Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Time for a Dance Party!

Didn’t get a chance to squeeze a workout in today? No worries- just grab your kids and have a DANCE PARTY! Burns calories, the kids will love it, and it’s way fun.

Here’s a great song to get you started-

For an extra fun twist (no pun intended) take turns playing follow-the-leader: let each child have a turn to demonstrate their best moves while everyone else follows along- you included!

Whew! I feel the burn already!

Monday, October 15, 2012

After School One-on-One

Another school year is upon us, and from day one I felt the overwhelming After School Dread. You see,  I don’t know if all households are like this, but at my house as soon as those bus doors open, children come flying down the street, slamming open the front door, and charging in like a miniature tornado. The child-fueled F-1 is immediately followed by demands for aid. Snacks, drinks, papers shoved in my general direction, begging to attend this event or that, sign up for one activity or another- it’s enough to make anyone lose their mind, especially a mom who had, up until that point, been enjoying the peaceful bliss that occurs when her other two children are napping.

I finally decided I needed to find a solution to this school aftermath. As things were, I was getting stressed out and irritated and overwhelmed, not to mention disorganized as well. It was all just too much. I decided to try one-on-ones with my kids after school. The rule is that when the kids get in the door, I give hugs and ask general how-was-your-days, then I sit on the couch with one of them and we set the timer for 10 minutes. My kids take turns for who goes first, and whoever isn’t having a chat with me is usually in the kitchen getting a snack or starting on their homework.

My one-on-one chat usually involves me asking how their day was, if anything particularly good or bad happened, and looking over any school papers they’ve brought home. I also check to see what their homework is and make sure they understand what it is as well.

I’ve found that just touching base with each of them individually not only saves my sanity, but causes me to actually look forward to seeing them when they get home. I enjoy the little stories they tell me about their day and I appreciate the chance to really listen to how they felt about certain things. I also feel much more in control of the information they bring home and more able to process their requests. In turn, I think the kids feel like they have more of me than before, and they seem genuinely eager for that one-on-one time.

Is there a part of your day that’s more hectic than it needs to be? How can you slow things down and make it calmer?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Nursing Ring

All moms know how much sleep deprivation can affect your brainpower. If you’re a mom of a nursing baby, then that lack of brainpower can cause you to be very confused trying to remember which breast baby fed on last. Lactation consultants recommend offering the breast baby finished on during her last feeding first for her next feeding, and mommy can have a lot of discomfort if she can’t remember which one that is!

Here’s my trick: get an inexpensive ring that fits on your index finger. As you’re feeding your baby, put the ring on the finger on the hand of the side where your baby finished last. Next feeding, switch it, and so forth. When that 3am feeding rolls around, putting baby on the correct breast will be a no-brainer.

Plus, who doesn’t like accessorizing with cute jewelry? ;-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

FHE Lesson in 10 Minutes or Less!

Don’t have time to prep an FHE (Family Home Evening) lesson? Sure you do! Here’s what to do:

1. Go to the Mormon Messages page on Find a short video with a great message. (hint: they’re all short videos with a great message!) I found this video highlighting a sweet story of compassion. You can stop here and just show the video to your family and talk about it or...

2. Go to Sugardoodle and use the alphabetical “My File Box” at the top of the page to look up more lesson helps that have to do with the topic you’ve selected- activities, entire lesson plans, object lessons, music, quotes, scriptures, games, and more! Grab some of those and you’re good to go.

Now go! Plan FHE! And you’re welcome. :-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Snack Sorting Fun

My 3-year-old is in the “why” stage of her life- she is constantly curious, constantly learning, constantly talking and following me around. I have begun to notice that she gets the most annoying when she’s bored. This has prompted me to come up with new activities that will help her stay busy and learn.

Today’s activity was very simple and yet very effective: a sorting snack. Just take crackers, nuts, raisins, cereal- anything your child like to munch on- and put them together in a baggie, like trail mix. Then set out plates or other containers, one for each type of item in their mix, and invite them to sort away. Keeps them busy, staves off the hunger grumpies, and helps them practice motor skills and organizational skills. Simple, easy, fun!