11 Manners You Should Teach Your Child

manners, parenting,

Do you believe children today have less respect for elders and using manners is of no importance? I have found that excuse me, thank you, and please don’t seem to be a part of our children’s vocabulary these days. When did we lose this value? Teens have either cut in front of me or reached across me and never uttered a word.

When I was raising my daughter, manners were important. Good manners will take our children a long way.  I have been baffled about some children’s interaction with their parents on various occasions.  I have heard children call their parents by their first name, yell at them, just be downright disrespectful and the parent took no action.

Manners are taught and they should be taught at home. Along with manners comes respect. Instilling manners is a sign of respect for your parents and your upbringing as well as respect for yourself.  Who wants to be around rude and impolite children. These rude and impolite children will grow up to be rude and impolite adults. Here are a few tips to get your child on the road to respect and being polite:

 

  1. Please and Thank You. When you ask your child to pick up their toys, get ready for their bath etc. say please. When your child abides say thank you. Children learn by example.
  2. Yes Ma’am and Yes Sir. This is extremely important, especially when they are responding to seniors.
  3. Say Hello or Hi when you introduce them to friends, co-workers, church members or you have visitors in your home.
  4. Share toys, treats etc. when playing with friends or siblings.
  5. To Not Interrupt adult conversations unless it is an emergency.
  6. Table Manners. This will be important when you’re dining out or invited to a friend’s home or family gathering during the holidays. Your child needs to understand that they can not play with their food, slurp, burp, or create games with their eating utensils. If a burp does arise, teach them to say excuse me.
  7. Excuse Me when they need to pass in front of an adult or get around them.
  8. Be Positive – Say nice things about other people.
  9. Wash Their Hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before meals. Also, teach them to wipe their hand on a towel and not on their clothes. Teaching them to use hand sanitizer is a good idea when soap and water is not available.
  10. Wipe their nose with a tissue and not their hands. Also, picking their nose is improper.
  11. Respect  – Showing respect toward adults and others.  Demonstrate respect and your children will mimic you.

Using patience with your child is a must while teaching them manners. They won’t learn overnight, so it’s important that you remind them of the importance of manners often. As they get older and they have mastered the basics, you can instill other values.

You may also like Teaching Your Child Responsibilities

Are You Teaching Your Child About Racism

teaching your child about racism

 

Do you see the world in black or white?  If so you’re missing mesmerizing colors.  I created this quote several months ago, and tucked it away. Today I pull it out.  I’ve been watching the coverage on Donald Sterling, owner of the LA Clippers, and I’ve had so many things go through my mine.  I debated whether I should do this post.

I wavered because I have diverse followers and I didn’t want to offend anyone with my thoughts and truths.  However, there are times that we need to put on our big girl pants and face reality.  I am known to give things to you straight and I don’t always offer a chaser.  But lets not be afraid to discuss uncomfortable issues on Mother 2 Mother.  After all, it’s Real Talk for Real Women.

As an African American, I’ve encountered my share of racism.  At times blatant and others not so much.  I was profoundly offended when I was listening to Donald Sterling’s words.  It seems that some people’s focus was on his First Amendment rights and other’s focus was on his racist comments. When I was listening to his words, his First Amendment rights was not an issue for me.  First Amendment rights don’t apply when a person is being disrespected.  If you think you’re bold enough to speak it, you have to be bold enough to suffer the consequences of your words.  I applauded the fact that he has been banned from the NBA for life.  NBA= No Bigots Allowed.

Why should his First Amendments rights override another person’s rights to live, play, work and live freely in this country?  Why should other people have to endure his bigoted comments?  Because he has the right to say whatever he wants?  Do we really?  This is a prime case of be careful what you say.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying that a person is not entitled to their opinions.  However, if your opinions are hurtful to another person maybe you should keep it to yourself.  Do you believe people are born racist?  Do you think racism is learned behavior?  I was called the “N” Word for the first time around 11 or 12.  Needless to say, the person who sprouted that word took an ass-whipping.  Before I could respond, my sister gave her a whipping that she will never forget.  I don’t condone violence, so as an adult I would handle things differently.

But at that point, we weren’t about to walk away without leaving her with a memory.  I grow up in a small community, and we were free to roam and be carefree as children.  We played together, we went to school together and some dated outside of their race.  I am happy to say that most of us have remained friends and follow each other on Facebook.  A few of us even worked for the same agency. To me that says a lot of what we truly thought of each other growing up.  I’m proud of my upbringing.

Since I believe racism is taught, I made sure that I educated my daughter on the importance of loving everyone.  I never limited her on who she could play with, socialize with or date unless I believed that person was harmful in some kind of manner.  She had diverse friends growing up and she still has most of them.  She dated outside of  her race in high school.

We must educate our children to not discriminate against another person based on race, religion, sexual preference, gender etc. It may not be how we choose to live, but so be it.  We must have this conversation with our children, so they will know better.  They are the next generation and our future leaders.

You can think what you want; however, your offensive remarks could become public.  Regardless of whether they were supposed to be private or not, there is a price to pay.   It is imperative that each of us think before we speak, period. Being a hateful person is not natural.  There’s a hole in your heart.  On-line posts are no loner private.  So, what you say in another’s presence may not remain private either.   Lesson learned.  Are you teaching your child about racism or turning the other cheek?

Ronald McDonald Gets A Makeover

pictures of ronald mcdonald

Do you remember Ronald McDonald and the cast of characters in McDonald Land?  I loved the Hamburglar and Officer Big Mac.  In recent years Ronald McDonald  and his friends have made few appearances on TV or any of the McDonald’s restaurants.  It seems his character is a thing of the past except for his appearances relating to the Ronald McDonald House.   With all the negative publicity about the fat grams in their food and mothers suing because their children want Happy Meals, and they just can’t tell them no.  It seems that McDonald’s has decided to place their focus on their coffee rather than their burgers.

 

 

It’s rather sad that a cast of characters have been abandoned.  I loved taking my daughter to play in McDonald Land Saturday afternoons when she was growing up.  She ate a happy meal every Saturday, and she’s healthy and happy.  I find it rather disturbing that obesity is being blamed on corporations such as McDonald’s when in fact the parents should take responsibility for their own inability to control their child’s diet.  I guess it’s easier to point the finger at somebody else rather than look in the mirror and say I’m the problem.  My parenting skills need some work.

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It also saddens me that you can’t find McDonald’s characters incorporated into their playgrounds anymore.  Children should be allowed to use their imagine and be carefree.  I would love for my grandchildren to see Officer Big Mac, Mayor McCheese, Grimace and the Fry Kids.  Instead McDonald’s is changing their marketing gimmicks to the more sophisticated consumer.  They carry iPads, text, and sip lattes, mochas, cappuccinos and espressos.   The new consumer is sophisticated.  Unfortunately, I guess all good things must come to an end.  I must accept the fact that we’ve entered a new millennium.

                                                                                     Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

Stop! Wait!  Meet the new Ronald McDonald.  McDonald’s recently gave him a makeover or at least a new outfit. Does he look creepy?  Should the designers left him in his original clothes? Tweeters are debating.  McDonald’s wanted to update Ronald and have him take on a new role on Twitter.  Most importantly, tThis Ronald will be moving into social media.   As a matter of fact, he will be tweeting for the corporation using the hash tag #RonaldMcDonald.   Additionally, McDonald’s plans to bring Ronald into the mainstream later this year.   

However, from my perspective I think Ronald looks handsome in his new outfit.  And I can’t wait for my grandchildren to see him at upcoming events.  Finally, I hope they will bring back the other adorable characters.

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.  

 

6 Free Chore Charts for Children

 

parenting, parenting tips

 

Do you give your children chores?  First, I have found that many of our children today have become entitled. They think that they shouldn’t have to work for anything.  Somehow the world owes them.  They make no effort in school, and most importantly they have no respect for their parents or anyone else.  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.

Each of us should strive to become independent.  Furthermore, we should each strive to make contributions in the world.  Raising responsible children is a must for parents.  It all starts at home.  That thought process still continues in my home.  It applies to my grandchildren today.  Equally important, work ethics should be instilled early.  There are many benefits to children being given chores.  We suggest that you use our children’s chore charts below to track and reward their progress.  Here are a few benefits for giving children chores:

  • Responsibility – So, 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 Next, 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. Seeing that each has a part will help them see how each contributes. 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 children’s chore charts shown above here.  Children’s chore charts are a great way to help your children remember and complete their daily chores.  Use gold stars as a reward.  Place the gold stars on the days chores were completed.  Most importantly, praise your children generously.  Praise can be more of an award than the gold stars and money.  



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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