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  • Pets and children can become stressed during moving. If moving locally, you may want to leave these special family members with a friend during moving day.
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    April 18, 2016
    Dealing With Disrespect

    When your child acts disrespectful towards you, by backtalking, swearing, hitting, or making rude comments, it’s important to shut down that behavior fast. Don’t worry- you’re not a bad parent. Kids like to test their parents’ limits, and learn from other kids, TV, or maybe even by watching you, but as long as you correct the behavior, you are still doing your job. So, what do you do when your child is being rude? Check out these tips by Nicole Schwarz at Imperfect Families:

    -Stay calm- do not immediately react with anger or punishment, give yourself time to think about why they behaved that way.

    -Empathize- try to see why your child reacted the way they did, and understand the feelings they are having.

    -Talk with your child when you have both had a moment to calm down. If you’ve lost your cool and said hurtful things to them as well, it’s okay to admit it and apologize. Tell your child that their response to you was inappropriate, and talk about how to handle situations like it in the future.

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    April 14, 2016
    “Cheat Sheets” For New Parents

    3580638847_8f53f93590_zRemember when you were in school, and sometimes a teachers would be merciful and let you use an index card “cheat sheet” on a test? Why don’t they have those for real life? For doing your taxes, or auto maintenance, or raising kids? Well, good news- at least for the last one. This post by Jennifer Fishkind at Princess Pinky Girl has rounded up the best “parenting cheat sheets” on the internet. Check it out, and you will have a handy guide for:

    -How many diapers you will need per day

    -Diaper contents and baby health

    -Baby sign language

    -Baby Physical Development

    -Appropriate chores by child age

    -Baby feeding charts, when to move on to solid food, etc.

    -Baby sleep guidelines

    It’s super useful! Every new or expecting parent should bookmark that post immediately.

    Photo Credit: Terrance Nance 

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    April 12, 2016
    Mommy Date Ideas

    3708390599_4cb4926821_zThe best way to make memories with your kids is -drumroll- to spend time with them! But not just by sitting at home, watching TV, and doing the same thing every day. However, it can be challenging (and expensive) to constantly be thinking of new, exciting activities to do with your kids. That’s why I love this list of Mommy-kiddo date ideas by Dani at Meraki Lane:

    -Cook a meal together

    -Make a tent in the living room and read books

    -Play board games!

    -Go to the library

    -Have a water balloon fight

    -Go on a scavenger hunt

    -Just sit on the floor and play together, spend some quality time together every day.

    Photo Credit: Casey Fleser

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    April 7, 2016
    How To Raise A Reader

    8403878432_4df1e9c9ac_zI’ve been an avid reader since, well, I learned how to read. I have books upon books in my house, and hope to pass on my favorites to my kids someday. Picture books like Where the Wild Things Are, Corduroy, Goodnight Moon, Rainbow Fish, Little Bear,and everything by Dr. Seuss. Chapter books and series like Goosebumps, Holes, Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, and of course, Harry Potter. I just can’t wait to share all these stories with my kids! Plus, readers usually do much better in school. For tips on raising a child who loves reading, check out this article by Together With Family:

    -Have “book basket” time- fill up a basket with books and have time set aside for kids to read whatever they like

    -Read aloud, even if they are babies! It creates tons of memories.

    -Late bedtimes- allow them to stay up 15 extra minutes, but only if they spend it reading.

    -Let them see you reading, and take them to the library!

    -Let them read whatever they want, as long as it’s age-appropriate. Supply them with books about their interests, help them find new authors that they will love.

    Photo Credit: Barney Moss 

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    April 5, 2016
    Uses For A Kitchen Timer

    5998854899_79d92790c7_zI’m a substitute teacher, and I use timers every day with kids to keep things organized. They’ll have so long for bellwork, independent reading, assignments, etc., before moving on. It’s also useful if the teacher left a game for them to play, or a timed test/quiz. And they’re not just useful at school! You can use a timer at home in TONS of different ways. Find out why timers are a mom’s best friend by reading this post by Rachel at A Mother Far From Home:

    -Have independent play time, if your kids are struggling with that

    -Get out the energy! Set a timer and have a crazy, noisy, fun time until it runs out!

    -Taking turns playing with a coveted toy

    -Screen time limits

    -15 minute cleaning time

    Photo Credit: Rusty Clark

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    April 4, 2016
    Is Your Child Being Bullied?

    10855876226_d6706e5ede_zI was lucky enough growing up that I never had to deal with being bullied. Sure, there were random mean comments and fights with friends, but I think that’s pretty normal. I never had to deal with the feeling of dreading school, constantly being picked on, or being physically harmed by other kids. Unfortunately, that is a reality for many kids every day. Schools are beginning to take notice and are enacting serious consequences for bullies, but it’s still a long way from being fixed. Often, it’s up to the parents, and kids themselves, to solve bullying situations. So, how do you know if your kid is a bullying victim? Check out this post by Aubri and Amber at The DIY Lighthouse for the signs:

    -Difficulty explaining injuries, recurring injuries

    -Damaged/”lost” belongings

    -Frequently sick or faking sick to avoid school

    -Not wanting to go to school or ride bus

    -Grades dropping

    -Adopting self harming behaviors

    The post also has some great advice on what to do if you find out your child is being bullied. Be sure to read the whole thing! It’s extremely important!

    Photo Credit: Loren Kerns 

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    March 29, 2016
    Making Potty Training Painless

    4626893485_38f90d57e9_zWe are slowly working on getting my two-year-old nephew potty trained. It’s actually going pretty well! He seems to like using the toilet like a big boy, and almost always tells us when he needs to go. Hopefully, we can transition to pull up diapers soon and let him start going by himself. However, not all kids are so easy! If you are struggling with potty training, check out this guide by Vicky at Mess for Less. She’s compiled the best tips on potty training from parents around the internet:

    The Secret to Potty Training from Not Just Cute

    How to Potty Train a Toddler from Military Wife and Mom

    Potty Training the Slow Way from Toddler Approved

    What They Never Tell You About Potty Training from Heart of Deborah

    Photo Credit: Manish Bansal 

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    March 24, 2016
    Shut Down Picky Eating

    6144729060_058ffcf4b9_zI just straight up don’t like most vegetables. And it made my parents’ lives extremely hard when I was younger. I hate lettuce, asparagus, peas, onions, brussel sprouts, carrots- the list goes on- and I always have. For parents who want to raise healthy kids with good eating habits, picky eaters can be a nightmare and cause the dinner table to become a war zone. If you are struggling with a child who picks at his food, read this post by Sarah and Jessica at Pretty Providence for tips on making mealtime more fun:

    -Muffin tray lunches- put every part of the meal in a different tray- it’s super fun and will make your child want to finish every part

    -Make mini everything- mini hotdogs, mini pancakes, mini oranges, mini corn- it’s way more appealing to kids

    -Get some fun toothpicks or cookie cutters and change up the shapes

    While I think these are great ideas for younger kids, sticking a toothpick in an onion is not going to make a teenager who hates onions want to eat it. My advice? Try to compromise- and keep looking for options. Sure, I hate many vegetables, but I LOVE tomatoes, potatoes, olives, spinach, chickpeas, beans, most fruits, and mushrooms, and am able to eat healthily now. 

    Another thing that helped me eat more veggies was when my parents attempted to make them more appetizing. For example, putting cheese on broccoli, or giving me ranch sauce to dip baby carrots in. Or, by cooking them in a different way. Steamed vegetables are gross, but if you bake them and add seasoning, they taste much better to me.

    Give your child a chance to try many different things- they will find something they like!

    Photo Credit: David Goehring 

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    March 21, 2016
    Helping Your Kids Through A Move

    6974914188_06be3d503f_zWhen I was in middle school, my family moved to another state, and the first year there was honestly the worst one of my life (I know, I’m lucky to have such minor problems). I was at a new school with no friends and was super shy (and super mad at my parents). Of course, I eventually started talking to people and I love my state now, but it was one of the roughest times for me and my parents. If you are moving and you have kids, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Some kids handle it better than others (younger ones do better than middle or high school aged kids), but you still have your work cut out for you. Check out these tips by Kristi at A Mom With A Lesson Plan for how to help your kids through a tough move and to keep your own sanity:

    -Focus on a familiar routine and follow it strictly, it will help them feel like they are still in control of something

    -Tell them about the move as soon as possible so they have more time to adjust

    -Talk to them about their fears, and what they will be sad to leave behind. Talk to them about what they have to look forward to!

    -Let them visit the new town and house a few times before you move there

    These are great tips! I have some of my own as well:

    -Do NOT move during the school year unless you absolutely can’t help it.

    -Find a way to get them involved in the new community. Find an activity they like and get them into it! Look into local Girl / Boy Scout troops, sports teams, reading programs, and other organizations. It will help them make their first friends.

    -Be ready for anger and tears, especially if your kids are older. Just know that they WILL get through it, and that you are not a bad parent.

    Photo Credit: Martin Garrido 

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    March 3, 2016
    What To Teach Your Child: Essential Skills

    3097036338_cc22681cb2_zSchools are essential to a child’s mental and social development, but there are many things that kids need to know that simply aren’t taught at school. Life skills are the responsibility of the parent. Being able to write a convincing essay, read a classic book, and solve an algebra problem are fantastic- but what good is that if you can’t take care of yourself and survive in the real world? For skills that YOU need to teach your child, read this list by Chetana at Mom Junction:


    -Wilderness survival skills (building a fire, making a shelter, etc.)

    -First aid

    -Gardening basics


    -Money management

    -Cleaning/laundry/household repairs

    Photo Credit: Emran Kassim 

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