Tag - parenting

Pouring Into Our Children

If you’ve read any of my Love Languages blog posts you know that we all give and receive love in unique ways. Our children are no different. While you may feel loved and love by giving hugs (physical touch), your child may feel cared about more with kind words.

It’s important to pour into our children on a daily basis. While some days are easier than others the end result of them knowing you are on their side even when it feels like no one else is, is totally worth it.

Lately I’ve been reading “Love and Logic“, by Foster Cline, while it’s not a new book by any means it has some pretty relevant parenting tips. The more I read and hear people speak on the topic of parenting, the more I realize we only have these children in our care for 18 years. Then, most of them are out on their own, becoming their own people, and hopefully including us in their “grown-up” lives.

There are so many ways to let our children know we love them and support them, while also allowing them to learn life lessons and grow.

Here are a few ways (with love language guidance) you can show your children how much you care:

Words of Affirmation

Handwritten notes may come to mind as a way to express how we feel with words. To make notes a little more fun try to place them in areas that will surprise your children, tuck a sweet note in their shoe, or leave a thoughtful card in their backpack.

Physical Touch

Warm hugs can make any child melt if done at the right time and place. Be mindful of when you think your child may need a little extra TLC. Physical touch can be holding a hand, rubbing their back, or even playing with their hair.

Acts of Service

While it’s true a lot of parents are always showing their love through “acts of service”, folding laundry, picking up toys, but these things may go unnoticed, so try to think out of the box. What tasks do your children do for themselves that they might enjoy not doing once and a while? If your child packs their lunch, but doesn’t love it, why not make them an extra special one?! Bring the trash cans back to the house without them noticing, an act of service can be a delightful surprise. {This is not to say we should take over chores for our kids, but occasionally it can be seen by them as an act of love.}

Quality Time

Spending time doing homework or running errands with your child is time, but doesn’t quite quite qualify as “quality time”. Sorry parents!! If your child enjoys surprises, by all means, choose an activity that you can do together and surprise them after school or on a weekend. On the other hand, if your child is more of a planner, sit down with them and plan something fun to do together, this will double the quality time in both planning and doing.

 

Gifts

If you’ve read my blog post on gifts you’ll know the present doesn’t have to be extravagant, just thoughtful. It’s a really great idea to write down things that you’ve heard your child mention they really like, for example, if they say they really like pink roses, take note for a future day. If they are frustrated because their favorite markers are running low on ink, grab them a new pack and surprise them.

 

The only way we can truly pour into our children, no matter what Love Language they may have, is to invest in them. Your child doesn’t need to be your whole world, in fact they really shouldn’t be, {that’s another blog post}, however, just as with any relationship, you have to put time, effort, and care into it for it to flourish.

 

For those of you who read my blog, but aren’t parents or around children on a daily basis, can I encourage you to reach out to youth? You may not realize it, but you have so much to offer the next generations. Volunteer, find a neighbor, there are so many children who would benefit from your time, trust me.

What are you going to do to pour into your child(ren)??

Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them

I love exploring personalities and learning more about myself, my family, and friends and why we are the way we are. I feel like getting to know others is so valuable in understanding them, and so important for building relationships. One of my favorite tools is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

This tool helps you figure out how you and others love to be loved. If you ask me that’s pretty valuable. If you think so too, {I hope if you don’t you’ll think about why it might be a good idea to “step into someone else’s shoes”}, then I encourage you to check out The 5 Love Languages, there is a great website, books, and online resources available.

If you’d like to take the online test, head to The 5 Love Languages Website click “Learn Your Love Language” then select “Myself” or “My child” depending on whose love language you are trying to figure out.

*Note that the site starts quizzes at ages 5, which is in my opinion an appropriate age to start figuring out your child’s love language, if you are trying before this age you may have some difficulty answering the questions, but it won’t hurt to try, just know as they get older you want to retest as some answers may be swayed by maturity and not having certain life experiences.

The five Love Languages, in no specific order are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. It’s said to be true that more often than not we love others the way we like to be loved. So if you highly value physical touch for example then you are more likely to give others hugs and kisses when you want to show them love and similarly with other love languages.

 

 

On my blog I’ll be starting a series exploring ways you can show love to others using their love languages, because we know it’s easy to love the way we like to be shown love. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into other love languages and have some easy ways to show love.

 

An Introduction to Something New – Highly Sensitive Person

If you’ve never heard of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you may think I’m just talking about people who cry at commercials or don’t know how to take a joke, well believe it or not being a HSP isn’t about that.

According to Dr. Elaine Aron, the authority on HSP, at least 15-20% of animal species including humans are highly sensitive. In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, she takes a researched, in-depth look at highly sensitive people.

Just as no two people are alike, no two highly sensitive people are alike.

 

This quick test taken from The Highly Sensitive Person website:


Is this you?

Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

To take the self-test or read more about HSP check out: hsperson.com


 

**Before I continue about what my experiences have been please note I am continually learning more about HSP through Dr. Aron, online groups, and daily life. I am certainly not a medical professional or an expert on HSP.

 

highly-sensitive-person

 

 

I stumbled upon HSP while looking for some tips that would help one of our daughters with some mild anxiety, little did I know, this discovery would make the past several years so much clearer as a parent and help me understand myself as well.

On my blog and social media channels I’ll be sharing my experiences with HSP both as an individual who is highly sensitive and as a mom raising two highly sensitive children. I hope that you will join me and share your own experiences as well.

 

Whether it’s someone you love who is highly sensitive or you yourself are highly sensitive or even if you’re just trying to understand others in this world, I encourage you to check out the many resources available, here are a few of my favorites:

 

Any Highly Sensitive Person books, specifically for parents – The Highly Sensitive Child

Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids

Happy Sensitive Kids

and also search Highly Sensitive groups on Facebook as well.

 

How about you? Are you familiar with HSP? Are you or someone you know an HSP???

Five Whole Years and a Change for the Better

5 years ago today I wrote my first blog post on MommyBKnowsBest.com. My goals were to:

1. Review products by giving my opinions and have “cool stuff” that Miss A could play with.

2. Do a job outside of being a mom {which was awesome, don’t get me wrong}, but blogging was something that would fulfill a different part of my life.

 

Here was my very first blog post on this website:

 

MBKB First Post

 

Since 2009 I have worked with a ton of amazing people, had some experiences that I would have never had if it wasn’t for blogging, and felt the fulfilment that I was looking for when I first began blogging.

As each year of blogging passes I’ve tried to assess my goals and I believe the site has grown and developed in a way that was what I had imagined in my head. With your help, I’ve gained readers, and friends on this journey and I am very excited about the next part of this adventure with you.

In my 6th year of blogging change is coming.

My goals for myself as a mom and a blogger have changed. I’ve gained insight into what is fulfilling and on the other hand “empty” for me as I spend late nights working. I’ve been able to start saying no to things that are not a good fit and realizing that my time is valuable.

I love sharing my experiences with you and that part will not change, however my experiences, my life, will be shared with more intention behind them. More meaning and less “stuff”. ”

You see somewhere along the way I feel like the “stuff” has gotten in the way. My goals are to be more authentic {though I always put a part of myself in any post I’ve done}, mindful of the things I’m sharing with you, and I hope you’ll find this to be a breath of fresh air, as I know it will be for me.

I will be finishing up some projects and prior commitments throughout my relaunch,  but in the coming months will be excited to showcase my blog not only with fresh content, a new name, and a different mission, but with a great new look that DaddyB is helping me with as well.

I know not all change is welcomed, but I hope that you’ll continue to support the site in your own way, should you feel led.

 

Thank you, I appreciate you and love you and wouldn’t be where I am 5 years later without you.

 

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Blessings!!

To Fairy or Not to Fairy

Lil’ C, who in my opinion is MUCH too young to be losing baby teeth {4 years 5 months}, lost her first baby tooth today. My heart dropped a couple of months ago when the dental hygienist said she had two wiggly teeth. My baby, growing up, and this is one of the major physical milestones. I couldn’t believe it.

 

Lil C Lost Tooth

 

Even though Miss A has lost several teeth hers didn’t come out quite so soon. Then again do we ever really feel comfortable with our kids growing up?!?

For the first lost tooth in our house we celebrate, the Tooth Fairy brings a small gift instead of money, because it’s a big deal you know?!

 

The big questions is: To Fairy or not to Fairy.

To Fairy or Not to Fairy - Teaching your child about holidays

 

While Miss A knew the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real we haven’t told Lil’ C about her true identity yet mostly because we didn’t realize she would lose a tooth this soon, plus we want to make sure she can keep that secret from other kiddos whose parents want them to believe.

 

We have several friends on both sides of the fairy fence. Some friends get really creative, some do not celebrate at all, some celebrate but in a unique way, and then some fall in the middle like we do with playing make-believe but the kids know in the end it’s us helping them celebrate in what we feel a fun way.

If you haven’t decided how you want to approach this with your kiddos, here’s our point of view only and be sure to take all into consideration.

We often play make believe and dress up in our home, and by often I mean on a 20-minute cycle, these girls ADORE dress up! So when deciding if we wanted to do the tooth fairy it really fell into that category.

When it comes to other holidays  like Christmas, we tell the girls about how Saint Nick was a real man and we focus on that story of the spirit of giving. At Christmas they get a few meaningful gifts from us, but we ultimately celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ Birthday, same with Easter, we don’t do Easter baskets or bunny, but we do have a few fun faith-based activities coming next Spring to celebrate and honor what Easter means for us.

When do the girls REALLY get to celebrate??? Lots of times, including missing teeth, we celebrate them on their birthdays’ that’s totally their day, we also celebrate milestones like first day/last days of school, and have impromptu glow stick parties and dates with our kiddos, trust me, these girls {and their parents} know how to make some awesome memories.

So if you ever feel that telling your kiddos the truth about the Tooth Fairy and other holidays will spoil the fun for them, it really doesn’t have to. And if you don’t tell your kiddos that’s fine too. There are so many great ways to celebrate special occasions and the day-to-day as well.  Let’s make our family time together the best it can be!!

 

Consider sharing how you and your family celebrate to give other new families, or families trying to decide their traditions ideas.

 

Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine

My friend, and fellow blogger {and Charlottean}, Kelley Crowe wrote a post today about the controversial Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Edition. Check out her thoughts here: This is Not Okay For My Daughter’s Eyes…

I completely agree with Kelley’s sentiments and understand her frustration and here’s Why I’d Rather Build My Daughters’ Self Esteem than Buy a Magazine and my response to Kelley’s post.

Self Esteem in Girls MommyB

As a conservative mom of two girls who wants her children to know that their worth is not skin deep, issues like this really make me sad that our Nation is going overboard. I think often times the general population, (some parents included), start to tune things like this out because it’s more the norm than not.

Yes, I already mentioned I’m conservative, and things in stores like music videos or magazines, or even some mannequins dressed provocatively bother me. Do I wish that stores, television, and people would stop promoting the objectification of women? Sure! Do I wish they would stop promoting the objectification of men? drugs? alcohol? sex? etc, yup.

The only thing we can really do as parents is change our children; let them know our moral beliefs, let them ask questions and find answers, discuss situations, and maybe once and a while flip off the tv {or cut the cable like we did}, turn over the magazines in the store, and pray for our family and the future of our Nation.

 

What are your thoughts on the Sports Illustrated cover, or magazine in general? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the topic of self-esteem and children, even if you disagree, but please be respectful or your comments may be deleted. 

Cool Children’s Photo Alarm Clock by Zazoo Kids

ZAZOO Photo Clock helps kids and parents get more sleep. It’s an innovative sleep solution for children who wake too early or do not stay in bed all night. Parents can use the pre-programmed images or personalized options set to an alarm time, and the screen will give children visual cues when it’s time to get out of bed. The photo clock grows with your child with features including a rotating photo frame, music, audio book, alarm clock and more.


Miss A is extremely interested in time and constantly asking questions about the time. “What time is it?” “What time do I have to go to bed?” “When can we work on crafts?” With the Zazoo photo clock I love that I can give her a time and she can check her clock and make decisions based on how much or little time she has.

Not only is this product a traditional clock but it is also an alarm clock.

Miss A is a very bright little lady, but often struggles with the concept of time, just like most kids her age. Especially since being at home with me for several years, on a light schedule and being able to play, come and go as we pleased. I love the fact that this photo clock offers an alarm and also offers a change in image when the alarm goes off to help let Miss A know when it’s time to wake up or time for rest to be over.

Not only is this product a traditional clock but it also features images.

The Zazoo Kids clock allows you to choose standard images from their collection (already on the device) or you can upload photos of your child or family or whatever images you choose from your computer directly to the clock.

To get your kiddos even more involved in the process and helping them understand the transition, consider taking a photo of your child resting and one of them wide awake and using those images for your rest and awake settings.

Not only is this product a traditional clock but it is also plays music that is already stored on the device or songs that you upload from your personal computer. My little girls love to listen to music in their rooms while they play or clean up, this is a great feature also to help them wind down for rest. I love that it’s a feature of the Zazoo Kids clock.

Not only is this product a traditional clock but you can also personalize it even more by adding your child’s name or a very short message.

This product is very easy to use, even if you aren’t very familiar with technology. I hooked my Zazoo Kids clock up to my laptop using the included USB cord, found the device that was named “Memory” (may vary), and pasted copies of images into the folder. The transfer was very quick and after I disconnected the device, was instantly available for viewing purposes. {Aren’t they cute!??!}

Zazoo Kids MommyB

This would also be a great for travel, especially for trips without mom and dad to a grandparent’s house. Easily upload images, video, and messages and they’ll be excited to be able to see you even though they’re not with you.

Currently there are several different styles of clock frames to choose from, for both genders. These clocks retail for $89.99, but remember they aren’t just clocks, they play music, can be personalized, have an alarm, and are essentially a digital frame, so you’re combining several products into one.

In my opinion this product seems pretty durable, but at the price point, it’s probably not something I would have within reach of my 3 year old, as for my almost 6 year old, and based on her personality and maturity I wouldn’t have a worry there. Obviously you know your children best regarding play and responsibility.

I encourage you to head to Zazoo Kids’ website to check out details and also if you haven’t already, check out the video above for more information and to see the Zazoo Kids clock in action.

Zazoo Kids Collage MommyB

 

I received the Zazoo Kids clock sample in order to perform this review and to give you my honest opinions. This post was written with integrity. Your opinions on this product may vary.

My thoughts on Integrated Prom – White Prom, Black Prom

Mom PromAs I prepared for my Mom Prom just last weekend, little did I realize that there were high school students in South Georgia getting ready for their first prom….their first integrated prom that is.

For over 40 years, students at Wilcox County High School, in Rochelle, Ga have been attending a segregated prom. One prom for the white students, and one for the black students were hosted by parents of each race. Parents supported the segregation by planning, paying for and continuing this age-old, hometown tradition. I like to call it “white prom” and “black prom” let’s be honest folks, we need not beat around the bush.

Surprisingly, the school board has avoided the situation all together, basically washing their hands of being either right or wrong and sitting by while the parents took over.

Are the parents to blame? Does this make the school innocent? Who’s really in charge here?

Thankfully, and finally, students at Wilcox County High School, stepped up where their school board administrators, local businesses, and even parents have failed. Standing up out of the ignorance of segregation and fighting for their right to end what is more than an antiquated tradition and clearly racism. Four girls, 2 African American and 2 Caucasian created a Facebook page, asking for support and donations to host their own, independent prom.

Integrated Prom MommyBKnowsBest

“We were doing that so we could get the word out, so that some people would be able to donate and help us out with what we were doing,” said senior Mareshia Rucker.

The night of the prom,  nearly half of the school’s student body were in attendence at Wilcox County High School’s first integrated prom in 2013… unfortunately, they aren’t the only place in our country with this same mindset.

CNN.com reports: “Wilcox County is not the only place with a racially segregated prom, nor is it the only one that’s attracted widespread attention in recent years. In the 2009 documentary “Prom Night in Mississippi,” director Paul Saltzman followed the preparations for the first integrated prom in Charleston, Mississippi. Actor Morgan Freeman, a native of the area, offered in 1997 to cover the cost if the school board would hold an integrated prom, but the offer wasn’t accepted till 2008.”

While this prom was a great success, there were still students and parents in opposition of the prom, and as a result “white prom” was held again this year. We can hope that this nation learns from this story and takes steps in the direction towards racial equality. If nothing else, these intelligent, amazing teenagers have inspired others, made history, and stood up for what they believe in. Who says children can’t teach adults?!?

Check out Integrated Prom’s Facebook page to see some pretty amazing pictures that I wanted to use for this post but didn’t have permission to, and support what they are doing, whether it is with prayers and words of kindness or donations.

 

What are your thoughts on this issue?? Who do you think is to blame? But even better still, how can WE change this?

Tips for Parenting in a Social Media Age

Parenting Tips

Recently, someone in my parenting geared bible study had mentioned they didn’t really “get” technology. I had nonchalantly mentioned to them that I worked in social media and would be more than willing to give some tips regarding figuring out Facebook, Twitter and the like. Little did I know that God had bigger plans for the gifts He has given me and I was asked to speak about those tips with my entire bible study.

I wrote some notes and speaking points down and was able to tell them why I think learning social media is so important as a parent and figured instead of just keeping it to myself and my study members that I would share here too.

Social Media Parenting Tips

In my group, we’ve been talking a lot about how we, as parents are responsible for growing Godly women and men, and creating boundaries to make them the healthiest adult they can be. With the rise of social media and the issues that come with it; cyberbullying, pornography, horrible language, encouraged drug use, gossip, sexual predators this is the exact place where we as parents need to be.

With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare and a thousand smaller social networks it may seem overwhelming, but don’t be intimidated, because your kids need you and understanding their world will give you the advantage and tools to parent that much better.

Although there are many tips and suggestions I have, here are 3 of my biggest parenting tips for social networks.

#1 Sign Up

Join social networks that your child uses, or if they’re younger than the age minimum sit with them while they browse the internet making sure you interact with them. It’s the best way to educate yourself so that you can in-turn protect your kids.

And better yet, if it’s a social network for adults as well, ask them to show you how to join if they have an account or sign up alongside them. Going through the sign-up process together allows for opportunities to discuss appropriate use, concerns you have for them, and see how savvy they are about their own privacy features.

#2 Privacy

“42 percent of teens ‘sometimes’ or ‘always’ accept social networking friend requests from strangers”

What a shocking statistic. In order to gain back some control against privacy issues I recommend using the most strict privacy settings available, especially when it comes to a tween or younger teen. Review every.single.one of the options on your privacy settings page and adjust accordingly. Facebook’s default is to keep information public until a user makes it private (although Facebook is a little stricter with minors’ accounts). The “Friends Only” setting is a good choice for most items, to control who’s seeing what, but with advanced Facebook settings, you can be even more selective, choosing specific people by name to show posts, messages, and images to.

Make sure you choose the settings that allow you to be notified and have to approve everything you’ve been tagged in (including photos) before the tag links to your page. That way you/your child can approve the information before it’s made public and make sure it’s legitimate. Using innappropriate images or posts and tagging others in them is one of the biggest ways to cyberbully, if this is restricted by privacy settings you’re one step ahead of the game.

#3 Set responsiblities
Believe it or not your child is making their digital footprint from the moment they enter any online community. Making it even harder to make a good impression for friends, teachers and even future employers and colleges.

Recent studies found that nearly 60 percent of employers and 80 percent of college admissions officers use social networks to screen applicants.

In many cases, once you put something out online, even if you delete it, it can still be found through search engines or an internet archive search. Twitter is the biggest social network where deleting comments doesn’t really matter, plus with the age of the “screenshot” internet users can be put in a very tricky spot.

Social media is like toothpaste, once it’s out of the tube pretty hard to try to get it back in.

Toothpaste

For example, last week, the person in charge of KitchenAid’s Twitter Feed posted a controversial politics-based comment, {presumably intended for their own twitter feed} and could have cost them their job.

So it’s imperative that parents set rules about what’s appropriate to post.

Rule of thumb: Have them ask themselves if they would be embarrassed with their teacher, pastor, grandparents seeing it. If so, they should probably not post it.

InternetYou have ever right to set time limits on their amount of online time. You will probably want to base their time limit using their age, maturity, other responsibilities, and day of the week. Key times to limit or restrict their internet time would be during meals, family time, bed time. Often it’s hard to unplug from social media, but healthy to take breaks and also make sure we connect with reality.

Because we live in a digital age, face-to-face communication, empathy, and ethics are used less and less and values are becoming muddied by the increasing influences in our world and on the internet, while we can’t put our kids in a bubble (although I’m sure some of us would like to) the best thing we can do for them and ourselves is to place our own reservations aside and step outside our comfort zones to build God loving, empathetic, responsible citizens. Social media is not going away, shouldn’t we be prepared for our children’s sake??

What steps are you taking to learn more about social media? Do you have any tips you’d like to add?

Life is So Good and So Sweet

So good So sweet

Before I became a mom of two I had almost 3 great years with one of my best buddies, Little Miss A. She was my world, and I was hers (and DaddyB too). Being able to be a stay-at-home mom meant we spent all day together, enjoyed time shopping, played with friends, and got lots of time for snuggles and cuddles, just the two of us. Hubby and I were excited to introduce a new little one to our family, yet at the same time I was nervous how that would work. Would I love the baby as much, would I love Miss A less, would Miss A love the baby?! I am a worrier by nature, although I’m working on it, and had so many thoughts like this constantly running through my head. I had only been away from Miss A one full night in her entire life, so when I was in the hospital, after Baby C arrived, I was missing my big girl tons and so excited to see her and for her to meet her sister. {We had done several things to get her excited to become a big sister.} When I saw this:

So good So sweet

I was pleasantly surprised and knew life was going to be alright, in fact, I knew that life was going to be amazing. Seeing my girls, together as they grow, loving each other, and playing with each other melts my heart.

 

 

 

It is definitely a, “So Good, So Sweet” moment in my life that will never get old. I love celebrating the little things in life.

Because KFC is a family-friendly restaurant, they too want to help share and savor those little celebrations in life. For a limited time, get a free Double Chocolate Chip Cake with the purchase of a 10-piece meal or larger. Try a great dessert with a great meal with one of our famous secret recipes, like Colonel Sanders’ famous Original Recipe®. What will you celebrate today? (Prices & participation may vary.)

 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of KFC. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules