Parenting Ideas

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves - are great for art and creativity and having fun. You can play outside in them. You can make a family project of raking them up (and then jumping into the piles). You can collect unique ones and make a centerpiece or decorate your home. You can use them in crafts. You can also show the circle of life with leaves. Most of all - enjoy being with your kids no matter what you are doing with the leaves.

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Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness - This is an amazing way to teach your child to give and to learn how good it can feel to help others. It can be small like helping someone put groceries in their car or medium like buying a homeless person some ready to eat food, or big like paying a bill for someone. If you are going through a toll booth you can pay for one or 2 people behind you. Or a simple note telling someone that you appreciated their parenting skills, or the way they dressed or thanking a vet for their service.

Think of how wonderful the world would be if we each did that everyday and were sometimes on the receiving end. We can show our children how to respect and appreciate all that is around us by these little random acts of kindness.

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Be A Song

Be a song - dress up like a song or a character in a song or act out a song and sing the song. Have fun with it - or have your child(ren) help you sing and act out the song. For example where a lot of blue and sing Zip-a-dee-do-da or wear rainbow colors and sing Somewhere over the rainbow.

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Yikes! It is Holiday Season!

Yikes! It is Holiday Season! - Take time NOW to think back to last year's holiday season and determine if your child(ren) had any problems and if they did when. So many of our kids are just not able to handle the hustle and bustle and are overwhelmed by the holiday festivities.

If your child blew out during the season, think back to those times and see if they were overstimulated or over tired, or maybe given too much or just off their schedule.

This may mean creating new traditions, maybe not taking your child to all of the parties, it may mean limiting or giving only half of the gifts, but try to work with your child and make it a better holiday season.

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Veterans' Day

Veterans Day - Take time today to educate your child by showing them something about Veterans.

A look at the history of the holiday honoring those who fought for America, both living and dead.
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Being Curious about your Child's interests

Being curious about your child's interests - be curious and ask questions about things your child likes or is doing. You need to remember it is not a test nor is it the inquisition, but simple questions like "Wow, that is really neat - how did you learn how to do that" or "I never thought of doing something like that - how did you come up with the idea?" This will help raise your child's self esteem because you are interested in what they are doing and looking to them as knowledgeable. It also will help you understand your child and "how they tick" better (who knows you might actually learn something too.)

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Making Crafts for GIfts

Making Crafts for Gifts - So many of us are under financial strain. And so much of the holidays seem focused on money and commercialism. Consider working with your child(ren) to make crafts for gifts. Making a craft and giving it can help with self-esteem and a feeling of true giving. Making or decorating picture frames is often a hit. T-Shirts with designs or drawings made by your children can also be a wonderful gift - especially for grandparents. Enjoy spending the time with your child(ren) being creative and having fun!

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Parents as Teachers Day

Today is Parents as Teachers Day - Take today to remember that you, the child's parent\caregiver are one of the most influential people in your child's life. Children learn by watching us how to cope with the world around them. You are their teacher of life. If you are unhappy and bitter about something and do nothing to fix it, don't be surprised if you child acts similarly - and if you take a problem on as a challenge and see the positives of a problem - don't be surprised when your child learns to be a great problem solver.

Make sure you are living your life the way you want your child to.

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Gratitude

Gratitude - This is a good time of year to help your children learn gratitude. Consider having your children collect food for a charity, or buy some coats from the thrift store (or warm clothes that are too small for your children) and donate them to the local shelter. Have them say one thing each day they are grateful for. This can help shift their mood. Let your children know how grateful you are to have them in your life. Remember to thank your children when you see them doing something positive or helpful. "Thank you, putting your dish in the sink is helpful to me, I appreciate it." can make a world of difference in your child's self esteem.

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It's OK to be human

It's OK to be human - I read so many different parenting magazines and guides and books, you would think I should be the perfect parent by now. But I am human. I know that long lectures don't get me anywhere. I know that engaging in an argument with my child doesn't work, yet I too do it. Remember we are human. Realize when you have made a mistake and let your kids know you did and then show them how you can learn from it.

After a particularly long lecture to my daughter, I realized she was tuned out. I simply said, I am sorry, I know better than to lecture you like that, I guess I let my passion get the best of me. My daughter then looked at me with interest. I said, I will try to do better next time. So I made real effort the next time I WANTED to lecture and I said - I could lecture you for a long time, but I think I will let you know - I believe in you and believe you can do better - you are amazing and smart so I am sure you would know what my lectures would say so I will let you think about what you think I would say and leave it at that.

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