Monday, August 26, 2013

Recess, Bus, and Everything in Between..

We know our children are going to school.  We know they will have adult supervision...most of the time.  But what happens in between? What happens when the teacher isn't looking or the bus driver isn't paying attention?  How will your child handle challenging situations?  What if your child forgets to get off at his stop?

Teasing, bullying, fighting, and of course peer pressure are all things our children are exposed to when teachers aren't looking.  BUT before you start having a mild heart attack-think about all the opportunities for growth!  Even though these things can be scary, it can also be exciting and a tremendous learning experience.  It's important, however, that your children feel that they can talk to you about any problems they may be experiencing.

Here is a possible dialogue..

"You know Suzie, this is the first time you will be riding a school bus.  How do you feel about that?"
If Suzie says she nervous or scared...
You could say...
"That's o.k! It's normal to be scared about new things!  Mommy gets scared too.  Remember when I started a new job? I was really nervous because I wasn't sure if I would like the people I worked with or if they would like me. Remember when you first started dance classes and you held onto Mommy's leg because you were scared? What happened after you went into to dance class? Was it scary?"

These are important conversations to have with children to open the door for communication.  Of course, always remind kids that they can come to you to talk about any problems they are having at school or on the bus.  But remember that your children WILL get teased, be exposed to peer pressure, and maybe even bullied but that's ok-it's a part of growing up.

** Car rides are a great opportunity to ask your child about any issues he may be having with friends or at school-this can feel less threatening than a face to face conversation.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Realities of Back to School

                                                                         This image is from Altaf Qadri  The Sacramento Bee

It's Just a Test Drive...

Today I woke up with anxiety and I was feeling completely overwhelmed.  I started the list in my head of things I needed to get done in 24 hours before the kids come back and the list was so overwhelming.....I had no idea where to start.  I walked outside to realize that it was a gorgeous, beautiful day but my thoughts about what I needed to get done forced me back in a dark and lonely place. 
I should be enjoying this day....what is wrong with me???
After a few hours of feelings sorry for myself (and driving around to yard sales aimlessly to avoid all the things I needed to do) I called my friend and began sobbing...
"I am SO overwhelmed! I need to buy a bed for Jax TODAY because she keeps crawling out of her crib and I don't know how to take the crib apart!  My house is a mess so I need to clean it!  I have so much work to do on my business!  My car keeps having problems and the dealership down the street is offering great deal so I have to go there and buy a car today.  I am FREAKING out!"  My logical and realistic friend says, "WHAT!? What the hell are you talking about?! First of all, go to the dealership and just take a test drive! You don't have to buy the car, just take a test drive! Calm down!"

Just take a test drive.  Hmmmm....

Then my friend starts talking about a problem she was having with a new boyfriend of hers.  She wanted to figure out if he was marriage material.  "Relax" I said, "Just take a test drive!"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5 Ways to Squeeze In Fun During the Last Days of Summer

1.  Take a moon walk.  After it gets dark, take a walk with your kids and talk about the moon, stars, and fireflies. 
2.  Water Fun.  I know getting wet can seem like a big hassle but kids love it!  Take a few hours, put your bathing suit on and let loose a little with a sprinkler or water balloons....the kids will love it.
3.  Ice Cream.  Try a new ice cream shop in your area and take a taste test to see what the best ice cream shop is in your area.
4.  Surprise Adventure.  Blind fold the kids and take them somewhere fun like the neighborhood firehouse and give them clues about where they might be.
5.  Outdoor movie.  Many of the parks in my area are offering outdoor movies through September for free.  Check out your local township websites to see what they offer.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Helping Children Through Transitions

Some children have a difficult time with transitions like back to school or going between Mommy's house and Daddy's house.  This is normal for children who like structure and routine and are afraid of uncertainty. 
If you are going on a business trip, sending your child to their other parent's house, or sending them off for their first day of school....draw a little heart on their hand to remind them that you love them and are always thinking of them!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fall Trends I'm Excited About...


WINTER WHITE   Yes, you can wear it after Labor day