Tag Archives: kids

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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Kissy. Kissy. Where Do Yours Land When It Comes To Kids?

There has been some serious debate going on in blogland about where one kisses their kids. Some just plant one right on the lips. Others are a forehead or cheek kisser. Is one more “right” than the other?

I will admit, I’m a lip kisser. I smack my daughter on the lips when I give her kisses. I don’t recall my mother doing that to me as a child, but I can’t recall that she didn’t either. To me, she’s my kid and why would it be weird that I kiss her on the lips?

When I greet other family members or close friends, I kiss them on the cheek (and sometimes I wonder “what’s with all this kissing business? when did this start?”). I would never think of kissing them on the lips. They are not my husband or daughter. I guess to me the cheek kiss is more casual.

And, if I’m going to put it all out there, I kiss my dog too. But not on the lips. Heavens no! More on the top of his nose. He’s cute. He’s a lover boy. He likes kisses.

So, what about you? When it’s time to pucker where does it land?

Want to see what others are saying about the topic? A Cup of Jo started a firestorm when she posted about it. Then Parenting had their say so. The nice thing is there is no right or wrong answer here. As long as you are showing that love to your kids, no matter where the kiss lands, that is all that matters.

S.W.A.K.

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5 Kinds of Playdates to Avoid

Ahh, playdates. The social circle for the youngster set. When they go great, they are great and you leave floating on a cloud. When they’re bad…they are oh. so. bad! Here are some playdates to avoid (and our daughter went to a school that had the witches of preschool!!).

Taken from parentdish.com

 

Let’s face it. The life of a modern mom would not be complete without the playdate.

While at work, we get a voicemail from Playdate Penny who would love to pencil our child in for an afternoon of organized extracurricular activities and we “accidentally” forget to call her back for days. Then there are the times when the babysitter calls in sick and we’re desperate to find the Post-It where we jotted down Playdate Penny’s phone number.

For some moms, scheduling playdates has become a full-time job. They have it down to a science, organizing and planning everything from the kids to the carpool to the heart-shaped sandwiches they’ll serve as snack. We applaud these women. They do an amazing job and are the queens of playdates. Now, for working mothers, it’s a different story. We already have full-time jobs and are stretched so thin that we usually don’t have the time, energy or sanity required to plan the perfect playdate. Let’s call those two hour chunks of socialized, structured play what they really are — all work, no playdates.

But the truth is, as much as we try to avoid them, the playdate is here to stay. For those of you new to the game, here’s a simple guide to help you survive the pitfalls of playdating, the ones we loathe and the ones we love.

Because if you can’t be with the one you love, playdate with the one you’re with.

Playdates We Loathe

Playdate Desperado: A lonely mother who is new to the neighborhood will stalk you and your child until you agree to come over to play for an afternoon. The truth is, she’s the one desperate for a playdate and is using her child as bait. Out of pity or exhaustion, you finally give in and accept the offer, only to find you have nothing in common with this woman. To add insult to injury, the kids get into a major brawl and before you can grab the doorknob to make your getaway, she’s already asking you for a second date and you desperately search your library of excuses to think of a believable reason as to why you can never return. Incidentally, contagious skin rashes work like a charm.

Playdate Cliques: On the rare occasion you do drop your child off at school, you see them gathering in the parking lot. Sporting trendy workout clothes, hair tied back in a ponytail, light makeup application, the keys to their Lexus SUV in one manicured hand and their pig-tailed child’s hand in the other. Meet the playdate clique or the “witches of preschool” as we like to call them, comprised of women who do everything together, be it coffee, tennis, gym and, of course, playdates. If you happen to take a day off from work and have a run-in with the witches, they’ll be sure to pretend not to know who you are and will intentionally box you out of their conversation. While you overhear them chat about their plans to take their little princesses to an afternoon origami workshop, don’t feel bad that you’re not on the invite list. Smile to yourself because you know that tomorrow, while they’re chasing their kids at Chuck E. Cheese, you’ll be back at work lunching and laughing with one of your favorite clients — who just happens to be a working mom just like you.

Peculiar Playdates: Your kids get along great and your child begs, pleads and moans to have a playdate with their newest friend. Only one problem, you find the parents kind of weird. It’s like visiting the Addams Family. They were always friendly, but something was always just a little off-center. It’s not like they’ve got “Cousin It” or that creepy hand named “Thing” bunking with them, but the mom is sporting that 1970s long-haired Morticia look, and the place seems to have a spooky Halloween feel to it, and its only March. The peculiar playdaters phone constantly and if you still don’t have caller ID, run, don’t walk to the nearest Radio Shack to pick one up or you’re doomed.

To continue reading, click HERE.

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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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Does TV Influence What Your Kids Eat?

Without even reading the article, I had to answer “how can it not?” especially if they are of the age to watch TV with commercials. Isn’t that the goal of large food conglomerates who spend millions in advertising during kids TV shows? And it’s not just food, it’s games, toys, clothes, anything marketed to kids with messages they see over and over again.

It comes down to, like everything, parental supervision and limiting the time they spend in front of the TV. I for one am thankful for Nick Jr. with its no commercials.  I think more kids channels should be commercial free during certain hours of the day. But, I’m a realist. And I know this won’t happen. I’m still wowed that Nick Jr is still commercial free and hasn’t caved yet.

Taken from: Kids Eat Right

by Susan Moores, MS RD

TV time can take a toll on your child’s nutrition. Why? Many kids spend a fair amount of time in front of the television and research shows they are easily swayed to choose the foods they see advertised. Some of the foods shown in commercials don’t do them any favors when it comes to feeding their growing brains and bodies. Many are high in fat, sugar, sodium and/or calories and they often lack vitamins, minerals and fiber.

In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that, on average, eating foods typically advertised on TV provided more than three times the amount of sugars and two and a half times the amount of fat a person should have in a day.

How can you tame TV temptations?

Karen Ansel, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association offers these tips:

  • Watch commercials with your kids. Ask them what they think of the foods being pitched and what might be some tasty (more healthful) options. When kids are making choices, “health” and “nutrition” are not big motivators so link healthful foods with things your kids care about, like foods that will help them run faster, jump higher, be stronger, etc.
  • Avoid diss-ing “junk” foods. Kids won’t respond to it and it may actually work against you. Restricting or bad-mouthing these types of foods can actually increase your child’s interest in them.
  • Help your kids learn more about their foods. Teach them to look at an ingredient list and suggest that together you “see what’s inside” an advertised food they want to try. It’s a great way to discuss the nutrient value of a food.
  • Bring the kiddos into the kitchen. And have them jump in to help out. Kids are naturally curious. Take advantage of their desire for discovery to clue them in on the amazing flavors, shapes and colors of healthful foods.
  • Turn off the tube at mealtime. Family meals are a prime opportunity to establish great eating habits, great conversations and great feelings about healthful foods. The family is a major influence on what and how kids eat. As parents, it’s your job to decide what foods are available to eat and what is offered at a meal. Your kids pick up on your food preferences and your attitudes about food. Give them some positive impressions.
  • Put a few parameters around TV time. TV can become the default activity for kids – something easy to do for long periods of time. Set a few guidelines for when and how much television is OK. Instead of simply telling kids to turn off the TV, have a few fun options to take its place, ideally ones that get kids up and active.

 

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Top 5 Healthy Habits For Kids

We’ve all come to learn as grown-ups (apparently nobody did this when we were kids??) that it’s best to sneeze or cough into your elbow or arm. Much better than sneezing on your hand and then touching a million things or shaking a hand. ICK!

The lovely folks at What To Expect website (yes, the same as the series of books) have offered 5 great things we should be doing to stay healthy. Hopefully they’ll all become good healthy habits for 2011!

Taken from WhatToExpect.com

There are good habits and bad habits, but these five healthy ones are keepers!

You do all you can think of to prevent your child from coming down with a cold or an upset tummy — from feeding her balanced meals to scrubbing the floors she plays on. But that’s only half the battle: She has to learn how to keep herself healthy. And there’s plenty of lessons to teach her: Start by explaining that germs are responsible for the yucky feeling she gets when she’s sick. Then instruct her on healthy habits. You’ll have to demonstrate these hygiene lessons over and over, but pretty soon she’ll be able to grasp them — and follow through on them (at least most of the time!). So what are the most important lessons to start with? The top-five healthy habits for children are:

HEALTHY HABIT #1: Give Hands a Good Scrub
Hand washing tops the list of healthy habits children should learn for one simple reason: Doing it often — and doing it right — can reduce the number of colds, flu, and other infections children get by 50 percent! That’s a lot of sore throats, runny noses, and just-plain-ickiness a child can avoid simply by stepping up to the sink, especially at key times: before eating or heading to the playroom with a friend (this will keep germs on shared toys to a minimum), after coming in from playing outside, and after sneezing, coughing, petting an animal, or using the potty.

What’s more, even a baby can start to pick up on this all-important healthy habit — by watching as you wipe off her hands (do it frequently; according to some research, crawling babies handle and mouth the random stuff they find lying around more than 80 times per hour); and then, when she’s old enough to follow simple directions, by mastering these hand-washing how-tos:

  1. Use warm water and soap.
  2. Make lots and lots of suds; bubbles trap germs.
  3. Scrub for at least 20 seconds — about the time it takes to sing the ABC song or “Happy Birthday” twice through (at normal — not breakneck! — speed).
  4. Rub fronts and backs of hands, and between every little finger: Friction is as important as soap and water for getting little mitts clean.
  5. Rinse thoroughly, so that every single germ goes down the drain.
  6. Dry hands on a clean towel.

HEALTHY HABIT #2: Do the “Sleeve Sneeze”
What’s next on the list of healthy habits for children? When your kid feels an “achoo” coming on and there’s no tissue in sight, show him how to let loose into the inside of his elbow, rather than into his hand or the air. This way germs won’t wind up on his fingers — 80 percent of germs are transferred through touch — or spewed out into the air. This healthy habit applies to coughs as well — and to you too, so be a good role model whenever you sneeze sans tissues.

HEALTHY HABIT #3: Toss That Tissue!
Once your child has mastered the fine art of nose-blowing, get her into the habit of disposing of dirty tissues right away, rather than leaving them lying around on a table or the floor: Some bacteria and viruses can live for two hours or more outside the body, so getting rid of tissues is another healthy habit for children to learn. Make sure there’s a trash can in every room your child spends time in or teach her to flush yucky tissues down the toilet.

HEALTHY HABIT #4: Don’t Share
Certain items can harbor germs and other icky things, so your child will have to learn that some things are not meant to be shared. Explain to your child that while it’s nice to let pals play with toys, there are things he should keep to himself — namely combs, brushes, and hats (sharing these items is the number-one way lice spread from kid to kid); toothbrushes; cups, forks, and drinking straws; whistles, horns, and other objects you put your mouth on (good luck with that one!); and, of course, tissues.

HEALTHY HABIT #5: Flush and Flee
Now for some potty talk: While it’s tempting for a child (particularly a toddler who’s in the middle of toilet training) to want to watch the precious products of her efforts swirl away, it’s not such a great idea to encourage her to do this. With every flush, droplets of water containing minute particles of whatever was just deposited (yes, that means pee, poop, or vomit) spew into the air. Not only could this geyser of germs land directly on your kid, it could settle on nearby surfaces. So if you want your children to pick up this particular healthy habit, show them how to put down the lid (carefully, of course — a mashed finger isn’t any more fun than a tummy ache that can result from the type of bacteria lurking in the toilet.).

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