The headline alone grabbed me, and many thanks to Kirk Martin at Celebrate Calm, for letting us republish highlights from a recent newsletter. He’s got some fabulous tips on how to get kids to tune in. How many of you get immediate compliance for requests? Or, how many of you have a case of “selective hearing disorder” when you ask your kids to do something? Here are Martin’s tips:
Stop calling your kids “sweetie” and “baby.”
This is tough for modern parents, but you must become comfortable with your kids being unhappy with you at times. No, I’m not talking about when you’re screaming or a parent is abusive or callous. I mean when you do the right thing for the long term growth of the child, but they don’t like how it feels in the moment.
Q: My teenagers have all the answers and anything I say is just stupid. When I ask them to complete a task, they act like I just requested they donate their kidneys.
Your teens don’t respect you and may have seen their father treat you that way. You must break that pattern. Here’s what my teenager would hear from me: ”If you think I am going to lift a finger for you after you have done nothing for me, you are crazy.” I may add in some saltier language to get their attention, but no way am I cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and running them around if they cannot show me simple respect. Apologize for sending the message that you are a doormat. Enough. Side note: if this is a pattern in your life, if your father or husband and kids have treated you with disrespect, you must break this pattern inside YOU.
Q: My son won’t follow rules on video game time and always tells me, “It’s my DS, I can play it as long as I want.”
Why your child still has a DS I cannot understand. Listen, you know I am patient and calm. I give kids tools to succeed. I understand their frustration. But as soon as those words come out of my child’s mouth–whether they are 2, 9, 14 or 22–there is immediate action taken. No lecture, no yelling. Just one simple act. That DS becomes mine. Your child is challenging you. He does not respect you. Lecturing and yelling and reasoning does not work. He knows you are afraid of him and has called your bluff. You blinked. Next time, simply smile and walk away. I wouldn’t attempt to wrestle it from him in the moment because that escalates things. I may even wait until the weekend so I can have the whole weekend set aside for one enormous meltdown. But as soon as that child leaves for school on Friday morning, that DS becomes mine.
When he comes home from school, this is my language: “I want to apologize for allowing you to think that you run the home and get to tell me what to do, son. By my actions for the first nine years of your life, I have lead you to believe that you get to tell me what to do. That ends now. Your DS is now my property. Here is how you can earn it back within the next two weeks: you can apologize for using that tone with me. You can be responsible for chores around the house. You can go outside and walk the dogs with me. When your attitude changes, then consequences will change.” Your child should not have that DS in his possession so he can “always” tell you that. One time, Mom. One time.
Editor’s Note: LOVE IT! It’s so funny, because after reading and writing about hundreds if not thousands of tips from experts all around the globe, discipline seems to boil down to something that isn’t a new technique: logical consequence. It always seems so obvious as an outsider, but often harder to implement in the heat of the moment. That seems to be what Kirk is describing here. I love the “calm” he puts into the equation. Not always easy, but something that’s gotta cool things down more than screaming.
Expert bio: Celebrate Calm Founder Kirk Martin and his son, Casey, have helped over 300,000 parents, teachers and students learn how to control their emotions and attitudes. Their strategies are concrete, practical and work in everyday situations whether your child is a toddler or teenager. USA Today, Parade Magazine and countless TV and Radio shows have relied on Kirk’s expertise to stop defiance, power struggles and sibling fights. Short video.
It’s graduation season, so many parents are sending their kids off to college soon, wondering what those last few words of wisdom should be. Plus, with Father’s Day around the corner, Dads are thinking about quality, focused time with their kids. A new book “50 Rules for Sons,” caught my eye (mom of 3 boys ), and I wanted to share some of the book’s “rules” at The Lounge. Thanks to Author Tim Hoch, dad of 3, who acknowledges he’s “had more than (his) share of cringe-worthy attempts at navigating the teenage discourse dynamic…but has been able to decipher some hard and fast rules when trying to converse with kids.”
Tim shared these excerpts from his book:
Rule number one: Don’t use outdated cultural references or phrases. No one “talks to the hand.” Nothing you want to discuss is “bitchin’” or “gnarly” or “rad.” Fo-shizzle.
Rule number two: Don’t join their conversations unless you’re invited. I was driving my daughter and three of her friends to an eighth grade dance. They were giggling and whispering about some of the boys in their class when I decided to chime in. Bad idea. They don’t want my opinion about whether a certain classmate is a “sweet kid.”
Rule number three: Don’t interrupt or argue. That is not a conversation. It’s a lecture.
Rule number four: No nicknames. Even if your son’s friend is named Tony, don’t refer to him as “T-bone.” Your daughter’s friend is “Elizabeth” not “Lizard.”
Rule number five: Try to have a functional understanding of (and ability to pronounce) things that are important to them. For example, don’t keep referring to twitter as “tweeter” or Instagram as “Instant grams.”
Rule number six: Conversations are not teaching moments. So don’t make them one. Don’t criticize them or tell them how you would have handled a situation differently. If your child says something that bothers you, hold that thought. You will have time to circle back to it later.
Rule number 7: Don’t dismiss their thoughts as “silly” or “stupid.” My daughter once told me about a difficult day at school. She was in a fight with one of her best friends. It was a silly argument and I told her so. Big mistake. She would come to the same conclusion on her own a few days later. I didn’t need to speed it up for her. I just needed to listen.
Rule number 8: Don’t rely on your kids to fulfill your need for conversation. Develop your own interests, your own “cool” independent of your kids. Show them that you have a life outside of whatever they are doing. They will engage you on it. Trust me.
Rule number 9: Do not use any of the following phrases in conversation:
“When I was your age…” or “If I were you…” or “pull my finger.” Just stop.
Rule number 10: Don’t gossip. There is nothing more pathetic than an adult who gossips with kids.
Editor’s Note: Cute…and thoughtful! So, MomTini Moms and Dads, what do you think? Add a comment to this post with some “rules” you’ve learned over the years…or share a funny story about a time you put your foot in your mouth….
Thanks to Cumberland Farms for compiling these quick ways to save cash.
Editor’s Note: These are great ideas…and easy/quick to implement. I checked out Cumberland Farms’ site to see why they were interested in the subject of savings, and see that they offer a fuel discount (10 cents/gallon) – on their SmartPay Check-Link TM program. Interesting…check it out…
What savings tips can you add to this list?
The violent headlines of the past few weeks have come one after another…and with kids in the house, it adds an additional level of anxiety of parents. Thanks to Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever, for these tips on how parents can help kids process scary news. – Amy
Author Mary Jo Rapini
With the recent happenings in Cleveland, Boston, Texas, I am reminded of our “little ones.” If you are a parent, your child monitors their reaction by watching yours. Here are a few suggestions to help you help your child.
1. Parents are a barometer for their children, and children are skilled with reading their parent’s emotions. So, before you talk to your children, make sure you know how you feel about what happened, and if you are anxious or not ready to help your child feel secure, delay talking with them about it
2. Don’t mention the trauma part to your children and don’t assume what they are afraid of. Rather, ask them specifically so you won’t introduce another possible fear. If they mention they are afraid that something bad may happen to them, validate that by saying it’s natural to feel that way, but also tell them you are going to do everything you can to keep them safe.
3. Limit the news in your home regarding the tragedies. Children don’t understand the replays and they may be at the level of thinking each time they view the incident that it is happening again. The visual parts as well as the audio accounts of the recent tragedies once seen and heard may create anxiety, nightmares, and depression in children.
4. As much as possible, stay on your routine at home. This will give your child stability and reduce anxiety.
5. As a family, draw cards, send letters, and/or bake cookies for the families or people in the community where the tragedies occurred, or for someone needing them in your own community. This helps your child see that there are more good people than bad.
6. This is an excellent time to set up an emergency plan in your own home. Go through what you each will do if there is an emergency. This empowers children and helps them feel more in control. Remind them of a time something happened and what they did to help. Also remind them of how proud you were of them.
7. Take extra time at night to read stories, watch movies, or say prayers. This helps kids feel safer and it is also a time when questions come up that parents can use to help understand how their child is processing the tragedies.
8. This is a good time to bring your spiritual beliefs to the forefront. Things such as having a mass said, lighting a candle, or planting a tree for the people who lost their lives is important. It helps your child see that no matter what happens people do care and they do remember. Spirituality is also important because it gives us strength beyond our human capacity.
9. Listen to your children. Children’s brains work differently than adults, and by careful listening you can better ascertain where your child is having a difficult time with the recent events.
10. Grieving with your child will help them heal. Children grieve much differently than adults. Their time frame isn’t the same as ours. They may be playing and jumping around one minute, and sitting alone by a tree the next. Grieving in children isn’t normal for adults to witness and we want to cheer them up. This is a time to acknowledge when they are sad and then brainstorm with them what they can do (with your help) to feel better. Always identify with trying to do something good with your child for others.
Parents should always answer questions and tell their children the truth. However, wait for the question and answer in simple ways that are age appropriate for your child. Grief takes time and if you are worried your child is not working through their grief, take them to their pediatrician and work with someone they suggest for emotional support. When bad things happen the greatest source of encouragement comes from mom and dad and family.
Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Join Mary Jo on Twitter or talk to her on her Facebook fan page.
Start Talking features succinct yet lively answers, sample conversations, and real life stories to help open the door to better mother/daughter communication. Rapini and Sherman have compiled more than 113 questions girls (and their moms) routinely ask – or should be asking – about health, sex, body image, and dating.
This is absolutely, hands down, adorable — gotta hand it to MomsRising for not only tackling the tough issues we face as women & moms, but for their genius viral marketing campaigns that allow you to customize greetings that poke fun at everything from the glass ceiling to not getting any sleep.
The latest: a free E-Card YOU customize to recognize the special moms in your life. From the working mom shaking cornflakes out of her hair, to the dancing mom breaking the glass ceiling and celebrating…it’s fabulous!
Here’s the story behind the video….
It’s a comical, Mother’s Day montage of catchy music and “dances” mothers do in their daily lives. The “I Fed 3 Kids and STILL Got to My 9AM Meeting ON TIME,” “The Healthy Food Shopping Shake,” and “The Raise the Minimum Wage Roof” illustrate some of the aspects of motherhood that moms juggle on a regular basis.
These are just a few of the vignettes portrayed in “‘The Evolution of Mom Dance!”Mother’s Day video from MomsRising, the online and on-the-ground grassroots organization for moms and everyone who has a mom. MomsRising.org has more than a million members who will be receiving the personalized e-card this weekend. They will then be able to send the card to their own mom, or other mom friends, customizing it by inserting the individual names of the recipient.
“‘The Evolution of Mom Dance!’ shows the many dances that moms have to perform in order to work and to care for their families, as well as to push for better economic and family-oriented policies,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “The video makes people laugh, but also reinforces our resolve to keep fighting for family-friendly policies including fair pay, access to earned sick days, affordable childcare, family leave policies after the birth of a child, reducing toxins in our homes and environment, improved health care, flexible workplace policies, and much, much more.”
A clever mix of issues that moms take on is interwoven into the remainder of the video. The challenges all moms face are carefully choreographed in “No Sleep ‘TIL Kindergarten,” “The Flexible Work Schedule,” “The Fair Pay Fandango,” and “The I Still Got It, Right?” The penultimate number is a dramatic dance performance called, “Break the Glass Ceiling,” complete with a leaping mom with a sledgehammer breaking a “glass” ceiling above her and being rained upon by silver streamers. The final dance showcases all the moms dancing and holding up banners reading, “You’re the Best Mom Ever” and “Happy Mother’s Day.” The video ends with your customized message telling that special mom, “You’re an amazing mom” and “Happy Mother’s Day.”
The Mother’s Day e-card is a perfect way to celebrate all the actions MomsRising members have taken over the years. They include sending email messages to policy makers; sharing personal stories about the need for family-friendly policies; meeting with policy makers and making in-person deliveries of messages; signing onto petitions encouraging companies to improve their policies; rallying at state houses and the Capitol; and more.
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MomsRising.org is an online and on-the-ground grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to achieve economic security for all families in the United States. MomsRising is working for paid family leave, flexible work options, affordable childcare, and for an end to the wage and hiring discrimination which penalizes so many others. MomsRising also advocates for health care for all, toxic-free environments, and breastfeeding rights so that all children can have a healthy start. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families. In 2012, Forbes.com named MomsRising’s web site as one of the Top 100 Websites For Women for the third year in a row. In 2013, Working Mother magazine included MomsRising on its “Best of the Net” list.
How financially literate is your child? Thanks to Patrick Bet-David, an entrepreneur and author who says, today’s distractions are taking too much time from more important things like learning about money. Bet-David says whether kids are going to the movies, shopping for clothes or music, buying a car, trying to help support their parents or even working a couple of jobs to pay for college, money is and always will be an important part of our lives.
His tips for children to learn about the basics of money:
1. Start a habit of saving money – Whether someone gives you five bucks or you just got your first paycheck, whatever money you are making, try to save at least 10% in an account that you try hard not to touch.
2. Start a budget – Open up your own savings account and learn the basics of having a bank account. Start a budget and learn to manage it.
3. Shop around – It’s tempting to see something we like and buy it on the spot, and that’s called instant gratification. But if you go online or wait a couple of months for a sale, that same item may cost less which saves you money.
4. Avoid credit cards – If you plan on buying an awesome car, buying a house one day, or being taken seriously in any business venture, your credit score will play a huge role in how much financial companies will trust your spending habits.
5. Focus on earning – Saving is very important, but if you’re not earning money you won’t have any to save. Start thinking like an entrepreneur at an early age. Open a lemonade stand, car washing business or pet walking service. The key is to offer a service that people are willing to pay for.
6. Expect more – People usually make the amount of money they feel they are worth, and most people sell themselves short. Teach children to have a high self-image, and they will create a world for themselves that meets that self-image.
7. Download an app on your phone – There are so many apps for managing your budget and savings on phones nowadays that you can track your money on the go. Get in the habit of keeping tabs on your spending habits. Kids will have more fun doing this on their phones and tablets.
Bet-David says there is a difference between just saving money and building an awesome financial foundation, but it’s a good idea to start with the basics.
Amy & her mom…a few years ago
Happy Mother’s Day! You know I get pumped up about this holiday, because I love the idea of celebrating MOMS! One day guaranteed out of 365 is not bad, and my boys have given me some of the greatest keepsakes over the years. They were asking me what I wanted, and my response was that a special card lasts forever…I keep them in a file, and they’re the greatest memory!
I get to celebrate with my extended family this weekend; had some special time with my MIL (mother-in-law) last week; and am so proud of the wonderful mom my sister has become as a first-timer and so quickly, a pro!
I wish you, your kids, and your families, a wonderful Mother’s Day!
There are lots of promotions and freebies out there – Mr. Free Stuff always rolls up some great ones, including free breakfast, yogurt, pie, and more — check out their roundup for Freebies on Mother’s Day.
Here are some of my favorite Mother’s Day headlines from our archives…Whether you’re looking for a last-minute gift, a special DIY keepsake, or some ideas to make your day FUN, I hope you find some ideas here!
Click below to read more about…
Special, sentimental video about moms around the world
Last-minute gift ideas for Mom
Mother’s Day Fun, Free Treats, Etc. – including Queen music meets Motherhood – really cute, check it out!
Mother’s Day feature with Amy & Holly Morris on FOX News
Quick DIY Gifts with Amy on CBS News
So…what are YOU doing to celebrate Mother’s Day? Add a comment to this post! And have a happy one!
Amy and nephew test driving
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I recently had the fun of test driving Graco‘s new FastAction Fold Click Connect Jogger, long name for a great “crossover stroller.” So basically, it’s a jog stroller, with the all terrain wheels so you can hit the road with baby or toddler and multi-task walk/run and exercise for mom and baby, but it’s got all the comfort and features you’d expect in a traditional stroller – tons of padding, cup holders, a Smartphone holder, etc.
With my new nephew in tow, I had a great walk around the neighborhood (above), while he (at only 3 months) was snug in an infant carseat that connects and faces backwards, so add some more multi-tasking, and I got to exercise, walk the baby, and sing songs all at the same time. Love the Smartphone holder – it holds your phone in place, so you’re not carrying it or worrying about whether you have a pocket or not.
This was much better than the jogger we used 10+ years ago – ours was mammoth, hardly fit in the garage, and you had to wait til the kid was almost a year to use it. This one, however, folds easily (even one-handed, they say, but make sure baby is safe & secure & out of the way while you’re folding, of course!), and you can use it with a baby, which is also a plus, because new moms love getting out of the house and exercise, but it’s sometimes stressful to get a babysitter or coverage for your newborn.
Graco had a local Mom Blogger event, and I was out of town on business, so many thanks to my sister, Leslie N., Mom Since 2012 (MS’12) for attending — look how adorable the babies are in the strollers ready to rock & roll at the Maryland park event:
And many thanks to one of my biggest MomTini supporters for many years, now a #MomTastic mom herself, Leslie (below):
Graco’s NEW jogger is the ultimate crossover stroller, combining all the comfort and convenience features of a traditional stroller (FastAction Fold and Click Connect Technology) with performance and maneuverability of an all-terrain jogger.
As an added bonus, Graco’s innovative one-second, one-hand FastAction™ fold automatically locks & is self-standing.
This post is sponsored by Graco.
Bullying comes in all kinds of words and actions. It’s not just the playground “mean kid” with fists raised; it can often be more subtle, with words, emotional manipulation, and so on. It’s not always so black and white either; there are oftentimes shades of gray or fine lines that make it difficult to separate innocent kid stuff from serious, let’s get mom and dad involved, bullying.
I remember one parenting lecture a while back, that proposed, “Get involved if there’s blood.” Not sure I agree with that per se, but I do believe in empowering kids to solve their own problems, as long as they’re not serious, so they build a toolbox for life. Solving their every problem will actually create more problems, but giving them tools to work through some of this stuff themselves, is empowering and a life-long tool.
Kudos to first-time author Emily Bazelon for her now acclaimed book, Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. Bazelon is noted for “tackling the shifting landscape of teenage cruelty and harassment and its sometimes devastating consequences…and also visiting schools and communities whose innovative anti-bullying efforts could offer a road map out of this mess.”
She talks a lot about how empathy can be a key ingredient in stopping the bullying cycle. She explains…
“If you see other kids being cruel, think about the steps you could realistically, and safely, take to stop it. You don’t have to jump into the middle of a fight (though if you’re up for that, don’t let me stop you!), and you don’t have to commit to befriending the person you’re helping, either. Sometimes just sending a sympathetic text or asking someone in the hallway if they’re okay is enough. If you can show empathy to someone who is vulnerable, in the moment or afterward, that can mean a lot. Most people who are having trouble socially appreciate just knowing that someone cares—even if it’s someone they don’t know very well.”
I asked Emily to send me her top 5 favorite tips for parents when dealing with bullying issues. Here they are…
Emily’s website with lots of great information – check it out!
Here’s a great video by Sticks and Stones author, Emily Bazelon, about her book and some really sad examples of bullying:
More on the Expert Source: Emily Bazelon is a senior editor at Slate, a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, a frequent guest on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, and the Truman Capote Fellow at Yale Law School. Before joining Slate, she worked as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, and lives in New Haven with her husband and two sons.
We’re guilty of packing too much into each day…”slow family living” sounds impossible, between home, work, homework , activities, sports, and life with kids. This new book, Slow Family Living: 75 Simple Ways to Slow Down, Connect, and Create More Joy, really caught my eye as a great concept to embrace.
I asked the author to share some tips at The Lounge. Many thanks to Bernadette Noll, author, for these great tips:
Editor’s Note: Love it! What can YOU do to slow down in your own family and smell the roses?
I’m a “no cell phone at the table” advocate, so this guest post really caught my eye. As a parent, you know when your kid is looking down with his hands in his lap, that he’s not ashamed of something…he’s texting a friend about a party. My boys know when I put my hand out, it means, “That phone is MINE now.” And they’re now policing me and my husband, and won’t tolerate OUR occasional slip with phones at the table either, which is as it should be. I published a post a while back, “Keep your cell phone out of the cranberry sauce” about preserving the sanctity of the Thanksgiving dinner table as a cell-free zone, but really, with our busy lifestyles, EVERY meal should be tech-free and a precious time to connect.
Thanks to Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPS, a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever, for this guest post on the ways technology is taking over too many tables, and for her ideas on how to have a tech-free family dinner.
She describes going out to dinner and noticing a new interaction she calls “electronic parenting” – kids immersed in iPads or phones and not their parents. And while the electronics were “babysitting” the kids, the parents weren’t taking advantage to engage with each other. “Dad was fidgeting with his phone; Mom looked frazzled,” she recalls. Rapini thought about this and reflected, “Family dinner is about so much more than eating. Parenting has a lot to do with setting boundaries, saying no, and also making sure you teach your child appropriate social behavior. If your child is on the phone or iPad during dinner, they are in their own virtual world and not engaged with the family.”
She admits that we’re more electronically oriented, that smart phones are smarter than many humans, and that as we grow with technology, it will be even more important to set boundaries. She recommends, “Stay engaged with your kids and spouse, and keep sacred some of the family rituals such as family meals.” Here are some great tips she shares for our readers…
1. Have family meals during the week as much as possible. Include your whole family.
2. Have a plate or container where all electronics are dropped prior to dinner. Make sure you silence them as the noise of a text or email incites the mind and distracts from family.
3. Conversation at the dinner table should be kept at a level where everyone can hear one another.
4. Make sure you remember you are parents and not your child’s friend. If a derogatory word or motion is made at the table, correct your child/spouse. The dinner table should be family-friendly.
5. Continue to show respect and manners with your child at the dinner table. One of a parent’s most important jobs is socializing their child so the child can feel confident in his/her ability to demonstrate manners and respect for others.
Rapini adds, “We cannot go backwards in time, nor should we, but as we continue into the digital age, there are some rituals we must keep sacred as a family. Family dinners are one of those.”
Author Bio: Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPS, a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever.
Editor’s Note: I agree 100% – and love her tips! You’ll never regret special, focused family time, and one more text or email at the expense of family time won’t make a difference…What do you think? Is your dinner tech-free? Does it bother you in restaurants when you look around and feel like you’re at a technology conference? Chime in! Add a comment to this post.
Dubbed a “crash course in real-world parenting,” You’re Perfect… And Other Lies Parents Tell: The Ugly Truth About Spoiling Your Kids (Bird Street Books), offers a unique perspective on why protecting our kids from every disappointment in life may not be the best approach.
Think you’re doing your kids a favor telling them what perfect angels they are?
Former criminal prosecutor, mother and stepmother Loni Coombs has witnessed firsthand the shockingly negative effects of what most parents feel to be the very best parenting techniques. They think, “I’ll give my children what I never had, I’ll take care of their problems,” and then they’re blindsided by their children’s utter helplessness when it comes to thriving in the real world, their inability to get and keep a job, even their unexpected run-ins with the law. What went wrong?
TV host and legal commentator, Coombs is a regular contributor to Dr. Phil, The Doctors, and Dr. Drew. She delineates how modern parents are raising entitled children who are ill-equipped to become productive, empathetic, law-abiding young adults. In short, the “cool” parents are raising “cold” kids.
The “ugly truth” parents need to face is that telling your children that they are perfect and shielding them from the consequences of their actions while insisting that every child gets a first-place trophy is not good parenting, says Coombs. You’re Perfect is the urgent wake-up call that the parents of the “Me Generation” so desperately need, and the easy-to-implement information within its pages could change the course of millions of young lives for the better.
Here’s an excerpt she shared form the book for The MomTini Lounge about how to help your kids set and accomplish goals…
It’s important to get your children to talk openly and without embarrassment about goals they would like to accomplish – such as getting to school on time, going to a concert, or even getting accepted into Harvard. Here are some suggestions:
Birth order and sibling issues are always interesting to me…and this book leveraged a lot of research into the science of sibling relationships and in the process, discusses some really provocative topics…Check it out…
THE SIBLING EFFECT: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us by Jeffrey Kluger, has been fueling the discussion around siblings and the impact of birth order and genes, of favoritism and broken homes, of competitiveness, gender, sexuality, and more.
Kluger, a Time magazine science writer and the New York Times-bestselling coauthor of Apollo 1, shared some controversial findings from his research, including…
When it was first published, THE SIBLING EFFECT received rave reviews from The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Boston Globe, Associated Press, Parent Magazine, among others. Jeffrey Kluger has appeared on national TV to discuss his work and shared his TED talk about the book.
Jeffrey Kluger is a senior writer and writer at Time magazine. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Apollo 13, and is also the author of Simplexity, Splendid Solution, and Moon Hunters. He lives in New York City with his wife and daughters. With insight and humor, Kluger—who has three brothers, a half brother, a half sister, and two former stepsisters—weaves his own experiences of growing up in a contentious, at times dysfunctional family into his comprehensive examination of sibling relationships.
Editor’s Note: Interesting…what do you think? Do you feel that your own birth order maps who you are in life? How do your own sibling relationships affect your adult friendships? And, can we “cheat science” by being aware of the trends and likely outcomes to map out our own choices?
I love punny, clever phrases (MomTastic, Mompreneur), so this guest post idea, “To Do-ne” caught my eye. I’m a big believer in lists, because whether you use a complicated app or a legal pad, getting your tasks organized is always the first step. I was recently sharing a story about one of my first corporate bosses – as a Midwest Sales Manager at Family Circle Magazine several years ago, I used to marvel at the efficiency of my boss, who had a constant revolving door of people and requests. When I asked her how she stayed so organized and clutter free, she told me that she took care of tasks AS they came up…like batting balls at a park, she just hit each one as it hit her. No piles, no clutter, just progress…
Thanks to Brooke Stone, President of Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management, who been seen on A&E’s Hoarders and wrote these tips for The MomTini Lounge.
Let me guess, you get about 5 uninterrupted minutes each day to accomplish tasks on your to do list. When those 5 empty minutes are upon you, do you spend 4 of those precious moments figuring out where to start? Do you stand, staring at the empty space in front of you, mentally cataloguing all of the things you have to do, only to be shocked and dismayed when all of a sudden, the moment has passed and you haven’t managed to do…anything?
It’s ok, but no more of that please. Today, you will learn two simple tricks you can use to start maximizing every second you have free of Kids, Husband, Employees and Appointments. Promise.
It starts and ends with how you are working with your to do list. We all have one, but the way you use it makes all the difference in the world. An incomplete, inactive, non-specific to do list is actually just a piece of paper. True story. You might as well use it to clean up whatever your child just spilled…I’ll wait.
Trash the old to do list, and start over like this:
1. Your to do list must be a mental dump of everything in your brain.
Take a blank sheet of paper and put e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g cluttering up your brain onto that page. This not only ensures you won’t forget stuff, but also feels like losing ten pounds since you are no longer using your already very crowded brain to store info that can, and should, be accounted for elsewhere. Write it down, delete from brain. Think of your brain like a computer hard drive. The more data you store on your hard drive, the slower your machine is. Free up some space, and voila, your computer is quick and responsive once again – and so will you be!
2. Make sure everything you put on that list is actionable, specific, and includes all related details.
So, instead of writing this entry on your list, Get back to Friend-I-Never-See-Ever about dinner, write instead, Email Friend-I-Never-See-Ever confirming dinner on Tuesday at 8pm. This way, in minute 1 of 5 you have free, you don’t have to spend time remembering when that dinner was, if you decided you could go, when you are confirming for, blah, blah, blah. Trying to act on a to do list entry like Get back to Friend-I-Never-See-Ever about dinner, forces me to have thoughts I’ve already had, and rehash things I’ve already spent time dealing with in my brain. If my to do list instead instructs me to Email Friend-I-Never-See-Ever confirming dinner on Tuesday at 8, my brain says “Ok, can do,” and the to do list item literally gets copied and pasted into an email that looks like this:
Writing to confirm dinner on Tuesday at 8pm. See you then!
To Do-ne! You win! Check off, dance commence!
The moral of the story is, you can make every minute count and make progress on your to do list if you give yourself a fighting chance. Prep your list properly. Look at the list. Follow your own instructions. Rinse and repeat.
Author Bio: Brooke Stone is an energetic, driven young woman on a mission to make every person she meets more productive, efficient, and therefore, happy! Brooke is President of Brooke Stone Lifestyle Management, has been seen on A&E’s TV show Hoarders and loves shoes and Muji pens.
Editor’s Note: Love Brooke’s tips…what will YOU do today?!
I love, love, love this book’s premise, and adore how Author Kay Wills Wyma, a former White House employee, cleaned her OWN house by kicking off a most unusual experiment to “un-enable” her 5 kids and introduce them to the basic tasks of independence. Wyma found that while parents are well-intentioned, we’re raising dependent kids by sending the message, “I’ll do it for you because you can’t.“ Kids, she said, need to hear, “I believe in you, so I’m going to make you work.” From making beds to grocery shopping to (prepare yourself…) yes, disinfecting a bathroom, her family experienced firsthand how meaningful work can transform self-absorption into earned self-confidence and concern for others.
I love to write about chores, and have a whole page dedicated to tips & tools on “how to make chores work”; a free downloadable chore chart you can customize; and lots more. Click here for more on this important parenting topic. And full disclosure, I’m as guilty as the next about not insisting the kids do more around the house, but it’s on my VERY short-term bucket list…always, and I do see the benefits big time. In fact, when I was recently bed-bound with the flu, my 14-year-old proudly told me he folded 8 baskets of laundry (and did a beautiful job). I love to share the story of my 40th birthday trip with girlfriends, and hearing someone say that the washing machine is WAY less technical than our kids’ electronic gadgets…they CAN do it! Just ask!
I asked the author to share some tips for The Lounge, and hope you’ll enjoy these inspiring ideas as much as I do…
Top Twelve Things a Kid Should Know Before Flying the Coop
1. How to make a bed and maintain an orderly room
2. How to cook and clean a kitchen
3. How to do yard work
4. How to clean a bathroom
5. How to get a job … outside our home
6. How to do laundry
7. How to do handyman jobs
8. How to host a party
9. How to work together
10. How to run errands
11. How to put others first through service
12. How to act mannerly
Adapted from Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma, used by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No parts of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About the author:
Kay Wills Wyma has five kids, ages four to fourteen, and one SUV with a lot of carpool miles. Before she transitioned to stay-at-home mom, she earned an MBA, worked at the White House, and dabbled in international finance. Happily married to Jon, this recovering enabler is committed to equipping the next generation to achieve great things in the future by piling on the responsibility today. Kay enjoys inspiring other parents of adolescents and teens through her blog TheMoatBlog.com.