Keep it Simple for 2015

Keep it Simple for 2015

New Year’s resolutions can be tricky, so keep it simple.  You want to set a goal for yourself that will make you a better person, but you also want to keep it realistic to what you are pretty sure you can accomplish.

This year why not make it simple.  Set the goal of spending more time with your children and if you have a spouse/partner, to also spend more time with them.  As you get to know me the one thing that I believe our children are lacking the most is ourselves.  Not because we don’t want to give of our selves but usually because we are just to busy.

So I challenge you to see what you can give up in your life that will free up some of your time on a weekly basis so you can spend more time with those you love.  Even if it is 20 mins more a week.  It will make the world of difference to your children and partner.

Remember when it is all said and done your children will remember you more because of what you have done with them than they will remember what you have done for them.

Happy New year to all my readers and I wish you a very family filled 2015 with lots of love and laughter.

Watch this video “Why won’t they say Hello?”

Have you ever lost a child and are trying to cope with it? Watch this video 

Or read some FREE chapters from my book titled ‘I was the Perfect Parent…then I had kids’

*http://www.hampton.k12.va.us/departments/communityrelations/communityrelations.html#.VK8vMCvF8fU

Sleep baby sleep

Sleep baby sleep

We are all smiling at this picture due to its adorable factor and that this child went to sleep standing up. In truth, it represents an issue that is becoming larger as time wears on. Hopefully, this child doesn’t have bigger issues than just a lack of sleep but we don’t really believe that or we wouldn’t be smiling. This picture does evoke a few things from us and I am hoping one of those things is the willingness to ask ourselves a few questions.

We currently live in an age where we all have so much to do that it is almost an inconvenience that our children still nap and need regular bedtimes. But we must remember that not only are children better behaved, and healthier when they are rested but we must understand that sleep is a primary factor that allows proper growth.  We have to slow down when we have children and remember life is about them now. Not about us, or how much we can fit into a day.

I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom while raising our four children so I had the benefit of not having to work nap times around a full-time job. I did, however, have to take my children out of school when they were in kindergarten as they needed more sleep than I guess the rest of the children did. Although the teachers frowned on this and did everything they could to discourage me from doing so, I stuck to my beliefs. The end result was my children rarely caused a disturbance in class and rarely got sick including colds. This is not the only factor as I also ensured my children got at least 1 hour outside play every day and had healthy diets.

What do you think about SleepOvers? 

Do you believe in Co-Sleeping

Want to read FREE chapters from my book, or take a Parenting Quiz? 

*http://www.mamatoga.com/2012/09/stages-naptimes/

Boxing day……’Peaceful’ or ‘let down’

Boxing day……’Peaceful’ or ‘let down’

So after Christmas, many people get the blues or the boxing day jitters.  There is so much excitement and anticipation beforehand that after Santa has come, all the presents are open and the turkey is eaten we tend to be either nostalgic or let down. The question begs to be answered, ‘Is it worth it’?

Having 4 children, 1 grandson, 6 siblings on my side, 4 on my husbands, there is a lot of work put into getting Christmas ready.  I had all 3 Christmas’s here. Christmas eve is my husbands’ side, Christmas day is my immediate family including my children, any of their significant others and hubby. Boxing day is my side of the family, including nieces and nephews and grandparents. I was extremely busy this year. We had people sleeping over, meals to make, presents to buy and wrap and of course doing the ‘extra’ cleaning we all do when we have company coming.  So using the word ‘busy’ is truly an understatement.  But in truth when it is all said and done, can say I am sad it is over? Yes, I can. I get depressed that the excitement is gone. However, I am also relieved that I can slow down and relax.

The one thing Christmas always reminds me of is the fact that I have a wonderful family.  Both immediate and extended and for that, I am very grateful. Without all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I wouldn’t get the chance at least once a year to see them all and love them and see their smiling faces.  And that, in turn, gives me a sense of joy and peace that lasts until the next time we meet.  In fact over the last 5 years or so it has made it so I have been intentional about visiting family even more throughout the year.  Christmas has become a time of knowing what is important which is not the presents or the food, but family!

When it is all said and done, your friends are great, and they love you because they think your special. But your family loves you in spite of the fact that you are not always at your best.  They know our good and our bad and come around anyway.  That’s family and that is amazing.

Watch a video on ‘Bad parenting’

Need Family Coaching? 

*http://www.mamatoga.com/2012/09/stages-naptimes/

The ‘Why’ question?

The ‘Why’ question?

I remember as a child asking “Why” I had to do something and getting the typical “Because I said so” reply.  Because of that, I had decided early on that I would only use that phrase when I had already explained my reasons for doing something. My thought process is that this would be better than never having anything ever explained which just made me feel like I was a nuisance for wanting to understand something.

When a parent or anyone in authority says “because I say so”, without giving an explanation, they are in essence saying, “I am the parent, you are the child and you do not need to know the reason why”. That is not a way to encourage learning and growth. However, if you have already given a reason as to why you have a certain set of instruction and the child continues to question you then this shows a lack of respect and does need to be addressed as well.

By answering the question with your reason, just once and then saying “Because I am the parent and I said so” gives the impression that their question is important, however, even if you do not like the answer or my reason, it is the way it will be.

After years of struggling with this, I also realized that sometimes the children are asking because they don’t understand the answer, not always because they are questioning my reasoning.  So the lesson learned was to understand why the child is asking the question again.

You will find this is a common thread throughout life.  Not just of your children but of all people. What we think is the reason someone may be asking something, or questioning you on something, might not be to question you or your answer.  It’s also not to be a pain in the butt and see how far they can take it.

It is possible that the first time you explained, it was explained in a way they didn’t understand.

Therefore you need to then ask the questionWhy are you asking me this again?’

*http://www.icommcorp.com/why-integrated-communications/question-mark/

What is Fair?

What is Fair?

Do you ever wonder if the scale of fairness is out of alignment with your children?

It is an issue I think we struggle with daily.

Let me set the stage for you.  I have two of my children still living at home.  My daughter is 18, and my son is 20.   Due to getting their wisdom teeth pulled, they are sitting home, reading, watching movies, playing video games a lot more than usual right now. The 18-year-old is having a tougher time with the healing process than my son is. She usually helps out, however, will grumble and complain about any help we ask to be done.  My 20-year-old, will make out like he is helping, but has figured out ways to not really do anything.

My husband and I got all the Christmas decorations up one day except for the decorations on the tree. Due to extremely busy lives, and some of that business caused from taxi driving their butts around town for this, that, and the other things, we knew we were not going to have the time to finish the tree anytime soon.  So we went to our children asking for their help.  My daughter absolutely refused and my son told my husband that he might ‘possibly help me with’ it….. maybe!

Coming home this afternoon I knew I was going to have to get down to work as soon as I got home. I am a home-based travel agent as well as blogger/author. My husband had sent me a text telling me my son was going to ‘help me’ with the tree when I got home.  My first response was, “help me, why can’t he just do it?” Knowing I was going to be too busy when I got home I was frustrated that he had sat home all day, probably playing video games instead of actually finishing the tree for us.  But I was also annoyed at my daughter as well for even refusing to help at all.  Her point was she did it last year.  My point was, I did it every other year and I am not the one that cares if it gets done.  So then I am called the Grinch because I don’t care if the decorations get up or not.

When I got home I started to get caught up on work, my son is still upstairs playing video games and annoyed at me because I made him come down seven steps to take his antibiotics,  while my daughter is downstairs.  Out of the two of them, who do you think is decorating the tree? Swollen, not feeling great, not even wanting to do it, but understanding the complexity of how time is not on our side this year, she has decided to give in to her brother once again and just do it.  I asked her if she wanted me to force him to help her or if that would be worth the aggravation that would come with it.  Not to my surprise, she said, she would just rather do it herself. And because she was doing the job I left it alone and understood her point.

There are many issues in this article that we will break down throughout our journey of blogging, but the one I want you to see today is that we have to know our children well enough to know when to step in and when not to step in.  I wanted to make my son go down and help his sister.  But my daughter was in no mood to put up with his lack of commitment to really helping her and would rather do it herself.  This is where parenting gets interesting.  In all appearance, it looks like my son got away with something.  And for now, he did. However as is very typical of me, in a couple of days when my son will need something from me, like a car so he can drive to work, or wanting me to buy something for the house we don’t really need, I will just tell him he doesn’t deserve any favors.  If my daughter asks for something I will give in to her if possible and I will make sure my son knows I have done so.  But to show the scale of fairness tonight I made my son clean up after dinner all by himself.

If you want to know how to deal fairly with a teen, click here. 

Silver platter generation

Silver platter generation

An acquaintance had decided to give his daughter $100.00 for her first tooth.  If you are like me, you thought, “What the heck, why so much?”  Shortly after I read that on his Facebook post, a question came up on a mommy site I frequent that asked,  ‘How much are you suppose to give a child for their first tooth from the tooth fairy?’ Fair question if the reason you are asking is so that you are not giving any more or less than other parents.  However, due to my ‘friend’ giving $100 I realized there is a much bigger issue here.

I grew up in a generation where our parents didn’t have much to give, so we got 25 cents from our tooth fairy. We were happy with that because we didn’t get many things up and above what was needed except for birthdays and Christmas.  But now times are different.  We as parents have more to give and so we do.  My question would be “Are we doing more harm than good?”

What is the whole point of giving money to a little one who lost a tooth and making them believe it was the tooth fairy? I looked it up on Google and there are so many possible answers to the origin of this. However, for this article, I would like to just simply state it is to help the child be excited about losing teeth instead of being fearful of it. So if that is the case can I just say that the amount you give is not important unless we as parents make it important?  Yes, your child might put the money in a piggy bank and save it and or be allowed to spend it.  And they might be the type of child that will spend it on someone else instead of themselves.

But the point I would like to make here is that rewarding your child with large amounts of anything is going overboard and if you keep doing so in any area of your giving to them, then you will wonder why your child ‘expects’ so much when they are older.

Teaching a child how to earn money is a more valuable lesson. There are many, many ways to do this. Learning that you get things when you earn them is the lesson that needs to be taught. If we are going to complain that we live in a ‘silver platter’ generation then we need to understand we are the only ones to blame for it. To clarify, if we have ever thought or said ‘Do you expect me to hand that to you on a silver platter?, then you know what I am talking about.  Let’s stop this generation from thinking they don’t have to do anything and can still get everything they want.  This is our fault and only we can put a stop to it.

If your teens won’t clean their room or help around the house click here

If your adult children will not move out of the house, click here

*http://www.dietsinreview.com/slideshows/celebrities-wed-like-to-see-lose-weight/celebrities-wed-like-to-see-lose-weight/