Category: Parenting

Putting an End to Endless Negotiation

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 by No Comments

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?

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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.

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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

Look Beyond Theme Parks for Fun Family Vacations

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by 1 Comment

Theme parks are the most popular family vacation destination for parents with young children, but these types of outings are also the most expensive.

If you’re on a tight budget, you need to get creative with your vacation planning. Mickey and Minnie may be popular with the little ones, but you can still have a memorable vacation experience without a trip to Disney World or Disneyland.

Museums and zoos make for affordable family-friendly vacation destinations. If you already have a membership to a museum or zoo in your area, check to see if your card entitles you to a reciprocal membership with an establishment near your vacation destination. Terms will vary, but reciprocal membership agreements often allow free admissions, free parking, and/or discounted food and souvenirs.

The Association of Children’s Museums website has a searchable directory of museums and information about reciprocal membership benefits. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums website has a downloadable list of zoos and aquariums in the United States, Canada, and Mexico with reciprocal membership agreements.

If your kids are curious about how their favorite sweet treats are made, a factory tour can be both educational and economical. Family Vacation Critic lists 12 of the best tours for kids, including PEZ Candy in Orange, CT and PEEPS in Bethlehem, PA.

Camping is another popular thrifty vacation activity. A weekend at a scenic campground provides plenty of time for little ones to run, jump, and play outdoors. Older kids will enjoy fishing or telling scary stories by the campfire. Visit the America’s State Parks website to check out state parks within driving distance.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Link Round-up: Healthy Snacks, Natural Sweeteners, and More

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has delicious, healthy snacks (and one not-so-healthy one), an easy way to open that annoying plastic packaging, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make protein granola bars.

Mind Body Green shared how to stay open-hearted in a world with so much suffering.

Muslin and Merlot shared an easy way to open plastic packaging.

link ru chocolate chia shake
A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for a chocolate banana chia seed shake.

Suzy Sitcom taught us how to make quick and easy banana pudding cupcakes.

Pet Scribbles taught us how to make a weathered wood tissue box cover.

Natural Chow shared the ultimate guide to natural sweeteners.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess

Revisit the Local Library

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by No Comments

Technology has made many things that used to take time much faster. For example, you can go to the grocery store, buy a new dress, and make bank deposits all from your bedroom. You can fill your life with all of your favorite books, buying them and even borrowing them from the Internet.

It’s wonderful but there are things that we miss now because of it. It’s time to think about revisiting your local library.

The library has something that you won’t be able to download. It gives your kids relationships with books.

I have so many really good memories of time spent at the library when I was a child. I’d browse the aisles looking for just the right book. To this day the scent of old books is just relaxing to me.

My kids have many happy memories of time spent at the library either looking for books, for storytime, crafts, or whatever. They did reading club activities several summers in a row which earned them everything from their pictures in the paper to free pizza.

My youngest daughter has several books on my iPad. She takes it to bed with her and reads which makes me happy. Since she has been around I have had less time for trips to the library and I am afraid that she is going to miss out on those memories that I think are so important. Taking an hour or two and visiting the library can help your child learn about books in a way that downloading an eBook can’t.

Do you spend time at the library?

photo credit: Enokson via photopin cc

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