Archive for the ‘Goodncrazy parenting’ Category

Entitlement VS Gratitude

February 2, 2010
Tween ‘Tude
An extra dose of Gratitude, thanks.

Goodncrazy Tween Talk superhero girl

Weve been noticing a new vein of ‘tude in our Tween.
A whole lot of:

  • Why are we doing that?
  • My after school party starts in an hour, who’s taking me?
  • I have 7 classes every day, my life is SO hard!

Note the lack of please/thank you and general aura of entitlement.

I’m reading a parenting book about the entitlement factor among children (and all Americans really). How they (we?) need a shot in the arm, a vaccination, of good old fashioned humility and appreciation. “I deserve this.” “I should get more.”

The antidote the book suggests?
Gratitude.

Last weekend SuperTween needed a few pairs of casual pants. She’s literally growing before our eyes, several pairs of her jeans are ready for the Ark.

We drove to Kohl’s and chose a pair of khaki pants, but couldn’t find jeans for tall-for-her-age super skinny 12yrold, Size: ZERO. And next…( apparently I failed at communication the next few minutes…) because everyone else understood that our next stop on the Tween shopping express was Target; to buy her one more pair.

I Kid You Not.

Out of her mouth:

“Why? Why are we going to Another store?”

What I heard:

“Do we really HAVE to? All of us? Haven’t we been shopping long enough? Why do we have to go to another store? I’m so bored. Sassy and TK are totally annoying me. Me Me Me Me….”

I basically pulled out the wicked witch of the west mom mask, and well, LOST it. Are you serious? We drove over the mountain to shop specifically for you. And you’ve hit your Saturday patience level after one store?

Needless to say the rest of the day went to crap.

That weekend I talked with my husband about how to cure this entitlement virus and prevent it from infecting her any further. And just how contagious is it? Will it spread to the younger siblings?

I kept reading my parenting book, hoping for some insight. And I swear every talk and lesson in church that Sunday mentioned blessings and the benefits of expressing gratitude.

Monday night instead of Family Home Evening, I asked everyone to play a few rounds of a new game we just received called: Count Your Blessings. It’s a game created out of the inspired brainpower of the @Gratitweets women: Laura Robinson and Elizabeth Bryan along with the Chicken Soup for the Soul book of the same name.

Yes. SuperTween complained and slouch-pouted in the corner chair. However. After less than one round of:

PhotobucketFlick the spinner.
PhotobucketRead a situation card from one of the five decks (they present a dilemma, or predicament).
PhotobucketProblem solve as a family.

She couldn’t help herself. She was drawn in, participating and answering alongside the family immediately.

goodncrazy blue dots

Examples and family responses:

Category: Look On The Bright Side
“Share something difficult that’s happened to you that relates to life. And then share how you looked on the bright side.”

Sassy 9yrold: I broke my leg when I was four… people felt bad so they gave me presents.
TK 5yrold: I broke my arm last summer… everyone thought I was so cool on the first day of Kindergarten!
Dad: When I was 15, I was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes… I eat better now, watch my sweets and value my life more.
SuperTween: In the spelling bee in 5th grade I won the whole grade, but later after a dad bullied the teacher the kid who got out just before me got a ‘second chance’… he ended up winning the next round and later they called it a ‘Tie’… I learned that sometimes it’s more important to know you worked hard and did well no matter what the public story is.

Category: Count Your Blessings
“Give the group 2 reasons you are grateful for the player with the largest feet.”

TK: I love his hugs and kisses (about Dad of course!)
Sassy: He’s cool. He takes care of me.
SuperTween: Sometimes he drives me to school. He works and pays the bills.
Mom: Because he loves me. And he makes me laugh when he teaches the children the Fishheads song!

Category: Soul Food
“You yelled at a friend or family member because you were frustrated about something else.”

Everyone: Oh my gosh we ALL do that!

And we laughed and talked about how hard it is when you are upset or frustrated at something, but then transfer that frustration to your family.

The conversation that followed after these handful of thought provoking- blessing remembering- questions and prompts was in a word: Priceless.

We talked for half an hour. The parents. The kids. (5yrold migrated off to the Lego pile nearby). We may not have solved world peace but we did manage to get a few antiviral injections aimed at the nasty entitlement virus.

And I’m grateful for that!

I was given a copy of Count Your Blessings and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings.
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What Is Motherhood To You?

October 23, 2009

motherhood baby flowers

The movie Motherhood comes out tonight.
I sat in on a panel for the #motherhood twitter chat last night.

And I loved hearing everyone’s take on the joys and the guilts and the loves of being a mother.

I think everyone mentioned at least once basically this thought:

Photobucket
I feel guilty for not being theBestFreakingMostAwesome mother in the world.

Seriously. We have guilt over perfectionism? I kept asking the moms…

  • Do your kids love you?
  • Do you love your kids?
  • Do they KNOW you love them?
Game over. Lose the guilt. We’ve got enough with all the multitasking, phone-calling, car-pooling, butt-wiping… don’t ya think?

Now go tickle your kids and listen to Catherine Connors:

goodncrazy blue dots


herbadmother Ah, I love my kids to pieces, and they know it.

herbadmother No matter my insecurities about my motherhood I know my kids are HAPPY, that they laugh every day, even when times are tense.

Kids In The Kitchen: Week 5

June 29, 2009
Welcome to the Summer Series Boredom Busters!
Check out the whole series: Help! My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!


What could be more fun than Breakfast for Dinner?

My Featured Foodie today is Kate of Cooking During Stolen Moments! She comes up with fabulous baking ideas and I’m excited to share her Breakfast Pizza!? What… you ask, is that?

Well lately my kids have been GaGa over biscuits and gravy. We’ve been eating ’em for dinner for pete’s sake! So when I saw her breakfast pizza idea… I WENT Yippee!

Here’s What Kate said about her recipe:

Breakfast pizza has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve eaten it a few times at restaurants and really enjoyed. So I’ve always wanted to tackle making it myself. However, all of the recipes I’ve seen for it have seemed like they would be too dry.

Today I finally figured out a creative solution and decided to have some fun experimenting. I’m so glad I did because the results were delicious. This recipe is somewhere between a cross of sausage and gravy with biscuits and breakfast pizza. It’s a perfect any-time-of-day meal.

For the recipe and instructions please click over to Kate’s Cooking Blog.. we plan to make it this weekend, and she assures me we can cheat and use store-bought biscuits or crescent rolls to speed up the meal and make it easy for my kids to make it!

And totally check out her other site when you have a chance:
A Simple Walk


1.

I don’t know whether to love this SouthernFairyTale girl or be a little bit jealous of her.. Rachel has come up with two new fab recipes that are great for kids to make! Sunshine Cake and IceCream Cone Cupcakes!

2.

This is more for me than the kids. I HEART banana…ANYthing. So when I saw banana cake with chocolate cream frosting? Okay? Sold. Please meet my friend Mary Beth and her icebox banana cake! I will forever know her as @Cupcakes5… and I mean.. isn’t that better??

3.

Since you can never be too early or too prepared for Halloween… here’s a fabulous Ghosts-On-A-Stick recipe to get you prepared… I love basically EVERYthing from Noble Pig… you will too! Plus here’s the link to her whole Halloween series!

4.
My pal and goto guy for the hard cooking questions like brining a turkey (!)- Mr. Chris Perrin of BlogWellDone fame, has created a terrific kid friendly TACO recipe, including great tips for teaching kids in the kitchen, and safety!

5.

Check out these melon ball appetizers! Wow Prociutto? I’m in! Kate’s blog Tribeca Yummy Mummy is… YUMMY!

6.
One of my newest BFFs on Twitter is @SavorTheThyme, please check out Jennifer’s Egg and Ham Sandwich! Wow… my kids are all over anything eggy lately! I think this is for lunch!

Please contact me if you have a great Kid Friendly Recipe to add!

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HELP! My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy! —Week 1

June 4, 2009
Catch the whole Summer Series click here!
Is it summertime already!

Tank angry

Are your kids driving you crazy? Are they bored stiff?
Tired of pulling your hair out, trying to come up with great ideas?

Ready for some awesome solutions?

Or hey… do you have some great summer-time fabulous suggestions to share?

Welcome to the GoodNCrazy summer series where we will:

  • A. Beat the Heat with your Kids

  • B. Stop the Whining

  • C. Save Mom’s Sanity

  • D. All of the Above!
How you ask?
Once a week, I’ll be listing kid friendly—help a mom out— ideas!
Kid Friendly Cuisine.. and I don’t mean ‘you make it they eat it.’ I mean Kid COOKING friendly cuisine… I’ve roped a few of my favorite foodie bloggers into helping me out. My kids will try the recipes out first. So I promise they will be good!
Kid Friendly Crafts.. yes.. the kind they can do basically on their own! (The best kind huh?)
Kid Activities... ideas, places, stuff to do with kids this summer!
and
Mom Crazy Finds for your Kids… fun kid stuff, creative solutions for kid problems, and more!

Let’s Kick It Off!

FIRST: I want to introduce you to an outdoor active campaign sponsored by Grandparents.com!

Called Go Play OutSide! You don’t have to be a grandparent to log your kids’ outdoor hours.. I’ve logged mine this week— have you? Need some outdoor ideas? No Problem!

There are 97 outdoor fun ideas to get you outdoors. (YES I Said Ninety-Seven! Wow!) In easy to download PDF format. I’m looking at making a sundial, playing flashlight tag under the stars, playing frisbee and making a grass leaf whistle.. great ideas and most of them are free, time spent with kids, time spent outdoors… perfect to save this mom’s sanity, how ’bout yours?

SECOND: I know they shouldn’t watch too much TV. But sometimes (admit it) it’s a necessary evil to help stop the whining! Here’s my favorite solution: When it’s mid afternoon siesta time, send them downstairs to watch a video, or play some video games. And I’m totally grooving on these amazing YogiPoof Bean Bags? I might have to join them!


THIRD: I mentioned video games… here’s one to counteract the afternoon siesta.

The new Wii EA Active.

We are loving using it as a family activity! Watch my kids play, they are so intense… and even my 4yrold straps on the leg strap and gets his little work out on! Take the 30 day challenge!

See the whole Summer Series and Save Mom’s Sanity!


Does a long summer with your kids make you feel (and sometimes look) like this?

Angry Monkey

Would you rather everyone looked like this?

Sedona slide rock kids giggling

Then Help a Mom Out!
—Please share your ideas for a happy kid friendly summer.

Include recipes, activities, crafts and outings!

Leave a link to a post you’ve written that will help us all keep the GOOD and lose the CRAZY!
(I’ll hotlink directly to your posts in the next week’s issue, thanks!)
YES. Click where it says You’re next! Then come back and leave me a comment!

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photo credit: Seth Woodworth and Danny Boyster

On Being a Mom

May 11, 2009

Please pardon me. I’m stealing from a forum I just wrote in. Over at MOMeo Community.com But they ARE my words so it’s not really stealing is it? Oh forget it…

The discussion topic is this:

Does Mom Have to Do it All to Have it All?

{my response}

You can try to do it all, but what comes around goes around eh? I see a lot of ‘SAHMs’ doing a lot of dang near ‘real’ work, from putting in part time hours with former employers, to acting PTA presidents, to basically full time daycare in their home..(playdates?yeahright) and all most of this goes completely unpaid. Falls under the role of volunteer, service and mom right?

But there is a breaking point… the hubby’s not happy, the kids ain’t happy and pretty soon even the mom’s not too happy and has to take a little stock in life.

What the heck does having it all really mean anymore? In America so much of us believe more is better. But is it?

I think one of my favorite books is “Your Money Or Your Life“. And there are a lot of great lessons in it, but the one I love the most is —throwing out the window the part of your thinking where you actually believe having more is MORE. Cuz…When you get that MORE… then what? You’ll just want more— right?

So no.
Mommy does NOT have to do it all to have it all. She has to decide what ALL means in the first place…!

How about you? At what point do you snap, just a little bit? Do you have it all? Do you even have it all figured out?

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Why They Invented Mother’s Day

May 9, 2009

Moms Dream About These Moments

Watch it all unfold,
see if you can tell why she completely falls apart.
And see if she really gets it back together!?





Sedona Mountains
in the background of my gigglers.

More on our vacation next week.
I can tell you this much.

Roughing it for me?
When there aren’t any Ziplock baggies.
That’s what.

Oh and thanks so much to Uncle Tony, who shared his lickable, and yes I’m so jealous camera with us. (He took the above photos, I was no where near.)

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

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Permit Me To Pay Your Kid’s Pocket Money…

April 9, 2009

9yrold Daughter:
(with fire in her eyes)

“NO! And YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!”

—And for the first time I looked at her and realized she was right.
I couldn’t make her.

She was too big for time outs.
Was I going to spank her?
She might spank me back!
Yelling matches were just that.

YELLING MATCHES.

So now what?

I remembered my mom told me bout a parenting book she had read.

Parenting Teens With Love And Logic.

Um… I didn’t have a teenager…? But I read it anyway. I was hooked. Talk about something that really worked for us! I located every published book I could get my hands on or otherwise check out at the library.

The little kid one

The homework one

—and my favorite:

Chores and Allowance.

You know what they suggest? NOT paying your kids to do chores…!
Whaaa?! I know. I was all, HUH??

Instead. You choose a set amount, NOT too high… and you pay them the same amount every week. And at the same time you institute a chore plan. {These chores are not tied to the allowance. They get to do these chores just because they live in your house.}

Here’s how chores works at our house:

Each child has 2 jobs {yes even the 4yrold} per day spelled out on a job chart. From unloading dishes to cleaning toilets to vacuuming the dining/kitchen area.
They just know: check the chart, do those chores. Every day.

That’s it. Total leap of faith.
That was 2 years ago
.
Wanna know how it’s all going?

First a lil’ snarky poll:

What’s up with allowance at your house?

Do You Pay Kids An Allowance? HOW?
( polls)

{Here’s how allowance works at our house. They do not get paid for chores. They just get paid.}

Our plan was to pay them a weekly amount, enough that they could buy small treats for themselves, help buy gifts for friends, or even save up for larger items… and often we ‘allow’ them to pay for half of something big that they want… I love this because there have been times when they save for a while and then realize how much money the big ticket item is costing and decide they don’t ‘need’ it after all!

But we only remember to pay out about every other week…still working on that…

We pay the 4yrold $1 a week.. he’s actually happier with coins at this point, cuz he knows he can use them at the little vending machines that dole out MikeNIke candies!
We pay the 8yrold $3, and sometimes she makes additional cash when she ‘helps’ babysit.
We pay the 11yrold $5, and she also makes a whopping $2/hour for babysitting. But only when it’s actual ‘date time’ for mom and dad.

Believe it or not, they pay some school expenses, they buy bday gifts for friends, and use their own money on trips for souvenir purchases etc.

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6 Tips For Keeping Kids Contained in a Restaurant

March 30, 2009

How can I Relish Restaurant Time with kids?
It’s not hard.
We’re not perfect, but we have surprisingly well behaved kids in restaurants.
Wanna know how?

Pub for the Whole Family
Photo by caitlynburke

1.

Well behaved kids in a restaurant start at home.
What? At home? Yes.

Manage their expectations, teach them to problem solve and help them deal with disappointment: “Sorry little Johnny, we’re all out of chicken nuggets tonight. But we have 2 other choices. Would you like hot dogs or quesadillas?” Then at the restaurant when the waiter comes back to tell you they are all out of chicken tenders, or mini burgers it’s not the end of the world.

2.

As a parent you have to be the example in the first place. Are you a picky eater? Do you complain a lot at restaurants? Do you throw fits if your food doesn’t come out perfect?—OR do you calmly problem solve, compromise and even laugh a little? Be careful…your kids are watching no matter their age!

3.

Limit how often you eat out. Seriously, if it’s not a treat for your kids anymore, they won’t look forward to it, and you’ll have more and more attitude. (If my kids give me grief about where we are eating out or fight over who get’s to decide, we head for the nearest grocery store and come home with frozen pizza.)

4.

Remember, if you have toddlers— You. Are. Kid. People! Get over it! Fancy Restaurants with long wait times? Not. For. You. You’ll be miserable, they’ll be miserable and let’s not talk about the next table over celebrating their 15th Anniversary (without their kids)! It’s more courteous to eat at Wendy’s and Applebees for everyone involved.

5.

We always head in with a game plan. Crayons, small toys (think toss-able fast food toys) and of course Goldfish for about 10 minutes. Then tag team: where a grownup trades off walking around with one or both little kids for the next 10 minutes. And ALWAYS order the kid food right when seated and ask for a rush on it! Once the kids have eaten their food, and the grown up food comes—we’re back to crayons/small toys/and short walks via the tag team. We also don’t order dessert. If they don’t expect it they won’t beg for it and forgo dinner, demanding it. If at any time they throw a fit, they already know—because we’ve followed through before—that we will grab our food to go and head home. We don’t threaten, we just give them the real consequences and then carry them out. Even at two a little kid can totally tell when you are bluffing. NEVER do it!

6.

If you can’t afford a babysitter, but you’d like to have yummy grown up food from time to time? Maybe from the super chic foreign place that is oh so NOT kid friendly? Order IN the haute cuisine, put the kids to bed and eat by candlelight!

Remember, toddlers grow up and turn into tweeners soon enough! They won’t want to go to dinner with you! (They’ll be babysitting for you instead…)


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