Parenting Stress – Don’t Eat Your Words

parenting tips, character,

 

At times parenting can be strenuous. Stress from the job, whining and disobedient children, money problems and so many other factors cause us to lose control of situations and ourselves.  I guarantee many of us are guilty of yelling, screaming, or some other negative reaction at certain points in our lives.

Next, I remember yelling at my daughter for various reasons and feeling guilty after the encounter.  I’ve had to eat my words on many occasions. If not with her than other family members and sometimes friends.  During the encounter, I didn’t think about the consequences of my actions or the affect that it would have on the other person. It was the only way I knew how to respond at certain times.

Unfortunately, yelling, screaming and cursing were normal in my home when I was growing up.  I carried that mentality and behavior into my marriage and used that technique to interact with my daughter in her teen years. Thank goodness, I learned quickly that it was unproductive and damaging.

Nobody wants to be yelled at, and what is really accomplished with that type of interaction.  No good will come out it. Here are a few negative affects:

  1.  Fear
  2. Low Self Esteem
  3. Intimidation
  4. Anger Is Developed   

I didn’t like eating my words after I yelled at my daughter or after I raised my voice for whatever reason.  There were times that I apologized and there were times that I didn’t. I would just live with the guilt and move forward.  It left me feeling bad about myself and ashamed of the fact that I reacted in such an unhealthy way. I vowed to change that behavior in myself, and eliminate the need for me to eat my words.

Most importantly, I didn’t want my daughter to think yelling and screaming were normal either.  I also didn’t want her to be afraid of me in any way.  Her growing up with low self-esteem was a major concern.  Furthermore, I didn’t want her to grow up being an angry, bitter young lady who looked for love in all the wrong places. Feeling unloved at home will lead you in that direction.  I knew a change had to occur and it had to start with me.

The first step was to get to the bottom of why I was yelling before I could make any major changes.  Until I accomplished that feat, I learned to walk away and than come back and address the situation in a much calmer manner. That change alone left me with my dignity and it left those who were normally on the receiving end of my yelling with their dignity too. I liked the feeling of walking away much better than yelling, it soon became a habit.

So, as parents we are responsible for our children’s emotional well being. I found that I was a more effective parent when I was not yelling too.  It opened the door for better communication between my daughter and me.  It allowed us to establish a healthy relationship where we demonstrated mutual respect for each other.  I reached a point where I refused to argue or raise my voice with anyone. Walking away became a way of life for me and it has saved me from a ton of stress and broken relationships.

Last, if you are constantly yelling and screaming, just stop it.  If you can’t change it on your own, get professional help.  There’s no shame in getting help.  Especially, if you are damaging your child. Furthermore, you could possibly cause them to become violent or act out in some manner.  Children have limited coping mechanisms in their teen years.  So, it’s up to parents to lead and guide them on the appropriate way to communicate. Reach for it, you and your children will be thankful.

 

 

Guest Post – Preparing Your Teens For Adulthood

parenting, teenagers, parenting tips

 

“Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Trust me, life will still be there when you’re grown.” Wise words from my Grandma Blanche.

Teens know everything, right? So, it only makes sense that they’re ready to tackle the world at the tender age of 16. Next, they think they have all the knowledge and skills necessary not just to survive, but thrive in the big bad world. However, as parents we know the truth. Sure, there are some things that your child may have learned in school that weren’t available to us. These days schools are teaching Computer Science, Parenting, and more advanced classes on Government and Politics.

However, there are some key fundamental skills your child should be equipped with before leaving the nest – whether going off to college or moving out on their own.

Let’s discuss a few of these skills:

Grocery shopping – When our kids got their driver’s license, one of their new chores was going to the grocery store with cash. This taught them:

  1. Comparison shopping
  2. Budgeting 
  3. Communication skills (you know teens don’t talk! Lol)
  4. Checking account maintenance – The one class I really wish schools would make mandatory are banking basics. When our kids turned 14, we opened a High School Checking Account. With our names on the account, our kids knew not to get crazy with their bank card.

As a result, each month we reviewed the bank statement together and discussed future payouts. This was a huge help!

Stay In Learning Mode – This skill is crucial to your child’s growth! With or without a college degree, your child must know that learning is a life-long activity. Once they leave college learning doesn’t stop.

Next, one of the most important parts of learning is knowing who to learn from. Teens learn more from other teens. Also, as adults they need to know what they need to learn, and who would be best to learn from. This quote is so appropriate: “You don’t know what you don’t know, until you need to know it.” – Unknown

The best skill you can teach your teen is discernment. Help them understand how important it is to surround themselves with like-minded people, people who have similar lifestyle goals in mind.

Finally, your teen may not listen to you, but when in the company of other young people who are working toward a similar future they can teach and learn from each other.  “Each one. Teach one.” – an African Proverb.

life coach, business coach   About the author:  Ericka Richardson is a mother of three, and a grandmother. Ericka was raised in New York, but moved to the Atlanta, Ga area in 1993.  Atlanta is where she raised her children.  Ericka and her husband, Mike, started their business in 2003. Even with the time constraints of starting a business, they made sure their children stayed active, well-grounded, remained humble and grateful.

Ericka is a Certified Life and Business Coach as well as a Business Consultant. Ericka preaches and teaches Business Basics with each of her clients.

You can connect with Ericka online at:

www.coachericka.com
www.facebook.com/coachericka
www.facebook.com/groups/bizbasicsbootcamp
www.linkedin.com/in/ericka220
www.twitter.com/bizcoachericka

Values Help Develop Kid’s Self-Confidence

  kids self-esteem, motivating children, kid's values

 

First, parents play a vital role in grooming and developing a child’s personality and self-esteem.  Do you want to be the proud parents of a child who is full of self-confidence?  Furthermore, do you want your child to walk with their head held high?  Here are some things you can do that will in turn help boost your child’s self-confidence:

  • Do Not Let Any Negative Thoughts, Emotions and Limitations Pull you Down Negative thoughts undermine your confidence. Do not let your true capabilities be overshadowed by inhibitions of the mind and heart.  Furthermore, exercise self-control and learn to maintain your calm.  Also learn to stay composed in panic situations.  So keep brainwashing yourself.  Filter out the negative thoughts and keep going.
  • Positive Thinking Breeds PositivityBack your positive thoughts by positive actions. Even when you are on the lowest ebb, let the light of positivity shine through.  Your children will see it.
  • Face your fears and overcome any hurdles that come your way – Feed your self-esteem by challenging yourself and facing your biggest fears. Doing things which seemed unattainable in the past, can contribute significantly in raising your self-confidence.  You will soon believe that you will be able to cross hurdles and obstacles that would normally deter your progress.
  • Replace bad habits with healthy habits –   You need to correct your inner flaws and short comings to feel confident from within. It is very easy to get into bad habits, but hard to get over them.  Indulging in  healthy habits will help you emerge as a confident individual. Anything that makes you feel good about yourself, will ultimately lead to higher self-esteem.  Teach these healthy habits to your children.
  • Be Grateful for Whatever You Have and Live a Meaningful Life – It is very easy to be ungrateful.  Focus on the good in your life.  Happiness and true bliss can be found in the small things in life. This is where our individual perceptions come into play.  If you envy other people, you will be ungrateful for your blessings.  This keeps you in a constant state of restlessness because you always feel the other person is better off than you. Until you are truly content and satisfied at heart, you will continue to seek ways to make you happy. Being happy with who you are.  It will lead to living healthier and a more productive life.  It will also teach your children to happy with who they are, and to be grateful for the little things in life.
  • Emerge from failure as a stronger, experienced individual –  If at first you don’t succeed; try, try, try again. Do not let failure overpower you to a point where your reasoning and logic is clouded.  Impaired reasoning leaves you confused and demoralized.  Accept your failure, pick up the broken pieces and get on with life.  You can always try again.  Your children will see that failure is a part of life.
  • Raise your intellectual standards – Be consistent in searching general knowledge and awareness. Being knowledgeable makes a person more confident. Personal growth is a continuous process. Stay updated with current national and international events. Become a participant on various topics such as politics, business and sports. Try learning new things on a daily basis and keep your child updated too.
  • Engage in philanthropic activities – Teach your children to think about society.  They need to learn to empathize with the people who are not a fortunate as them.  Be an example by being an active part of it. Children need to learn to spread happiness around them.  Spreading happiness will make others feel good about themselves as well as others.  It also makes them forget about the negativities that surround us.  It enhances our confidence level too.

Finally, be an example for your children.  They will follow in your foot steps, and remember you may not see immediate changes in your child/children.  Building confidence is a life time endeavor.

I want to thank James Smith for this amazing guest post!  You may also like: Teaching Children Responsibility

About the author: James Smith is a survivalist, who loves to write about survival skills and techniques. Currently, he is working for Teotwawki Supplies, offering a complete range of survival and emergency kits. Follow him on twitter @jamessmith1609.

Tips For A Successful Easter Egg Hunt

 

easter egg hunt tips

Let the Easter egg hunts begin!  It takes time and organizational skills to put together a successful and budget friendly Easter egg hunt.  We have a few tips that will ensure you’re an eggcellent hostess.  And the children will have a great time if you follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Plan For A Day Of Shopping – First, you will need to plan time to shop for your items.  Make sure you leave sufficient time just in case you have to make another trip for additional or forgotten items.  
  2. Make a List of Items Needed–    Second, decide how many tables and other areas you will be decorating.  How will the Easter egg hunt be conducted.  How many plastic eggs will be needed?  Furthermore, will you be dying eggs?  How many baskets/buckets will be needed for the children, how much decorative grass, signs etc.  Making a list ensures that you don’t forget anything while shopping.  It also reduces stress and eliminates additional trips to the store.  Use that time for preparation.  Head to the Dollar Store for your decorations. The table clothes, tableware, plastic eggs and just about everything else you will need for your Easter Egg Hunt can be found there.  You can use your saving on delicious food/treats.
  3. Decide What Games You Will Play – Next, will you be playing games?  Will the games be for younger, older and family or one or the other?  I would suggest that you narrow it down to 2 – 3 games.  However, you will need to decide if they will be played before or after the egg hunt.
  4. Decide What Food/Treats You Will Serve –   Will you be serving a hot meal, finger foods or just take home treats? You will need know to know how much food to purchase.  So, try to calculate how many guests will be coming.  You will need to make a grocery store list.
  5.  Decide How Your Hunt Will Be Conducted – What are the rules of the egg hunt?  For example, will you have different age groups?  If so, will you color code the eggs and have the smaller children looks for pink and blue eggs and the older kids other colors?  Will you divide the hunting areas in age group areas?  Deciding the rules up front will help you decide what items you will need and how many.
  6. Preparation Time –  Last, prepare as many items as you can the day/night before. This includes food, filling the eggs, personalizing baskets or buckets, decorating.  Whatever you can do, do it.  Not having enough time for preparation and activities can be stressful. Most importantly, invited guests shouldn’t suffer because of your lack of planning.

Finally, the big day has arrived.  So, be sure to greet your guests and keep things moving.  Don’t forget yourself, have a good time too.   And be sure to thank guests for coming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Places Kids Eat Free

places kids eat free

Need a break from the stresses of the day?  Here’s a list of places where you and the family can eat, possibly have a  cocktails, and the kids eat for free.

  1. Applebees Kids eat free Monday and Tuesday nights at participating locations. Be sure to signup for 
  2. their Email club for a free entree for your birthday.  Other nights kids eat for $1.00.
  3. Au Bon Pain – Free birthday lunch. Sign up for their eClub.
  4. Backyard Burger – Kids eat free on Tuesday. Sign up for their eClub for additional deals.
  5. Bennigan’s – Kids 12 and under eat free on Tuesdays after 4 pm with paying adult.
  6. Bob Evans – Kids eat free after 4 pm with paying adult.
  7. Buffalo Wild Wings Get a order of snack wings or dessert for your birthday when you join the Buffalo Circle. Captain D’s – Join the Kid’s Club and get a special birthday greeting and a free meal. Ages 12 and under only. Kids 12 and under can eat from the kids menu for just 99 cents on other days.
  8. Chick-fil-A – Kids eat free between 5:30-7:30 pm. One child per adult.
  9. Cici’s – Kids eat free every day with paying adult.
  10. Denny’s – Free Grand Slam on your birthday. Valid ID must be presented.
  11. Firehouse Subs – Free sub on your birthday. Valid ID must be presented. All kiddos eat free when an adult combo meal is purchased on other days.
  12. Friendly’s – Free sundae on your birthday when you join the BFF Club.
  13. Golden Corral – Kids 3 and under eat free.
  14. IHOP – Kids under 12 eat free everyday between 4 pm – 8 pm accompanied by paying adults/parents.
  15. Johnny Rocket’s – Get a free hamburger on your birthday.  Join the eClub for additional deals.
  16. Lonestar Steak House – For each paying adult, 2 kids get to chow down for free all day long and they’ll happily feed 2 kids per adult.
  17. Marie Callender’s – One child eats free with each  adult entree purchased.
  18. Perkins – Get a free meal for children 12 and under with each adult entrée on Wednesdays from 4 – 9 p.m.
  19. Pizza Hut – Kid eat free Tuesday evenings.
  20. Red Robin – Enjoy a free burger for your birthday when you sign up for their eClub. Kids 10 and under eat free with paying adult on other days.
  21. Shoney’s – Kids 4 years and under eat free with adult entrée.
  22. Tony Roma – Kids 11 and under can eat ribs free.
  23. TGIF – Kids eat free on Mondays or Tuesdays.  Call your local TGIF for the day in your area.

So, I recommend that you call ahead to ensure that the establishment will be able to accommodate you and your children.  Be sure to ask what days and times they offer free meals and what ages are included.  Take advantage of the freebies on family night, birthdays and anniversaries.

 


8 Celebrity Children’s Book Authors

Image-Celebrity-Authors

When most people think of celebrities, they think of glitz and glamor.  I have discovered several celebrity children’s book authors and I thought I would share their books for you to review and possibly give as gifts. I love the books not because they are written by celebrities, but because they are written by celebrities who have a special affinity for children. Check out my list:

Julianne Moore –   My Mom Is a Foreigner  This book is about multi-cultures and diversity. It is appropriate for ages 5 – 8 years and has 40 pages.

Jim Carrey –  How Roland Rolls  –  This book is about a wave named Roland who’s afraid that, one day, when he hits the beach, his life will be over. It is appropriate for ages 4 – 8 and has 68 pages. Jim Carrey won the 2013 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for this book.

Octavia Spencer  The Time-Capsule Bandit This book is about 12-year-old Randi Rhodes. Randi loses her mother at age 12. She is an aspiring detective and has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  She finds satisfaction in solving crimes anonymously.  The book is appropriate for ages 8 –  12 and has 240 pages.

Jamie Lee Curtis – My Brave Year of Firsts –  This book celebrates the extraordinary, everyday bravery of trying new things for the very first time. This book is appropriate for ages 4 – 8 and has 40 pages.

Tori Spelling Presenting . . . Tallulah  –  This book is about a little girl named Tallulah. All her life, Tallulah has heard DON’T.  Don’t get dirty, talk loudly or  wear jeans. With the help of friends, she finds out who she really is.  This book is appropriate for ages 4 – 8 and has 32 pages.

Mario Lopez – Mario and Baby Gia    This book is Mario and his cousin Gia. Mario’s Nana asks him to babysit his cousin Gia while she bakes. Baby Gia who reminds Mario that a family is built on love and caring.  This book is appropriate for ages 3 – 5 and has 32 pages.

Whoopi Goldberg –  Sugar Plum Ballerinas 1: Plum Fantastic  –  This book is about Alexandrea who has just moved from Georgia to New York City’s Harlem.  Al finds herself in the classroom at the Nutcracker School of Ballet as the Sugar Plum Fairy and has stage fright. Friendship, lots of practice, and ingenuity help her to overcome her stage fright and she gives an unforgettable performance. This book is appropriate for ages 1 and up and has 160 pages.

Kristie Yamaguchi – It’s a Big World, Little Pig!  –  This book is about Poppy the pig. Poppy goes to the World Games ice-skating championship in Paris! She meets new friends from around the world and explores Paris with her family after the championship.

The holidays are around the corner. Check out these books, they would make a great holiday, birthday or just because gift. I purchased  Whoopi Goldberg’s Sugar Plum Ballerinas series.  I was given the opportunity to review Kristie Yamaguchi’s It’s a Big World, Little Pig. It’s highly recommended that you purchase both.  I will be adding Julianne Moore’s book to my gift list this year.

9 Fall Snack Ideas For Kids

                                                                                                        
kids snack ideas, fall food ideas


Finding healthy and fun snack ideas for kids can be a struggle.  Fall means Halloween and the temptation to eat candy, and lots of it. We rounded up 9 snack ideas from mom bloggers that you and the kids will love. Offer a healthy treat between the candy indulges. If you missed Trick or Treating we have a few candy/sweet treats too. You can find our roundup ideas here: 

  1. Jack O Lantern Snack Bag  from Made To Be A Momma
  2. Pumpkin Oranges  from My Fussy Eater
  3. Rice Krispy Turkey Legs  from Yahoo Makers
  4. Pretzel & Cheese Brooms  from One Little Project At A Time
  5. Turkey Hand Snack Bag from That’s What Che Said
  6. Turkey Vegetable Cup  from Organic Authority
  7. Indian Corn Thanksgiving Favors from Shaken Together
  8. Little Frankies  from Green Lunches Green Kids
  9. Candy Corn Fruit Cups from Baby Blog Center

My favorites are 1, 8 and 9.  My grandson loves Cheetos and my granddaughter loves fruit. What’s your favorite?

Fill Your Children’s Self Esteem Bucket

child's self esteem

 

As parents we are responsible for our children’s self-esteem. We have the ability to make or break our children.  I grow up in an alcoholic home.  Unfortunately, I remember being called names and hearing my mother call my dad names.  Furthermore, I remember those times like yesterday.  The memories and scars never leave. In most homes families look forward to weekends.  In my home they were dreaded. The hell raising started on Thursdays so there would be an excuse for drinking the remainder of the weekend. I vowed that I would never subject my children to this kind of behavior and I didn’t.

Fortunately, I took my responsibility as a parent seriously.  Because I was a single parent, it was doubly important that I ensure my child was well taken care of.  I made sure she had a high sense of self worth.  I worked hard to instill the following characteristics:

 Confidence – First, instill confidence in your children.  Also, help them believe in themselves and their abilities.  And make sure they know they can count on you for whatever goes right or wrong.  Demonstrating a positive attitude is a must too.

Compliments – Well done, you look pretty, handsome, great job, and I’m proud of you are great compliments.  Children should be praised often.  It will stay with them.

Unconditional Love –  Next, let your children know that you love them even when they make mistakes. It’s important that they know your love for them is unconditional.  As a result, they will always be safe.

Encouragement –  Always encourage your children to work through fear.  Always let them know that it’s okay when they fail.  And encourage them to try again.  Be their biggest fan and cheerleader.

Responsibility – Giving children chores and holding them accountable will help with their confidence.

Respect  –  Furthermore, teaching your children about respect is imperative.  Having a high opinion of one’s self will help children have esteem for others.

Finally, fill your children’s self esteem bucket regularly.  It will help define who they are as an adult; therefore, it will become a driving force in their success.  Communicate, compliment and praise often. Success and failure is a normal part of life, and children need to know that both will be experienced throughout their life.  Although they may get down at times, striving for healthy self-esteem should be the goal for all of our children.  So, what can you add to the self-esteem bucket?

 

12 Picky Eater Tips

Image-Picky-Eater-Tips

 

Do you have a picky eater?  Check out our picky eater tips, and get your little one to eat. My grandson was a picky eater.  Needless to say, meal time was a struggle. His mother, my daughter, was a picky eater too. To the point where she couldn’t stand for her food to touch.  If it did, I had to fix another plate if I wanted to get some nourishment into her.  

kids in the kitchen


I had to come up with a plan to get him to eat and I thought I would share my tips with you:

  1. Get your child involved in the meal preparation.  Kids love to help, so why not let them help with preparing the meal. They’re more likely to eat what they’ve helped prepare.     
  2. Incorporate 1 – 2 items that you knew they will eat into the meal plan.    
  3. Serve fruits and veggies for snacks instead of chips and cookies.  I serve apple slices and peanut butter, spinach dip and carrots or cucumbers.  He loves to dip things.  I invested in a vegetable cutter that will make crinkles in the carrots and cucumbers.  They’re more exciting than regularly cut cucumbers and carrot sticks.
  4. Kids love animals or alphabet shaped foods.  I now have a cabinet full of molds for pancakes and waffles.  What kid doesn’t want a cow, pig, dinosaur or zoo animal on their breakfast plate.  
  5. If your child is a pasta lover use wagon wheels, corks, or spaghetti.  I remove the green from cucumbers before placing them in the pasta.  My grandchildren love pasta with lite Italian dressing.   I get a “Happy Plate” every time I serve it.       
  6. Make zucchini or banana bread or muffins instead of cake and cupcakes.  Top with a little whipped cream.  You can add food coloring to the whipped cream to make it interesting.   
  7. Invest in sandwich cutters for P & J or grilled cheese sandwiches.    
  8. Limit snacks before meals.  
  9. Make eating out and fast foods a treat rather than the norm.      
  10. Eat meals together rather than placing your child in front of the TV.  They’ll see you eating and may be willing to try something new.  
  11. Encourage your child to try new things.  Start with getting them to taste rather than forcing them to eat anything.  After all, they are picky eaters.  
  12. Make fresh fruit smoothies together using Almond milk.  My grandchildren love Almond milk.    

What tips do you use for your picky eater?  We would love to hear from you.  

Teaching Children Responsibility

tips to teach children responsibility

 

Teaching children responsibility starts at an early age and it starts at home.  A child learning to be responsible will will increase their chances of being successful.  Learning responsibility started at an early age in my house.  We had conversations on why it was important and demonstrated negative results when being responsible wasn’t taken seriously.  Here are 5 ways that I used to install responsibility:

Assigning Chores This includes putting toys away, helping with dishes, cleaning their room and eventually getting a job around the age of 16 for the summer.  Yep my daughter had a job. Did she need to work, no.  I could financially support us, but it was a great way for her to learn about what it takes to hold down a job and build confidence. Getting to bed timely, getting up timely and reporting on time is a life long lesson.  Additionally, these skills need to be learned and embraced. Doing chores also included going to school and doing home work. In my home you  either go to school or get a job.

Playing Team Sports/Activities I put my daughter in organized activities at the age of 3. It was a little majorette group with drummers, so cute. At the age of 5, we switched to ballet. Ballet dancing requires discipline, and so does being successful in life. Organized sports or activities can include football, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, volleyball, whatever your child likes.  If your child is not into sports, try a painting or karate class. The important thing is that they learn about discipline and being a team player.

Volunteer Work – Doing volunteer work is a good way to learn about responsibility. Feeding the homeless, working at a food bank, reading to seniors at a nursing home is a good start. If they like farming, horses or gardening, have them volunteer on a farm or equestrian center.

Serving As A Role ModelBeing a role model can be rewarding. Children learn about leadership, and the importance of setting an example so others will want to follow their lead. Being a tutor, mentor, active in the church etc. makes a great community role model.

Having A Role ModelBeing your child’s role model is just as important as teaching them to be a role model. Children look at everything we do. We just think they aren’t listening.  Furthermore, it’s important that your child see you doing the things that you wan them to do.  For example, reading, taking courses on-line or at your local university, cleaning, cooking, handling money wisely, and most importantly spending time with them. It’s important that boys have a positive male as a role model and girls have a positive female as a role model.

Finally, how do you teach your children responsibility?  Do you use the same techniques for your sons and daughters?  We would love to add your tips to our list.  As we know, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for the other. 

 chore charts for girls football-chore-chart-1 super-heroes-chore-chart-1

Finally, motivate your child with our chore charts.  We have ballerina, football, basketball, a princess, princess castle and superman.  You can download the charts here.  Print them and lets start getting those room cleans, toys put away and everything else on their lists.  Check back, I will be adding other charts.