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Monday, October 15, 2012
Despite most people being bummed out that the summer season is over, fall is also a pretty awesome time of year. Sure the weather is getting cooler, but the warm days and cooler nights are somewhat refreshing. It is also a great time of year to go outside and appreciate the beauty of all the trees changing colors. Shopaholic Mommy recently blogged about the beauty of fall, and also how it is a great time to take some great family photos. This time of year offers an amazing backdrop for pictures and I agree that you should seize the opportunity. Even if you are a novice with the camera go and check out Shopaholic Mommy's post and pick up some pointers. You could end up taking a good enough picture to use this year on your family's Christmas card.

Read the photography tips here: Fall Foliage Photography

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If you would like to spend a little more time with your child and enjoy some beautiful fall weather, then you should consider walking home from school with them. If this is not something you can possibly do that is okay. Work and other tasks get in the way of fun activities like this that all parents would surely love to be able to do. Even if it isn't after school, maybe a little walk before dinner or on a weekend could be fun. It is an amazing time of year to spend outside, and you can teach your child a lot about the changing seasons. Recently over at The Educators' Spin on It they blogged about going on walks after school or at a more convenient time, and what they did to learn and have fun on their walk. I thought the post was really cool and presented a good idea to spread further. Picking up your child from school is a nice thing to do if you are capable of it. If you can meet them outside of school and walk home in a relatively short amount of time, that is even better!

Read the post here: The Advantages of Walking Home After School Together

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Any mother will be able to relate to this post. Mothers end up being the ones who clean up everybody's messes at home, despite very few of them being their own. This can be frustrating because nobody likes to clean up messes they didn't make. A recent post on the Mommy Mess gave the top five messes that moms have to clean up often. The post was pretty funny so I figured I would talk about it. The top five messes are all pretty gross and I think reading the post even if you are not a mother is a good idea. It will make you appreciate all that your mom went through for you, no matter how long ago it was.

Read the article here: It's Not My Mess

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Every parent has experienced a time before when they realized that they messed up. Parenting is just like anything else in life. People are not perfect and they make mistakes, but the important thing is apologizing. An apology goes a long way, even though it may not necessarily be the easiest thing to do. When a parent makes an error and their children are involved, they should apologize to them just like they would to an adult. A recent post on Parenting Boys, Raising Men spoke about this topic. Mark Vander Ley posted on the subject of apologizing to your children. It isn't something that anybody enjoys doing, but it can really be a quick fix on a situation that has been blown out of proportion. Mark also brought up that it is a good example for your kids to apologize as well. If you show them that not apologizing and being stubborn is how you handle things, then chances are they will try to behave similarly. Showing you are sorry and admitting your fault is the adult choice and it will make your children aware of how they should act as the grow into adults.

Read Mark's take on apologizing here: I'm Sorry

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All parents have been faced with situations before where plans change and they are forced to adjust. Adjusting to situations is a key to being a good parent. Your children look to you for leadership and to guide them, and being able to adjust even when something goes terribly wrong is important. A recent post on Playground Dad discussed just this and I thought the way it was explained was awesome! The post talked about basketball and how you can always pivot when you stuck in a bad spot. The pivot is a go to move when you think you're out of options on the court. It is also comparable to being a parent when the plans you had go wrong. When the plans you made for a day disappear or change right in front of you, don't panic just pivot. Accepting your lack of options and pivoting can still help you create a play that works. 

Read more about pivoting here: Pivot!

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Friday, October 12, 2012
Many life lessons can be learned by the way of sports. Not just the simple lessons of winning and losing or sportsmanship either, as I recently found out through a blog post by Trish Bolster. Trish posted on Catholic Mom about her recent experience trying to bring the whole family to enjoy some time at a local park while one of her sons had a practice. She had a very deliberate plan for the way she wanted things to go, and obviously that did not work out! Well things ended up just fine in the long run, but it was crazy to hear about how many different things she had going on around her all at once. The post was more of a reflection on how the plan you have might not always be the way things will end of happening. However, if you stay faithful and keep at it things will work out how they are supposed to. I recommend reading Trish's post over at Catholic Mom today.

Read Trish's post: Lessons From the Soccer Field

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Does your family have a picky eater? I'm sure that your child or one of your children makes a relentless struggle every time you try to load up some broccoli on their plate. This is a common problem that many parents face, and Parenting Magazine recently posted some tips on how to deal with it. I liked their ideas and I thought they were worth sharing with everybody. Their first suggestion is probably their best one, and it was to stop with the separate dinner orders for them. If you constantly make them chicken nuggets or french fries for them when you and the rest of your family are eating something else they will never learn. You are enabling them to say no to healthy options, and in turn creating a junk food monster! I'm not saying to shove spinach down  your child's throat, and neither was Parenting Magazine in their article. However, if you and the rest of the family eat some healthy foods your child will eventually be forced to eat what is available to them. So stop enabling their picky eating behaviors soon!

Read the Parenting Magazine post here: Picky Eaters - Fussy Eaters

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All parents aspire to be a leader of their family, and show their children how to live a good life. Being a leader is something that is not really easy to do, whether it be leading your family or leading a team. It is something that you have to work hard to become and parenting is no exception. Recently Greg Younger post on Playground Dad, another site I periodically blog for, about how to become a leader of your family. His advice was very thoughtful and I think it would be useful for any parent to read. Greg's first bit of advice was to eat dinner as a family. I know this can be difficult for busier and larger families to accomplish, but it is something families should attempt to be doing more often than not in a 7 day week. Another point made that I thought was good was to parent every child differently. Children are not clones of each other no matter how close in age they are. They're all going through different things at different times, and parents should keep that in mind. My favorite point that Greg made was the old saying, "do as I say not as I do", and how it doesn't work that way with kids. In order to be a leader and gain respect, you must be fair with your children and set good examples.

Read Greg's post here: Use These 5 Parenting Tips to Become a Better Leader


Yesterday I did my second ever guest blog! Pretty exciting stuff and I had a really good time with it once again. The post can be found on the same site as last time which is Playground Dad. If you are unfamiliar with this site and are a parent, I think you should go and check it out. As you could probably tell this site is not just for dads, and contains a plethora of quality parenting articles that not only are entertaining, but helpful as well! My post is titled Fantasy Football: How You Can Turn It Into a Family Activity and I'd love it if you would head over to read it. If you do please comment on there, comment here, tweet at me, or find me on Google+ and let me know your thoughts! My twitter and Google+ accounts can be found by following the links at the bottom of this post.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Don't you wish that when you became a parent somebody just told you what you needed to do? I think having even a general idea would be great, just something to work off of to know that you're doing a good job. Recently Multiple Mayhem Mamma blogged about five simple tips for being a good parent. While they are simple, I think they are quite helpful and honest. Samantha advises such things as a don't ask, don't tell policy. By this she means don't pry too much into your child's life, know enough to be a good parent but don't be over the top. Also sometimes when you say, "because I said so", that will have to suffice for them. Also she lists "not friend, not foe", on her list, which I love. You are not a parent to be your child's best friend, they have other people to fill that role. You also aren't around to be your child's enemy, and need to find that comfortable role in the middle. Samantha makes some other great points in her blog post that I think all parents should probably read. 

Read the post here: How to Parent in Five Easy Steps

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This post might be a little late to save your college kids money this semester, but keep it in mind next time they are complaining about buying books for class. The Mommy Bunch recently blogged about renting textbooks, which I think could be a great idea to save some money. Your kids spend hundreds (hopefully not thousands) of dollars each semester on textbooks alone, and then either keep them or resell them back to the campus bookstore for a fraction of the cost when they're done with them. Renting a book is an easy solution to the problem. They spend less than buying to rent, and then just mail the book back when the semester has reached its end. I think next semester you and your son or daughter should be looking into this option if you haven't already!

Read more here: Why Renting Textbooks Can Save You Money

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Looking to make your family a little healthier? I think that is a rhetorical question because it seems like everybody always wants to be a bit more in shape. Making good eating habits for your children is important as well. A recent blog post from the Miracle Momma peaked my interest and I thought I should share her great idea! Her post explains how to freeze Greek yogurt and make it into little candy dots. I thought this could be a really smart way to, for lack of a better term, trick your kids into eating something really healthy for them. Greek yogurt is unappealing to some and if presented in a different manner, they might enjoy it a lot more. I think it is definitely worth a try, and the preparation is quick and easy! 

Learn how to make Greek Frozen Yogurt Dots

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A recent post from Tracey on Mom Life Today reminded me what fun camping can be for your entire family. Many people decide that camping is not for them after one poor experience and I think that is a gigantic mistake. There is not a better way to truly bond with your family in my opinion. Tracey pointed out that if you have a family member who is just really not into the idea of pitching a tent and sleeping outdoors then you could rent a small cabin to stay at. Some campsites even have have lodges. I also enjoyed how Tracey's family does their trips because they turn off cell phones. You can have phones on you for emergencies, but turning off the cell phones for a day or two is honestly really refreshing. If you are looking to make a nice weekend with your family sometime soon you should really consider going camping!

Read Tracey's post here: Family Fun Memories - Want Some?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I have blogged multiple times recently about the whole texting and parenting debate that has been fueled by a recent Wall Street Journal article. I found today that Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur weighed in on the debate in her post on Catholic Mom. I found her opinion to be quite different than most that I have been exposed to lately, and found it refreshing enough to want to share. Patrice asked the question, "what does society expect of parents today?", and quite honestly it made me wonder. Surely there are times when using a cell phone around your kids in inappropriate. They do deserve your utmost attention at certain points, but 24/7? Patrice feels as if the helicopter parent is becoming more prevalent than ever in today's world and that articles bashing parents like this will only continue that trend. I felt Patrice made a very accurate point in her argument and wanted to share it.

Read her original article here: Do We Expect Too Much from Parents Today?

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Saturday mornings are a great time to introduce your kid to something fun and new. Each month Home Depot hosts a Kids Workshop on the first Saturday of each month. Miracle Momma recently blogged about her first experience bringing her stepson to the workshop. It seems like they had a great time at the workshop and the pictures looked like it could be something pretty cool to bring your kids too. Each month there is a different topic workshop and your child will receive a free Home Depot apron, a certificate, and a pin by the end of the morning's affairs. If you need a Saturday morning activity to enjoy with your kid, check out Home Depot's website and find out when their next Kids Workshop is in your area!


Read the original piece here: Home Depot Kids Workshop

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In a recent debacle in Lacrosse, Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston has taken a stand against bullying. The anchor recently received a letter telling her she is overweight and needs to be a better role model for younger people, mainly girls. Jennifer spoke back to the writer of said letter and told them what she really thought about their bullying techniques. She pointed out that the example they were setting for their children by calling her fat was also not a great thing to do. Empowering Parents recently blogged about this story as have many sites. Their view was that Jennifer was right to point out the hurtful behavior of the person who wrote her that letter. I would have to say I agree, if the main goal of the letter was just to call her out for being overweight it was not teaching children much. Kindness is a trait that should not go overlooked, and that should trump any example people are teaching their children about being thin.


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Football fan or not, there were lessons to be learned from a game that happened this past Sunday. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel was injured on Sunday and fans at their stadium cheered when it happened. Playground Dad recently blogged about this situation and some of the media coverage it has pulled early this week on ESPN. The blog post saw it as an opportunity to teach children some lessons about sports and life in general. Obviously the first lesson to teach in this situation would be sportsmanship, as the fans in Kansas City showed very little of that. This is something children should be learning from a very young age because it is truly important to life and to sports as well. Loyalty is another trait that could be taught to your child through this. Whether it is remaining loyal to a sports team, or something more important such as remaining loyal to a friend later in life; loyalty is not a trait that you want your child to go without. Also for an older child you could teach them what professionalism is. One of Cassel's team mates spoke out in a post-game press conference and really gave it to the Chiefs fan base. The post from Playground Dad put it well by pointing out his loyalty, but criticizing his professionalism. There is a fine line between the two of them, and that needs to be taught to children at some point.

Read the original article here: Cassel Injury Saga Has Valuable Lessons for Dads and Kids

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
My most recent post today had to do with grandparents being neglected as a source of good advice. I think that as people get older they may indeed become out of touch with things, such as new technology; I don't believe that means grandparents can't teach valuable lessons to their grandchildren though. I think that most of us would certainly struggle to not find at least one good memory of a life lesson learned from grandma or grandpa. So I decided to dig up all the old thoughts I've shared about grandparents on this blog, and put them in one place.

In a fun article I blogged about a couple weeks ago from Grandparenting Through Obstacles they discussed fun facts about grandparents. One of them was definitely shocking to me and that was, "the number of households led by grandparents in the U.S. is increasing at twice the average annual rate of the U.S. households overall, with the number to hit 50 million by 2015". This astounded me and made me realize just how valuable grandparents can be in the lives of children. Especially when they are the head of the household like the stat makes clear they are often. 

Many grandparents team up with their children and teach them how to raise their kids. This makes for the confusing topic of grandparents teaching their children how to be parents. While that is an exhausting thing to explain it happens a lot. Many grandparents and their kids are brought closer by sharing parenting techniques. It isn't always easy as a parent to make decisions on your own, and turning to an experienced "veteran parent" or grandparent can be a smart choice. While you might not always agree, like in this post about judging bad language, you will at least gain another opinion about what you are considering as a parent.  

Overall, I felt it was worth a post to share all of these grandparenting topics that have come up recently. There is a lot to be learned from grandparents and they may not be as out of touch as some people believe they are. One thing is for sure though, that they care about you and your children very much!


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We all know that parents have a tremendous impact on the lives of their children, however sometimes another elder can be just as helpful. It seems that many people forget that grandparents can be just as effective as parents in the role of teaching children. Grandparents can often offer an alternative opinion when parents are stuck on a difficult topic because chances are they have been through it before. Rebecca Wolfenden recently blogged on Empowering Parents about the importance of grandparents, and talked about the impact they had on her life. The post was written from the heart, and I think we could all find enough lessons learned from our grandparents to write an article about. I just enjoyed the credit that she gave to her grandparents because it seems like the trend today is to neglect them.

Read the article by clicking here

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I have blogged before about the dangers of texting while parenting, but I had no idea this problem was getting such mainstream attention. A recent article posted by Parenting Magazine of their site referred to just this issue, and their article referred to a Wall Street Journal article on the same topic! I guess this just raises the same question, is texting while parenting becoming an epidemic much like the texting while driving issue has? Are parents so intertwined within their electronic world that they can't see their child heading towards potential danger twenty feet away? The articles previously stated say there is no direct correlation just yet between injuries to children and parents using smart phones, however you have to believe it will only be a matter of time before such a data is available. 


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A recent post by Emmie from Empowering Parents asked a pretty good question I hadn't thought of before. Does after school detention punish the student or the parent? Surely children do not want to stay after school, but weighed against the strain it puts on the child's parents that might be miniscule. Parents likely have to leave work early to pick their child up from detention, and that is just honestly something many parents don't have the liberty to do these days. I think that the punishment is definitely more aimed at parents in hopes that they will discipline their children at home based on the inconvenience that the after school detention brings them. This is just an interesting thought that had never occurred to me before and I thought it was an intriguing piece.

Read the full article here: The After-School Detention: Does It Punish Kids or Parents? 

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We all know that kids go to school every day to be educated, but that doesn't mean that when they are at home you can't give them a little more. There is never a bad time to make sure your child is learning, and I believe the bloggers over at The Educators' Spin On It would have to agree! They are doing a series called Around the World in 12 Dishes and it seems like such a fun idea to try out at home. The most recent post they have teaches you how to make Mexican empanadas with your son or daughter. Not only does the recipe look delicious, but it also is easy and something your child could definitely give you a hand with. At the bottom of the post there are some quick facts about Mexico that you could bring up during the cooking process. Not only would you be teaching your child about a different culture but teaching them how to be safe and prepare food in the kitchen. Its really a win win situation!

Read the original article here: Mexican Empanadas: Around the World in 12 Dishes

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Monday, October 8, 2012
Choosing new athletic shoes for your child can be a difficult thing to do. You don't want to break the bank and buy the best out there because chances are they will grow out of them in a year or less. However you also don't want to buy the cheapest shoes out there and have your child be uncomfortable in them. Authentic Parenting recently blogged about this difficult topic that many parents have to face multiple times a year with growing kids. They echoed sentiments of not breaking the bank but also not being stingy either. Other valid points they offered included making sure that you take your child to a store you trust. Getting the correct fit and make of shoe for your child's foot type is a really important factor in the comfort of the shoe. Make sure that you let your child have a say in the shoe that you end up purchasing too, do not force them to wear a certain shoe because it is on sale or something like that.

Read the original piece here: Choosing New Sports Shoes for Your Children

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Looking for a fun sport to introduce your child to? Playground Dad recently had a blog post about what 10 and under tennis is. The form of tennis that this article is about is much more suited for children than the real game. The equipment used is made for children and is supposed to help them have an easier time grasping the game and its concepts. Tennis, unlike other organized sports, has never truly had a kids version of the game. When kids learn tennis they have been put on a full size court with adult equipment, which is difficult for them to succeed on. If you are looking for a sport to get your child involved in a lot of 10 and under tennis leagues are being organized today! 

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It's that time of year again, and no I'm not talking about the beautiful foliage that autumn decorates our sidewalks with. I'm talking about the time of year where kids seem to always be sick! Whether it be from the colder temperatures or school promoting spread of germs, it always seems like from now until April is peak sickness season. Samantha from Multiple Mayhem Mamma recently blogged about just this and gave some tips for parents to make use of. The tips were ways to avoid falling victim to all the wonderful germs brought home by your kids, and also ways that you can keep your kids healthier as well. Hand washing is a crucial point to stress to your kids, and if they are old enough to carry a tube of anti-bacterial wash around with them, do it! Cleaning anything your kids use frequently is a must around this time of year, as is not sharing food and drinks with your children. Making sure your children and you are eating healthy is a major factor as well. A little extra vitamin C in your diet will go a long way! If your child is sick do not send them out on a play date. This should be a given but a lot of parents neglect this and many germs are spread this way. 

Read the original piece here: Sick Child Season is Here Again

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Once again fall is upon us and the trees are changing colors. There are many lessons your can teach your children with the very leaves the now adorn your yard and roads. If you don't want to rake leaves or live somewhere that they don't change colors then you can buy some cheap fake leaves. The lesson will still be the same regardless of your choice. Over at The Educators' Spin on It they listed a handful of activities that you can do with leaves in the fall with your child. Topics include learning about the wind, making patterns, and math. You can even let your child make prints with the leaves or string them together and make decorations. 

Read the article here: 5 Simple Leaf Activities at After School Express

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Everybody knows that having a nutritional dinner is something quite essential to a healthy lifestyle. It isn't always easy to have a good dinner planned every single night though, and Christian SuperMom recently blogged about this issue. Rosann blogged about her plan to devise 6 weeks of meal ideas. In her house, like many others, she has a handful of picky eaters to account for and I felt that made her post very easy to relate to. Rosann gives steps to plan out this many meals all in one sitting and explains how extra planning now will make the meals come easier when it is time to shop for the ingredients and make the dish. 

Read the article here: A Well Planned Meal

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Friday, October 5, 2012


“Come now, let us settle the matter, “says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Isaiah 1: 18-20

I heard this passage for the first time last night. Well I've probably heard it before but never really paid much attention to it. I have a tendency to overlook scripture from the Old Testament and focus on the New Testament. Personal preference I suppose and the fact that the Old Testament has a lot of stuff going on that, well, I thought was boring or rather hard to understand. 

And I suppose God seems a little harsh to me in the Old Testament. I mean there is a lot of gnawing and gnashing of teeth, famine and such. However broken into segments and then examined it is easier, for me at least, to digest. I purchased a book that breaks down the bible to better interpret it, and the Old Testament is actually very fascinating. The context is written for that time, so things that mean something today had a totally different meaning then. The bible isn't meant to be taken as an accurate account of history but of how we are to live and so the stories are meant to portray what God expects from us and the consequences when we disobey. And God really did give many second chances. There are many praises to God through good and bad. My interpretation of this passage God is saying, listen we can work this out even though you have done many bad things. But you have to follow me to receive the graces I have in store for you. If you choose not to well, then, whatever happens to you is on you.

Think of a parent warning their child not to touch a hot stove, but the child doesn't listen and touches it anyways. They cry and run to their parent for comfort and the parent receives them with open arms but admonishes them for not listening. Now the child knows not to touch the hot stove again and will hopefully listen the next time.  That child will undoubtedly disobey a thousand times but the parents love for them will never diminish. That is how God is with us; frustrated I am sure but His love for us is never diminished.

That is why I always love reading the New Testament because Jesus is all about love and forgiveness. The stories and letters are full of His healing and forgiving. It brings me comfort that even though I have a sinful nature and will slide down the hill every once in a while, He is there for me, with open arms ready to comfort me. God’s love and forgiveness is greater than are minds can comprehend. But just knowing I can have many second chances helps me to grow as a Christian and that is all I need.

God Bless!





Having a hard time getting your son to read? Yeah, most mothers with sons have been there before. Reading just isn't something that the average boy wants to do growing up. There are sports, tv, video games, friends, and school to deal with for them and making time to read for fun is difficult. Boy Mama Teacher Mama recently blogged about a good way to get your son to jump on board with reading for fun. In her post she suggests a trio of books that are comprised of short stories by well known authors. A shorter story might be a little more attention grabbing for a younger boy and not so daunting a task as reading a 300 page novel. 

Read the original article here: Guys Read Series - Good Reads for Boys

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I recently read a post from a blog called Team Studer. The post was titled 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons and I thought that it was a really great piece. If you have a son you should definitely read this article. Whether your son is a newborn or has already grown into adulthood, you will be able to appreciate this article. I'm sure you have seen posts like this before, but this one is really truthful and I felt the need to share it with you all.

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If your family has both parents working jobs, like many do, and the kids are in school it is vital that somebody pay attention to their school work. Children need reinforcement and help on things like homework on a daily basis. A recent post on Playground Dad gave some great tips on how parents can remain involved with their children, even if their time together is limited. If you want to make your child's day, write them a quick note and slip it in their lunch box before school. A simple gesture such as this can keep them aware of your love and care. When you come home from work, leave the computer and smart phone away until they are in bed. Take some time and ask them how their day was or what they learned at school that day? Kids, especially younger ones, love to tell you all the fun things they learned. Lastly, before your child goes to sleep at night make a point to check through their homework from the day. A quick fifteen minute read through can ensure that your child is doing good work, and also keeps you up to date on what is going on in the classroom. Little things like this can keep you a much better informed parent. 

Read the full article here: 3 Ways Dads Can Help

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Thursday, October 4, 2012
There is a fine line between being a controlling parent and looking out for your child. You need to toe this line when deciding who you child's friend should be when they are younger. If you notice a friend who is treating your child poorly, it wouldn't be wrong to talk to your child about maybe not seeing them so often anymore. This can become a touchy matter as children get older though so be careful. Its all about making sure your kids make good decisions because realistically you can't always be there to make up their minds for them. A blog post of a similar sentiment was recently shared on Catholic Mom. The post written by Christina M Weber was very well written and sheds more light on this particular topic.

Read the article here: Your Kids' Friendships: Exercising Your Influence 

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Something that is really important to your child's health and can be a delicate process is finding the right pediatrician. Finding one that you and your child are comfortable with can be a difficult thing to do, but is worth being picky over. Ellie Perico recently posted over on Playground Dad about this topic. This useful post lists a handful of websites that will show you all the doctors in your area and you can search by specialty. 

Read the post here: How to Find a Great Pediatrician for Your Child

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I recently had my first guest blogging experience! Playground Dad agreed to have me write up an article for them, and so I went to work. It was fun to write for a different blog and I hope to post again soon. In the mean time go check out the article I wrote titled, "The Sunday Morning Routine: Morning Fun Means Afternoon Football". Its all about how parents should give their kids attention in the morning, so that come afternoon they are tired out and calm enough to relax and enjoy some football as a family.

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The fall can be a difficult time period for kids to get used to a new schedule. Being back to school every day can drastically change their lifestyle. To make sure your children stay healthy, try and encourage them to go outside and play. Our Family World recently posted about ways that you can keep your family active this fall. If your child is old enough to play organized sports sign them up for football or soccer this fall. If they aren't old enough yet, just making sure they get outside and run around in the afternoon can make a big difference. Take the time to plan some sort of physical activity into your child's schedule. It can be tough to do with school and everything else that the fall time brings, but if you make a habit of planning time for exercise you child will reap the benefits. Make an effort to get your child involved in sports or other activities to keep them healthy, but don't force them to participate. This can lead to resentment and if the child isn't having fun playing a sport then it isn't worth it. 

Read the article here: Tips to Keep Kids Active After School Starts

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Many parents know it can be tough to get your teenage son or daughter to hang out with you on a regular basis. You can have a good relationship with you teen, but most of them are just not interested in going out with their mom or dad. Recently The Mommy Mess blogged about a few ways you can convince your teenage son to come hang out with you. I wouldn't call these bribes but if you are going to run some errands, stopping in these places could gain you some wanted company. A promise to visit a local Game Stop could be tempting for your son. Maybe he has a new games he wants to check out, or perhaps he will just converse with one of the store workers for a while. It could also be a good time to get to know something about your son. Even though video games aren't overly appealing to most parents, if you know something about the games he plays you could make conversation. Chick-fil-A could also make your son want to run errands with you. Let's be honest here, most of us enjoy Chick-fil-A as well so this isn't just a treat for your son. Finally, Best Buy could be a solid choice too because of their wide variety of electronics and other fun things. Most of the stuff in Best Buy is pricey so you don't need to buy anything, but just going in and shopping around will let you guys spend some good time together. 

Read the original article here: 5 Places Your Teen Son is Sure to Go

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Halloween is a really fun holiday, especially for kids! It can be stressful for parents to let their children go trick-or-treating though because of the world we live in today. A recent blog post of Our Family World gave some great safety tips to make this upcoming Halloween a safe and happy day. If you think you need to accompany your children around the neighborhood then you are correct! Younger children should always be accompanied by a parent, and if you are unavailable for some reason make sure a trusted friend or family member takes them. When your kids are old enough to go on their own, make sure they only go where you approve of and travel in bigger groups. Make sure that you check through your kids candy before they eat it, and tell them if they travel alone never to accept candy from a stranger in the road. Also telling your children never to enter a house for candy is a good idea. 

Read the original article: Safety Tips for Trick or Treating

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Do you ever spend time texting while around your kids? Recently some parents have become critical of other parents who text when their kids are around. Dad and Buried recently blogged about this debate and took to defending the parents who text. I have to say that I agreed with many of his points. I think that if a parent is at the park or somewhere else with their kid where they can multitask. It isn't as if the parent isn't watching their child at all, they are simply taking advantage of an opportunity to use their smartphone or tablet without their child grabbing at it. I feel as if the texting while parenting debate is just another thing for parents to judge each other one, which is something that will never end. If you text and still find a way to be a good parent, then good for you. I recently posted on the topic of different not being wrong, and I believe this is a perfect case of that.

Read the original post: In Defense of "Texting While Parenting"

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The other days daily reading was on Luke 9: 46-50, where the disciples are arguing who will be the greatest among them. I first had to laugh because two thousand years later and not much has changed! Even back then there were arguments over who would be the greatest. It reminds me of being in grade school and running to be the first in line, shoving and crowding others out of my way. Jesus knew what was in their hearts and he placed a child among them. Remember back then children had no rights and were generally overlooked. He said that, “whoever welcomes this child in my name has welcomed me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes my Father. For whoever is the least will be the greatest among you.”

So what does this mean to me today? The scriptures are the living word of God and are still relevant to our lives. If I can put God before all my concerns and wants I will be first. As a child puts all their trust into their parents we too must put all our trust into God. The paradox is when I do this all my needs are met. There is a huge difference between wants and needs. I really want a new living room set, but what I have fits my needs. I need to take ego out of the equation then I can live a life of true happiness. The more I strive for worldly goods the more frustrated I become. For me it's because my focus shifts from what is important, my faith, to materialism, which is today's version of other gods. 

My faith has grown by helping others less fortunate than me, volunteering at my church, putting others needs before mine and praying every day. I must have constant contact with God and I can't do that if I am worried about me and what I want. My Catholic faith plays a huge role in the way I interact with others, however I learn from all faiths, and what I've learned is we all love the same God. This takes me to what really struck me in this passage.

John said to Jesus, "Master we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” Jesus replied, “Do not stop him for whoever is not against you is for you.” 

That statement is so meaningful to me. I have been attacked for being Catholic and what the church stands for by friends in other denominations. I also have subconsciously thought my faith is better. But how can that be if we all have a strong love of God? That is the bottom line, we all want to do God's will. If we are all striving for the same end result, that the needs of the poor are met, that the dignity of human life is upheld, that we are kind to one another, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves and of course put God before all then we cannot fail. As the old adage goes- A house divided falls.

I think the lesson for me is when asked who I am I will answer I am a Christian who puts God first in my life. I am thankful I don't feel a need to be the greatest and that daily all my needs are met.  

God Bless!











Most parents have had to deal with the issue of kids getting out of their beds during the night. The only time of the day where you can get some rest for yourself is being interrupted. Shopaholic Mommy recently blogged about some possible ways to deal with this common parenting issue. A good idea to try to get your child to stay in their bed at night time is to make sure they feel comfortable in their room. If the child feels comfortable in their bed and enjoys different aspects of their room they will be more prone to stay in their bed at night. If your child is a wanderer anyway, despite feeling comfortable in their room, you should absolutely not let them sleep in your bed at night. If you make a habit of letting of letting your children sleep in your bed at night it will become something they expect. Having an extra body, even your child that you love, in bed each night is not something that should be happening. A last idea you could try is some sort of fun rewards system for your child spending the night in their bed.

Read the original article here:  Keeping Kids in Their Beds

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Have you ever read Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree? Its a very popular children's book, so as a parent you probably have. Charlie from How to Be a Dad recently blogged about reading The Giving Tree with his son and I thought it was a really good post. The general theme of the book that most people understand easily is that an anti-greed message is attempting to be sent. However, if you search deeper into the book you could really see the relationship between the boy and the tree as a metaphor for a parent and child. The tree gives the boy everything that he needs all throughout his life and eventually is gone, but never complains that the boy takes and takes. It never dawned on me before that The Giving Tree sends a message to both the parent reading the book and the child being read to at the same time.

Check out the original post here: The Living Tree

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Parents have all heard before that it is possible for a child to receive too much attention and love when they are growing up. The idea that kids can be spoiled from the love of their parents is a topic of debate, and Authentic Parenting tackled the topic in a recent post. It is, in fact, not possible to spoil your baby with love, and there is no need to try and act in a detached manner when parenting. Authentic Parenting offered a few ways to parent your child lovingly that I thought were great. You should keep your baby close to your heart; when they need to fall asleep your heartbeat is soothing to them. Respond tenderly to your baby's mannerisms. The more you pay attention to certain things they do or faces they make, the easier it will be to know what they need. Babies are programmed naturally to expect to have their needs met, so there is no reason to think you are spoiling them by giving them what they need. 

Read the entire article here: Babies Don't Spoil: Affection and Attachment Matter!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
If you are looking to make some great treats this fall for your family you should check out the following recipes! A great meal idea is this Halloween pizza recipe found on Within the Kitchen. Your kids will be sure to love the ghost and pumpkin shaped toppings that go along with this tasty treat! You could make these witches broom cupcakes to keep the Halloween theme going.This recipe is really cool looking and will definitely be a hit!

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There are certain things you should always look to buy on sale. Shopaholic Mommy recently posted about things to keep on eye on in October. The items she blogs about are all things that if bought during this month, will typically give you savings. Check this article out if you are looking to get your family a new appliance at home, winter clothing, or outdoor items.

Read the article here: Things to Buy on Sale in October

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Most parent's know the routine when they bring their child to a birthday party. The kids will frolic about doing whatever activity is planned, probably eat birthday cake and some other food, get their goody bag, and its time to go. You can either be the drop-off type of parent or the stick around and socialize type of parent. So Parenting Magazine wrote a recent piece about going to the standard birthday party. Most of the parents stuck around, but one mom who did sat on her laptop doing work the entire time. She didn't speak to anybody and sat silently on her computer. This is rather unheard of and raises a question, is this appropriate? Taking in all the factors, I honestly don't have a problem with this. She was still at the party in case anything happened to her child, and maybe she was really swamped at work and needed the extra time. Also the type of socialization that happens at birthday parties is awkward, weather based chatter that nobody truly enjoys. This is all just my opinion though, what do you think about the laptop mom at the birthday party?

Read the full article here: Would You Do This at a Kid's Birthday Party?

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Being judgmental of other parent's techniques for raising their children is something that everybody has done before. It is easy to question the methods of other people, and often this even happens between husband and wife. A refreshing post from Julia on Mom Life Today touched on this topic. Julia explained that she has a tendency to panic when her husband uses different parenting techniques than she does. The important thing I took away from her post was that different does not mean wrong, and many people do not understand that topic. This article and its message apply to parenting, but could really apply to so much more than that. 

Read the article here: Trusting Him to Be the Daddy

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More and more dad's are accepting that they do not have be the breadwinner of the family. I for one and just tired of hearing the term breadwinner overall; parenting and having a family is a team activity and no one part is more important than the other, especially because of their salary. A post from Dad's Round Table recently talked about this topic to an extent. The main message of the post was this dad is currently working and bringing home the paycheck his family needs to survive, and his wife is busy at law school. He knows his paycheck will one day be smaller than his wife's and that is okay with him. This father simply wants to be an active part of his child's life and I think that is a beautiful thing. Getting caught up on who's paycheck is bigger is just another distraction from what is really important in life. 

Read the full text here: Family Provider

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Every parent has had to deal with that terrible playdate gone wrong. When parents don't communicate and just drop their children off at playdates they can end up going poorly often, which is a shame. Recently Amy McCready from Postive Parenting Solutions wrote about some easy ways to make sure your kids have a successful playdate. If the kids will be playing at your home then make sure to put away any potentially not safe items or any items your child might really love. Find a few activities to have the kids do that keep them active and having fun. If this means leaving the house and going to a park then go for it! Another good tip from Amy was to keep first playdates short. A first meeting should be not much longer than one hour because kids will tire out. Of course you need to set rules for the playdate and make them clear to your child whether the playdate is at your home or a friend's house.

Read the article here: 4 Steps to a Successful Playdate 

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Monday, October 1, 2012
It can be truly difficult to remain within a set budget and still find clothes each year for your family. Depending on how many kids you have it can be increasingly difficult, especially at an early age when they are growing regularly. Recently on Authentic Parenting they gave some great tips about how to keep on track with your budget plans and still get your kids the clothes they need. The article covers things such as mix and match styles, where to shop, and things you should avoid. It is a truly helpful article and can help you with some fall shopping right now!

Read at: Budget Friendly Clothes Shopping for Children

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There are always going to be a few obnoxious parents at sporting events when you are there to watch your children. You might not even realize that you are the obnoxious parent, hopefully that isn't the case. A recent post from Dads Round Table perfectly profiles that over the top dad at a sporting event. The dad stands and yells at every game, and abuses teenage referees who are trying their best. Obviously his kid is the best player on the field, and the volunteer coach has no idea what he is doing. We've all seen this type of parent before and I think checking out this post could open eyes to just how annoying these parents are.

Read the original article here: Dear Soccer Dad

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Looking for that excellent fall snack that everybody will love? Also looking to make sure your family stays a little healthy this fall? Well you are in the same boat as plenty of others, and all of you should check out this delicious recipe for mini apple pie! It is a lower calorie and smaller portion than your typical apple pie and will still leave your family asking for more.

Read the recipe here: Mini Apple Pie

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It seems like schools, kid's sports leagues, and other programs always go with the candy sale fundraiser. Has anybody ever stopped and thought that maybe this isn't the greatest idea? Samantha from Multiple Mayhem Mamma did just that in a recent blog post. I have to say that I agree with her sentiment on the topic and think that it is not a good idea. In a time where parents are too afraid to let their kids play outside alone we are still permitting fundraisers where kids go door to door and ask people to buy candy? I know sometimes parents can be over protective, but I just don't see how door to door selling by children can be deemed safe. School's set unreachable quotas for the children to reach, and its wrong to make kids feel inadequate when they can't reach a sales quota. Also, its safe to bet that a majority of the time parents end up selling the candy anyway, making their co-workers and friends all feel obligated to give them money for candy they don't need. I get that programs and schools need money to function, but I am pretty over the candy sale idea. Thanks to Samantha for making me aware of this on her blog!

Read the original article here: Should Kids Be Selling Chocolates Door to Door as Part of School Fundraising? 

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Every parents and person for that matter has been in a bad mood before and let their negative emotions get the best of them. However, when you are a parent limiting this type of negative behavior when in front of your children is something you should strive for. A recent post from one of my favorite parent operated blogs, Dad Blunders, took on just this topic. Saying certain things to your children out of frustration can cause them to also feel negative about them self and you. In reality your child might be causing you frustration at that moment you say something to them, but many things have caused your negative emotions to boil throughout the day. Refrain from taking out negative emotions on your child and try assessing the situation and thinking about how your child would feel if you acted a certain way towards them. 

Read the original piece here: Negative Emotions and Parenting

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It can be difficult sometimes for parents and teens to connect as often as they used to. Teenagers are at the age where they want a little more space and freedom from their parents. Parents still want to be involved in their kid's life though, and this creates a problem. A good way to become involved in your teenager's life is to become involved with their high school activities, as was discussed on Shopaholic Mommy's blog recently. Ashley from Shopaholic Mom made the suggestion that perhaps you could volunteer to help with an activity your teen participates in at school. Even something as small as giving rides to team members or fellow drama club members could be helpful to your child, while at the same time giving you some time together and a way to stay involved. Fundraising is also a good way to be involved in what your child is doing. Most sports teams, clubs, and other activities have to fund raise at least once during the school year, so help out however you can. Finally, showing up at the play, game, or show  can mean the world to your teen and bringing other friends and family members as well only shows how much you care.

Read the original post here: Supporting Your Student's High School Activities 

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