, ,

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.

Understanding Developmental Delays in Children and What to do About Them

I am just a mom…a mom who was concerned for the development of her child so I took it upon myself to educate myself via the internet, pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, community resources and Help Me Grow. I am by no means an expert. I have an early childhood education degree but the class I took in college when we covered this material is long out of my aging brain. I knew one thing though…my husband and I are the only advocates for our children. Nobody else would speak on their behalf. With that, I became a growing expert in the field of child development. I found information fascinating and eventually, sought the help of my resources to assist my children with their struggles (or mountains as I like to call them). I found the following information off of WedMD and thought it was important to share.

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/recognizing-developmental-delays-birth-age-2#2

What Are Developmental Delays in Young Children?

There are many different types of developmental delays in infants and young children. They include problems with:

  • language or speech
  • vision
  • movement — motor skills
  • social and emotional skills
  • thinking — cognitive skills

Sometimes, a delay occurs in many or all of these areas. When that happens, it is called “global developmental delay.” Global developmental delay may occur for any of the following reasons:

What follows are warning signs for different types of delays that may show up from infancy to age 2. You will also learn about some of the causes of developmental delays and potential treatments.

Language and Speech Developmental Delays in Children

Speech delays in toddlers are common. In fact, language and speech problems are the most common type of developmental delay. Speech refers to verbal expression, including the way words are formed. Language is a broader system of expressing and receiving information, such as being able to understand gestures.

Possible causes. A variety of problems may cause language and speech delays, including:

  • exposure to more than one language — which can cause mild delays in toddlers but not delays by the time they reach school age
  • a learning disability
  • child abuse or neglect
  • a problem with the muscles controlling speech — a disorder called dysarthria
  • hearing loss, which may occur in children who have severe middle ear infections or occur as a result of certain medications, trauma, or genetic disorders
  • autism spectrum disorders — a group of neurological disorders that may involve impaired communication as well as impaired social interaction and cognitive skills
  • no cause can be found

Types of treatment. If you or your child’s doctor suspects a speech delay problem, seek an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist. This specialist may test your child’s hearing and use speech therapy with your child. The specialist or doctor may also suggest that you:

  • communicate more with your child — talk, sing, and encourage repetition
  • read daily to your child
  • reinforce speech and language throughout the day
  • get treatment for middle ear infections

Vision Developmental Delays in Children

Until 6 months, a newborn’s vision is normally blurry. Then it improves as the child begins to coordinate sight in both eyes. However, sometimes this does not happen or other vision problems show up.

Possible causes of vision delays. Refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, are common in children. Other eye problems include:

  • amblyopia (lazy eye), poor vision in one eye that may also appear to turn outward
  • infantile cataracts — a clouding of the eye’s lens — or another inherited problem (these problems are rare)
  • retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that sometimes affects premature infants
  • strabismus — also called cross eyes — eyes that turn in, out, up, or down

Types of treatment for vision delays. Early treatment can help correct many vision problems. Depending on the eye problem your child has, he or she may need:

Motor Skill Developmental Delays in Children

Developmental delays may be related to problems with gross motor skills, such as crawling or walking, or fine motor skills, such as using fingers to grasp a spoon.

Possible causes of motor skill delays. Children who are born prematurely may not develop muscles at the same rate as other children.

Other possible causes of motor delays include:

  • ataxia, a defect that impairs muscle coordination
  • cerebral palsy, a condition caused by brain damage before birth
  • cognitive delays
  • myopathy, a disease of the muscles
  • problems with vision
  • spina bifida, a genetic condition causing partial or total paralysis of the lower part of the body

Types of treatment for motor skill delays. Your child’s doctor may suggest taking certain steps at home to encourage more physical activity. Your child may also need physical therapy for gross motor delays. Certain types of physical or occupational therapy may help with fine motor problems or sensory integration dysfunction.

Social and Emotional Developmental Delays in Children

Children may experience problems interacting with adults or other children, called social and/or emotional developmental delays. Usually these problems show up before a child begins school.

Possible causes. Some causes of social and emotional delays include:

  • neglect from early institutionalization or parental neglect
  • ineffective parenting or attachment problems
  • cognitive delays
  • an unknown cause

Another common cause of social and emotional developmental delays fall under the umbrella diagnosis autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This was previously referred to as pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), autism, aspergers and other names. ASD includes disorders that can cause a child have difficulty communicating, have repetitive behaviors and have language problems.

Types of treatment. There is no known cure for these conditions. However, treatment may include:

  • special types of behavioral and skill-oriented therapy
  • medication may help some problematic behaviors

As with most types of delays, early treatment can make a big difference in the progress your child makes. Depending upon the diagnosis, treatment may also include play therapy or steps to aid attachment between parent and child.

Cognitive Developmental Delays in Children

Problems with thinking, or cognitive delays, may be due to one or more of these reasons:

  • genetic defects
  • significant medical problems before birth
  • exposure to something harmful in the environment, such as a toxin

Possible causes. Causes of cognitive delays include:

  • a wide range of different learning disabilities
  • exposure to alcohol or toxins before birth or afterward, including lead poisoning
  • institutionalization or neglect during infancy or early childhood
  • Down syndrome and other genetic disorders
  • autism spectrum disorder
  • severe newborn medical problems
  • no known cause

Types of treatment for cognitive delays. As with most types of developmental delays, early treatment can make a big difference in the progress your child makes. Educational intervention can help your child develop specific cognitive skills. Educators and therapists may also recommend specific steps you can take at home to help your child.

Remember: There is a wide range of normal development in children. Most developmental delays in children are not serious and children eventually catch up. Even children who do have serious delays can make big improvements when treatment begins as early as possible. If you have any doubts, talk to your child’s health care provider.

Sunset at Brant Rock

It’s Summer Break…Now What?

TOP 10 Summer Learning Activities Blog Hop

Here are the TOP 10 posts, listed by the day they will be posted. Right now, all links lead to each site’s homepage. As links go live, the actual Top 10 post link will be listed. (Post dates June 16th – June 20th)

 Monday:

The Educators’ Spin on It | Top 10 Everyday Objects for Summer Learning & Fun!

This Reading Mama | Top 10 Ways to Help Readers Grow this Summer

Growing Book by Book | Top 10 Just Right Summer Reading Spots

Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas | Top 10 Ways To Get Kids Reading this Summer

P is for Preschooler | Top 10 Ways to Have Fun with Sight Words this Summer

Let’s Play Music | Top 10 Ways to Make your Summer Musical

 

Tuesday:

Hand Made Kids Art | Top 10 Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking

3 Dinosaurs | Top 10 Ways to Use Flash Cards

Play Trains | Top 10 Summer Train Activities for Kids

Artsy Momma | Top 10 Ways to Explore & Learn with Activity Kits this Summer

Planet Smarty Pants | Top 10 Ways to Learn Something New This Summer

Living Montessori Now | Top 10 Summer Themes for Preschoolers

Teach Beside Me | Top 10 Sidewalk Chalk Games for Summer Learning

 

Wednesday:

Rainy Day Mum | Top 10 Ways to get Creative with Water

Fun-a-Day | Top 10 Summer Science Experiments for Kids

All Done Monkey | Top 10 Ways to Travel the World Without Leaving Home

Multicultural Kid Blogs | Top 10 Ways to Learn about the World with the World Cup

KC Edventures | Top 10 Citizen Scientist Projects for Summer

Life Over C’s | Top 10 Summer Math Activities

The Pleasantest Thing | Top 10 Summer Art Projects

 

Thursday:

True Aim Education | Top 10 Recipes For Kids to Cook

Creative Family Fun | Top 10 Simple Summer Field Trips

Lalymom | Top 10 Summer Activities for Kindergarten Readiness

Slow Family | Top 10 Ways to Learn in Your Own Backyard

Lemon Lime Adventures | Top 10 Ways to Build Family Connection

Wildflower Ramblings | Top 10 Messy Outdoor Painting Activities

Line Upon Line Learning | Top 10 Ways to Learn at the Playground

Chicken Babies | Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Writing this Summer

Mom Favorites | Top 10 Tips for Rocking a Road Trip with Kids

 

Friday:

Science Sparks | Top 10 Outdoor Science Activities

In the Playroom | Top 10 Ways to Learn Through Play

For This Season | Top 10 Ways to Encourage Creativity

Learn~Play~Imagine | Top 10 Ways to Learn with Water

Raising Lifelong Learners | Top 10 Ways to Learn About Insects

Creekside Learning | Top 10 Hands-On Math Games for Outside

The Outlaw Mom Blog | Top 10 Ways to Keep Kids Thinking Over Summer Break

, , , ,

Children’s Mental Health Matters

This May, in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Child Mind Institute (CMI) is running its #MyYoungerSelf campaign. The independent non-profit organization that focuses on the mental health of children has made videos of over 30 influential people who have struggled with mental health issues or a learning disorder since childhood. These actors, athletes, politicians and other well-known public figures share their experiences and coping tips to help end the stigma around mental health and to provide encouragement to kids going through similar struggles.

So far, videos of Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Gavin Newsom have been released at SpeakUpForKids.org. The intimate and uplifting videos allow each celebrity to offer the advice they would have given their younger self when they first realized they were struggling.

Other speakers slated to share their stories are Lena Dunham, Michael Phelps, Brandon Marshall, Keke Palmer, Nancy Brinker and Jay Leno. A new video will be released each day throughout the month. The hope is that people will watch the videos then share their own stories on social media with the #MyYoungerSelf hashtag.

So many children struggle with mental health issues and learning disorders; many try to hide them or feel uncomfortable talking about what they’re going through. I love that these videos are opening up the conversation. When you’re a kid who doesn’t feel “normal,” it’s nice to know that someone you look up to has felt the same way.

THIS WEEKEND February Family Must Do’s!

Looking for some FUN things to do in the Toledo, Ohio area this weekend? Check out our families list of to-do’s:

Saturday, February 4th:

  1. Theatre Class for 5-6 year olds: Ongoing throughout February; 9:00-10:00 AM
2417 Collingwood Blvd
Toledo, OH
Price: $100.00

Introduction to theatre, using play and story drama to introduce character development. Students will begin to practice auditioning and basic theatrical terms.

Students ages 5-6 in the Early Stages Company students attend one-hour classes on Saturday mornings for 8 weeks. See the website for more information; including information regarding registration. Registration is required.

2. Disney Reads Day: 11:00 AM

4940 Monroe Street
Toledo, OH

Celebrate the Magic of Storytelling on Disney Reads Day! Comee read popular Disney stories and do fun activities to inspire kids’ imaginations. Plus, giveaways including stickers, bookmarks and mini-posters (while supplies last).

3. Winter Wonderland Walk: 2:00 PM

10001 W. Central Ave.
Berkey, OH

Discover all of the amazing things that there is to find at the Metroparks in the winter. Snowshoes provided with snowfall.

Sunday, February 5th:

4. Family Pottery: 1st-12th grade with adult: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

577 East Front Street
Perrysburg, OH
Price: $20.00

Adult & child enjoy an exploration of hand built pottery projects. Make projects using coils, pinch, slab or extruded clay techniques. Make projects together or individually. Decorate with colored slips. 577 will finish pieces with a clear glaze. BOTH ADULT AND CHILD MUST REGISTER FOR CLASS. Register online. There are 2 different sessions offered for this class. Registration is required.

5. Family Center Activities: Sculpture!: 12-5 PM

Toledo Museum of Art

2445 Monroe St
Toledo, OH
Price: Free Free admission

Catch the last days of the exhibition, Libbey Doll collection, and create your own sculpture inspired by what you see. Activities at the Family Center are designed for children 10 years of age and younger accompanied by an adult. The Family Center is sponsored in part by The Andersons.

6. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: 2:00-3:30 PM

4645 Heatherdowns Blvd
Toledo, OH

The legacy of the beloved “Mister Rogers” lives on with the hit television series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, from The Fred Rogers Company and airing daily on PBS KIDS. Now, Daniel and all of his friends are hopping aboard Trolley to delight live audiences with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live! coming to the Stranahan Theatre in Toledo, OH on Sunday, February 5th, 2017 at 2pm and 5pm Tickets (starting at $22 plus applicable service fees) go on-sale Friday, August 19th at 10am and are available at Stanahantheatre.org, or at the box office.

Donning his iconic red sweater, Daniel invites the audience on an interactive musical adventure as he and his friends explore the vibrant world of their much-loved Neighborhood of Make-Believe, sharing stories of friendship, helping others, and celebrating new experiences. This live theatrical production filled with singing, dancing, laughter and “grr-ific” surprises will warm the hearts of multiple generations. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood tells its engaging stories about the life of a preschooler using musical strategies grounded in Fred Rogers’ landmark social-emotional curriculum. Through imagination, creativity and music, Daniel and his friends learn the key social skills necessary for school and for life. In February 2015, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was the #2 program across all TV networks for Kids 2-5 and with moms of young children. In addition, it continues to be one of the highest-streamed shows, averaging over 40 million streams per month. One million Daniel Tiger books have been published to date, and downloads of the apps, music and episodes continue to rank high on iTunes. The animated TV series has garnered a host of prestigious awards, and most recently was nominated for a 2015 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program. This recognition follows a string of additional honors, including a 2015 Parents’ Choice Gold Award and 2014 Prix Jeunesse International Selection as well as the 2013 Kidscreen Award for Best Animated Series in the Preschool Category, and 2013 Cynopsis: Kids! Imagination Award for Preschool Series.

CHILDREN WHO HAVE REACHED THEIR FIRST BIRTHDAY MUST HAVE A TICKET! ▪ Tickets may be purchased by calling 419-381-8851 EXT 1 ▪ You may also stop in to their box office, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. They are open: 9AM-5PM MON-FRI 9AM-1PM SAT ▪ You may also purchase on line @ etix.com.

Monday, February 6th

7. Preschool Photography: 10-11:00 AM

10001 W. Central Ave.
Berkey, OH

Give your preschooler a chance to express her/his-self and explore nature through digital photography. Toddlers will learn how to use a digital camera, look for shapes, color and subject matter in nature. Parents will accompany children for this program. Equipment will be provided but please bring your own SD card if you wish to keep your images.

Feel free to comment below with your family’s list of To-Do’s!

 

Parent/Teacher-Led Art: What’s Best for Your Child?

annora-pumpkin-drawing

“Let them create! Don’t intervene in their imaginative artwork!”

I heard this from many parent friends. The truth is, when homeschooling my daughter, I recognized that she was having a hard time taking the creation in her mind and translating it onto paper. She needed guidance to accomplish the image she so desperately wanted to display for all to see.

So….. I intervened and showed her how to draw. Let me preface with I am NOT an artist but thank goodness for Pinterest! I found Teacher-led art on Pinterest and went to town. I taught her step-by-step how to accomplish the look she was going for. You know what happened? I noticed her confidence go up because she felt like a real artist, she started drawing more, and she wanted her pictures placed on the refrigerator and framed for the wall. We started doing more of them and she started getting better and better.

My point is, each of us know what is truly going to help our child the best. Maybe letting them discover on their own is the best for your child. Maybe guidance and a little nudge is the best? It was for mine. I have attached Annora’s artwork we did this fall/winter. (Keep in mind she is 4 years old…)

Here are the Pinterest pages and YouTube channels I used to get these creative little images:

Pumpkin:http://www.brightconcepts4teachers.com/2015/10/fall-is-finally-here-scarecrows-and.html

Teddy Bear drawing was a YouTube video I used:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1HZR2y8cL4

Turkey Drawing:http://proudtobeprimary.com/holidays-around-blog-its-turkey-time/

Grinch:http://artprojectsforkids.org/grinch/

Reindeer:http://artventurous.blogspot.ca/2012/12/reindeer-portraits.html?showComment=1354997122650

annora-reindeer-2 annora-reindeer annora-teddy-bear annora-turkey annora-grinch

 

 

Creating Goals with Your Kids for 2017

2017 goals in letterpress wood type

I am a firm believer that a goal without a plan is just a wish. As an adult, I annually write out my goals and spend the year breaking them down into more attainable goals that I can “check off” a list.  When I taught 3rd grade, I did this same process with my students. I taught the importance of having big and small goals. These are the strategies I used in my classroom to help my students create concrete, attainable goals. These same steps can be applied to your child at home (best for ages 7 and up).

6 Tips for setting goals with children

goals goal-setting-sheet

1. Collaborate with your child to set goals. Try not to dictate what goals your little one should set. S/he is more likely to push towards their goals if they can take ownership of them.

2. Start with small goals. Starting out with small, easy to achieve goals, ensures that your child experiences some success early on in the goal setting process. Once they have some success, they will gain confidence in their abilities and are more likely to set more challenging goals in the future.

3. Make sure goals are age appropriate. Young kids between Kindergarten and third grade might set goals such as sharing with friends, reading a book independently, etc. Starting at around fourth grade, children might set more complex goals for themselves such as making honor roll or making a sports team.

4. Goals need to be realistic and attainable. Children need to set goals that they have the skills to achieve. For example, it would be unrealistic for a five year old to have a goal of reading a Harry Potter book independently because they have not developed the necessary skills to do so. This goal would most likely be unattainable for them despite their best efforts.

5. Make goals specific. Having broad goals can overwhelm and confuse a child. When setting goals, try to be as specific as possible. Instead of saying “I will do better in school,” state specifically what you will do in order to do better in school. For example, “I will complete my homework daily.”

6. Decide how you will track progress. Kids are more likely to work towards their goals when they see progress. They can track their progress by using a sticker chart, graph with tally marks, a spreadsheet, etc. Make sure they can readily see the progress they are making towards achieving their goal.

vision-board-for-kids-5

Making vision boards with children
A vision board is a visual representation of the things you want to accomplish or acquire. People create vision boards to have a constant reminder of what they are working towards. A vision board is a great tool for teaching children about goal setting. Children can use vision boards to keep them motivated and focused as they work toward their goals.

goals-again-and-again

It’s a 10! Healthy Holiday Treats for the Classroom That will Make You Look Like Super-Mom!

When the holiday season rolls around, so do classroom holiday parties! Of course we have to provide our kids with some festive treats, but who says they can’t be healthy?

These healthy holiday treats are perfect for classroom parties, or even just snacks at home! They’re full of festive holiday spirit AND nutrition. We’ve also included a couple non-food treats. All the kids will love them!

  1. Strawberry Cheesecake Santas
    strawberry_santa_231-467x700
    CHEESECAKE STUFFED STRAWBERRY SANTAS
    Author: LAURA FUENTES – SUPERGLUEMOM
    Recipe type: TREAT
    Serves: 6-8
    INGREDIENTS
    • 16 ounce package fresh California strawberries, washed
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature*
    • 4 tablespoons honey, or
    • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • mini chocolate chips, to decorate
    INSTRUCTIONS
    1. On a cutting board, slice the stem off the strawberry (try to cut it as “flat” as possible since the Santa-berries will use that as a base).
    2. Cut the top third of the strawberry, this will be used as the “hat”.
    3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, honey or powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mixture will be thick so it’s best that the cream cheese really is at room temperature.
    4. Place creamed mixture inside a zip bag (or a piping bag) and snip one corner off. Make this first cut a bit larger since you are filling the “faces” first.
    5. Top strawberry base with cream mixture, top with the strawberry hats, and squeeze additional mixture on top of the hat.
    6. Next, snip the opposite corner or the bag (or change your piping tip) and make a smaller opening. Use this end to decorate “Santa’s” jacket buttons.
    7. Use mini chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles to decorate Santa’s eyes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
    NOTES
    Once you create the Strawberry Santa’s, they can’t be frozen. When frozen strawberries thaw, their texture change.
    Can you use whipped cream? Yes, but make sure a) it’s very cold when you pipe it onto the strawberry, and b) you make small “hats” otherwise they will sink inside the whipped cream.
    Revised: you can also use whipped cream cheese and cheesecake filling (although I haven’t tried it but one of my readers has).

2. String Cheese Snowmen from NoBiggie

stringcheese-snowman-nobiggie-net_-466x700

3. Applesauce Rudolphs from the Melrose Family

unique-gifts-for-kids-suppliesunique-gifts-for-kids-class-508x700

4. Simple Christmas Treat Cups from Simple as That

christmas-cups1web1 christmas-cups-collage

5. Grinch Fruit Kabobs

grinch-fruit-kabobs-a1-467x700

7. Snowman Juice Boxes by Pigskins and Pigtails

snowmen-540x700

8. Christmas Play-doh Favors from One Little Project

dsc_8283-467x700

9. Healthy Reindeer Treats from Hello Splendid

halos-healthy-reindeer-treat-466x700

9. The Grinch Grape Snack Bag by Kitchen Fun with my Three Sons

christmas-the-grinch-grape-snack-bags-994x1024-679x700

10. Baybell Cheese Santa Bellies from Cute Food for Kids

santa-cheese

The myths of the Stay-at-Home Mommy!

What happened to me?!?

I went shopping at the mall for the first time since I had a child and the sales associate said something that horrified me.
He asked “What do you do for a living?”
Smiling I said “I’m a stay at home mom” I should have said I’m a domestic engineer because that is more accurate.
“Oh. you don’t work then. Your lucky. Sit around the house all day and do nothing. You have a life of leisure and relax all day.”
I was livid! It is baffling the crazy stereotype of the modern day homemaker. It is because of these myths that we get little respect in society. Today I hope to set the record straight and educate the public.

Here is a list of 10 myths about stay at home moms debunked!

1 – We stay home all day. The term “Stay-At-Home-Mom” indicates all we do is “stay at home,” and that is far from the truth.

2 – We are lazy! Choosing to be a mom who stays at home deserves respect and admiration.

3 – We must be bored all day! Being a stay-at-home mom is challenging in all the right ways, and we are not “bored” by being a mom.

4 – We just don’t want to work. Many stay-at-home moms do work through volunteer and paid positions; we just do it from our homes around the family schedule.

5 – We must feel unfulfilled. Being a stay-at-home mom does not leave us “unfulfilled or feeling cheated out of a real career” — I walked away from a “real career” by choice.

6 – We don’t have any dreams. All moms have dreams and aspirations, and each should be celebrated for her gifts and talents.

7 – We don’t approve of working moms. Stay-at-home moms do not harbor animosity toward moms who choose to, or must, work outside the home — we actually like to support them!

8 – We regret leaving our careers behind. I do not regret leaving my career. I am not “missing out” or hindering my own personal growth. … I have learned much about life by being a stay-at-home mom.

9 – Building a strong legacy is more important to me than building a strong career; Hubby and I have made certain lifestyle choices that allow us to manage on one income — we are blessed.

10 – We have nothing to offer the working mom. Leaving the voice of a stay-at-home mom out of media conversations is detrimental to all moms. If you would care to interview a stay-at-home mom about her view of life, you might find she has much to offer to the conversations you are having.

Instead, here is what we do daily…

We work many jobs throughout the day. We are nurses, chauffeurs, chefs, teachers, playmates, housekeepers, laundry attendants, accountants, referees and babysitters all rolled into one. The stereotype of a woman sitting at home watching soap operas while eating bon-bons is a distant reality for the stay-at-home mom.

In fact, many stay-at-home moms aren’t home much at all because we’re running kids all over town to school, soccer practice, dance lessons and doctor’s appointments, plus attending school meetings, grocery shopping and running other errands. “Home” is only part of our title in name only.

And when we are at home, we’re doing everything to keep our houses running smoothly, including managing the household’s budget (not me though), taking care of the house and planning the family meals (my LEAST favorite thing to do!). Most importantly, we’re taking care of the kids and their every need, especially when they’re younger.

Many people don’t view a stay-at-home mom’s work as work because we don’t receive a paycheck for the 24 hours a day, 7 days a week we’re on duty. We don’t get a pay raise or 401K plans. There are no vacation or sick days accumulated.

While some may argue that a stay-at-home mom doesn’t contribute to the family, they’re strictly thinking about a financial contribution in the form of a paycheck. But as a 2010 report from salary.com shows, a stay-at-home mom would earn $117,856 a year for all the jobs she performs if she were paid. Moms in Canada would earn $132,288. The salary estimates continue to rise with each year.

Today’s stay-at-home mom is not your Leave it to Beaver image of a woman who stays home vacuuming the carpets in her long dresses and pearls while waiting on her children to come home from school. While some stay-at-home moms maintain their title all the way until the kids graduate high school and leave the house, others go back to the workforce, start their own businesses or find new ways to stay at home while earning an income…I know I have.

 

Baking Buddies!

I have to start by saying that I am the WORST baker! I have been known to forget ingredients, make a mess of the kitchen, burn the end result, etc…you name the disaster and I have probably been there done that!

This cookie project wasn’t about making the best cookie or perfecting my baking skills, it was about the experience I was to have with my daughter. She was excited to make cookies for her class of 8 students and I was excited to do this together. We got the kitchen ready, preheated the oven, triple checked to make sure we had everything we needed and then…got to work. We weren’t the cleanest nor did we get the recipe absolutely perfect…and we were okay with that.

I got some much needed one on one time with her, she got to spend some quality time with me, Daddy got to spend time with Delise and vice versa and everyone got to eat cookies in the end…it was a win win all around!

img_1364-2 img_1384

This experience reminded me that Annora will only be 4.5 years old once, that I need to embrace these activities and memories because the opportunities will diminish if I don’t act on them, and that even though baking is not my strong point, we can learn and make baking messes together…those are my kind of memories and lessons! On a side note, Annora was GREAT and I can see baking as a strong suit in her near future.

You know, it wasn’t about baking at all…the baking could have been replaced with crafts, biking, making a fort, playing Barbies, etc. Spending time with her was priceless…and the cookies were an added BONUS!

img_1371 img_1373 img_1374 img_1375 img_1377 img_1380 img_1383