Published December 6th, 2014 by

It’s my favorite time of the year… the Holiday Season!

I’m going to be spending a ton of time getting creative in the kitchen and I highly recommend you do too (talking to you too, dads!). There’s nothing more therapeutic for me than to have the oven cooked up to 350 degrees and the smell of fresh cookies, cake pops, and brownies baking.

My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Being the opinionated person I am, I spend a lot of time making sure my baking turns out well because there’s nothing worse than having to eat rock hard cookies or dried out brownies at the holiday party or family get together. I don’t tolerate it from other people so there’s no way I’m going to allow myself to mess up the baked goods.

Truth be told, I’d rather throw out the end product and start over than give people bad baked goods.

This year I’m breaking out of my shell and going to attempt to bake some homemade pies. I didn’t get around to it for Thanksgiving so here are a few recipes I’m looking at trying for my first pie baking attempt.

 

1) Chocolate Cream Pie

This pie by tideandthyme.com made me want to run out to buy a pie for me to snack on while I attempt to make one from scratch. I’m a sucker for some Chocolate. And some cream. Ok, and Oreos. This one had me from hello!

2) Caramel Apple Pie

caramel apple pie

Photo credit: ericasweettooth.com/

This pie that Erica from Erica’s Sweet Tooth cooked when family members were coming in from out of town for a BBQ looks delicious. It might be more of a fall recipe but I’m thinking about giving it a shot. Apple pie and Christmas go together like spaghetti and meatballs.

3. No Bake Key Lime Pie

As much as I love baking, being able to put a great pie together without having to turn on the oven doesn’t sound too bad either. This key lime pie looks delicious and is sure to make my father-in-law happy since it’s his favorite.

Alright. I’m going to have my hands full with these recipes but it will be nice to have a few choices and have the kids and family try some new things. I may buy some pumpkin pies too since those seem to be pretty easy to whip together, as well.

Well, wish me luck and Merry Christmas (or happy holidays, if you prefer) to you all. We’ll chat next year.

 

Published November 5th, 2014 by

Satisfying the demands of being a parent takes focus. Sometimes simply the simplest pointer from someone more knowledgeable than we happen to be can help us achieve that focus. That is the intent of the ideas supplied below. They will certainly supply the focus that numerous people have to step out there and fulfill the difficulty of being a parent.

Be Consistent

An excellent idea for any parent is to show consistency and follow-through in all interactions with children. Parents who continuously provide the exact same commands and possible consequences and fail to see them through will likely wind up with children who hesitate to listen or behave. Standing by your statements will certainly instruct children to pay attention and frequently do what you ask of them.

Have a day-to-day regimen or schedule as much as possible. Most kids prefer regular, as it means they know exactly what will certainly be coming next. Surprises can be enjoyable, however not every day. Having a fundamental schedule for activities, mealtimes, and naps, and a more detailed schedule for going to bed can assist your youngster remain calm and focused throughout their day.

They’ll Have Friends, Be Their Parent

An excellent parenting tip is to try not to be your youngster’s best friend all the time. If you’re constantly concerned about how your youngster thinks of you as his or her friend, your probably falling short in terms of being a moms and dad. Preferably you ought to strive for a balance between the two.

It’s simpler for children to get through their day if they know what to anticipate. It’s necessary to try to keep things the very same for youngsters. Delighted surprises are typically well received, however, things that are not delightful to them could make them feel ambushed and cause them to act out.

It’s important for a child to know exactly what is anticipated of them each and every day. A child needs to not have to wonder or guess what their moms and dads desire them to do. They must understand precisely what they are expected to do and exactly what the effects will certainly be if they do not do what is anticipated.

Having positive family guidelines can help reduce the amount of combating that goes on in your home, and help your children get along much better with each other. Instead of stating “no attacking” you might inform your kids to “touch carefully”, as it is a kinder way of stating the same thing.

Above All, Make Them Feel Loved & Safe

Give your youngsters a big hug as often as possible, and remind them that you enjoy them. No matter how upset they make you, or how severely they ruin your home, they’re still your children, and they will be for life. They will grow up to be well-adjusted grownups as long as they understand they’ve been enjoyed.

If your youngster is sick, especially with a fever or cough, it is vital that you not send them to school. Not just does your child have to stay at home and rest when they are sick, however sending them to school can increase the opportunities of your child spreading their disease to other kids.

If your child is afraid of beasts in the dark, acknowledge his fears, despite the fact that you might think that his fears are silly. In your child’s mind, the monster is genuine enough, and if you do not acknowledge that, he will think that you do not understand him. A much better way is to offer him a method to handle the imaginary beast, like telling him that his blanket offers him “magic powers” against the monster. In this manner, your youngster will be empowered to handle his own worries.

By concentrating on objectives and breaking them down into specific steps, we can achieve what might at first appear to be the impossible. Occasionally that is something as basic as instructing a toddler to tie their shoes. Other times it might be as complex as comforting our grieving teenager when they have actually broken up with their partner.

Published October 10th, 2014 by

Parenting is an extremely difficult thing for lots of people. Infants don’t arrive with user manuals when they’re born, so many individuals are stuck fumbling around in the dark as they attempt to raise their children to be reputable grownups.

The following tips ought to give you direction when it comes to raising your youngsters.

Carpool

Take advantage of carpools when sending your children to school. A carpool permits you to not have to shuttle bus your youngsters back and forth to school every day. It also offers your children some extra socialization time with the next-door neighbors. You save time, and save money on gas too.

Take Time for You

Being around your children a lot can be really difficult. Make certain you take time out for you. Plan a dinner date with a good friend, opt for a long walk to go to the films on your own. That little time away will certainly be enough for your to recharge and be the very best moms and dad you can be.

Keep Your Cool

You should stay clear of losing your authority no matter what. As soon as your kids realize that there is actually absolutely nothing backing up what you say, it can be tough to gain back control. In addition to this, you should not lose your cool in front your children. If you feel it’s unavoidable, send them to their room and calm yourself down however possible.

Positive Reinforcement

Children react better to favorable reinforcement than negative reinforcement. Parents also commonly ignore when a youngster does something well but have the tendency to snap and hand out penalties when a kid does glitch. A better environment would be where the moms and dads praise and reward the kid for doing something well. Kids are a lot more excited to obtain rewards than they are to stay clear of penalty.

Read Often

Read to your child often. Aside from the apparent home entertainment value a youngster gets from hearing a terrific story, studies reveal that from an extremely early age, a kid’s vocabulary is increased by leaps and bounds merely from hearing words being read to him. This helps to increase his success in school and in communication with others throughout his life time.

One of the most significant problems moms and dads have with their kids these days is getting them away from the computer, television, and computer game. One option to this is to show them just how much fun reading and other activities can be. A terrific method to go about doing this is to take them to story time events at libraries and bookstores. Here, they may learn to take pleasure in reading by paying attention to interesting stories, and communicating with other youngsters at the same time.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Have fun with your kids. Not only is it enjoyable for both of you, playing also has an amazing impact on minimizing children’s unfavorable habits. By spending time with your children in this manner, you are making them feel like they are necessary to you. That implies they will certainly be less likely to engage in negative behaviors to get your attention.

Parenting may be a tough and confusing, but it’s well worth it. These tips ought to assist give you a starting point for raising your children. While it may not have actually covered everything, you ought to at least come out with even more understanding and a better strategy than you can be found in with.

Next: Read Is the Generation of Selfish Parents Upon Us?

Published August 29th, 2014 by

Sometimes, as a parent, you need all the help you can get. No person is born knowing how to parent.

Although we do have parenting instincts that come natural, people also rely on research, read books, and get information from their experienced family and friends in order to discover how they’re going to parent and what types of parents they’d like to be. Here are some tips we got when asking others their best advice for succeeding as a parent:

Don’t Do Everything for Them

Too many parents get used to doing everything for their children at a very young age and never get out of that habit. Instead of enabling their children to be more self-sufficient and take care of their own things, many parents fall into the trap of doing everything for their kids because it’s faster and easier.

However, days become weeks which become years and these habits are hard to break, especially for the child that never learns to clean up for themselves or complete tasks alone. It’s much easier to teach at a young age than to make a drastic change when they’re older.

A good example of this is teaching kids to speak on the phone. My parents used to make us call to order food when we’d order takeout. This taught us how to interact over the phone at a young age. My roommate in college didn’t like to talk on the phone with anyone, which impacted his ability to find a job. We’re not saying they’re correlated, but he was never forced to order food as a kid. Couldn’t have hurt for him to make a call or two when he was younger.

Don’t Break Your Promises

My oldest child was once overheard explaining to his younger brother that he should trust Pa (his grandfather) because Pa never lies. When he says something, he means it.

This can have a big impact on a child and be a great example of how that child should be when they’re adults. Children develop many of their habits and mannerisms by emulating the people in their lives. Be a person they can look up to and develop great habits from. Start by saying what you mean and meaning what you.

As we say in our family, be like Pa!

Teach Them About Teamwork

This is especially effective if both parents are still in the house. Show them that you both are a united front. They can’t manipulate one parent against the other to get what they want. They’ll still try it from time to time so make sure you and the other parent are on the same team and can back it up.

Also, don’t be afraid to include them in joint tasks. Teaching kids that it takes everyone to keep the household running properly will them take care of themselves when they get older. Here are some tasks to include them in:

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Yard work
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Games
  • Talking with adults
  • Learning
  • Reading
  • And much more…

Don’t Stop Listening

Kids are pretty good at telling you what they want. If you’re listening, you’ll be able to solve many problems before they arise and will allow you to better understand your child, what motivates them and what demotivates them.

Parenting is a 24/7 job that you’ll do for the rest of your life. You’ll never be perfect but with the right balance of love and distance, you can teach your youngsters how to grow up to be great people that are reliable, self-sufficient , and can return the favor to their children.

Happy parenting.

Next: Read Parenting Plan: Post-Divorce

Published August 22nd, 2014 by

Divorce can be one of the most difficult things for a child to go through.Ask any adult that went through it when they were a kid and they’ll tell you how difficult it can be and how it’s changed the way they look at relationships as an adult.

Unfortunately, divorce comes with a lot of emotion. You’re going to have to put your kids through the process. If you have a plan and dedicate time to it , there’s a great chance that your kids will look back and not have bitter memories.

Consistency

Even newborns want consistency, it’s a basic need for most people. When you decide to divorce, you’re changing up that consistency, which is often the scariest time for children. They begin to ask questions like, “Will I still see mommy/daddy?” because they’re not sure how this is going to work.

The first thing you need to do is create a plan with the other parent and share it with your kids so they have an idea of what’s going to happen. Then, and this is most important… Stick to it! Nothing will scare the kids more than the unknown. Let them know that everything is stable and you guys have control of the situation, even if you don’t.

Compromise

It’s going to be difficult to work with the other parent but it’s essential that you both make some compromises in the interest of the kids. This plan has to be made with as much logic as possible and try to leave your emotions out of it. This plan has to cover issues that you both find important, as well as the issues that are important to just one parent.

If you’re resisting the other parent’s requests, you need to ask yourself if you’re doing it for you or for the children. If you’re pushing back in the best interest of the kids, then you may be doing the right thing, but make sure it’s not due to spite or negative emotions towards the other parent. Most parents can’t work together to create a plan because they can’t get along. They spend more time pointing fingers than problem solving. Try to be the bigger person and get a plan created in the best interest of your children.

Outside Help

If the two of you can’t compromise, it’s in your best interest to hire a trained mediator or family law attorney who will work with both parents to get a plan put together. The mediator is impartial, they won’t take sides and they’ll help you both get setup for success by discussing implementation of the plan – an often overlooked part of a parenting plan after divorce.

Mediators are usually successful because they remove the power struggle between the parents and start by focusing on the items that both parents agree on. Once both parents have said yes a few times, they’re much more likely to say yes again. Mediators are also great substitutes to divorce litigation. If you’re just beginning to explore your divorce options, consider looking into mediation. Mediation is much cheaper than litigation which is a win-win for everyone, especially your children.

For more information on mediation, read Mediation Law in Cook County: An Alternative to Litigation

Evaluate

Your kids are going to grow and need different things from both of their parents. Your post-divorce parenting plan should change, as well. At the least, consider scheduling time to adjust the parenting plan once a year.

Keep in mind, what’s most important is making sure you take care of your children’s mental, physical, and emotional needs. Things are going to change over the next few years but you’re both parents and need to make sure you can work together and ensure your kids remain healthy and happy through this emotional transition.

Next: Read 6 Tips for Maintaining Your Sanity as a Parent

Published August 9th, 2014 by

One of my biggest frustrations in life is viewing parents that don’t want to be parents. I believe that being a parent is one of life’s greatest privileges and get very frustrated when people that don’t want to be parents, take out their frustrations on their children. With the great privilege of being a parent, like all other great roles, comes necessary duty.

One of our greatest contributions to society, and to future generations, is how we teach our children and show them how they’re supposed to parent when they’re in this situation some day. What could be more vital to overall wellbeing of your grandkids than to teaching your kids how you can parent well?

We’ve all seen it… The mom in the grocery store that smacks her kid upside the head because he asks for a box of cookies. The family at the restaurant where the kids is about to fall out of his child seat but the parents don’t notice because their heads are stuck in their cell phones. The kid at the park that yells to his dad to check out how well he does the monkey-bars but the dads too busy looking at, and flirting with other moms to enjoy that precious time with his child.

Unfortunately, these parents are so self-absorbed that they blind themselves from being able to see how important that time is with their kids, probably because the parents didn’t want the kids in the first place or are still kids themselves – either by age or maturity.

I’m the person that wants to walk up to these parents and swat them upside the head, hoping to knock some sense into them. What really upsets me is that these are always the parents that post to Facebook and Instagram about how great their kids are, how much they love little Johnny and being a parent, and are “so VERY blessed” to be a mother or father. Except as they’re typing it, their child is trying to get their attention or is in dire straights and needs their attention but the parent doesn’t really care about that. All that parent cares about is one of their Facebook parents telling them that they’re great parents and how lucky little Johnny is to have parents like them.

It’s sick and these people need help.

What really scares me is I wonder how these kids are going to grow up. Are they going to be just like their parents, and if so, can we afford more generations like this? Or, will they do a complete 180 degree turn and be the smothering parents?

The only thing that can be certain is that these kids are going to make their parents pull out their hair when they enter high school. That’s when all the unsupervised kids in that area go to one place for the majority of the day and form groups with other kids that are just like them. These kids will influence each other and will probably be the first to take part in drinking, drugs, sex, and who knows what else.

By that time, the parents may be willing to pay a little more attention, and may even force their attention onto the kid. But by then the kids will be used to not getting attention or being supervised. They’re ready to move on with their life and they won’t feel like they need their mom or dad to help since they’ve been wandering around on their own for years, already.

If you’re worried that you’ll become on of these parents or that you’ve already become one of these parents, I recommend taking some time to focus on your patience with your children. In fact, let your kid get the occasional box of cookies. You dragged them to the grocery store, which is boring as an adult let alone being a small child. The best thing that could come out of a grocery store trip is a box of cookies. Offering them a treat at the end of the trip, in return for good behavior, is a great way to ensure your child behaves and enjoys the trip to the store.

The future of your children, as well as their youngsters, depend upon the kind of parent that you are. Recognize that raising kids is among the most important things you’ll do in your life. Please, take that seriously and offer your youngsters the moment, focus, and love that they require, and enjoy doing it. The day you come to be a parent is the day that life stops being everything about you. So please, if you are a moms and dad or ever plan to be one, cherish it. The whole world will be happy you did.

If you need a “kick in your butt” to get started paying more attention to your kid, listening to the song int he video below. It always reminds me how short life is and how important a solid relationship, built around love and patience is between me and my children. Enjoy, and remember they aren’t little forever. Facebook can wait… SHARE this page if you agree.

Next: Read 4 Opinionated Parenting Tips from Parents