Hurried Homemaker

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Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

March 31st, 2011 by Rhiana

Creative Consequences: Tidying & Potty Mouth

I thought I would continue my Creative Consequences stream of thought. I thought I should also note that these are just what I said – Creative Consequences – NOT punishments. If you have signed up to work with my pal Amy McCready at Positive Parenting Solutions, then you know that consequences are the most natural way to help children learn. Disclaimer done. And so on we go …

Lately, we have had one main problem with each child and I got fed up. Big time.

OFFENSE – the 9yo rarely puts something where it actually belongs
CONSEQUENCE – put the item(s) away 5 times over … for each item
LIFE LESSON – Do it right the first time! Take your time to do it right the first time and you won’t need to spend so much time re-doing it.

EXAMPLE: All the playing cards but one got put away during family clean-up time. When she discovered the one left out, she put it on the sofa. Since she had already been warned of the consequence of not putting things where they belong, she had to do the following –

  1. Pick up card. Open ottoman. Put card in box. Close ottoman.
  2. Open ottoman. Pull card out of box. Close ottoman. Put card back on sofa.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until card has been appropriately put away 5 times.

OFFENSE – the 2yo has taken to saying “pee” and “poo” – a lot (It’s one thing to say you have to go, this is another story.)
CONSEQUENCE – (1) ignore it – don’t fuel the attention-seeking; (2) she has to hold her tongue for 10 seconds
LIFE LESSON – Some things aren’t appropriate to say (no matter what), we have to learn to “hold” our tongue a lot in life.

EXAMPLE: The little one was told immediately upon hearing “Pee on you!” that those things aren’t nice to say and they sound nasty. Then, she was told if she said it again she would have to hold her tongue, and I showed what I meant. Then follow through. If she’s too stubborn to hold her own tongue, I will hold it for her (firmly, but gently).
Check our Facebook Page for more discussion on consequences!

March 1st, 2011 by Rhiana

Home School is So Cool–Part 2: Why We Chose to Educate at Home

There are so many reasons that people choose this alternative to a public education. And I find that most everyone makes the choice for reasons that are tied to their personal and/or religious beliefs. These are the reasons that WE made the decision to pull our 4th grader out of public school and begin home school mid-year:

More Family Time:  School hours were 8:30am – 3:30pm. By the time she arrived home, just before 4pm, she needed to get her homework started to be done by dinner. Then we would set the table, eat, clear the table, and go over any school “business” (field trip forms, help with unanswered homework, signing folders, etc.) Then it was time for shower and preparations for the following day. After that, reading time and bed. And, even though we limit activities to Girl Scouts (which only meets 2x a month) and horseback riding (about every week and a half), we were finding that we still had so little time. There grew a sort of disconnect that we don’t notice during the summers when we are all together. Disconnect leads to not getting along well. Not getting along well leads to disobedience. Disobedience leads to trouble. We decided to cut it off at the pass. More time together produces very positive benefits.

Opportunity to Lead:  Have you ever really taken notice of the children that your child is getting their example from? Most likely, they are forming opinions and perceptions based on who they are around the most. In our case, this was school. I was shocked when we had a group of girls over at not only the blatant disobedience of me (in my home), but in the way these girls spoke to their parents! It was appalling … and not a way that I would wish for my children to behave. While neither my husband nor I am perfect (yes, we’re admitting it), we do hold in high regard the opportunity that we have to set examples for our kids. If we make errors in judgment or mistakes, we own up to them, apologize or ask forgiveness, and talk about how to prevent from doing it again. As Christians, we are blessed with the ability to be forgiven and to grow. By spending more time together, we are better able to be the leaders that our children need to make conscientious decisions in life – with regard to choices, friendships, and more.

A Christian Education:  Because we withdrew mid-school year, we didn’t have the option to offer a private Christian education. (Have you ever tried to apply to a private school mid-year? Don’t.) But we did have the opportunity to provide one ourselves. It has been a joy seeing our oldest ask, “What are we doing in Bible class today?” It has genuinely become her favorite subject – and I have thoroughly enjoyed being her teacher. We have been able to not only have some great lessons about the Bible, but some wonderful discussions as well. And, we have been able to relate our other areas of study to stories in the Bible.

Tailor-made Educating:  Because we know our daughter best, we are able to tailor how we educate her based on her strengths and weaknesses. We have the flexibility to take more time in certain areas of study that require more information or when we would like to tie it to another area of study. We are able to get through the curriculum at our own pace and apply challenges as needed by her gifted mind. Additionally, we have the ability to explain how the things that she is learning relates to “real life” (math –> handling a checkbook or making purchases, biology –> outdoor life, chemistry –> baking, physics –> ball games, history –> recent world events, and so on). We teach everything from menu planning, time management, and taking responsibility to home care, childcare, and sewing; all in conjunction with our regular areas of study.

These are just some of the main reasons that we made the decision to pull our 4th grader out of public school and begin our journey in home schooling. And while I am certain that there are many more reasons that I could add to this list, these are most certainly the biggest priorities.

February 27th, 2011 by Rhiana

Home School is So Cool – Part 1: Myth Busting

Until the past few years, I was one of those people who thought that kids that were home schooled were at a disadvantage – socially, academically, realistically. And boy I was wrong!

Not only have I had the privilege of getting to know some great home school families, but I now have the distinct honor of educating my children. Since I had such a huge misconception of home school, I felt it was my duty to share what I was so wrong about and why.

MYTH 1:  Social Disadvantage

I’m sure that there are plenty of kids that are home schooled who are socially awkward, but aren’t there plenty of kids who go to public or private school are also socially awkward? Honestly, the majority of home school children that I have met are better able to communicate with adults than most other kids I know.  And they are able to make good choices about who they are social with.  Because children who are educated by their parents are exposed to a wider variety of people, these kids are usually better socialized than most kids who are boxed into socializing with others that are (for the most part) similar in age, race, and economic status.

MYTH 2:  Academic Disadvantage

While this could certainly be true of some, there are so many wonderful and rich curricula out there that it would be very difficult to NOT receive an excellent and thorough education at home. Not only that, but most home school families have the flexibility for more real-life associations with areas of study. Example – We took a field trip to the museum the other day to see ancient Egyptian artifacts to relate to our study of ancient Egypt. We are taking a field trip to a science center in the next few weeks to better relate to our study of matter, heat, and energy. Most schools don’t have the ability to take such frequent field trips. In our study of the Egyptian pyramids, we discussed the different types that were built and made our own replicas with Legos and paper. When we studied measuring matter – we were able to do so in the kitchen, backyard, etc.

MYTH 3:  Real-Life Disadvantage

While this is certainly a matter of opinion, I find myself strongly disagreeing with this. It is my opinion that real life is what you make it. The reality is that 6th graders are having sex in public school bathrooms; 4th graders are bullying each other; 9th graders are bringing drugs and weapons to school. Is that your real life? Last I checked, I don’t condone bullying, pre-marital sex, the use of drugs, or the use of weapons by my children. And while I do (and will continue to) teach my kids the information and consequences of these things, I do not think that they should be exposed to them at such a young age.

February 20th, 2011 by Rhiana

Creative Consequences: Sharing

My husband and I find ourselves continually trying to improve who we are – as spouses, friends, adults, parents. We learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves back up by the bootstraps, and grow. There is no “handbook” for parenting because everyone has their own ideas of what being a good parent means.

Lately, we have been trying creative consequences with our kids in lieu of any discussions or punishments. We noticed that we were giving out punishments that didn’t necessarily match the offense. Why take away TV for not sharing? It didn’t make sense AND what were they actually learning from these mismatched punishments? Nothing. They kept doing the same things over and over again without ever changing the behavior because they weren’t learning anything from us.

So far, so good. Here is my absolute favorite one so far:

OFFENSE – Not sharing became a huge problem recently
CONSEQUENCE – The kids had to share EVERYTHING for the rest of the day … a cup of water, a snack, a chair at the dinner table, a plate at the dinner table, a bath.

Since that day, sharing has not been a problem at our house. Matter of fact, they now go out of their way to share with each other. When they realized that sharing their toys, crayons, etc. wasn’t the same as sharing EVERYTHING, they were able to appreciate it.

A little bonus? Not feeling guilty for punishing! Knowing that we have gently corrected a misbehavior feels so much better than just getting upset over one.

February 4th, 2011 by Rhiana

Toddler Room

As you probably know, we recently moved to another state. The house came together pretty quickly. Sure we still need some art in a few places, but overall it’s not bad. The kids rooms are still in progress. The oldest only needs a rug, but lately I’ve been in the process of decorating the toddler’s room.

Since she has always slept with us, it is really important for me to make sure this is a room she LOVES. That way, she’ll get more excited about transitioning to her own space. Her favorite colors are orange and turquoise. This has been the basis of the room. I found a cheap toddler bed on Craigslist – last weekend we sanded and painted it turquoise. I still need to add a little art and a rug, some curtains and a quilt.

Once it is done I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. Until then, I’d love for you to share your toddler rooms by emailing or commenting with a link. I can’t wait to see them!

Hubs sanding down the Craigslist toddler bed

Cute new bed after several coats of turquoise

January 11th, 2011 by Rhiana

Calendars and Apps and Sites, oh my!

Did you know that January is National Organizational Month? Makes sense, considering all the New Years Resolutions made to “get organized this year”. I have always had a hard time getting organized. I even enlisted the help of a professional organizer (remember?). Well, now that I learned the basics of getting organized, I have found my house and life to run much more smoothly.

I thought I would take a moment to share with you my favorite organizational tools. Keep in mind that I am no expert, just a mom. The info I am offering are just from my own trial and error. As I post my favorite tips, I hope you will share the tips that work for you by commenting or linking your own posts.

CALENDARS/DAY PLANNERS:

I have used both the MomAgenda and the Franklin Covey planning systems. I must admit that I love both.

  • MomAgenda is currently having a sale for 35% off AND an additional 10% off if you “like” their Facebook page.
  • Many of the Franklin Covey products are currently on sale right now, too!

MEAL PLANNING/GROCERY SHOPPING:

I love cooking, but often take longer to figure out what I’m making or making a grocery list than it actually takes to cook it. I love 2 particular iPhone apps for planning meals and making lists:

  • Epicurious – this app makes it easy to search for new recipes, then you can add them to your favorites and/or shopping list. Once you’ve gathered your recipes in the shopping list, tap “create list” and there is your shopping list! Perfection.
  • Grocery IQ – perfect for when you already know what you’re making, this allows you to divide your list up by section and store. I use it for the grocery store, Costco, Target, and home improvement stores. This app also tracks your spending on each item and totals your list for you so you can estimate your total cost.

FINANCIAL:

My absolute favorite website for keeping track of our finances is Mint.com. It is FREE and allows you to enter all your checking and savings accounts, mortgages, debts (credit cards, student loans, etc), IRAs, etc. It will also offer suggestions on how to save money based on your spending. And, of course, “there’s an app for that”.

Hurried Homemaker was in no way compensated for this post.

September 17th, 2010 by Rhiana

4 Weeks to a New You (from Positive Parenting Solutions)

I got this in my email today and HAD to share it with y’all! As you know, I have been working with Amy to ease my parenting stress. I am about 1/2 way through the course and am seeing tremendous results in my family! I will be doing a review for you and possibly even a giveaway, but if you are where I was not so long ago (need a refresher?) then SIGN UP NOW!

Positive Parenting Solutions
4 Weeks to a New You – Training That Fits Into Your Busy Life

Amy McCready, founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, invites you to enroll in a NEW LIVE online course beginning in October.

Positive Parenting Solutions LIVE is a 4 session course (plus 1 bonus session) packed with concrete strategies and step-by-step solutions to put an end to the most frustrating misbehaviors without nagging, whining or yelling – from you or your kids!

It’s the best of all worlds…LIVE training from the comfort of your home, targeted solutions to reduce your parenting stress, live Q&A and measurable results after each session.

To personalize your training experience, enrollment will be limited.  Sign up today.

To see how it works and what you’ll learn, click here.

Warm regards,

Amy

Amy McCready

Founder, Positive Parenting Solutions

www.PositiveParentingSolutions.com

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Positive Parenting Solutions provides a comprehensive online parenting course and unparalleled problem solving support for parents of toddlers to teens. We help you correct misbehaviors permanently without nagging, reminding or yelling with the ultimate goal of raising confident, capable, and responsible kids.

To learn more and for free training resources, visit: www.PositiveParentingSolutions.com

Questions? Contact us at: info@PositiveParentingSolutions.com

Our mailing address is:

Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc

Serving Parents Worldwide From

Raleigh, NC 27614

Copyright (C) 2010 Positive Parenting Solutions, Inc All rights reserved.


August 19th, 2010 by Rhiana

Parenting with less stress & more joy?!? SIGN ME UP!

I cannot begin to describe my excitement about this …

I have been working with Amy McCready of Positive Parenting Solutions to regain my sanity. After a long summer with my 2 girls, I felt like I might be losing it. Constantly asking, nagging, begging (whatever it may be that day) for them to do this or that. I knew my kids weren’t “bad” but I wasn’t feeling like the best mom. By the time school rolled around last week, I felt like I had failed at my first summer home with the kids.

Then I met Amy and learned that I just didn’t have the tools I needed to get the kids to mind.

I suppose if I were the spanking, punishing type I would have. But I am not. I vowed to not be strict or militant. I also vowed not to be the loosey-goosey type who lets her kids run wild 24/7.  But where was this happy medium I was searching for? I certainly wasn’t achieving it by myself.

So, as if an Angel from Above couldn’t bear to see me lose my mind, they brought me this webinar from Amy. I am now parenting my wonderful children with less stress and more joy. I didn’t think it would be fair to keep this all to myself, so Amy has agreed to share this FREE webinar with y’all too!

SIGN UP NOW and please share this with every parent you know. We should all get to enjoy the experience of parenting like this!

July 6th, 2010 by Rhiana

Traveling with Tots

Last week was our first long family trip with two kids. We’ve taken the short 4-hour drive to Nashville with both kids, but we haven’t taken a full-fledged trip since our last vacation (which was when we had only 1 kid).  I asked around the Twitterverse and FB-union for some tips on traveling with kids and got a couple suggestions. The rest was up to us to figure out on our own, and we did. I will, in turn, pass along what I recommend.

The Challenges

  • The oldest is 8 and the baby is 18 months … there are none in between, so we have a huge age difference to contend with.
  • The baby is what one might call “high maintenance” – she is demanding, picky, and can throw a tantrum better than any 2 or 3 year-old I’ve ever seen.
  • The trip required two early wake-up calls – as in 4am and 5am!
  • Two airplane rides in one day with a toddler – doesn’t that sound fun?
  • One of the planes was an 18-passenger tin can with no beverage service, much less a bathroom. (Of course we wouldn’t know about this challenge until after we were about to board.)

Tips from Others

  • My friend Irene (@notsusiehomemkr) recommended ring pops … (doesn’t work for me since I try to avoid giving candy, but may for someone else)
  • My cousin suggested the ABC game (great for kids who know their ABCs)

As you can tell, I didn’t get a ton of ideas from the world-wide web. So, it was up to me and the hub to figure it out. If you know anything about my family, you know that by “me and the hub” I really mean “me” because the hub got back in town only a few hours before we had to get up to catch the first flight. So …

Our Top 10 Tips for Traveling with Kids

  1. Early AM flights are actually a good thing – tired kids sleep on airplanes
  2. Wheel Easy Car Seat Travel Bag is perfect for toting along the car seat to check with baggage (there are a number of other options out there, but I found this was the most reasonably priced option for our travel needs)
  3. Pack a small bag for the oldest to carry-on filled with all-age activities (a pad of paper, Crayola Twistable crayons, Play-doh, Rubik’s cube, and finger puppets filled our bag)
  4. Have a change of clothes for each person in a carry-on. Fold each item in 1/2 and roll to avoid wrinkles.
  5. Bring along a diaper bag for the little one, but have your diapers delivered to your destination ahead of time using a service like diapers.com.
  6. Dress everyone in layers: We left Atlanta at 6am and it was about 75 degrees and humid. The plane was comfortable. We landed in Denver to 59 degrees and breezy. Then we got on a hot little airplane to get to South Dakota, where it was 89 degrees but windy. On the way home, it was FREEZING on the airplane, then warm in Denver, comfortable on airplane #2 and then HOT in Atlanta. Layers, people.
  7. Nurse that baby on the plane. I cannot emphasize it enough – their little ears have the hardest time with the pressure changes. There were 2 babies other than ours on the plane at one point – I nursed, they didn’t. Guess who’s baby was screaming? (Hint: it wasn’t mine.)
  8. Have to take more than 1 flight? Schedule yours so that your layover is about 2-3 hours. This gives the kids time to wander the airport, stretch their legs, get a snack, go to the bathroom, and play for a bit. And then take a nap on the next flight.
  9. Different time zone? Try to keep everyone on the time zone in which you’re accustomed – this is only reasonable if you’re only an hour or two off.
  10. Relax. Being uptight about every. little. thing. makes the trip stressful and difficult to enjoy. Every moment doesn’t need to be planned. There are bound to be hiccups that will throw things off a little. It is ok. Enjoy it.

Do you have other tips that I should have mentioned?

P.S. – Here are a few of my favorite farm-country pics from our trip:

Hurried Homemaker was in no way compensated for this post. We are actual customers of all products/companies mentioned above.

June 27th, 2010 by Rhiana

Organizing Consultation Giveaway

Getting organized is important to every mom I know. Staying organized is a challenge for every mom I know. GiGi at Vision Organizing has been helping me get my house in order so that I can finally feel like things aren’t so chaotic.

I had no idea when I quit working that keeping a home, a family, a life organized would be such a challenge for me. I had always worked. The house seemed to just run itself. Only it wasn’t … we were just burying it all. I’m paying for it now. Clutter, chaos, and craziness have ruled my house long enough. I’m taking control, thanks to GiGi.

GiGi is full of great ideas for everyone -no budget to tiny budget, she is quick to provide a solution or set of solutions tailored just for your needs.

If you want to take back control, or just need a little refresher course on getting it all together, this giveaway is for you.

Win a 1-hour phone/email organization consultation with Vision Organizing!

how to enter

giveaway is from june 28, 2010 to july 29, 2010 (10pm) – winner will be chosen randomly

MANDATORY ENTRY:

Leave a comment telling what you need help managing and why.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (leave a comment for each):

  • Show us a picture of your space that needs help (leave a link in the comment)
  • Follow me on Google FriendConnect
  • Subscribe to the Hurried Homemaker blog via email or reader
  • Click on the “Top Mommy Blog” icon on the sidebar to vote for HH
  • “Like” Hurried Homemaker on Facebook
  • “Like” Vision Organizing on Facebook
  • Refer a friend – have them include your name in parentheses with their 1st entry
  • Follow @hurriedhomemakr and @organizer on Twitter and tweet I entered to win an organizing consultation with @organizer on @hurriedhomemakr – http://wp.me/pzsyA-se

Hurried Homemaker was not compensated for this post. We were provided with an organizing session to provide a review, but this in no way affects our opinion of this service.

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