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.
Are you ever getting ready for bed and then realize that you didn’t get the elf on the shelf ready for the next day? Then when you realize, you can’t come up with anything fun.
I have created a calendar to help you, busy moms, out. I like to plan activities that we can do as a family. I know how busy weeknights can be so I planned the activities for the weekend. Mondays are especially busy for us so I picked out books for us to read on those nights. I will put the books out with the elf so it looks like he picked out the books and then that night before bed we will read the books together. Each night I like to leave a little note from the elf as well.
I have provided a Christmas list PDF and a Letter to Santa PDF that you can use for those activities. If you do not want to download them and print them off then you can easily have them write them out on a piece of paper.
If you decide to participate you can take pictures and upload them to Instagram and tag me @mommywonderwoman3. I would love to see how you add your creative touch to them.
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.
When Christmas starts approaching do you have family members asking for Christmas lists for the kids? Do you forget what you told everyone to get? Well, I have struggled with the same problems for the past 5 years and it has gotten harder to manage with each kid that I had. So I decided to come up with some PDF’s to help organize the Christmas List Chaos.
Start by creating a master list for each child. Put their name at the top of the list so that it doesn’t get confusing. I started with my oldest daughter and wrote down everything she needed or wanted. Use the gift column to put the name of the item or a short description. Then there is a column for size so that the family members know exactly what size to get them. The store column is where you can put the store or the website so that your family members can easily find the gifts. This makes their Christmas shopping easier if they know exactly where they need to go. I added a price column so that I can easily see how much each item is when I go to separate the master list.
This is the document that you will give to each of your family members. You can put their names in between the brackets and your child’s name under that. If it helps you out you can jot down their budget so that you can make sure that you are only putting stuff on their list that fits into their budget. I worked on the Christmas lists one child at a time. I laid out all the Christmas lists so I could see who I had and then I started going through the master list and putting the items on one of the Christmas lists.
This method helps me to make sure that I am not telling two different people to get one item. It can be hard to remember who you told what to. It may seem like a lot of papers but remember you are only keeping the master list.
On this page, you can create a key for your master list. Put the person’s name in the Christmas List column. If you are making a list for grandma and grandpa then put their names in the first column. Then give them a number and put it in the Reference Number column. The Budget column is optional if you want to have a budget to refer back to when you are creating the Christmas lists.
Make a family list: If there are gifts that are family gifts, like a zoo pass for the whole family, you can create a family list instead of individual ones.
Here is the free PDF download
I hope this helps you get those Christmas lists organized and avoid a bunch of unwanted or duplicate gifts. I know that the fewer toys we get the better, so I have to come up with alternatives for our family members otherwise they have no idea what to get them and then we end up with a bunch of toys.
If this was helpful or if you have some other ideas on how to organize the Christmas list chaos let me know in the comments below.
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.
Have you ever dreaded the clutter that comes after Christmas? Do you feel like your kids have too many toys and you have now where to put them? I have come up with a list of gift ideas for your kids that will help make Christmas less stressful and the rest of your year more enjoyable.
If you buy a seasonal pass to anything, STOP!!! This is a great gift for grandparents, aunts/uncles, and even Santa. We put a zoo pass on the kids’ Christmas list from one of their grandparents and a Children’s Museum pass from their other grandparents. They are pretty big presents but both grandparents spend way too much on our kids for toys so this way they can get them something we can all enjoy all year.
My kids enjoy reading and we use their tablet to store their books. I have put on their Christmas lists subscriptions to book apps and other educational apps that we use. I even added in a book list for my oldest, of books that she wants on the Kindle. It is something that is used more than all the toys and let’s admit it “junk” that they get for gifts.
There are always events going on that are great for kids. Get the kids tickets to Disney on Ice or any other character live show. The memories that are made when they go to these events will last forever. They will get new experiences and you won’t have another toy to through away a week after Christmas because it got broke.
If you have kids in sports, activities, and clubs this is a great opportunity to get supplies for them. When my daughter started karate it was around the time of her birthday so my dad got her uniform as a birthday present. This year she wants a punching bag like they have at karate so that she can practice her punches and kicks. Christmas and birthdays are a great time to get these things. If your kid needs cleats for soccer, costumes for dance or supplies for a 4-H project, take advantage of holidays to stock up.
I hope these give you some good ideas to help you out this Christmas. Comment if you have any more ideas that other moms can use.
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.