Tara Graham – Photographer » GTA, Durham Region, Whitby, Oshawa Newborn and Maternity Photographer

My son is 19 months old now, and in the last couple weeks it seems like he’s grown so much, he’s more boy than baby. 

He has learned all the uppercase letters of the alphabet, and repeats nearly every word I say (yup, time to be extra careful/creative with swear words now), and yesterday at playgroup he walked right in, even though we’d never been to this particular location before, and found some toys to play with. Previously, he had clung to me and sometimes panicked, wanting to be held when he was in new situations with lots of people and kids he doesn’t know (and sometimes even when he does know them!). 

Then at the park, he started crawling up the stairs for the slide, when, without even looking back at me, he stood up tall, grabbed the railing, and walked up the rest of those stairs like he’d done it his whole life. I cheered him on, so proud of his confidence and willingness to take the risk, while a small piece of me just wanted to scoop him up and tell him to slow down. 

Boy on Steps, Birdseye viewPINIMAGE
Follow me on Instagram to see a few more images from the park this week. 

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So, if you’re following me on social media, specifically Facebook, I’ve been talking a bit about the audiobook I’ve been listening to – Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. It makes me quite emotional. (I nearly cried about a million times in my FB live video, lol!) As I’ve said, we all know how huge of a job it is to be a parent, but this book is just making me see it in such an enormous, powerful way. I’m questioning everything we’ve already done, and trying to play out every possible situation in my head before it even happens! Am I reacting appropriately? Is he learning the right things? Have I already ruined him? Yikes!

I wanted to find a book that would help guide me as my son grows and learns. I have great empathy for him right now, because he’s so young, and so much of what he’s experiencing is new, and he doesn’t yet have the tools (vocabulary, motor skills, life experience) to deal with them. But what about when he’s older, and supposedly knows better? How do we deal with tantrums or behavioural issues then?

Although I hated the process of actually doing it, I was a big advocate for sleep training once it was done, because hey, it worked. Our kid is a great sleeper, and I LOVE getting a full nights sleep – who doesn’t?! But after listening to only about half this audiobook, I’m already wondering what that did to his little brain and how it formed his response to bedtime and us leaving. There’s a reason it’s so hard to listen to those cries, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Our natural instinct is to cuddle and sooth a crying baby, and help them manage those “big scary feelings,” as Dr. Laura Markham says, and that’s a good thing. So, I’m not sure I’d do it the same way again.

One of my biggest issues right now is dealing with the point and whine. Without having words for everything, I get a lot of this lately. I try to calmly figure out what he is needing/wanting, but… that sound! Sometimes it’s just so hard to hear and it’s difficult not to get upset. And I know the whining doesn’t stop once they have the words either, but I guess the goal is to let him know we understand how he feels, and he is allowed to feel that way, but there are certain limits and appropriate ways to express ourselves.

Mostly though, this book feels like it’s confirming all of my natural instincts right now, and I’m going to pick up a physical copy so I can fill it with post-it notes and highlight my favourite parts, and make sure we try to continue parenting in a way that will hopefully allow our child to develop into a kind, loving, assertive, expressive, happy adult. Easy, right? ;)

**The giveaway has ended, and the winner has been notified. Thanks to everyone that played and shared!**

And then check out my FB live video I did too, also about this book (I’m a little obsessed right now): https://www.facebook.com/taragrahamphoto/videos/10155281260263611/



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For the first time ever…

I will be offering both studio sessions, AND outdoor tree farm sessions! Choose one, or do both! (And cross your fingers for perfect weather!)

Parents are welcome to join their children for whichever option you choose. The studio set will be very bright and neutral, and at the tree farm we will be using minimal props and focusing on your family connection!

I’m super excited for these, and can’t wait to see you there! Okay, okay, it IS only August, so I can wait a bit ;)

Oshawa Christmas Minis 2017



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