9 Benefits of Preschool

 

Mine, mine!  Those words were etched into my brain at one point.  They’re the words of a toddler claiming everything that belongs to them, you, the neighbor and anyone else who has possessions that are visible. That was my grandson years ago. Sharing with other children was simply out of the question. We believed part of the problem was him being an only child and not having to share.  We knew that he would encounter problems if we didn’t expose him to other children and adults. 

Did you  know this? The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) shows that children who attend Preschool for at least 1 year have stronger reading, vocabulary, and math skills than those who don’t attend. We researched and checked out several schools in the area that we believed would benefit him the most and had stellar reputations.  Unfortunately they had waiting lists. Rather than sit around and twiddling our thumbs waiting for an opening, we decided on a Preschool and took advantage of their child care facility.  The facility would transition him to Preschool once there was an opening. 


Many parents don’t realize that there is a difference between Child Care and Preschool.  He’s 2 in the picture below, it’s his first day at Child Care. This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He was 3 when he entered Preschool. Prior to entering Preschool, he was weened from his Nip Nip and completely potty trained. 
To eliminate any confusion here are some differences between Child Care and Preschool:

  1. Child Care facilities will take children at a young age, some places as young as 3 months when mom returns to work. Preschools normally don’t take children before ages 2 or 3.  
  2. Child Care facilities will assist with potty training and weening from the pacifier. Preschools require children to be potty trained and off the pacifier. 
  3. Preschools normally have set hours and summers off like regular schools. 
  4. Child Care facilities focus on playing, napping, happy and healthy. Preschools focus on education. 
  5. Preschools have Parent and Teacher conferences as well as plays and recitals.
When we were making a decision as to whether we should place him in Preschool, we weighed the pros and cons. I honestly couldn’t find any cons, but I found plenty of benefits for Preschool:
  1. Your child will have an established bedtime and get into a routine of getting up in the morning at a specify time. 
  2. Your child will learn to play with other children and be exposed to a group experience.
  3. Your child will have an established nap/rest period during the day.
  4. Your child will learn how to share, compromise and respect other children.  
  5. Your child will learn to be independent and learn confidence. 
  6. Your child will understand the concept of homework. He will be given homework every evening to ensure he learns his shapes, colors, numbers, the alphabet etc.
  7. Your child will have experiences from field trips with his classmates.
  8. Your child will learn social skills and make new friends. 
  9. Your child will be better prepared for the next level of education, Kindergarten. 

Studies have shown that Early Childhood Development is the foundation for a strong education. I recommend that you create a list of what you’re looking for in a Preschool and do your homework. Check out several facilities and make comparisons on the pros and cons. Make sure the building or facility is up to code, clean, has a safe playground, and has a stellar rating for early childhood education. 


Xavier completed 2 years of Preschool, ages 3-4, and excelled when he entered Kindergarten. He is now in the second grade and is an excellent student with strong academic skills. What’s your thoughts on Preschool? 





The Benefits of Family Meals

Do you eat as a family? Research has shown that there are benefits to eating together as a family. I believe it. When I was raising my daughter, I made it a point to prepare a meal and we sit at the table as a family. Sometimes it would breakfast, but the majority of the time it was dinner. I used it as an opportunity to discuss the events of the day, and to exchange other pertinent information. I remember my daughter having a guest one week-end. We decided to order pizza. When the pizza arrived, her guest opened the box to have a slice. I explained to her friend that we didn’t eat out of the box, I set the table and we shared the meal.

It was a beautiful day, so I decided to make use of the deck for the meal. The young lady seemed shocked and at a lost when I set out dinner plates, glasses, forks, knifes and napkins. I had prepared a salad and ice tea to go along with the pizza, so I placed the salad and pitcher of tea on the table as well. She explained that they didn’t eat that way in her home. Everyone eat when and what they wanted, and I could find her mother with a beer in her hand any time of the day or night. Once we sat at the table and I started the dinner conversation, she became at ease and joined in. I realized how differently things were done in her home and family dinners were truly a benefit. Family dinners allowed me to:

  • Be a role model and set an example for my daughter
  • Find out what was happening with her in school 
  • Find out what was happening with her friends
  • Discuss outside activities and the news
  • Discuss what was happening with other family members
  • Make plans for the week-end

A study at Cornell University has shown that having family meals also prevent:

  • Youth drug/substance abuse
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Developing a disconnect with parents
  • Failure in school

Because of family meals, my daughter grew up eating healthier and knowing the importance of family, school, planning and setting goals. Do you plan family meals? Leave me a comment and share how your family has benefited from family meals.

Is Your Child A Cyber Bully



Why aren’t more parents monitoring what their children are doing on-line?  The answer most parents give is because they are intimidated by the computer.  They lack computer skills, don’t have a smart phone and they really aren’t interested in learning how to use one.  As parents, we must be involved in what’s happening in our child’s life, especially in the age of modern technology.  From one mother to another, I think it’s imperative that we get involved in our children’s activities and stop thinking they’re doing the right thing and don’t need to be monitored.  

As parents we all want to think that we’ve raising angels and our children know right from wrong.  We’re shocked when we get a call to come into the school for inappropriate behavior from our child, when we receive a call from jail to bail them out or the cop knocks on the door to deliver bad news.  We all think that these things couldn’t possibly happen to us, these situations happen in other people’s homes.  So why should we concern ourselves.  How many times have you heard, my child would never do that!

I can give you a few reasons.  Did you hear about the Florida teens, 15 and 16, that were arrested for setting up a phony Facebook page that was X-rated several years ago.  They were charged with pasting the face of a school mate, whom they didn’t like, on a nude body and filled the page with foul language.  They thought it was a joke. They were charged with felony stalking.    


How about the young lady that committed suicide last year because she was bullied.  We must overcome our fears.  A blogger recently experienced cyber bullying with her daughter.  As a matter of fact her blog was down for most of a day because it was hacked. Bullying is real, and it wrecks havoc on families.  A teen in my neighborhood committed suicide a few years ago.  If we as a parents won’t face our fears, how do we encourage our children to face theirs?  


Here are a few suggestions on how to overcome the fear of the computer and how you can get involved to help stop cyber bullying:

  • If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy, take a class or better yet get your child to teach you.  They love showing off their computer skills.  
  • Ask questions about your child’s friends and what’s happening in their life.  Follow them on sites popular with teens and make sure you have access to their accounts.  
  • Ask other parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers to stay involved with your children on-line.  We can’t monitor our children 24/7, but you can recruit family and friends to assist.  It takes a village to raise a child.    
  • Computer etiquette starts at home.  Have conversations with your child or children on what’s appropriate or inappropriate to put on-line.  If they’re minors, you’re in control and you need to let them know you’re ruling the roost.  They must follow rules that you have set for on-line activities.   
  • Discuss the consequences of cyber stalking and the legalities of posting inappropriate posts. It’s illegal and the consequences are certainly worth a conversation with your child. 

Do you see the importance of keeping up with your child?  Better yet stay in front of them so you can lead.  If you can’t stay in front of them stay beside them.  Taking a class is cheaper than paying a lawyer to get your child out of a felony for on-line harassment or other effects from bullying.  Would love to know your thoughts on this post and how you monitor your child’s on-line activities.    


You may also like:     15 Tips to Detect If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Photo compliments of www.stockvault.net

Only Children Syndromes: Fact or Fiction

This is my beautiful daughter who grow up an only child.  When I was raising her, I heard many women say that they would never have one child because they wouldn’t want them growing up alone or only children are spoiled and misbehaved.   My daughter turned out just fine.  She had playmates, she listened and she followed rules.  Now I must admit, I spoiled her rotten and I enjoyed every second of it.  Yes, she had more
than most children because she was an only child, but that’s not my problem.  I told parents who were bold enough to make comments that maybe they should have stopped at one too.  


She find herself a target by other kids at school at times.  When we got to the bottom of the harassment, we found that the child or children where envious of  her clothes, other possessions, and accomplishments.  She was called Little Princess by some of her classmates and if you can believe it by some adults.  Those with siblings seemed to be the ones who were green with envy.  I’m not saying that all children who had siblings were a problem, but I am saying that the children she had issues with had siblings.   Funny, she was suppose to be the one who ended up with problems.   

During that time, I often wondered why people believed that only children would be unhappy, selfish, spoiled, lonely and maladjusted.  The Only Children that I knew did not fall into any of these categories.  I’ve also wondered how America explained the behavior of children who misbehaved and who had siblings.  Most importantly, when our children end up with drug and alcohol problems or behind bars, does it really matter that they were Only Children, the Baby, the Middle Child or the Older Brother or Sister?

I did some research on Only Children and I’m happy to say that this article in  Psychology Today discusses some issues that parents encounter raising only children, however, the majority of only children turn out to be happy, well-adjusted adults.  It has also been proven that children with siblings often have self-esteem problems because they grow up thinking their siblings were favored or they were neglected because mom and dad had to divide their time, attention and money.  Oh lets not forget the middle child syndrome and the arguments and hatred spewed between siblings.  Psychologist have found that it can take a lifetime to work out problems created because children grew up believing they were treated unfairly by their parents or siblings.  In some situations they don’t speak for years if ever again over childhood issues that were never resolved.  

My daughter has stated that there were times she wished she had a sibling, but for the most part she was content with her upbringing.  She had my undivided attention, everything she needed, and the majority of the time she got everything she wanted.  By the age of 21, she had traveled to places that most people won’t see in a their lifetime.  I had no behavior problems with her growing up.  She did not hit, spit or bit other children nor did she disrespect any adults.  She excelled in school and had plenty of cousins and friends to play with.  To this day, she’s very sociable and respectful.    

For mothers who only have 1 child, don’t allow the myths of the “Only Child Syndrome” make you feel guilty about your decision. Personally, I believe people should have as many children as they want and can afford.  None of us know how our children are going to turn out.  Whether we have 1 child or 10, we just do the best that we can raising them.  I survived motherhood one day at a time, and it is still my motto.  


Do you have 1 child?  Did you grow up an only child?  I would love to hear your take on this issue.  Please leave us a comment. 

A Tour of My Hometown

I used to play in this little house when I was a child.  It had a living room, kitchen and a bedroom upstairs.  Rather than dolls, it had bears to play with.  It seems so small now, but I was able to stand up in it as a child.  I grow up in a small town in WV where everyone knew everyone and we ran around the town carefree. I wanted to share some of my fondest childhood memories with you.  So I thought we would take a tour of my hometown.  


I loved this little house.  It was open to the public on certain each week.  On the days that it wasn’t open, we looked at the bears through the window.  My fondest memory of the bears was them having a tea party.  


This stream ran behind the Little House.  We would take our shoes off and stand in the water.  It seemed so much deeper as a child.  

Oh the memories of Betty’s Restaurant.  We hung out here as teens.  Betty was the owner and cook.  She made the best cheeseburgers, fries and chocolate shakes.  The restaurant is still in business.  Occasionally, I will stop by for breakfast.  They still have the same booths and bar stools, lol.  I’m squeezing in the booths now rather than sliding in, but the hometown atmosphere is still the same.  

This is where a our town newspaper was printed.  Mr. Charlie was the printer.  He was always covered in black ink as he rolled the newspaper off the printer.  We would look through the window as he was working. Mr. Charlie never allowed us to distract him from his work.  He just smiled and kept the printer rolling.  It is now a 5 star restaurant called The Press Room.

This is the Rumsey Monument. We spent hours here climbing the steps to watch trains cross the bridge behind it and cars cross the bridge on the other side of it.  This monument is dedicated to James Rumsey, who launched the first steam boat on the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, WV. According to the history books, Robert Fulton was given credit for the first launch, but residents of Shepherdstown, WV know better.  

                                                                               


This is a view from the Rumsey Monument.  Absolutely beautiful and more so in the fall.  The local Girl Scout and Brownie troops walked across the bridge shown so we could hike along the C & O Canal Towpath.  My sister was a Girl Scout and I was a Brownie.  I have to admit I crossed it, but I was scared to death.  My troop leader would allow me to walk in the road until a car came and than I had to get back on the sidewalk.  Her kindness sure helped ease my fears.  Because of it, I was able to take the hike along with the other girls.  

       
I spent many days at this little library reading or going to story hour.  I remember my mother scrubbing me until I was as shiny as a new penny and sending me off to story hour each week. Books were big in my home.  We had library cards, so my friends and I would head to the library until closing during the summer.  I also remember not returning books on time, and having to use my allowance to pay the fine.  I learned early to pay my bills on time.  

This is The Wall and my sister posing.  We spent hours sitting on this wall people watching and playing games.  Residents have been banned from sitting on The Wall on now, what a shame.  It was a great gathering place for chatting, eating an ice cream cone or just passing time away.  

We would leave the house early morning most days and just walk around town heading nowhere in particular.  Our parents never worried, they just wanted us back in time for dinner.  If we missed lunch, someone in the community would feed us and they in turn would do the same for the kids who where out of their neighboring area.  What a great era to be a kid.  We didn’t have children being kidnapped or harmed in any way, it was the least of anyone’s worries.  

We gathered pop bottles to cash in at the local store for money.  We had a red wagon that we pulled to the store to cash in our goods.  Back in those days, candy was a penny.  We would have candy for days with a quarter.  My best friend’s Uncle owned the candy store, he would always give us extra when we visited.  My favorite was the chocolate covered peanuts.  Yes, I was a chocolate addict at an early age.   

I loved my childhood.  We weren’t rich, but we had a great community.  Everyone knew what community meant, and looked out for each other.  Lend a handing hand, wasn’t a saying when I was growing up.  It actually took place.  We were raised by the community.  We trick or treated with brown paper grocery bags until midnight.  Our parents purchased sleds, Lighting Guiders, every Christmas.  Daddy gave us sand paper to sharpen the blades, and sharpen we did.  We stayed out until we damn near froze sled riding, and nobody called us in.  What are some of your favorite childhood memories?

Plus Size Barbie


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Plus-size... or obese? A mocked-up image of a plus-size Barbie beside a traditional Barbie by Worth100 has sparked a debate about the doll's impact on female body image
Would you buy a plus size Barbie doll for your daughter?  Apparently the idea is being looked at; however, the plus size Barbie shown is drawing controversy.  Facebook group, Plus Size Modeling, generated the question “Should toy companies start making plus-sized dolls?  They have gotten 36,000 likes and 1,600 shares on the idea. 

Personally, I think it’s a great idea.  Most women are not pencil thin.  Most have curves and are proud of them.  The plus-size Barbie shown was produced by artists at Worth1000.com, not Mattel.  Mattel has not stated, to my knowledge, that they are entertaining the idea of a plus-size Barbie.   


This plus size Barbie has come under fire by many.  Many believe the image created is not how plus size women should be portrayed.  In fact, many think the Barbie shown is obese not plus size.  There is a difference.  Not all plus-size women are obese.  Did you notice that the plus-size Barbie has a triple chin and is basically three times the size of the original Barbie.    

When I first saw the doll, my response was WTH.  I am a plus size.  Yep, size 12/14W and I am comfortable in the skin that I’m in.  My goal is to be healthy and if I can accomplish that at a size 12/14, than I’m happy. I don’t have 3 chins and I’m not three times the size of a pencil thin woman.   Most of the women in my family are plus size.  My daughter however is petite.  Imagine that.

I believe in diversity and want to expose my granddaughter to a variety of doll images.  I purchase Black, Hispanic and Caucasian dolls for her.  After all, the world is made up of many people from many backgrounds in a variety of hues.  I want her to see the world for what it is and know that it’s okay to not be pencil thin.  I want her to know that women of color are beautiful, intelligent and successful.  I want her to know that not everyone looks alike, has the same shape or is the same size.  That’s the beauty of the human race.  I don’t know what genetics have in store for her, so I want her to have this knowledge at an early age. 

If a plus size Barbie is to be marketed, plus size women should be on the team while she is being developed.  I wonder who was behind the development of this doll at Worth1000.com, but more importantly who approved the final plan.  They obviously need to return to the drawing the board and take some time to learn about healthy full figure women.         

Bad Parenting or Unfairly Treated?

Kids behaving badly or family unfairly treated?  This family believe they were unfairly treated because they were asked to leave Applebee’s as a result of their children misbehaving in the restaurant.  According to the parents their children are active, they were acting like children.  According to other patrons in the restaurant at the time, the children were literally running around the establishment and disturbing other customers.  This was in fact why they were asked to leave. 


As I look at this picture, I can believe they were running around disturbing customers.  Look at the mom holding the child on the right.  He’s about to take off in the picture.  Reminds me of my trip to TJ Max the other night.  There were two ladies there with a little boy and girl.  I’m thinking mother and grandmother.  The children ran through the store the entire time I was there and the grandmother yelled at them.  They just laughed and ran until their heart was content.  As I was checking out, the mother was at another register.  She tells the clerk,  “I have to go find my kid”.   My thought, she’s going to hold up the line to go find her kid. 


As I’m leaving the store, there’s a lady outside with 3 children.  She seems to be overwhelmed.  I’m looking at her and looking back at the lady in the store yelling at the children.  The lady outside proceeds to tell me that the little boy had run out in the street.  She grabbed him and took him back inside.  She stated she didn’t know who he belonged to he just took off running once he got inside.  She was clearly affected by the incident.  I know that I was affected by them running throughout the store, and the grandmother yelling.  So, I can see Applebee’s asking the parents to leave.  I wished TJ Max had asked the 2 ladies and their children to leave.  It definitely affected my shopping experience.  

If the children were running through the restaurant, I have no sympathy for these parents.  Parents control your kids, or stay home!  There are other paying customers there who would like to enjoy their evening out, and not be distracted by your “active” children. 

Do you sympathize with the parents or do you believe Applebee’s took the appropriate step?  Please leave a comment. 

How Do You Choose Grandparent Names

Did your children decide on their grandparent’s name or did your parents make the decision on what they wanted to be called?  My grandson ultimately made the decision for me.  I had initially selected the name Gran, but it didn’t stick. 

I was visiting my grandson one week-end, and when I walked into the house he said Mawmaw.  Where’s Gaga (referring to his grandfather)?  At that moment, Gran went out the window.   I must admit, I was surprised he called me Mawmaw.  I’ve often wondered how he came up with those names for us.  Especially, since I had been calling myself Gran for almost 2 years.  His grandfather had been calling himself granddaddy.  Isn’t it amazing how things can change in a split second. 

Now, I must admit that I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the name Mawmaw.  I didn’t think it was a fit for me and it sounded so old fashion.  I felt somewhat disappointed.  Afterall, I’m not your typical grandma.  I’m a high heel wearing diva who’s into blogging, texting, social media, and a need for wine.  I just wasn’t feeling Mawmaw.  I chose the name Gran because I didn’t want to end up with an old fashion out of date name.  Gran was traditional, but still had a sophisticated ring to it.  My daughter stated, “Mom you have to be whatever he calls you”.  I wasn’t sure if I was disappointed because I had spent 9 months selecting a name and it was suddenly gone or because the name sounded so country and out of date.  The only other person that I knew as Mawmaw was my 60 year old Aunt.   My grandson had thrown a wrench into the plans.  My siblings had chosen their names, and I wanted that opportunity too.     

Our grandchildren use a variety of names for us.  In my family there’s Poppy, Nana, Granny, and Granddaddy.  As I was discussing the name change with co-workers, I was surprised to find out that many of their grandchildren called them MawMaw.  It was actually a popular name.  Who knew!

As I continued to think about it, it suddenly didn’t matter what he  called me as long as he called my name.  My grandson had changed my life forever.  I looked at the change totally different.  What’s in a name?  I realized that my grandson had a mind of his own, and he was demonstrating his personality, his individuality, and how he felt about me.  I was a Mawmaw, and he believed it was a fit for me.  He didn’t see me as a diva, texter, blogger or wine taster.  I was simply his Mawmaw.  He has made it clear over the course of the years with his cousins, that’s my Mawmaw.  I have happily accepted the nomination.  I’ve held that title for 5 years, and I’m proud to wear it.  I now have a grandson and granddaughter.  I will continue to strive to be the #1 Mawmaw, because that is what is truly important. 

What do your grandchildren call you or your parents?  Leave us a comment, we would love to know.  

Ladybug Tutu Giveaway

Just in time for a beautiful Christmas photo.  We’re giving away this adorable ladybug tutu.  Your daughter, niece or God daughter will look so cute in this tutu.  Don’t have a daughter or niece?  It would make a great Christmas gift. 
The give away will include tutu dress, headband with flower, and diaper cover. Tutu Cute! Fits babies 6-9 Months.  Leave us a comment on who will receive this adorable tutu if you win.
Want extra entries? Do one or all of the following:
  • Follow Our Blog (left sidebar; 5 entries)
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  • Follow one of my boards on Pinterest (2 entries)

This give away will end December 15, 2012 at mid-night. Give away is open to US Residents 18+ only.  Winner will be posted on Mother 2 Mother December 16, 2012. 

Is Your Child A Member of the Muffin Top Club?

Is your child a member of the muffin top club?  You are familiar with the term muffin top right?  It’s when you wear jeans and the bulge of fat hangs over the waist band of the jeans.  I see a lot of teenage girls with muffin tops, and occasionally adult women. I try hard to cover my stomach, I’m a muffin, biscuit, pancake, crescent roll and whatever other bread product you can think of.   
There’s also the term split muffin top.  Now that’s when your pants are low enough when you bend over to see the top of your butt crack, as if somebody would be interested in seeing that.  Some of us are comfortable enough to let it all hang out.  Normally I would say more power to you, if you think you look good work with it.  However, I’m sick of seeing muffins in every shape size and color imaginable.  Check out this video on YouTube, we are turning into a Muffin Top Nation people we really are.  

Low-rider jeans are the culprit.  We used to call them hip huggers back in the day. When we wore them in the 70’s, they sat low on the hips so the belly button would be exposed.  Their purpose these days are beyond me.  Can somebody explain their purpose in the 2000’s. 


We need to educate our daughters on how to dress appropriately moms.  When we see them heading out the door in this ensemble, we need to stop them.  If you can’t find it in your heart to stop them, damn it, send the fashion police after them.  They need to learn that it is not attractive.  I love seeing our teenage girls with confidence and self-esteem, but this is neither. We must teach them confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.  They must learn that just because a certain type of clothing is on the market doesn’t mean they can wear it, and it doesn’t make them unfashionable or less for it. Fashion etiquette starts at home moms. You don’t have to be a Fashionista be able to determine that this is not acceptable.      
 
 
Leave us a comment on what you think about the insurgence of muffin tops that have invaded us.  Do you agree that fashion etiquette starts at home?  Are you seeing muffin tops in your area?  Is your child a member of the muffin top club?  We would love to hear from you.