2. ABC Mouse
3. Khan Academy Kids
4. Sight Words Coach
Do you have a child who becomes upset very easily? One small comment and they are crying and emotional. My oldest child is just like this and has been seeing the guidance counselor at school to learn different coping skills. I am going to share with some ideas that have helped us and hopefully they can help you.
1. Deep Breaths
One of the best things that have helped us is to teach our daughter how to take deep breaths to help her calm down. When we start to see her getting upset we remind her to take five deep breaths and to count. After her deep breaths, she is usually still upset so we move on to our other strategies. The deep breaths help her calm down so that we can talk to her and help her decide which strategy she wants to use.
2. Personal Space
Create a space just for your child. This will be where they go when they need a break and some time to think and cool off. We decided to use the bay window in her room and to add some pillows and blankets so that it is a nice cozy place where she can go and take time where it is quiet. To help make it personal to your child you can have them help you decorate the space and give you some ideas to add. My daughter loves looking at pictures so we added a photo album full of pictures of the whole family.
3. Encourage Creativity
This can be writing, drawing, or building with blocks. The important thing is to find something they really enjoy doing. Then add that to their personal space so they can use it to help them relax. My daughter is really into drawing pictures so she has a notebook and a pencil in her personal space.
It is important to provide options for your child. This helps them feel like they are in control of something. Even when they feel like they can’t control their emotions at that moment they know that they can control what they do when they go to their personal space. Books are a great option to provide to your child. Whether they can read or not they are calming and it helps encourage a love for reading.
5. Sensory Items
Sensory items are a great tool to use to help your child calm down. There are some great DIY calming bottles and recipes to make slime. These are not only great items to put in your child’s personal space but they could come in handy if you are out and about they are struggling to manage their emotions.
6. Give them space
When your child is in their personal space cooling off it is important to let them be. They can’t process their thoughts if you constantly go in and bother them. If you are worried about them then peak in and check on them then walk right back out. They will tell you when they are ready. My daughter will go up to her room and cool off and within ten minutes she will back down ready to talk.
7. Talk to them
After they finish cooling off take that opportunity to talk to them. Ask them how they were feeling and what made them upset. Help them process through the situation. Tell them how proud you are that they used their strategies and took the time to cool off before getting really upset.
8. Talk to their teacher
If you are concerned about the way they handle their emotions then reach out to their teacher. Find out if they are also getting easily upset at school as well. Ask the teacher if there are strategies that they can use at school to help them manage their emotions. With my daughter, the teacher reached out to me about it. She made the suggestion that my daughter sees the guidance counselor and talk about different feelings. I thought this was a great idea. She also explained to me how during class she gives her breaks when she can see the emotions building up. It made me feel better that I wasn’t the only one noticing it and that the teacher wanted to help her deal with different situations appropriately.
As a parent, it can be very stressful when your child is getting upset and you can not even talk to them. When this happens remember to breathe as well. The worst thing we can do is get upset with them and make them more confused. When they are taking a break it is okay for you to go take a break too.
Teaching our children strategies helps to make them more independent and helps them manage stress better. We can’t always be there when they are struggling but we can prepare them with the skills that they need to get through it.
Comment below with different strategies your child uses to help them manage their feelings.
Potty training can be such a dreadful part or motherhood. The accidents and the number of methods were the most overwhelming part for me. I found this great method that worked when I potty trained my oldest child and I am going to share it with you.
My daughter was fascinated with the potty when she was around a year old. I let her go on the potty when she wanted but I never pushed it on here. This turned into a short-lived phase.
When I thought that she was ready, I decided to try and get her potty trained and she had no interest in going on the potty at all. I made her a Frozen sticker chart (which happened to be her favorite movie at the time) and she ripped it up. That is when I realized it was going to be a lot tougher than I expected.
My mom gave me this book on potty training over a weekend. I felt really doubtful, but I read it anyways. After I read the book I decided I was going to give it a try. I picked a weekend and made no plans that involved us leaving the house.
I highly recommend Potty Train in a Weekend by Becky Mansfield. I added a link to the book below. The book goes over potty training around the world, identifying if your child is ready to potty train and the different methods of potty training. Then she goes into the method that she uses and how she accomplished potty training during one weekend.
A fun way to get your child interested in potty training is to read some books about going. This can help them understand what exactly is going on during this unusual weekend for them. Sticker charts can be a great motivator and help to reward them when they do go. For my first child, I used popsicles to reward her and my second child loved getting stickers on her chart. After the weekend there may still be some occasional accidents but not very many. I like to use the training underwear for a while just in case we do have an accident then the mess isn’t as bad.
Remember potty training is just another one of those phases that aren’t as enjoyable as some. Try to make it more enjoyable by really celebrating when your child makes it in the potty. You can make it a fun weekend by planning some activities to do while you are spending that extra one on one time with them. Try to really take advantage of that quality time with your child.
I hope this helps you and your little one out. I know it really made potty training easier on me. Let me know if you have used this method and if it worked for you, or if you had a different method that worked out.
With all these holidays coming up I wanted to discuss a topic that was brought up to me recently. I was talking with a mother who was upset that the public schools were celebrating Holidays. She did not like that the doors in the school were decorated for Halloween.
I totally understand that she does not celebrate the holiday and I am by no means judging her for being upset. What I wanted to discuss is that acceptance goes both ways. I understand that this mom and many other moms do not want their kids celebrating some holidays because it goes against their beliefs. My thing is that nobody is forcing them to celebrate it by decorating their doors.
When we get upset about the doors being decorated we are not accepting of other people’s views. If we do that, we are then trying to tell someone else that they can not express their beliefs because they do not go along with her beliefs. To me, that does not sound like acceptance.
The great thing about public schools is that there are so many different beliefs and values and it can really help us teach our kids how to be accepting. If there is a Halloween Party in your kid’s class and you do not celebrate Halloween then why can’t they still have a good time and not dress up? The parties in school are really just meant to give the kids a break and let them have a little fun and there is no reason a kid can’t do that.
Sometimes this means advocating for yourself. Instead of saying to the teacher I don’t want you to have kids color any Christmas pictures in your classroom because our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, maybe you can contact the teacher and say hey if you do any Christmas coloring sheets do you think maybe you could add some other options since my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas.
As soon as we tell people that they can’t do something because it doesn’t go along with their beliefs then we are no longer being accepting. Remember we are all moms and we all are working hard to give our kids the best life we can. We don’t all have the same beliefs but we do all love our kids and want what is best for them. Teaching them how to accept other people’s way of life is a great lesson to teach our kids. We can do that by modeling it to them.
I would love to hear some more ideas on how we can encourage acceptance during the Holiday seasons. In the public schools or any aspect of life.
The other night at karate there were some pink belts for sale to raise money for breast cancer awareness. My daughter wanted a pink karate belt. I told her if she wanted one she needed to earn it. So, she asked her grandma if she could pick up apples for some money. She went out and picked up 20 buckets of apples and she got $20. She took that $20 and went and got herself a pink karate belt. I am so proud of her hard work and even though it wasn’t perfect (there was some whining at first) she is learning a valuable lesson about hard work.
I don’t want to tell her no she can’t have something because we don’t have the money for extras right now. I want her to learn that if she wants something bad enough, she will have to work hard for it and not accept no.
I know that it is important for kids to understand no. This was not the place for it though. We need to empower our kids to work for what they want and understand that they aren’t going to get everything handed to them.
I am so proud of her for finishing the job and working for something she wanted.
Comment with life lessons you have provided for your child.
Let’s be real here. One of our superpowers as a mom is being able to manage everybody’s schedules. It takes a lot of time and energy to make sure that your kids are where they need to be and collaborate with your spouse to prevent needing a sitter. You feel like you are constantly problem-solving. Here are some tips to stay organized and help you tame the chaos.
The first step is to decide if you want to use a paper planner or if you want to keep it all digital. I have personally tried both and I have found it easier to use digital so that I can sync everything together and I can sync it with my husband’s phone.
There are paper planners for monthly, weekly, and dailies. You can even personalize planners to meet your own needs. If you can’t find a planner that you like there is always the option of creating a bullet journal that focuses more on the to-do list but it is completely unique to your needs.
Digital calendars are just as varied. There are a large number of apps out there for you to choose from. I personally use google calendars and the Keep app to sync all my calendars and to-do lists together. I like the portability of having it all in the palm of my hands and being able to check it at any time.
I have found it so much easier to color code all of our events and tasks on my digital calendar vs my paper planner. I did not like the idea of carrying a bunch of pens or highlighters around every time I needed to add an event or task.
I have a color for each person in the family and a family color for when we have an event for the whole family. I also have our bills on our monthly calendar, so that has a color of its own as well.
By color coding, it makes it easier for me to go in and see who has what going on. My husband and I look at the calendar at the beginning of the week and decide who is going to karate and who is picking up kids from daycare based on our own schedules. By having the color coding it is easier to see who is free during the kids’ events and who is busy.
I have found that it is much easier to keep everything together. If you use a paper planner it is much easier to keep your schedule and to-do list together in your planner then to have a planner for your schedule and a notebook for your to-do list.
If you use digital I recommend finding one that you can merge your calendar and your to-do list together. It makes it difficult when you have to go into several apps to find what you are looking for and things can easily get overlooked.
A good habit to get into is to check your calendar regularly. Figure out a time that works for you each day and go through your calendar and to-do list on a regular basis. This will help to keep you from accidentally forgetting something.
I have found that if I check my calendar in the morning and in the evening I overlook things less. I am able to see what my day looks like in the morning then double check my to-do list in the evening to make sure I did not forget anything.
A mistake that I always make is not putting things in my calendar right away. If I do not put it in my calendar right away then something comes up and I totally forget. This is where having a digital calendar helps out because it let’s face it most of us have our phone on us over 90% of the time.
My husband makes fun of me for all the lists I make. But, if it is not on my list it does not get done. When you are trying to manage your schedule, your spouse’s schedule, and your kids’ schedule it can be difficult to keep all those tasks straight. So when you think of something that needs to get done just jot it down.
I like to look at my schedule at the beginning of the week and see which days we are really busy. Then I try to plan meals that I can prep ahead of time or plan a day that we eat out. This helps us so that we aren’t spending a bunch of money on eating out and we know what we are making ahead of time so we have the groceries and we aren’t stressing after a long day trying to figure out what to make.
This one is very important. We focus so much on everybody else and making sure they are where they need to be. As moms, we need to make sure that we are getting some TLC too. Take some time for yourself and do something you enjoy. This will help you relax and be ready to tackle your crazy schedule the next week.
If you have any more ideas or tips comment below. Let me know what works for you and what doesn’t work.
Many parents question whether their child should be allowed to use technology at a young age. It is a very touchy topic with a number of parents. Some believe that screen time should not be allowed at all. There are some great things that technology can provide for a family and it is important to keep it controlled and in moderation.
When we were kids we had home phones. Today, most people do not have a home phone. Cellphones have replaced the home phone for the most part. This means when there is an emergency you can’t have your children go to the nearest house and ask to use their home phone. Many parents let their older children ride the bus home, and they are alone for a short time. It is important to have a way to get ahold of an adult incase of an emergency, no matter what age the child is. That doesn’t mean they need a cell phone. There are options like a smartwatch. This would allow your child to contact a small number of people that you choose. I have started researching smartwatches for my 5-year-old.
How many moms out there have a child who loves it when you read books to them? I have a child who could sit and listen to me read to her for hours. Working full-time and being a full-time student, it can be hard to find the time to read to her as much as she would like. I get to read at most 2 books a day. With her tablet, she is able to have books read to her and she can follow along as it highlights the words. She can take her library anywhere she goes. I am also able to download books at her level as she learns to read. It makes it easy to keep her interest in books and reading. Being interested in reading is very important for any child.
During the summer I wanted my daughters to stay on top of her academics. I downloaded an app that allows her to do lessons and I am able to track her progress as she works. I can see what she understands and what she could use more work on. Her reading app lets me track how many books she has read and how many minutes she has read for. As parents we want our kids to continually learn new things and to be challenged. So this makes it easy for us to stay on top of their progress.
Sometimes we notice that our children are struggling and they could use some extra practice. There are a large number of apps out there that are can help your child practice an area they struggle with.
When a child gets a new phone, tablet, or smartwatch they have to learn to be responsible. You just shelled out a good chunk of money to get them their new device and they need to know how to treat it. They will learn that they have to be careful not to break it, not lose it, and know what they are supposed to use it for.
Technology is a great tool for children to use but there should be restrictions set up to keep your child safe. It is still important for your child to learn through daily activities and for them to get plenty of time to be creative. Technology should not be used to replace this, but instead as a tool in addition to creativity and authentic learning opportunities.
Please comment if you have other examples of the benefits of technology for children. Also, comment with any thoughts and concerns about the topic.