Children’s Even Monsters Book

Review for Even Monsters Book
This post contains affiliate links.  I made be compensated if a purchase is made.   First, a  copy of the book Even Monsters was provided from Source Books for review.  However, the review of the book is my opinion alone.

Children either love monsters for they’re afraid of them. Both of my grandchildren were afraid of the dark.  My grandson had a fear of the front door at night.  Unfortunately, both my daughter and I have front doors that are flanked by a window that allows you to see outside.  So when darkness arrived, my grandson would constantly look at the door.  Additionally, my granddaughter was afraid of the dark too.  Both have gotten better as they have gotten older.  Even so, it’s difficult to watch when your children are afraid.

Even Monsters is a great book. It is adorable and beautifully illustrated.  Most importantly, children who are afraid of monsters learn that little monsters are just like them.  Children learn that there’s no need to be afraid.  It’s a great book for those who aren’t afraid of monsters too.  Children will be able to relate to Glubb, the adorable little monster in the book.

Also, Even Monsters teachers children that little monsters have to change their underwear, eat their meals, and go to school.  Furthermore, Even Monsters like to play video games, play soccer, brush their teeth and go to bed on time.  The concept is creative and is appropriate for ages 2-8.  It’s a great bedtime story and perfect for story time with grandparents.  Add this book to your children’s reading list.  Make it a bedtime favorite when your child is feeling frighten or anxious.  You can purchase the hardback book hereYou may also like Sugar Plum Ballerina Books.

 

About AJ Smith: Illustrator/author AJ Smith  specializes in silly stories and funny drawings.  AJ has illustrated eleven books  for children in the educational market. Previously, he worked as an  animator/designer in NYC on fun shows like Courage the Cowardly Dog and Sheep in  the Big City.  AJ lives in Newburyport, MA.  For more information visit:  Even Monsters

 

10 Tips for Single Parents

parenting tips, single parenting
Raising children as a single parent, whether you’re a mother or father, can be exhausting.  It takes focus, strength and determination to succeed, but it can be done.  If we accept that each and every one of us are where we are because of decisions that we’ve made, we will be more willing to make better decisions.  Life doesn’t have an eraser, and as long as we continue to make bad choices we will come up short. Life is not perfect, we will all fail from time to time.  Don’t let poor decision making n’t be what’s driving you if you change your attitude and perspective.  

When you decide to change courses, drive will be what takes you from Point A to Point B and beyond.  If you don’t have any drive get some.  You must be willing to dig deep inside of yourself when you feel you can’t go on and you must be willing to make sacrifices.  Life isn’t easy, and the world doesn’t owe you anything because of you’re a single parent.     

I have educated myself, went up the Corporate Ladder, purchased a home, have a savings, take several vacations a year, college educated my daughter, and I’ve done it all as a single mother. This is not a boast, it is a fact.  You have to decide how you want to live and want kind of life style you want to offer your child.  I decided that I would not have others pay for my choices and whoa me would not become a part of my mind set or vocabulary. I wanted to set a great example for my daughter.  I wanted her to have every opportunity available to her in this great country, and I didn’t ever want the words “I didn’t have an opportunity because my mom is a single parent” to come out of her mouth.       

Most importantly, I was determined to not allow my judgement in a relationship to define who I was as a person or as a mother.  I refused to allow myself to fall into the stereotypes that society has set aside for single mothers. Have you noticed that single dads are praised for their endeavors, but women are looked at differently?  Unfair maybe, but it is indeed a fact. I refused to depend on the system to take care of me or my child.  I have no regrets about my decision!  I believe the system should be a stepping stone if it’s going to be used.  Many may disagree, but that is my belief and I’m sticking to it.  

Here  my tips to help you succeed as a single parent: 

  • Start with you.  Decide that you’re going to make it and nothing will stop you. You have to be focused and determined. 
  • When the going gets tough, dig deep within and find the strength.  Know the strength is there and your child or children need you to plow on. 
  • Listen to your intuition.  It is usually right.  I’ve lost count of the number of times I looked the other way when I should have been paying attention to that little voice inside.  
  • Decide that you’re going to be a good example for your children.  –  Become the person that you would like them to be.  (Think about the characteristics that are important to you, honesty, reliable, etc.)  
  • Remember the world doesn’t owe you anything. – You need to make your mark and become self sufficient. You’ll feel much better about yourself.  
  • Come up with a plan –  You must plan in order to be successful.  Decide what you want to do and what you need to do to accomplish your goals.      
  • Find support either on-line or in your community.   – You’re not alone.   
  • Always make your children a priority.   – You can balance a job and your home.  Women do it every day.  If you need to enhance your skills before seeking a job, get in a program where you can get assistance.  Finding balance is key.  
  • Don’t neglect yourself.  – You need to feel good about yourself.  When you feel good about yourself you’ll achieve more.  
  • Find a higher power or church. – It’s important that you believe in someone or something other than you.  You will be calling on them for strength and support along your journey.     
Please share some of your struggles and how you’ve overcome them as a single mother.  There may be someone who can relate and build on your tips.  

 

8 Benefits of Giving Children Chores

 

parenting, parenting tips

 

Do you give your children chores?  I have found that many of our children today have become entitled. They think they should have maid service, shouldn’t have to work for anything, and the world owes them.  They make no effort in school, and most importantly they have no respect for their parents or anyone else.  A person’s attitude is everything.  Furthermore, children should learn that there are no entitlements.  They must work for they what they want in life.

Children need to understand that mom is not a maid or their personal chef.  Putting a roof over their head and food on the table is the result of work.  Just as important, many children grow up not knowing how to care for themselves or how to do things around the house.  They think it’s okay to depend on someone else to take care of them for their entire life.

Additionally, life is work.  Each of us should strive to become independent.  Furthermore, we should each strive to make contributions in the world.  I made a decision to bring my daughter into the world.  With that in mind, it was my responsibility to take care of her for at least 18 years.  Anything that I assisted her with after she turned 18 was because I loved her. I wanted her to be a successful and productive citizen. As a matter of fact, becoming independent contributes to a person’s sense of self worth.  As a result, you will want to do for yourself.     

That thought process still continues in my home.  Yes, it applies to my grandchildren too.  Equally important, work ethics should be instilled early.  Moreover, there are many benefits to children being given chores and assisting with small things that will teach them lessons in life.  Here are a few benefits:

  • Responsibility – Teaching children to take care of the home and themselves should be taught early. This includes their room and their hygiene.
  • The Importance of Completing A Task Children need to learn how to start a task and take it to completion.  They will learn endurance, perseverance, and to do things over again if it’s not satisfactory.  Using chore charts is a good way to help them remember and organize.
  • Team Work Chores will teach children about working as a member of a team in the home.  It will demonstrate that each team member contributes to the success of a family and relationship.
  • Self Sufficiency Children need to learn how to sustain themselves when possible.  Getting a drink from the refrigerator can teach self sufficiency.  Putting on their clothes, shoes etc. are good places to start.
  • How to Clean and Organize Giving children the responsibility of helping with dishes, meals and cleanup teaches this lesson.  It will give them a sense of keeping things tidy, and the satisfaction of keeping order.
  •  The Importance of Money Children need to learn that things in the home cost money.  This includes recreational items, clothes, games, toys etc.  Allowing them to do chores to earn money is a great way to help with this lesson. Teach them to save for something they want.  Allow them to experience the excitement of reaching their goals.
  • How to Save Money Giving an allowance for assisting around the house is a great way to teach children to save money for something they would like to have or do down the road. 
  • Receiving and Giving Rewards Children will learn that receiving and giving rewards boosts confidence and self-esteem.   

chore chart printablesNext,  download our Chore Charts shown above here.  Finally,  chore charts are a great way to help your children remember and complete their daily chores.  Use gold stars as a reward.  Place them on the days chores were completed.      



5 Benefits of the Library

 

benefits of the library

 

Do you go to your local library or attend information sessions? Going to story hour at the library was a major event when I was growing up and raising my daughter.  I don’t hear much about story hour at the library from parents anymore. Did you know that there

I have wonderful memories of spending time at the library during the summer when I was growing up.  We spent time having stories read to us, checking out books, and becoming responsible by returning them on time.  We have moved into a technological world, and it seems that most books are downloaded these days.  As a result, taking kids to the library has become a lost art.

I must admit I like the convenience of being able to download books in the comfort of my home, but also like knowing that the children and I are still picking up a good old fashion book at times.  I started a home library for both Xavier and Zarriah.

We added shelves in Zarriah’s room to house her books and Xavier has a book case. Zarriah loves for me to read to her. I think all children should experience visiting a library.  Knowledge is power, and we must empower our children.

I have decided to have the children attend a few activities at our local library.  I have subscribed to our library’s newsletter so I can keep up with activities that will be offered this summer.  Our local library offers activities during the day and evenings. I’m thinking this will be a constructive and educational means of occupying some of their time rather than play video games.  A few other benefits of visiting the library:

  1. Teaches consideration for others – Children will learn to keep their voices down.
  2. Provides an opportunity to see others reading – Children need examples, seeing others read will encourage them to read as well.  
  3. Story Hour provides an opportunity for group interaction – Children will learn to sit in a group and participate in a group activity.
  4. Teaches listening skills – Listening to the person who is reading will enhance your child’s listening skills. 
  5. Enhances social skills – Becoming involved in activities at the library will help children learn or enhance skills.  Participating in story hour provides an opportunity to meet other children that they may not encounter in their neighborhood or school.  

One program in particular caught my eye, science.  They plan to hatch eggs, perform experiments and have the children build structures.  I have also found events that will be beneficial to me.  For example, I will be attending a session on Traveling Abroad On A Budget.  I hope to start traveling internationally within the next year.

Make a trip to the library and get your children involved in their activities.

You may also like:  Benefits of Reading to Your Child



Toddler Dental Emergencies: 8 Tips to Save Your Toddler’s Tooth

todder dental emergency tips

 

Do you know the proper steps to take for toddler dental emergencies or even an older child?  My grandson has lost his front tooth twice.  When the first accident occurred, it dawned on me that I didn’t have a clue on the proper steps to take in the event of one of the kids hitting or getting their tooth knocked out.  As a result, I waited anxiously for my daughter to call me.  We discussed the necessary steps, just in case a dental emergency occurred while the children were in my custody.   Here they are:

  • Take your child to a hospital or pediatric dentist immediately if a tooth is knocked out or damaged.
  • If the child is young and the teeth or tooth is loose enough, remove the tooth or teeth to prevent the child from chocking.

If a permanent tooth as been knocked out, it can often be saved if you take the following steps immediately:

  • Find the tooth
  • Handle the tooth by the part you normally see, not the root
  • Gently rinse the tooth under water in a closed sink.  Do not scrub the tooth
  • If possible, place the tooth in the opening it fall out of
  • Hold the tooth in place or have your child hold the tooth in place while you’re in route to the hospital or doctor
  • If the tooth can’t be placed back into the opening, place it under your tongue or in milk

Because parents could experience toddler dental emergencies at any time.  Therefore, knowing what steps to take is imperative in saving your child’s tooth or teeth.  This is crucial, especially if it’s one of the child’s permanent teeth.  Knowing these steps worked for my grandson twice.  So they will work for you too. 

You may also like:  How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth


Resource: www.pediatricdentistorlando.com 





How To Make a Sundae Bar For Kids

sundae bar for kids

 

First, I found these adorable ice cream bowls at my local Dollar General on the clearance rack.  They came in a set of 4, which included blue, green, white and pink with matching spoons.  I quickly grabbed them.  And thought they would be perfect for making ice cream sundaes with the grandkids.  Additionally, I loved the colors and the spoons.  It helped that they were nice and study for lifting a big scoop of ice cream covered with yummy candies from the bowl.

 

sundae bar ideas

 

Furthermore, did you know the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla.  Yes vanilla.  Second is chocolate, followed by strawberry, chocolate chip and butter pecan.  You should know, my favorite is butter pecan.  Yum, yum!  Also, children ages 2 – 12 and adults 45 plus eat the most ice cream.  I don’t indulge often, but I do enjoy a good bowl of ice cream occasionally.

sundae bar ideas


Needless to say, the kids love bananas and strawberries.  And  I love cherries.  So, we decided to use fruits on our sundae bar.  I was happy that they were receptive to add fruit to the bar.  Even if, it would end up covered with gooey chocolate.

In addition to the fruit, we added peanut butter pieces, walnuts, sprinkles, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup to the bar. Because the grandchildren love  vanilla ice cream, it was the ice cream of choice.  We had some much fun assembling our bowls.  But it looks like I forgot to include the bottles of sprinkles on the tray.  They were the attraction for the kid’s sundaes, lol.

Most of all, the sundaes were delicious and cheaper than going to Sweet Frog, lol.   Also, I let the kids add their own fixings and pour the syrup over the ice cream.  It makes it much more exciting.  Use your imagination, add whatever you wish.  Making a sundae bar for kids is a great family activity.

What is your favorite flavor?  We hope that you enjoyed our sundae bar for kids idea.  Leave us a comment, and let us know what other items you would add to your sundae bar for kids.

Should Boys Play Dress Up?

 

dress up

 

Should boys play dress up?  We talk about little girls playing dress up in princess clothes, having tea parties or walking in mommy’s high heels, but we rarely talk about little boys dressing up.   Yes, we rave about little girls putting on our make-up,  adorable beads, and serving up tea to teddy bear friends. But what about our little boys?

We accept little boys playing Cowboy and Indians, wearing a sports uniform or being a Super Hero.  But what if they want to dress up as a princess or put on your make-up?  Would that be acceptable or frightening to you?  What if they want to use one of your purses to house their army men or race cars?  Are you equipped to handle that situation?

What I found interesting is that we accept little girls being tomboys, but not little boys wanting to be a princess.  My grandson wanted to wear my heels one day.  He was about 3 maybe 4 at the time.  I allowed him to try them on. He had a grand time, looking in the mirror at himself.  Was I afraid that he would want to be a cross-dresser down the road?  Not at all.

He sees his mother and me wearing them, so he wanted to try them on too.  I think it’s important for him to experiment.  He has never asked to try on my shoes again, but if he had I wouldn’t love him any less.  Is it unusual for boys to want to try on mom’s shoes, beads etc.?  Experts say no, it’s not unusual.

There are many roles for children to play when they dress up and experts/teachers encourage it.  Here are a few benefits that children can obtain by playing dress up:

  • Encourages them to use their imagination
  • Encourages role playing
  • Helps overcome fear
  • Instills pride by performing good deeds while role playing
  • Helps them understand the world around them
  • Gives them an opportunity to interpret and translate what they see in their home

Purchase items that your son can use when playing dress-up.  If you don’t have costumes for him to utilize, here are a few ideas for boys:

  • doctor
  • pilot
  • construction worker
  • sports figure
  • teacher
  • chef

Head to the thrift store, clearance rack or clean out hubby’s or granddaddy’s closet and stock up on items that your son can use.  You can give him:

  • towel for a cape  (If you can sew, make a cape for him)
  • a hat 
  • sunglasses
  • brief case
  • pair of daddy’s shoes
  • football uniform
  • dad’s shirt
  • chef’s apron and hat
  • doctor’s bag
  • scrubs
  • construction hat

Use your imagination and allow your child to use theirs.  Encourage dress up and engage in role play with him. You will be helping them to develop social skills, psychological growth, and helping to understand the world around him.  When your child is playing, listen.  They may give you insight on how they see people and the world around them.  
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How To Care For Your Children’s Teeth

 

children's teeth, children's dental care

 

This post contains affiliate links.  If a purchase is made, I made be compensated.

First, should children brush their teeth and floss? The answer is yes.  Oral hygiene should start early.  Most importantly, caring for your children’s teeth and gums should be a priority. Additionally, teaching your children to care for their teeth will eliminate tooth decay and gum disease down the road.

Furthermore, we have great tips on how you can help your child promote healthy teeth and gums.  So, follow these tips and you will be on your way:

  • Do not give your child any product that contains sugar when putting them to bed. The sugar causes tooth decay.
  • Encourage your baby to start drinking from a cup around 9 months or shortly thereafter.
  • Clean your child’s teeth with a gauze pad or soft cloth when they first surface. Once they break through, use a soft toothbrush with water only
  • Encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb or fingers. See your dentist if you’re unsuccessful.

dental care for toddlers

  • Around 1 – 2 years of age a dot of toothpaste may be used on the child’s toothbrush. (Check your stores for training tooth pastes).
  • Encourage your child not to swallow the toothpaste and rinse well with water.
  • By age 3 or 4, children should be able to brush their own teeth. You should check your children’s teeth to ensure proper brushing. Chewable Disclosing Tablets can used to determine if any plaque is on your child’s teeth. The Disclosing Tablet will leave a color on the teeth when plaque remains.
  • Have your child brush their teeth twice a day.
  • Gently floss between your child’s teeth until they learn the proper technique.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child as early as 2 years of age. (Make sure your dentist and hygienist work well with children).
  • Be an example, brush and floss regularly and maintain regular dental appointments.  Allow your child to watch you brush and floss.  My grandson loves to watch me use my electric toothbrush.

Last, if you follow these tips, you’re leading your child toward the goal of healthy teeth and gums.  Additionally, a toothbrush, Child Life Toothpaste Tablets, Plackers Kids 1st Flossers , and Tooth Brushing Sand Timer for Kids are the proper tools for the job.

You may also like Tips for Toddler Emergencies

Hunt Club Farm Christmas Displays

 

 

Hunt Club Christmas Displays

The holiday season officially starts for my family Thanksgiving Day.  The tree goes up and we’re planning holiday activities.  My daughter lives in Virginia Beach, VA.  A mile down the road is Hunt Club Farm.  They sit on 23 acres and cater to children all year.  Each year we take the grandchildren to see the Christmas displays.  Their displays are amazing.  They are full of automated elves, soldiers, reindeer and everything else you can image.  It’s a child’s delight.  Here are some of the displays from last season: 

 

Virginia Beach Hunt Club farm

 

It’s a great place for photo opportunities as you can see.  My granddaughter is not into picture taking for some reason.  She doesn’t like to cooperate for the camera, so I’m hoping I can get a few good shots.  This is my grandson last year in front of their Christmas tree.  Amazing how much he has grown in a year.  Precious I might add. 

 

If the weather is nice we move on to the Petting Zoo.  This is Mr. Llama.  He was on display last year.  The great thing about the Petting Zoo is you never know what animals you will come across.  The have great displays there too.  Last year they had an adorable little building that housed Santa.  Xavier was a little shy, but he gave Santa his wish list.  

 

We end our trip at the fire pit roasting hot dogs and making S’mores.  They have a stand that sells the hot dogs and buns and everything needed for the S’mores.  The roasters come with the package.  You can pick up hot chocolate or apple cider to wash it down.  If you live in the Hampton Roads area, plan a trip.  It’s a great way to start the holiday season and makes great memories for the kids.  

 

 

Watch Santa’s Reindeer

Christmas activities, Santa's reindeer, reindeer

 

Want to watch Santa’s reindeer? You can tune into the live feed at  http://reindeercam.com/  It’s the perfect activity to get your children excited about Christmas.  Let them watch while you’re decorating the tree?  Each evening at 5:00 pm EST the reindeer are fed.  The children can watch the reindeer resting and gathering their strength for the big trip on December 25.

Also, you can also add your child’s name to the Nice List for a fee on the site or you can write Santa a letter per the instructions on the site.  Once the letter is received, your child’s name will be added to the Nice List.

Do you know the history of Santa’s reindeer, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, DonnerBlitzen. The 1823 poem by Clement C. MooreA Visit from St. Nicholas” (also known as “The Night Before Christmas” or “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”) is credited for the eight flying reindeer and their names per Wikipedia. This portion of the poem introduces the reindeer:

“When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny rein-deer,
with a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
“On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Dunder and Blixem!

“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

So, we know the history of Santa’s reindeer now.  Reading The Night Before Christmas has become a favorite during the holiday season in my home.  Finally, be sure to print our Nice Letter and Certificate from Santa.  While you’re waiting for Santa and his reindeer to arrive, make a batch of your favorite holiday cookies.  What are some of your holiday traditions?