kids

The Message We Send to Our Children

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Isn’t it cute that your three-year-old wants to help out around the house? So cute that the toy industry has created toy vacuums, kitchens, etc. Or how about when your toddler daughter puts on your high heels and walks around the house so proud. We all know that when they are little, they are watching every move we make and taking every chance to copy it. Fast forward, when I catch a swear come out of my teenage son’s mouth and reprimand him, I know that it is really also my duty to reprimand myself and recheck whether or not I am using profanity too much.

With the pressures of being a parent: work, sports, activities, household, etc., it is hard to constantly keep ourselves in check, after all, we are human. However, perhaps, we as parents can not only focus on trying to keep ourselves a little more in check for the sake of the future generations, but we should also call out others’ behaviors. If we are able to point out to our kids unacceptable adult behaviors, perhaps they will grow up to respect one another, despite differences or issues they may have with others.

I promised myself a long time ago not to get into discussions with people on religion or politics. I am entitled to my opinion and like to keep it that way; saves a lot of grief and stress and maybe even relationships. However, as annoyed and frustrated and utterly disgusted I have been by our very own President of the United States “tweeting” all the time, never have I been more outraged than now when he decided to retweet himself hitting a golf ball at Hillary Clinton. In a time when our planet is experiencing countless major hurricanes, earthquakes, tropical storms and threat of nuclear war, don’t you think our President should be focusing on those crises? The act of retweeting something violent and inappropriate that someone made up because they have nothing better to do with their time is so utterly immature. This is a 71-year-old man who, unfortunately, somehow, holds one of the most, if not the most, powerful positions in the world. And this is the message he is sending out to our nation and our kids. “Hey, look at my amazing golf swing and, even better, look at it hit Hillary. I win!”

So, where do we draw the line? We can always hope the Russian probe entices impeachment, but until then have to take matters into our own hands. We, as parents, have to take the responsibility to call out the President, and others to our kids. Being an adult doesn’t give the right to make the same mistakes the President is making by bullying, criticizing and degrading others, but to tell our children that this behavior is irresponsible and reckless. We, as humankind, will never move forward with acceptance and respect for others if we are being led by this example and believing it is okay to hurt others and laugh about it.

10 Fun and Free Activities to Do With Your Child This Summer

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  1.  Go to the library and check out books. Then come home and have your child make a bookmark using paper, crayons, ribbon, stickers, paint, markers, etc.
  2. Check with local libraries to see what free children’s programming they are offering and attend one or more
  3. Bake cookies or a cake
  4. Go on a hike. Check your state website for trail listings
  5. Have a picnic lunch in your backyard or at a local park
  6. Get active! Have a dance party, jump rope or hula hoop contest, or play tag
  7. Take your kids outside with paper and paint and have them sit on the grass and paint a nature sceneIMG_0946   IMG_0941   IMG_0939   IMG_0948
  8. Collect acorns, sticks, flower petals, etc. and make a sign, story or press flowersIMG_0173
    My daughter collected extra nature, created a scene and then wrote a story about herself and two friends on a camping trip
    My daughter collected extra nature, created a scene and then wrote a story about herself and two friends on a camping trip
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    After picking a bunch of flowers from the garden, we pressed and framed them

    9. Go to the beach, collect shells and make shell art

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    My son made this shell collage using sand as an extra decoration
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    My daughter made an underwater 2-in-1 scene with a mermaid, but it is also a smily face. On the back she wrote a story.IMG_1633

    10. Set up an obstacle course or scavenger hunt

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This is a great summer scavenger hunt! Click on the picture or link to print a copy for free

A Great Mix of Tim Hawkins Parenting Songs

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If you are a current of past parent of children in the tween/teen stages, you will be able to relate to comedian Tim Hawkins and this awesome mix of his parenting songs.

Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/VLOsRlI-eKE

Luke and Alana’s Quotes

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Some of these quotes occurred during our homeschooling day:

9/16/14:
We just came back from San Francisco, CA and Luke was doing a reading comprehension about the Golden Gate Bridge. There were 8 words at the beginning to practice before reading the text so I asked him if he knew what each word meant. When we got to the word “pier” he said, “A place with a bunch of restaurants and shops.” Then I laughed and said, no, San Francisco messed with your brain, thats not what a pier is. Take that away and what do you have? He said, “Oh, a place for the sea lions.”

9/22/14:
We are studying the human body and we were watching BrianPop and Tim was explaining the “layers’” of the human body. They showed a figure of a human body and kind of stacked each system (Circulatory, muscular, cardiovascular, etc.) on top of one another. Alana sees this and immediately says, “No wonder I’m always hot”.

10/2/14:
The vet called me and said she would like Neptune to go for some more testing. It is going to cost me $500 in a week for the cat. I said, so much for budgeting, I’m trying to get ahead and then it’s always something. Luke said, “Maybe God just doesn’t want you to have a budget.”

10/3/14:
A question on the rocks and minerals test was: “Which of the following is NOT a characteristic used by scientists to classify minerals?” (a. hardness, b. volume, c. luster, d. streak)

Alana said, “well, it’s not volume unless they are on the radio talking about rocks. ”

12/18/14:
We were in the car talking about Christmas and hannakuh and I said you know Jesus was Jewish. Alana said, I thought god was American.

2/25/15:
We were at the local diner for dinner and Luke said do you think Hitler went to heaven or the other place? And then he asked Alana if she knew what the other place is and she said, “jail”.

Your Kids’ Quotes

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Don’t our kids come out with the funniest things….albeit not always at the most appropriate time, but still funny. You can find a few of my kids’ quotes here, but I want to hear yours too! Send me your kids’ funniest quotes with your name and theirs and I will feature them here!

Financial Responsibility for Kids

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I want, I want, I want. Something we hear from our kids at their birthdays, holiday time or whenever they see a commercial or catalog with new toys. How can we teach our children the value of a dollar? Whether or not you give an allowance, you want to teach them to budget any money they receive. Together you can come up with a plan as to how they will save or spend their money. In our home, we give an allowance of $20 per month per child, dependent upon the fact that they do their chores and maintain their responsibilities within the home. They then have to split that money among three categories, savings, spending and charity. We tend to allow them to choose how they split it, but also provide guidance. As for holiday or birthday money, they automatically put that in their savings. We made this decision on the premise that they receive enough material items during those occasions that the cash should be saved. In order to help the kids understand and actually “see” their money, we have been using a virtual online account called FamZoo. They are able to log in and manage their money, seeing details of each account and also can debit or credit the account. “Let’s check FamZoo” has become a common phrase in our house.

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Our son is a Lego fanatic and is always scoping out the new products in the catalogs and online, but they are expensive. He is now in the habit of making an itemized list of the product he wants and the cost associated with each product. Then we go through the list deciding what is essential to have and what can wait. Finally, we determine whether he is close to a birthday or holiday and can ask for the items as gifts or if he has enough in his spending account and that’s what he wants to spend the money on. We are also open and honest about purchases we make and talk about the expense related so the kids start to get an understanding that these money values will carry through the rest of their lives.

There should also be goals associated with savings now so that they understand in the future how to allocate the savings funds towards emergency savings, educational savings and large purchases like a home. We have also chosen to create a charity account in which the kids can choose what charity to give their money to. We wanted to teach the value of giving to others and involve them in the process since they will be asked on many occasions throughout their lives to give to a charitable cause. Each child is allowed to give to a charity of their choice, whether it is a local charity they know of, or something they have just learned about and touched them. They have felt really good about the charitable choices they have made and some months choose to put the majority of their money in their charity account.

As children transition into adulthood, they will constantly be faced with financial challenges. Teaching children about saving and spending at an early age lays the groundwork for good financial habits and decisions down the road.