Treating Our Kids The Same When They Are Very Different

No parent wants to admit that they have a favorite kid, but the reality is that we probably do. Sure we love all of our kids the same, but do we really like them all the same? Parents may fear that when they have another child they will not love the new child as much or that they may love it more. Maybe it sounds crazy, but it is actually a legitimate concern. Throughout our lives we come across different personalities and the fact is that we get along with some better than others. With the different personalities of our kids, treating them the same can be an on going challenge.

Just as our kids don’t get to choose their parents, we don’t get to choose our kid’s personalities. Many different factors play a role in making them who they are, such as environment or birth order. As much as we may try to change those undesirable behaviors, sometimes it comes down to good old genetics. The traits that we just can’t stand and the traits that we adore might just be built into their DNA.

Anyone who has more than one child can probably agree that there is at least one of their children that is more challenging to discipline than the others. If you have a strong-willed child than you know exactly what I am talking about. A strong-willed child doesn’t always like to be told what to do and often won’t take “no” for an answer. Having a strong-willed child is a challenge in itself. When you have other children that are not strong-willed and for the most part compliant, it can be difficult to treat them the same.

It’s not impossible to treat our kids the same, but it does require some extra effort. There are some guidelines that we as parents can set in place to make sure that all of our kids feel that they are treated equally. Consistency as in everything, is key! Stick to the same set of rules and always follow through. Don’t make exceptions for one unless you plan on making the exception for all.

Rules

Set up household rules that everyone is meant to follow. The same set of rules should apply to everyone. The only time this may change is if you have kids with a big age difference, otherwise all of the rules would be the same. Rules would be like, no jumping on the bed or clean up your toys when your done playing with them.

Discipline

Discipline should be the same for all of your kids. I know as a parent this can be hard. Sometimes we make excuses for the youngest that they are still little and don’t know any better. It’s important to stick to our guns even with that adorable little face looking back at us. When rules are broken or our child misbehaves there should be a consequence for that child.

Affection

Affection is probably one of the most important things that we as parents need to be more conscience of. I often catch myself giving my little one more kisses and more snuggles than my older one. This is partly because my little one is a lot more affectionate than my older child. I remind myself to show both of my kids affection. If I give one a hug and tell them I love them, then I give my other a hug and tell them that I love them. It sounds easy, but it is also easy to forget.

Quality Time

Quality time is important for every child to do with their parents. It’s important that we spend equal amounts of quality time with each of our kids. I suggest making a schedule of when we are going to spend quality time with each of them. That way is it set in stone and everyone knows when it’s their time. Let your kids choose an activity that they want to do with just you and follow through.

Compliments

Remember to compliment all of your children daily. Tell each of them something good that they are doing or something you love about them. For example, “I love how you helped your sister with the blocks” or I love how smart you are”. Not only will this boost their confidence, but it will also make each of them feel loved by you.

I am no perfect parent, and I struggle with this topic a lot. I think that being aware of our kid’s differences and not letting it factor the way we treat them is a step in the right direction. The reality is that some kids require more attention than others. If we implement these guidelines into our daily routine we have a better chance of making all of our kids feel loved equally.

Do you ever find yourself treating your kids differently? What do you do to try to fix it?

treating our kids the same when they are very different
how to not play favorites with our kids

Teaching Children Manners In A Rude World

What kind of children are you raising?

With all of the bullying and rude people in the world, it makes me wonder what kind of children are we raising? Manners today are not what they used to be. With technology right at our children’s fingertips it seems that there are more rude people today than ever before.

In a sense personal interaction is few and far in between. Even as adults most of our interaction with others is through text and email. Many of us have forgotten the importance of manners and what it means to be polite.

Have you ever heard the phrase “didn’t your mother ever teach you any manners?” Well, did you teach your children manners? The good new is that it’s not too late. Manners can be taught to any age, but the earlier the better! When you teach young children manners it is more likely to stick with them for the rest of their life.

“Our children today will become the adults of tomorrow”.

Importance of Manners

Manners are something we use every day to make a good impression on others and to make us feel good about our self. Good manners are not just about opening doors and saying please and thank you. While those manners are just as important, kindness goes much deeper.

When you show good manners, you are showing others that you are considerate and respectful of them and their feelings. You are also setting an example that others should follow. Treat people the way that you want to be treated. By showing respect, you will be given respect.

kindness and common courtesy come from having good manners. If you want to set your child up for success, which I think you do, then teach them these simple manners. Good manners are always important especially if you want to go far in life.

Please! and Thank you!

Obviously these are the manners that everyone knows. You may be surprised to see how many people don’t actually use them. To be polite, “please” should always be used when asking someone of something. “Thank you” is a way to show gratitude when someone has done something for you. These are very simple manners and should be taught to children at a very young age.

Hello! and Goodbye!

Saying hello is the polite way to greet people. When answering the phone we always answer with “hello”. If someone comes to your house you should always stop what you are doing and say “hello”. “Goodbye” is the polite way to let someone know that you are leaving or hanging up. Always say “goodbye” rather than making people wonder where you are.

Excuse me!

This one is a pet peeve of mine! If you are going to squeeze pass someone, say “excuse me”rather than pushing past or bumping into them. This is called common courtesy! “Excuse me” is also very important to teach children as a polite way to interrupt. Interrupting should only be done when it is something important or an emergency. Of course to a child everything seems important and can’t wait but, at least if they say “excuse me” it won’t seem so bad.

Table Manners

You probably remember the days when your mom would tell you “don’t talk with your mouth full”. Table manners are still very important even today. After all we are not raising animals in a barn! Simple rules such as chew with your mouth closed, no elbows on the table, and use your fork and knife are important rules that our child should know. Children should always remain seated until they are finished eating, especially at a restaurant. By doing so you are teaching them to be courteous to the people that are still eating.

Put The Phone Down!

This is a hard manner to teach especially in today’s world. It seems that both kids and adults have a hard time grasping this rule. First of all, it’s never polite to use your phone while eating a meal with others. Phones should be put away during meal time and while you have visitors. Its a way to make people feel like you have their full attention. If someone is talking to you put the phone or tablet down and look them in the eye to let them know that you are listening.

Be A Good Listener

The polite thing to do when someone asks you a question is to give them an answer. Teach your children to pay attention if someone is talking to them and to never interrupt until they are done speaking. When someone is speaking to you always make eye contact. That means look away from the TV and your phone!

Show Gratitude

Showing gratitude is not just about saying thank you, but also about showing others that you are appreciative of them or what they have done. When someone gives you something like a gift or a compliment, always respond with a “thank you”. Kids may be given something that they don’t like and it can be hard for them to say “thank you”. Remind them that by showing gratitude they won’t hurt that person’s feelings.

No Name Calling

This is an important manner that every child should be taught. Name calling is never OK even if it’s a joke. Teach your child that their words can have a huge impact on someone else. Name calling can hurt other people’s feelings and hurting other people’s feelings in not acceptable. Name calling is where bullying begins. It is our job as the parent to make sure that our child never becomes that bully.

Keep Your Comments To Yourself

You may remember the line from the movie Bambi, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”. This is still a good lesson today to teach our children. You don’t have to like everyone and everything, but you shouldn’t be rude. If you don’t like something then it’s best not to say anything. Intentionally hurting someone’s feelings should never be OK.

All of these manners may seem like a lot to take in. Remember that our children lead by our example. We have to practice what we preach. Don’t just tell your kids about good manners, show them what having good manners looks like. Our world will be a much happier place!

Which manners are important to you? 

how to teach children manners in a rude world
what kind of children are you raising

 

Bath Time Doesn’t Have To Be So Difficult

Tonight is the dreaded bath night! I don’t like bath time for many reasons. For one, it takes a lot of effort. Just getting the kids into the bath is a chore in itself. No one can ever just get in. There is always the struggle to get undressed, the sudden need to pee, and of course all of the last minute toys to gather.

Once I finally have the kids into the tub, no one wants to get out. I end up sitting there for what seems like forever so they can make me one last tea. Then I practically break my back bending over to get everyone washed. The hair washing is the worst part when you have two girls. I try so hard to get all of the soap out and to not to get water in their eyes. By the end I am usually soaked. It can all be a little too much.

There are so many types of products out there to help make baby’s bath night not so difficult. Over the years I have seen so many new and really great bath time essentials. Many of which I wish were around when my first daughter was born. These products are designed to make bath time much easier. Hopefully some of these will work for you as well as they have worked for me.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy one of these fine products I may earn a commission. This is a great way to show support for my blog.

Summer Infant® Right Height® Bath Tub

This tub is amazing and real back saver! It is designed to be the right height so that you don’t have to strain your back while giving your baby a bath. The bath tub is made of three parts, the seat, tub, and stool. The bath seat can be removed and used by itself in the kitchen sink or bath tub. When your baby is finally able to sit up they can use the tub by itself. The stool can also be used by itself as a toddler step stool.

AVEENO® Baby Essential Daily Care Baby & Mommy Gift Set

I absolutely love Aveeno baby care products. I used them for both of my girls and never had any skin irritation. This gift set also includes skin care items for mommy, which is really great! Not to mention these products smell amazing and are really gentle on your skin. My favorite Aveeno baby bath product is the Calming Comfort bath wash. I always used it when I gave my baby girls a bath. I noticed it helped them to sleep better through the night.

Nuby™ 16-Piece Bath Tub Foam Animal Characters

Bath toys are a must have for your baby’s bath time. Kids love to play in the bath so why not make it fun with some cute little animals. These foam animal pieces are great because they are soft and can stick to the tub and tiles when they wet. They are easy to clean and dry out quickly. Your baby will really love chewing on them too! I like to use bath time as learning time. Quiz your little one about what color or animal they are.

Munchkin Secure Grip Bath Caddy

I love this Munchkin bath caddy. It fits across your tub and is perfect to store toys and bath soaps. I have used other caddys in the past that have suction cups to stick to the wall. The problem is that they never stay put. If they get too heavy or wet they end up falling down. With this caddy you don’t have to worry about it falling. The tiny drain holes help everything to dry out quickly and prevents mold. I like to use it as a barrier between my little one and the faucet to prevent bumps. It can easily be removed for showers or cleaning.

Stay-Dry™ Bath Apron & Towel

This bath apron is so useful! No one wants to get soaked while giving your kids a bath. This bath apron is designed to keep you dry and doubles as a towel for your baby. The apron folds up and creates a pocket that is easy to put your baby in to dry them off. The bath mitten that is included also works great for getting your baby clean and is really soft. The apron is also available in other colors.

Dreambaby® Room and Bath Duck Thermometer

I cannot tell you how many times I made the bath water too hot! Without this thermometer I may have not noticed. I like to take really hot showers so I am probably not the best judge of water temperature. This bath thermometer lets you know when the bath water is at the perfect temperature. It indicates if the water is too hot or too cold. The bath thermometer gives you a little reassurance that your baby will be safe and comfortable during bath time.

SKIP*HOP® Moby Waterfall Rinser

This waterfall rinser is a life saver! The spout is designed so that you can easily rinse your child’s hair without getting water in their eyes. Any other cup would spill water all over. It is easy to hold and scoop up water. Before I had this rinser there was a lot of crying during bath time. This makes it so easy to rinse your child’s hair without the tears.

SKIP*HOP® Moby Bath Kneeler

Lastly I don’t know where my knees would be if I didn’t have this Moby bath kneeler. It is a super soft cushion that protects your knees from the hard floors. It has a non-slip back so you don’t have to worry about is slipping around. The material is a wet suit fabric that dries out quickly. Anyone that kneels to bathe their kids needs to have this bath kneeler to prevent sore knees later.

All of these great products and more can be found at bedbathandbeyond.com. I hope you have found this post helpful. Baby’s bath time doesn’t have to be so difficult! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of these bath time products.

products for difficult bathtime with kids

Is Breastfeeding Ok When You Are Sick?

Is breastfeeding OK when you are sick? The answer may be surprising to most. As laid in bed for 3 days with a bad case of the flu, the last thing I wanted to do was to nurse my little one. I thought that breastfeeding while I was sick might actually get her sick. I didn’t really know, but I didn’t want to take any chances. She insisted on nursing as usual and did not understand that mommy was sick. I decided it was best to avoid nursing as much as possible just to be safe.

By the third day I ended up going to Urgent Care to see what was really going on. The doctor confirmed that I did in fact I have the flu. The diagnosis was a bit frustrating considering I had gotten the flu vaccine a few months ago. I thought that here was no way I could get the flu. It turns out that there are different flu stains and the vaccine only protects you against one! Now I know…

I explained to the doctor that I had not been breastfeeding because of the fear of getting my daughter sick. She told me that the best thing I could do for my little one during that time was to nurse her as much as possible. Breastfeeding would actually protect her from getting the flu. It turns out that the antibodies that my body was producing would be given to her through the breast milk.

The doctor suggested I take some precautions while continuing to nurse. She recommended wearing a mask to avoid passing the flu. Any time you are sick you should wash your hands often. This is especially important before breastfeeding your baby. Lastly staying hydrated is especially important with the flu. Dehydration is a major problem in many cases of the flu. If you are still nursing then it is even more important to drink a lot of fluids.

Basically what I learned is that I would go through all of the suffering of the flu so that my little one wouldn’t have to. I took the doctor’s advice and began nursing my daughter as much as I could. The last thing I wanted was for her to get sick as I was getting better. The amazing thing is that it worked! A week later and still no sign of the the flu.

I should not forget to mention that my little one is actually a toddler. She is 2 1/2 to be exact! I have been trying to wean her from nursing for months now. It has been an on going challenge as she is really unwilling to give up the boob. A year ago I would have never thought I would still be nursing, but her I am! I use to think that nursing a toddler was kind of weird. I never wanted to be one of those moms that is still nursing at this stage. Now that I am in this situation I have a new understanding of why breastfeeding even now is so important for my child’s health.

As I recover, I will continue to try to wean my toddler and hopefully I will have some success in the next couple of months. In the mean time I am so thankful that I was still breastfeeding. There is no better feeling than knowing that I helped protect my daughter from getting the flu.

Do you had any experiences of being sick and breastfeeding? I would love to hear about them. What about your thoughts on breastfeeding a toddler? Leave me your comments or questions. I would love to start a discussion!

How To Deal With An Aggressive Child Not Your Own

As a parent we have probably all come into situations with an aggressive child. There is always that kid at the park that pushes the other kids or a kid at school that can’t keep their hands to themselves. My daughter once came home from daycare with a bite mark on her arm. We have all been there and it can be heartbreaking and really frustrating. How do we deal with an aggressive child that is not our own?

Many times I would like to go over to the child and yell at them and tell them that it’s not ok. I know that in most situations that’s probably not such a good idea. The parents probably wouldn’t be too happy. I have to remind myself that it is not my child or my place. I cannot discipline someone else’s child as I would my own, although I would like to. What can we do instead?

Take Action

The first thing we can do is to stop the aggressive act. If you see a child is pushing or hitting, simply tell them “no hitting” or “no pushing”. I am that parent that keeps a close watch on an aggressive child. Sometimes all you need to do is give them that look like, I’m watching you! Usually that will stop them in their tracks. Make sure they know that their aggressive behavior is not going to fly as long as you are around.

Tell The Parent

If the parent is nearby and didn’t see the incident then let them know. That way you are giving them the opportunity to correct the aggressive behavior. Unfortunately telling the parent doesn’t always help. There are many parents that could care less if their child is pushing or hitting another child. Probably because they think they are just being kids. Some parents even see the incident and do nothing. What do we do if that happens?

Remove Your Child

If you come across an aggressive child the best thing we can do for our kids is to remove them from that situation. I explain to my child that we don’t want to play there because that kid isn’t being nice. You should suggest playing somewhere else and redirect their attention. I will say “lets go play on the slide” or “lets go on the swings”. Whatever it takes to get your child away from the aggressive child.

Teach Your Child

Although no one wants to see their child being hurt it can be a huge learning tool. We can teach our child how to stand up for themselves by using their words. The next time an aggressive kid hurts your child tell them to say “Don’t push me!” or “Don’t hit me!”. We have to teach them that hitting back is not the solution. They need to know that there are other ways to defend themselves. They should be able to walk away from the situation and let an adult know.

I hope this advice will help you and your child to better deal with an aggressive child. We cannot keep our kids in a bubble forever. It is not easy, but it is all part of growing up. How do you deal with another person’s aggressive child? I would love to hear your advice. Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

Good vs. Bad: How To Find Your Parenting Balance

It’s no secret that being a parent comes with many challenges. Parenting can be overwhelming and exhausting at times. There are definitely days when I think to myself “What the heck did I get myself into?” With my kids the simplest tasks can become so hard and really stressful. Like who sits where or who gets which color bowl. Sometimes I would like to pull my hair out or better yet, run away!

When the dust settles and things are calm, for the moment, I think about how amazing it is to be a mom and how wonderful it is to raise two girls. I love the little cuddles we share or when we are silly together. I remind myself that there is nothing more I would rather be doing. Being a mom is my whole life and is what gives me my purpose. I know that failure is not an option because my girls are depending on me.

Being a parent is the most important thing we will ever do in our life. I mean think about it, we are molding little people that will one day have to go out into the world. Are children are the future and will one day need to be productive and contributing members of society. With all the bad in the world we have to be making some good with our kids. We want to instill all of the values and morals that we think are important. The only way to accomplish this is to be a more balanced parent.

In order to become a more balanced parent we must first understand the different types of parenting and the affects they can have on our kids. I believe that there really is no right way to parent, but there is definitely a wrong way. With everything in life it is all about balance. We all need to find our parenting balance in order to raise confident and well rounded kids. One way of parenting may work better for some kids than others. We have to find what works best for each kid to ensure that they have the best possible chance at success.

 Permissive

Permissive parenting or indulgent parenting is an unhealthy style of parenting. These types of parents are responsive but not firm. These parents tend to be lenient in order to avoid confrontation with their child. Little to no rules are set for the kids of a permissive parent. If there are rules they are often inconsistent. This lack of structure can cause these kids to grow up with no self-discipline or self-control. Permissive parents often believe that this style of parenting provides their child with a sense of freedom. The reality is that kids need a sense of structure to make them feel safe. It is important for a child’s development that there are clear parent and child roles.

Neglectful

Neglectful parenting or uninvolved parenting is one of the most harmful styles of parenting. It is characterized by a lack of responsiveness to their child’s needs. Neglectful parents make few to no demands of their kids and they are often uninterested, dismissive or even neglectful. This kind of parenting is damaging to a child because they have no trust or safety which can limit them from being able to explore the world. Kids who have an absent relationship with their parent will have a harder time forming relationships with other people especially other kids.

Authoritarian

Authoritarian parenting or strict parenting are parents who are demanding and not responsive. These types of parents allow for little to no open communication with their child.  The Kids are expected to follow a strict set of rules. These types of parents usually rely on punishment in order to create obedience in their kids. While structure and rules are necessary for healthy child development these rules can be overdone or extreme. The kids of authoritarian parents often have low self-esteem and may be fearful or shy in social situations. These kids may even misbehave or rebel when they are away from their parents.

Authoritative

The most effective and beneficial parenting style is authoritative parenting. This type of parenting sets high, but reasonable expectations and boundaries for their kids. Authoritative parents offer understanding and support for their kids when implementing these expectations. They offer an open communication with their kids without the fear of consequences. Being able to speak to our kids without judgment will give us more insight into their life and provide them with a deeper understanding of the world around them. Authoritative parenting creates a healthy environment and a productive relationship for both the parent and child.

As you can see there really is no one way to parent our kids. You may adopt parts of different parenting styles depending on each of your kids or certain situations. There are no perfect parents or clear cut answers on how to do things. All of us are kind of learning as we go. In the end it is important that we create a balanced structure with consequences, boundaries and open communication with our kids. Our kids must know which rules are important and why it is important for them to be followed.

To become a more balanced parent you have to create the balance within your self first. Any extreme behavior can be harmful to you. Extreme parenting is not a good idea for anyone. I would think that having a ton of rules and to enforce all of them would be exhausting or to have little to no rules would only create chaos in your home.

Good luck on finding your parenting balance! Comment below if you found this information helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts on how you find your parenting balance.

parenting styles
how to find a parenting balance

6 Ways To Be Silly With Your Kids

Day to day life can be stressful with managing work, the kids, household chores and paying bills. If you are a busy parent then you know that we could all use a break every now from being an adult. We forget to stop and take a few minutes to play with our kids because lets face it there are a million other things that need to be done! A great way to take a break from everything else is to do silly activities with our kids.

I am definitely guilty of being a little too serious at times. I get stuck in the parenting role and forget that its ok to laugh and be silly. When I do finally take a breather it feels amazing! I really do love having fun with my kids and showing them that it’s ok to be silly sometimes. What kid wouldn’t love to do silly games with their parents?

I am sharing with you some really fun activities that you can do with your kids to be silly. These are all things that I have done with my kids to let loose. The best thing is that you can get the whole family involved! It feels so good to cut loose and act like a total dork sometimes. Kids are so amazing at not judging you. Take a little time to have some fun!

1. Have a Dance Party!

Have a dance party with your kids. I love to put on some fun music and dance with my kids. The goal is to dance in the silliest way possible. We turn it into a contest as to who can come up with the craziest dance moves. It’s a lot of fun and really gets everyone moving!

2. Play Hide and Seek

Play hide and seek with your kids. Kids absolutely love this game! It is an old time classic game but is still so much fun. We love coming up with fun and creative places to hide. You can get the whole family to play and they will love it!

3. Have a Sing Along

Put on some music and sing along! Its ok if you don’t know the words just make up your own. We make it fun by singing in silly voices. The kids really love it and you can channel your inner superstar! This Kids Karaoke Machine is so much fun from Amazon.com.

4. Play Dress-Up

Bring out some costumes and accessories and see who can come up with the craziest outfits. Make a runway and model your crazy outfits. Don’t forget to strike a silly pose! We love these Melissa & Doug dress up hats.

5. Play Pretend

Come up with different scenarios and play pretend. This is a great way to get you and your kids imaginations going. Try to get really into character and be as silly and over the top as possible. These Childcraft Occupation Costumes can really set up your scenario.

6. Do Crazy Hairstyles

Do crazy hairstyles on each other. Find barrettes or things around the house like straws or cotton balls to add to your crazy hair! When finished model your silly hairstyles and take some selfies together.

I hope you will take a little time to play around with some of these ideas. I promise you and your kids will have so much fun! There are probably so many other silly things you can do with your kids. What are some fun activities you do to be silly with your kids? Also check out my post on ways to be a happier and healthier mom.

fun activities to be silly with kids
silly activities to have fun with kids

 

Tips And Tricks: Hosting A Successful Playdate

Have you ever thought about hosting a playdate, but are too scared or don’t have the energy to host one? Or maybe you have hosted one, but it didn’t go according to plan. I have experience all of the above. Hosting a playdate can be stressful especially if you are not fully prepared. The thought of having more kids come to your house can be a little overwhelming.

Why are playdates important?

Playdates can be really great experiences and learning tools for your kids. By being around other kids your child will learn how to interact with other kids appropriately. Learning to share, communicate, take turns, be respectful, and follow others rules. Playdates can be fun for the parents too! Spending time with other adults can be a luxury at times. It is also a great time to share stories and swap advice.

Over the years, through trial and error and some bad playdates, I have come up with some tips and tricks to make for a successful playdate. It is mostly about covering all of your bases and being prepared for any situation.

Entertainment

The most important part of hosting a successful playdate it to know how you are going to keep the kids entertained. Toys alone will probably not be enough. Before long the kids will be bored with the toys and they will probably start getting crazy or maybe even ask to leave. We all know that when kids are bored they start causing trouble or get into things they shouldn’t. All of these scenarios can be avoided if you set up a game plan. Plan out activities that are fun and age appropriate for the little ones and will keep them interested for a period of time.

 

Indoor Activities:
  • Draw pictures
  • Make puzzles
  • Paint rocks
  • Play-doh
  • Bake cookies/ decorate cookies
  • Build a fort
  • Play a game (hot potato, hide and seek)
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Play dress up
  • Craft project

 

Outdoor Activities:
  • Blow bubbles
  • Draw with chalk
  • Obstacle course
  • Play ball
  • Water balloons, squirt guns
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Jump rope
  • Hula hoop

Food

If you are planning a lunch playdate then have the food ready when they arrive. Choose food that is easy to eat and will appeal to most kids. Chicken nuggets, sandwiches, or frozen pizza are my go tos. I like to serve them with a side of fruit. You can always check with the parent to see what their child likes to eat or if they have any food allergies.

Snack Bar

 

All of the playing can make the kids hungry so be prepared to have plenty of snacks. A great idea that has worked for me is to set up a snack bar on your counter or table. Be sure that the kids can easily access it when they are in need of a little snack. I like to put out a variety of snacks such as cheese and crackers, fruit, nuts, pretzels, baby carrots and juice.

Remove Problem Toys

 

Before your playdate arrives remove any toys that you foresee a problem with. I like to put away all of the electronics or any toys with a lot of small pieces that can get lost easily. You should also ask your child if there are toys that they don’t feel comfortable sharing. There may be toys that are special to them that you want to put in a safe place. By putting away certain toys you will avoid some of the sharing issues that may happen later.

Set Rules

Discuss with your child the rules that are in place when their friends come to the house and be sure to enforce them. If there are areas of the house that are off limits or things that are not supposed to be played with make sure to let all of the kids know. Let them know if you are going to be playing outside or staying indoors. If your child is clear about the rules then they can be sure to follow them and you will avoid some of the tantrums.

I hope this post has been helpful to you so you can start planning your next playdate. My kids and I really enjoy playdates and hopefully you will too. Follow this advice and your playdate will be smooth sailing! Comment if there are any ideas I didn’t mention. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for hosting a successful playdate.

 

How To Survive The Movies With A Toddler

Thinking about taking your toddler to the movies? I know it’s a scary thought! I waited until my daughter was 2 and a few months to finally rip the Band-Aid off. I was feeling so guilty excluding her every time we went to the movies. It was only a matter of time before I would need to make it happen. I would never know unless I tried.

Lets face it, toddlers can be stressful in a lot of situations. The thought of taking them to the movies where they have to sit for up to 2 hours and be quite is a lot to ask. I had so much anxiety over the very idea. I knew that I had to give my little one the chance to prove me wrong and surprisingly she did.

Now that I have taken my toddler to the movies a few times I have some tips and tricks that will help you survive your movie going experience. Every child is different so take the tips that work best for you. It’s not going to be perfect every time, but at least you are teaching them about going to the movies and how to behave.

Avoid crowds

Weekends tend to be the busiest days for the movies. When taking a toddler to the movies the fewer the people the better. Weekdays are the best days to go but if you can only go on the weekends, pick a time that is least crowded. Usually anytime before noon. I would also suggest avoiding the opening week of a movie as this also tends to be the busiest time.

Avoid Naptime

When choosing a movie time avoid a time that interferes with your child’s nap. No one wants to deal with a cranky child in a theater, especially those who also paid to see the movie. Do yourself and your child a favor and avoid naptime. Going to the earliest showing or after your child’s nap is going to make your movie experience much more enjoyable.

Snacks! 

Lets face it toddlers are always hungry! Snacks are a great way to keep them distracted while they watch the movie so they won’t get up and move around. I like to bring a variety of snacks that are easy to eat and not too messy. The key is to bring snacks that aren’t full of sugar. Any candy is a recipe for disaster! I learned the hard way when I took my older daughter to the movies and bought some raisinets. Twenty minutes into the movie she was jumping around and asking if the movie was over yet. Most theaters say there is a no outside food or drink policy but the theaters I have been to didn’t make it an issue.

Water 

Just as the snacks I seriously suggest sticking to water and avoiding any sugary sodas or juice drinks. I  bring my kids own little water bottles. That way they can easily help themselves and you don’t have to worry about buying an expensive water from the movies or them spilling it all over. My favorite water bottle is the CamelBak from amazon.com. It will last forever!

Bring A Blanket

My toddler seems to sit better when she is nice and comfortable. If you allow your little one to snuggle up with their favorite blanket it will really help. The movies can sometimes get a little cold so this is another added bonus. Bring their favorite stuffed animal or toy too if it helps them feel safe and secure. Whatever it takes to make sure they are going to stay in their seat as long as possible. This Skip Hop Blanket is perfect because it folds up into a carry case. It can easily be carried by your toddler without them dragging it on the floor. Gross! Also on amazon.com.

Skip The Previews

We all know that the previews before the movie can go on forever. Imagine those extra 15 minutes for a toddler! I suggest showing up a few minutes after the show time to try to avoid some of those previews. Its best if you arrive when the actual movie is about to start that way your toddler doesn’t have the chance to be bored.

Find the perfect seat

As you look for the perfect seat that’s not too close and not too far, try to pick a seat that has no one in front of you and if possible no one in back of you. It is only a matter of time before your little one is out of their seat and hanging over the seat in front of them. If their is no one in front of you than you don’t have to worry about your kid touching the man’s head in front of you because trust me, it will happen.

Enjoy the show!

I hope you enjoy the show! Hopefully these little tips will help you survive your movie experience with your toddler. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know your tips and tricks for taking your little ones to the movies.