Monday, May 28, 2012

Why Do Children Listen to Other People More than Me?

Every parent has experienced this phenomenon at one point or another. You are having a difficult time with your child and in walks your mother or a babysitter and your child completely acts like an angel (and you want to strangle them!) I know! I've been there! Here are some reasons why children do this...

1. Lack of Patience. I used to work as a nanny and the kids listened to me 90% of the time!  I arrived at 8am and left at 5pm. I had SO much patience! With my own children, however, I definitely have days that my reactions are overreactive (and are a result of unrealistic expectations). This happens OFTEN!
2. Lack of Consistency. Again, when I was a nanny I was consistent 95% of the time. Unfortunately, that's not the case as a stay at home mom and a mom on nights and weekends. I try so hard to be consistent but I definitely have my weak points...and my toddler definitely knows how to make me cave!
3. Personal feelings. As parents, we often take behaviors unrelated to us and personalize them. For instance, Joe's 2 year old son is hitting other kids and school and he feels like it's a reflection of his parenting when in fact it's probably just a result of his sons communication limitations. Although every child has different capabilities, children are products of their environment. If your child only demonstrates these issues sometimes then chances are you are just experiencing a normal case of selective hearing (or selective outbursts)! One thing to remember is that children feel safe with you so they are more likely to express their anger or sadness at times when they need to release it. If they express their anger toward someone new they may not know the reaction they would receive. If you feel that your child is very challenging (only towards you) then maybe it's time for some help. Look for some parenting resources such as The Happiest Toddler on the Block (one of my favorites-available on my amazon store) or call your local intermediate unit to see what help they provide to parents. Also, talk to people about the issues you are facing and chances are they will have some ideas for you!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It Will Never Happen to Me

Spring time is a good time to talk to your children about staying safe while playing outside in warm weather. Don't sit down with your child and expect them to listen to a long, drawn out grocery list of do's and don'ts while playing outside during the coming warm weather. You might have their attention for a few minutes and then they'll start pestering you to get outside so they can play with their friends. Instead, I'd like to suggest a different strategy for talking to your child or children about staying safe this spring. For starters, ask your child to invite their friends over for snacks and then take a few minutes to have a discussion with all of them. This can create some positive peer pressure later, should one of the children decide it might be fun to do something foolish that could lead to a dangerous situation. So here it goes. Create a list of potential safety issues. This spring safety list includes: Lightning, snakes, insects, allergies, water safety, bike riding, playing in or near a road or highway, sun burn, heat emergencies, taking off their shoes and running around with bare feet, respecting private property, not playing at or near construction or building sites, water towers, railroad tracks, or on, near or under bridges or overpasses. This list might seem lengthy for keeping the attention of a group of eight to twelve year olds but it works pretty good if you just offer them a chance to think about a few real world scenarios and allow the kids to come up with the right answers. Here's a good example of how it works. Start by asking your captive audience a question like, "You are playing down in the woods when a friend pulls out some matches and suggests that you build a camp fire and pretend you are camping. What should you and your other friends consider could happen?" Then follow up their answers with, "And what should you tell your careless friend?" This clearly sets the stage for some serious discussion and allows you the chance to add some mature comments or suggestions the children may not have considered. Using the two underlined questions above will help you navigate through the list of potential safety scenarios and the possible outcomes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Enjoy Playing with your Child

The most important and valuable thing to a child is playing.  It is how they learn, discover, and enjoy the world.  But playing does not come easy to many people so if you get bored playing legos after 30 seconds don’t feel guilty….but don’t pick up your cell phone to check your messages either! 

There are times when playing is work (and just something you have to do as a parent).  There are times when hearing your child play the same song on their piano 55 times is utterly agonizing!  However, as parents there are times we must put on our happy face and pretend that what they are playing is beautiful.  Remember to try to find the humor in these situations and it will get you through the agony. There are also times when we can learn to find enjoyment in playing with our children…here’s how.. 

1.       PUT ON SOME MUSIC! Music can help pass time and add some enjoyment to your activity.  Put on some happy music and dance around while you play with your child.  Be cautious about putting on the t.v because this will change your focus to something other than spending time with your child.

2.       ASK YOUR CHILD QUESTIONS How do you feel when you are doing something you enjoy and someone notices and asks you about it? You feel good, right? So does your child! Playing is a great opportunity to learn about your child.  Ask him or her what is their favorite color, favorite train, why they like what they are playing, or if they can teach you something about their activity. Show your interest in them. 

3.       FIND AN ACTIVITY YOU BOTH ENJOY Find activities that both you and your children really enjoy! What activities did you enjoy as a kid? What hobbies do you enjoy now that could be transformed to be kid friendly? Whether you enjoy fashion, running, or cooking…find a way to make it a fun activity to do with your child.  

4.       BE REALISTIC ABOUT WHAT YOUR CHILD CAN DO AT THEIR AGE.  I remember trying to read books to my first child when she was a baby as she squirmed out of my arms.  Also, trying to teach her to play Candy land as she was doing somersaults in between taking her turns.  Pay attention to your child’s ability to participate in an activity and know when to throw in the towel.  Just because a game says that it is for kids ages 3+ does not mean that your child is ready and capable.

5.       GIVE A CHOICE.  If you ask a child if they want to play a game while they have a choice to watch a t.v show, they will probably say they would rather watch a show.  I often tell my daughter that she can finish watching her show-then it will be play time with Mommy.  Remember to act excited and be present.  If you need to, set a timer and guard your time with your child from checking facebook statuses, talking to a friend or watching t.v...these are things that can wait until later! 


Hi Mommies!
Well, your probably wondering why you haven't heard from me over the past week and the reason is that I took a girls trip to Myrtle beach for some R and R! But I'm back in action and you can look forward to some great material this week!

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I'm so excited to announce a workshop devoted to my amazing, hard working, working moms!  Join me on Saturday, June 23rd from 12-2 at the Simpson House Tea Room in Chester Springs, PA for a great opportunity to learn how to set healthy boundaries, delegate tasks effectively, make time for you, and loose your working mom guilt for only $35.00! This price includes delicious sandwiches and tea. In addition, we will work together to create an individualized plan for a better, happier you! 
I am looking forward to talking with all of you! RSVP by June 16th to

Saturday, May 5, 2012

30 Things I'm Thankful For Today!

1.  My amazing family
2.  My wonderful kids
3.  My awesome friends
4.  Warm weather
5.  A job and financial stability
6.  A wonderful church
7.  My blogging friends (and mommy's I connect with)
8.  Ice cream
9.  Broccoli
10. Good health
11. My creativity
12.  A house
13.  Music
14.  Sunsets
15.  Baths
16.  Candles
17.  Pizza
18.  Chai freeze drinks
19.  My bed
20.  Jeans
21.  High heels
22.  Laughter
23.  Prayers
24.  My car
25.  Books and magazines
26.  Fear
27.  Flowers
28.  Wine
29.  Beach
30.  Flip flops

Friday, May 4, 2012

Muppet Day!

We had so much fun having a 'Muppet Day' in our house today!  I love to take ideas from songs or movies and create a whole day (or party) out of it.  So, here's what I did...


Sienna loved this! Howver, I can't take credit for this....I got the ideas off of  Disney Family (but this picture really is my own creation!)


Pandora is a great resource for whatever kind of music you are looking for!  We use it all the time and the kids love it! Today we made a Pandora Muppet channel and we were able to hear all kinds of great, fun songs! 


How would the night be complete without watching the Muppet movie and eating popcorn?


You can find coloring pages for almost anything by searching on the Internet! Don't forget to put aside your housework and sit for 20 minutes to color with your little munchkin! They really will appreciate it! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5 Ways to Live the American Dream

What is your American dream?  A white picket fence? Shutters and cute little window boxes with a perfectly clean car in the driveway? 
The problem is that if our dream is something materialistic we are often going to be let down.  The shutters will need to be replaced, the car will get dirty, and the white picket fence will start getting shabby. SO, what can we focused on to really truly be happy?  We can focus on EXPERIENCES.  If we focus on the quality of our conversations, the amount of laughter, and how we feel when we do something productive than we will be truly living the American dream. 

1.  Do something that makes you happy every day
2.  Work hard and play hard
3.  Get down on your child's level and show them you like them and want to learn more about them
4.  Pay your bills and feel good about it
5.  Set goals and make them happen