Thursday, September 29, 2011

Whine-free Zone

It’s late, it’s a school night, and you need to go grocery shopping. As a single parent, this is tough. You have few options but to drag the kids along with you. If you have a partner, could one of you stay home with the kids while the other does the shopping? Different strategies work for different families but the bottom line is what’s best for the kids?

By 7PM most kids are winding down from their day, or at least they should be. Kids need lots of sleep! According to Webmd, kids 4-6 need 10-12 hours of sleep per night! Taking your children to the grocery store at this hour is just asking for trouble. It’s hard for children to behave when they’re overtired. Why set yourself up for disaster?

If you have to bring your children to the grocery store, make sure they’ve had something to eat beforehand. This will help alleviate the whining for snacks. You can always pack an easy to eat snack such as a cheese stick or crackers. When my mom took us shopping we always got a little box of animal crackers to munch on when we shopped. At the end of the trip the cashier rang up the empty box. Yum! CLICK HERE for some great tips on how to have a stress-less grocery shopping trip with your child.

Before going anywhere out in public it’s important to communicate with your child what they can expect as well as what you expect from them. Children need lots of direction when it comes to good behavior and lots of practice.

Follow-through is the hardest thing for most adults. We have to say what we mean and mean what we say. Giving kids mixed messages is frustrating for all.

Dealing with children takes a lot of energy. Have you had something to eat? Have you gotten enough sleep? According to Webmd,  “Most adults need seven to eight hours a night for the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as five hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day.”

After a long day at work it’s difficult to stay one step ahead of your energetic child. Putting in the effort to teach them self-control and good behavior when they’re young will pay off big time when they get older. It’s your job as a parent and they’re worth the effort, don’t you think?

What do you think? Do you have any “shopping with children” strategies? Leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Getting Organized

Do you have CHAOS?  According to Flylady, that’s “Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome” due to a less than organized home.  Flylady is a helpful resource for getting organized.  She encourages you to just begin where you are and take baby steps.  I have found it very helpful in all aspects of my life.  CLICK HERE to check out her website.  You can sign up for daily emails to help you on your path to a more organized and less stressful life.

In addition to the many books you can purchase and websites where you can pay for organizational strategies, there’s also a free online resource called Organized Families that provides free suggestions and strategies to get and keep your family organized.  CLICK HERE to check out that website  
Now that school has resumed, you may wish to reference some of my older blogs.  I’ve got some great tips on time management as well as how to help with the homework blues.
Do you have any tips for organization that have worked well with your family?  Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Letting Your Child Stay Home Alone

How do you know when your child is ready to stay home alone?  Every child is different and different states have different laws.  The recommended minimum age ranges from 8-12.  CLICK HERE for a link to the legal age limits for each state—not all states have them, however!

This can be a tough decision for families but the reality is not all grownups can be there when their child gets home from school.  CLICK HERE   for an online quiz to see if your child is responsible enough to stay home alone.

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway,  there are some things to consider when making this decision:
  • Is your child physically and mentally able to care for him- or herself?
  • Does your child obey rules and make good decisions?
  • Does your child feel comfortable or fearful about being home alone?

In an article reviewed by Nicole Green MD, you will find some great tips on this topic.  They include:
  • Factors to Consider
  • Make a “Practice Run”
  • Handling the Unexpected
  • Before You Leave
  • Ready to Go

CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

Knowing your child is home alone can be nerve wracking.  Taking the above steps to ensure their safety just might give you some peace of mind.  The effort is worth it for everyone, I think.

What do you think?  Does your child stay home alone?  Do you have any advice for other parents?  Leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Haircuts Without Fear

Many children are afraid to get their hair cut because they think it might hurt.  That word “cut” just turns some children into screaming, squirming maniacs in the salon chair.  Is it a simple fear or a full blown phobia known as tonsurephobia? 

According to Kendra Van Wagner - Psychosocial Therapist, some haircut phobias are due to a bad past experience.  Perhaps the stylist nicked an ear or you just can’t stand the buzzing of the clippers.  CLICK HERE to read the entire article.

At one point or another you are probably going to want your child to get a haircut of some sort.  How do you make sure it is a pleasant experience?  There is a lot of great advice to be had at baby  
There’s also a cute book, “No Haircut” by James Grady, illustrated by Janet Grady.  “Sprinkles First Haircut” by J.C. Schwanda and illustrated by Dan Kanemoto is another good book for children to help ease their haircut fears.

Making sure your child is well rested, well fed, and distracted seems to be the common strategies used by many parents.

Do you have a strategy to help make your child’s haircuts more pleasant?  Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to hear from you!