10 Back-to-School Hacks You Can’t Live Without

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10 Back-to-School Hacks You Can't Live Without

It’s that time of year again in Ohio.  The kiddos have been back in school for a few weeks now, and we are once again back in the busy family routine. I sometimes feel like the whole “back to school” season is meant to see which parents are the best, and which ones are behind in the game. It does get a little ridiculous with all the pressure to get things ready, but honestly, back to school has been happening every year. It’s not a new thing.

With 4 kids (3 in school), the number of supplies is always high. It seems like the list is increasing every year. How do you organize it all and make sure you aren’t forgetting anything?

I’ve come up with 10 back to school hacks and tips for you to consider. No matter the family size, these tips will ensure a smooth transition to a new school year.

1: Don’t wait until the last minute to get supplies


Has this been you in the past? Don’t lie. I think we are all guilty of waiting until the very last minute to get school supplies. Schools release their supply lists well before school starts, and our school even gives out the option to order a package of all the supplies through them – thus eliminating the need to go shopping, or even procrastinate about shopping.

We didn’t go the pre-order route this year. I have to give kudos to my wife because she bought all the supplies this year with all 4 kids along for the trip. She’s truly a superstar in my book, and the greatest mom my kids could ever have.

If you are one of those that procrastinates, you risk the chance of supplies running out at local stores. Don’t be the parent whose kid is the last to have everything. While you may not think it’s the end of the world, it’s embarrassing for your kid.

2: Get everything ready the night before


Our kids have to be up around 6:30 a.m. and out the door by 7:30. Scrambling for clothes, lunches, snacks, forms, and other items in the morning only adds to the chaos. That’s why we strive to get everything ready the night before as much as possible.

Heaven forbid we go one day without some form needing signed, or field trip money to be sent in, but that’s the reality of school these days. It’s all worth it because our kids deserve a great education and school experience.

3: Get in the routine before school starts


Just like adults need a routine, so do kids. My wife and I try to get the kids back in some sort of routine a few weeks before school starts. During the summer, the kids usually go to bed later and wake up later. We try to start pushing their bed time closer and closer to their normal school night bed time a few weeks ahead so that by the time we get to the big first day, everyone’s back in a good sleep routine.

4: Attend your school’s open house


I know a lot of parents who skip the open house. For our family, open house is a good chance for us to meet the teacher, see the classroom, and gather important information for the year. Our kids enjoy going because they bump into all of their friends they haven’t seen since the last school year.

You’ll get a lot of information at open house, but it saves a lot of time and headaches searching for information down the road. Our kids get to take their supplies on open house night and get their desks all ready to go for the year. Believe me, taking supplies to school before the first day makes a huge difference (and reduces first day stress!).

5: Set expectations with your kids from day one


All kids are different when it comes to study habits, abilities, knowledge, and social skills. But, this doesn’t mean that expectations can’t be the same for all kids. All parents want their kids to succeed and do the best that they can.

We teach our kids to always try their best in every subject, but we also teach them that it’s ok to ask questions. My oldest sometimes loses confidence when he sees something new in class. Helping him understand that he’s not alone, and that all kids learn new things makes a big difference in his self-esteem.

One big expectation we set for our kids is to always be respectful at school. They are expected to listen to their teachers and respond appropriately, don’t spread rumors about other kids, and respect those with different values, cultures, opinions, and physical abilities.

Another expectation is that our kids are to always be truthful to us about what’s happening at school. I love that they each have their own assignment books that we have to read and sign every night. They are expected to tell us when work is due and when they have tests coming up. The important thing here is to teach them that two-way communication is the norm at home.

6: Don’t do too many activities at the same time


Your kids are going to get invited to join clubs, scouts, teams, and other activities at school. Don’t feel like they have to participate in everything. Remember, the more activities they are involved in, the more challenging it becomes to allow for studying and homework.

As a general rule for our family, we allow each of our kids to participate in one activity at a time. Our 9 year old is in dance and our 7 year old just started swimming at the YMCA. Our 10 year old usually plays baseball in the summer and basketball in the fall or winter.

Remind your kids that it’s important to find an activity they love, but that school and homework come first. If they can’t keep their grades up and participate in the activity at the same time, they will have to stop participation until grades improve.

7: First year at the school? Visit it in advance of the first day


My kids have switched schools several times in the past 5-6 years. One thing we found was very helpful to them was to visit the school before the first day. You won’t believe how much pressure is relieved by getting them familiar with their school environment before the first day.

Your kids are going to have so many questions about their new environment.  Where are the classrooms?  Where’s the lunchroom? Is there a gym? Where is the playground?

By visiting the school ahead of time, your kids will have fewer things to worry about on day one.

8: Buy calendars and stick to them


I don’t know how my family would function without a calendar to provide us with a visual of what’s going on for the day, week, month, or year. We use calendars on our phones as well as a physical calendar hanging in the kitchen and office.

Teach your kids about calendars and how to use one to organize their world. Even though the world is pretty much digital when it comes to calendars, nothing is better than having your schedule physically in your hand.

I highly recommend Calendars.com. They are an online provider of just about any type of calendar you can imagine. I love their site because not only do they provide all types of calendars, but they also have planners, puzzles, toys, games, gifts, and even things for dogs and cats! Right now they are offering free shipping with $30 + calendar purchase.

9: Teach your child about bus safety


You may ask me how your kids can practice getting on and off the bus without a bus present, but it can be done. Practice waiting outside or at the bus stop with your child. You can also practice looking both ways before crossing the street.

You can also teach your child what’s acceptable behavior while on the bus. Most buses don’t have seatbelts, so help your kids to understand that standing up and moving around while the bus is moving is dangerous.

A lot of bullying happens while on the bus. Encourage your child to not participate in bullying, and if he or she sees it happening, encourage them to report it to the bus driver. If your child is the victim of bullying, it’s important to stop it right away. Report it to the principal immediately.

10: Encourage hard work, but have fun


Too many times parents are stressed out about their kids’ school more so than the kids are. Yes, there’s a lot of work involved in school activities, but there is no reason why going to school can’t be fun. Make learning fun at home by finding creative activities on Pinterest to supplement what they are learning at school. Find fun videos on YouTube or online quizzes to help them retain information.

Parents, guess what?  You have homework…

Relax. Yes, your homework is to relax. There’s a lot going on during the school year, but keeping calm yourself will translate to your kids. Your kids are not perfect, and they are going to make mistakes. Learning from our mistakes in life is very important. Don’t criticize your kids for making mistakes. Teach them why they made them and what to do to correct them going forward.

5 Cool Benefits Of Toys For Kids

5 Cool Benefits Of Toys For Kids

There are many benefits of toys for kids. Over the years, both child development psychologists and toy experts work hand in hand to determine the impact of today’s toys in the development and growth of children. Many of the outcomes of these studies have been carefully integrated into the continuing design and manufacture of more developmentally appropriate and responsive playthings. These help ensure kids will be growing and developing to their optimum. Here, we present to your 5 really cool benefits of toys for kids.

  1. Encourages creativity and imagination.

There are a lot of toys that do a lot in stimulating children’s creativity and imaginative thinking. The very first toys, for instance, were predicated on the enhancement of children’s imaginative abilities. Why? In the past, the toys that children played with were nothing more than ordinary objects that have been modified a little bit to be called a plaything. It was not unusual to see kids playing with mere blocks of wood. These may seem odd by experts agree that it is in the simple objects that children are actually stimulated to use their imagination to fill in the gaps as to what the object really is in their minds. This is why many of today’s toys are also leaving quite exceptional reality gaps in their designs so that kids will have to imagine what the gap is. Similarly, if kids can imagine, they can also create. That’s why creativity and imagination almost always go hand in hand.

  1. Develops their visual-motor coordination and balance.

Since toys are physical objects that kids will have to hold and physically manipulate to play, the mere act of holding these toys already helps kids master their visual motor coordination. When they try to play with these “objects” they invariably use their sense of balance and kinesthetic sense to make sure everything is stable. Of course, this also calls to fore their spatial intelligence or their ability to interpret the relationship between space and the different objects within that given space.

  1. Enhances their divergent problem solving and thinking skills.

There are many cognitive processes that playing with toys are known and proven to develop and enhance. One of these is kids’ ability for divergent problem solving. Divergent thinking is very different from convergent cognitive processes in that the former operates on the principles of causality and prediction. It also requires a strongly analytical skill and the ability for deductive reasoning. The idea is for kids to understand that in any given problem or situation, there can be as many infinite number of possible solutions that are simply waiting to be explored and applied. This requires a fair sense of experimentation where children will have to use logic, prediction, hypothesis-testing, and problem solving to understand the implications of their answers. In simple words, divergent thinking allows kids to come up with as many possible answers to a single question, operating squarely on the principle of “what-if”.

  1. Boosts their language and communication skills.

Toys can also help kids develop their speech and language skills. Toys, such as activity cubes, that teach the alphabet, numbers, shapes, forms, and even animals and plants are effective tools in introducing younger kids to these words. Over time, they begin to use these words in simple phrases and sentences to communicate their thoughts and feelings.

  1. Helps in the development of more positive self-concept.

There are playthings that allow kids to feel more confident about their abilities, especially if they have accomplished something. This essentially leads to the development of a more positive idea or concept about the self. In other words, they will be happier and more content about what they have discovered about themselves.

There are many cool benefits of toys for children. In fact, many successful adults today won’t be where they are if not for the toys they played with in their own childhood.

The Importance of Creating a Special Learning and Playing Corner for Your Kids

The Importance of Creating a Special Learning and Playing Corner for Your Kids

The process of learning is complex, and it requires much more than parents’ attention, teachers and books. In fact, many experts often view the environment as the “third teacher”, because it enhances or interferes learning and independence. Playing, as a special form of learning, also deserves some attention, especially in younger kids’ rooms. Let us see the reasons behind this before moving on to some practical tips about creating these zones and making our kids’ childhood the best and most productive it can be.

The “third teacher” phenomenon

The way the kids’ room is set up will contribute to the overall atmosphere and affect children’s behavior and skills. Ideally, the environment should pose both challenges and opportunities. And while there should be easy-to-access objects and easy-to-tackle toys, kids should also be presented with some challenges that will motivate them to use their logic and motor skills to achieve a goal (e.g. building blocks). Also, it is very important for the kids to feel safe and protected in their rooms.

Isn’t the entire room a “third teacher” then?

Of course it is. Kids (especially younger) will learn a number of things in the most unexpected places, even in living rooms and kitchens, so you won’t be mistaken if you claim that the whole room is the kids’ learning space. However, when the kids acquire the basic skills and when they become ready for more studious learning, they should have a space where they can express their creativity and further develop their skills and intelligence.

Zoning the room

Although we should never set boundaries for our kids’ imagination, especially not in the space they think of as their own, zoning the room can help them focus on different activities. Here are some useful kids’ room zones you should consider:

  • Reading nook: Reading is not something we were born into, it is something we fall in love with slowly, if we start early. Instill your kids with passion for reading early on, by designing an imaginative reading nook (throw in some soft pillows, hang a canopy or construct a tepee and install a bookshelf).
  • Motor skills area: Depending on their age, this room zone can have various building blocks and similar toys, as well as indoor swings, floating ladder, swing hooks, gymnast rings and a climbing wall.
  • Logic skills corner: Logic and problem solving are great tools for children to use throughout their education and life. For younger kids, that zone should be filled with different shapes, names and objects, etc.
  • Arts & crafts nook: Creativity is an indispensable part of childhood and it should never be suppressed. On the contrary. Enhance your kids’ creative skills by introducing a drawing desk, collage papers, blackboard wall, interactive wallpaper, etc.
  • Studying station: Studying (for school kids), usually requires a working desk, a comfy chair and some “office supplies” (pens, papers, notebooks, etc.). Some older kids will also need a computer, but you should make sure they’re mature enough to use the computer responsibly.

If you are going to introduce more of these zones into the kids’ room, you should separate them aesthetically and spatially. Leave some free space between them and find attractive rugs online to create unique spaces.

Let there be freedom

Believe it or not, the most important space in kids’ room isn’t packed with toys, books, or any kind of other things. On the contrary, it is completely empty. Kids feel cramped in cluttered spaces, where they don’t have enough room to run, jump and create all sorts of imaginative scenarios. So, make sure you leave enough of free space in the middle of the room, and also enough space between different zones so that they can move freely throughout their room.

Our children are born with immense potential. What they are going to do with it is primarily up to us, especially in their early years. Therefore, it is crucial to create a friendly environment where their knowledge and confidence can thrive.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”


How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

I have another great guest post from Zara Lewis to share with you today!  Zara always writes the best posts and provides great information to her readers.  Enjoy!

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

With spring just around the corner, we yearn to go outside and spend time outdoors as much as possible. Children are the first to be drawn outdoors, and you cannot really blame them. Indeed, a hot season brings a set of outdoor activities, but the problem is that it also comes with safety concerns and hazards. Numerous injuries occur in the backyard, where parents foolishly assume their kids are safe. Well, they have endless curiosity and possess near-infinite amounts of energy, which may put them at a risk of a serious injury.

Weather conditions

Hence, outdoor activities call for special precautionary measures. The first thing to realize is that nicer weather does not imply risk-free conditions. First off, spring brings forth such weather conditions which usually cause allergy symptoms. Children with asthma, pollen, and insect allergies are specifically prone to such problems. Thus, consult with a doctor, get proper medication, and try to avoid allergy triggers. Summer is also accompanied by its own risks, most commonly sunburn and heatstroke. This is the time for sunscreen, shades, hat, as well as bottles of water for hydration.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

Treacherous waters

Backyard swimming pools are particularly dangerous for kids. Infants and toddlers can drown in much less water, which means their access to the pool must be restricted at all times. And once they are old enough, kids can learn how to swim and tread water safely. Still, swimming alone and without adult supervision or a lifejacket is not advisable. Also, note that the area around the pool is slippery and gives rise to the falls. Fortunately, you can use a non slip mat as an easy and inexpensive slip resistant solution. They come in various sizes and are intended for wet and outdoor areas.

Protective surfaces

This brings us to the point that in order to prevent other falls, one has to ensure that the outdoor furnishings have a soft surfacing underneath it. Sand, rubber mulch, pea gravel, and wood chips mitigate the impact from falling, unlike grass and dirt. The depth of the surface material depends on the height of the equipment. Swings, for example, require deeper surfacing, which should extend twice the suspension bar.  In addition, all equipment which features moving parts is to be located separately from the rest.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

Equipment inspection

Generally, playground equipment and toys are of different sizes and proportions and are typically designed for three age groups: infants and toddlers (under two years old), preschoolers (2-5 years old), and school-age kids (5 to 12 years old). Apart from adhering to this strict rule, it goes without saying that the maintenance, as well as durability and quality of equipment, are paramount to its safe use. Moreover, inspect everything thoroughly and double-check that there are no pinch points or spaces that could trap a kid’s head, arm, or some other body part.

Gear up

Furthermore, the equipment should be placed in the shade, away from the pavement, fences, trees, walkways, etc. All protruding bolts and screws must be covered with plastic safety caps and permanent equipment anchored to the ground. Of course, children also ought to know how to use the equipment properly. And in case they play sports, make sure they wear protective gear. Helmets, for instance, are an absolute must for bicycles, roller skates, ride-on toys, and skateboards. On the other hand, safety straps are a good way to secure children in strollers.

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Sound in the Backyard

Play by the book

A backyard is always preferable to unattended, impromptu playgrounds, especially if it is properly maintained and fenced. Running into surrounding traffic, though, is one of the most dangerous risks when it comes to the yards. Thus, keep the gates locked and install childproof latches for extra safety. Likewise, children have no business wandering around places like sheds, garages, and barns. Finally, check out the area where they play and remove any sharp objects, tools, branches, rocks, tree stumps, trash, animal feces, etc.

A safe haven

Playing in the backyard is a natural pastime for many kids, but it requires careful monitoring and planning. Prevention is, hands down, the best strategy to ensure safety, so keep your eyes open for faulty equipment, careless behavior, and improper surfaces. Remember that children of different ages have varying developmental needs and abilities. Assemble a safe outdoor sanctuary for children to learn about the world, get active, enjoy fresh air, and have loads of fun.

Keep the lawn maintained

Sharp objects aren’t your own worry in the backyard.  Rodents, snakes and pests such as fire ants and mosquitos should also be considered when keeping your backyard accident proof.  Fortunately, proper lawn care practices can solve most of these problems.  The lawn should be mowed with a sharp mower blade at least once every two weeks.  Neglecting to do so and letting grass grow taller than six inches creates the perfect camouflage and habitat for snakes and rodents.  A lush, green and healthy lawn also has softer grass and is easier for children to run barefoot across.  To keep your lawn healthy, remember to never cut off more than a third of the grass blade at a time and water the lawn at least one inch every week.  But be careful which days of the week you water the lawn to avoid fines. For example, in Cincinnati home owners can only water their lawn depending on which day of the week it is.


If you liked Zara’s post above, check out her other guest posts she’s provided to Go Ask Your Daddy:

4 Signs You Are Doing This Parenting Thing Totally Wrong

4 Signs You Are Doing This Parenting Thing Totally Wrong

**This post contains affiliate links and I will receive a commission for items you purchase by clicking on the links. 

Gymboree Sale On Now!

Are you doing this parenting thing totally the wrong way?  You could be, and not even know it.  No parent claims to know it all when it comes to raising kids, but there are things that we do as parents that are probably not the best ways to handle things that come up every  day.

When I first became a dad over 10 years ago, I had no clue what I was doing.  The closest I had ever come to being a parent was babysitting my little cousins and my wife’s little sister. Parenting is hard. No one ever said it would be easy, did they? It’s the one job you really can’t train for ahead of time.  You can take all of the parenting and birth classes in the world, but when the big day finally gets here, it’s so different.

I don’t claim to be the perfect dad.  I’m not, and I don’t expect that I’ll ever be perfect. But, there are some things that I think parents do totally wrong that have a huge impact on the growth and development of their kids. I’m guilty of just about all of these, so please don’t think that I wrote this post in judgement of others.

Here are 4 signs I came up with that I think parents do have control over that can greatly impact their kids’ lives. Just because we’ve done one or maybe all of these doesn’t mean that we are bad parents, but we do have the choice to make changes for the betterment of our families.

Can you identify with any of these signs?

  • Sign #1: Bedtime is always a battle
  • Sign #2: Your kid’s meltdown causes you to cave
  • Sign #3: You say “no” to everything
  • Sign #4: Your kids know no boundaries

Sign #1:  Bedtime is always a battle

Ahh, the never-ending bedtime routine.  It always creeps up on us every night, and then we are left to fight the good fight.  My first son really tested us at bed time. He never really had an established bedtime routine. It was always a struggle from the time he was born and to this day he sometimes has challenges falling to sleep at night.

New parents often wonder, “Will I ever get to sleep again?”  The answer is yes! I know it seems like an eternal battle with little ones, but we have to remember they have never been trained to sleep a full night. They are brand new to this world and are dependent on their parents to teach them how to become an independent sleeper. Notice I did NOT say dependent sleeper!

With 4 kids, it’s very hard sometimes to get them all in bed at the same time and to get them to sleep at the same time. Please realize that every night will be different. Our kids’ moods will be different and things going on in their lives impact how comfortable they are in falling asleep quickly. Don’t stress night time. I did for so long. My oldest always got out of his bed almost immediately and it was a repetitive process of carrying him back to his bed. It’s life. It’s parenting. It’s fixable!

You always end up in your kids’ room multiple times at bedtime

One mistake we made as new parents was to keep going into his room after we told him goodnight and turned out the light. The reason that this is a mistake is because it interferes with the child’s ability to learn that lights out means sleep and quiet. If by screaming and crying they find out that mommy and daddy will come back in and pick them up, then the behavior you are trying to teach will backfire.

One way you can train your child to stay in bed and go to sleep is by allowing him or her to be a part of the bedtime process. Let your kids participate in picking out a nighttime story to read. Once the story is over, they know they are to close their eyes and go to sleep.

We know that no matter what we do, our kids will still try to test the process. When you say good night, turn off the lights, and close the door, you are setting the stage for your child to then be independent and fall asleep on their own. When they challenge that process and get out of bed, repeat the same steps. Return your child to his or her bed, tuck them in, say good night, turn out the lights, and close the door again. You may do this for hours. Don’t give in.

No matter what their age, kids need some time away from mommy and daddy.  Bedtime is the perfect time to instill independence and self-soothing. If we are not giving our kids the time and space to self-sooth, they will have the constant need to always be attached at the hip to mommy and daddy.  I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing.  We all enjoy time with our kids.  But, in establishing a positive bedtime routine, we are setting the boundary that bedtime is sleep time, and that mommy and daddy are not in the room with baby.  Going back into the room with baby repeatedly at bedtime restarts the self-soothing process.  This is the opposite of what we are trying to establish.

You put baby to bed with a bottle

Many parents I know, including myself, are guilty of having put their baby in bed with a bottle to keep him or her from crying.  Bottles should never go in the bed with the baby because it teaches them to become dependent on the bottle in order to go to sleep. It is important to always feed the baby outside of the crib.  Dentists have also claimed that babies who fall asleep with a bottle in their mouths increases the risk of cavities.

You keep talking to baby

Bedtime is quiet time. By talking to your baby during bedtime, it teaches that it is play time instead.  It’s so easy to be tempted to talk to your baby while it is bed time, but resisting and continuing to promote a quiet environment is the best course to take. Maintaining a quiet environment is important in teaching your baby that it’s time to go to sleep.

You put baby in bed with you

Regardless of what some parents say about co-sleeping, it is not beneficial to the parents or the baby. We want to instill independence in falling asleep as early as possible.  The longer we hang on to crutches to help everyone fall asleep at night, the longer it takes for them to be corrected. A child that never gets the opportunity to sleep in his or her own room is a child that will probably have issues being independent in other areas of life.

There are times when putting your child in bed with you is appropriate, but those times should be few and far between. There are also stories of parents rolling over on the child.

Putting your baby in bed with you should always be the very last resort. We have to remember that baby is new at learning how to fall asleep so it’s important to let those skills develop without intervening.

Some parents feel that the only way to stop a baby from crying is co-sleeping, and in some cases that has worked, but the long-lasting impacts are actually detrimental to baby. It is understandable that many parents do not like the cry-it-out method, but I am here to testify that it works. It is very hard in the beginning, but it eventually helps baby gain independence and learn how to fall asleep alone.

The marital bed is just that – sleeping space for you and your spouse. A child that is trained to sleep in the same bed as the parents does not understand the need for the separation. Mom and dad need that alone time to continue to make their marriage work. It can’t happen if a child is in the same bed.

Sign #2: You give in to your child’s meltdown

Let’s face it. Every kid ever born is or has had a meltdown at various times. It’s just a part of their development. You tell them they can’t have a cookie – a meltdown occurs. You tell them to go to bed – a meltdown occurs. We need to recognize when these meltdowns occur and to find a trigger that will help calm the storm.

How many times have you been out in public when your child has a meltdown?  It’s inevitable. You feel like the whole word is watching what you do and that they think that you must not be able to parent. I stopped feeling that way a long time ago. How I react to how my kids are behaving in public shows others how well I parent my kids.

Nothing is worse than giving  in to a child’s meltdown. It teaches them that they can get their way by this type of behavior.  A child who learns to get his or her way by throwing a fit will more than likely learn that this type of behavior is acceptable as an adult.

Whatever you do, never yell back at the child who is having the meltdown. As parents, we need to demonstrate how to properly resolve issues, so by remaining calm and steering clear of yelling, we can be successful models of this behavior.

A good way to calm these meltdowns is to allow the child time to vent.  He or she will not listen and follow directions until physically and emotionally ready. Once your child has calmed down, reinforce what the directions are and consequences for not following them.

Sign #3: You say no to everything

If you are one of those parents that says no to everything, it’s time to stop. While we do need to teach our kids that there are boundaries, there is no reason to say no to every request that they ask of us. I have struggled with this in the past, and I can’t say today that I still don’t struggle with it. Our kids need to be able to know that we are flexible parents that allow them to experience new things in the world. We need to use our best judgement on things they ask us and try to find ways to compromise with them.  When they ask you for that new video game, don’t immediately say no.  Come up with ways that they can earn the game. Start a chore chart and a reward system.  Kids love to know that they’ve earned something. We all enjoy that sense of accomplishment!

Sign #4: Your kids know no boundaries

While I talked about not saying no to everything in the paragraph above, our kids do need to know that there are boundaries. This means they need to know that there’s a respectful way to treat others. Kids that are constantly rude to others need to be taught the appropriate way to behave.

Like I also said earlier, kids need to be able to work for things they want.  If we are constantly handing things out to them all the time, this will be impossible. Instill values of hard work and celebrate successes. Setting regular house rules is a great way to show that there are boundaries in the house.  Kids need to know this because there are boundaries outside of the house. Schools have boundaries in place that kids are expected to follow, so setting similar boundaries at home will make it easier for them to transition to outside the home.

These aren’t the only signs

Of course, there are many other signs that you may not be at your best when parenting, but I will touch on some of those in future posts. I thought for this post that I would touch on my top 4.  No matter if you didn’t fit the mold on any of the above, or if you are guilty of all of these, we all have a duty to be the best parents that we can possibly be for our kids. A good goal to set for 2017 is to work on these things for the betterment of our family’s future.

Can you think of any other signs?  Let me know in the comments below.




First Winter Blast of the Season

First Winter Blast of the Season

Yesterday we had our first taste of snow for the season!  Unfortunately, it didn’t start up until after the kids were at school.  Once they got home, there was enough snow on the ground for them to have a blast.  Here are some pictures of all of the fun!


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season


First Winter Blast of the Season