Category: Parenting

Link Round-up: Hobo Bags, a Front Porch Makeover, Toasted Coconut Onion Rings, and More

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has tie-dyed hobo bags, an inexpensive front porch makeover, toasted coconut onion rings, and more.

Aunt Peaches showed us how to give a front porch a makeover for under $10.

I Love to Create Blog showed us how to make artisan tie-dyed hobo bags.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make toasted coconut onion rings

link ru turtle jello
Kenarry shared a cute Tropical Turtle Beach snack idea that involves blue raspberry Jello cups.

One Good Thing by Jillee shared seven natural remedies for common back to school ailments.

Oh She Glows shared 21 portable allergy-friendly snack recipes.

She Wears Many Hats has a delicious sauce recipe to share, and it can be served with almost anything.

Photo credit: Aunt Peaches and Kenarry

5 Creative Ideas for School Fundraisers

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 by No Comments

With so many schools strapped for cash, fundraisers have become a vital part of helping to fill in budgetary gaps. But, there’s only so many rolls of wrapping paper and boxes of chocolate that one parent needs.

If you’re looking for something different to do for the next school fundraiser, here are some ideas:

  1. Collecting Spare Change: If you need a fundraiser that requires next to nothing in terms of actual planning and preparation, consider setting up large piggy banks at your school and at various local businesses. Encourage people to donate their spare change to your cause.
  2. Group Garage Sale: I think the idea of a group garage sale has promise because everyone has a least a box or two of stuff in their home that they need to get rid of. Organize donations in the gym or school lunchroom. If you don’t want to price each item individually, have a few tables with different price points or simply ask shoppers to make a donation of their choice for each item they want to purchase.
  3. Hosting a Community Carnival: A community carnival can be a wonderful school fundraiser, although I should caution that this requires a lot of manpower. My son’s school does a carnival every other year. However, they’ve had to scale back considerably due to a lack of volunteers to help with the planning and running all of the activities during the event itself.
  4. Raffling off Teachers: I found the idea of raffling off teachers on the Scholastic website. I think this is a wonderful fundraising idea if you have enthusiastic teachers who are well liked by their students. Scholastic suggests that each teacher come up with a list of activities he or she can do with the winning student, such as dissecting a frog, baking cookies, or playing Guitar Hero for the afternoon.
  5. Selling a School Anthology: Another unique fundraising idea that I love is creating an anthology of stories, poems, and drawings from children in the school and selling copies to parents, grandparents, and community members. As a parent with a child who loves to draw and write, I know I’d purchase several copies of anything that featured his work. Even if I wasn’t a parent, however, I’d buy one just because there’s nothing more adorable than kids who are expressing their creativity.

Photo credit: MorgueFile

Should Parents Be Held Responsible for Kids’ Schoolwork?

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 by 1 Comment

From 1989 to 2012 I homeschooled non-stop. I spent hours everyday working with my kids, teaching them, giving them experiences, introduce them to unique ideas, and facilitating their learning. I loved it.

When I was divorced I had to go work. For me it was the first time in three decades that my life did not revolve around my family 100 percent. I tried very hard to continue homeschooling but I just couldn’t — not with four kids in grades three through ten.

I finally gave up and put them in a very small charter school. I love it because it is very personal, the classes are small, and they are all at the same school. Their teachers work with them over and above what they have to. For the most part they are dedicated, child oriented, and do almost as good of a job as I could have when I was not working.

I’ve read a lot of articles lately, like this one in Dallas News, that talk about how parents should be more involved in their children’s education. I don’t disagree, totally. I do have some frustration with that mentality though.

You see, like many of us, I work now. I don’t work at a 9 to 5 job and I don’t have a lot of free time. When I am with my kids, those very precious moments, I do not want to be doing school with them. If I had time to do that then I would have continued to homeschool.

Yes, parents need to be aware of  what’s going in school and they need to make sure their kids are being respectful and doing their work. I am just not convinced that I need to put in the extra time when they are in school eight hours a day. I am sure that sounds horrible but it is honest.

What are your thoughts?

photo credit: avalos4assembly via photopin cc

Putting an End to Endless Negotiation

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 by 1 Comment

I do not remember negotiating with my parents. I do remember being told what to do and knowing I had two choices. I could do it without a spanking or I could choose to have a spanking first.

Being a very intelligent child, and valuing the skin and nerve endings on my backside, I generally chose the former. My children?

Not so much.

I swear to you any one of my eight kids could have become a lawyer and I have a couple that could teach lawyers a thing or two about closing arguments and negotiations. Sometimes I am negotiated to the point of exhaustion.

Parenting is different now than it used to be — kids are different. Although my kids do negotiate more than I even even fantasized about they also talk to me more, confide in me more, and share more with me than I did with my parents.

That’s a good thing. And, truth be told, I don’t mind negotiating on certain things. Sometimes they have a good reason for wanting to do something that I don’t immediately understand.

The trick is that they have to learn, and I have to learn to let them know, when the negotiations have gone too far. At that point I think there should be a one time warning followed by reasonable consequences.

Kids are smart. It shouldn’t take more than once or twice for them to figure out where your line is. As always, consistency is key. Don’t allow them to harangue you past your point of no return one time and then stop them mid-sentence the next.

What is your stance on parent-child negotiation?

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc

Does It Matter If Your Child Is Choosing e-Books Over Books?

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

Technology has created a lot of new concerns right along with the benefits it holds. There are things that parents didn’t have to concern themselves with even fifteen years ago that are now really important consideration.

eBooks for example, have you ever wondered if it was better for your child to read an e-book or a hard-copy book — or if it even mattered?

Well, my mentality has pretty much always been that as long as they are reading, I am happy, but a little research has made me rethink my stance.

A report by the UK’s Literacy Trust analyzes kids’ reading habits in great detail. It was interesting to me that the kids who read e-books tended to read below level more than kids who read hard-copy.

They collected data from children all the way up through their teens and found that those who read hard-copy materials were the least likely to be below level than those who read e-books, although the e-book readers did better over all than the kids who just read blogs and text messages.

I am much more likely to read an e-book than a hard-copy book at this point in my life. Although I have had a lifelong love of reading, it is easier for me to pick up my iPhone or iPad and use the Kindle app when I have a few spare moments.

My Bible, devotionals, fiction, work related materials, and several cookbooks are all available to me whenever I want. I always thought the same would be true for my kids.

Now I am rethinking that and encouraging them, especially my younger readers, to pick up hard-copies at home and e-books when they have some spare time elsewhere. What are your thoughts?

photo credit: John-Morgan via photopin cc

When Can My Kid Do Their Own Laundry?

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 by No Comments

I have had a theory that a child can start learning to help with laundry as soon as they can help separate colors and begin doing their own when they can put stuff in the machine. For my kids, the magic number has always been age eight.

When you have a lot of kids and spend long hours homeschooling it seems reasonable that your kids would learn to do something like laundry pretty early on. It is a good thing because there have been times that the only reason the had clean laundry was that they did it themselves. In fact, now there are times when the only reason I have laundry is because my kids do it for me!

Tips for Teaching Kids to Do Laundry

  • Start them early helping to sort colors, fold easy things like socks, and collecting dirty laundry.
  • Have them switch the clothes from the washing machine to the dryer.
  • Let them add the detergent while you watch.
  • Have them help with the folding.

If you have them do small things right alongside you then they learn little by little.  As they get older they can be trusted to do more of their own laundry with less supervision from you.

It may sound silly but not doing their laundry has been a big weight off of me. If they can’t find socks or their favorite jeans shrink, it’s all on them — and that’s a very, very good feeling. The more kids can do for themselves the easier it is on them when they’re older.

photo credit: anyjazz65 via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Edible Paint, Summer Berry Tarts, Instagram Pictures, and More

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has easy edible paints, a recipe for summer berry tarts, an Instagram picture heart display to recreate, and more.

The Tiptoe Fairy taught us how to make easy edible paints.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make an Instagram picture heart display.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a three-second trick that will change your entire look.

link ru summer berry tart
Annie’s Noms showed us how to make a summer berry tart.

Spaceships and Laser Beams gave us some ideas for rainy day kids’ activities.

Pink Recipe Box showed us how to make chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches.

Daily Leisure showed us how to put together a chicken taco bento box.

Photo credit: The Tiptoe Fairy and Annie’s Noms

Instead of Ice Bucket Dad Offers Challenge to Be a Dad

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Anyone who spends anytime on the Internet has seen celebrities and others taking the ALS ice bucket challenge. It’s a good cause and has raised millions of dollars.

A man by the name of Kendell Smith was inspired by all the people accepting the challenge and is offering a challenge of his own to men. However, his challenge is of a different type and he’s not looking for donations either.

Kendell Smith is a North Carolina dad who doesn’t usually participate in Facebook dares. This time he has made an exception, but instead of taking up a dare he is issuing the challenge to all the dads out there. He created a video challenging them to be better fathers and posted it in early August. Since then it has received almost 24,000 likes and has been shared more than 138,000 times!

In the video, he talks about how he doesn’t do Facebook videos and things like that, but since everyone else seemed to be doing a challenge he was going to put one out there.

The North Carolina dad says, “This is my challenge for anybody that wants to accept. See if you can do this.” He gets up and makes a move like he might be picking up a bucket of ice water, but instead he picks up his son. He stands there holding that adorable child and challenges dads to “Be a father. Take care of your kids. Be there in their lives and mean something to him.” Then he kisses the baby.

I can’t help but think of the popularity of the ice bucket challenge has had and the money it has brought in to help that cause. Can you imagine the difference this challenge could make if men everywhere accepted it for real. The real difference is that the ice bucket challenge only has to be done once and it’s done. Picking up the real dad challenge is a daily test and one that needs to be accepted for the rest of life.

Photo credits: Facebook

Don’t Even Consider Using Your Retirement for Your Kids’ Needs

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by 1 Comment

According to experts you should not even consider using any of your retirement for your kids’ college, or anything else. While we want to help our kids and make their lives better, all too often Mom and Dad are putting a negative strain on their own finances by doing so — at a time when we should be sprinting for the career finish line and padding our retirement funds with all we can.

Apparently nearly two-thirds of middle aged (and older) parents are helping to support their adult children in some way.

For most of us it is the economy. It’s more and more  difficult for young adults to find even part time jobs. There’s less funding for college, and it’s increasingly difficult to get a loan. A child’s divorce, loss of job, or other events swallow up our savings. Parents are stepping in to do what they always do — play a little fix it for the kids.

Helping adult children is not a terrible thing but the consequences can be serious if it isn’t handled correctly. It can be easy to begin something that turns into a monkey on your back without any good way of cutting it off. There are often no papers drawn up, agreements made, or boundaries set.

Can you say unrealistic? I knew you could.

What’s happening is that we are creating financially irresponsible adults who will need to be taken care of their whole lives. Like wild animal babies that have been raised by humans our kids simply don’t know how to survive in the wild. They become even more dependent on their parents than they were as children and eventually they expect to be taken care of and don’t understand the term, I can’t afford this anymore.

Parents, being parents, feel trapped by the monster they’ve created. They can’t just cut their child off and hope he makes it, can they?

The best scenario is that it never gets started. Parents should step in only when absolutely necessary and only for a set amount of time with agreed upon boundaries. Handing your kid money for groceries once in awhile is completely different than paying their rent for six months.

If you’ve allowed a situation to go on for too long the only thing you can do is to step in and put an end to it. You will have to watch you child struggle for awhile and it may be quite painful but eventually he’ll figure it out and learn to stand on his own two feet.

Using money that should be going into your retirement or, worse yet, using your retirement funds to provide for an adult family member is financial suicide. Just remember that when your retirement is gone the child you support now is the one who will have to be supporting you.

Scary isn’t it?

source : Kiplinger

photo credit: 401(K) 2013 via photopin cc

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