Books to Teach Friendship to Your Young Child

Every young child needs to learn how to make friends. This is an important social skill that your child will use throughout his or her life, from making friends at school to developing relationships as an adult. At first, it seems easy for your child to make friends, but as they get older, they’ll start to notice that friendship isn’t just about playing with toys together. Give your child a head start in the friendship department by teaching about how to make and keep friends. Here are a few books you can use to help teach a lesson on friendship.

Books for Children That Each Friendship

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Franklin’s New Friend ~Paulette Bourgeois

Franklin is a turtle that many young kids know and love. Although Franklin already has a group of friends he hangs out with, there’s a new “kid” in town that Franklin doesn’t know. At first, Franklin is afraid of this new friend, but after some time, he discovers that they have a lot in common! This story is great for teaching your young child how to make new friends, even if it’s a little scary at first.

Frog and Toad Are Friends ~Arnold Lobel

A lot of young adults have grown up reading about Frog and Toad. Despite its age, this timeless classic is still relevant today, teaching young children about the characteristics that make good friends. Have fun with your child reading the adventures of Frog and Toad. After reading the story, talk with your child about what Frog did for Toad and what Toad did for Frog. Use the book on friendship to teach your child that being a good friend also means giving, not just taking.

The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Friends ~Stan Berenstain

Sometimes friends are just plain trouble. Sister Bear finds this out for herself in this Berenstain Bears book. In this book, Sister Bear meets a new friend and they enjoy each other’s company. However after awhile, Sister Bear and her new friend start fighting. In order for these two friends to get along, they need to learn how to give in and not always be right. This is a great talking point for your young child because friendship is about giving and taking.

Just My Friend & Me ~Mercer Mayer

Little Critter is back and ready to make friends! In this story by Mercer Mayer, Little Critter has an afternoon play date with a friend. Instead of being fun, this play date has a few disasters. Despite the bad, these two characters remain friends. If you want to teach your young child about the difficulties of friendship, this is the book to read. This story helps your child understand that a friend can still be a friend after a fight.

Rough Play for Kids Teaches Respect, Ethics and Boundaries

My two sons love to rough play and when they first started out with rough play, let me tell you what, I cringed! I really had to get used to the idea that rough play was fun for these too rough n tumble boys, and figure out ways to supervise that allowed them the fun with rough play. Through watching my two sons play rough, I have seen what it is that rough play actually teaches these boys and I am now an avid promoter of rough playing.

What Life Lessons Kids Learn from Rough Play

Many parents who come around, that are not parent to boys cringe at the idea that I allow my boys to play so rough. I have to explain this same scenario out to everyone who hasn’t had this experience; with rough and tumble kids. I want to be clear, girls can be just as rough and tumble as boys, they can learn the same skills that boys learn from this rough and tumble play so please be aware that this post may be focused on my sons, this pertains to girls as well.

What Kids learn from Rough Play With Supervision

Many nights a week my sons wish to wrestle before we start our end of night bedtime routine. If both boys are game, I allow them to wrestle which really involves some major rough housing. Take note: this is not hyper rough play, it’s calculated rough play where they each work to win the other. The goal, I believe, is usually for one of them to be pinned down over and over again. Poor Aj who lacks some fine motor skills, ends up on the ground more often than not. One rule to rough play for me, as the parent supervising, is I want to see that each have a smile on their face – meaning they look as if they are enjoying it. Rough play is for enjoyable fun, not for one to have a blast beating the other one up.

My little man started off these rough play adventures with a very arrogant side, he is my most self absorbed child which I feel is somewhat normal for his age group. I have had to work really hard to teach my little man to respect the boundaries of Aj and to really learn the cues Aj puts out there when he is genuinely hurt or simply not having fun anymore. Little man has come so far in learning his brothers cues and 99% of the time he does respect those boundaries. Each listen to ensure that they are not physically harming the other but boy do they take a beating.

Each love to grab and throw the other around, karate chop each other and simply run in a circle giggling a lot. They get rather rough to a point where I have to shut my mouth, the Mom in me will probably never be used to this rough play stuff, but it’s so important because it teaches some important life lessons and helps the boys learn how to handle testosterone boosts they will experience most of their lives.

Kids Learn life lessons with Rough Play

What Kids Learn From Rough Play

Sportsmanship - If supervised properly your children will learn sportsmanship through rough play. Each allowing the other to take turns, each respecting the other winning and being happy the other one. Each attempting to compete in a healthy way with each other.

Boundaries of Other People – If supervised properly your children will learn the boundaries of the sibling they are rough housing with. For example, the boys know when to be rougher with each other and when to be a bit more careful as they have learned to read each other as well as their sister when rough playing.

How to Handle Frustration – If supervised properly your children will learn how to healthily take out frustrations and testosterone boosts, your sons will have boosts of testosterone and frustration being of the male species, rough play has actually been researched and proven to help teen boys handle testosterone fluctuations better as well as learn to handle conflict properly.

Friendship, Bonds and Sibling Love – If supervised properly your children will learn to have a sibling bond of love and friendship with their rough playing partner, each having learned the three skills and lessons above, will eventually have a larger level of trust for each other, as well as the outside world.

Do you have rough and tumble kids? Do you feel they are learning some important lessons through this play? What lessons do you think they learn?

Best Way To Survive Outings with Kids this Summer

It’s summer break and you want to be able to enjoy your children, I see so many parents counting down to the time school starts. Then when school starts, they count down to summer because the school schedule is a pain sometimes. It seems many parents are always counting down to the next whatever – be it summer or school. Stop. Enjoy the time you have with your kids, whether they are being totally awesome and getting along or having a case of sibling rivalry ALL DAY LONG, enjoy those moments. Time flies too quickly to not cherish every moment, yes even those patience testing times.

Here is how I survive summer (and other times of the year) with my three, very different children:

how to survive Summer outings with children

Always be proactive – you know how your kids work and what makes them tick. Planning ahead for things that will entertain them, allows the long drive to be more tolerable. For me, the middle child enjoys electronics as a means to keep himself occupied during a long trip, so I charge up the Nabi Tablet and encourage it being shut off when he’s not using it (as I don’t have a car charger for it at this time). For the other two, they bring along some small toys, coloring book and crayons or paper to play tic tac toe. Plan to have everything packed up and ready the night before to ensure you don’t forget anything!

Set Expectations – Let your kids know what you expect of them. If they are not acting properly in the car, I don’t care where you are, pull over and stop that vehicle. Do not yell and scream and get all stressed out because your children are not behaving, sure I get it, stopping and pulling over will make the trip take longer, but it’s worth it to teach the children that you will stop if they don’t behave properly in the car. Also let them know what you expect of them at the outing, such as not running off, staying a certain distance when walking with you, etc. One thing I do with my youngest, who is a bowl full of energy, is that he can run ahead a bit til I say STOP. He must stop when I say stop and not go again til I yell GO. This keeps him from having to restrain his energy, but also keeps him at a safe distance. If he doesn’t listen, I make him hold my hand, this involves him screaming, yelling and being pretty mad, but he learns that is the consequence and I don’t care if people “stare” at us, I am being the Mom.

Have Fun and Be Happy – Seriously, it’s as simple as that. Sure it can be stressful and overwhelming to be at a packed beach or facility, with kids, but get over it! If you set the expectations ahead of time, follow through with a matter-of-fact consequence things get easier. Do not allow yourself to think “well this kid knows better” or get all grumpy because your child isn’t listening. Kids will be kids. They will test limits; they will see what they can pull off, especially being out in public. Let your child know they have a consequence but have fun, don’t get all tense over having to “deal with your child”, it is going to happen, children will make the same mistake over and over sometimes too, it’s all about teaching them how to not keep making the same mistake. Get down at their level, have fun, be silly and let loose. Just because you are laughing, having fun and letting loose doesn’t mean your child won’t respect you as a parent, they actually will learn to listen to you more because they will trust you are able to get down on their level and enjoy this Summer outing.

I am sure I could go on and on with more tips, but these three have been the best for myself, what are your extra tips you may have that work for your family? Do share in a comment below…

 

6 Ways your Kids can Make Money This Summer

It’s summer, and your children are no doubt looking for ways to spend their time. They may be saving up for a new video game, tech device, or vacation – so they are likely looking for ways to make a little cash too. Before you go emptying your wallet paying them to do every little thing in your home, have them consider working around the neighborhood for money.

Below are 6 ways that kids can make a little extra dough this summer!

6 Ways Kids Can Earn Money this Summer

Babysitting

This is perfect for a responsible teen that loves kids, especially those that have little siblings. Babysitters can offer their services for moms needing to run errands or who want a date night without their spouse. The job typically pays $10-$20/hour, depending on the number of kids being watched.

Washing cars

Everyone wants to drive a nice looking car, but most people don’t have the time to do anything more than run through a cash wash. Kids can set up their own washing service in their own driveway. Before allowing this, be sure to talk about investments (car soap, sponges, water usage) and how they will pay for these things. Many children will make enough to cover the expenses and still pocket some cash when washing cars.

Selling lemonade and other treats

It’s been around for decades, but this art of making a little money still works! If you live in a neighborhood with a decent amount of traffic, encourage your kids to get creative and sell something. Lemonade is the go to, but they could also sell pastries, cookies, or other goodies to go along with the drink. Investments would need to be considered for this type of money as well.

Walking Dogs

This is a daily job that could easily be done by a couple kids. Since it’s a constant need, those offering the service of dog walking could have a nice piggy bank by the end of the summer. Most dog walkers charge $2-$3 per walk, but you could always suggest your children negotiate a rate for a week or month worth of the service.

Mowing/Caring for lawns

This is yet another service that is needed regularly throughout the summer. Mowing is a hot and sweaty job – so most would gladly pay a kid to push the mower rather than having to do it themselves. Other services that could be offered include watering plants, pulling weeds, and trimming shrubs and hedges.

Hosting a yard sale

Most kids have toys, books, clothes, and other items they no longer want and need. Let them go through their things and set up a yard sale. This would likely be a one or two time deal only, but it could bring in a substantial amount of money for their summer savings.

How do your kids make money during the summer?

The Most Common Issue With Parents That I See

One common factor I notice will all parents; whether they are together or apart, is the need for each parent to be right. I find that most parents, mainly Moms, are frustrated with their partner or ex over the way they handle the children as well as various situations. This can be flipped, there are men out there who feel the women do nothing right either. It’s a battle for every parent, the struggle to be right and in control.

Just let it go.

Seriously.

It doesn’t matter if you are married, dating or single; the child needs both parents to be involved and both parents to show respect to each. It is far from easy for a Type-A personality person to let go of that need to be right or need to be in control. It’s not easy for someone to admit to mistakes made, but parenting isn’t easy either. I think there would be less issues with parenting if each adult were able to step back, see the other person’s side and admit they were wrong. Even if not admitting you were wrong, simply understand that other parents side of things can make a world of difference in how you two parent together.

Most Common Issues with Parenting

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For example; I don’t always handle situations correctly as a co-parent. I try my best. I do my hardest to be a Mom and to inform the other parents of events or what not going on. In the past I never really had to do this for two reasons; my daughter’s dad was so obsessed with being overly involved that he knew more than I did half the time and my ex husband and I lived together for a long period of time even after our divorce so he was up to par without me having to really say anything beyond our every day conversations.

As our children get older, I am coming to realize that there is a heavier need for parental conversations. There is a heavier need to be able to negotiate and communicate not only based on our needs or wants as a parent, but to hear what the child wants. It’s so important that the child be allowed to make some decisions on their own; I am an avid supporter for a child having the ability to make adjustments, within reason, to visitations schedules. They don’t need a “valid reason” in my opinion, unless it’s some drastic change such as not seeing the other parent at all.

When children get older, they start to have social needs and work needs of their own. The transition from one home to another can cause more anxiety than necessary on the child. Not every child will require these changes, but some simply cannot handle their pre-teen changes alongside the drastic transitional stages between parental households. It takes two parents to be open minded and have the ability to let go and realize sometimes a child needs one parent more than the other at different stages of life. This is okay and it’s not be taken as a hit for you being a bad parent.

Every child has a period of time in their life when they thrive best being more with Dad or more with Mom, it changes often. I wish more parents were able to step back and realize that, instead of taking it as some ego hit and downside. There are days and stages when my kids prefer Dad over Mom or Mom over Dad; it’s not a big deal. It’s normal. Accept it.

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