Dating your kids!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

When I was a kid I wanted to be two things when I grew up...a MOM and FAMOUS!  Yeah,  I know these couldn't be more opposite, so I decided it would be easier being a mom. Boy was I wrong.  It is an extremely challenging job to try not to mess your kids up, but I think the rewards are endless.  

I REALLY want to figure out this parenting thing before they are all out of the house, so I like to try different parenting techniques out and "dating my kids" is one of the best things that I have ever done for them.  It is so good for them to have my undivided attention, no other sibling to compete with and it always brings us closer.   If you make your child feel important, a priority, and show and teach them how special they are then I think their childhood will be a huge success! 

This picture below is of my little man Max when we were on a date...he chose lunch at The Pizza Factory and feeding the horses.  The one on one time is priceless to me. 

I'm a huge fan of chivalry, so on all of our dates I like to teach Max how to be a gentlemen.  He will open the doors for me, he gets my drink refills and he loves it and so do I!

IMG_8352 

Article adapted from www.cbn.com

The power of parents “being there” for their kids is so profoundly meaningful that we often miss it. When kids understand that their parents are available and accessible to them, kids will often thrive during the adolescent years. Parents who are present and involved in the lives of their kids place important emotional, physical and spiritual “deposits” that will continue to influence their kids for years to come.

Many times parents look for the latest parenting fad to help their kids grow into mature adults. Yet one key component for building kids’ lives is right in front of them: investing time, energy and a commitment to ‘be there’ for their kids.

A regular, one-on-one ‘date night’ with each of your kids is a great place to begin intentionally investing in the overall health and growth of your child. Here are five tips for having a great ‘date night’ with your kids.

Choose to do something your kids want to do.  At times, when parents want to do something together with their kids, they’ll select an activity that they have interest in, but their kids have little or no interest in.  If you really want to create a positive ‘date night’ culture where your kids want to hang out with you, try doing things that the kids are interested in.  While this is a simple idea, it can reap a lot of benefits! And remember, ‘date nights’ don’t have to be complicated! They can be as simple as taking your child out to get an ice cream cone or throwing a Frisbee around in the yard.

Communicate.  Be sure to engage your son or daughter in conversation at some point during your ‘date night’.  Don’t just talk about what you are interested in.  Talk about anything and everything.  Ask your kids about their interests, opinions, and feelings.  Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered yes or no.  (Note: if you have not had a history of talking with your kids, getting started may seem a bit awkward to both you and your kids.  Don’t let this get in your way.  Share with your kids what you are trying to do (build stronger relationships / reconnect) and start slowly with reasonable expectations.  Just keep at it!)

Listen. Don’t do all of the talking on a ‘date night’ with your child! Communication is a two way street, so be sure to work at listening. Listening is the language of love.  Through listening, you demonstrate that you value your kids. When you take the time to really pay attention, show empathy and listen – you are taking a key step in connecting with your kids.  When kids know that their parents will really listen (instead of immediately “correcting”) they will be more willing to talk.

Display affection.  Even though teenagers are in the process of becoming adults and separating from their parents, they still need the affection of their parents.  In fact, sexual promiscuity in teenage girls can often be traced back to a desire for (and lack of) affection from their fathers. Dads, be sure to offer your kids genuine affection through loving words, affirmation, encouragement, small gifts, and appropriate touch.  (For ideas on physical affection, check out our free tip sheet, “Keeping in Touch with Your Kids”.)

Never embarrass your kids in front of their peers.  It’s possible that a ‘date night’ activity might take you onto your son or daughter’s “territory” – to a place where they may run into some of their peers. Gentle teasing is one thing, but embarrassing your kids in front of their peers might be close to being an unpardonable sin in teen culture. Show respect to your kids and they’ll be more willing to hang out with you – and your ‘date nights’ will be much more enjoyable as well.

 

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Getting your kids to Eat {Healthy Food}!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

Like every parent, I struggle to get enough fruits, veggies and lean protein in my kids bellies!  I always try to put fruit and veggies on their plates, but it is rare if they eat it all.  Lately, I've been having a tough time getting my Mr Max to eat breakfast...I know, this kid is six years old, weighs close to 100 pounds and you would never guess by looking at him that eating can be a challenge!  I decided that the one thing I needed to do is get creative with his food.

By giving them positive experiences with healthy food and by making their food fun, will help them eat it!  It changes their attitude about eating healthy too and that makes this mama REALLY happy!!

Here are 5 tricks and tips to get your kids to become healthier eaters:

1. Let your kids help you cook!

Involving your kids in preparing kid-friendly healthy dishes will be fun and very messy, but children are more likely to eat something that they have helped to prepare.  While your kiddos are assisting you, introduce them to portions, simple fractions and teach them how to use measuring tools.

2. Get Creative

Make silly food faces-See tons of ideas below

3. Take Children Shopping

Young kids love to play grown-up. Make a special trip to the store to let you your kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try at home. Let them weigh their fruit or veggie of choice, bag it, and put it on the conveyor belt. Once home, let them help you present it to the family.

4. Plan a Family Taste Test

Slice a variety of apples such as, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and McIntosh.   To make it even funner, make different dips such as, caramel, marshmallow cream, whipping cream, yogurt, hot fudge, ect.   After each taste test, compare the various textures and tastes while you talk about your favorites.

5. Play Fun Games That Involve Healthy Eating

Children who have fun with healthy foods are more likely to want to taste them.  I like to roll dice at the table and whatever number it lands on is how many bites they need to eat of the certain food.  It gives them control and there is no power struggle when it comes to eating their food.  My kids love this!!

 

I made this funky breakfast the other morning...I just used what I had in my house.  Nothing fancy at all...but a silly face made with bacon, eggs and bagels made my kids day off to a great start!

funnyfacefoodThe rest of the pictures are from Jill from meetthedubiens.com.  She's obviously pretty amazing and has inspired me to do this for my kiddos!!

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Letters To My Lovelies…

Written by Lyndi. Posted in About Me, Free Printables, Graphic Design, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

I have kept a notebook in my drawer that I named "Funny Things My Kids Say".  My girls have their fair share of funny sayings, but this book is mostly full of Max"isms".  He started talking full sentences at 12 months and since then all he talks about are body parts, swear words, telling jokes or asking questions that are so funny, but very inappropriate.  I have absolutely loved looking back at this notebook because I forget so easily all the sweet and funny things that my kids say.

One of my favorite quotes was when Max was barely three, a kid asked him "Why are you black, Max?", and he said without hesitation, "I'm not black, I am brown...why don't you know your colors yet?" He is so clever and witty and he keeps me laughing my ass off! I know that when my kids are all grown up this will be a precious book to look and laugh at.  

Last week I was asked to write a letter to my 12 year old daughter by her church leaders.  I was supposed to write about what my hope was for her future.  I wrote this letter and it made me cry.  It made me realize that I need to put these words down on paper A LOT more.  I've always been encouraged to write in my journal but at this stage in my life I think it is even more important to write to my kids so they can remember their childhood.  Also, if something were to happen to me I would want my kids to have letters from me, to remember how I felt about them, the love I had for them, my words of encouragement and my hope for their lives.  

With some hesitation, I decided to attach a copy of the letter that I wrote to Madison.  I hope it will inspire you to write something like it for your sweet ones.  I know these letters will one day be cherished, so I decided that every Sunday I would write one letter to one of my kids or to another loved one...i will put it in a file box so it will be kept safe, or if they are old enough I will give it to them.

I'm very excited to do this and I hope you will join me in this endeavor!  I have created several labels in a variety of colors to customize a notebook or file box for your specific situation.

Microsoft Word - My Dear Sweet Madsy.docx

I got this great patterned file box, binder and notebooks all from Target...all you need to do is print out your label of choice (5x7 or 4x6), cut it out and put it on.  It it easy, cheap and cute!!

To save the label of your choice,  just right click on the image and hit "save as" and save it to your computer.
filebox lettersletters1letters-gray-turqletters-yellow-blue loveyou letters-babyblue letters-baby pink letters-mustard letters-blue letters-pink  letters-yellow

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Building self confidence in your kids!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Life Coaching, Parenting Tips

I am the lucky mom of four kids...they all didn't come easily into this world, so I am extra grateful to have them be a part of my family (more on that story to come)!  I want to be the best mom possible to them...and I think the most important thing I can teach them is how valuable and truly special they are...so, how do I do that?!? B03

Children do not need to be fussed over and overpraised for doing simple things that should be done every day, or told they are geniuses for putting a sippy cup in the sink. Children do, however, need to be encouraged—daily.

Everyday they need:

a hug and a kiss

and they need to hear these things...yes, every...single...day!

I love you

Thank you

I'm so lucky that you are my child

I'm proud of you

I believe in you

I trust you

& they need encouragement 

 

 

They need to feel that they are important to you. The best way to do this is through complimenting them.

  • Make your compliments meaningful. Don't just compliment your kids for doing what's expected of them, or for something minor.   Compliments should be reserved for actual accomplishments! Don't pour on the praise for something they didn't actually do. And never say they are the Best in the World in anything. I'm sure that your child is going to do MANY wonderful things today; the key is to look for the right opportunity to praise them.
  • Praise them appropriately. When your kids do something special, like draw you a picture or get dressed by themselves, that's when you can tell that you're proud of them.  Rewarding your children reinforces good behavior, but they are validated simply by knowing that they've pleased you.
  • Slip them a note. If your children can read or are in school, tuck a note in their backpack or lunchbox and let them know how you feel about them.  A little acknowledgment can go a long way.
  • Notice their good deeds.  Whenever you see your child being nice or doing anything positive, tell them that you noticed it and how proud you are of them.

If you do these things everyday, I guarantee that you will see a major shift in your child's self confidence...which boils over into every single aspect of their lives!! Happy Complimenting!

Information Adapted from parentsconnect.com

lovelyndi

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How to get your kids to LOVE to brush their teeth!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Health & Wellness, Kids & Family Life, Parenting Tips

max brushing teeth Brushing their teeth...wow, it's always been a challenge in my house. So I decided that I needed to be creative and find ways to make it fun for my kids. This picture is of my little boy Max...he's a tough one to get to do anything because whatever I want, he wants the opposite...but this even works with him!!

1.  Take Turns!  Start by letting your kids roll dice...whoever gets doubles first, gets to brush their teeth first, second and third, ect...It's amazing how excited they get about this. If I don't have dice around, I will let them pick numbers or straws...this works great too!

2.  Have a special designated spot that they get to brush their teeth at. Mine is on my counter in my bathroom...but you could use a special stool, ect.

3.  Let your kids choose a couple different toothbrushes and toothpastes from the store...then when it's teeth brushing time, let them choose which one they want to use that day. If they have a choice then there will be no power struggle and they will think it is all their own idea. This works great! Also, buy new toothbrushes every few months...I know it is simple, but the kids get excited about it and love the change.

4.  I let my kids brush their own teeth for a minute and then I brush them the rest of the time (yes, even my 12 year old)...I set a timer and I will try to be funny, or sing a song while I do it.

5.  Let the kids choose some fun "special" cups from the store that are only used for rinsing after brushing teeth...this gets them excited.

Then finally tell them how proud you are of them for being such good teeth brushers...end with a high five, airplane ride or hugs...make it a positive, fun experience.

Now, get their asses to bed.

lovelyndi

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