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Daily Sunshine…It’s What’s For Din Din!

As a mom, I know the struggle of trying to get your family to eat healthy. What’s worse, even seemingly “healthy” snacks are filled with refined sugar, saturated fats, and artificial flavors. I also know that while Shakeology is an incredibly important source of dense superfood nutrition, most of us still need a source of nutrients from fruits and vegetables that we can share with our kids as an alternative to the unhealthy snacks they beg for. And that’s why Beachbody created Daily Sunshine.

This is a smoothie that everyone will love. It’s made with organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and it provides plant-based protein. I know how hard it can be to convince my daughters to eat all those things—but not with Daily Sunshine!

I still drink my Shakeology every morning, and then every afternoon my daughters and I each have a chocolate or strawberry banana Daily Sunshine. The best part is, it’s not a battle, they ask for it! Sometimes I even make Daily Sunshine a reward for eating a small bowl of veggies! How about that for a healthy incentive?

We know our kids need fruits and vegetables. But they beg for snacks loaded with salt, saturated fat, and high-fructose corn syrup—and zero real nutrition. What’s a well-meaning parent to do?

You give them Daily Sunshine, the healthy smoothie kids love—and parents feel great about serving! Daily Sunshine puts an end to the kitchen table battles, the bargaining, and the compromises. Now everyone can be happy at snack time.

3-IN-1 SMOOTHIE
Daily Sunshine is made with organic fruits and vegetables, organic pea protein, and healthy fats. It delivers the equivalent of a full serving of fruits and vegetables† in each smoothie. Just add water, shake, and drink!

NUTRITIONIST DEVELOPED
Daily Sunshine is carefully formulated with the building blocks of nutrition kids need to help them grow up healthy and strong.

PEDIATRICIAN-APPROVED FORMULA
4 out of 5 pediatricians approve the Daily Sunshine formula. So you can be confident you’re giving your family great nutrition every day.

KID-APPROVED TASTE  
How can a “real-food” formula taste so great? Beachbody puts both flavors through rigorous taste tests to ensure they satisfy the world’s toughest critics—kids!

THERE’S NOTHING SECRET ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS.

Check out our label. These are real ingredients you can recognize. Made with organic fruits and vegetables, organic pea protein, and healthy fats, plus a few other important ingredients to help support optimal health.

http://images.beachbody.com/pdf/DSS-nutrition-fact-PDF-StrawBan.pdf

http://images.beachbody.com/pdf/DSS-nutrition-fact-PDF-Chocolate.pdf

 

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Mom of the Year…or Not.

Stressed? You’re not alone. Apparently 70 percent of U.S. moms say mothering is “incredibly stressful.” And 96 percent also feel that we are far more stressed than our own mothers were.

So what’s triggering Mommy Angst, circa 2017? (How much time do you have? LOL) It’s everything from financial insecurities, a more intensive parenting style and  higher expectations for our kids’ success to a lack of support, time famine, relationship demands, and concern that the world is more perilous for kid raising.

The best news is that you can try these tricks with your kids that will make you feel like “Mom of the Year” is right around the corner, which means everyone benefits by learning to manage stress.

1. Learn your stress signs

Common stress signs include: Rising blood pressure or spiked heart rate (which can make you feel a little dizzy). Speaking louder or yelling. Irritability, more impatient or experiencing lapses in judgment.

2. Take a break

You may not be able to avoid all the stress, but you can get away for just a few minutes to feel less overwhelmed. Giving yourself permission to take a brief “stress break” is often enough to decompress or just give a new perspective. This can include:

Taking a Mommy time out: Put up a “do not disturb” sign on your bedroom door. Listen to relaxing music or plant a picture in your mind of a soothing place. Take five minutes to decompress.

Give permission to “take ten”: Let everyone in your family know it’s OK to walk away until they can get back in control. Some families create a family signal such as using an umpire “Time Out” hand gesture that means that the person needs to decompress.

3. Create solutions for your “hot” times

Stress mounts for me at predictable times, such as in the morning when everyone is dashing to get out the door or at that dinner time witching hour. Identify when you are most irritable, and find a simple way to curb the friction during that “hot” time. For instance: If mornings are stressful because your kid can’t decide (or find) what to wear: lay clothes out the night before. If your car pool is frantic because you can’t find your keys, make an extra set.

4. Learn deep breathing or meditation

How to start:

Use slow, deep breaths.Inhale slowly to a count of five, pause for two counts, and then slowly breathe out the same way, again counting to five. Repeating the sequence creates maximum relaxation. (Using bubble blowers or pinwheels helps younger kids learn to take slow deep breaths to blow “meanies” away.)

5. Exercise together (My personal FAVORITE technique)

The research is growing that exercise keeps stress at bay whether it’s walking, bike riding, swimming, playing basketball or something else. The trick is finding the type you enjoy. Best yet, find a strategy to do with your kids so everyone benefits.

Just walk: Walk alone, with your kids or find one other mom to join for a short walk each day.

Ride off the tension: There is nothing like riding bikes with your kids.

Dance stress away: A ten-minute spontaneous dance session with your kids is a great tension reliever whether the music is a nursery rhyme or Coldplay.

6. Take time to laugh

Be spontaneous: Celebrate the dog’s birthday by baking him a cake. Eat dinner in reverse. Tape a dollar bill to the garbage can (and don’t say anything about it) to see who will take out the trash. Just have fun!

7. Find a support group

The truth is we devote so much time to our families, we forget to take time for our social needs, whether it’s our significant other or our girlfriends. Relationships help reduce our stress and restore balance.

Schedule date nights: The date doesn’t have to cost anything — a walk, going to the park, watching a rented movie, or sitting in the car in your driveway with wine and cheese. It’s just time alone with your significant other.

There’s a reason flight attendants remind us to put on our oxygen masks first, then on the kids. We can’t take care of our families unless we take time for ourselves, and Moms are notorious at putting ourselves on the backburner. Take time for yourself. Make sure to check your stress. After all, a happy, less-stressed mom makes happier, less-stressed kids. Always has. Always will.

What are your secrets for de-stressing?

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Sibling Rivalry

The excitement when I found out our youngest was a girl and would be the little sister to our sweet 2.5 year old daughter was just overwhelming. I was excited for them to be the best of friends like my sister and I. They would play dolls together, have sweet tea parties, run around together, etc. Life would be grand as sisters.

Then reality set in about 12 months in. Our girls are complete opposites and getting them to play together is like oil and water. NOT the vision I had in my mind the day our second was born. In fact, it has been a struggle to teach them how to get along and understand each others’ differences since pretty much day one.

I could stop trying to get them a better understanding one another and let them disagree on EVERYTHING…or I could seek the advice of others that have been in the same boat I am in now. I truly believe it takes a village.  That being said, I of course, did my research and have been implementing some key strategies throughout our day to make life and relationships a bit more “loving.”

Here are some tips I have found helpful in our household and maybe you will as well:

1. Make friends before birth. Get your older child acquainted with the new baby before birth. Show her pictures of a baby growing in mommy’s belly. Let her pat the baby beneath the bulge, talk to baby, and feel baby kick.

2. Make the older sibling feel important. Savvy visitors who themselves have survived sibling rivalry will bring along a gift for the older child when visiting the new baby. In case this doesn’t happen, keep a few small gifts in reserve for the older sib when friends lavish presents and attention on the new baby. Let her be the one to unwrap the baby gifts and test the rattles. Give your child a job in the family organization. To pull the child out of the “I want to be a baby, too” belief, play up her importance to you, personally and practically. Give her a job title, such as “mommy’s helper.”

3. Time share. What bothers children most is sharing you with the new baby. Since the concept of sharing is foreign to the child under three (as mom is their most important “possession”), it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to sell the child on the concept of sharing mother. It sounds good to say that you’ll give your older child equal amounts of your time, but in practice that’s unrealistic and unnecessary. New babies require a lot of maintenance, and you don’t have 200 percent of yourself to give. Be creative when trying to take care of baby and give time to the older siblings all at once.

4. Stay positive. Promoting sibling harmony requires a bit of parental marketing. You may think that your older child should be thrilled to have gained a live-in friend, but children are often preoccupied with what they’ve lost. They’re not so keen on sharing their toys, their room, and most importantly, their parents with someone else. Turn this around to help the normally egocentric child to imagine, “what’s in it for me?” Use the term “special time.” (You’ll get a lot of marketing mileage out of the word “special.”) The attention your child apparently has lost from mom, he gains from dad. Arrange a lot of one-on-one outings for your older child, such as time at the park and the ice cream store, so the child realizes that even though he’s lost some time with mom, he’s gets more special time with dad, grandparents, or other caregivers.

5. Begin the day in harmony. If possible, start most days with “special time” with your toddler. Sometimes starting the day with twenty minutes of intensive care—holding time—with your toddler can ward off angry feelings in the toddler toward the new baby and is a good investment in the rest of the day.

6. Raise sensitive sibs. It’s hard to hate and hit a person you care about and who cares about you. You can nurture patterns of life-long friendship among your children by helping them find constructive ways to be sensitive to each other. Learning to live with a sib is a child’s first lesson in getting along with other children. Early in our parenting career, we realized that the parent’s role in promoting sibling harmony is as a facilitator, one who doesn’t do things directly for the children, but rather sets conditions that foster a compatible relationship between them. Your job is not to control how siblings relate, but rather to shape these relationships.

  • Sib in charge. If your children are several years apart, give the older child some supervised responsibility for the younger one. This will motivate the older brother or sister to care, and the younger sib will sense this. Even a toddler can gently hold and pat the tiny baby under supervision.
  • Sib as comforter. When one child was hurt, we would ask one of our other children to help attend to the injury. We would give our assistant a job title: “Dr. Erin, you hold Matthew’s leg while I wrap it” or “Please put the bandage on Lauren’s cut.” The “doctor” would most likely muster up compassion for the “patient.” It’s hard to hate the hand that comforts you.
  • Sib as minister. In our family, if one child was either physically or emotionally hurt, the others were encouraged to offer comfort to ease the pain. We called this practice “laying on of hands.” The sib under pressure (whether it be an upcoming test, or an emotional or physical hurt) would sit in the middle of the group while the rest of us would place a hand on him and pray for his comfort in a calming way. When our seventh child, Stephen, was born, we saw very little sibling rivalry between the rest of the children. Because Stephen was born with Down Syndrome, our children soon learned – because they were taught – that Stephen had special needs and he needed a special kind of brotherly and sisterly love.
  • Sib as teacher. Encourage your child to teach a skill he is proficient at to his sibling. For example, we got our son Matthew, an avid baseball player, to show his brother Stephen how to hit and catch a ball. And now, years later, Stephen can play ball well with typical boys his age.
  • Sibs as co-workers. Assign children tasks that require cooperation and motivate them to work together: “Matthew, would you and Erin please clean up the garage? If you two hurry, we can finish soon enough to catch an afternoon movie!” If the siblings are born with clashing personalities, the adult monitor should keep a “bossy-submissive” relationship from developing.
  • Sibs as co-sleepers. Parents in our practice have told us that children who sleep together at night usually play more peacefully together during the day. That has also been our experience.
  • Sib as entertainer. If you have a born clown, capitalize on that asset and encourage the clown to entertain the other sibling, such as the older child humoring the toddler while you get something done.

7. Set limits. Sometimes you’re too tired to play amateur psychologist and you just want to click into your police mode. Do it and don’t worry about permanently damaging your child’s psyche. Give clear messages about how you expect your kids to behave toward one another before arguments become a way of life. Offer calm verbal reminders: “That’s a put-down,” as one sib belittles the other. Or, issue a look that says “don’t even think about it!” Head off fights at the first squabble, before they get out of hand. Be watchful for aggressor- victim roles. Your job is to protect your children, even from one another. How siblings behave toward one another is their first social lesson in how to behave in a group. In our family, we have set certain “maximum allowable limits”, which are behaviors that we insist upon to like living with our children, and the children are taught to respect these.

8. Hold family meetings.

9. Humor is the best medicine. Humor disarms and catches children by surprise, so that they can see how insensitive their actions are toward one another.

10. Foster a team spirit. We often took our children with us on family trips. They soon learned that with privileges come responsibilities, so they learned how to act in a group. The home and family is the first social relationship that kids learn. They learned how people treat people and that everyone in that group has individual rights. They developed a group sensitivity, which is an important tool for life. In fact, disciplining siblings is really giving them the tools to succeed in life.

11. Promote empathy. Disciplining siblings is giving them the tools to succeed in life, and one of the most important tools that has life-long social implications is the quality of empathy. This is another way of stating the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Help your children learn how to get behind the eyes of another person and think first how their behavior is going to affect that other person. We want our children to think through what they’re about to do. A lack of empathy is the hallmark of sociopathic relationships between adult siblings.

12. Promote gender sensitivity.

13. Ignore smallies; address biggies. For smallies, such as toy squabbles, teach children to handle it themselves. Simply state the consequences and what you expect, “I’ll be back in one minute. If you kids haven’t learned how to share the toy or work it out, the toy goes in the garage.” You can either time-out the toy or time-out the kids. You’re giving them two messages: you expect them to be able to work it out themselves, but you’re giving them the unequivocal consequences that if they don’t, you will. Children expect parental guidance, as if wanting adults to protect them from being like, well, kids. Biggies are put-downs, or one child victimizing the other. In these situations, children need you to monitor put-downs. If you don’t, you’re not doing your job. By remaining silent, the victim concludes you’re siding with the victimizer. Some sibling squabbles seem to be a right of passage. Children practice on each other, especially when they’re bored. They feel, “We need some action here. Let’s stir things up.” This can lead to the older child goading the younger one, though oftentimes the younger sib becomes the pest and instigator, as if child number two has to try just a little harder.

14. Children do not have to be treated equally. While children are created equally, it’s impossible to treat them that way all the time. It took us several children to discover this fact of large family life. In their desire to prevent sibling squabbles, parents strive to do everything the same way for all their children, whether it’s buying pajamas or selecting a college. Children aren’t the same; you don’t need to behave as if they were. Make moment-by-moment decisions and don’t worry about the long-term consequences if you give one child more strokes than the other one day. Shoot for a balanced week, not a balanced day. “Why did Hayden get a new pair of shoes and I didn’t?” quibbled Erin. “Because hers were worn out and you got a new pair of shoes last month.” Yet, we didn’t let Hayden flaunt her prize in front of Erin. Children want to be treated individually, not equally.

Yet, children have an innate sense of fairness, or what they perceive as being fair. Some children are born scorekeepers. If you try to join the game, it will drive you nuts. One evening at dinner two of our score- keeping children counted the number of peas they had been served to be sure they got an equal number. After that, we let them serve themselves. If they wanted to go through this ridiculous exercise, that was their choice, but we weren’t going to join in this draining game. If a treat needs to be divided, we let one child divide the treat, while the other one gets first choice. As much as you can, try to divide chores equally among children according to their ages and capabilities, yet don’t beat yourself up trying to be 100 percent fair. You can’t be.

Remember, you are preparing your children for life, and life does not treat people fairly and equally. “Daddy, why do I have to go to bed at 9:00 o’clock when Erin gets to stay up until 10 o’clock?” “Because you need more sleep.” Children don’t seem to grumble when they sense the fairness of your decisions. Explain that children get different privileges and more responsibilities as they get older. They can look forward to growing up. Sometimes group therapy solves the equal-time drama. If we gave every child in our family equal time for a story at bedtime, we’d be reading all night. The older ones soon learn that the younger ones need more nighttime parenting to get them to sleep. If they want the same, they join the family bedtime story. Oftentimes, we would have several kids around the bed to join in the three-year-old’s story.

15. Every child is a favorite. It’s unrealistic for parents to claim they never play favorites. Some parents’ and some childrens’ personalities clash; others mesh. Some children bring out the best in their parents; others push the wrong buttons. The key is to not let your children perceive this as favoritism. Better yet, make them all feel special. If your child asks you a question, “Who do you love more – me or Matthew?” give the politically correct answer – “I love you both in special ways.” Give the comparison that love is like sunshine – sharing the sun doesn’t mean you get less, and our love shines on our children like sunshine. Mention special qualities: “You are my firstborn, and no one else can be my firstborn child” (or second, or first daughter, etc.). Don’t fall into the “who’s best” trap. Children don’t expect you to say who’s better, they are only fishing for reassurance about how you feel about them.

16. Minimize comparisons. This is also the basis for feelings of inferiority, which encourages undesirable behavior among siblings. Praise your child for accomplishments in relation to herself and not in comparison to a sibling. Each child can feel she is special in the eyes of her parents. Children are constantly being compared. Most of their life they will be rated on their performance: grades in school, the batting order on the baseball team, races and games among themselves. The home is the only organization left that values a child for himself and not in comparison with others. So, avoid comments like, “Why can’t you make good grades like your brother?”

17. Referee quarrels. When to step in as a referee and when to remain a bystander is a round-by-round judgment call. Sometimes letting children be children or giving them reminders is all that is necessary. Martha’s immediate fight-stopper is “You’re disturbing my peace.” This works because we have already planted the idea that in crowds (our family qualifies as a crowd) one respects the peace of others. If children are in danger of hurting someone or damaging property, stop the fight. Siblings who are allowed to fight as kids are more likely to fight as adults. Above all, stop sibling abuse – either physical or emotional.

18. When in doubt, intervene. You may hear, “Oh, they’ll just grow out of it!” Both experience and research has shown that without parental guidance, siblings with bad relationships are likely to grow into adults with bad relationships. The more they are allowed to fight as kids, the more likely they are to fight as adults. Being complacent and concluding that the childhood relationship will naturally grow from sour to sweet is being naïve. It doesn’t. The relationship is likely to get more sour when children grow up being deprived of the brotherly and sisterly love that is the birthright of being a brother or sister.

19. Listen to both sides. Children will be both buddies and battlers. We not only need to protect growing bodies from physical abuse, which siblings usually grow out of with few or no lasting scars, but more importantly we need to protect their absorbing minds against emotional abuse —which is more likely to have life-long consequences. Sibling abuse is not to be tolerated. If danger is apparent, remember safety first and psychology second. First, separate the fighters; then instead of being drawn into the shouting match, calm everyone down and put on your home psychology hat on top of your authority hat.

Also, if you sense one child is victimizing another, call a halt. Verbal abuse qualifies as fighting. Be particularly vigilant to prevent emotional scars, which take longer to heal than the physical ones. Show them alternatives ways of handling differences, a valuable lesson for life. Listen to both sides, “He hit me,” “No, he hit me first!” “I hate you!” “I hate you more!” Give your children time and space to vent their anger and frustration before beginning your “therapy.”

Kids are so caught up in their own emotions that they don’t hear what you’re saying. Show you understand both children’s viewpoints and help them hear each other by echoing their feelings, “Bob, you feel like Jim wronged you, and Jim, you feel that Bob is being unfair… This sounds like something both of you can work out. You’re big boys, and I expect you to come out of this bedroom as friends.” At the height of sibling bickering, our children would occasionally remark that we had too many kids. We silenced their complaints with: “Which one of you shouldn’t we have had?”

20. Siblings are forever. As parents of many children we wear many hats – teacher, referee, coach, psychologist, and field-general. Yet, we wear our communications hat to help our children be life-long friends. Sometime during middle childhood (ages 6 through 10), impress upon your children what “brother” or “sister” really means. Children sense that “blood is thicker than water.” Brothers and sisters are a sort of live-in support system. Here’s the message we give our children: “Your brothers and sisters will ultimately be your best friends. Once your other friends have moved or drifted away, your family friends will always be there when you need them. Friends come and go; siblings are forever.”

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Preparing For School After Summer Break

For most (If you haven’t already returned to school), It’s that time of the year when schools are getting ready to re-open and begin the new academic session. While all will make a fuss about going back to the school routine, it is this same school routine that gives kids the much needed focus and stability we all long for. So how do we go about preparing for this return?

For the child who is going to school for the first time, parents, we have a very special role to play. Most children have gone to a play school or nursery and are happy to go to a big school. While there is excitement, there is also nervousness. The playschool next door is small, and with fewer kids. Going in a school bus to school that is huge and with many children can unnerve a child. So, prepare your child for that. If possible take him/her a few times to the school maybe after school hours or if permitted during daytime. Let them have a tour of the school, canteen, washroom or playroom etc so that they are familiar with the surroundings. Fill the child with the fun component of being in a big school. Schools these days do allow for these sorts of visits, and usually permit parents to travel in the bus for the first couple of days.

The child who is going to the Secondary section or to a new class, too goes through moments of apprehension. True, they look forward to the new academic year, but there is a fear — “Will the child who bullied me last year be in my class?”, “Who will be my class teacher?” and so on. Parents need to understand these anxieties and help the child cope with them. Research suggests never using school as a threat or punishment — “I will send you away to a boarding school” or “Wait till I tell your teacher”. Instead, talk to the child and tell him/her about how exciting the Secondary section will be. New building (maybe), new friends, new uniform, books and a new chance to do well. This will fill the child with joy and school will be a happy place to go to. I always say…stay positive and so will your child.

If it is not a new term but just reopening after a short break, students must check their homework list. Ensure that you have completed your summer homework and projects. Check if your uniforms still fit (children are prone to shoot up suddenly in the holidays or over summer break), you have the socks, sports uniform and shoes as per specification.

If you have moved to a new town and the school is altogether different and your child obviously knows no one. Yes, some nervousness is bound to be there — for you and your child. But relax. You have used the summer break to settle down in your new home, I am sure there is at least one child going to the same school. Even if you are anxious don’t let your child see it. Describe all the wonderful things he/she can do in the new school i.e. meet new friends, start over from the previous year if it was rough, get involved in the extracurriculars, etc.

Make sure to accompany the child to school on the reopening day. Try using the school bus, there will be several children and their parents waiting at the stop. Can you get a better opportunity for both you and your child to make new friends? I am sure that soon enough all your fears will be put to rest.

Now, that all of us are ready, why are we waiting? Is that the school bus I hear? Happy Return to school…

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Top 10 Tips for Teaching Manners

Kindness, consideration, and respect are qualities I hope to instil in my children. Some today may find the concept of proper etiquette old fashioned, but teaching children basic good manners is one way to enforce these important ideals.

“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”—Emily Post

While I could write a whole book about manners (as Emily Post most famously did) here are 10 very basic lessons we can teach our children, providing them with the understandings necessary to become well-mannered adults.

1. Please. Thank you. Excuse me.

Beginning at square one, it is not too difficult to get even the youngest children into the habit of including a “please” with every request, a “thank you” upon any receipt, and an “excuse me” upon any imposition.

The key to developing this habit in children is simply to kindly remind them consistently to include these “magic words” until they can remember on their own.

2. Respect in conversation

As my children get old enough to engage in conversation, they can be taught to respect those with whom they speak by giving their full attention and maintaining good eye contact. Children can be taught to address adults properly (that is, “Mrs. Smith” or “Dr. Jones”). Parents can help children by saying things like, “Do you remember Mrs. Smith?” upon introduction. These are skills that can be explained and taught through role modeling at home.

3. No interruptions

Patience may take time for kids to learn, but one way to regularly exercise this virtue is to teach children not to interrupt others, unless of course there is an emergency. Very young children can understand that if others are engaged in conversation it is not kind or considerate to insist upon stopping it so that they may say something. If it is necessary to interrupt, of course, they can be taught to say, “excuse me.”

4. Listen to understand

Building upon the ideals of patience and kindness, we can teach kids, as they mature, an essential skill that epitomizes good manners: the skill of listening. Giving respect to anyone they converse with, kids can go beyond the practice of not interrupting to truly listening, with an aim to understand what is being said.

5. Be nice

Of course, simply being nice is critical to having good manners. Thanks to Disney’s Bambi and his adorable bunny friend, Thumper, this is an easy concept to remind kids of: “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” (You can teach them proper grammar later. ;))

6. Digital decorum

The use of digital devices presents a whole new category of etiquette to consider. If parents instil the idea of consideration for others, though, right and wrong quickly become clear. Looking at your phone while in the middle of a conversation? Wrong. Sharing photos with your the friends around you? Right. Pulling out the iPad at a restaurant? Wrong. Googling the answer to a question everyone present would like answered? Right.

7. Be a facilitator

Whether a guest in someone’s home, a participant in a discussion, a pupil in a classroom, or a shopper in a store, one can always consider others and aim to be someone who makes things easier. If we can instil this idea in our kids, they’ll surely be well-mannered. As guests in someone’s home, for example, they’ll clean up after themselves and offer to help. As students in class, they’ll follow the rules and be helpful to their teacher and classmates.

8. Tolerate and appreciate others

Children are never too young to be appreciative and tolerant of others—true testaments of kindness.

“The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.”—Kahlil Gibran

9. Praise their good manners

Positive reinforcement is a critical tool to teach children anything. As your kids develop good habits and continue to display good manners, reinforce their success with praise. Notice when your children are using their good manners and being kind and let them know you’re proud of them.

10. Model the behaviour yourself

Perhaps the most effective way to teach your children good manners is to have good manners yourself.

“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”—Fred Astaire

Children, as you likely well know, model the behaviour of their parents. If this is an area you could use improvement in, make the effort to bring about a positive change that both you and your children will benefit from.

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Healthy Mac and Cheese Recipe Your Kids Will Love

 

No, really. I mean it. Healthy Mac and Cheese.

Like mac and cheese that is healthy. Noodles with sauce that will secretly give you vegetables. Creamy sauce without boatloads of butter and flour. Favorite comfort food that packs a little nutrition.

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni – whole wheat, low glycemic, gluten free… any will work!
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 small butternut squash (4-5 cups cubed)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup shredded cheese – I like Gruyère but any kind will work
  • parsley for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Cut the onion into thin rings and add to the butter in the pan, sauteing over low heat until fragrant and golden, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the skin and the seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh into small cubes. Bring the broth to a boil and add the squash. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth, and transfer squash to the blender. Add the onions, milk, salt, and reserved broth and puree until completely smooth and creamy. This should yield about 4 cups sauce.
  3. Pour the pureed sauce over the cooked noodles and add the shredded cheese. Stir to melt the cheese; add water or milk to adjust consistency as needed. Serve with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.
NOTES
When caramelizing the onions, keep the heat low to prevent burning. The deeper the golden color, the more flavorful they will be.