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What Teachers Really Want to Tell Parents

A teacher friend of mine posted this article on Facebook.  I really liked how it played out situations that happen too often in parent-teacher conversations.  The best take away advice I got from this article,”We are educated professionals who work with kids every day and often see your child in a different light than you do. If we give you advice, don’t fight it. Take it, and digest it in the same way you would consider advice from a doctor or lawyer.”

Have you had conversations like this regarding your child?  How did you resolve the issues with the teacher?  How did you come to terms about your child’s behavior?  Do you have a partnership with your child’s teacher and school.  Chime in and let me know.

– Katherine

 

Kids and Chores

Good Morning,

Whether you stay-at-home or are a working parent, it is nearly impossible to keep all aspects of family and life moving in the right direction.  The picture that comes to mind is that of a juggler trying to keep the balls in the air.  The more balls they add to the mix, the harder it is for them to keep track of and anticipate their next move.  I think many parents can relate to a juggler.

Personally, the first thing left undone when I have too much on my plate is housework.  I tell myself that I will do it after work or put in a little extra time on the weekend, but I never seem to get ahead of the mess.  Many of my clients look forward to the day that their children are old enough to help around the house.

I would like to suggest some ideas to consider regarding chores, and give some tips on getting your kids involved when it comes to housework.

Things to Think About

  • Are the jobs appropriate for your child’s age, ability, and free time?
  • Will they receive incentives for helping around the house?
  • How often are the jobs performed?  How much of a reward do you provide?
  • What lessons do you want them to learn?
  • What priority do you assign to chores?  Kids are juggling school, sports, and family commitments…
  • Will there be consequences for not doing chores or performing poorly?

Chores are a great way for kids to feel helpful around the house and take part as a responsible family member.  It also teaches teamwork and allows them to see how they affect the bigger picture.  Present the idea of chores early in life, when helping mom and dad is still seen as a positive treat.  Proffering rewards for help is up to you.  If you are planning on rewarding chores, below are a few ideas other than money.

  • Earning playdates with friends
  • Special outings for ice cream, movies, shopping, etc.
  • Additional free time with an activity of their choice
  • Staying up late
  • Sleeping in
  • Picking special breakfast, lunch, or dinner foods
  • One-on-one time with a person of their choosing
  • They get to pick the next week’s chores

Expecting kids to pitch in and help around the house is very appropriate.  How or if you choose to reward them is up to you.  Both systems work well, as long as you keep the rules and expectations consistent and fair.  If you are starting a new system and your kids are old enough, invite them to take part in the conversation and give their ideas for handling chores.

Sites with great chores lists:
Toddler Chore Chart

Chore Chart for Multiple Children

If you found this blog helpful please “like” us on Facebook!

Good Luck,

Katherine

 

Diaper Bag Organization

Diaper Bag Contents- 46-365 #TeamPhotoBlog

Image by dhgatsby via Flickr

Good Morning,

Many parents feel overwhelmed by the organizational aspect of raising a child when coupled with the need to keep their lives running smoothly.  Keeping everything in its place every day seems like a daunting task, one that takes hours to accomplish.  This is simply not true.

I like to tell my organizationally challenged clients to pick one or two areas where they feel the most disorganized, and we start there.  It should only take a few minutes to keep an area under control.  One easily overlooked area is the diaper bag.  I have heard numerous horror stories: moms and dads running out of diapers or clothes when they are far from home…and now having a huge problem on their hands.

Here are the bare minimums to keep in mind when it comes to diaper bag organization:

Stock Up
Keep the essentials on hand.  I love Amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save feature.  Items come in the mail on a set schedule.  You will never run out of diapers or wipes again!  Keeping your house stocked will ensure that you can keep your diaper bag supplied as well.

Pick a Smart Bag
You will tote a diaper bag from the day your baby is born to the time they start school.  Knowing this, make a smart decision when it comes to choosing your diaper bag.  Ensure the bag has convenient storage and that you are able to carry the bag comfortably.  You may need multiple bags.  It is reasonable for each parent (as well as any caretakers that take your child out) to have their own bag.

Regular Maintenance
Create a habit of cleaning out and restocking the bag after every use.  This minimizes the chance of not having what you need.  Make sure the bag is free of trash and wipe up any spills.  You may not always have time to clean out and re-pack a diaper bag on your way out the door, so make it a point to do maintenance when you get home or at the end of the day.

Organize Inside
I love to use Ziploc baggies inside bigger diaper bags for easy and efficient storage.  Label baggies with what goes inside: diapers, clothes, food, dirty items, toys, etc.  Now you can easily grab what you need immediately.  This method also allows you to quickly inventory items, which plays into keeping your diaper bag well stocked.  Don’t just throw everything inside, organize it to maximize stress-free use.

Use a Luggage Tag
Another strategy I employ with my clients is a luggage tag.  List all items that should go in the bag as well as the quantities of each, and attach the tag to the zipper or outside of the diaper bag.  This trick is useful when there are multiple people using one bag.  Many parents find this helpful because they don’t know or forget what goes in the bag.  You can prepare different tags for different situations: seasonal, night-time, grandma’s house, out-of-town, etc.

Make the most of your diaper bag and take care of it.  It only takes a few minutes to organize and stock items that are necessary for the care of your child.  In the end, your preparation will lead to lower stress and more fun on outings!

Other sites to take a look at:

Consumer Reports diaper bag guide
Great reviews and tips at Diaper Bag Junkie
Great list of what you need at parentsconnect

If you find these tips helpful, please subscribe/like/pass this blog along.  Thanks!

Good Luck,

Katherine