Tips On Starting A Moms Group In Your Area

Posted 10-9-2015 at 12:33 AM by Jessica
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If you’re new to town or if you’ve been around awhile and have not found  a group of moms to lean on and spend time with, consider creating a moms group. Moms need other moms (dads need support too, so this could be a “parent group if you prefer”) and kids need to play with other kids. So, if you’re ready to venture out and create your own group, check out these tips:
INTEREST
Ask moms that you know if they may be interested in joining a moms group. Think about friends, family, neighbors, church members, etc. Another option, if your kids are in preschool or school, ask the teacher if you can have a handout sent home with your information. Ask parents to contact you if interested.
If there is enough interest…move on to step 2
LEADERS
You have a few moms interested now. You don’t want to take on all that responsibility, right? Find a few that you know well and have strong leadership skills or seem very excited about the new endeavor. Seek out an assistant for yourself. Or a group of assistants to help run your group and make decisions.
INDEPENDENT or ORGANIZED
Decide amongst yourselves if you want to be an independent group or if you want to join a nationally organized group. You can make your own chapter of a larger group, like MOPS, or similar. Or, you can start from scratch and make your own rules.
FIRST LEADER MEETING
First, meet with your chosen leaders. Make a plan. Decide on how to run your first GROUP meeting. Plan out advertising. Will advertising be word of mouth? Signage? School letters? Online? Implement and advertise for your first group meeting. Be organized. You don’t want the first group meeting to be a disaster.

FIRST GROUP MEETING
This will be a time for moms to decide if they want to be part of your new moms group. Give them details on upcoming events and what you have in store for the next few months. Discuss fees if there will be fees. Cover everything and leave room for questions at the end.

Once you have interest:

Ask for volunteers that can help with responsibilities. If you’re spread out, you could have a mom as a leader in each area of the town. You could also ask someone to be in charge of emails, a phone list, or handling fees.

HAVE FUN!

Diaper Swapers

Avoid School Morning Chaos With These Tips

Posted 08-28-2015 at 10:49 PM by admin

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Are school mornings chaotic in your house? Whether you have one child or nine children, there are lots of ways to cut down on the chaos and the morning stress. Of course, this will vary depending on your child’s personality as well. I have 4 kids. The boys are morning people, the girls are night owls and not so happy in the morning. I’ve learned that keeping them separate in the mornings keeps the peace. Below are more tips I’ve learned over the years that have saved the stress, rush, and tears in the mornings. (MY tears AND the kids tears)

*Pack backpacks in the evening. Make sure to double check that all papers are signed and homework is done before zipping it up!

*Pack lunches in the evening. We pack lunches together in the evening and place them in the fridge ready to grab in the morning.

*Lay out clothes the night before. Have a checklist: shirt, pants, socks, underwear, shoes. Do you see a pattern here? Get as much done the night before as possible!

*Place breakfast dishes, cups, and silverware on the table and ready for morning. We like to stick with easy breakfast foods. Cereal, yogurt, and pancakes or waffles that we have cooked and frozen. Just pop in the microwave in the morning!

*Have girls with long hair? We brush hair in the evening and braid. This avoids tangled messes in the morning.

*In our house, I get up 15 minutes before the kids and have a cup of coffee. I heat up breakfast so it’s ready when I get them out of bed.

Do you have tips to share?

How I Changed After Becoming A Mom…

Posted 08-25-2015 at 02:40 PM by admin

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I have been a mom for almost 15 years. As I sit and reflect over the years, I have noticed some major changes in myself. I’m not talking about physical changes here. There are plenty of those. That could be an entire post on it’s own. Another day, maybe. Today, I’m referring to my personality, the way I carry myself, and the way I view the world.

Goodbye Shy: If you knew me in my school years, you would probably describe me as quiet and shy. Maybe you wouldn’t even remember me at all. I was the one that hoped she’d never be called on. Hoping to be overlooked. Secretly praying that I would not have to get up and speak. That changed the moment I held my son. I came out of my shell. Not for me, but for him. I was sure that my voice was heard, my concerns were voiced to doctors, nurses, etc. It started in that hospital room right after his birth. And I haven’t stopped yet.

I’m a fighter: In my pre-baby days I was a lover not a fighter. I always tried to make peace. I didn’t want to cause waves. Now, I’m a fighter. When it comes to my kids I speak up and fight for them. Of course I’m not talking physical fighting. I’m talking stand up for my kids and FIGHT for their future.

Role Model: My husband and I changed the moment we brought our oldest home. What once was a weekend out on the town is now a weekend at home with the kids. 16 years ago I would have thought being at home all weekend and going to bed by 10pm was so uncool. Now, I look forward to early bedtime and cozy weekends with the family.

My hobbies have changed: So this may not be because of kids….it may just be part of getting older. My hobbies have changed. I enjoy gardening with my daughters and watching football with my sons (and I actually understand what’s going on during the game!)

Date night: These are few and far between. However, we enjoy date night much more now than we did before kids. We know how important quality alone time is now. I sometimes think we took each others time for granted before kids. Not anymore. Each and every minute during date nights is spent in the moment making memories.

I really could go on and on. I will say that all the changes I have seen have been positive. I love my family and strive to be the best mom and wife I possibly can.

What changes have you seen in yourself?

Tips On Choosing A Day Care For Your Child

Posted 08-7-2015 at 06:19 PM by admin

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Tips On Choosing A Day Care For Your Child

Choosing a day care for your children can be hard. This is a very important choice for you and your child, so don’t take it lightly. Be prepared. Have a list of questions. Open communication is the key!

Schedule a visit – This may be obvious. But, be sure to schedule a visit to the center during the day when there are kids there. This way you can see exactly what goes on and you can see if the kids are happy and engaged. Keep your eyes, ears, and even nose open – see how the caregivers interact with the kids, listen to how they speak to the children. Do you smell multiple dirty diapers or other bad smells? Sanitation is important!

Adult to child ratio – Ask about the adult to child ratio. This varies on the age of the children. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers all require different supervision.

Qualifications/Accreditation – Ask for qualifications, accreditation, inspection reports, etc. Were they ever given warnings? Don’t be shy. You have every right to these answers.

Turnover rate – What is their turnover rate. Kids get attached to their caregivers. You don’t want your child upset if employees are constantly coming and going. Will you be told when new employees are hired?

Daily Schedule – Ask about the daily schedule. Are the kids given plenty of play time, outside sunshine, and exercise? What about naptime and snack time?

Education and skills – Is there an educational plan in place? What about learning their ABC’s? Are their skills like tying shoes or buttoning their shirt, that are taught/encouraged?

Potty training – Is potty training encouraged?

Emergency Procedure – Get a copy of their emergency procedures and medical plans. If your child gets hurt or sick, what steps are taken?

These are just a few of the top questions to ask. You know your child best, so you may have specific questions to ask. I highly encourage you to speak up and inquire. Don’t be shy!

Sibling Rivalry Happens | Tips To Get Through It

Posted 08-4-2015 at 06:08 PM by admin

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Sibling Rivalry Happens | Tips To Get Through It

Sibling rivalry happens in almost every family. It doesn’t matter the kids ages, from toddlers to adulthood, siblings will have days of jealousy, arguments, and some will compete with one another. This is normal. However, it can get out of control.

Coming from a family of 9 kids, I’ve had my share of sibling rivalry. And, I’ve seen it crop up in my four children as well. Below are some tips to help:

One on one time – It’s very important for kids to feel independent and loved by their parents. Consider taking some alone time with each child to do something special. Choose an activity that the child likes or is interested in and spend the day one on one together enjoying that activity. Once a month or every other week is a great place to start.

Acceptance of feelings – It’s normal for siblings to get angry or jealous of one another. That is normal human behavior. Let your children know that you understand their feelings. Validate them. And listen instead of constant reprimanding or punishment. Open communication is just as important for children as it is for you and your partner.

Family discussions – Discuss issues as a family. Let each child speak openly and help them problem solve. They will need these skills for life. Allowing them to talk it out with one another with the parents facilitating the discussion will work wonders.

Family Praise – Encourage your children to compliment each other starting at a very young age. Encouraging and complimenting one another as young children will continue through their teenage years, which tends to be very hard years.

Role Model – Be a role model. The way you and your partner treat one another is seen by everyone in the house. If they see positive relationships they will model your behavior as well. Keep heated discussions away from the kids eyes and ears if possible.

Preparing A Toddler For Financial Changes

Posted 06-3-2015 at 06:44 AM by Matrivine

Financial change is hard on most people, but it’s hardest on smaller children They don’t quite understand what’s going on and why things are changing. They want old luxuries that are no longer available to the. It can be hard on mom and dad too, as they try to help their toddler accept the new reality of their life. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you should ever find yourself in such a situation.

Talking About It

Toddlers don’t understand the concept of money. What they will understand is that some of the things they are used to will be taken away. That’s why it’s important to take away as little as possible. For example Netfilx and cable may be downsized and with them shows your child likes to watch, but you could find some free shows on Hulu. You could also have DVDs or downloads of favorite shows or activities so there isn’t an expense attached to the luxury.

Look On The Bright Side

Rather than saying that you won’t be able to afford pudding cups, talk about how you will get to make pudding together. Instead of saying that you will spend less time at museums or water parks talk about discuss how you will spend more time in the back yard working on the new garden or at the local public park. This can introduce a sense of calm to your child and the assurance that they will not be giving up all the fun in their life.

If Changes Require A Move

Try to keep the things your toddler owns. Use the same bedroom furniture, stuffed animals and night light. Make sure they keep their special toys on hand, so they know it’s not being left behind and make a big deal about it. This won’t just save money. it will give you child a sense of security when they are on the move and settling in to a new place.

 

First Birthdays And The Older Sibling

Posted 05-28-2015 at 07:55 AM by Matrivine

Your second child is turning one. Congratulations. You want to throw a great party for them and that’s your right as a parent. Your older child ( most likely in their toddler or preschool years) aren’t so sure what that means. How can we make their siblings birthday a special day without making or older child feel left out? Here are a few tips.

Plenty Of People Your Oldest Knows

One of the best ways to keep an older child from feeling left out at your one year old’s birthday party is to have plenty of family and friends around that they know. Even though your little one year old is getting a whole lot of attention, your older child will also have plenty of attention.

Make The Oldest Part Of The Ritual

Have your toddler pass the presents to their younger sibling to unwrap. Let them “help” unwrap some of the bigger items that you know your one year old just isn’t going to be able to tear into.

Let Your Toddler Play With The Presents

Often there are more presents than a one year old can play with at one time. Let your little birthday baby pick a few to play with and then let your older children play nicely with the rest. make it clear these are the one year old’s toys, but also let your child know that sharing goes both ways.

What Is The Oldest Looking Forward To?

If your older child is looking forward to cake on your one year old’s birthday use that to get them excited about the party. If they are looking forward to seeing grandparents, use that to help them look forward to the party. Make sure that they get plenty of time playing with Granny or that favorite uncle, or that they get a nice piece of cake. Older children look forward to the fun of a party, not the birthday baby turning one. That’s a parent thing.

 

Dealing With The Violent Tendencies Of Toddlers

Posted 05-18-2015 at 07:53 AM by Matrivine

We would all like to say that our children would never do that. My child would never bite, hit, scratch or kick someone. If they did it was in self defense and the other child must have done something to instigate it. It’s sad when we are faced with the reality that’s just not true.

Toddlers can be violent. I know from experience. My little one went through a phase where he seemed to want to knock my teeth out with the back of his head whenever he didn’t get his way. How do we deal toddler tantrums and nip that tendency for physical violence in the bud?

More Violence Is Not The Answer

In many countries corporeal punishment for children is outlawed. In many states in the US the same applies, and the number is growing. Whether you believe that spankings or hand slaps are a proper form of punishment or not, you have to acknowledge that this way of punishment will soon not be accepted by our society.

It’s just as well. It’s incredibly difficult to teach children the value of not behaving violently by behaving violently towards them. The only thing that teaches our children, is that violence is not acceptable until you are big enough to get away with it. They may obey you for now (for fear of physical retaliation) but they will start testing that line again when they are old enough. Not only that, they may incorporate it into their parenting style later in life.

The answer is not getting our way by acting in the way we are telling our children is not acceptable.

What Then?

There are many ways to get through to a child without the use of physical punishment. There are time outs, taking toys away, or removing them from a fun situation. Insist on apologies when a child does something wrong. Take away television, internet or device privileges.

Set rules and limits as well as consequences and post them in a place your child will see often. Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page and work together. Together follow through with the consequences. Remain calm as you explain to your child why they are being punished, even when the child is having a melt down over the consequences of their actions.

When all else fails call in the professionals. I don’t mean your parents. Talk to your pediatrician about tactics to use with your child.

This will take a great deal of patience and, most likely longer to get through to your child, but it will be worth it.

To Post or Not To Post: Bad Parenting In Social Media

Posted 05-7-2015 at 05:31 PM by Matrivine

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There are a thousands of cute little memes and articles floating around on our social sites. There are also some very disturbing videos and pictures, and some of them involve the interactions between a parent and a child. With these clips of parents and their children comes a number of questions we are asking ourselves.

Why Would We Want To Pass This Stuff On Anyway?

Most of us have no desire to watch other people be bad parents, not to mention pass these videos on to our friends. So why do some of us choose to? Mainly because we a scared of what may happen when we don’t. We don’t want a little one to be harmed by their parent either in neglect or physical abuse. A first response for us may be to protect the child by posting. We hope that by posting we will create awareness and bring the parent to justice.

On The Other Hand…

We may find ourselves pausing with a finger hovering over that send button. What if this is what the parent in question wants? Is this a way to get attention for them? Are they trying to rack up Youtube views by producing something scandalous.

Looking Back At My Parenting Style Before Children

Posted 05-4-2015 at 09:09 AM by Matrivine

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Do you know who can be the most critical of parenting? People who don’t have children. I’m sorry to say that I was no different. I would look at parents struggling with their children in private and public places. I would analyze their parenting style. And then I would wander off to future land where I would deal with my children in a more productive, less damaging and much more selfless way.

Yeah… I miss thinking I was going to revolutionize the art of parenting.  Now I’m a real parent to real children and much to my surprise I remember all those moments of judgement. While ashamed of my judgmental point of view, I’m glad I was paying attention. I needed some of the lessons these parents taught me.