Monday, November 21, 2011

Avoiding Drama this Holiday Season!

I always say prepare, prepare, prepare (when it comes to your kids) well, today I'm saying prepare for your own sanity this holiday season!
It has happened quite often that I find myself stressing, fighting, or rearranging schedules to AVOID drama in the family and I end up creating my own!!!  How did i end up all stressed out about this situation (I often ask myself) and yet the person or people that I am trying to avoid are actually enjoying their holiday while I'm upset sitting in the corner feeling sorry for myself!! Why do we do this to ourselves?
The answer is that it is a habit! Maybe you grew up with these dynamics and are used to these situations.  But the good news is that there are ways that we can change these habits.  It might feel a little uncomfortable at first but if we draw healthy boundaries we create the life we want (BONUS: people will gain a new respect for you!) 
So this holiday season, why dance around other people's feelings and then let the "good 'ol resentment" build inside of us?  It is possible to be kind but set boundaries (it's called being kind to yourself and your family!) don't like going to your in laws every year for Thanksgiving? Change it to every OTHER year!  Feel anxiety about your cousin being disrespectful in your home?  Talk to them about it and decide if it's a good idea them to be there! Do you hate doing all the dishes while everyone watches the football game?  Ask someone to help you then sit your hiney in a chair!

Friday, November 18, 2011

How to Create a Flawless and Fun Thanksgiving with Kids

Thanksgiving can be a crazy holiday for families-it is the busiest travel weekend of the year and lets be's the least favorite "kid" holiday.  So, how do you make it fun for everyone and yet still be able to have a glass of wine and relax or catch that football game?  Be prepared!  Here's how...

1.  Choose your battles.  If you normally cater to your picky eater, it might not be a good idea to pick a formal sit down holiday dinner (with the entire family watching) to be the first time you make your child eat those green beans!  You may want to bring a food they like with you or check out the menu before sitting down to the table.  (This is why giving into the picky eater on a daily basis can put you into tough situations!)

2.   Bring toys or games! If you are traveling with your family this holiday season, expect to wait in traffic (or airports) and have some back up plans such as cool new iphone games or some different books or toys that your child hasn't seen in a long time!  Another great idea is to have your children pack their own favorite toys in a special book bag!

3.  Involve the children in dinner preparation.  Children love to feel involved so let them make place cards or set the table.  Another great idea?  Make the good 'ol turkey handprint by tracing their hand as a centerpiece!
4.  Expect problems.  I know I said 'flawless' but lets face it...that's impossible!  If your trying to PLEASE your family by making an elaborate dinner from that fancy cookbook...guess what?  Your toddler (or young kids) will probably not appreciate it and instead be acting out all day because you aren't around.  So, if you would like to make an awesome dinner from scratch, ask a babysitter or family member to help you with the kids!  Also, try to make naptimes as close to their normal schedule as possible and expect that things won't be perfect! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Would Your Child Do?

Did you know that most children who are sexually abused, are abused by a family member or close friend? Did you know that "stranger danger," by comparison, is quite rare?  If you are like me, you are saddened and disgusted by the news that has come out about the Penn State sex scandal.  Unfortunately, there are many other predators out there around our youth every day.  Out of all the negativity this scandal has brought to our lives, let's let it be a lesson to parents everywhere to start talking to our children openly about what what is a good touch vs. bad touch and what to do if someone does make us feel uncomfortable. 
If you're like me, you'd like to lock up your child and never let them out of your sight when you think about this horrible possibility.  Unfortunately, our children will be in situations where there are possibilities of adults making bad decisions.  What would your child do?
Check out this awesome mom's story...

Would you like to have a conversation with your child but aren't sure how?  Check out this site for great tips for prevention and intervention.  We should all be aware.

***A special thanks to Uneeka Jay for sharing her very personal (but inspirational) story with all of us.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

6 Great Tips for Setting Technology Boundaries with Your Family (and yourself!)

Here are 5 great ways to set boundaries with your family when it comes to using technology in your home.
1.  Put your phone in the trunk of your car.  Tempted to look at your phone while driving?  Take away the temptation by putting your phone in your purse (or diaper bag) and placing it in the trunk.  Then, you will not have the temptation to be distracted!

2.  Cell phone basket.  Set rules for your children's cell phone usage by setting phone times and having your children (including yourself!) turn your phone off and put it in the basket while spending time with the family or doing homework.  This is such a great lesson for your family to learn to focus!

3.  Checking Minutes.  How many minutes has your child used this month on his phone?  Is he using it when he is supposed to be sleeping at night?  Set a limit and make sure you (or your child) checks with the cell phone carrier to make sure you are within the limits!  If neccessary, mark it on the calendar as a reminder!

4.  Prioritize quality time.  Do your children feel like they are the priority when you are playing with them or spending quality time or do they think you are most interested in the person you are texting?  Put your cell phone away and let your children know you want to be with them!

5.  Use a TimeScout ( - A device that helps you to track your children's use on t.vs and computers.

6.  Be Present. In our society today, it's so easy to get distracted from what is important.  No one knows what tomorrow will bring, so turn off distractions and turn on your presence.  And the best part?  Your children might follow your example when they are alone (IE.  not texting while driving!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A lack of intelligence is no excuse for not being successful in life...Within everyone is a capability to be brilliant at something!