Tag Archives: children

Judgey Wudgey Was A Mom

I like to think as a parent I’m more tolerant of kids screaming in the aisles and having meltdowns. After all, I haven’t been immune to them myself and often think “Oh, I’m sure they understand what I’m going through” when they look at me out of the side of their eyes.

Today, however I found myself being a little judge-like. I was in Costco shopping with my 3 1/2 year old. It was morning, so she was still in a good mood and snacking her way through Costco due to the samples. Which put her in a really great mood. My kid is a happy eater, and for those few minutes a silent kid (bonus for me!).

Anyhoo…we were checking out. In the lane next to us was a mom and dad and their 3 kids. Guessing around 7, 5 and 3 from the looks of things. The youngest, a boy, was sitting in the cart screaming. Who knows why. I didn’t pay much attention to it. But the screaming kept going and going. And it didn’t seem like either parent was caring much to stop it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand sometimes you can’t stop it and the only recourse you have is to muddle through and get hell out of dodge as quickly as possible. But they didn’t. Get the hell out of dodge that is.

Photo from HERE.

Since it was lunchtime, we stayed for lunch. For some reason, a Costco lunch excites my kid like few things and is considered a big treat. Since it costs me all of $3.50 to feed us both, how could I say “no”? So, we placed our order and sat down. The family appeared to be sitting 2 tables in front of us, but then moved to a bigger table next to us. The first thought that popped into my head “ugh, why do they have to sit next to us?” And yes, sonny boy was still carrying on. He continued to carry on and scream through most of our meal, except for the few moments when food was actually in his mouth. I didn’t give the parents any sort of nasty look, but did glance at the kid from time to time trying to figure out what his problem was. Which was odd, because if his parents couldn’t figure it out what made me think I could?

That’s when it hit me. I wasn’t as non judgemental as I thought I was. I’m not naive enough to think I don’t judge how others raise their kids and vice versa. But I did think I was above this.

The realization did hit home with me, and I guess as an adult that’s a positive sign. We can’t work on ourselves if we don’t realize what we are doing wrong. So, I spent the rest of the meal not glancing over at them and focusing on my own child. I gave her kisses and told her how proud of was of her good behavior. After all, who doesn’t like to hear good things about themselves? I’m sure I also said a quick silent prayer for not letting the screaming kid be mine.

Next time, I hope to be quicker with a smile whether it be to the child or the parent and to realize we all have bad days.


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Good News: You Didn’t Create Your Fussy Eater

Taken from Yahoo Health

Good news for parents of fussy eaters: You didn’t create them. In an effort to find out what drives unhealthy eating patterns among children, researchers from University College London compared children’s eating behaviors to their mothers’ reactions to said behaviors and found that parents are usually responding to (not the cause of) fussy eating or overindulgence.

The details: The authors collected questionnaire data from 244 mothers of children between the ages of 7 and 9. The moms filled out one survey related to their children’s eating behaviors, agreeing or disagreeing to statements that measured how a child responds to food (for instance, “If allowed to, my child would eat too much”), their child’s enjoyment of food, and whether their child ever avoids food (for instance, “My child gets full before his/her meal is finished” and “My child takes more than 30 minutes to finish a meal.”). The second survey related to the mother’s feeding habits, agreeing or disagreeing to statements like “If my child says ‘I’m not hungry’ I try to get him/her to eat anyway,” or “If I did not guide or regulate my child’s eating, he/she would eat too much of his/her favorite foods.”

Report: Picky eaters are made, not born.

The authors found that what the mothers usually wanted from their children yielded the exact opposite result: Mothers who put more pressure on their children to eat were more likely to report having children who felt full before the end of a meal, ate slowly, were “fussy” eaters, or didn’t enjoy food very much in general. On the other hand, mothers who were more restrictive of what their children ate (those who agreed strongly with the statement “If I did not guide or regulate my child’s eating, he/she would eat too much of his/her favorite foods”) were more likely to have kids who they reported would eat too much if allowed.

To continue reading, click HERE.

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Want To Win Mom Of The Year?

Being a mom isn’t easy (and neither is being a dad, or even a grandparent raising a child). We put so much pressure on ourselves to “get it right” when realistically, do we even know what “right” is or is it something we’ve made up in our minds? Throw in a side of guilt and it’s no surprise most of us feel like we wouldn’t win Mother of the Year. Or even be allowed to enter the contest.

Ezine Articles has a good one on how to Win the Best Parenting Award. Hopefully after reading this, we’ll all apply!

4 Tips on Winning the Best Parent Award – Subliminal Messages Can Help

As a parent, how would you rate yourself? Parenting may yet be the greatest challenge in any person’s life. Even parents who’ve had children before don’t always know what to do. Being a good parent isn’t about memorizing rules on what to do in certain situations. There is no one common and perennially effective solution to the problems parents face.

Here’s the real deal on what it takes to become the best parent you can possibly be.

1. Set the right expectations. The first thing to do is to set the right expectations from yourself. Don’t expect yourself to be the perfect parent because there is simply no such thing. It is alright for parents to make mistakes. Being a parent is a process that requires constant learning and sometimes, re-learning. What you used to know and what used to work may not always work, especially when you’re dealing with different kids.

2. Eliminate the fear. Parenting can be a challenge but you should never face it with fear. Fear can make you do funny things. If you fear being a parent, then you won’t have the right mindset, which means you are more likely to make mistakes or make rash decisions. Don’t pressure yourself to always make the right decisions and to try to play by the book at all times so you won’t make mistakes. There is no such thing as playing by the book in being a parent since you are dealing with the very unique personality of your child.

Finish reading, by clicking HERE.

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10 Tips For Healthier Snacking

As moms, I know we are always looking for healthy snacks. Something to answer the call of “I’m hungry” that you hear between main meal hours. Don’t fight it. Say “yes” with these great tips.

Taken from mayoclinic.com

When your child gets the munchies, be prepared to offer a quick-and-healthy fix. Start with these 10 tips for healthier children’s snacks.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Snacking is a major pastime for many kids — and that’s not necessarily bad. Snacking can help your child curb hunger throughout the day, as well as provide energy and important nutrients. But the quality of the snacks is key. Consider these 10 tips for healthier children’s snacks.

1. Keep junk food out of the house.

Your child won’t clamor for cookies or candy bars if you don’t keep them on hand. Instead, set a good example by snacking on healthy foods yourself.

2. Go for the grain.

Whole-grain snacks — such as whole-grain pretzels or tortillas and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals — can give your child energy with some staying power.

3. Mix and match.

Serve baby carrots or other raw veggies with fat-free ranch dressing. Dip graham cracker sticks or fresh fruit in fat-free yogurt. Top celery, apples or bananas with peanut butter.

4. Broaden the menu.

Offer out-of-the-usual fare, such as pineapple, cranberries, red or yellow peppers, mangoes, tangelos or roasted soy nuts.

5. Revisit breakfast.

Many breakfast foods — such as low-sugar, whole-grain cereals and whole-grain toast — make great afternoon snacks. Likewise, a small serving of last night’s casserole could double as an after-school snack.

Continue reading, click HERE

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Protecting Kids From Online Predators

Always an issue. Just when you think you know what to do, what to look for, questions to ask…the predators become more savvy. Because of this, this is a must read article.

Taken from micheleborba.com

Troubling research about kids’ online smarts. Parenting advice to keep your child and teen safer online.

Studies show that predators are using more subtle and savvier ways to “befriend” kids including pretending to be another teen or child as a means of forming a relationship.  The purpose of this blog is not to scare you or have you overreact and pull the plug on your computer. The chance that your child will be befriended by an online predator is rare. That said, over the last few months a few parents have contacted me about their children who did encounter online predators. Two teen girls left with those men who groomed them online. Their parents are trying desperately to reunite with their daughters. Both families recognized these warnings only after I shared them and urged me to post them. “If we’d only known,” they said.  So, not to scare you, just to educate you and hopefully save you from the heartbreak those parents are now enduring.

The Predator’s Grooming Process

“Sex Predator” is a universal parent nightmare. The term alone sends shock-waves through every bone in our body. University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center survey rejects the idea that the Internet is an especially perilous place for minors, but finds that the nature of online sex crimes against minors changed little between 2000 and 2006. We also know online predators do exist, are a very real threat, and use the anonymity of the Internet to their advantage. Predators can be a he or a she, young or old, rich or poor, or any race or zip code. Law enforcement officers are noting most a change in the profile of the adult offenders. The proportion of younger adult offenders, aged 18-25, rose from 23 percent to 40 percent of arrests in cases with actual underage victims. The researchers hypothesize that the age shift may be a consequence of younger adults, who came of age online, more likely to seek out victims on the Internet than elsewhere.

Regardless of age, predators have one commonality: they are master manipulators when it comes to kids. Online predators rarely swoop in lure children or teens into quickly meeting at the local park and then abducting them. Instead, they build a relationship with the child online and slowly develop trust. Their “Grooming Process” can take several months in which their goal is to create a comfortable bond between predator and child. That bond is difficult to track but does give parents time if you are monitoring your child and your child’s online presence.

To continue reading, click HERE.


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The Importance of Picture Books

We all know/hear/read how books are important to our children. Especially picture books for our little ones. With the pressure of “being the best” and reaching milestones early placed on parents for their kids, it seems picture books are fading in popularity.

The Children’s Book Review takes a close look at the importance of picture books on the development of children.

We all want what’s best for our kids and like the Army commercial, we want them to be all they can be. But parents can often succumb to the pressures of society and other parents to compete. That’s why some parents buy everything imaginable to get their baby to read, they enroll their children in the most expensive preschools, and even skip picture books and encourage their children to move on to more text-heavy chapter books as a means to advance their skills for rigorous standardized testing.

It’s not a new issue, but it was recently brought back to the forefront by the NY Times Article, “Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children.” The article sadly reports that “The picture book, a mainstay of children’s literature with its lavish illustrations, cheerful colors and large print wrapped in a glossy jacket, has been fading.” Although the article reports that staples from Maurice Sendak and Dr. Seuss still sell, publishers have scaled back the number of titles. Citing the economic downturn as a major factor, the article points out that many in the industry see an additional reason—parents.

But while these parents are pushing their kids to be on top of the game, they don’t realize that the intensive coaching can be counterproductive and they’re missing out on an important genre, critical in the role of a child’s development—picture books.

So why are picture books important?

10. Chapter books are not necessarily more complex than picture books and in fact, their vocabulary and sentence structure can be considered simplistic when compared with older level picture books. Many picture books are written at a higher reading level, use amazingly complex vocabularies and offer interesting plots.

9. The illustrations of a picture book help children understand what they are reading and allow young readers to analyze the story. When children are having difficulty, the illustrations can help them figure out the meaning of what they are reading. The illustrations are also a powerful way to help English learners comprehend the story.

8. Children love art. Why do you think they spend so much time coloring, drawing and doing crafts? Whatever the reason children are drawn towards a book, it’s a means to get them to read.

7. Language:  Picture books allow children to practice the sounds of language and as parents it’s our responsibility to introduce new and interesting words at every opportunity. The rhythm and rhyme in many picture books make for great read-alouds and children learn words more easily when they hear them spoken often.

6. Repetition: The repetition in many picture books allows a child to participate in the story. Young readers get excited when they can anticipate a forthcoming line and children learn skills like phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension and fluency.

5. Picture books are multi-sensory, which aids a child’s growing mind and stimulates their imagination. Not only do the children hear the story, they see the illustrations, and smell and touch the pages.

Continue reading the article by clicking HERE.


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Step Moms And Discipline: How To Be Successful

I am the mom to my daughter only. I, thankfully, do not have a blended family in which I have to try to navigate the rules of disciplining step children. I find trying to figure out the rules with the one hard enough. I give anyone with step children TONS of credit.

The website imom.com has a feature with Dr. Kevin Leman, of Living in a Step-family Without Getting Stepped On, which offered some great advice.

n the book, Living in a Step-family without Getting Stepped On, Dr. Kevin Leman provides key insights into how to discipline children within a blended family.

Dr. Leman says, “In any family, the key to discipline is finding the right balance between giving the children plenty of love and giving them adequate limits that hold them accountable for their actions. In the blended family, this problem is multiplied because suddenly, children and adults are brought together in a stepparent/stepchild relationship. They have no history, no bonds have formed, no trust has been developed.”

Keep in mind that the process will be slow, and you will need to focus on building a relationship and earning the children’s respect before you can become a full disciplinarian to your stepchildren.

Dr. Leman provides the following guidelines that will help you ease into the role of disciplinarian to your stepchildren.

1. Relationships come before rules. Especially in a newly-formed step-family, be sensitive to the children’s emotional needs, and discipline gently but firmly. In the early stages as a stepmom, let your husband assume responsibility for the discipline of your stepchildren, although you should both work together in setting consistent rules.

2. The whole is more important than the parts. Personalities, birth order and previous lifestyles make each child in a stepfamily different. But you will need to treat each family member fairly, giving each child an “equal opportunity to participate and contribute” in the family.

3. You are in healthy authority over your kids. Dr. Leman cautions against being either too authoritarian or too permissive with any children in your household.

4. Hold children accountable for their actions. According to Dr. Leman, “Loving Discipline does not punish but lets the child pay a reasonable consequence for misbehavior or a poor attitude.” Rules must be clearly established, as well as the consequences. In the beginning, your husband will be the enforcer of these consequences, but you both need to work together at setting these rules.

5. Let reality be the teacher. Let the consequences speak for themselves in discipline, and not harsh words.

See the other key points by clicking HERE.

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