© 2012 Sedef Örsel Özçelik

Dec 28, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 is almost over. We are actually living in this moment, future and past combined. It is never helpful to beat yourself up about what should have been or what shouldn't have. What's left is being just in the moment and appreciating it with anything and everything attached.
I know that it sounds a little vague... so here's another try to clearly say it again:
  • Please don't hang on to whatever happened in 2009.
  • Just enjoy every moment in 2010.
  • If you want to laugh, just laugh.
  • If you want to dance or sing, go ahead... (you don't need to sound like an angel to sing!!!)
  • If you feel like crying, please don't stop your tears short!
  • If you feel like taking a walk, grab the kids, the dog and the hubby/wife, the friend... and take your walk whether short or long...
  • If you think about getting a haircut, go ahead and do it. You can always grow it back.
Just like dear late Joseph Campbell have said... please "Follow Your Bliss!"
The secret is to experience life! And to be able experience, there is no room left for procrastination... So it will sound like a Nike ad, but this New Year "Just Do It!"

With my best wishes for 2010 and always...


Dec 14, 2009

10 different sources for good Christmas crafting ideas for kids...

It's almost Christmas time. Here's list of web pages that have nice and creative (actually quite practical) handcrafted gift ideas for kids... You can have a wonderful time preparing them.
The children love to be with you and they love to create things... So instead of going to the mall and picking up a gift for grandparents, you can make it at home together :)
Have fun:
  1. This page has age appropriate ideas... http://www.amazingmoms.com/htm/christmasgifts_from_kids.htm
  2. This page has a lot of different ideas. I love the very first one: the cookie cutter candles :) http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/homemade-christmas-gifts/christmas-gifts-kids-can-make/
  3. Christmas Coloring Pages & Activity Sheets on Disney pages are especially good http://familyfun.go.com/christmas/
  4. Angels made by angels :)) http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/christmas/angels/index.html
  5. I like the Tissue Paper Wreath... There are tons of other ides... http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/christmas/christmas-crafts.html
  6. I loved Sarah, Jack and Sam's Make a gingerbread house and the Window angel http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas_crafts.htm
  7. Beaded Christmas Tree is quite nice http://www.allfreecrafts.com/christmas/index.shtml
  8. For the Play Dough Ornaments there's real good recipe... http://www.robinsfyi.com/holidays/christmas/activities/christmaskidcraft.htm
  9. Christmas Origami and good x-mas printables http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas_pages.htm
  10. Reindeer Gift Bag is real nice... http://www.apples4theteacher.com/holidays/christmas/kids-crafts/

Dec 2, 2009

Another Gem to Share...

Deepak Chopra says "The internet is the global brain in cyberspace". Well that's right!
A global brain that inspires and changes it's users.
So I'd like to share with you one of the gems I found in this global brain of ours:

mistybliss' photostream

She's a mother of 6, lives in Australia, designs, knits and takes wonderful pictures!
Taking children's pictures can be a challenge for parents sometimes... Well, if you are in need of any inspirantion dear parents please check her out!
Thanks Michelle for being who you are, sharing what you have and inspiring us :)
PS The secret is: if someone can do it, so you can! Not the same way... In your own personal way, in your own personal journey you can achieve your dreams, as well!!!

Nov 26, 2009


We are living at such a day and age that things happen by a mere push of a button. Babies grow up watching lights turning on and off by a simple switch, TV coming on by the push of a single remote button. They watch adults punch in numbers on their phones and speak with loved ones... Even games are played by pushing buttons, or clicking the mouse... They grow up in a world where things are more taken granted than ever.
So 'Thanksgiving Day' becomes more important every passing year. Today is a day to realize the many luxuries we have. Although they seem like given facts of mundane events of life, we have tons to be thankful for. And it is an art to be learned. Parents are the greatest role models for their children. So today presents a wonderful chance to start teaching our children how to stop, realize and be thankful for all that we have in life.
Happy thanksgiving! I wish you a fun and loving day with your children and families :)


Nov 20, 2009

To Parents: Be the change you want to see in your children

It is never too late to change! Well, there's nothing you can change about "the absolute rule of change being the only constant in your life".
Given the fact that lecturing, criticizing and punishing actually never promotes 'real change'!!! We have only one relief! If you'd like to see a certain behavioral change in your child's behavior, you have to check out the model, and that'll be you as the parent.
Once the model starts to change, the child will record (conscious or unconscious) the new much desired behavior... In due time the child will start demonstrating change, as well.
I know it sounds too simple but requires a lot of time and effort. Yet, growing up requires a lot of effort regardless of age! So as parents we keep on growing with our children!!!
Hallelujah :)

Nov 19, 2009

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

"To Parents: Be the change you want to see in your children"


“The law of love could be best understood and learned through little children”

Mahatma Gandhi

Nov 12, 2009

Don't take it personally!

One of my favorite parenting books is called "When Your Kids Push Your Buttons and What You Can Do About It" by Bonnie Harris. She has a chapter in the book titled: 'Don't Take It Personally-They're Not Out to Get You'... This specific chapter starts with a great quote that sums it all quite nicely:
"But it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said." Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
When we start to think that our kids manipulating us, or behaving in such a manner to get on our nerves... That means our attention is focused on our own wounds and feelings. We are focused on how our children's behavior makes us feel!
But for a moment, if we can stop taking it personally, we can see that it's not about us! It's about our kids. There must be a reason behind their behavior. Finding out that reason and catering towards our children's feeling will be a great aid in parenting. And that investigation starts with remembering the simple fact that whatever our children's behavior are, they are caused by needs! So please don't take your children's behavior personally!!!

Nov 5, 2009

Did you know that the two very simple and fun activities we call dancing and singing can help enhance your relationship with your children?
So start singing all those silly songs with your kids today!
And why not even dressing up for a little dance together :)
Having fun is the softest balm of love!

Nov 3, 2009

“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas” Paula Poundstone

Creativity is a natural process! Yet we find it harder to be creative as we grow up.
What makes is it any different as the years pass?
The kids are not afraid to make mistake... Or in other words they don't know what a mistake is! Mistakes are man defined! There is no such thing as a mistake for kids... So why would they be afraid?
How about you? Are you afraid of making mistakes? Do you allow your children to make mistakes? Do you allow yourself to make mistakes in front of your children?
In order to boost your creativity please start letting yourself make at least one small mistake everyday...

Nov 2, 2009

"At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. " Salvador Dali

What does your children want to be? What are their dreams? Do you help them widen their horizon to see the many possibilities that they may become? You can visit museums, go to concerts and shows... But most importantly you can listen to them talk and play with them to see what they understand from the world that engulfs them... Then you can cater their needs and help them pursue their dreams...


Oct 24, 2009

It's time to take a short break! I will be away for a week :)

Oct 20, 2009

10 minutes a day!

Obviously there are many many gifts that parent can give to their children. Yet your attention always is the one to stand out! Children crave for and thrive with their parents' undivided attention.
So please try to squeeze at least 10 minutes a day for each of your children in your daily agenda. That 10 minutes will be their time! A total union of a parent and child for at least 10 minutes a day will help you solve many crises before they occur.
Try to listen to your child during those ten minutes without giving your opinion... just listen! Or watch whatever they're watching, listen to whichever song they're listening. Try to suppress the urge of telling them how your childhood was, the kinds of music you used to listen to... Or play with them. Simply go down on your knees and elbow to join their game of Lego, Barbies, puzzles etc....
I know it's harder than it sounds when you put it into action. Yet this is the most effective way to stay connected with your children. Once you're connected, everything comes smoother... Even the high waves of teenage years :)

Have fun,

Oct 18, 2009

"I am afraid we must make the world honest before we can honestly say to our children that honesty is the best policy. "

Oct 16, 2009

Can you remember the best parenting advice you got (from anyone) ?

Oct 15, 2009

"quality time" vs "high quality time"

OK spending "quality time" with your kids is a winner... BUT spending "high quality time" with your kids is the CHAMP!
What's the difference?
Taking your kids to the playground and watching them running around is "quality time"
Taking them to the playground and playing tag with them and running around together is the "high quality time"........

Oct 14, 2009

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

Pablo Picasso

Oct 13, 2009

Involving kids in daily chores...

"Tell me, I forget. Teach me, I remember. Involve me, I understand"
This is a Chinese Proverb!

So the question is: how much do you involve your kids in daily tasks?

There are two things children love the most!!!!
  1. to be together with you
  2. to be able to do the things adults do
So, asking them to help you with age appropriate house chores will not only help building self-worth, self-esteem. They will learn to take responsibility, feel that they belong to a certain group... they will learn and understand how to be a member of a social group.

The key is to share the experience with them... So don't just give them a job and leave them on their own! But do it together!!!

Have fun!


Oct 8, 2009

"If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves." C.G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, 1939

Oct 6, 2009

"Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." Robert Fulghum

Oct 5, 2009

Halloween is coming!

When you're helping your kids prep-trick&treat, please try to remember your own experiences as a kids for reference...

Oct 2, 2009

"Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow." Thomas Bray

Sep 30, 2009

What are your strengths as a parent? And how about your weaknesses?

Sep 29, 2009

What's your biggest challenge as a parent?

Sep 28, 2009


I have been posting questions on parenting and children on twitter... My aim was to trigger new thoughts on parenting issues. Since I already have two blog accounts, I have decided to post the questions on this site as well to provoke (hopefully) discussions here or there to help us parents and adults to remember what it was to be kids... So here is the first question:

Do you remember any birthday gifts you received as a child? Which one was your favorite and who gave it to you?

Sep 7, 2009

5 tips for the new school year

Fall seems to be the call for the end of the year. However it proves to be the start of many new things in our lives... First of all the new school years starts with an early call of this season! So are you ready as a parent for the new school year and the many surprises that will come with it.
Here are 5 tips to help you in helping your children to have happy, healthy and successful school days:
  1. Your children need to get enough sleep everyday to be able remain alert and be concentrated. So please plan their schedule accordingly. Preschoolers sleep about 10 to 12 hours per night, kids ages 6 to 9 need about 10 hours of sleep a night, and finally kids ages 10 to 12 need a little over 9 hours. Did you also know that lack of sleep for kids can cause irritable or hyper types of behavior and can also make a condition like "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" worse?
  2. Children need well balanced diets to grow up healthy and happy. Good concentration and alertness can come only with well nutrients. Eating too many candies and sugary, starchy foods may give sudden bursts of energy but only followed by drastic drops of its level. So eating healthy is a great way to ensure happiness at school as well as at home.
  3. Hydration is also essential for concentration and alertness. Please make sure your children drink plenty of water. And 'soda' and 'juice' are different than water!
  4. Prepare a suitable environment for your children to do their homework. Turn the volume of the TV/stereo down, best to choose quiet activities while your children do their homework.
  5. DON'T DO YOUR CHILDREN'S WORK FOR THEM!!! Helping is different and you can always help and/or inspire your children.

Aug 11, 2009

No comparisons please!

Every child (every individual) is different, a unique blend of many qualities. Even if they are twins, still each of them will be gifted with different abilities. There is no way to compare children with each other. It would be neither fair nor meaningful.
So please don't make any comparisons. If you ever find yourself (this could be only in your head still...) saying "my son and nephew are the same age and my nephew is very responsible whereas my son loses a book or a jacket almost every week.........." please STOP! First of all you're not your nephews parent, so you can't know everything about that child! And as for yours try to see your child in a different light... Think about the things he can do, and ways to improve the things he can't...
Our job as parents to fulfill the needs of our children but not to control their behavior... SO COMPARISONS ARE IN NO WAY TO HELP WITH TAKING CARE OF NEEDS....
Having said that, I should also add... IT NEVER HELPS YOU TO COMPARE YOUR PARENTING WITH ANYONE'S! Your children, your family and you as a parent are unique... Our job as parents to take care the needs of our children but not our nephew, niece, friend's or neighbor's children... So we can't compare our parenting with our sibling's, friend's or neighbor's parenting...

Jul 31, 2009

About toys and playing...

There is no such thing as 'enough number of toys' for a child. Toys are the most important help in learning and growing up. They don't necessarily have to be expensive, or this brand or that brand. They just have to be safe for a child to play. Safety is the only determination.

Sometimes you may buy a toy for your child and he/she would play with it only for 5 mini minutes and throw it away... After a certain time however, the very same toy may become the favorite!!! There is no way to know.

Having said that you can help your child get inspired! Playing with your child TOGETHER with the very toy that you got, would open new horizons... Making a little boat 'a very special inter-planetary sailing vehicle' in your play' or using the little china tea-set as lab instruments might help your child widen their horizons...

Please don't forget that the best gift you can ever give to your children is your time and undivided attention. So play, sing, dance and entertain together with you children as much as you can... This is the utmost key to 'self-worth' and 'confidence'!

Enjoy all your games and activities :)


Jul 14, 2009

2 things that i would highly recommend for all new mothers!!!

When people ask me about recommending certain products, I am usually skeptical. But there are 2 special ones that made my life easier...

BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Active

We got our Eurobath by Primo and Baby Bjorn Carrier Original as baby gifts when we had our first daughter almost 11 years ago... The bathtub was so great, I was able to give a bath all by myself to our baby. Since the baby was safe in the tub, and I didn't have to hold her I got both of my hands for myself... For a first time mother this was a blessing!
And the Baby Bjorn carrier was my only haven during those horrible hours of colic!!! I was able to carry my daughter on my chest and run my errands and do my chores. For a first time mother, again that was a blessing!!! I even found a way to nurse our daughter without taking her out of the carrier (I know this was a stretch)....
When we out grew these items, we passed them to a friend who had a daughter... When they were done both the tub and the carrier came back. Next my sister-in-law used them with her son. When she returned them I had my second daughter and used them again. Finally a friend of mine took them when she had her daughter... When they were returned for the last time, well they were proudly worn off but still in good shape.
So here are they specs of my two favorite baby products for all times:

Eurobath by Primo: Primo's EuroBath makes bath time safe, fun and convenient for both baby and mom. It's unique anatomical shape keeps baby in the ideal bathing position and prevents baby from slipping under the water. The extra large 38 quart capacity and double position make the bath perfect from the very first day up to baby's second birthday. A newborn to six month old infant is safely cuddled under arms and between the legs. From six months on, toddler can sit in the bath, where a safety post between the legs can be held on to for fun and security. EuroBath also has recessed pockets for soap and shampoo and can be hung on a wall hook when not in use to save on storage space. Made of durable polypropylene non-toxic plastic. Measures 36" L by 21" with a 10" deep basin. Holds up to 38 quarts of water. Ages newborn to 2 years.

Please remember the Safety Information!
Babies have DROWNED in infant bath tubs.
ALWAYS keep baby within adult's reach.
NEVER lift this product with baby in it.
ALWAYS keep the drain open in the adult bath tub.

BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Original: It is comfortable and easy to use. It provides excellent support for your baby’s back and head, and guarantees that his/her legs and arms are in a physiologically correct position. When your baby is a little older and has a stronger neck, the neck-rest can be folded down so that the child can face forwards and look around. From newborn (minimum 3.5 kg/8 lbs and 53 cm/21 ins) up to 11 kgs/25 lbs.

Approved in accordance with
the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class 1.

Machine-wash at 40 degrees C/Warm. Wash separately. Use a gentle, bleach-free detergent.

BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Original

Jul 6, 2009

Summer is here.......it's vacation time!

It's been a while... I was away with our two girls. Time away with children makes time stand still actually. There's a feeling of easy fun with tons to do!

During my 7 days on the beach with our girls alone, reminded me how much of an adult I have become. In the midst of life's hectic rhythm and blues, it is the first time (this year) I found myself this much uptight, uneasy, hard to relax and have fun...

The girls eventually helped me find the kid in me and pull her out! Thanks to some silly singing, frog watching, hot sand hopping, coloring, hip hop dancing and tons of giggling the little girl in me reminded us, it's our natural right to have fun at every age...

Of course we had our share of disagreements... Of course there were times I got upset, and there were others one of the girls got upset! We not only had tons of laughter but some tears too.

We had a good time.

In the end:

Our older daughter decided that growing up was OK...

Our younger daughter found a way for her to look "cool”!

And I figured that one could still have fun even with stinky fish bites and throbbing toes!!!!!! After all having fun is a decision to be made :)

We all are looking forward to our next vacation together!

Wishing you a great summer :)