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Often, when we feel like yelling or completely losing our cool with our kids, we blame it on anger (and them!). But usually, the behavior is rooted in fear—our fear.

Fear of losing control.

Fear of not having the answers.

Fear of raising entitled kids.

Fear of judgment.

Fear of someone getting hurt.

Fear of chaos.

Fear of being wrong.

So what if I told you that if you’re a yeller (like I was), that it would serve you well to learn how to be scared with integrity—how to feel fear without panicking, and how to be afraid with confidence.


Doing this results in modeling the same thing for our kids, which teaches them over time how to slow down and feel instead of avoiding the emotion. It also allows us to succeed at changing this behavior pattern that we so desperately want to switch up.

The next time your little ones do something that lights the fire of rage in you, consider these 10 phrases that will help you pause, breathe and respond, instead of reacting in fear. Many of them you may choose to say internally, but remember that saying them out loud in front of your children is a beautiful way to model for your kids how to process emotions in a healthy way.

1. “I don’t know what to do, and that’s okay.”

Take a break from: “STOP IT NOW…OR ELSE!”

Example: “I don’t know what to do to get you to stop fighting, and that’s okay. I’m learning, you’re learning, we’re all learning.”

Explained: Many of us take birthing, breastfeeding and CPR classes before our kids become toddlers, but parenting classes on how to influence another human being with integrity (how to get our littles to do what we ask of them) usually aren’t on the list. So knowing how to handle misbehavior, irrational requests, hard to stomach attitudes and sibling squabbles doesn’t always come naturally.

Lean into learning about positive parenting through a class like The Foundations Course and be okay letting your kids know you don’t have all the answers, but you’re committed to learning.

2. “They are strong, I am strong, my family is okay. I will respond.”


Example: “My kids are strong, I am strong, we are okay (even though it seems like there’s a three-alarm fire in our house)… so I will take steps to respond.”

Explained: Our fears about “what if our kids never learn” can kick into high gear when misbehavior and emotions start to soar. In a calm time, cement this belief system that your kids are incredibly smart and learning every day about life…as are you. Even though it seems like there’s a fire drill when misbehavior arises, it usually isn’t the case, and you can take steps to respond (instead of reacting like a volcano).

Creating this space between the stimulus (their misbehavior) and your response (how you handle the situation) is essential to breaking a yelling habit.

3. “I need your help.”


Example: “I’m feeling overwhelmed and angry and don’t want to yell…I need your help.”

Explained: Kids (especially “power kids” who are built with a strong desire to lead) have healthy needs that are important we pour into. The need to feel powerful, the need to feel valuable, and the need to feel like they belong all play into their behavior (and misbehavior).

Engaging their help in times of chaos empowers them while also helping us to lighten our load. Teaching them that it’s ok to ask for help, and that problems don’t have to be solved alone are essential lessons that all children need to learn.

4. “I’m going to take some time to calm down, so I don’t do something I regret.”


Example: “I can feel myself spiraling out of integrity, so I’m going to go into the bedroom to calm down, and then I'll come back to talk about this.”

Explained: The fear of being out of control can cause us to yell when we don’t acknowledge how much feeling “out of control” scares us. Take notice when you’re starting to sense that tornado sensation and take a moment to calm the storm.

Light a candle, go to the bathroom, read a page of your favorite magazine, turn on an essential oil mister, or simply sit on the stairs and take a few deep breaths with your hand on your heart. Creating this self-calming space to allow yourself to feel and move through the fear will do wonders to guide you to have cleaner action when you head back to deal with the misbehavior at hand.

5. “I feel scared that __________, I am not okay with ________.”

Take a break from: “YOU ARE GOING TO GET HURT, I SAID STOP IT…NOW!!!!”

Example: “I feel scared that someone is going to get a finger slammed in the door, I am not okay with you arguing next to the door.”

Explained: Using "I" statements shows your kids what it looks like to take responsibility for your own feelings instead of using "you" statements that often make others feel accused and combative. Expressing feelings in this way helps your kids understand why your limit exists and the reason it’s so important they listen. It also helps you feel heard while being firm with your limits.

6. “Freeze…_______________ (ask for what you want).”

Take a break from: “STELLA…NO! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?”

Example: “FREEZE…I need you to walk in the parking lot like a turtle.”

Explained: Consider replacing general commands with specific action requests that give kids clear directions on what you want them to do. When we take a break from yelling at kids with what we don't want them to do and replace it with a clear, firm call-to-action their little brains visualize that behavior (instead of thinking about what they’re tempted to do).

7. “I feel angry and it’s okay.”


Example: “I feel angry and that’s okay because anger is a healthy, human emotion.”

Explained: Anger is one of the five basic feelings that guide us in life and that other emotions stem from, not a “bad emotion,” or one we should be ashamed of in any way. Anger helps protect us from danger and can move us to action when injustice is present. However, our fear of anger and the actions we take when it is present is what often creates problems in our lives.

Viewing anger as good (not a negative emotion that should be hidden) allows us to move through it with integrity, instead of trying to avoid it. To help process this strong emotion, consider using a stress ball or doing 20 push-ups if you’re a mover by nature, writing in your journal if you’re visual, or calling your bestie (who you know will listen) if you lean towards audio learning.

8. “What am I scared of?”

Take a break from: “NOOOOOO, I SAID NOOOOOOOOO!”

Example: “What am I scared will happen if I don’t yell?”

Explained: When we think that yelling is the only way to get their attention or make them stop, it’s helpful to pause and figure out what it is exactly we fear won’t happen if we are gentle with our words and actions. After you identify this, you can communicate to your kids in a clearer way about what you want (vs. focusing on what you fear will happen), which helps you focus on your strength instead of your fear (a much more joyful way to live!).

9. “Kids, can you please help me? I feel like I’m about to lose my cool and need your ideas.”

Take a break from: “THAT’S IT, I’M DONE! TIME OUT! NOW!

Example: “Kids, can you please help me? Remember how I told you I’m trying my best to stop yelling, but right now, I feel like I’m about to lose it…I need your ideas on how I can keep my cool!”

Explained: After a few months of modeling self-calming and teaching self-control strategies, your kids will become great teachers that can help you remember to walk the talk when you feel like you’re going to implode. You have to remember to ask them though!

10. “I am strong, capable and have a choice.”

Take a break from: “I’m never going to change, I am just a pistol and nothing else works with my kids.”

Example: “I am strong (even though I fail sometimes) and capable (even though I doubt myself), and I have a choice (even though I feel like my back is up against a wall).”

Explained: Be sure to journal or record in a baby book the times when you kill it as a mom—the times when you set out to be patient, and you succeed, and the times when you choose kindness and compassion. Successes like those, no matter how small, define you as the strong, incredible and amazing momma you are.

Stay in learning to make sure your tool-kit is always full, and be sure to take a moment to say an “I am” statement like this one, as they can help you reset, power up, and self-guide the future you want to create.

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Things We're Loving

It was a historical moment for the world and a scary moment for a woman who had just become a mother for the first time. When the Duchess of Cambridge stepped out of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital on July 22, 2013, with her new baby in her arms she was happy—but understandably scared, too.

Kate Middleton recently appeared on Giovanna Fletcher's Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast and when Fletcher asked her about her postpartum debut Kate said she felt a little freaked out when she stepped out with her newborn.

"Yeah, slightly terrifying, slightly terrifying, I'm not going to lie," Kate said.

During the podcast the Duchess opened up about her pregnancy and birth experiences, explaining how much hypnobirthing helped her and that she didn't know whether she was delivering a prince or princess until Prince George was born as she'd opted to be surprised.

She was surprised and thrilled when she met her son, and looked forward to post-pregnancy life after spending her pregnancy quite ill with hyperemesis gravidarum (a seriously debilitating form of extreme morning sickness). She was happy, but was also (very understandably) overwhelmed. In addition to all the pressure new moms feel, Kate had an army of photographers waiting outside the hospital for her.

"Everything goes in a bit of a blur. I think, yeah I did stay in hospital overnight, I remember it was one of the hottest days and night with huge thunderstorms so I didn't get a huge amount of sleep, but George did, which was really great," she explained. "I was keen to get home because, for me, being in hospital, I had all the memories of being in hospital because of being sick [with acute morning sickness] so it wasn't a place I wanted to hang around in. So, I was really desperate to get home and get back to normality."

Kate wanted to get home, but she also did want to share her baby boy with the public who had been so supportive of her young family, she explains.

"Everyone had been so supportive and both William and I were really conscious that this was something that everyone was excited about and you know we're hugely grateful for the support that the public had shown us, and actually for us to be able to share that joy and appreciation with the public, I felt was really important," she shared, adding that "Equally it was coupled with a newborn baby, and inexperienced parents, and the uncertainty of what that held, so there were all sorts of mixed emotions."

"All sorts of mixed emotions."

The now-iconic images of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge exiting the hospital with their firstborn have gone down in history, but so has Kate's bravery that day.

There's been a lot written about whether those pictures put pressure on other moms who might not feel ready for heels and blowouts right after giving birth, but one thing critics of the photos often miss is the positive impact it had on other young women.

Yes, Kate looked beautiful, but she also looked like a woman whose body had just given birth—and the iconic images of her in that polka-dot dress taught a generation of women that the female body isn't an elastic band and that recovering from birth takes time.

"I, myself remember being really surprised when Kate Middleton came out of the hospital holding Prince George," Tina, now a mom herself and a model of postpartum realness in Mothercare's "Body Proud Mums campaign" explained last year.

Tina recalls how Kate's postpartum appearance showed her a reality society hadn't: "She had the baby bump, and I remember being surprised that your belly doesn't just go down after giving birth. I also thought how stupid I was to have ever thought it would. I guess pre-children you just have unrealistic expectations."

Tina wasn't stupid, she just hadn't been shown the truth.

So thank you, Kate, for stepping out of that hospital in 2013, despite being terrified, and showing the world your beautiful baby and your bump.


Despite the encouraging growth of free or subsidized preschools in some American cities, the fact remains that preschool and daycare cost about as much as rent in many areas.

But there's some good news, which is that parents who pay for preschool or daycare while they're at work may qualify for a credit that can help you save money on taxes this year. Here's what all parents should know before filing their returns.

Is preschool tuition tax-deductible?

The sum of your child's entire preschool tuition is not tax deductible, but you may be able to get something better than a deduction: a credit called the Child and Dependent Care Credit, worth up to $1,050 for one child and up to $2,100 for two or more kids.


How do I know if I'm eligible for the Child Dependent Care Tax Credit?

There are a few criteria to be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit:

  • If you have someone take care of your child so you can work or look for work
  • Your child is under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year (no age limit if they are disabled)
  • You must be able to claim your child as a dependent
  • Your filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a qualifying child, or married filing jointly.

Does preschool tuition count as dependent care?

Yes, it does count if you are paying someone to take care of your child so you can work or look for work. Day camps, such as summer camps and sports camps, count as well, but overnight camps don't.

How much could I potentially get back on taxes for preschool tuition?

If you are able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you may be able to claim up to $1,050 for one child and up to $2,100 for two or more children.

The great thing about credits is they are a dollar for dollar reduction of your taxes. So if you owe taxes of $1,050 and have one child, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 and wipe out the taxes you owe.

The credit is based on a sliding scale: Depending on your income, your credit is 20%-35% of your childcare expenses up to $3,000 (or $1,050), and 20%-35% of childcare expenses up to $6,000 (or $2,100) for two or more kids.

The bottom line: While this tax credit is unlikely to completely cover your child's preschool tuition for the year, don't miss out on this tax credit if you're paying for preschool or daycare for your child so that you can work. And remember to check your eligibility for other tax credits and deductions for families, including the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Credit.
Work + Money

Celestial baby names are flying high right now, and the brightest star of them all? Well, it's actually Luna, the name of the Roman goddess of the moon, and the Latin word for "moon."

At #23 in the US in 2019, Luna's rise has been, well, astronomical ever since it re-entered the Top 1000 in 2003, for the first time in almost a century. That was the year that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was first published, featuring the kooky but courageous Luna Lovegood.

The once-unique baby name has since been picked up by stylish celebrity parents such as Penelope Cruz, Uma Thurman and John Legend, and now ranks in the Top 100 in at least 18 other countries, including Australia, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and Slovenia.


But if Luna's meteoric rise to the top of the baby name popularity charts puts you off, here are 100 more magical, moon-inspired baby names to consider.

Baby names that mean moon

Girls' names that mean "moon" include a multitude of attractive Turkish names containing the element ay, meaning (you guessed it!) "moon." These range from rising international star Ayla to popular picks like Miray, Belinay and Aysima, which are all in the current Turkish Top 50 for girls.

Boy names that mean "moon" include dozens of dynamic Japanese names like Michika, Reito and Tsukio, which can all be formed from different kanji combinations to give various moon-related meanings.

Moon-inspired girl names

  1. Aruna: This pretty Japanese name, which can mean "moon love" (depending on the kanji characters used), is a perfect underused alternative to popular A-sandwich choices like Aria and Aurora.
  2. Esmeray: A beautiful Turkish name with the evocative meaning of "dark moon", which might appeal to lovers of rapid riser Esme.
  3. Lusine: Also spelled Lucine or Lusineh, this sophisticated Armenian choice could make for an unexpected route to Lucy or Lou.
  4. Mahina: A moon goddess in Hawaiian mythology, whose attractive name literally means "moon" in the Hawaiian language.
  5. Sasithorn: This poetic word for the moon is also used as a name in its native Thailand, pronounced "sah-see-TAWN". Sweet short form Sasi also means "moon".

And here are a few more of our favorite lunar names for girls from around the globe:

  1. Adzumi
  2. Aysel
  3. Channary
  4. Hala
  5. Indu
  6. Livana
  7. Lua
  8. Mahrukh
  9. Miray
  10. Neoma
  11. Orana
  12. Quilla
  13. Runa
  14. Saran
  15. Sihana
  16. Tsuki
  17. Vinterny
  18. Volana
  19. Zira
  20. Zulay

Moon-inspired boy names

  1. Ainar: This strong-sounding Kazakh name is actually unisex, meaning "male moon", "fire moon" or "pomegranate moon" (what a great image!).
  2. Isildur: A literary lunar name from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium, in which it belongs to a heroic king.
  3. Jerah: A rare Biblical boys' name with a contemporary sound, which could make for a great underused alternative to the likes of Noah and Jeremiah.
  4. Mani: Properly spelled Máni, this energetic mini name belongs to the personification of the moon in Norse mythology.
  5. Vikesh: A strong and striking Hindu name which is fairly common in India, but virtually unknown elsewhere.

And here's a selection of other great moon names for boys from around the globe:

  1. Asaki
  2. Aydemir
  3. Badar
  4. Chanchai
  5. Dal
  6. Ehaan
  7. Hilal
  8. Iyar
  9. Kamer
  10. Koray
  11. Luan
  12. Mahan
  13. Maziar
  14. Naito
  15. Nantu
  16. Qamar
  17. Rakesh
  18. Rua
  19. Zoro
  20. Zunair

Galactic moon names

We recently reported on the rise of planetary baby names, as well as of mythological names relating to the heavens, like Apollo and Zephyr: Greek gods of the sun and the west wind, respectively.

But how about the names of other moons? There are some stellar options out there, mostly drawn from myth, legend and literature—right on trend, but rarely used.

Galactic moon-inspired girl names

  1. Amalthea: A moon of Jupiter, named for the goat (or goat-keeper) who raised the infant Zeus. It would make a lovely longer form for the fashionable mini-name Thea.
  2. Calypso: A fun-filled name with a lively rhythm and musical links to the West Indies. Callie and Cleo could make for great nicknames.
  3. Leda: The name of the beautiful mother of Helen of Troy in Greek mythology is surprisingly underused, despite its simple, international appeal: it was given to just 17 baby girls in 2018.
  4. Thebe: Far rarer than Phoebe, but with the same light and simple sound, Thebe is another moon of Jupiter.
  5. Skathi: This tiny moon of Saturn is named for Skaði, the Norse goddess of winter and archery.

And here are a few more appealing faraway moon names for girls:

  1. Anthe
  2. Belinda
  3. Bianca
  4. Carme
  5. Cressida
  6. Despina
  7. Elara
  8. Galatea
  9. Helene
  10. Io
  11. Larissa
  12. Mab
  13. Miranda
  14. Ophelia
  15. Pandora
  16. Perdita
  17. Rhea
  18. Rosalind
  19. Thalassa
  20. Titania

Galactic moon-inspired boy names

  1. Ariel: This handsome Hebrew name may have become far more popular for girls in the US, thanks to a certain Little Mermaid, but it's a truly unisex choice in Israel: #4 for boys and #23 for girls in the last year on record (2016).
  2. Fenrir: The name of a monstrous wolf in Norse mythology, and of an evil werewolf in the Harry Potter books—but if Wolf itself can catch on…
  3. Hyperion: One of the Titans in Greek mythology, Hyperion lends his majestic name to another of Saturn's moons.
  4. Narvi: Also spelled Narfi, this quirky Norse mythology name belongs to the father of Nótt, the personification of the night.
  5. Umbriel: A moon of Uranus, named (along with Ariel and Belinda) for a character from Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. The name was probably inspired by Latin umbra "shadow."

And here are more magical moon names for boys from myth and legend:

  1. Aegir
  2. Atlas
  3. Caliban
  4. Ferdinand
  5. Francisco
  6. Janus
  7. Loge
  8. Neso
  9. Nix
  10. Oberon
  11. Pan
  12. Prospero
  13. Proteus
  14. Puck
  15. Sao
  16. Stephano
  17. Surtur
  18. Titan
  19. Trinculo
  20. Ymir

This post by Emma Waterhouse was first published on Nameberry

Learn + Play

My son is terrified that he might win his school's reading contest. If he does, he'll be invited, with the other winners, to attend a special lunch at a local Chinese food restaurant. My son loves books. He hates Chinese food. In fact, he hates pretty much any food that isn't chicken fingers, french fries, ketchup, bagels and cream cheese, or cereal. Occasionally he'll eat a jam sandwich but only if the jam isn't homemade. He'll eat apples, but only Red Delicious. And carrots. Raw.

I know what you're thinking. I let our child dictate the menu for the entire household based on his sugary and basic likes. Except I don't. I just have a very picky eater.


His fussiness over food has been something I've struggled with. I devoured articles on picky eaters and followed their advice to the letter. Did you know that if you present picky eaters with a certain food an average of 17 times they will finally try it because it seems "familiar"? Except he didn't.

I tried sneaking "good" food into what he would eat. Bran muffins harbored shredded zucchini. Pizza sauce hid pureed carrots. Chocolate cake was made moist with pumpkin. I felt like a cheater. And still, it didn't work. This kid has olfactory skills that would shame drug-sniffing dogs – assuming the drugs smelled like broccoli.

I model good eating. A plate loaded with organic veggies aside whole-wheat pasta, for example. Homemade bread teeming with hemp seed. Even my "bad" food is good—biodynamic wine and homemade tortilla chips.

Nope. He had none of it.

I felt inferior to friends whose toddlers nibbled shrimp or requested sushi with an adorable lisp. I envied their breezy sophistication. Their worldly and open-minded kids. I feared a life that precluded ever taking my son to a restaurant that didn't offer a kids' menu. I imagined the future people who would never date him, joking with their friends about his love of "nuggets." I imagined the jobs he wouldn't get because the executives, over lunch, would conclude he couldn't think outside the box, given that his food was served in one.

But most of all, I worried about what my son's narrow appetite said about me.

I was pedestrian. Parochial. Predictable. Picky.

It's with that realization that I was able to abandon my mission to convince, cajole, bribe, trick or otherwise coerce my child into eating food he refuses.

I ate pizza for the first time on my 19th birthday. Tried lasagna in my second year of college. And finally indulged in spaghetti and meatballs when, at 23, I was poor, studying in France and ordered the cheapest—and most recognizable—thing on the menu. I was 25 before I tried any type of ethnic food. Twenty-eight before I ate lobster. I still don't eat ketchup. Or mayonnaise. Or mustard. I'm not just anti-condiment. I also won't touch fish with their eyes intact. Liver. Tongue. The list goes on and on.

My own childhood menu consisted of bologna sandwiches (white bread, thank you very much). Saltines. Boiled potatoes. I ate hamburgers, plain. Chicken (white meat only) with no skin or sauce, broiled. Iceberg lettuce and carrots. Occasionally I would eat an apple. My brother refuses to accept I've ever been a child since I didn't eat peanut butter, "the official food of childhood," he points out.

What changed? Well, I grew up. Moved away from home. Spent time in another country renowned for its food. On my own, I began to experiment. To try, just a nibble. With no one taking inventory of what went into my mouth, I felt freer to explore and draw my own conclusions.

I'm beginning to believe my son will follow a similar path. Just the other day he tried red pepper. "Yuck," he said.

Will he someday meet me for sushi? I doubt it.

But I don't like sushi anyway.

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