Sunday, October 30, 2011

3 Great Halloween Videos to Share with your Toddlers (or young kids)

Boogie Woogie Pumpkin Man  

Dem Bones

The Monster Mash

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Are You the Kind of Mom You Want to Be?

We all have days when we make mistakes and say things that we regret to our children but if you feel like these times are so often that maybe you are turning into the type of mom you despise, then maybe it's time to think about what type of mom you want to be!  Here's an exercise to help you... 

Take out a piece of paper and write down three words to describe the type of mom you want to be.
EXAMPLE: Caring, honest, and good role model

Next, write down what actions you need to perform in order to be described as that kind of mom.  For example, if you would like to be a caring mom, you may want to use actions like:
  • kissing,
  • hugging,
  • attentive listening (without distractions)
Finally, let go of the things that you regret and focus on the things that you want to accomplish!  Holding onto the guilt will only make you feel bad.  ALL moms make mistakes on a daily basis so stay focused on the type of mom you want to be and if you slip up, forgive yourself and move forward....after all, you are human!!!

***Want some extra inspiration?  Post your 'mom goals' somewhere you see often such as your laptop desktop, on your refrigerator or on your bathroom mirror (the bathroom is a great place because it's helpful to start your day with a friendly reminder of what you want to accomplish!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

3 Questions to Ask if Your Children are Tuning You Out (and how to make them listen!)

1.  Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I expecting a 2 year old to behave like a 5 year old?  It's important to step back and look at what your child can realistically do.  Children want to succeed but sometimes aren't sure how.  For example, one of your children may be able to sit entertain himself for an hour (as a toddler) and another child may not have the attention span at the same age.  If your not sure if your expectations are too high, check out a parenting website such as which details age appropriate behaviors at different ages.

2.  Can I get rid of the problem?
Sometimes we create our own problems.  It took me 2 weeks to realize that moving a particular chair from the living room to the basement could easily eliminate a big problem when my daughter kept standing on it.  I was constantly asking her to sit correctly in the chair and once the chair was removed....there were no more conversations about the subject!

3.  Is my child tuning me out? Do you find yourself saying no a lot or correcting your children so often that it feels like that's all you are saying?  Often, our children will begin to tune us out because they are overwhelmed.  In fact, it's human nature to demonstrate negative behavior when all you are receiving is negative attention.  Instead, provide an atmosphere where your child is forced to earn compliments or acceptance so that they feel like they can earn positive reinforcement. 
Positive attention doesn't mean constantly telling your child how great they are or how proud you are of them (actually that can be harmful when overdone!)  Instead, get engaged in their world and involved in conversations about what interests them "wow! That train is fast!  Do you like slow trains or fast trains?"
Usually, getting down on the floor and involved in THEIR world is the easiest way start having them earn positive attention and allow them to learn they are appreciated.

4.  Am I a pushover?
We teach our children how to treat us.  If we give in to particular situations, our children will begin to think that what they are doing is acceptable (because it is being accepted, right?)  Think about what things are  very important to you and draw healthy boundaries and/or consequences around those situations (i.e.  If your child talks disrespectfully to you and you never give consequences, they will continue to behave that way!)  Remember, children respond MUCH more effectively to warnings and consequences (time outs or things being taken away) than they do to verbal reprimands alone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Do You Show Your Child That You Love Them?

I like to be honest in my blog so I will be honest and say that I thought about this idea when I was in marriage counseling.  My husband and I were in a rut and having a really difficult time.  The marriage counselor suggested we tell each other what the other person did every day what made us feel appreciated (i.e. sex, cleaning the house, giving the other person a break, waking up with the kids in the morning, etc.)  This was eye opening to me because some of the things I thought made my husband feel appreciated weren't at all what he wanted.
The same can be said for children.  We do so much to make our children happy but do your children know that you value and appreciate them?  Sometimes it's important to tell your children the things that you do to show that you love them.  Children often realize that kisses and hugs show love but they may not understand that even timeouts or punishments are a way of showing you care about them by teaching them right from wrong. Ask your children what you do that makes them feel special? You can also tell them what THEY do that makes YOU feel special!  The result could be eye opening!  Give it a try!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fueling Your Engine

What did you do to fuel your engine today?  Women often put others needs in front of their own forgetting that they need to take care of their own soul.  Picture yourself as a vehicle...if you don't put gas in your tank, how will you transport your family where they need to go?  Write down three things you did today to recharge your soul, body, or spirit (take a walk, read a book, talk to a friend, or eat something healthy). 

Next, write down how this helped you be a better spouse, person or parent.  For example, "I took a zumba class today THEN when I came home I played with my child and felt focused, energized, and patient."

Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Create the Life You Want

It is Monday morning, the start of a brand new week!  Brand new activities, brand new jobs, brand new attitudes, and brand new reactions.  Whether you are lonely, busy, broke, rich, or even sick, life is the result of your choices.  We choose whether we want to be in control of our life or not.  So, what if you feel backed into a corner and feel like you have no control over what's happening in your life?  I've been there and it sucks!!! But there is good news!  You truly can begin to take baby steps back to gaining control over your life with the right support and guidance!  Last week is gone...write it in the history books and let it go!
1.  Surround yourself with motivated people who share your goals.  We treat others how we want to be treated.  Oprah and Steve Jobs have both given lectures about how to succeed and they say that surrounding yourself with those who share your goals is essential to creating success!  Don't feel like the people your with motivate you?  Don't get rid of them!  These people may need to learn how you want to be treated! Perhaps we've been sending them the wrong messages about what we expect. 
2.  Stay focused!
What are your goals?  Are your actions a direct result of your goals?  Sit down and write a plan for what kind of week your going to have and make it happen!!

**Are you physically able to control your life?
Sometimes our body tells us we need more than a little help and the choices we make may not be enough to make us feel happy.  If you suffer from depression, anxiety, or some other mental illness, please seek help from a professional!  There is help out there so you can begin to take control again.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What Can Steve Jobs Teach Us?

What a week this has been!  My sister found out 2 weeks ago that she has thyroid cancer.  I took her to her doctors appointment this week to see an oncologist and thankfully found out that her cancer is small, easily removable, and a less than 1% chance that it has spread.  Hooray!  What a relief!  But of course with these kinds of experiences, we realize how precious life is and we are reminded to embrace all the wonderful moments!  Then, the passing of Steve Jobs brought many facebook posts quoting his amazing messages about embracing life, enjoying your job, and pursuing your passions. 
As (moms and as women), we have so many opportunities to pursue our passions.  We sometimes get mixed up and think that our children are our ONLY passions but that is not true! We still have our own goals and passions and we need to figure out what the world is needs from us.  Everyone has something to contribute to the world and has a reason for being here!  What is your reason for being here?  What is your passion?
If your struggling, take 5 minutes every night to write in a journal about what inspired you!

Then I thought about writing an article about what Steve Job's messages can teach our children and this author beat me to it (and it's an awesome article!)

Whatever inspires you, take a little time each day to make it a reality.  This will not only help you to fulfil your dreams but also is the best way to teach your children to make their dreams a reality!