, 10 Sep 2017 01:14:53 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3640 My oldest child is a tattletale. He’s an expert rule-follower that makes it his business to keep his little sister in check. It might sound unusual, but I absolutely love it. In our family, it’s not just the parents that take care of the kids. We all take care of each other. That means when we […]

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how to handle tattling

My oldest child is a tattletale. He’s an expert rule-follower that makes it his business to keep his little sister in check. It might sound unusual, but I absolutely love it.

In our family, it’s not just the parents that take care of the kids. We all take care of each other. That means when we come in from a long day of play, the big kid takes off the little kid’s shoes. After dinner, the little kid carries the big kid’s dishes to the sink. When we walk in public, they take the buddy system by holding hands with each other. 

I never say “mind your own business” when they start reporting each other’s misdoings.

Because as a family, our business is commingled. This business is simple: taking care of each other. 

Therefore, I let my children tattle. I expect them to help me enforce the rules. The rules exist for the greater good of us all–not just for the grown-ups. It takes a village and a family is the foundation of that village.

If we are in a public restroom and I get a report of the little kid rubbing her hands all over the filthy bathroom floor, I suggest the big kid help her to the sink to wash. I don’t make myself the lone-problem-solver in the family because I want them to be adept at helping each other solve problems.

I am careful not to avoid conflict or jump in to fix everything.

Even though I prefer not to mediate conflict, I do welcome it. I buy one of each toy so they are forced to share. I made the bold move of putting the car seats next to each other. I let them duke it out. I don’t expect them to get along all the time, or even most of the time. But I expect them to have a sense of responsibility when it comes to taking care of their family. I expect them to have each other’s backs. 

And I am not talking about playground fights. I am talking about shared responsibility and loyalty.

I am raising my children to love and care for each other, although in the process–I will admit–often they don’t like each other very much.

Thus is the nature of intimate relationships. In intimate relationships we feel a vast range of emotions. Learning how to process and handle these strong emotions is the major task at hand when it comes to siblings. The sibling unit is the formative way that we learn to negotiate peer relationships. This is the very first chance our children get to practice conflict resolution, problem solving, and most important: forgiveness.

Relationships take practice. Trust me when I say that our kids need lots of practice. The beauty of sibling relationships is that they blossom in the privacy of home. Siblings can awkwardly stumble through conflict and find the way to peace…all in the comfort and safety of your house. This way they are near-experts at these tough relationship skills when they venture out in the world and form meaningful bonds with peers.

As our children build the sibling relationship, they will tattle. The “tattling” itself should not be a rule infraction, but instead an invitation to encourage kids to work together and teach each other.

My big kid is my eyes when I am not there. He is teaching his sister about the rules of the family and in the process helping to keep her safe and secure. When he tattles, I empower him to intervene and teach her the rules himself.

Therefore, when it comes to siblings, I emphasize shared responsibility and welcome conflict.

So the next time you are stopped next to me at a red light and you see my kids kicking each other and screaming in the back seat–please know that it’s all part of the master plan. But if you would roll down your window and toss me some ear plugs, that would be amazing.

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SFP 68: How can I get my kid to stay in bed? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode68/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode68/#comments Thu, 07 Sep 2017 06:01:27 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3616 In today’s episode I am sharing the best parenting advice I have ever heard along with my thoughts on keeping a small child in a bed.

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In today’s episode I am sharing the best parenting advice I have ever heard along with my thoughts on keeping a small child in a bed.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode68/feed/ 10 In today’s episode I am sharing the best parenting advice I have ever heard along with my thoughts on keeping a small child in a bed.Continue Reading In today’s episode I am sharing the best parenting advice I have ever heard along with my thoughts on keeping a small child in a bed.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 6:58
SFP 67: How should I handle young children who masturbate? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode67/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode67/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 06:22:37 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3614   Masturbation and genital touching in your children is a natural and normal part of development. In today’s episode we discuss how to address this concern when necessary.

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Masturbation and genital touching in your children is a natural and normal part of development. In today’s episode we discuss how to address this concern when necessary.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode67/feed/ 0   Masturbation and genital touching in your children is a natural and normal part of development. In today’s episode we discuss how to address this concern when necessary.Continue Reading
Masturbation and genital touching in your children is a natural and normal part of development. In today’s episode we discuss how to address this concern when necessary.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 6:44
SFP 66: Should kids play with toy guns? http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode66/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode66/#respond Thu, 31 Aug 2017 06:01:53 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3583 Even if we don’t buy toy guns for our children, they may decide to turn sticks and other devices into make-believe guns. In today’s episode we talk about this type of play and whether or not we should purchase toy guns for young children.

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should kids play with toy guns

Even if we don’t buy toy guns for our children, they may decide to turn sticks and other devices into make-believe guns. In today’s episode we talk about this type of play and whether or not we should purchase toy guns for young children.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode66/feed/ 0 Even if we don’t buy toy guns for our children, they may decide to turn sticks and other devices into make-believe guns. In today’s episode we talk about this type of play and whether or not we should purchase toy guns for young children.Continue Reading
Even if we don’t buy toy guns for our children, they may decide to turn sticks and other devices into make-believe guns. In today’s episode we talk about this type of play and whether or not we should purchase toy guns for young children.


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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 9:15
SFP 65: SPECIAL EPISODE: How to Choose a Preschool/Daycare http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode65/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode65/#respond Wed, 30 Aug 2017 06:06:16 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3578 In today’s special episode we take a closer look at choosing a preschool/daycare for your children. I explain how I made the decision for my own children and important factors to keep in mind during the process.

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how to pick a preschool

In today’s special episode we take a closer look at choosing a preschool/daycare for your children. I explain how I made the decision for my own children and important factors to keep in mind during the process.

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http://www.simplefamilies.com/episode65/feed/ 0 In today’s special episode we take a closer look at choosing a preschool/daycare for your children. I explain how I made the decision for my own children and important factors to keep in mind during the process.Continue Reading In today’s special episode we take a closer look at choosing a preschool/daycare for your children. I explain how I made the decision for my own children and important factors to keep in mind during the process.
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Denaye Barahona : Motherhood Coach, Intentional Parent, Minimalism clean 15:35
Three Quick Tips for Simple Cooking http://www.simplefamilies.com/tips-for-simple-cooking/ http://www.simplefamilies.com/tips-for-simple-cooking/#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 00:51:33 +0000 http://www.simplefamilies.com/?p=3588 When it comes to cooking meals for my family, I like to keep it simple. Last week I wrote about why I gave up trying to cook to impress. Instead, I focus on making simple, healthy, home-cooked food. The food I am cooking in this busy season of life isn’t always gourmet and gorgeous (i.e. […]

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How to minimize organize recipesWhen it comes to cooking meals for my family, I like to keep it simple. Last week I wrote about why I gave up trying to cook to impress. Instead, I focus on making simple, healthy, home-cooked food. The food I am cooking in this busy season of life isn’t always gourmet and gorgeous (i.e. sometimes it kind of looks like mush…) but it’s exactly enough.

Here are my three favorite tips for simple cooking.

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1. The Only Cookbook I Kept

Last year I purged all my barely-used cookbooks. However, I did keep one book. This book, One Pot, completely changed my kitchen routine. It’s full of inventive ways to cook all your food in, you guessed it: ONE POT. That means fewer dishes and less complicated cooking–but it doesn’t mean you have to eat slow-cooker mush every night either.

But, I’ll be honest, we do eat a lot of mush these days. That’s partly by design as I have a young toddler who doesn’t have all her teeth yet. I find that one-pot meals are very easy to serve to babies and young toddlers as they tend to be on the “mushier” side.

I now strive to cook with as few pots and pans as possible, most of the time we stick to one-pot. Dishes are a cinch. 

2. My Top 3 Kitchen Tools

My favorite three kitchen tools all aid in one-pot cooking. They are, in no particular order: a 6 Quart Instant Pot, a ridiculously huge dutch oven (one that will last a lifetime/one that’s more affordable) , and an extra large baking sheet. We have large appetites in our family and we like leftovers. Therefore, we need these large cooking devices as I almost always double or triple recipes.

Many have people have asked about my favorite ways to use the Instant Pot. I routinely steam a whole pot of fresh, seasonal vegetables with a steamer insert that I added after-market. I pull them out and drizzle them with avocado oil, salt, pepper, and some other array of spices. I also use the Instant Pot to cook any type of slow-cooker recipes. This means lots of soups and stews (i.e. more mush…).

3. How I Pick a Recipe

When I am looking for a recipe for my family, I first glance past the ingredients and look to the instructions. Is it more than one paragraph? If so, I usually skip it. Longer instructions usually mean more involved cooking and food prep–neither of which I have the time for during a typical evening with young children.

When the recipes are easier, they require less time but also less concentration on my part. This means I am able to better include my children into the cooking process. They love to be at the counter in their learning towers–and easy recipes make it possible for me to make my children into “helpers” rather than “hassles” in the kitchen.

What are you favorite tips for simple cooking?

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