Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Inspirational ‘Love Notes’ For Teens

November 12, 2007

Editors note: I recently moved my blog to a new server. You can find this same post (and all my others) at the new location: BalancingMotherhood.com, where I post daily.

The art of letter writing is dead; you practically have to go on “Survivor” or “Big Brother” to get letters from home. Recently I learned of a teen retreat where the kids would be given letters written by family members, telling him/her how much he/she is loved. They were deemed, “love notes” for the teens.

Read the full post here.

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Kids Want the Strangest Things

October 17, 2007

The other night as I was putting my son to bed he wanted to take the strangest items to bed with him — magnets. He’s formed a new friendship with these old, colored button-shaped magnets that have been on our refrigerator since before he was born.

The first night I almost (read, ALMOST) let him take them to bed. I didn’t want to deal with taking something away from him right before bed, causing a tantrum which could result in me loosing my evening “free time,” or worse, sleep. But, I thought twice about it (actually, my husband thought for me, but I am sure I would have had this same second thought if he hadn’t been home) and realized that it could be horrible if he swallowed them. Especially if he swallowed two of them. So, we took them from him and he went to bed.

Last night I didn’t have to think twice. I knew immediately to take them away, but that is soooo much easier to say than to do. It was like not letting him take his stuffed teddy to bed. I made him put the magnet (earlier, I had sneakingly, narrowed the group of magnets down to one, kitty-shaped magnet) and asked him to leave it on the dresser. Then, I put him in bed and left the room.

Crying begins.

Crying continues as I jump on the computer and write an email to a friend.

Cut the email short because he’s still crying; back into the room I go.

He’s standing up, pointing to the dresser. I get him out of the crib, discretely steal the kitty-shaped magnet and take him out of the room. He quickly became more interested in what was going on in the living room that he forgot about the magnet. After about 10 minutes he went back to bed — this time with three extra stuffed animals. And, THAT I don’t have to think twice about!

Nickelodeon Tells Kids to Go Outside and Play

October 3, 2007

Nickelodeon promoted its fourth annual day to get outside and play, called “Worldwide Day of Play.” It promoted activities to get kids off the couch and out of the house. Its taken the event a step further than prompting kids to go outside, the network (and the Web site) were off line for three hours.

Nick’s Web site lists things NOT to do on this day (which was Saturday 29, 2007):

  • Instant message
  • Watch TV
  • Sit on the couch
  • Go to the movies
  • Surf the Web
  • Talk on the phone
  • Sleep during play hours
  • It’s great to see a television network, one who pays their bills by having kids watch its TV shows and buy its related products (i.e. toys) change the game up a bit in order to promote something good for children.

    Also on their “not to do list” is read a book. I never really think that reading a book is bad, but understand the message is to be active and I’m fine with that.

    Although I just learned about this day after the date passed, I think it’s good to do this at home whenever you get the chance. You don’t need a national day proclaimed to establish a day in your own home where you abolish all things sedentary.

    As a general rule, we have limited TV viewing around our son. It’s not easy to enforce, especially because I really like TV myself. We do let our son watch TV on occasion … especially when he is sick, or when he wasn’t sleeping — it helped calm him down. But, for the most part we really limit how much TV he watches. It means that we don’t watch as much TV either. In order to watch as much TV as I used to I would have to stay up later and watch my shows after our son goes to bed. Most nights I choose bed over TV.

    Bravo to Nickelodeon for prompting parents to choose playing as recreation instead of media and electronic devices. Beyond the Day of Play, Nick has joined forces with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association to promote healthier lifestyles in children. They’ve created a challenge called “Let’s Just Play.” Looks pretty cool. There’s even an e-calendar and online tracker to monitor your child’s successes with their healthy lifestyle. Maybe this will become a good habit for families across America.

    Related articles about Worldwide Day of Play:

    Can You Have it All?

    September 25, 2007

    Families have such a difficult time these days trying to do everything — work, school, activities, meals and still have some leisure time. Is it possible to really have it all?

    CNN.com has a section dedicated to this topic. Here’s what its opening page says:

    “Americans are working longer hours than ever before, taking a big bite out of their personal lives. Add economic pressures and technology that ensures a 24/7 connection to work and you have the line between job and personal life blurring.”

    It also states:

    “A stressful work life can affect your home life as well.”

    The latter statement is quite a big message. If your job is causing you stress, you can’t possibly have a balanced life at home. It just doesn’t work like that. You’ll end up taking our your frustrations on your spouse, children or friends. I’ve found that if your job is that stressful, you need to reevaluate what you do or where you work. How you feel about your job definitely seeps into your home life.

    Take its quiz, “Are you off balance? and see how you rate. I scored a 47 percent; it says I’m “in harmony.”

    ‘Supernanny’ is Back Tonight

    September 24, 2007

    I watched a past episode of “The Supernanny” last week, and it reminded me what great lessons are contained in every episode. If you’ve never watched the show, it’s a reality-based series where a family struggling with child behavior issues, seeks the advice from the Supernanny (aka JoJo).

    The Supernanny comes to the family’s home and observes its regular routines and find the flaws in the current system. Over the course of a week, she offers suggestions, tips and tricks to get the family back to a functioning unit where the kids respect and listen to the parents.

    Each week, there are new challenges and new techniques. It’s a great show that parents should watch to see how others learn to parent young children.

    Watch the season premier tonight on ABC.

    There is also a separate Suppernanny Web site with tips, articles, video clips, message boards and mom bloggers. Here’s the link.