Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Check a few things off of your to do list and have some fun at the same time.

Week 4: Rock the fall style–shop Crazy 8 for the new and now looks that your kids will love. Help them express their unique style, have one less thing to do before school actually starts, and always get a good deal!

Week 3: Channel some of that summer energy into a project that will benefit your community. Community service is an integral part of most school curriculums, and it will help you and your child connect with others. Contribute to your school directly and look for Tyson Project A+ labels on participating Tyson packages. For every label that you submit, Tyson will give your school 24 cents for whatever it needs.

Week 2: Host a back to school playdate for your children and their friends to help them to get back in the swing of things. Provide healthy snacks like deliciously baked, gluten-free Pirate’s Booty, Welch’s Fruit Snacks made with real fruit, and Mott’s 100% Juice. Mix in some fun with activities like “Telephone Story”. Have each person take a piece of paper, write a sentence, and pass it to the next person on their right to write the next line until you have a one of a kind story to share!

Week 1: Play with your food. Try using Mini Babybel Original semisoft cheese to create fruit and cheese skerers and Hillshire Farm Naturals Lunchmeat to create ham and cheese roll-ups. They are sure to be exciting and healthy additions to your kid’s lunchbox!

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Back To School

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“You are really growing up! From now on, I am going to let you be responsible for certain things.”

Jenna’s school bus comes at 6:50 A.M., which is just way too early for our family. I was always a bit thankful that my children didn’t rise with the sun, but the flip side is that getting Jenna motivated in the morning is a bit difficult. I am badgering her from the minute I wake her to the moment she is out the door: take a bath, to get dressed, eat, put on her shoes. Anything that she requests is met with a swift NO. I barely even have time to talk to her, as I am so busy just trying to get her ready and out the door.

However, children as young as 4 or 5 can learn to get up on their own and manage their morning routine, with a little pregame planning with your help. For example, setting an alarm clock with her, putting cups, bowls, and cereal in a low cabinet where she can reach them in the morning. Jenna is almost 10 now and I am still waking her. Right now the morning is my problem. I need to make it Jenna’s problem by turning over the responsibility .We don’t give out kids enough legitimate control over their own lives. Parents spend so much time ordering, correcting, and fixing that children do not feel in control. They need to feel empowered by making their own choices.

I suggested that we get Jenna a digital watch with a multiple alarm setting. An alarm clock or iPod can also do the job. Then we will let Jenna decide what time she wants to get up in the morning. She is to set 3 alarms: one to wake, one to be dressed and downstairs, and the final one to be out the door. When I presented our new routine to Jenna in a positive light, as a privilege she has earned. “You are old enough to get yourself up, dressed, and downstairs,” I told Jenna. “You have proven to me how responsible you can be, so we are going to get you your own special watch. Now, you are in charge of your morning.” Jenna lights up with pride and excitement. Over the weekend, together we buy the watch and write out her new schedule.

On Monday morning, to my astonishment, Jenna wakes up on her own, gets dressed herself, eats her breakfast, gets her things together, and is out the door, all on time. Because she is responsible for making it all happen, it does and we even have time to chat. The morning like the others that follow is peaceful, pleasant, and organized. It is amazing that such an easy fix created such a dramatic positive change. Now, instead of nudging Jenna through the morning routine, the alarm reminds her when to get ready, and she takes pride in feeling so capable. You can also use the alarm system for issues around bedtime, homework, making difficult transitions and more. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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morning-routine

  • Embrace playdates. Invite friends or relatives with kids to join you on outings and vacations. If he is around kids, there are sure to be some conflicts. That is a good thing since your child will learn to resolve them.
  • Be a little childish. If there is only one piece of pie left, split it instead of letting him have the whole thing to demonstrate sharing. Do not let him win every round of Candy Land or always decide what to watch on TV. Re-create some situations that he will encounter with peers.
  • Work it out in front of your kid. Seeing you and your spouse resolve your disagreements shows him that they are a fact of life and it is not the end of the world. Plus, he will learn some negotiation strategies just by watching you.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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only-child

Charging into a battle zone and yelling, “Stop it right now!” might shock your kids into silence, but it will not prevent them from resuming their confrontation as soon as you leave the room. I know, I have done it myself on more than one occasion. Sure, it is hard to listen to your kids fight and difficult to manage your anger. Both at them and at yourself for not being able to keep the peace. Now consider counting to ten before you storm the room. I stop and look at the pictures hanging in the hallway. My serenity restoring trick is a sign I wrote on a piece of notebook paper and taped it to the refrigerator. It says, “Five deep breaths.” Every time I look at it, I follow these directions. It really is a big help. See tips on staying out of it. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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cool

When your kids are in the middle of a quarrel, check in to make sure it is not becoming physical or emotionally heated. Then let them know you would like them to resolve the conflict on their own (but that you are happy to help out if it becomes necessary). I find myself doing this on a few occasions. Especially when it comes to the XBoxOne. You should always intervene if one of your kids is being verbally abusive (“You are a stupid idiot and everyone hates you”). Another reason you should step in is if one is destroying the others cherished possessions. If they are hitting or biting is another cause for you to jump in. Children who taunt, insult, slap, or push their siblings can do as much mental and physical damage as any playground bully.  Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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stay-out

There are a lot of sibling conflicts that occur because younger children do not know the proper way to express what is bothering them. That is why toddlers resort to biting and hitting and older children impulsively spout statements that they don’t truly mean. (“I hate you.”) This can easily turn a minor disagreement into a huge battle. The more words that a child has to describe their feelings, the more likely they are to stay calm. So if his little sister comes by and knocks over his block tower, he can tell you, “I am angry that she ruined my project” instead of just yelling or hitting her. It is important to talk about emotions beyond happy, sad, and angry. Expressing how you feel out loud, whether it is annoyed, disappointed, or confused will teach your kids new words to express what they are feeling. This is a significant step in learning how to manage emotions.

Rather than waiting for your kids to be upset to have a discussion, take advantage of some teachable moments. When we are at the park and see other children freaking out, I always ask my boys, “What do you think she is feeling right now?” When they default to saying mad or sad, I fill in the blanks. “If my sand shovel broke, I would be pretty frustrated, wouldn’t you?”

Check out another post that ties in nicely to this one on getting along. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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emotions

I am very frustrated right now.

If you have had it up to here with your kids constant bickering, we can help you to reach a sibling cease fire.

First, there is the screaming fit over who gets to put the key in the front door lock. Then, there is the shoving over whose turn it is to sit on the window bench. Finally, there is the Disney dance party turned into WWE cage match, which ends with one of the kids shouting, “I didn’t do it!” and the other yelling, “He started it!” and me yelling, “Stop yelling!”

As the thoughts turn in my head, “I have lost control of the asylum.” The kids fight every single day: in the car, in the bathroom, in the grocery store. These 2 little boys who barely a year ago were so close, now feud like the Kardashians. Way too much of our family time is spent negotiating a truce. Yet nothing gets resolved. The next morning, the battle hymn begins and just like that they are off to the front line.

Of course, it is comforting to know we are not the only ones whose kids spar. Studies have found that kids 3-10 usually have arguments several times an hour. Whether you have girls, boys, or a mix does not matter. Most siblings squabble.

While it is true that disagreements can help brothers and sisters hone their social skills such as a negotiation and compromise, there is a downside. Frequently, intensive fighting heightens kids risk of depression and anxiety and can lower their self esteem. Battling siblings are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, including drug use as adults.

That puts a new perspective on our latest scuffle of the day (over who owns the Lego T-shirt). It does concern me: I can not deal with another 10 years of being a referee and I do not want them growing up to be bickering, sniping, it is not fair, I hate you siblings.

It is a real possibility, though. The way your kids interact early on tends to stay consistent as they get older. Work with your kids, especially from the ages of 4-8 and help them learn to resolve differences and manage their emotions. The good news is you can change the pattern of fighting among your kids. But you have to be willing to put in the work.

Our next several posts will give you tips on ways you can help manage their behaviors and help them grow and mature. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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bickering

Can’t you just get along.