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Guest Blog by Tracey Clayton

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As we wrap up 2015, I’d like to wish you and yours happiness in the New Year!

This week, my guest blog writer is Tracey Clayton. She is a full-time mom of three girls. Tracey loves to cook, bake, sew and spend quality time with her daughters. She’s passionate  about writing, and her motto is “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” You can follow her on Facebook. Please welcome Tracey!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Things that the kids can learn from their surroundings

The child’s environment plays an important role in his/her education. Parents should make every effort to ensure that this environment does not bring negative effects to the child, and they must make a great effort to guide their child to the right track.

Parents are the role models

As the child’s immediate environment is the family, it is inevitable that the child takes the characteristics of his/her parents. Therefore, parents should be careful about how they treat their children; it is not strange if children become mean or very aggressive if parents show identical behavior in front of them. Parents need to have a healthy attitude towards a situation that presents itself. If a problem occurs, for example, they must be able to show the resolve or at least seem to have courage to overcome it. As parents are the role models for their children, kids often simply copy the look and behavior.

Peer pressure

Apart from education provided by the parents, the children also receive education in their immediate environment, the most important thing being school. The relationship with teachers and peers has an effect on children’s education. Children often tend to follow what their friends do.

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The importance of games

Play is essential to the child especially in early years. Combining learning and entertainment is an interesting concept involving the game. Through play, the children are not subjected to any pressure and progress at their own pace. It contributes significantly to the motor development in the simplest possible way. This is also a way to develop communication between children and parents. When they play pretend, children understand the world by trying things they have learned and they have seen, and reflecting their impressions. Just looking at my girls play, I could learn a lot about what they feel and think.

Games with rules

At about time they start school, children start to play games governed by rules, which they must comply. This encourages them to use strategies, logic and their moral judgment. Board games, card games and team sports all involve rules. They help children to learn to play in turn, negotiate, solve problems and get along with others.

Useful toys

Toys are an essential part of education, proper development and education in a child’s life. Apart from getting my kids toys that are appropriate for their age and stimulate learning, I also allowed them to play with different household items such as pots and magnets, and I even got them a Zado rug, with alphabet, so that they could subconsciously learn while playing.

The influence of technology

It is certain that the development of technology significantly changed the role of parents. It was really hard for me to comprehend that something that was not part of my growing up, is now an integral part of childhood for my children. However, regardless of all the technological wonders that surround us – the kids are still kids! That is, while kids acquire certain skills through games, mobile phones and computers as they grow up, playing with a ball, riding a bike, and other small, everyday activities, precisely at the appropriate age and in an appropriate manner – will not be able to get compensation later. Your participation as a parent is of paramount importance, much to the benefit and satisfaction of both you and your child.

The positive education demands patience because the child does not adhere very quickly to change. Parents must accompany the children and encourage them, providing everything necessary for the proper development while taking care of children’s immediate surroundings.

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Guest Blog by Eileen Turay

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I’d like to introduce Eileen Turay. She has a Masters of Science in Counseling with a school specialization. She’s worked with children with Autism for a few years using ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), and taught at both preschool and elementary levels. She’s married, has a three-year-old daughter, two dogs, and they live in South Florida.

She shares some great free and cheap ideas to do with children. Please welcome Eileen Turay!

Blessings, Rebecca

Our top 8 fave FREE and CHEAP things to do with Kids

Since I currently work full time, I am always looking for new fun things for Olivia and I to do on the weekends. Though going to get Bagels and Starbucks are among our top two faves, they get old quickly; so, I thought I would make a list of some of our favorite inexpensive and free things that Olivia and I like to do together.

1. Make breakfast together. Pancakes are not only pretty simple to make, they are easy for a three-year-old to help make. Liv loves nothing more than to stir up the batter. I know, it can get messy, but it is worth it. When she feels helpful, it makes us both happy. Then we sit on the couch in our jammies and yell at the dogs together for trying to eat our food.

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Eating breakfast together. parenting fun

 2. Go to a new park. HYPE IT UP! When I ask if Olivia wants to go to the park, I never know what she is going to say; but if I ask her if she wants to try a BRAND NEW AMAZING SUPER AWESOME park, she is IN! Google parks in a 30 mile radius from your house. If you see graffiti, gang signs, and broken glass you may want to try another one… but that’s the fun in the adventure right?

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Fun at the Park

3. Festivals. Greek, music, dog, school, asparagus (yep.. that’s a real one in Stockton, CA lol) Look them up and go!! You may have to argue with your child a bit about why $5 a ticket for the bounce house is not happening… but you can probably distract her with a sweet swag bag compliments of the local Bank Branch booth.

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Fun and Free Festivals

 4. FORTS. I cannot stress how amazing forts are. From ages 2-34 (my husband as proof), forts can be lots of fun. You have to be willing to just say goodbye to any chance of having decent couch cushions ever again; but honestly, if you have a three-year-old, you’ve already had the sofa funeral.

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Fort Fun. Making a Mess

5. Anything wet. If you have the space for it, a tiny pool or water table. If you live in an apartment like us, find the nearest spray ground/beach/lake/pool. This one is a given. Olivia almost always says she doesn’t want to go; then she always has a blast. Here is the trick: you need to get wet too. I don’t know why I am sharing this or why it is such a stand out memory to me: but as a child, my mom never wanted to swim with us. We swam at my grandparents’ pool all the time and she NEVER got into a bathing suit to swim with us. Dad? always down… but mom was never a fan of water/swimming. I STILL remember like yesterday when one of the other adults pushed her into the pool one time with all of us with all her clothes on. I know she was mad at first but she ended up laughing. I thought it was the MOST FUN swim day we ever had as kids. It is such a simple thing, but your kid does NOT care what you look like in a bathing suit. She just wants you to be part of the fun. So be a part of it. She will remember. I still do.

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Free and Fun Things to do, Water Fountain 

6. Picnics. Eating a PBJ in your house=lame. Eating a PBJ on a blanket or picnic table anywhere else=awesome. For some reason, doing things like eating sandwiches at novel locations always seems to be a good time.

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Fun, Free Picnic.

 

7. Crafting. We live in FL so we are not short of Coconuts to paint. If you live somewhere where pinecones or large rocks inhabit, paint those. If big leaves are all you have to work with, use those. Its innate in children to pick up/collect/borderline hoard things they find in nature every day. If I had a rock for every time Olivia collected a stick…. oh yah, I do… and there are a lot. If you don’t want to buy paint, use what you have. Glue and ripped paper is a great time 🙂

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8. READ. People are amazed at Olivia’s vocabulary everywhere we go. I can honestly say that her intelligence is highly attributed to the amount of books we read together. We have read to her at night time since she was a tiny baby. She barely sat still for the longest time. At some point, however, she began to go from “fidgety toddler who barely made it through one story” to “mommy you skipped a page” (I swear I didn’t mean to… ok I did… but now she catches me so I had to stop). If you don’t always remember to read to your child, it’s ok! If you don’t have the time to do it at night, make it. I promise you, the bonding that comes from routine reading time is immeasurable. It is one of our favorite things to do.

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Reading to your Kids

 Spend time not money.

Visit our website at www.livandleen.com for more parenting tips and tricks, and learn from my mistakes before you make your own.

A special thanks to Rebecca for letting us into your community. It’s always better when we Liv and Leen totegher J

Eileen Turay

Liv&Leen

Here are some other ideas for fun stuff to do with your kids:  Fun Stuff

PS. Benjamin Bunnie’s Big Adventure is now available in paperback!

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Guest Blog from Catherine McMullen

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Catherin hales from Davison, Michigan. She’s worked in early childhood education for 16 years; the last 9 at  Head Start agency. She worked her way up from a Lead Teacher to a Home Visitor and now an Education Coordinator. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She has a three -year-old Boston Terrier named Jagger. She is also an avid runner! She’s included some helpful parenting links for you at the end of her blog. Please welcome Catherine McMullen!

Blessings, Rebecca

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Parent/Child insight-Catherine McMullen

First I think it is important to note that parental insight differs, sometimes greatly from child insight. Naturally parents see or internalize situations from a different perspective than children. So, that makes it easy to understand why these two parties are usually at opposite ends. However, closing this gap as much as we can will strengthen the parent-child relationship, further supporting a positive bond between the two.

This subject was a topic of conversation for me this past weekend. Over a lunch with a good friend of mine who also works in the field of education with me. We discussed a recent child’s birthday party that I attended.

I recalled how much fun it was. I mean the parent’s had it on a sunny and hot Saturday in July. It was perfect! It was so beautiful outside. They had the pool open and clean, filled with toys and kids! We grilled out with yummy food. Everybody seemed happy visiting and socializing. I remember thinking, Wow this mom and dad really put a lot of thought, energy, and work into making this a great day.  This is an act of love for sure. The birthday boy was turning nine He had a blast playing with his friends in his pool! He seemed to be having a great day, a spectacular birthday party filled with love and excitement.

Keep this in mind: when I first arrived a young boy who was already in the pool sprayed unsuspecting victims with a squirt gun. This is unsurprising child play, right?!! Yes, but to those who did not want to get wet, it was not seen as fun nor welcoming.

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So back to the party. It was now toward the end of my venture at this wild and crazy party. I was standing outside of the pool area preparing to say, “Goodbye” When out of the pool came that little trigger happy boy. He was tattling on the birthday boy. It seemed has if he was having a change of heart about that fun pool play. Now, I am not exact on what he tattled or what the birthday boy may or may not have done. It doesn’t matter.

This is where parental insight needs to try all it’s might and match the child’s insight.

The mom, like many, walked over to the pool. I’m sure had a discussion with him about the accusations, and met with opposition. Not surprising! He’s a 9 year-old boy, who was surrounded by friends and fun.

I am not sure how he displayed his opposition. That doesn’t matter either.

What does matter is to know and keep in the forefront of our minds that parental reaction or “insight” into a situation, is so much more advanced. We, as adults, have the luxury of being able to use our developed brain and think through problems and situations before we respond.

This doesn’t happen enough.

Instead of taking the time to fully and appropriately understand the birthday boy’s perspective on the situation, his mom engaged in the infamous power struggle. She pulled him out of the water, forcefully pushed him to sit in an outlying lawn chair, and continued to yell her frustrations at him.

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This is a classic example of how the gap between parent and child insight can directly lead to the malfuncion and deterioration of discipline and other strategies are used. This is what my point was while discussing this over lunch. The differing of insights on this particular situation allowed for an ineffective discipline method.

The child’s brain is not as mature as adult’s. They are emotional creatures meaning, and tend to be run by their feelings. They cannot easily detach as we can from an emotional situation and gain logical perspective. We, as adults, are more able to know if we are heading into a power struggle we can make choices to step away from the situation to gain some distance to allow our rational thinking to kick in.

In my line of work I see many parents unable to do this or simply not taking the time to process situations this way to gain the proper insight. Which leads to ineffective strategies and frustrations on all parenting fronts.

So, she saw this as removing him from a situation where he was misbehaving (or was he defending himself?) by taking him to a secluded place to get her point across.

However, a further differing insight of this situation was, she pulled him out of the pool in front of all his friends, grabbed his arm pushing him across the yard further humiliating him for everybody to see, and then continued to disrespect him by yelling her words at him.

I’m sure in the heat of the moment, she didn’t see it at all this way. In her mind, she’s solving a problem. But,in the birthday boy’s mind, further problems were being made.

These different perspectives are not conducive for parent-child relationships. Children do not learn anything from this situation, because they stay in the emotional part of their brain, which does not allow for proper and successful processing to further allow meaningful learning from the situation.

This shows us how important it is for us as adults to detach from emotional power struggles with children, in order to close the gap between the two insights to progress in positive and meaningful relationships.

http://consciousdiscipline.com/about/conscious-discipline-for-parents.asp

http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/family/docs/parent-child-relationships.pdf

http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Just a friendly reminder if you enjoy our blogs, please click on Top 25 Mommy Blog icon…thank you!

GIGL TV

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Happy July!  I trust you are enjoying summer. Per my blog posted on May 4, Good Viewing, I’m  a stickler for wholesome children’s shows. It’s a challenge these days to find quality programs, and my husband and I instill the importance to our kids.

So, when I was approached by Second Baptist Church in Texas to review their new children’s program GIGL TV,  I was excited!

After I watched the first episode, I knew it would be a hit with pre-school age children; especially being a pre-school teacher.

GIGL TV  stands for Growing In God’s Love.  The characters in each episode face problems common to preschoolers such as sharing, listening, and self-control. They use Bible stories to reinforce the theme which allows your child to connect the Bible to his or her life!  In addition, they learn shapes, colors, and numbers.

You get all this, and it’s free on YouTube!

They have one episode available now, and others soon to follow. Feel free to subscribe to the Second Baptist Church Channel to be updated when new episodes are released. Their goal is to have their own GIGL TV channel.

Enjoy the first video Small Fries:

DISCLAIMER: No compensation was received for this product review. Just happy to pass along “Good Viewing!”

Blessings, Rebecca