I just read an article about organizational tools to help kids to keep up with clutter. While these storage ideas might help keep the clutter from overtaking the house, it really doesn’t address the issue. The next thing you know, you’ll need more room for storage.
Instead, it is better to teach the kids how to deal with their clutter so it doesn’t grow into a monumental sift and sort task in the future. Here are 3 ways to teach kids to deal with clutter in a better way that have worked for me.
School Papers and Artwork
For Star Trek fans out there, remember the episode where everyone fell in love with the furry, gentle tribble? The problem was that these little critters reproduced so fast they almost took over the ship. Well that’s what happens with school papers and artwork. I mean, we love every good grade and artistic masterpiece and they need to be saved right? Wrong.
To deal with this touchy subject, I had my kids keep all these papers in a drawer. Once a month, they were required to go through the drawer and keep two favorites. The rest were tossed. This eliminates the risk of hurting your child’s feelings over what is saved or not. Plus, it teaches them they don’t have to save everything.
Kids grow so fast. At the change of seasons have the kids take everything out of their drawers and try them on. If pants are short, shirts tight…it’s time for them to be donated, sold in a garage sale, or given away. This makes room for new clothes and makes it easier for kids to put their laundry away because the drawers are not overstuffed.
Just like clothes, kids outgrow their toys, too. When my kids were younger, instead of a toy box, I used a laundry basket. When the basket started overflowing, it was time to sort through and determine what was played with and what wasn’t.
Again, the kids were the ones to make the decisions and they learned to give their unused toys to kids who would enjoy them.
So instead of color coded boxes to store unused stuff, let’s teach our kids how to keep things they use and to get rid of the rest. It really makes it so much easier to keep up with clutter because things have a place and a current use.
Photo credits: AngryJulieMonday
For those of us who grew up in the 80s, it was common place to come home from school and find no one home. There were so many of us, that the term “latchkey kids” was coined. It meant we were home unsupervised until our parents got home from work. I admit it was a different world back then; I used to babysit for others by the time I was 11.
Another difference is that we use to walk to the bus stop. Now we fear for our kids being snatched on the way. In response to that threat, buses pick up and drop off house to house. With these kinds of things in mind, when is it okay to leave your kids home alone in today’s culture?
Common sense tells us not to leave our 5-year-old home alone but that our 15-year-old can probably be home without a problem. Well, most 15-year-olds. It can be difficult deciding when our kids are ready to handle the responsibility. How do we know when the time is right?
First of all, don’t clump everyone together by age. Just because one 10-year-old is mature enough to be home alone, does not mean every 10-year-old is ready. That means the judgment falls on you to know how your child feels about being home without an adult or older child.
The general rule of thumb is not to leave kids younger than 10 home alone, but every child is different.
Beyond your child’s age, another thing to consider is the area where you live. Is it safe for your child to be home alone?
Another thing to look into is whether or not the state where you live has a law governing when your child can be left home without supervision. For instance, in my state the law says that “Children between the ages of 9 and 12, based on level of maturity, can be left home alone for brief periods of time” and “Children 13 and older can generally be left as babysitters, with the exception of children in foster care….”
Deciding to leave your child at home is a big decision and it isn’t an easy one. If you are wondering whether or not the time is right for your child, a good place to start is to ask yourself these questions.
There is no cut and dried answer to this question. The maturity level of each child differs, and how long they’ll be alone is another factor to think about. For those who’ve already made this decision, what age did you begin leaving your kids alone?
Photo credits: Tobyotter
Popular pop star and “Voice” mentor, Christina Aguilera announced her engagement to boyfriend Matt Rutler on Valentine’s Day via Twitter when she tweeted, “He asked and I said…” followed by a photo of the two them holding hands in a tropical setting and showcasing a hefty engagement ring. Since that cryptic announcement she has made it clear the two of them are planning to get married.
The couple started dating after Christina’s divorce from her first husband, Jordan Bratman, was finalized in 2011. While fans are excited for the couple’s upcoming nuptials, US Weekly raised another question. Is there a baby on the way?
In an interview with US Weekly, Matt Rutler’s mother said “I don’t know what their plans are, but when you have a baby you’re not planning on moving anywhere anytime soon!”
That sounds like a baby is on the way to me, but Christina is staying quiet on the matter, and I have to say I don’t blame her. When I was expecting, I didn’t really tell everyone about it until I was about 4 months along.
Christina met Matt when he worked as a production assistant on the set of “Burlesque” in 2010. Christina filed for divorce in October of that year and endured a painful split with hubby Jordan Bratman. Once it was finalized she started seeing Matt.
Early on in the relationship, she said that the two of them had a strong friendship and that “He’s the kind of person you could spend hours on the phone talking to and all of a sudden it’s daylight.” I’d say that’s a good start to a relationship that show promise!
If the 33-year-old pop star is expecting, it will be her second child. She has a 6 year old son, Max, from her first marriage.
Photo credits: Twitter
In our quest to give our baby a unique name, we could choose from this list of 20 least popular baby girl names.
In 2012, only 5 girls received each of these names. I looked up their meaning as that is something I always took into consideration when naming my kids.
The funny thing about unpopular names is that they have the potential of becoming popular. Though I have to admit, when I look at this list there are only a few I would consider.
In fact, I know a woman with the name Bette (pronounce Betty) and always thought it to be pretty and a little different. For me, that’s what I was looking for when I named my daughter. Other famous Bettes include Bette Davis and Bette Midler.
Photo credits: tompagenet
When I was a kid growing up in northern Illinois, snow days were a rare thing. But with winters like the one we’re having this year, snow days are happening more and more.
At first, the snow is so pretty and having an unplanned day off is kind of fun, but I hear more and more moms complain that by the time snow day 3 comes around, the newness has worn off and the “I’m bored” syndrome sets in. It made me think back to my childhood. What did we do when the weather was bad?
One thing I did was pull a book off the shelf. It was titled, something like “Things to Do and Make on a Rainy Day.” I liked doing crafts but the problem with the crafts in the book is that we were always missing items needed to make them.
With that in mind, I created a rainy day craft box for my kids for when they were stuck inside due to weather. In it I included items for string art, one of my own childhood favorites.
String art is nothing fancy but keeps the kids occupied for a while and is fun. For older kids, it requires the use of a hammer and small nails, so you’ll have to decide if it is appropriate for your children. If not, use the directions for younger children.
What you need: An 8 x 8 piece of wood, small finishing nails, hammer, yarn or string (multi colored yarn or string creates a better visual or have more than one color available)
Have kids hammer nails into their piece of wood. They can try to create an image or just go for a geometric design, but if it’s their first try at string art, a circle is a great place to start.
Once the nails are in place, tie yarn to one of the nails and then weave the yarn around the nails to create a pattern. Think old Spirograph designs.
String Art for Younger Children
For younger kids, have a piece of cardboard in your rainy day kit with pre-punched holes in a circle design. Holes need to be big enough to thread the string through easily or the kids will get frustrated. Wrap a piece of tape around the tip of the yarn to make it easier to feed through the hole.
Other things to have in your rainy day craft kit include play dough or baking clay recipes, pipe cleaners, brads, construction paper, glue, paints and glitter. These items can take you a long ways on a snow day.
Did you hear about the Colorado mom who breastfed a puppy to save its life? She made the mistake of posting a pic on Facebook and of course, it went viral!
The mom is trying to remain anonymous, but she has done a number of interviews. It all started when the mother dog passed away. The Colorado mom tried feeding the puppy K-9 formula, but the weak little pup wouldn’t drink it.
“I just felt like he just had an hour left. That’s how weak he was, he wasn’t moving and I just did it. I didn’t know what else to do, I was desperate and I just couldn’t bear sitting there watching it die.” – Anonymous mom
The mom admits it felt weird breastfeeding a puppy, but she didn’t know what else to do. Did it work? Yes and the puppy is no longer the runt of the litter!
As an animal lover, I can see why she would think of trying breastmilk, but I might have considered pumping the milk instead of placing the pup at my breast because of germs … and … well, teeth.
The Colorado mom attributes the whole idea to maternal instinct, and when we’re faced with a situation like that, who’s to say what we’d do. I do love animals, and I’m so happy to hear the puppy is doing well.
I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same in those circumstances. But if I had decided to breastfeed a puppy, I might have kept it to myself instead of sharing a pic with the world on Facebook.
Plus, in an interview with KROD, vet Amber Williams warned of dangers associated with women breastfeeding puppies. “There are things that can be passed from puppies to babies.” Just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking of breastfeeding your puppy.
Photo credits: David Robert Davis, Jr.
Simon Cowell and girlfriend Lauren Silverman welcomed a 6 lb. 7 oz. son into the world on Valentine’s Day at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Cowell caught the first available flight from London to New York to be by Silverman’s side as she went into to labor. His first words with his new baby were an emotional “I’ve waited for you all my life.”
Two hours after the birth, the 54-year-old father took to Twitter to say “Very happy to say Eric was born at 17.45 pm. Healthy and handsome.” The baby is named after Simon’s father.
MailOnline reported “Lauren’s mother and sister were in the delivery room with them when she gave birth. Simon’s mother, Julie, is looking forward to meeting the baby in the UK.” Can you imagine going through your first child’s birth and jet lag at the same time! Reports say the new dad looked fatigued but happy as he left the hospital to head to his hotel for some sleep.
Cowell has kept fans updated since Eric’s birth through his Twitter feed. Shortly after he announced Eric’s arrival, he let everyone know “Lauren is in fine shape” and actually thanked people for their kind comments.
On February 16 he admitted “I never knew how much love and pride I would feel.” He’s posting pics and really showing a loving side some of us never suspected existed. I can’t help but think of what a curmudgeon he has always been as a judge, and now this baby comes along in his life and we see that there really is a sweet side to the music mogul. Just goes to show you how a new baby can melt a heart!
This is his first child and Silverman’s second.
Photo credits: Twitter
Would you give your child a doll that refuses to eat during feeding time? Famosa Toys has one such product in their toy line. The Nenuco Won’t Eat doll closes her mouth when offered food and turns her head away. This emulated bad behavior is prompted by a magnet in the doll’s spoon.
The Nenuco Won’t Eat doll received accolades at the 2014 UK Toy Fair and even won a “best new toy” award, but moms aren’t being quite so receptive. In the real world, they are afraid the doll will promote unhealthy eating habits. Some are worried it could even lead to anorexia.
On the other side of the issue, Famosa Toys released a statement defending the doll saying that it is meant to “re-create real life experiences between mothers and their babies, and to foster role play and positive learning.” The statement offered some background on the doll saying that the initial purpose was to help teach kids that not wanting to eat is a mistake. In their minds, they hope it will help teach kids healthy habits by encouraging the doll to eat.
I can see both sides of the issue here and I think it can be a tool for teaching like Famosa Toys hopes. Those of us who have ever had a picky child know how much we worked to get those kids to eat.
I can also see that left on their own to just play with such a toy, the doll might teach kids bad eating habits. I’d love to hear what you think. Do you think having your picky eater go through the same eating issues with a doll would help them learn to change their eating habits?
Famosa Toys is moving forward with the sale of the doll in the European market. How do you think it would do here in the States now that it’s being called things like the Anorexia doll?
Photo credits: Amazon
When my son was younger, he often stuttered. I remember the concern in my mother’s eyes. He struggled in school, and she thought it was stress related.
I talked to my pediatrician about it and he said it wasn’t of concern at his young age. My son outgrew it and I’d totally forgotten about his stuttering until I read about a recent Australian study published in Pediatrics August 26, 2013 issue. Findings show that one in 10 children stutter by age four.
The study also showed that the kids who stutter score just as high or higher than peers on assessments of language, thinking skills, and temperament. This was also true of my son.
This type of stuttering is referred to as “developmental stuttering” and according to the study is not associated with poorer outcome in the preschool years. For my son, his struggle was with dyslexia and ADD.
My son was a lot less verbal than my daughter at the same age, but once he turned two, his language really took off. He started talking in short sentences. Researchers suggested it’s possible stuttering might somehow improve language skills, or that stuttering could be the result of very fast language development among some kids.
According to the researchers, “This is a period in which a child’s motor speech system is challenged to keep pace with the phenomenal rate of language acquisition.”
At this point, I can look back and wonder if that was the case for my son. Now that he’s grown, he has no sign of a stutter, has a good vocabulary and is a good communicator. If your child stutters and it is a concern, be sure to talk with your doctor.
Photo credits: edenpictures